Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stuff gay men supposedly like: 10. Emotional detachment

We all know that gay men have perfectly self-contained emotional lives, free from the emotional neediness affecting other human beings and the ensuing drama.

And the earth is flat.

Meanwhile, back in real life, many gay men have an alarming tendency to become emotional limpets. If you commit the sin of helpfulness or simple politeness, you may end up adding to your collection of stalkers.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Today's vocabulary word: hostile

hostile, adj. imperfectly adulatory: Why must you be so hostile toward us (politically correct people, conservative Christians, whomever)?

Quote of the week

"[P]overty is only picturesque to those who can easily escape it." - Ross Wetzsteon, Republic of Dreams: Greenwich Village: The American Bohemia, 1910-1960

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fundamentalists of big government (3)

In today's letters to the editor of The New York Times, we see yet again the tired old cry for bigger government because of the "spectacularly ill informed" belief that "markets are rational." That argument attacks a straw man, since it is not libertarians who think that we can legislate utopia into existence. Moreover, it ignores the paradox of democratic statism that I have noted in other fora, namely, that the same people who are too stupid to run their own lives are at the same time brilliant enough to go to the polls and make the right choices for the rest of us.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hypersensitive whiners, don't read this.

You personally suck. Your religious and political views are based on arrogance and narcissism, and only a brain-damaged five-year-old could possibly agree with you. Everything that you enjoy sexually is an abomination unto the Invisible Pink Unicorn and makes you the moral equivalent of people who molest dead puppies (but not, of course, of whatever oppressed minority I happen to like).

I get to say all of the above to you; it's just my freedom of speech. But if you ever dare to say anything imperfectly adulatory of me, I will scream, "Persecution!" and then curl up into a little ball of self-pity.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


In light of the flap over Juan Williams, people are calling for an end to government funding for NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I would believe in ending such government funding even if NPR agreed with me on everything. I do not see why taxpayers should be made to subsidize radio, particularly NPR, since subsidies for NPR redistribute wealth to the already wealthy. At least we do not fund broadcasting through the same sharply regressive taxation used in some other countries.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How to change the culture, and how not to do so

This article in today's New York Times Magazine compares and contrasts the hugely successful effort to abolish foot-binding in China with the largely failed attempt to eradicate female genital mutilation in Africa. Queer and HIV activists would do well to heed the lessons learned.

Missionaries seeking to end foot-binding in China operated within a framework of respect for Chinese culture and cooperation with the Qing Dynasty's opinion makers; they succeeded in eliminating foot-binding within a generation. By contrast, those seeking to end female genital mutilation in Africa have often taken the attitude of "We're going to tell you how it is" and have been greeted with cries of cultural imperialism. The article concludes,
First, begin with a dialogue of mutual respect, free of self-congratulation. Second, when you have a core of converts, organize a program of public commitment to new practices, which takes into account the traditions of the community. To end one practice, as the anti-foot-binding campaigners grasped, you need to start another.
I believe that our own activists can draw the following lessons. First, activists attempting to engage the Christian community have often operated from a combination of contempt for Christians and willful ignorance about what Christians actually believe. Two particularly frustrating examples were the HIV activist who dropped the Eucharist on the floor of the cathedral and the compatriot who defended him because the Eucharist somehow represented the cardinal rather than Christ. Christians have responded by circling the wagons. That is not Christian nature, but human nature.

Second, attempts to educate men who have sex with men on the dangers of barebacking and meth abuse have often proceeded from a condescending attitude toward the target audience. Too often, those discussing the matter have come across as joyless puritans rebuking gay men for some sort of moral failure peculiar to gay men. Then those puritans wonder why they are not getting their point across.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quote of the week

"Is life not a hundred times too short for us to stifle ourselves." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Be careful what you wish for.

This columnist argues for "sane restrictions on freedom of speech" in order to "mute extremist cacophony." Such restrictions would prove disastrous for his own freedom of speech.

He points out that the American media do not always deal in rational discourse, and on that point, he will get no argument from me. Nonetheless, he then draws the following conclusion:
So, I’m OK if the Supreme Court says that the First Amendment does not protect harassing military funerals. And I wouldn’t lose sleep if it had said that bans on burning the American flags are fine. That’s not because I hate some abstract notion of liberty, it’s because not one of these sensible restrictions would hinder our democracy. Instead, they would promote a less hysterical, more rational national discourse.
The author evidently loses sight of the issue raised by his own topic, which is not whether rational discourse is a good thing or a bad thing, but whether we can trust government to be the gatekeeper.

Would a rule that any positive mention of homosexuality is per se obscene be “sane” and “sensible”? Would it “hinder our democracy”? Until 1958, the United States Government would have answered the former question in the affirmative and the latter question in the negative. Therefore, the publication in which he rails against free speech would never have seen the light of day.

There's no arguing with some people.

Let's play Politically Correct Bingo!

It's like Bullshit Bingo, except, well, more P.C.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

High-fructose corn syrup: Curse of the free market?

The current talk about sugar sodas and other junk foods typically turns to high-fructose corn syrup and thence to the evils of the free market, which has supposedly cursed us with that syrup. A closer examination, however, shows another invisible hand at work, namely, the unintended consequences of government interference in the market.

HFCS has become less expensive than sucrose, and therefore more widely used, because of subsidies for corn plus a combination of price supports, production quotas, and import tariffs for sucrose. Thus, the government subsidizes HFCS while pushing the price of sucrose in the United States to levels far above the world price. Yet some people clamor for government intervention. The government gave, and people want the government to take away; blessed be the name of the government.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Today's vocabulary word: fornication

fornication, n. 1. sex without a license. 2. a translation of the New Testament Greek word πορνεία (porneía), which has whatever meaning suits the purpose of any given Christian in any given situation.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? No time soon!

In response to the Obackstabber administration's action on DADT, Joe Solmonese, no doubt wearing a tasteful yet elegant Dolce & Gabbana ensemble, had this to say:
“It is certainly disappointing and frustrating that the administration has sought a stay. There is one simple way to put the endless legal wrangling behind us and do what the President and the American people want to strengthen our military: the administration and Congress need to finish the legislative work on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal after the election. The interests of the administration, the military, and most importantly the American people are best served by doing the hard work of enacting a durable legislative repeal of this discriminatory law.”
Joe, public displays of masochism are for the back porch of the Eagle, not the political arena.

Today's vocabulary word: logical

logical, adj. conforming to what I want to believe, regardless of what actual logic says. Syn.: rational.

(An aside: Don't tell us how logical or rational you are; let us figure it out for ourselves.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Religious right or P.C. left? Quote 6

In this series of blog posts, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read each quote and guess, before doing a Web search, whether someone in the religious right or the politically correct left said it.

There are only two ways you can have an amicable on-line relationship with trannies (males who believe their delusions are reality).

* * *

Second way: 100% Submission. Whatever they say, you must agree with each and every word 100%. You cannot even quibble about grammar. Your agreement has to be 100% and it has to be convincing and flattering.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thanks again, Fierce-Advocate-in-Chief (2).

The Department of Justice has announced that it plans to appeal the ruling striking down "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." In other fora, I've pointed out that notwithstanding an urban legend to the contrary, the DOJ is under no Constitutional or legal obligation to appeal and in fact has previously declined to appeal rulings striking down federal laws. The Obamapologists have responded with that all-purpose scathing rebuttal, "La la la la la, I can't hear you."

Once, I even asked politely (well, politely for me) for a blue-book citation to whatever legal principle says that the DOJ must appeal. I still got no takers.

Quote of the week

"Mr. Obama kept his promise, he offered hope and that is all you got." - fern501, Brussels, Belgium

Thanks again, Fierce-Advocate-in-Chief.

The Justice Department has appealed court rulings striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, and it may well do so on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The spin is that the Justice Department is required to appeal court rulings adverse to the U.S. Government. There's just one slight problem: No, it isn't required to do so. It has not always done so, and it has not even always done so under the Obama administration.

Stuff gay men supposedly like: 8 and 9. Being incredibly picky and having sex with whatever moves

No, you may not ask how both of those things can be true. It is vitally important to believe all media stereotypes about gay men, even those that directly contradict one another.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Carl Paladino does Gay Pride Day.

I'll grant that Gay Pride Day doesn't always offer the same level of wholesome family entertainment as, say, bestiality porn, but Carl Paladino has gone off of the deep end. Mr. Paladino is the latest conservative Christian Republican to "stumble on" a pride parade and be shocked, shocked, at what he sees there.

First, how does one stumble on a pride parade? I grant that Toronto may be different from any of the cities in which I have participated in such parades, but in my experience, the parade sites are a royal pain to get to. That alone makes me want to call bullshit.

Second, he seems to have paid an awful lot attention to the antics of the Speedo-wearers. I love how these bastions of morality pay far more attention to gay male sexuality than does any gay man I know.

His defenders in the comments section are equally loopy. Their Bible-based defense of his position on homosexuality takes cherry-picking to new depths. What does the Bible say about adultery? Don't tell me what your pastor says about the spirit of Christ's message; only a direct quotation from the King James Bible will do. Also, what would Jesus do if someone forwarded bestiality porn to him?

The two minutes' hate against Best Buy and Target

The HRC's 2011 Corporate Equality Index has downgraded Best Buy and Target, those companies that we love to hate, from 100 all the way down to an abysmal 85. Would that the politicians whom we worship did nearly as well as some of the corporations that we demonize. While we hold the private sector to impossibly high standards of ideological purity, we will make as many excuses for the anointed politicians as they need.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The latest transmission from The Blade to earth (3)

The article that I cited in the last post begins,
The milestone that all gay men dread is upon me. I turn 40 on Monday, National Coming Out Day.
To me, however, “[t]he milestone that all gay men dread” was a non-event. I guess I must be something other than a gay man. Once the keepers of the orthodoxy let me know what exactly that is, I'll fill you in.

It's the culture, stupid. (2)

In discussing the recent suicides among gay youth, Kevin Naff writes:
We focus so much on our legislative battles that we sometimes forget about the battles still happening on the playground.
This point bears emphasis. At least as long as I have been out, queer activists have treated government, particularly the federal government, as a genie capable of granting any wish. Yet not all wishes can come true through an Act of Congress, and every time we downplay or ignore the importance of working for cultural change, we make another unnecessary concession to social conservatives.

Nonetheless, he writes:
What’s been the point of all these years spent informing and educating readers on these pages if kids are still killing themselves?
The key words, I believe, are "on these pages." A teenage boy coming to terms with his sexuality in Baptistville, Texas, may never have heard of The Washington Blade; therefore, we must take our message to the mainstream culture. While it is not always easy, we must do it anyway.

Quote of the week

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anaïs Nin

Outlawing versus not subsidizing

The Mayor of New York has sought federal permission to bar food-stamp recipients from using food stamps to buy sugar sodas. Commenters are up in arms, accusing the mayor of trying to impose his will on poor people. While I do not care to have the nanny state micromanage people's lives, I do understand the distinction between outlawing something and simply no longer subsidizing it. That fact that so many commenters do not is alarming.

Today's vocabulary words: give and take

give, v.t. to take less

take, v.t. to give less

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tea Partiers: I am shocked, shocked!

A poll shows that the Tea Party, despite its depiction in the media as libertarian, is actually disproportionately Christian conservative and supportive of socially statist positions. Then again, not all of us thought that the "Obama, keep your socialist big-government hands off of my Social Security and Medicare" crowd would be anywhere close to being consistently libertarian.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stuff gay men supposedly like: 7. All the same type

Everyone "knows" that all gay men are attracted to a single universal type, which is ... um .... What is today? Monday? Then the media assure us that we all like blond twinks with shaved chests and perpetual three-day beards. It changes at midnight EDT, whenever press time is, or whenever you've successfully adopted that look, whichever is earliest.

Where I live, many gay men go to the leather bar, even if they want nothing to do with leather beyond belts and shoes, simply to avoid the type that everyone "knows" all gay men want.

Evangelical Protestants and divorce

A few more thoughtful Christians are waking up to the hypocrisy of demanding action on homosexuality while winking at divorce, which the Bible also condemns. Nonetheless, in my experience, rank-and-file Christians largely refuse to recognize their doublethink and show little interest in walking the talk.

When I raise the issue of divorce, Catholics either change the subject or scream that they are being persecuted. Non-Catholic Christians creatively rewrite the Bible passages on divorce until they bear no resemblance to the words on paper, or even deny Biblical inerrancy on the matter. Of course, one must never do the same on homosexuality.

This perfectly illustrates the first rule of religion: The Word of God, correctly interpreted, always backs up whatever the person interpreting it wanted to believe anyway. A corollary of the first rule of religion is that rules are for other people. As for how they can get away with it, the second rule of religion holds that believers are saved by the blood of Jesus (or their deity of choice) from ever having the burden of proof.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Quote of the week

“When the government's boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence” - Gary Lloyd

Religious right or P.C. left? Quotes 4 and 5

In this series of blog posts, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read each quote and guess, before doing a Web search, whether someone in the religious right or the politically correct left said it.

Not only is she [Britney Spears] sending a dangerous message about sexuality to girls, but I think she’s setting the feminist movement back a bit, too, because she’s saying that sexuality is the core of our identity.
I think that this show [Sex and the City] is very dangerous, especially to the women’s movement. It’s no wonder people call it ‘Sluts in the City’ because it teaches young women to be whores, basically, to be used by men, to bed hop.