Archive for November, 2003
Okay, its a damnit for the right reasons. This whole focusing on writing stuff and I can be a writer bullshit isn’t really what I can do. Its not to say I cannot write, but it isn’t my strongest feature.
I know I’m articulate and all that good shit, and I can explain myself into a hole when need be and examine something from every angle possible. But between seeing The Spitfire Grill at the Human Race and watching Lost in La Mancha on DVD just now, I know I have to be involved in theatre and/or movies. Its just where I’m alive and happy.
Don’t get me wrong its a bitch and its hard fucking work. (oh yeah everyone thinks making a movie or putting on a theatrical production is something easy that you just do, but all of the productions I’ve ever done have been some of the hardest things that I’ve done.
So where do I go from here? I’m not going back to Wright State I’ve squeezed all I can out of that place, and not even the most tight fisted person could get anymore out of it.
So the plan, is a variation on the one I’ve already been following. Work, launch the web design business, pay off my debts and get my ass back in college for theatre production. Sigh. Its a long road ahead of me.
Oh and one more thing. This dating bullshit. It ain’t worth my time. I’ve given up on the men in Ohio. It just doesn’t seem to work very well.
I think its pathetic that now over fifty percent of Americans want our troops out of Iraq. I seem to recall that before this invasion that a majority of Americans wanted us to invade Iraq.
For the record, I was and I still am against the War in Iraq, but that is a moot point now. Its like arguing that we shouldn’t've allowed planes to fly on September 11th 2001. Its done, period its in the past, lets move on.
If anything we need more troops in Iraq than less. Why? When the US invaded Iraq and deposed the existing government we assumed responsibility for the security and welfare of Iraq. This is part of our responsibilities as an occupying power. Leaving Iraq now would be illegal, immoral, and quite stupid.
We’ve been persistent on fighting this war on a shoestring. The administration has wanted to always downplay the costs involved with this war. They stated before the beginning of the war that it would pay for itself with Iraq oil revenues. Rumsfeld has trumpeted this war as being light on troops and “streaming” the troops into Iraq, stretching supply lines and reducing necessary support. Bush staged a publicity stunt and declared the “end” of hostilities, but since that declaration more US troops have been killed in Iraq than before that declaration. I’m not a military strategist but you cannot fight this type of war on the quick; Its just not possible.
So in my 23 year old, uneducated about military and foreign affairs here is what I recommend:
- Put enough troops in Iraq to secure the country so those international organizations that are trying to do some helpful work actually can do their work, instead of getting bombed out of Iraq.
- If we cannot recruit enough troops, reinstitute the draft. Yes its politically unpopular, but this is why we still have registration for the draft around.
- If we reinstitute the draft, also drop Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue. (Hell drop it anyways) Expect troops of all sexual attractions to treat each other with professionally, if they cannot, send them back to middle school. If this is unacceptable immediately honorably discharge all women in the armed forces; we cannot have anyone in the armed forces sexually attracted to each other. (There is a practical reason behind this as well, we’ve lost needed Arab translators needlessly to this bigoted rule.)
- Raise taxes. As much as the tax cuts have been touted to get the economy moving, it is abdominal that the lower income tax brackets are being asked to pay a greater portion of all the taxes. (This isn’t rocket science, the bottom two tax brackets have remained unchanged, while all the other ones have been cut. Thus, given the whole of collected taxes, a higher percentage of the revenue is coming from lower tax bracket taxpayers. To top it off we’re putting money in the pockets of higher tax bracket tax payers by borrowing money which we will have to pay interest on.) Given that past wars have had taxes brackets as high as 75% it is not unreasonable to ask the upper bracket tax payers to pay perhaps 45% to 55%. Make these automatically sun setting on the number of troops in Iraq, say after the troop count falls bellow 7,000 they go back to the current rates. Nuff said about money.
- Sell this war honestly, we’re in Iraq and we’re going to be there in a while, lets get some accurate honest estimates as to how long and how much this will cost. It ain’t pretty but we’re already stuck in Iraq, lets know what we’ve got to deal with.
Okay that is all for now, I think I’ve gone on for long enough. By the way, these suggestions go for both parties and whoever gets elected to the White House in 2004.
Given that I’ve taken to declaring my fiscal intentions in public, I guess I’ll just continue. I’m pledging to make $230 in additional debt payments each pay period up until and including my first paydeposit in January 2004. That should get me down to only two credit cards left, although they’re the big ones.
I voted today. I even checked to make sure my ballot was hanging chad free, and properly punched out. I’m not contributing to an election fiasco.
Okay. I’m in one of those pissy ass moods.
What did this? Before I came into work I was happy and talking with Jenni at Starbucks. I talked a little too much and arrived at work 6 minutes late, which is 3 minutes past the end of the 3 minute grace period.
Given that being late knocked 25 cents per hour for the month off my performance bonus which at 40 hours per week is a cut of $40.00 or so.
So those three minutes end up being valued at $798 per hour. ($40 lost/3 minutes=$13.33 lost per minute. $13.30 lost per minute x 60 minutes=$798 lost per hour.)
So now you know why I’m pissed I lost my performance bonus. I know there is no way my company can honestly say that our work is valued at $798 per hour. I know at our most profitable operating peak we’re pulling in $49.20 to $75 per hour. But usually we’re rarely at our most profitable.
So now you see why I’m a little pissy ass. But it is all good. I just got 100% on one of my two monthly surveys. Maybe I could convince them I’m worth $798 per hour. Then I’d always be on time.
When I was a little younger one of the things I found (and currently do find) extremely frustrating is the lack of diverse, images of gay men and honest realistic images of gay men and gay life.
(I will readily concede that all media images of hetro and homo attracted people are distorted.)
I sometimes really get this feeling I’m a bit of lithium in a sea of water, out of place desperately seeking a sea of lithium or maybe even just some kerosene to reside in. But for now I’m stuck sputtering, sparkling and flaring up every once in a while.
I don’t think I’m alone in my desire to be around a bunch of homoattracted people. The concept of the “gay ghetto” is well established. I was even once chastised by the GLBT community at Wright State because I TiVo’d Scrubs, but not Will & Grace. The GLBT people in question assumed that because I’m gay that I’d watch it religiously. But it doesn’t interest me, because really it is a distorted view of life, like many sitcoms and is overly dependent on stereotypes. For example:
- Grace – She is the classic fag hag, slightly in competition with Will, but always supportive of him.
- Will – The obstinate professional who is a lawyer first and is perpetually dating, clumsy and single.
- Karen – An often quirky hetro attracted woman, who is too cartoonish to exist in real life. Arguably she exists to mellow out the portray of Jack. (more on that in a moment.)
- Jack – Quite frankly is one of the most egregious portrayals of a stereotype, he is a fun loving, moderately irresponsible, always funny and artistic to a fault portray of a gay queeny fairy. He exists as the musing entertainer. Sean Hayes’s performance, while faithful to the character as written, echos of the blackface of the Blackface Minstrelsy in which Black entertainers in order to compete with the black makeup of white imitators darkened their skin, in order to fit the role as modified by their white imitators. Sean Hayes in the same way plays Jack with reinforced gayness, the same way as a hetro attracted actor would play the character to ensure that no one would mistake his intentions.
These characters simply put are unrealistic extremes. To state that Will & Grace represents gay life is the same as saying that The Simpsons represent Middle America. They’re both funny and insightful in their own way, but ultimately they’re just cartoons.
But, I have digressed from my initial purpose. I have longed for a love son from one man to another that doesn’t involved AIDS, death, or other depressive subjects. I have finally found one, Hitchhiking Across America (iTMS|Amazon), composed by William Finn and performed by Lewis Cleale. It is a beautiful song, simple but moving. I wish I had heard it when I was 17.
I cannot wait to find another.
I’m frustrated. The poor excuse of a cable company, Time Warner seems to be content with allowing their service to completely stop every week or so.
Its not that amazingly bad to lose television, but we’re dependent on them for internet access too. I’d give up my cell phone before I’d give up my internet.
But, back to the point. This is the company that is planning on asking people to be dependent on them for all of their wired communication services (Internet, Television, and Telephone). The telephone if you think of it is the one service we depend on just to work. Period.
I hate to speculate about why we’ve had such spotty service, but if you ask me its because their servers (which do run the television services) are on Windows XP. A poor excuse for a critical task, such as running all your customer’s services.
Brad is nothing, if not frustrating at times.
We’ven’t talked recently and I just sort of was done with him, assuming he was too busy to date really.
He just told me today that he’s dating someone else that he dated before me.
I’m a little pissed, but at least he told me and was honest, if not a little late. My theory, he just didn’t want to tell me because he knew it would hurt me. And you know, that is sweet, it really is.
This eJournal entry feels important. No its not my one year anniversary of my first entry. I’ve actually started up an email list attached to my eJournal. I’ve even had a few takers! Wheee!!
Okay. Here are several things to get me started:
- I stayed late at work not on paid time, but we had a carry in dinner, and I wasn’t scheduled as late as I usually am so I stayed later to eat and chat with those around at work.
- One of my kitties is sitting on my desk, leaning forward to cuddle every time my hand wanders near the trackball/him. (His brother on the other hand is out on a Safari outside probably hunting something, but I digress)
- I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Mian Carvin’s fight concerning visitation rights for her child that she raised with her lesbian partner although she is not the biological mother.
- I’ve been remulling my criticisms of suburbia (1|2|3)
- I’m also considering the cluetrain manifesto and their thesis that markets are conversations
- I’ve been listening to Tick, Tick… Boom! (Amazon|iTMS) Jonathan Larson’s hour musical about life after 30 in NYC and his experience in theatre
- Discussions that go on about Apple computers on lists and weblogs
- My recent and spontaneous desire to vacation/move to San Francisco
So now you have a glimpse of the muddy thoughts that I’m working through at the moment. These are all linked in an over stretched concept map to community and the desire for community and companionship.
I once had a teacher in high school ask me why my generation was so depressive and negative. I didn’t quite have an answer for her then; I might have one now.
Our communities, our need for communities , and the ability to have conversations within those communities has been horribly overlooked. Over the past 100 years or so we’ve moved from a societal structure where you were only interdependent on the people within your local community to today where we’ve come to a point where our webs of interdependence are extremely wide. The actions of some electrical grid operators in Ohio blacked out NYC. Nineteen people can ground every airplane and wreck havoc throughout the country. But while we’ve become infra-structurally independent we’ve also replaced our communal activities with individual activities. We’ve replaced theatre and movies with television that we watch alone, and DVD’s that get consumed individually. Our conversations about one local newspaper have been replaced by everyone consuming an increasingly large multitude of growing news sources, but having fewer and fewer people with whom to discuss topics. We’ve beaten community down so far that we now we need a website to build a book based community.
Random Aside: I think this is one of the reasons why Howard Dean’s campaign has caught so much momentum, he’s focused on building community.
I’ve gotten lost a little bit in my thoughts, I’m just attempting to weave too many threads together. Like a good procrastinating college student I started reading web pages. I came across the key paragraph on a rant on working for AOL:
AOL is about centralization and control of content. Everything that is good about the Internet, everything that differentiates it from television, is about empowerment of the individual.
In addition because the Internet individually empowers individuals it also empowers groups of individuals, but at a level where we’re still individuals and not demographics.
The promise of the Internet is not that it brings us into the future, it empowers us to return to our tribal roots, organizing around common interests and beliefs, and helping each other.
Additionally, the ever present chasm that must be navigated though is self empowerment of the individual at the expense of the community. I firmly believe we have to carefully balance our needs versus the needs of our community. There has been an unfortunate rise in people valuing their needs above all others, and as such as caused unfortunate social conditions such as divorce, poor child raising, and a decrease in meaningful civic activity.
We are sinking, seeking community but we’re often too self-centered to truly devote ourselves to community.
Maybe I’m preluding my next Halloween color. I was the blue for Halloween 2002, I was the color red for Halloween this year, so maybe I’ll be green.
I got myself a pair of Celtic Green Chuck Taylor All Stars. Well actually mom “bought” them for me for my Birthday. She provided the money and i purchased.
I’m quite happy with them, they’ve got that dorky but slightly sophisticated geek look to them. Ehh more embracing my geekyness.