Saturday, March 21, 2009

After 7 months...

I've rejoined the working world! I must say that having a 7 month holiday was the most amazing experience of my adult life. I focused my attention on my new environment. I walked almost everyday to see something new. I have taken hundreds of photographs that I haven't even begun to sort through. I realise today, this is home.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

American Idol Deconstructed

I have never been a fan of the hit show, American Idol. In fact, I don't think I have ever watched an entire episode of the program (I know, how scandalous!) I have friends who watch it regularly for its camp value, and other friends who watch it in earnest. I really do love bad TV as much as the anyone else (Gossip Girl, anyone?), but there has always been something about American Idol that has rubbed me the wrong way, to the point of actually being offended. Since I never watched the show regularly, I never really pondered why I had such a base reaction to it. This morning I came across this article, which puts it all into words for me.

Interestingly, when I first moved to Sydney I got hooked on Australian Idol, which is basically a carbon copy of the American version, even down to the judges! Part of me found it comforting to be watching something that was familiar in my new surroundings, however, I must admit, I was disturbed (and ashamed.)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Prop 8 and A Few Things I Need To Get Off My Chest

The hearings to determine the legitimacy of Prop 8 were today in San Francisco. The California Supreme Court will make its ruling within 90 days. The live stream on the Internet would have been at 3AM here in Sydney. While this issue is very dear to me, I couldn’t bring myself to get up and watch it. It’s too emotional. My entire adult life has been politically dominated by people who use me and people like me to gain power. It’s so obvious on this side of the fence, hearing their speeches of self-congratulatory bullshit about how they are saving the country from eternal damnation. Frankly, I’m so sick of listening to people bring up this nonsense in public discourse that I could vomit. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage are not about religion or tolerance; they are about sex and emotion, hence intimacy. Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? People who have issues with seeing gays as equals in the “Relationship Department” are the same people who are disgusted by what gays do together sexually. Squeamish straights project themselves into homoerotic scenarios and they are revolted, or, in some cases, secretly turned on. Can we stop sidestepping this issue? It’s not about god and country; it’s about sex and power. If I sound pissed off, I am. Over the past few months, it has become fashionable for religious nut jobs to accuse gays of being terrorists (my all time favorite is this bit from Pat Boone.) As far as I know, gays haven’t starting flying planes into churches, or blowing themselves up on Family Day at the local museum in protest of Prop 8’s passage. This kind of discourse is outrageous. Yes, yes, I know, there have been cases of religious services being disrupted. And, yes, there was the incident of angry gays running some group of praying idiots out of the Castro. In all cases, and I honestly mean this, I’m sure it was a very scary thing to have happen, but, you know what? Tough shit. Perhaps, now, they’ll get a sense of what it is like to have your life turned upside down when you are simply minding your own business. Perhaps, now, they’ll get a sense of what it’s like to be tear-gassed in a gay bar. Perhaps, now, they’ll get sense of what it’s like go to a funeral for a friend who died of AIDS and instead of a service that should have been a tribute to his life, they get a sermon on how god hates fags. Perhaps, now, they’ll get a sense of what it’s like to watch someone put a gun in their husband’s back and threaten to blow his head off while calling him a "dirty faggot." Perhaps. Perhaps not. The callousness of these people continually astounds me. They have no shame.

One comment today on SFGate said, "You lost. Twice. Deal with it & move on." I agree. The people have spoken, and what lovely people they are. There’s one thing I know for certain, if we continue the politics of ill will, there is going to be more polarization, more fanaticism, more legislative insanity. Perhaps, one day, they’ll pass laws to strip you of dignity. Perhaps, one day, they’ll pass laws to take your children away. Perhaps, one day, they’ll pass laws to erase your marriage. Believe me, when that day comes, those of us being targeted now won’t be around to stop them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Power and The Closet

Here is the outcome of a case involving blackmail and gay sex. For a little more context you can read here. While I certainly don't condone blackmail, I find it fascinating that the victim's name is being withheld through a suppression order. Apparently, this is standard practice in Australia in court cases involving blackmail. I understand the logic, but since people with power and money are probably the only ones who get blackmailed in Australia (or anywhere, for that matter) the luxury of a suppression order seems a bit dodgy. Case in point, the victim in this particular circumstance is a politician, who is married. It leads one to assume in general what is really being protected here, and it's neither the victims' wives nor their families.

Over recent years in the US, there has been a series of politicians in similar circumstances. Most of these politicians have been of the right wing variety, who condemn homosexuality in public, but are sneaking behind their wives' backs to have sex with other men. These creatures are particularly loathsome because they make the lives of open gays and lesbians hellish by pandering to ignorance to remain in power.

I wonder if the closeted Australian politician is like his closeted American counterpart?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

Shark update here and here.