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Archive for May, 2007

May 31st, 2007

Ninth Commandment Watch…

Via Timothy Kincaid over  at Box Turtle Bulletin…  Dr. Joe Nicolosi of NARTH will be lecturing in London on June 22-23, 2007 on the subject of The Time for Truth – is gay real?

A conference for professional counsellors and therapists, pastoral care givers, church leaders, and those who are dealing with or affected by homosexuality.

Contact: Dr Lisa Nolland

NB. Dr Nicolosi will take a scientific rather than an explicitly Christian approach.

And a good thing that is too, since you folks probably don’t want to hear from any Christians on this matter, do you?  Or does this no longer apply…?

Thou shalt bear no false witness against thy neighbor. 

The evidence that biology, genetics in part, perhaps development in the womb in part, determines sexual orientation is now so overwhelming even the mainstream news media can see it too.  How else to explain the older brother effect, and that it only works for right handed boys?  Yet Nicolosi persists in his junk science dogma that male homosexuality is caused by a poor father/son relationship.  So why are these ersatz men of god inviting this quack to speak to them about homosexuality, and not a real scientist?

Simple.  It comforts them to know that they’re beating on people who in at least some sense, choose to be homosexual.  Let us have the pseudo science that tells us homosexuality is caused by a broken family relationship, rather then the honest science that tells us it is simple random biology that is neither chosen nor changeable…because the pseudo science allows us to blame homosexuals for not seeking treatment for their condition, because the pseudo science allows us to keep blaming the homosexuals for every evil thing we do to them, in the name of Christ, in the name of love.  Nicolosi helps them shift the blame for all the pain and heartbreak they have ever brought down on the lives of gay men and women, onto their victims.  Nicolosi will come to them as a man of science, and they, the men of God, will wash, wash their hands of every wrong they’ve ever done to innocent lovers in his junk science, and lift those hands in praise afterward.  Then they’ll take up their holy clubs, and start beating on gay people again in completely clear conscience.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Ninth Commandment Watch…

Well Educated, Just Not Very Smart

I remember when I worked on a software project for a medical diagnostic instrument company.  A lab technician gave us a talk about their working conditions, since we were making a tool for them to use.  She told us briefly about dealing with highly contagious agents like TB.  TB, she told us, was a mycobacteria.  In it’s most contagious form she said, she could put a tiny vial of it in the room we were in, with the cap tightly screwed on, and it could nonetheless infect every one of us just sitting there.  The mycobacteria were tiny, she said, got out of confinement easily, became easily airborne, and then you breathed them in.

So I’m thinking about this as I read about the guy who has a extensively drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, and exposed dozens of people by flying to the U.S. instead of turning himself in to doctors in Italy like he was told to.  Seems he’s a tad puzzled now that he has an armed guard outside the door to his isolation room.  After all, he’s a well educated, successful, intelligent person.

You know the type… 

The man told the Journal-Constitution he was in Rome during his honeymoon when the CDC notified him of the new tests and told him to turn himself in to Italian authorities to be isolated and be treated. The CDC told him he couldn’t fly aboard commercial airliners.

"I thought to myself: You’re nuts. I wasn’t going to do that. They told me I had been put on the no-fly list and my passport was flagged," the man said.

He told the newspaper he and his wife decided to sneak back into the U.S. through Canada. He said he voluntarily went to a New York hospital, then was flown by the CDC to Atlanta.

"I’m a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person," he told the paper. "This is insane to me that I have an armed guard outside my door when I’ve cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing."

Er…that’s why you have an armed guard outside your door buddy.  Not merely no remorse for your actions, utterly no clue whatsoever that you did anything wrong by putting your fellow passengers at risk, let alone giving this extremely dangerous new form of TB a chance to spread far and wide beyond you.  Fucking airplane cabin.  And an international flight.  Christ Almighty.  And you can’t figure the armed guard.  I’d put a dozen of them outside your door.  Ones that know how to shoot.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Well Educated, Just Not Very Smart

May 30th, 2007

Naive? Clueless? Easily Manipulated? You Could Have A Career In Journalism…

Remember that story about the honeybees dying off?  Not so much

…even the original report describing and naming the phenomenon explicitly says it’s something that has been seen before (repeatedly), named before, and studied before – in all cases without coming to any conclusion about the cause. The researchers didn’t like the older names for the syndrome (which usually included the word "disease," which has connotations about infectiousness that don’t seem applicable here), so they renamed it colony collapse disorder. That point has largely eluded the press, with the result that most people think this is a new phenomenon, when in fact the researchers who described it note reports of similar die-offs dating back to the 1890s.

So…If they call it a surge instead of an escalation, it’s really a different thing…right?  But then it’s really hard sometimes to completely grasp what people are telling us, even when they’re telling it to us straight…

At least once in the present case the media got something completely wrong and created a huge mess: The story about cell phones was basically a misrepresentation of what one pair of reporters wrote about a study that they misinterpreted. In a nutshell, the original research didn’t involve cell phones, and the researchers never said their research was related to honey bee colony die-offs.

Can we work in a quote from someone famous?  Someone everyone trusts? 

Even details like the alleged Einstein quote are dubious. No one has yet found proof that Einstein said anything about bees dying off the earliest documented appearance of the "quote" is 1994 and, yes, Albert was dead at the time.

Here’s one version of the Einstein quote making the rounds…

"If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination …no more men!"

Snopes has more…(Just be sure to turn off Javascript before you visit them).  The quote apparently first popped up in news stories about a beekeeper protest in Brussels in 1994, where they were distributing pamphlets with the quote on it.  I can’t find anything more on the specific nature of the protest, so I don’t even know if they were protesting to draw attention to bee die-offs or for a pay raise or what.  But apparently the quote has just been mindlessly recycled for news stories about colony collapse disorder.  Never let a good quote go to waste I guess, even if it’s completely bogus.

I’m starting to wonder now if the news media here in America was always this bad, and we just never noticed it before the Internet allowed the rest of us to compare notes behind their backs. 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Naive? Clueless? Easily Manipulated? You Could Have A Career In Journalism…

May 29th, 2007

Admitting It

Well I think I passed one of those life thresholds today.  I admitted that I’m getting old.  It was in the comments on another guy’s blog.  Nice guy.  Young, gay man.  I visit his blog every now and then and today he made a passing crack about how an older gay guy he knows should have spent more time in a church social group or community group and less time in the gay club party scene and maybe he’d know fewer gay guys who died young.  And I had to raise a voice in his defense.  Our generation had it rough.  There were a lot fewer venues for meeting other gays back in the day then there are now.  There’s a reason why my generation grew up in a degrading, demeaning subculture of cheap sex and booze and drugs.  And some of us fought like hell to change that I said.  Every tiny little shred of dignity and freedom to live our lives openly and proudly we had to claw bitterly to win out of a culture that refused to admit that such as we deserved to exist, let alone have any dignity and pride.  And now that it’s here I said, now that we have more opportunities to live our lives outside of the bar scene…we’re getting old.

That would be me I was talking about.  Yeah.  Getting old.  Tired.  Going out for my evening walks…cigar adding to the high of my evening cocktail.  Alone.  Tired.  Old.  I was afraid of this.  I knew when I started going out again, and socializing with my friends in D.C. that it would be like this.  I just have to barrel my way though it I guess if I’m ever going to find someone.  I would enjoy the company of friends, most of whom are themselves happily coupled, or content to just find a someone to spend a few hours of random intimate companionship with every now and then.  Some helpfully suggest I should do the same.  Better then being all alone they say.  But that isn’t me.  I want the soulmate.  Nothing else will do.  And you aren’t much likely to find that in the bars.  But where else is there for the likes of me?  I can’t spend my life all alone, and yet going out always leaves me in this state of solitary grief at the end of the day.  I can’t just let myself get picked up.  I can’t just have a casual fling for the night.  It isn’t me.  I want the soulmate.  Nothing else will do.

So I go back home to my little nest and I get myself wasted to ease the grief a bit, then drift off to bed and maybe if I’m lucky I get to dream about being in love.  It’s disgusting but there it is.  I’ve been in a holding pattern since I was about 25, waiting for that intimate other that never seems to come into my life, so it could really start.  So many near misses.  So many chances that just seemed to slip away.  So many faces I remember.  And one in particular that never drifts far away from my thoughts.  I’m not the only lovelorn soul in this poor world.  But I’m the only one who has to deal with my own life.  I have the best job in the world.  A nice little rowhouse.  A good life by any measure.  But I feel like life has just passed me by.  They say you’re as old as you feel.  I’m 53 and I feel like I’m still 25 and you would not believe how old that can feel.

There’s one more thing I have to admit.  And I’m afraid to.  It’s not going to happen. 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Admitting It

Pissing On Edward R. Murrow’s Grave…(continued)

Via Atrios…  Ever notice how the mainstream news media’s ostentatious sense of "balance" always seems to favor the right…?

LEFT BEHIND: The Skewed Representation of Religion in Major News Media

It would surprise few people, conservative or progressive, to learn that coverage of the intersection of religion and politics tends to oversimplify both. If this oversimplification occurred to the benefit or detriment of neither side of the political divide, then the weaknesses in coverage of religion would be of only academic interest. But as this study documents, coverage of religion not only overrepresents some voices and underrepresents others, it does so in a way that is consistently advantageous to conservatives.

Ya Think?

Among the study’s key findings:

  • Combining newspapers and television, conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed in news stories 2.8 times as often as were progressive religious leaders.
  • On television news — the three major television networks, the three major cable new channels, and PBS — conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed almost 3.8 times as often as progressive leaders.
  • In major newspapers, conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed 2.7 times as often as progressive leaders.

Despite the fact most religious Americans are moderate or progressive, in the news media it is overwhelmingly conservative leaders who are presented as the voice of religion. This represents a particularly meaningful distortion since progressive religious leaders tend to focus on different issues and offer an entirely different perspective than their conservative counterparts.

I’m shocked…shocked.  Well…actually not.  When was the last time you saw an actual liberal on any of the Sunday morning talk shows…?

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

Faith…And Good Faith.

Of all the moral positions the anti abortionists generally take, the easiest one to discern the honesty of is the argument from the sanctity of life.  Life, they aver, begins at conception, thereby making abortion murder.  Fine.  You can always tell the folks who argue this position in good faith, from the ones who don’t, because they’re the ones who also have a passionate concern for the welfare of children After they’re born.  When you see someone babbling about the killing of innocent babies on the one hand, while supporting public policies that take food out of the mouths of living children, and which put healthcare beyond the reach of their families, then you know you’re dealing with a fraud.  They don’t give a good goddamn about innocent children.  Their motives are elsewhere, and the dishonesty of their rhetoric is enough to give you a pretty good clue where that elsewhere probably is.

It’s the same with religious arguments over homosexuality, and the rights of homosexuals.  Scanning Google News this morning, I came across this news article in The Age (Australia), concerning the current hostilities in the Anglican church over homosexuality.  Whenever someone starts pontificating about the tensions in various religious sects over homosexuality, you know they’re not really willing to look the beast in the eye when you see them starting from a premise of good faith on everyone’s part…

Not only is it divisive, it seems almost impossible to resolve because the opposing camps believe so strongly that they are right, that conscience demands they take the stand they do, and that they speak for God.

Er…no.  But it’s true that some folks expect you to accept their declarations of their faith and devotion to God at face value.  That needs to stop.

Those Christians who say homosexual acts are always wrong – and it is the act, not the orientation, they condemn, though gays don’t think this is a very meaningful distinction – do so because the Bible says so.

Here’s the problem with this: how often do you see these people who are standing pat on the bible’s anti-gay verses, living their own lives by the rest of it as well?  Just as you can tell who the frauds are in the abortion arguments by a passionate devotion to the right to life that begins at conception and ends at birth, you can tell who the frauds are in an argument over homosexuality, by an absolute devotion to the word of God that begins with all the biblical proscriptions against homosexuality, and comes to an abrupt halt wherever the bible starts telling heterosexuals what to do with Their genitals.

And then there is that ninth commandment.  You know…the one about not bearing false witness against your neighbors.  Who is the biggest consumer of junk science about homosexuality besides the religious right?  How often are religious right groups caught distorting the research of scientists and scholars about sexual orientation?  Over at Box Turtle Bulletin, Jim Burroway maintains a list of groups using Paul Cameron’s junk science.  Note the number of religious groups on it.  Back during the summer of 2005, when the Ex-Gay ministry Love In Action was being protested for forcing gay teens into their reparative therapy program, The Queer Action Coalition noticed that a number of negative claims about homosexuality on their website linked to a group calling itself the International Organization of Heterosexual Rights…an anti-gay hate group whose facts on homosexuality were utterly devoid of any scientific basis.  When challenged by QAC on their citing a hate group, LIA simply removed the links to the International Organization of Heterosexual Rights…but not their statistics.  What kind of piety is it, that holds Leviticus 18:22 is the absolute word of God, and the ninth commandment as optional?

It isn’t the people of faith who are the problem here.  The problem is the people of bad faith.  We can’t have honest discussions about homosexuality, and the rights of homosexuals in this country, until we start demanding that the people of bad faith either come clean about what they really believe, or step aside and shut the fuck up.  Because all they’re doing…deliberately doing…is poisoning the well for the rest of us.  Shoving them aside until they’re ready to start speaking their mind instead of trying to incite and manipulate and short circuit the political conversation is the first order of business. 

You think the bible is crystal clear about homosexuality do you?  Fine.  But you think that divorce should be legal?  Had a divorce yourself have you?  Oh…two?  On your third wife now are you?  But the bible is clear about homosexuality you say?  No compromise with what God has condemned is it?  Well…okay…until you’re ready to have an honest discussion about this, just shut the fuck up while the grownups talk among themselves. 

[Edited a tad…] 

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

May 28th, 2007

I Guess It’s Time To Relax Now That The Holiday Weekend’s Almost Over…

Painting.  Painting the iron rails out front.  Painting my deck out back.  Repairs.  Many little things I’d been putting off until I had time.  The dripping outdoor faucets.  The broken hose quick connectors.  Cleaning.  Both the deck and the front porch tiles.  So many things that still need doing that I just didn’t have time to get to.

Swear to god the quickest way to put an end to the entire concept of holidays is to buy a house…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on I Guess It’s Time To Relax Now That The Holiday Weekend’s Almost Over…

Playing With Fire…(continued)

So I’m reading the comments over at Fark.Com to that article about how dangerous getting back in touch with your first love is.  It’s comforting to see that I’m not the only one who looks back on it with feelings that are a tad mixed…

Mine’s dead


Mine passed away young.


Mine is in and out of L.A. county jail. Latest go around is identity theft. Think the last little stint was GTA.


She got pregnant and had an abortion, and then wnt crazy and I think lives on a commune somewhere.


Mine died young too. Good argument for helmets.


Mine moved to Atlanta and became a lesbian journalist.

/not my fault


I married mine, 22 years later. Now he’s dead. There was real comfort in knowing that he looked at me and still saw who I was 30 years ago. Now there’s no one left who does.


Mine is a pathological liar and has depression issues.


Just saw mine last night, she said hi, i said hi, then stared like a dumb eye kid. I guess i’m still powerless.


Mine became a Bible-thumping, street-corner preacher– no thank you!!.


Mine got married to a BPD insane guy who tried to kill her and her entire family. She’s now with a recovering heroin addict.


I ran into my first love at a grocery store near my mom’s while I was on a visit. He was working as a bagger. Took me about 3 minutes to recognise him, and about 3 seconds to be grateful that he didn’t recognise me!


Mine’s a prostitute.


A mutual friend who’s a cop now said he saw her about 15yrs after we graduated. (She was a freshman when I was a senior) He stopped her for a routine traffic stop and saw it was her, but she didn’t recognize him. She had a different last name, married of course…When he ran her license, he found out she had been married 3 times, had several convictions for shop lifting, forging checks, mail fraud and some minor drug convictions!


Wow…doubt anyone will read this far down, but here’s my story, FWIW: My first love was a geek in high school, but we went to prom together. Then, we had a long-distance relationship when he went away to college at the Naval Academy. He dumped me. Twenty years later, he tracked me down before our high school reunion. He was living in Japan. I went to the reunion just to see him, sparks were incredible (and he enjoyed the BJ on the pool deck). I thought I was in love again. Apparently, he was not. He just got re-married, and still wanted to have me on the side. No thanks,


I told mine I hope she dies. Does that make me a bad person?


I haven’t seen mine since she moved during freshman year of high school. I still carry her school picture in my wallet.

I’ve found her listing on

I’ve found where her parents live.

Now she’s married to someone else, and so am I…

/depressed now
//where’s my hanging rope?


Mine passed away at 18 from a rejected heart transplant. I think we would have married, though, he was the sweetest thing in the whole world. I still miss that boy. 


I seriously hope there is a hell just so mine can rot in it… not that I’m bitter or anything.

And then there is this practical fellow… 

I hook up with random 18-year-olds in the hopes that I’ll be their "childhood sweetheart." Later in life I should have throngs of women ready to get it on with me at any chance encounters.

Consider that you may instead have throngs of women scattered here and there, ready to beat the living crap out of you when they lay eyes on you again.  Just a thought.

Ah…love.  I have been asked over and over again by heterosexual jackasses if I would take a pill that would cure me of my homosexuality if such a thing existed.  My standard retort is to ask them if they’d take a pill that would grow them a brain if such a pill existed.  My love life has been an excruciatingly difficult one, but I have never blamed my sexual orientation for that.  Note that Fark.Com is a mostly straight hangout and that most, if not all of the comments above came from heterosexuals.  Of all the people I knew in high school, only two managed to do the find your soulmate and spend your life together thing.  Ironically one of them was My first love.  Everyone else I know…Everyone…has had it rough.  Some of them very rough.  I’m far, far from the only broken heart in this poor world.  Which is why it pisses me off no end how fundamentalist and right wing jackasses do their level best to make it hard for people to find, and then keep that love of their lives in this poor lonely world!  If there’s a hell after all, then there needs to be a special place in it for people who made it more difficult for people to love.  And it needs to be really, really painful, to even come close to atoning for all the pain they left behind in this world.

So I have another retort now to the ones who keep asking me if I would ever take a pill to cure me of homosexuality.  If there was a pill You could take that would cure you of the ability to love…that would erase all knowledge of and even the memory of love from your mind…would you take it?  It wouldn’t kill your libido…just your romantic need.  You could still have all the random, carefree, hot sex you ever wanted, and even more guilt free then before, knowing that there would be no emotional attachment afterward.  Love’s a hard thing to deal with sometimes.  It can really, really fuck up your life, leave it a tattered mess.  Would you take that pill? 

I’m sorry to say, I think a lot of people would.  And if you would too, then I’m sorry for you.  Better an aching heart, then an empty one.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Playing With Fire…(continued)

May 27th, 2007

Playing With Fire…Ya Think…?

From our Department Of The Staringly Obvious…

Re-kindling your lost first love is playing with fire: experts
Memories of first love are more addictive than any drug and many adults find themselves powerless to resist when the sparks fly and they fall once again for childhood sweethearts.

First loves are indelibly etched into our minds, scientists say, but they warn that rekindling that old flame could have lasting, irreversible consequences, tearing apart marriages and leaving a trail of devastation.

"It’s not your average affair," said Nancy Kalish, a California State University-Sacramento psychologist, who has studied such relationships for 14 years. "It goes from the phone to the hotel. It’s that quick."

Not always…

Adolescent hormones carve those first loves into our brains, said Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher, author of the book "Why We Love."

The lost love’s voice or touch triggers wanting, needing, craving in the same spots in the brain as those affected by cocaine.

Sound like addiction?

"It is more powerful than addiction," said Fisher.


"The lost-love people seem to have a tremendous sense of entitlement to do what they want and screw everyone else."

The poet Richard Lovelace wrote, "…I could not love thee, Dear, so much, Loved I not honor more."  That’s the hard part of love, but it’s what separates the gold from the fools gold.  Lost-lovers aren’t acting from a sense of entitlement.  They’re acting on something that was theirs once, and never really went away…a thing as common and obvious as the warm summer sun.  But fucking up a marriage isn’t the nicest thing in the world to do to someone you were once madly in love with.  And do you really want to die remembering that first love of your life as a cheat?

Like Rick Blaine said, "We’ll always have Paris…"  

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Playing With Fire…Ya Think…?

May 26th, 2007

The Perfect Glass Of Sweet Ice Tea

It’s the holiday weekend, and I don’t feel like posting any heavy stuff here now.  I’m busy with a bunch of home repair and improvement chores this weekend, and I just want to take a break from the world for now.  I’ve got the deck to reseal, my iron handrails by the front steps and porch to clean and paint, and a bunch of pots to put flowers in.  I don’t want to even look at the news for now.  So I’m going to share a little family trick with the rest of you kids.  How to make a jug of perfectly smooth and tasty sweet ice tea.  I’ve no idea why so many people get it wrong, but most of the stuff I taste, particularly around here in Maryland, is too rough on the pallet.  They like to make this "sun tea" for some reason, and it never tastes right to me. 

Making ice tea right is really very simple. They seem to have the knack for it in the South, but I didn’t know that until I visited down there recently.  Apparently sweet ice tea is a southern thing.  I’ve no idea how my mom, a Pennsylvania Yankee, got the method figured out.  I think it was just trial and error.  But by the time I was 12 she had it down pat and when I was a kid I just loved summertime because it was ice tea time.  Now I make it all the time.  I generally have a tall glass of it somewhere nearby all day long.

I start by boiling a kettle of water.  Filtered usually.  There are two tricks to it.  The first is to figure out how much sweetener you need for a given amount of boiling water beforehand.  It isn’t sweetened to taste afterward, but before.  I make about a kettle full, which works out to, I reckon, about a quart and a half, or about 48 ounces of water.  So I know from experience that it takes about a quarter cup of sweetener.  Your mileage may vary.  I used to use pure sugar, which I bought by the 25 pound bag at Costco.  But since I started watching my weight I’ve been using Splenda.  It works just fine for me as a sugar substitute.

I put the sweetener in the empty jug first.  When the water comes to a boil I pour it in over the sweetener, and it goes instantly into solution.  Then I put in the tea bags.  I just use plain old Lipton orange pekoe and pekoe tea bags.  Three standard size bags work for me for this amount of water.  Again, your mileage may vary.  I’ll place the top on the jug loosely and walk away from it.

See, the second trick, and probably the most important, is to let the tea cool down at its own speed.  Never, Never put it into the fridge before it’s at room temperature.  It’ll go bitter when you do that, even if it’s just a little bit warm to the touch.  Just let the jug cool off on its own to room temperature with the bags in it.   It may take hours.  That’s fine.  I usually do a jug before bed and just leave it overnight.  Once it’s at room temperature, then take the bags out, put the jug in the fridge and let it cool down.

That’s it.  Nothing really special about it.  But do it that way and you’ll get a nice, smooth sweet ice tea every time.  You can add lemon, and maybe a touch of lime after you pour it into the glass.

Long Island Ice Tea is another story, for another time. 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Perfect Glass Of Sweet Ice Tea

Quote For The Day II

Also from the Slashdot thread on the new Creation Museum…

"If the museum flops, it can always be turned into a minature golf course."

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Quote For The Day II

Quote For The Day

"I always wondered why God had to rest…"

-From the comments on Slashdot, in a thread about the new Creation Museum.


by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

May 24th, 2007

Caught Between A Rock And A Bundle Of Joy

Mary Cheney has given birth to a boy, Samuel David, 8-pound, 6-ounces, at 9:46 a.m. at Sibley Hospital in Washington, Wednesday.

The Official White House photograph shows only his grandparents

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Caught Between A Rock And A Bundle Of Joy

May 22nd, 2007

A Complaint

Yes, I’ve made this complaint before, so just bear with me because I need to make it again.  I am fucking tired of movies about gay romances that end tragically! Can we please see stories about same sex love that succeeds, that triumphs over adversity? My thanks in advance.

I am so starved for romance that I can relate to, that the other night I find myself trolling YouTube for film clips from Japanese "boy’s love" anime that I don’t have yet.  If you’re unfamiliar with the genre, which sometimes goes by the name "Yaoi" in both manga and anime, it’s mostly torrid soap opera style love stories of the sort you might find in any paperback romance novel, save for the cultural differences in style, and the fact that they’re about gay male couples.  I’m told the audience for these stories in Japan are mostly teenage Japanese girls. 

I like them for the beauty of the males in the storylines, and the torrid romance of the storylines.  I used to smirk at some heterosexual friends, female, who had racks and racks of those Harlequin Romance paperbacks at home.  Well, I sure couldn’t smirk at them now.  I guess it was just a matter of not seeing any of it that I could relate to.  I tell myself these days that I’m finally having the teeny-bopper experience I couldn’t back in 1969-1970.  Well…apart from all those Tiger Beat magazines I used to buy, take home, devour, and hide under my bed, all the while telling myself that I was a perfectly normal heterosexual guy.

So…anyway…I’m busy trolling YouTube for some same sex romance, and I come across a set of 10 posts comprising an entire live action Japanese film titled, appropriately enough, Boy’s Love.  Ohmygod, thinks I, the leads are go goddamned Cute!  So I start watching the first one.  And I notice that it’s in Japanese with no sub-titles.  Oh well.  I keep watching, while trying to deduce the plot from the visuals.  Later on I find this about the film on Wiki…

Just doing his job, magazine editor Taishin Mamiya (Yoshikazu Kotani) interviews high school model Noeru Kisaragi (Takumi Saito). Despite Noeru’s bad attitude, an enchanting picture of the ocean he draws leads Mamiya to invite him out for dinner afterwards. They connect at the restaurant, but while in the bathroom there Noeru solicits Mamiya sexually. The next morning, Noeru’s office calls the magazine office where Mamiya works. "Your editor was rude. Have him come and apologize." When Mamiya goes to Noeru’s house to deliver the apology, he sees Noeru with a dirty-looking man. Mamiya is shocked to discover at that moment that his interest in Noeru goes beyond article research–he truly wants to know more about him.

Heh.  Yeah.  Sort-of.  There’s more to it, including a jealous classmate who the commenters on YouTube took to calling "Harry Potter" because of his glasses and bookish look I suppose.  But it’s pretty much your standard gay soap opera plot.

Warning…Major Spoilage after the jump…

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by Bruce | Link | React! (2)

Tiga’s Paw

Message In A Bottle:  To a certain someone living near the land of Walt…who I used to talk to way back when…in another time…

So,  bear with me here a little…  Jacob Bronowski tells of how Dimitri Mendeleeve used to play a little card game with himself that his friends used to call Patience.  He played it with cards that he’d written the known elements of his day on, along with their atomic numbers.  He put hydrogen aside, since it was kind of an odd one, and instead began his first column with lithium.  Next came beryllium, then boron, then the familiar elements, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and then fluorine at the seventh column.  Then next known element was sodium, and since it had a likeness to lithium, Mendeleeve decided it should go under that element, starting a new row.  He continued putting known elements into the second row, and as he did so, noticed that they all lined up perfectly with the elements that had similar likenesses above them. 

He continued doing this, and starting a new row as necessary, until he came to a…difficulty.  And that was the element titanium.   It didn’t fit exactly with the elements above it, boron and aluminum.  However it did seem to line up with carbon and silicon. Mendeleeve interpreted this difficulty as a missing element.  Aha, thinks he, there is an element we don’t know about yet, but when we find it, that element will have properties that put it under boron and aluminum.  He called the missing element, eka-silicon.

When they found it, they named it germanium, since it was discovered in Germany.  But it was Mendeleeve who first realized it was there.  He had in fact, predicted just what properties germanium had, even before it was discovered.  He knew the element was there, because the elements he had told him it was there, and where to look for it, and what it would look like when they found it.

So…here’s the point.  There is something that we folks who work in Information Technologies understand about data, that most people miss.  Data is not important, really.  Data does not matter.   What matters, are the connections between the data.

So…anyway…I have these keys.  Some of which I found for myself, and some of which you gave me.  But there was one I wanted that you would not give to me.  And..well…you know how I am.   So I knew it was out there somewhere, but none of the keys I had would give it to me.  But I knew that if I used the keys I did have, they would probably give me another key, and that key would give me another, and so on.  Which I did.  Until I came to a…difficulty.  And there most people might have figured it for another dead end, but that difficulty told me where the missing key was, and pretty much what it would look like when I found it.   And so I went looking there, and I fit one of the keys I had into that place and turned, and the key I needed just sort of popped out.

And you told me why I couldn’t use it, and you were right.  I can’t.  I can see that for myself now.  So I won’t.  I reckon I’ll just keep tossing these messages in a bottle out to you until the day comes, maybe, when you give me one I can use.

Be nice if we didn’t have to keep waving flags at a distance to each other.  Be nice if we could just…you know…talk.  Like we used to.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Tiga’s Paw

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