Simply the Best

Today’s Daily Prompt is: “When and where do you do your best thinking? In the bathroom? While running? Just before bed, or first thing in the morning? On the bus? Why do you think that is?”

I don’t know that I really have a “best place to think.” A lot of the time it’s when driving, on familiar routes, because I am doing something mindlessly repetitive and soothing, and I can let my mind wander. Or sometimes, yes, just before bed, or more accurately, just before sleep. I think again it’s because I can just sort of let go of the immediate and let thoughts go free. Rarely is it when I’m under pressure to think; that is often a problem for me as I get so nervous when I’m ‘on the spot.’

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Sunday is a Happy Happy Joy Joy Kind of Day

Today’s Daily Prompt is “What does “happiness” look like to you?”

This. It looks like this:


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Day Late and Out of my Element

Saturday’s Daily Prompt is “When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?”

I hardly ever do anything out of my element, frankly. I know it was odd and uncharacteristic of me to ‘go’ for my TS clearance. I was terrified. Maybe I should try to do more out of my element, I don’t know. Remember, it’d be a risk — and risks are called that because you might have the ‘bad thing’ happen. I don’t like ‘bad things.’


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Happy Friday! And Honesty

Today’s Daily Prompt is “Is it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy?”

I think people often forget that there is a useful difference between honesty and openness. To me one should always be honest, even if one isn’t necessarily particularly open. While you always have to, or ought to, tell the truth, I don’t know that outside a court you have to tell all the truth. Even in a court, you only have to answer questions put to you, you don’t have to, and it’s generally a bad idea to, volunteer information. Personally while I don’t mind being honest, I would like to try being a little less open. I’m sure people aren’t interested in my every thought.

And happy Friday. And happy five inches of snow and a broke procedure to let us know of schedule changes.

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Okay so yesterday’s Daily Prompt was: “When you look back at your [self]  on January 2, 2015, what would you like to see?”

I think I’d like to see a huge change in my physical appearance (the reason why will become apparent later!), and more confidence and polish. I’d also like to see a person better able, or prone, to finish what he starts and to follow through and persevere.


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Do You Believe in Magic

This is wordpress’s ‘daily prompt’ to encourage blogging:

Do you Believe in Magic?

You have been transformed into a mystical being who has the ability to do magic. Describe your new abilities in detail. How will you use your new skills?

I know they’re trying to be helpful but could it be they’ve they run out of practical things to suggest? ‘Kay first off, most of us would probably write out an x-rated post if we were being totally honest. (Or at least, I would.) But secondly consider – you’ve been transformed into a mystical being…holy crap! The first thing you’re going to do is try to figure out why whoever did that did it to you, and how you can get back. Imagine the terror of going from ordinary guy or girl at home into a ‘mystical being.’ I mean, you might not even like singing like Kate Bush, right? Or dressing in gauzy outfits, or leather and sparkles, or living in some sort of cloudy world of funny effects and noises. I know I wouldn’t. So I’ll keep my x-rated descriptions to myself, and leave the rest of what I wrote as my post for today.


Oops! Forgot – eye candy – Michael Horta, just for you!


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Tumblr, Twitter

Please don’t forget:

My Tumblr:

My Twitter:

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My Hustler

Well, this is a period piece that may make you a little sad that time moves on. First off, the details. It’s an Andy Warhol film which covers what it’s like to hire somebody from a “Dial a Hustler” service. Basically the first half of the film consists of a client, Ed, at his Fire Island beach digs discussing with his ladyfriend Genevieve a huslter he’s hired, who is busy sunning himself on the beach. Ed and Genevieve bitch at each other for a while and eventually Genevieve declares that despite not paying for him, she will “have” the hustler herself. They are rich, and rather artfully decadent.

The second half of the film involves the hustler (Paul) discussing how to make money at the game with an older hustler (Joe). They dance around what they are doing; their macho delicacy prevents them from being frank (as opposed to Ed and Gen who quite openly speculate on how “big” Paul might be and what he might do. Eventually, they trade trade secrets on how to score the most bread.

I really enjoyed the film. I mean there’s no sex, or really any action whatsoever. Just Warhol’s typical talking about sex and action. The two actors who played the hustlers (Paul America and Joseph Campbell) really act off each other – it’s a shame that they didn’t make more films with them. (Paul America was killed by a car; Joe Campbell is the Sugar Plum Fairy referred to in Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” – he died of complications from AIDS) What I enjoyed about it was the frank exploration of the act of hiring a hustler. It seemed as if Ed and Gen found discussing this at least as much fun as the act itself. Certainly they otherwise seem impotent in their motionless bitchiness. The notion, though, of the two men, carefully and gently discussing selling their bodies to effete rich older men, was nothing I’ve ever seen in a movie. Most treatments of prostitutes portray them as drugged out tragic sad people; these were two men who knew what they were doing, and considered it nothing more than a job; one for which the older workers might give the younger ones a few tips for success.

So which is true? We’re used to one idea, but could at least sometimes it be like the other.


Note: The film was released as part of a two-reel set along with “I a Man.”

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To A Tormentor

Part 1 of this is an adaptation of an e-mail I sent to a person who* tormented me in Junior High and High Schools. I was sitting at work, looking at the person’s* page on Facebook, and thought – I need to write him and tell him about what he did. It just sort of flowed out so please excuse any grammatical errors or the like:

I’m surprised you don’t remember me. You don’t remember calling me a ‘faggot’ nearly every day, making limp wrist gestures at me all the time, at school and at the pool? Eventually I stopped going to the pool because I couldn’t bear it to have my mother see you and your friends teasing me. It made me feel ashamed. I couldn’t have any fun there while you were about.

Gay boy!




Over and over again. My book bag was a “handbag.” I remember that one clearly. Yes, I was quiet, and bookish, and I had a funny (English) accent. I’d just come from England. Was that reason to do what you did?

At school you were pretty relentless. Again, I dreaded the sight of you coming down the hallway, that grin warning me that you were about to rip my day into pieces. You make me feel pretty rotten every chance you could get. It seemed there was nothing about me you couldn’t turn into a opening to taunt me, to show me how you were superior to me, how you could score points by putting me down. You acted as if I were queer dirt under your feet, and everyone else laughed and I began to half believe you.

I hated going shopping with my parents, not just for what you would say to me if we saw you, but for the shame of having them see it, hear it, and wonder what was wrong with me(!) that it happened. I was enveloped in shame and steeped in fear and a slowly thickening misery. Frankly if I weren’t so afraid of dying I’d have killed myself. Honest to God. There were times I didn’t know how I could, or if I ever would, be happy and not feel afraid and ashamed.

No you weren’t the only one to be like this but you sure as hell were the most consistent and constant. You’d even make your gestures at me from a great distance; there was no safe bubble for me in school, before school, after school. I thank God my family moved away from Gambrills, mainly because it meant moving away from people like you were.

I know this is a lot to take in, in one big e-mail. It’s a lot for me to take in that you did this to me throughout middle school and into high school, and you don’t even remember it. My torment was as inconsequential to you as what you used to watch on TV back then. I bet you remember that more than you remember what you did. It kills me that you can be oblivious to this, while even typing this and remembering, I can feel my chest tighten, my adrenaline pumping and I have to remind myself that those days were a long time ago. You’ll excuse me if I’m a little angry that you don’t even have the memory of those days when I have to live with it.

Anyway. I just wanted you to know that even if you didn’t remember me, I haven’t forgotten you. I don’t know if you have been blessed with children, but please, don’t let them do to anyone what you did to me. Nobody, nobody deserves it.

I really really hated you. Funny enough, I wonder now what you’re like. I see you’re a musician. That normally indicates a sensitive, insightful soul. (Like, you know, somebody you’d have called a faggit. Why did you change the pronunciation of that – I always wondered. Was it to add to the horror?)

Are you different now? I hope so. I’m genuinely curious. If you don’t want to reply to this I understand, but I would also like to forgive you. I’m trying to, I really am. I’m 46 and I’m still dealing with the fall out from those few short years and what you and your friends did, and so I really hope I can succeed in doing so.”

*Thereby hangs a tale – and a surprise.

Anyway, to change the mood a little, here is a picture of the unnaturally handsome Manolo Cardona, who I just saw (quite a bit of!) in a great film called “Contracorriente” or “Undertow.” I”ll post a review by and by.

Did that change your mood? It sure did mine!

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On Billy Graham’s Full Page Ad

Billy Graham asks, in a full-page ad urging support for candidates who wish to enshrine inequality in marriage, that we “Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God.” That implies that in the past we had our hearts toward God but that at some ill-defined point we turned away.

Which raises the question – when was that? Was it before 1865, when the law of the land and plenty of good Christian churches justified slavery, could find support in the Bible and custom for a person owning another person, for the idea that one race was inherently inferior to another? Is that the time he’d like to go back to?

Or before 1920 when women (except those residing in Wyoming) were not allowed to sully their pretty little hands with the ballot box and the voting paper? Is that when we turned away from the male primacy enshrined in Holy Writ?

Was it maybe before Brown vs. Board of Education, or the Civil Rights Acts, or the Voting Rights Act, when black people were legally separate and never equal, when lynchings and burning crosses were used to reinforce the color line that was “distinctly drawn by Jehovah himself…drawn in nature and in history in such a form as to make it a sin and a crime to undertake to obliterate it?” Should we pray to turn our hearts back to those days?

Perhaps the good Reverend means before the end of the draft, when rich kids could get college deferments and poor kids were sent to war?

Whatever he meant to imply it’s clear that for him and for his ilk, things went seriously off the rails, or “the nation turned against God” when power, previously concentrated in white male heterosexual hands, became diffused, even if ever so slightly, to sectors of society that didn’t resemble him and his concept of the white male heterosexual God (in this view, Jesus is a white male, possibly Episcopalian, not a brown-skinned Jew).

He fails to remember, or would rather you forget, that his past of glorious closeness to God was a time of oppression, of brutalization, and of lynchings. Of union-busting thuggery, voting qualification tests, and of back-street abortions to save the nice young men for the nice young women and from the sluts they knocked up. Of colored entrances and “No Irish Need Apply.” Of Father Coughlin and Jim Crow and Orval Fabus and sweet-looking old ladies who spat in school kids’ faces. This is the America he would return us to, the one where ‘our hearts were turned to God.’

Yes, since the 1970’s there has been extremism and license, but there has also been a succession of hard-won gains for women, for blacks, for youth, for minorities and even a little bit for the gays. And if Reverend Graham, and those who think like him, are to maintain even a scrap of the superiority they yearn to have again, they must stop this last win for America’s less-thans. They have lost so much that it genuinely panics them to lose the last status to which they can cling and from which they can exclude others – the right to have their libidinal and romantic relationships enshrined in law, licenced by their government, and held forth as superior to all others. That is the real reason behind the opposition to marriage equality, as it has been the reason behind the opposition to any equality, gender, race, or ethnic, and that is why Billy Graham is merely the ten-dollar, besuited, version of the five-cent gay-bashing thug.

What the preacher behind the pulpit and the thug with a baseball bat want is exactly the same; they want someone to be superior to, to look down on (in a Christian loving way) and the only easily identifiable vulnerable group they can think of is gay folks.

So don’t be fooled when some rosary-swinging priest, some scripture-thumping pastor, or some torah-waving rabbi wants to have a ‘genuine, loving debate’ over marriage equality, no matter how many biblical tracts he wraps himself in. It’s not about what they say it is; their arguments are collections of threadbare absurdities that fail to conceal the real fear and the real determination to avoid the loss of superiority, to stop being special, and to stop having people to be better than.

In today’s politer society, on television, and from the altar, it doesn’t look always so good to scream insults or commit physical assault on gay folks, so they have the Billy Grahams, the Mitt Romneys, the whole cabal of cassocked hypocrites to march out in front of cameras and voters and tell the most outrageous falsehoods that a child of four would be ashamed to advance.

But don’t forget, they are just the respectable face of the gangs of drunken teens with baseball bats. Don’t forget that ministers of the loving savior have opined that gay kids should be hit, have their limbs broken, or that gay people should be put in concentration camps. Again, these and the bashers are merely the more honest versions of the polite peddlers of prejudice and hatred who are sliming across our screens at the moment.


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