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May 20th, 2015

The Center Of The Universe…It Is Not You…

Browsing Fred Clark’s Slacktivist blog today I see this…

First contact and ‘the great disillusionment’

The idea that there may be something new under other suns is nothing new under the sun.

That’s why I’m mostly just kind of meh about this Damon Linker piece and the other (semi-)recent posts James McGrath rounds up on the subject. Linker hits on several of the “challenges … to the world’s religious traditions” that first contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life would introduce, but he misses the biggest one — the one explored by both Kepler and Wells. Kepler acknowledges the kind of questions Linker raises — “have they souls to be saved?” But then he quickly skips ahead to the more potentially devastating question: “Are all things made for man?”

That would be the Copernican shift in our theology forced by such an encounter. The main problem would not be that we would need to refine or reform how we think about God, but that we would have to completely upend how we think about ourselves.

Fred Clark is one of the most decent people you will read here on the Internet tubes. I could wish voices like his were heard more often in the popular culture. I was reading the other day one of the heavy hitters in the religious right arguing against the idea of other intelligent life in the universe, because of course the entire purpose of Creation was mankind. Okay I’m being a tad sarcastic about that, but not by much. And it reminded me of that day in the fields by a newly cut country road. It’s the same mindset.

I’ve told this story before, about the time when I was earning a living as an architectural model maker, and the shop owner I was working for at the time took his employees out to the countryside in late autumn to gather yarrow. Yarrow was a plant we used to make trees out of for the landscaping around our model buildings. At the end of a season the stalks were hard and the seed pods all dried up, and you could dip the pods in wood glue and sprinkle flocking (a finely shredded colored foam rubber) over them which made them look like little trees. Even better, you could then split the seed pods into smaller and smaller halves to get trees suitable for just about any scale you were working at.

So that day we all went to a place the shop owner, Ron, said was a likely place to find our quarry. Yarrow he told us, was very particular about where it grew in the wild. It had to be free of any shade trees or other competing bushes. It had to be open to the sky to allow lots of sun and rain. The best places he said, were where new roads had just been built, and the ground on either side cleared during construction. He had been scouting all summer for likely spots, and that day he led us to one. A new road that had just opened up county.

Ron was very much the devout fundamentalist. I had a job there because mom and I went to the same church he did for a time (I’d already left the church by this time, and mom eventually went elsewhere but stayed friends with Ron’s wife). Ron saw in my landscape paintings a talent he could put to use and despite the heavy air of religiosity in his shop I found I liked the work very much. He liberally scattered religious tracts all over the employee lunchroom, and held prayer sessions with his favorite, while the rest of us opted out for the safety of the shop and our work. I’ve written elsewhere about what he did to his gay son the day he came out to his family. I bring this up because of what happened that day we went yarrow hunting that I still vividly remember.

Ron passed out trash bags and told us to stuff them with every yarrow we could find. The bags would end up being stored in the attic space of his shop, and the contents used as needed for model landscaping. The idea was to get enough to tide us over until next fall.

So I wandered around looking for yarrow, and eventually my eyes got attuned to the shape of the things amidst all the other tall grasses we were wading through. I’d filled up one trashbag and was opening another when it occurred to me that I had no idea about the life cycle of these plants our workflow depended on. Might be a good idea I reckoned, to leave some behind so we’d have some next year. So I started leaving behind every third yarrow I came across. There was plenty there, so I figured we’d still get enough for another year’s work.

Ron came over and pointed out I’d missed some. I explained what I was doing and why. I’ll never forget the look he gave me. Not one of exasperation (I’d already seen enough of those…Ron had…anger management issues…), but…patients. He saw a teachable moment in it.

He nodded his head. “I see where you’re coming from,” he said to me kindly, “but God gave us these things to use.”

And so I was instructed to get the ones I’d missed and pick every one I saw. It was disheartening because I knew he’d check now that he knew what I’d been doing. So I shifted gears and picked more slowly hoping he’d eventually decide he had enough and we could go and some plants might be left behind. I was more naive back then. People like that aren’t deflected away from their missions so easily. He got every single one near as I could tell. He’d have had us all working until the next morning if there were that many more there to be had.

The universe was created Just For Us. So of course there can’t be any other intelligent life out there. And global warming is a socialist plot. Anything that makes you question exploring every last natural resource, or for that matter your human neighbor, is socialism. Beware the ideology that regards humanity as anything less than the masters of the earth. Well…second only to God almighty of course. Maybe.

Not every person of faith sees it that way. Remember that. I’m not sure that we’ll ever detect signs of intelligent life beyond Earth in my lifetime. I am certain of this: if Franklin Graham is alive to see it, he will insist they’re evidence that demons are real. That mindset is not disillusioned so easily.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Center Of The Universe…It Is Not You…
May 13th, 2015

That Old Time Sales Pitch

This came across my Facebook stream this morning. It clarified something I’d wondered about the relationship between American fundamentalism and its veneration of brutal survival of the fittest capitalism. How do you get from the sermon on the mount to Jesus would want us to take food stamps away from poor families?

Christian fundamentalism is a capitalist construct: The secret history of American religion

Henry Parsons Crowell was a purveyor of oatmeal. He is best known by business historians as the president and founder of Quaker Oats, one of the pioneers of the branding revolution. He used a combination of packaging, trademark and massive promotional campaigns and transformed oatmeal from a commodity into a trademarked product.

Crowell took oatmeal that used to be sold out of large barrels in your general store, put it into a sealed package, slapped a picture of a Quaker on it and guaranteed it pure. Now it no longer mattered who you bought your oatmeal from, only what brand you chose.

A company’s reputation was once rooted in its owner, but the trademark created this virtual relationship with consumers that was pure fiction. The trust that is engendered by a Quaker has no relationship to the company itself. There are no Quakers involved in that. Crowell was a Presbyterian.

He was also a purveyor of religion. And he did to American Evangelicalism what he did to oatmeal: he packaged and trademarked his brand of Christianity into a form that engendered a wholly fictional trust in its purity. It was that old time religion.

I mean…if you were raised in that culture like I was, doesn’t just reading that phrase make you hear it now…that song you heard over and over…

Give me that old time religion,
Give me that old time religion,
Give me that old time religion,
It’s good enough for me.

Admit it. You’re hearing it right now. You’ll have that ear worm in your head all day. But it wasn’t just a church song…it was an advertising jingle.

I grew up hearing the phrase “that old-time religion” so often it became something you just accepted as fact without knowing how it came to be that in your mind. It wasn’t until much later in life I began to understand that American Evangelical Protestantism was “old” only in the sense that a Ford Model ‘T’ is an old automobile. Yes, yes…the tin lizzy is about as old as they come alright. But the automobile itself isn’t exactly old transportation technology (let’s give a nod of grateful thanks to Mr. Horse), and American Evangelical Christianity isn’t exactly old if you’re measuring back to the time of Jesus. Actually it’s a pretty new thing.

Generously, I just assumed that phrase “old time religion” harkened back to that first generation Americans born after the revolutionary war. That was the time of the “Great Awakening” and it would have been, so I thought, from grandparents and great-grandparents telling their stories to their grandchildren that the phrase “that old time religion” came from. But no…it was pure advertising technique, from the man who convinced people they could trust a brand name more than the local merchant they actually knew, by putting a smiling Quaker’s face and the word “pure” on the package. His oatmeal had no more to do with Quakers than his “Fundamentals of Christianity” were “old time religion”. But he knew how to sell a product.

And it was when Evangelicalism became a product that it became about money. All those megachurches and TV ministries with their leadership living in lavish luxury can trace their roots back to the moment in history when Evangelicalism became a product rich men sold, and people bought. It’s old time religion like Quaker Oats is Quaker and Country Time Lemonade Flavored Drink Mix is country lemonade.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on That Old Time Sales Pitch
May 5th, 2015

Light At The Entrance To The Tunnel

Horrible as today was however, at least I did get a catcall out of it. While I was out on a cigar walk some guy in a passing car shouted Get a haircut at me. I haven’t heard that one in years. Made my day…

me 5-4-2015

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Light At The Entrance To The Tunnel

Everyone Needs A Hobby…

After three years tobacco free I am officially back to my cigar hobby. Because some days alcohol just isn’t enough, drugs are illegal, and it takes forever to come back down off a bullet to the brain. Yes…slowly killing yourself can be a hobby, you just need to take an geek like interest in the details.

In 1967 CBS ran a short lived comedy series called “He and She”. It was smart, witty, the main characters, a young couple in New York bantered with each other and the other characters in this very dry humor I just loved. I was attracted to it instantly and watched it religiously. So of course it was cancelled after just one season. There was a scene in the first episode, I forget the lead in to it, but the Dick Hollister character (a cartoonist!), played to perfection by Richard Benjamen was arguing with his wife Paula, played by Paula Prentiss, and she says to him exasperated “What are you’re saying!?” and Dick says “Never mind what I’m saying, just listen to me!”

Don’t you just hate conversations like that? Especially when it’s your manager and he keeps asking you what went wrong and every time you start telling him he interrupts and says he didn’t want to know that. “What went wrong?” “Well…A, B, C, D…” “I don’t want to know that…do you realize if we had done the entire operation manually we’d have been finished long before this?” “Well if I knew at the beginning what I know now…” “I don’t want to talk about that…”

He came down to my office and we went though the process. At least one of the problems I kept running into manifested itself for him. Some tasks fight you in a big way, but it’s the ones that fight you in every minute teensy little way possible that completely demoralize you. Either way, if my orders are to save the Kobayashi Maru don’t ask me why I’ve got a bat’leth sticking out of me afterward. Did you know that Klingons fight back? Surprised the hell out of me, let me tell you…

My attitude is this: why let stress kill you when can smoke a good cigar while death puts a scythe in your heart. Life is short. Never pass up an opportunity to enjoy something good.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Everyone Needs A Hobby…
May 4th, 2015

Not The Problem

Captain Jack on what the problem is…

the problem

For most of last week I was confined to quarters after 10PM, here in Charm City, aka Mobtown, aka Baltimore. I didn’t have it as bad as many here did…I have a small, but nice little Baltimore rowhouse to bounce around in and anyway I’m usually in bed by 10PM. I am not a service working trying to make ends meet on a job I suddenly can’t work because it’s closed during my shift. My income does not depend on tips from late evening revelers. And as the people of Hampden, a largely white neighborhood just down the street from me proved last Saturday, even if I strayed for a little while from the curfew orders, the police probably wouldn’t start beating the crap out of me. Unless I had one of my cameras and my press badge on me anyway.

And while I am completely sympathetic with the protestors, the frustration and anger generally with police unaccountability, and was greatly relieved when our State’s Attorney leveled what seems to me to be thoroughly appropriate charges against the policemen and women involved in the death of Freddy Gray (there was a joke going around about how, acting on a request by the Roman Governor, the Baltimore City Police determined that Jesus fell into a box of nails and accidentally nailed himself to a cross…), I was mostly in favor of the curfew. Human consciousness isn’t all perfect rational thinking even when it keeps telling us it is. When a mob gets started…and we are every single one of us vulnerable to getting swept up in one…then it’s the lizard brain in charge and the first thing is you have to break up the mob.

But on twitter the other day Atrios was saying that curfews don’t solve anything and that is absolutely true too.  A curfew doesn’t solve a problem anymore than a fire extinguisher does.  A fire extinguisher puts out a fire. The fire was the problem you didn’t solve.

Yes that extension cord keeps getting hot…yes it’s a little frayed…but it still works…

For a good overview of the problem Baltimore (and the nation generally), didn’t, isn’t, won’t solve, read this…

The long, painful and repetitive history of how Baltimore became Baltimore

There is a difference people keep missing, conveniently or ignorantly, between excusing violence and explaining it.  Humanity didn’t fall from grace, we rose from the jungle and the hot African plains, seeking it. But we carry the jungle with us, and it lives within us…all of us…and any animal will fight back when it’s cornered. The problem isn’t the rioters, don’t be pointing your finger there, the problem is the attitude generally toward the neighborhoods that rioted, and the people who live in them. They are our neighbors, they are our fellow Americans, and look what we’ve done to them.

Look at what we are becoming.



by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Not The Problem
April 27th, 2015

Expectations (Message In A Bottle)

I was at the NOM March for Marriage rally on the Mall last Saturday, and I should post some of my thoughts here rather than my Facebook page, along with the photos I will eventually upload to the photo gallery here, because that sort of thing is what I created this website for. Which I will do later this week.  But there is another rally tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Supreme Court I will also be documenting so that’ll have to wait a bit. For now I’ll just say this about NOM: You simply cannot overstate the level of religious extremism and outright kookery that was on display at that rally. As I wandered the crowd with my camera I kept wishing H. L. Mencken was still alive to file a report on it for the Sun.  Strange as The Hills of Zion were, they’re stranger still when transplanted to a patch of Mall directly in front of the U.S. Capital.

In the meantime…this came across my Facebook stream just now and I’m rolling it up and putting it into another bottle to toss into the sea for a certain someone to find eventually…maybe…



I did that to myself too, once upon a time. The bars were made of the low expectations placed on a kid being raised by a divorced single working mother. Family gave me those bars.  And teachers. And well meaning members of the churches mom took me to. But I put them in place myself. I’m 61 years old now, and just celebrated the 25th anniversary of the launching of the Hubble Space Telescope with my co-workers here at The Space Telescope Science Institute…we got a group photo taken of ourselves and I’m there at the front with my camera and some of the astronauts and Matt Mountain who handed me a special service award last year…and I’m still trying to pry some of those bars down and free myself.

No matter I didn’t let them put me in the closet like other gay kids back in the day. That’s just one of many prisons people let themselves get talked into. There are all kinds of ways a kid can get talked out of believing in themselves.  But ultimately we are the wardens of our own internal jails.

We have to learn how to let ourselves go, so we can become the people we were always meant to be. It’s a struggle…but a noble one…because you can’t be the best you can be for others, until you can be all that you can be.

hubble gang

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Expectations (Message In A Bottle)
April 10th, 2015

How To Laugh Until You Cry…

A friend who’s been in the fight against ex-gay therapy with me since the Love In Action protests posted this Onion article to his Facebook page the other day…

dead straight

“We’ve found that a combination of group interventions, narrative therapy, and cognitive-behavioral approaches fully eliminates homosexual urges before the individual takes his or her own life,” said program director Christian Weber, adding that many of their biggest success stories are even in stable, heterosexual relationships when they’re found lifeless in their own home or dredged from a nearby body of water.

Full Onion Article Here.  You know the kind of laugh you get sometimes when it’s funny but painful at the same time…?

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on How To Laugh Until You Cry…
April 8th, 2015

Now Where Have I Heard This Before…

In my newstream just now…

Tom Cotton: Bombing Iran Would Take “Several Days,” Be Nothing Like Iraq War

“It would be something more along the lines of what President Clinton did in December 1998 during Operation Desert Fox. Several days air and naval bombing against Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior. For interfering with weapons inspectors and for disobeying Security Council resolutions. All we’re asking is that the president simply be as tough as in the protection of America’s national security interest as Bill Clinton was.”

Yeah…yeah…  But as I recall that wasn’t the end of it.  And the next step was advertised as being another several days thing.  If that.  And…it wasn’t…

Time to repost this I reckon…

Flashback…Washington D.C…March 18, 2003

Tuesday afternoon. I am attending a conference on open source software in government being held at George Washington University. I am here because my project manager is investigating the possibility of moving the system I’ve been working on for the past several years to open source software. Work on the Hubble Space Telescope will go into maintenance mode shortly, and the thinking is that the Institute doesn’t want to spend a lot of money it won’t have on software upgrades, simply because a certain vendor has a business cycle that requires you to do that. At least with open source we would have the option of making any small fixes we absolutely needed to have before the end of the mission ourselves, without breaking our systems that depend on it. The alternative is to stick to the vendor’s upgrade cycle, and pray the new versions don’t break anything in our software, or introduce new bugs and security holes.

Between conference sessions, I wander around the Foggy Bottom area, and back and forth to my hotel, which I paid for out of my own pocket, rather then hassle with Washington traffic, which is a nightmare. The hotel has a nice little kitchenette, which allows me to eat reasonably well without further damaging my budget for the month. Around noon I begin the walk back to my hotel for lunch, stopping to examine a decrepit building right next to the conference hall, that I assume is one of the student dorms. It is, and I see by the bronze plaque by the door that this one is named Lafayette Hall. I read the inscription, which briefly describes the history of Marquis de Lafayette, who fought beside George Washington, taking a bullet in the process, for the freedom of a nation that was not his own, and who later attended the first commencement ceremonies of the university that bore his friend’s name, shaking the hand of each of those first graduates. While I am reading, a snarky voice in the back of my mind is saying Freedom Fries…Freedom Toast… An old friend of mine I’d had breakfast with that morning, told me a joke he’d heard about a man who, while visiting France recently, asked a random Frenchman, “Sir, can you speak German?” When the Frenchman replied that he couldn’t, the American said, “You’re welcome.” I told my friend the Frenchman could just as easily have asked the American, “Sir, do you have a king?”

My hotel is somewhat oldish. My room is on the sixth floor and the elevators are small and slow. I press the button and when one finally appears, I see that there are already two businessmen inside. It’s a tight fit for three. As we go up I feel the hair on the back of my neck rise. There are some who you would never know from the look of them, to be of the right wing thuggish persuasion, and there are others who hit you with it in waves, in the cut of the clothes, the bullying posture that is as second nature as breathing, and the coldness of the face, particularly when smiling at nothing in particular. I tune them both out, pulling out from a space within me I’d almost forgotten about, a “Yes I’m a longhair, yes I know you hate my guts, and no mister establishment person sir, I really don’t give a flying fuck” attitude, close my eyes, and listen to the elevator floor counter click off the floors to mine. I toy briefly about writing a book, “Everything I know about living under Bush II, I learned from Nixon”. The old elevator rises slowly. I hear one of my companions say, “I hope they don’t cancel our flight out Thursday.” The other chuckles and says, “The war will be over by then.”

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Now Where Have I Heard This Before…
April 7th, 2015

No You Are Not Being Forced To Participate In It. No, Not That Thing, The Other Thing…

On my Facebook stream just now…

The complaining now is they’re objecting to being forced to participate in a gay wedding. Please respect our deeply held sincere religious belief that your wedding is a fraudulent parody of the genuine love and commitment between a man and a woman. Do not force us to accept your counterfeit relationship as real. We are not prejudiced against anybody.  And so on…

Never mind for a moment the insult to same sex couples all wrapped in piety.  What they’re being forced to participate in, against their will, isn’t same sex marriage, it’s The United States of America. You know…that place where on Main Street USA down at the corner store my money is just as good as yours.

Sure they could go somewhere else…somewhere the ruling government shares their sincerely held belief that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex and that needs to be stamped out or civilization will fall and God will rain fire down upon us. But the problem is those places don’t have the nice perks you get from living in a civilized nation. Perks that come from having a diverse population whose individuals have the freedom to participate in the common marketplace regardless of their sex, race, creed or national origins. At least that’s the ideal anyway, and to the extent this country has lived up to that ideal it has prospered from the work and creative energy you get from allowing people from all walks of life, some of whom might think a little differently to…you know…think a little differently. So the cake bakers and their defenders would rather stay here and enjoy the benefits of other people’s hard work and creative talents without having to treat those people as neighbors, as fellow Americans.

Of course there are no homosexuals in the culinary arts. Of course they never contributed to the collective knowledge that is the artistic core of our business, let alone any of the other technology that supports it.

The concern trolls are out and about now, lecturing the gay community to not be so…well…militant in our struggle for equality. In the New York Times David Brooks reliably wags a finger and warns us we risk loosing our moral high ground by misusing our new found political clout. Well once upon a time in a different civil rights struggle the great political cartoonist Herblock had an answer to that…


But the fact is it isn’t our limited and disorganized political clout Indiana was feeling, but the disgust of heterosexuals who are getting really fed up seeing their friends and family being treated like dirt. Sure, blame the militant homosexual conspiracy, but it wasn’t just us who raised that massive stink when Pence signed that bill into law, and you can tell it wasn’t just us because this time the bigots had to back down, and they’ve never had a hard time sticking their thumbs in our eyes. But people are getting tired of it now. People with gay sons and daughters. People with gay neighbors and friends. People with functioning human hearts.

The Daily Beast had a really good article the other day concerning Anita Bryant and the Myth of the Militant Homosexual you should read…

The key to Bryant’s “discrimination” strategy was to portray equal rights advocates as anti-Christian oppressors. She warned of “militant homosexuals who are highly financed, highly organized.” Their true objective, she claimed, was not the right to hold jobs and buy houses. Since they were unable to reproduce biologically, their only hope of survival was “to recruit your children and teach them the virtue of becoming a homosexual.”

What makes the David Brooks column so offensive is he’s doing basically what Bryant did back in 1977, slyly riffing on that notion of a powerful gay cabal but without actually saying it. And of course we’re all militants unless we’re willing to stay in the closet and accept our pariah status among decent normal people.

If I’m remembered for anything I’ve ever said on this blog or elsewhere I hope at least it’s this one thing: A militant homosexual is a homosexual who doesn’t think there is anything wrong with being a homosexual. A militant homosexual activist is a homosexual who acts like they don’t think there is anything wrong with being a homosexual.

That’s it. That’s really all there is to it. You don’t have to march in Pride Day parades. You don’t have to wave the rainbow flag. You don’t have to stand in a protest line. All it takes to be regarded as a militant homosexual is you behave exactly like anyone else would when people who don’t know you from Adam spit in your face, call you names, and treat the garden of your life as if it was their household trashcan. You react to that like anyone else would and Presto, you’ve become a militant homosexual, and never mind that your life and your interest in politics is pretty much the same as anyone else.

My chances for marriage are pretty much done with by now. I’m 61 and never even came close to having a boyfriend, let alone someone to settle down with and begin a life together. My life is almost done at this stage. I am single and alone. What I have to look back on, is a lifetime of fighting against the hatred that doesn’t just spit in our faces, but which actively and with passion does its level best to destroy any possibility of love and joy the moment two people of the same sex take notice of each other and their hearts skip a beat. I’ve written elsewhere of how it’s taken chances, so many chances away from me.  This is why I am still in the fight, even if the prize is lost forever to me.  I know the damage it’s done to me, I’ll be goddamned if I let it keep on damaging young hearts in love. If you think this is just a struggle over wedding cakes you are sadly mistaken. If you think it is a fight over same-sex weddings you are still not getting it. The same bitter venomous contempt for gay couples about to get married will with gusto act to prevent them from even setting eyes on each other given a chance. Ask me how I know. The hated Other simply cannot be allowed to love and be loved. Because love stays the course. Because love endures. Because love can move mountains. Because the last thing you want the scapegoat to be able to do, is move mountains.


by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on No You Are Not Being Forced To Participate In It. No, Not That Thing, The Other Thing…
April 6th, 2015

(Message In A Bottle) So This Was Why You Warned Me Not To Send You Any Of Those!

Just now on Facebook…

nsa dicks

Relax. They probably have your colonoscopy photos on file too.

[Update…]  I’m queer…I can’t stop myself…


…I’m so ashamed…

hard boiled

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on (Message In A Bottle) So This Was Why You Warned Me Not To Send You Any Of Those!
April 5th, 2015

Driving In The Nails For Easter (Message In A Bottle…)

This came across my Facebook stream tonight…


This is actually pretty typical. If you are shocked by this I assure you I am not. The imagery here comes from a right wing Catholic group but don’t be paying much attention to that because the sentiment isn’t specific to any one religion or religion in particular and it’s not about how they see us so much as how they want us to be seen. This is the real thing. Most of your gay and lesbian neighbors, except the very lucky maybe, have felt this breathing down our necks all our adult lives.

When other kids start having their first crushes and start discovering love and desire, this is what the gay ones find themselves facing. This is what haunts what should have been one of this life’s most magical times. It cuts you deep. Some people never manage to love wholeheartedly their entire lives because of it.

And others search endlessly for one who can. I was looking at my Facebook stream just a moment ago and this graphic flashed on my screen and for an instant I saw certain someone’s face and relived the conversation I had with him just one week ago…

I need to stay in my comfort zone…

I know. And I’m so sorry…so very sorry. It is what it is. You stayed inside because you had to and I got the hell out because I had to but we are all damaged by it in one way or another. Easter they say is when Jesus of Nazareth died for their sins. So why did we have to die for their sins too?

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Driving In The Nails For Easter (Message In A Bottle…)
April 2nd, 2015

A Broken Heart Often Has A Cranky Shell Around It

The misery of a child is interesting to a mother, the misery of a young man is interesting to a young woman,
the misery of an old man is interesting to nobody. –Eric Hoffer

Eric Hoffer for the win again.  I’m not cranky, just sad. Just very, very sad. And more alone in this life then anyone near me saying that Bruce has turned into a cranky old man could likely ever withstand.

You have no idea. When all you have left is a faint hope inside that however damaged you’ve become you still have some love within you to give to the world, if not to some specific someone, the last thing you need to hear is the people around you think you’ve become unpleasant and unapproachable. But I reckon even that was unavoidable. There is only so much you can do to mitigate the damage, and eventually it starts to show, and then of course it becomes a self inflicting ever growing wound.

I know where this ends. What I don’t know is how much further I have to go to get there. Reckon I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on A Broken Heart Often Has A Cranky Shell Around It

Plan ‘B’

Plan ‘B‘: Quit my job, sell the house and pay off all the bills, sell the car, sell as much of what’s in the house as I can and trash the rest, go find a low wage job somewhere that will just barely pay for a room in someone’s basement, and go back to the hopeless low income low expectations life I had before October 1991 and that programming job at Baltimore Gas & Electric, because at least that life wasn’t promising me happiness it could not deliver…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Plan ‘B’
March 31st, 2015

Nothing To Worry About Here…Except…Well…Everything…

Everyone blissfully saying that existing LGBT anti-discrimination laws would withstand a challenge under these new religious freedom laws is either not paying attention or not wanting you to pay attention. There are a few constitutional law experts out there busy telling the gay community not to be so hysterical over what amounts to Just A Tiny Little Enhancement to current federal law. Probably these same experts were shocked, shocked at the Hobby Lobby decision. I’ll bet they all did a double take at the Citizens United decision too.

You need to pay attention to the long game the religious right plays, and especially to their rhetoric. They’re flat-out saying that these laws are especially necessary given recent same-sex marriage decisions, to prevent gay citizens from asserting equal rights. Nothing stealthy about what is going on with them on this. Nothing. You need to take them at their word for that these laws are being enacted to accomplish.

The Big Lie The Media Tells About Indiana’s New ‘Religious Freedom’ Law


by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Nothing To Worry About Here…Except…Well…Everything…
March 29th, 2015

So…Who Are We Talking To Here? I Mean Besides Each Other…

One of the oddest sensations in the world is having a conversation with someone and both parties knowing there is a silent third party always listening in to that conversation, but never chiming in. Oh…don’t mind me… So when you write back is it me you’re talking to or you-know-who that you’re talking to?  The irony is not lost on me that you recommended The Lives of Others to me at one point. Eavesdropping?  Me? You must be kidding.

You also told me not to be sending you any dick pictures because You-Know-Who. You must have meant these…

AFA 193219

dick van dyke


Dick Gregory speaking at Ohio University 02-11-1968

dick cheney


Okay. Fine. No dick for you! How about some ass photos instead?




straight son

Okay…that last one was from The Onion. But it’s hard to tell satire from reality these days isn’t it?

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on So…Who Are We Talking To Here? I Mean Besides Each Other…
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