Sex, Lies and Proposition 8

I know I’m late to the party but on the eve of the election and with the strong possibility that Proposition 8 here in California will remove the right to marry whom I may wish to marry (something I never considered possible and merely accepted as another impossibility because I am gay and therefore less fortunate in terms of rights than others who pay taxes just like I do) I would just like to point out a few things to anyone considering voting in favor of Prop. 8 because you’re scared that allowing us gays to marry will ruin civilization forever and make children into monstrous sexual deviants.

  • A domestic partnership is not the same as marriage. If it is the same as marriage, I would like to propose that we do away with marriage entirely and only have domestic partnerships. Now, feel the same way about domestic partnerships?
  • I am not in a “lifestyle choice.” I am gay. Choice had no point in my life, and if there was a choice it came very late in life and it was to finally like myself and stop believing I was the horrible person others believed me to be.
  • A yes vote on Prop. 8 removes rights, it doesn’t define them.
  • I don’t think this has anything to do with race or the fact that California used to deny other people the right to marriage based on skin color. This is about me and my rights, and the desire by some to strip me of them. Because I am gay.
  • Maybe your yes vote doesn’t mean you hate me. It only feels that way to me.

It’s weird to me that this is happening at all. I never would have believed there would ever be a question about equal rights for homosexuals on a state ballot during my lifetime. I always sort of expected and accepted that I would forever be a second-class citizen because I came out of the closet at last and managed at last to accept myself, never believing that everyone/anyone else would.

But here we are. And here it is.

Please, if anything I ever wrote, said, made or designed had a positive effect on you or someone you know, if you know anyone else who is gay, or if you understand that everyone should be treated the same way when it comes to questions of love and happiness, vote no tomorrow on Proposition 8.

Please. Vote no.

November 3, 2008  4 Comments

Serendipity by Proxy

I’m surprised that anyone anywhere thinks they can do anything they want to with something they “found” on the web and not have anyone else anywhere notice that they did it. Frankly, if the web has done anything besides remind us all that there is someone else out there with the same sexual deviance as you, it is the inevitability of the documentation of every fucking thing all the fucking time.

Take, for example, the Case of the Expensive T-shirt Designer That Didn’t Bother to Do His or Her Proper Research Regarding the Origin of the Particular Flickr Account Owner of the Image They Thought They Could Simply Borrow-Slash-Steal for Part of the Graphic on One of Their Over-Priced Garments Except That They Had No Right to Do So and Then They Got Caught by the Originator’s Boyfriend.

Deepak Chopra may consider that there’s no such thing as coincidence, in which case God has a fucking great sense of humor and suddenly a lot of the crap I put up with on a daily basis makes a little more sense when considered in relation to the fact that a lot of it is done in the name of God and there isn’t one, but the sequence of events that had to conspire together to lead up to what ended up happening during my recent trip to New York City are just slim enough when taken one at a time and incredibly odd when combined together to make me reconsider my opinion about fate.

And, yes, if you think I’m going to abandon my love for run-on sentences at some point in the future on this, my blog, then you’re as insane as Deepak Chopra, though probably a lot less financially well off, so maybe you should shut up about how dumb he is or how annoying I am and write your own damn series of books about how other people should live. Go, you.

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October 29, 2008  Leave a comment

Blind in One Eye

On a recent trip to New York, the following thing happened; I am using my Macbook Pro and suddenly Finder and Safari both lock up, showing me the rolling beach ball of eternity and refusing to do much else. Consequently, I press my finger to the power button until my machine shuts itself off so I can reboot and start again.

Aside: This happens a lot more than it did on Windows. But I am somehow more forgiving of it on my Apple. I am asked repeatedly “Did you try to force quit the application?” to which I always reply “Of course” while thinking to myself, “Why should I the need to continually force-quit applications be any better than the need to continually force-boot the whole blasted mess?” But I digress.

After rebooting and hearing the familiar Apple “Taa daaah!” start up chime, I am greeted with a dark screen and nothing else. No sign from the universe that the OS is starting up, no login, nothing but a big, black, blank screen.

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October 27, 2008  2 Comments

Impalin’ Ourselves

Here’s the thing. So, okay, what the fuck is wrong with John McCain? The reason I ask is because it seems like this isn’t the guy I was used to seeing on The Daily Show joking around with Jon Stewart and yukking it up with Dave Letterman. This guy is like, whoa, what the fuck? I mean, I knew he was an angry old dude, that was always apparent, but it used to be that he had a sense of humor and was, you know, for a Republican, fairly level-headed.

I should say that for a Republican in this day and age when Republican equates with people who are more concerned that Jesus is happy that if everyone else actually living on the planet who aren’t Saviors was happy.

Now, I know perfectly well that there are sensible Republicans, because I know one or two, and there are sensible Christians as well, and it’s a shame that a small albeit boisterous minority has highjacked that political party because they realized that if they plugged in to the, shall we say, vehemently angry (who need someone or somthing to blame for anything they disagree with, and that tends to be abortion and the gays and flag burning and gay flag burners who are aborting and getting married and marrying gay abortions) who can be lured to the voting booths because they’re incensed, incensed I tell you, by the way modern American culture (that’s you and me, in case you were wondering) is going to hell, apparently literally, while the rest of us with a more lessez faire atttude about things in general, live and let live, whatever you do in your bedroom, all teaching is good, and so forth are in direct opposition to their opinions about sequestering us all in some ignorant, narrow-minded view of a world where we should live in fear of being judged by some powerful invisible all-knowing force who occasionally decides to destroy a city or trun people into salt or demand the death of a first-born or whatever (and those are His good qualities) but thinks using sex organs for something other than pumping out babies to pump out more babies in a never-ending cycle of procreation with no other end-goal as far as I know except to eventually die and go live with this judgmental egotist because he considers himself perfect and not you, you fornicating flag burning gay abortion!

Sorry, I’m on a jet flying to New York while I write this and I had to wake up at 4AM and I’m on my fourth cup of coffee.

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October 21, 2008  2 Comments

If I Were Microsoft

Bill’s baby has been struggling recently to figure out how to sell itself to consumers. The company has come to realize that they’re slowly (very, very slowly) starting to lose a battle they didn’t know they were in, and which they thought they had won, with their only real competitor in the operating system business.

Linux, of course, is out there and readily available in a number of different forms, but whose mom or dad is considering switching from Windows to Linux? They don’t need to worry about that in the hearts and minds of the average consumer. They need to worry about Apple.
So the first thing they did was attempt to make some weird, nonsense, “funny” ads starring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates as Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates. The two ads I saw pointed out that neither Jerry Seinfeld nor Bill Gates has any idea what it’s like to be human. They’re so rich, so famous and so removed from anything the rest of us deal with that they need to comically insert themselves into the lives of “average Americans” to get back in touch with what it means to be white, middle class and suburban.

How this, in any way, endears them or Microsoft to the buying public eludes me entirely. It’s awkward, it’s embarrassing, and it does more to point out how out of touch they are in their little bullet-proof glass cage than it does to show us all how they know who we are, what we do, and how they can make life and leisure easier and more fun.

I am now an Apple user for one main reason: Windows Vista sucks. You cannot convince me that it doesn’t suck. I’ve used it, or tried to, and I hated it. Because it sucks. It’s a bloated, candy-coated operating system that tries to anticipate me rather than let me rule my own computer use. It’s not a teacher taking me by the hand and showing me a better way, it’s a 4-year-old stumbling around and shouting and it gets in my way a lot more often than it acts cute.

Prior to the Seinfeld failure, Microsoft had an online viral campaign that attempted to show that Vista isn’t bad, that it’s really, really good and that they can fool people into thinking it’s something it’s not by showing them pieces of it without letting them touch it. Those of us who have actually tried to use it know better.

It sucks.

Digging out of that hole is impossible. I’m sure their ad agency has told them the only way to fight this fire is by ignoring it and going in another direction, so now we have them actively trying to counteract Apple’s on-going and successful “I’m a Mac” campaign with their own “I’m a PC” campaign, attempting to show that PC users don’t all look like John Hodgman and they do things like grow beards, support John McCain, build houses out of shrubs and wear glasses.

Wow. So entirely wrong. Again!

Microsoft, if you’re listening, here’s what you want to do: You know all those cool things you were showing people in that viral campaign that we couldn’t see? The things that they all thought were so cool? The things, apparently, you’re doing such an awful job of explaining to us all in simple, clear, easy to understand terms?

Show them to us. In simple, clear, easy to understand terms. Don’t compare yourself to Apple. That’s a dumb way to go. Apple needs to compare themselves to you because they’re the underdog. You’re not the underdog, but now you’re acting like you’ve already lost. Frankly, you’re not going to get me — or people like me — back. You already did lose us. But if you’re trying to convince other people you’re cool, you have to walk the walk. What did those people actually see? Show that to us, rather than their reaction to it. One bite-sized chunk at a time. “Look at this! This is cool!” And show us what that is.

Stop with the parade of faces and the weird “we’re normal” campaigns. Get back to the product. If you stand behind Vista, then sell it to us based on its merits.

And by the way? This doesn’t help. If you’re not going to use your own software, at least use your own OS.

September 19, 2008  1 Comment

But Here’s the Thing

Mr. Obama is correct when he says that a candidate’s family, and a candidate’s children in particular, should remain off-limits during a campaign, and that their personal trials and choices should remain private.

I agree with that sentiment.

However — and predicated on the fact that I am not a reporter, nor a “political blogger,” nor officially affiliated with either presidential campaign — I’m finding it particularly hard in this instance to separate the fact that one political party has made it a primary goal in its agenda to govern my personal life, and judge who I am and what I do on moral grounds that become, to them, legal grounds, added to the fact that they do all in their power to attempt to move into the bedrooms of America and tell us all how we are supposed to conduct our personal lives, including what we must believe in or not believe in according to the precepts of a book written several thousand years ago by a group of men concerned mostly with controlling the population through fear (and just a little bit about loving our fellow man, which is, after all, what I try to practice in my life, albeit a bit more literally than intended by them, I’m quite sure), and the fact that a constant in all their preaching, namely favoring the preaching of abstinence over the teaching of contraception, is blowing up in their pompous, judgmental little faces.

An underaged, unwed girl is pregnant. Not news. Happens all the time. But what they keep telling us and what they’d have us believe is that running one’s life and one’s family according to their rules would solve this particular problem. That somehow protecting young people from the horrors of rubbers and the pill and any one of the myriad ways in which pregnancy can be avoided in the inevitability of sex will prevent them from becoming pregnant, and here we have ample proof if ever there was any — I mean, if that mother wasn’t a poster Mom for abstinence and the Christian way of life, who the hell is? — that it’s all bullshit.

So, I will refrain from making the happy occasion of a new life entering our world through the usual methods into a political theme. But excuse me while I sit over here laughing my ass off at the hypocrisy and utter irony of the situation. Thank you.

September 1, 2008  1 Comment

Trains in August

He was standing at the head of the line, holding up the head of the line, at Subway while we all waited for him while we all waited for the train South (the South train) to allow us to board.
He was particular and peculiar about his sandwich, or so it seemed, because the vegetables were important. And how much. And how many.

“More tomatoes, please,” and I thought him polite, at least, though he was holding up the line, and the rest of us, from our choices. He had a large backpack over one shoulder, and kept hitting the man behind him with it, shifting, peering at the lettuce and peppers.

“No, too many,” he corrected. His head was shaven, close, but not entirely. He was animated and anxious and we all were because there was a train to catch and a sandwich to assemble and our turns depended on his decisions, alone, and we all stood there, animated and anxious, and the train was waiting.

“Mayo. Mayonnaise. Just a little. No mustard. Salt and pepper.”

It was almost my turn, and in my head, I thought ‘I’m better than he is, because I am aware of my compatriots here in line with me, it isn’t just about my needs, but it’s okay, he knows what he wants, why is it taking him so long, the sandwiches are stacking up, what if mine is wrong because his is so right, and the train is waiting.’

He was done, then, and then another man wanted only lettuce and tomato, and then there was me, and the small girl behind the glass, and I gestured across the array of condiments and vegetables and metal trays and said, in one word, what I wanted.

“Everything.”

Later: ‘Jesus, he laughs loud.’

September 1, 2008  Comments Off on Trains in August

Confessions of a Bad Creative Director

Though I am currently freelancing as a web site designer cum web site coder, and yes I deliberately used ‘cum’ just then whether or not it was appropriate, for six or seven years of my professional life I was a creative director for two firms. There was a period of time of about a year in there that I was replaced by another creative director, whereupon that individual was titled the executive creative director so he could make more money and throw more weight around than I, but after his ascension it came to pass that the clients liked him even less than they liked me, so he was asked to step down and I was brought back in just before the whole endeavor collapsed in on itself like a giant ego.

Due to my extensive experience acting as a creative director, which is considered to be middle management because it is a positioned that is managed by upper management (those concerned primarily with keeping the company healthy rather than dealing with the challenges of actually talking to employees) and manages another layer of people who may, in turn, manage yet another layer though only rarely and in circumstances that I personally have never seen, I thought I would pass along what I learned while in that position as a warning to potential employers of my lack of grace, charm, nuance and comfort in the role as well as a cautionary tale for any creative-minded individuals out there thinking they might want to “move into management” rather than staying exactly where they are, sitting in front of a computer monitor, reading this during working hours.

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August 28, 2008  2 Comments

I Will Marry You

Here in California, we’re fooling around with something called Proposition 8. The original petition to get the proposed legislation on our ballot said this:

LIMIT ON MARRIAGE. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: The measure would have no fiscal effect on state or local governments. This is because there would be no change to the manner in which marriages are currently recognized by the state.

After they (they being the people who are for some reason frightened of hoards of married homosexuals storming the gates of heaven, or something) had gathered more than enough signatures (in some cases, paid for) our Attorney General, Jerry Brown, amended the amendment and now it’ll read like this on the actual ballot:

ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact: Over next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state and local governments.

There are still some legal battles being bandied about concerning that language, as you might imagine, but no matter how the election turns out, for the time being (and irreversibly) men who love other man and women who love other women can currently run to city hall and get a certificate of marriage and be legally, for now and ever more, married in the state of California.
Now, I suppose I could get on the phone and drum up support and make people aware of the issue and do my part as a good fag to make sure we don’t have some legal rights stripped away, but who has the time? And I rather think that everyone already knows where they stand on the issue and those on either side who feel it’s important will get into the booth and pull the lever of their own choice — plus there are larger concerns in this particular election than marriage rights, at least from my perspective.

At any rate, I’ve decided that the best I can do at this stage is, while it’s legal and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, to marry as many gay couples as I can. I have therefore become ordained as a minister in the Universal Life Church and, as The Reverend Lance Arthur, I am now able to stand up in front of whatever congregation or gathering of friends in the state of California and pronounce you husband and husband or wife and wife, or partner to partner or whatever phrase you want to use to seal your communion in the vows of holy matrimony.
That’s right! I will marry you. Are you going to get married? Looking for someone with credentials and a like-minded attitude about how fucked up things are in general but all he does is whine about it on a blog? I am that man!

I feel like it’s my duty as a homosexual to get as many other homosexuals into a marriage as I possibly can. I own my own suit (though lately it fits a might tightly) or I can appear in some expensive jeans and a pair of Prada Sports, as the mood might hit you. I’ll say anything you want me to say. Believe me, I don’t have any boundaries as far as words are concerned. If you’re gearing up for a nude wedding, I’d probably suggest someone a bit younger and more in shape than I, but hell, if that’s your preference than I’ll be there for you.

I’m freshly ordained (just today, in fact!) and according to everything I read on the web site there’s really nothing more to it than that. God’ll be there anyway, right? He’s everywhere! Or She, as you prefer. And all you really need is your significant other and to be surrounded by the friends, relations and rich relatives who can fill up your registry with all the Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn you can stand.

Here’s to gay marriage! Now let’s do this sucker!

August 14, 2008  4 Comments

Adventures in Erotic Dentistry

I get a cleaning from my dentist — or, more accurately, my dentist’s dental assistant — twice a year. Prior to about 10 years ago, I hadn’t visited a dentist for most of my adult life unless I absolutely had to, and I never absolutely had to. My teeth, thankfully, are one aspect of my body that seem to be able to take care of themselves. If only my feet could take a lesson from that.
I don’t generally have any more anxiety about a dentist visit than I do about, oh, going to the corner coffee shop or out to a movie. That is to say, I always have some anxiety about doing pretty much anything, besides watching TV or sitting here in front of my trusty, silent computing friend. But given the alternatives, I suppose I’d rather do almost anything than sit in the dentist’s chair, as comfortable as it is, and have someone else staring into my open gob while wearing magnifiers as they insert surgical steel instruments and… do things to me.

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July 23, 2008  5 Comments

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