Wednesday, November 18, 2009

it would be

A woman is at the store stocking up on Tylenol when the voice over prompts her to wise up and take Aleve. See, if you take a shit ton of one kind of drug because you have such pain then maybe it's time to pare that down to a single much more powerful pill?

That's right, it's time for another commercial that I hate. I really do hate commercials for the most part. There are always a couple that I'm okay with or that make me laugh, but for the most part I just see a swamp of ridiculousness and pandering and making people think they are stupid or entitled.

I hadn't really considered the drug aspects of this commercial. No, what pissed me off is, as the woman realizes she can just purchase the one bottle of Aleve rather than the multiple bottles of Tylenol she puts down her basket in the middle of the aisle, still containing the Tylenol, and walks away.

Who does shit like that? Who leaves a basket of anything sitting on the floor and leaves it? She's created some minor hazard, but more importantly, out of sheer laziness, she's left extra work for someone else, tiny though it may be. Okay, maybe the hazard is the bigger deal than the fact that someone has to bend and reach more than he or she might have.

But then I think about the whole drugs thing and it raises questions. Well, raises questions isn't really where I'm going, because I've already posed similar questions in the past. For a country with such issues with drugs we sure seem to like them an awful lot. What if there was a plant that grows easily, was safe for human consumption, was useful for a large number of uses including some amount of easing of pain? That would be cool.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Via I learned of this article/interview at about Ian McKellen. He's seventy years old and has been out since forever. I'm only familiar with him due to his roles as Magneto in the X-Men movies and as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings movies and hopefully soon as Gandalf again in The Hobbit.

I need to do something about that familiarity, because the man has been in movies since forever as well. He has of course done actual theater. I will likely never see him actually doing thus, so he's a movie actor to me.

I've had the two links from above in tabs for what seems like days, which it has been, fully intending to write something, but I haven't really known how to approach it. I think I'll just leave it here, and if anyone does read they can comment and tell me what they think.

Also, I wouldn't post it if it weren't interesting, but I'm not going to review it more than to tell you it's got great gay power of story as JJ would say, assuming I'm using the phrase properly, and he throws in a couple of stabs at religion while making some valid points.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

reject letter

If you know where I live then it would likely come as no surprise that there are around these hills people who believe that gay people are all evil, predatory perverts. It's part of the agenda you sometimes hear about that apparently makes us go out and recruit people.

This intractably held position is firmly rooted in scripture, ancient texts meant to exist for all time as the code to absolute right and wrong, assuming it's KJV.

I'm just really having trouble even finding a way to approach this. What I really want to tell people and make them understand is that they can disagree. They can have an abiding faith that gay people are going to totally ruin it for everyone when the plague of a week long endless rain of flaming frogs and hurricanes that only rip up chain link fence and ruin automobile paint jobs. Believe the shit out of it, but there's a line at which you can't make me do stuff because you believe something I don't.

All of this stems from a letter to the editor I read in the local alternative newsweekly, print edition. My first response when I read the letter earlier today was to wonder why they bothered printing it. I began a post about the letter before finding the online version. It kind of sucked the day out of my day a little. I was freshly home, finally off work, had the French press working its magic on a cup of coffee, and I was smoking, standing on the back porch ready to read a brand new edition of the local alternative newsweekly.

I began, as I sometimes do, with the letters to the editor. It's right there in front. My next response was just a general dismay that I'd bothered reading this particular letter. From the first paragraph you know what you're getting.

If you don't want to bother reading the letter it starts with a fervent call to pray away the gay, a longstanding and oft tried technique that still seems to have zero-ish percent actually working to make someone not gay. We're led then into the horrors of the gay agenda and the eventual comeuppance exacted by slapped in the face once too often god of justice.

People really are free to feel however they want. You can hate me and think I'm an awful person, but religion is for churches and for personal codes of conduct, not for setting civil equality standards. If you can't give me a reason for laws that do not in anyway rely on your ancient texts then it probably doesn't have much place in a document meant to govern a free people.

For blog purposes I then went and found the online version of the letter, linked to above. Of course having found it I then had to read the online comments. One comment, as of now, is a long series of quote from people one might consider to have been founding fathers, one is to question the newsweekly's decision to publish the letter, and one is from the editor not entirely justifying the publishing with a request for a more reasoned response worth publishing and suggesting it isn't right to reject letters based on disagreements with wingnuttery contained therein.

As gay people we shouldn't need to keep explaining why we should be treated as people. It really is just that simple. We are normal and a part of the human gender/sexual orientation continuum that so many people can only see as man plus woman equals the only thing that is okay, KJV version. They trivialize everything down to sex as being the ultimate query, can you and your partner perform sexing that can result in pregnancy? And then they won't accept our claim that what we are discussing is so much more than sex but is also on so many levels an issue about sex.

So my own question comes back to why the newsweekly felt any need or obligation to run this particular letter. I get not rejecting letters because of point of view issues. Certainly it makes sense, but when the other side is using such horrid arguments to justify discrimination I can't really see any reason to present them. We all know people like that. We get that we live where we do and that this is a fairly common sentiment regarding gay equals damnation. As important is that we see it so damn often that it's inescapable. Perhaps christians will find that acceptable, that their message is so pervasive that people are really less likely to listen or to take them seriously.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

V, not for vegetarian specifically

Last week saw me once again making my newly famous mushrooms and dumplings. I forgot to get peas when I hit the grocery store, so they weren't part of the deal. And I'm not entirely certain that mushrooms and peas are an equal protein exchange for chicken, which isn't the point, but it is something to think about. I trust my vegetarian friends to take care of that themselves.

The occasion was that a friend needed a home cooked meal and some friendship. She was at a place, and I knew it, so I invited her over. She invited another friend who is in a long running place, a friend who also needed some friend and a good home cooked meal.

Apparently when you're me that's all it takes to end up with lesbians and a trans man at your house. And so, just maybe, Tuesday nights with V and a vegetarian meal are the new thing at my house.

I have to say that I'm not a planner. I'm not good at making things happen, not a professional instigator. I like doing stuff, but being the pussy that I am I just don't tend to go out of my way. I suppose that's part of why I sit around at home doing nothing so often. It's a thing that could use some work, but the shy part of me, the part that's obviously afraid of something intangible, is not happy with the change that needs.

This week was going to be chili, though I'll be the first to admit that whatever I made isn't really chili. It was good, but it wasn't the chili that I set out to make. And without trying I actually made a vegan dish, but vegans can suck it, and if I'd thought to buy cheese it wouldn't have been served as vegan.

Did I mention that we watch V? Yes, that V, the remake of the early '80's scifi series involving Marc Singer and aliens with somewhat less than benevolent intentions. I remember it to some extent as a nearly eleven year old child, though it seems the majority of people I've come to know lately either didn't watch it or weren't born or just weren't old enough. I actually tried to discuss the original series with a coworker recently. When he pointed out that he was a year old in 1983 I had to turn and walk away.

All that to say that you should swing by next week. I'm not sure yet who will be here or what I'll be cooking. I do ask that you bring your own beer, and if I get enough interest it might have to become a potluck. My only other request is that you shut up during V. It's no Saddle Cub or Top Gear but I do love it so already. Also dogs and kids are welcome, but there's no fence around the yard, so your dogs best not be the running off and acting crazy in the neighborhood types.

Monday, November 09, 2009

already? seriously?

Moments ago I refreshed my Facebook homepage and was met with a head smackingly obnoxious status update of a "friend," a person I may just have to unfriend over this shit.

When I joined Facebook I intended it to be the family safe place because my brothers and then parents were all members. I thought I was happy with Myspace being the place I was going to be out and myself, but over time things changed. I grew to like Fb more and became friends there with more and more of my actual friends.

I then found myself being friends with a number of people I'd gone to church and school with as a child, though the overly conservative right wing type stuff soon caused me to remove all those people from my friends. I realized I wasn't actually friends with these people and didn't want to be.

One of my two closest friends as a child/teen is now the only of those people with whom I'm still friends, though I haven't spoken to him in nearly twenty years and likely have absolutely nothing in common beyond some shared childhood.

As of today I might just have to remove him. His status update is one of those typical Fb polls, though this one is just stupid. Apparently we are asked to vote yes or no as to whether we agree with President Obama referring to the White House's celebratory tree and whether it's okay for it to be referred to as a holiday tree or whether he must refer to it as a Christmas tree.

First, I don't give a fuck what he calls it, and I can't imagine why it matters. Of course I get why the wingnuts are going to shit themselves over it since they can't stand the fact that there does truly exist a separation of church and state or that people might ever try to be sensitive to the beliefs of others. Second, it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. Nearly seven weeks till Christmas and the douchebags are already fussing.

I'm so not looking forward to any of this shit. I care little enough for the holiday season anyway, and I don't celebrate the christian version of the holiday, nor do I celebrate the solstice aspect of the event. I'll accept an excuse to get together with what friends and family I'm able, and I always love a huge meal with those friends and family.

Just give us this one year that we don't have to deal with the wingnuttery. Though the people who most need to hear this aren't here at my blog, I'd still like to beg them to please just let it go. So many people are going to approach this holiday to celebrate their own variant of the day, and it really is okay. Christians do not own the day or the celebration, and their whole version of it is basically stolen in part or in whole from other belief systems. So please, please just let it go.

Also, I didn't forget the Jews, but I'm not going to sit here and be sensitive enough to figure out the one true spelling of whatever they hell they call it. And black people can have there one too, but again, I don't celebrate it and am not at all concerned. Shit, Jews and black people are likely those people most reasonable about the fact that we all have our own approach and are most willing, it seems, to live and let live. So for that I thank you.

p.s. maybe the sensible ones among us should use this particular year to be the assholes and get uptight and offended, clutching our pearls and being aghast when people wish us Merry Christmas.

p.p.s. I suppose that, given my choice to blog about this, I'm fueling the fire and doing the thing I'm bitching about. If you're surprised by this then you don't know me.

already? seriously?

not surprised but still

Some of tonight was spent watching the film Jesus Camp, a film many people are aware of. I remember when it came out, when it seemed to blow up the little corner of the blogosphere that I'm marginally a part of.

I'm certainly not afraid of a film, but I am somewhat worried about the mentality of the sort of people portrayed in the film. I'm not surprised that people are like that, and I come from a not too dissimilar background, so I'm well aware of the indoctrination that happens to kids born into such religiously zealous backgrounds.

I'm nearly ready to call what I saw in the film brainwashing. I'll admit to raising my own kids in a way that mirrors my beliefs, and to some extent that's what is portrayed in the movie, but then it must be admitted that these people take it to a whole other level.

Big Brother didn't watch the whole movie with me. He and The Boy were too busy playing with some new toys they bought today with their own money. But they were both in the room playing, and he did see some amount of the movie. He was aware of some of it and watched some of it with me.

I want my kids to know they can ask questions when they have questions. They don't as much as I'd like, but when they do I want to be honest. This movie and the few question Big Brother did have because of it opened up some interesting conversation, but more than that it made me think.

I was able, because of this movie, to discuss with him the dangers of taking too seriously everything you hear. I was able to discuss the need to approach things objectively, to at least try to view all sides of a discussion. I was able to discuss the fact that repitition, music, chanting, etc. can put people in a state of mind that is almost trancelike, that it opens people up to suggestion. I even got to discuss abortion and my views.

I want to think that my most important point throughout the discussion was the point of having an objective approach. I want him to understand that my views are my own, that other people are welcome and within their rights to hold differing views. Most important is getting information that will allow him to make an intelligent decision about what he believes.

More than anything what I personally took away from all this is my own need to interact more with my children. It's so easy to just let them go about their business, to give them quick answers to their questions, to allow myself to become so absorbed in my own things that we don't live together and communicate together so much as exist within the same realm.

And as for the kids in the movie, I really felt sorry for them. They are taught a certain dogma, they are taught the "right" answers. They weren't taught to look at things from any sort of distance, to judge things on merits that aren't completely tied up in their faith based world view. I worry for the ones that are fed this singular view, the ones who know better, who look into themselves and see that it isn't right or isn't right for them.

And finally I'll share one bit that stood out to me. The kids at the end passing out religious pamphlets approached the black family to ask that age old question, "If you were to die where would you spend eternity." They got the answer of heaven, but as the kids turned away one of them mentioned to the others her belief that they were probably muslims. It's much more likely that the people were christian somewhere within the typically accepted protestantism of the U.S., but I assume based on their skin color, the kids made the leap to muslim. Just wow!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

post halloween party

One of my workmates is throwing his Halloween party tonight. In part this has to do with those of us who had to work not getting to party. He's cool that way I suppose, and he's really, really easy on the eyes, though that has nothing to do with any of this.

Being a Halloween party, he insists on us all wearing costumes. I have no problem with that as it's part of the fun, but I seriously have no idea what to wear as a costume.

I could run to the thrift store for female clothes that fit and go in drag. I could wear the pants and vest of a three piece suit and be zombie fundy. I can dig the boys' black cape out and be a vampire. I could . . . I could . . .

None of these really appeal to me. None of them sound especially fun or inventive. So I'm stuck here racking my brain for something I actually want to be. I really just have no idea.