Bruce Garrett Cartoon
The Cartoon Gallery

A Coming Out Story
A Coming Out Story

My Photo Galleries
New and Improved!

Past Web Logs
The Story So Far archives

My Amazon.Com Wish List

My Myspace Profile

Bruce Garrett's Profile
Bruce Garrett's Facebook profile


Blogs I Read!
A Tenable Belief
(Steve Boese)


A Brooklyn Bridge

Alicublog

Wayne Besen

Box Turtle Bulletin

Cherry Blossom Special (E.J)

Daily Kos

Mike Daisy's Blog

The Disney Blog

Disney Gossip

Brad DeLong

Demagogue

Dispatches From The Culture Wars

Egregious Moderation

Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia

Envisioning The American Dream

Eschaton

Ex-Gay Watch

Hullabaloo

Joe. My. God

Made In Brazil

Pam's House Blend

Peterson Toscano

Progress City USA

Slacktivist

Slacktiverse

SLOG

Some Guys Are Normal

Straight, Not Narrow

TBogg

Fear the wrath of Sparky!

Truth Wins Out Blog

Wil Wheaton

James Wolcott




Gone But Not Forgotten

The Rittenhouse Review

Steve Gilliard's News Blog

Steve Gilliard's Blogspot Site



Great Cartoon Sites!

Howard Cruse Central

XKCD

Scandinavia And The World

Dope Rider

Willie Hewes

The World Of Kirk Anderson

Ann Telnaes' Cartoon Site

Ted Rall

Bors Blog

John K

Penny Arcade

Friendly Hostility

Downstairs Apartment




Other News & Commentary

365 Gay
(GLBT News)


All Facts & Opinions

Baltimore Crime

Cursor

HinesSight

Page One Q
(GLBT News)


Michelangelo Signorile

The Smirking Chimp

Talking Points Memo

Truth Wins Out

The Raw Story

Slashdot




International News & Views

BBC

NIS News Bulletin (Dutch)

Mexico Daily

The Local (Sweden)




News & Views from Germany

Spiegel Online

The Local

Deutsche Welle

Young Germany




Fun Stuff

It's not news. It's FARK

Plan 59

Pleasant Family Shopping

Discount Stores of the 60s

Retrospace

Photos of the Forgotten

Boom-Pop!

Comics With Problems

HMK Mystery Streams




Mercedes Love!

Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz TV

Mercedes-Benz Owners Club of America

MBCA - Greater Washington Section

BenzInsider

Mercedes-Benz Blog

BenzWorld Forum

March 31st, 2014

Hopefully The Last Time I Ever Have To Draw Fred…

My cartoon for this week’s Baltimore OUTLoud…

I’ve been paying so much attention to my AAEC presence I’ve woefully neglected my own political cartoon pages.  I will be working on bringing them back up to date soon.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
March 28th, 2014

Let’s Talk…Just Not About What We Need To Talk About

I got this link to a blog post from someone working at Mozilla…

What’s Happening Inside Mozilla

I won’t quote from it lest I be accused later of selective editing. Go read it for yourself, the blogger is obviously distraught over the sudden tidal wave of anger being directed at the company for putting a man at the top who gave a thousand bucks to support Proposition 8.  On the other hand, you’d think from reading his links that all the happy gays and gay friendly people at Mozilla have no problems at all with a guy who dropped a grand to cut off the ring fingers of gay couples in California.

PC Magazine wrote the following about the controversy

“Mozilla’s new CEO this week expressed “sorrow” for having caused pain by making a donation in support of California’s Prop. 8, which sought to ban gay marriage. And while he made an “active commitment to equality,” Brendan Eich did not elaborate on his beliefs regarding gay marriage and the LBGT community…”

A thousand bucks might have seemed chump change to this guy but it’s still serious money, and it shows a serious commitment to a belief that homosexuals are at best damaged goods that don’t actually love and aren’t fully human. There is no argument about protecting the institution of marriage as being about one man and one woman that does not have as its bedrock the image of The Homosexual as some sort of defiling pornographic cesspool flung into a sacred ground.  Marriage is about love and family…homosexuals are degenerates that just have sex, molest children and spread disease.  That was what Proposition 8 was about from beginning to end.  It was an attack, not just on the right of same sex couples to marry, but on the humanity of gay people. It was a multi-million dollar hammer brought down against the very idea that there could possibly be anything sacred about the feelings of love and devotion gay couples feel, waged by people who think we are a cancer on human existence.  And Eich bought a thousand dollar share in that campaign.

But at Mozilla according to this blogger, what they’re having is a discussion about freedom of speech verses equality. That’s the argument the religious right wants everyone to have and it’s exactly the wrong argument to be having. You can give your product away but throw your character into the gutter and you’ll be years cleaning it back up. And this man still doesn’t seem to think he did anything wrong.

That’s the problem here. If they’re having a discussion about rights at Mozilla they’re having the wrong discussion.They should be talking about character. That PC Magazine article says that he expressed “sorrow” and did not elaborate on his beliefs regarding same sex marriage and LGBT people.  Tell you what…read His Own Words and then tell me with a straight face that this man has any regrets about what he and countless others did to their gay neighbors in California. Everything is sickeningly there in plain sight, to anyone who has fought this battle:

…the donation does not in itself constitute evidence of animosity. Those asserting this are not providing a reasoned argument, rather they are labeling dissenters to cast them out of polite society. To such assertions, I can only respond: “no”.

Hahahahaha…  Where have I heard that before?  You’re just calling me a hateful bigot because I disagree with you!  No Brandan, ‘bigot’ is a perfectly good old fashioned English word and it means something.  And something else that has some meaning is you declaring you won’t discuss your involvement with Proposition 8 at the same time you’re bellyaching about having a rational discussion.  Actually Brandan they had that rational discussion at the trial and David Boies said it best when he said that the witness stand is a lonely place to lie. But it’s not the only lonely place and you are not a mere dissenter. Freedom of speech is one thing. A thousand dollars to a campaign to cut people’s ring fingers off isn’t mere speech.  But let it be said the speech you dropped a grand on is bad enough. That money went to ads that played the Gays Are Coming For Your Children card!  Living with the lies you paid a thousand bucks for come home to roost is another lonely place. You could renounce them, but it seems you won’t, and that makes them your lies too.

Lies are a kind of speech, yes. Hate mongering is a kind of speech, yes. But what kind of speech, and what kind of person utters it? If they are having a free speech verses equal rights discussion at Mozilla they are having the wrong discussion.

[Edited a tad for clarity...]

by Bruce | Link | React! (3)
March 26th, 2014

Thumping The Bible Verses Thumping The Tire Iron…

This came across my Facebook stream just now…

Comparing Gays To Abortion, Pat Robertson Sad Christians Don’t Stone Gays Anymore

700 Club Host And Christian Evangelical Leader Compares Gays To Abortion, Laments Gays Aren’t Stoned To Death Anymore Because Homosexuality ‘Denies The Reproduction Of Human Species’

You had to sorta figure that the TV preacher who told his viewers gays have secret rings that cut people who shake their hands and infect them with the AIDS virus would be sad gay people aren’t being stoned to death anymore.

So are a lot of them. Sit down and total up everything you know about religious conservatives, let alone right wingers, and you discover that you know volumes about who and what they hate and nearly nothing about who and what they love. Charles de Gaulle once said that patriotism is when love of your own people comes first and nationalism is when hate for other people comes first. So if religion is where love of god comes first what is it when hate for other people comes first, because it isn’t religion.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
March 16th, 2014

The Closet Is The New Tolerance

The story, as passed down to me, is that several generations back on mom’s side of the family, an Irish man fell in love with an English woman who also loved him very much. And against the wishes of both their families they married. And were promptly disowned by both their families.  So they came to America, and that is why mom’s side of the family tree became Americans.

I could see it…the lovers wanting to come to the New World instead of settling down somewhere in England or Ireland away from their respective families.  Even at a young age I understood that the English and Irish didn’t get along very well.  It wasn’t until I scratched below the surface of the history the books like to call the Great Potato Famine that I began to grasp why it was such a hard history to put to rest, why the old hatreds kept boiling over.  What I never got was why the Irish kept facing ignorant discrimination here in America too. Wasn’t this the Great Melting Pot? Wasn’t this the land of the Golden Door?  Some years back, while perusing the stands at the big Labor Day Flea Market in the little Virginia town mom had retired to, I saw a No Irish sign for sale along with other signs from ugly days gone by.  White Only.  Colored Entrance.  No Indians Served.  They made my skin crawl, yet I hoped someone was preserving all that. I’d been out of the closet for about two decades by then, and had experienced over and over how bigots could be alternatively proud of their cheapshit prejudices, righteous even, and then suddenly turn on a dime and deny they had a prejudiced bone in their bodies.

We don’t discriminate against homosexuals…we are moral people who believe that open sexuality has no place in public…  The double standard being of course that an opposite sex couple holding hands in public is but a simple little display of their mutual love and affection that should put a smile on everyone’s faces, whereas when a same-sex couple does exactly the same thing they’re flaunting their sexuality in everyone’s faces.  We don’t care what you do in the bedroom…just keep it there…

I don’t think in my entire life I ever saw a No Gays sign, or a want ad that said Gays Need Not Apply. But you always knew what would happen to you, the moment you stepped out of the closet. Our struggle was about the closet.  It was always about the closet.  As long as we had to stay in the closet the only things people would know about us was were the lies.  I grew up with those lies.  I knew how they were killing us, how they would always keep killing us, until we could live our lives openly, without fear, and people could see us for the human beings we were, not the monsters they were constantly being told we were.

This came across my news stream this morning…

‘Diversity float’ will be part of St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Foster and his friends and neighbors are not marching Sunday as part of a gay organization. They are marching as South Boston residents who have coalesced around building a park in a corner of the neighborhood known as the Lower End. Many of the people working on the float just happen to be gay. And they have been embraced by the Allied War Veterans Council, the parade’s longtime sponsor.

That would be the longtime sponsor that took their right to discriminate against their gay Irish neighbors all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won a pyrrhic victory.  Every year now the breadth and depth of notable people, politicians and companies boycotting these No Homo parades grows.  But Boston Globe reporter Andrew Ryan would like us to know that diversity is afoot this year in South Boston.  Yes…a Tolerance Float built by gay south Bostonites has been accepted into the parade.  No..embraced.  And I can see exactly why they were embraced too…

“They know us as their neighbors first and as gay second,” said Foster, an Air Force veteran who served in Desert Storm and who has lived with his husband in South Boston for seven years. Of outside gay groups coming in and hoping to march, he said: “How in the world do you ever get compromise if the first statement out of your mouth is, ‘I’m different than you?’ ”

Compromise.  Yes, quite.  And the compromise between staying in the closet and being out is you pretend you aren’t being pushed in and they pretend they didn’t push you.  Such a deal.

“The only way for this to work was to keep quiet. We had to wait it out and prove what we said when we first started, that we’re not here to make a big statement,” Foster said last Saturday, taking a break from float construction. “We all thought, if we just show up on parade day and we march and have a cool float, people will understand.”

There was a time I thought I was working toward this “understanding” myself.  I kept it low key among certain friends…I figured by giving their sensibilities breathing room I was giving them time to work out for themselves how everything they thought they knew about homosexuals was wrong.  I could be the living example that taught them to see past their assumptions and prejudices.  But prejudice is by definition irrational, and in the end I discovered all that was happening was they thought they were teaching me to keep it quiet.

Never doubt, that this is what the Allied War Veterans Council thinks they’re teaching the gays.  The compromise from their point of view is they’re willing to let people they know to be homosexual into the parade.  As long as they…you know…keep it quiet…

Lead parade organizer Philip J. Wuschke Jr. acknowledged that the inclusion this year of two groups with gay marchers represented “a little bit of a step,” but he pushed back against the assertion that the parade is intolerant.

“Gay people march in this all the time. Every year. This isn’t the first time,” Wuschke said. “We don’t ban gay people. We ban groups that are trying to make a statement.”

This is the sort of convenient circumlocution people use to prevent themselves from looking in the bathroom mirror and seeing a bigot staring back at them.  It’s also pathetic.  Does this man truly know nothing of the history of Irish people in the United States that he can honestly believe the St. Patrick’s Day parades do not now and never did have a political overtone to them?

 no_irish-1

pd-paddy

problem_solved

Celebrating a people and their history is making a statement.  So is excluding a people. Being proud of who you are is making a statement.  So is telling someone to hide what they are in exchange for acceptance.

And when gay people willingly closet themselves in exchange for acceptance they are also making a statement. They may think it’s a statement about building bridges, but in reality it’s a statement of self worth. That is what Allied War Veterans Council is happy to have finally taught them.  The Irish have a long and hard history they can be proud to have endured and overcome. Gays…well…they just have sex.  And Irish gays are best not spoken of in public.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
February 25th, 2014

Subhuman

This came across my Twitter stream the other day…

No Nugent Is Good Nugent
GOP weeps over Nugent comments, but are these crocodile tears?

There’s been hand-wringing and eye-rolling among the Texas GOP this week over Ted Nugent calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.” The real question is, why now?

Because the rest of the country started taking notice, that’s why.  But as usual the corporate news media only looks at it superficially, lambasting republicans for hitching Ted Nugent to their wagon while focusing almost exclusively on his “subhuman mongrel” crack at the president.  Yes, yes, it’s telling in its in-your-face racism.  They’re not even dog whistling at the base anymore.  But that was hardly all there is to find in the catalog of Nugent’s wit and wisdom.

Christ almighty you’d think the Family Values party never bothered to listen to his music, hear the lyrics, or even just glance a second or two at the album cover for “Love Grenade”?

 

And then there’s this lovely little ditty…

Well, I don’t care if you’re just 13
You look too good to be true
I just know that you’re probably clean…

Jailbait you look fine, fine, fine…
It’s quite alright, I asked your mama
Wait a minute, officer
Don’t put those handcuffs on me
Put them on her, and I’ll share her with you

Now get back to me about how you’re all against the gay agenda because homosexuals prey on children.

What were they thinking you ask?  Oh I know what they were thinking.  They were thinking inside that comfortable cocoon that Fox News and Talk Radio and their right wing billionaire money teats built for them.  That gentleman’s club at the edge of town where they can let the masks come off and say all the things they really mean without decency and humanity getting a word in edgewise.  Sometimes they forget the cocoon they live in is not the world they live in, and then the rest of the country sees them hugging the likes of Ted Nugent like he’s their soul brother.  But that’s only because he Is their soul brother.

Take advantage of a 13 year old girl for her body…take the food out of her mouth because you wanted another yacht…the difference between the Wall Street men and the duck dynasty boys is the cost of their toys…

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
January 22nd, 2014

Not Why I Am An Atheist…Reason #2. Collect The Entire Series!

I am not an Atheist because I read Ayn Rand back in the 70s.  Matter of fact, I didn’t start acknowledging to myself that I had become atheist until a few years ago. For decades I considered myself an agnostic in the manner of Spinzoa, or Frank Lloyd Wright, who once said he believed in God but he spelled it Nature.  I still love that quote.  But it was actually many years after Ronald Reagan showed me what a world where people who believed that money equals morality actually looks like and I walked away from Rand, that I realized I had become Atheist.  And I would really object if someone told me that I wasn’t an atheist if I didn’t embrace Rand’s philosophy.

Actually, I object to her opinions even being called philosophy.  What she had was a jerking knee about anything that smacked of basic human unconditional sympathy.  She was a sociopath, at one point idealizing a child murderer who grotesquely dismembered his victim’s body, wired her eyes open to make it appear that she was alive when found, and scattered pieces of her body around to taunt the police.  I remember when I first read about this and how unsurprising it was by then.  It is no coincidence that her ideas are embraced today by sociopaths, wealthy and otherwise alike.  And…new generations of useful idiots, like I was once.

Anyway…From Fred Clark

Ayn Rand claimed that her philosophy was the One True Faith for anyone who does not subscribe to religious faith. She said that what she called “Objectivism” — the “virtue of selfishness” and a vehement rejection of altruism — was the only Real, True Atheism. Anyone who claimed to be an atheist, but refused to follow her particular program, therefore, wasn’t the genuine article.

That’s malarkey, though.

And it would be dreadfully foolish for me, as a Christian, to accept this Randian assertion as the One True Definition of Atheism…

Likewise…

That would be like … like … oh, let’s say like recognizing the delusional dishonesty of everything Ken Ham has to say about science and history, but then turning around and declaring him to be correct and authoritative when it comes to biblical interpretation and hermeneutics.

Just so.  Some words are really big.  Christian and Atheist being two pretty big words.  And there are lots of other really big words. And they’re not always descriptive in the way people think they are.  Gay is a big word, especially when it’s another word for Homosexual.

I’ve had people tell me I am still an agnostic because I won’t say that I know for a fact there is no god, which is less objectionable but still…no.  I really really doubt there is a supreme being that created the universe and everything in it, but that I am always willing to acknowledge that someday I might find myself walking along Newton’s beach and pick up one of those prettier than ordinary seashells and find God inside and go Oh…there you were…, does not make me an agnostic. I just…don’t believe.  There’s a word for that.  But it’s a big one.  Like “Christian”.

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
January 17th, 2014

I’m A Reasonable Man…

After all…I only want to keep the kids safe…from your kind…

Putin: Gay people will be safe at Olympics if they ‘leave kids alone’

Putin met with a group of volunteers in the Olympic mountain venue at Krasnaya Polyana on Friday to wish them success at the Games. During a question-and-answer session, one volunteer asked him about Russia’s attitudes toward gays, a subject that has provoked worldwide controversy, and Putin offered what was apparently meant to be a reassuring answer for visitors to the Olympics.

How the homophobe, in trying to sound reasonable, keeps showing only their knuckle dragging prejudices.  If “alone” means “not sexually molest” then why of course gays should leave kids alone. Heterosexuals should also leave kids alone.  Everybody should leave kids alone.  And the law should punish people who don’t.  So why are you singling out gay people?

Because the homophobe thinks (or just wants everyone else to think) that to be gay is to be a sexual predator, and especially to be a molester of children.  But it’s more than that.  “Alone” means “Don’t Try To Turn Kids Gay”, because homosexuals don’t reproduce, they recruit.  Viewed that way, when gay people simply their lives openly and proudly that is recruitment.  When teachers and scientists refute the myths, lies and superstitions about homosexuality and teach science based facts about sex and sexual orientation, that is recruitment.  When artists create works that speak honestly to the lives of gay people, to the sanctity of their love, to the beauty of their desire, that is recruitment.

The way you leave kids alone is you silence the teachers, burn the books, burn the works of art, imprison the scientists and the artists if they won’t shut up and force homosexuals into the closet by acts of law, or by acts of terror in the streets.  And the homophobe will do all of this with a clear conscience telling them they had to in order to protect the kids, not their mindless blood thirsty prejudices.

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
January 5th, 2014

Pitchforks And Torches Will Be Handed Out After Today’s Prayer Breakfast…

Via Towleroad…

“The people of Utah have rights, too, not just the homosexuals. The homosexuals are shoving their agenda down our throats…That’s a lie. That’s an absolute lie [that the federal government's ruling overrules Utah's laws]. We have a right to raise our kids without homosexuals being part of the Boy Scouts, the schools and teachers and doing everything. They can be all that, but don’t shove your agenda down my kid’s throat. We have a right to raise our kids how we want not how you want.”

utah_sheriff_children_throats

The homosexuals. The homosexuals. The homosexuals. The homosexuals are coming for our kids. The homosexuals are coming for our kids. The homosexuals are coming for our kids. Shoving themselves down their throats.

Does this “lawman” realize that he’s inciting the sort of passions that get gay people beaten and killed? Oh…probably…

jack_d_ripper

Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
December 13th, 2013

Milepost On The Road To Baba Yar

This, via Towleroad…

Popular Russian Actor Applauded After Announcing He Would Like To Burn All Gays Alive

Popular Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin was cheered by an audience this week after announcing that he would like to burn all gays alive, Queer Russia reports:

Said Okhlobystin:

“I myself would shove all live gays into furnace. This is Sodom and Gomorrah, I as a beliver in God can not treat this indifferently, this is a live threat to my kids!… I do not want my kids to think that faggots are normal. This is lavender fascism.”

Lavender fascism, as opposed to systematically murdering a hated minority which is a sacrament…

If you think it’s bad in Russia now, wait until after the Olympics, when it will be easier for the world to look the other way.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

Political Vaporware

This came across my Facebook stream just now…

The Heritage Uncertainty Principle

Conservative health-care-policy ideas reside in an uncertain state of quasi-existence. You can describe the policies in the abstract, sometimes even in detail, but any attempt to reproduce them in physical form will cause such proposals to disappear instantly… It’s not so much an issue of “hypocrisy,” as Klein frames it, as a deeper metaphysical question of whether conservative health-care policies actually exist.

The question should be posed to better-trained philosophical minds than my own. I would posit that conservative health-care policies do not exist in any real form. Call it the “Heritage Uncertainty Principle.”

I take the name of this principle from the emblematic example, the Heritage Foundation’s health-care plan, which formed the primary intellectual basis for conservative opposition to Democratic health-care plans. In 1993, Republican minority leader Bob Dole supported a version of it to demonstrate that Republicans did not endorse the status quo, until Democrats, facing the demise of their own plan, tried to bring up Dole’s plan, at which point Dole renounced his own plan…

In my profession we have a name for this: Vaporware. How it works is, startup company ‘A’ introduces an amazingly inventive software product that instantly attracts the attention of consumers and investors. Established company ‘B’ sees a loss of marketshare ahead, so it announces its own new product…not quite ready for the market just yet…but Real Soon Now…that will be Even Better than company ‘A’s product. This announcement has the effect of making consumers hold off buying startup company ‘A’s product while they wait for the release of company ‘B’s product at which point they will decide between them. But company ‘B’s product does not actually exist, even in alpha form, let alone pre-release beta. So startup company ‘A’ is unable to sell its product and it loses money and investors go away and eventually it goes out of business. And thus, established company ‘B’ has driven a potential threat to its dominance out of business without ever having to produce something of its own.

Eventually established company ‘B’ releases a product vastly inferior to what the now bankrupt startup would have produced, and which exists not to serve a customer need, but only to further preserve company ‘B’s market share.

Understand this: Most republican ideas exist only to prevent enactment of policies that threaten the status quo. They put these proposals out there as a way to get people to stop talking about things that actually stand a chance of being enacted and actually helping improve life for most Americans. Now…you might ask yourself why they don’t just debate the democrat’s policy initiatives seriously, in good faith, honestly, from their own political perspective. If they think Big Government is so bad, if further empowering the state over the lives of Americans is such a dangerous threat to American’s liberty, why not try to convince the voters of this in an honest, straightforward way, instead of offering up deceptive tactical proposals they don’t seriously mean?  So what if their policies aren’t popular with the voters? You can’t change their minds of you don’t give them a reason to, and you think your reasons are better than the democrat’s…right?  And better for the country to have an honest debate about the role of government than a dishonest one.

You might be asking yourself this, because you still think republicans seriously believe in Small Government, and give a good goddamn about the country. But no…small government and patriotism are just more republican political vaporware.  A party that enthusiastically believes in the right of the state to regulate the private sexual conduct of consenting adults isn’t exactly interested in getting government off the backs of the people. A party that keeps coming close to bringing the nation into default on its bonds like it doesn’t give a crap about what would happen if that happened isn’t exactly interested in putting the welfare of the nation first. No. For them to have had an honest debate over healthcare would have meant them telling the voters straight up that they are the party of plutocracy and employer based healthcare is a good way of trapping workers into into dead end low paying jobs and the poor had better die and decrease the surplus population.

Think of republican healthcare proposals not as actual proposals to improve the healthcare of Americans, but as spikes scattered across the road to better healthcare for Americans. This is actually why a lot of libertarian policies get talked up a lot too by the way.  Right wingers have found a treasure trove of useful idiots in Libertarianville and it’s why you see Tea Partiers talking up a lot of libertarian ideas about small government and “free market solutions”. Take for example the counter proposal to same-sex marriage, that government get out of the business of marriage altogether. It isn’t seriously offered, it’ll never happen, it’s vaporware designed to derail talk about same-sex marriage and discrimination against gays and get the conversation bogged down in something else.

by Bruce | Link | React! (4)
December 10th, 2013

Yes Actually, Religious Freedom Means You Have To Treat All Your Customers Equally

Another day, another Fox News martyr in the homosexual war on Christians…

The first civil rights laws, so I hear, were passed not to protect black people or red or yellow people, but to protect Irish Catholics in New York from the religious passions of their protestant neighbors. And in point of fact, religious freedom is only possible where government does not take sides in religious disputes and where the rule of law protects minorities from the hostility of others, whether or not that hostility is motivated by religious passions.

Jack Phillips is not a martyr, he is a bigot attacking the rule of law because it grants people he loathes a little human dignity.  Okay…fine…but in the eyes of the law he can be no different from a bar owner who would like very much to keep selling beer to teenagers because it makes him money, and who regards laws against selling alcohol to minors as an infringement on his freedom to do business as he pleases without regard to the consequences to the rest of the community.  The law does not, can not, care what the religious beliefs of Jack Phillips are, only whether as a businessman he’s abiding by the same rules everyone else has to live by, or whether he’s a greedy predator, caring not whether he tears his community apart in the process of making a buck, just so he can pick through and live quite nicely off the wreckage.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

The Persistence Of The Closet…(continued)

Slate today runs an article riffing on the New York Times article I linked to yesterday. They headline theirs The American Closet Is Bigger Than We Thought.  I assume the ‘we’ in that headline is “heterosexuals’, with maybe a side of ‘those of us also in the closet’, because you don’t live in this country as a gay person without seeing or at least glimpsing that vast nation of the closeted first hand. No kidding there’s more of them than you thought…

But if that Times article helps the heterosexual majority to see, really see, the damage that was done, and is still being done, then good.  Seems a lot of folks are noticing that bit in the Times article, about wives in less tolerant states checking Google for advice on whether their husbands are gay. But there was also this…

Craigslist lets us look at this from a different angle. I analyzed ads for males looking for “casual encounters.” The percentage of these ads that are seeking casual encounters with men tends to be larger in less tolerant states. Among the states with the highest percentages are Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama.

Back in the 1980s, what I think of as the BBS days, I did volunteer work for a gay community BBS whose creator intended it not to be a hookup site but a serious information and educational resource for gay people.  He realized back then, as I did when I connected to those first primitive amateur computer networks, what they could do for us as a people.  The BBS advertised in the local gay newspaper, and I think in one of the alternative City Papers, and the ads included a phone number for help getting connected.  He told us he would get desperate phone calls on that number in the middle of the night, from men who’d been caught in police vice stings…trolling the parks or some public lavatory…needing emergency legal advice.  He said without exception, without exception, those men were all married, and none of then identified as gay.  At least, they wouldn’t over the course of that phone call.  That was the 1980s.

It’s still going on…

One could leave these findings angry at all these men for not coming out, but Stephen-Davidowitz’s concluding anecdote—about a retired professor who has been married to a woman for 40 years and “regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions”—articulates my overwhelming emotion: sadness.

That’s fine, but anger is still a good reaction to have and I hope the heterosexual majority cultivates it…not at the closeted, but at the Righteous and the Upstanding who keep teaching young gay people to hate themselves, so that they can have scapegoats, someone to gloat over, so they don’t have to look at their own failures of moral character. Be angry at them. Ask yourselves what kind of person turns anyone’s basic human need for intimate companionship against them, makes them deeply ashamed, even fearful, of their own human heart…

Sometimes even I get tired of looking at aggregate data, so I asked a psychiatrist in Mississippi who specializes in helping closeted gay men if any of his patients might want to talk to me. One man contacted me. He told me he was a retired professor, in his 60s, married to the same woman for more than 40 years.

About 10 years ago, overwhelmed with stress, he saw the therapist and finally acknowledged his sexuality. He has always known he was attracted to men, he says, but thought that that was normal and something that men hid. Shortly after beginning therapy, he had his first, and only, gay sexual encounter, with a student of his in his late 20s, an experience he describes as “wonderful.”

He and his wife do not have sex. He says that he would feel guilty ever ending his marriage or openly dating a man. He regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions.

He regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions… What kind of person does this to another, takes pride in doing it, and can look in a mirror and see a righteous person?  Look at that.  Really look at it.  It’s okay to get angry after looking down into that Pit.  But don’t look into it for too long, because Nietzsche was right about an abyss gazing back into you.  Just remember what you saw the next time you hear one of them yapping about their sincerely held religious beliefs.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
December 8th, 2013

The Persistence Of The Closet

Via John Becker at Bilerico, I see this New York Times article on that age old preoccupation of the heterosexual majority, How Many American Men Are Gay?

What percent of American men are gay? This question is notoriously difficult to answer. Historical estimates range from about 2 percent to 10 percent. But somewhere in the exabytes of data that human beings create every day are answers to even the most challenging questions…

While none of these data sources are ideal, they combine to tell a consistent story.

This is probably where the answers come from, finally. Because it was true before Stonewall, it was true in the post Stonewall gay lib phase, and it’s still true now, that many gay people will simply not tell even anonymous surveys the truth about themselves, let alone tell themselves the truth…

Additional evidence that suggests that many gay men in intolerant states are deeply in the closet comes from a surprising source: the Google searches of married women. It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently. In the United States, of all Google searches that begin “Is my husband…,” the most common word to follow is “gay.” “Gay” is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, “cheating.” It is 8 times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed.”

Searches questioning a husband’s sexuality are far more common in the least tolerant states…in fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.

This is unbearably sad. I’ve said before that for a lot of gay people in my generation it will always be a time before Stonewall.  But it’s Still happening.  And unsurprisingly, it’s happening where the ideal of married life is being systematically denied to gay people.

How I escaped this trap is part of the story I’m telling in A Coming Out Story. But I came out into a world where the soulmate, the beautiful lifelong love story, was almost impossible to find. I still haven’t found it and now I’m 60, and looking at the end of a lifetime of being alone, not having that intimate other.  And that was not, as the stereotype would have you believe, because gay culture was and is obsessed with casual no-strings attachment free sex, but because so many gay men who would have been searching for the same things I was, were instead desperately searching for a way not to be gay.

We were taught…By The Righteous…to believe that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.  And for many gay men as it also is for many heterosexual men, that’s just dandy. But for others it meant, and still means, “a huge amount of secret suffering”.  We believed because we were taught…By The Good People, the Decent Upstanding Citizens we looked up to…that homosexuality was a tragic psychological perversion, a denial of normal healthy functioning heterosexuality.  We were taught, not by gay culture but by heterosexual culture…that to be a homosexual was to be trapped in a hopeless cycle of empty sex searching for fulfillment we would never find.  We were weak contemptible faggots, or we were dangerous sexual psychopaths.  What we never were was people in love.  The first crush, the first date, the prom, the Big Question. None of it was ours to have. Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.

For some people that life of casual sex and serial loves is just fine. They live, they love, they go their separate ways, they remember fondly and are remembered fondly. But other hearts have other needs.  And for those, to be told that the One Love, the soulmate, the intimate other, is not possible, is a heartache that never heals. It is always there, just below the surface. You would do anything to make it not so. Because without that intimate other, life is so very very desperately lonely.

…in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.

So many hearts that could have found their beloved other, instead locked themselves in the closet and watched their love lives wither away to graveyard dust all the same. But at least nobody knew their terrible secret…that their desires were foul, that they were unfit for love.  So many hearts turned finally to stone, so the righteous could make their stepping stones to heaven out of our dreams of love.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
November 5th, 2013

Spitting Into The Mirror

From Politico today, which I will not link to because…Politico…

Reince Priebus: President Obama’s ‘culture of hatred’

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus ripped President Barack Obama for creating a “culture of hatred” in which Democrats are likening the GOP to the Ku Klux Klan.

“It’s the culture that the president’s cultivated here. A culture of dishonesty, a culture of hatred,” Priebus said Monday on Fox News’s “Hannity.”

You don’t say…  A culture of hatred…

Hatred…

Hatred…

like the ku klux klan…

Carefully cultivated…

Carefully…

Carefully…

Carefully…

Carefully…

Cultivated…

And your problem with cultivating hatred for votes is…what exactly?

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
October 22nd, 2013

Today In Connect The Dots…

This came across my Twitter stream just now…

@ThePlumLineGS: “WaPo poll shows that protected House Rs, while safe themselves, are doing huge damage to GOP’s nat’l appeal”

He links to this article of his on the Washington Post site…

The Morning Plum: Outside the conservative bubble, GOP sustains epic damage

Now…perhaps you’ve read those stories that started appearing right after the shutdown ended, about various Tea Party groups agitating for a repeal of the 17th Amendment.  That’s the one that overrules prior clauses of the Constitution by which senators were elected by the state legislatures.  Nowadays they’re all elected by statewide popular vote.  That’s a problem for the extreme fanatical right.  Here’s why:  Gerrymandering only gets you wins in local elections.  So in red states the hard right can dominate the legislatures and in congress they can get enough people in safely gerrymandered far right districts to make it difficult to do anything in that one branch.  Batshit crazy tea party representatives in the house as we have seen, can wreak havoc without a care because their seats are safe because they only have to answer to their batshit crazy voters in that one gerrymandered district.  But in statewide or nationwide elections you’re screwed.  And especially so if you’re pissing off everyone outside of your little gerrymandered districts.

But repealing the 17th amendment would allow those little gerrymandered districts to capture the Senate, by way of control of their state legislatures.  Or at least enough of the senate to insure control by filibuster indefinitely.

And take note, they’ve been making this move on the Electoral College too, with propositions in some states to give all that state’s electors to whoever wins the most Districts not to whoever wins the popular vote.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off
Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com


    What I'm Currently Reading...




    What I'm Currently Watching...




    What I'm Currently Listening To...




    Comic Book I've Read Recently...



    This page and all original content copyright © 2014 by Bruce Garrett. All rights reserved. Send questions, comments and hysterical outbursts to: bruce@brucegarrett.com

    This blog is powered by WordPress and is hosted at MomoWeb. Some custom design was done by Winters Web Works. Some embedded content was created with the help of Adobe Photoshop for MacOS and/or The Gimp. I proof with Firefox on either Windows, Linux or MacOS depending on which machine I happen to be running at the time.