Friday, September 30, 2005

this is just to say...

We have just passed 1000 visitors here at awareness is painful. Perhaps that is not quite accurate as it was close to a year into this that I finally put a counter on the site, so we probably passed the real mark quite sometime ago. Of course 1000 visitors isn't really all that impressive to most bloggers and I won't really be throwing a party over it either, but for something that started with not much more of an intended audience than a couple of folks I'll take 1000 as a nice mile-marker.

thanks to everyone who has stopped by (even the homo-republicans). Hope to see you here again.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

An Index to Creationist Claims

Here is a handy and comprehensive resource when you need to refute an enemy of the state: An Index to Creationist Claims

Wow. This is the most exhaustive rundown I have seen.

Homo say what?

Via the always charming TBogg I discovered that Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly posted this lovely piece:

"WHISPERING CAMPAIGN....Is every single liberal blog in the world planning to post a sniggering, wink-wink-nudge-nudge mention that David Dreier is rumored to be gay? Pardon me while I throw up.

"And spare me the drivel about the "principled" case for outing gay politicians. I'm not buying, and there's nothing principled going on here in any case. It's just childish nonsense that perpetuates the notion that there's something sordid about being gay. Conservatives were wrong to conduct a decade long witch hunt against Bill Clinton's sex life, and liberals are wrong to join in when the shoe is on the other foot.

"(Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm living in the past. Sigh.)"

I don't regularly read Kevin Drum, so I don't know a whole lot about him or his angle on things, but this annoyed me so I'll comment a little bit.

I will spare you the principled case for outing gay republicans; this has nothing to do with principles and everything to do with consequences. Any public figure who is gay and doesn't care to talk about being gay should tread very softly on gay topics and be very aware that how they vote on issues which effect gay people is not going to go unnoticed. If you are going to bash gay folks (and that damn gay marriage amendment had everything to do with gay bashing; its whole point was giving the GOP a public excuse for saying "we don't like gay people either" to the garner the bigot vote and try to put in the fucking constitution that gay people matter less under the law), you better believe we are going to come back swinging. No, we don't think there is a damn thing shameful about being gay, but if you are going to act like it is a dirty little secret and publically attack gay people, we are going to ask you why as a gay person you are doing it.

I can think of at least one prominent Republican senator who is gay and closeted whose sexuality is damn near never mentioned because he wouldn't touch anti gay legislation with a ten foot pole. And honestly, I don't really think it is because he is all that progressive, but a southern homosexual don't get so far if he doesn't understand a little bit of delicate quid pro quo. He wants to keep his sexuality quiet and keep from riling the bigot vote back home but he also knows better than to try and rally them by backing anti-gay shit. Why does drier think he can do that without incurring a backlash?

This is not the 1950's. Gay people don't just stay in their place and do what they are told. You can't treat us like trash and pretend you aren't one of us and expect us to shut the hell up. Homo say what?

Kevin's got comments and I want to comment on two of them:

"I generally agree with you, and I'm against outing under any circumstances. That said, the fact that the Republicans get a lot of support by fanning the flames of the worst sort of homophobia, while simultaneously tolerating gays in high-level positions within the party, constitutes such revolting and rank hypocrisy that it begs to be mentioned."

Why are you against outing under any circumstances? and if you are, why are you saying you are sort of for them?

and another commentor:

"Sorry, Kevin - gotta depart with you on this one.

It's one thing for a gay to be in the closet and just not think his sexuality is anyone's business. (Anderson Cooper springs to mind.)..."

Ok, this Anderson Cooper shit is annoying as hell. I'm tired of Michael Musto constantly picking at him to publicize him sexuality and all these other folks calling for him to come out. Where in the hell is he going to come out from? The man is out. He doesn't hide his sexuality, he doesn't sneak around with closet cases in secret backrooms, he doesn't strut around with a beard; he's out in gay bars, at parties, all over new york, but he doesn't have a serious partner (or hasn't for too long if he does now) so why in the hell would he talk about who he is dating publicly? Do other single newscasters bring up their dating life publicly? There is a difference between trying to keep the private out of your public life as a celebrity and being a closet case. Leave the man the hell alone and just let him be a reporter. He's been doing a pretty good job at that lately and we need every decent reporter we can get these days.

But yeah, if kenneth melhman and david drier and whoever the hell else want to push anti-gay public policy and use homophobic rhetoric to fluff the bigot vote they better find an ex-gay program that works (good luck) and start munching cooter or they are damn well going to have their cock loving ways shoved down their self-loathing throats.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

nobody knows my name

(this is another from the old email files, so it was written quite some time ago and was originally private corespondence.)


I can't stop reading James Baldwin. I am not reading his fiction now though. I have been reading his books of essays and interviews and I love them. I really don't know when I have quite connected so well with someone's way of thinking. I guess it is important to say that I don't really swallow everything that he says and really think that some of his stuff is really challenging (not in a difficult to read kind of way, but like in a "I challenge you to a duel" kind of way).

Most of the essays are about being an American Negro (his words, a little outdated, but appropriate to what he is talking about). I have been trying to put my finger on what it was that I really connected so much with in his writings, since I of course am not a black man and even though he is also a homosexual, that seems to have been the easier of his social baggages to come to terms with. Today I was really really struck by something he said about black people almost always performing, and when two met each other in a strange context (in this case, at a white cocktail party in Europe) they immediately size one another up and are connected if not by both being black, by both knowing the others appearance is a performance and thereby being both a potential ally and threat. They can "knock" the other's "hustle" if they chose, "give the other's game away." Not exactly an earth shaking generalization but an earthquake of an idea that broke through somethings that I have been trying (am trying, will always be trying) to get at the root of. I think that I did make a breakthrough in my connection to Mr. Baldwin.

Maybe what he is saying isn't just about the nature of black people so much as about the nature of black sheep, those on the outside looking in, anyone who has had to realize that the rules of the game had no room for them and that they would have to knoe more than the rules if they were going to survive. I think that it really doesn't matter why someone is a black sheep, or even if they are different kinds, they will ultimately know and understand one another. Not that they will agree or like one another, but they will be able to see things that the general populace can't, because there survival has always depended on this. It is one of those weird things that I think explains alot of things like "gaydar". Kind of a dumb example, but the less dangerous it has been for a person to be gay and the longer they have lived with it openly, the less they can tell who is gay or not. And on the same note, but a little differently, some people have laughed before when I have said this, but I meant it totally seriously, that you can't fool black people or children. I was talking about being gay, but I kind of think it extends to other things, and of course there really are plenty of black people and children who can easily be fooled about alot of things, but how little you can fool them about is a fuction of how disenfranchised they have been, and both groups are consistently, even today, still left on the outside (perhaps with children it isn't so much disenfranchisement as them not yet being fully enfranchised -is that a word?). More and more black people are beginning to be more often on the inside (at least officially and at least some of them) and so more and more don't really have to be able so much to see everything in such a bare, honest way, and so they don't. That is what any black person means when they accuse another black person of acting "white": they mean that they have reached a place where they are comfortable and are believing that everyone else has the same access to that comfort that they do and so dissconnect themselves from any real direct knowledge of that kind of suffering. this is not meant to be particularly condemning to black people who are letting themselves enjoy prosperity that they have found because not everyone has it, unless it is also condemning of anyone who lets themselves enjoy the prosperity they have found; this is just saying that the spaces within our social structures which black people can occupy have opened up to let them also live comfortably enough in some cases to forget that there are those who do not also have such opportunity. I no way do I suggest that many (perhaps most) white people are not guilty of the same myopia, rather that it is that shortsightedness which necessarily describes what has often separated whites (the general 'ingroup') and blacks (the general 'outgroup'), and finding themselves in a place where they can afford this loss of perspective is exactly what is meant when someone says someone acts "white". I think this is a gross generalization and that all of the most effective people anywhere have to know something about disenfrachisement that those who are 'there' and have always been 'there' can never relate to.

I guess I have begun to feel that something was slipping and I was losing something important as I began to feel more and more like I could act more naturally and felt more attractive and popular and less like a freak or an outcast. I guess this has just helped me begin to put a finger on that.

I also think this explains alot of why whites in the South are more comfortable around blacks than are northerners. And I don't think it is just about proximity and familiarity in a literal sense (although this is of course part of it), but in also in some way being connected in also feeling separated from and rejected from the 'ingroup'. This is the great legacy of the civil war that we are supposed to carry around as baggage. I think most of us in our generation have let go of any feelings of being beaten or resentment really directly relating to that conflict, but we still feel the effects of bearing the physical damage of the war on our soil relating to how that put the South back economically, socially, etc. and the intellectual attitude of being constantly represented as backwards, primitive, country, slow, dumb, etc. We know what it is like to walk into a room of people from all over and have them find out only where we come from and immediately assume that we are less of something (ally, foe, partner, student, etc.). And even if we don't so much feel that too terribly directly, it is blasted into our minds in popular media and bolstered by the people who represent us (pick any alabama govenor ever, Trent Lott, Strom Thurmond) nationally. Now I am not trying to directly compare southern whites to blacks and do feel that even as we may in general be more in touch with black people, we are still in a somewhat more priveleged position regardless.

I have to say that all this has alot to do with how I have always really felt that south carolina (Charleston in particular) strikes me as so different from most of the south. I feel when I am in Alabama or Mississippi like I am playing perfectly fair if I sort of politely sidestep things or embelish and play out every interpersonal interaction like a chess game. I feel like almost everyone works from this vantage point of having some idea that people take advantage of people and they know to watch their back and being conscious of what you are doing constitutes staying alive and being able to get ahead in the game. Here I feel like it is cheating. I feel like everyone expects everything to be so laid out and honest in a blankly boring way that if you really do what back home is just prudent consideration, here it is taken as underhanded and disagreeable. And I think that it is because this south is not the rural south and not really connected to it at all except in that same condescending way that the north also connects to the rural south. Now there are definently things here that I find familiar, but I am really often rubbed very wrong by the way in which things do still run with some of the old machinery that is (thankfully) a little more broken down where we are from. You can really feel in this city very clearly that it wasn't the same kind of civil rights battle ground that our state was. Not that progress hasn't been made, but the tops haven't quite been blow off of some of the institutions in the same way and some of the sentiments haven't either been driven underground or brought out in the open in quite the same way.

This wasn't meant to be such an analysis of the South so much as just about me trying to more and more understand how I fit in the world. I am beginning to feel perhaps like James Baldwin did in Paris, so separated from what was familiar and finally find my way in being able to really go at things directly instead of slinking around in the shadows, but I feel like it is something of a bitter victory. You find that you have sort of reached that position that will afford you some comfort and that you are finally allowed to join in the reindeer games, and with this you begin to feel some obligation to start to play by the rules, but you still feel connected to those still left on the outside. And maybe a place at the table isn't all it's cracked up to be if no one at the table is going to listen to you. The problem isn't totally about feeling that taking your place at the table leaves others to pick through the crumbs on the floor, but (recklessly switching metaphores midsentence) more that by agreeing to play by the rules, you have to make others agree to change the rules to even things out instead the old familiar standard of just playing your way and beating them because they are trapped and blinded by their rules. This all makes me think of an old Indian proverb I read somewhere: 'the big fish eats the little fish, and the little fish must get smart.' When you are invisible, ignored by the system, what you do doesn't matter to the system itself, you just have to be smart and stay alive. Once the world decides to see that you exist, you are stuck in their rules and you are expected to play by their rules. You can't just buck the system in the same way you did before, you have to change it. Just trying to side step things and slinking through the shadows either put you in a position of danger and will be attacked or you are making a declaration of wanting to be outside again. You are pulling yourself back to that familar place that you came from, which is not a place that I am trying to romanticize: life on the outside is brutal and dangerous. There you are in competition with EVERYTHING. It is exausting and painful.

of course in this analysis (I am sorry that you are so often the person who gets stuck with these musings from me, you know that none of this would ever be to preach or that I feel that I am speaking from a more informed or enlightened position, but that I just really think you have some amazing lucidity of thought and know me well enough to understand) is way too general and over dramatic and simplifying. But I just am really feeling that I am finally understanding something important and have really made some significant connection to James Baldwin's ideas.

One thing that i find sort of funny, is that so much of the language that I have been using (particulary, 'outside', 'ingroups', etc.) mean dramatically different things when I am talking about black people and gay people. With reference to being black or poor or disefrancised in most ways, being in the 'outgroup' means having not yet transcended this separating factor, while with gay people, the 'outgroup' encompasses those who have most embraced this seperating factor. The effect is potentially separating in that it is acknowledging that they are separated (something which may or may not have been apparent before), but it is when a gay person decides to live with this difference being baldly apparent that they begin to be stuck in the rules of society. I guess I am letting myself look at this in a offcenter sort of way. I guess I am kind of ignoring, that so many gay people don't take coming out as really an occasion to find their place at the table, but rather take it as occasion to set their own table and turn their back to the rest of the world. This is a tendency that I am finding myself fighting with. I guess this is where people get stuck...

well, actually, i am going to have to stop for awhile. I know this is abrupt, but I think if I don't pull out now, I am going to end up with you suffering a discourse that is much longer that anyone should ever have to read at one sitting at a computer.

delay indicted: it's about damn time.

I'm signed up for Washington Post breaking news updates and usually they are so stupid I just end up annoyed and wonder why they even bother sending them, but today they finally hit on news worth sending folks an email alert about: DeLay Indicted in Campaign Finance Probe

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

D is for Rover

Ok, so you are thinking "D is not for Rover, you idiot" but you are wrong. That is the title of my favorite book as a little child. It made absolutely no sense and was just about this obnoxious little kid who would get all his other letters connected to an appropriate word ("A is for apple") but absolutely refused to quit saying "D is for Rover" because Rover was a Dog and that somehow made sense in his mind and it didn't in mind but he was my hero in some weird way just for sticking to his guns and not budging a bit. I can't remember the ending. I want to remember that it had a happy ending and the adults finally realized that he was so far ahead of them in everyway and all laughed and made the connection that in saying "d is for Rover" he was saying "d is for Dog", but I am horribly afraid that instead he ended up doing something ridiculous like finally saying "R is for rover" and all the adults celebrating and congradulating him on getting it "right". How horrible! I hope that is just a bad nightmare and it ended the right way. I think I do remember that regardless of the ending, I think I continued to read it as "D is for Rover" even at the end, and pissing off whatever adult was reading over my shoulder. I do think that I remember that my parents somehow understood and saying "D is for Rover" totally made sense to them.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

You aren't in rural AL living with your parents.

I have been thinking about leaving New York. Not because I dislike it here. Quite the opposite: I really love this town. But I am not looking to be settled anywhere now and would like to move around a bit. I always get fairly wanderlusty in the fall anyway, but I have been in the city for a few years and don't care to go through another northern winter this year.

thinking of travelling has sent me rummaging through old email from times and places past. Since I have been on a big gay streak the last couple of weeks (not usually what I blog about), I thought I would insert this one into the public archives. This was a letter I sent to K- the summer after I graduated from college. After living in Charleston openly and comfortably for years, I was back home in AL spending the summer selling peaches off the back of a truck with my brother. After a supremely akward graduation dinner friends had cooked for me and my visiting family, I decided to break with tradition and bluntly come out my parents rather than just let them figure it out on their own. I generally prefer the more circuitous route and letting things fall where they naturally fall, but it wasn't working and it put my friends in the awkward position of not knowing what they could say around my family and having to act weird and not being able to introduce my boyfriend as such without turning the event into a fiasco.

So this is on into the summer, me missing my friends and Charleston and the small town life slowly sucking the life out of me. I'm having trouble psyching myself up for following through with coming out, but looking back these years later and how my relationship with my parents has gotten better and how much easier it is to stay in touch with my family and how much more 3-dimesional my life is with my kin, I don't doubt for a second that it was the right thing to do. If I hadn't, I probably wouldn't talk to my family very often right now and certainly not with the depth that we do.

anyway, this isn't a public service announcement for coming out, more just a record of a time and a place and a warning reminder of where my path could have taken me.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

You aren't in rural AL living with your parents.


Just remind yourself of that when charleston feels small and annoying. I get to spend all day everyday smiling and wheeling and dealing with rednecks. It is terrifying how deeply you have to sink into good manners to keep from going crazy in this place. You just smile real big and say ma'am and sir and remind yourself that you are taking their money and smile just a little bigger still. I do that and go to class. A genetics class taught through the poultry science dept. at Mississippi's ag school. I am in class with people majoring in poultry science who had to take summer classes! Anyway, enough complaining, just reminding you that of all the places you could be, Charleston doesn't measure up too poorly.

I guess I shouldn't complain too much, I am kind of enjoying things here, but boy am I fucking bored too. I really don't mind selling peaches and it is nice to have money, but what in the hell can I do with it? The coffee house/bar that C- and I have always gone to has become really fucking lame and only really annoying unattractive people go there anymore. For however much you may think charleston has some ugly folks, you forget that far and away, ugly people way dominate the rest of the populace elsewhere.

I do have to say that I am remembering why it is important to have other gay people around you. Of course I miss all my gay buddies in Chucktown individually, but just what bad things it does to a person to be so inside themselves. Not really that I have to be that much more inside myself than I always am, but when no one gay really exists, it becomes so surreal. I can't find that gay bar that the internet said existed in Columbus and so the only way gay people have to meet that I know of around here is just by supersensitive gaydar and cruising.

It is weird for me because all of this is what I was around as I had to come to terms with being gay, but after being in Charleston and having the benifit of gay not really being something that you had to hide of worry about or that was strange or weird or subverted, I am just kind of repulsed at the whole thing. I am not trying to be on any moral high horse about people here or anything, but if you can't acknowledge being gay as part of you, the only outlet allowed to people is sex and because it isn't something that is really allowed to be dealt with openly, the sex that can be found has to be trashy, and I am just a little over all that stuff.

I am saying all this because it is strange to be in the position of being where there isn't anywhere that I can go to meet gay people just to talk, but because everyone gay is so repressed, I can walk down the street or through a store and just sight one person after the other who I could have sex with. No chance in hell that they would ever have a discussion about being gay or anything like that, but I could drive into Columbus and without really trying find someone to have sex with in less that an hour. At the bookstore, Walmart, the mall, the grocery store; you can just see and feel the people who are looking for it and half the time they have wedding rings on. Don't get me wrong; Columbus isn't exactly brimming over with gay men, but just imagine all the folks in Charleston if they were milling around and only had hopes of meeting someone else gay through eye contact and coded conversation. It is just really weird and it bothers me that it all seems really normal. Perhaps this is why I never really had much trouble dealing with Randolf: he is everywhere here. This is the battlefield that I was trained on, but I had kind of hoped that it had changed a little in my absence. I really just want to meet people to hang out with, not to have quick sex with in their truck or some bathroom. The closet does breed monsters, and there is nothing more tragic than the monster that you can't hate because you know how it grew. This is exactly what my course would have been set for if I hadn't gotten out. This part of why Randolf bothers me so much: he got out of all this but tried to bring it with him. I guess I should be more sympathetic to him anyway.

But back to what is going on here, coming out of the closet really doesn't mean a whole lot because you have nothing to do once you come out. You can't really just make good gay friends and get to know people. You can't just let it be a part of you and not really a big deal. You just have nothing to do with it except have sex and why bother coming out if sex is the only thing it can mean in your life? That's the part that isn't anybody's business anyway, gay or straight. I know that I still need to come out for me, but that is because I am moving on to bigger and better things and out of this hole and random sex with strangers isnt' all that being gay means to me, but it is just really bothering me that this is really all that is left to someone who lives here. I am sure that it isn't really totally as grim as I am painting it, and maybe there is some kind of gay culture hidden somewhere, but if it is so hidden that no one can find it, then it doesn't really make any difference anyway.

I am just a little bit irritated at the moment. I have come home and am planning on telling my family that I am gay, and I really am enjoying living with them this summer, but why tell them? All my reasons to tell them are past or future, nothing in the present. It will let me talk more clearly about life direction and plans and who I have dated and cared about, but what does being gay mean here? Nothing but having sex with a trucker/hairdresser/business man/cashier/(fill in any occupation) whose real name you don't know and who probably has a wife or girlfriend. Sorry to be so melodramatic and all, but I am just a little annoyed at the moment. Just to get to a point in my life where I am ready to stand up and be a whole person and take care of the things that I need to thinking that I am at this point because I have grown and matured and learned so much and that the reason that I hadn't come out before was because I wasn't really mature and confident enough; and then to come home and realize that I really did have reasons for thinking that coming out was ridiculous here and not understanding it and that nothing around here is really any better and that it isn't going to be any time soon. There is no good reason for a gay person to come out here unless they are moving away. It bothers me. It really bothers me that things are like this.

I guess I need to shut up and realize that change is affected slowly and that it is coming along, but I am spitfire mad at the moment. Cause I know it isn't just here. It isn't just Columbus, or P- Co, or AL, or MS, or even the fucking South. This is what it is like most places in the world and this is the way it has been for most of history. Sure there is progress, and sure there are welcoming places, but so long as most places aren't, it doesn't matter how moral or nice or good a gay person wants to be, most are relegated to just trying to hold it all inside and do nothing with it except for potentially some random sex sometime, and those who don't at least find that can look forward to all the mental problems that repression and self denial bring and are in good standing to turn into a schitzophrenic or a pedophile or an abusive husband. I know that I am being too intense about all this stuff. It just irritates me. I want to hate a man who tries to make eye contact with me and pick me up at mall with a wedding ring on his finger, but I can't because even as much as I am the big believer in ultimate choice and responsibility, I know how he got to this point, I know what options he has, I know what being a responsible gay person would require and how far away he would have to go and what he would have to leave to have that and why he is married and has kids. It bugs me so much because I had begun to get to the point that I felt strongly protective of young kids trying to make it as a fag in middle and high school and remembered and knew how real all of that struggle was, but I had gotten to a point where I felt that things weren't so bad for someone as an adult. That any adult should be able to find a place as a homosexual and that it wasn't incompatible with living a full open life. That the problems people percieved were more their own and not so much society. That people were ready for gay people to exist and be visible and that it really isn't that big a deal. It pisses me off that I can't really say that anymore. I know that even though you can make it as a gay person and you can survive all right, stepping out of the closet also means that you often have to step out of your community. That if you are in small town america, there isn't a place for you to be open because if you are open, you are suddenly put under a microscope and made to feel even more alone than before. If you are in the closet, at least you have the other closeted people in there with you. YOu may not really get to talk to them much except for maybe a small circle of friends, but you know they are there and they know you are there and all that. But you come out and suddenly you are a thing apart. You are out of the closet and stuck there with big dumb world of straight people and a few sitcom characters. This doesn't mean that you can suddenly have a boyfriend or a date; no one else is out and it is harder to pull off now because everyone knows and any guy with you is outing himself. Why bother? Why fucking bother ever coming out? Just so the people around you can know what you like and to give you an excuse for not having a girlfriend? Who gives a damn? So you can be better friends with the only people who are out, which are the super queeny hair dresser types who couldn't really hide it anyway? just what I have always wanted. So that those attempting to be supportive can play every dumb straight person's favorite gay game: "I know this guy who is perfect for you; he is gay," and try to set you up with some fat divorced accountant who is only out because his son found his porno stash and blew the cover? So sure it isn't really all that bad, but it bothers me that some of it is. It isn't supposed to be anymore and it still really really is. I am not much one to sit around and whine about the way things should be and think people should just stand up and do the best they can with what they have and where they are, but I guess I am just too aware of what people are left with. I hate being bothered with sympathy and all that crap. I don't have the time, energy, or personality for it; but I'm not blind or dense and I can see what goes on around me. Anyway, that is enough of my bitching and whining. Sorry, I kind of just let it fly in email.

anyway, things really are pretty good around here and I am enjoying hanging out with my family. I love having my brothers around. But I have a test tomorrow and I have to get up in about 3 hours, so I gotta run. Be nice to everyone, and tell them I said hi.

I miss you.

love,

D-

PS I have to send you a picture of me in the paper selling peaches. Full color front page picture in the Sunday paper. Says something about the town doesn't it?

Don't get it twisted!

Last year I promised myself I wasn't allowing any scheduling decisions to revolve around tv shows. I followed through with remarkable success, turning my back on The OC and (shamefully) the Gilmore Girls, and only succumbing to Desperate Housewives because my roomates watched it and B- taped it to watch later so he could watch something else and usually waited until I was around to watch it (which generally meant I was also forced to watch Grey's Anatomy). I completely forsake reality tv (although roommates did force me to watch the season finally of Highschool Reunion).

but this is a new year, and last night I gave in to the siren call and watched the two-hour season premier of America's Next Top Model.

And loved every second of it.

I don't know why that show is so addictive, but I love it. I kind of liked Janice Dickenson, but really I can't say that I am sad she was gone. I totally loved Miss J. being there full time, though. Twiggy was decent but not too exciting, although you could already see her and Tyra disagreeing with one another just to show which model is more super ("I really like the way her muscle tone shows in the pose" "I think she looks too buff there").

I like the girls they picked, but my only complaint is that they didn't keep the redheaded girl. Most of them seem pretty likable, but you can already tell that the girl that looks like Gena Davis and complains all the time is going to be the one that we watch every week praying she will finally get booted off but they keep on for damn near ever so people will keep watching and hating her (what about Ya Ya?).

Off the bat, my favorites are Coryn (they can do something about the eyebrows), the stumbly girl with the big lips, Ebony (annoying, yes, but in a likeable nice way), and Kim (although I have a feeling she might get really annoying before it is all over).

Perhaps I am turning down a dark road back towards tv taking up too much of my life, but it is too late. Its only one show. I can quit any time I want to.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Monday, September 19, 2005

you want to talk betrayal?

I get exhausted at times and get tired of all the outrage and sometimes just want to not pay any attention and let things go. Not email rebuttals of the fake-ass crap relatives send to support their narrow world view, not rage about the stupid things happening in our government, not pick at the idiocy of being gay and throwing your support behind people who want you dead. So, it would probably be best if I just ignored
the prism warden and then I wouldn't read about him comparing himself to a noble modern day Odysseus (I kid you not) and lamenting the treachery that the minions of liberal land had enacted on his beloved home in his European hiatus:

"When I returned home, I could scarcely recognize the rooms. Who were these imposters apologizing for Saddam Hussein's regime, praising Iraq as a kite-flying paradise before the wicked American invaders arrived?

"Who were these suitors with silver-tongues whispering that the American Republic was dead and gone, and now we must remove the president from his rightful office so that they might impress their vision on our country?

"Who were these gargoyles pressing their fetid claws against our cheeks, that they might turn our faces away from the suffering and oppression in the Middle East?

"Who were these bureaucratic beggars in golden robes urging us to leave the poor to their fates as they smuggle sacks of coin from their international castle in the dead of night?

"Who were these homosexual charlatans protecting rulers who treat them no differently than the enemies they abhor so much?""

Blah blah blah, all of this is too stupid to really address.

and I wouldn't, but...

I should have just left well enough alone and been done with it. I don't have time to go and refute each of his claims and call him on his shit. But before I washed my hands of all of this I read this post, which included this statement: "Gay conservatives are the parents, and gay liberals are the teenagers."

WTF!?!

You can take you condescending crap and shove it. You approach politics from this wounded, "wah wah wah, liberals weren't perfect" angle and try paint pictures in broad absolutes and suddenly the people that demand a more nuanced view of things and who refuse to entertain your fairytale version of the world and you are the adult and we are children? Whoa back!

You want to know why gay people find it idiocy for other gay people to pronounce themselves 'conservative'? By definition, a conservative is someone who is resistant to change, who wants to preserve the status quo, who wants preserve the present order of things. I have said it before and will say it again that for a gay person to take this stance on thing, they have to be a special kind of selfish. Maybe you were one of the few gay people for whom being gay was easy when you were growing up or you passed well enough that you didn't have to deal with it very publically until you were in a supportive environment and had enough resources that other folks bigotries couldn't seriously shake up your life, but even so, surely you are have met other gay people and have atleast some sense of how gay people in general are often treated and there was no way to miss how they felt about us in the last election.

When throw your lot in with the politically conservative, you are saying you support the people who think sex between two men should still be criminal. That is conservative, preserving the way things were. You are saying that you think gay people shouldn't be able to adopt kids or work with kids. You are throwing your lot in with people who think we shouldn't have equal protection under the law. It would be conservative to think that we should still be considered mentally ill just for being attracted to other men.

These are the same people who spent the eighties and early nineties (I was young enough then but I got their message loud and clear) saying in unambiguous terms that AIDS was God's judgement on gay people. That we would contract HIV and die from it and that WE DESERVED TO. They weren't subtle in this message and they have never dropped it. And if you want to talk about one thing which bush and co. has done which directly affects the gay population it is their assault on sex ed. You and I are old enough to remember the eighties and gay people dying right and left, but also young enough that most of those people were in the generations above us. We didn't spend ten years watching our friends waste away and going to funerals, but it was close enough that I certainly know people who did. As much as meds have increased people's life spans after infection, the reduced rate of infection in the nineties was largely due to an aggressive and honest sex ed program. In schools, in bars, everywhere you got the message that if you had sex, you needed to wear a condom. Where is that message now?

60 Minutes recently did a story on the push for abstinence only sex ed. I found this quote telling (go read the whole thing, it is mind boggling):

"The federal government is spending $167 million this year to spread that abstinence-only message. And there’s a law that says that for a program like Silver Ring Thing to receive government funding, it must not talk about the health benefits of using condoms -- only about how they fail."

and this:

"At Union Grove High School in McDonough, Ga., kids get the abstinence message from a curriculum called Choosing The Best, whose publisher has been awarded $4 million in federal assistance. Today’s lesson: Condoms often fail.

"What teachers like Laurie Sponsler can’t do, if they follow the curricula, is tell students that when condoms are used correctly, they are nearly always effective. And if a student asks how to use a condom, Sponsler's not supposed to tell."

Are you serious? "Not supposed to tell"? That is criminal.

Teenagers are going to have sex. Always have, always will, but you put out information specifically targetted at discouraging use of the most effective weapon they have to keep themselves healthy and you might as well being pointing a gun at them. Whether this is based on ignorance or malice, the effect is the same: kids will get infected (with all manner of venereal disease) at higher rates. It is an attempt to reintroduce dire consequences to behaviours which trouble these compassionate conservative minds. These naughty little whores and faggots shouldn't be able to have their filthy, immoral sex without God's infectious punishment. The message isn't subtle.

"'My own daughter, my 16-year-old daughter, tells me she’s going to be sexually active. I would not tell her to use a condom," says Pattyn. "I don't think it'll protect her. It won’t protect her heart. It won’t protect her emotional life. And it’s not going to protect her. I don’t want her to get out there and think that she’s going to be protected using a condom.'

"But wouldn't his daughter be more protected with a condom than without? 'Not long term,' says Pattyn."

What a fucking monster! If she is going to have sex and leave her pure heart open to the emotional trauma of premarital sex, she should also leave her body open to the health risks associated with unprotected sex. Maybe this fellow they interviewed is just really dumb and doesn't actually know real statistics about condoms efficacy, but you would still have to be some kind of an outrageous asshole to say that crap.

And HIV is the least treatable and most life threatening of venereal diseases and in this country, it disproportionately affects gay men and black women (we can get into all kinds of discussions about why this is, but later). You can't prohibit the teaching of information that can help curb this and expect people not to draw the conclusion that you want people to die. "Well, they shouldn't be having sex anyway!" says the prissy matrons of the land with the unspoken subtext being, "They deserve to die." And the rates of STD infection and number of unwanted pregnancies slowly tick higher and higher.

Now before you get into telling me, "No, I don't support THAT part of the conservative stuff, I want good sex ed, I don't want my behavior criminalized...", step back and take a good long look at what bush's presidency has been all about. He is nothing but a weird male model strutted around to put a jovial face on some pretty atrocious policy. They have been trying to pass this stuff for years and years. cheney and rumsfeld come straight out of the nixon administration.

Honestly, I think most of their bigotry can be summed up best as just pure greed. They want to protect their profits and increase them, they want to decrease the governments capacity for regulating big business and cripple citizens channels for recourse and challenging corporations and they want to increase the military as an industry and further the privitization of public functions (including military ones). Maybe the aren't racist pricks who hate black people in general, just wanting to preserve the status quo is naturally going to come across that way because the status quo has more black people at the bottom. Same with the whole gaybashing shit. Maybe they really could care less about gay folks as far as ideology goes, but it brings out the hilbillies to vote when they pound the podium and talk about how we are destroying marriages and undermining the moral fabric of this great country, so they do their gay bashing song and dance. There main distraction game used to be "Keep this nigger running" and in someways it still is, but they have added the currently more acceptable updated model, "Keep this faggot running."

It isn't because we think all gay people have to be alike that most gay people recoil at hearing a gay person is conservative or a republican, it is because pointing to gays as a destructive element in society has been their main interaction with gay people for the last twenty years. A party can not spend enormous energy in the last presidential campaign saying gays are destroying the country, undermining our values and ruining our neighborhoods, and then suddenly tack on a sort of "not that there's anything wrong with that! I have gay friends!" consession on the end and think any sentient gay person is going to take them seriously. They refered to us in terms not too differently from how they refered to terrorist.

Are democrats perfect? No way, but they haven't made gay bashing central to their rhetoric and have gone out of their way to speak inclusively of all manner of minorities. I get pissed off at plenty of Democratic policy and what they say too, but their is a distinct difference in the focus of the two parties and their messages. The democrats speak of everyone being valuable and working to make this country a place where we all can live and where what happens to the least of us should matter to the people at the top. This is reflected in the policy they propose as well. The republican message is "I like what I got, so stay in your place boy or I'll put you back there," with of course their soothing coorolary for the less well off but bigoted masses, "shame you ain't got more there; must be all those faggots/niggers/feminists/immigrants ruining your community." And their message is reflected in their policy too.

Call me a child all you want. I don't doubt you are an adult, but who you ally yourself with says what kind of adult you are.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Southern Decadence and crazy relatives

The fam email list has been interesting lately. I managed to make one uncle quit speaking to me last week and this is with me trying to be kinder and gentler because another uncle and aunt are down near the coast and having a rough time dealing with all the hurricane left behind. Their house was spared, but their community is struggling something crazy. The stories are amazing, both good and bad. My aunt is a nurse so she is seeing the effects up close. Anyway, even if I am pissing off some family members, I can't say enough about how good it has been for my relationship with others and particularly my immediate family. My mom and dad have been amazingly supportive and written really nice letters encouraging me (and reminding when it is time to change the subject and quit fighting) and other relatives too have sent supportive notes and props.

Well, this week the other crazy uncle who I have been kind of having some break throughs with sent this insane message (which I have shared down at the bottom of this post) about how Katrina hit New Orleans because of the gays and huffing about Southern Decadence and warning me about going to hell. And of course, the entire letter was written in 20 font IN ALL CAPS WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!! And of course this was sent to the whole list, so I blasted back at him as nicely as I could manage (read his letter first):

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So if it hit in March right after Mardi Gras, it would have been a condemnation of straight people, because that is what all straight celebrations are like and all straight people are like all the time, right? No, the hurricane hit a coastal city during hurricane season because hurricanes sometimes do that.

And because God was angry with homosexual party revellers, he dispropotionately killed poor inner city black people in New Orleans? The gay folks mostly got out and maybe I am crazy but if I am going to believe God is going to send a catagory five hurricane to smite sinners, I am also going to believe he is capable of hitting his target. If the folks in New Orleans were killed because God was mad at them, He seems to be most upset with the sick and elderly and babies. I won't for a second countenance this crap.

And Southern Decadence has been going on for years and years, and truth be told, it is in the last couple of years that the city has begun regulating it and cracking down on the revelries, so in your world of God communicating with the city through storms and deaths, it would seem that he is instead angry with the mayor for bothering with the gay people and restricting the celebration.

Feel free to dredge all the hate and condemnation you want from your bible, I'll harvest the love and grace and mercy from mine.

If you want to get worked up about the Bible's comments about marriage and try to legislate them, then you can start with trying to outlaw no-fault divorce. Jesus never bothered to mention homosexuality, but had extremely harsh and explicit words on that subject. Work on that one and then you can come back and holler at me about homosexuality. And if you want to discuss who can't get into heaven, the rich man was at the top of Jesus's list. There are more than a few passages about not storing up worldly treasures and his message on this subject was equally unambiguous. And however much you may feel less than rich compared to the obscene wealth some have in this country, in comparison to most on this planet, everyone of us on this list is beyond wealthy. Even most of the poor (below poverty level) in America are fairly well off by global standards. You give up your television, your extra clothes, your jewlery, your savings and trust the Lord to take care of you as he takes care of the lilies of the field and devote your life to helping those less fortunate, and then you can bring your discussion of the sinfulness of homosexuality to me. You march on Washington about how our policies are impoverishing developing countries, you petition your church to build a soup kitchen instead of another gymnasium, you refuse to shop at Wal-mart/McDonald's and pay the higher price for things not being sold cheaply because the people making them, supplying them are barely being compensated enough to survive at all; then come talk to me about homosexuality.

I am going to leave individual choices to the individuals involved. It is the American way. I'll harp and shriek about those things which we do collectively and how they hurt us and how what we do affects others and our responsibility in it. But be very certain, if you want to start trying to play God and cast your casual judgement about and use the Bible to back your bigotries and condemn your neighbor instead of loving them, I won't take it nicely or sitting down. I was raised in the church, too, and have read my Bible backwards and forward and poured over it and prayed as ferverently as anyone else, and certainly meditated plenty on this subject, so don't come waving your Bible and talk down to me.

Take care of the planks and then we can talk about the splinters.

The Bible's overall message is one of mercy and grace, of the Lord's forgiveness and love despite all of our failures; that none of us are deserving but the Lord's children none the less. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and you show this through how you treat your fellow man. If I seem enraged and passionate about what we are doing as a nation and how our policies affect others, it is because I take these directives very seriously. When a leader we elected cuts programs for the poor, promotes free trade agreements which will consolidate more profits from third world resources and labor into the pockets of western corporations and away from the already starving poor there, how I support or fight these decisions is a moral choice, is a reflection of my love of my fellow man, a reflection of my love of the Lord.

You will note that I have only made the briefest mention of gay marriage in these many emails because really I don't think it is a pressing issue. I do think the republicans only bring it up to appeal to people's bigotry, not because they really care about the issue. It is there way of saying "we are uncomfortable with gay people too, vote for us". That is certainly the case on the national level. The head of the republican party, Ken Melman, is gay. They were vetting pushing Miguel Estrada for a federal court position (James Dobson and Pat Robertson went on tv supporting him) and even talked about him possibly being a supreme court candidate until the gay folks in Washington pointed out that, despite being married with kids and speaking harshly in public about homos ruining the country, he spends an awful lot of his free time soliciting sex from men at the gym and online. The anti-gay rhetoric is just for effect and to still up people's feelings of needing to be protected from THOSE people. THOSE people used to be black folks, but you kind of aren't supposed to say that publicly anymore, so gays get to be the big scary OTHER.

I find appeals to bigotry fairly distateful, but I am more concerned with other policy with farther reaching effects, like our environmental or fiscal or international policy. If you want me to talk more about gay marriage, I'm ready and willing to oblige. It's not really my big subject though, so I'd rather spend my time raging about job loss and our growing debt and our readiness for catastrophic events.

If you feel that the Lord was calling you to send your email, perhaps it was because He felt you needed this one in return. He and I have talked at length about this and many other things; I am quite certain my response is no suprise to Him and probably not to most of you.

I love you all.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: (snip)
To:(snip)
Subject: SOUTHERN DECADENCE !!!!!!
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 12:22:12 EDT


In a message dated 8/20/2005 1:06:42 PM Central Daylight Time, (snip) writes:
"I think the gay marriage stuff is stoked just to keep people riled
up and the same with abortion and creationism/intelligent design. They have
thrown their cards in with the crazies that want us to live in the 18th
century"

GREETINGS EVERBODY !
D-.... YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU......WE ARE FAMILY.....I HAVE SENT YOU A EMAIL ABOUT THAT BEFORE...... AND YOU REPLIED THE SAME BACK........
WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY ALSO...... I DO SEND THIS EMAIL OUT IN A HEART OF LOVE......BECAUSE WHAT IT SAYS IN 1 CORTHS CHAP 13 ... THE LOVE CHAPTER........IF YOU DON'T SAY IT IN LOVE.... JUST WELL AS NOT SAY IT AT ALL....ALSO READ THE LAST VERSE IN THAT CHAPTER.....
D-.... YOU ARE ALWAYS DEFENDING THE GAYS AND GAY MARRIAGES........THERE ARE A NUMBER OF VERSES IN THE BIBLE.... WHICH I HAVE ON HAND STATES....IF YOU DO THESE THINGS......YOU WILL NOT GO TO HEAVEN..... DO YOU UNDERSTAND ????.........THAT IS GOD FROM THE WORD OF GOD.....IT IS NOT WHAT I THINK..... WHAT GOD THINKS !!!!!...WHAT GOD SAID WAY BACK THEN.....IT APPLIES TO US NOW !!!!!!.....MARY HAS ALREADY SENT YOU THOSES VERSES AWHILE BACK....AND YOU NEVER REPLIED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NOW ABOUT "SOUTHERN DECADENCE".... YOU NEVER SAW THAT ON LIBERAL TV NEWS........JUST TO TELL YOU WHERE THIS ARTICLE CAME FROM......IT IS STEVE....HE IS A ASSOCIATE PASTOR IN FLORIDA.... THAT WAS A YOUTH PASTOR IN WEST POINT... YOUR PARENTS KNOW HIM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT EVERYBODY SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT.... WHAT IF THERE WAS A "SOUTHERN DECADENCE" IN YOUR HOME TOWN.... AND YOU WOULD HAVE THAT ON YOUR STREETS....AND FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS TO SEE !!!....THE THREE PAST MAJORS OF NEW ORLEANS HAS WELCOMED THIS......I THINK THEY HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO... AS..... TRYING TO TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT CHRIST.....
ONE OF MY FAVORITE VERSES IN THE BIBLE......PHILPPIANS 4:4
PART OF THAT VERSE STATES...." REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS".... DID NOT SAY FOR US TO COMPLAIN IN THE LORD ALWAYS.....IF YOU NOTICE... THE LIBERALS KNOW HOW TO COMPLAIN !!!!!!!!
THE LORD HAS BEEN SHOWING ME TO WRITE THIS EMAIL.....AS YOU CAN TELL......I DO HAVE THE BIBLE VERSES TO BACK ALL OF THIS UP.......IF ANYBODY IS UPSET WITH ME... TALK TO GOD..... I ONLY TAKE ORDERS FROM MY BOSS.... WHICH IS GOD ALMIGHTY !!!
WITH LOVE
(nameless family member)
HURRICANE KATRINA DESTROYS NEW ORLEANS
DAYS BEFORE "SOUTHERN DECADENCE" 8/31/05

PHILADELPHIA - Just days before "Southern Decadence", an annual homosexual
celebration attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarters
section of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina destroys the city.

"Southern Decadence" has a history of filling the French Quarters section
of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets
and bars. Last year, a local pastor sent video footage of sex acts being
performed in front of police to the mayor, city council, and the media. City
officials simply ignored the footage and continued to welcome and praise the
weeklong celebration as being an "exciting event". However, Hurricane Katrina
has put an end to the annual celebration of sin.

On the official "Southern Decadence" website (www.SouthernDecadence.com),
it states that the annual event brought in "125,000 revelers" to New Orleans
last year, increasing by thousands each year, and up from "over 50,000
revelers" in 1997. This year’s 34th annual "Southern Decadence" was set for
Wednesday, August 31, 2005 through Monday, September 5, 2005, but due to
massive flooding and the damage left by the hurricane, Louisiana Governor
Kathleen Blanco has ordered everyone to evacuate the city.

The past three mayors of New Orleans, including Sidney Barthelomew, Marc
H. Morial, and C. Ray Nagin, issued official proclamations welcoming visitors
to "Southern Decadence". Additionally, New Orleans City Council made other
proclamations recognizing the annual homosexual celebration.

"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed
a wicked city," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "From 'Girls
Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence,' New Orleans was a city that had its doors
wide open to the public celebration of sin. From the devastation may a city
full of righteousness emerge," he continued.

New Orleans was also known for its Mardi Gras parties where thousands of
drunken men would revel in the streets to exchange plastic jewelry for drunken
women to expose their breasts and to engage in other sex acts. This annual
event sparked the creation of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series. Furthermore,
Louisiana had a total of ten abortion clinics with half of them operating in
New Orleans, where countless numbers of children were murdered at the hands of
abortionists. Additionally, New Orleans has always been known as one of the
"Murder Capitals of the World" with a rate ten times the national average.

"We must help and pray for those ravaged by this disaster, but let us not
forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness
in their city for so long," Marcavage said. "May this act of God cause us all
to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling
before the throne of Almighty God," Marcavage concluded.

"[God] sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

More folks to bite

Poking at the gay conservatives is like kicking a hornet nest. The little buggers are suddenly swarming in all over. They don't sting near so bad though. Maybe it is more like walking into a cloud of gnats: you find yourself wanting to swat at them but quickly realize it won't do a hell of a lot of good and just walking away is probably the best that can be done. I'm almost at that realization, but I'm not always so enamoured with sane living so I'll keep swatting for a while. Besides, it will help me flesh out some of my vague feelings of irritation towards certain mind sets.

Picking at the malcontent has sent a few irrate homo republicans my way (welcome, kids) and their comments are entertaining and their links appreciated.

Theprism warden writes an interesting post objecting to my perpetual suprise at republican homos:

"People are shocked by gay Republicans and conservatives? I am shocked as hell by gay liberals and Democrats. They are the ones being selfish by putting their delicate sexual sensibilities before the vital questions of government, country, and civilization.

"There is more to this world than me and who I date. Perhaps someday I'll get married. Perhaps not. That is my choice, and I will make it whether the government approves or not. I will continue to be a homosexual. To this day, I still go to the clubs, and have gay friends, and probably live up to the promiscuous stereotype a little more than I ought to. But I also work hard and want to keep my money. I want better health care, not a shittier national system. I want freedom for everyone, no matter where they are in the world. I want the boot of the American military to smash the faces of the Islamofascists over and over and over again. I want the bigots and the racists in both political parties exposed and shamed.

"If someone finds all this horrifically confusing, well kiddo, have a popper and nap. It's on me."

I'll take the nap, but you can keep the poppers. I'd sooner huff gasoline.

As much as a wish to bite people suggest a perhaps violent inclination on my part, invoking a boot smashing a face in a political context is pretty loaded imagery which somewhat makes my stomach turn.

You may be very sure that my sexual sensibilties are anything but delicate and if you trouble yourself to read through my blog will see that my issues with gay politics focus more on people being humans first and foremost and criticising the impediments to individuals being allowed to live their lives to their fullest rather than pet gay causes. My objection to homophobia is the same as my objection to racism: it is all bigotry. It is all Us vs. Them. That is what it all boils down to and how one regards this dichotomy tells very much about us. It is the hammer or the nail quandry. pm tells in his post about tearfully rejecting mainstream gay culture (well, the politics anyway) after being upset with gay friends being insensitive and critical of the US after 9/11. Oddly, my experience with gay people discussing 9/11 was much different, but I certainly heard my fair share of folks discussing why the attacks happened and what we do internationally that would provoke retaliation. No one I have ever spoken to has ever said anything close to condoning the attacks though or being happy that they happened and while I have been and certainly will continue to be critical of this country, that is because I am invested in it. It is my country and what we do is a reflection of me. I have a personal stake in it just like everyone else in this country and I am going to try my damnedest to make sure that what is done in my name is done right.

Back to hammers and nails, it seems that pm's awakening made him want to be the hammer. 'Somebody did me wrong, I want to hurt them bad!' He isn't alone. bush campaigned and won on blowing up brown people. I guess because the other half of his appeal was proclaiming he didn't like gay people too, I kind of feel like it is crazy for gay folks to lack the empathy to denouce revenge and demand results instead.

If the choice is hammer or the nail, I want more choices. I'm not so dumb as to really think there are no gay republicans, I just expect more out of people so I will maintain my shock and repugnace at their appearance. If the republicans that are in office really were doing a good job other than their stance on gay shit, sure, I might be sympathetic, but the truth is they have done a miserably bad job. We are less safe, less economically sound, more beholden to foreign powers, and the economic divide has deepened.

There are few arguments for supporting them.

1) One is that you want to get back at those Islamofascists for what they did to us. If you want to blow THEM back into the stone age and destabilize a region, republicans are the folks for you. You feel scared and hurt and want to beat someone up to feel tough. Lame, but it appeals to more than a few.

2) gay people make you uncomfortable. I don't give a damn what softpedalled remarks the vice president made about gay marriage, the gay marriage amendment had one purpose: to put into the national discourse that gay people matter less. it had a clear purpose and was used to great effect through out the campaign. This isn't about gay marriage, this is about planting in the minds of upset and angry people the idea that gay people matter less under the law and its corollary that crimes against gay people matter less under the law. They weren't subtle with their message. This is why I can't stomach other gay folk who are willing to support these assholes.

3) You want the economic divide to be more pronounced. This has been the main focus of their actual policy, if not their rhetoric. Their main thrust has been the consolidation of wealth in to fewer hands and the deepening of the divide between the haves and the have-nots. They want less regulations, less public accountability and more corporate consolidation.

I disagree on all three points, so I dont' support them (I support military action against al queda and the over-throw of the taliban, but I also demand that it be done right and it hasn't been). I can understand the selfish desire of the wealthy to put more distance between themselves and the poor (I can't conscience it, but I can understand it),but I refuse to understand the gay folks who overlook how their party treats them. I get pissed off and angry at the democrats too, but their party message on race and gender and sexual orientation isn't an overt message of 'stay in your place, boy, or we'll put you back there!'

I sat on my roof sunday night looking at the towers of light coming up from ground zero and I am said a prayer for peace and understanding in our time. Perhaps picking fights with republican homos and family members (one recently quit speaking to me; good riddance) isn't the quickest way to bring that about, but there is a difference between wanting peace and embracing apathy. It was nice for a moment to look at those light shooting up into the sky and find a moment of quiet and remember while their is so much cruelty and hate in the world, perhaps there is more kindness and love. True or not, it is the assumption I am working with and I will continue to be distraught (if not suprised) to find it lacking in places where I hoped to find it.


Friday, September 09, 2005

culture is the new race, continued.

The fellow from republic of m just left me a comment in support of the malcontent, introducing himself as a conservative, but not republican, gay blogger. I scanned through his site, and for the most part it seems more well-thought than the mal and with less of an attempt to seem bitchy, but it led me on to the
gay patriot's comments on michael barone's article on the death of multiculturalism. mr. patriot quotes barone approvingly:

"Multiculturalism is based on the lie that all cultures are morally equal. In practice, that soon degenerates to: All cultures are morally equal, except ours, which is worse. But all cultures are not equal in respecting representative government, guaranteed liberties, and the rule of law. And those things arose not simultaneously and in all cultures but in certain specific times and places–mostly in Britain and America but also in other parts of Europe."

Forget the wah-wah-wah-my-pussy-hurts aspect of the "All cultures are morally equal, except ours, which is worse" simplification and let's move on to the suggestion that "representative government, guaranteed liberties, and the rule of law" are indicators of certain 'cultures' (read ' ethnic/ geographic groups of people') and notably absent in others. This is a racist suggestion and not a very thinly veiled one. It attaches the accoplishments of the Enlightenment to a geographic and ethnic elite (read 'white people') and divorces progress from its historical context. Democracy isn't just some innate thing that Europeans and their American descendants had delivered to them from heaven or naturally developed through their genetic superiority, it arose and spread in a global context and its development has a long history and spans over numerous cultural groups and a great expanse of time.

It is racism, point blank. Us vs. Them, baby. THEY are just different.

In his comments section, one reader illuminates the bigotry:

"Certain things are just wrong, period, and we shouldn�t be afraid to say so. Enslaving other people is wrong, period. Murdering other people because we don�t like what they�ve done to our �honor� is wrong, period. Mass murder of civilians by so-called �suicide bombers� is wrong, period. Dictatorship is wrong, period. No discussion on these points."

When bad things are done by Muslim people, it is indicative of all Muslim people. When bad things are done by black people, it is indicative of all black people. It is their 'culture'. Suicide bombing is considered a part of Middle Eastern 'culture', rather than a tactic in a conflict. Since a good chunk of my bloodline and cultural heritage can be traced back to Ireland, does that mean car bombing is part of my 'culture'?

'Multiculturalism' has never been about whitewashing crimes or limiting accountability for actions. The idea is that we have to be understanding of different people and our different backgrounds. What the article describes isn't the death of multiculturalism, it is the new public face of bigotry.

With other homos out there promoting this shit, who needs the bashers? It is retarded rhetoric like this by much of the big gay leadership in this country that keeps the black community wary of supporting our issues and seeing ours as a common struggle against bigotry. Instead of promoting bigotry, try fighting it.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

because you are an insensitive prick.

I kind of decided that I shouldn't read his blog and would just leave well enough alone but I stumbled back over to the malcontent as I was bouncing around trying to get a feel for how people of different political stripes than I are looking at this tragedy. He links to and comments on a ET segment on Richard Simmons reunion with his brother in Louisiana. Did he find this touching? Did it tug any heart strings?

apparently not:


"I'm sure some will call me an insensitive prick, but watch the video for yourself and tell me that Richard isn't just asking for it.

"Tell me that he isn't either seriously disturbed, that he doesn't have the emotional level of a 7-year-old, or that perhaps he isn't mildly retarded. (If it is the latter, I apologize, but the man has been putting his flaming, lampoon-able self out there for years.) Above all else, tell me he isn't trying just a little too hard to milk this human tragedy for publicity.

"You just know the ET crew was stifling their laughter until they could get back to the truck and play it back, then they just laughed and laughed until they cried.

"Did you catch the details of the story? Richard didn't lose anyone in the disaster, nor does he really seem to know anyone who did. He just seems really, really upset that he knows people who were down there ... and lived. (Time to up the meds, Richard, because that describes about three-quarters of the U.S. population!)

"I need to stop typing and roll it. It's too much ..."



First of all, the "Richard didn't lose anyone in the disaster, nor does he really seem to know anyone who did" claim is a load of horse shit. He grew up in New Orleans and has always maintained close ties to the city and in the clip the malcon is commenting on they mention that Richard Simmons has more than 100 friends still missing!

Richard Simmons may seem a little over the top and crazy most of the time, but I for one am happy to see someone really just letting their emotions go about this. His response is perfectly appropriate right now. A major city is flooded and destroyed and one of its famous sons shouldn't be emotional when reunited with his brother and discussing the fate of the people displaced by the disaster? What a fucking asshole!

You know what? We aren't in middle school. Picking on the weird guy who won't fight back isn't cool and doesn't make people like you. Or maybe it does, and you deserve the people you have around you.

Oh, I guess I don't have a sense of humor about this. They are expecting 40,000 dead just in Louisiana, towns in MS that I went to as a kid are completely destroyed and the body count will no doubt be high there as well, and hundreds of thousands of people are displaced. What kind of frigging' monster do you have to be to see the tearful reunion of someone who grew up in the affected region and publically ridicule them and laugh at their pain and suggest that they are retarded?

Maybe I am biased because I like Richard Simmons. I always thought he was kind of strange, but it is a completely sincere and likeable strange. I always liked it when he would invade the Letterman show and harass David Letterman and after being unable along with my brother and sister to tear ourselves from the tv while on vacation at the beach a year ago because the E! True Hollywood Story about Richard Simmons was on, I truly think he is one of the most likable people on the planet. Really, if you ever get the chance to watch it, it is amazing. You really got that feeling out of everyone that talked to him and every anecdote about him, that he was really a genuinely sweet soul.

I'll keep you in my prayers, Mr. Simmons.

mr. malcontent, people will call you an insensitive prick because you are one.

Zoolander nation

after seeing this photo, I was struck with the notion that bush's basic job description is 'male model.' He is basically just a spokesmodel (not really so good at that whole speaking part of the job, but hey), not a politician. He is surrounded by politicians, but he doesn't really do anything but stand in front of cameras making faces.

no wonder he spends so much time riding bikes and staying in shape.

I just pray that this retarded version of Zoolander that we are now living has a happy ending. I don't believe in happy endings anymore, but I still pray for them.

Friday, September 02, 2005

It isn't playing politics to demand action when lives are at stake and call out the fuckers who are fucking things up.

James Wollcott gives
a much needed rebuke to those folks calling for us all not to play politics right now or point fingers and blame the assholes who fucked up all the emergency preparedness and are responsible for this stinking mess, but I think there is one point missing from his rationale:

"No, this is the time for politics, none better, because I can tell you just from being out of NY a few days that a lot of people in this country are shocked and sobered by New Orleans, but they're also worried and pissed off. They're making the connection between the money, manpower, and resources expended in Iraq and how raggedy-ass the rescue effort has been in the Gulf. If you don't say it now when people's nerves are raw and they're paying full attention, it'll be too late once the waters receded and the media-emoting 'healing process' begins. "

The point of us screaming bloody murder right now isn't that the disaster will be forgotten or smoothed over with talking points but that it isn't just the preparation that was fucked, the rescue mission is being fucked up royally right now and people are dying as I type as a DIRECT result of these idiots' actions (or lack there of). This could be different and it hasn't gotten as bad as it could and every sentient person in the country should be yelling at the top of their lungs at these bastards who are fucking up yet another part of their goddamned jobs and killing people in the process!!! The only way to get that lazy idiot to do any damn thing other than his stupid projects is if he thinks there is going to be a political price. Trying to exact a political price right now for this bungle isn't just a matter of taking political advantage of a bad situation, it is necessary to get this fortunate son to actually try to pull things together and save what lives are left.

Like the idiots who say that liberals want the war effort to fail because we hate bush so much, I am sure that in the coming weeks there will be those who say that we are happy that New Orleans/lower Mississippi was destroyed just so we can get some political milage. I like to think that any callous asshole who can even entertain such thoughts in his mind need not be responded to because surely no one could believe such drivel, but the last few years have sadly taught me different. I wish more than anything bush had had real plans in place for this disaster, that he had learned from his father's mistakes after Andrew, that he had responded quickly and saved as many lives as possible and that he were shining like a hero right now and that his poll numbers were soaring. I would happily give him all the political credit in the world if it meant lives were being saved and those people weren't going to die and suffer like they are, but I can't make that trade, and he did fuck this up and there was every warning in the world that this was going to happen and there were people trying to prepare for this and he pulled the rug out from under them. And it is only getting worse. How many thousands of people are still in New Orleans? How many days in a toxic, sewage-filled, subtropical lake of a city can you have thousands of people before dysentary sets in?

He has failed at the first part of this disaster but it isn't even close to over and we need to be demanding he either start acting fast and getting people who know what the hell to do in there or we need to run him out of town on a rail.

I humbly remind that hurricane season is only just starting.