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September 19th, 2023

The Tribulation As A Low Budget Reality Show
Some time ago I saw this in my Twitter feed and immediately thought of Fred Clark and his amazing series of reviews of the Left Behind books…
This is an angle the writers of various tribulation stories always overlook, because for some reason the AntiChrist needs to always to be portrayed as a smooth operator. An international celebrity whose words and deeds completely hypnotize the masses into doing his bidding. But imagine a different take…
…Imagine for a moment, the AntiChrist as a reality show buffoon. A transparently bogus swindler, a cheat, a carnival con artist. A bar stool bigot who isn’t fooling anybody. It’s the AntiChrist not as a smooth operator with a silken voice and impeccable manners, but a loudmouthed ignoramus, a second rate swindler. He’s not impressive, he’s pathetic.
And yet civilization falls.
Then, in the midst of all the wreck and ruin, have Satan appear and declare that this buffoonish Antichrist was his final gesture of contempt for humanity and the God that created it. Oh, he knows what’s coming…he knows he cannot win…it’s all preordained. This is his final middle finger at God Almighty. The world ends, civilization is defeated, not by a master liar and clever manipulator, but by a babbling bragging buffoon even a half wit could see through, and that so many were willing to follow anyway, not because they were deceived but because he validated them.

Posted In: Thumping My Pulpit
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 13th, 2023

My Demons…Let Me Show You My Cartoons About Them…

Reposted and updated for my 70th (yesterday)…

This is a script I had for a one-off cartoon was going to do when I turned 60. I did a little pencil sketching on it then dropped it. I’m 70 now and still haven’t finished this one, or dozens of others let alone A Coming Out Story…

It riffs off a running gag in Tim Barela’s wonderful gay comic strip Leonard and Larry, which he described once as a kind of gay Our Miss Brooks. Every tenth year Larry had a birthday all his anxieties about getting old surfaced in a dream that he was having his birthday party while laying in a coffin with a birthday cake on it and his friends making catty jokes about his getting old. Picasso said a mediocre artist copies and a great artist steals. So I stole the idea (with proper acknowledgement). But the only thing I managed to finish was the script. Probably for the best…

Here it is, updated to the 70th birthday. As Joe Friday and my own Sergeant Stoneface would say, The names have been changed to protect the innocent. And especially the not so innocent!

The Big Seven-O!
(Slightly Anonymized)

SCENE: My birthday party. a’La Leonard & Larry, I’m in a casket with the lid open and a birthday cake on the bottom half lid that reads Happy 70th. Surrounding me are my three loves. We shall call them CRUSH1, CRUSH2 and CRUSH3.


PANEL 1: (Most of the following panels are as above.)

ME: I really appreciate the party you guys, and this coffin’s a swell gag, but I have to admit the margarita embalming fluid bottles was a brilliant touch.

CRUSH2: I liked the aspirin bottles labeled “For Headaches Due To Lovestruck Bruce”.

CRUSH3: That was 1’s idea.



ME: (off panel) Ha, ha… Yes, very funny…

CRUSH1: (to the others) Drove me crazy back in high school watching him try to work up the nerve to tell me he had a crush on me.

CRUSH2: (rolling his eyes) I had to deal with Overly Attached Gayfriend.

CRUSH3: Tell me about it. He actually thought we were boyfriends just because I let him sleep with me a few times.


PANEL 3: Closeup on Crush2 and Crush3

CRUSH2: Sparks didn’t fly eh?

CRUSH3: (Looking morosely down at his drink) Let’s just say I went Ex-Gay for six years.


PANEL 4: Closeup on me and Crush1

CRUSH1: (Smiling, gesturing to me while looking at the others off panel) Quick, tell NARTH! We’ve found the cure for homosexuality!

ME: (Frowning) Ha, Ha. Very Funny.



ME: Can I get out now?

CRUSH1: Not on your life. We’re selling you off as a collector’s item.

CRUSH2: (gesturing to the ages) The gay man that never had a boyfriend. Too young to be liberated in 1971, too old to marry anyone in 2023.

CRUSH3: You’re a museum piece.



ME: You sold me to a museum?

CRUSH2: Museum? Are you kidding? We sold you to Disney World.

CRUSH3: You’re going to be a prop in the Haunted Mansion queue.

CRUSH1: I’ll stop by every now and then before my shift to dust you off.



ME: I’m dreaming all this aren’t I? This is all about my anxieties over getting old isn’t it…and you guys are here representing the three chances for love Vonnegut spoke of…

CRUSH1: We prefer to think of ourselves as your three strikes.



ME: This is going to turn into a nightmare now isn’t it?

CRUSH1: You’re not asleep dear, you’re hallucinating.

CRUSH2: You drank half that bottle of tequila all by yourself and when you sober up again you’re going to feel like you’re 170.

Posted In: Life
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by Bruce | Link | React! (2)
September 11th, 2023

A Bit Worried About My Drawing Hand

Lately I’ve been very worried that my drawing hand is getting arthritis in it, but now I’m pretty sure that it’s just injury to the thumb and forefinger muscles, and it’s the Apple Pencil with Procreate that’s doing it to me.

When I work with traditional media I use a Very light touch. The charcoals and graphite I work with are all very soft and I can get a lot of dynamic range out of them by varying light to just a bit of moderate pressure. Same with my ink pens. I use my dip pens less often now, but when I do I gravitate to the most flexible nibs because I can get the range of lines I like with those. Mostly I use the new pigment based technical pens. I still haven’t the hang of inking with a brush yet, and given how much I’ve come to like Procreate I may never get it. My favorite writing instruments are my fountain pens, especially my Montblanc Diplomat (which I have with me in California) and my Parker Duofold. All I need with either of those is a very light touch.

So my writing/drawing hand is not used to having to bear down much and I’ve been doing a tad more of that with the Apple Pencil and Procreate now that I’m doing more of my artwork digitally. Problem most likely is I just accepted the default sensitivity settings and now I have to spend some time tweaking them.
In the meantime I’m being forced to take a break from drawing for a while until my drawing hand stops complaining.

Posted In: Art
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 7th, 2023

A Two Day Service Job At The Dealership

The diesel emissions recall service I was finally able to get scheduled after a year of trying starts this morning. It’ll take two days to do all the work. I’ve emptied the car of all my stuff, including the Mercedes fitted trunk liner because under that is the DEF tank and probably a bunch of emissions related things they’ll be needing to get at. And just now I disconnected the locking Kayo GPS dongle from the CAN port because for sure they’ll be needing to get at that.

So the car is ready to get this done. Finally. I’ll get a loaner from the dealer.

I’m getting the oil cooler seals replaced while this is happening too, since that’s something you really want to have done while they’ve already got the top of the engine apart. 400 bucks extra, but it’s 5k to do the work as a one-off. So…yeah…get that done too.

I’ll still be hanging out here in Oceano for at least another month. I’ve got my first ever visit to Disneyland scheduled for the 24th. It gives me time to run the car and drive it here and there and make sure nothing was broken during the big two day job, before I drive back home to Baltimore.

The plan is not to go back until the daily temperatures get below 90. This part of the California coast is just lovely during the summer months. I think I’ll stay out here every summer from now on.

Posted In: Life

by Bruce | Link | React!
September 4th, 2023


I’m going to Disneyland!

I was born in California two years before Disneyland opened, but I grew up on the east coast and never got to visit it when I was a kid. Back in the late 50 and 1960s, travel from coast to coast was expensive, and also slow unless you had the money to fly. You either took the train or the bus, or you drove and driving it across so much vast emptiness past the Ozarks was risky. Cars back then weren’t nearly as reliable as they are today. So little Mouseketeer me could only watch the Mickey Mouse Club on TV and the Walt Disney movies mom took me to. Closest I ever came to a theme park when I was young were the boardwalks at the beach towns mom would vacation us in. Those were lots of fun, but not as much fun as I knew Disneyland would be.

It wasn’t until I was 16 that I even got a chance to visit California again, and then it was mom and me on a road trip to try and reconnect me with dad and his family in Oceano. Anaheim was just far enough away, and the traffic in and out of Los Angeles horrible enough, that everything involved in spending even just a couple days at the park, driving down, getting a hotel and buying tickets, and then the drive back, just wasn’t do-able. And there wasn’t much time until I had to be back in school and mom had to be back at work anyway,

Then, decades later, I got work that came with vacation time and I was able to visit my California family on a semi regular basis. But even then I had to be back for work so there still wasn’t time make the trip to Anaheim. But by then Walt Disney World had opened up, and a trip down to Florida wasn’t all that hard to schedule. Even better, my high school crush worked there, and encouraged me to come down for a visit through by then I was more about the road trip than theme parks.

“Come on man it’s your heritage…baseball, mom, apple pie, and Mickey Mouse…what’s wrong with you?”

I still remember that first visit and walking into Epcot and how my inner Mouseketeer came back to me. Somehow in my adulthood I’d forgotten all that. And it rekindled my faith in the human spirit. That, It’s A Small World After All, and There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow Shining At The End Of Every Day thing. I’d forgotten all those days back when I was young and we were going to the moon and I watched the first live television from overseas via Telstar, and sat at the TV Sunday’s after dinner and watched Walter Cronkite’s The Twenty-First Century and Saturday mornings watching Watch Mr. Wizard and evenings before bed watching Star Trek, and reading Arthur C. Clarke and Hal Clement and Ray Bradbury, and those days when I looked forward to whatever the future held. 

I’d forgotten how much I still needed that. And that day in Epcot, watching the monorail glide overhead, and hearing that Disney music at the entrance, and looking up at Spaceship Earth, it all came back to me.

So Walt Disney World became my thing, and I got the annual pass, and then for a few years a DVC membership, and I’ve visited at least twice a year every since, sometimes three times if I could wrangle a long weekend now and then. And since Magic Kingdom was almost a carbon copy of the original Disneyland I could be satisfied that I had my Disneyland experience after all.

But it wasn’t the same of course. And now I’m retired and I have plenty of time to go to Disneyland while I’m here in California. So this time around I set my mind to going. And I’m doing it right with park hopper tickets and a hotel in the park, which gives me easy walking access and maybe some extra magic hours too.

The Halloween after hours event was all sold out though…drat. Maybe next year.

This is almost like a pilgrimage. One of my favorite spots in Hollywood Studios is the Tune-In Lounge and I’ve sat at the bar there watching Walt Disney give the opening speech to his new theme park so many times I know it by heart…

To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

He saw it through to completion, which he never got the chance to in Florida. I really want to see this place at least once.

It’s actually more expensive even though it’s a smaller park, because so many of the perks I get having the Walt Disney World annual pass aren’t available to me at Disneyland, and the selection of in park hotels is nothing like Walt Disney World. So this may be a one shot thing, but we’ll see. Nice thing about Disneyland is it’s not in DeSantisland. The drawback is it’s so much smaller. I looked into making dining reservations and the choices are pretty limited. But then Walt Disney World is Huge. I don’t think there’s anything else like it in the world.

But there will never be another Disneyland, no matter how many copies of it they make all over the world. It’s the first one, where it all began. There was nothing like it before. I love Walt Disney World enough to keep going back no matter how ugly the republicans down there make Florida. But I have to see Disneyland at least once in my life.

Posted In: Life

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)
August 29th, 2023

Hey…Wait…Didn’t I Graduate…??

I’ll be 70 soon. Just so all you younglings who happen to be reading this know, that dream about being back in grade school? You know the one. Maybe you’re walking the hallways of your old high school. Maybe you’re sitting in class. And you’re stressing out because you haven’t prepared, and you don’t know the material. And you know you’re going to flunk that class and probably every other class too. And then you wake up and you’re all stressed out. That dream?

Yeah…you’ll still be having it at 70.

Posted In: Life
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by Bruce | Link | React!

The Sky Is Its Most Beautiful When It’s Most Violent

There’s probably some sort of enlightenment in that fact…

I should have posted this here earlier. It’s sunset in Oceano California, looking off my brother’s backyard deck toward the Pacific ocean, the evening that hurricane Hillary came inland. I was expecting a more impressive than usual sunset over the Pacific that evening and I wasn’t disappointed. It was a Frederic Church level sunset.

I took this with the Canon 6D and 24mm f1.4 lens. Coulda used a 17 or better but the only one of those I have is an FD lens for my film cameras. So after this I priced getting one for the 6D but I would use it so infrequently that spending the money just doesn’t make sense at this stage in my life, and being on retirement income.

This is looking east toward the central valley where Hillary tracked, from my brother’s front porch…

Bakersfield is maybe 100 miles as the crow flies past those mountains in the distance. Barstow, a place I drive through often on my way here and back to Maryland, took a direct hit. Here in Oceano we got a little rain and a little wind and nothing more. Everything on the coast north of Vandenberg was pretty much untouched. But the skies were lovely.

Posted In: Photography
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by Bruce | Link | React!
August 26th, 2023

Approaching 70

Facebook memories this morning brings me back to a Pearls Before Swine cartoon I riffed on briefly a couple years ago. Rat is harassing Stephan about how old he is, asking him if he was alive during World War 2, and Stephan says he wasn’t born until 23 years after that war ended, at which point Rat brings up the fact that his prom was 34 years ago.

Ha ha. Yeah…

My prom would have been 52 years ago now. I’ll be 70 shortly. Oddly enough, still regretting I didn’t get my prom. Or those first dates. Gay teens didn’t exist back in 1971.

Could have been worse I suppose. I could have been born right after the war instead of eight years after and had to be a gay teenager in the late 1950s/early 60s. I’m trying to slug through “Hoover’s War On Gays” by Douglas M. Charles. It’s a Very difficult read. My generation, just barely post Stonewall, had it pretty good all things considered. One of my high school teachers, Bill Ochse, actually brought a group of gay activists to his class to talk to his students, and the mob didn’t burn the school down.

I had him for a class but I wasn’t in that particular class that day. So I watched from a distance as they left his classroom, still talking to Bill and a few of the other kids. How I wished I could have sat in and listened to them. I’ve ached at the memory ever since. But at least I could know back in 1971 that there was such things as gay activists. I could at least know that I wasn’t alone, even if it felt like it.

I didn’t get my prom. It was 1971. Not even Woodward would have been ready for gay teens stepping out onto the dance floor back in 1971. Are you kidding? And even in a better world I probably wouldn’t have been able to take the guy I was crushing on to the prom. He was a catch, stunningly beautiful, smart, decent, lived in the nice neighborhood, and I was a weird kid from across the tracks, unhandsome, crooked teeth, unruly hair, living with a single divorced mother, preoccupied with his artwork and photography. Didn’t get my prom. Didn’t get a boyfriend either.

I’ll be 70 soon. I’ll die having walked from one end of an adult life to the other single. And the fact is there was more stacked against me than the treachery of a few I believed to be my friends (We’ve seen the guys you look at. People who look like that want people who look like that.). Back in 1971 even Mad Magazine thought our claim to having a common humanity with out neighbors was ridiculous (You shout that you are victimized by bigoted attacks. Forgive us if we’re more concerned with Indians and Blacks). The scale of what was taken from us so righteous people could build their stepping stones to heaven out of pieces of our hearts is nearly impossible to grasp. And the teenager I was stopped hoping long ago.

70. It isn’t quite the milestone I was thinking it would be. I really don’t want any more birthdays. But I need to get A Coming Out Story finished.

Posted In: Life
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by Bruce | Link | React!
August 18th, 2023

Just Your Typical Coastal California Weather…

It’s an absolutely lovely California day here in Oceano. 64 degrees but comfortably warm in the sun. California blue skies. Ocean breeze.
Well…okay…we’re likely to get a hurricane over the weekend. But apart from that…

Let’s hear it for global warming!


Posted In: Life

by Bruce | Link | React!

New Fascism, Pretty Much The Same As The Old Fascism

Roy Edroso has a Substack today you should go read.

And if you’re not already one of his subscribers or reading his blog from time to time you really should.

Posted In: Politics
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by Bruce | Link | React!
August 15th, 2023

No It Is Not Time For A White Wedding!

So I had the white wedding dream this morning.

I’ve written about this elsewhere, but it’s one of those odd family things. My mom’s Yankee Baptist side, for all it’s religiosity, has it’s superstitions, handed down through the generations. Many of which Good Yankee Baptists are Not supposed to entertain. Mom’s dad came from Mennonite stock. River Brethren they called themselves. Her mother was pure bitter Yankee Baptist (not all Yankee Baptists are as unpleasant as she was. I know of a bunch of really good people in those pews) Not sure how far back some of these superstitions go, but a few seem very old.

One of them is the dream that is a premonition of death. Not yours, but of someone close to you. And it’s not that they die. In the dream, they’re getting married.

I can hear the snickers, but this is really creepy. It’s a big wedding usually. The bride, or the groom, are someone you know personally. You never see who they’re getting married too. And it’s usually, but not always, attended by people that you don’t know. And here’s the thing: the more white you notice in the dream…like in how people are dressed or in the place settings…the closer the death is.

I’ve googled this and it seems it is a thing. I can’t pin the history and origins of it down because there is so much argle bargle in the results, but apparently it goes way way back.

I’ve never had this dream. Until this morning. And it didn’t quite follow the usual script.

In my dream, I am a photographer working at a huge catering business. They have a massive building with a lot of big well decorated rooms to hold weddings and receptions. I actually have my own apartment on an upper floor. It’s a nice one. Apparently the cat I once had, Claudia, lives there with me.

I’m walking around the premises, checking on this and that, to make sure everything is ready for today’s guests. Nobody has arrived yet, but I know it will be busy later and I am on duty.

Then a huge wedding party arrives. They seem to be Indians, all dressed in traditional Indian garb for a wedding reception. There’s a Lot of them and I despair thinking there’s so many everyone else won’t be able to use their rooms. But the new party uses the lovely outdoor courtyard instead and I am relieved. There’s plenty of space there and it’s a beautiful setting for a wedding reception.

I watch them enter. The courtyard has a lovely colorful tiled floor, white marble columns with green hanging plants, white statuary, and big wooden intricately carved tables for the guests. I see the bride and groom at one end of the space. Dancers line up and begin some sort of traditional dance for everyone.

It’s bright and sunny outside this morning, and everyone is wearing white, bright, bright white, which makes the scene even brighter. It is so bright it begins to hurt my eyes and I have to leave and go back inside. And anyway, it’s time for me to get ready for the other guests.

I go back to my apartment and take a shower. As I’m drying myself off Claudia comes into the bathroom and hops up onto the sink to get a drink. As I’m walking to my room I hear a voice I recognize from downstairs, asking me if he and his bride to be can come up so he can show her my photography. I have it all over the walls of my apartment. I call back down, yes, but let me get dressed first please, I have nothing on.

With just a towel wrapped around me I run around my living room quickly, irritably picking up some crumpled up paper bags that were left on the floor by friends I had over the previous night. People need to pick up after themselves I think. Then I wake up.

I wake up in a very disturbed state. The voice I heard downstairs of the groom to be was a very dear friend. As close to me as anyone ever got. He’s getting married. I didn’t see the bride. And the wedding outside was so white it hurt my eyes. But…I tell myself desperately, that wasn’t His wedding. I don’t even know those other people.

I try to be rational. I try to avoid superstition. I’m an atheist for god’s sake (ha ha). But when you’ve got the imagination I do that’s very hard. The collision between my left and right brains (I know…that’s a myth too…but it’s a useful metaphor) that I’ve represented in A Coming Out Story, is the central struggle of my life. More so even than dealing with my sexual orientation. And deep down inside I’ve always been afraid of this dream.

Posted In: Life
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by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on No It Is Not Time For A White Wedding!
August 13th, 2023

Back When Guys Could Be Sexy And Beautiful And Not Worry About Being Queer Baited

It was an all too brief period of time in young American male fashion. But I look back upon it fondly, and reminisce about the life I once had, before the heart attack, before I found myself suddenly knocking at the door to 70 and realizing that dating and mating part of my life is all in the rear view mirror now, and I didn’t even get to partake because back then gay teenagers didn’t exist and gay men were all better off dead than in love.

I have this theory that the fashions and styles we find attractive as adults are what were in vogue when we were coming of age. We glom onto that period and all those first crushes and first heartbreaks, and forever after it’s what gets the heart beating.

The problem for me (artistically and…otherwise) is that while “retro” fashions seem to have made a comeback, it’s only among the ladies. Long hair low risers and cutoffs haven’t made much headway among males young and slender enough that, IMO, they could benefit from them. Okay…so I could benefit from them.

It’s a shame. So when I get an itch to do some sexy sketching I usually end up riffing on photos of pretty young ladies I see online or in magazine fashion ads. When you know the basic skeletal and muscular differences between the sexes it’s not hard to convert female to male if you really, really like what they’re wearing or how they’ve done their hair. This drawing I posting some months ago being a good example…

I actually sold a print of that one.

I have a folder in my NAS of pose material that maybe I’ll get to someday and make a drawing from. Stuff I’ve got from various online sites and Facebook pages. Like the one I just started following a few days ago of 70s memories.


That photo was labelled Teenagers hanging out on Van Nuys Blvd. Obviously from the styles and the cars it was taken in the very early 1970s, or maybe even the late 60s. The time of my sexual awakening and that first magical crush. I’m thinking it’s a night shot under very bright street lamps, otherwise why would the sky above that store in the background be so dark. The comments on it are mostly about how street racing at that location was a thing back in the day. Mostly.

I take one look at this photo and instantly the longhair leaning up against the foreground car (check out the mag wheels) gets my attention. Nice jeans, thinks I…okay…I can do something with that. No smirking, please…I didn’t realize at first…. Anyway, it definitely speaks to that time in my life. Those low risers. That long beautiful hair. The floppy sleave shirt. I don’t think many people nowadays get how wide belts were back then, and the huge belt buckles that went with them. You can’t see the feet, but I’m pretty sure those are bells.

So I immediately grab a copy of the image for my “poses” folder. And I’m already thinking about what I need to change around a tad to make her a cute long haired guy…

I’ll have to adjust her pelvis a tad…oh…wait…

Nope. Don’t have to adjust anything.

The pose was just enough to make it unclear which sex you were looking at. What clued me in was figuring out how to change the curve of the hips to the thighs and then realizing that work had already been done for me. I wish I had his jeans too. And the 20-something body I had once upon a time that fit into them.

And…a boyfriend back then.

I wish I had more beautiful guys like that in my world now. Even if, as I said, that part of my life is in the rear view mirror. It would still be nice to have some beauty in my life, even if it’s just to look at now and then. But American males don’t like those styles anymore because HEY ARE YOU SOME KINDA QUEER OR WHAT!? I’m not even all that pretty, and wasn’t back in the day, and I got cat-called lots just for wearing my hair long. I Still get those cat-calls. HEY HIPPY…ARE YOU A BOY OR A GIRL…HAW HAW HAW…

But what’s refreshing about the comments on that photo on that page is there wasn’t any of that. If you remember those days fondly enough to be following 70s memories pages, then you remember that was how guys dressed and wore their hair back then.

And it was all good. At least it was to coming of age gay teenager me.

So…anyway…if I do something with the figure in that photo I’ll post it here. Probably not use the shirt though.



Posted In: Life
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by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Back When Guys Could Be Sexy And Beautiful And Not Worry About Being Queer Baited
August 9th, 2023

Like Al Capon Suing Chicago For Letting Him Tarnish The City’s Reputation…

We all remember Stephan “Goebbels” Miller…right…?

Stephen Miller’s legal group sues Target over LGBTQ Pride collection backlash

A conservative legal nonprofit led by Stephen Miller is suing Target on behalf of one of the company’s investors, saying it should have anticipated public backlash to its LGBTQ Pride displays in June.

America First Legal — founded by Miller, a former senior adviser to former President Trump — claims the company misrepresented the adequacy of its risk monitoring after its Pride month campaign led to employee harassment, bomb threats and a conservative online hate campaign.

A conservative group. A conservative group. Yeah, and the Al Capon mob was a private investment fund. You gotta admire the brazenness of the anti-gay industrial complex. First they start a hate campaign against retailers that support Pride Month, then they sue them for the damage to the investors that they caused. Nice work if you can get it.

Posted In: Politics
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by Bruce | Link | React! (1)
August 5th, 2023


There is no growing up, I used to say, there is only growing. Then today I came across this comment I made in a Facebook post about technological change:

Something I’ve noticed: progress makes some people feel old and others always feeling young…

…because you’re always having to learn new sh*t. All this time I’ve been attributing that constant twenty-ish mindset I have to a state of arrested development and that’s not it. It isn’t that I never grew up, it’s that I never got tired of growing up.

Never get tired of growing up.

Posted In: Life
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by Bruce | Link | React! (1)
August 2nd, 2023

Why Bother?

I’ve been working on A Coming Out Story for a couple decades now. I’ve not been promoting it or advertising it anywhere, largely because I am terrible at self promotion. I’m sure the reason for that lies buried somewhere under all the static I got growing up, first for being my father’s son, and then more generally for being gay in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But it’s been a project that, while it began simply as a one shot slice of life cartoon, then turned into something like a self analysis project, it’s become something dear to my heart. That said, when I posted a link to the new current episode on Facebook and a post about my first try at a Flowbee haircut got orders of magnitude more responses, I got a little depressed. Well okay…more than a little.

The visitors here to this website specifically to look for any new episodes have been very gratifying. Also the random visitors who either read an episode that a search engine somehow delivered them to, and then they binge read all of it. That is Very gratifying. And it helps keep me going. But I have other reasons for sticking with this besides artistic recognition.

I dove into this project for several reasons:

  1. To help me understand what happened to me back in my senior year of high school, and how it brought me to the adult I eventually became.

    This part has been pretty well successful. It helped that around episode 11 I reconnected with the object of my affections and I was able, with difficulty, to better understand what happened between us and why it went the way it did. Maybe that’s material for a whole ‘nother story.

  2. To let other gay people of my generation know they weren’t alone. We all pretty much went through it. Some had it lots worse than I did, some much better. We were all damaged, but we survived. We should be proud of that.
  3. To show heterosexual adults, in a mostly humorous way, how it was to be a gay teenager back when gay folk basically got static from Every direction in the popular culture, and hopefully show them that the world really needs to give gay kids a break. We go through all the same stages of first love and first heartbreak everyone else does, but with the added torment of all the cheapshit bar stool prejudices, plus all the myths, lies and superstitions of the pulpit thumpers. It isn’t fair. What should be one of this life’s most magical wonderful times, the discovery of love and desire, gets turned into a long drawn out nightmare so some righteous creeps can make their stepping stones to heaven out of our hopes and dreams.
  4. To let gay kids today know what the struggle was like back when we were kids ourselves. The horrible sex ed class I sat through wasn’t anything out of the ordinary back then. What I was taught was what most people blindly believed about us. I’m planning on concluding this story by imploring the generations to come to delve into our history and keep fighting, or for certain the bigots will bring it all back down on us again.
  5. To tell my side of the story.

That’s it. I’ve begun work on episode 37. This little story arc has three more episodes, then the story comes to it’s main climax/conclusion after than. Maybe another year working on it and it’s done. To give you an idea of how hard it’s been to get this out of me, I had the current episode completely scripted back in 2005 and it finally appears here with only minor changes to the dialogue. I have the rest of it done too, except for the very last episode. I’m still thinking about how to end it.

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