Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life's mysteries

Why an extraordinary woman like Kim Novak would fall for a pencil-necked cave-chested funny-talking Jimmy Stewart in Bell Book and Candle and Vertigo. Beyond me. The man has as much sex appeal as Edward Everett Horton.

Sumer is icumen in

On the cusp of July. Real summer.

Off with B to the eastern Sierras for a few days this July 4th weekend:
mountains and forests and lakes, hot days for hiking and chill nights for sleeping.

I moved to California almost twenty years ago and am still happily awed
by its landscapes, so dramatic and colorful. And it is a sweet, if illusory
and momentary, escape from the larger human world with its abundant craziness.
The smaller human world has its own craziness, but, hey, that I can handle.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


If Islam were not a Third-World religion, it would be recognized immediately and universally in the West as a form of expansionist totalitarianism incompatible with freedom.

If clitoridectomy, female circumcision, were not performed by Third-Worlders, but, say, white Mormons, it would have been outlawed, like Mormon polygamy, a long time ago.

It's one thing to keep your nose out of other people's business when they are in their own lands, but when they come here, to our country, to America, then what they do becomes our business.

One of the fatal weaknesses of the liberal mind is that it cannot say "our" country or people or culture, for fear of excluding someone not yet arrived or just arrived, and making them Other, no matter how objectively alien they may be.

Worth 1000

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Gospel of Nice

On Facebook, some self-identified Christian women, clearly of a liberal persuasion, were horrified  and "angered" that the controversial National Day of Prayer, sponsored by Focus on the Family, rejected the participation of a Hindu group. The lamenters held that such rigid and narrow-minded bigotry by people who, though "odious", called themselves Christians...well. Harrumph.

I restrained myself from commenting on FB. These are folks I mostly don't know.

For too many people, Christian should just mean "nice".Talk about an unhinged opinion.

What these girls seem oblivious to is that Christianity...from Jesus to Paul to the whole New Testament and on to the Church...has a primary concern with something called "truth". It's an obsession they got from the other Jews. In our PoMo culture, "truth", though no less fiercely believed in and upheld by the moderns, is considered rather disreputable. Sounds arrogant and exclusive. And as we know, claiming to be better or smarter is a cardinal sin. And that's the truth.

The local MCC church, a formerly Christian denomination that now worships Queer Spirituality, has a sign out front: Diverse Doctrines, Shared Values. Well, what this means is that the doctrines of Progressivism, under the name of "shared values" are the orthodoxy of the group. Supporting gay marriage is prescribed; the divinity of Christ is up for discussion.

Now I am no fan of Focus on the Family. But they are, by and large, serious Christians of an orthodox kind. Consequently, praying with pagans would tend to slow them up, as it would slow up Christians for the last 2000 years. Somehow if representatives of the South African Reformed Church of 1960 vintage showed up to take part, these ladies might balk. Praying with them would appear to be condoning apartheid. But somehow appearing to condone Shiva and Krishna and Vishnu and Kali, etc. is no big deal. Resisting that is bigoted and hateful?

These dames are confused. They have their own dogmatic truths but they don't like to admit it. So when someone else acts clearly on a dogmatic truth, without apology, they get all judgmental...but didn't Jesus say, Judge not lest ye be judged?

Hmmm. Confusing, this religion stuff.

Secular sharia, green halakah

Sharia and Halakah are the Islamic and Jewish codes, respectively, of religious law. Both are voluminous and both are incredibly detailed, leaving, as far as I know, no area of human life or activity untouched.

The modern secular religion of Gaia-worship, ecology, also known as environmentalism, also has its developing code of sacred law. Just check out the San Francisco coven's detailed lists of which materials go into which color-coded garbage can.

Isn't it great how modern science has trumped obscurantist religious superstition with its host of incomprehensible and obsessive regulations?

Pride and prejudice

I was over in Oakland having dinner with a friend on the evening of  "Pink Saturday", an informal Castro celebration that's part of Gay Pride Day. The neighborhood was already filling up when I left. When I got back home at 11.45, there was wall to wall people for blocks.

As has become the case in the last years, most of them were not gay. And most of them were very young. And the neighbor was vastly less white than usual. I noticed several police cars with lights flashing but took a roundabout way home. Next day I read that I had unknowingly walked right past a murder scene. A guy shot another guy to death and wounded two other people.

The papers were distinctly vague. "A 19-year-old man" was arrested. The dead fella's name was given, though, "Stephen Powell". And the cops and the supes were quick to tell us that this was not a hate crime, but a personal dispute.

I'll bet money that we're talking about blacks here.

Why? Because the anxiety to be vague is so clear. When there's a crime and you can't tell much about the criminal, he's almost always someone of color.

I am sure that the folks who follow this very PC protocol think that they are doing a good thing. Not fanning the flames of racial sterotyping, etc. But anyone with eyes and a capacity to read knows that violent crime is an uncontested specialty of blacks and Latinos. The stats are clear and consistent.

What this delicacy, which is really lying and condescension and manipulation, actually produces, at least in me, is precisely what its high-minded practitioners hope to prevent, a kind of racial contempt. I find myself thinking: If these people must be so elaborately and transparently protected from the simple truth, then something must be really really wrong with them. They cannot be treated like adults, much less equals; hell, their friends and allies can't even treat them that way!

Do I universalize the criminality of some blacks --though a disproportionately large set of blacks-- to a rank stereotype of all blacks? Not any more than Jesse Jackson does.

In the comments section of the paper, people who witnessed the shooting wrote fill in the blanks left by the team of PC reporters who are afraid to tell the truth. Black on black crime.

Where do I collect my money?


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gay Pride 2010

The superficial but powerful

Closer to the heart of the matter

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sins of the flesh

I was musing...just academically, mind you...on the strange human condition known as horniness. One thing led to another and...behold, these immortal pearls:

Aside from the usual issues of what kinds of activities are permissible with what kinds of people, I realize that there is a sin of the flesh that is actually a kind of sin against the flesh. Asking sex to be more than it can be. I am not talking about intensity of pleasure, etc. but about meaning. And I am not talking about meaning in individual cases, where fallibility and luck are in the air, but meaning on a larger scale. Some people look for answers or an answer in sex that sex can't give.

It's not the fault of sex, but of the expectation. Contrary to what a lot of people have thought, sex is not dirty...except in a good way. It all depends on, well...Sex is amazing and wonderful and can be one of the places where we meet both the animal and the spiritual in us without contradiction, letting us feel both feral and godlike. I guess what I am saying, to use Catholic language, is that sex can be sacramental but it cannot be divinity itself. To continue in a Catholic way, the mystical tradition is careful to warn people that a mystical experience, especially one that seems extraordinary, is not a value in itself and can be either a doorway or a dead-end. So with sex. And if one expects direct divinity in what may be a sign of divinity and fails to find it, it is no fault of the stirring and magical gift of sex, but of a misplaced expectation. To use old Augustine's words, it mistakes the creation for the Creator.

Having said that, I will say, without TMI, that it can be like falling off a cliff into a raging and yet totally safe warm ocean, where you are submerged and overwhelmed and awake and alive and surrendered and powerful...all at once. Whole regions of brain and soul awake which normally either slumber or hibernate. And, damn, does it feel good.

One of my faithful readers and (voluminous) commenters recently asserted that the male body was intrinsically ridiculous. Here I suspect there is a huge element of de gustibus. Now I admit that a naked male in full erection can make you look twice. And depending on the male, it may not be something you want to dwell on. On the other hand, didn't St Irenaeus say something about the glory of God and man fully alive?

And I will confess honestly, from my own gustibus, that the female body does not look quite right to me. Extra parts that get in the way and missing parts where there should be something substantial. Too soft, too round, too much give. Not enough muscle, or fur,or stubble. Just a general and lamentable lack of...masculinity. Pretty funny, huh? Well, waddaya expect from a Kinsey 7?

Speaking of sex and sin, two Woody Allen moments come to mind, he who used to be smart and funny many years ago. Diane Keaton saying after sex, "Well that was the most fun I ever had without laughing." I think she was missing something; really good sex, for me, provokes laughing, among other things!  And then Allen's oft-quoted line, "Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best!"

And a link to a brilliant brilliant 1977 operatic pop song by Meatloaf, Paradise By The Dashboard Lights. Adam and Eve after their expulsion from Eden into High School USA. Lyrics. Music. Brilliant. Brilliant.

I have riffed on the Catholic tradition to suggest that sex has three purposes: creation, communion and play.
And it makes sense to me to think that the best sex, teleologically speaking, if the kind that includes all three aspects in full measure. But lemme tell ya: two outta three ain't bad!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Morning musings

I was dreaming this morning that I was charged with laying out a curriculum for the son of the Sultan of Constantinople. I was anxious to make sure that I included the whole history of Anatolia and Asia Minor for him, so that he would have choices in regard to his identity...

Over the last several years, regardless of content, the vast majority of my dreams have shown themselves to have an obsessive structure. Repetitions of problem-solving attempts.They're less anxious and cramped than they used to be, more spacious and personal, (since I retired from administration), but still obsessive.

Walking to my office this morning, I passed the coffee shop where a lot of the local gay guys hang out. One of them was in his early fifties, stocky and well built, balding, cropped grey beard, my type, attractive...but as soon as I looked at him I imagined that I could predict almost every idea and opinion he would have. True or not, it's how I mostly feel about gay men nowadays. Pre-emptive boredom. Doesn't augur well for any future connection.

Even though B lacks what it takes to go the distance in an intimate relationship, one of his enduring attractions is how not-gay he is. His own guy. Definitely and passionately attracted to his own sex, for sure. At least when it comes to me. But his venn with those boys at the coffee shop pretty well ends there. And God, I liked that. It'll be hard to replace.

My landlord's 80-something dad was out front of the building this morning, too. He had a stroke last year but now he is back driving and walking. He used a rubber handball to start rehab even before the hospital got around to it. Slow but determined, and as sharp as ever. Came by to get some of the huge crop of lemons from the tree in the backyard. Guys like him have made the world work. Admirable fella. And, small world, a friend of B's parents.

Had an imaginary conversation with B's parents. Not surprisingly, they agreed with me about him. Too bad he wouldn't listen to them.

Male couples of all kinds fascinate me. Ones I know. Ones I work with. And even the one on TV now: two brothers on Supernatural. Amazing how the alpha-beta dynamic is at work. One of the oddities of being me is that I am easily taken for an alpha, but I'm a beta. Not the father-son, older-younger kind, but the comrades in arms type, yet still a beta. A high-functioning sidekick.

I went to see Benjamin Bratt in La Mission. A pretty good flick in some ways, set in the black and cholo culture of SF's Mission. I noticed that for the first ten minutes, the men only spoke in catch-phrases, especially the loathesome and ubiquitous, "Know what I'm sayin'?" I mentioned this to my ex, T, who grew up near South Central and knows that culture first hand. I told him I thought it was sorta stereotypical. He said no, it was just accurate. That's how they talk. And when I mentioned this to B, he reminded me that most men really don't like to have conversations the way I do; catch-phrases work just fine for them much of the time.

I have no use for hiphop and cholo culture. But I realized that if the flick had been set in an Italian neighborhood 50 years ago it would have been very similar in plot, but I would have been much more sympathetic to the characters.

If I get a new car in July, and it's another Rodeo, only colors I want are black, red or grey. I'd even consider white for the right price. No blue or green.

I really like summer mornings.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

With apologies to mad dogs

Watching, against my better judgment, Extreme Home Makeover. Ty Pennington makes my skin ache. Like a white boy Oprah with ADHD. But here's the story. A family got blended because the woman's widowed sister was gunned down by her ex-boyfriend, who was out on bail for attempting to murder her with steak knives. Out. On. Bail.

The woman had four young kids when her husband died in a car accident. When she started to date again, she met this guy, who turned out to be dangerous. She tried to end it and he broke into her house with steak knives and threatened her. After he was Out.On.Bail, she had to get a restraining order against him for stalking her and her kids...while he remained Out.On.Bail.

She found a new guy, who stayed with her at night for protection. The Out.On.Bail guy broke in and shot them both. Kids lost dad and then mom. Aunt and uncle have taken them in. But...

Now tell me that this killer should not be put down like a mad dog. Go ahead. Try.

Cuckoo in the nest

In case you didn't know, cuckoos have what amounts to a parasitical childrearing strategy. They lay their eggs in the nest of another species of bird whose eggs are like theirs. The cuckoo egg hatches early and the cuckoo instinctively pushes the natural eggs out of the nest. The tricked can see the origin of the phrase "bird brain" here...respond to the calls and open mouth of the cuckoo and with mindless parental instinct, work to feed it until it leaves the nest. The cuckoos don't have to feed or protect their own. In effect, these other stupid birds raise their own offspring's murderer for the next generation.

As part of another story, I read today that a Muslim student at Trinity (!) University in San Antonio, a college run by the Presbyterian Church, petitioned to have the words "Year of our Lord" removed from the diplomas. It offended his Muslim calendar. Amazingly, the school declined play the dhimmi in order to accomodate him.

You can imagine what kind of feelings arise in this Western fundamentalist at that kind of arrogance. A Muslim enrolls in a Christian school and then wants the Christians to erase themselves before him? It's perfectly coherent Islam, by the way, and perfectly malignant and dangerous.

In New Haven, Connecticut, however, the school board is removing that language. This time it was a Jewish woman who protested and they folded, saying that they "did not want to offend anybody." Well, too late, they've offended me.

Bit by bit, people who are alien to this country now feel they can peel away its distinctiveness so that they can not be "offended". The recent outrage which sent American kids with US flags home packing on May 5th lest they offend the Mexicans is another example. What these cuckoos are actually saying to the country and its traditions and identity is, "Your existence --which has afforded me mine-- offends me. Disappear."

As Francis Fukuyama wrote, a country which chooses to embrace multiculturalism actually announces that it has no culture of its own. That it is no one and nothing. It's only reason to exist is to anxiously avoid offending people who hate it. And a country like that has not long to live because there's nothing there to protect or defend or celebrate or pass on.

PS. One of the folks on Facebook keeps track of how "LGBT" issues are going in Turkey. The queers there have a lot of trouble and the state, with the backing of the people, is not interesting in extending rights to them. It occurred to me --one of the many horrible thoughts you have to endure once you realize that you are a conservative--that the Turks have good reason not to provide legal protects for the LGBT crowd. Why?
Well if they look at the progress of the issue in the West, where it started out as a plea to be left alone and has wound up pressing to alter the institution of marriage to accomodate them --all in a single lifetime. First one step, then another, then another...What message does that send to a place like Turkey? Wouldn't it be wiser for them to just kill the issue in its infancy? Because too often minorities never know when to say enough.

Vices and virtue

I am not much of a moralist. But I do occasionally wander into that field.

Envy and jealousy. Vices.

Jealousy really is its own punishment. That fear of losing something, or more usually, someone, valuable, to a third party. Unfortunately I have known that feeling. Like drinking green battery acid. And humiliating because you know it comes from weakness and fear. It's up there with deep depression and acute anxiety as horrible feelings.

Envy. Well, I think I experience a half-envy or a half-hearted envy sometimes. If it means wanting something that someone else has so that you have it instead of them, then I don't feel that often at all. My envy is about wanting it, too. They don't lose what they have, but I get to have it as well. Semi-invidia?

Sometimes semi-envy can be a motivation to change, so that you actually get for yourself what others, too, have. Sometimes it's just an actionless excuse for self-pity.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What do women want?

An example one of the differences between men and women.

It is a well-known phenomenon that a subset of women will become enamored of jailed criminals, sometimes even rapist-murderers. That Van der Sloot guy seems to be the latest example.

What's the deal in the female psyche that creates this extremely odd behavior? The evolutionary attractiveness of the "bad boy" is well established, but this is really taking it to the extreme.


While I'm at it, and on a somewhat different note.

The difference between groups of women watching male strippers and groups of men watching female strippers. When men watch women strip, you can feel the sexual ambiguity: she has something they want and she flaunts it, giving her power over them...but they can consider her a whore and a slut and she will have a hard time avoiding that judgment. The sleaze factor is essential to the exchange. When women watch men strip, a very recent phenomenon, you don't get any sense of condescension or judgment or sleaze from the groups of women, who are usually loudly laughing and screaming and having a great time. The men flaunt but seem not to lose their power and status.

The difference between groups of women and girls enthusing over male singers/performers and (a more rare occurrence) groups of men enthusing over female singers/performers. Group hysteria (remember the Beatles, or even Sinatra's fans) or sexual display to catch the attention of the man: I am thinking of the country music concerts where the standing room in front of the stage is reserved for young and beautiful groups of women, who often dance with their arms above their heads, the more to shake their boobs at the star. For men responding to female stars, it's usually military men...who react in a way that combines the reactions of both genders to strippers...sexual tension along with a lot of hooting and happy hollering...And then there's the female stars who draw large groups of gay men...gotta think about that one.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

At home with Holmes

Jeremy Brett does his usual wonderful Sherlock Holmes in "The Devil's Foot."

In rural Cornwall, a greedy sibling poisons his brothers to madness and his sister to death, thus killing the great love of one Dr. Sterndale's life. By the end of the story, we discover that the Doc engages in private justice and takes the life of the murderer. When he offers himself up to Holmes for remanding to the authorities, Holmes sends Sterndale off to continue his scientific work in Africa. Watson puts up a token resistance but both agree that, in similar circumstances, they would do the same thing and that justice had been served, even if not through the usual channels.

Sounds good to me.

The Victorians certainly had vast numbers of restrictive rules that bound them. But we imagine that because our rules don't focus on the same issues, we enlightened and liberated types have fewer of them. I'm not at all sure. Do you know what can happen to you in the freewheeling city of San Francisco if you light up a cigar in Golden Gate Park or fail to give the garbageman three separate bags for compost, recyclables and trash? Ever try to exercise your Second Amendment right to bear arms or get the local police to deal with illegal immigrants or refer to a designated minority group as "you people"? All societies are rule-bound, but where the rules predominate makes a big difference.

It's the very rare TV drama in our time that would countenance the private justice of a hero like Holmes. One of the side effects of the rain of police and lawyer shows we have watched for a couple of generations is that we feel the need to involve official organs of justice to a far greater degree than the Victorians did. Besides, we are virtually weaponless. A rogue vigilante in the Death Wish films can give us some guilty pleasures. And an ordinary man deprived of peace can sometimes cross the public/private line, as in 2001's In The Bedroom or, to a lesser degree, in Urbania (2000). But a regular trope in our legal dramas is that that private avenger kills the wrong man, or woman. It is the rule of the law in its official form which dominates almost universally. Even the vilest of criminals need to be processed in the legal system.

And if, after 25 years on death row, a murderer is finally executed, as recently in Utah, we have to listen to the deep regrets of bleeding hearts over his bleeding heart, including a morally superior lecture from...The European Union.

But Arthur Conan Doyle's Victorian world, where nannies took care of children and were not the ubiquitous functionaries of a post-feminist health-and-safety state who make men into them, understood that sometimes justice served privately by good men is still justice served and suffices. If I had to choose whether to rely on the sense of justice of the bureaucrats in Brussels or the sleuth from Baker Street, it'd be a no-brainer.

Sometimes people do things which deprive them of their right to breathe among us. It's not a question of deterance or rehabilitation or restoration. It's just desserts. Our ancestors, who lived in far rougher and more uncertain times than we do, were sometimes too quick to strike. We, on the other hand, sin by excess of opposition, to the point where what looks like morality is actually cowardly nihilism.

No shit, Sherlock!

Life on a desert island

The cathedral in the loggia

I am using an architectural term loosely. Not quite a loggia, more like an inner courtyard, almost a peristyle. Anyway. The small Catholic cathedral of Brentwood, a suburban commuter city about 20 miles outside London.

Unusual, both outside and in. At first I thought it was the country house of a noble family. It has the classical feel of many of them, although the Italianate style, clearly inspired by Brunelleschi's Hospital of the Innocents, links it to Renaissance Catholicism. Wren's English Baroque is also in the genes.

Inside you have the bishop's throne (his cathedra!), the central altar, and the pulpit/lectern on a single axis. All three raised off the floor. Not unusual in recent Catholic architecture, but the place --from pictures-- feels both domestic and intimate, public, sacred and elegant. Note the chandeliers and the central lantern in the ceiling.

Even though this building was designed from the ground up in 1991 for its purpose as a church, replacing a brutalist cube, it evokes the primitive Christian idea of churches developing out of the houses of the wealthy, houses big enough to regularly host house churches. More pix and info at the site of the architect, Quinlan Terry.

Fathers' Day 2010

The first Fathers' Day when both my fathers are gone.

On the right, my birthfather, Lee. He died when I was only ten weeks old.

On the left, my dad, Jack, who married my mom and raised me and the six more kids they had together. He died last September.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Simple but amazing fact

Although water continuously changes states from solid to liquid to gas the amount of water on Earth remains constant. There is as much water now as there was hundreds of millions of years ago.

Irascible passions

Parts of Thomas Aquinas' work never made any sense to me, or at least penetrated my brain enough so that I could say I understood it. For example, he spoke of concupiscible and irascible passions. Not just a matter of desire and anger. As I say, despite explanations, I never got the meaning.

But I do know something about irritability. Or, as we say in the trade, crankiness. I am pretty cranky today. Hard to please me. Easy to irk me.

A typical conservative curmudgeon? Part of aging? A stage of grieving? My sinful fallen nature?

What irks me today:

Martin Lawrence is worth $100 million dollars.
People of color who are rank racists but think they can't be, because they are people of color.
Gay men who talk like teenage girls.
My capacity for jealousy
Middle-class British accents
Torture porn on television (Carver, Saw, etc)
Some people at my former workplace
Gullible white people who fall for the Noble Savage game
The memory of feeling happy when I don't feel happy presently
Gay Pride Weekend upcoming
How repetitively stupid I can be
The leak in my dishwasher
That I don't have a car

And that's just the stuff I can print.

I used to think

that drag queens enacted a pathological kind of femininity that you would not find in nature among real women. Then I saw Real Housewives.

Grounds for survival

Off to the gym soon. Amazing, for a former intellectual, this almost daily trip to the house of heavy objects, cables, etc. has become the mainstay of my sanity over the last eight years. I could not say that life for me in the last while has been very satisfying, overall. There are seasons of waxing and seasons of waning; the last several months especially have been ones I will largely not miss. But at least there is this simple, grounding, distracting and relieving ritual of an hour or two.

Jung holds that the second half of life will be dedicated to the parts of the soul that were, of necessity, neglected during the first half. My friend Bill and I laugh about this. He was a youthful bodybuilder, obsessively so, and a man passionately given to causes. Now approaching 65, it is still clear that he has spent a lot of time on his musculature. The man has a six pack! But what he really loves is books and reading and being left alone with his dog. And here I am, with five college degrees, just a few years behind him, and what really gets me going is a certain kind of interpersonal passion and the physicality of the gym or a hike. I really would rather work out than read a book.

 Not me, by the way!

And although my work life is far less than optimal and my love life is, to put it kindly, in aftermath mode, hey, at least I look pretty good!

Men in all seasons

A note from my buddy Deke, (that's a pic of him, below) who often communicates by sending me music files or videos and often sent in the middle of the night. Not a sound sleeper, he. We once spent a couple of weeks like that, where he'd send me musical mp3 files and I responded with jpg images.

Last week I wondered to him if the world was having a nervous breakdown or if the Internet just inundated you with so much information that it gave you that impression. His email reply.

Ya know, Goats*, it's like this -- when I was a child, I played with
childish things. And then my mother molested me and my father beat the
shit outta me. I began to sit in coffeehouses, drinking espresso,
smoking black cigarettes and rejecting the triune god.

Okay, okay, seriously -- I learned at an unreasonably young age that
grown-ups lie about damn near everything. I resolved to eschew such
lying. If a child ever asked of me why people did drugs, or why bad
things happened to good people, I would respond with the best answer I
could. I would not dumb it down for the child. Only twice have I had
to apologize to a child by saying, "You will understand better when
you're older." Not "you will understand when you're older," but "you
will understand *better* when you're older," and made it clear to the
child that even as a grown-up, it was difficult for me to understand
the answer, too. I've never said anything remotely akin to "Yes,
Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." Cuz kids are fooken sharp, they
have a lot more on the ball than we give 'em credit for, and they
share our existential concerns (though they may not be able to express
them as such to us).

So -- is it the internet, or has the world always been in a constant
state of nervous breakdown? It is the latter. The world has never been
a normal place. Thing is, that's just fine. It is perfectly acceptable
to not be okay. In our lives, we will not be able to solve all the
great and pressing issues -- war, famine, pestilence, plague, flood,
you name it -- but we can have a damn good time trying to solve 'em.

So why do I send you this shit? Cuz I know that you see the humor in
it. The laughs we share may not be the delighted burbles of a child --
they're probably more like soft, low chirrups which gradually become
maniacal howls -- but they are laughs just the same.

*A diminutive form of his nickname for me. Don't ask.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fresh Air

And I don't mean old Terry Gross on NPR.

One of the pleasures of life in San Francisco in the spring and summer and fall is the wind that blows up in the late afternoon, bringing air from the Pacific --which is just under 4 miles away as the crow flies--into the neighborhood here in the valley and into my house. It's cool, to be sure, and can drop the temp about 15 degrees in as many minutes. But it has a clean fresh-made never-before-breathed quality to it that is always a pleasure.


My Facebook friend, Hollywood writer Charles Winecoff, has a piece today about the shrieks and flying hairpins attending another gay writer's astounding observation that audiences might not take seriously in romantic leading man roles gay actors such as Will &Grace's Jack MacFarland...I mean Sean Hayes.

One of the more nasty and hysterical responses (gee, is that a gay stereotype?) came from the creator of the new TV series Glee, about the misfit kids in a high school glee club. His name is Ryan Murphy. (Glee is on Fox; isn't that some kind of Progressive treason?). I watched one episode of Glee a few weeks ago, one written and directed by Mr. Murphy. Told me everything I needed to know.

Kurt is a wildly queeny countertenor whose flamboyance gets him in trouble at school. His father, Burt, is a regular guy; could be your local plumber. Kurt is out to him and he is a supportive father. Burt, a widower, is going out with a widow, the mother of football star and Gleeclub member Finn. The relationship grows to the point where Finn and his mother move in with Burt...and Kurt. Kurt has a crush on Finn and becomes jealous when Finn and Burt bond over football.

The living arrangement, however, puts Finn and Kurt in the same bedroom.

Kurt decides to decorate the room for them both and creates a lavishly appointed space. When Finn, who knows of Kurt's attraction for him, declares the room "faggy", he is overheard by Burt, who proceeds make a morally outraged speech about his "poisonous hate" and expels him from the house, declaring that if he loses Finn's mom over this, so be it. I found the overdone self-righteous PC rant almost unbearable.

If you want to treat yourself, you can visit Ms. Perez Hilton's

Well, the room was indeed faggy. Very. As is Kurt. Very. When the glee club splits by gender to do two different acts, Kurt goes with the girls. QED.

As well, Kurt's adolescent narcissism apparently leaves no room for the reality of his "beloved". He overwhelms Finn with his own rampant gay idea of what Finn should like, aka, what Kurt likes. Anyone with half a brain would know that this would not be Finn's idea of home. Maybe Dad could have pointed that out to his poor little victimized boy as a clue for future lovers.*

So here's the rules: Kurt, as the oppressed fairy, gets to be and do whatever he likes and should not be asked to take any consequences or care about other people's differences from him, who is always expecting them to kowtow to his difference. Finn, an ordinary adolescent straight male, surrounded by both faggotty decor in his new home as well as the unwanted desire, in his bedroom, of his mother's boyfriend's son, should be cut no slack for reacting as you would expect, but is to serve as shamed fodder for the overheated moralism of his formerly dad-like buddy Burt.

Bullshit, from beginning to end. And it reveals Mr. Murphy's histrionic (there's that word again) moral code: I am a gay victim and so I can be and do whatever I want, no matter how unreal and selfish, and they'll be hell to pay for you if you don't comply.

From a shrink's point of view, I would clock Daddy's outburst as a case of reaction formation, where you respond to something strong in the opposite direction of how you more deeply feel, and which deep feelings you repress because they are unacceptable. What Dad like Burt would not want to have Finn for a son rather than Kurt?

The official LGBT attitude toward men, actual men, the bearers of masculinity, is hopelessly split. On the one hand, it is a crime to suggest that gay men are not masculine. That is a "cruel stereotype" (despite, for example, eight years of Emmy awarded and gay-written evidence to the contrary via Will & Grace). On the other hand, since masculinity is just a culturally constructed oppressive performance, anyone can do it. You can be born a female, have your breasts removed, take steroids and, with vagina still intact, become Mr. International Leather 2010. Man schman: what the big deal?

I mean really, once people know that in your personal life what gets you off is sucking dick and buttfucking with guys, are they really going to forget that when you're on stage making believe you're a phallic threat to Kim Basinger?

You might not like facts, Mr. Murphy et al., but why attack someone just because he points it out? LGBT faggotry.

*A pleasant surprise. Huffington Post (!) film critic Scott Mendelson agrees, but in far more polite language.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Barak Hussein

The Doc at Shrinkwrapped puts it well.

The idea that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim enacting a plan to destroy America has always, with good reason, been treated as a fringe conspiracy theory.*

There is no evidence that Obama is anything more nefarious than a committed leftist, committed by temperament rather than ideology. If he has a political philosophy it involves redressing past and ongoing grievances, caused by the Capitalist system against people of color and other victims of colonialism and white paternalism, by using the power of the government to compel redress. In this view expanding government at the expense of the private sector is always advisable.

It is a disturbing coincidence, and says something quite disturbing about the Left, that whether or not Obama is a "secret Muslim" or a committed Leftist,
the outcome would be indistinguishable.

This political philosophy is precisely what contemporary liberalism or progressivism is:

the use of state power and social control to raise the status, wealth and power of traditionally unsuccessful groups (victims) at the expense the status, wealth and power of traditionally successful groups (oppressors).
The rallying cry is "Justice" or "Equality", but it means taking from them what have and giving it to them what have not, by force of law.

Half-White, Half-African Obama with his 20 year Pastor,
White-Hating and America-Damning and Very Light Skinned Wright

And if you are a liberal member of a traditionally successful group (oppressor), you help them.

*Although the Foreign Minister of Egypt is of a different opinion.

Faults in the earth

It seems that even Mr Obama's worshipful acolytes in the MSM are getting very unimpressed with him as he responds, sorta kinda, to the Gulf oil disaster. Dowd, Olbermann and Matthews are all not smiling. Amazing. From tingling legs to this.

(Other devotees have wised up sooner. May 09's Evan "Obama is God" Thomas opined in January 10 that The One was being "fundamentally dishonest" about Obamacare.)

Truth is...I think...that no one may know how to fix this. Not even The One.

A right-wing thought from the constrained vision side of the ledger:
You can't mine vast amounts of coal or dam up rivers or build nuclear plants or drill for oil under the sea or carry the stuff in ships, etc. and not have accidents. Every form of energy and power that actually works well enough to provide the gargantuan needs of the world will always have a price tag attached in accidents and damage and death. Always.
Can I get a conservative witness?


Pleasure for the eye

A 6'4" 46 year old fella from Missouri.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tony Soprano with a crown

One way of looking at Henry VIII as portrayed in The Tudors.

Although it is largely true to history, the producers do play with characters and events from time to time. Henry's last wife, Catherine Parr, was indeed sympathetic to the Protestant cause, but the show has her hiring house-arrested reforming bishop Hugh Latimer as her private chaplain. Never happened.

I find the show surprisingly even-handed about the religious issues of the time. The writers had Hugh Latimer complaining to Queen Catherine that just because the Christian faith should be based wholly on the Bible and that everyone should be free to read the Bible for himself, that does not mean that everyone can set himself up as arbiter of what religious truth is. (Here he unknowingly mimics King Henry's own position on religious authority.)

But of course, once you dismantle a clear institutional authority, what's to prevent a multiplication of competing interpretations of a book which is, in fact, a library? That is exactly what happened and continues to happen in Protestantism.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Pedestrian blues

I miss my car.

Once upon a time it was an informal goal of mine always to live in cities where I would not need to own a car. Back in 1998, though, after 7 years on the San Francisco buses, I had had it. Too many people were either off their meds or on parole. I lost my car in December to the daytime drunk driver who sheared off the driver's side while it was parked on the street. Street parking has been the downfall of cardom for me. I had many accidents happen to my vehicles and almost all of them took place while it was stationery and I was not in it. Off street parking would have saved me a lot of grief and a lot of money.

Anyway, I am looking on craigslist to see if I can find something I like that I can afford. It may not be the smartest financial move right now, but it really galls me that I don't have the freedom of wheels. We'll see.

My deceased baby, Isuzu Rodeo:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Screw progress

When internet or technology companies "improve" their products, they inevitably cut out something I really like.

I used to be able to regulate my cell phone's ringer so that it would go silent after two rings. I have the kind of work where I like to know I have a call but also don't want to be bothered by a lot of ringing. Now none of the new improved phones allow you to regulate the rings. My choice is to turn it off so I don't know someone called or to silence it as soon as it starts ringing. Pisses me off.

Earlier versions of Windows had a small but very useful graphics design program. It upgraded to bigger ones and will not allow you to use the old one. I still miss it.

And Blogger now has added white borders to every picture you upload to your blog. I hate them. I'd just prefer the picture. To remove the border I have to go thru some complicated process...

Screw progress.


Early summer evening

Sun, warm breezes.
Chilled Cavit Pinot Grigio
Molinari sausages in blankets
Pizza with olives, mushrooms, sausages
Salad of greens, avocado, carrots, olives
Vanilla and Mexican chocolate ice cream
with sugar cookies and rasperries
Napping. Mentoring. Fraternizing.
Had time permitted, cigar.



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lost opportunity? Part One

In the history of male homosexualities, the contemporary "gay" form is unique.

Male-with-male sex has taken the following forms:

1. initiatory sex between older and younger men, time limited, rule-bound, publicly institutionalized, with the express purpose of promoting the ideals of manhood espoused by the society. Ancient Greece is the most well-known example, along with the samurai, although some societies in Melanesia practice ritual sodomy as part of a larger set of initiation ceremonies and ordeals.

2. situational sex between men in all-male institutions: prisons, the military, monasteries, schools, etc. Although actual bonding can take place here, most of the participants would likely be involved with women, were they available.

3. transvestic sex. This is probably the most common version, world-wide and historically. It is a format which reflects or even mimics the male-female paradigm, in that it brings together dominant insertor males with submissive receptor males. Very often the power dynamic is expressed in age, social rank or class differences, or in pronounced styles of masculine/feminine presentation but the role of top and bottom is usually quite rigid, at least in public presentation. Examples are the pre-Stonewall "rough trade" and "queens" and the contemporary Latino "machos" and "locas"; I would include the AmerIndian "berdache" here as well. Typically the bottom is seen as feminized and therefore inferior, while the top can often maintain his social status and masculine honor because, regardless of the object, he is exercising the male role as phallic insertor.

4. gayness. Here we have adult males who lay claim, at least by implication, to adult male status and who also define themselves non-pathologically by "sexual orientation", a decisive or exclusive erotic interest in other adult males, and create publicly visible communities of like-minded men.

There appears to be no other form of male-male love like this prior to its beginnings in the 19th century in the West and its explosive growth in the later half of the 20th century.
This is not an initiatory age-structured practice, is not limited to all-male institutions, and does not create a dichotomous hierarchy of honorable masculine tops and shamed effeminate bottoms. As something new, it represented an opportunity for re-imagining male-male love.

Has it been?

To be continued.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

No more FedEx

Twice in the last month Fedex has fucked up on me.

When my wallet was lost in NY, my only access to my bank was thru a new ATM card. The bank sent it but Fedex got the wrong address. And then directed me for pickup to a non-existent office in NY and then I had to take a cab clear across town to another office. Told that my brother would have to vouch for my NY address, since he lives there and I was a guest, I dragged the poor man along with me. And then it turns out he wasn't needed at all.

I have spent the morning waiting for an important document via Fedex. I called the sender and guess what? AGAIN, Fedex said they had an incorrect address. Except that it isn't incorrect. Now I have to wait for them to call me to tell me when I can expect delivery...on a package I paid extra for to have delivered this morning.



Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Aye kandy

David Dayan Fisher plays ambiguous badguy goodguy character Trent Kort on NCIS. Shows that even a Brit can get the blood moving.


Forgive us our debts

So, the Obama debt will be $19 trillion in 2015, larger than the GDP. This is 19 million times a million, a 19 followed by 12 zeros: $19,000,000,000,000. That's $26 million dollars a day for every day since the birth of Christ...

I am no economist, but is there some reason that my common-sense belief that this is catastrophic and disastrous is wrong?

And if GWB had set such a thing in motion, that we'd be hearing about it in apocalyptic screams 24/7?

Why is this mega-debt a good thing?


Interior rooms and Italians, with mirrors

Bruges, 1434; San Francisco, 2009

Monday, June 07, 2010

Early June

I'm watching a National Geographic program on Great Whites. One of the crew is talking about the expedition and the sharks and I think, "Good looking guy" and then "I know this guy". Turns out he is action actor Paul Walker, who studied marine biology. Good for him.

Watching a History Channel DVD set about Teddy Roosevelt. This guy was a man. I'm impressed with his father: when TR was an asthmatic child, his dad was constant in care and support; when dad decided he needed to become a man and overcome his limitation, he was focussed and formidable. Great combo of challenge and reliability. A good father.

Visited a former workplace last week to get a form signed. I was head administrator there. One of the staff told me my successor left or was fired last month, no one knows for sure. "You lasted thirteen years; they wore her down in less than two!"

My impromptu out of town trip with my friend and his dog, the handsome and very mellow Mauli. The dog is a really beautiful animal: he's half wolf and he looks it. It is amazing how many people stop and comment and compliment and want to talk and ask questions. Old ladies, gang bangers, families, kids, guys at the gas station.

An unpleasant note: there are a lot of fat and unattractive and badly dressed people in Modesto!

We were at my friend's family home, where he was raised. His parents are dead and his siblings live far away; he keeps the place up. On the outside, it's a standard working class house, with trucks and an old Silver Stream RV on the property, a big TV antenna on the roof. Inside it would not win any House Beautiful awards. But it is jammed with books, in every room: history, philosophy, geography, novels, politics, religion. Hundred and hundreds of books. And opera records, vintage records, with librettos and books about all the great operas. Western culture, high culture, living a secret life behind a very ordinary door in the San Joaquin valley.

Last night was a perfect summer evening down there. We sat in the backyard with the puppy, with pizza, chicken wings and beer. Warm breeze, slowly setting sun. Nice. Very nice.

B's two weeks in Shanghai and Tokyo will be over soon and he'll be back in town later in the week. He has made some other trips where I would have loved to have gone with him --Uzbekistan and Italy, for example--, but for some reason China and Japan didn't draw me, so my jealousy level was very low. He's bringing me back some stupid T shirt I specifically and serially asked him not to get for me. I'll forgive him, of course. Senex and puer in a nutshell.


Saturday, June 05, 2010

Burgers and bullshit

Had a memorably good medium rare hamburger with sauteed onions and blue cheese last night, at Burgermeister's in Berkeley.

While there I was treated to a poster which urged good people to write to the evil governor of Arizona and her evil state's evil immigration law and remind her that "she herself is a guest on native Indian land." This kind of unserious bullshit pisses me off. If the people who wrote that really believe it, they are duty bound to help get the land back. Yeah, that'll be the day. Posers.

On the other hand it reveals the suicidality of liberals, who give any kind of credence to that crap. "Christopher Columbus was the first illegal alien", etc.

Who does land belong to? To whoever can keep it. That's the law of Gaia.

How many of the world's peoples live on land that never belonged to anyone else? So, guess what, Red Feather, you lost the war and now the land is called America. Why do people find this so hard to say?


Is a puzzlement

Yul Brenner as the King of Siam ended his lament over the death of certainty by saying, " a puzzlement."

Why do people of liberal and leftish persuasions rush to the defense of Islam?

Liberals all believe, with varying degrees of clarity and/or passion, in the Seven Pillars of Progress: multiculturalism, feminism, redistributionism, secularism, pacifism, environmentalism and transnationalism.

How do Muslims score on these values?

Secularism, first of all, is the killer. Islam is essentially theocratic. It recognizes no separate sphere unshaped by religion and, specifically, by Islamic religious law.

Feminism. Despite all the blah blah about respect for women by veiling them and separating them from men, any Western feminist with an ounce of integrity would tell you in a nanosecond that Islam is the most patriarchal religion around.

Pacifism. No way. Islam is a martial religion. Muhammad was a warrior and warlord. Can anyone imagine Muslims apologizing for their use of the sword to bring Islam? Please. Islamic pacifists are rare and local.

Environmentalism. No reason a Muslim couldn't be concerned about that, but you won't find them apologizing to trees or joining PETA (that would make the animal sacrifices at the feast of Eid problematic).

Redistributionism. Well, all I'll say is to take a look at the economics of Muslim countries. I don't notice any of their ruling classes being taxed to fund a welfare state.

Transnationalism. On the surface, some common ground. In theory, the Muslim ummah, or community, is prior to any other governmental arrangement. And the vision of a unified Muslim community under Muhammad's successors, the caliphs, is a big part of Muslim history. It's what the Sunni/Shia split is about. But it is not a secular or non-religious transnationalism; precisely the opposite.

Multiculturalism. Although racial and ethnic strife and discrimination is common among Muslims, that is because they are human, not because they are Muslim. Islam itself provides little support to racism aside from the privileging of Arabic and an ancient animus for Jews. But Islam does make a radical division between believers and non-believers. And there, a further distinction between monotheist unbelievers (the so called Peoples of the Book) and polytheist unbelievers and atheists. Western multiculturalism includes deference toward the religion of Others, regardless of whether it is Buddhist or animist. Islam cannot ignore these things, so while its tolerance of different races as race is unproblematic*, the trouble is that races usually are also attached to a religion as part of their culture. Here Islam is not sanguine...though it has shown itself to be sanguinary.

So here we have culturally relativistic, woman-appeasing, socialist-leaning, pacifist, Gaia-worshipping, UN loving, religion-allergic lefties and liberals showing themselves deferential if not actively supportive of a dogmatically absolute globally-focussed theocracy founded by a lifelong slaveholder, based on male power, celebratory use of force, and an apparently total lack of interest in redistribution of income.

Is...a puzzlement.

*In theory. In practice, various Islamic nationalities have practiced all forms of racial and ethnic hierarchy, what we would call discrimination. But this is their common humanity at play rather than any strong push from the religion.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Brief seconds, whole worlds

Tomorrow, June 4th, is the 62nd anniversary of my father's death.

He was on his way home to Bladensburg, Maryland after photographing the commencement exercises at Annapolis when his car was involved in an accident and he died. My mother had given birth to me, their first (and only) child, just ten weeks before, in Washington DC.

Because he was where he was, and not ten feet fore or aft, not thirty seconds before or after, his life ended and my whole life was altered. I have a different last name, taken from the man my mom married two years later, and was raised by a different father, and grew up with six brothers and sisters who would have been impossible, never born or imagined, had not my birthfather died, age 28, on June 4th, 1948.


Let 'em eat cake...or not

Some info has been changed to protect the innocent.

B called me from the Shanghai airport to chat. I told him a story about a married friend of mine, whom he knows. The guy's wife has borderline personality disorder. Drama and chaos abound.

The latest was that she was sick and my friend had been taking good care of her, as is his devoted wont. But the other morning he got up after breakfast to take the dog out for his walk and the wife announced that she wanted a piece of cake. Hubby said that he'd pick some up for her on his way back home.


Borderline Wife had a tantrum, accusing hubby of loving the dog more than he did his own wife. Consequently she hated the dog and hated him. She rose from her sickbed, (where she had previously been immobile for a few days), stormed out of the house and drove her car to an enabling friend of hers out of town. Hasn't called since.

Wow, say B. That's too bad. So who got to eat the cake?

What cake?, says I, he didn't buy the cake.

No cake?, says B. Oh, wow. You didn't warm me that this story would have a sad ending!

See what I'm up against?


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Strange days

The annual gay beauty pageant and talent contest known as IML has just chosen a female-to-male transgender in a wheelchair for International Mr. Leather 2010. I am not making this up.

It always struck me as odd that the group supposedly the most attracted to masculinity was the group most into beauty pageants.

And the message here, from this "apparently" most-appreciative-of-masculinity gay group, is that when it comes to being a "man", having a cock and balls is irrelevant. Now that's progress...

If I had plastic surgery and dyed my skin dark, who would support me entering the Mr. Black America contest? People would be horrified. Beyond horrified. Yet here we have Mr. Leather, with her plastic surgery and hormones, being feted as a male role model...We accept that you can change your gender, but not your race. We live in a strange time.


Some thoughts of mine from previous posts on the question, "What's wrong with homsexuality?"


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Whither the West

Unknown soldier statue, Longhua Martyrs Park, Shanghai

Mark Steyn links to a Canadian blogger who finds his grim prognosis for the end of the West thru demographic suicide and dhimmitude too, well, grim. The guy --an immigrant from Estonia--makes a case for the West coming through, but not without some serious cultural change and violence. Civil wars in Europe between the native (white) peoples and the Muslims, for example. A replay of the Spanish Reconquista with consequent expulsion of the aliens? Or The Caliphate, Act 2?

I have to say that if there is Muslim vs Euro war in Europe, both sides will have only themselves to blame for it. Those who act horrified and surprised were, as the bumper stickers suggest, simply not paying attention. It is not the only possible outcome, but it is hardly unthinkable.

Liberals seem to believe that with the advent of their enlightened institutions, like the UN (!), and their doctrines of multiculturalism, human rights and "the global community", etc. the normal business of humanity should come to a stop and people should learn to behave nicely and get along because, well, it's the nice and enlightened thing to do. They act as if inter-group competition, self-interest, hatred and violence are some kind of aberrant mistake; in Obama's words, "a man-caused disaster." Previously, this was called history.

And history, for conservatives, is the best way to learn about the race. Not philosophy, least of all political philosophy (like the Satanic illusion of Marxism), but history. The Founding Fathers studied law and philosophy, but I think they were interested most of all in the chastening illuminations of the study of history.

B writes from Shanghai, in the wake of sending me some pix of monumental statues, that he continues to wonder why the West no longer makes memorials like this (and the one above).

My theory: we no longer make heroic memorial statues because we no longer believe in heroes. And since heroes are idealizations of ourselves, we apparently no longer believe in ourselves.

In the liberal narrative of the world, where there are only oppressors and victims, groups who have been successful must be oppressors. And therefore without moral standing, without right of self-assertion, without the right to live.

The earlier post I put up about the history of the Middle East is instructive. From Egypt until the Ottomans, all the various successful groups were referred to as Empires. But then we have the expansion of Europe titled as "European Colonialism". As if all the others were something else...

I paraphrase again the great James Burham, author of The Suicide of the West: An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism (1964!): The liberal finds himself morally disarmed in the presence of anyone he deems less well off than himself.

The successful group, aka the oppressor, having power, therefore has no moral right. The unsuccessful group, aka the victim, lacking power, has nothing but moral right. Since the liberal is a moralist, suicide is his only option.


Rise and Fall

Poor China

B informs me from Shanghai that Ex Cathedra is not available there. (Nor Facebook nor YouTube). The Great Firewall of China. Alas for the benighted inhabitants of Cathay. Alas for poor B, who cannot read my blog wisdom whilst galavanting there. Alas for poor me, for obvious reasons I need not detail.

He noted some bizarre T-shirts he'd seen. Asia is famous for fractured English and worse. Among others, a grown Chinese man with a yellow T that read, "Daddy's Girl."

Speaking of blogs, I visited one by an Irish (probably gay) priest teaching English lit at a Japanese university. Prodigiously prodigiously bright, he is nonetheless fixated on the project of reformed Catholicism known as "the spirit of Vatican II." Which usually means the Episcopal Church, at most. I have occasionally asked hanging-on Vatican II liberal Catholics in what way their vision of their Church differs from the Episcopal Church. That kinda slows them up.

If you want a scary perspective on humanity, pick a controversial topic on YouTube and then read the comments. Someone recently noted that YT comments are famous for being a "mosh pit." At best.

I am a very intelligent man. My IQ puts me in the top 2%. Consequently this makes me something of an expert on the limits of intelligence. It's good for a lot of things but there are a lot of situations where it is neither relevant nor important. I don't like actually stupid people, but there are lots of folks without my level of smarts who are in fact much more successful in a host of ways. What irks me most of all --though it should not surprise me-- is smart people saying stupid things. And there I will confess that I can include myself from time to time.

Case in point, Irish priest noted above has a blog entry in which he names the US Army as "the most abusive organization in the world." Beyond pathetically stupid.

In my own eyes, my worst character flaw expresses itself in procrastination. Today I need to get some things done that I should have gotten done several weeks ago. Story of my life. It may give me longevity, since I will likely procrastinate about dying.

Was on a conference call last night with my five siblings, about how to deal with issues around my mom's health problems. Boy, is she lucky to have these men and women as her children.

My friend J is in town for a few weeks. Back in 2006-2007 I had some of the most transcendent sexual experiences of my life with him. Overwhelming sense of cosmic divinity, practically hallucinatory. If I ever had Faust's choice and would be tempted to cry out for a moment in my life, Verweile doch, du bist so schon...Linger a while, thou art so fair...those times with him would be heavily in the running. The man is a sexual magician. And a good friend.

Jacob wrestling with the Angel

And a very decent man. He recently expressed some misgivings about our connection; he felt he had opened up some regions in me which then enabled me to fall so deeply in love with B. "If things had turned out well for you, I might have considered myself the godfather of your happiness. As it is, I feel a little guilty." A good Canadian Protestant!

Not his fault. My grief is my own doing.

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