Friday, December 31, 2004

Gays vs. The Religious Right -- The Grudgematch

Yeah, like a homophobic tirade wouldn't be at all home here...

This isn't that. And it is. Or is it? To tell you the truth, I've forgotten already...

Oh, right! The topic is: Gay Marriage/ Gay Adoption/ Gay Milkshakes/ Gay... what have you.

Hoo boy, what a huge topic lately. And maybe it should be. The fact that there are elements of our society who seem to think it should be alright to take every homosexual in sight and hang them from the nearest tree is fairly scary and disturbing, but the politicization of the homosexual issue (whatever that issue may be) is something scary in an entirely different way.

I imagine there may have once been a time when one's sexuality was their own business, and not the concern of public domain. There may have once been a time such as this, but to tell you the truth, I can't remember it. And this may be because our society has chosen to divide itself along the battle lines of "gay vs. straight", and while one side seems to think it is going to force the world at large to accept and embrace it the other side seems to think it should have the right to wipe the other side out entirely.

And then, there's the rest of us, caught in the middle of this facade. Wondering "wait, whose business other than my own (and a consenting partner) where I stick my dick, or possibly a feminist-approved dick-substitute (at least according to Freud, who, as we know, was an immensely funny individual... at least I know he makes me laugh) other than my own?"*

We live in an age of partisan everything. Partisan politics, partisian religion, and now partisan sexuality.

Take, for example, the kerfluffle over the recent film Alexander. Now, according to a lot of gay and lesbian writers, we are supposed to believe that cutting the gay sex out of Alexander makes it a bad movie. Which doesn't, and which it isn't. One thing this is is censorship, which as many of us will agree is a bad thing, but it doesn't make this a bad movie. In fact, I probably (scratch that, definitely) enjoyed this movie a lot more because of the lack of gay sex. However, I do not approve of artistic censorship, but that's beyond the point.

It is extremely sad that some people seem to need to identify their sexual orientation/ethnicity/what-have-you with famous or historical figures in order to attempt to engineer acceptability for something that is already acceptable to begin with. The truth is, these people aren't trying to engineer acceptability, they're trying to engineer comfort. They are attempting to make themselves more comfortable with themselves by attaching a label that they (or someone else) have attached to them by also attaching it to someone else. The debate over whether or not Alexander the Great was gay is an example of this.

Alexander the Great may have been gay (as opposed to bisexual, or perhaps even heterosexual), but truthfully, this is incidental. What should it matter to anyone else what Alexander the Great did in his bedroom? Not a whole lot, truthfully.

Whenever I attempt to make the case that we do not truly know whether or not Alexander the Great was gay or bi or not, a lot of people make the assumption that I am assuming that he was straight, as if this would be any more foolish than assuming that he was gay (well, we know that Alexander had a son, but all we have to corroborate claims that he is gay is translations from legends written more than 2300 years ago, regardless, this is beyond the point).

There is also the vicious branding of closeted homosexuals as "cowards". While there may be a lot on the line for a lot of people with this issue, when our society will not respect the privacy of individuals (even within the confines of their own bedroom) we have a serious problem. I'm wondering: if organizations like GLAAD (mostly good people who do good work) are wondering what entities such as, say, the state of Alabama (so many backward jokes, so little time) are doing in their bedrooms, why does no one ever ask what GLAAD is doing in the bedroom of the governor of the State of New Jersey (I can't remember his name, and I'm too lazy to look it up)?

That, my friends, could be construed as hypocrisy.

But let's talk about hypocrisy, because it is one of my favourite subjects. Excuse me, one second, I have to go change hats...




OK, I'm back. Miss me? Yes? Good. No? I love you too. Anyhoo...

How about the religious right on this issue? Yes, we all love them with their "god hates fags" talk, and I thought it was sooo classy when they propested outside of the funeral of a murdered gay teen ager. What a great bunch of people.

God, as we all know, is supposed to be perfect. In the minds of these people, how does this correspond with also being a bigot (as they would tell us). Oh, yes, homosexuality is sinful. But, wait... if homosexuality is a sin, why did god create homosexuals?

Yeah, we'll be waiting for a clear answer on that for quite a while.

How about Jesus, who taught us to love thy neighbour, and who loved his own neighbours regardless of who they were? Let's have a real close look at the bible. If Jesus comes back right now (right now!) who's he going to hang with? George "Dubya" Bush or those gay pride parade folks who got pelted with pig manure in the states. By the way, that was real classy, as well.

Pens down, people. Who did Jesus hobnob with? If you said "the gutter folk" then you are exactly right. And why did Jesus hobnob with the gutter folk? Because they needed his love the most.

And maybe that's part of my point. If we're going to love our neighbour (in that brotherly, good will towards men sort of way) then maybe the idea of loving (in that brotherly good will towards men sort of way) that gay guy down the street shouldn't seem so repulsive to us. But wait, there's more!

Growing up, we are taught pretty often that people are not going to like you. People will find reasons not to like you. That's life. We can't make everyone we meet like us... but what if we could?

Would we want to? Should we want to? That sounds like an essay coming on...

But, it's New Years Eve, and I'm late for getting drunk, so I've gotta cut this short.

The idea that gays and lesbians are going to force people to accept them is folly. And truth be told, if someone looking for a reason not to like you finds "you're different" to be an acceptable reason, do you want that person as your friend or neighbour? Probably not.

There is no sense fighting battles that you aren't going to win. Thankfully, in this little dispute, there are plenty of battles that gays and lesbians ARE going to win. Like the battle of gay marriage. Accepbability will come later. Right now, just win the little battles.

The war will follow.

* Yes, I know that's a long fucking sentence, but it's a good one, ain't it?

Friday, December 24, 2004

I Loves My Gun, But...

It's kind of funny what some people can justify believing. Take, for example, all the rucus over gun control.

OK, so Hitler was in favor of gun control. That's true, and that's fair. But believe me, if you want to round up a segment of the population and march them into concentration camps, you wouldn't want them to have guns, either. But at the same time, the opponents of gun control seem to like to enjoy ignoring a few points about guns:

First off, a gun is a weapon.

Secondly, given that a gun is a weapon, a gun has one purpose: to hurt and/or kill things.

Thirdly, given that a gun is a weapon and has one purpose (to hurt and/or kill things), guns are dangerous.

Finally, given that a gun is a weapon and has only one purpose (to hurt/and or kill things, or perhaps to be used as a threat in a rap song), and guns are dangerous, not everyone should have one.


Anyhoo, yeah. The NRA are funny people. Let's insist we have the consitutional right to own a gun. That's real smart.

Believe me, a society where any retard, no matter how deranged, psychopathic or generally beligerent, can own a gun, is NOT a society you want to live in. And you can quote me on that.

Mind you, some opponents of gun control make a number of convincing points: back when every one owned guns, there were way fewer home invasions. I have no trouble believing this. If I'm a piece of burglar scum, I know I'd think twice about breaking and entering if it's probable that I'm going to get a gun the size of Mt. Rushmore shoved in my face (personally, I'm allergic to being filled full of holes). But unfortunately, these days some criminals have bigger guns than the army, so I'm going to dismiss this argument out-of-hand.

Take the recent shooting death of "Dimebag" Darryl Abbott (R.I.P.). While there are a relatively few options that concert security could have used to prevent this tragedy, nothing solves the problem of a retard with a gun like the retard never having a gun to begin with. Seems pretty simple, doesn't it? Maybe a little too simple.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule: psychologically unbalanced people would still be able to attain guns through illegal means (remember the Columbine twins?), but at least some degree of gun control has the capacity to prevent these sorts of tragedies.

Not that this excuses wastefulness by our "Liberal" government in Ottawa. The gun registry ultimately does little to control guns -- although it does provide RCMP with a possibly useful and life-saving database from which they can determine whether or not the home disturbance they are responding to might involve a weapon, which is actually a good thing. Furthermore, the gross ballooning of the gun control registry only demonstrates that the Liberal party bureaucracy couldn't organize a two-second moment of silence for Pierre Trudeau (B.I.H.).

Gun control may be necessary, but it must also necessarily be efficient and effective. Say it with me, Paul "efficient". Now, "effective".

Now, "accountable"...

Sunday, December 05, 2004

George Dubya Bush is (Not) the New Hitler

Dubya bashing is something I used to find fun. Not so much anymore, though.

First off, I'll admit it: the guy is a gay-bashing, election-stealing, Iraq-invading asshole and I don't like him any more than anyone else does. I find him to be a pretty reprehensible excuse for a world leader, and a black eye on the face of democracy.

But lately, those obsessed with Dubya bashing have made it little or no fun for the amateur Dubya bashers such as myself. Recently, I sat in one of my classes and listened to one of my classmates tell us about how Bush personifies all the problems discussed in post-modernist feminism, and couldn't help but think to myself: "oh, please".

Bush is not the new Hitler, as much as some people would like to have us believe. Second of all, an official visit to Canada by Bush is not the travesty many people would have us believe it is.

Let's swear off diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful head of state: yeah, that's real fucking smart.

What is funny to me, however, is the naivete that soaks through the anti-Bush movement. Many of these people obviously have little or no clue about what Bush is trying to accomplish, and what he is about. Not that Bush is trying to accomplish anything good, or that he stands for anything of the like, but there is a point to be made here.

Let's start with the war in Iraq. It was the wrong move, a violation of another nation's soveignty. Missile diplomacy has never worked for the United States, and no one should ever have had any expectation that it would. But there things this war is about, and things it is NOT about.

First off, this war is NOT about oil. Somehow, this point will be lost on the Bush-haters, but I'm going to make it anyway, and then allow the Bush-haters to prove their ignorance. The fact is, that Iraqi oil is not any more available to U.S. markets than it was prior to Saddam's war. Because there is a simple fact that many people over look pertaining to this issue: SADDAM WANTED TO SELL THE UNITED STATES OIL. In fact, he wanted to sell it to the entire Northern Hemisphere. The state of the Iraqi economy after the Persian Gulf war necessitated this, but the economic sanctions imposed by the United States wouldn't allow this, and for good reason: Saddam Hussein has a history of selling his country's natural rescources and then accumulating a clear majority of the wealth to him and his sons. This is a demonstrable fact, symbolized by the sheer number of lavish Presidential Palaces in Iraq, some of which are said to rival the palace of Versailles. Furthermore, this war is not about contracts for Halliburton, or profit for the American corporate/military/political complex. It is the American CMP complex that is paying for the rebuilding of Iraq.

This war is about something far more insidious than war: it is about political (not military, or economic) imperialism. It is about using Iraq as a base from which to re-concieve the Middle Eastern political climate as one that is friendly to the United States. And while trying to impose democracy on a culture with absolutely no democratic history that this can be based upon is nothing short of folly, it could arguably be a good move. After all, it worked in Germany and Japan following World War Two. Germany and Japan are both (arguably) better off for this democratization. However, recent events in Germany, particularly the resurgency of the Neo-Nazi party suggests that democracy may not have been successful as we would like to believe. Keep posted for further details.

However, this war was built on a lie. Maybe not so much a lie as "selective truth", but it was built on a sort of mistruth, nonetheless. The United States undermined a legitimate United Nations organization and undermined official diplomacy in order to launch their war on Iraq, and this cannot be ignored. These are the acts of a leader that is in some ways every bit as corrupt as Saddam Hussein (who, a lot of Bush-haters seem to have forgotten, is still a bad bad little boy).

Another point of anti-Bush contention of the Strategic Defense Initiative (or, was we all know it, Star Wars). Many people protest the development of the missile defense shield, but for these people, it would seem, a little lesson in the surrent state of affairs in the world is necessary. I'll try to dumb it down for them as much as I can:

You see, in the world today, we have these things called "Nuclear Missiles" these are things that make lots of other things go "boom" and kill lots and lots of people. They are a threat not only to individual nations but to all life on earth. As long as these things called "Nuclear Missiles" (are you following me?) continue to exist (and in some cases be controlled by irresponsible or dangerous rulers) than any nation that makes an attempt to build a defense against them is not doing anything wrong or, necessarily, aggressive, but are simply taking practical steps to ensure a defense against them. It's called "prudence".

Take, for example, Kim Jong Il in North Korea. This man controls Nuclear Weapons. This man is a very dangerous man. This man is so afraid of the United States, if he ever suspected that he could safely launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the Americans, he would do so. Even the Chinese (North Korea's closest allies) consider him to be a very dangerous rogue leader.

Of course, in the wake of massive tax cuts to the rich (money that has to be made up somewhere, obviously from the poor) this is a responsible move made in lieu of other responsible moves. When the poor are made poorer so that the rich can be made richer, something terribly wrong has happened. The last time I checked, this was supposed to be the 21st century, not the 19th century. Apparently, Dubya missed the memo.

And yes, Bush is a buffoon. If his father hadn't been a fairly successful president of the United States, Dubya probably could have never managed to even get on the ballots for the Republican Candidacy. This is a man who failed spectacularly at everything he has attempted in his life thus far. This is a man who deserted during the war in Vietnam, only to launch an equally disastrous war in Iraq -- statistics tell us that the same proportionate number of soldiers have thus far died in Iraq as in Vietnam.

Yes, it's OK to hate Bush. But let's hate Bush for the right reasons, instead of concocting reasons to hate him, or hating him for the reasons of a bunch of uber-"left"-wing hippies, the majority of whom could barely sneak through their respective universities by the skin of their teeth.