Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Great T-Shirt Slogans (Clean)

If you want the unedited version,email me.

Your karma is my dogma.
I'm a genius. What is your problem?
Would Jesus wonder what he would do?
I live for your abuse.
More spam, please.
Jessica Simpson is the voice of our times.
Looking back on Nick Lachey's stellar career...
Don't hate, get a job!
Materialism makes you get off your lazy ass
Read a book! It's not like you can live off your looks
Maybe if you ate a steak once in a while, you wouldn't be cold all the time
Why the fuss about a mink coat? What does a mink do anyway?

What Your Tax Dollars Pay For -- Wow

Last week, the city of New York announced a program with the ASPCA to make available spaying and/or neutering for pets free or at a low cost to welfare recipients.

Yes, you heard me correctly. Our tax dollars are feeding those who are less fortunate than ourselves, which is okay, but we're also expected to foot the bill for the four-legged less fortunate.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am fully aware that it is often difficult to make ends meet. Sometimes your expenses overwhelm your income. Underemployment and undereducation do not create wealth, but here's where I lose my sympathy. You can't feed your kids, but you have a dog. Not a skilled dog that can bring in money because he has a Stupid Pet Trick and can appear on Letterman. Not a dog that is beautiful to look at and warrants a place in doggie fashion mags. Just a dog.

No one seems to get the lack of logic here. I thought, according to the city, you can't have pets in the projects. Do you make a decision about who gets to eat this month, Fido or Junior? It's only the wife and me in a 6-room apartment, and we still don't feel like we have enough space for ourselves and our stuff. How do you decide where to put Pyewacket's litter box if 5 of you are living in a 2-bedroom apartment?

Frankly, I don't care that I'm calling out every welfare stereotype, but let's get real. If you need government assistance with your survival, which is what welfare is supposed to do, a pet is a luxury. It's one thing if you have a working animal like a seeing-eye dog, and the government should help with care, but it's another if Butch followed your kids home one day and never left. Get rid of the damn dog. You might find some extra money at the end of the month.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Wow...

I've decided that some post topics are so incredulous that they will just have to be called...

Wow.

Wow, as in "Wow, I'm stunned." So here we go.

In April of this year, Michigan lawmakers passed a bill that would allow licensed healthcare providers (you know, nurses, doctors, people who keep you alive) to not provide treatment on moral or ethical ground. So, if you're HIV positive, a heroin addict who won't stop shooting up, an unwed poor mother of six who is pregnant again, and you need treatment in the state of Michigan, a doctor can now decide you don't deserve whatever you need because he thinks you're a loser.

Nelly fag with strep throat? No penicillin for you because you should have kept your mouth shut. Butch dyke? Pull your own teeth out. Pregnant again? I'll deliver your baby, but without painkillers because you need to feel the consequences of your actions. Wow. I'll bet that a heterosexual white male with syphillis will get his shot.

In case we hadn't figured it out, America is becoming a theocracy. I am frightened of Christians, and I am a Christian. How did we get to the point where it is now legal to deny treatment based on your moral judgment? It's one thing to not recommend a procedure or medication because it hasn't worked in the past, or the patient isn't compliant with a treatment regimen, but we've left the door open for spiritual malpractice. What happened?

The list of states the wife and I won't visit is getting longer and longer. Pretty soon, we won't be able to leave New York. Perhaps Brooklyn should secede and become its own republic.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Quick Hits

I'm starting to have a mental backlog of things I wanted to write about, so this possibly long post will cover a buncha things.

San Francisco
The wife & I spent the last week of August in San Francisco, and loved it. Actually, it was more like a love-hate thing. We loved the weather, the food, and the wine country. We loved that another urban setting could make a pretty decent attempt at "can't we all just get along" and do a better-than-expected job. We loved being able to get around using public transportation since we're both typical New Yorkers who don't drive. But, we hated that the homeless situation is really intense. It was heartbreaking to see so many people with blank faces and sad resignation wandering and homesteading, both singly and in groups We figured out that the city's homeless population isn't necessarily bigger than New York's, but that the ability to live outside for most of the year creates greater visibility. New York's homeless end up underground, literally and figuratively, for at least six months.

It's hard not to feel romantic when standing in front of a glass window on the 21st floor, watching the fog roll in at sunset. And, as trite as it seems, dammit, we liked riding the cable car so much we did it twice. We had a few laughs, and would visit again.

Must do: some sort of seafood in Sausalito, a trip to wine country, a visit to Scharffen Berger Chocolate in Berkeley, the brownie sundae at Ghirardelli Square.

Must skip: The Castro (unless you're a gay white man), Fisherman's Wharf

Christian Paranoia
I'm going to apologize in advance because this won't be the last time I talk about Christians. However, I had to share. Why is it that evangelical Christians are so afraid of anything not Christian? Who told them America was a Christian country? Why are they so afraid of sex? And why are they so afraid of Armageddon? More later.

The Sanctity of Marriage, My Ass
As of this date, Britney Spears, pop and culture icon, has married. Again. She's picked a real winner, a "baby daddy" with not one, but two kids with a former flame. He split up with her while she was pregnant with their second child. What a prince among men, eh? And queers can't marry. Go figure.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Two-Faced and Unfortunately Unrepentantly So

I am, and have been for some time now, absolutely fed up with the assault on lesbian & gay and same-gender-loving folk. The thing that irks me so is that the assault is based on notions that are questionable, at best.

Most Americans are approximately 15 years old emotionally. They have the attention span of a gnat and about the same level of psychosocial development. They're acutely aware of their physical urges, but have little idea how to appropriately deal with them. They need to be told where to go, what to do, and when to do it. They prefer absolutes to uncertainties, answers over questions.

They don't understand so-called homosexual behavior because they don't understand heterosexual behavior.

Most people don't understand relationships. Forget dating and mating, let's look at the hotly debated Marriage. We think the wedding is the marriage, so the bigger the wedding, the poufier the dress, the better the marriage. It's lovely until he breaks wind in bed when you're feeling romantic. Everything is great until she starts wearing the comfy pajamas instead of the negligees. It's all good until the first baby arrives and you realize you can no longer stay out all night, drop $200 on a fancy dinner, or take a day off just to go to the beach. And because so many of us just don't get it, or because the image of the extremely handsome, well-off White gay man is what has pervaded pop culture, the automatic assumption is that none of the balloon poppers mentioned above happen to same-sex couples. Believe me, they do.

I'm tired. Period. I'm sick to death of the bogus need to justify who I am and how I live my life (which is the definition of LIFESTYLE, not who I sleep with). Who asked you? So, a warning. I'm pissed, and everything from this point forward will be pissy.

Religious "Justification" for Persecution
Conservative Christians, evangelical Christians, orthodox Christians, are all quick to jump on so-called Biblical justification for persecuting gays & lesbians. They'll spout the scriptures every one who identifies as g/l has heard: the two from Leviticus, the one from Romans, the one from Corinthians, the one from Jude. They will even try to claim Jesus also condemmed homosexuality because he "did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill". Spare me. These out-of-context extractions are conveniently used not in the name of bringing joy and serenity into people's lives, which is what religion is supposed to do, but to help some clown who is uncomfortable in their own skin, experiencing a crisis of self-esteem, and/or is too lazy, frightened, or conditioned like a trick pony to have an independent thought, find a way to make themselves feel better by making others feel lousy, or worse -- try to block out their own inability to improve their lives by supposedly pointing out how lousy someone else's life is. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Excuse me while I vomit. "If you love me, feed my sheep." Where does it say crap on my food? And speaking of food, most of these scripture spewers know so little about the fine print that if you remind them they really should be vegetarians (see Genesis 1:28) or if you point out they've missed a few things from Leviticus like not mixing meat and milk (think cheeseburgers or most Hamburger Helper varieties), technically, they've committed a sin equal to fudgepacking. Oh, and that nice wool suit, cotton shirt, and silk tie are sinful also. And you preachers who get paid for preaching on the Sabbath, you've got a problem as well. Not to mention the people who pray to a statue, and get divorced. Having sex with your wife during her menstrual cycle (which is 20 to 28 days, fellas) is problematic. Oh, and put down that shrimp and find a church fundraiser that isn't a catfish fry. Catfish are scavengers, which technically makes then unclean.

Two-Faced Political Arguments Against Basic Rights
Less government intervention in personal lives. Okay, let's look at this for a second. If you want the government less involved in your personal life, let's look at Maslow's model for human needs: food, shelter, and love.
Food: if you want the government out, let's shut down the municipal water authorities. Let's all just hop down to the local reservoir and hope that we're not sickened by some mysterious bacteria. I don't keep a sewage-removing system in my apartment, and neither do most people I know. Also, let's shut down the FDA and let's not label food anymore. Peanut allergy? Screw you. Shoot your own cows, grow your own potatoes, and you'll be fine. Just don't buy any groceries.
Shelter: no more tax benefits for all you mortgage payers. You'll have to suffer like the rest of us no-tax-deductible anything-having clowns who flush big chunks of our paychecks down the crapper. But don't fret. Move to Wyoming, hang a piece of canvas between 2 trees and hope for the best. The only cost for squatting is literally shitting where you eat.
Love: my favorite. In the City of New York, it is ridiculously easy to obtain a marriage license, the piece of paper that is such a hot topic, especially when it comes to dealing with homosexuals. Here is what you need to have in order to apply: identification issued by some government authority (damn that government interference!) and an affidavit that both the bride and groom must complete at the City Clerk's office. You can be as young as 16 to get married as long as both parents give written permission. Only one parent living? Prove your age with a birth certificate, court records, or school records. To officially be considered "married," you have 60 days from the issue of the license to get it certified by someone licensed by the state (there's that government interference again) to perform marriages, be they license-by-mail preacher, church pastor, judge, or even by someone in the City Clerk's office. As long as only one of you has a penis and one has a vagina, you now have the OFFICIAL right to the more than 1000 government-sanctioned goodies in the cookie jar known as Marriage, including hospital visitation, exemption from inheritance tax upon the death of your spouse, and the right to claim his or her body from the hospital when that death happens. In other words, if my female partner dies of cancer in our house we've both been paying for for 20 years, (that we take turns declaring on our income tax, I might add), and her mother who hasn't spoken to her in 15 years, and hasn't bathed her after the chemo has given her uncontrollable diarrhea or spent their entire savings on medical equipment to make her last days comfortable in her own house, decides she wants her suddenly darling daughter to be laid to rest in the family mausoleum despite her wishes to be cremated, I, her femal partner, have NO SAY WHATSOEVER IF THERE IS NO WILL, AND EVEN THE PRESENCE OF A WILL MAY NOT PROTECT ME. I'm screwed. I can lose our house. Anything she's left me may be seized by Mommy Dearest and crew. Any insurance money I get can be taxed up to 85%. And this is how love works in America. Oh, how I wish I were making this up. But I digress.

You can't have it both ways. You can't call yourself a Christian and only espouse the things that make you comfortable. The Bible supported slavery -- I don't see Alan Keyes volunteering for field duty. Women are supposed to be silent in the churches, but that didn't stop FMA author Marilyn Musgrave from addressing Jerry Falwell's church in 2003. You can't "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" while taking advantage of tax protections to build your personal wealth, never mind supporting laws that hurt the poorest of our society -- the second part of that is "render unto God what is God's." You can't take what works for you and leave the rest. Grow up and dump the duplicity.




Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Hello, I'm Working!

In case I didn't mention it, I work in corporate America. I'm not exactly the corporate type: I like to do things my way, I show up when I'm ready and leave when I'm done, I wear what I feel like, and if I don't think a rule makes sense I can't be bothered to comply with it. Doesn't exactly make me corporate-conformist material.

So, I follow corporate news to learn the latest corp THING, like Business Casual Attire, or Who Cut The Cheese. Because I don't want to give away my location, I won't say what the new concept is here on the plantation, but I will offer that it is of the "let's touch base at the end of the day to assess our measurable deliverables" ilk. It is snake oil -- big on hype, low on common sense. And the things we who are low on the food chain have been asked to do in the name of it are just dumb, dumb, dumb.

For example, we've recently been asked to de-clutter. We've been asked to toss unnecessary files (but confidential material will be properly discarded at a later date, of course). We've been asked to tidy our desktops and remove the crap from under our desks (because a pair of sneakers under a tabletop is a fire hazard). And, we've been asked to remove papers and knickknacks from our cubicle walls.

Sweet Fannie Pearl! What does removing my godchildren's pictures have to do with my productivity? Shouldn't the inspirational scriptures and quotes I've collected over the years remain so I can continue to be inspired? What is disturbing about the pictures of my sweet spouse's beautiful smile? What is clutteristic about our deep grins pressed to paper, capturing our frosty evening atop the Eiffel Tower?

I know, clarity comes from simplicity, but the simply smiling faces of friends makes me happy. Happy enough to work. Better. Corporate policies are supposed to encourage workers to be better and more productive. Corporations are always trying to make work as comfortable as possible; nay, even home-like so that we'll feel good about spending so much time at work. So why clutter my mind by permitting me to only think of things such as the one stuffed animal sitting atop my computer; the pictures of my friends, my wife, my godchildren; the magnetic Michaelangelo in drag, the picture of Wonder Woman after menopause? Does corporate productivity mean that the one canvas we're issued is supposed to be painted with the same picture?

"Corporate" comes from the Latin "corpus", meaning body. Although "corporate" means to unite to form one body, one's own body halves aren't exactly the same. Women often have two slightly different sized breasts. One leg is usually slightly shorter. The scrotum is asymmetrical, as any good urologist or teenage boy will tell you. Stop trying to make things even or perfect. It won't happen.

And stop trying to make corporate clones.

I once read a terrific quote posted on a cubicle wall: "Cubicle today, world tomorrow." Funny, true, chilling, perhaps?

Saturday, September 04, 2004

It's Been A Long Time...

It's been a minute since I've written. I was on vacation in beautiful San Francisco, and I didn't feel like paying an exorbitant fee for web access in the hotel, nor did I want to try to post by phone, so I didn't post anything. BUT...

A lot has happened since last I published, and where do I begin. So, I'll warn you now that there will either be a lot of posts on all the subjects I've been thinking about or there will be one long post.

So, I'll catch my breath, do my laundry, and get to writing.