Re-read Lee Harris' review of Brokeback Mountain, which both as short story and film I love. Well, maybe love is not the right word. Reading the story and watching the film left me transfixed.
I miss Harris' writing; a very thoughtful and articulate right of center man who shares his life with another man. Since his last book on the Tea Party, The New American Civil War, I have not found much of him on line. Harris makes the point that the characters in the so-called gay cowboy romance were not gay. (Lesbian righty Tammy Bruce also made the unaccountably bitchy point, over and over, that they were not cowboys either, but merely sheep herders.) Although their lifelong love affair began in the pre-Stonewall era, Jack and Innis would certainly have been aware of the appearance of the gay culture. And they never made a move toward it. He argues that their rejection of being "queer", quickly but definitely announced, came from their identity as men. To become either queer or gay would have made them unrecognizable as men in their own eyes. And imploded the story.
Androphilia made the same point about gay identity and manhood. Years ago I was impatient with my AIDS organization's outreach to MSMs, Men who have Sex with Men but who did not identify as gay or with the gay community. I was at the stage in my coming out where my attachment to the gay community with practically tribal. In those primitive years, the coalition was just "gay and lesbian". The sexual Frankenstein of LGBT,etc. had not yet been assembled in the lab. And I still assumed (I think) that at the heart of it all was men loving men. But over the years, as always, I found myself working myself toward the margins. Nowadays I'd really rather be one of those MSMs.
Harris has been called "the philosopher of 9/11". He understands Islam. BTW, Muslims in Spain are demanding that dogs be excluded from public spaces and are poisoning them. And in Switzerland, they want the cross taken off the flag. The West needs no more Muslims. Not one more. On the contrary.
Reflecting on the various twists and turns of my life, I suggest an epitaph for my tombstone: "What was he thinking?!"
Struck me funny. On the website of conservative Jewish commentator Dennis Prager, whom I often like, this offering of an mp3 download
"Why Is It So Hard To Be Good?" We all want to be good -- better than we are. Then, why is it so hard? Dennis identifies the key challenges that hold us back. And offers practical solutions.
So American. And if he weren't a Jew, Pelagian. Key challenges and practical solutions! :)
Reading up on shame, occasioned by some clinical work. If you think guilt is rough, try shame. And yet it is an integral part of the human psyche, serving its purposes. We would not, I think, be homo sapiens without it. Right there in Genesis. It's one of the strengths of Jung's psychology that he recognizes even the most difficult and dark regions of our soul as natural parts of our soul rather than alien pathologies. He supports a far less grand version of Aquinas' saying that "grace does not remove nature but perfects it." Individuation does not remove nature but becomes conscious of it. I got from reading him --a grandly imperfect man--what I never really got from the Gospels: permission to be human.