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Archive for June, 2012

June 30th, 2012

Suddenly I Have This Strange Urge To Pick Up A Bone And Kill Something With It…

A random tweet returns me to a puzzle I’ve been chewing on for some time now: what do I call a damn smartphone? Really…like my iPhone…it’s not merely a phone anymore. In fact the phone part of it is the least used functionality. So I’ve been trying to think of a generic term for…whatever the heck these things are now. Sure, they evolved from cell phones. But now…

What really got me pondering this question was I got an app a few weeks ago that turns it into a flashlight or a magnifying glass (er…it’s called “Over 40″…sigh…). It uses the built in camera flash for the flashlight part, and the camera itself for the magnifying glass part. WTF? So now what was a telephone is something that can morph into a flashlight or a magnifying glass when needed. I don’t recall reading any science-fiction when I was growing up that had phones in it that turned into magnifying glasses for tired old eyes.  Video phones yes.  But a magnifying glass?  A flashlight?  A compass?  There’s a compass app. WTF???

So once again I start pondering the thing. Smart it is, yes, but phone is only a small part now of what it is.  In my mind, the word Smartphone doesn’t really cut it anymore.  You little dickens…what did you grow up to be? It’s a telephone. It’s a music player. I can read and send email with it. It’s a radio. I can play local stations or stations anywhere else in the world. It’s a news reader. It gives me weather reports. I can get the temperature outside or in Key West. I can call up a  weather radar view and see the storms nearby and watch their motion before they get to where I am. It an atlas whose maps are always up to date. It can tell me where the nearest restaurant is, the nearest motel.  It can tell me what the traffic is like where I’m headed. It’s a calculator. It’s a camera. It plays videos. It records videos. It’s a pocket dictionary and thesaurus. It’s a compass. It’s a calendar. It’s my appointment book. It’s my todo list. It’s a flashlight. It’s a magnifying glass. It’s a notepad. I can read books with it. I can hold it up to the night sky and it tells me where the planets are, what a star’s name is, the name of the satellite passing overhead.

Then I realize if I painted it entirely black it would look a bit like Clarke’s monolith…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Suddenly I Have This Strange Urge To Pick Up A Bone And Kill Something With It…

June 28th, 2012

Harry S. Obama

Via Sullivan…

Posted to YFrog by garyhe

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Harry S. Obama

June 27th, 2012

Mark Regnerus: Paul Cameron, But With An Actual University Job

[Cross-posted over at Truth Wins Out…]

There’s a good Huffington Post article making the rounds now, by another professor at the University of Texas…this one an actual professor of sociology as opposed to “associate professor”. Money-quote here:

Had Regnerus walked down the hall and knocked on my door, I would have been happy to explain that stress and instability harm children in any family context. Love and support help children to thrive and succeed. Pseudo-science that demonizes gay and lesbian families contributes to stress, and is not good for children.

Just so. Robert George is probably having a good laugh right now at the fast one he’s just pulled, of kicking the kids of gay parents in the teeth even as his and other homophobes’ concern for their welfare is taken for granted by the corporate news media.

Reading this something that was nagging at me finally clicked. Mark Regnerus is basically Paul Cameron, but with a job at an actual University. Bear in mind, Cameron’s evil genius is in his ability to deftly gerrymander his data while making it seem like his conclusions are purely and honestly arrived at. His original claim, the zombie lie that never dies, that gay men have vastly shorter lifespans, is the classic case in point. When you look more closely, you see that all Cameron did was select a data set that guaranteed he’d get the outcome he wanted. But you have to really look at what he did to see that was what he was doing, and there of course, is the rub.

Eventually intelligent people of good will would see though it and dismiss it as junk science, but people of good will were never his audience. In the end what he was doing, was giving the kook pews something to wave around as proof that persecuting homosexuals is just good public policy and no, they’re not just saying that because they’re a bunch of knuckle dragging bigots.

Stripped away from all its formal academic pretenses, what you see is Regnerus is doing what Paul Cameron has always done: deftly select just the data that will give him the answer he wanted in the first place, in such a way as to appear to the casual observer that he’s not deliberately biasing the data. This is the essential Paul Cameron technique. Mark Regnerus is just another Paul Cameron, but with a University office. Maybe Paul should send him a diploma from ISIS. Grant him a PhD. This was as good a thesis as anything Paul himself could have produced.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Mark Regnerus: Paul Cameron, But With An Actual University Job

June 26th, 2012

Warning To My Readers

This site uses, among other things, a product called “Sitemeter” to track visits.  The other day I noticed when looking at my visit reports on the Sitemeter web page, I kept getting requests to log in from a funny looking popup window, similar to this one that Towleroad was seeing…

The value of having my eternally suspicious nature: I saw this prompt come up several times on the main Sitemeter site after I was already logged in and figured something nefarious was going on.  There was.

Lesson is: never enter your login credentials into popup windows that suddenly seem to appear out of nowhere and when you didn’t expect to have to log in.

Since no one has to log in to view my web site I assume everyone who visits would know this isn’t for real if they saw it.  But I’m telling you now in case you ever wonder: you don’t need to create accounts or log in here.  If you ever see a login screen come up while you’re reading my blog or looking at anything else around here, it isn’t real and for goodness sakes don’t give it any information.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Warning To My Readers

June 24th, 2012


Winter 1971. The artist at work…

This was taken by a friend with my camera, for possible inclusion into the yearbook. The odd framing is an artifact of the film scanner I have.  I was staff cartoonist for the student newspaper (serendipitously called The Advocate) and was also made staff photographer after the previous one had a tiff with the editors and quit.  This shot was for a spread in the yearbook about the student newspaper staff, but didn’t make the cut. Instead they had me arrange another one of a small group of us, thereby saving page space.

I remember this. What I like about this shot is my friend actually managed a snap when, for an instant, I got into the drawing I was working on and was actually concentrating on it there for a moment.  It’s not often I get to see my concentration face.  I’m 17.  I’m posing at one of the art room desks, drawing, not pretending to draw but actually drawing, one of my cartoons. I was a stickler for authenticity (still am) and even though the shot had to be posed I insisted I would be working on something for real, not faking it. You can’t see my hand with the pen in it in this shot, but that’s the drawing on the board and paper in front of me. The tackle box also in front of me is typical. The tool boxes they sold in art stores for artists were expensive. I figured the tackle boxes they sold in the sporting goods section of most department stores would do just as well and they cost a lot less.

And this by the way, is why to this day I draw on a horizontal surface and not with the drafting table top tilted at an angle, although it can be. All my grade school art rooms had tables like these and I just got used to drawing that way and now I find it more natural then having the table top tilted. But see the board I have the paper on. I still cut Masonite boards to use for drawing and tape my paper on them. Then I have the paper on a nice smooth solid surface I can turn this way and that.

This is the kid I’m doing A Coming Out Story about. When this was taken I was just on the verge of finally coming out to myself as a gay teenager.  This was late 1971, but probably still a few weeks away from the day a certain someone put an arm around my shoulders, gave me a squeeze before heading out the school door, and thereby sent my head and heart into the stratosphere, and I couldn’t rationally deny it any longer.  Such were the printing lead times back then, yearbook photography had to be pretty much done by the end of the first semester.  So when this was snapped that kid there was head over heels crushing over a certain someone, but still not at all ready to admit it to himself.

And who could blame him? It would be another couple years before the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from it’s diagnostic list of mental illnesses.  The kid you see in this photo is about to come out to himself in a world that had no other understanding of homosexuality other then a ugly sexual depravity. To be a homosexual was more loathsome then anything else a man could be. It was the bottom of the bottom of the human gutter.  This was a message you got from every direction.

I look at this kid and I just want to go back in time and tell him he’s smart and beautiful and worthy of being loved and never let anyone tell him otherwise.  But he would ask questions.  He will ask what the future will be like for him.  And I could tell him all sorts of wonderful things that will eventually happen to him.  Except for one thing.  This is why I’m having a hard time maintaining energy to work on A Coming Out Story.  I need a better ending then the one I’ve got.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on 1971

Dreaming Deep

Thing about most dreams is once awake you recall how limited your mental bandwidth was (for lack of a better term) while you were in it. It’s the thing that telegraphs to you instantly that you are really awake: your mind is all there.  In most dreams (at least my own) I have no memories of prior events, no sensation of thinking really.  I don’t feel my body or even notice it much.  There are none of the usual sensations of motion or my environment.  I don’t feel temperature, don’t feel the air around me, don’t feel the sensation of gravity on my body. My consciousness is entirely on the surface of things. I am an automaton strolling through the dream.

But some dreams are so vivid I find myself remembering things, including past dream events I’d forgotten.  I have conversations with the people in my dreams and think in depth about what is being said to me while talking to them. I can feel my environment, feel hot or cold, feel the wind, feel gravity tug at me while doing things like running or climbing.  I sit quietly and ponder something and I am thinking in depth, just as if I was wide awake.  And lately I’ve noticed myself even daydreaming in my dreams.

What is it when you’re daydreaming within a dream? I was doing that last night.

Our minds…our human consciousness…it is such an amazing, intricate, constantly surprising thing…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Dreaming Deep

June 23rd, 2012

And Speaking Of The Long History Of Heterosexual Marriage…

This started coming across the wire the other day and I just have to repost it here.  Alas, I’m suspecting many of my fellow Americans won’t even get it…

Yes, yes…I can hear it already.  King Henry didn’t redefine marriage, it was still one man and one women.  And the next woman.  And the next.  And the next.  And the next.  And the next.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on And Speaking Of The Long History Of Heterosexual Marriage…

June 22nd, 2012

Nothing To It Really…Just Stare At The Drawing Board Until You Sweat Blood…

Finally…the pencils for A Coming Out Story Episode 15 are done.  Man…that one was like pulling teeth…

Sorry for the delays. It’s not the story I’m telling that’s so difficult.  It’s the story I’m living.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Nothing To It Really…Just Stare At The Drawing Board Until You Sweat Blood…

June 21st, 2012

The Sexual Degenerates Are In Your Bathroom Mirror…Looking Back At You…

Jesus’ General (an 11 on the manly scale of absolute gender) points us to a discussion about women wearing pants, which Thinking Housewife regards as a despicable feminist renunciation of feminine femininity, and quotes Thinking Housewife Contributor Jesse Powell thusly

If there was a general societal norm that men wore pants while women wore dresses it would be very clear that there was a difference between the sexes.

To which my low key apologetic libido says…

Or a guy’s ass.  Seriously…pants make it easier to tell a person’s sex.  If both sexes are wearing pants it would not typically be very difficult to identify the sex of the person wearing them.  I admit you can still occasionally be fooled.  I once mistook a gal named Martha for a guy and no she was not big and ugly, she was lithe and handsome and very very cute.  But she had small hips and butt for a gal, and she liked wearing big floppy jackets so I never got a good look at her breasts and it threw me.  But that’s not the usual case.  The usual case is it’s pretty obvious.

But you’d only know that if…you know…you ever looked carefully.  In the A Coming Out Story episode above the joke is I was only looking at guys.  Little teenage me grew up without much of an interest in girls and tons of interest in guys and it showed, to my embarrassment whenever it was pointed out to me, in my artwork.  The joke here I suspect is we’re witnessing more firsthand evidence that a childhood drenched in right wing sexual mores result in grown adults with pitifully arrested sexual development.  If you need gender restrictions in clothing and dress in order to tell the boys from the girls it isn’t society that’s sexually degenerate.

Oh I know…I know…it isn’t that they can’t tell the difference…it’s that clothing as a personal expression of beauty and sexuality is a symptom of evil taking of joy in life.  The clothes you wear should remind you of your place and reenforce keeping you in it.  More then a uniform, clothes must be a prison within which, hidden and contained, is the shameful flesh, within which is doubly imprisoned the damnable human soul.  Else the person inside might escape and have a life of their own.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Sexual Degenerates Are In Your Bathroom Mirror…Looking Back At You…

June 20th, 2012

Mercedes Love…

…still in it.

I’ve been posting about this on my Facebook page but not so much here.  Last December I traded the C class (Traveler, henceforth known as Traveler I) for a new E class diesel, which I’ve named Traveler II (or simply Traveler.  The Garrett side of my family tree has a habit of simply passing down names and since this is another Mercedes sedan I’m just continuing a tradition.) The trading in of cars before they’re completely unusable with age is not typical of me, but I’d wanted to own a Mercedes diesel since I was a teenage boy and an uncle came for a visit in his brand new 220D. The lady who sold me Traveler I called, left voice mail because I didn’t pick up, and said she could put me into a new C class for less then I’d paid for the first one. I called her back, left voice mail because she didn’t pick up, and said I was very disappointed Daimler still wasn’t importing the C class diesels (they sell one in Europe that gets an honest 40mpg around town so they say), but if she could put me into a new E class diesel for not too much more I might be interested. Well of course I got an immediate call back: Oh there’s one on the dock that’s just for you!

A diesel suits me better then any other sort of car for the long distance road trips I like to take, and because I like having solid things in my life and a diesel is solidness and robustness embodied. When I started this car up for the first time on the dealer’s lot the engine made a sound like I could have driven it clean around the world and it would have only just been broken in. It was love at first revs.

The Mercedes-Benz diesel-powered mid-size sedan is as durable a notion as you’ll find in autodom. Mercedes created the world’s first production diesel-powered passenger car in 1935 and began putting oil burners in its mid-sizers (a.k.a. Pontons) in 1955. The very words “Mercedes diesel” conjure all kinds of associations, from college professors who have forsaken their Peugeots, to wiry German mechanics, to cab drivers in Kabul. It’s an archetype; a 911 Turbo for meerschaum-smoking squares, a Shelby Mustang for people who got beat up in high school. -Car and Driver, “2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec Diesel – The evolution of der classic”

I’m 58 years old, and if this car lives up to its heritage it will be the last car I ever own. Every now and then since driving it home I’ve pulled up to the diesel pump and someone in a Mercedes has pulled up to the other side of the pump and we chat. Often they’re cars that are 10, 20 even 30+ years old and their owners are still in love. These are expensive cars but my sense from talking to other owners is most Mercedes owners, at least the diesel owners, are enthusiasts who weren’t interested in owning an empty status symbol. I took the car to Key West a couple weeks ago and on the way back talked to a man who pulled up to the pump in a 1979 300D. The car looked nearly new, except for wear on the seats, so he’d been taking very good care of it. It had just over 400k miles on it and its owner was still delighted with it.

My new Mercedes diesel is in a metallic color called “Lunar Blue”, which looks almost black in the shadows and a nice deep sky blue in the bright sunlight. I couldn’t get every option and still be able to afford an E class…unlike the ‘C’ I had to settle for less then I wanted…but I got a couple good safety options, including the lane keeping option which uses a camera to detect the lane markings and if you start drifting out of your lane it bumps the steering wheel to get your attention. The best part is it has more passenger and trunk space, feels lots more comfortable then the C (which was itself amazingly comfortable on long distance trips), is solider, quieter, more sumptuous (in the no bullshit understated Mercedes way) then the C and yet it gets way better fuel mileage then the C did and is cleaner emissions wise due to its high tech urea emissions control system. The urea tank occupies the space the spare tire would have, so I have run flats instead.

When I first brought the C class home several years ago it raised some eyebrows in the neighborhood. When I brought this E class home I think some of my neighbors thought I’d gone overboard in the self gratification department. Well…yes and no.  The self gratification element is I bought my Mercedes because ever since I was a teenage boy I’ve been simply awed by the quality of their engineering and build.  Well…except for that little stretch between 1998 and 2006.  But they’re building them again now like they used to and after driving this one for six months now and driving it to Florida twice I am convinced that this model E will take its place with some of the other legendary sedans like the W123.  As I said, I like solid things in my life and these cars are magnificently engineered and built.  I wish I could shake the hand and thank personally everyone on the assembly line in Sindelfingen who built mine. It isn’t a status symbol, and not even really a statement although you can read it as being one. I simply like over engineered solidly made things that are built to last. It’s the waste-not, want-not plus do the job right or don’t do it at all mindset I grew up on. It’s served me well throughout my life and the older I get, the more I believe in it.

Which also means you don’t buy something like this and run it into the ground. Traveler has had its first 10k service ‘A’ and two oil changes already.  I change the oil in my cars at least twice as often as the factory recommends.  I changed the oil every two-thousand miles in my first car, a 1973 Ford Pinto, and got almost 136k out of it and even then the engine was in near new condition. I only had to get rid of the car because everything around the engine was falling apart.  American cars in those days, an especially small American economy cars, were simply not built to last; consider they only had five digits on the odometer back then.  Now I own a car with a heritage of extreme longevity.  You take care of a car built like that and you don’t feel like you’re fighting a loosing battle. Every month I get my cleaning tools, shop vac and buckets out and spend several hours giving the Mercedes a good going over inside and out.  I had about a half dozen bottles of various car care lotions arrayed around the car last Sunday…something for the vinyl seats, something for the dashboard, something for the wood trim, something for the leather wrap around the steering wheel, tar remover, carpet cleaner…and so on…(I’m a geek…I researched all of this stuff to get exactly what was right for the car) and I have all these different kinds of towels and cleaning tools and brushes and the shop vac’s attachments for various tasks and I’m a busy little bee going here and there around the car.  They built me a good car, and now I’m going to take care of it. But it’s a labor of love too.

And something I’ve noticed is people see me doing that and the attitude changes. You can park an expensive German luxury car in a working class neighborhood and if your neighbors see you sweating over it, fussing over it, taking care of it, then its just your own personal eccentricity rather then an empty ostentatious display of money. People don’t mind you spend that much as long as they see some respect for the value of money on your part.

Now the car and I get smiles from the neighbors we didn’t at first. Now it’s I’m just another American male in love with his car. They know better then to start a conversation with me about Mercedes-Benz automobiles though because I’ll talk their ears off about it.

Happy new E Class diesel owner aging longhair hippy nerd on day of delivery,
complete with psychedelic license plates…

[Edited a tad…]

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Mercedes Love…

June 19th, 2012

Oh, By The Way…(continued)


  • People who would benefit have little idea what they may lose if Supreme Court strikes down health law. A reporter wanders around a free dental clinic in Tennessee, telling random people how the president Obama’s health care law would benefit them, and sometimes the response is amazement.

    Under the law, she would qualify for Medicaid. Her eyebrows shot up as the law was described to her. “If they put that law into effect, a lot of people won’t need disability,” she said. “A lot of people go onto disability because they can’t afford health insurance.”

    Tom Boughan, 58, came to the clinic for glasses and dental work, with a sci-fi novel to pass the time. He’s been without coverage since being laid off from his industrial painting job last year, which means he’s paying $400 every few months for blood work for a thyroid problem.

    Barbara Hickey, 54, is a diabetic who lost her insurance five years ago when her husband was injured at his job making fiberglass pipes. She gets discounted diabetic medication from a charity, but came to the clinic to ask a doctor about blood in her urine.

    Why I hate the corporate news media and can’t wait for it to die a slow and painful death: This story was shopped to The Washington Post which rejected it because it was too “supportive” of the Affordable Care Act.  Yes…of course.  The reason there is little support in the country for the ACA is people don’t know what it does, and some people don’t even know it exists.  They hear republican talking points about the mandate and they think big government is just taking their money.  Meanwhile the news media doesn’t tell them they’re getting access to health care because that would be taking sides.  We’re newspapers, we can’t report the facts.

  • Kirk Cameron’s Growing Circle of Reconstructionist Friends You don’t just stroll casually into an abyss.  You fall.  And pick up speed on the way down.
  • Lord Carey: opponents of gay marriage treated like bigots “This debate is not about the dignity and rights of gay and lesbian people, who already have the benefits of marriage through civil partnerships, but about a change in the definition of marriage for everyone…” Yes, yes…if we could only leave the dignity and rights of gay and lesbian people out of this we could have a nice friendly discussion about why letting same-sex couples marry would utterly destroy family life and civilization as we know it.  Matter of fact, we would very much appreciate it if we could just leave out of this debate entirely why we are in opposition to same-sex marriage. That would spare everyone a lot of hurt feelings. And really…do we need to explain ourselves? We are the church. Just do as we say.

    Speaking of which…

  • Would you stand trial for me?
by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Oh, By The Way…(continued)

“Man to man, I did it because I’ve never had a girlfriend.”

This came across the Fark wire the other day, to much hilarity…

Miami Beach police: Man filmed Hooters contestants undressing in Fontainebleau

A woman participating in a Hooters Swimsuit Pageant notices a video camera recording her in the dressing room.  That was the excuse the owner of the camera gave to the cop who arrested him.  I suspect the reason he’s never had a girlfriend is he hasn’t figured out yet how to treat women like people.  Hey guy…there’s this perfectly legal thing called Pornography you can buy with lotsa lovely women willing to take their clothes off for your onanistic pleasures…

I read about this on Fark, read the comment hilarity that followed, and cringed inside.

There’s a flashback scene at the end of The Detective, where the William Windom character (Colin MacIver), a closeted self hating homosexual (who turns out (naturally) to be the real killer the Frank Sinatra character was looking for all through the movie), confesses the killing to his shrink in a sickening display of the kind of acid self hatred Hollywood was only too happy to tell everyone was the natural state of homosexuals.

It begins with MacIver walking back to his car with his girlfriend. They’re assaulted by robbers who call MacIver a faggot.  Somehow this causes him to go looking for sex with another guy. You have to remember this is 1960s Hollywood being all edgy and gritty now that they can take on taboo subject for mass entertainment and ticket sales. Even though he has a girlfriend, MacIver is really a sick and pathetic queer and the encounter with the thieves triggers his perversion and now he has to go get him some cock even though the very thought disgusts him. MacIver tells his shrink:  “The thought of turning…of turning involuntarily into one of them frightened me…and made me sick with anger.” Nonetheless he promptly drives down to the docks for a quickie.  Because queers can’t help themselves.

“I went down there. I had heard about the waterfront. People giggle and make jokes about it. I had had only two experiences before…once in college, once in the army. I thought I’d gotten it out of my life…but I hadn’t.”

Experiences.  Experiences.  Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.  Anyway, it all builds up to MacIver going to the docks, then to a gay bar, walking slowly past every homosexual stereotype in the Twentieth Century Fox prop department, all leering back at him archly.  Because homosexuals always look back at you archly.

“I looked at them. Was this what I was like?  Oh my god…”

He stares in horror at the “twisted faces”…but he can’t help himself.  He’s just gotta have some cock tonight…

“And here I was and I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t stop. I thought if I could have just one night, I could get it out of my system.  Just one more time…”

Just one more…experience…

Oh that poor pathetic faggot…pass the popcorn… It’s bullshit…yes, sane people these days understand that. But that was the accepted view of homosexuals back then, back when I was growing up, and what angers me about this film and that sequence in it is thinking about all my generational gay peers who accepted that this was what it was to be a homosexual; that they could either try as desperately hard as they could to overcome their “condition”, become straight or live their lives as pathetic faggots or psychotic killers, either way spending the rest of their lives loathing the person they were. Because a man having sex with another man was the most disgusting thing you could imagine, and to desire such a thing even if you never acted on it meant that you were the most loathsome thing there ever was. This is what Hollywood taught them about themselves, it’s what Hollywood taught their parents, their siblings and all their friends…and mine: to look at us with the same disgust and contempt with which MacIver looked upon himself.

This is what I grew up on.  This was pretty much the constant barrage from the culture around me about homosexuality. And it’s a big reason why, when I finally came out to myself, I swore I wasn’t going to live my life in the closet. Never mind the “Twisted faces” MacIver stared at with equal parts horror and desire that sickened him. At least they knew what they were about hanging out there. I’d fallen in love…I knew what I was and what I wasn’t. The ugly stereotypes of homosexuals didn’t frighten me because I knew I wasn’t that and for the honor and dignity of the one I loved I would never become that…nor would I allow myself to become a self hating basket case, horrified by my own sexuality.  The twisted face I was afraid of becoming, resolved never to become, was MacIver’s.

So I dug in my heels and lived an honest life.  And for that I can take some pride.  And yet…and yet…  I never found my other half.  And in the background of my life was another twisted face, another pathetic stereotype that I am still, deep in my heart, afraid of.

“Man to man, I did it because I’ve never had a girlfriend.”

It’s illogical, it’s irrational, I am simply not the sort of person who would ever do what this guy did. I dallied with gay pornography back when I was younger and found I didn’t even really like that all that much.  Yeah, there were lots of very attractive hot bodies in it.  But there was no romance. I am just not voyeur material. Sometimes I sit down to my drafting table and I draw myself a fantasy boyfriend and dream on him. That’s about my speed. I could never do what that guy did. Certainly not to someone I thought was beautiful. Desire should awaken something more noble in a person then that or it’s just empty greed.

But I have been single for so very very long and I read these things and get depressed. Is this what the rest of my life is going to look like? Is this how others see people like me?  Alone. Single. Old. Creepy.  How do you get to be fifty-eight years old and you’ve never had a boyfriend?  There must be something wrong with you.  Sometimes I wonder now, if maybe there is after all.  And I read stories like this about creepy single guys and I cringe inside.

“I looked at them. Was this what I was like?  Oh my god…”

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on “Man to man, I did it because I’ve never had a girlfriend.”

June 18th, 2012

So Who’s The Bigger Creep Will…The One Who Writes Hate Propaganda Or The One Who Writes Excuses For It?

Over at The American Prospect, E. J. Graff asks…

Why is William Saletan Apologizing for Slate’s Mistake?

Regnerus knows what he did. He set up a study that would make it seem that anyone who ever slept with someone of the same sex hurts their children by doing so. Instability is well known to be harder on children than stability. Decades of research are clear on this: Children do better with parents who stay together and have relatively low-conflict relationships than they do in high-conflict structures. The new parenting studies that are trying to measure whether the gender of your parent’s partner matters are following families where same-sex parents are together from the beginning – and comparing them with families whose different-sex parents are together from the beginning. That’s how you tease out the effect of gender from the effect of instability. Regnerus did the opposite.

Regnerus is smart enough to know this. He did one thing while purporting to do another. He compared fidelity with adultery. He compared stability with instability. Then, in Slate, he said he was comparing different-sex parenting with same-sex parenting—conflating the effect of family explosion with the effect of parental sexual orientation.

Anyone who can write the words, “Liberal War On Science” in anything other then the purest irony is a bigger asshole then even the right wing culture warriors who are have been engaged in just that thing for decades now.  But never mind. The reason  William Saletan is defending Mark Regnerus’ right to defame loving families is because he’s exactly the same sort of double talking faker Regnerus is.

In the article above E. J. Graff points out in sickening detail how Regnerus talks out of both sides of his mouth; first admitting his data does not say anything about same-sex households, then when in friendly territory (like…oh…Slate…) saying he’s proven the conventional wisdom about same-sex families is terribly wrong and that children of same-sex parents have suffered devastating effects from being raised in such households. Never mind that it’s flatly untrue his data shows any such thing…in the he-said/she-said journalmalist world of William Saletan talking out of both sides of your mouth isn’t a sign of untrustworthiness, but the highest sort of journalmalistic integrity.  It’s people who insist that facts matter who are the creepy untrustworthy ones.  Saletan comes to Regnerus’ defense because he sees a soul mate…someone who knows that there are no facts just opinions, truth is whatever someone says it is, and people who frown on playing fast and loose with the evidence are dangerous ideologues. Maybe even dirty fucking hippies.

That Mark Regnerus spent nearly a million right wing dollars on an anti-gay hit piece is just a matter of opinion. Like the humanity of gay people is just a matter of opinion. These are controversial matters…no one has a monopoly on the truth…and especially not gay people when it comes to the truth of their own lives. We must respect both sides…  Saletan understands him perfectly.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on So Who’s The Bigger Creep Will…The One Who Writes Hate Propaganda Or The One Who Writes Excuses For It?

Oh…And By The Way…

Some random linkage. Most other bloggers I read do this occasional post of links they haven’t and aren’t likely to get around to riffing on, and rather then let them keep nagging me to post about them until they get old and broken and die I reckon I’ll just start doing it too…

  • Pat Robertson Dubs Episcopal Church an ‘Apostate’ Church, Tells Viewer to ‘Destroy’ Friend’s Buddha Statue.
    What do Pat Robertson and the Buddha statue destroying Taliban have in common?  Did you really have to ask?
  • Gay rights’ surprise weapon: Morality. I have been on about this for decades, literally. Back in the 1990s, before I started blogging, when USENET was all there was, I kept engaging the bigots on the unmoderated alt.politics.homosexuality on moral issues and it was so unsurprising and disheartening how they’d figure the moral arguments against homosexuality were their trump cards because no one ever bothered engaging them directly on it.

    There is nothing innately wrong with homosexual relationships. There is no science that says otherwise, there is no moral argument that makes that case, there are only arguments from supposed religious authority, junk science and outright lying.  Mostly, from Paul Cameron to Mark Regnerus the moral case is based on outright lying.  Listen…when you have to lie constantly to make your moral case, that should tell you something about your moral case

  • In the battle between morality and faith, morality is winning.  “Obviously, as an atheist, I can’t see this as a bad thing. I appreciate that liberal Christians like Rachel and Jamelle find spiritual solace in having faith, but by and large, the historical purpose of religion is not to comfort but to control.” Well…yes and no. I am an atheist myself (coming out to myself as atheist a couple years ago felt a lot like coming out to myself as gay…something I keep wanting to write about but the words just haven’t gelled yet), and it has always looked to me that religion isn’t so much for control as it is all too often used by tyrants to control.

    What I see in this is people, mostly but not always young people, leaving a lot of greedy possessive cults and going on their own journeys. That’s a good thing. Hopefully they will find their way to a place that genuinely speaks to their heart. Just as they are. Something that never fails to cheer me whenever I see it is the rainbow Christian fish. It tells me that people are holding on to their inner sense of self, their spirituality, despite the relentless efforts of spiritual dictators to snuff it out within them, so they can fill the void left behind. Regardless of my own path in life, there will probably always be that Baptist part of me in there cheering that private personal journey on. We are all strolling on Newton’s beach, now and then picking up and appreciating that prettier seashell then ordinary.

  • I Don’t Care Who Financed Prof. Regnerus.  I think he should. “I see this scenario all too often in our opponents: A scientist makes an objective study of gays and lesbians and announces favorable results. Our opponents seize on that as proof that the scientist is a pro-homosexual activist, and therefore fatally tainted with bias.” But there’s a difference between seeing a conflict of interest in a study’s conclusions and seeing one in who paid for the study.  It’s like saying we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about tobacco industry funded studies of lung cancer, or oil industry funded studies on global warming and fracking.

    But there’s more to it then even this. It’s about integrity and who is trustworthy and who is not. When you see data and facts that consistently, reliably, inevitably turn out to be laughingly bogus coming consistently from of a particular source, it isn’t anything like an ad hominem attack to point out that these people simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth.  It’s just…well…telling the truth.

  • Scandinavia And The World – Metal. Some days the little rocker boy in me comes roaring out, and listening to the radio I feel a bit like Denmark here…a little rocker boy trapped between a world of metal and glitter.
  • Kathryn Schulz thinks Frost is much, much darker than anyone suspects… Well she’s wrong. Or maybe not. Haven’t you ever wandered out into a winter forest, in the snow, in the night, just stood there and breathed in the silence before continuing on your way?  That’s not Nietzsche’s abyss. The forest, the earth, is alive, not even really sleeping. Our lives are so short, and time is not what we think it is. In the quiet winter darkness you can almost sense the scale of it. A little bit. This rhythm of growing season and winter hibernation has been going on for ages. The darkness and silence is the beat between one breath and the next in a story that is very very old. It’s not scary, it’s sublime. Better then any man made cathedral. You are not getting out of these woods, but why would you want to? The woods are in you and you are the woods.
by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Oh…And By The Way…

June 17th, 2012

Notice: This Is A Life Blog…

I’ve been very graciously linked to recently by a couple folks, including Fred Clark whose readership I must assume is every bit as decent and good hearted as he is. So for the sake of those just tuning in, and especially after that last post, I feel should explain something.

You may have noticed things are a bit odd around here.  Hi…my name is Bruce Garrett.  This is my place.  It’s odd because I am.

I started blogging back before blogging really took off, years ago in the late 1990s when I read about someone who was just basically posting their diaries online as a kind of living art project. I thought that was kinda cool and started doing it myself.  I wasn’t about getting attention.  If you have the art gene in you too then you understand. Mostly, I do graphic art…imagery.  Try the cartoon and photo galleries sometime.  But sometimes I try to write.

I started blogging back in 1998, although this blog’s archives only go back to 2002.  Before then it was just a random note here and there on what was nominally my cartoon and photography web site, hosted by the company I had my email account on.  Then in late 2001 a friend showed me how to get my own domain started up and offered to host me.  Once again the site was mostly about my political cartoons and my photography, with the blog being an extra…a place I could write about this and that.  The blog, like everything else about the site back then (and mostly still now) was hand rolled. I was earning a good living then as a software developer and I just typed my own HTML into my programmer’s editor and uploaded it. It wasn’t until my original domain host retired and I had to move the site elsewhere that I was talked into switching the blog software over to WordPress. Even so, most of the rest of the site, like my household computers (apart from the Macs), is hand built.

Of course, being the times we live in, the blog started capturing my feelings about political issues and in particular the gay rights struggle.  But this is not actually a political blog.  It is not a blog about gay rights specifically, or religion or philosophy or economics.  It is not about my opinions on anything.  I am not doing punditry. I only vent a lot about politics here because it’s more satisfying then yelling at the TV.  But that’s not what this blog is.  It’s a life blog.  Basically just random bits and pieces of one guy’s life as he lives it, like an always changing collage. It’s The Story So Far

If it seems confusing at times, that’s normal.  I’m confusing.  Just ask anyone who knows me.  Especially the certain someone whose regrettably thin skin I’ve been poking with that Llama.  Or maybe you shouldn’t ask him.  No…don’t ask him…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Notice: This Is A Life Blog…

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