Children these days are scary....and expensive.
Your little trend-setter simply must have these $149 Diesel distressed jeans. They're already splattered with paint - since we all know that children no longer actualy do things like play or paint, anymore.
If you're really interested in your child looking sporty cool, you can spend $192.50 at the Gap for that desired look!
Or -- you can create little monsters who don't even need makeup for the Tricks or Treats! Little children really, really need $44 tee-shirts to make a fashion statement in second grade.
In the past month, I've been featured (along with Angry Black Bitch)in the Riverfront Times; last year's Halloween costume was featured on the back page of EXP Magazine; there's two items in the Vital VOICE about me this week; and my ass is featured in a St. Louis Magazine cover story....oh, and I'm in the Glitterati Party Pix section of the magazine, as well.
So, this year for Halloween, I'm dressing up as me -- which is nice, for a change. I don't have to make a costume. I'm already wearing it.
A couple of week ago, the teller at my credit union told me he enjoyed reading my blog. And this past week, numerous folks have said, "I saw you [insert media vehicle here]." It was flattering, of course, but my fundamental reality has not changed.
The truth is: my car is still broken-down and my ass is still broke (the bank teller can vouch for my broke-assedness). Sallie Mae still wants the money I ain't got and Mrs. Thompson at J.C. Penney Credit Card Collection Services could give a shit that I'm a Glitterati.
It is also true that today is my last day working alongside a Bitch. We all went out for soul food for lunch and my boss said the nicest thing any employer has ever said to me about my departure:
I'm just glad I don't have to change the locks.
My reality can be so messy, so nerve-wracking, so unflattering and not-so happy -- and I've tried to share that with y'all from time to time. It's not what you see in those magazine articles or newspaper tid-bits, flattering as they are.
I will admit that it is comforting to know that folks give a damn, whether they're family, friends, co-workers, or magazine art directors.
I suppose that's just what happens when you just go about your life, being yourself.
Sometimes, some people notice.
And with that, I'm out of here for a couple of days. Next week, I'll start my new job working alongside some folks who are combating homelessness and trying to assist the mentally ill.
Those folks certainly deserve a lot more attention than I do.
And my task there will be to make sure that they get the attention they deserve.
Have a Happy Halloween and enjoy an extra hour of delinquency for me.
I'll be on my best behavior.
Besides the fact that I still need to fix the brakes on my car, this story makes me all the more belligerent about riding my bicycle these days:
Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday posted a quarterly profit of $9.9 billion, the largest in U.S. corporate history, as it raked in a bonanza from record oil and gas prices.Oh, boo fucking hoo, poor little Exxon Mobil -- falling short of expectations.
While profit was up 75 percent and revenue rose 32 percent to more than $100 billion, the results fell short of Wall Street forecasts due to production outages caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and sharply lower profit at the company's chemicals division.
Kinda reminds me of all the people down South still reeling from the impact of Katrina, Rita, Wilma, etc. who remain homeless and unemployed, still lacking electricity, food and water.
I imagine their expectations have fallen a bit too, huh?
I am happily creeping into being a cranky, ole queen.
But somewhere along the line, all boundaries, all limits have been dismissed and the younglings just keep getting "edgier," even though the edge was dulled a long, long time ago. I think that happened when the first Hot Topic opened, but I may be wrong. Or it could have been when every mother fucker on this planet got a tattoo.
This is my last week working alongside an Angry Black Bitch.
And I am, in all honesty, not ready or willing to share how that makes me feel with anyone else but her at this moment in time.
And that’s only if I can keep myself from crying, which is not likely.
In case you’re wondering, I’m starting a new job with an agency that advocates for the mentally ill – with a specific focus on helping folks who are homeless addicts.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned from a Bitch, it’s that bitching about a problem is one thing, doing something about it is another matter altogether.
In this case, I wish it didn’t mean that when I walk out of our office on Friday, we’d no longer be co-workers.
I just have to believe that when I walk out of our office on Friday, we’ll remain friends.
At least we have the United Church of Bitchitude and Latter-Day Drunks. Until the bitter in-fighting begins, which it always could, y'all. She's a Bitch - I'm a drunk....there's always drama when those two energies collide, honey.
But I wouldn't have it any other fucking way.
I'll miss you ABB, and you know that. And that's all I'm going to say on the matter.
In this August 30 post about Hurricane Katrina, I provided folks with a definition of looting:
to rob especially on a large scale and usually by violence or corruption
New today and yesterday, reminds me that in the wake of devastation, the real looters the past few months were not the folks gooching some plasma wide-screens.
I have been especially crabby for most of October. And while prescription medicine could likely help me turn that frown upside down, I've decided that I would just change the way I interpret things, instead. Mind over medicine!
That way, I can adjust to a world gone crazy, all the while saving my pennies for a vacation, cigarettes and coffee.
Let me show you how you, too - can reinterpret tragedy for better mental health today and tomorrow.
Over at stltoday.com here's today's top stories:
My old way of thinking would have interpreted these stories as:
1. Global warming is such a bitch
2. Cops will kill your ass
3. Another sick, sad testament to "it bleeds it leads"
4. Yet another sick, sad testament to "it bleeds it leads"
Now that I have reprogrammed my mind, this is how I've reinterpreted the stories:
1. Living on the coast is dangerous
2. People in pick up trucks will get shot
3. People driving vans will get killed
4. Children in busses will get hit by people driving SUVs
See how easy it is?
By looking at these stories of suffering from a different vantage point, I realize that folks who drive are a bunch of crazy asses. And since my ass can't swim and a great vacation usually involves large bodies of water, I better learn...
So, please, I ask you - dear reader - please pay attention while driving your car. As a bicyclist who obeys the stop signs, the traffic lights and the rules of the road: PLEASE STOP ACTING LIKE ASSHOLES!
My new state of mind (and my desire to live) would greatly appreciate it.
Oh! And if you're especially cute and have an indoor pool and would like to teach me how to swim, please let me know when we can start our lessons!
Money makes the world go around -- especially for this fine fella from Hollywood.
The world, they say, can turn on a dime. And if you're Whitney "I believe the children are the future" Houston -- it's a dime bag you're turning upside down...filmed, of course, on your reality TV show!
Since it's Sunday and since I remember Sunday as a day for Bible verses, family dinners and 60 Minutes, I thought I'd check in on the children of the future, the current state of Christianity, the world of Pop Culture and what Madonna's cook is making the kids for dinner.
Let's start with Lamb and Lynx Gaede – the singing, dancing 13 year old California Neo-Nazi twin superstars of Prussian Blue, who perform Nazi-inspired songs (to packed houses) in order to preserve the “White Way of Life.” And you wondered what kind of little girl JonBenet Ramsey would grow up to become – and why Mary Kate became a junkie and dropped out of school? And you really fucking wonder why some folks hate white people? We're not all like that....trust!
Let’s now praise the Lord and visit the the new and improved Anne “I found Jesus” Rice – who has re-written Jesus’ life story, a la Harry Potter, but without her usual gothic élan. Forget the “dark arts” and vampiric existentialism – Anne’s spreading the Good News by helping readers understand Jesus' life as a an up-and-coming child God -- the future King of Peace.
Yes! The woman who fictionalized a 2000 year old vampire dynasty (starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, no less), feels that she is best suited to scribe the inner dialogue of Christianity’s kingpin. Incongruous, insane, ironic and iconoclastic – and will she find an audience? And what happens if she does? Christ is the new Goth? Jesus is the new black?
Speaking of icons, dramatic turnarounds and Madonna and child(ren): reports of Madge’s parenting techniques oddly make sense, all the while she endeavors to recreate disco next month by even more flagrantly re-appropriating other people’s music (namely Michael Jackson, Donna Summer and ABBA!). Sounds like she’s got a hit on her hands, which leaves me desperately seeking the first single. Oh, Esther -- how you've grown -- from former Catholic multi-millionaire pop star slut, to feeding chickens, denouncing sin, embracing Kabbalah, all the while utilizing disciplinarian tactics that would make Joan Crawford proud. Oh! Let’s not forget the nannies, the chauffeur, the stylists, the horse trainer, the live-in cook and a sexy husband with anger issues.
And to think we were, at one point, convinced that Bennifer was the worst thing to happen to American Pop Culture – that Brad and Jen breakup’s was more important than a tsunami and that Tom Cruise could actually get a young woman pregnant?
Well, look out, kids – I think we’re shaping up for a real pop culture revolution!
It gets even better! A majority of European countries are utilizing provisions of the United Nation’s cultural governing body to prevent (or at least decrease) the importing of American Pop Culture into their countries. They don’t want to buy it, support it or ingest it anymore, meaning Hollywood will have to take a deep look at itself to figure out why no one, anywhere, wants to watch its insipidly tepid, shitty films.
Um...and once again...that’s Hollywood getting deep and introspective, kids. Expect long lines at the Scientology center as John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and Tom Cruise help wayward Hollywoodians to find their way.
Part of me isn’t sure if this is schaedenfreude or schizophrenia. Either way, fasten your seatbelts, kids...it’s gonna be a bumpy night!
The Human Rights Campaign has created a couple of public service announcements that are funny, smart and quite possibly…effective (for once).
The spots feature a real cutie named Tom who runs around talking about important matters of the day with his car-fixing buddies and his gal pals. I know I’d wanna talk to Tom about some public servicing – but that’s another post for another day on another site!
Anyway, Tom takes on gender identity, gay marriage and much, much more in a sassy little campaign that reveals a clear change in tactics for the country's largest gay rights organization.
For once, they're actually being gay (as in jolly, handsome and attractive) rather than gay (as in judgmental, humorless and sour).
I guess it's mean of me, y'all -- but I love it when rich, spoiled heiresses get humiliated.
Wal-Mart heiress Paige Laurie has returned her communications degree to the University of Southern California after being accused of paying a roommate to do her coursework.Read more here.
Time chugs along and the conversation about poverty that began in the wake of Hurricane Katrina has been supplanted by a thousand other trifling stories.
The stories about poverty quickly disappear when Lindsay Lohan crashes her car or Paris Hilton calls off her wedding announcement. These horrendous girls get on my nerves, but they serve as a springboard for a discussion I’d like to have today about behavior, class, poverty and my favorite subject: white people bullshit.
The Associated Press today reported today that there’s a difference in opinion when wealthy and poor folks are asked about the root cause of poverty.
Wealthier folks seem “evenly split on whether poverty is caused by external factors or by people not making enough effort” while poorer folks “were almost twice as likely to say factors beyond their control are responsible for their impoverished state.”
It’s interesting to note the following two stories, which detail that poorer folks are actually more generous and philanthropic than their wealthier counterparts.
Connecticut ranks first when it comes to making money, but joins New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in falling to the very bottom of the 2004 Generosity Index, according to the Catalogue for Philanthropy. Mississippi held onto its title as the most giving state for the eighth consecutive year. Following right behind are Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee.
But it’s not just here – this story out of England draws the same conclusion:
"It is staggering to think that, although the better-off have more money than ever before, it is the poorer people in society who are giving their money away to good causes.”What motivates poorer folks to give more freely, here and abroad, I wonder?
Do societal, cultural, religious, and regional differences factors into the equation?
I tried to think of an example to illustrate this division in thinking about wealth and poverty – so I decided to look into issues regarding education.
I’ve heard numerous white folks lament the deplorable state of the public school system here in the city of St. Louis. These folks seem content to send their children off to private Catholic schools, justifying their rationale with any number of reasons. I especially do not understand why someone who isn’t Catholic would send their child into a Catholic environment and the only motivator I can come up with is this: white people bullshit.
I want to ask anyone who sends their child to private school if their child, fundamentally, deserve a better education that someone else’s child?
Do you really believe that the public school system is that horrendous?
And if you think that, why are you not doing a damn thing about it?
Don’t you understand that poorer children with less educational opportunity face a greater challenge in life than their wealthier counterparts?
And if you admit that -- what the FUCK do you think will happen to these children in the long-term?
What kind of adults will they grow up to become?
And speaking of adults and a Catholic institution that has, for centuries, protected thousands of child molesters – does that institution really deserve your financial support?
Does that really serve the best interest of your child – to teach them that a misogynistic institution that protects child molesters is “better” than learning besides a child from a different socio-economic, cultural or ethnic background?
Is your child really safer being schooled in that world?
What values are your children learning in that environment in the first place?
Are the hundreds of millions of dollars spent sending children to private school making this community, this country any better?
Couldn’t that money go into numerous other projects, ventures and organizations?
Do you accept that across this nation there is disparity in resources, materials, teaching staffs and expectations?
And who do we blame for these differences?
Callous politicians, indifferent parents, bratty kids, underpaid teachers or a political and social system that fundamentally fails to address why all these factors come into play?
I wish I knew the answers, but one thing is for sure: poverty exists.
But is poverty best defined by an absence of cash or more by an absence of consideration for others?
I know that I frequently have few nice things to say about the Catholic Church – or most churches -- or most religious people -- up on this blog. The reason for that is that they often stand in deliberate, willful and unflinching opposition to my understanding of Jesus’ teachings.
And while there are any number of Catholic organizations that aid, assist and protect the poor, have Catholic schools in our city abandoned their Catholic principles and simply become the refuge of the privileged and the racist?
I’ll leave you with this story, of a certain Brother Kenneth Hoagland, who decided to cancel the Kellenberg Memorial High school’s prom, in light of students’ parents spending $20,000 to rent a house in the Hamptons for a post prom party fit for the Lindsay Lohan/Paris Hilton generation:
"It is not primarily the sex/booze/drugs that surround this event, as problematic as they might be. It is rather the flaunting of affluence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity's sake — in a word, financial decadence. Each year it gets worse, becomes more exaggerated, more expensive, more emotionally traumatic…We are withdrawing from the battle and allowing parents full responsibility. Kellenberg is willing to sponsor a prom, but not an orgy."Now that’s some Catholicism I can understand and support...but you should know that some parents are now planning on hosting an off-site event in protest of a Catholic school’s decision to be…well…Catholic.
Talk about a piss-poor excuse for parenting…
Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy pursues totalitarian aims. Its leaders pretend to be an aggrieved party, representing the powerless against imperial enemies. In truth they have endless ambitions of imperial domination, and they wish to make everyone powerless except themselves. Under their rule, they have banned books, and desecrated historical monuments, and brutalized women. They seek to end dissent in every form, and to control every aspect of life, and to rule the soul, itself. While promising a future of justice and holiness, the terrorists are preparing for a future of oppression and misery.To say he missed the irony would presume that he knew anything (at all) about...well.... irony.
I got a chain letter today and while I normally avoid opening them – this one sneaked through my telepathetic defense mechanism.
I followed the mystical orders of the chain letter, as instructed. Some folks might not believe that was a sensible thing to do, but…umm…hello…is this the first time you’ve ever read this blog?
So -- I decided I needed to get my Wicca on, even though I understand the dangers of meddling with the dark arts, sorcery and magicks. You see, I didn’t want to exclusively rely on that chain letter in preventing future bad luck and since my feet were already wet (mystically speaking), I figured I might as well plunge on in to the dark, soothing waters of the arcane.
Truth be told, I decided that summoning supernatural powers would be a fun way to spend a Thursday evening. Remember, I quit driving, watching TV and my little bohemian getaway doesn’t have an internet connection. I have a lot more time on my hands these days. And casting spells seemed like more fun than washing dishes.
Imagine my surprise to find out that secrets of the dark arts are actually secret! Even rudimentary magick is nestled among thousands of pages of juvenile-inspired devotions to the ancient ways.
Every where I looked, all I found were whack-jobs selling trifling trinkets, ineffectual talismans and pentagram amulets with inset cubic zirconia diamelles. Tacky and tawdry rules the witchy realm, clearly.
Quality necromancy, I soon learned, is hard to find.
I did, however, stumble upon a very basic site with this beginner’s list of how to cast a spell:
Basic Ritual Structure:
-- Preparing the Altar.(Nothing too elaborate, just a few of your favorite tools).
-- Lighting the candles.
-- Cleansing the area.
-- Casting the circle.
-- Invoking the elements.
-- Invoking the Deities.
-- Stating the Purpose of the ritual.
-- Magickal workings or devotions.
-- Raising the Energy. Releasing the Energy.
-- Thanking the Deities.
-- Thanking the elements.
-- Closing(or sometimes called opening) the circle.
-- Cakes and ale
Cakes and ale? Is this what this whole business is about? Sweets and drinking?
What a rip!
I wanted zombies!
I wanted levitation!
I wanted to warp the fabric of time and space!
It seems to me, the Wiccas go about things like so many other religions do. They have their little rites and play honor to the things they believe in and then they turn around and eat lemon bars and drink punch afterwards, all content and smug that their goodly actions warrant a mild sugar buzz.
If I wanted to deal with witches like that, I’d have stuck to the Southern Baptist Church. Talk about a bunch of ladies who’ll give you the evil eye…
Last night I attended a swank party with lots of swanky folks at a swankified new establishment.
The champagne was flowing, the hors d’oeuvre – fabulous – the valet parking, unnecessary, but an elegant touch, since there was a bevy of parking spaces to be found on the street. I guess folks were worried about walking half a block at twilight in an “emerging neighborhood” – but since I ride those streets every night, valet parking seemed a bit alarmist and bourgeoisie.
I pulled up in front of the city’s hottest new restaurant and chained my bike to the light post, which faced the restaurant’s front door. As I said, I ride these streets every night, so while I’m not to worried about getting mugged, I do know a bike as cute as mine would be stolen, if left unsecured. “Better safe than sorry, you hypocrite…”I thought to myself. And yes, my bike is super cute – everyone says so.
As I was getting my Pee-Wee on with bicycle chains, a very nervous, all-dressed-up fella approached me. “Um….you’re invited to the party tonight?” he asked with either suspicion or surprise, his eyebrows raised, his shoulders -- a tad hunched. I couldn’t tell exactly what he was getting at or if he was supposed to be a maitre d’ or a bouncer, because he was doing a piss-poor job on all fronts.
“Yes…I’m with the media,” and I sashayed inside as he nervously looked at me – my bike – and me again. I will admit that making white people nervous gives me a perverse sense of joy. And while I do work in the media, I was mostly just there to be nosey and for some free food.
So I sat down to try the various food offerings, which were all quite tasty, sipping my Diet Coke and eavesdropping on conversations, as is my way. I will admit, I felt a twinge of Carrie Bradshaw….but not the good kinda Carrie – the wheeeeeeee! it’s a party Carrie was somewhere else last night. A better party, I wanna say, but the publicist who invited me would kill me... so lemme say...um....another party, instead.
See, I was standing by the bar and a handsome man entered the front door. The gay that I was chatting with leaned over to me and asked, “He looks familiar….is he on TV?”
“Occasionally,” I replied, “considering he’s the mayor….”
I then engaged another person in conversation who thought it would be a fabulous idea for the newspaper where I work to host an event at Neiman Marcus to benefit our annual PrideFest celebration. He was, by the way, another gay – and was wearing a Che Guevara tee shirt.
“I have a funny story about tee-shirts, “ I said – wanting to turn the conversation as quickly as possible from Neiman Marcus and the gays. There’s only so many times in one day I like to wrap my mind around nervous white people – and talking about a gaggle of gays at a gala would have done me in, for real.
This is the story I told him – kinda – I’ve brightened up some of the language for
A few weeks ago, I was at my favorite coffee shop, writing away, wearing my Patty Hearst tee-shirt. I stepped outside to smoke my cigarette and this young queen, reeking of Abercrombie and Similac told me he liked my graphic tee.
"Where did you get it?" he asked.
"Oh...I got it at the Tivoli last November when they showed the movie," I replied.
"Madonna had a movie?"
I looked at him quizzically.
"That's from American Life, right?" He asked - very confused.
"No...this is Patty Hearst.”
I reflected, before saying, “She was kinda like Paris Hilton...except she got kidnapped by some radicals and she robbed banks."
"That's hot," he said.
“You can learn more at pbs dot org, “ I replied.
So that’s the story I told.
And then the person wearing the Che Guevara shirt told me that he didn’t know who Che Guevara was. He pointed to the fella who didn’t recognize the mayor and said, “He told me who this is….he's in a David Bowie song.”
I’ll leave you to ponder that for a moment while we turn our lens to Tom Ford’s dramatic return to relevancy, thanks to an allegiance with Estée Lauder. In an upcoming fashion spread, super dreamy Tom Ford is seen posing, nekkid no less, with plastic dolls and freakishly buffed, polished and hairless bois. When asked if he was creating a “frightening image of women,” he replied:
I'm just trying to make a comment to let people see where we are. Sometimes it's hard for us to see our own world. There's a surreal quality to a lot of things, just go to a dinner party and see a lot of 60-year-old women all stretched and pulled. There's real manipulation going on. Sometimes you have to exaggerate these things in order to make the point. So that was really the point of the photo shoot, not necessarily to say it's right or wrong or good or bad or we should do it or we shouldn't do it. But trying to show where we are.Where are we indeed, Tom Ford?
Now, I don’t know much about Tom Ford, except that he’s handsome, rich and…damn…has a great ass! But I do know that very few will perceive this photo shoot as a critique of “60-year-old women all stretched and pulled.” I suspect it further legitimizes body fascism, will increase visibility of Estée Lauder and will enhance Tom Ford’s own fashion iconography. It gives him a little edge in the fashion-leadership department. Lord knows we don’t wanna see Karl Lagerfeld’s scrawny ass….
Now, I have no interest in being snide here. Well…yes…I do…but I also agree with Tom -- it is up to you to draw your own conclusions.
We’re artificial, plastic, stretched and fake. As a culture, we obscenely regurgitate our imagery and iconography without knowledge, history or perspective.
When folks don’t know who their mayors are, when folks mistake Madonna for Patty Hearst and Che Guevara is relegated to the world of Neiman Marcus, our culture faces issues larger than Botox and facelifts.
What happens when Norman Jean Baker becomes Marilyn Monroe becomes Andy Warhol’s Marilyn becomes David LaChapelle’s Amanda Lepore as Marilyn Monroe and then just becomes and ordinary, unknown and perhaps frightening face on a tee shirt?
In other words, what happens when real people, who have lived and loved and died become pop culture icons and then evolve into another state of iconography, devoid of history, knowledge and humanity?
Is that good?
Is that just what pop culture is? A constant state of self-reflection? A constant state of over-amplified dehumanized commodities – with an inkling of humanity somewhere, forgotten in the background?
And if it is – if it is, indeed, just a constant flow of recycled ideas and personalities….does it deserve to give it the attention it gets?
I’m not here to say the pop culture sky is falling. I’m just a middle-aged queer who understands his referents. And I imagine that some of you do, too. I guess I just worry about the children and the uninformed from time to time. So go tell somebody about Patty Hearst. She, by the way, had a great quote the other day, speaking of celebrity:
"How many times can you look up someone's skirt and think it's fascinating? 'Look, they're pumping their own gas!' … We had a subscription to one magazine, which I won't name - I just had to call up and cancel it because there were 18 pages of people scratching their ass or licking their fingers or blowing their noses."Go tell the folks buying tee shirts at Neiman Marcus that Che would probably advocate killing their champagne drinking asses. Stop a friend from chopping up his or her face – the world is no kinder to fake people than it is to real people, so what’s the point?
Sometimes you have to accept your own limitations. Accepting other people’s limitations – well, that’s easier to preach than it is to follow, especially when the world they live in is a plastic realm of valet service and cheek-implanted dreams. Speaking of cheeks – after all those carbs last night, I'm gonna spend some extra time on my bicycle tonight. Hope, alone, will not help me achieve that Tom Ford derriere. Lord knows it's not that tight...but trust -- it won’t melt under the glare of spotlights, either.
And just for fun, you can accessorize your revolution at the officially licensed Che store, which also sells Malcolm X merchandise. Malcolm X, as portrayed by Denzel Washington, of course.....
Today is a milestone for many reasons. I look at the things I’ve relinquished over the past few months -- drinking, DSL, driving, dating, Desperate Housewives – and I have some interesting news to report.
My life is pretty much the same ole confusing mess it was before I abandoned petroleum, porn, Passions (the TV show), Popov and passion (the unrequited love). I still do a piss poor job putting away my laundry, JC Penney still wants their money and my love life has started to resemble Harriet Meiers’. Even though I’ve turned off the TV and the internet at home, even though I haven’t started my car’s engine, even though I’ve become more monk than man-whore, I am not (truly) any different.
Now, I am not depressed by any of this that I am sharing with you. It’s just the conclusion that I’ve come through after spending a great deal of time alone thinking, writing, pondering and mulling over half-baked schemes for revenge and world domination. When I am king, things will be different!
But I am not a king, and while I give you full leverage to make your queen joke here, I think it’s more accurate to say that I am simply a slave, and a pretty content one, too.
For the longest time, I felt that I was a slave to Capitalism, to gay-male identity, to consumerism, to apathy, to fear, to hope, to this blog, to other people’s expectations. You name it – I felt enslaved by it. But as I started removing the things that I felt ensnared me, I realized that I was actually, just a slave to my own life, regardless of whatever circumstances, situations or nuanced experiences affected, informed, or changed it.
It seems so very damn obvious that life is just life – but it is a far easier situational dynamic to accept than some other paradigms. For instance, Fundamentalism frightens me, but so does Anarchy. In their extremes, there will, inevitably, be folks who challenge the status quo – so the “one answer fits every question” scenario becomes an absurdist parable – impossible to implement.
I do, however, refuse to believe that folks are (at their core) selfish assholes. I’ve seen and experienced love in my life and I believe that compassion and humanity will win out – or will, at least, always struggle against influences that seek to destroy it.
Yin-Yang, north-south, red-blue, boy-girl, left-right...whatever you wanna call it, there is always a struggle to be found in this world.
That, I see, is the way of life – and rather than choosing one side or the other, I’ve simply chosen to accept that both exist. It’s a new-found objectivity that I am trying to embrace. It is, by no means, simple, although at its premise -- it is.
Simplicity requires acceptance as much as it does control. To keep things simple, you have to choose what you will (or will not) allow to affect or enter your life. You also have to accept that no matter what choices you do make in your life, you are, without a doubt, destined to die.
Accepting death is a very challenging notion. My father’s death ten years ago still haunts my thoughts, as does a litany of personal and emotional losses that this year has presented me. But I know I am not alone in this matter. A friend of mine’s father died this year and another friend’s father is dying. There are no platitudes that will resolve the swirl of emotions that any of us face on a day to day basis. It sucks – it sucks hardcore - and the acceptance of suckage is where I am today.
Some days I just cry when I think about what I’ve learnt and what I’ve lost in my life. It is, at its core, very humbling to admit that I am (in so very many ways) not in control of what happened in a grain silo ten years ago or what happened across the country six months ago, or what happened or will happen in my friends’ lives.
I know I have tried very hard to absolve myself for things I have done in my past – and I continue to try to atone for my wrong doings. I very much want to feel love in my life, yet conspire to create situations that make its presence in my life unattainable.
Today, it would seem, is not a good news day. But neither was yesterday or the day before…
Everywhere there is death and destruction. An Angry Black Bitch asked me if I thought the world was ending. I said no, but that it could, if enough folks were convinced that it was. There’s always a tipping point in such matters. If enough folks abdicate hope, things get worse, if enough folks embrace hope and love, the tide can turn. For every cop that beats the shit out of someone, there’s a cop that saves a life. I’m not saying that makes it all moot, but I will say that every good deed is grounds for hope.
If all you do is seek the bad news, then all you will know is bad news.
I, for one, have grown tired of bitterness and despair. I have grown tired of calling my enemies names. I have grown tired of feeling that everyone is out to get me and that no one cares about anyone else in this world. But I am not Pollyanna in my thinking, either. I accept that there is bitterness, despair, assholism and all sorts of behavior that is at odds with my own moral core. I’ve just chosen to accept its existence rather than concede to it or continue a fruitless effort to combat it.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I no longer fear death. That is still very true. It is very hard to accept that at the moment you die, you could, conceivably, no longer exist. It’s done. It’s finished. You’re gone. That’s it.
Heaven and angels or even coming back as a cricket sounds a lot more promising than that, huh?
But if it is indeed over – then it’s over – and there’s no more fretting, and there’s no more slavery to life. It’s a blessing in the deadliest of disguises. And what I have to accept (and what has been very hard to accept) is that in his death, my father found his release. It is natural that my journey has been complicated by his departure -- but I have also been very selfish in this matter as well. Um....duh....this isn't www.selfless.com -- is it?
Now, trust – I’m not jumping off the ledge for sweet release anytime soon, at least deliberately. Like I said, I'm still selfish.
I’d still like to have a really great romance, or take a trip to Europe (sans bird flu), or write a really good story, or have another sordid adventure – or do any other number of things that I love and enjoy, while I'm still around to enjoy it.
But I have grown to accept, in ways that I would have never imagine, that some ya-hoo could pop a bullet in my head, that some careless driver could hit me with her car, that I could be taken out by an avian strain of flu, that any number of situations could happen that will remove me from this life and end my slavery to it.
It’s an odd sense of serenity, for sure, but it is, I will admit, really calming.
With that in mind, I think about what awaits me today and for the rest of the week and my life, for that matter. There’s a party to go to tonight, a bike ride I’ll share with a new friend, a note I need to write to an old one, a call to my mother that I need to make, a book I need to read, a photo I want to take, a story I’d like to tell, a volunteer task left to complete and some laundry that needs to be put away.
The laundry...well...that’s always gonna be last on my list. Some things in my life are destined to be a mess. I’d rather it be piles of clean and dirty clothes rather than piles of unfulfilled or broken dreams.
Sometimes, I sit around my little bohemian getaway, thinking about the future and things.
Last night, it occurred to me that all this exploration into nature, genetics and science is gonna produce a whole-helluva lotta trouble in days to come. Especially for the gay babies of the future.
Scientists are busy these days trying to prove that gay is “natural” by proving that something genetic creates man-on-man action and that ladies-loving-ladies is linked to a particular swirl of DNA.
I think this is misguided thinking and I think we should stop trying to determine what it is that makes someone gay. I think it is much more important for research to begin immediately into what makes someone a boring, idiotic, evil asshole.
This new research will cut across all agendas and platforms. The genetic tests will decode what gene creates…oh…let’s say Bob Mackie or what genes create Karl Rove. These new discoveries would determine if your child will be born to be an Angry Black Bitch or Ann Coulter.
The day will come when happy parents-to-be will be sitting around the Petri dish making some very important determinations about their children. Oh, look – your child will make fabulous beaded gowns and give a shit about other people or will engage on vitriolic, destructive hateful self-serving assholish behavior.
If and when the day comes, what choice would you make?
Now… I know that folks will get all bent out of shape by this new level of scientific research.
But it seems to me that some of us on the left that are clamoring for independent research and examination and “proof” of our identity have forgotten that once someone can prove why we exist – that some folks will choose to make sure we cannot exist at all.
Save the gay babies – and save them today!
It is being reported that when she returns from rehab, Kate Moss will be arrested for being videotaped purportedly snorting cocaine and “glamorizing drug use.”
That’s bullshit – and not from just a legal standpoint. Can anyone prove that was cocaine that Kate Moss was snorting? Maybe she’s into snorting Splenda...we all know that child doesn’t eat.
If anything, indeed, does glamorize drug use, it is printing and televising images of her snorting a line in the first place. Folks who watched the video were engaging in a glamorized, morbid curiosity in celebrity. May I ask, are they being taken in for questioning for being smug assholes? Because pompous assholism, if not a crime now – it sure as hell should be. Schadenfreude, while not illegal, is certainly an affliction of damaged, ugly people.
If there is any “glamorizing" taking place, it’s that folks who snort a line glamorize their use internally -- mentally -- because it’s a helluva lot easier to think of yourself as glamorous rather than thinking of yourself as a junkie.
Kate Moss is coming to grips with being a junkie mess right now – do y’all really think that’s fun?
I can assure you it is not.
It is not fun knowing that folks are talking, speculating, conversing, arguing, fighting, disagreeing and discussing the fact that you are a self-confessed junkie mess.
Speaking of which, where's Naomi's ass? Where's anybody but Sharon Stone these days? I’m a recovering junkie mess myself, so I have no problem stepping up and asking anyone waving their finger at Ms. Moss a few questions.
For instance, I would ask, “Did you feel better about yourself sitting on your fat ass watching her do a line?”
I might also ask, “Do you think you’re a better person because you’ve never done cocaine – and if so, have you never done something harmful or self-destructive?”
Because if you are that free from either being lazy, selfish, shiftless, greedy, needy or wanting – then I would like to meet you. I heard that Jesus was due to be strolling around for the second time and I’d like to shake your hand for being so free from human weakness, frailty and bad decision-making.
Industries like fashion – and sports, for that matter – that willingly and specifically do nothing to address the use of illegal drugs do more to glamorize drug abuse than Kate’s skinny, drug-addicted ass.
When a culture willing perpetuates an aesthetic and an ideal that is, in many cases, unattainable without chemical assistance, or Photoshop – you set in motion a series of self-fulfilling prophecies and consequences.
Young girls will starve themselves to be that thin, young men will inject hormones to get buff and they’ll all do lines (every now and then) just to try to fill the void that is created by artificially constructed ideals of beauty, power and success.
Kate may go to jail – but there’s gonna be another girl taking her place on the covers of Bazaar and in the bathroom stall doing a bump.
You can’t take the glamour out of drugs without taking the glamour out of a culture that necessitates self-medication. Pick your vice: cocaine, tv, blogging, yoga, pilates, biking, smuggy-right-wing assholism.
It’s all symptomatic behavior, kids – it’s just that some of it is illegal and some of it isn’t.
News today that pending legislation in Indiana “will require marriage as a legal condition of motherhood” makes me think of great movies about motherhood.
Proud mothers, courageous mothers, fierce mothers, doing whatever they needed to do to protect their homes, their families, their children. But if Senator Patricia Miller has her way, some of those ladies of yesteryear will be tomorrow’s felons.
Sounds hot, huh?
I, myself, look forward to the Lifetime, Television for Women mini-series, starring Valerie Bertinelli, clutching her illegally knocked-up stomach, fleeing from the hounds of decency and morality….crossing the train tracks of Gary, Indiana…hoping…praying she can get to Chicago…hoping that Oprah will save her.
Guess we’ll just have to see if it’s a factual or fictional telling.
Wanna wager any bets?
This post from a 23 year old blogger breaks my heart.
My mental state is collapsing and deteriorating almost daily. It's so consistent you could practically graph it. My life is falling apart at an equally alarming rate, and yet I feel like doing nothing to salvage it. I feel like I'm standing at the bottom of one of the WTC towers, watching it come down on me, floor by floor, knowing I'll be blown to atoms, yet unable to move.I suspect there's a great number of folks these days who feel equally powerless and ineffective, shit...I know I do. I struggle with it daily.
See what I'm talking about? I've gone from cynicism to hatred to sadness in a few paragraphs. I'm a broken shell of what I used to be. Like Humpty Dumpty, I also doubt very seriously if I can ever be put back together. I'm dissatisfied and miserable beyond measure and no amount of medication, therapy, or vacation seems able to change that. That's not the kind of person I want to be for you all.
I believe the most telling moment in the post is this one: That's not the kind of person I want to be for you all.
The question I would ask is: who do you want to be for yourself -- regardless of an audience.
As someone who works in media, loves media, hates media, is thrilled by media, is disgusted by media and who generally cannot tell up from down when it comes to undertanding this whole mixed-up world that's become the blogosphere, this article leaves me perplexed:
The average American is a ravenous media junkie, consuming up to nine hours a day of television, web time or cellphone minutes, according to new research which raises fresh questions about how technology is revolutionising society...And guess what -- in the same amount of time the use of "prescription drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the adult popluation has increased by 200 percent."
On a typical day at the end of 2004, 70 million Americans went online to use email, get news, find health and medical information, book travel or countless other activities, a figure 37 percent higher than four years before, the survey found.
Just wanted to pass along this message about a sale going on this weekend at the former Shenandoah Bowling Lanes (and share one of my favorite bowling images from days gone by).
It could be gang-busters or it could be a bust....but that's the magic, charm and mystery of weekend jaunts out junkin'.
Sale: 60 Years of Shenandoah Bowling Lanes
Sat and Sun (October 8 + 9)
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m
The Lipp Building
2266 South Compton (corner of Shenandoah and Compton)
They have cleaned out what used to be the old Shenandoah Bowling Lanes and will be selling everything that was down there -- 60 years of storage.
There is a huge selection of vintage lighting, electrical, kitchen and bath supplies. Lots of things for rehabbers like toilets, sinks,counter tops, wood trim and doors.
Please enter through the old Art Deco entrance which was formerly the entrance to the bowling alley.
Scary times in America.
Witch-hunts and tireless crusades against America's enemies abound.
Lives destroyed and ruined.
Terror in the streets.
Folks looking suspiciously at other people, wondering...worrying...fearful and anxious.
Could he be one?
She looks like one to me....
I bet they're all like that.
Yes....hard times for folks who wanted to speak their mind in a land seized by terror.
Hard times, indeed...
All because of one surly-little insolent asshole, which my pal Brian reminded me of recently.
Now...Charlie McCarthy managed to inflict his own brand of puppet terror for decades...and was a "co-host" of a TV show called Do You Trust Your Wife? which was later taken over by a little-known newcomer named Johnny Carson.
But I'm talking about a different terror today, depicted in the film Good Night, And Good Luck.
It seems that hunka-hunka burning love George Clooney has decided to make his own movie about another scary McCarthy - namely Senator Joseph McCarthy - and I admit I cannot wait to see it. George Clooney is hot, dude! Plus, a little history never hurt anybody, huh?
And while part of me would rather see a movie-version of little Candace Bergen having her Karen Black Trilogy of Terror Moment with a Charlie McCarthy version of that scary-ass Zuni doll, I suppose a film that talks about politics, responsible journalism, celebrity and a nation seized by fear is relevant and stuff, too...
As crazy at it seems, at one point in our past, celebrities, writers, artists and commentators were being defamed for having opinions that differed from the administration of the day.
We're talking about folks like Arthur Miller, Paul Robeson, Charlie Chaplin, Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett.
Clooney claims they were blacklisted, berated and humiliated in public just for having and expressing their opinions.
Isn't that just too weird to conceive?
I guess in times like these -- like way back when -- having your own opinion can get you into trouble.
The question I raise today is would you rather be speaking your own mind or would you rather be someone else's puppet?
That's the thing about being a mouthpiece -- whether you're the asshole-in-charge or simply the one spouting out other folk's words.
You're never quite sure if the words you say are truly your own.