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An Exhausted Gay American

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Some mornings I feel exhaustion for no reason other than the fact that I'm a gay American. I wonder if my fellow citizens who spend their days campaigning and crusading to limit my civil rights — the civil rights that they themselves take for granted — ever consider the inhumanity and irrationality of what they do? And I wonder if the millions of Americans who stand by apathetically and allow this travesty to play out with each passing day ever consider the emotional anguish they are deliberately or carelessly causing to millions of children, teenagers and adults?

I wonder if they wonder what it's like to live with the fear and reality that in most parts of this nation you can be legally fired from your job, denied housing, refused a room in a hotel or barred from public facilities simply because of your sexual orientation. I wonder if they wonder how a gay child feels when he or she is called an abomination, prevented from attending a prom with his or her high school sweetheart, or beaten up in the schoolyard while homophobic teachers look on with contempt.

If one assumes — and I do — that given the right information most people will do the right thing, it is very difficult to understand the degree of homophobia and outright hatred that manifests itself in this great nation. Why are we, as Americans, so out of synch with other Western democracies? Why are civil rights more widely protected and honored in the EU, in South African and in Canada then in the land of Jefferson, Madison and Lincoln? Most of us don't kick puppies or set out in the morning to cause emotional or physical harm to other people, and yet most of us are doing just that even if it just through apathy.

Who is harmed by two adults of the same sex falling in love, making a commitment to each other and wanting to raise a family? In a nation where most children are being raised by single mothers and where thousands of children are abandoned, orphaned and homeless, do we really believe that such children would be worse off in a loving home with same-sex parents? Who benefits from preventing a gay man from sitting at the hospital bedside of his critically ill longtime companion? Who is harmed by adding sexual orientation to federal laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace, housing, education and services?

Do a majority of Americans believe that homosexuals are stealing the jobs of qualified heterosexuals? Does working next to a homosexual jeopardize the fate of your eternal soul or weaken your heterosexual desires? Perhaps it does. Perhaps heterosexuality is little more than a fragile veneer that needs to be carefully guarded. I wouldn't know. I'm a homosexual. It's who I am. And I in no way fear that my sexual orientation will be shaken by close proximity to my heterosexual friends. Although I must admit that sometimes I wish they would go find a room.

But more importantly, how is it compatible with the legacy of 1776 and Constitutional law that the civil rights of any minority in this nation should be subject to the whims or religious beliefs of the majority? When did we come to believe that the civil rights of Americans should be granted or denied according to the notion of "community standards?" Didn't we recognize the wrongness of that when we eliminated segregation?

I deny no one their religious beliefs but when those religious beliefs are allowed to prevail over constitutional law, then have we not lost our democracy and replaced it with a burgeoning theocracy? And is that where we really want to go? Do we really want to betray 400 years of immigrants who fled to these shores to escape persecution and oppression at the hands of monarchs and despots who believed themselves ordained by God to rule.

One might also consider the broader peril of this irrational course. The supposed condemnation of homosexuality in Leviticus stands beside many other "words of God." And we have long since accepted that many of these "words of God" are immoral, barbaric or downright silly. We no longer condone the enslavement of nations and races that are different from ourselves or the stoning to death of adulterers, children who disobey their parents and weavers who blend cotton and wool. And we've long ago abandoned the Biblical edict that women are absolutely subservient to men.

If you literally accept the demands of Leviticus then you must believe that in signing the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln was doomed to eternal damnation and that Nancy Pelosi should be stoned to death.

If we set the precedent that religious belief trumps constitutional law, where do the zealots go next? They base their homophobic crusade on the belief that the Bible is the literal word of God. Why does this nation assume that they will be satisfied with cherry picking? You may not care if I'm exhausted by living my life at the forbearance of heterosexuals, but you might consider that it's worth caring that if the religious fundamentalists and neo-conservatives prevail in denying full civil rights to American citizens of any minority, the future for all is likely bleak.

On its recent cover, The National Review inappropriately asks if a Mormon should be allowed in the White House. I find that offensive. At one time, we were convinced that a Catholic in the White House would ruin us all. JFK disproved that silly idea. But  The National Review  might rightly examine the perils of allowing a bigot and theocrat in the White House, a theocrat who openly crusades to limit the civil rights of American citizens based on irrational religious texts. A theocrat who has made it clear that his oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States will only go as far as his religious beliefs will allow.

It is exhausting and profoundly disappointing to know that my civil rights are not, as I had grown up to believe, protected by the Constitution of the United States. Rather they are something I need to fight for on a daily basis because many Americans and their leaders have come to the belief that a thousands-year-old text should stand above the work of such men as Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Jefferson and Franklin. That's a very different America from the one in which I was raised.

No one is harmed by protecting the civil rights of gay Americans, but everyone is harmed if the civil rights of gay Americans continue to be restricted and dictated by something other than the Constitution.

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About Ricky

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I wonder if they wonder what it’s like to live with the fear and reality that in most parts of this nation you can be legally fired from your job, denied housing, refused a room in a hotel or barred from public facilities simply because of your sexual orientation.

    Where? Give us some examples of where this persecution is taking place.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dave after all the “Phelps funerals” you really have to ask?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jebus criminy with the cheesy, sweeping drama queen act here, Dick. “I wonder if the millions of Americans who stand by apathetically and allow this travesty to play out with each passing day ever consider the emotional anguish they are deliberately or carelessly causing to millions of children, teenagers and adults?”

    Oh My God. I mean, what hysterical overreaching. So you’re saying that anyone who doesn’t actively support gay marriage is in bed with Fred Phelps? Are you out of your tree?

    So I reject your utterly ridiculous assertions that gay marriage is your constitutional right that evil George Bush has taken away from you- at the risk of being likewise demonized. I dig your commitment to a healthy fantasy life and all, but seriously, dude. Do you think that we’re all supposed to be so intimidated by the threat of being called a bigot that we’ll all just accept anything you say?

    You seem to have this bizarre intellectual construct that you can just call anything you want a “civil right,” and since “civil rights” are sacrosanct, then you must be given what you want or else. Then you work yourself up into being all mad and heartbroke over the world not 100% twisting itself into pretzels to give you everything you demand in response. Again, this leads me to suspect that you might be a couple of freedom fries short of a full Happy Meal.

    Also, I recommend that readers interested in your tenuous grasp on reality follow that link to the National Review website posting about Mitt Romney. In your eagerness to demonize all conservatives as evil bigots, you misrepresented the story exactly 180 degrees. It was The New Republic (a more leftwing publication) that was carrying on about not wanting a Mormon president. The National Review writer was calling bullshit on them. But don’t let mere facts get in the way of your hissy fit.

  • Dylan

    As a gay teen, I find that marriage is one of my civil rights.

    From what I hear around every in my town (they’re all Mormons), only “true believers” deserve the right to holy matrimony. “Well,” I say, “nobody is complaining about the athiests getting married. They don’t beleive in anything.”

    Marriage stopped being religious the moment legal forms were included — if you wish for it to be religious, hold it in your own church under your own laws. That’s my opinion.

  • PeterJ

    Jet, do you really believe anyone worth while takes that moron seriously?
    I’m sure that gays have their share of judgemental fools to beware but I think the most dangerous and detrimental to your well being would be the silent minority.
    I believe that society has made great strides in dealing with homosexuality. The difference in attitudes from just the 80’s is monumental. I would hazard to say that more people in society today would side with gays over the ridiculous notions of such a bigot.
    Just look at BC. Writers and commentators here display attitudes from every walk of life from all around the world. Do you believe that anyone is swayed by your sexual preference? No one who counts for anything.

  • SHARK

    re: hyperbole, street-corner monologues, Shakespearean rhetorical questions, and going “over the top” in general

    Personal Anecdote Warning:

    I live in one of the most redneck, right-wing, bible-thumpin’ states in the Union [Texas] — and I can just about spit out my window and hit a pretty successful, out/open gay person who’s living — what appears to be — a free, unmolested, relatively uninhibited life.

    I’m sure the cards are stacked against SOME gays in SOME ways — but I see more acceptance than repression.

    Gotta run!

    The Gay Rodeo is about to start at the Cowtown Coliseum!

    xxoo platonic, of course!
    S

    PS: re: Mormons — this “liberal” believes they shouldn’t be allowed to own pets — and that they should be subject to mandatory post-partum “abortions”. Is that too much to ask???

  • SHARK

    Richard: “Some mornings I feel exhaustion for no reason other than the fact that I’m a gay American.”

    Dear Richard,

    I’m not an expert on “stress management” — and I understand it can be dangerous to get between a person’s anger/frustration and the Object Of It — and I also know that folks in the throes of an emotional problem can be a bit touchy…

    BUT…

    Ever get up some mornings and just think about the fact that you’re… like… a HUMAN?

    or… like… I dunno… WAVES OF ENERGY?

    or…

    anywhoo – ya get the idea, right?

    xxoo
    S

  • Bliffle

    Homophobia kills. It’s murderous. I’ve seen too many gays, too many too close to me, killed by homophobia, to avoid that conclusion. Whether it’s thru legal oppression or scorn, they’re killing people. Is that what they want? Are they consciously killing people while avoiding the responsibility?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    There’s a simple-a very simple-test to all you nay-sayers with the instant label of “Drama Queens!!!” and your instant pronouncements of over exagerations and “No one discriminates against gays anymore.

    If you actually believe that, then the following test should be easy, but I doubt you have to balls to back up your words…

    Walk out the front door and in a completely serious tone, tell two neighbors who you don’t or just barely know, that you’re gay. Don’t lisp, don’t put on an act, just be yourself.

    Should they ask, your wife/girlfriend is a lesbian that you married to cover up the truth with, but you’re tired of lying to the world.

    Just think a minute about the termoil (and be honest to yourself about it) that your brain just went through just considering if you actually did that-and the unrepairable damage to your reputation it’d cause… even after you deny it your friends will still look at you funny and see “signs” that aren’t there.

    Wait exactly 72 hours before denying it.

    Watch the number of neighbor kids dwindle that come over to play with your kids. Watch the fights at your kid’s bus stops in which the word “faggot” is used. Watch the stares of near strangers who must’ve just found out.

    Watch the sneers of guys that once were your friends. See how few (if any) come up and shake your hand or call on the phone to say it doesn’t matter. Notice how the phone stops ringing.

    Am I over exagerating? Then do it and PROVE me wrong, then call me a poor little baby drama queen, but I absolutely guarantee you don’t have the courage to live in my world. Unless you are willing to do that you have no fucking business calling anyone anything.

    Then you’ll see what it’s like to live in our world.

    Jet

  • Jo H

    Thank you Richard and Jet. You expressed something that many people feel and are glad that someone acknowledges and is able to voice for those who remain quiet. It’s time though to call out a lot of people for hypocricy and “soft”-prejudice.
    …peace

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I live in one of the most redneck, right-wing, bible-thumpin’ states in the Union [Texas] — and I can just about spit out my window and hit a pretty successful, out/open gay person who’s living — what appears to be — a free, unmolested, relatively uninhibited life.

    Shark, I live in a rural part of the same state – way less liberal in its views than where I suspect you live, and in our small town we had an openly gay guy elected president of one of our local service organizations a couple of years ago.

    Some people don’t quite get the distinction between the appearance of holding to traditional values and the reality of bigotry.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dave after all the “Phelps funerals” you really have to ask?

    Jet, he didn’t say one word about bigots protesting and funerals – and let me add hetero soldiers funerals – he said “legally fired from your job, denied housing, refused a room in a hotel or barred from public facilities simply because of your sexual orientation”

    That’s what I want some examples of, with an emphasis on the word LEGALLY. You sure can’t do it legally here in Texas, and there are few states more conservative on these issues than we are.

    Dave

  • http://rjr10036.typepad.com Richard Rothstein

    David Nalle says: “Where? Give us some examples of where this persecution is taking place.”

    I don’t even know where to begin with this. David, do you not read newspapers, watch the news, check out what’s happening in the world on the Internet? Your statement is somewhere between ridiculous and disgusting.

    Did you read the story about the landscaping company in Houston that openly discriminates against gay families? Have you been hiding under rock while the United States military has fired over 10,000 gay men and women over the past few years? How have you missed the stories about gay college students who have been thrown out of schools throughout the South and Midwest when they were discovered to be gay? Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law and ignorance is no excuse for being guilty of bigotry. Shame on you, Dave Nalle. Shame on you. And, to be honest, I don’t have to prove anything to you; rather you and your kind have to prove why you should be excused for bigotry and ignorance.

  • Jo H

    Dave Nalle – try a Google search.

    Al Barger – How come “freedom of religion” doesn’t extend to Christian churches, Bhuddist temples, and other religious congregations that consecrate same-sex unions or include them as sacrements? How does the fear argument outway the first amendment? And your whole argument, even if it centers on marriage, is dissmissive of the idea that there is no logical reason to treat gays/leasbians/whatever differently under the principles of our Constitution.

    SHARK – I live in Texas too. In the DFW area. In Teaxs, Dallas is one of the only places you can’t get fired for being gay (legally; because of a city ordinance), and outside of the loop (Highway 360), and many parts of Plano, it’s fairly well known that most communities are a “no man’s land” for gays. I think your guilty of at least as much selective perception as you accuse this columnist of.

  • http://rjr10036.typepad.com Richard Rothstein

    Yes, many states and cities extend employement and housing protections to gay Americans, but the federal law does not, allowing the majority of states and communities in this nation to discriminate and trample of our civil rights. Again, shame on you for denying this.

  • http://rjr10036.typepad.com Richard Rothstein

    By the way,Dave, “traditional values” is a code word for bigotry and you know it. “Traditional values” was used to justify slavery, oppress women, deny women the right to vote, and commit genocide against Native Americans.

  • Jo H

    Dave Nalle. Thats great that you seem to live in a community that believes in equality, but not everyone does. I’m glad that you are supportive of gays/lesbians being treated equal, but you have to realize that not every community is like that. And near larger liberal gay-accepting communities there tend to be a growth of reactionary conservative communities that feel the necessity of fighting against what they percieve as the corruptive influence of the gay-accepting ones. Unfortunately many people can’t seem to live their beliefs through their own lives. Maybe this tendancy is wanning, but the ones who get targeted the most are the ones who overlap with other stigmatized groups, especially the poor. So while it’s easier to avoid discrimination when you have the money to move, work, shop, congregate wherever you want, those who are less monetarily advantaged have to recieve the brunt of retribution.

  • IgnatiusReilly

    I have no idea how bad gays have it, and it’s disingenous for straight people to act like they do.

    If you need examples of gays being fired for their sexuality, you are either ignorant or lazy or more likely a combination of the two. Google “gays fired from military” and you will see plenty. My favorite are the Arabic linguists because really, who needs them when fighting against Al Queda.

    Barger has a problem with gay marriage because he doesn’t want to increase the pool of people who won’t marry him. It’s bad enough no woman will.

  • http://rjr10036.typepad.com Richard Rothstein

    Ignatius is my new hero.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Brother Jet, as a college boy in the 80s, I had a poster of Michael Jackson in full Bad leather regalia. Plus, I had a framed, full-size poster of Prince’s nude Lovesexy album cover on my walls for most of three years. Plus, I had a roommate who liked to “dress up nice” as he put it.

    Surprisingly, it turned out that a lot of folks thought I was gay. Even now living down on the farm with no Prince posters or cross-dressing roommates, I find there are folks who figure I’m homosexual because of the way I talk, ie that I have a large vocabulary. I had a 10 year old neighbor explain it to me that way over the summer, in fact. Of course, he didn’t quite have the vocabulary to say that, use of “big words” I think being his best articulation.

    All of which entirely amuses me. I don’t consider it anything against my reputation to be thought of as gay, and generally don’t bother denying it. Heck, I might take a notion to go rubbing around on some good looking young man sometime just on general principles.

    But it just doesn’t much matter if idiots think I’m gay. I’m not that interested in associating with people who’d be seriously put off by that anyway. Why would I care?

    Some folks are going to hate you or beat you just because, and if it weren’t for being gay it would be for being rightwing or leftwing or Catholic or black or something. As Roseanne Rosannadanna noted, “It’s always something.”

    I’m sympathetic to being a little sensitive about people being hateful to you – cold pricklies are a poor substitute for the warm fuzzies we all need. Some folks are just big meanies.

    But then I see something like this from Bliffle, and I blanche: “I’ve seen too many gays, too many too close to me, killed by homophobia.” I’m frankly just not believing it.

    For starters, “homophobia” doesn’t exist. It’s a concept, not an object. Now, it might be halfway reasonable to use that language if Bliffle were claiming that he has been watching rednecks shooting queers. It would be reasonable to characterize that as homophobia killing someone. I somehow doubt that, though.

    Unless he’s in fact been witnessing homicides, that kind of ridiculous overreaching is just the kind of thing to draw to my tongue words like “drama queen.” I know that you don’t appreciate that language, and I don’t use it just to be mean – but what am I SUPPOSED to think when I read stuff like this article?

    Just consider in your annoyance if being mad at me isn’t pretty much a case of shooting the messenger.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I don’t even know where to begin with this. David, do you not read newspapers, watch the news, check out what’s happening in the world on the Internet? Your statement is somewhere between ridiculous and disgusting.

    Actually, I do all of those and the stories of gay persecution sanctioned by law are vanishingly few.

    Did you read the story about the landscaping company in Houston that openly discriminates against gay families?

    That’s not legal persecution, that’s the right of the company to choose who they do business with. Like any business they have the right not to submit a bid for a job. They were rude to make an issue of the homosexuality, but there’s no legal persecution here.

    Have you been hiding under rock while the United States military has fired over 10,000 gay men and women over the past few years?

    Agreed, it’s a ridiculous policy, but enlistees do sign a contract not to openly discuss their sexual preference while in the service. The law is not on their side here.

    How have you missed the stories about gay college students who have been thrown out of schools throughout the South and Midwest when they were discovered to be gay?

    The only cases I know of are at private, religious institutions – again, these organizations have a right to pick and choose their students and establish criteria for who can attend them. Would you complain if a Jewish school expelled someone who was actually Christian?

    Give me an example of a publicly funded university which has expelled a gay student for his sexuality.

    Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law and ignorance is no excuse for being guilty of bigotry. Shame on you, Dave Nalle. Shame on you.

    Shame on me for what? For supporting gay rights AND supporting the rights of businesses and other people equally? Shame on you for thinking that rights apply selectively only to gay people.

    And, to be honest, I don’t have to prove anything to you;

    Actually, since you made the claims, you’re sort of responsible for backing them up if you want to be taken seriously.

    rather you and your kind have to prove why you should be excused for bigotry and ignorance.

    My kind being people who have publicly supported gay marriage and other gay rights for years and even written in favor of it here on blogcritics.

    Give me a break. There’s some bigotry here, but I’m not practicing it.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dave when you’ve completed the assignment in comment 9 let me know, then we’ll talk.

  • Jo H

    Al Barger,
    I think you’re right when it comes to discrimination of many different people but I hope we don’t have an active movement trying to place bans on Catholics, Mormons, blacks, conservative, or liberal individuals. Perhaps we do, and if so then this would deffinitely be something I think should warrent swift condemnation and legal opposition.
    But I also have to point out that people mistaking you for being gay does not demonstrate you understand the problems someone who actually is gay has to deal with in their daily lives. I’m pretty sure most people are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt when you tell them you’re not gay and probably have no reason to treat you as if you were upon your proclaimation. It might be different if you were unable to deny it or if there was proof that you were. So while I agree that it’s always good to be skeptical of exaggeration, you may be going beyond skepticism to being simply dismissive.

  • Jo H

    Dave Nalle,
    I think your opposition to anti-discrimination laws in general is something that many people don’t understand. For a majority of people they believe it is wrong to discriminate in hiring based on race, ethnicity, gender, and disability, and it should also be illegal but there are some that disaggree based on libertarian arguments. I think those arguing for anti-discrimination laws agree and support other anti-discrimination laws and that may be where the main conflict arrises.

  • Jo H

    Another note. Many who support anti-discrimination laws don’t see business discrimination as a right. In this manner they distinguish the practice of business from a practice of association. And there is a greater argument to ban discrimination in goverment hiring because the goverment is construed as an entity of and by the people. If all citizens are equal then excluding a griup from goverment employment also excludes a group from a form of participation in government. No matter how much we limit government we still need government employees, so this problem doesn’t disappear except in complete anarchy.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Now Brother Richard, you be preachin’ against them damned hateful Americans – and then you carry on with such accusatory stuff as this article, and declaring the hateful Ignatius your “hero.” C’mon now.

    Beyond that, the US Constitution does not guarantee that everyone has to like you and treat you nice. Mostly, it’s restrictions against government discrimination.

    On that basis though, I’m inclined to be sympathetic to complaints about discrimination against gays in the military. I’ll tend to be skeptical about the federal government forcing private citizens to associate with folks they don’t want to, but government hiring practices are something else. It’s none of the government’s business who you’re shacking up with when you go to town.

    Marriage, on the other hand, involves many levels of government, religion and practical contract. I’m not particularly opposed to gay marriage, but I understand some of the concerns of opposition, and consider the weight of tradition. It’s not a burning issue of daily oppression like slavery or Jim Crow, so we’ve got plenty of time to re-consider all the long standing meanings and structures of our social contracts and how to fine tune them as needed.

    But you can’t expect folks to respect you much less take you seriously if’n you just insist on going off into malicious hysterics.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    The way some guys (almost always guys) jump on Richard’s posts so vehemently is a bit distasteful. Yes, I know, I’ve done it myself. But somehow when straight guys do it it seems uglier.

    Here’s how I see this issue. Yes, there’s more widespread tolerance than there used to be. But there certainly still is widespread bigotry and ignorance. Many of the posts on this site reflect that.

    When the hubbub about the landscaping company in Texas erupted, most news stories noted that the business is perfectly within its rights to express disdain for having gays as customers. There is no applicable discrimination law. This would not be the case if the discrimination in question were religious or ethnic in nature.

    The same lack of legal protection applies to hiring and renting in many, many parts of the country. Attempts to enact a federal anti-discrimination law have frequently run into roadblocks from the Tom DeLays and Sam Brownbacks in Congress. And anti-gay violence is an all-too-real occurrence in the US.

    I believe the bigots and especially the violent bigots are a minority. Richard’s posts sometimes seem to indicate he thinks it involves almost everybody who’s straight. But at any rate the problem hasn’t disappeared, and that makes comments like Dave’s disturbing.

    Here’s a Human Rights Campaign document about violent hate crimes against gays. 16 pages of incidents. This covers just the 1990s. Matthew Shepard was killed in 1998. Maybe everything just magically got better in the last 8 years. Wish I believed that.

    Here are two brief excerpts from an article on the web site of NC Wesleyan College:

    “The common law doctrine of ‘employment at will’ has been around for a long time. Private businesses have to voluntarily adopt policies of nondiscrimination. The best way to sum up employment law is that a worker can be fired for any reason other than a federally prohibited reason.

    “Although Congress has outlawed discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin”, it has not yet seen fit to include “sexual orientation”. A handful of states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, NJ, and Wisconsin) and cities (NY, LA, Chicago) have, however, outlawed discrimination…

    “Except in the handful of states and cities with sexual orientation laws, a landlord can refuse to rent and a homeowner can refuse to sell to a gay or lesbian in most parts of the country. Many leases contain clauses that strictly prohibit certain ‘immoral’ activities and/or restrict occupancy to those related “by blood or marriage”.

  • IgnatiusReilly

    Sorry to deflate your bloated ego, but neither pointing out your foolishness nor a cheap insult rises to level of hatred, you drama queen.

    Go back to impressing ten-year-olds with your high falutin’ vocabulary because if you believe people thinking you might gay somehow gives you insight into being gay, you are once again sadly mistaken and shouldn’t be sitting at the grown-up table.

    Here’s another gem:

    “‘homophobia’ doesn’t exist. It’s a concept, not an object.”

    I guess gravity doesn’t exist since it’s a concept and not an object. How about acceleration or death? Do they not exist because they are not objects?

  • STM

    Some mornings I feel so physically and mentally exhausted, I can barely get my head off the pillow – most mornings, actually.

    It’s because I’m a straight, middle-aged Australian working a six-day week (14 hours on a Saturday), with a demanding job, a mortgage, kids (including one teenager) and a very sick wife who has been in and out of hospital regularly over the past two years.

    My wage pays all the bills, the house, the cars and the school fees. I never have any savings these days, despite earning really good money, and it’s stressful. I nearly always end up owing the government money when my tax-return goes in.

    My son, the recipient of a fantastic, boarding school education (that I paid for, and it wasn’t cheap, and he was home every weekend and on some weeknights), at two of the world’s best schools, has been a handful. He finished high school a year ago, still doesn’t have a full-time job or a course of study, gave up a promising rugby career because he didn’t want to put in the hard yards (after being chased by an Australian representative coach), and has now been in trouble with the cops, which has involved me paying lawyers’ fees and going with him to court.

    Yeah … some mornings I wake up, and think, f.ck, I’d just love to go for a surf before work to clear my head and get some ME time for once but because I have to get my youngest daughter ready for school (that would be a full-time job in itself if I was doing it in private industry) and drive her to the railway station, I can’t.

    By the time all that’s done, there’s just time to feed the animals, tidy the house, get a shower, throw down a coffee and drive into the city.

    Then I work until 7.30 most nights, and have a half-hour drive home afterwards in thick traffic.

    I only get one day a week off, and f.ck I’m tired – especially when I have to shop on Sundays or do more jobs around the house. If I’m lucky, I might get to go for a late Sunday surf before sunset (that’s if I can be bothered) for a couple of hours, or have a quick dip in the pool.

    Sometimes, I think: “Why me”. One of my mates counters with, “Why not you?”

    Here’s what I secretly wish sometimes: I wish I was a young bloke living in town, free to do what I want, working a 38-hour week, with all the money to spend on myself, to go out as often as I want and stay out all night and half the next day, surf every morning and every evening, live in a nice city apartment with views across the harbour like I used to, and to get drunk every Friday and Saturday (and possibly Thursdays as well).

    Geez, wouldn’t that be great. But it won’t happen. Life, the one I chose, gets in the way. Yet I’m not unhappy.

    But I do sympathise with you Richard: Yep, I know what it’s like to be exhausted.

  • steven

    but in regards to all things considered, about military and jobs given the right to fire over sexual orientation, and i should know, i was active duty in the Navy, and the pressure alone to keep my sexuality a mystery was very clear, and not a joke, ive experienced it in every job i have had, but on a lighter side, i work for Ford as a salesman, so the pressure is not there anymore, but anyways… the topics are great but unfortunately, no one will do anything about it but complain, if you guys get a chance, check out afa.net, they know me already cause of all the “nice” emails i send them daily, and i will say this for all to read, religion should be banned… its designed for the weak minded and it leads to nothing great, look back and think about it, have you ever heard in the news…..” and if it wasnt for religion, the little boy would have drowned. back to you in the station.” That will never happen. and to all the religous fanatics out there… if you say its a choice, your about 50% right, the ones that choose are normally the married ones fed up with the sex life from their wives or husbands that they take the easy way out and say that they are gay just to get the satisfaction they would never get being straight. and i know a few pilots from the military who i know thats the case. so let the hate continue,i thrive on the ignorance of others.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dave when you’ve completed the assignment in comment 9 let me know, then we’ll talk.

    Jet, I live in a pretty progressive neighborhood. I don’t want to have to deal with the backlash when the gay couple two doors down find out I was just pretending to be gay.

    Plus, I wasn’t the one calling people ‘drama queens’, that was someone else. I know there are plenty of social stygmas which gay Americans have to deal with, but they’re fewer and fewer every day. The progress gays are making in society makes the civil rights movement look like a glacier.

    And the point I was making is that legal, institutionalized discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is rare and disappearing pretty damned fast, except in the case of a few religious institutions and a few small private businesses which have the right to refuse service to gays and as a result lose a hell of a lot of gay and straight patronage.

    Dave

  • STM

    Dave, you are right. I’m assuming the situation in the US is similar to that of here: there are now protections of civil rights and much of it (discrimination) is now simply down to a personal level (and at quite a low level, I suspect).

    And there’s not much more that governments can do, apart from introducing anti-discrimination and anti-vilification legislation, about people discriminating on a personal level or not choosing to associate with people whose sexual preference they don’t agree with.

    I can understand that Richard might find it all a bit tiring on a personal level, but legally, as an American, he has most of the same rights as everyone else.

    The only ones I can see that are really different relate to marriage (in the legal sense, and using the word) and its associated rights and benefits.

    However, that issue has been slowly chipped away at all over the world, and given some recent court rulings there, I can’t see that a progressive country like the United States would be any different.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dave there’s a big difference between observing it and living it.

    I live in what would be considered one of the most progressive cities in the U.S. but I still see reports of gay bashings and hate crimes.

    I’ve even been the victim of a few recently when my tires were flattened and faggot written on my car just because of a rainbow sticker on the back.

    It’s like that TV show where white people are put into realistic black makeup and have to spend a week being black.

    Try living a week in gay shoes and then tell me about how discrimination has all but disappeared, and by the way gays are fired all the time, just for trumped up reasons other than coming right out and saying it.

  • http://www.diminishedreturns.blogspot.com Alec

    I think that Richard has a point. It is one that a majority of Americans cannot understand, but one that should be taken seriously.

    And yes, some of the responses are offensive. I would like to start with STM:

    Here’s what I secretly wish sometimes: I wish I was a young bloke living in town, free to do what I want, working a 38-hour week, with all the money to spend on myself, to go out as often as I want and stay out all night and half the next day, surf every morning and every evening, live in a nice city apartment with views across the harbour like I used to, and to get drunk every Friday and Saturday (and possibly Thursdays as well).

    Just cannot give up the stereotypes, can you? Perhaps you wanted to add a line about pedophilia or a distant father?

    For the record, STM, yes we all make choices that have consequences. That is part of the human condition. But what I deal with, that you do not, is facing legal consequences for my sexuality. The ones that you face are benign; you get married for a processing fee and, yes, you have to support your child. Nothing prevents you from having the life you describe, apart from your own choices. Nothing would have prevented you from marrying and staying childless, or working a 38 hour job.

    I, on the other hand, cannot get married to another male. In California, where I attend law school, I can register as a domestic partner and get most of the (state) benefits of marriage. In Michigan, where I was born and raised, that is not an option at all. To obtain even the scraps of those benefits, I would have to shell out over $4k to an attorney, the process would take months and nothing would be guaranteed. I am sure that you and Dave do not find this to be “pressing” as a civil liberties issue(as opposed to civil rights, there is a distinction everyone here appears to miss). Gay men and lesbians, who are spending the thousands of dollars, tend to disagree.

    And the closet is an exhausting place to live. You most certainly did not have that pressure.

    And I, too, am tired of hearing the comparisons between gay rights and civil rights. There are admittedly some differences. But if you think the movement of the civil rights era was glacial compared to gay rights, I think you forgot that homosexuality was a death sentence until very recently, that it is still a capital crime in much of Africa and the Middle East, and that there are only a handful of countries in the world where gays enjoy what could be called equal treatment under the law. By contrast, the countries that produce our terrorist enemies are countries that treat gays the worst.

    And what kind of numbers are you looking for, Dave? Sexual orientation is the third highest motivating factor in hate crimes reported to the FBI. And having worked for the local housing commission, I can tell you that their tests found evidence of widespread discrimination against gays, at least when they sought apartments with their partners. Far more evidence than was found while testing familial status, which is protected at the federal level.

    There is a real cost to this, you realize. Part of the reason I decided to go to law school in California was Michigan’s gay marriage amendment, which also eliminated domestic partnership arrangements. I knew a lot of couples with children who were contemplating leaving after that election, because they did not have much security. The military lost a lot of trained Arabic linguists.

    So yes, we all face tough choices. Yes, others are also oppressed. Yes, some issues are more important than others. But for gays, the tough choices are not choices that anyone else faces, they are not even “choices” at all. They have been forced onto us by people operating out of hatred for something that has no impact on them.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I live in what would be considered one of the most progressive cities in the U.S. but I still see reports of gay bashings and hate crimes.

    Progressive? Jet, you live in the heart of rustbelt redneckland.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    And what kind of numbers are you looking for, Dave? Sexual orientation is the third highest motivating factor in hate crimes reported to the FBI.

    Perhaps the most meaningless statistic of all time. Hate crime reports are by their nature tainted by the fact that they are being reported as hate crimes and not just plain old crimes. Groups which see themselves as persecuted are more likely to call a crime a ‘hate crime’ when they are the target whether that’s an accurate description or not.

    And having worked for the local housing commission, I can tell you that their tests found evidence of widespread discrimination against gays, at least when they sought apartments with their partners. Far more evidence than was found while testing familial status, which is protected at the federal level.

    What kind of backwards place do you live in? Maybe my perspective is skewed because I live in the Austin area, but I find it hard to imagine there are so many places where things are worse than they are in Texas.

    It all makes me wonder how much of this discrimination and persecution is real and how much of it is primarily interpretive. When you see someone cross the street as you and your partner approach do you automatically assume they’re avoiding you or are they maybe just crossing the street?

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I can see Ohio State University from my balcony. Stop diverting from the subject.

  • Clavos

    Jet sez:

    I can see Ohio State University from my balcony.

    And look out, Buckeyes and Scottsdale, ’cause heeere come the Gators! :>)

  • Clavos

    erm, make that Glendale…

    Heh.

  • http://www.diminishedreturns.blogspot.com Alec

    I live in Sacramento, which is easily the fourth most liberal area in California, after the major coastal cities. And this is not perception; the housing commission tests properties, one couple poses as straight, another as gay, and attempts to get an apartment. There were at least 20 cases (out of 100 tests) where the straight couple was shown an apartment and the gay couple was told there was nothing available…on the same day.

    As for perceptions, I would not really know. My boyfriend and I do not hold hands in public. In undergrad, I did that with a guy I was seeing and yeah, we were called fags. That was a liberal college town. I also hid the fact that I was gay at work because the employers were very conservative and, even though there was a city law that prohibited discrimination, I knew they would consider firing me. And no, I certainly do not assume that a person is avoiding me when they cross the street simply because I am walking with another male.

    If the hate crimes data is not compelling, name another type of minority that is regularly attacked publicly. No one blinks when conservative politicians and preachers denounce homosexuals, but they throw a fit if anyone says something about Jews, blacks, Hispanics, etc. Almost half of America will not even believe us when we say we did not choose who we are attracted to. You can get divorced five times in this country and still have more perceived credibility arguing against gay marriage than a gay man arguing for it.

    And what of criticism of gays by social conservatives? They’ll denounce us as promiscuous, claim that we are all really pedophiles and call for gays to be imprisoned (remember their reaction to that sodomy decision?). Can you imagine the uproar if someone said that blacks are poor because they’re lazy, or that evangelicals are really just alcoholics who found another addiction?

    Do gays have it as bad as blacks or Hispanics? Well, economically, no; as a group gays are no better off or worse off than racial minorities. Legally? They certainly do not enjoy the same protections as other minorities who face widespread discrimination.

    This also makes your libertarian arguments about civil rights interesting. Do you support the repeal of civil rights laws in housing and employment? Then I would understand your objection. But if you simply disfavor adding the category of sexual orientation, that is just bigotry.

    Austin may have given you a skewed view of how the world works when it comes to tolerance of gays. The reality is much darker.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    If the hate crimes data is not compelling, name another type of minority that is regularly attacked publicly.

    Conservatives, Christians, Muslims…to name a few.

    No one blinks when conservative politicians and preachers denounce homosexuals,

    Like hell no one blinks. Lots of people are outraged, but they still have the right to say it.

    but they throw a fit if anyone says something about Jews, blacks, Hispanics, etc.

    They’ve got the right to be racist too, last I checked.

    Almost half of America will not even believe us when we say we did not choose who we are attracted to.

    It doesn’t matter whether it’s a function of choice, genetics, upbringing or wearing tight shoes, what business is it of theirs who you’re attracted to or why?

    You can get divorced five times in this country and still have more perceived credibility arguing against gay marriage than a gay man arguing for it.

    I think you’re dead wrong here. Almost all arguments against gay marriage are made on a religious basis, and a religious person who is demonstrably unfaithful to his wife or multiply divorced DOES lose a lot of credibility.

    And what of criticism of gays by social conservatives? They’ll denounce us as promiscuous, claim that we are all really pedophiles and call for gays to be imprisoned (remember their reaction to that sodomy decision?).

    Again, that’s crazy evil shit to say, but they absolutely have the right to say it, and we have the right to despise them for it. Ultimately it reflects more negatively on them than on anyone else. Do you really want to take away their free speech rights to protect your sensitive ears?

    Can you imagine the uproar if someone said that blacks are poor because they’re lazy, or that evangelicals are really just alcoholics who found another addiction?

    I don’t need to imagine it. I’ve seen it plenty of times, and it’s also protected by free speech.

    Do gays have it as bad as blacks or Hispanics? Well, economically, no; as a group gays are no better off or worse off than racial minorities.

    Actually, a study done in the 90s found that gay males had about a 20% higher average income than the general population.

    Legally? They certainly do not enjoy the same protections as other minorities who face widespread discrimination.

    They enjoy the same protections as the general population, however. That includes protections against verbal harassment, physical assault and most other forms of direct harm. What they are not protected against is other people’s exercise of their right to be rude or discriminatory in private business or associations, and neither is anyone else.

    This also makes your libertarian arguments about civil rights interesting. Do you support the repeal of civil rights laws in housing and employment? Then I would understand your objection. But if you simply disfavor adding the category of sexual orientation, that is just bigotry.

    Yes, as a general principle I don’t think it’s constitutionally justifiable to impose civil rights restrictions on private businesses or individual business transactions.

    Austin may have given you a skewed view of how the world works when it comes to tolerance of gays. The reality is much darker.

    So, move to Austin. We’ve still got some room.

    You know, that’s actually not a bad idea. Concentrate enough like-minded people in one place and they can shape the political character of that area and then expand outward.

    Dave

  • STM

    “And yes, some of the responses are offensive. I would like to start with STM:”

    I still don’t see how my exhaustion is any different to Richard’s. And for the record, I have worked personally on legislation in Australia to stop discrimination against gay men (there wern’t any laws against lesbians, as Queen Victoria refused to believe that women would engage in such behaviour).

    I just think Richard, as an activisit, is flag-waving again. When he can present these articles in a sensible fashion, and end the broad, sweeping statements that are in fact quite discriminatory in their own way and seem to have little basis in fact, I’ll choose to respond in a sensible way.

    I’m also an advocate of full marriage rights under common law, including all next-of-kin and adoption rights and access to property in case of death or separation, for same-sex couples.

    Because I don’t agree that it should be called a marriage except at common law probably paints me as homophobic in his eyes (it does, in fact, as we have discussed it on a previous article) yet people like me are the ones who are on your side.

  • Clavos

    You know, that’s actually not a bad idea. Concentrate enough like-minded people in one place and they can shape the political character of that area and then expand outward.

    Hasn’t that already happened in San Francisco? Key West? Wilton Manors?

  • STM

    Alec wrote: “Just cannot give up the stereotypes, can you? Perhaps you wanted to add a line about pedophilia or a distant father?”

    You really do sound like a patronising pr.ck. Perhaps you should have read the post properly … that is exactly the kind of life I would like to be living. The one I used to have. Getting drunk Friday and Saturday nights is what I’d love to be doing, instead of working all the hours God came up with. It’s got nothing to with stereotyping, as it’s not about gays. Read it again, before you start shooting off half-cocked.

  • STM

    “There were at least 20 cases (out of 100 tests) where the straight couple was shown an apartment and the gay couple was told there was nothing available…on the same day.”

    Tell them to move here … real-estate agents in inner-Sydney love renting to gay couples, as they keep the places looking nice. It’s true, but on a serious note, they can also be prosecuted for discimination on the basis of sexual preference if they don’t.

  • http://www.diminishedreturns.blogspot.com Alec

    You missed the point entirely, Dave. I am not advocating the repeal of the First Amendment (although the same activisits who denounce gays do not seem impressed with free speech in principle). I am saying that the ability for, say, politicians to denounce homosexuals and to suffer no political consequences for it shows that the culture is not really serious about treating gays as equals. If former Senator Allen had called the young guy a fag, there would have been an outcry from liberal groups, some heated debate, probably an apology and Allen would not have lost any votes. Senator Santorum’s 2003 comparison of homosexuality to incest and screwing dogs may have inflamed liberals, but I doubt moderates abandoned him because of that statement.

    The economic studies are flawed for the same reason that any study of gays is flawed. First, you need self-identification and self-labeling. That is more likely among the educated, and the samples are not random. Second, the data on lesbians is opposite. Any difference between gay men and lesbians can be attributed to sex discrimination (which is very common, particularly in salary). But in any event, the study you pointed to looks at, among other things, obituaries. Precisely because the sample is difficult to obtain randomly. One of my econ professors in my class on poverty and the income distribution (and former RAND employee) was very critical of all of the studies. The most I take from this is that there is no economic difference that we can see. But I would note that even Hewitt suggests that the reason for clumping in certain industries is hostility and discrimination. So even if I accepted your premise, that changes nothing. And even if you accept Hewitt’s article, it does not address lesbians. Moreover, no one is at an economic disadvantage because of their chosen religion, which is also protected by antidiscrimination laws. Mormons, for example, are probably discriminated against in some circles, but I would not call them economically disadvantaged. That does not make the discrimination right or legal. Against gays, however, it is legal in most states.

    And no, divorcees do not suffer the same treatment reserved for gays. Even those engaged in adultery do not have politicians calling for their imprisonment (although Clinton did have the misfortune of being impeached for it). Even the Catholic Church is willing to overcome its pretend distaste for divorce, for a price.

    STM, I apologize. I assumed it was you describing a stereotype, and for that I apologize. I am delighted to learn that you support gay rights, as you should. But whatever exhaustion you feel, it is the result of the human condition, of those choices in life, made by yourself and others, that lead to conflict, regret and yes, feeling exhausted. Hatred of gays is not a part of the human condition, it is a learned and despicable prejudice that leads to, among other things, repression, doomed marriages, etc. When you hold your wife’s hand in public, you are not accused of flaunting your sexuality and you do not have to contemplate that action as though it were a political statement. Your sexuality does not force you to consider the consequences of living in a rural area, or make you uncomfortable in the presence of those who debate a topic that is of immense personal interest to you. And you do not live with the fact that, despite paying your taxes and bills and being close with family and doing well in school and working, you are a second class citizen if you are not willing to repress yourself, marry a woman and make her, and you, miserable. That is the reality that I live, that Richard lives, and that all gays live. He expressed that feeling, however imperfectly. I feel that way. Every gay man I know feels that way at some point. And you mocked it, pointing out that, yes, everyone feels miserable sometimes. Fair enough; we are not all miserable for the same reasons. Or maybe I am just a patronizing prick.

  • SHARK

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, but…

    Jo H: “…SHARK – I live in Texas too. In the DFW area. In Teaxs, Dallas is one of the only places you can’t get fired for being gay (legally; because of a city ordinance), and outside of the loop (Highway 360), and many parts of Plano, it’s fairly well known that most communities are a “no man’s land” for gays. I think your [sic] guilty of at least as much selective perception as you accuse this columnist of.”

    Coupla points:

    1) as for being “guilty” — prior to my statement above — I gave the appropriate “PERSONAL ANECDOTE WARNING”. Those were my perceptions AND personal experiences. So screw you.

    2) If gays were banned from Dallas — the entire local economy would come to a grinding halt. Dallas — in general — is just a little version of San Francisco — (with concrete instead of a landscape)

    3) I live if Fort Worth. Cowtown. Red state/red neck. Meanwhile — I know more out/open gays than straights. I’ve worked in the graphic design, theatre, journalism, and the arts — and as a straight — I’ve always been in the minority.

    Again, babe, these are observations based on MY EXPERIENCE. Your mileage may vary.

    =====

    Plus —

    Nothing more profound has been said [and left unaddressed] on this thread than:

    “Ever get up some mornings and just think about the fact that you’re… like… a HUMAN?
    or… like… I dunno… WAVES OF ENERGY?”

    You are more than your sexual preferences.

    —-

    PS: Wait till yer testosterone runs dry. [like me…] Better find a new hobby!

  • S.T.M

    Alec: “Or maybe I am just a patronizing prick.”

    Or maybe not really :) Thanks for apologising.

    I genuinely do support the right of all people to live without discrimination, and I’m sorry too for calling you names.

    I think next time I see a thread of this type on here, I will stay out of it as my experience as an Aussie is obviously different to the American one.

    No one’s really that bothered here any more by anyone’s sexual preference, and laws exist that come down heavily on all types of discrimination on a range of things from ethnic background to sexual preference.

    I guess they might have a snigger about it out in the bush in some places, but then they’d be sniggering about everything anyway.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I am saying that the ability for, say, politicians to denounce homosexuals and to suffer no political consequences for it shows that the culture is not really serious about treating gays as equals.

    Except that they DO face political consequences. They can get away with opposition to gay marriage, but straight out gay-bashing is a terribly risky move from any politician in any party. There are too many gays in positions of power. Hell, the GOP is run by gay men. Do you really want to piss off Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove as a Republican politician?

    If former Senator Allen had called the young guy a fag, there would have been an outcry from liberal groups, some heated debate, probably an apology and Allen would not have lost any votes.

    Total hogswill. Allen would have lost even worse than he did given the generally moderate tone in Virginia.

    Senator Santorum’s 2003 comparison of homosexuality to incest and screwing dogs may have inflamed liberals, but I doubt moderates abandoned him because of that statement.

    Did you not notice that Santorum suffered a crushing defeat? The example which proves my point.

    Dave

  • SHARK

    Nalle: “the generally moderate tone in Virginia.”

    Say what?! Once again, Nalle demonstrates that he only sees things Through The Looking Glass.

    Virginia has more non-domesticated neanderthals per capita than any other state.

    I can prove it in two words:

    Liberty.

    College.

    ~NEXT!

  • Lumpy

    Shark. I live in virginia. Liberty college is one medium sized school in a big state. My part of virginia (the northern part) is nothing like falwell’s and if u average the two together u end up with a state that’s middle of the road overall.

  • SHARK

    SHARK: “Virginia has more non-domesticated neanderthals per capita than any other state.”

    LUMPY: “I live in virginia…”

    SHARK: I REST MY FUCKING CASE.

    [gawd, that was too easy. I’m kinda ashamed.]

  • http://www.aaronjasonsilver.com aaron jason silver

    Is gay culture a healthy culture?

    I believe that many of the issues facing gay culture has a lot to do with the perception that has been formed by the dominant heterosexual culture about gay culture in general. Being gay myself and having written a book on this topic, I had conversations with many “straight” people about what bothered them about gays. One very important issue was that there are a lot of generalities about all gay people based on the stereotypical behaviors they often see on T.V. Many of these include; being self-serving and superficial, partying all the time using drugs, and the over consumption of alcohol and the wearing of gender blurring clothing. There are members of particularly the urban gay culture that tend to be what I call the out and loud crowd, making there sexuality a big issue rather than treating their sexual orientation as a neutral issue rather than being obnoxious about it and purposely making a point to shove it into peoples faces. They are often seen as crass by many straight people. Many of the stereotypical behaviors concerning the gay culture I believe are true and I believe it is time that we, as gay people need to own up to many of these behaviors and start to question the culture as a whole and what the cultures priorities are. I know for a fact as being and out gay man for thirty years that much of gay culture very closely fit these stereotypes and don’t seem to have any direction in their lives and mainly look forward to the weekends so they can go clubbing. Of course this is a generalization but very common if we are to be honest with ourselves about the culture. I do however understand why many dysfunctional behaviors that can easily be found within the culture are based on childhood wounds because so many gay men were picked on in school, felt isolated and like outsiders. When they finally are out of school they usually seek out and find the safety and security of the gay community with its pre- established norms and ways of behaving that often are not considered to be healthy attitudes or behaviors, or do they promote healthy self-esteem in the new young men joining the gay culture in order to feel some sense of camaraderie for perhaps the first time in their lives. I believe if we all take a good long hard look at ourselves and try and imagine how foreign our culture must seem to the dominant culture. So often what we don’t understand we fear. Since they are our largest voting constituency I believe these stereotypes are getting in our way. We, as a culture can begin to change these stereotypes by behaving in an honorable and respectful manner when we are out in public. We need spokes people that don’t fit the stereotypes that make straight people feel even more alienated from us. I’m not at all saying that men that are more effeminate should start trying to act like something they are not. Male behavior as does female behavior runs on a scale from very effeminate to very masculine. Neither is right or wrong. They ought to be considered neutral issues. We do however need to be more honest with ourselves about the image we are sending to the world at large. This may be a helpful first step in changing impressions about who we are as a people. Thank you, Aaron Jason Silver http://www.aaronjasonsilver.com

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Aaron,

    I believe I’ve read your comments elsewhere. What you say, in my eyes, is extremely profound. You touch on issues of internal and external validation, and other issues which are too hard for me to formulate in a comment such as this.

    But it’s always a pleasure to read what you write.

  • SHARK

    Aaron: “…what bothered them about gays… …Many of these include; being self-serving and superficial, partying all the time using drugs, and the over consumption of alcohol and the wearing of gender blurring clothing.”

    –which, ironically, sounds like about 90% of the American population.

    =====

    You are spot-on, Aaron.

    –yet another — Personal Anecdote Warning:

    My two best friends, a gay couple [one black — one white (how’s that for bein’ on the outs with “American norms”?!)] — are very unobtrusive — and actively try to counter gay stereotypes in their daily actions. They can’t stand the over-the-top, in yer face stereotypes perpetuated by their contemporaries.

    The best thing gays can do for their overall image is to demonstrate that there is basaically NO DIFFERENCE between them and any other American male…

    …Unless it’s that they’re smarter, cleaner, better dressed, more articulate, more sensitive, and more creative…

    [HEH]

  • http://rjr10036.typepad.com Richard Rothstein

    The notion that gay men and women–or any minority for that matter–should need to be concerned with their image in order to be entitled to full civil rights as American citizens is simply disgusting. I neither need nor desire “approval” of any sort from the heterosexual majority. And if any member of that majority feels that I have to work to earn his or her approval in order to “earn” my equality…well…such people betray the constitution.

  • SHARK

    RICHARD: “The notion that gay men and women–or any minority for that matter–should need to be concerned with their image in order to be entitled to full civil rights as American citizens…

    I don’t believe anyone suggested that absurdity — but if ya wanna build a straw man for yer rage, be my guest. It’s your Cortisol, babe.

    PS: As a general rule having to do with manners and reputation — one should always be at least somewhat concerned with one’s image. I think it’s healthy and constructive to counter “stereotypes”.

    At least that’s what my momma taught me.

  • SHARK

    Hey, here’s an idea:

    let’s ask older, intellectual African-Americans how they feel about the misogynist, thugee, rap, drug, Ho, criminal pop culture that has a huge influence on public impressions of American blacks.

    ========

    ie, LIGHTEN UP, RICH.

  • sr

    Smarter, cleaner, better dressed, more articulate, more sensitive, and more creative. Shark if you drop the more sensitive you just described yours truly by golly. Im also rich, conservative, hansom and full of myself.

  • Clavos

    Now, if that don’t beat all:

    snarky lecturing on MANNERS!

  • STM

    “I neither need nor desire “approval” of any sort from the heterosexual majority. And if any member of that majority feels that I have to work to earn his or her approval in order to “earn” my equality.”

    OK, well that begs the question …. why on Earth do you keep banging on about it, then?

    You don’t feel that heteros need to support you?

    Aren’t you being totally self-defeating before you even start, particularly, as you say, you don’t have full equality. Wouldn’t you be better off toning the message down a tad so that you don’t ostracise the rest of non-gay America, who you actually DO need to support you in this quest?

    IMO, continuing to push for the use of the word marriage is where you are losing the battle. You could fight for the same rights under common law, and very likely win those rights (given some recent court decisions in the US).

    Winning freedoms is often like crossing a river on a series of stepping stones: each one takes you closer to your goal. Why do you feel that is not an acceptable process, given the opposition you are encountering on the alternate route.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I’m … um …

    …dressed.

  • http://www.diminishedreturns.blogspot.com Alec

    Fair enough, STM…if those amendments had not been worded to eliminate the possibility in over twenty states, while their supporters insisted it would do no such thing in their advertising campaigns.

    Since the image of gay males is true of a substantial minority of all males (even the monogamy charade, as reflected in our divorce, cohabitation and out-of-wedlock birth rates), I do not feel very pressed to work on that image. Most of us do not live in places like the Castro, work and go to school, and live quiet, tame lives. That the media focuses on the tackiness of gay pride, the sleaziness of young gay men and the fetishes that are tolerated in the gay community, as opposed to the lameness of most gay life, is unfortunate but to be expected. There really is not much I can do to change the demand for soundbites and yellow journalism. For what it is worth, they can call it The Sodomy Union, as long as it secures the exact same rights at the federal and state level. I am training to be an attorney, not a sociologist, and the societal stigmas that might surround civil unions matter very little to me, and less to the common law courts that will be called upon to enforce them. But Australia is, despite our bizarre similarities, not the United States, and the political environment here is more hostile at state and federal levels. The country is far less secular, although in theory it is the most secular country in the world. And while most people support civil unions, they clearly do not understand the implications of the broad language of these amendments (except, apparently, in Arizona, the libertarian haven).

    And I agree everyone should be concerned about their image, but people, by and large, are lousy judges of their own image. It is probably a waste of time to try to explain to gay men that which has been lost on fraternity brothers, Republicans, blacks, Southerners and the French. I will settle for the fact that stereotypes, while rooted in some truth, are a poor indicator of individual behavior. And I will also continue to read sober journalism and avoid the shamelessness of the major networks. I suspect that if more Americans did that (and accepted the theory of evolution, among other “controversial” positions), we would not be in such a sorry state.

    On a lighter note, I hold every citizen of Australia accountable for Fox News. I honestly thought we could not sink lower when it came to news reporting.

  • STM

    “…Unless it’s that they’re smarter, cleaner, better dressed, more articulate, more sensitive, and more creative…”

    And loved by landlords and real-estate agents the world over because they are more responsible, keep the place nice AND pay their rent on time.

  • STM

    “On a lighter note, I hold every citizen of Australia accountable for Fox News. I honestly thought we could not sink lower when it came to news reporting.”

    It’s interesting, however, that although we have it on cable here, it remains a peculiarly American thing: there is no such home-grown beast here. It does give us a good laugh, though. I hope most Americans see if for what it is: populist pandering to make a quid.

    I have done a bit of research recently on the laws in Australia, and while there is still some discrimination at federal level, most of the state laws are very accommodating, even in places like Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

    Interestingly, in the NT, politicians can take gay partners on overseas trips at taxpayer expense as spouses, and while all live-in gay relationships are recognised as marriages at common law (next of kin, property acess in caase of separation or death, etc, but with differences in each state) in Tasmania, you make it legal by walking into the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages and simply register the union to get the exact same rights as a married couple – including adoption of a partner’s biological child.

    That’s pretty progressive stuff. Hobart is a very liberal city, but outside the capital Tasmania is a bit of redneck place, yet even there they’ve managed to nail these rights down. In Sydney and Melbourne, particularly, no one bats an eyelid any more about anyone’s sexual preference. Sydney is the place where if two couples were going for an apartment in the city, the gay couple would more likely get it.

    There tends to be virtually no genuine, large-scale demand for the right to use the term marriage (although there is some agaitating), mainly because these rights are now on the statute books.

    Common law constitutions are a wonderful thing.

  • Zedd

    Richard,

    I have been avoiding writing a response to your article because I know that my point will be misinterpreted but here goes.

    The point of my post is to respond solely to your cry of frustration. While it is well understood, it is also easier to deal with challenges if we understand the source of our frustration.

    You have to understand that what you are requesting from society has never happened in the history of our species. I read comparisons to race and gender issues but the truth is, requests for homosexual rights are nothing like the civil rights struggles of the afore mentioned groups.

    You see Africans have not always been slaves or second class citizens. Actually their subjugation because of their race was a new phenomenon. Women have held leadership positions throughout history. There have been matrilineal cultures over time and many households even pre sufferage, were run by the wife. So there was no historical precedence for gender inequality.

    However homosexuality holds a very different position. At no time in the history of primates has homosexuality been acknowledged as a norm by the greater society. There are primates who engage in bi-sexual activity (no penetration though..blush blush). So to introduce this very new concept to our species and expect an arousing reception is rather naive.

    Understand that I am not making a commentary about whether you deserve rights. I am saying you need to understand that what you are asking humans to fully understand is JARRING. Even those that feel as if you should get full rights still are perplexed by the idea because of our millions of years of evolution and socialization.

    Also, understand that scientist have not proven that homosexuality is a physiological reality. No one argues that it is a psychological reality but as for the FACT that anyone can be born gay, the argument has not be made.

    So your expectations are that the entire world should shift their understanding of gender relations that have been held since the beginning of our order (primate), without any scientific proof, just people declaring a notion, in just a few years? That’s a lot to ask. Many people are scared and many are just confused.

    It’s like someone saying there is another universe where the shapes, colors and physics that we know don’t exist. It would be perplexing to imagine. The person sharing the news would not be surprised if the concept of such a place would be difficult to grasp.

    Again I am not saying your cause is wrong. I am saying maybe your frustration can be alleviated if you looked at things from a different perspective. Many people are perplexed

    What are your thoughts?

  • Zedd

    Jet

    Why complain about flat tires when you are putting a rainbow sticker on your car.

    Grow up.

    I don’t put a black fist on my are for black power because I KNOW that most people wont understand what I mean. People will be offended and some nut will feel like he has to do something about it.

    You really don’t understand what discrimination is about if you are doing stupid things like that, than whinning. And yes drama queen would apply.

  • Zedd

    Richard

    “The notion that gay men and women–or any minority for that matter–should need to be concerned with their image in order to be entitled to full civil rights as American citizens is simply disgusting. I neither need nor desire “approval” of any sort from the heterosexual majority. And if any member of that majority feels that I have to work to earn his or her approval in order to “earn” my equality…well…such people betray the constitution.”

    Welcome to the real world. We waisted a lot of time arguing that one as non whites. If you want a job you need approval. Its not nice and its not fair but its reality.

    Again, you can elleviate your stress by letting a lot of fanticies about your world, go. Time will fix a lot of these things. Not in our generation though. Sorry.

  • STM

    Zedd: I think you raise a reasonable point in relation to the reasons behind the discrimination that might be exercised on the part of the non-gay community, in that there is so much opposition to the use of the term marriage for same-sex couples, persisting with that course of action almost seems to me like a self-defeating strategy.

    However, in my view there is no reason why same-sex couples should not be afforded the same rights as any other couple, even if it begins at common law.

    While it’s not an issue for me, the insistence on the word marriage is probably throwing up a lot of barriers at a time when same-sex couples are seeking to remove them.

    That is my only objection to gay rights activists agitating for the right to use the word marriage, whilst ignoring other options that might one day lead to that.

    Interestingly though, here people of all sexual preferences who are in a common-law marriage (a de-facto relationship, or living together) now refer to themselves as married. Their rights are protect at common law.

    So there’s the first barrier down – and gone. In the US, I believe people sometimes get carried away about their constitutional rights, when using American common law rather than codified state and federal laws to chip away at rights issues might actually be the better answer in the first instance.

    The courts at least (in theory) guarantee judicial independence and a fair go.

  • STM

    “Why complain about flat tires when you are putting a rainbow sticker on your car.”

    But Zedd, do you really think that he deserves to have his tyres let down for that??

    Come on … no, he doesn’t.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Try this story out of Houston Texas…

    Dead student’s body defaced with anti-gay comments

    The Associated Press
    Tuesday, January 9, 2007
    HOUSTON
    As Phanta “Jack” Phoummarath lay dying of alcohol poisoning, members of the club he was trying to join defaced his body with anti-gay epithets and obscene drawings, according to a medical examiner’s report.

    “It was disgusting and despicable behavior,” said Houston attorney Randy Sorrels, who represents Phoummarath’s family.

    Sorrels said Phoummarath was not gay. The 18-year-old freshman from Houston, who wanted to join the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity at the University of Texas at Austin, died Dec. 10, 2005, after ingesting large amounts of alcohol at a party at the fraternity house. The medical examiner reported his blood-alcohol content was more than five times higher than the level needed to prove intoxication in Texas.

    Phoumarrath was found dead the day after the party in the bedroom where he passed out the night before.

    Party-goers had used green and black markers to write “FAG,” “I’m gay” and “I AM FAT” on Phoummarath’s head, face, torso, legs and feet. Someone added several drawings of naked men and women, Dr. Roberto Bayardo of the medical examiner’s office reported.

    According to a probable cause affidavit, Phoummarath died after a heavy night of drinking in which fraternity members chanted for him and six other pledges to finish as many as eight bottles of vodka, whiskey, rum and other drinks being passed around.

    A grand jury indicted three members of the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity last month on charges of hazing, or abusing new members, following a yearlong investigation into Phoummarath’s death.

    The university suspended Lambda Phi Epsilon’s status as a registered student organization until 2011.

    Phoumarrath’s family also is suing the fraternity.

  • STM

    Jet: your comment isn’t posting for some reason. I had the same problem a couple of night back.

    Often, it seems, it’s a rogue character or word in a story that has been cut and pasted.

  • STM

    No, it’s right now … ta, look forward to reading it

  • STM

    I think the really disgusting thing here Jet is that they forced him to drink so much piss and then when he passed out, didn’t bother to help him.

    Now he’s dead. That’s the truly offensive part … rather than the fact that silly university students used a texta to write childish insults on his body.

    I have been a recipient too of such nonsense, the worst part was what could be seen: a huge twirly moustache rather than the “I am a poofta” written across my shoulders.

    Luckily, unlike this bloke, I just woke up with a hangover and a mobile art gallery.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    IT goes to show that there is good reason to be concerned, even if you don’t post a bumper sticker and aren’t actually one, there’s still reason to fear.

  • Zedd

    SMT

    Did you read my post. I spoke about myself and AND that I KNOW that if I choose to be vocal about my stance that I should expect for silly people to retaliate.

    If you are serious about your struggle, you know how to pick your battles. A battle against annonymous people (more than likely kids who don’t even understand the larger issues of life), is useless and a waiste of time, unless you WANT THE DRAMA.

    Unless you want to be able to say “see, I’m discriminated against” then don’t do it. SIMPLE.

  • STM

    “Did you read my post. I spoke about myself and AND that I KNOW that if I choose to be vocal about my stance that I should expect for silly people to retaliate.”

    Yes, I did .. and even if you had a black power sticker on your car, I wouldn’t think it was enough reason for you to have your tyres let down.

    That’s all I’m saying. I have had my tyres let down recently at an exclusive boys’ boarding school during a rugby match because I had a sticker on my – beaten-up – car signalling my allegience to another exclusive boys’ boarding school, their arch-enemies, that they were playing at rugby.

    As usual, the boys doing the letting down of the tyres (they actually punctured them with nails) got absolutely smashed all over the park by the good guys on the day, which is probably the reason for the anger.

    I should have known better than to park in their college grounds with the sticker on, but it doesn’t make it right.

    It cost me $400-plus to get new tyres and a flat-bed tow-truck.

    Little bastards ….

  • Zedd

    Jo H

    I know the Dallas/Ft. Worth area well.

    There is no backlash against gays in Plano, or any other suburb of Dallas. Dallas has one of the largest gay communities in the countries. You just made that up.

    Plano is a suburb, meaning occupied by families. Gay communities are typically metropolitain and near the center of town, like Oaklawn, Uptown and West Village. I love those areas!!! Totally different vibe from Plano. They are too busy going to soccer games to be bashing gays.

    I lived in the center of town and loved it for the diversity and great restaraunts. Im in the suburbs now and am trying to adjust, but there is NO gay bashing going on.

    I worked in Ft Worth and they are the kindest and most open people ever. Comming from Big Business D I kept wondering what was wrong with them. They are into the arts and accomodate diversity. I worked in a large REIT with some serious Texas boys. These guys played with footballs in order to jarr their thinking when making multimillion dollar deals. The personal assistant to the President (a former UT football player) was a flaming gay man. The President and his wife were always hanging out with him and his friends. The PA was sick of them. This was in cow town at the top of the tallest building (before the tornado from a few years back).

    Arlington is a college town and they are liberal. Now if you are talking about Mansfield that is a different subject. I am afraid to drive through there :o) I keep thinking that I’m gonna hear a banjo and “get a rope”

  • Zedd

    Jet

    That was REALLY sad about the young man dying from accessive drinking, however what does this have to do with gay discrimination?

  • Zedd

    SMT

    No off course its not right but its also what we KNOW about our world. People are silly and stupid. No legislation can fix that.

    I’m a woman. If I walk down the street with no shirt, like a man, men will say or even do rude things. Its hot in Texas but I know not to leave my top at home. I am aware of my world and respond accordingly. Is it not fair? YES. But I am not stupid either.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Next time I tell someone I’m tired and ready for bed, I’m going to tell them I’m an Exhausted Straight American.

  • STM

    Matthew, you couldn’t lie straight in bed …

  • STM

    “I’m a woman. If I walk down the street with no shirt, like a man, men will say or even do rude things. Its hot in Texas but I know not to leave my top at home.”

    See it’s different everywhere, Zedd. You can legally swim and sunbathe topless at the beach here.

    The main risk is that legions of wide-eyed 14-year-old boys will continually come up to ask you for the time.

  • Zedd

    SMT

    That is funny!

  • Zedd

    SMT

    Yes. The insistance on the use of the word marriage also waters down the claim for ergency of attaining civil rights.

    It also switches the focus on social perception rather than civil rights. Its as If homosexuals are saying we don’t want to really be homosexual and we don’t want you to notice that we are. We want you to pretend that we don’t present a different spin on relationships. Act like we are man and woman so that we FEEL “normal”.

    I say stand in your difference. Acknowledge that you bring a different dynamic to relationships. You will be accepted over time, without resentment and as who you really are, a DIFFERENT type of union. It just is.

    Most of what applies to married couples will not apply to homosexuals. The challanges of married people will not be the same challanges that same gender people will face so to lump everyone in the same group is CRAZY.

    The challanges of marriage often come from gender differences. For example, in a group therapy for married couples, a gay couple could would detract from the issues that married couples deal with because of gender. Discussions of hormones, gender roles and expectations would be foregone and general topics about finances and in laws would only be delt with. As you know, that would not be really dealing with marriage issues.

    I say enough with the temper tantrums and demanding to be called something that you cant be. Take the civil rights an call yourself whatever else you want to be called. Don’t force a confusion in society.

  • http://rjr10036.typepad.com Richard Rothstein

    Zedd: Your knowledge of history seems to come out of comic books. The enslavement of one race by another goes back thousands of years and is widely discussed in the Bible. The Arab world kept Black slaves long before America was Europeanized. The Romans and Egyptians treasured their Nubian slaves. Women have been kept as property throughout history in many cultures, many more than the rare matriarchal societes to which you refer. In fact in many African, Asian and European societies women were traded like cattle. And homosexuality has been a normal and accepted part of many cultures throughout history including many native American cultures, ancient Greece, ancient China and ancient India. It’s bad enough that you harbor so much ignorance, but do you have to share it publicly?

  • sr

    STM#65. What is a redneck?

  • The village Idiot

    I consider this thread an open sore. Since I have a great deal of respect for Jet and his well- being I regress. Just for you Jet. NUKE THE UNBORN GAY SANDY BURGERS. CHOMP CHOMP.(That,s GATOR TALK.) What the hey. Im a sensitive conservative 45 minutes from Gainesville.

  • Zedd

    Richard,

    You didn’t get the point about Africans and women… anyway. No, Africans have not always been subjugated. No, women have not always been subjugated….FACTS. Don’t bother bringing up historical minutia, you wont impress me. I do know history, anthropology and sociology. I have actually studied marital and sexual lifestyles.

    You said: And homosexuality has been a normal and accepted part of many cultures throughout history including many native American cultures, ancient Greece, ancient China and ancient India.

    No that is not true. It’s wishful thinking on the part of homosexuals. HOMOSEXUALITY not bisexuality and not unics. Homosexuality has not been an ACCEPTED part of any culture.

    In ancient Greece there was also incest but it too was not an ACCEPTED part of the culture.

    Many warrior cultures have allowed homosexual (sex) activity in situations where soldiers were away from home but when they came back home those soldiers married. As you would say, homosexuality is not about the sex. Right?

    THe point of my post was to tell you that you need to be understanding that you are proposing something that is countrary to peoples understanding of the world. If you didn’t decide to live a gay lifestyle you would also be jarred by it. If you look at things from that perspective, you would not be as stress or exhausted.

    It seems as if you are arguing that NO you need to be exhausted, as if you like the drama of it all.

    I have not said your cause is wrong. I am saying understand where the rest of society is comming from. Its different and jarring to them. It just is.

  • Zedd

    Richard

    I couldn’t help the minutia myself.

    Does the bible speak of Mangoloids, Negriods, Caucasoids and Australoids? I missed that entire race thing.

  • Clavos

    Richard #86:

    Nice try, but it’s like Sisyphus continually having to roll his rock up the hill.

    Your comment was dead on.

  • STM

    STM#65. What is a redneck?

    A normal average guy with a fetish for guns in rural America or Australia. I’m sure you know this, though SR, and are just being naughty ….

  • sr

    STM. Your answer was what I expected. Love the fetish for guns shit. Since farmers would work all day wearing hats the back of their neck was sunburned. “RED NECK”. Fetish for guns, who knows.So we must assume migrant farm workers are red necks. Would a slave working on a southern plantation be a black neck or a red black neck. At least this country didn’t throw dem black folk off cliff,s. My neck is not red and I own guns. Go figure.

  • STM

    “At least this country didn’t throw dem black folk off cliffs.”

    That’s right, you just chained them up, whipped ‘em and worked ‘em to death instead … here, that was the fate reserved for the white folk – if they were lucky.

  • Clavos

    STM sez:

    here, that was the fate reserved for the white folk – if they were lucky.

    But, weren’t those white folk (back in the day when you treated them that way), mostly transported prisoners?

  • STM

    Clav asked: “But, weren’t those white folk (back in the day when you treated them that way), mostly transported prisoners?”

    Yes Clav, but for the first century of the colony, they made up the bulk of the white folk here. The last convict transports arrived in Western Australia in 1868.

    It was particularly brutal, and you didn’t need to have done much to get here. Pinching a loaf of bread, for instance, to feed your kids. There were political prisoners too: just being an Irishman was enough to get you transported. It’s also the reason for our bizarre accent – a mixture of cockney English and bog Irish. You can hear the similarities to both in both countries, but for Americans I suggest listening to the Boston pronuniciation, with its Irish background, of words such as car and beer to hear how similar they are to ours,

    Plus, this was a really, really brutal place – the convicts were in all likelihood treated more harshly than black slaves of the same era in the US. Many also died on the transports during the voyage from England.

    The conditions for life generally were awful: Most worked for many years in chains, many were flogged for “crimes” such as talking, and in some colonies, the brutality was legendary – Norfolk Island, Moreton Bay and in Tasmania, Port Arthur/Macquarie Harbour.

    Once there, all hope ended. Most also never went back home if they were released, and so, although we joke about it now, and it provides one tired old gag for the poms, many Australians are of convict background.

    And we’re proud of it. It’s a badge of honour these days. My daughter was most disappointed that she didn’t have an ancestor on the First Fleet (the first fleet of transports to arrive in Port Jackson, or Sydney Harbour) in 1788.

    The date of their arrival in the harbour, after deciding nearby Botany Bay was unsuitable for settlement – January 26 of that year – is still celebrated here as Australia Day (the equivalent of your Independence Day!).

    In what other country would the people celebrate the arrival of a bunch of thieves and rogues as their national day of celebration?

    That’s why I love this bloody place. Just being here is like giving the two-fingered salute to every other country on the planet.

    The poms are the big losers, of course: stupidly, they sent all the party people to the best place.

    They would have been better off all coming out here and leaving the convicts over there.

    Thank God they didn’t …..

  • Zedd

    STM

    A lot of early British Americans were prisoners and reject of society as well.

  • STM

    “A lot of Americans were prisoners and reject of society as well.”

    Were … they still bloody are!

  • sr

    STM. Still waiting. What is a red neck? Would rather be chained, whipped, and worked to death then thrown off a cliff.

  • Zedd

    Lady Clavos

    You are the ever enthusiastic cheerleader aren’t you? Even if the information that you are cheering on is useless, you just cheer away.

    Listen I am not saying anything against anyone. That is not my place. I believe in equal opportunity. I also believe in seeing things as clearly as possible whether I support the cause or not.

    Dramatic outbursts or emotional heights need not take place. You can fight for a cause knowing clearly what your challenge is, not demonizing anyone and FOCUSING on how to get what YOU want. It seems that people want to demonize those who don’t understand their cause and waste a lot of energy on that as apposed to solving the issue. If Richard understands why he is coming up against so much opposition, he will be less exhausted.

    He instead really thinks that because there was homosexual behavior in ancient Greece, India and some Native Americans, that humanity should be on board and not be confused or jarred by the notion of two people of the same gender wanting to be exclusive. That is silly and actually an admission of a severe case of denial and social disconnect.

  • Clavos

    Guilty, zedd.

    I always have been and always will be a champion for truth.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Zedd, your comments on homosexuality are naive and offensive. They seem to be based on some personal animosity. They are not well written or well reasoned. They do more harm than good. This is one topic you just possibly don’t know enough to talk about, and I don’t think I’m the only one around here who wishes you would stop.

  • Zedd

    handyguy

    Did you read my post or are you one of those people who like simple statements that have no demention and don’t apply to our reality. Just feel good sayings that have no real basis?

    What aspect is naive?

    What’s to know?

    I didn’t say that homosexuals don’t deserve rights. I said that Richard should understand why the public is resistant. You see you don’t help anyone by just supporting the emotional aspect of their suffering. Sometimes you have to say, pull yourself together and focus on fighting the good fight.

    You are used to people stating things in a glossy and blurry way. Never actually discussing anything, just stating platitudes and slogans. We live in this very real world with a very real history, and very real ideas about norms (thats not a bad thing its just how human societies work). If you want to affect society but start from a standpoint of not understanding where society is, you will be EXHAUSTED.

    Do you understand what I am say NOW.

    I understand that because I am from a social sciences background I tend to skim through concepts about people, societies, norms and social interaction rather quickly assuming that everyone will just on board easily. I miss the fact that what I take forgranted as common knowledged actually came after many hours of academic course work.

  • STM

    “Still waiting. What is a red neck? Would rather be chained, whipped, and worked to death then thrown off a cliff.”

    Been watching too many movies sr? But yeah, I suppose getting tossed off a cliff is a lot worse than getting strung up by a whole bunch of idiots in fetching, pointy white hats and left to dangle at the end of a noose.

    sr, Why the f.ck are you asking me what a red neck is, you simple bloody Yank … you know exactly what they are … they are men you’d like to have a beer with, as long as they leave their guns in the pick-up.

  • Zedd

    handyguy

    While I don’t adhere to what Dr. Laura espouses at all, I read the other day a reaction to one of the statements that she made about homosexuals.

    There was a flurry of anger about the fact that she used the term “deviant”. She tried to explain that she meant no harm by that word but non would listen.

    In the social sciences (psychology, anthropology, sociology, etc) that word does not have a negative connotation. It simply refers to behavior that is different for what the majority engages in, in a society. In other words it deviates from the standard. Homosexuality is considered to be deviant.

    Now in everyday life, the term deviant conjures up images of delinquents and weirdoes. In academia, it doesn’t.

    I made this comment to highlight how it is that a misunderstanding of intent can occur if you don’t have a full and contextual grasp of the terminology or concept that is being discussed.

    Please don’t come back with an emotional response talking about how horrible Dr. Laura is. She wasn’t the point of my post. The topic of a lack of understanding of social dynamics including terminology is what I was highlighting as the problem. So no Bud I am not naïve. You just don’t understand what I am saying because you are looking at things simply.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    “champion for truth”

    Most of the time you have no clue of what Iam talking about. You are miles away from the ideas that I am espousing. You typically pick on something small that you can identify with some slogan or simple notion that you hold on you without question, and you make up your mind.

    You cant champion anything if you don’t understand what the topic is. There is always a big picture that is tied to my positions on BC. Look for it and you may discover a new truth.

  • Zedd

    handyguy

    I forgot to ask you what was offensive?

    It is not my intension to be offensive.

  • Clavos

    You’re right, zedd.

    I have zero tolerance for illogical thinking, preconceptions, condescension, sloganeering, ignorance and naiveté.

    Especially when they’re all coming from the same person.

    I guess I’m just too clueless to wade through all of that to find that kernel of brilliance buried in there somewhere.

  • http://www.diminishedreturns.blogspot.com Alec

    Okay, a little confusion, re: race, gender and homosexuality.

    Homosexuality goes through phases of acceptance, at least in Western history. I accept that as a given. But if you think, for some oddball reason, that racial and gender differences have been accepted more often than homosexuality, you are living in, well, denial. Before the reforms of the 19th century, women were property. Before the early 1950s, blacks wee relegated to a horrible status, at least in American life. Before Brown, blacks were denied the ability to attend schools dominated by whites.

    If one must use tradition, one should use it consistently. I, for one, do not argue that gays were more accepted in some utopian past than they are today. They have always been pushed aside, and they always will be to a certain extent. They are a permanent minority. But from that it does not follow that some immutable “tradition” has “always” recognized the desires, rights, and needs of racial minorities, to say nothing of women.

    A great myth is that homosexual equality is somehow more radical than gender equality or racial equality, or (far more radical, at least outside the States) religious equality. Gay marriage and civic equality may be an “innovation,” but the same cannot be said of tolerance and even acceptance of homosexuality.

    The irony of this position is that it is contradictory. If homosexuality is so awful (at least historically), then have not homosexuals suffered more than racial minorities or women? If homosexuality is not so detested, how does one argue that tradition is such a wall against equal rights for gays and lesbians? Surely, racial minorities and women have suffered more as a result of “tradition.” It is only tradition that has been modified to serve anti-gay ends that has resulted in the intensity of this debate.

    Perhaps most importantly, this is not a zero sum game. Gays do not enjoy advantages to the detriment of racial minorities or women.

    In any event, argue tradition all that you want. That position has been used to advocate a variety of internally inconsistent positions, and rarely has it prevailed.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Don’t bother. Saying that you are a logical thinker doesn’t make you logical. I don’t know you personally but when I am challanged about something, I take it upon myself to actually study and improve MYSELF instead of making claims that I KNOW are just designed as a clever come back.

    I wont do the silly tit for tat with you. I will throw in a jab once in a while because you sort of expect it now :o) and it makes things fun for us but don’t bother with the little snot comments that have no weight. They bore me and I get embarassed to be involved in that conversation because they are pointless and are not directed at any particular point in the discussion.

    If I make an illogical point, highlight it and I will pounce. If I use a slogan, that does not apply to the greater issue, reveal it and I will either retract or explain its relevance. As for my arrogance…ehhh DC= dont care. Not going to be a lap dog for issues. Especially those that are not thought through. If I have a conviction or idea and this is a forum for expressing those convictions and ideas why would I express them without confidence?

    But don’t just throw insults around especially those that you have taken out of context and recycled from my previous posts to you goober.

    But do say something funny about me. That I enjoy.

  • Zedd

    Alec

    I am going to assume that you are a young gentleman.

    You didn’t understand my post AT ALL. There is a larger point with more significance that is imbedded in what I said. The topic of the post was not about gender and race equality in America.

    As a person who has experienced challenges because of race and gender I could tell you quite a bit and probably offer some insight about the topic that you may not have. -Don’t know your gender or race.

    You went on a tangent that you didn’t need to go on. I know about race matters (you REALLY don’t want to open that Pandora’s Box) I know about gender equality (lets keep a lid on that one too).

    My point was that, for example, in 1760 there were many people who thought that slavery was wrong. That view was accepted in society. However, at the same time in history the idea of two men marrying would have been bizarre. That is a FACT. Don’t waste time coming up with obscure examples. In our society, this was a FACT.

    Pay attention hear comes the crux of my post:

    Since the notion of two men marrying (or two women) is not one that has been accepted, it is futile to expect that society would be receptive of it readily. Richard would be relieved of his EXHAUSTION by not wasting energy on expecting society to be open so readily. He should approach the matter from a realistic perspective, yes addressing the civil rights issues but not expecting a quick acceptance to the notion of two guys getting hitched, because of our history.

    Off course he could go on banging his head on the wall and claiming exhaustion, wondering what is wrong with people, when he knows “what is wrong with people”. It’s history and newness.

  • http://rjr10036.typepad.com Richard Rothstein

    Zedd: you are one of the best examples I’ve ever seen of “a little knowledge can be dangerous thing.” Your Cliff Notes understanding of sociology, history and life is breathtaking in its idiocy. Furthermore the fact that you seperate “the public” from gay Americans is just another exmaple of your bigotry. Gay Americans are also part of the American public. My rights are guaranteed by the Constitution not granted by the approval of ignorant fools such as yourself. Unfortunately, fools such as yourself seem to think you have the right to debate my rights simply because of your personal sexual habits.

  • troll

    Zedd: your basic point – that homosexuality remains strange to lots of folk in the US – is correct (imo)…you don’t make the point more clear with your repetitions

    and foolishness like: *Most of what applies to married couples will not apply to homosexuals. The challanges of married people will not be the same challanges that same gender people will face…* is not going to help Richard with his weariness I guess

    …but Richard – every fool has the right to debate whatever ideas hit the felt

  • Zedd

    Richard

    Why are you trying to insult me?

    Did you understand any of what I said? Or is it your male pride which prevents you from acknowledging that you assumed that I was being antagonistic but I really was (am) not.

    Listen I am for you attaining full civil rights. What are you on about?? What does The Constitution have to do with ANYTHING that I talked about.

    I am speaking about social acceptance and why it is difficult to attain, in this regard.

    I realise that this is an highly emotional issue for you, as it should be, however you are missing my post because you are expecting for me to say the same things that most supporters say. Because I have come from a different angle, you assume that I am against gay rights. I am not.

    I think you have the right to persue what you see to be fairness in society. I will be honest, I still cant get my head around what gayness is (biologically and emotionally). But that doesn’t mean that I don’t support gay rights. I do and have always stated that I do, on these boards. Most people who support gay rights will not tell you that they still cant get their brains around the compulsion to be with the same gender exclusively. But many cant. Hearing that should not send you on attack mode. Its information that can help you strategies so that you reach your goal.

    In the civil rights struggle in the US, Blacks have focused on acceptance issues. This focus has slowed down the momentum of progress.

    If you, Richard, understand the climate that you operate under without focusing on “shoulds and ought to’s”, you will be more succesful in reaching your desired goal.

    Please tell me what is hurtful about my statement. I really want to know.

    Regarding the matter of Sociology, history and like…. Richard, you cant protest or attack your way into understanding. If you want clearification on any particular point that I have made ASK. If you disagree with any point, state what you disagree with. But simply stating that my idiocy is breath taking really says nothing does it not. It also revealing of your lack of comfort in debating any real points because you feel inadequate… sorry thats what it indicates.

    So no one here is against you getting your rights. You NEVER read that. You got emotional and missed my entire post.

  • Zedd

    troll

    At least you get my basic point. No one else seems to (hence the repetition). People are rambling on about The Constitution, and the history of civil rights…. Did you miss that??

    I didn’t use the word strange however. All Americans know what homosexuality is, they know homosexuals and love homosexuals. I said it is jarring. It is perplexing. Parents still grieve when their children come out. While more and more are accepting which is great, even among those, many still ache and are confused about how it could be. That is our REALITY is it not???

    Even THAT level of acceptance didn’t exist 10 years ago. It is new to our greater society. It just is. That is not a value judgment. It’s a statement of fact. Remember the big deal about Allen a few years ago? Remember Rosie just a few years ago? IT’S NEW!!

    What you see as an attack is actually my just stating our current climate. You can’t fight a battle if you don’t understand your terrain. You want to say that everyone accepts homosexuality but you don’t understand why there is so much opposition. (????) You’ll agree that that is silly.

    I am saying that this is why there is so much apposition, now go and fight the battle understanding that.

    Why does stating that deserve a personal attack??

    Who is actually the naive, illogical person? The one who wants to deal with reality and says address the matter being fully aware of your opposition. Or the one who says no one should appose, I am exhausted (???)

    The latter person is certainly less likely to succeed in reaching their goal.

    So please tell me how I am ignorant and mean, etc.

  • Zedd

    troll

    Now REALLY……..

    Are you saying that the gender issues that plague most marriages will be the same with same sex couples??

    You know “Men are from Mars……

    A large portion of issues in marriage are due to gender differences.

    Will the hormonal, physical cylcles/stages, psychological stages that cause challanges in marriages be the same with homosexual couples?

    NO THEY WONT. They CAN’T.

    No resentment issues that come up because of gender roles, which often last through out the entire marriage from either gender will exist.

    No one will make anyone pregnant. There are a lot of issues that crop up with that…..

    No one will not understand PMS and belittle the other’s experience.

    The issues go on and on.

    Are you Okay? Is this an issue to be debated?? It seems to me that you want to be percieved to be OPEN MINDED at the expense of your logic.

    How I am the fool for stating this. Do you not feel like a fool for even bringing this up as an issue to quarrel over?

  • troll

    Zedd – do you really believe that homosexuals don’t deal with *hormonal, physical cylcles/stages, psychological stages* – ?

    ‘issues of marriage’ will depend on who is included in that group

  • http://www.diminishedreturns.blogspot.com Alec

    No doubt, it would have been bizarre. But there was no precedent for accepting interracial, interreligious or intercultural marriages. Desegregation was not even contemplated after the (forced) ratification of the 14th amendment, let alone interracial marriage.

    Assume all you like about me. Your assumptions that racial and cultural and religious backgrounds will not have an impact on marriage is the product of modernity, not an immutable feature of reality.

    If gender matters, why not class? If marriage is not a right after all, surely we can restrict marriage between two people on the basis of economic status. It would serve a legitimate state interest, after all (or perhaps you do not understand rational basis review).

    You have avoided any substantive discussion of the legal issues involved in this debate. Whether you like it or not, the constitutional protections provided for racial minorities and women are the product of a heightened judicial scrutiny invented by liberal justices in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

    You have also ignored the purposes of marriage. Marriage is not, and has never been, about “love.” Marriage is about property rights. And you cannot even begin to discuss marriage without having a grasp on the law. Marriage is only inicidentally religious, and the religious component has no place, constitutionally, in a secular democratic republic.

    So yes, argue all you like about social disapproval of homosexuality, differences between the genders, and the like. It changes nothing about the legal arguments, and it does not make the current legal regime fair and equitable.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Zedd, Dear God, are you listening to yourself?

    Are you Okay? Is this an issue to be debated?? It seems to me that you want to be percieved to be OPEN MINDED at the expense of your logic.

    There’s a difference between preaching and talking just to hear yourself talk.

  • Zedd

    troll

    Don’t argue for the sake of arguing.

    You got what I was saying. So stop being silly.

    You get the whole men are from mars and women are from venus thing. Dont fane ignorance just to make a point.

    ex Two lesbians will be more sensitive when a partner is PMSing or cramping or has a migrane because of hormonal issues. The historical challanges that come up in marriage over just those issues will not exist. There are many more issues like that from the ages which come, with the package of being married. Same sex relationships will not and can not have that, hence its NOT the same thing.

    If you got a group of married men together from different cultures, races or ethnicities around the world and just started a topic, EVERYONE would chime in because of the gender related challanges of married. Same with women, regardless of how opressive the culture. Add a gay couple to the same mixs and they wont be able to fully identify.

    Is this not common sense???

    As a side note:

    Heck gay men will never know just how stupid men are because they wont have a wife to make them look like idiots because of her keener awareness:o) They will live together in oblivian thinking they are clever.

    Lesbians will not know to what extent men are dense because they wont live with them, having to point out the simplest of things. :o)

  • http://rjr10036.typepad.com Richard Rothstein

    Zedd, every time you post another comment, I become more and more convinced that you are either on the cusp of a diabetic coma or you think that opening fortune cookies, watching Oprah and reading The Reader’s Digest constitutes knowledge.

  • Zedd

    Alec

    ummmm I am FOR gays attaining the same rights as married couples.

    I have not discussed it because that is not what this thread is about. This thread is about a man who feels exhausted because of having to deal with a society that doesn’t understand his views.

    There was a thread, actually two, just a couple of weeks ago on the subject that you want to discuss.

    I made it clear, I am all for equal civil rights for gays.

    Now breath……..

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Okay I’ve got it now Zedd. On the other side of the coin straight guys are jealous of Gay men because they understand each other’s male sex drive like no woman can, and deep down you’re jealous because straight guys have to cowtow to the whim os a female’s lack of wanting sex 24-7, where two guys want it constantly… and get it from each other constantly… and give it to each other constantly.

    After all, that’s why you keep using the term “homoSEXual” isn’t it, because that’s the only thing we think about. Of course you can’t face the fact that that’s what all straight men constantly think about too… right?

    Those straight guys must be eating their hearts out because we get it whenever we want it, usually without even asking?

    dear God.

  • Zedd

    Richard

    What do you object to? Okay you have proven that you are good at insulting strangers.

    Now what exactly do you have a problem with?

    You feel as if being EXHAUSTED is what (???) and should be maintained in order to do what??

    My response to you was about you saying you were exhausted. I took it that you were frustrated with people who don’t understand your challenges. I am saying if you understand why they feel that way you will be alleviated from your frustration.

    You however are arguing as if you WANT to be exhausted. As if being exhausted is part of what will gain you your civil rights. As if me saying “don’t be exhausted, strategies” is evil.

    Why do you want to be exhausted? Is it for dramatic affect or to prove that you are a victim? I’m just not getting it. You’re mad because you want to remain exhausted and I am a fool and a bigot because I am saying that you really don’t have to be so exasperated if you understand people. WOW, that’s evil..(???)

    Okay be EXHAUSTED. Enjoy it. Swim in it. Dance in it. Waddle in it. Roll around in your mosh pit of self pitty. GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEzzz! But that wont solve your problem. You wont get civil rights that way.

    Done!

  • Zedd

    Jet

    I stand by my statement. Did you read what I was responding to?

    Troll or someone was suggesting that same gender couples will have the same issues as mixed gender couples. Now Jet… would you not respond by saying “are you okay?” Actually you probably would be more rude. That assertion is asinine. I believe he knows it but just wants to be “PC” (I hate that phrase). It’s simply absurd. But all I said is “are you okay?” and that offended you?? Are YOU okay??

    Did you read what these guys said about me?

    To ask if they are OKAY is far less offensive than calling them names. They called me names.

    Aren’t you being a tad bit biased??

    Did you respond to them asking them if they are listening to themselves?

    Actually you asking me if I am listening to myself amounts to “are you okay?”.

  • Zedd

    Jet
    re: #123

    WHAT??????????

    The term IS homosexual isn’t it= Same sex.

    If that term is offensive I REALLY didn’t know it. When did that happen?? I do apologies. I didn’t want to keep writing “gays and lesbians”.

    As for the rest of your comments, they have nothing to do with me or anything that I have ever espoused or cared about. You are just arguing with an imaginary villain now aren’t you. Its obvious that you are tired and have lost focus. Lets come back to this discussion some other time.

  • Zedd

    Troll

    next time you agree with me just say “I agree”. Dont agree, then kiss up to the person who doesn’t agree with me by insulting me. Wimp! I mean we are on line. You don’t have to fit in. Geez!!

    Its called A SPINE and having the courage of your convictions.

    NOW I’m being ugly on purpose :o) Phew that was fun. Sorry.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Zedd, the very fact that you question everything that is written to you makes it obvious that unless the opinions expressed conform to your’s you don’t really pay attention to them.

    You brand everything with a judgmental adjective instead of pondering its meaning.

    Further discussion with you is completely useless.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    as far as thoughtfullness, reason and insight goes…

    troll > Zedd

    We can now add humor to the equation.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I rest my case

  • troll

    ‘…I only wanted to carve a little ‘z’ in her forehead’

  • Zedd

    Jet one learns by asking questions.

    I don’t want to make conclusions on what you say without asking you what you mean.

    I know all of that is out of style and maybe scary and evil to you but that is how people used to do it and still do it around the world….. I know…… you are supposed to say what everyone else says and not think for yourself. You are not supposed to ask questions (that is bad now…wow). You are not supposed to ad an intellectual component to a discussion or else everyone gets all confused and curses at you. Logic is equivalent to smarting off and regurgitating unrelated, over stated ideas .

    Hmmmm I wonder why the world say that Americans are dumb???

  • Zedd

    D’oh

    Your an emotional wreck too huh?? No thinking capability, just reaction. If its smarmy, cynical and jabby its smart.

    Did you bother to read what troll was upset about???

    If that makes sense to you and is logical to you……. sigh

    What was logical about what he said?? Help me understand.

    SMT youve got sense read this crap and tell me what you see. Oh SMT is Australian hmmmmmmmm

  • Zedd

    Jet

    Oh My!!!! What case are you resting?? That I used the word homosexual?? That was the last “argument” that you presented and that was weird.

    oops I’m asked 2 questions.

    You cant just say, I rest my case after saying something stupid like “you use the word homosexual…..” uhhhmmmmmm huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhh?

    How is that a case? I MUST know.

    I know, I’m a bigot for asking, I don’t use logic and I’m a fool but PLEASE enlighten me. What case have you made that you are resting???

    BTW what you described (in your precious way) about how I handle debate, THAT is what critical thinking IS. THAT is how one arrives at logic. You didn’t know did you?. You thought it was restating something that you’ve heard before that was said by someone you admire. It’s not.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Zedd, maybe it’s just that you are not a very gifted writer. Way too many words. Way too many misspellings. Awful grammar. Comments that go on for days without saying much.

    You claim to have a lot of knowledge, but very little of it comes through in your poorly written and edited little masterpieces of silliness.

    These can often be read as the rantings of an anti-gay bigot. If that is not what you are, be more careful about the words you put on the page.

    Read and re-read and edit before posting.

  • Zedd

    handyguy

    you may be right.

    so is that your male way of saying you were wrong?

    i know you’ll never admit it… its a guy thing.

    Conclusion, you misunderstood me to be a bigot because you dont read a lot and I have typos…. OKAY.

    HELP!!

  • http://rjr10036.typepad.com Richard Rothstein

    Zedd: Handyguy made some excellent and constructive points and your response was to resort to an idiotic comic book stereotype about “guys.”

  • sr

    STM. Love your preconceived ideas about me. Have I been watching too many movies. Not really but it,s quite obvious you do since you know all about men and seem envious wishing you could be out beer drinking, rideing around in dem their pick-up trucks, and shooting dem guns. Bet you dont know a trigger from a barrel. No a trigger is not Roy Rogers horse. To find the true definition of Red-Neck see Mr Webster or maybe an internet search. Thats if you Aussie,s have advanced technology. Just for your interest my father is black and my mother is Jewish and are both deceased many years ago. My fathers parents were sharecroppers in Alabama. Enought said.

  • Zedd

    Richard,

    I wasn’t responding to you. This is not summer camp or some other juvenile event where people join clicks. Thanks for the added comment though.
    .
    I think handyguy is smart enough to know what to take seriously. He’s quite clever.

    I think he is right. I acknowledged that he may have a point. I have always acknowledged on these boards that sometimes I won’t edit. Sorry.

    I don’t think however that my not editing my comments makes me sound like a bigot. That is not constructive advice; that is silly (its actually stupid but that word is mean so I wont use it). He was reaching on that one and why would I take that as advise? Why would anyone?

    I also meant it when I said that he sounded reconciliatory. Men wont say I was wrong, you know, you are one. They will find a way to blame you for their misunderstanding you.

    You still haven’t admitted that you were wrong about how you interpreted my statements now have you. See? And you probably never will. You’re a guy.

    Look let go of the anger against me. You have nothing to be mad at. You won’t be able to out argue me, I will spank you generously when I choose to every time. You will be left confused and angry and I will walk away only hungrier for a real debate. You thought because I was a female that you could approach me with some weak emotional rubbish and I would fold. Sorry Luv. Next time spend some time put in a few more hours at the gym before you approach the ring. But better yet don’t come in swinging if no one is attacking. You may just get knocked out.

    If I don’t know something though, I will say. I enjoy learning.

    BTW I enjoy your posts most of the time. You went loony on this one. UNDERSTANDABLY… it’s too close to the heart.

  • STM

    SR said: “My fathers parents were sharecroppers in Alabama.”

    I knew it: a bloody red neck. And fyi, I have some aboriginal background in my family, so I do know a bit about how black people were treated in this country.

    And you are right, we probably don’t have any advanced technology in this country. Just as well really, or I’d spend all my time on the internet talking to Americans with no sense of humour.

  • Clavos

    Bloody Yanks…

  • STM

    Hey … afternoon Clav old chap (it’s 1pm Friday here, which also means it’s nearly Saturday). I see by your comment in Spanish above to Nalle that you have an article pending. I will look forward to reading it. What’s it on this time?? Or will that be letting the cat out of the bag?

  • Clavos

    Buenas tardes, amigo. (Aquí son las 2115 horas)

    It’s already published, Stan.