Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en

On the Eve of the Feast of All Hallows and the Celtic Night of Samhain: a festival apt for gay men and, I think, for psychotherapists...

In Memory of Sigmund Freud

W. H. Auden
But he wishes us more than this. To be free
is often to be lonely. He would unite
     the unequal moieties fractured
   by our own well-meaning sense of justice,
would restore to the larger the wit and will 
the smaller possesses but can only use
     for arid disputes, would give back to
   the son the mother's richness of feeling:
but he would have us remember most of all 
to be enthusiastic over the night,
     not only for the sense of wonder
   it alone has to offer, but also
because it needs our love. With large sad eyes
its delectable creatures look up and beg
     us dumbly to ask them to follow:
   they are exiles who long for the future
that lives in our power, they too would rejoice
if allowed to serve enlightenment like him,
     even to bear our cry of 'Judas', 
   as he did and all must bear who serve it.

"Enlightenment does not consist in imagining figures of light, but in making the darkness conscious." CG Jung

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New blog name?

My friend Emailior Fabbro...a man of many names, that being just one, with thanks to TS Elliot...suggested that my life can currently be described by a phrase I thought would make a cool blog name.

Oh, the phrase?

Chthonic jouissance.

Waddaya mean, "How do you pronounce it?" If you can't pronounce it, you have no business reading this blogue!

Well, OK.

K'thonnick Jwee-sonce.

Yeah, I know. ;_) Sounds like a Jungo-Lacanian Rock band.

Thanks, jpnill.

But maybe instead I'll just have a T-shirt made with the words on the front and see what happens when I walk down the street.

T Men 2

Mike Rowe, the guy who stars in Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs. He gets himself into all kinds of shit. Literally. Trying out dirty work that other guys do. He is funny in a smirky and self-deprecating way and is, well, very easy on the eyes. Sometimes easier than others....

Monday, October 29, 2007

What's Wrong with America 5

As Hollywood's writers, fountain of so many failed movies of late, go on strike against their employers, David Kahane imagines what's going on in their left-brains as they try to figure out why their gems are tanking. A snippet.

"It’s not like our patriotism is questionable or anything. Like Bonosera the undertaker in The Godfather, we love U.S.-America, we believe in U.S.-America, just not U.S.-America the way she is now: a racist, sexist, homophobic bastion of white male privilege, built on the backs of Africans and Native Americans and exploited immigrants, seeking to export its murderous rage to the Middle East and beyond. And all right-thinking people — by which I mean “left-thinking” people, of course — agree with us. You certainly won’t get any argument on the west side of Los Angeles, and wherever I travel in this great land of ours — to places as diverse as San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and the Upper West Side — it’s unanimous. America stinks!"

The whole amusing thing at, omigod, National Review.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Harbinger of things to come?

My first lover died in 2006. His mom sent me some pictures that he had. One of them is from a trip we took to northern Ontario with a bunch of other guys in 1973. One of them was a hunter, so he was showing us how to use the rifle. I remember the kick in my shoulder. So here I was, as a youngster, even then, armed and dangerous ;-)

Smokin' science!

The bright and irritable Canadian essayist David Warren points out the scientifically-based notion that giving up smoking can kill you.

Read the whole thing.

It warms my heart...globally. ;-)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Right Thinking

From Bookworm, another righty who lives in a very blue world. I could get on board with her thoughts.


Core Conservative Belief: Conservatives believe in immigration as an important part of American vibrancy. They also believe that America is weakening itself by allowing illegal immigrants to stream into the country unchecked, both because this influx saps America's sovereignty over her citizens and because the illegal immigrant pathways can also serve terrorists.

Progressive Belief: It's racist to keep illegal immigrants out of the country. For that reason, there should not be any hurdles in the illegal immigrant's path to the full panoply of American rights and welfare services.

The Supreme Court

Core Conservative Belief: Conservatives believe that the role of the Supreme Court is to examine state and federal laws, and lower court decisions to determine whether they comport with the written Constitution. An even lowest common denominator belief is that the Supreme Court should examine only whether federal matters comport with the written Constitution, and to interfere with states only if the states enact laws that conflict or overlap with federal matters.

Progressive Belief: The Supreme Court is to decide what is right and what is wrong - and it can get help for this by looking to each justice's own private standards of morality, to dominant cultural trends, and to foreign systems. Having examined the moral position, the Court should then direct policy consistent with its findings.


Core Conservative Belief: Whether you're pro-Choice or pro-Life, Conservatives who are being honest with themselves admit that Roe v. Wade was a badly decided opinion that, without any Constitutional authorization, represented a federal power grab of something that ought to be a states' rights issue. Roe v. Wade should be overturned, so that the question of abortion can be returned to the states, where it belongs. An alternative, of course, is to amend the Constitution so that it specifically allows or disallows abortion.

Progressive Belief: Abortion is an absolute, fundamental right that must remain inviolate. The main reason Progressives must win the White House is to put a stop to the Originalist Supreme Court justices that Conservatives have placed, and will continue to place, on the Supreme Court. Only a Democratic President will appoint justices who will maintain Roe v. Wade's existence.

The Iraq War

Core Conservative Belief: Conservatives believe that, whether or not we made the right decision in 2003 to invade Iraq, it is a done deal. Our only responsibility now is to fight wholeheartedly and to win.

Progressive Belief: President Bush got us into the War to for nefarious reasons, mostly to satisfy his oil buddies in Texas and Cheney's friends at Halliburton. Now, to punish the President and the whole corrupt Bush Administration, we must leave Iraq immediately, regardless of the consequences to America, to Iraq, or to world security.

Islamic Terrorism

Core Conservative Belief: (a) Islamic terrorism is real, (b) it is the product of a totalitarian religious ideology that has as its ultimate goal the destruction of non-Muslim Western culture, (c) there is no middle ground given its goal, and (d) we must fight it.

Progressive Belief: Islamic terrorism is the work of a few people angry at the US (and especially at George Bush), and the best thing we can do to placate these people is to (a) leave Iraq; (b) abandon Israel; (c) dump George Bush; and (d) engage in dialogue with the Islamic leaders.


Core Conservative Belief: Government is a bad money manager. People make money grow, and lower taxes allow for a livelier, growing economy. The inevitable result of trusting people with their own money is that the government, despite lower taxes, sees increased revenue (which is nicely balanced out by lower costs).

Progressive Belief: People cannot be trusted to make the right decisions with their money. It's better if the government takes and redistributes wealth, notwithstanding the fact that doing so slows the economy.


Lowest common denominator Conservative beliefs: (a) Religion is a good thing; (b) It's okay if people's religious values shape their political beliefs; (c) It's okay to acknowledge America's predominant Christianity by nodding to Christmas and Easter, as long as no one is forced to observe those holidays or discriminated against for not observing those holidays; (d) People should be free to worship without government interference in their beliefs; (e) Neither government nor business should be forced to change their practices to accommodate one belief system over others (see here and here for examples of some of the changes demanded).

Progressive Belief: Traditional Christianity is dangerous and must be stifled at all costs, everywhere. Islam has some problems but, to make up for the damage the Bush Administration has done to our standing in the Muslim world, we must accommodate Islamic demands in America.


Core Conservative Belief: While America has flaws, we are proud of her, since we believe that the American system and American values are the best human systems of governance yet created.

Progressive Belief: America is an imperialist bully that seeks to destroy non-white people, whether within or outside of America. Her power must be reined in at all costs.


Core Conservative Belief: Conservatives believe in Thoreau's dictum that "That government is best which governs least." Much as they are proud of America, Conservatives trust American people more than any government. To them, government is an artifice that can only legitimately govern with the consent of the governed. Conservatives also believe that individuals are smarter with respect to their own interest than the collective wisdom of government.

Progressive Belief: Progressives believe that government is responsible for fulfilling all citizen needs in all ways. They also believe that the government's collective wisdom about individual interests is greater than individuals' own knowledge about themselves.

Gun Control

Core Conservative Belief: Conservatives believe that the only way a people can remain free is to have their Second Amendment right to carry arms. They like to point to Nazi Germany as an example of what can happen when a government with totalitarian tendencies successfully denies its people the right to carry arms. Conservatives also believe that, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. They like to point to London and Washington, D.C., as examples of what happens when ordinary citizens are denied access to arms.

Progressive Belief: The risks associated with guns are so high that it is government's moral obligation to try to remove them from the population entirely, even if that effort is imperfect (see, e.g., London and Washington, D.C.)

The Nature of Human Beings

Core Conservative Belief: Conservatives believe that human nature is a combination of good and bad and that society's role is to control people's bad impulses through checks and balances that permit people's good sides to flourish.

Progressive Belief: Progressives believe that humans and society are products of their environment and, therefore, perfectible. The role of society is to mold people into better individuals and, ergo, better societies.


Core Conservative Belief: Conservatives' idea of multiculturalism is still the old Melting Pot idea: people who want to come here should buy into our basic systems of values and history, learn to speak English, and enrich our culture with their background while merging with the whole.

Progressive Belief: Progressives believe that every other culture is superior to American culture, so immigrants and ethnic enclaves should be encouraged to remain separate and distinct. Not only that, they believe that it is the responsibility of ordinary Americans to yield in every instance when there is a conflict between the dominant American culture and an ethnic subculture.

Climate Change

Core Conservative Belief: Conservatives believe that climate change is happening, but they do not believe that the debate is settled as to the anthropocentric idea that it is entirely the West's fault. They recognize that the earth's climate is in a constant state of flux, and want more, less politically charged, information before panic begins. They like the idea of alternative energy sources, since they not only enjoy clean air and water, but would also like to see fewer Petrodollars flow to tyrannically governed nations. Again, though, they do not believe in going off half cocked.

Progressive Belief: Progressives believe that humans are entirely responsible for climate change, that it is an impending catastrophe that could potentially end our way of life, and that the only thing to be done is to take drastic measures, even if they undermine entirely modern civilization.

T men

T men: Fellas who exhibit testosterone. Of whom I am kinda fond.

Ian Tracey. Canadian actor. Looks like a gang kid from some 20's movie. He's only 5'7" but... the man who is possibly the sexiest guy on earth ---who shall remain nameless--- is also a 5'7" Canadian!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


For a man who discovered himself by discovering this as his vocation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gentlepersons' Agreement

If I am not mistaken, Gentlemen's Agreement dealt with polite antiSemitism in the 40's. I was watching a stupid comedy last night...which I quite like...Charlie Sheen...anyway....and the object of derision for the evening was a family that clearly had Southern roots. And someone of my acquaintance who would never be caught dead using unflattering language about ethnic minorities casually tossed of "trailer park white trash" the other day.

Yankee though I am (born in DC but raised in NY), I have come to value the role that the South plays in this country. But antiSouthern attitudes remain perhaps the last heartily supported form of public and private bigotry --polite and not-- in this PC-smothered land. And the Southerners intended are only the white ones. The huge black populations in the South are, of course, sanctified victims and exempt.

An article in American Thinker provides an interesting factual counterbalance.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Shock and awe

"...for that call'd Body
is a portion of Soul discern'd by the five Senses,
the chief inlets of Soul in this age."
William Blake

I didn't come up with the teleological sex triad of pleasure, connection and transformation out my head alone. It's something I know something about. In fact, a year ago I experienced it in a new way, a sweet surprising ambush of ferocious grace. And the results have been...well, let's just say that my gratitude is very deep. Still remains very much alive.

Amazing grace.

And here is my thank-offering to the God, in image and word:

24And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

25And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

27And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

28And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for thou hast contended with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

29And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

30And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

31And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he limped upon his thigh.

Genesis 32

Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare
nos tibi semper, hic et ubique, gratias agere,

In truth it is worthy and just, right and healing
for us always, here and everywhere, to give Thee thanks.


Monday, October 22, 2007

VDH on the cushy liberals

Familiar to me, although the "fern bar" reference shows that VDH needs to get out more:

"Among this very elite, liberalism is now a sort of entrée for business, entertainment and leisure, a social requisite, like being a petty Christian official in the Medieval World, always taken for granted and not often examined.

Among this new influential class, clustered in universities towns, and progressive cities like Seattle, the Bay Area, the southern California Coast, Boulder, New England, and the suburbs of Washington, hating George Bush, or assuming that Western industrial rapacity is heating up the planet for profits, or that Iraq is a war for Halliburton is all akin to having oak floors, leather furniture, a stainless steel, granite kitchen, a glass of white wine after work at a fern bar, or driving a Prius to campus—manifest symbols of taste, erudition, and culture.

Championing social causes at a distance also provides the upscale a sort of psychological penance: e.g., something like ‘I wouldn’t dare live or tutor in East Palo Alto, but will play the radical at Stanford’s picturesque campus as spiritual recompense.’"

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Drawn to the Dark Side

Michael C. Hall, who played the uptight gay brother with the hot boyfriend in Six Feet Under, now plays the vigilante serial killer in ShoTime's Dexter. The boy has improved: let the stubble grow out on his excellent mug, been to the gym, looks mighty fine in those Henley shirts. All he needs now is someone to crop the hair...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

What's Wrong with America 4

The playlands of academia, the realm of logorrheic celebrity and the fetid backwaters of the psychologically creepy abound with material for this topic. Then there's the anti-academic celebrity creep:

What is sex for?

(Bandinelli, Two Men)

As a younger man, I was drawn to The Grand Questions. All those degrees (five of 'em, actually...yeah, I know) indicate at least that, among other things. My bookshelves are filled with tomes that address these issues, though I have not read any of them in a long time. I find myself dwelling in the nooks and crannies of the lowlands, smaller questions, smaller answers. Not lost interest entirely, but my energy is clearly in the particular, the mundane.


My religious background, with its strong Aristotelian energy, leaves me with a question about almost anything: What's it for? True or not, a sense of a thing's purpose is a measure of its value for me.

So, to bring together the particular mundane and the Grand Questions: What is sex for?

Again, my tradition provides a direction. Sex is for procreation. And over time, it became clear that it was also for interpersonal communion. And it has always been clear that it is quite pleasurable. At least for men, most of the time!

A quicky teleology of sex: it's for procreation, communion and pleasure.

Now that does not work for homo sex, the procreation piece I mean. So I'll do with sex what I did with men and morph it a bit to fit my experience.

Procreation is participation in the creation of new life. So shall I call it creativity?...except that this sounds too much like an urge to do macrame and take up a hobby. Transformation is better, life renewed and changed, in the direction of its ultimate goal.

Communion is not wrong, but connection might be better, especially for men.

And pleasure is certainly translatable, although I tend to expand that into play as well. Play is a current metaphor for sex among gay men. Play can be read as "merely" play, but to me, play is a high form of life, so I may keep that.

Here's my second thought, then. Sex is for play, connection and transformation --these seem to me to be its more natural hierarchy, that is, the outcomes which more frequently occur and in the order in which they occur, at least between males.

And here's my third. Unlike the traditional view, any of the three is sufficient purpose for sexual activity. But, two of them together is better than one, and all three of them together is best.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I cross the line

With apologies to Johnny Cash, I crossed a line today. Bought my first cowboy hat. Well, at least since I was six.

Why? Been meaning to visit the Sundance Saloon, the SF country-western spaces for homos, where they can teach you how to dance. This weekend is Stompede, by the way, but I am not up for that yet.

Took my ex with me to buy the hat. I am not a hat guy...long in the face and the neck, I have gotten used to baseball caps only in the last few years. So a Stetson style is a stretch. But I trust the ex's judgment in these matters completely. He has never steered me wrong.

So, there it is. I wandered across the street to the gym to visit a friend and took a look at myself in the big mirror there: jeans and black t-shirt, boots, and this hat....I am thinking, "Not so bad"...and I am thinking, "Who the HELL ARE you?"


Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Perfect Man

Found an image on a T-shirt in a local gay tchotchky establishment --a comic book store, actually...which you can also think of as a popular repository of archetypal image and narrative...ahem...and it pretty well encapsulates my idea of the ;-)

Might show up in the MaleSoul series...

And of course he turns out to be a dog!

As we say in Gay, "Woof!"

(Courtesy of, can you believe it,


A fella with a profile. A Texan in his 50's, 6ft, 200lbs, 32 waist, 18 arms, happily partnered up, handsome and hung. With one exception, I am not extremely phallo-focussed, but this guy...well, the whole gestalt is...well, I wouldn't mind knowing (or being) his identical twin brother!

For those so inclined, his profile is

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Kaffir Flag

Courtesy of Conservative Swede and brought to you in honor of the First Amendment by Proud Kweer Gringo Kaffir.

I wonder if the brave souls who tricked out the Last Supper as Folsom Street would be interested next year in give equal time to Islam.

This is me not holding my breath.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

On Christian ethics and homosexuality

I had a thought the other night as I was falling asleep. Not that I usually ruminate on ethical issues at that time. But...

Christian sexual ethics, and especially orthodox Christian ethics, is really only about the preservation and regulation of marriage. That's the motherlode, the heart issue, the one thing that this moral code cares about. So whatever does not support marriage will be rejected as threatening it. Adultery, of course. But any other kind of sexual activity will weaken the fortress of marriage, so it, too, must be forsworn: masturbation, fornication, ...and homosexuality. And for the truly traditional, divorce.

I used to gripe that Christian sexual ethics unrealistically assumed that there were only two kinds of people: spouses and celibates. No other choice. Well, it's pretty true. Because the point is not to assess the ethics of a variety of behaviors or kinds of people, but to make sure that marriage is sacred and inviolable. That's why it has been so easy to commit a mortal sin in the area of sex.

Reminds me of the rabbinic injunction, to "build a fence around the Torah", that is, not only to enforce the actual commandment, but to start making obstacles at a distance, so that you can't even get near to breaking an actual commandment. Makes it hard for people, but in the case of the Law or the Sacrament, I suspect that those undertaking this attitude were protecting something which, if violated, would have consequences for everyone that these folks considered catastrophic.

So even though it cashes out painfully for homosexually oriented Christians, my guess is that the anti-gay stuff ultimately flows from this deeper priority. Wherever you have a high doctrine of marriage, eg in Catholicism and Orthodoxy, even in a quasiChristian religion like Mormonism (whose doctrine of marriage is way higher than the orthodox) , you have no tolerance for extramarital sex of any kind. Once you start to accomodate extramarital sex of any kind, as among liberal Protestant churches, you eventually make marriage a kind of honorific option, just one among others.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Androphilia continued

(Lot Leaving Sodom)

I hope I won't get sued, but since there is no commercial benefit for me in reprinting this article, I will. It summarized some of Androphilia quite nicely, although it misunderstands a crucial point which I will, of course, correct. And while I'm at it, this short review is really more of a non-review. Avoiding the issue?

COPYRIGHT 2007 Gay & Lesbian Review, Inc.

Androphilia, A Manifesto: Rejecting the Gay Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity

by Jack Malebranche

Scapegoat Press, 144 pages, $12.95

WITHOUT APOLOGY, without frills--brought to you by Scapegoat Publishing, whose motto is "Blame Us"--Jack Malebranche hacks away at longstanding myths about the gay community in this new book. These myths as he sees them are embedded in the full title of his book, whose four elements I propose to analyze by way of review.

"Androphilia" means a romantic and/or sexual attraction to adult men, in this specific context by adult men; and it's the word that Malebranche prefers over "gay" or its alternatives. His primary relationship is with a male "compadre"--in place of "life partner," "significant other," or other awkward honorifics. In contrast to the traditional polarized understanding of homosexuality, he writes, "I experience androphilia not as an attraction to some alien opposite, but as an attraction to variations of sameness." His social life is focused on what men share by virtue of their maleness, regardless of sexual orientation.

Malebranche's "manifesto" tackles values that have become entrenched assumptions and offers some alternatives. He starts with the father of what became the modern gay rights movement, Magnus Hirschfeld, a late 19th- and early 20th-century German physician and sexologist who situated male homosexuality or "uranism" within a medical model, explaining the male homosexual as a female psyche inhabiting a male body (a theory dating back to the 1850's). Malebranche rejects this idea in favor of that of Adolf Brand, a contemporary of Hirschfeld who considered homosexual men to be "simply men who celebrated masculinity and who preferred the company of (and, ostensibly, sex with) other males."

Malebranche traces our notion of gay identity to Hirschfeld's model and argues that "gay" does not refer to same-sex love or sex, but has become "a subculture, a slur, a set of gestures, a slang, a look, a posture, a parade, a rainbow flag, a film genre, a taste in music, a hairstyle, a marketing demographic, a bumper sticker, a political agenda and philosophical viewpoint. Gay is a pre-packaged, superficial persona--a lifestyle." While appreciative of the preceding generation of gay advocates who fought for and won the greater social tolerance and freedom from prosecution enjoyed today, Malebranche believes that the gay community has become a "cultural and political movement that promotes anti-male feminism, victim mentality, and leftist politics." He has much to say about all three of these pillars of political correctness, especially the third, where he identifies a "Gay Advocacy Industry" that has adopted a model of victimization to attract the support of "checkbook revolutionaries" in their cause. Here and elsewhere Malebranche complains that the mainstream gay movement "advocates males coming to terms with and taking pride in their homosexuality, but never advocates these men coming to terms with and taking pride in being men."

Some critics will probably accuse Malebranche of "internalized homophobia" because he wants to downplay the specifically sexual aspects of being gay. But he also wants to re-examine the assumptions and stereotypes that have stuck around from a previous era and prevented gay men from embracing their masculinity. There is no call to form a new community or start a new movement; if anything Malebranche would have gay men acknowledge their "androphilia" as one part of their identity and then move on.

Jay Heuman is curator of education at the Salt Lake Art Center.

It's pretty clear that Androphilia is both a manifesto in search of something new and a "Dear John" letter. The first line of the book is, "Gay is dead...or a least it's dead to me." So it isn't out to clear up myths about the gay community. On the contrary, the book finds a lot about that community to condemn. Pretty clear.

Malebranche would have gay men acknowledge their androphilia, if they have it, and then move out...of the gay community. He is definitely not looking to form another subgroup within the sexual Yugoslavia know as LGBT+, etc.

but his Fraternal Order of Androphiles website

(Shield of Lycurgus with Wolf's Hook Rune)

shows a clear desire to make some kind of connection with his fellows. And as I've said, being invited to participate as a recusant but supportive gayman has been interesting and fun.

Ann Coulter and the Jewish Question

Ms. Coulter's charms have done it again. On some CNN show with a guy named Donny Deutsch, she made a couple of remarks that set the planet's axis off balance, namely, that Jews should convert to Christianity.

This is news? Ever read the New Testament, written, by the way, by Jews?

A friend of mine who is an adult convert from Catholicism to Buddhism...always something to be suspicious of here in California where Buddhism is ultra-chic...recently rolled his eyes in disbelief when he heard that Pope Benedict had asserted that the Roman Church was (gasp) the true religion.

Well, where do I begin?

The narcissism of the Boomers still astounds me. Just because this little hangnail sized portion of the human race has decided that religion should be transcended by spirituality --whatever the hell that is-- it is now almost literally un-thinkable to have a particular religion assert a. that it is true and b. that everyone should get on board (Islam, of course, is given a complete pass on this). This attitude is New Age secularist pablum.

If my Buddhist friend knew anything about Buddhism, he would know that it regards itself as the only ultimate solution to the human predicament. How is that different from saying that Catholicism is the true religion?

And even though Jews have made a lot of mileage out of the Holocaust and gotten Rome to softpedal its missionary attitude toward them in its wake, that is only tactical. Jesus did not tell the apostles (Jews themselves, like Him) to bring the Gospel to everyone except Hebrews. On the contrary.

BoomerPeople now act as if this is some scandalous outbreak of incredible bad taste. (Unless you're the President of Iran and then you get invited to Columbia for "dialogue".) Stupid. And rather than taking on the issue in argument, they, like Deutsch --funny name for a Jew-- do the "I'm Offended" dance, which is supposed to stop all the traffic. So, be offended. Who cares? I get offended all the time and no one alters the course of the universe over it. If you have an ego, personal or group, you're gonna get offended. Go have a drink, bitch about it and then go offend someone YOU don't like. We'll all be fine, I assure you. Babies.

And these same people will pronounce about much slipperier matters of politics with all the dogmatic and pontificating preachiness (sic) they appear to be horrified with in others. These folks have their own absolute beliefs, too. Just cross 'em and you'll find out.

So, ask an honest Jew, if worshipping a human being as part of the Godhead is not idolatry. Ask an honest Muslim if Islam is not the best, final and perfect religion that everyone should belong to. What's the point of having a religion if you don't really believe in it?

Why are we so unable to live with religious....diversity?

PS While I'm at it, some literary type in NY recently wrote about the Psalms and casually mentioned the "Christian appropriation" of the Old Testament.

Appropriation my ass.

When the Gentiles were invited to become believers in Christ, it was by Jews, who imposed their scriptures on them (and until the Council of Jerusalem in 50-60 AD, their whole religious practice of circumcision, kosher, etc) . No choice. Bishop Marcion, a century later, tried to unload the Hebrew Bible as "un-Christian", but the force of tradition was by then too strong. So please, spare me this "appropriation" shit.

And if Marcion had won the battle, NY literati --most of whom loathe State of Israel, by the way-- would be tossing off comments about the "anti-Semitic rejection of the Hebrew Bible" by early Christians. You know they would.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why I don't argue politics

When I called my blog Ex Cathedra, I was well aware of what I was doing (see explanation at left sidebar) . I generally make pronouncements and hardly ever get into nitty-gritty factual argumentation. Neither does the Pope. He knows he's right, and so do I. ;-) Of course he writes a letter explaining why he's made the pronouncement, but it's a "here's why this is the truth" and that's the end of it. If theologians want to argue with him, they can knock themselves out, but not on his dime. You can like it or not, but it's his job and he's the boss. The infallible horse is already out of the basilica door. I don't argue politics because I don't argue religion. I have opinions, for sure, but I don't argue them.

A lot of bloggers argue in detail. Good for them. I like to read that stuff. I was a high school debater, but my taste for debate is actually pretty small. Confrontation is not a sport I take pleasure in. My political positions are about fundamental attitudes, rarely about the pros and cons of particular policies. That's not my forte and my sense is that people hardly ever move from one fundamental attitude to another anyway. I did, but that's not typical, lemme tell ya, especially considering the direction I've taken.

It's like a religious conversion. And politics carries with it, especially in our public culture, all the emotional force of religion. I know that mine do. And especially for many liberals, who have no religion, politics is indeed their religion and they act just like the religious types they eschew with such hauteur. (..."eschew with such hauteur"? Good Lord.) The oddity is that few of them believe in an Eschaton, but they try to immanentize it anyway. (Well, actually, if you believe in an Eschaton, you know enough not to try.)

And when was the last time a religious argument did anyone any good? I sometimes let my points of view be known to my friends, but I am not aware that I actively try to change their minds. Feels rude to me. I find that while I do not try to turn my liberal friends into righties, sometimes they can't help themselves and start to evangelize me...which is pretty useless, since I know their religion all too well. "Been there, done that" is a pretty hard nut to crack.

People convert to new religions all the time, but they are a distinct minority. And once a person's mind is made up about a fundamental attitude, how often do they really consider that they might be wrong? To be honest, hardly ever. I mean, you could argue with me forever against homosexuality and it really will just be chin-music to me. Might as well try to convince me that steak tastes bad. So by being pontifical, I am just being forthright. (See how I can turn intellectual sloth into a moral virtue? No dummy, I. ;-)

Again, I did. But it took a trauma like 9/11 to coalesce a decade of many niggling doubts and nonsequiturs into a full-blown walk across the aisle. As a friend of mine said, it's very disconcerting when you find that people you loathe are making a lot of sense. I still look around the room for someone else when I say, "I'm a conservative" out loud. Who, me? The homo?

So I just say what I think and move on. Besides, it's less work and more fun that way. And, with thanks to for their free technology, it's my blog and I can do what I want with it.

So there. Here endeth the lesson. Amen.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I've been taking part in discussions on the website of the "Fraternal Order of Androphiles", men who identify themselves in line with Jack Malebranche's manifesto, Androphilia: Rejecting the Gay Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity. Jack invited me in, even though I remain gay, since I am so sympathetic...well, that sounds femmy, so let me rephrase :-)...supportive of the book.

Not a huge number of fellas and with about a half dozen doing most of the posting, including me.

Interesting context in which to find myself. These men are all homosexual and have no problem with that. But while some of them have never had much contact with or identification with Gay Culture, a few of them are real Ex-Gays, guys who have been in the thick of it for years and have now resigned entirely.

"Ex-gay" is usually associated with the Christian programs to help unhappy homos outgrow their behavior...if not their desires. These guys are definitely ex-gays, but the object of their erotic interest remains clear and unproblematic. What's problematic for them is that they never felt at home, or eventually felt alien, in Gay Culture because they And they resisted the anti-male ethos that feminism inflicts on gay men, the victimist stance that encourages us to live on resentment and entitlement, and the lefty politics that is orthodoxy, enforced by an invisible but omnipresent Homintern. Common ground for me.

What it means to be a man...this has been part of my personal and professional headgear for some years now. The amateur psychoids will say, "Well, you must have some kind of insecurity about it or you wouldn't care about it." God, I hate psychology sometimes. It can totally subvert thinking.

So, am I insecure about it? Of course!

Two things. First, I grew up a tall skinny introverted smart kid with ancient homosexual urges and a massively Catholic environment. And what is the primary slur aimed at such homosexual males? That we are not real men at all. Kinda makes an impression. Second, manhood is essentially, essentially, an achievement, not a gift or a self-appropriated title. You can fail at it. Many do. It's not promised; it's earned. So you'd better be a bit insecure about it.

Are athletes insecure about victory because they get all anxious over it? Yup, and good thing. Otherwise they'd never win.

Two, of many, interesting themes come up on this site. One is that performance of deeds is more important than expression of self or intention to act. The second is that being a man is not a do-it-yourself enterprise, in that you can't, like Napoleon, crown yourself. Too much room for self-deception. Being a man includes being recognized as a man by other men.

The first one seems obvious until you look around and realize how much of life is idle self-congratulation without any reason for it. And the second one, now that's pretty counter-gay-cultural, at least on the surface. If I say that I am a man because I decide I am, outside the oppressive straight norms, I will be applauded. But a funny thing happens, if I say that I am a gay man outside the oppressive leftliberal norms, I will be told that I am a self-deceiving self-loathing fraud. I guess recognition by peers does have some value.

Funny how that happens.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

America the Ugly

When I listen to people who launch into diatribes against America and Americans, --including nominal Americans themselves here in the psychological city-state of San Francisco--- I listen for common themes. I think I have reduced them to a handy four.

America is a racist, violent, greedy country full of stupid people.

I think that about covers it. “Stupid” is the most capacious of the adjectives. It covers cultural vulgarity and shallowness as well as anti-intellectual religious belief.

So to be a good person, ---say, like a European ;-), or a liberal--- you’d need to be multicultural, pacifist, socialist and enlightened or, as they like to say around here, “conscious”.

Why, after having just written this, do I find myself suppressing a grin and laughter? With apologies to Tim McGraw, “I guess that's just the Murrkan in me.”

And I do wonder…why is most of the Third World trying to move here by hook or by crook. Must be masochists or something, eh?

PS. Next day...maybe there's a fifth: hypocritical. That's not covered by stupid, 'cause you can be smart and hypocritical...Point being that we (non-liberals) identify the USA with good values and then act like the Anti-Amurrkans tell us we do, all racist and violent and greedy and stupidlike.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Conquering Peoples' Day

Columbus Day used to be a celebration of the founding of our civilization in the Western Hemisphere. Now it's shadowed by the suicidal narrative of pomo liberalism. Things like "Indigenous Peoples' Day", etc. and becomes an occasion for victimist resentment of "500 years of genocide" and what I call "White Lent"....the long cultural season of Caucasians repenting for their success, in this case over the earlier inhabitants of the continents.


Happy Columbus Day.

It was customary to speak of the Europeans who came here as "settlers". Well, that's true. But it's only partly true. They were also invaders and conquerers, who often behaved just like every other groups of invaders and conquerers on the planet. But now, in these enlightened times, we know that invading and conquering is something that you should be sent to the principal's office for.

Well, if "they" hadn't done their regular human thing of invading and conquering, I would not be here. And since I am happy to be here, I am glad that they invaded and conquered. Willing the end, I must will the means.

But, you may ask, incredulous, surely you don't approve of everything they did?

Wrong question! Pointless moralistic masturbation. When was the last time any of us approved of everything anybody did? More bullshit.

But what about the Native Americans*? How do you think they feel today?

Don't know. You'd have to take a survey. It's not my concern.

But I do remember them on Columbus Day. They are a warning to me, and to us. Leaving aside things they could do nothing about --their defenselessness against European microbes, the massive technological superiority of the Europeans and their overwhelming numbers-- they did not, as a group, mount a successful defense of their land. They did not see the danger fast enough, did not change their traditional ways enough and so remained --like many of us now--in denial, divided, stuck in the past...until it was too late. In the end, they could not have held out, but they might have made a tougher enemy and slowed their destruction. They are what we will become in the face of Jihad and Reconquista unless enough of us wake up.

Despite the massive evidence of our species' history, our liberal schoolmarms now want us to act now as if conquest, submission and genocide are some kind of inexplicable deviation from the orderly course of peaceful civilized life beyond all that nasty tribalism and nationalism...when in fact they are the bread and butter of the human story.

I have been talking about the Europeans as "they". Just a habit, I guess, given my current feelings about them. But even if my genetic Irish and Scandinavian ancestors didn't get here til 1848 and after, who I am now, an American, makes the invaders and conquerers and settlers "us", not "they". They are my cultural and spiritual forebears. I am their son now.

And that's my point. If I were not to mark Columbus Day with gratitude, I would be saying, in effect, that I regret my own existence. And too too many of my countrymen (and women), infected with the virus of multicultural victimism, feel exactly that way. I don't.

Happy Columbus Day!

*BTW, they are not "Native Americans." America is the name given to this land by Europeans. The AmerIndians are the prior peoples residing here who were conquered by the Americans. "Native American" is more NewSpeak BS designed to get Whites to marginalize themselves. It would make as little sense to call the few Greeks remaining in Turkey as "Native Turks."

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Irkel surrenders the flag

Irkel*, aka Barack Hussein Obama, is no longer wearing an American flag lapel pin because it no longer represents "true patriotism" post 9.11.

So I guess we shouldn't fly it anymore or salute it, etc?

And he wants to be President of...the United States of America?

Reminds me of the horrified reaction of the NY literati elite on September 12th (!!! )that wearing the flag was "mindless jingoism".

As Ann Coulter recently remarked, Irkel's major political accomplishment was to have been born half-black. Otherwise, as USMaleSF earlier pointed out, he's just Johnny BreckBoy Edwards with a smaller house and better teeth.

*(Rather than the standard "Urkel" I used the variant spelling found in the recently discovered medieval manuscripts in Tulsa...and it also contains the word "irk").

It may be natural, but...

There are times when I am not only glad to be gay, but glad that I’m not straight.

A TV commercial for some men’s body gel. A guy is washing in the shower and his girl/wife/whatever is at the sink on the other side of the curtain.

While he blithely soaps up with the stuff, she asks, “Honey, if you were to go with any of my friends, which one would it be?”

Behind the curtain, deer-in-the-headlights.

“I won’t be mad. Really. I just wanna know”.

Behind the curtain, you can see him searching in a panic for the exit.

Announcer: “Don’t you wish everything was as easy as BlahBlah Shower Gel?”

Yikes. I’ll take men anytime.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I wanna be a victim!

In one of the Addams Family movies, Wednesday is sent to summer camp, a place full of bubbly upperclass blonds. During lifeguard training at the lake, she is paired up with one of the Nordic denizens of the happy place. Everyone is asked to divide into two roles, Guards and Victims. The little blond cries out with longing, "I wanna be a victim!". Wednesday gives her a withering sidelong glance and says to herself, "Don't worry. You will be." I love that scene.

In an article about Mitt Romney's Mormonism, Robert Novak asks why the man will not address this clearly. It may be the strongest obstacle to his progress in the race. Apparently, his campaign is prepping a speech about it, which will deplore bias and anti-Mormon bigotry. In short, he will make himself the victim.

I ran by a TV show last night about America's children --sigh-- and watched some ten-year-old Muslim girl all bundled up in her headgear reciting how the Patriot Act had made Muslim children fearful in America. (My own reaction was, "Good. So it's working"). But my point is that with nano-exceptions the reactions of American Muslims to their center-stage role in the current struggle has always been to take the victim position. Never do I hear them saying that they are good Americans and this is why and then go out and show you why you should trust them. Instead, they wilt into victimhood and place the onus on the "bigots" who dare to have suspicions about them.

Strange bedfellows, Mitt and Muhammed. But they both indicate something deeply corrupting in contemporary American life: if you can put yourself in the victim role, you win.

Why don't Americans have a right to ask questions about a politician's religion? That's a far cry from having a law barring them from office on religious grounds. In fact, I would say that the best defense against such a (clearly unconstitutional) law is the vigorous and open discussion of the subject with the candidate. Why do we make believe that religion is important and then refuse to talk about it? Should John Kennedy have refused to talk about his Catholicism and instead stamped his feet and sulked? Would a Scientologist President be a non-issue? Or, God forbid, a Muslim?

The infantile reponse of Muslims does not surprise me, as much as I loathe it and am hostile to their religion. (Yes, I am anti-Muslim. Homo? Anti-Muslim? Shocking!) But that this American icon should consider playing the same game. It's so...unmanly.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I wouldn't mind

President Thompson.

At this early point, from what I hear, I wouldn't mind.

American Thinker opines:
"Fred Thompson isn't Ronald Reagan. But he can restore the Republican Party to Reagan's default settings. He can make the GOP once again the party of the American Revolution and distinguish it sharply from the party of the French, Russian, Chinese, and Cuban Revolutions."

PS. But apparently he has some proving to do.

Fleet Week

Fleet Week in San Francisco starts today. Each year in early October, the afternoon skies --which today are blindingly bright blue-- suddenly scream with the sound of jets, these amazing flying machines and the men who man them. I work in Pacific Heights, and they come close to our building. Everyone around me is irritated at the "militarism".

I think they're beautiful.

This part of the world, addicted to smug highminded nonsense as it is, prefers to think that if you do not have men with guns around, Eden will return. Our film commissionerette recently refused the Marines permission to film a recruiting movie on our sacred and peace-loving streets. The Oakland Airport "mistakenly" stranded 200 Marines returning from Iraq so that they could not enter the terminal to greet friends and loved ones. And of course, we can't have the evils of ROTC in our schools.

A line attributed to Orwell has struck me as very true: "Good people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready on their behalf to do violence against those who would harm them."

Last year I posted angrily about the JROTC thing here and my cyberfriend A, a (gay) Marine warrior catastrophically wounded in Iraq told me to remember that freedom means people have a right to make choices and that if even San Francisco were ever in, say, post-earthquake trouble and needed the help of the much-despised military, "we'd come anyway."

"We'd come anyway".

Pretty well sums it up for this old chickenhawk.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Anniversary 16

I arrived in San Francisco with a truck full of belongings sixteen years ago today, October 1 1991. The trip from Toronto, about 2600 miles, took me nine days. I went from Toronto to Chicago Illinois, to Des Moines Iowa to Grand Island Nebraska to Cheyenne Wyoming to Green River Wyoming to Salt Lake City Utah to Winnemucca Nevada to Sacramento California to San Francisco. I wanted to see the country on the ground. And did. I remember a lot of those miles. It gave me a physical sense of the size and shape of America that flying over it never has.

When I was in the Heartland, the only music on the radio was country, which, at the time, I did not like. But I do remember the lines to one song that was popular then: "There's a light at the end of the tunnel...and I hope it ain't no train".

Well, there was a train waiting for me when I arrived to connect with my partner. My relationship of four plus years lasted about another eight months. A painfully wrenching ending, not uncommon for gay couples who move here to ManCandyLand. I then moved into the place where I have lived ever since.

It is a strange city whose inhabitants I find endearing and infuriating...and not uncommonly salivating. :) I refer to it as the People's Republik of San Francisco, Mexifornia. But I still love living here. So much of it is so beautiful. I have attachments, and work, and hopes. And the temperate weather suits me just fine.

Dialogue of the deaf and blind

Inquirer: The Christians say that we must love our enemies. What do The Enlightened say?
Enlightened One: Enemies? What enemies?

One of the fascinating qualities of the Left is that they are unable to recognize an enemy who is staring them in the face. Unless he's a white Christian Republican. Enemies are just friends you haven't understood yet, stereotyped, exoticized and "othered" by racist or ideological paranoia.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejead's appearance at Columbia reminded me of an incident I was present at while finishing up my PhD at the University of Toronto in the mid-80's.

Hans Kung, the uberliberal SwissGerman former Catholic theologian, was part of some interfaith conference on Scripture and something-or-other. It included various Christian churches, Jews and, rarely for that time, Muslims. At the closing meeting, the theme was "What Can We Learn From Each Other", a touching passtime beloved of the highminded.

Hans made some appreciative comments about this and that and then when he came to Islam, he suggested that Islam could benefit from using the critical methods that Western scholars had applied to the Bible for the last hundred years: form criticism, text criticism, etc.

For the benefit of those of you who are UnEnlightened, these undertakings treat the Scriptures as ordinary historical texts and use all kinds of approaches to date them, find their real (as opposed to named) authors, dissect the various editions they went through prior to their current form, speculate on the oral traditions behind them, etc. It disabuses people of the notion that the Bible was written by prophets or apostles and lets them know that it is a vast company of tendentious editors who comprise the Sacred Writers. (Could this be academic projection? never mind). This study is the staple of all seminary education.

One of the participants in this interfaith love feast was a blind imam or mullah (I don't know which), an Islamic scholar. When it came his turn to reply, he was escorted to the stage by his reverent acolytes and then he thanked Hans for his suggestion but made it very clear that such an activity was wholly inappropriate. His remarks went something like this: "It is acknowledged by Christians and Jews themselves that the Old and New Testaments are documents written over many centuries, perhaps a millennium, by many different people, with different versions and corrections, and as such your methods fit your holy books. However, the Holy Quran was dictated by the Archangel Gabriel directly into the ear of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) as the pure and unadulterated message of Allah. Consequently, such techniques would not only be useless but impious."

I could hardly contain myself. Here were all these scholars, utterly encased in Western liberal worldviews, for whom the notion of a dictating archangel was as silly as the flatness of the earth. But here was their Third World guest (blind, no less!) , unashamedly and with complete conviction, telling them that while their shabby and corrupt pseudo-scriptures could be criticized till the camels came home, the accurate Arabic Divine Text of Islam had nothing to do with such carryings-on. They were all silent, trapped by their own political correctness, unable to contest the man's assertion. He smiled.

How often has this scenario been played out since then!

It is funny, too, how Western liberals have no trouble believing that Right Wing Christians truly intend to take over the country and create the Republic of Gilead, but refuse to take at face value the proclamation of a man like Mahmoud --president of a country that is eerily like that very fictional Atwoodian place-- that their future is either conversion to Islam or submission to its power.

Enemies? What enemies?
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