Thursday, October 29, 2009

The boyz next door

Crossing over into different worlds is something I have done. There is something about transgression and boundaries that attracts me. Only had one office romance in my history...which turned out to be a major relationship of nine years, but made my continuing employment where I was pretty untenable. And I am happy to say that in my current professional life, I have not crossed any of the prohibited lines.

But I have often enjoyed getting to know people that I was not supposed to get to know.

I live in the Castro in San Francisco, so the opportunity for knowing various kinds of unusual people is there. One struck me today and made me laugh. There was an ad for a porn movie --Yes, I watch porn on the internet--which had three pairings of guys in it and I realized that in each of the pairings, I knew one of the guys personally.

The first is a buddy of mine, a former Marine. Only known him for a few years, but he has stayed at my house and we are in pretty regular contact. His porn work is not a secret. As a man, however, along with his impressive physical gifts, he is prodigiously smart, well-read, etc. And for those of you with a prurient mind, he and I are buddies, as I said. C'est tout.

The second is a guy I know from the gym and who used to cut hair in the local barber shop. We have discussed tattoos.

The third is my neighbor across the street for the last 18 years, who was a longtime friend of my ex.

I have actually seen this film before today's ad. Seeing my friend in it was a curiously unerotic experience. If I did not know him, I am sure I'd find it arousing, but the fact that he is a real person, whose real name I know, cuts off the make-believe and projection that goes along with porn eros. Guy number two, since I know him the least, was interesting in an anthropological kind of way. But seeing my neighbor in flagrante delicto was positively embarrassing. Not because of anything particular he did or because the scene was poor...but I suddenly had the visual equivalent of TMI about someone I had not wondered much about before.

My life has not turned out the way I thought it would when I was in fifth grade :)


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eating your words

Tyler Florence is a TV chef. He's got some charm and his food looks good, but he talks at a seriously fast clip and he really eats his words, slurring and slurring. And slurring and eliding. Annoys me. Change the channel.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Eros, the most powerful of the gods?

Though Zeus was the king of Greece's Olympian gods, even he was not immune to the hungers and ecstasies provoked by Eros. Ask his ever-resentful wife Hera. Be it for lovely Leda or lovely Ganymede, he could not keep his divine rod under his toga.

In one telling, Eros is the child of Venus and Ares, of Love and War. In his case, nature and nurture would have been identical. But in other tellings, Eros is older than all the gods and indeed provoked into existence the earliest Greek divine forces; he is as old as Heaven and Earth.

I was speaking with a Canadian friend recently, who has long been friends with the recently disgraced Bishop of Antigonish in Nova Scotia. The prelate was arrested at an airport for having pornographic images of what appear to be underaged teenage boys on his laptop. Not prepubescent children, but sexually capable adolescents who may be below the age of 18.

Of course, in the wake of the priestly sex scandals of the last decades, Canadian Catholics are largely consumed by shame and anger and, as my friend said, broken hearts. The Canadian press is having a field day with one more reason to embarrass the Church. Even if, as it appears, the man's otherwise sterling life contained a hunger for this type of imagery and there is no evidence at all that he ever acted out sexually with young men, his career is over and, whatever the legal outcome, he is a pariah. A child molester. His life is over.

I note that this has been taking place while many of the world's sophisticated elite plead for the cause of Roman Polanski, who has admitted to actually drugging, sodomizing and raping a 13-year-old girl. But that was a long time ago and he is, after all, a great artiste.

I have not much wisdom to offer here. Eros, be he a god or a personification of our peculiarly human sexuality, is indeed a power matched by few others. The cutesy image of Cupid is wholly wrong. Eros is a hunter. He unhinges us not only when we are in his grip as actors but when we are in his grip (or in reaction against him) as spectators. He lets us taste pleasure almost beyond description. And feeds us equivalent misery when it suits him.

Currently, the only two crimes our society responds to with completely self-righteous paroxysms of condemnation and mob bloodlust are racial improprieties and child molestation.
In neither case do we seem to have a sense of proportion or differentiation, a sense inherent in justice.

I have had the rare experience of actually meeting and working therapeutically with child molesters. A few did indeed match the stereotype of the creepy predator, a combination of severe social stagnation and reptilian amorality. The hair on the back of my neck literally stood on end. And I met a lot of men who were stupid or let themselves be duped or were depleted or otherwise inadequate to what was required of them as adults in a situation most of us would have known how to handle. But our current culture and its laws names as sexual predators both the cunning serial rapist of many six year olds and a horny half-drunk loser who once stupidly took up a flirting fourteen year old on his challenge.

Eros, I suspect, will never let us or any civilization arrive at a sexual ethic and attitude which is not shot through with deep irrationality. That is his way. Shiva-like, he creates and he destroys.
Dealing with him, coping with him, honoring him, suffering his slings, and arrows, is part of our human predicament. And in many ways, a predicament it is.


Sadly funny

A classic example of droll conservative opinion, from the blog Athens and Jerusalem:

I think our president has bad policies, an unpleasant character, and a certain degree of incompetence - but the relevant comparison is to, say, President Carter or Neville Chamberlain, not to a Mussolini, much less a Stalin or a Hitler. Until further notice, take all criticism of the president to include but he's not as bad as all that.

Damning with faint praise :)


Suicide or murder?

I often read contemporary Western behavior as self-destructive, in line with Burnham's thesis that liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide. An indication that there is homicide involved as well comes from this story, (HT to Bookworm) that British liberal elites purposely sought to erase the British ethnic identity of the white native peoples thru massive Third-World immigration and replace it with the so-called "multicultural" version.

Although the combination of self-loathing and arrogance that so often afflicts liberal elites allows them the paradox of feeling superior while they work to ensure their eventual inferiority, their behavior becomes clear if we transplant it to another place and time. Imagine American Indian leadership inviting white settlers into their territory to achieve a multicultural mosaic beyond mere traditional tribal identity.

Multiculturalism only means the dismantling, marginalizing, pathologizing and destruction of white culture.


Sunday, October 25, 2009


but touched up a little...


Malesoul 32

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The real unreal

In real life, I find the actual street-level beauty of a real and unperfect man totally mesmerizing. But that does not mean I am unable, from time to time, to be distracted by the unreal beauty of a perfect man's image.


I offended the Great Leader: forgive me!


HT to Instapundit.


Friday, October 23, 2009

More fascist oppression

by...reality. HT to neoneocon.

Why am I tired?

Yesterday afternoon I drove out to My Guy's gym to work out with him. We spent an hour in the muggy place, working pretty hard. Lots of sweat and laughing. He exercises everything overall each time he goes. I target two to three sections pretty hard.

Then we wandered across the street to the local bar for Happy Hour. Margaritas and Spicy Tuna Rolls. Banter with the bartender.

A few blocks north to Golden Gate Park's Arboretum, plunked down on a semicircular bench made of stones from a medieval Spanish church that W R Hearst had brought over. The sun was warm as it went down over the thick trees. More banter, deep philosophical thoughts, meteorological speculation and dumb jokes. Coulda been Italy.

Drove back up the hill to his house. Friendly mayhem ensued.

For dinner, drove out to the Sunset to a hofbrau stuck in the 70's, for food that my grandmother could have cooked, and decor and clientele that would never be ok in Chinatown.

Back to his house. Instructions on how to use the TV when I stay there during his upcoming absence. Review together of a book of Caravaggio's later paintings. Falling asleep on the couch with Law & Order playing on screen in the background.

Wake up and officially off to it were. I think we actually did sleep sometimes.

In the morning, I find a cup of coffee for me on the side table and covers pulled up to make sure I am warm. Then I wander out to breakfast, him already sitting there, with bagels, the morning paper, sunshine through the picture windows, wise comments on the news, discussions of Italian grammar, and then a friendly :) goodbye til he comes back from his trip to Europe.

"I'll miss you."

"Oh, and call me when you get home."

No wonder I'm tired.

And one lucky guy.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Guilty as charged

A terrific Rodgers & Hammerstein song from an otherwise (for me) unwatchable movie. Humbling...not only the song itself, but that something which moves me so much came from that movie. Performed by a guy named James D. Justice, far better than in the original film. Did I tell you I can't stand this movie?

Enjoy the song, though. It's true.

Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth
But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth

For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sharing bread

I am a man of words. I love etymologies, the way that Western words carry their history hidden inside them, as Chinese words carry their history in the shape of their characters.

Companion comes from cum + panis, Latin for with + bread. A companion is someone who shares bread with you.

Throughout the times of my dad's dying, I have had a companion: my guy. He portrays himself, rightly, as a man impatient with messy feelings. "I don't really mind it when you want to talk about our relationship, but I'd really like it if you talked about it with someone else."

When it comes to family, though, that's another story. That is a realm he understands in his gut. And so he has been my companion in my father's dying. Even though my family live far away, I have never felt alone with this. He was always there: aware, attentive, sympathetic, helpful, patient, undemanding, and kind. Incredibly kind. Of course the jokes and the insults were rarely absent, but that, too, is his way of sharing bread. I wouldn't have it any other way.

And sharing bread is literally what he has done, this companion of mine. A big salami sandwich to take on the plane. Five pounds of Calabrese sausages to bring to my mother (which she loved). A pumpkin muffin for tomorrow's breakfast.

And when I got home yesterday afternoon from the funeral and he met me at the airport --he knew when I landed because he tracked the flight on his computer-- I had a fritatta waiting for me, for lunch. And after he left me for a while so I could nap and shower, he returned with the dinner he had prepared for me the previous day: red wine, rigatoni with chicken and olives, green salad, and ice cream with berries for dessert. The man put me to bed, rocked me to sleep and then did the dishes and went home.

That is companionship.

Love is a choice.




So now I have no father. We buried him last weekend, next to my sister.

He used to carry me when I was a little kid. I carried his urn in my hands and placed it in the ground. They played Taps and the navymen gave my mother a flag. I was crying. Not so much for sadness, but just because it was so moving...his long life come full circle.

My mom was widowed when I was ten weeks old. My dad, this man who raised me as his own, went on our first threesome date by taking us to the beach, me and mom and him. Mom just told me that last week. A young man recently out of the Navy, going to college, courting this woman who already had a son. I could not have been more than fourteen or fifteen months old by that time. And eventually, of course, being a baby, I had to have my diapers changed. He did it, by himself.

Love is a choice. If chosen again and again, it becomes a habit, which, as St Thomas says, is the form which virtue takes, a second nature. You can take it for granted, not even notice it after a while. But it begins in a choice. A choice he made.

Tears again.

Thanks, Dad.

Friday, October 02, 2009

A query

Good liberal politicians are supposed to be pro-immigrant, which means collusion in the invasion of the country by illegals, mostly Mexicans.

But if you are being vetted for a government position, and it's discovered you hired illegal aliens, that's a problem.



Thursday, October 01, 2009

Mistaken desires

My guy refers to the Castro as Chinatown. Here's a Chinatown moment.

I am walking down Castro Street, lots of sun in my eyes, and I see a guy standing on some stairs, about thirty feet ahead of me on the left. Mid fifties, tall and lean, shaved head, glasses, thick grey-black moustache, wifebeater T on an athletic build. Reminds me of a former lover. Could it be him? I keep walking, and looking.

The guy sees me looking, and looks back.

When I get within clearer non-glare distance, I realize that it's not him. Since I have been staring, I politely say, "Gee, I thought I knew you. You look just like my ex."

He smiles and says, "Ah. Oh, well. I thought you were cruising me. I was hoping that look was lust, but I guess it was really suspicion!"

We laugh and move on.


Our people

I continue to find evidence that both our political and our cultural disputes are basically tribal. Our tribe, good. Your tribe, bad. Pretty much end of story.

A number of Hollywood types are standing up in favor of Roman Polanski, recently arrested for his rape of a 13 year old girl some three decades ago. Whoopi Goldberg, whom I once found enormously funny and entertaining, said that since it wasn't "rape rape", he should be let off.

I muse on what these folks' attitude would be were the offender of yore someone like, say, Mel Gibson, whose politics and religion do not sit well with the Hollywood tribe.

I think you can guess.

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