Friday, January 23, 2009

Clarence Thomas is Awake at the Inauguration

From this photo...

A New Year

So we have the beginning of a new year, for many a new semester, and a new president. This is a time of new opportunities to get things right a second time around and get new things right the first time. We have the ability to right our wrongs and right others wrongs.

What does this mean to us personally? It's simple, albeit something that will leave a bad taste in many people's mouths. We have to forgive. We have to forgive every person who voted for BushCo once or twice, or even three times if they did so do that this time. We have to forgive everyone who voted for McCain. We have to forgive everyone who didn't want Obama to be the Democratic nominee. This is a time for unity.

We must repair the fractures that exist in American society. Take lessons from the way that the Bush Administration (and others past) have run this nation on the basis of partisan politics and partisan thinking and actions. We have to find the strength to let go the feelings of hate or disgust we may still harbor for anyone in this nation no matter their background and no matter the reason why we don't like them in the first place.

One of the hardest things a person has to do in life is to look into the eyes of a person who doesn't think that you have a right to your opinion or your beliefs or your life and tell them that you will respect their right to think that. It is their right. Every bigot and every misguided person (in yours and my opinion) have the right to believe everything and anything that they want. However, the line is drawn when they try to make others believe it and or try to use these beliefs to affect policy which discriminates against us.

I repeat: This is a nation which enjoys the freedoms of speech and personal thought. In this nation you're allowed to be gay without government interference and you're allowed to be a homophobe. You are allowed to be racist and you're allowed to be Black or foreign or whatever. You're allowed to believe or not believe any religion of your choice. Freedom to exists in both instances and in both directions. Freedom is not a matter of right and wrong. It's a matter of learning tolerance.

Further, learning to accept that people don't like you and don't like your way of life or your opinions and beliefs will garner us all equality. Equality isn't about forcing everyone to believe everything that you do. It's about allowed people to freely think what they want.

Once we are able as a society to feel comfortable in the fact that we will not be shunned for our beliefs or actions, we will not feel as if we have to fight for them. We won't need to lash out at those who have different beliefs and we won't need to shun them in return.

If all homophobes or racists or whatever need to not be that anymore is knowledge about the groups that they are against, then clearly we must start with allowing them to hold their beliefs. It's a compromise. They believe what they want and we believe what we want and no one will judge each other for their beliefs or opinions. Period. Remove the fear of the other group and we remove one of the roadblocks to the knowledge that they need in many people's opinions to accept gays or Blacks or whatever. When groups do not feel vicitimized they are more willing to listen and more willing to accept the views of others.

So America, what we have to do is forgive. Forgive everyone for everything that they have done. We need to start anew with a mutual agreement for civility. What will come of this, I do not know. But I do know that with civility we will be happy, all of us, even if we don't all agree.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Step Forward

Know this now, that one day your children will read of a time when racism had been dealt a fatal blow and know that then they will ask why it took so very long. Know this now, that one day we will have the chance to look back upon today and ask if we did what was right or what was wrong. In knowing the future, it would be a simple answer. Yet now, it remains as complex as the world itself, because the problems of mankind are tied so closely to the hearts of all the people of the world that they are not so easily untied from the convictions of our hearts and thereby the people of this world itself.

Know this, that, come what may, this world has changed forever. On this day, the 20th of January 2009, history has been made. In the coming years it will continue to be made, no doubt, but let us not forget the unity that this nation depends on to succeed. If for one day we can put aside partisanship for the pomp and circumstance of this day, then why not for another or another after that? Can we join together and progress? Will we put aside our immaterial and skin-deep differences? Does this nation have the ability to continue?

This is our hour, and our chance, to continue for this world the promise of great men and women of our past, the dream of justice and peace for each and every creature no matter how big or small, significant or seemingly unimportant. This is our day. Remember it and build on it. Our very continued existence depends on our cooperation. Not only will we be judged by the actions of our coming years, but history will show us whether or not justice and peace and equality for all will continue and profligate or if it will die in good intentions and misdirection.

This is the calling of our lives. Embrace it. And let this nation's successes be seen the world over not in the name of a god or a cause but in the name of humanity. Such is our task. Let us now get started.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One Wish

If I had one wish in life, I wouldn't ask for riches or fame. I wouldn't ask for health or love. I wouldn't ask anything more or anything less than this: I wish that everyone, everywhere, from this day until the end of the human race would be able to understand exactly how each other is feeling at any point for any reason.

Then I realized, we already can and many of us still choose not to for personal gain.

My Favorite / My Least Favorite

My favorite color is green because it is the color of new life. I enjoy food, granted I used to enjoy a greater variety, nevertheless it is one of my favorite things. Bad food is the sign of a bad day. So, DC food... Haha! I love music. But not all music. Primarily rock, classic hard rock, and classic metal. Of course, there are exceptions. My favorite song/performance of all time is Queen's "Somebody to Love" from On Fire Live at the Bowl (1982). It's just a profound performance and an even more phenomenal back story. I've pasted a copy of it below.

Feeling is what matters to me in music. It's hard to explain but the song, performance, or artist has to have feeling. It has to embrace you. You have to be able to sink into it. It has to make your skin crawl. It has to be almost sexual. That kind of connection. A primitive, almost supranatural closeness.

My favorite TV show is The Simpsons singularly because of the inclusivity and profoundly liberal attitudes of its creators, actors, and producers. Oh, and it's hillarious and phenominally brillant. It's probably the only TV show where two people of vastly different ages or educational backgrounds can laugh at the same time but for different reasons. It is simply unique and there is not and never will be an equal to it.

My favorite movie is V for Vendetta. It is the only movie I have ever come across that has reached the level of skin crawling sensory bliss that I talked about in regards to music and it solely hinges on the use of the 1812 Overture in the final scene. I also like it because of the issues that it deals with particularly the overarching theme of oppression and the standing up to that oppression. No one will ever say that I'm not a fighter of those battles.

My favorite food is everchanging and elusive. It's rarely the same thing for more than a couple of moments.

I absolutly love singing to myself. And, for the record, I can sing... well most of the time, if I try. I don't usually try if others are around. Kinda stupid, I know.

My favorite season is summer because I like the feel of the sun and I do not like the cold at all. Consequently I love the beach and unfortunately haven't gotten there in two or three years.

My favorite game is poker. It combines all of the mentallity of a chesslike game with the strategy and psychology of a police interrogater. The game is 95% mental. I throughly enjoy matching wits with anyone. When I'm hot -- when I'm alert and concentrating -- there isn't a person that can stop me. I love that feeling.

My favorite feeling is true love. That is to say love that feels "true". It is like a ray of sunshine that brightens your every moment and warms your every movement. It's a feeling that no matter how much it consumes you, you want more and more of it forever and ever. For me, it's been so brutally long since it's been even more than a glimmer and that is, if anything is, criminal. I'm not talking simply about sex or physical attraction, but of every aspect of love, the kind where you feel like a better person simply for being there with that single person. Consequently, if there was a single thing I could fix with my life it would be that. Yet the outlook to do so uncertain at best.


My least favorite feeling is loneliness. It hollows you out and makes you think that everything that you are and everything that you've done means nothing, that your life is pointless and your actions moot.

My least favorite food (that I've eaten) is boiled potatoes. There is nothing to taste, regardless of how they're made. To turn such a fulfilling and filling food into such a bland starchy excuse for a side dish is an atrocity for sure.

My least favorite music is country because of the hardline conservative repression that represents most of it. There is no excuse for the hate that many (though not all) of them breed, it is repugnant.

My least favorite movie of all time was Alone After Dark (2005?) because the fucking thing ended just as it was getting to the good part!

I don't drink (you know "drink") for two reasons, one because it doesn't sit well with me and the second for the same reason that I don't do drugs of any type, I don't think that escaping from your problems does you any good. And, I value the mental side of me too much to waste it. It of all things, is most mine and most personal. I also don't smoke cigarettes because it's just plain dumb. I also don't really respect anyone who does and do not at all find it cool or even remotely attractive. Killing one's self is soooo attractive. (Rolls eyes.)

My least favorite person in the world can be picked from a pool of conservatives that is ever expanding. Conservatism is evil. Their hate of their fellow man is unnatural and disgusting. I would sooner kill myself (which I would nearly never ever even think of doing) than espouse their ideas. In some way or another every conservative sickens me, primarily because they are sickened by me and what I am. I also don't like religious people who want to tell me about their religion and why it's best. Screw them. They only think it's best because they believe it, that's not a convincing argument in my reasoning.

And lastly, I don't give a shit if you don't like me. I don't mean to sound standoffish or angry, but it's true. I am me and I don't compromise myself for others' feelings or opinions. I can't be happy if I'm not being me and I'm not willing to try.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Let's Play a Game Called: "What's the Difference"

What's the difference between Obama asking Warren to speak at the inauguration and Obama promising to sit down with foreign leaders without preconditions?

Is there a difference between two situations, one which we (apparently) support as a group and one which we (apparently) do not support as a group.

The first is sitting down with foreign leaders without preconditions. We are willing to do this, to talk to foreign leaders who do not have our best interests at heart, to open dialog and perhaps change their minds.

The second is allowing someone to speak at the inauguration who is anti-GLBTQ rights. We are not willing to do this, because "we shouldn't bargain with civil rights" and "he's a bigot who shouldn't be given a voice". Apply this logic to the first statement and we have the Bush doctrine, one where we have no dialog and no chance of changing their minds.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Rev. Warren and Policy

Do you know what the best part of this site is? It's that no one can argue with what I say. And if they do, and irritate me enough, I will delete them. HA! That said, here is my two cents on the whole Rev. Warren issue.

The fact is that it isn't an issue. The real issue is that a bunch of people who support Obama and "change" do so because they believe that the change proscribed would be pro-them. Who is them? "Them" is anyone who thinks that they were morally or ideologically wronged by allowing Warren to give the invocation (ie. pre-approved prayer) at Obama's inauguration. "Them" is not the GLBTQ community as a whole, first, because that is cookiecuttering everyone in a diverse community and second, that does not include women whom he also has some less than favorable things to say about.

That said, he should be allowed to give the invocation. Of course, I don't think there should be one at all, regardless of who is giving it, but I digress. If someone must give it, then they might as well be someone who is NOT your ally. Why? Because you don't need to convince your allies that you're going to support them and help them. Obama ran on the theme of a united country that puts partisan politics aside. "They" forget that this means that "they" will be putting aside their politics as well if "they" are going to be part of his administration. Oops!

The issue isn't whether Warren is a bigot or whether he's made bigoted statements. This is about unity. You cannot unite without bringing everyone to the party. The Warren case (as well as some of the Cabinet appointments made) has brought to light the realization that EVERYONE will have to come to the table for this nation to be united. Note that Obama did not say that he would solve all of the nation's problems (racism, sexism, et al); he just said that he'd try to bring the country together so that it could heal itself. And, simply, if we do not invite people we wouldn't normally invite, then who are we to say that anyone is equal or anyone is united? We can't.

So, this is what's going to happen: Obama is going to be inaugurated and Warren is going to give the invocation. Additionally, a pro-GLBTQ minister (whose name I bet you don't even know) will be giving the benediction. With Warren there, the Obama administration will reach a hand out to a sect of society that we as liberals have shunned for generations. He will try to heal this nation. by bringing both sides together, not in agreement ideologically but in mutual respect for each other as Americans. Whether he succeeds or not is equally our responsibility as it is Warren's and his allies. If we succeed, then we have a new nation to look forward to, one that IGNORES the parts of society that we don't like, but does not shun them. And that's a step in the right direction.

Only once we come together as Americans regardless of our difference, will we be able to save this nation from the foolish policies of voodoo economics and deregulation. If all we do is in-fight, America will not deserve -- and indeed will likely not -- be a profitable venture much longer. So everyone, on all sides of this nation's arguments, bite your tongues and work together. The result if we don't is potentially far worse than being friendly to our neighbors.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

17 More Days...

Can't say that I've done too much this vacation so far, but I'm surviving so far. I've had a lot of time to think and that doesn't particularly bode well. Usually when I start to think it means I start to get a little sad. Things never quite turn out the way you want them to. Things never quite work out. Just in general. There's always something that we can criticize about ourselves if we can think hard enough. It's probably key to human survival -- the urge to constantly get better and progress further in whatever interests us. I don't know. Maybe it'll be our downfall too. At least on an individual level I'm sure that happens. Specially, maybe.

Oh well, enough rambling. I hate Joe the Plumber. If I see him on TV again I will take up voodoo just simply to poke him with pitchforks and hatpins. Of course, I'd have to get the J the P doll and the Bill-O doll to "share a room". It would only be poetic I think. But I digress, making fun of fundies -- satisfying as it may be -- is still inappropriate in this fashion. An eye for an eye would make the whole world blind. I wouldn't want them to shout some sexual epithet at me, so I won't make jokes about them. Tom Cruise on the other hand... well, never mind. Curse my empathy.

(Is it redundant for one to hate their own empathy? Is it even possible? Hmm...?)

Regardless, or irregardless (if flammable can have two negative prefixes certainly regardless can have one) of my current predicament, which is frustrating to say the least, I do hope someone is enjoying their break. The way I see it, if I get all the bad ones out of the way now, it's nothing but sunshine and daisies thereafter. Hey, one can hope right.

Let's see what else... Oh, the porn industry wants a bailout. A heavenly slice of Americana. Seriously. The porn industry truly does epitomize the American condition. Say one thing do another. Russia invades Georgia (the country :P) and we are angry. We invade Iraq and Afghanistan and whine when everyone else doesn't get on the bandwagon. This nation's highest birthrate among teenagers is currently in Mississippi. Abstinence only? More like a good way to get pregnant. (See there's a perk about being gay!) Apparently those who don't know about condoms or how to use them are more likely to have unprotected sex. Go figure. Ahh... the American double standard. That's where the porn industry comes in. Abstinence, Focus on the Family, pro-family, anti-gay, anti-porn America. Of course, the porn industry still exists. We just hide it away in the back rooms of video rental stores and back alleys behind shopping centers. We are ashamed of them, ashamed that we're human and have the urges that we all do have. We have to hide them and cover them up. We're supposed to be pure and chaste like the Church wants. Bull crap. Give them a damn bailout. Besides the fact that it makes this bailout process a huge joke (a bigger joke?), it provides relief to a sect of Americans who are so repressed that they won't allow comprehensive sex education to be taught in public schools, so embarrassed about their own feelings that they sequester porn to darkened rooms with the shades drawn and the volume turned down real low and they feel so bad about themselves afterwards. I was Catholic people, I KNOW what I'm talking about! In this nation of corrupt, Rethug nitwits, we need a relief valve, and for them what better than the porn industry? Nothing. If at least it keeps them from seeking sex from public bathrooms and making the GLBQ community the butt of every late night comedian's jokes then it would be worth it. And besides... I like it too!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

20 More Days...

The Buried Life
by Matthew Arnold

Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet,
Behold, with tears mine eyes are wet!
I feel a nameless sadness o’er me roll.
Yes, yes, we know that we can jest,
We know, we know that we can smile!
But there ’s a something in this breast,
To which thy light words bring no rest,
And thy gay smiles no anodyne;
Give me thy hand, and hush awhile,
And turn those limpid eyes on mine,
And let me read there, love! thy inmost soul.

Alas! is even love too weak
To unlock the heart, and let it speak?
Are even lovers powerless to reveal
To one another what indeed they feel?
I knew the mass of men conceal’d
Their thoughts, for fear that if reveal’d
They would by other men be met
With blank indifference, or with blame reprov’d;
I knew they liv’d and mov’d
Trick’d in disguises, alien to the rest
Of men, and alien to themselves—and yet
The same heart beats in every human breast!

But we, my love!—doth a like spell benumb
Our hearts, our voices?—must we too be dumb?

Ah! well for us, if even we,
Even for a moment, can get free
Our heart, and have our lips unchain’d;
For that which seals them hath been deep-ordain’d!

Fate, which foresaw
How frivolous a baby man would be—
By what distractions he would be possess’d,
How he would pour himself in every strife,
And well-nigh change his own identity—
That it might keep from his capricious play
His genuine self, and force him to obey
Even in his own despite his being’s law,
Bade through the deep recesses of our breast
The unregarded river of our life
Pursue with indiscernible flow its way;
And that we should not see
The buried stream, and seem to be
Eddying at large in blind uncertainty,
Though driving on with it eternally.

But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us—to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.

And many a man in his own breast then delves,
But deep enough, alas! none ever mines.
And we have been on many thousand lines,
And we have shown, on each, spirit and power;
But hardly have we, for one little hour,
Been on our own line, have we been ourselves—
Hardly had skill to utter one of all
The nameless feelings that course through our breast,
But they course on for ever unexpress’d.
And long we try in vain to speak and act
Our hidden self, and what we say and do
Is eloquent, is well—but ’t is not true!
And then we will no more be rack’d
With inward striving, and demand
Of all the thousand nothings of the hour
Their stupefying power;
Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call!
Yet still, from time to time, vague and forlorn,
From the soul’s subterranean depth upborne
As from an infinitely distant land,
Come airs, and floating echoes, and convey
A melancholy into all our day.

Only—but this is rare—
When a beloved hand is laid in ours,
When, jaded with the rush and glare
Of the interminable hours,
Our eyes can in another’s eyes read clear,
When our world-deafen’d ear
Is by the tones of a lov’d voice caress’d—
A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,
And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.
A man becomes aware of his life’s flow,
And hears its winding murmur, and he sees
The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.

And there arrives a lull in the hot race
Wherein he doth for ever chase
The flying and elusive shadow, rest.
An air of coolness plays upon his face,
And an unwonted calm pervades his breast.
And then he thinks he knows
The hills where his life rose,
And the sea where it goes.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years' Resolutions

I love New Years' resolutions. Why? Because they're stupid, naturally. It says something about the human psyche that we make them in the first place. Think about the timing for starters. We conform our resolutions to the beginning of the year, yet rarely the problems they are supposed to solve actually begin at the beginning of the year. Rather they begin at any point of the year. Lose weight, get out of debt, find love, etc. None of these ideas are more likely to come to our conscious mind at exactly the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day. We put them off until then though under the premise that somehow the very fact that there is a marker delineating the beginning of the year that we are more likely to go through with the resolution. Of course we don't hold onto them at any better rate than any other "promise" we make to ourselves during the year. Why should we? Dates hold no significance in this sense to our psyche. It's just foolishness. And besides, we're always frightfully vague about what we want to do, as if by simply saying we want something a lot it will come true. We want to lose weight, but we don't eat better. We want to get out of debt, but we keep spending money. We want to find love but we keep sitting at home doing nothing.

New Year's becomes a point at which we can bullshit ourselves over. Instead of the fact that we didn't plan out how we are going to accomplish the goals we want to, we bullshit ourselves into believing in this curse of the New Year's Resolution that because we asked for it, it won't come true. Of course, in the end, we are just bullshitting ourselves.