Friday, December 23, 2005

friday random ten

I've never bothered with doing a friday random ten list like all the cool kids, but reading Amanda's today I felt like I might finally jump on this band wagon.

A quick comment on why I never do this and always end up frustrated when I try to do this simplest of all blogging tasks: a good chunk of the music on my computer was copied to it from mix cds sans names and titles, so there are a whole lot of songs which I listen to all the time but don't quite remember the names of. So if one of those songs jumps into the mix, I am just skipping it which sucks since much of the cooler stuff I listen to comes from Mason's uncanny talent for finding obscure, amazing music. What ev, such is the price of laziness.

and one other comment is that I am feeling lazy, so I'm done capitalizing things, so my un capitalized things should not be taken as indicative of ill-will as they can be on other days.


1) valentine's day - steve earle
2) love will tear us apart - kiki & herb
*skipped song from "songs for immortals" mix lauren made for me*
3) white chocolate tea - the childballads
4) la vacaloca - manu chao
*skipped song from "lisa's girl mix for mason"*
5) star man - seu jorge
6) independant woman pt.1 - elbow
7) that's what i say - ray charles
8) long vermont roads - levi fuller (magnetic fields cover)
9) glory - liz phair

and finally:

10) heaven's just a sin away - the kendalls

Monday, December 19, 2005

With Democrats like this, who needs republicans?

democratic state sen. r. edward houck of Fredricksburg, VA:'I can't always just vote my conscience and my convictions,'

If you aren't voting your concience or your convictions, you should probably ask yourself what you are voting. Perhaps like so many americans, 51% or so, you vote your bigotries and your fears.

Just go read the story this is linked to.

Get a fucking spine, asshole. You might ask Santa for a heart, too.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

bloomberg is a fucking prick

So, yeah, it will cost the city a bazillion dollars if the transit workers strike and we will all have to walk everywhere (straight to the bar), but when the mta is raising fares, laying off workers and increasing delays by reducing maintainance crews. So no, I'm not sympathetic to the mta's management and the mayor has pissed me off more than a few times so fuck him.

City Seeks Stiff Fines for Workers And Transit Union if They Strike - New York Times

I want to leave work so I won't get started on bloomberg's sudden war on nightlife since the election. All you bastard hipsters that voted for the jerk remember that's what you voted for when the lights come on and cops enter the bar at your favorite LES/E'Vil watering hole.

mickey kaus is an idiot

you can tell you are in for some enlightenment when you see this at the top of a web page:Epater Les Breeders - If you don't see "Brokeback Mountain," are you�a bigot? By Mickey�Kaus

Uh, dude, if you don't want to see the movie, don't go see it. Not going to see it doesn't make you a bigot, acting like it is ridiculous to concider that there is a possiblity that the movie can be good enough to appeal to a broad audience without the whole story being about titty-fucking is what makes you a bigot. Don't give us your whole "I'll go see it because I am with it and open minded, I'm just saying I won't like it because I am such a such a heterostud" posturing. You just come across as more of a heterotard instead.

Some one points out the idiocy of his comments gently, so he says more idiotic things and misses the whole point because he is too busy being macho to bother to actually think:

"P.S.: Reader C. E., reacting to an earlier 'Brokeback' post, emails:

"If I follow your logic, I should be genetically repelled from such films as Out of Africa, The Princess Bride, The Notebook, Wuthering Heights, The Big Easy, and basically every Hollywood romance ever made except Brokeback Mountain because I couldn't possibly enjoy a story about people who are not like myself.

"Er, no. If a gay man, say, goes to see 'Wuthering Heights,' there is at least one romantic lead of the sex he's interested in! In 'Brokeback Mountain,' neither of the two romantic leads is of a sex I'm interested in. ... My wild hypothesis is that more people will go see a movie if it features an actor or actress they find attractive! If heterosexual men in heartland America don't flock to see 'Brokeback Mountain' it's not because they're bigoted. It's because they're heterosexual. 'Heterosexuals Attracted to Members of the Opposite Sex'--for those cultural critics wondering what a commerical disappointment for this much-heralded movie will Tell Us About America Today, there's your headline. ..."

One, it is stupid to posit that straight men only go to movies to stare at tits. There are movie made just for that and having someone attractive in a movie always makes it nicer, but the point is stupid. Particularly that if that is his argument, I have a hard time thinking that he won't find Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams attractive, both of whom look amazing and are involved in sex scenes. There is no lack of attractive folks of either sex. If he really wants to go with his "I'm a perv who only goes to the movies to look at the purty girls," he still has no reason based on that arguement to avoid the movie.

If you don't want to see the movie, just don't go. Nobody really cares until you start crowing about how breeders won't like it because straight men can only like something if there are pretty girls to look at and it's not because you are bigotted you just need boobs to look at or why would you go see it since you ain't no fag. The posturing is embarassing and tired.

The movie will do well because it is well done. It is a difficult movie and might be challenging to folks, but that is to its credit. Mickey, if it is so hard for you to understand how you could care about characters whose experience is not identical to yours, then maybe you need to be challenged and ask yourself why you are so resistant to the idea. And yeah, bigotry might be the name for it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Go Pam, Go!!!

Being a regular reader of Pandagon, I stumbled over to the home site of one of their contributors a while back: Pam's House Blend. An excellent site with quality commentary. As someone who grumbles quite often at the stupidity of so much commentary the homophobic bigots out there mucking up our public discourse, I'm always happy to find someone else raging against the stupidity without losing their mind or their sense of humor. And I especially love her pictoral history of her hair. And Mason, note that she references her "kitchen area" in the caption of the pic from April 2001. Sometimes forgetting about slang not always translating in different geographic regions/demographic groups, I have often found myself explaining to those around me why I am saying something which sounds crazy to them. Like when Mason asked if he needed a haircut and I told him he needed to clean his kitchen, which makes no sense if you didn't have black girlfriends (not that kind of girlfriend) who would refer to the base of the skull/top of the neck region on the back of your head as your "kitchen." This is one of those things where I think Mason sort of believes me but I still kind of see that vague distrust in his eyes, so I am pointing out the first written reference to this term (feel free to correct me Pam if you mean something different by "kitchen region").

Anyway, I didn't start this post to talk about Pam's hair; I am writing it to suggest you take a moment and go vote for her for to get a Weblog Awards for the Best LGBT Blog.

I haven't heard of most of the other blogs, and the few that I have are mostly ones that make my skin crawl. So even though I would vote for Pam anyway because I've read her long enough to know she's my girl in this game, I'm going to do a first impression run through of the other nominees.

1) gay patriot- ummm, yeah this is one of the ones that I recognized because they kind of make me want to kick someone. Inane political commentary from gay republican. Don't get me started.

2) Queer Visions- had never seen this one before. Seems really good. Well put together, well written. The politics seems (in a very brief perusal) more short commentary and linking to other sources. I'm keeping my endorsement with Pam, but I'll visit these guys again.

3) boi from troy- uh, gay republican sports blog. not as noxious as gaypatriot and sometimes witty, but again, we don't consort with gay repubs around here except to argue and he is throwing his support behind brat boy school who is Pam's closest competitor. I'm sticking with Pam.

4) right side of the rainbow another gay republican. That's about all I got out of it.

5) Gay Orbit- OK-ish. Some interesting commentary but again seemed to lean to the right, which I probably wouldn't have looked far enough into the blog to notice, as it isn't so overt or in your face annoying, but I'm beginning to notice a trend.

6) Shades of Gray- a really good read. Well written and entertaining. Not really overtly political.

7) brat boy school- this is inexplicably Pam's closest competitor. Just kind of boring. Never heard of him before this and don't think I will come back. Politically kind of lame, storytelling lacking that something that would make you want to read on, seemingly trying to affect a sort of diva thing that doesn't seem to quite fit right. Sort of like a poorman's malcontent.

8) Classical Values- writes decently, but is kind of annoying if you slog all the way through one of his posts. I guess I am no one to criticize anyone for longwindedness, but whatev'.

9) Good As You- pretty entertaining, good politics. Still sticking with Pam, but I promise to visit.

10) troubled diva wouldn't load, but 'diva' is one of those words that I feel is rarely well used and usually makes me roll my eyes. Like 'fierce' or when people spell 'boy' as 'boi'.

11) the malcontent- my old friend the malcontent. I'm still pissed at him for being mean to Richard Simmons and his politics are still pretty retarded, but after slogging through all these other blogs, I can at least say he is more entertaining than most. And he does a good job as far as content goes and following through on his goal to focus on providing screen/video captures not found elsewhere. But he is throwing his weight behind the totally lame brat boy school and calling Pam a moonbat.

12) BlogActive great blog; pissed off, take no shit, don't fuck with this faggot politics. They are endorsing Pam too.

13) towleroad- pretty entertaining blog, but they are endorsing the brat boy, so whatev'.

14) Homocon- I am getting exhausted and want to go home an eat. This one seemed less than noxious and looks well put together, so maybe I will check them out another time.

So one last time, go vote for Pam and then do it again tomorrow (you can vote once a day per ip address).

I'm going to get in trouble because M- is cooking goetta tonight and I promised to be home by 9 to try this Cinncinatti delicasy, so I gotsta run.

Friday, December 09, 2005

larry the cable guy is an idiot

Yeah, David Cross can be fucking annoying at times, but I kind of think that is the point of a lot of his act, and his rabid fans can be just as annoying ("Hey let's watch these Mr. Show episodes that I taped. Again."), but he hits the nail right on the head with this letter to larry the cable guy. Coming from the South, I've got no patience for damn idiots who work hard to perpetuate the idea that southerners are a bunch of slow-ass morons. Plenty are, but so are plenty of folks everywhere and I don't need anyone else hanging that stigma on my birthplace in particular.

One little tidbit about the fellow that sticks in my craw:

"Well, I suppose I've already covered part of that in the above. But you also specifically dumb down your speech while making hundreds of purposefully grammatical errors. How do I know this? It's on page 17 of your book wherein you describe how you would 'Larry' up your commentaries for radio. What does it mean to 'Larry' something up? Take a wild guess. The reason you feel the need to 'Larry' something up? Because you are not that dumb. I mean you, Dan Whitney, the guy who's name the bank account is under. You were born and raised in Nebraska (hardly The South), went to private school and moved to Florida when you were 16. This is when you developed your accent?! Not exactly the developmental years are they? At age 16 that's the kind of thing you have to make a concerted effort to adopt. Did you hire a voice coach? Or were you like one of those people who go to England for a week and come back sounding like an extra from 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'? As you said yourself in an interview once, 'I can pop in and out of it pretty much whenever I want'. In your book on page 89 you say in reference to the 'gee-shucks' millionaire comment, '...see, to his (David's) mind, bein' well paid means I'm no longer real and I can't be a country boy anymore. It's just an act.' Hey, it's always been an act! That's my fucking point! You admit it yourself so cut the indignation shit."

He's not even fucking southern! If you are going to make a life out of making fun of the South can you at least be fucking southern? Nebraska? I grew up within 30 miles of where I was born. We moved from Mississippi across the state line to where my parents still live when I was about 5 and I switched from a MS school to an AL school when I was in the 4th grade and I was still considered something of a new kid on into highschool. You don't just get a pass at being southern because you move there. And Florida is a lot of things, but if you aren't above I-10, it is NOT the South.

Whatever, make a buck off of being a charicature of the worst backwards ass elements of the country and associate them with the South (where they certainly are, in spades) but shut up about defending them from slander by David Cross et al. Your whole schtick is slandering the region and getting folks to laugh at it.

larry the cable guy is always going to be a second rate clown in Jeff Foxworthy's idiot redneck circus. His momma's got to be proud.

Makes me miss Lewis Grizzard.

(and this is a random side note, but is Jeff Foxworthy gay? Not trying to start anything and I'm not just saying it because he looks gay -which he does- but if you caught any of his celebrity roast, it was the gayest thing I have ever seen. It seemed like an awful lot of the jokes were thinly veiled gay jokes and seemed to hint just a little too at... something. Am I the only person who thought so?)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Stick to the praise music, bub, and leave the rockin' and honky tonking to us.

TBogg linked to this:Six Meat Buffet � Rock Songs Conservatives Can Love

I decided to swing by and check out what the rock songs the fellow found to be conservative. Really, sure try and tag some rock music as conservative...actually scratch that. Rock and roll, the blues, and really even a hell of a lot of country music is all about bucking things up and either raging at having no place in the status quo or about just doing your thing despite all the shit going on around you. So no, the conservative, things-used-to-be-tilted-more-in-my-favor-wah-wah-wah folks don't get any of it. They are the stupid bitches running around wishing for some dumb charicature of what they are gullible enough to believe the world used to be like in the 'good old days' (where those niggers and faggots and women knew their places), so no, you don't get to claim rock songs for your agenda. Say their are things in rock songs you relate to, but don't try to drag them up on your idiot bandwagon. You can have praise music and christian rock (if you want it; and note this does not give you permission to mess around with gospel or old school hymns; hands off).

Please, had you stuck to just latterday Eagles, I would posit that the only idiots I have ever known who looked for getting rich out of accidents and bogus liability cry-baby claims tended to be republicans and that it was written lashing out at the me-first culture of reaganites, but I would have left well enough alone and let you enjoy your smarm... but "Revolution"?!?!? You want to claim a Beatles song, one of their most overtly political, anti-war peace songs as a conservative fave? I'm not concerned that you lack an understanding of irony like the rest of Tbogg's folks are; I'm worried that you are stupid.

Friday, December 02, 2005

a day late, a few somber thoughts

Tbogg put this post up making fun of racist idiots. I'll leave those particular bigots to him; I couldn't one up his sarcasm if I tried and these jerks don't really merit more attention than the sharp sneer and dismissal he has already dealt. But his post included this picture:

Yesterday was Blogging Against Racism Day. Don't know who decided that, but a few folks whose stuff I regularly read and respect were talking about it and it seems like a fine enough goal. It was also World Aids Day. I didn't find time for blogging yesterday, so I contributed to neither, but given my recurring topics, neither topic is lacking for mention on this blog.

but that picture.

The folks in it. They don't look all that different from pictures of my family members (other than choice of background). Smiling, holding hands.

Though friends here in NYC might joke about me being country and white trash, I don't come from trashy folk back home. You have to be more than just poor and white to be "white trash". Unless just bandied about as a joke, it draws up a specific thing in my head. And we while my family wasn't rolling in money and was probably poorer than many of my friend's families, we came from educated and cultured folks and for that reason, many kids where I went to school at times thought I came from a wealthy family. I couldn't afford to go see a movie on the weekend and my parents both did side work in addition to their main jobs to keep us in the black, but our house was always filled with books, guests always welcome, family always important, and manners strictly enforced. My parents were lax about letting us grow our hair out and dress pretty much as we wanted (within reason), but being polite was non negotiable. To anyone, anywhere, anytime. Black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, whatever. Please and thank you and yes, sir/ma'am were not optional.

I'm sure my parents could think of a thousand times when each of us has seemed insanely rude to them, but I can't think of very many times they let it pass or of very many times when I have seen one of my numerous siblings being rude to someone unprovoked. Plenty of sarcasm and attitude in my family, but generally delivered with that syrupy southern sweetness that makes it all the more potent.

What is the point? Bear with me.

Growing up in AL/MS, race is right there on the table in everything. In your homes not so much all the time, but in your interaction with your community and the world, it is unavoidable. Those two states are internationally synonymous with racism, and you know it when you grow up there. You see plenty of it, but I also inherited a horror of it. Every chapter in Alabama history is about race relations, from the french and spanish first dealing with the indians straight on up til today. I knew things weren't perfect there growing up, but I also knew that they weren't the same as they once had been or the same as they were still often portrayed. People weren't being lynched, the idea of someone burning a cross in someone's yard was regarded with abject horror by the general populace. You could get angry, seek revenge on someone, but lace it with overt racism and you were dragging all of us and our very tenuous and already fairly bad reputation into it. Black people and white people went to the same schools mostly and the same stores and interacted fairly civilly.

Of course there was still plenty of division and things weren't all hunky dory, but I had the feeling that coming out of our history and having the social turmoil we had had and all the other baggage, for the most part, folks in those two states were doing better than the world seemed to portray and the general populace was pointed in, trying to point in the right direction. Even if folks still weren't quite sure how to shake off old prejudices and it would take a few generations to get there, we were trying.

For the first time in my life, when I went home last Christmas, I didn't feel that anymore. Racist statements weren't just something relegated to the trashy folks that didn't know better. Not that I suddenly started hearing racial epithets slung around, but the atmosphere had somehow changed. Instead of that past history being something that we were trying so dreadfully to escape, to forget, to distance ourselves from, we were clamouring to get back to it. It was palpable. How can any human in this country from almost any community have any illusions about what it means when they say they want to go back to the "good old days"? I know what you are saying and I don't like it. You can say this or that was good, but you can't talk wholesale about the "good old days" without there being an implicit meaning that you want the world to go back to having black people in their place or dead and a power consolidated in the hands of a few community movers and shakers and that horrible communal approval or blanketing smothering silence regulating dissent. I've felt it trying to suffocate me more than a few times and see what happens when it does keep people under and it isn't pretty.

This picture in which I had never imagined my family/community a part of in the past was suddenly something that they were willing to countenance in the future. My mom or dad would be horrified at such hyperbole, and for the most part it is just that, hyperbole. But there was that element of it that glimpsed out from underneath everything.

Why did anyone in this country vote for george bush in the last election? Honestly, name one thing he did right in the previous four years, in his time as governor. One thing that indicated that he was or could one day be a good leader. You can gripe all you want about Kerry, but honestly, if you look at Kerry's record and that of John Edwards, they have done a few things right and both spoke reasonably well in the debates. bush was an absolute buffoon and doesn't hide it very well. Growing up, if we had known him in person, I will bet you a dollar my mother would have gone out of her way not to let us around him. Because he is a liar and obnoxious and mean and self-important and I've seen how she reacts to similar folks. Suffering fools isn't something that happens too often in our family and certainly not with my mother. But put him in control of nuclear weapons and stick him on television promoting an amendment that said her son doesn't matter as much under the law and have him lie pretty blatanly and with little finesse to lead the country into an unnecessary war, and I have to explain to her why I can't understand how anyone could vote for him. I don't know if she did. I don't want to. He ran his whole campaign on dirty tricks to trash his opponent and on folks' bigotries ("let's go blow up brown people and put those faggots in their place!").

and won.

Am I trying to say that he or anyone who voted for him wants to smile and dress up and hold hands with black people swinging from trees in the background? No. Not at all. But I'll argue that those things come from the same place. Those folks smiled beneath that strange fruit for the same reason people voted for bush: because someone was putting 'those people' back in their place. What in the hell is the difference between Guantanamo/Abu Gharaib and that lynching? Torturing someone to death (there have been more than a few deaths in both) is somehow less violent than hanging them? Less racist to beat/shoot/bomb foreign brown people to death because we as a nation feel emasculated by the actions of some other foreign brown folks than lynching some black folks for somehow emasculating some white community through some real or percieved crime? Or it makes you less guilty of the crime to vote for it than to be there?

Watch the republican national convention and tell me again that that wasn't what you voted for if you voted for bush. Why did you vote for him then? The booming economy? The strong dollar? The international goodwill he had fostered? The improvements in our education system? In healthcare? In the environment? His eloquence and the dignity with which he carries himself?

That people voted for bush is one thing; why is another. And the why is what I couldn't stomach. I have never been so happy to be somewhere as I was to get back to New York after the holidays. I had a great time with my family and love them and loved the visit, but it was all somehow different.

I love my older sister, but instead of staying with her again when I flew out of Atlanta, I stayed at a hostel. Because everything we said to each other was laced with politics, even when we tried to keep politics out of it. I don't think my dad voted for bush, and in the end I don't think my mom did, but my sister I am sure did. And for all the wrong reasons. Not because she is racist, but because "He is a Christian." So is Kerry for that matter, but what she meant was "He is one of Us." And in suggesting that Kerry wasn't enough of a Christian she was also not so subtly suggesting that I wasn't either; that I was part of that 'Them' who her beloved 'Us' was called to reign in. Her vote was for me not to be a faggot. I am not so conceited to think that was the long and short of it, no other reasons in the mix, but the message wasn't subtle and it was part of it. And perhaps she doesn't realize that this is implied when one implies such things, but the implication is that there should not be homosexuals at all. 'Quit acting like a fag, boy, or you might not be around any more.' Not my sister's message to me, but it is the one she voted for. The one a majority (however bare a majority, a majority none the less)of this country voted for. So pardon me for feeling a little uncomfortable with a picture of a lynching. Both as someone horrified with the idea that the people who did the lynching were from the same social class and likely a very similar place that I am and as someone being told to get back in line. They didn't hang black people just because they were black. They hung them because they were black and stepped out of line or as a warning for others not to. Were in the wrong part of town, looked at someone wrong, asked the wrong question, refused some indignity, embarassed/challenged some weak whimpy white idiots who had to make themselves feel strong and secure again by exacting a community backed revenge on that ominous 'Other'.

'That'll learn 'em good.'

Anyway, that picture. Dragged up some stuff. Getting close to going back down south, looking forward to seeing my family, but realizing there is still alot of baggage there and not sure how some things will go. That picture is a historical document; not a representation of the South anymore, of America any more. I want to make sure it stays that way. I want to be able to believe again that that is what everyone else wants too.

(Note: I speak about the South in particular because I come from the South, but I have no illusions that only or all southerners voted for bush. And as the malcontent shows, even gay people in NYC can be so callow and self-centered as to vote for these cretins.)