Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It Would Be Nice To Know Democracy Is Still Important

Last night/ this morning I was catching up on my news and saw a report on CNN Headline News concerning the upcoming elections and the methods used to vote. As most are familiar, the electronic voting machines are hotly debated mostly for not providing a paper trail. What makes this scarier is that the majority of the companies that provide the service or manufacture these machines are large contributors to the Republican party. I do not think an explanation of why these voting machines are so important to our democracy is needed here, especially in light of the past two presidential elections. While most of this is widely known (I would like to hope so), the kicker of this news piece came near the end. A security analyst of technology reported that the new game consoles from Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 will have more safeguards and security than these voting machines currently have. Why? Because Microsoft and Sony want to gurantee the player's safety online and mainly to make sure the real (i.e. bought and not pirated versions of their games) versions of these games are being played. It seems a bit mind boggling that two entertainment giants would put more safeguards into their computers than say somoething that is supposed to support the essence of any democracy, being voting. I am glad we have so much faith in our government that this does not seem to a problem. I am also glad I have dual citizenship, because it might time to study abroad soon.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Some More Pride Pics

Crazy Day!!!! It was fun, but we (the staff at The Park/ Wreck Room/Angles) are all very happy it is over. Whew, Good points: made some new friends, saw ALOT of people I had not seen in years, and made some dough. Bad Points: I am sore as hell today (not like you think sickos), glitter, I was exposed to more secondhand smoke than I inhaled in the 10 years that I did smoke, and did I say glitter? Some pics not just from yesterday. Can't wait till next year (actually I really can). Alright, gotta go to the gym, Ciao.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Night Before the Storm

Ok, so gay pride "day" is tommorow, or later today, and it is going to kick our ass's (those that work at the bars). As I was working today, I was met with a stillness (i.e. boredom of no patrons) for two hours. Kid you not, about 30 people walked in consequently within about 15 mins of each other. The business maintained this pace until I was relieved and even grew during that time. Luckily, to escape the madness my boss invited myself and another co-worker to his friend's house. The hour we spent at this Nichols Hill's party we were surrounded by some of the most beautiful young and older wealthy gentlemen in a long time. Anyway, we soon had to return to the Park to make sure David could handle the load and it was BUSY. It was balls to the wall crowded and Taylor and I barhopped in hopes of actually being able to obtain a drink. We ended up back at the Park to re-meet our friends from the previous party. Yum.

Taylor and I at the fabulous party next to birdhouse that costs more than I make in a year.

3rd picture. This is a shot of the Park at about 11pm. Crazy busy!!!

4th picture. Kent Huntmaker (My all time super crush and has a hot name to boot), me and a friend of his.

5th picture. Aaaahhh yeah! Need I really say anything. Happy fucking pride.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Dinner, Movie and the Start of Pride Weekend

So Pride Weekend has began and the Earth will end as we know it. Lock the doors and put on your chasity belts because the heathen holiday is upon us and I love it. So I began my night (being done with work, errands and the gym already) by taking in a documentary at the Harkins Theater in Bricktown. In true form, I was reminded why I do not like Bricktown as there was a baseball game keeping me from arriving on time to the event. The film Inlaws & Outlaws was Drew Emery's look at marraige in this day and age. What made this film so spectacular (besides the people interviewed) was the way the clips were set up to show how much alike straight and gay relationships are. The basis of which include love, trust, commitment, sacrifice, and most of all "that special feeling." This film is also worth seeing because it also lends towards the breakdown of stereotypes that older couples can not be sensual or enthusiatic about love, as these stories were the most memorable in my mind. I would have liked to see more people of color presented in the film, but I'll make due with what was done. After seeing the inspiring and heartbreaking stories, it switches to clips concerning people's ideas of who should get married. For some reasons while I obviously believe anyone should be able to marry the person they love and am surrounded by those who believe otherwise, as these views were presented after these beautiful stories they seemed as backward as the seperation of races or the Earth being flat. Please see this film, and by the way, one of the most memorable couples (Pete-e and Jane, I loved them) will be the grand marshalls this Sunday at the Gay Pride Festival so go see the film (this weekend at Harkins only) and see them Sunday at the Parade.
Afterwards, I flew over to Sushi Neko to have a late dinner. Ok, I looovveee sushi and I loooooveee Sushi Neko so check it out sometime. My favorite thing to do is go up there, have a glass of Clo Du Bois Cabernet, some sushi, some reading of the latest issue of the Oklahoma Gazzete and some conversation with either Ali or Chris the bartenders. Chris was working tonite and in our conversation informed me that it was they manager Faye's birthday the next day and shw was celebrating at the Electro Lounge, which is a cool, little, swanky bar. SO I head over there and paid my respects. The bartender/manager/owner/ cool guy gave Faye a present of whip-cream-on-your-face, then-on the-towl-I-give-you-to-clean-up, and a nice-squirt-down-with-his-soda-gun. Check it out sometime, they have Hoegaarden on tap, Rosemount shiraz and Rumplemintz. Awesome.
Afterwards, I trucked it back to the Park, my home for work and pleasure. Where I finished the night out with some cool, and not so cool people. So whatever you do come out support your people if you are queer, or your friends or family if you are not (yes, many of my straight freinds come out for the festivities (?)) and be merry. See you all later.

The Asian Invasian is coming for you! Taiwan and Japan have joined forces and will rule the world. Not bad for two little islands. ;)

Faye getting creamed and the owner with the "dirty" rag.

Faye and her hot roomate and co-worker. Go see him at Sushi Neko for lunch. He...I mean it is a full course meal.

To Finish it off, WWTD? (What Should Timmy Do?)HHHHHHHmmmm, that is another blog entry by itself.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Love, Friendship and Living With Yourself

I woke up this morning crying from various nightmares that have plauged me in recent nights. In these nightmares I am content with my life and my status, but then those around me begin to leave and/or hurt me. I try to tell them what they are doing, try to tell them how it makes me feel, but for some reason they do not hear me, or maybe they just choose not to listen. In the end we are separated and I am alone. I have had this dream off and on for the past two weeks and they are becoming more intense. Dreams usually mean something.
When I was younger I had this dream that my pants would always fall down when I went to school (high-school) and everyone would laugh and point. This horrible dream plauged me until I took action. I eventually went to school and for some strange reason, when prompted, flashed my friends. Nothing bad happened as in my dreams and actually they stopped altogether. In case most of you have not noticed I consider myself a sensitive person. I am very empathetic towards other people and their problems. Hence that is why I get upset when others make fun of other people. It truly disturbs me, and I have actually ended many friendships and relationships for that very reason. People will usually call me emotional when we are arguing like it is something wrong, because we often equate emotions with the feminine. I think the world would be a better place if we all shared our emotions more. It is not that men do not have them, the majority would just rather keep them inside and let them eat away at their themselves until it explodes or they die and become bitter, selfloathing, hollow shells that attacks anything diferent from themselves.
Part of this reasoning is because while I would like to change the world, I also view individuals close to me as able and capable of making informed adult decisions. If I present information to a person and they choose to behave in a manner they know I disagree with (and not something like biting your nails, but something that causes me to lose sleep) I eventually decide to part ways. Why? you ask, since I believe it is my mission to make the world a better place should I not work harder on my friends? Maybe, but in my mind, friends and loved ones should support, nuture and encourage you, not make fun or mock you innermost feelings. What would you call someone that chooses to ignore what you find as intrinsic to your persona and soul? Would you choose to be friends with someone who would treat you in such a manner? I have seen many people end relationships over much less. I have noticed many people let their pride or what they consider is "right" accordning to their lives to cloud their judgement and skew their beliefs. Many others may know something is wrong but choose not to change because change is hard and also means is some way that what you were doing before was wrong. Most people do not like saying they were wrong, but that is part of friendship and life. Maybe that is why I have very few friends and short relationships. I guess that same could be said about me, but I try not to trample on other people with my beliefs.
It makes me smile a little bit when I first meet someone and am getting acquainted with them. I will bring up politics. They will usally say, "Oh, I am the most liberal person I know", or "my family is so liberal." I then make a comment asking them are they sure? because I often hear that statement, but still seem to be met with dissapointment. As I said before, do not try to be a liberal, try to be progressive.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Now If They Would Make Something That Would Repel Ignorant People

On a lighter note, I recently came across this article from the Associated Press which I thought was pretty cool. This device obviously has large scale implication for several reasons (more on that in a minute). Here is the article.

Students Find Ring Tone Adults Can't Hear

Mon Jun 12, 1:45 PM ET
Students are using a new ring tone to receive messages in class -- and many teachers can't even hear the ring.
Some students are downloading a ring tone off the Internet that is too high-pitched to be heard by most adults. With it, high schoolers can receive text message alerts on their cell phones without the teacher knowing.
As people age, many develop what's known as aging ear -- a loss of the ability to hear higher-frequency sounds.
The ring tone is a spin-off of technology that was originally meant to repel teenagers -- not help them. A Welsh security company developed the tone to help shopkeepers disperse young people loitering in front of their stores while leaving adults unaffected. The company called their product the "Mosquito."
Donna Lewis, a teacher in Manhattan, says her colleague played the ring for a classroom of first-graders -- and all of them could hear it, while the adults couldn't hear anything.
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press

Nifty, eh? I checked on the company I believe this is their website at Compound Security Systems. I also found a version of the ringtone here. According to the first website, most adults (is that what I am now?) quit hearing these high pitched noises at 25. Well I just turned 26 and could still hear it so I do not feel so bad, then again, this ringtone might be a fake and everyone can here it. Anyway, try it out and let me know if it is audible to your aging ears. The ideas for this can be endless. That favorite restaurant of yours can now be child-free ala carte a simple installation of this device, or even better, make your personal space child-free with a portable version (I am not sure if one exists yet, but I am sure one will soon). You all know I actually adore children (from a distance), that I love my teenager sister (in small doses), and do intend to have children of my own one day (in the paternal sense! one day meaning far future). Although, it can be really irritating when dining in a "fine" (not family) dining restaurant and have kids running around and babies screaming as I drink an easily spillable (?) glass of wine I do have the utmost respect for (GOOD) parents. The drawbacks of such a device would be for such people as Dann or Bruce, who actually would prefer youngsters to flock towards them. Think how much money someone might make from the chicken-chasers of the world with a device like that. By the way, is anyone else having difficulties posting pics? This is the second entry that it has failed for me.

Monday, June 12, 2006

How Do You Celebrate Pride?

So the time has come about again when certain people around the country celebrate being gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual. This month, which is a celebration of the Stonewall riots of 1969, is supposedly a launching point for all to remember the efforts of our earlier brothers and sisters. It is a time to celebrate all that is gay and be thankful of we are who we are. But do we really do that? By taking one weekend or day out of the year, do we accomplish this goal or do we merely use Pride as an excuse to get drunk and laid. While the multitude of people that come to Pride might come with their families, many more come with less "Pridefull" ambitions. It might also be noted that if one were to look at the amount of those that attended the Pride parade greatly differs than those that voted against an anti-gay marriage amendment last year (it should also be noted that many of those that voted against the amendment were our straight brothers and sisters). Oklahoma also lacks a law protecting GLTB people in our jobs, education, discrimination, and health benefits. Is this Pride? Most gay people I know will not defy convention and lovevingly acknowledge their partner in public as so many straight people force us to view everyday. Are these instances of "Pride"? On the other hand, we have many people without higher education or the skills needed to obtain a job that might offer a encouraging work environment or protection. Many GLTB people I know are in the service industry and due to the high turnover rate, most people will forget your presence within a couple of weeks when you have left due to unfavorable circumstances (thus making no impact). I also understand how hard it might be to vote sometimes when you have two minimum wage jobs or a family to support. The point being we each are capable of performing various deeds and events that are viable to our lives, some more than others. Sometimes this is due more to the person than what they believe holds them back. What we each have to do is what makes us happy and able to live with ourselves. But we must also remember that our existence, our livelihood as a group also rests on how much ourselves and others are willing to do and go out of our way to do for each other. Remember those that are not able or can not do as much as you might be able and take that extra step next time in helping others or being "Proud" of who you are. The worst thing you can do is nothing, when we do nothing, make no protest, or make our anger or disapproval unknown we let the bigots win and that is no fun.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Someone Actually Doing Good

Recently on CNN Headline News I saw a news report over a couple who started an organization and website called 'Abolish the "N" Word.' They, like myself, remember when hip-hop did not make use of the explitive N#$%@*. Now as most know much of hip-hop, and especially hardcore rap uses this derogatory term. I encourage anyone who cares about issues of race to check out this site, make a posting of support, print out the contract and sign it. I believe their idea of a contract is most progressive thinking and shows their understanding of race relations and socialization in America and pop-culture. The idea of the contract acknowledges that soclialization, especially concerning racism, is not an immediate or easy thing to overcome. But by signing this contract we make a commitment to reminding ourselves to be better people.
This might bring some of you to question why I would endorse a sight that is trying to abolish the 'n-word' when I sometimes use the word fag, queer, or faggots when referring to myself or other homosexuals. I, as the authors state themselves,know that the n-word holds much history that many do not grasp. As far as the word fag or faggot, their use as a slang for homosexuals is fairly recent. Well, you might say, was not the word also used to mean burning sticks and even heretics. Yes, but these heretics were witches and as much as gay men want to consider themsleves or others as such it falls short of the actual poor women and men burned at the stake. As fairly recently as the 1920's , the word faggot was still used in reference to a bundle of sticks as evident in this quote,
The bundle of power and privileges to which we give the name ownership is not constant through the ages. The faggots must be put together and rebound from time to time."
Benjamin N. Cardozo, The Paradoxes of Legal Science (1928)
At the same time as the use the word faggot became popular, subversive "queer" (I use queer in reference to those gays and lesbians who are anti-mainstream, i.e. anti-Advocate homosexuals) groups began forming groups such as the Mattachine Society (1950) that would lay the foundation for all gay and lesbians groups to come. Many of these early advocates recognized, as many queer and women's studies theorists do today, that instead of trying to join soicety as it is, we would do better to try and reform it, which I agree wholeheartedly. Thus they took the words fag,faggot, and queer to make their own, to differetiate themselves from mainstream gays and lesbians, as I do myself. While there is obviously more history here, I lay this brief summary out because I always encourage everyone to research subjects themselves and not only believe one source. Do not take me wrong, I believe that groups such as Outpunk, QueerNation other subversive queer groups do as much work as do the mainstream Human Rights Campaign and Stonewall Democrats in their own speacial ways. Their failures and differences are another blog entry entirely.
Also, as I should, I would prefer you go the 'Abolish the "N" Word" website to read the history of the n-word. I think that this site also makes the graphic demonstration that racism is never amusing or entertainment. I myself teared up when viewing this site and then sorrow turned to anger which we should all turn into action.

Friday, June 09, 2006

You Have a Degree in What?

So yes, as you most know I have just graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelors in Women's Studies after a long amount of time spent as an undergrad. Of course the most often questions I hear from strangers, aquantences and friends alike is "Women's Studies, What is that?!" or "What can you do with THAT degree?" The puzzeling faces, and questions never cease to end. In our society that puts earning power over public good or business over the arts, literature and the environment, it is almost easy to see why one find my venture into Women's Studies puzzeling. But add to this the idea that the focus is on sexism, women, and gender and people really start to question your sanity and common sense. But that is exactly the problem, the point being that so many do not understand why Women's Studies (and gender studies, queer studies, African American, Asian American, Native American or environmental studies) is important is why the degree is an important one. Much in society negates what is feminine and not masculine. This is what sexism, homophobia and even racism rest upon. Check out Suzanne Pharr's Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism or bell hook's Yearning: Race, Gender and Cultural Politics. Both of these works do a fine job at illuminating how the -isms in our world affect and defeat us all. Most disheartening is the sexism, homophobia and racism I see present in the GLTBF community. Some of my aquantences and freinds are guilty of this as well. I do not put myself above others and I say I am not subject to this as well, but the point in changing anything is first acknowleding that you have racist,sexist, homophobic, ageist, disability or weight prejudice and begin to deal with these thought processes. Yes, these are thought processes that are shoved down are throats from when we are born by society, visual media, literature and conventional wisdom.
I think part of the greatest tragedy is when I see those from minority groups acting and carrying out these same thought processes that are hurt us all. A lot of people I speak to find it shockin that gays and lesbians could be racist, sexist or even homphobic since we are such a marginalized minority group. But as studies have shown (yes, from Women's Studies and other "crazy liberal" sources) minority groups often cope with their degragated status by lowering those that they consider to be below them. It is never pretty to be considered the lowest of the low and gay men prove this point eloquently. I have seen racism and sexism from the gay community comparable to a heterosexual sports bar. Comments such as women should not be in "our bar", or should not be doing a "certain job" such as construction or a sportscaster or the idea that Spanish, Asians, Greeks or whoever represent something "exotic" or "different" to be conquered and lusted after are racist and sexist ideas. If these ideas where replaced with gay men the community would cry "FOUL" and make a hoopla over something they themselves are guilty.
This tragedy extends directly from the gay community into those that like to call theselves "liberal" or "educated" and I think a severe lack of thinking has occured here. Liberal has never meant not racist, sexist or homophobic. The basic premise of liberlaism is that "I do what I want, you do what you want, and if does not impede my rights and vice versa then we are all right." Liberals are closer to libertarians than they like to think, and most libertairians that I have met are full of racism, sexism, etc.... I like to substitute the word progressive instead of liberal becuase it implies change and moving foward, which is what we have to do as a society if we want to survive. Most liberals do not consider that their words, thoughts, or actions could be considered anything bad and fight vehemently to deny any such accustations without ever questioning themselves.
I am sorry, but because white people might be able to read, view in a movie, or hear about racism or whatever, does not mean they will ever experience it like a person of color does. A point to this is that if you ever have to look around in the room or lower your voice when saying something, it is most likely something mean about someone else and sexist, racist, homophobic, etc... A point that might help this, and I feel bad because the author's name escapes me, is the idea that she puts forth that racism can only be instituted by those who are white (in the contect of the US). Her point being that for racism to work society favors and puts forth the ideas of the majority (i.e. white people in America). This is done through the schools, chuches, news sources, laws and so forth. So while a black person can have racist views about Asians or white people, racism can never be put back onto white people because they control all aspects of society. (By the way, just as gay people can be homophobic, I believe Asians, African Americans or whoever can be racist, sexist or homophobic.) In our law class after having read this essay all the women (I was the only male and person of color) in the class did not agree with this idea, but I could see its implications fully. The professor who is white and Jewish, said she herself did not like this piece at first, but related it to her religion and could understand it more fully. The point of any ethnic or gender orientated studies is to challenge our presumptions and thought processes. It is never pretty or easy, but is something that must be done if we want to carry the label of being a progressive or establishing a free society. Otherwise we will just keep killing each other with our bombs, our words and our actions. Oh, by the way, some of the images I've included such as the African baby and the Asian carictures are part of the racist images I am referring to in society. Most people when telling racist comments or ideas cover them in the form of something comedic or or make them look cute, as if this deflates from the hurtfullness of the images or ideas. Just consider next time what you speak or do before you do and consider would you like the same thing done or said towards you.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

So I Graduate College With a Women's Studies Degree and All I Get Is a Piece of Paper and A Job at Pearl's Waiting Tables

Hey all, its been pretty hectic the last couple of months with the end of school and birthdays, term papers, birthdays, work, papers, more birthdays and graduation. But, hey, things seem to be panning out, for right now. I am taking an independant study course this summer, obtained another high yeilding job in the service industry and Gay Pride month just began! Wooo hooo, so anyway I will have lots to write and catch up upon especially with my recent graduation, my trip to Cancun and gay pride month. Talk to you soon.