Monday, December 08, 2008

Homophobia inherent in macho bullshit

Maybe it's because I've been writing alot about the issue of gay marriage over on the political blog (& elsewhere), but I was kinda struck by the nasty implications of an incident that happened yesterday at my job.

Due to illness (see below), I had to call in sick to work on Saturday. The kid who runs the place (22?, 23?) was busy, & I was feeling crappy, so the call was short & to the point. "I won't be in." "OK... Feel better."

Afterward, I realized I'd forgotten to let him know I had an appointment Wednesday, & couldn't be there then either, so I sent an e-mail to inform him. Because I had just called out sick & was now asking for MORE time, I titled the e-mail "That [repsac] has a lot of balls..." (We're a pretty informal company, & besides, we're closing soon anyway... Even if such a subject header is either in bad taste (yeah, I suppose it is) or a breech of the computer policy (perhaps not... They tend not to make/enforce too many rules), it's not likely they're gonna fire me for it, given the short time we have left...)

So yesterday, this kid asks me "What was up with that e-mail title? Are you friggin' gay, or something? I thought you were hittin' on me..."

I was quite taken aback, & couldn't at first figure out whether he was just too stupid to understand the phrase "a lot of balls," or just trying to puff up his own diminutive manhood, again. (He's about 5'3", & appears to have a raging case of Napoleon complex as a result of years of abuse about it. Far too many of his stories are testosterone-laden adventures involving women he's had, or men he's beaten, literally or figuratively.) After explaining the former (yes, he had heard the phrase before & knew what it meant, but seemingly chose to willfully misunderstand it anyway, for effect, I'd imagine), I pointed out that if the word "balls" made him think about gay men & being hit on, that spoke to where his mind was at, not mine...

It wasn't until later that I began to comprehend the homophobia inherent in what he'd said (& I confess, in my retort to him, as well...)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Why do people go to work sick & thereby spread their germs?

I realize the economy sucks, and that people need their jobs & the money they earn, and that in the particular situation I'm talking about, there really was no other option, as the guy running the store was the one who was sick, & had he not been there, the place couldn't've been open.

But as I sit here coughing my lungs out, dizzy from congestion, and generally feeling AWEFUL, none of that matters to me as much as wishing some idiot didn't pass his friggin' cold onto me (& apparently, at least one other person at the store) by showing up for work while he was contagious.

Selfish?

Yeah.
Sue me.
(But please wait until I feel better, first.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In Reply: Hating One's Fellow Americans

In reply to American Power: America's Enemies Within, dedicated to me, as follows,:
"This post is inspired by two angry anti-American commenters at this blog, commenters who have called me a "hater" and "terrorist" because of their inability to rebut the opinions I have expressed: Ben Sutherland and James Casper.

When I first read Snooper's piece, Ben and James came immediately to mind."
...AND to the following comment by the man himself, Mark Harvey aka Snooper:
Thanks for the link and I don't want to give the wrong impression.

I swore an Oath in the service of my Nation. On a particular mission, I carried a wounded man on my shoulders - actually strapped on - for two days in a running fire fight. We won. Most of us survived (long story) but my friend did not. I lost a body part, considered "minor".

I return from a war to fight another here at home and that war is going to cost blood. People die and I am willing and the libtards are not. That is why they whine when I speak as I do.

I find it "ironic" that for the last 8 years the libtards have said much worse and they seem to think it was OK. It was not. Now, one of their opposition speaks as they did and do and it is apparently "shocking" and "bothersome".

The DNC Double Standard is quite comical.

A war will happen here in the States because of these Marxist assholes and I am calling them out...every single one.

The question is, will they be willing to give their all for their cause? I am very curious about that.

---
I don't know who I feel more sorry for; snooper (who served his country at least, but returned with such hatred for his fellow citizens), or Donald, who appears to come by it all naturally, and without any similar sacrifice.
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Posted 12/02/2008 11:01 AM (AmPow blog time)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

That pretty much says it all...

Hope you spend it with those who love you. (Thankfully, I am.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In Reply: "Let marriage be marriage, but don't base US law on a religious rite."

In reply to "American Power: Gay is the New Black?"


As I said in the Wingnuts and Moonbats post, "My thoughts on Homosexual Marriage," as well as the link Nero Dr Douglas provided above, where I respond to his "Gay Marriage is Not a Civil Right" post ("Wingnuts and Moonbats: Is there a right to marry whomever one wishes?"), I agree that the suffering of blacks under slavery & Jim Crow is far worse than the suffering of Gays in 2008 (or ever). This is a straw man, in that few if anyone is saying otherwise...

But that gays suffer less does not mean that gays do not suffer, and the same inalienable rights cover both groups.

I don't even know that many gays want to redefine marriage, if by "marriage" you mean the religious rite presided over by a celebrant of your chosen faith, and blessed by the God you worship. I have heard little of homosexuals demanding that a particular church marry them. So I don't really think it's about marriage, at all...

It's about rights & privileges under US law, which are currently bestowed on the basis of the word "marriage," but not necessarily the religious rite of marriage.

To the extent that domestic partners or folks civilly united receive the same rights & privileges as married people, I have no objection, & I don't really think many others on my side of the issue do, either. To the extent that they laws that oversee each are different, "marriage," the word, makes all the difference. Add "or domestic partnership" to every law that gives a legal right to marriage, and most--the vast majority, I'd guess--will stop pushing for gay marriage.

It isn't about redefining the religious rite of marriage, or what homosexual folks call their united bliss or significant other, but about treating citizens as equals under the law. Whether homosexuals get the rights by calling their unions marriages, or by changing the law, so that marriage remains marriage, but civil union or domestic partnership affords a couple all of the same rights & privileges as marriage, those citizens should be granted those rights.

As I've said before, I'd like to see the word "marriage"--a religious rite, performed by a religious celebrant--stricken from every local, state, & federal law, and replaced by the words "civil union"--a legal agreement between two people in love, officiated over by any individual recognized by the state, including clergy, judges, ship captains, etc.... Let marriage be marriage, but don't base US law on this or any other religious rite. Doing so tarnishes both the religiosity of "marriage" and the freedom of religious belief, embodied in the separation of church & state as espoused by several of our founders, inherent in America.
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Posted 11/19/2008 04:07 PM (American Power Blog time)
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Relevant Links:
RealClearPolitics - Articles - Is Gay the New Black?
Anna Quindlen: The Loving Decision - The Daily Beast

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Reply: "There is no intellectual or rhetorical vice exclusive to a particular side of any partisan debate."

In reply to the following two comments at the American Power blog post "Post-Partisan Obama Cult":
---
'Putting aside all the particulars that have nothing to do with the topic, of course the conflict will continue... The Left & the Right have different political philosophies, and the idea that anyone's asking or expecting anyone else to give up or give in is a myth. Disagree.'
"All well and good ... until someone starts turning ideology into policy.

Then, the particulars do matter ... as well as the intellectual honesty of those making the decisions.

If the decision-makers do not have the intellectual honesty to recognize their own errors in the light of history and reason (or hide them behind popular acceptance of their position ... hey, even slavery was popular in some places once), then place both their own error and that of their political opponents in actual historical perspective, then their credibility as decision-makers is compromised.

It's not like I have seen this game before, repsac ... and you need to remember that intellectual honesty is inherently in short supply among the morally relative that dominate ONLY ONE side of this debate.

While you might have a stash of that ... many of your fellow-travelers, some of whom are now decision-makers, threw theirs in the 7-11 trash receptacles a long time ago."

---
'Here, I prefer the traditional "conventional wisdom" that has gotten us through pretty much every conflict since we became a nation over your radical ideas about foreign policy.'
"Acutally, that conventional wisdom has only been applicable for the last 60 years or so ... before that, we usually decisively engaged our enemies and defeated them as expeditiously as possible, and did not engage in the perpetual paralysis-by-analysis/vacillation/navel-gazing/self-flagellation that is now the Left's stock-in-trade.

And it has also been in those last 60 years that technology, commerce, and (yes) freedom have combined to produce a highly-interconnected planet ... a place where a few dozen can stealthily leverage the above to wreak havoc on a scale that previously took years and armies -- both highly visible to the defenders of life and liberty before their use -- to perpetrate.

The game has changed ... so the conventional wisdom of the last century does NOT apply ... as if it ever did."

---
@ Rich: I don't suppose I need to mention that you're drifting off topic, again...

Yes, there are conversations & circumstances where the particulars you brought up do matter. This isn't one of 'em.

No, popularity does not equate with correctness. Most good ideas are opposed by the masses, at first, and many bad ones have come to be widely supported.

There really is no intellectual or rhetorical vice exclusive to a particular side of any partisan debate. That you believe otherwise, and are willing to spread such a sweeping generalization over so much of the left, in big bold capital letters, no less, calls your own intellectual honesty into question.
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Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Reply: "Disagree. Don't demean & demonize."

In reply to the following comment at the American Power post "Post-Partisan Obama Cult":
repsac, when the Left expands the definition of "fair and balanced" beyond a debate between Bernie Sanders and Robert Byrd, perhaps your words will hold water.

Since November 2000 ... certainly since March 2003 ... the vast majority of Leftist opinion I've seen has been based upon the fairness-obsessed (at a kindergarten level), navel-gazing, self-doubting conventional wisdom of the 20th Century, as if human history started with the birth of the first Baby Boomer.

Not upon the wisdom embodied by those who founded this nation ... who declared that "we hold these truths to be self-evident", then acted accordingly.

And not in an intellectually-honest manner, but instead a manner that simultaneously called for "nuance" while swinging the broadest brush over the principles of human interaction ... even as they were demonstrated by events like the Awakenings.

What your fellow-travelers seek is not dialog, but capitulation to their worldview.

Until y'all acknowledge your own perceptual limitations ... your own errors of INACTION that made today's conflicts inevitable, harder, and longer ... how your conventional wisdom has time and again failed to secure peace and prosperity ... and your own incivility ... this conflict will continue.

And understand this ... if the price of civility is perpetuating the Leftist worldview as the dominant worldview of our culture, it is a price not worth paying.

If you want civility, the discourse has to be a two-way street, well beyond Sanders Avenue and Byrd Boulevard.

---
It's a good speech, Rich, but it's ultimately non-responsive to the topic.
"when the Left expands the definition of "fair and balanced" beyond a debate between Bernie Sanders and Robert Byrd, perhaps your words will hold water."
Yes, some folks on the left have a narrow view of things. The same is true on the right. Both have people who could open up, a bit. Narrow ideology, or being "fair & balanced" has nothing to do with respect for other people, though.
"Since November 2000 ... certainly since March 2003 ... the vast majority of Leftist opinion I've seen has been based upon the fairness-obsessed (at a kindergarten level), navel-gazing, self-doubting conventional wisdom of the 20th Century, as if human history started with the birth of the first Baby Boomer."
We've been over this & over this... Here, I prefer the traditional "conventional wisdom" that has gotten us through pretty much every conflict since we became a nation over your radical ideas about foreign policy. I'm not saying you're not welcome to have & hold them, but the vast majority of the American people do not appear to agree with you. To the best of my recollection, no one here at this blog has backed you, even. They all just remain politely quiet when you post your "20th century thinking for a 21st century world" spiel...

And again, whether you're ultimately right or wrong in your foreign policy views, it has nothing to do with respect for others.
"What your fellow-travelers seek is not dialog, but capitulation to their worldview."
Everyone on every side ultimately seeks capitulation by everyone else to "their" worldview, one way or another, but for some of us--many of us, thankfully--dialog is the way to get there... The people on 52/48 are trying to say respect for the other side and "hashing it out," is the way to go... It's not about giving in, but letting go of the bullshit hate and the labels that become meaningless through overuse, & TALKING to one another.
"Until y'all acknowledge your own perceptual limitations ... your own errors of INACTION that made today's conflicts inevitable, harder, and longer ... how your conventional wisdom has time and again failed to secure peace and prosperity ... and your own incivility ... this conflict will continue."
Putting aside all the particulars that have nothing to do with the topic, of course the conflict will continue... The Left & the Right have different political philosophies, and the idea that anyone's asking or expecting anyone else to give up or give in is a myth. Disagree. Don't demean & demonize.
"And understand this ... if the price of civility is perpetuating the Leftist worldview as the dominant worldview of our culture, it is a price not worth paying.

If you want civility, the discourse has to be a two-way street, well beyond Sanders Avenue and Byrd Boulevard."
The price of civility is civility. It's not about what either side believes, or how narrow one's mind is, but about remembering that it's likely you have a close friend or family member on the opposing team, and that when you toss out the "moonbat" or "wingnut" labels & all the meaning you attach to them, you're talking about that friend or family member, too... It's about treating the wingnuts/moonbats you don't know as well as you treat the ones you do know, just because people--even people who don't share your politics--deserve respect. (If someone hits, by all means, hit back... But don't throw the first punch, just because the person's not in your "tribe," and may hit you, maybe...)

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Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Reply: "Seeing people left & right as individuals, rather than as groups that speak & act as one."

Apparently, Donnie thinks I fear you folks...

Not so much, actually....

No one at the 52/48 site--be they from the left or from the right (& yes, you folks do seem to ignore all the contributions from folks on the right, there)--is suggesting that you give up your principles, like Obama any better than you ever have, or adopt any other political philosophy... It's suggesting that you (& we) stop demonizing anyone & everyone who doesn't agree with you (or "us")...

That anyone would consider me any kind of Obama cultist is kinda funny. No Democrat, no Obama materials, & didn't even vote for the guy...

Jason has the right idea in his comment: "I suggest accurate, factual, but tough and firm criticism."

Sure, you can look to the way Bush was treated by some on the left (which many of you railed about incesently) & vow to to the same to Obama & Democrats (or "almost the same, except respectfully" in a sorry effort to appear less of a hypocrite than the vow itself evidences, given all that whining), but many Americans are tired of the whole thing, and will reject anyone on any side who goes that way...

@Griper:
repsac,
you ought to read your quotes of others with understanding and present them in that way before using them to promote yourself.
Promote myself? What in hell are you talking about, Griper? (What are the chances you'll actually answer?)

I copied what the man said... It's what the site is about. It's what many Americans are about. Not compromise, but respect & understanding for those with whom you differ. Yes, folks on the left need to be more respectful, too. Of course they do... We all do.

@Tom the Redhunter:
So what does "repsac" thing [sic] our reaction should be?
Respect for other Americans. Argument, based on the merits. Less divisive namecalling & appeals to worn out labels. Seeing people left & right as individuals, rather than as groups that speak & act as one.
I took a trip to his blog, where his last post is an attack on anyone who is not happy that Obama won. Conveniently, he doesn't say what our reaction should be, or what his would have been had McCain won.
My last post was about this same 52/48 site. It isn't an attack on those who aren't happy Obama won, but an "attack" on those who prefer divisiveness to respect. It wasn't about Obama, or anyone's reaction to the election results, at all... EXCEPT... I did post two RIGHTWING bloggers reactions to the election, as examples of folks who had the right idea as regards respect for others. (So much for Tom's "wingnut" theory...)

((Any of you folks who thought the fair professor was dead wrong about McCain from the start, and only voted for the runner up in the "Worst Republican Candidate (running) in the World" contest (I know... For most of you, Ron Paul was the "worst") because you had no other choice, you'll probably like Patrick M's "Sane Political Discourse" blog, one of the two I mention... Disagreement, without being disagreeable... (unless you throw the first punch... Then all bets are off, there...))
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 9:00 AM? (AmPow blog time)

In Reply: John McCain Sings Kumbaya...but some partisans refuse to join in

In Reply to: "Post-Partisan Obama Cult," a post discussing a website where Republicans and Democrats support coming together as one America after the election. (The author was not in favor, obviously.)
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"I urge all Americans ... I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited." - John McCain
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 8:00 AM (his blog time)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

In Reply: "Like marriage, sin is up to the church, not the state, to define & otherwise deal with."

In reply to the following comment at the American Power post Gay Marriage is Not a Civil Right:
Philip ... you are more honest than most. As an engineer, I am also quite aware of the sometimes-brutal honesty of mathematics.

And I won't say that I know what you went through on 11 September 2001.

But in my opinion, you have learned the wrong lessons from that act of war ... could it be because your antipathy for organized religion colors your view of the President who broke Leftist "tradition" and precedent, and acted to defend life and liberty?

We have seen it, time and time again in history ... without freedom and the respect for it, peace is just an illusion.

That abject lack of respect for freedom ... using Islam as justification ... is what drove those nineteen thugs to attack you.

And the most prudent defense was to go on the offense against them ... and others who were known to be of like mind and equal -- if not more -- capability, like Saddam & Sons.

Let's be honest here ... what really chafes y'all about Mr. Bush's approach to civil liberties is the lack of transparency. (Otherwise, you'd condemn Lincoln for suspending habeas corpus, instead of honoring him for emancipation ... and BTW the typical Leftist definition of "torture" is anything rougher than 3-hots-and-a-cot, much less something our own men are put through during SERE training.) But there is a reason for that ... for far too long, we allowed a very cunning and manipulative set of enemies to see what we were planning for them, in the event we went to war with them, in the name of "transparency".

And I am also aware of the religious roots of apartheid, and the use of religion to justify atrocity ... but I am also aware that the founding citizens of this nation believed that life and liberty were endowed to them by their Creator .... and therefore were not subject to even a majority vote for denial. Not a few of them wanted to abolish slavery in those early years, as well.

I am also aware of the believers who kept pushing against slavery, until it was eradicated ... and I would wager that other believers did similar yeoman work against apartheid.

And you need to be aware of the independent nature of the evangelicals that make up the vast majority of the Religious Right ... and how their independence is a powerful defense against the very theocracy you abhor.

Your brush is a little too broad, IMO, when it comes to condemning organized religion.

But that doesn't change the facts on the ground ... there are other ways to secure the blessings of liberty for those in GLBT relationships, that do not involve the codification of these relationships as morally equivalent to heterosexual marriage by force of law.

You ask, how does that affect me as a straight?

What it does is effectively close the public debate on the morality of the homosexual lifestyle ... and my, my children's, my grandchildren's, and my fellow believers -- along with others who oppose the practices on other grounds -- ability to publicly dissent from your viewpoint and have that dissent taken with even a pinch of seriousness.

In other words, in the eyes of the law, the question will be settled -- exclusively in your favor -- simply because you want it to be settled.

It is one more step towards making the secular fundamentalist worldview the ONLY acceptable view in our public discourse.

Again, we are not talking about immutable characteristics like skin color here ... we are talking about actions and choices.

Even as a believer, there are legal proscriptions against some actions I might take ... like say, handling venomous snakes in my Long Island church (not that I need/want/perform that kind of litmus test of my faith!).

What the gay community is asking for, is protection for behavior that goes beyond even the Constitutional protections for religious beliefs.

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Reply:
"There are other ways to secure the blessings of liberty for those in GLBT relationships, that do not involve the codification of these relationships as morally equivalent to heterosexual marriage by force of law."
Separate but equal accommodation has been tried before... and found to not comport with American values. US morality is an evolving standard in the first place, and for many--including many who do not share your faith, as well as many who do--the morality of what is essentially a secular contract is not at issue, or within your balliwick to judge.
"What it does is effectively close the public debate on the morality of the homosexual lifestyle ... and my, my children's, my grandchildren's, and my fellow believers -- along with others who oppose the practices on other grounds -- ability to publicly dissent from your viewpoint and have that dissent taken with even a pinch of seriousness.

In other words, in the eyes of the law, the question will be settled -- exclusively in your favor -- simply because you want it to be settled."
Nonsense. You can still teach your children as you see fit. You can still discuss & debate your opposition to gay marriage anytime & in any setting you wish.

Right now, the issue is settled largely in your favor. When it is settled as Phillip & I believe it should be, it will be because the masses have evolved, or because the courts have recognized that the rights are already written into constitutions in various states. It will be settled because rights are not given to you by the state, but are granted to you at birth (or conception, if you prefer), and cannot be taken away by law or statute.
"It is one more step towards making the secular fundamentalist worldview the ONLY acceptable view in our public discourse."
In an effort to create religious freedom, as well as freedom from religion for those who wish it, America is a secular & religion-neutral society. While your particular faith & denomination is the one true path for you, we allow the shinto buddhist, the hassidic jew, and the non-believer to also believe that their religious path--or lack of it--is the way to everlasting light & harmony, as well. In an effort to do so, we do not enshrine the morals & values of your religion, my religion, or any other religion into law.

There are many sins in this world, but relatively few are discouraged or criminalized by law, anymore. Like marriage, sin is up to the church, not the state, to define & otherwise deal with. (Do you really want the state defining such religious matters?) To do otherwise would be to impose one religious institution's set of morals on all Americans, including those who do not share that (& in some cases, any) faith.

We were born on the idea that the Puritans could do their thing, and the Penn Dutch could do theirs, and neither had to convert to & assume the faith of the other... Nothing's changed...
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Posted November 9, 2008, 11:00 PM

In Reply: "...religious beliefs should not be the basis for US law..."

In reply to various comments (noted below) at the post Gay Marriage is Not a Civil Right
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Response to the original post: Wingnuts and Moonbats: Is there a right to marry whomever one wishes?

Paco has it right. One's religious beliefs should not be the basis for US law.

bluespapa asks a good question about polygamy, in light of the two gentlemen's (& by implication of his quote, Nero's) citing of "thousands of years of universally recognized morality and practice".

@ Nikki "A few months ago I did a post on whether or not gay marriage advocates would be willing to extend their argument to include polygamy...not one would give it the same importance as gay marriage."

Of course they didn't. Very few people are asking for any such thing, and reducing an argument to the absurd does nothing to speak to the issue at hand. Should folks wish for & want polygamy, respond to it then... In the meantime, it's no better than counting the angels one imagines can dance on pinpoints....

@ That guy: "Proposition 8 takes away no rights from gay Californians. It simply overturns the rule of 4 state judges, and returns the law to the majority position as it had been prior, with a state constitutional amendment."

You say that as though you have no respect for our American system of justice and law. Those four state judges read the state Constitution before them as written, saw that there was no basis to deny equal protection to gay couples wishing to marry, and ruled that it was against the CA Constitution to do so.

"The majority of Americans agree with "these views," so why should they be beaten into submission by a crazed radical minority, many of whom are Godless and detest the very traditions that are the strength of this country?"

First off, if you're not gay, nothing will change for you. You're not being beaten into submission to anything.

Second, belief in God has little bearing on American rights & law. The Godless deserve as much protection under US law as the faithful.

Traditions are nice, but they are subject to change over time, as are the one's folks view as "the strength of this country"... Just ask those blacks who're descended from slaves (once viewed as the backbone of this country, and impossible to do without...), or the women who once had no right to vote, own property, ... Things change.

I believe Phillip Chandler has your number, dude. Please reply to him with the same thought he offered in his comment, as to do less would only increase the offense your post is offering him.
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Posted November 9, 2008, 12:16 AM

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Merl Saunders RIP

Just heard ol' Merle died Friday evening...

He was a wonderful player, and brought me much joy over many years...

Let the man jam on...



And though I cannot embed, this is just a beautiful tune over which to reminisce about a good man, and then wish him well: Merl Saunders - Sunrise Over Haleakala

He & Jerry are workin' out a set list as we speak...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Is this ping da ting?

(Good news, it works... Bad news, I don't like it here on blogger... Prefer the status blog up top for these messages)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My friend, Chris

We're so proud of her...

Secret Lives of Women: Mistresses - Christine Video - WEtv.com

(No, we were never that close... ...though she did flash her breasts at me once or twice, when we were about 14 or so...)

"And then there’s Christine: She’s not your typical mistress. Christine is a girlfriend, a mother, a businesswoman, an author, and…a Dominatrix. To her clients she’s known as Mistress Cristian, a domme whose sole purpose is to be worshipped. For 12 years married men have been lining up for the chance to live out their secret fantasies with Mistress Cristian. Some want to be beaten, some want to be humiliated, all want a release when they come to her. Christine says they’re not cheating and what she provides is a service. And it’s no mystery why most of her clients are married, not many wives would do what she does."


Anyway, that promo & blurb is for tonight's "Secret Lives of Women: Mistresses - WEtv.com episode.

Here are the showtimes:

Tuesday, July 15 at 10pm | 9c
Wednesday, July 16 at 1am | 12c
Tuesday, July 22 at 11pm | 10c
Wednesday, July 23=2 0at 2am | 1c

A little behind the scenes action:



She also wrote a book: Amazon.com: The Domestic Domina ..My Life As A Suburban Mother and Celebrity Dominatrix: Mistress CRISTIAN: Books

More info:
YouTube - newyorkdominatrix's Channel

MySpace.com - Mistress Cristian - Tri-state NY, NY

THE DOMESTIC DOMINATRIX;..MEMOIRS OF A SUBURBAN MOM, AND CELEBRITY NYC DOMINATRIX ( AS SEEN ON MONTEL WILLIAMS, INSIDE EDITION, WE TV)

She's one of the only celebs I know, (and the only one whose tits I've seen in person...) so forgive me for a little excessive promotion...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rene Marie & the (Black) National Anthem

Updated, 7/12/08



My initial reaction--which hasn't changed, much--was that this singer was wrong for doing what she did, but that the song, and the idea behind it, is beautiful. She was hired to sing a particular song and, while I agree with artistic expression, and really dig the version she offered, this wasn't the proper venue for it.

Given Rene Marie's penchant for blending such songs in past (see/hear below), the city probably should've taken the extra step to be sure she wasn't going to do so in this situation. It's not as though this information wasn't available...

Still, while I agree that she shouldn't've done it the way she did, I'm glad I heard her sing this (& hope I can find an mp3 of it to add to the iPod), and I will be buying some of her music.

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UPDATE: 7/12/08: I found a place to hear/download not only this piece, but the whole three part composition--"Voice of My Beautiful Country" that the "Star-Spangled Banner/Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" piece is a part of... Go here to hear it, and (while it lasts, anyway) to Rene Marie's site to download it.
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'Black National Anthem' brings City Council president hate mail :
Local News : The Rocky Mountain News
:

Hickenlooper said in an interview that he spoke to Marie after the ceremony and that she apologized profusely.

The mayor also said that Marie told him she meant no disrespect.

"She blended the two songs together," Hickenlooper said. "She was trying to make an artistic expression of her love for the country. She did not intend to make a political statement or anything."

Marie sang the first verse of James Weldon Johnson's "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," also known as the "Black National Anthem," but adapted those lyrics to the tune of the "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Marie said she had no regrets. She deliberately didn't tell anybody about her song choice "because I don't think it is necessary for an artist to ask permission to express themselves artistically," she said.

"I would not change a thing," Marie said.

"You have to risk things. You have to. Otherwise, you might of well live your life by a script."


Rene Marie breaks out :
Music : The Rocky Mountain News
:

Marie calls herself a "GRITS" ("a Girl Raised in the South") but no one below the Mason-Dixon Line, or anywhere else, knows what to think the first time he hears the most daring medley in her repertoire.

When she first sang it in Mississippi, every jaw in the place dropped. When she called the tune, using its short name, in early rehearsal at the recording studio, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, who came up with New Orleans-born trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, dropped his sticks and said, "I'm not playing that."

Not playing what?

Marie, who relishes the drama of the unexpected, had thought to pair the traditional white anthem Dixie with the heartbreaking meditation on lynching Strange Fruit. She brought off the collision of opposites as an ironic comment on the way the world still works.

In Mississippi, black and white audience members approached her afterward with tears in their eyes and tragic stories to tell. The same thing happened everywhere else, too. Born in controversy, Dixie/Strange Fruit became the emotional centerpiece of Marie's much- praised CD Vertigo.

Anyone shopping for symbols can find one right there, illustrating the purposes of Marie's unblinking, semiautobiographical work.

"I want to make you laugh and cry," she says. "I want you to squirm uncomfortably in your chair, think of a loved one, get angry, hang your head in shame and raise your hand in protest. . . . I want you to take that leap, make that change, turn that corner."


Hear: "Dixie/Strange Fruit" here

More info:

Another perspective on the controversy: Rene Marie’s patriotic lesson - Colorado Independent

rene marie ~ Q & A

The history behind the 'Black National Anthem' - Cleveland Lifestyles – Living, Food, Health & Fitness News from The Plain Dealer

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Golden Rule of "Steves" (or Johns, or Richards)

I'm with Doctor Awesome... Keeping it in your pants except when absolutely necessary is the way to go...

But there aren't any clear guidelines for proper etiquette posted anywhere. Nobody has told these old men that they aren't in WWII fighting on the German front anymore, so they can put some clothes on. So I'm developing what I'll refer to as the Golden Rule of Steves. We all know the golden rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Modifying this for locker rooms, I'd say we should do unto other Steves as you would have done unto your Steve. If you don't want to be constantly subjected to random Steves as you are getting dressed, then don't subject other people to your Steve while they are getting dressed. Very practical, and very considerate.


Let's look at the very important First Corollary of the Golden Rule of Steves, the No Contact Rule. It goes without saying that there should be no physical contact of any kind. But there also should be no eye contact either. Pretend that Steves are like the sun, and that looking directly at them will blind your retinas for life. This is out of respect...you wouldn't want another man staring at you like next weeks' winning lottery numbers are written there, would you? Another aspect of the no contact rule is verbal. If you are naked, or even partially exposed, there should be no words exchanged until you are covered again. That rules out conversation at the urinal, for instance. There are some good reasons to be naked, but talking at length about the game last night is not one of them. Put your drawers on!


Read the whole piece here: To Every Man A Manswer: Golden Rule of Steves

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin - RIP

Passed on, expired, or dead, the guy was a man among men.

A few of my favorites:

Carlin on Cats:

Carlin on Language:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bill O'Reilly: The Remix

I'm sure by now you've seen the Bill O'Reilly insane rant over his not being able to understand his own teleprompter...

But have you seen the parodies & remixes?:





I particularly dig the music video...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mother’s Day: 5 Things Worth Knowing

mental_floss Blog: Notes on the History of Mother’s Day: 5 Things Worth Knowing

Mother’s Day: 5 Things Worth Knowing
by David K. Israel - May 8, 2008 - 4:49 PM

1. Mother of the Pharaohs

As with many of our calendar-specific events and customs, some of the earliest records of a society honoring a mother can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who held an annual festival for the goddess Isis, sometimes referred to as the Mother of the Pharaohs.

Given the following list of a.k.a.’s, it’s no wonder she had her own day of celebration (top this moms!): Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Gods, The One Who is All, Lady of Green Crops, The Brilliant One in the Sky, Star of the Sea, Great Lady of Magic, Mistress of the House of Life, She Who Knows How To Make Right Use of the Heart, Light-Giver of Heaven, Lady of the Words of Power, and She Who Dominates the Remote (okay, okay, but she probably WOULD have, had there been remote control domination issues at the time).

2. Magna Mater

Of course, the Greeks and Romans had to have something like an Isis day, too. In Greece, there was a special day to celebrate the annual spring festival, in honor of Rhea, the Mother of Zeus, a.k.a., “The mother of the Gods.” The Roman’s (and some Greeks) called her Cybele, or Magna Mater. According to a few sources, male Magna Mater wannabees would castrate themselves, don women’s clothing and assume female identities. (Do we know any modern-day mom’s who’ve had the same effect on men?)

3. The Mother of all Churches

As Christianity spread through Europe, it became fashionable to honor the church in which one was baptized. People would honor their “mother church” with flowers on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, mother of Christ. Then, in England, in the 1600s, a decree took hold, widening the celebration to include actual mothers, and voila, we have the birth of “Mothering Sunday,” as it was called. Christians were also allowed to eat on this Lenten Sunday, which meant a one-day break from the 40 day pre-Easter fast. In addition to flowers, it was a time for families to travel in order to be together, much like our present-day Mother’s Day.

4. The Hymn for Womyn

What do Mother’s Day and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” have in common? Julia Ward Howe, of course. It was her eyes that saw much more than the glory of the coming of the Lord. In 1870, 12 years after penning the infamous lyric, she wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation that said:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts…
We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

It was an anti-war protest of sorts, in which she insisted on an international Mother’s Day celebrating peace and motherhood. She proposed July 4th, but ultimately June 2nd was picked as the day. The new holiday, however, slowly fizzled out and by 1900, it was no longer celebrated.

5. The Hallmark of Hard Work

Then, in 1908, Mother’s Day was born again at Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, thanks to the efforts of one Anna M. Jarvis, who was looking to honor her mother Anna Reeves Jarvis, who’d recently passed away after spending more than 20 years teaching Sunday school at the church. Every mom who showed up to the memorial received 2 white carnations. The event was so successful, Anna quit her job and went all over the country petitioning state governments, women groups, churches, anyone who’d get behind her cause to create a national Mother’s Day. Her hard work paid off and in 1912, West Virginia became the first state to recognize Mother’s Day. Two years later, good old President Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, reserving the second Sunday in May as the official Mother’s Day. And there was much rejoicing in the offices of Hallmark. (You think I’m joking, but the card company was founded in 1910, so it’s entirely possible.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Elmo is the man - Post 01

I've been checking out my blog traffic stats, and I've learned something important.

The A #1 draw to my blogs seems to be one particular post. This post: Wingnuts & Moonbats: La la lala, la la lala, Elmo's Song. Our little buddy Elmo has been googled in combination with any number of different words, from "kill" and "death" to "song" or "cute," & everything in between. Those who aren't hunting out Elmo, are lookin' for the "lala song".

Unfortunately, that post is more'n'likely unsatisfying to most searchers, as it is about a commenter who's nom d'blog is Elmo, and whose song is a left wing partisan screed about chickenhawk Republicans. It's funny, and worth a view, even if you don't agree with it, but it isn't the little red Elmo in any way, shape or form.

I'm hoping to make it up to those unsatisfied customers with this series. Elmo -- the REAL Elmo -- in as much of his internet glory as I have time & space for.


First, my favorite story:

Toddler's Elmo Doll Makes Death Threats, Family Says

The truth (I think) is found here, among the comments: When good toys go bad X: Elmo makes death threats to toddler - Engadget

Mystery solved. One of the names in the database from Fisher Price is "Keir" somehow that got chosen as the name to say. It is exactly what this Elmo is saying.

It could be worse - at least Elmo didn't say "wang" or "vivia2" (sounds like "vulva" or he would be accused of sexual harassment.

Oh - and "clint" does NOT sound like Clint.

Fisher-Price Toys - Knows Your Name - Elmo


Next: Rappin' Elmo



Monday, March 31, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Cat 3/28/08




So, this cat walks into a bar, and...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The World's Shortest Personality Test

Here's my "score":

Your Personality Profile

You are funky, outdoorsy, and down to earth.
While you may not be a total hippie...
You're definitely one of the most free spirited people around.

You are very impulsive - every day is a new adventure.
However, you do put some thought behind all your actions.
Still, you do tend to shock and offend people from time to time!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

I had this blog, once...

Sorry about my abrupt (& lengthy) disappearance... I had some computer issues (& little money to fix 'em), and while I was away from the net I developed other interests & habits that kept me away even longer than I had to be (Yes Virginia, there is life away from the internet.)


I'm going to try to post more often, & still maintain my real world interests as well... We'll see how well I do...

Hope everyone had a great bunch of holidays!!

Nerd Score (Do nerds score?)