Wednesday, July 24, 2002
10:56: Add Louisiana US Congressman David Vitter to the District Of Calumny Wall of Shame. Apparently, there not being enough problems in Louisiana, and apparently having forgotten his idea of Limited Federal Interference,Vitter has decided to start mucking around in DC affairs, opposing the implementation of DC's 10-year-old Benefits for Domestic Partners of DC employees. See, for the last 10 years, funding was held hostage to riders on appropriations bills that prohibited DC from using its own taxpayer revenues to pay for something approved by the city in 1991. After September of last year, well, meddling in DC affairs took a back seat to things like Defending the Country and Protecting Our Land. But, seems like Vitter is looking to make a name for himself by doing something that can't possibly hurt him in Louisiana--meddling in DC affairs with bullshit moralistic posturing, without having to take any real positions on philosophically honest grounds.
So much for devolving power to localities, huh?
09:36: Aww... poor circuit queens... seems like Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act of 2002 might make the owners of locales where circuit party and raves are held liable for the consumption of illegal substances in their premises...
Of course, the Circuit Party and Rave Lobby is incensed. No more Cherry 27! No more White Party! No more glow sticks and parties that sell lollipops!
Funny, though, how somehow they consider their venues "different". Currently, bar owners can lose their licenses in most cities if it is deemed that they encourage or facilitate the consumption of illegal substances. They can be held liable if someone gets hurt at their place through overconsumption of alcohol, whether or not they were provided said alcohol on premises. Certainly, their liquor licenses--ergo, their livelihoods--are dependent on following all sorts of rules about what can and cannot happen inside, whether it is public sex, consumption of illegal substances.
Why should mass party organizers be held to a looser standard? Just because their form of entertainment is the playground of Pretty People and their Admirers?
The "we raise lots of money for charity" argument is balderdash, particularly with the circuit party organizers... if anything, they're raising money for cleaning up the social mess the parties help to encourage, including a higher rate of unsafe sex and an increase in drug addiction... never mind the fact that, to avoid the appearance of contradiction, last year the local party organizers decided to drop Whitman Walker clinic, or any AIDS-services organization, from the list of beneficiaries... "because being Gay isn't just about AIDS".
Sure isn't. We all know that nowadays being Gay is about Having Fun, Buying Pretty Things at Trendy Gay Friendly Stores, Looking Fabulously Hot, Going to Gay Destinations, and Watching Showtime.
Tuesday, July 23, 2002
17:40: Mark Simpson opens my eyes once again... clearly, what I've been bothered by over the last few years is not urban homosexuality, with all its trappings, but rather metrosexuality--the condition of being
a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis -- because that's where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are. He might be officially gay, straight or bisexual, but this is utterly immaterial because he has clearly taken himself as his own love object and pleasure as his sexual preference.
Simpson's introduction to Anti-Gay is high up on my list of Writings That Give Me Mental Boners, along with the concluding lines of Kramer's Faggots, early Howard Rheingold, and anything by Neal Stephenson.
This is a subset of the broader list of Things That Make Me Tingly, which this week include German Pancakes at IHOP, student discounts at movie theaters, and Screen on the Green.
Sunday, July 21, 2002
23:33: I've had a blast reading the True Stories of a Porn Store Clerk...
23:32: I went to Jess and An's commitment ceremony yesterday. I loved being a part of such an important day for them. But the other thing I really enjoyed, and this is one of those things that didn't really hit me until after I left, is that I enjoyed spending the day with people who'd had such an overwhelmingly positive influence on me growing up.
Jess's parents are wonderful people. There's a narrative of divorce and remarriage that I won't get into, mostly because it has a tendency to sound more scandalous when narrated than it in fact ever was. But, suffice it to say that Jess's parents include the leader from my Boy Scout troop, my High School counselor, the principal of my High School, and the former librarian at the school. And perhaps, unexamined, that might be an interesting aside on its own. I'm very, very thankful for the fact that Jess, one of my closest friends throughout some tough times in High School, my theater and music buddy, one of my NHS cohorts, and one of the Original Orange Farmers (someday I'll write up the odd story on how I came out to my friends), still continues to be a part of my life. But I also am very thankful for the fact that all these people who so profoundly influenced me are also a part of her life, and by extension, mine.
As principal, Brian's advice and insight steered me towards Cornell. I appreciated the fact that he always treated me as an adult, even while a high school student; this gave me the self-confidence to face adult situations in college much more readily. Certainly, my parents had a huge role in this...still, I always remember fondly the many ways in which he showed, by allowing me to attend faculty meetings, or by trusting my judgment during a potentially volatile student movement (when I was "presiding" over the student government), that he accorded me a high level of respect.
Ruth, well, there are so many wonderful things I could say about her. Her smile is almost permanently emblazoned. She has a knack for always bringing out the best in students--somehow, even the most unsavory characters I remember from High School seemed to take on a different glow when she was around. She was the advisor for the new student support group, and always kept an eye out for people who may be going through rough spots. I can definitely see how a lot of that attention to people's emotions carried through to her daughter, how her tough go-get-em attitude combined with the ability to look deep within someone and almost get at their soul became part of Jess's own healing touch. I guess there's a real reason why a lot of my friends called her "Mom".
Tom, well, I remember most clearly how the day after a particularly frustrating Boy Scout meeting, when my troop (the subgroup?) was being a bunch of jackasses unable to plan for a campout, I got a handwritten note for Tom encouraging me to stay involved, to keep a positive outlook, and to see in it an opportunity both for leading and for understanding how other people approach things differently. That lesson is still one of my Daily Rules of Living. Tom hosted me for a few days while I visited Washington DC in 1993, before I decided in 1997 that this area was going to be home.
Debbie was always at every one of our orchestra concerts. Her oldest son, Seth (now Jess's stepbrother and a sports writer), was one of the few people who arrived at Roosevelt and joined the string orchestra without having been involved in the strings program since age 6. He came in and definitely brought forth a different vibe... he also pitched pretty well, as I remember from the couple of years I played baseball... sure, the team's vibe changed a lot that year too--I think the only context in which I was ever teased for something remotely approximating fagdom was that I pitched with what some of them described as a limp wrist... but I remember that Seth was a freshman who had a good grasp of politics.
If I were to sit and make a longer list of all of the small ways in which Jess and her families have made me a better person, I'd be typing for days. I'm thankful for the chance I had to reconnect with all of them yesterday. After the emotionally wrenching week I've had, getting a chance to chat once again with people whom I consider role models was also a good way of reminding me of the good aspects of me and allowed me to take my mind off of my shortcomings, if only for a while.
Friday, July 19, 2002
15:13: This week has brought more introspection and personal analysis than I've experienced in years. Some painful realizations, some commitments to change, a difficult acknowledgment. So much so that I'm not even comfortable writing about it here, on what has been the world's window on my private life.
No, Saddle Sores is not ending. Not by a long shot--this is my therapy. But my therapy also needs to take a different form, a more traditional one.
But what else is going on? Well, I'm going rafting in West Virginia next week. The company I've been starting with others and working on for the last few months is picking up steam and may even get good news next week.
DC is taking a $1.6 million cost of the new Grand Prix onto itself, but cannot afford to put $1.4 million into the budget to keep public libraries open.
Laura Bozzo, whose Peruvian talk show is a combination of hard-hitting reality TV, full of indictments against sexism, domestic abuse, and social inequality, has been accused of being in cohoots with Montesinos. Certainly, she made no secret of being his buddy, and also was one of his loudest cheerleaders when there was noise nationwide of his crooked dealings. Then again, so have some of the most famous comedians, Carlos Alvarez and Tulio Losa been accused of being paid off by Montesinos in order to mock Fujimori's opponents, such as Toledo. Which would be fitting... Vladimiro Montesinos understood the importance of media manipulation more than anyone in modern times has understood it. He used Peru's poor educational system, and the massive trust that everyday people place on television personalities, to fulfill his own ends. Rather than rely on outdated state takeovers, and on dictatorial censorship, he used the power of unlimited money to get people in Peru's televised elite to sacrifice whatever shred of national decency they may have claimed to have had. Saddest thing about the whole thing is that Peruvians have, all along, known that the most powerful rhetorical device in Peruvian politics is cold, hard cash.
Thursday, July 11, 2002
10:42: Today's useless moment brought to you by Virtual Stapler.
Tuesday, July 09, 2002
15:19: The last five days have been an emotional roller coaster. On the one hand, I've been trying to contend with what I felt/feel was/is a set of actions from a friend which suggest a process pushaway. The signs are similar to those I've seen before when people have played PushAway with me--flaking out, failing to return calls, decision to not invite me to social events that others are invited to... damn, I know how to play PushAway, I've played it myself on rare occasions.
This is a little piece of a bigger puzzle that goes on with what I've seen as a friendship with mostly one side. I'm comfortable writing this here because, for one, in the years I've been writing this he hasn't actually taken the time to click over and read it... I stopped suggesting he might want to after the dozenth time. But less than feeling self-righteous for being unincluded, I'm saddened that even in this case, I'm not That Friend Who Should Always Be A Part Of Everything... i guess I just imagine that other people have that friend, the one that is always called, always checked with, always included, tag-teamed-with... is this why people couple up?
Go figure... part of the emotional roller coaster has come from coming to a personal acknowledgment that I do have expectations from friends, and I have higher expectations from closer friends than may be realistic...
It's part and parcel with my own long-lasting pursuit of someone who is a friend through and through... perhaps to a procrustean standard. Certainly, much of the personal reckoning over the last five days has come from acknowledging that I've had a series of close friends over my life who suddenly drifted away with no explanation, no explosion, not even a fight of any sort... just a sudden stonewall, with perhaps acknowledgment but cold acknowledgment.
I do sometimes think I harbor a low-octane version of friendship paranoia, which makes me doubt my standing with others, particularly those I'm close to. I'm fairly sure that this is somehow tied with the notions of friendship and allegiance I developed at some point in elementary school, shaped by the intense difficulties I had for so long in making and keeping friends. Thing is, I didn't often receive peer validation of me as a person(ality)... oh sure, I got plenty of the adult-presented accolades that come from being a model kid (violinist, straight-A, bookwormy award-receiving teacher's pet), but it was rare when I got confirmation from classmates or friends with something like a "Hey, I like your company, you're a good guy." And no, I wasn't the prototypical Nerd Outcast whose lunch is always stolen along with his shoes... there were friends, people who were always there and who liked me well enough. But somehow there was something incomplete. Group membership? Dunno... I think i'd need to spend many hours talking about it to unravel truth from recollection.
So I know that part of my own emotional wrecked-ness over Celebrate Our Country Weekend was more symptomatic of my own expectations on others than on actual deeds. But that doesn't mean I'm not still kinda pissed at aforementioned friend for a still unclear reason. Nah, the reason's clear, it's just that I know i'm reacting to it passive aggressively... ugh
And then, to top it off, I get a call yesterday afternoon, out of the blue. It's K-----. "Guess where I am?" he asks. Little did I suspect he was in town... I had already given up on his being here for Celebrate Our Country Weekend, since he had told me he might make it but hadn't called back to confirm it (whatever happened to the phonecall unreturned?), so I had basically completed writing off the loss from my Bank of Emotional Sustenance. But, well, he's in town. I saw him last night, and spent the night with him, and it was fun and appropriately slippery, and am still in a Knot of Feeling.
And don't even get me rolling on the money issues stemming from not having a steady source of money yet (company is moving along, but it's not necessarily making money or bringing in VC funding)...
Wednesday, July 03, 2002
13:03: What accounts for this absurd lack of motivation?