Thursday, July 31, 2008

Random acts


A few years ago I spent Christmas with friends in Ukiah, which is not in Sonoma county, but in Mendocino county. Driving back south to San Francisco (about 100 miles) , I stopped for gas and was accosted by a man who asked me to buy him a gallon of gas. I declined. I had never been approached in that way before, and, I'm from NY, so I always assume that strangers who ask me for anything other than the time or directions are scam artists.

As I pulled out of the gas station, I glanced back and saw that he was an Indian man (American Indian) with a wife and small child in a truck all filled with household items, furniture, etc.

So, of course I thought, "There was St. Joseph with Mary and the Christ Child and he asked me for help and I turned him down. Great." I was listening to Handel's Messiah as I drove down Highway 101, alternately moved by guilt over my hypocrisy and by the Christo-Yahwist bombast of the great story and its music.

When I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and pulled up to the toll station to pay my $4, the agent said, "I'm sorry, I can' t take your money." I was too stunned to say anything, imagining that she knew my awful secret, and just stared at her for a second with my outstretched hand full of bills. "The people in the car ahead of you paid it for you. Merry Christmas."

Guilt squared. First, I had turned down St. Joseph's request for help and now some anonymous stranger had done unworthy me, for Christmas, a "random act of kindness."

I spent the next week tracking down homeless people and giving them money.

Today I was on my way back into the City from Oakland and when I got to the Bay Bridge toll booth, again, the agent said, "The man ahead of you paid your toll, sir."

It's not Christmas. It's July 31st. The feast of St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Hardly a festival day. But here again, for no reason, a stranger had paid my toll.

And again, surprised, I pulled away. Of course, the "right" thing to do would have been to pay the toll for the person behind me, but I was too taken aback. (And, to be honest, I am not generous with money and strangers.)

Sigh. So now I'll have to bother homeless people all week.

San Francisco. Quite a place.

At Random

I had lunch with a psychoanalyst recently, a middle aged straight male. When he talked about Obama's smile he looked like he was in love. Here I am, the homo, utterly unmoved by Barry Hussein O's faux-preacher oratory* and this guy, who has a visible appreciation for the opposite sex, is smitten. What's wrong with this picture?

*Eg: "People of Berlin. People of the World. This is our moment. This is our time."
WTF??? See BHO's earlier profundity on choosing Supreme Court judges.

As Jonah Goldberg nicely pointed out, for conservatives, politics is not a redemptive activity. And if a politician starts selling himself, or allows himself to be sold, as a redeemer, watch out.

Speaking, sorta, of smitten. When one is smitten with a man, for example, and that man is temporarily unavailable, a funny thing happens. One's libido remains very active and one notices that there are many other attractive men in the world. But one's visceral response to a present man's beauty leads instead almost immediately to desire for the absent man with whom one is smitten.

A white friend of mine's character and values have been fixed for life largely by events in his past, including a burning sense of shame and anger over the mistreatment of non-whites by whites. As with some other whites I have run into, this has translated into a kind of self-hatred, or at least a hatred of one's own race. I plan to ask him this question one day: Please give me an example of any racial or ethnic group which has both repented of oppressing another racial or ethnic group and then significantly alterted its institutions and public and private life in order to redress the wrong, all within a single lifetime.

Excellent segment of an excellent article: "Unlike the English Whigs and the American Founders, the modern liberal regards suffering not as an unavoidable element of life but as an aberration to be corrected by up-to-date political, economic, and hygienic arrangements. Rather than acknowledge the limitations of our condition, the liberal continually contrives panaceas that will enable us to transcend it." This very nicely points out the fundamental difference in attitude that characterizes the left and the right. The left is prone to utopian outrage that the world is not better than it is; the right is often amazed that it is not much worse, and tries to protect what our limited powers allow us. The full article is on Obama as a post-masculine shaman, by Michael Knox Beran.

I am going through some transitions lately, especially in the two basic realms that Siggy Freud told us were the pillars of happiness: love and work. Sometimes the shifting is wonderful and sometimes full of anxiety. But underneath it I am aware of what a lucky SOB I am: to have been born where and when and to whom and with whom I was, to have my health and friends and meaning. Underneath it all is wonder and gratitude.

Part of my pleasure is in connecting with other men who are familiar with wrinkles, joint problems and grey hair and who remain alive and sensible of the wonder of being. These are men, not boys, and their unpompous but real maturity lends a seasoned intensity to their pleasure in life. It might be for a dog, the beauty of a waitress, wine in a box, the performance of a Baroque opera, or just knowing that someone will both like you and laugh at you. It's a surprise. And a gift.

One of the gifts of Gnosticism to this genetically Catholic man, as well as one of the gifts of Jung, was to let me see that having a shadow and living in a morally compromised situation is not an optional choice, but an inescapeable condition. One is not responsible for the condition, only for how one responds to it within its limits. This, for me, was deeply relieving. It has allowed me to live as a human and to leave to other worlds the aspirations of angels.

Islam has been "tolerant" of other (montheistic) faiths in much the same way as Southern Whites were "tolerant" of Blacks under Jim Crow. Accept and embrace publically your inferior status and we will not kill you as often as we otherwise might.

My computer is having a nervous breakdown. Time for a new laptop.

I describe my politics as just slightly this side of Ghenghis Khan. I have been educated by a revisionist history of GK in which he becomes the Hero of the Modern World, thanks to the efforts of a white American anthropology professor who loses no opportunity to trash both the West and especially Christianity in his recreation of GK as Great Man. Who knew? How do I find a Mongolian to go and apologize to? And when, I wonder, will the Mongolians apologize and send reparations to all the other nations they absorbed into their imperialist project?

Strong coffee in the morning, my own blend of French Roast and Espresso. Mmmmmm.

And I wanna go to the gym and work out. The pleasure I take in what my body can do has become one of the sources of my mental health. Wish I had learned this when I was a kid.

Enuff for now. Further brilliance eludes me.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Politics, sex and religion

My blogging has been less frequent and less worthwhile of late, I think.



Politics.

In the political realm, my take on things is pretty set. I do not look forward to seeing the redeemer fantasy figure of Barry Hussein Obamanation in the White House. John McCain, the lesser of the two evils, moves me not at all. He gets the war with Islam ok, and likes the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights, but on almost every other issue, he leaves me unmoved...unless it's immigration, where he sucks as badly as everyone else. And his Supreme Court nominations would not be quite as tragic as Mr Audacity's.

No matter who gets elected in the Fall, I expect not to pay attention to them for the following four years. Obama has a certain AfroAmerican preacherlike rhetorical gift which distracts people from the fact that he has nothing of substance to say and apart from his biraciality is without much accomplishment. Mc Cain as someone to listen to...well, he makes W sound like Pericles. Zzzzzz.

So what's to say? How many jeremiads on the Fall of the West? Give it a rest.



Religion is a subject about which I know quite a lot. Most people I talk about it with ---most, not all-- have nothing more than a set of bad cartoons in their heads. So I avoid the subject, for fear that I will blurt out what I am thinking. If one more person tells me he's "spiritual, not religious", I may have to restore the Inquisition.

And just in case anyone hasn't guessed, I am no fan of Islam. At all. What's to love about an expansionist theocracy? If I listen to yet another San Francisco homo rave on about the evils of Christianity and then bristle into multicultural outrage when I point out to him the viler aspects of Muhammad's project...



Sex. Ah, well. Now there I could blog...except that the line between the personal and the bloggable is involved. But at least sex provokes my religious feeling: awe, gratefulness, joy, play,
the experience of another more primal world older than ego, the paradox of animality and spirituality conjoining at their peak, the transformation of raw sex into lovemaking (and back again), the direct experience of another man, ordinary and empirical and middleaged and workaday like me, as indeed breathtakingly made in the image and likeness of God.

So politics is kind of a losing game at the moment. At least, because of sex, there is some hope for religion. ExCathedra may yet survive.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Black AssHoles


No, this post is not about Jesse Jackson's stated desire to castrate Barry Hussein O.

Jonah Goldberg opines on a recent story where a white civil servant in Texas, during a description of program inefficiency, referred to a department as a "black hole" and was jumped on by a black town councilllor and a black judge for being "racist". Yes, boys and girls of the 4th grade science class. Mr. Judge demanded an apology. Black assholes, both of them.

I suppose next time a department loses money and someone white says it's "in the red", that an Indian will jump up and demand an apology.

On one level, this stuff is beyond stupid. But Jonah, while finding it disturbing, does not give this PC phenomenon the assessment it deserves. Noting that its "will to power" is hidden under the guise of tolerant talk, he nonetheless underestimates its nastiness and real purpose.

I wrote about the Orwellian use of language in PC talk. And I do not think it is funny. I think that it is a form of thought control with a very specific outcome.

First, PC language creates and reinforces the notion that prior to the advent of liberal enlightenment, the culture was so corrupt and evil that all its ways of speaking have to be jettisoned in favor of the often bizarre formulations of PC. It creates a sense of shame and emotional disconnect between the past and the glorious present. Part and parcel of the liberal narrative that history is the story of Western white male Christian American capitalist greed and hatred.

People who speak their enemy's language --and PC is the enemy of the West-- lose the capacity to see and to think for themselves and indeed accept the enemy's valuation of them. It is not simply an alternative way of speaking, for example, to call Indians "Native Americans". It entrenches the notion that the Americans who "followed" them are illegitimate. Indians are not Native Americans. They were the native peoples of this place, but before the Westerners arrived to invade and conquer, this place was not America. They have become Americans by virtue of the historical fact of conquest and defeat.

The whole linguistic project is a form of war, a crypto-Marxist (Gramscian, really) project. To speak PC is to take on its form of thinking, or at the very least, to accept a kind of anxiety to please, a fear of offending, which becomes the default mind of a culture in the process of dismantling and erasing itself in order to placate its implacable foes.

Fuck it. It's bullshit.

Friday, July 11, 2008

More superslashiality



In the 2003 movie, Confidence, Edward Burns and Franky G.
Hibernian and Latin.
Ed Burns at his handsomest. Which is saying somethin.

Men in suits. Then out of them.
Slash fiction. Mmmmm.

Proof once more that even though I appear to be intelligent and deep,
I can be as shallow as the rest.
So shallow that I just post the pix but don't even write
the story. That's how men write slash fiction. :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Issues


Chatting with a guy at the gym. He's a big friendly muscular guy with fur and tattoos and piercings. His taste in men runs to...men. He has lots of personal and work connections with all sorts of people in the LGBT world. He's bright, perceptive.

I don't know how this came up, but we got to talking about men who are homosexual in orientation but who do not identify much with the gay community. He started talking about guys he knows like that, most of whom, according to him, came out later in life and who "have issues" about their masculinity.

"What do you mean by issues?"

It seems that these guys are not comfortable with queeny behavior and will say so. Thus, they have "issues".

Here again, a man whom I otherwise quite like takes the position that having problems with effeminate behavior means having issues. I doubt very much whether queeny men who are mocking about conventional masculine, aka straight, behavior by homosexual men would be so described.

Who gets to decide who has "issues"?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Slasher Pic


There's an internet-born genre called Slash Fiction. It consists of taking same-sex characters from TV series or movies and creating romantic and sexual narratives for them. From the X-Files, for example, there were many slash stories of an erotic relationship between Agent Fox Mulder and his boss, Assistant Director Skinner. Lots of classic rebellious boy/muscle daddy themes there.

Though most of the characters in these stories are males, most of the authors, it turns out, are females.

Anyway, I recently watched The Black Dahlia, a murder mystery set in 1940's Hollywood, with Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart playing detective partners.

These two fellas, as show in the above pic, make fine fine fodder for slash.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

L'chaim


Off-duty Israeli soldier offs Arab terrorist who mowed down innocent civilians in Jerusalem.
If he'd not had his gun and known how to use it to kill the bastard, more people would have died.

Let's hear it for the Second Amendment.
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