On gays in the military

miscellaneous

Since 1993 openly gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers serve without hindrance in all branches of the Israeli military, including special units. That’s over 20 years if anyone’s counting. The Israeli military recognizes same-sex couples, including widows and widowers of the same-sex.

Recently, I realized that a lot of people don’t know how much progress had been made all over the world in respect to LGBT recognition and equality. I think military policies are especially telling as far as LGBT issues go, because the military is at the core of every nation’s pride. Although U.S. is taking steps in the right direction as of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in 2011, the end of DADT didn’t mean what many thought it meant. It didn’t mean that LGBT military personnel would suddenly receive equal rights and fair treatment from the U.S. government. I am not harping on the fact that it has proven to be a process and that social policy, stunted by centuries of religious zealotry & bigotry, affects rate of progress, as long as progress is being made. Which admittedly it is.

Some day, hopefully soon, United States will be able to call itself a fully modernized country.

On the culture shock of Wharton, Texas & some of its subsequent charms

writing

At first arrival, I’ll confess I thought I might not be able to enjoy myself in Wharton. However over the last couple of days Wharton has grown on me just a little bit. It has its dubious charm. In Wharton, Texas I am looked upon as skinny. Repeatedly and much to my jubilation people have asked if I am a model. Whilst I battle the bulge in Scottsdale and Los Angeles, here I could stand to gain a few. This has definitely played a part in my recently improved opinion of the town. 😀

Disclaimer: It is always hard to speak critically or even just observationally about anything from the vantage point of privilege. Automatically shadows of snobbishness, conceit or arrogance are cast on the narrative. I do not think that I am better than anyone because of the advantages afforded to me in life. The place from which my opinions stem is not one of disparagement or disregard, I am aware of the difficulties faced by these areas, aware of why things are as they are, I do not discount the individuals when I speak in generalities, or underestimate the value of their characters and souls.

Although I realize that many areas in the U.S are much like Wharton, and it is by far not the worst or the most rural; to me, it presents with a real culture shock. This experience is akin to that of a person from a developed country visiting a third world country. I cannot help but be slapped in the face by first hand awareness of how different people can be, how varied their priorities, their tastes, their standards of living and ambitions.

Lululemon and Starbucks do not govern the lives of people in Wharton, but neither does what could be conventionally described as “good taste”, moderation, aesthetics, nutrition, fitness, health, education or dental care…etc. To me the lifestyle led by most here is starkly different from what I know. But admittedly, I had lived a somewhat insulated life, without having much need to ever leave my primary comfort zones. Where I thought there was an economic gap between south and north Scottsdale, I think there is a planet gap between Scottsdale and Wharton. Everything from the pace to the motivations of life here is different. In Wharton people seem to either work very hard or barely at all. Farming and fracking are the things putting bread on the tables of a vast majority, as is every fast food franchise known to man. Few here have heard of such luxuries as Trader Joes, Wholefoods,Tofu…. Organic, yoga or Crossfit are not terms widely used or understood. Ordering coffee at the single coffee shop in town is a strange and somewhat frustrating experience, it’s almost as if although we speak the same language we cannot reach an understanding. I realize this is because people here do not alter their orders and do not express arbitrary preparation preferences, like people in LA are accustomed to doing. It is not a realm for the pampered or the particular. I have done my part thus far in giving LA girls a decidedly bad name.

There is no shortage of plump cows, languidly parked under shady trees and in fields, living their lives beneath the Texas sky on God’s green earth. As all animals should. Such sights feel to my heart like hugs. People are extremely nice, kind, polite, they appear to be quite united in their communal humanity. This is the advantage of a small town, without a great socio economic discrepancy. Considerations of wealth, ambition, vanity, competition, city stress, do not afflict these people or divide them in the ways that they do in other areas. It is a simpler world that I think breeds a kinder folk. As far as I can tell racial tensions don’t prevail here, people seem to live on equal footing, healthily intermixed. I can’t be sure, but from my limited observations, humans are less divided by race in this small town than in many other liberal, more cosmopolitan areas on the west coast, which is ironic. On the west coast although equality is a highly esteemed and hailed aspiration, it is not necessarily as much of a reality as it appears to me to be in Wharton. Again I think this is because socio economically everyone is in a somewhat same boat here. They occupy their small world together, they farm the same land, frack the same ground and drink the same beer in the only bar in town.

P.S. Lena, is the little Polo pony I got to ride on the 30000 acre ranch which is home to the Polo farm, and it was a truly beautiful thing. Not only is the scenery expansive and robust, but I have arrived at the conclusion that Polo ponies are perhaps the most fun to ride of all equine athletes. They are alert, very forward, have excellent endurance and listen very closely to their riders.

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On Hell & other people…

humor, miscellaneous

…in heaven’s clothing. It’s 100 F.

Riding out and amongst people is not exactly a private or modest endeavor. I always shelf my misanthropy for the Greenbelt park, because I am not an asshole. I realize that a giant horse galloping through a people park is a glorious sight, I wave at gawkers, slow down for children and say hello to everyone who says hello, with a big smile.

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But even at this, my most social, most pleasant, I am reminded of how icky people are.

1) There was the requisite dumbass who honked his truck horn, just for the shits and giggles of startling me & spooking my horse. Little did he know we’ve seen it all & are well acquainted with his special & commonly inbred subspecies of human.

2) Whilst quietly walking along the narrow area of the park where only a bikepath offers passage, a jogging prune ran past us & uttered “this is a jogging path”, giving me a decidedly dirty look. To which I said “then keep on jogging”. She stopped whipped around and glared at us intending to make a scene “what was that?”… There was no reason for me to engage further, so we walked on and away, I heard her squawk a few more words at my back. How do you instruct a middle aged woman in the ways of amiability. It’s a losing proposition, can’t force a soul into an old hag. What’s especially ironic is that it’s more a bike path than a jogging path. In short, she can eat horse poo and die. Let’s hope she hadn’t had occasion to procreate, lest my future children have to live amongst her children. 😛 😀

3) Then of course there are these people, shockingly always adults, who will both chase me on foot and pull over in their cars to take video with their phones?! This one is tough, a part of me wonders if, like a celebrity, I have forfeited the right to privacy by climbing on a wildebeest and riding her in civilian areas? Obviously I am not the subject of their awe, she is, and i can’t blame them. Still, we are not a public circus, I am a human being, albeit attached to a horse…and i have the same reaction to people disregarding my humanity & privacy as i would were i on foot. Imagine, you’re jogging, and some guy starts pacing next to you with his camera phone unabashedly extended into your face. It’s kind of infuriating. Thank the god i am not a movie star or a rock star, as i would surely be serving a life sentence behind bars for assaulting some hapless paparazzo. 😛 Conflicted as this situation makes me, I direct all my energy into not letting my middle finger pop up in profane indignation...I don’t want to ruin their video. That’s the kind of person I am. A NICE person, a beacon of hope in a rude, cold world. 😛

Just to clarify when people ask if they can take a picture I usually say yes, but turn away. Like members of some native american tribes, i subscribe to the notion that a poorly angled or otherwise unflattering photograph can steal my soul. 😛

Alas, can I really complain about anything when kisses are so readily received & tolerated.

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On Tattoos

advice, art, miscellaneous

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I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that 99.99% of tattoos I see make my eyes hurt. People, overwhelmingly, have terrible taste and a real nonchalant attitude about getting inked. Having taste and aesthetic standards in a tasteless world is almost a burden I tell ya. A daily struggle really, especially when you live in the white trash capital of all the places you’d ever been to, Arizona.
Here are some basic tips on getting a tattoo that doesn’t assault my aesthetic sensibilities. Please read carefully and commit to memory. Together we’ll make the world a better place!

1) Don’t just plop by the first parlor and pick shit out of a book, have some self respect, dig down for something with some real meaning, even if butterflies & sunshine are just your fave thing ever.
2) Not all tattooists are created equal, real tattoo artists specialize in different genres and have different strengths, they do not take in every and any Job, they refer.
2.5) You get what you pay for! A skilled professional charges 100$-200$ an hour and comes with a wait list. Sure it’s steep, but getting a tattoo is like growing a new limb, it will be a part of you forever, or at least until you come to your senses and leave Billy Bob for greener pastures.
3) Dark solid colored designs with lots of red WILL make you look like you have syphilis or a flesh eating disease, so think twice, for reference see Jenna Jameson circa 2014.
4) Please NOT the face, one day you might not want to be a gangster.
5) NOT the belly button, that’s just gross
6) Tribal tats..really? Still?! Gag
7) Mostly leg and calf tattoos on women just look bad.
8) This one might be too obvious, but worth the mention, no symbols in foreign languages, unless of course said symbol is in your mother tongue, still this might be a forever ruined proposition.

Tattoos are serious business. They can endow you with beauty; make you interesting; make you a banality & a cliche; completely misdirect people from who you really are; or just make you ugly. Much like clothes, except you cant just take them off.

Steven Bauer 57 and his 18 year old girlfriend, the world is aghast

writing

It’s all over the news that a 57 year old is doing it with an 18 year old. That rascal Steven Bauer. Their 39 year age gap got the world in a bona fide tizzy. I might be the only person to, in a way, advocate for this relationship. Oh well. Here goes. It starts with the fact that the audacity of anyone getting involved in the personal affairs of someone else has always baffled me. I know the parallel I am about to draw might seem radical, but this smacks to my mind of the kind of judgment received by mixed race couples or gays or whomever else society deems inappropriate at the time. Why are we still trying to wrangle “Love”.

They have many reasons, all noble of course, to justify their vitriol and their blatant intrusion into these people’s lives. Mostly though they say it’s because they worry for the well being of that impressionable 18 years old, then of course there is the status quo and the impropriety. What’s the world coming to..blah blah bladi blah.

An old man dating a young girl is stomach turning, it is an affront and a perversion? Ah, well the good news is that scenario is as old as time and at least so biologically/anthropologically correct that even Darwin would first approve then blush. Why? Because Steven Bauer has stability, experience, machismo and his 18 year old love has loveliness, some form of purity I imagine, fertility and possibly daddy issues. All that negative blather is just an excuse to judge, to gossip, to make a scandal out of an oddity. The fact that people still think they have a right to comment, to create intrusive, bigoted narratives filled with disdain and suspicion on the subject of others people’s love lives, is outrageous to me. And you wonder why I dislike my species. It is being said, in not so few words, that this couple is basically disgusting, well I heard that said about gay people too, so what’s really disgusting here? People are people, they lust, connect, spend time, learn, nurture and break away…whatever their ages, races, religions, or sexual proclivities. Will there ever be a time, we climb out from under that puritan rock that’s still smashing us into primordial goop? Maybe then I’ll rename my blog “Misanthropist On The Mend”.

There is lots of talking about how they have no common ground, which is why it’s sick or exploitative even.…Well then perhaps it’s just sexual, and how many people in “conventional” relationships have common ground anyways, in fact how many people do in marriages? This is 2014, is having just a sexual relationship suddenly wrong? Are we continuing the antiquated tradition of condemning people for their sexual interests? Whatever the reason for their compatibility, they are both, quite obviously, getting something they want/need out of it. She might just be kinky like that, or damaged like that, whatever it is, she has a right to vote and bang whomever she likes. And though he is old, his attraction to her is not so much perverse as it is honest, sorry, but most 30 year olds and 40 year olds and 50 year olds and 90 years olds are wanking off to videos of “Barely legal” girls, that’s just how it goes. The man is merely living the dream. Not that it matters, but he is not exactly decrepit either.

Then there is the whole age is just a number deal. Isn’t that the mostly popular platitude of all time? Well is it just a number or isn’t it? Are 60 year olds allowed to feel like they are 25 or aren’t they? Say she is mature and he is stunted, that’s how these things usually go between men and women anyways :P. Say they feel like he is a sprightly 40 year old and she is a precocious 25 year old at their hearts, the gap has just lessened, hasn’t it.

 He is corrupting her and taking advantage of a near child? Let’s stop deluding ourselves, most 18 year olds these days are as sexually mature as we’ll never be. The internet alone has made sure of that. So I’ll wager she is not being defiled. Is the healthy alternative for her to be banging college boys her own age, hanging out at keggers, having her heart stomped all over by horny juvenile imbeciles, maybe snapping up a venereal disease or two as a special bonus. Why is that somehow better or healthier? Oh because both parties involved are equally clueless about life and love? Sound logic that is.

The other thing they say to malign this unholy union, to make a story out of it, is that surely it won’t last. News flash, most things don’t, most relationships don’t, most marriages even don’t. Doesn’t make their “relationship” any more contemptible, any less legitimate or real, certainly not to them. Doesn’t mean he isn’t gentle or loving, or that she isn’t feeling loved or appreciated. Essentially it doesn’t mean anything. The fact that we would rather think the worst of them than anything else, tells more about us than it does them.

The truth is this is all about human nature. Humans, as a species are uncomfortable with that which they cannot understand. That which deviates they view as deviant. Deviancy is bad, the word itself denotes evil. Through the ages we have tried our darnest to eradicate it. Deviants break the rules that we have worked so hard to uphold, the rules which guide us through life, and qualify our goodness, our choices, our sacrifices and our morals. In other words when something doesn’t fit into our worldview or disrupts our cozy sense of social order, we feel threatened and respond by attacking it like agitated locusts.

The men who are whining about this situation are Just Jealous, sorry it’s such a cliche, but J.J. can be blamed for about 75% of human negativity. They don’t get to live out their pervy fantasies and neither should anyone else, plus they can feel superior while bashing the guy who does. The women who complain about this situation are simply scared, because if 57 year old men could successfully carry out relationships with 18 years old girls (sexual or otherwise) then what would that mean for woman kind’s already disadvantaged lot in life. Both genders can relax, this romance is not a harbinger of things to come, it is, like I mentioned earlier, a mere oddity. Most 18 year olds wouldn’t touch a 57 year old with a 10 foot poll, except maybe to check if he is dead. Most 57 year olds wouldn’t have the gull to mix it up with an 18 year old either. So all is well in the universe, but do try not to stare.

On Slapping

advice, humor, writing

To slap or not to slap..Or..Quit your whining, ladies

There are a few different kinds of slaps, the “I can’t believe I gave birth to you” slap, the “you’re a dumbass” slap (commonly applied to the back of head), the “I hate your guts” slap, the venerable and always entertaining “bitch slap”, the “genital slap” (if you never saw one drop by my house on Sunday), and the most culturally acceptable of all, the “lady lover slap”…The latter is on my mind now.

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The “lady lover slap” is usually delivered by a woman’s hand across a man’s face, always preceded or followed by a righteous, burning glare, choice words and either a retaliatory punch, a domestic violence charge or an ardent act of copulation. Either way, I’m gonna be a total stick and the mud, and say that it BOTHERS me. Today I watched two TV shows, Cedar Cove and Dallas (I don’t want to hear any smack, so I have bad taste in TV) lady slaps were delivered on both with the accompanying noise effects. If you watch modern day television, you know that this is completely common, can’t hardly flip through channels without seeing some poor chap get smacked across the face by a rosy palm. I consistently cringe.

What is that? Have any of my MALE readers ever been slapped? Does this still really happen anymore?

On Cedar Cove a boy tried to steal a kiss from a girl who was clearly depicted as having feelings for him, but wasn’t ready to admit it, SLAP. I felt for his face. When I see this flippant propagation of a vintage, backwards behavior from a time long gone, I am offended for both men and women. Some might see a girl slap a guy for stealing a kiss, and think it’s cute, harmless, romantic even. Some women might think it’s a deserved advantage, a concession due a woman, since historically women have been the ones on the receiving end of violence and mistreatment from men. It’s crazy stupid is what it is.

There is an evident cultural acceptance of women slapping men, but I think it’s linked in some way to the cultural expectation of men being cads to women. Let me be clear about my position, men being cads is not ok, (but that’s a whole other post) women slapping them in retaliation, also not ok. In fact, cultural acceptance and popularization of gal on guy slapping sets the feminist movement back decades. It’s not an actual advantage to accept women slapping men while unequivocally opposing men striking women. It’s a placating behavioral handicap (horse racing ref), which continues to place women on a dubious pedestal beneath men. We are weaker, we are more emotional, we are less restrained, so whilst we are flinging around our spurned phalanges, men patiently grin and bare it. To summarize:

  1. A) that’s just how crazy girls are (especially when they are on their period!)
  2. B) it’s not like they can do any damage
  3. C) I probably did something to deserve it, small price to pay

And then we wonder why men don’t see us as equals, why we are at a disadvantage in the work place and why they can’t imagine a lady president. 

Acceptance of slapping as a behavioral norm is in a way an acceptance of the behaviors which inspire the slapping. It’s the restitution offered to women when men do wrong by them. It’s a bribe! Slapping perpetuates the idea that men victimize women in interpersonal relationships. Women cannot take care of themselves & their hearts, so they are granted this one small exemption from the “violence is bad” rule, that’s the placation I spoke of earlier. Slapping is a victim’s reaction. I’ve never felt like a victim. I never felt entitled to hitting anyone, and God knows I dated an asshole or two. If said asshole was an asshole to me, I blamed myself for making a poor choice in man and exited the relationship without degrading myself by physically assaulting said assholeEveryone is just out there trying to get theirs, whether it’s just sex, love, or whatever the heck else. We are all responsible for our own happiness, MEN ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR HAPPINESS < WE ARE. SO WHEN THEY FAIL US, IT DOESN’T ENTITLE US TO A CARD BLANCHE, whether it be one of a small act of violence or destruction of property.

The minute women stop acting like victims, stop exercising the ‘behavioral slack” extended to them by society in recompense for men’s caddish ways and accept responsibility for their unhappiness, the plight for gender equality will get a serious boost. To summarize, quit whining about every douche bag who ever broke your heart, running around with your romantic traumas like a chicken with an egg, and definitely quit slapping men & keying their cars.                                                                                   

The only way to get even is to get equal. 

In practical terms, the popularization of ladies slapping the gents is deeply irresponsible. Domestic violence experts assert that women who inflict minor acts of violence on their male partners have a higher-than-normal probability of being severely assaulted by those partners. Hmm.

Bottom line, I’d like to not see women degrade themselves on television or in life.

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On Prayer

advice, humor, writing

Title of RELIGIOUS: Apparent Atheist Asks Advice Columnist for Help Convincing Family That Prayer Is ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ — the Response Just Might Bring You to Your Knees.

—>>>LINK TO ARTICLE HERE<<<— 

Response: What’s crazy annoying about this “article”, is that in order to set up the pro prayer argumentation, with which I am totally fine, this obviously fictional “apparent atheist” fellow is created and depicted as a selfish idiot. This is anti Atheism propaganda disguised as a Tolerance piece. His imaginary brother is dying, and his imaginary family is trying to cope: grieving, mourning and panicking, but all he supposedly cares about is arguing about the futility of prayer, insisting on his atheism and fighting about it with his grandmother??! He then writes in to find out how to best relieve them of this one last coping mechanism? Hahaha I mean could this imaginary “apparent atheist” be any more of a douche?! Is he also wearing a wife beater and a trucker hat? Obviously the imaginary “apparent atheist” is mightily misguided and needs to be shepherded into the light by the obliging fictional advice columnist! For chirstssakes, come on! Is this written to bolster the self-righteousness of the Christian short-bus? Because none of the Christians I know would much appreciate this either, not only does it insult the intelligence on both sides of the “God or Not” debate, but it also fuels the unnecessary discord, I certainly did not need to be thusly irritated, but here I am, irritated, and full of them fighting words?

I can tell that a religious person wrote this, because the single-mindedness with which this fictional “apparent atheist” insists on the righteousness of his beliefs is actually more likely to come from a religious person, than from an atheist. In this case however, the tables are flipped, and the atheist is painted like a zealot in need of moderation, in need of being tempered and taught the ways of kindness and acceptance.

I think it’s important to note, that if you hadn’t guessed, I am an atheist, and I’d like to correct the wrongful impression of my people you might have been given by this “article”. It is my people’s unofficial opinion, that in the face of tragedy, whether you pray, cast spells, sacrifice turtles or drink hard liquor straight and without a chaser, you’re in the right. If anyone focuses on anything but supporting you, helping you or soothing you, then their problem is not that they are an atheist, it’s that they are an idiot…or a propagandist invention of a religious blogger.

Additionally, fighting with your grandmother is NEVER ok, unless she is a racists, a bigot or, God forbid, a fetish stripper. Oh and by the way, newsflash, prayer is Mumbo Jumbo. If there was a god, who could hear our prayers, how do you explain all the people who’ve lost their children to cancer, to meaningless violence, to natural disasters? Do you think they do not stay up praying to exhaustion, or do you suppose their prayers just aren’t as good as yours? Prayer is not a viable method of communication with anyone who can or will interject on your behalf, to think otherwise is just conceited. Whether there is a God, whether it is a dying child or the Super Bowl you are praying over, it is at its best an exercise in coping, wishful thinking or meditation, and at its worst, it is a ritual of immense egotism.

I’d like to say that I respect all people equally (which means not much, until I know they are actually good people), irrespective of their religious beliefs and do not come from a place of judgment (my absolute favorite devout Christian friend Radhika will attest to this) Live and let live, as they say. I am, however, entitled to my opinions on the subject of those beliefs, just as anyone else is entitled to theirs on the subject of mine.

Thoughts? Death threats? Anything?

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