Thursday, February 22, 2007

Yo! This proves it!

You Are 32% Feminine, 68% Masculine

You are in touch with your masculine side.

You are not overly sensitive and not easily moved.

Occasionally, though, something will get through and touch your heart!

But the little Anime twink in the picture looks like a David Bowie impersonator...not very encouraging....;-)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Free association

Someone just pointed out to me that beneath Mr. Washington is the Year of the Pig post (I admit to feeling a little hesitant with those two so close...might make George posthumously uncomfortable) and beneath that, two posts on Gnosticism, preceded by an appreciation of liberals...asked me if I was free associating, loosening up, or having a nervous breakdown...Hmmm.

Hafta get back to ya' on that one. ;-)

Dead Presidents

Since reading Joseph Ellis' excellent little book, Founding Brothers, I have become interested in the Presidents of this Republic. American history bored me to death when I was in school. To be honest, for a lot of my life, anything after the year 1400 bored me to death. Another story.

But the compellingly human three-dimensional characters who emerged in that book changed my perspective. I have since then spent my summer reading days with biographies of the Founding Fathers. (I refuse to say "Founders", in the PC way, as if they were a mixed sex group). And Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman. And Jackson.

Just a word about the First, George Washington. It's clear that without him, this country would never have taken shape. Not only did he hold the revolutionary military together, but when he became the first President, he did something truly extraordinary. After two terms, he left. He could have been, in effect, President for Life...and initiated a history of disasters. But by his laying aside that office, he set a precedent which we take for granted, but which has served us very well and sealed his place as the Father of his country.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy New Year

By Chinese reckoning, today is the first day of
the Year of the Pig.


...or maybe they mean something else? [-(

Basilides the False

"During the first centuries of our era, the Gnostics contended against the Christians. They were vanquished, but we can imagine their possible victory. Had Alexandria triumphed instead of Rome, we would find the bizarre and muddled stories that I have recounted here coherent, majestic and ordinary."

A vindication of Basilides the False
Jorge Luis Borges.

Another story of the soul

"Divinity tempted,

unrest stirring among the blessed Aeons,

God's erring wisdom, Sophia,

falling prey to her own folly

wandering in the void and darkness of her own making

endlessly searching, lamenting, suffering, repenting,

laboring her passion into matter,

her yearning into soul;

a blind and ignorant Creator,

believing himself the Most High,

and lording it over the creation,

the product, like himself, of fault and ignorance;

the Soul, trapped and lost

in the labyrinth of the world,

seeking to escape but frightened back

by the gatekeepers of the cosmic prison,

the terrible Archons;

a Savior from the Light beyond

venturing into the nether world,

illumining the darkness, opening a path,

healing the divine breach:

a tale of light and darkness,

of knowledge and ignorance,

of serenity and passion,

of conceit and pity,

on the scale not of man

but of eternal beings

who yet are not exempt from suffering and error".

Hans Jonas 1957

Preface to The Gnostic Religion, p.xiii

Saturday, February 17, 2007

In praise of liberals


Yes, I know. I'm pretty hard on the poor puppies. But let me tell you a secret. I'm a binomial thinker. I am drawn to opposites. (Ask my ex!)

Truth is, a world without liberals, a world with only my side of the ledger totally in charge, would be a very bad thing. And, may I hasten to add, so would a liberal-run world, without resistant, foot-dragging conservatives.

No one, not even me, has a monopoly on the truth, especially political truth. It is a realm shot through with speculation, opinion, and ad-hockery. It's the nature of the beast. We dwell not here in the Empyrean realms, but on Earth...After The Fall. It may be beautiful, but it's never been pretty.

So, having a leftish and a rightish is the nature of things.

I live in San Francisco, a city which, like reality itself, is overdetermined. It is full of nutjobs and a lot of the time the things that come out of people's mouths make me want to cry "Aaargghhh!". But this is a place where I can live openly. Being gay in this town is a big yawn. And let's face it, that did not come about through the efforts of the Log Cabin Republicans (peace be upon them).

Yet, were it not for at least some resistance from the non-utopians here on the edge of the continent, SF would be turned into the Death Camp of Tolerance in about ten minutes.

I happen to think that the balance between left and right is off. But I, unlike way too many of the open-minded, tolerant, peace-loving, ecofeminst, "spiritual but not religious", compassionate, conscious and globally-aware freaks who drink coffee next to me at Starbucks or Peets or Spikes....I don't want them wiped off the face of the earth so that a New Era of Progress can unfold without impediment from Evil Righties like me.

I certainly don't say this often, but it's true.

So, here's to liberals!
Short may you reign...but long may you live.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm not being judgmental...really

As part of the continuing Liturgy of Sanctum Effluvium here at the Sacred Order of Codgers, Coots, & Curmudgeons, I would like to say that I am so effing tired of people erasing themselves by saying, "It's just a preference, not a judgment."

On one of the online sites I very occasionally visit ;-), where man-loving-men cybercongregate (and that's not a slap at women, or being exclusionary or's just a preference) exchange recipes, ideas for window treatments, discuss the latest on Michel Foucault, and how to best eat Snickers bars...well, there's lots of discussion of what guy-A likes and wants, and often what he doesn't...and aside from the blessedly testy dawgs who just tell you to line up and meet their requirements or drop dead, there's acres of apologetic, "don't mean to make a judgment" crappola.

So make a judgement. Make ten.

Who the hell cares?

As if it would make any difference.

Why did God give you a brain...just so you could turn it off...or keep it running silent and lie about it?

And next time you tell someone that you don't like judgmental people...
get a clue, Sherlock...that's a judgment.

Such pussies.

(Hell, even pussies make judgments. Ask any straight man who's tried to visit one!)


And while I'm at many of these non-judgmental homos, when they want to get all nuptial and stuff, despite the express will of the electorate in the face of their inability to make a convincing argument, run off to get their cookie from...who(m)?

A judge!

And that's the morning-coffee rant from, as a charming man recently called me, "you little right-leaning, dude, you". ;-)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Leveller Complex

Thesis: An egalitarian society can only be maintained by a police state.


(Background reading for the class brown-nosers: Vonnegut's 1961 (!) "Harrison Bergeron").

If you need help, contact the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea, Pol Pot, etc.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Irkel = Breckboy?

Yeah, I know it's rude. So? It's my blog.

If Obama were not half-African, would he be significantly different at all from John Edwards, except for his smaller house and better teeth?

So isn't his real calling card his color?

Joe Biden put his huge foot in his even huger mouth with his comments on how the man was clean and nice-looking and articulate*, a real storybook black candidate...a real credit to one of his races...but I think he told the truth: liberal white Americans are dying to vote a black man, or woman, into the White House as reparation, atonement, self-abasement, final proof of racial innocence, moral narcissism, etc...and the pack of black leaders with national clout floating around is none too appetizing. Jesse? Al? (Thank you, God, for sending us someone we aren't privately appalled by!)

Was the comment insulting and stupid? Of course. But sometimes Psyche just puts her lips together... and blows.

*The rejected opinion about Blacks lying behind this compliment is, of course, that normally they are dirty, unattractive and inarticulate.

Monday, February 12, 2007

We are toast

The Dean of West Point (!) has asked the producer of "24" to remove the torture scenes because it makes America look bad and he alleges that "the kids" --aka American soldiers-- see the program and copy it...


The lying mantra "Bush Lied. People Died." supposedly unmasks the deceit behind our invasion of Iraq: there were no Weapons of Mass our soldiers and many Iraqis have died for no reason.

Suppose...that we had found significant caches of WMD's: chemical, biological, nuclear, whatever.

Would that have prevented the Sunni or Baathist insurgencies, the Shia-Sunni war? Given our Rules of Engagement...would the current situation be any different had we removed the weapons that effing everyone believed were there?

Would the removal of those weapons have caused the MSM and the Democrats to stand behind the President and the troops over the last years, rather than giving functional aid and comfort to the enemy, even as the insurgencies/civil war broke out?

Would finding WMD's have made any difference? You can guess my answer.

PS...Re "Who Would Jesus Bomb"...these stickers are almost invariably on the cars of people whose other stickers made it very likely that they would be the first in line to scream bloody murder at the tiniest inkling of proximity between Church and State...but they expect us to take advice on foreign policy and military strategy from the Man of Nazareth....but not, apparently, on marriage, adultery, divorce, etc....where he was just a little bit rigid?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Chinga Aztlan

Victor Davis Hanson –The Man—has written a 2006 reflection on Mexifornia. Things, he suggests, are worse than he predicted.

“To continue reading this post in English, press 1”.

Para leer este articulo en espanol, oprima el numero dos”.

Do I make my point?

I am a Proud Kweer Gringo Kaffir. The “Gringo” part is deliberate. I could have said “Yankee”, but didn’t want to make my Southern readers...if I ever have any! ;-) --- feel that I defined myself in opposition to them. I’m Amurrican, which includes all 50 States.

I say “Gringo” for the same reason I say“Kaffir” (which means “unbeliever” in Muslim parlance). "Gringo" is a generally unfriendly Mexican term for Americans. Identity formation by defiance. Part of what irks me –to put it at its mos’ mildest—is that our border with Mexico has functionally evaporated and we are being invaded by millions of foreigners...with virtually no responses from the folks whose job it is, I thought, to protect our borders and sovereignty.

Reconquista and Jihad, with the support of the Fifth-Column Left. The Marine hymn starts out prophetically: "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli". Mexicans and Muslims, once again.

Regarding immigration, George and Jean Francois K are equally useless. Well, George, actually, is much worse, since he should know better. Sometimes the man drives me to distraction.

Yes, I said "invaded". Do you think, for un momentito, that if Mejico were to find millions of gringos flowing across their frontera without permission, headed al sur, that they would not consider themselves "invaded"? Do you think they'd be singing "El Grito de la Guerra" in English so the Yanquis wouldn't feel excluded? Por favor. Ask the Guatemalans who try to cross over into Mexico...(on their way here, of course).

I will not rant further here. I will do that in stages. Ainthcha graytf'l? But here are the reasons, in a nutshell, why I am dead set against the flood of illegal Mexican immigrants in this country. (I have taught Spanish, btw, so I can handle the linguistic logistics just fine; that is not the point).

They are here illegally (!!) --punto numero uno--, in massive and continuing numbers, from a single non-English-speaking and dysfunctional culture, right next door, with a choppy and often hostile history between us, at a time when the US is in bondage to our cultural elite’s self-hating multiculturalism, and current stats indicate that many of them will raise double-alienated children –and the next generation will be the really merry problem—into the underclass.

Just what we need… The only plus in all this is that they are not Muslims.

I am not...zzzzzzz....."anti-immigrant" or some such NPR BS.

(God, how I hate it when lefties start spewing labels which all mean the same schoolgirl-monitor-in-the-play-yard thing: "You're not NICE!!!" And by the way, I can be very nice...or not. I have references.)

I am anti-this-immigration. Chinga Aztlan.

Some dork in my neighborhood has the above sticker on his car: "If my taxes are legal, why are you calling me illegal?" Well, Jose, it's simple: 'cause you're here without permission and against the law. Comprende? Crazymaking.

We have become, practically overnight, against the will of the people, and with the compliance and/or collusion of our government and other overlords, spiritual and temporal, a bilingual and bicultural country. Ya wanna get me on board for impeachment? Here's yer sign. Wanna get me into a lather about the Catholic Church in America for aiding and abetting this invasion? Wanna hear me get all anti-business for their complicity? Mexifornia, Amerexico... it's a recipe for disaster. See: Austro-Hungarian Empire...or Belgium. Remember Yugoslavia?

I lived in Canada/Le Canada for almost two bilingual/bicultural decades. It's not a model you wanna import. Trust me.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


LGBT, and for the truly enlightened, LGBTIQ are not Klingon verbs.

They are acronyms meaning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
and for the truly enlightened, so far, Intersex and Questioning.

This is the Yugoslavia of sex: forcing into an artificial unity a set of groups that may or may not have much in common. Despite the tensions between lesbians and gay men, at least they have this in common, the experience of being erotically drawn to their own sex. Bisexuals, well, really, hardly important. But the T thing, the transgenders...people who don't want to be their birth sex...what has that got to do with sexual orientation?

It's a political construct designed to enforce a political sense of group identity --lefty liberal and progrssive at all times, of course--and means nothing to me.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Notes on two good days before two rough months

December 2nd 2006: Since it's Advent, my favorite liturgical season, I am listening to Handel in the car on the way to work and now in my living room, along with my glass of cabernet and some really dense Irish cheddar and chocolate Phillies cigar. Middlebrow, or what?
Sir Edward Beecham and Royal Philharmonic did this version in 1992. I used to like the Mormon Tab Choir version, but the Beecham version is so...patriarchal! The basses, both vocal and instrumental, are...emphatic and martial, unhesitating.
This is Handel's bombastic joy...and the testament of a time and culture without our anxiety and self-doubt…full-on ChristoYahwist music: "I am God the LORD and this is how I speak and how I sound --amazing, stunning, overwhelming, exuberantly phallic, awesomely beautiful, no?--and you will like it because it's good for you." And I do.
I find it exhilarating. I smoke cigars and drink and sing along. There's something in orthodox Christianity that can't be beat...I miss it.
December 3rd 2006: This morning I decided to listen to the Wailin' Jennys, a female Canadian trio whose CD I just bought yesterday, along with a set of Baroque and Renaissance CDs.
I sit here on my green couch, coffee cup in hand and its smell up nose, with those three women singing on the stereo and there will be one of them taking the lyric, with this slow slow sweet piercing silvermoon-in-the-winter-night sound that only a woman can make, at once so tender and soft and almost hidden, but full of primal power and the survival energy of country women...and that's so stunning. I close my eyes and just want to be in that same space of hearing, to become my ear, to be filled with that sound, that voice, to become what I hear, without moving, completely still, like water on the verge of turning to ice, without disturbing this delicate moment. And then...
And then, the other two come in, to make the harmony with her, and the hairs on the right side of my body all stand up at once, electric, as the sound becomes so big and textured, leaping large in a second, and I hear this really bass moan of pleasure come from down near my belly, a sound only a man can make, and I close my eyes tight, as if a waterfall has just engulfed me and I want to hold on and not be swept away, --and know that I won't be and will be-- so I can become many ears, many ears, each taking in every marbling, every plane of sound in each of those three voices, and each note of the strings, the percussion, each note of the silent spaces in between, full up, and I hear myself exhaling hard and saying, "Jesus!"
There is, in my ear, a distinctly Northern Dominion quality in the music of the Jennys. It is an emptiness, a silence, that comes from the overwhelming space of the country, from how much of it is northern and vacant, wild but in a contained and almost marginal way, unnoticed, far away from the bustling places of empire, like the Northern Tao.
Sometimes that primeval emptiness which limns the Canadian soul speaks in its own voice, often in humor, usually in music. When it lives in the empty silence and does not try anxiously to fill it. And then it has a cool impersonal grandeur, surprisingly larger than the modest scale of the instrument.
When these women sing, I hear the prairies, those vast hours of darkness you see from the window of your plane as you fly westward over the provinces at night, with small patches of light so intermittent…approaching, glimmering, disappearing, astonishing, almost melancholy, but brave and unfussy, breath-catching.
While we Yanks make a massive wall to the south, Canada has no northern border, nothing but the roof of the planet itself, and space, and sky and cold. Like the origin of the world.
It is vertiginous. And it makes the emptiness of the plains, of the mountains, of the northern forests, the tundra, the iceflows and beyond, so profoundly open, mute, unembraceable. During my years in the Great White North, my actual visits outside the cities were few, but I felt the difference right away. In the land. And in the soul. That's a part of Canada that, Yank though I am, I will always love...

Monday, February 05, 2007

What are men for?

This much seems to be written, as it were, in the male body
as its basic syntax, in the primal language of testosterone:

To make babies with females
To protect the group from the elements, animal predators and other males of the species.
To hunt and thus provide meat/fish.

Sounds like it comes down violence.

Or, more alliteratively and less provocatively:
Procreation, protection and protein.

A place to start.

Proud Kweer Gringo Kaffir II, or, Why I Went Over To The Dark Side

John Henry Newman was a great light of the Church of England in its 19th century revival. However, he eventually went over to the Dark Side and converted to Roman Catholicism. He died a Cardinal and may one day be canonized as a Saint. No one on either side doubted his prodigious intellect, but a lot of people found his choice very hard to take. To Brits raised for 300 years on Guy Fawkes and “No Popery”, it felt like a terrible betrayal. He called his autobiography, Apologia Pro Vita Sua. That translates as “Apology for His Own Life”. In English, an apology nowadays is an expression of regret for a wrong committed. But its origin in Latin and Greek is in fact the opposite: it is a defense and an explanation of something. In seminaries, the study of how to argue with opponents, in favor of Christianity, is still called “apologetics”.

Part of what this blog is about is apology. On the one hand, I am (perhaps too) aware of how unusual and even shocking it is to hear a gay man identify himself with the Right. First time I realized it, it shocked me, too. And I am not blind to the tensions there, believe me. So, I get it. But I also want to explain, or at least illumine, why that shift came about. I did that in my 1.19.07 post, Proud Kweer Gringo Kaffir. This is a followup and a kind of executive summary “apology”.

I believe that Western civilization is under attack, from without by the Jihad, the shock troops of a resurgent world Islam; and from within, by a culturally Marxist progressive agenda held both in part and in whole, consciously and semiconsciously, by a great many of the educated and elite members of our civilization.

I am a very smart guy –no sense being coy about it. I have the ability to deal with complex ideas, both by natural inclination and by way of too much education. But I have also loved images and I tend to use images and my intuition a great deal. I have a gift for metaphor and, at least as a way of fundamentally orienting myself, often prefer it to complex discourse.So it seems to me that the simplest way to “apologize” for my shift is to use the metaphor I wrote about in my earlier post:

“I'd rather go to the ramparts with the irascible folks who want to save our town from the invading barbarians than stay at home with the charming pacifist intellectuals who argue about re-designing the bedroom.”

That’s basically it.

This is the fundamental difference in perspective between me and my neighbors and friends. They turn their attention away from the Muslim threat ("It's overblown, you're getting paranoid, and maybe even a bit racist") and are, of course, totally unfriendly to the notion that their progressive attitudes are anything but an improvement to the West ("How can social justice be wrong? Don't you want gay equality?"). Basic perceptions differ.

A great example of what I mean shows up in a quote that cranky Christopher Hitchens --who threw his lot in with the neocons precisely because he is a “man of the Left”—takes from a book by British lefty journalist Nick Cohen. Cohen’s work joins others in a newish genre: “Why I Left the Left”. I’ll let Cohen speak for himself, from WHAT'S LEFT? How the Liberals Lost Their Way:

“My instant reaction to the 9/11 attacks was that they were a nuisance that got in the way of more pressing concerns. Throughout the 1990s, I had been writing about the overweening power of big business and how it could corrupt democratic governments. I had lambasted new Labour for its love of conservative crime policies and attacks on civil liberties for years. Attacking Tony Blair was what I liked doing — what got me out of bed in the morning. Accepting that fascism is worse than western democracy, even western democracies governed by George W Bush and Tony Blair, sounds very easy in theory, but it is very difficult to do in practice when you are a habitual enemy of the status quo in your own country.” (emphasis mine)

For me, the 11th of September 2001 was not "a nuisance". It was a trauma.

And it completed a long slow process of waking up.

My experience with the Blue State mind is that it is exclusively and compulsively focused on internal enemies in whom doth reside all evil: George Bush, Republicans and the Christian Right, along with Corporate America. All the animus goes there. And what Cohen is suggesting is that such a habit –and I would describe it as often complex-driven—can lead to a de facto support of fascism –in this instance, the Jihad.

Hence, the metaphor of the ramparts and the bedroom. And why, with all its difficulties, --especially for a man who thinks that his sexuality is a gift from God!—my sympathies now lie on the Dark Side, with the cranky people on the ramparts. To many in my tribe, I have abandoned the Jedi to become a Sith Lord.

Complicated it may be, but “self-loathing” is the last thing it's about.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Feminine and Ghyrlitude

After discussing the issue of manhood and manliness with a friend, I was reflecting of my responses to varieties of feminine behavior, primarily in males.

My friend was unhappy with me because I was unwilling to take the egalitarian and inclusive attitude that anyone with a dick was just as much of a man as anyone else with a dick. We didn't get much past the issue of style; didn't discuss character or action or attitude. He held that if a man wore a dress or a leather jacket, it didn't matter. A man was a man.

I realize that I draw a distinction between the feminine, as an attitude, a set of values and capacities centered on affiliation, and girlyness, or what I call "ghyrlitude". The feminine is central to our existence as a species. But what is "ghyrlitude"? Well, let's just say it's on the spectrum of the histrionic personality.

I accept that each gender contains an inner complement of its opposite. The sexes are distinct and opposite, but not hermetically sealed off from each other. Developmentally, men who grow up to be gay are likely to have a precocious relationship to the feminine. I certainly recognize attitudes and capacities in myself that may be feminine. And I have very good friends who are women.

I started reflecting on their feminine behavior. My women friends, both straight and gay, are feminine, though in rather different ways, but they are not girly. This is where it hit me: I don't like "ghyrlitude" or "girlyness" in women...why would I like it in men?

What's wrong with homosexuality III: the end of manhood

(NB See parts One and Two)
From my viewpoint and experience as a gay man, one who understands his homosexuality as central to his identity and has no wish whatever to alter that, I am exploring what I take to be the down side of gayness. It is not sexual orientation or activity itself which is the problem, but something else.

Gayness in men has become bound up with a mostly feminist social and political agenda that seeks to remake America into a society without any real men at all (like Europe). In order that gay men should be included in a diverse and sensitive concept of what a man is, the concept of manhood needs to be emptied of anything like a standard or a requirement.

But if anyone can be a man, then there are no men at all.
The post-modern sensibility that informs the progressive agenda holds that any definition of a dominant group which excludes the “other” is oppressive by nature and is actually nothing more than a construct designed to dominate. For example, to try to define “manhood” is seen as inherently oppressive, politically self-serving and exclusionary, as well as merely social. Who is anyone to say, for example, that a gay man is not really a man? Or a drag queen? Or a transsexual?

I recently saw an otherwise affecting film in which a female-to-male transsexual asserted that “what your genitalia look like has nothing to do with being a man.” Read that again. This is the level of ideological un-reality you wind up dealing with. And it is a commonplace taunt of drag queens under attack that “I’m more woman than you’ll ever have and more man than you’ll ever be.” Despite their prima facie oddness, --not to say craziness--these unlikely statements are met with satisfied approval by high-minded progressives, including many gay men.

So the issues that are coming to the fore now are: what does manhood mean and, what are men for? What is, in fact, the end, the purpose, of manhood? And what might the answer to that question say about the drive to bring about the end, the disappearance, of manhood? No small undertaking.
Just the briefest sketch for now. There are clearly varieties of adult males who might claim the title of “man”. (And the fact that this is a title which must be claimed says much about its meaning). So I view manhood as a region of human nature distinct from womanhood and transcending boyhood. The image I am using of late is a constellation (Orion, at left seems an appropriate example) . It takes several stars to make a constellation, but not all of them are equally bright or central.
As for the end of manhood, its purpose, nature created sexual differentiation and continued it through the mammals and the primates and homo sapiens. Adult male humans have a role to play that is archetypally theirs. Reflecting on that will be a good place to go next.

PS My position, by the way, should be quite clear. I am a gender conservative. I believe that there is such a thing as manhood and that it is a fundamental good,  essential to the survival and health of any society and to the race as a whole. I also hold that gay men can lay claim to inclusion in the constellation of manhood and ought not be coopted into attacking it. That, too , later.
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