Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bears repeating

The winged god Eros rules
throughout the earth,
Zeus himself,
with unquenched fires.
Ares the war god has felt those flames.
Hephaistos, too,
he who forges the three-forked thunderbolts,
and Apollo, the divine sun,
sure archer himself,
is pierced by a younger god
of surer aim,
the bane
both of heaven and earth.

Seneca, Phaedra
1st century AD

Nobody's perfect

I have often told my guy that if I had a choice between a close-up personal encounter with him or with Brad Pitt, I'd send Brad back to Angelina without a second thought.

And that's true. 99.9% of the time.

But if the Brad pictured below got a proper haircut...maybe 99.8%? Hey, I'm only human.


Coming out, blowing up

Rented Poster Boy, a movie where the son of a conservative Senator is closeted and gets involved with a gay activist. Everything blows up in public.

I didn't expect the film to be so angst-ridden and dark. I didn't expect to find almost every character in the film to be pretty despicable. In that respect, intentionally or not, it is more even-handed than I expected it to be. Even the "hero" activist character, Jack Noseworthy* --one of those sexy B-actors I like-- proved to be smack-in-the-mouth-worthy.

For each one of them, so much personal wrongdoing, manipulation, blindness, selfishness and so much moral arrogance. Really unappealing. Or maybe just too real on an afternoon when my own reality is unappealing.

Maybe I forget what the turmoil is like, moving out of the closet. It was a long time ago. And God knows it was not easy...or well-handled or without wrongdoing and selfishness or arrogance on my part.

The conservative Senator is a fat, cigar-chomping bully with a compliant but resentful wife. Not original. But the closeted son shows his own compulsive selfishness and cruelty, as well as lack of courage. He comes out, but in the most hurtful way possible. And the other "activists" are self-righteous children mouthing angry stupid platitudes while they use and insult each other.
(Not unlike some real life activists I've known.) The only eventually likeable characters are Noseworthy's straight female roomate, whose real victimization exempts her somewhat from blame for her depressive self-absorption, and the straight young man who befriends her despite her situation. Talk about cliches.

*Turns out Jack has a two decade relationship with another man. Nice to know.


I am not economically gifted, but have asked myself this question of late. "Who is it that creates wealth?"

I have never created any wealth in my life. Aside from a summer job where I delivered furniture, my work life has consisted either in A) talking to people in order to enlighten them and/or improve their quality of life or B) managing organizations that A) talk to people in order to enlighten them and/or improve their quality of life.

Whatever I have earned in salary has been money related to sources of wealth that someone else has created.

A closing thought. If you can identify who it is that creates wealth, you really ought to treat them very well, 'cause with out them, the rest of us have nothing.


Friday, February 26, 2010


While the State is bankrupt and such a mess that no one seems willing to run for its Governor except Mr. Moonbeam, the California Assembly --source of much of the trouble-- takes the time to ask us all not to "cuss".

My response? "What a fucking waste of time."

HT to The Boyo.


Now please tell me

why capital punishment is not appropriate here?


Back atcha

One of the annoying hypocrisies of our feminist age is that while men and women are supposed to be equal, women can hit men, destroy their property, pour drinks in their laps, verbally abuse them, etc. and men are not supposed to retaliate. How equal is that?

Here's a policeman in Rumania who was sent to discuss possible child abuse charges against a female teacher. You think she helped her case?

Good for him: a role model for male-female equality.

HT to Dr. Helen.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

I hate drag queens

Yeah, I have realized that I hate them, find them repulsive and disgusting. Gosh, I'm a drag queen hater.

The other day as I was dial-changing, I came on a few seconds RuPaul's Drag Race on LOGO, with what looked like a preening frenzy of drag queens posing and writhing for the camera. My response was visceral and negative.

And today there was a poster up at my gym, advertizing some gay party or dance or event, and the emcee was a guy in a dress named Donna Sachet.

The message here is that what makes a gay event gay is to have a drag queen on site, what authenticates gayness is gender deviance. And that just supports my foot-dragging but now seemingly inescapable sense that for many gay men --not all-- and for the institutions of gay culture, gayness is primarily about gender identity disorder and only secondarily about sexual object choice.

As I have said many times, I don't think I have a robotic sense of masculinity. Manhood is not a monochromatic cartoon, not even the "traditional" or "patriarchal" masculinity so loathed by feminists and queer theorists. Anyone who knows real traditional men knows that they are not one-dimensional and never were. Of course real men have feelings other than anger. Just listen to classic country & western music for twenty minutes.

But the gay attraction to histrionic femaleness, whether it be love of drag, worship of divas --from the tragically diseased to the narcissistically fabulous--, or the all-too-common gay aping of ghetto girl attitudes and gesture...forget it. I hate it.

Have a heart, have an eye for what's beautiful, but for God's sake, ditch the dress and take off the effing wig.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Passions in tension

I have always been fascinated with stories of people in constricted situations who must contend with their impolite and boundary-pressing passions. It's why I like British dramas, or stories set in monasteries or in feudal Japan. The tight societal container intensifies the struggle with these ancient drives.

Black Narcissus is a 1947 film about Anglican nuns set up in a former seraglio in the Himalayan part of India, trying to live their very Western religious life and both teach and heal the native people. It is a somewhat operatic tale of many opposites, a study in feminine strength and feminine madness. Deborah Kerr stars.

A plot element was weirdly mirrored among the actors. Two nuns, played by Deborah Kerr and Kathleen Byron, are both attracted by the roguish and sexual British agent, played by David Farrar. It turns out that the director, Michael Powell, was having a relationship with Byron during the filming and was an ex-lover of Kerr's.

The Oscar-winning cinematography is stunningly beautiful --dramatic and disciplined, stark and rich by turns, perhaps as important as the plot-- and reminds me of the kind of over-the-top direction and costuming that you might find in serious silent films from Germany. It was shot almost entirely in the studio, making the visuals even more impressive.

It put me in mind of another film I saw years ago about conflict in a women's monastery. I tracked it down --thank you Netflix-- and am set to watch it. In This House of Brede, with the main character played by Diana Rigg. Turns out both stories are based on novels by 20th century novelist Rumer Godden.

She knows how to attract leading women!

PS. Well, House of Brede was a nice look into pre-Vatican II monastic life, but the tensions were almost entirely among females, and about the passions of I have to confess I was less intrigued.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Keith Olbermann --now THERE's a candidate for the burlap bag--
Caucasian race pioneer! (And effing hypocritical a-hole).

HT to Facebook friend Leah K.

Can you imagine

the uproar from the Richard Geres of the world and their media pimps if GWB had carried on in this cowardly manner? But no, The One, must have some higher wisdom or unavoidable constraint.


Monday, February 22, 2010

DADT and Petraeus

A internal military process to make recommendations
about gays and lesbians serving in the military.
Sounds right to me.

General Petraeus:

Petraeus on DADT: Not Sure Soldiers Care | News |

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Green misanthropy

A fascinating computer-graphics TV program called Secrets of the Deep describes the environment and the animals of the deep ocean. Much of the narrative describes these creatures hunting and eating each other. Which is, of course, what most organisms do. But when humans show up and hunt, the script describes the hurricane that sinks their ship as "nature's revenge".


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ya gotta laff

I was at the gym this morning, hanging around the front desk talking to my friend B. A guy came in looking to check the place out. He started talking with B. and told him, with some bit of East coast pride, that he had worked out at a gym in Manhattan, now closed, owned and run by a female body builder. "She was massive," he remarked, then turning my way, "like you...but without the beard."

Gee. Thanks.

I think. ;)


My own private homophobia

My ex and I, who have known each other for 18 years, have dinner together every Friday night. Last night we went for coffee to our usual spot and as a companionable silence fell between us, we both started listening to the other conversations around us, since the tables are so close together. Without me having to say anything, he offered, "Now you know why I wear my earphones all the time."

The conversations were of gay men on dates. I found myself bemusedly irritated. It was not that anyone was being bitchy or ranting, but the chats were so...predictable. I'd heard them all before. Many times. Many times. Cant, nostrums, etc.

I watched my companion's face as he subtly but clearly registered a similar displeasure. "You know," I told him, "I think you're almost as homophobic as I am." He smiled, "How could that be possible? I'm not homophobic. I'm just evil."

Then I laughed because I realized something. "You know, the one thing that I am definitely not homophobic about is men having sex with other men, men making love with each other. That I am completely in favor of. In fact, it is the one thing that I really like about these guys. What makes me homophobic is all the rest of it: the attitudes, the poses, the approved ideas and interests, the gender confusion, the victimism, the lockstep thinking masquerading as transgressive open-mindedness. That stuff makes me homophobic. The only thing I really like about gay men is that they have sex with one another."


Friday, February 19, 2010

Not a well woman

Treat Williams did Streetcar Named Desire in 1984 with Ann Margaret. I watched a little. And I recently saw Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Tennessee Williams: claustrophobia and histrionics.

Speaking of which, I unfortunately caught some of RuPaul's Drag Race on LOGO. Histrionics, sadism, narcissism, gender dysphoria. And repetition. God, drag queens are boring. Vulgarity, trash, spite, catch phrases. Remember Priscilla, Queen of the Desert? Ya seen one, ya seen em all.

At the gym recently they played The Misfits. Last flick for Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. That movie disturbs me. Gable is playing a washed out cowboy who is struggling to make his living. Monroe's character, histrionic --my word for the day-- and diseased in character, manipulates him by her cheap sentimentality into giving up his tough way of life to please her. On a bad day, this 1961 film presages the collapse of the culture into the man-hating cult of feminine and eco victimhood that dogs us to this day.


A treat

I have a set of B movie actors I have always liked. Treat Williams is one. Especially when younger, he was blindingly handsome.

Like Tom Selleck, though, he had a voice not as strong as his face. And, objectifying homo that I can be, I thought he could have used some gym time to take his decent natural resources to a higher level. He never seems to have found his niche. But the guy has a great face.

Whilst awake in the middle of the night, I found Smooth Talk (1985) on TV. A very telling psychological study of awakening adolescence. Laura Dern is excellent, as is Mary Kay Place as her mother. And the memorable hot guy bad guy is Treat Williams, a charming seducer with both some jerky energy and the skills of a sociopath.


Too simple?

I am no economist. In my personal life, I would not win an award for how I handle my money, but I am not in dark as to why. In my work life, I have been pretty good at that, actually. There's a kind of split in me --personal vs public-- which is reflected --coincidentally, not, of course, causally-- in the Obama economic doctrine:

HT to Powerline

PS. Note splotch on Biden's forehead. Ash Wednesday.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's obvious to any thinking person


the epidemic of crack babies?

acid rain killing all the lakes?

the heterosexual AIDS epidemic?

the Y2K computer meltdown?

man-caused global warming?


PC Lies

While I was guiltily laughing and watching Lisa Lampanelli (who is a real girl, not a drag queen, despite her pictures) spin out her equal opportunity insults, one thing did strike me. She did a little riff on interracial violence. But the assumption in each case was that a White was hurting a Black, a Latino or an Asian.

What planet does she live on?

Read the stats for black on white crime. And then white on black crime. Galactically different.

Another PC unmentionable whereby liberalism makes us lie.



I continue to drag my feet on DADT. Process, as usual. I'd like the military to come to more of an internal shift before the civilians impose yet another social engineering project on them, though this one is closer to my heart.

And I would love there to be a cohort of homosexual men who were publicly seen to be aspiring toward

Recently saw a trailer for a movie where an ex-military woman runs a program for women military who have been sexually assaulted. Part of my response was, You shouldn't have been there in the first place. What the hell did you expect?
A lot of my beef with liberalism is that it is so arrogantly inhuman and in fact hates actual human beings as we are.

It takes a lot of its perfectionism from Christianity, it's obsession with "should" and "ought", but it
utterly lacks the sense of tragedy, unavoidable failure, and compassion that good Christianity carries. It's like putting a saddle on a cat and then blaming the cat for not being a horse.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wheel of misfortune

In better times

With the other car-casses

Finished up with the insurance company today and signed over my poor Isuzu Rodeo to them as total loss after some drunk ripped off the passenger side. Parking your car on the street in San Francisco is dangerous. This is my third SF car and every one of them has been crashed into while parked.

I liked this car a lot. I hope the drunk, who was arrested for DUI, gets the full book thrown at him. Major major major effing inconvenience for me.


I have been reminded by Himself that the picture of my car in happy times was taken outside his house, where he often car-sat when I was out of town. He opined that he had taken better care of my car than I did and as a result of this loss, he was hurting, but that his pain was rendered invisible and his suffering marginalized by my grandstanding. By this he was, as he said, insulted, but not offended. (He also does card tricks.)

So let me state for the record here that I was not alone in my pain and that in fact this was probably more of a loss for him than for me. Sorry to have forgotten that this was really all about you, Signor.

In Lenten fashion: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.


Doin' the archetypal rag

Enkidu and Gilgamesh

I recall reading about a social psychology test some years ago. College students were placed in groups and their behavior tracked. It turned out that some were leaders, some were clowns, some were the outsider-omegas, etc. Not surprising.

But then they put all the leaders in a separate group by themselves, all the clowns, all the omegas, etc. and a very interesting thing happened. Each group then replicated the variety of roles that had been observed in the first constellation. Leaders emerged in groups of outsiders, while in others, a former leader played the role of clown, even of omega, etc.

Turns out, according to this experiment, that beyond the individual preferences, the needs of the group for these various roles actually drew people into them.

I suspect that it is not dissimilar in dyad relationships. Depending on who is in the relationship, even though people tend to have repetitive styles, aka, characters, these can shift with a different mix.

One of the standard dynamics of couple is the balance between attraction and separation. Gay male couples are famous for having troubles really connecting deeply. Lesbians are famous for meshing so much that they lose all sexual interest, so called "lesbian bed death." Gender has something to do with it, apparently.

But in both same and opposite sex couples, you often have one person pursuing and the other distancing. One becomes the specialist in connection --of a certain kind, to be sure-- and the other a specialist in differentiation. It can create alienation if not handled well.

I have worked with people who take a different specialist role in different partnerships. One man I know used to be partnered with a very emotionally close and passionate guy. This was a trial for him, since his natural sense of distance from other people was pretty large. To him, of course, it simply felt ordinary and unproblematic. But to his connection-driven, closeness-desiring partner, it felt like abandonment, rejection and flight. Took him a long time and a lot of work to be more flexible about that. Because, as with so many relationship issues, you are dealing with your own sense of the obvious and your own compulsions.

Then this guy was in another relationship where, by comparison with his then lover, he was the connector and pursuer. It was very disorienting for him, and he had to learn the ins and outs of that role from scratch. More hard work. It gave him some compassion for his former boyfriend's issues.

One of the insights of depth psychology is that what we are conscious of and in control of constitutes only a part of who we are, and that indeed most of us operates independently and without our considered, rational ego-consent. So much of what is obvious about us to others, we are oblivious to. Good friends, reflected experience and a good therapist can enlarge the area where we have a dialogue between the awake self and the far larger and more powerful subterranean self. And both of them operate, IMHO, within an even larger archetypal world of narratives and roles which our species has evolved in order to survive.

Sometimes we find ourselves chosen for and starring in a role that we would never audition for!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Confiteor, again

This is getting to be a habit.

I have Bravo on my TV favorites list. I thought I had a reason for that, that a program I like to watch is carried on Bravo, even though most of what's on there is drivel.

Speaking of which, I got caught with...The Millionaire Matchmaker, a woman who hooks up rich people in LA with potential mates. She had a guy looking for a guy this time. So I stopped. Handsome, handsome fella. I was curious. But if I hear one more millionaire homo go on about how spiritual he is and how he wants a metaphysical guy...with a six pack and a big dick...who cares about the environment.

Now I ask myself, who are the aliens here, me or them? Yikes.

Makes me glad I have a chance with The Boyo. He's not spiritual and doesn't have a personal relationship with Gaia.

And now I can't find any reason to have Bravo on my list. What did I used to watch? So, we're scratching it.

PS. Ah ha! House. That's on Bravo on Saturday evening. That's why I have it on my list.

More candidates

for the burlap bag in the bay.

The whole thing: the front man, the band, the producer, the songwriter, especially the songwriter, everyone.


"Real man"

The trouble with Mr Amaechi’s take on the subject — and what those quotation marks tell us — is that he doesn’t believe there is any such a thing as being a real man.
Review of an article by gay, former British NBA player, currently pursing a degree as a psychologist.

Any time you find the phrase "real man" in quotation marks, the game is given away.


Icarus in Europe

Pre-Lenten Carnival festivities in formerly Obama-loving Germany.
"Obama the Savior."

One of the best foundational insights of good conservatism is the denial that politics, much less politicians, can be redemptive.

HT to Facebook friend Charles Winecoff.


I wanna be a victim!

A favorite scene in an Addams Family movie: Wednesday stands on a dock next to blond and perky Amanda, while a counselor announces that lifesaving practice demands that campers be divided into rescuers and victims. Amanda shouts, "I wanna be a victim." Wednesday observes, "All your life."

Turning the dials last night, I came across the widow of Medgar Evers, 60's civil rights martyr, talking to slushy-sounding Travish Shmiley on BET. She averred that just because Barack Obama is now president does not mean that "the struggle" is over. In fact, the Widow Evers maintains, the fight for real freedom, real justice and real equality is...ta-dah!..."just beginning."

What BS. What could that possibly mean almost 50 years later? It's like the crapola posturing of sentences like, "If only one of us remains unfree, we are all unfree." Patent BS.

What it all really means is that professional victims will never give that status up. It's the source of all their moral status and authority. And of endless excuses ("the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow") and blaming other people ("invisible underground white prejudice") for a group's own failings.

And part of the useless race game in America is that the simple possession of black skin endows the wearer with moral status. Black privilege.

Which is also BS.

Where's Wednesday when you need her?



I used to consider South Park my guilty pleasure.

I just caught the last few minutes of an HBO show by a woman named Lisa Lampanelli. Apparently she's the new Don Rickles, insulting everyone in sight, but with a dirty mouth.
Wow. Very.

I laughed. A lot.

I'm sorry.


Monday, February 15, 2010

First black president

who is also actually an American?

Colonel Allen West.

Money quote at 1:35. "Dig up Charles Martel and ask him why he was fighting the Muslims at the Battle of Tours!"

HT to Kathy Shaidle.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gettin old

I have Netflix and they let you play Starz' Spartacus: Blood and Sand right on your computer. Acres of muscular male flesh in motion. A sentimental plotline. But the blood and gore. I am not sensitive about that kind of stuff. But. Blood and gore for days, in slow motion and stop motion. For instance, the guy on the right in this pic is wearing the face of the guy he killed in the last match. Hannibal Lecter in Rome. Too much. I must be gettin' old.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

My funny Valentine

Happy Valentine!

The Eve of Saint Valentine

My favorite church in Rome is Santa Maria in Cosmedin.

It contains the relics of Saint Valentine...

Romantico, no?


Righter than me

Laurence Auster is a traditionalist blogger, way more right wing than I am. He finds homosexual liberation incompatible with the existence of a free society. And thinks women should not be allowed to vote. He would ban Islam by constitutional amendment.

But he's no dummy and has a lot of interesting things to say. Such as, multiculturalism is suicidal because it deprives the majority white American population of moral standing. Duh.

He points out something I have long felt, that Christianity is not sufficient as a basis for civil society. So many Christian types who get into politics wind up falling into liberalism because they mistake the Gospel for a blueprint for government. The American Catholic Church's support of illegal immigration is a perfect case in point. A Christian society needs non-Christian resources in order to function.

I was (and am) Right!

I say this so often that I was getting bored with it.
liberalism's purpose is to use state and social force in order to penalize and plunder successful groups (aka oppressors) for the sake of empowering and enriching unsuccessful groups (aka victims).
Apparently it's a core insight!


Deep winter in San Francisco

Even though there are some palm trees in San Francisco, it is a temperate climate, not a tropical one. I usually say that it has two seasons, spring and fall. The temperature lives in the 50's - 60's range. Hot summer days are rare; the coldest I have known it to be is about 42 degrees. In January. At night.

It is probably truer to say that it has a rainy season and a dry season. And for a Northeasterner like myself, the miracle is that the rainy season, even though it happens during "winter", produces the greenest time of the year. It's chillier, but the flora are very happy. And with an abundance of reds and violets that you rarely see back on the original colonial coast.

My first visit here was the Valentine's Day weekend in 1988. And one of the things I saw that has remained in my memory was a bunch of cala lilies growing "wild" on the street in front of the bed and breakfast we stayed in.

San Francisco is not paradise. It is very expensive, full of nut jobs (some of whom are in charge of the government) and lots of its people are not well. It has bad streets and bad neighhborhoods. But something about it, especially in winter, when the places I spent the first four decades of my life are dead, dark and covered with snow and ice, remains magical to me. Sometimes I still can't believe I get to live here.


How cool would that have been?

A great fella, no?.


Ahmed in Wonderland and the Mad Scanner

"Allahu akbar!"

With the new body scanners at the airports, Muslim scholars have announced via fatwa that this is illegal under Sharia law, to have strangers see naked Mohammedans' stuff, so Muslims are not allowed to comply.

Only natural thing to do is, out of respect for Muslim sensibilities, lest they get the impression that this vast theatre of aiport security is somehow about them, to exempt Muslims from the search, but make all us kaffirs do it. Otherwise it might make us seem insensitive.

HT to Mark Steyn.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Heavy weekend

This weekend combines Presidents' Day and Valentine's Day. (And Chinese New Year).

My first trip to California, with my then-lover J, was at this time of year in 1988. We'd left the snowbanks of Toronto and arrived for our vacation in San Diego, where people wore shorts and there were flowers in the flowerboxes. I had lived my whole life with Northeastern winters, and 15 years with Toronto's long and mind-numbing grey freeze. It was only 2100 miles distance, but it felt like a different galaxy. I was in a trance. (Actually even thinking of it now brings tears to my eyes.)

Although he was no fan of long car drives (I am), he agreed to us driving up the coast from SD along Highway 1, the scenic route that hugs the land along the Pacific. I'd seen pictures and wanted to do it. I thought we could drive up to San Luis Obispo, stay overnight and then make the second leg to San Francisco.

However, I did not make reservations. And not only was it Valentine's and Presidents' Day weekend, it was also Homecoming at CalPoly in SLO. After driving for over seven hours --not J's idea of a good time--, we discovered that there was no room in the inn. And it was five pm.

So up the coast we headed, still on Highway 1, soon in the dark, stopping to look for lodging wherever we could. No room in the inn. Nowhere. And I was soon sitting next to 200 lbs of seething 6'2" triathlete. Ever try to drive Highway 1 in the dark...for the first lights, curves, cliffs...with someone who hates car trips and is on the verge of hating you? At least we were on the inside lane, driving north, so there was less chance of us heading off into the nocturnal ocean.

We did not find a place until we reached an orange Howard Johnson motel in San Jose, another 200 miles, about midnight. It was not fun.

But the next morning we got up and drove the 50 miles into San Francisco. It was a bright and sunny Sunday morning and I got my first sight of the city and the bay from the Golden Gate Bridge. I'll never forget it. Over two decades later, the sight still moves me.

Moral of the story: Make reservations. Especially on this weekend.

Also on this weekend, on Valentine's Day morning two years ago, I woke up and realized, with a distinct feeling in my chest, that I was in deep with The Boyo (that's him below), that my "really liking this guy" had become something categorically more...that he had my heart.

We're having Valentine's dinner on Sunday at a nice Italian restaurant in Sausalito.

I made reservations.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


More candidates for the burlap bag: all the baby-mamma baby-daddy best-friend-screwin' contestants on the Maury Povich Show, plus the audience and Maury. Same for Jerry Springer and company.

Synchronistic PS, with HT to Facebook friend Mr Freeze:

Where's my burlap sack?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Up and down

Damn, that flu took a real chunk out of me. I'm mostly back, but still draggin' a bit, both physically and psychologically. Spurts of energy and good spirits, then crashing, both in body and brain. Still real limits to how I can work out at the gym. From now on, if there's any flu vaccine to be had, this boy is having it.

Did you know...

That suicide bombers are exclusively Sunni Muslim, not Shia Muslim? So are the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Even though the Shiites dominate Iran, Iraq and are significant minorities in other countries, 90% of the world's Muslims are Sunni. Sunni and love lost. They remind me of Catholics and Protestants in the 17th century, except that these two sects of Islam have been at each other's throats almost since the beginning of that religion, well over a thousand years.

People in the West like The Network of Spiritual Progressives have no idea what real religion is. What humans really are.

(I realize that my opening paragraph and the second section are unrelated.)


Monday, February 08, 2010

Why not all women should be allowed to vote

In response to the playful mother-son mugging around that was shown in the Tim Tebow ad, at least two prominent officialettes of Feministland, one of them the President of NOW, expressed horror at the condoning of violence against women expressed therein.

I have words to describe such females and I will not print them here. What a waste of air and breath they are.

BTW, it's feminists like these who perpetrated the lie that Superbowl Sunday was a specially dangerous time for women being abused in their homes by their testosterone-crazed mates.


Too male to be gay?

My very dear friend L was here this weekend and she took a picture of me with the GG bridge and SF bay in the background. The sun was in my eyes and my squinting brought out even more of the "character lines" in my face. But it was a decent shot, I thought. (I've blurred it out for the sake of my privacy and survival; a man with my opinions could find himself pretty unwelcome in the open and tolerant neighborhood where I live).

She emails me that some straight women friends of hers who saw her shots could not believe I was gay because I looked too "male" in the picture.

Well, there we go.

I do keep getting unhappy confirmation from the environment that for mostly everyone, gayness is not about the object of your sexual desire, but the deviance of your gender behavior. For mostly everyone, gay usually means effeminate.

Actually, when I saw the picture, I thought of how gay I looked! Here I am, about to be 62 years old, in jeans, a Henley shirt and a leather jacket, tall and lean, with a very short haircut and a goatee. How many straight men, especially of my vintage, look like that? I just think of myself as an updated version of the Castro Clone.

Manhood, of course, is not simply a matter of style and presentation. At its base, it is about a particularly gendered kind of strength, archetypally expressed in a variable triad of power, courage and skill. Just dressing for the part or looking tough is not enough. If that were the case, then the leather queens and muscle Marys of the Castro would have achieved what heroes risk their lives for.

I am well aware of my deficiencies as a man. I am a better man than some, but there are indeed (many) better men than me. Being honest about that is part of specifically masculine honor, I think. But I don't usually elevate my flaws into virtues or, less, victimization tokens. And I am also well aware of the qualities in me that lie closer to the feminine end of the gender spectrum, many of which I like.

Imperfect though I be, I like being a man. Don't want to be anything else.

My ex and I frequently take on this subject, masculinity, and although he usually agrees with me by the end of the evening, grudgingly, his initial testy (sic) response even to raising the issue is typical of gay men, most of whom have truly been wounded precisely in their masculine identities and are very reactive about it. He is a black man, and so I have come up with an analogy which I hope will make clearer to him why I even give a damn about this stuff...which is one of his questions.

I will ask him to imagine two neighborhoods. One is mostly black, but the black people there work hard at appearing to be white, and white of a certain kind, a kind of stereotypical whiteness. They have a shared contempt for blacks. Another neighborhood is mostly white, and there the style is to be a Wigga, which they practice along with a disdain for other whites.

I think he will get the point. The fakery and especially the disguised self-hatred. There are certainly lots of ways of being black and being white and some of them overlap, naturally. We have lived together on this continent for centuries; how could it be otherwise? But there's a big difference between putting on a performance and living out an individuality.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Summer of Enantiodromia

A PBS program on San Francisco's 1967 Summer of Love. (Continuing the Boomer theme of the previous post). Started out with utopian pretensions built on the self-proclaimed good will of the Boomer young, aided by chemical enhancement; ended up with chemicals, violence and dirt.

Not unique.

CG Jung used Heraclitus' notion of enantiodromia, of opposites running into one another, to describe how the best of intentions, overdone and unaware of shadow, become the worst of behaviors.

Many Boomers remain entranced by their good intentions and their sense of specialness, a kind of generational Chosen People, regardless of the outcomes of their values and behaviors. Hard to tell noble values from narcissism.

Anecdote. Several years ago I was in a small lighting store in the holy city of Berkeley to help a friend return something. The owner was a greying hippie: same long hair, denim, beads, sandals, etc. The whole thing, except he was close to 60. While my friend and I were waiting for some paperwork, an affluent young couple came in and looked around for a few minutes and then left.
The peace-and-love owner said to us and to anyone else in earshot: "Those yuppie fuckers come in here all the time and just look and never buy anything. They deserve to die."

Summer of luv indeed.



Pretty funny...if I remember correctly.

HT to The Boyo.

Even in Canada?

I was pleasantly surprised to find a column in Toronto's Globe & Mail taking on the cracking credibility ofthe anthropogenic global warming industry. (HT to my Facebook friend Leah). Not what I expect from oh-so-PC mainstream Canadian media.

But then I found that it was an opinion piece by one Margaret Wente. I checked out her other pieces and found that she must be a right-wing extremist. She even wrote an incendiary column which wondered aloud and in print why the theatre of airport security seems to go out of its way not to notice that Islamic jihadis are the security problem, rather than my brother-in-law's Jewish mother from Miami.

Whew, that was close.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Shallow is as shallow does

The Boyo and I often joke --and it's not entirely a joke-- that while he is shallow, selfish and insensitive, I am deep, selfish and sensitive. It makes both for spark and for misunderstanding. Well, we have the selfishness in common!

I found a post of mine from Fall 2008:
Gimme a strong, square, sturdy and solid man in his fifties
who combines passion and playfulness and I am pretty well
perfectly content.
Still true. Wonder who that could have been? Maybe he's affected me and I have achieved a deeper level of shallowness.

Well, yes and no. For me, the soul and the skin are, at least, contiguous. They often feel identical. No difference.

As William Blake put it:

Man has no Body distinct from his soul; for that call'd Body
is a portion of Soul discern'd by the five Senses, the chief inlets
of Soul
in this age.


Riddle me this

I am no whiz when it comes to money. To put it mildly. The Guy, who professes not to understand money, handles it very well indeed.

Now to the President. What I don't understand is how budgets with transcendental deficits and levels of borrowing that make the previous history of the Republic pale away are a good idea? When I do that, I just create more grief for myself. The thing about government is that it can create grief for everybody, and long into the future.

I don't get it.

Maybe I'll ask Himself to explain it to me. He likes "Mr. Obama".


Monday, February 01, 2010

Hard as rock

I first visited Florence in 1974 and while on my way to see Michelangelo's David, walked down the long hallway which held his unfinished "Slave" statues. I liked them far better than David. I've had a picture in my place for many years which reminds me of those pieces.



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