Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?







Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Promoting World AIDS Awareness Day

I'm posting early since I'll be at the street festival in
Donalsonville most of the day tomorrow
(please come by my booth and say 'Hello' if you're local!)
I will be passing out HIV/AIDS information
to promote World AIDS Day.


It's frightening how backwards and tragically afraid we are in
this country; not simply about disease status and talking
openly, but with anything revolving around sexuality.


Yes, HIV and AIDS are still issues in this world we
live in. Not just "even" in small town America,
but "especially" in small town America
(and in particular the South,) because
the silence surrounding the disease--and
activity surrounding the disease--is so pervasive.

'Not talking about' something that is unpleasant
does NOT make the subject--or the dangers--go away.
I don't care how steeped in tradition that Southern custom is.



One of the myths that needs dispelling is that
people who have already contracted HIV are slated to die.
Not true, as it once was.
There are lots of new drugs and procedures for prolonging
and improving life with HIV, and staving off AIDS.
This is not, however, encouragement to disregard
protection and responsibility in your activities.


Get educated.
Speak up.
Know your status.
Abstain, or have safe sex EVERY time.

RESPECT YOURSELF;
PROTECT YOURSELF.


****************

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Opposition

People will Oppose you because they have nothing better to do....


They will oppose you because they don't like the way you look....


Family will oppose you because you have the willingness to fight for
things they are afraid of ....


Lovers will oppose you because they don't want to lose you....


Friends will reveal their allegiances and oppose you because they
don't understand who you really are or what you are doing....


Neighbors will oppose you because your success and bravado
intimidates them.....


Co-workers will oppose you because you are competition....


The church will oppose you because control and stricture
is all they know...

Society opposes you because it is their taught task; to
maintain the status quo.
Your job is to do what you need to do, no matter what.


And all the while you have only one decision to make, really,
underneath all the persnickety and strangling abundance of a
myriad of decisions;


Who knows me best?
a.k.a. Who would I be better off listening to?
What's really important at the end of the day.... at the
 end of life? Being safe or being sure?


"You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself."

Are you going to listen to the outside voices
or the inside one?

Who's going to run your ship?

How much of yourself are you willing to sacrifice
to keep what you have?

How many masters will you serve?

Don't let the opposition come from within.

********************************

Where were my manners!??!

How could I possibly forget to wish everyone well
on another non-holiday bullshit fest?

"Gee....Thanks!?!?"

"Yeah, it's all about end results.
Don't sweat the technique."

"Soooo very grateful."

Hey, no better American tradition than taking what
doesn't belong to you, fucking it up, and then pretending
it all happened differently.

Move along.
Nothing to see here.

("Thanks for the blankets, bitches.
That, and our resentment, will
keep us warm at night.")

*****************



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Dark Night of The Soul


There are times in your life where you learn what
true Hell on earth is. Times when you are faced with
the unthinkable--a modern day "Sophie's Choice"--
that has no winning answer, and yet a decision must
surely be made.

We may discover that such harsh realities leave us
face-to-face with how truly alone we are. No one can
aid in such a decision-making process; no priest, no
spouse, no best friend. To enter another into the
process of making an untenable choice means we
may burden them with unfounded upset, should the
solution they offer turn out disastrously. And no one
can know our heart or needs as we do, so advice is
essentially meaningless.

No, in the final analysis, there is only us. Most people
want nothing to do with another's drama and pain
anyway, so no prob there.

You reach a place in life where you realize the really
big choices are rife with pain and blood sacrifice,
and that no matter how careful you are, somebody
always gets hurt.

And that selfishness you always heard about being
evil and negative? Not true. Selfishness is required
for survival. Selfishness is required to make unenviable
choices. In the end, selfishness is all we have.

No lover, no parent, no friend, no partner will stay with
you til the end. Only you.

No one can understand and care for you the way you
know to do.

To sacrifice your own happiness and needs in the
effort to do what others and society consider right is
heresy.

When love and compassion turn to Obligation, it is
the End of all Goodness. There can be no winning if
our lives are no longer our own, and we feel fated
to carry duty out as if cosmic burden.

Those parents that tell you they're staying together
for the kids' benefit? Bullshit. They're afraid of doing
what's necessary, and understandably so; it's like
dissecting a living being to cut apart a relationship
ensconced in years of tears and dedication. It's like
committing Hara-kiri and then still moving on.

But no child (or former child) will tell you that 'having
parents who hate each other and pursue a loveless
marriage' is preferable to having divorced parents.
No child wants to live in a house with forced emotions
and secrets and lies, or the stench of bitterness and
rage barely suppressed. False pretenses and manipulation
are not tools to teach children, not if we wish them well
and balanced. (Kids are smarter than we give them
credit for anyway!)


But it's not just marriages, or marriages with kids.
We have all kinds of intense relations which become
more onus than benefit. Even a job we have committed
our time and energy to can seem like a Life Sentence.
A town we just can't seem to escape from, a habit we
can't seem to break. Prisons come in every form and
variety.

Your soul can't afford to stay where it isn't respected
or loved or fulfilled. Love is not about endless catering
and changing and giving up of dreams.

No, Obligation is a relationship-killer even though the
corpse still walks and talks. Like most of life, it is an
illusion that fills us with false hope and merely
betrays the reality underneath.

When we have to decide, best to decide for Self and
no other, for we reap the consequences of our momentary
decisions for a lifetime. No matter how much consideration,
worry, or fear is involved, we end up in the same place
doing the same dance in the end; not knowing Jack Shit
about what will result from our choices in advance.

Hindsight is 20/20, but we are dealing with different
numbers on the front end of a choice; 50/50.
There is no way to know what will become of us and
those we know after a choice is made...after action is
taken....after our needs and wants are actualized rather
than debated and considered.

In the end, our only responsibility is to ourselves. Like
the story of the crashing plane and the oxygen masks,
if the caregiver can't do it for themselves first, there
really isn't much point to it being done at all. Sacrificing
one's own happiness (for sure) to attempt another's
happiness (as uncertain possibility) is ludicrous.

None of this insight makes the trauma of this endless
emotional nightmare of filtering information feel less
like one of the famous film-Aliens bursting through our
chests. In fact, the overt physical pain of such an event
might  be desirable, so at least our inner turmoil was
being witnessed by the world....some sick sense of
validation for the suffering we were enduring.

Rip the band-aid off.
Life is short. We have to make decisions we can live with.
Things change, people grow apart. Life is evolution.

This is hard because even when we feel our current
situation is intolerable, we don't know what the reality
of the new situation will be. Is what we tolerate now magic
compared to what is to come? Are we leaving frying pan
for fire? When we reach a point where we simply cannot
tolerate any more, we may find there is strength in faith
and hope that we didn't know existed. Staying still and
avoiding the conflict is soul-maddening and soul-deadening
too.

But in the end, after we face our dark night of the soul, we
realize that change is the undeniable aspect to all life.
To deny this fundamental reality is to give way to insanity.


It's only Ego that makes us think anyone or anything could
not survive without our influence and presence.

Our only true commitment must be to self, lest everything
falls to pieces. No matter how hard that decision is to make,
or what must be sacrificed in the equation.

**********************************************************************

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pent Up State


I'll keep it simple; There's no excuse.

Each and every person guilty of perpetrating abuse
against a child needs to be shot.

Those that covered it up allowed for more abuse, as
well as a chance to hide evidence and get counseling
for the survivors. They need to be shot, too.

The President of the University released a short video
(Public Relations) that said it was "one of the saddest
weeks in the history of Penn State."
Hmmn...not any of the weeks out of the last 3 years
where there were indictments and investigations...or the
10 years since the revelations; just this week, when it all
became public. Interesting.

He also stated that "We remain committed to our core
values, and we will rebuild the trust, honor and pride that
have endured for generations." I don't see a lot of core
values evidenced over the last decade of neglect and lies
and collusion. I don't see much call for trust, faith, pride,
or honor.

Raping children gets a lot of angry lip service, and then
nothing happens.
Why?
Because kids hold no power or sway.
Because kids are seen as expendable and controllable.
Because talk of the abuse makes people uncomfortable.
Because people have their own issues around it.
Because people know someone who is abusing kids now.

There is no excuse.
And since kids will never have power, and adults will
never get serious about protecting them, those of us
who care have to get serious about this.

These were predators who preyed on children; specifically
sought out wounded, vulnerable, needy kids and took
advantage of that.  Built a world where they were untouchable
and where they had access to kids to victimize and intimidate.

They got away with it for the same reason people always
get away with things; prestige, power, money.  If a scary,
poor, black guy had even been considered to have possibly
touched a child, he'd have been hanging from the nearest
tree thanks to mob mentality. But an esteemed rich white
dude that everybody knows and loves?
Let's overlook him.


And there's the rub; that's how it goes down.

These creeps, these predators, they worm their way into
the trust of places, all smiles and good looks and seemingly
charming and larger than life. They have a plan; get in on
people's good sides so no one will expect or imagine what
they are up to. They seek to win the trust of people --in
institutions, families, churches, organizations--and know
how to manipulate to get what they want.

It wasn't convenient for the folks involved to do anything to
save kids here.

This isn't an isolated incident; there's an epidemic of
domination of kids.

(And now all the jack-wagons wanna tie this bullshit in to
their "War on Homosexuality" by lumping these dudes in
with gay people. Sorry--no go. Nothing to do with each other.
Unless all heterosexuals are guilty of every rape of a woman
or little girl that's ever taken place? No? Didn't think so.
Sexuality and pedophilia are NOT connected, jackasses.
Stop using the victimization of these kids to stoke your
political agenda.)

We destroy our kids by making them compliant and
teaching them to trust authority figures just because
they are authority figures.

Turn the tide; talk the difficult talk with your kids or your
nieces or your grand kids; teach them to not accept abuse
from anyone. Teach them to fight back. Let them the know
the truth about the world we live in.

It's better to have that conversation before their innocence
is assaulted, not after.

*************************************************

Monday, November 14, 2011

Queer Boy Lament

Since moving to the backwoods, it's been hard meeting
new folks, but one thing in particular eludes me; how
to cultivate relationships with heterosexual men.

Now, I have plenty of gay guy friends, plenty of straight
guy friends who live elsewhere, and I have plenty
of friends in general, but it's healthier to have a host
of different types of people in your social registry, and
the one I'm lacking is straight dudes!

Even in these progressive times, guys who dig chicks
have difficulty being pegged as someone who hangs out
with gay guys, mostly because of the tongue-wagging
gossips. Even the most self-possessed of souls doesn't
want a rumor strangling his rep.

But in the small towns in Southwest rural Georgia?
It's really an issue! Every body's in every body's
business, and people's quality of life can be affected
by nonsense. So, even the most steadfast fellas that
might would like to start up a conversation tend to
be intimidated and avoid.

There are also plenty of guys from here who simply
have no (known) dealings with gay guys, so they face
some fears and questions based on the myths and lies
that exist. This world is one of suppression and secrets,
and that's a hard armor to pierce.

In groups, it's not that big a deal. If someone takes the
lead, others will follow suit. And when it comes to
basic social niceties and pleasantries, you aren't
really putting yourself out there!

But ask for a number, or start talking about something
personal, and you can see the gears grinding to a halt!
It's a bit too much for the country boys!

And there are some genuinely good guys that I
would enjoy going hiking with, talking to, learning from
about the things I'm clueless about (mechanics, wood
working, etc.) while I share my knowledge and experience.
Because, as I see it, that's what it's all about.

We all of us have something to share, and we grow
by interacting with others who have something different
to share. The more different the outlook, the more we
have to learn.

In the scheme of things, I need the perspective and
insight offered from a straight view even more than
I need a romance right now. But the idea persists that
gay guys are only out for one thing.

I need the same thing everyone else needs; to be heard
and listened to, to be respected, to be needed, to have
the opportunity to produce something and be appreciated,
to be a part of something, to laugh, to share similar interests
and to be exposed to new things.

I also need to have relationships that revolve around
mutual interests and intellectual stimulation, not just
physical attraction. Perhaps eventually things will change
and consciousness will allow for it to happen amidst the
dirt roads, churches, and cow pastures.

*****************************************

Friday, November 11, 2011

Unhappy Veteran's Day



So, how about we save the flag waving and lip service
this year, and do something Real for all our service vets
that are still living?

I know...radical, right?


Now, some will not want to even acknowledge that
problems exist by discussing them. Personally, I have
no time for people who want to whitewash everything
so they can sleep comfortably at night.


If you care about this country and what it is Supposed to
'stand for,' then you should be outraged at the disrespect
our military veterans face from their own government.


The most horrendous problem currently facing our
vets is their post-service lives.


There is an epidemic of dangerous/risky behavior,
depression, lack of readjustment, and suicide in our
society today for returning vets.







Benefits are insufficient.

Assistance is pitiful, sporadic, and not easily attained.

These men and women need serious attention for
getting reconditioned for civilian living. All that time
and money to prep them for war, and then we just
release them once we've gotten what we need from
them? Doesn't sound very respectful or patriotic.


We need to get proactive with outreach to returning vets.


Psychological assistance should be mandatory and regular.

Further financial assistance and job placement are needed.


Stop the wait lists for depressed vets; provide immediate
and quality counseling.


Provide service and care for these people, not excuses.










It's currently documented that 18 service vets a day are
killing themselves. That's just the ones designated as suicides,
not counting seeming 'accidents' that may be a result of
careful planning. (Also, the military does not 'count' suicides
that don't occur during enlisted time or on mission!)

How do people have the audacity to further exploit service
people for photo ops in public when our policies for treating
them in private is so lacking?

This Veteran's Day, don't just smile and say 'Thanks.'
Make a difference.
Call your senators and congress persons.
Call the WhiteHouse.
Demand changes.

Research the problem. Figure out where you can help.
TALK to your friends and neighbors and family, and
help them to know about this disservice being done
to these citizens.

Talk to your church or community group about
helping directly. Brainstorm; find a solution to
reach out to these men and women.

As part of the training, our service people are taught
not to want anything back, and we need to overcome
that thinking. We have to let them know that
mental difficulties are not a shame or weakness.
That accepting help is okay.

Living well and having what you need is

not a burden, it's a right.

***************************************************
Veterans' Crisis Hotline; 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
(when prompted, press '1' for Vet Services)

To talk to other vets, join the community at;
http://iavaonline.org/form

For more information and contacts, check out;
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123201368

Stop the cover-up, Eradicate the apathy.
***************************************