Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Civil Rights


These are really great posts about the convergence of the fight for LGBT civil rights and African-American civil rights in the United States, which were prompted by financial advise guru Suze Orman's revelation that she and her long-time partner are very worried about what will happen to their money when one of them dies and the assertion that (gay) marriage is a civil right that gays should enjoy as straight couples do because of these concerns. I really love this quote as well and wanted to post it on my blog because I think it describes how I feel about it all. Or how I think I feel, as everything is kinda jumbled up right now.

Of course, there's a bigger issue here than money. I've heard it expressed before by Leonard Pitt.
"I know also that some folks are touchy about anything seeming to equate the black civil rights movement with the gay one. And no, gay people were not kidnapped from Gay Land and sold into slavery, nor lynched by the thousands. On the other hand, they do know something about housing discrimination, they do know job discrimination, they do know murder for the sin of existence, they do know the denial of civil rights and they do know what it is like to be used as scapegoat and bogeyman by demagogues and political opportunists.

They know enough of what I know that I can't ignore it. See, I have yet to learn how to segregate my moral concerns. It seems to me if I abhor intolerance, discrimination and hatred when they affect people who look like me, I must also abhor them when they affect people who do not. For that matter, I must abhor them even when they benefit me. Otherwise, what I claim as moral authority is really just self-interest in disguise.

I believe in moral coherence. And Rule No. 1 is, you cannot assert your own humanity, then turn right around and deny someone else's. "

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Writer's block isn't the right phrase, but it's the first thing that comes to mind

Two of my classes this semester are creative writing classes, poetry and fiction. My other English course requires small papers every week or two. It's not that I lack something to say. (I rarely have nothing to say.) Yet whenever I am supposed to write for any of these classes, I feel like I am at a loss. I think I"m afraid that, if I open it up, I'll never stop. That if I allow myself to start writing what I feel, what I think, I'll never run out. I won't do anything but write, pouring myself onto the paper. Not working or going to school. Not eating or drinking or caring for myself. And no edits or re-writes because I never stop writing the first draft. I can't hand-write as fast as my thoughts. And I don't want to spend my life chained to a computer, nott that my typing can keep up with my thoughts either, but it is closer.

Tomorrow's reading for my rhetoric class is a piece (from 1975) about how women should claim their own writing and their own bodies. But there is a fear in that for me that stills my pen until the thought vanishes or is just a shadow of its original glory. Should I just put off the other things I'm supposed to be doing just to record, develop, lay bare my thoughts and ideas? The practical has to enter into it eventually. Plus, I'm not sure how to give my inner workings life, especially in regards to my fiction writing, to transform what goes on in my head into more than just a journal. It's easier in poetry, but perhaps not as satisfying. And how can I create "need-based" modernist fiction, as I've been intructed to for this class, while also using a "feminine voice," as is suggested by the author of that piece? Are the two anti-thetical?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Arguing with Sir

Blue=Body of e-mail from Sir

Instead of being mad today, I did some wikipedia research. I know it's not a definitive source but it's close enough for government work. I discovered that my problem with Feminism is that I believe it is a "gateway philosophy" for Misandry. I support the Feminist view that women should have equal opportunities as men and I'm in favor of causes and work toward that end. From my perspective, it is inherent in this philosophy that women should also have equal responsibilities and accountability as men, and I believe that there is where the philosophies diverge. This disconnect can be discussed at another time, but those are my findings as of today. Misandry is my enemy, especially when it masquarades under the banner of feminism. One quick remark about the whole topic of mixed messages from women, do you really think it was any different before feminism? Don't you think guys trying to romance women still had to use trial and error to figure out what the specific woman they were dating wanted? I think you'd have to go back to the days of arranged marriages to find a time when men didn't have to worry about running the woman off by doing the wrong thing. But once they were married, they still had to live with each other every day and mixed messages existed there. And guys send mixed messages too, just not the same one.

I also wanted to say that your argument last night was a perfect example of the "inferrence" I was speaking of. Instead of arguing the points and having a dialog about the topic at hand, you managed to insult me and my opinions, say that I support rape, and then blamed me for not listening for years on end. First of all, I think that you were, if not insulting, then at least making a pointed jab at me, when you blamed "the liberal media and feminism" for communications between men and women. You are always telling me that I should be able to infer from past reactions how a person will react. Whether or not you think I should react the way I did, you know from past experience that heeping all of the blame on feminism and the "liberal" media would make me feel personally insulted. I know there is no way you support rape, but, the way you were positioning yourself, it seemed to me that you were only allowing for women "to be asking for it" or for women never to want sex and/or never want to get the attention of a man with her appearance. I was not trying to insult you and your opinions, nor did I want to discuss our interpersonal relationship inthe beginning. But I saw a mental pattern that you have and that you stick to, which I do not see as helping you, propelling you forward, being fulfilling for you, or working to make you a better person. I was trying to use the opportunity to point out that maybe it is the structure of your thinking that is holding you back, limiting you, not only in this but in life. Though it obviously didn't come across, I also tried to point out that this isn't just ideas that are hurting you but ideas that are hurting the whole society. I feel like I've been trying to do this for several months, especially as I see all of your hope and alive-ness fade away into sheer cynicism and disappointment. But you never seem to take anything I say on these topics into consideration. I tried to point part of this out in my letter to you, but you chose to ignore that in favor of only discussing IF I wanted to continue our friendship, not discussing the things beyond K that have caused our freindship to be even more dysfunctional as of late. If you want to discuss our interpersonal relationship, don't mask it in a philosophical discussion because I will ALWAYS be blamed for "not listening."While I'm trying to defend a position, you're busy using that position against me in a personal manner. The ways in which you support your positions, with your interpretations with your personal unfair treatment, that I believe has clouded your judgements about everything in life, are based on a view of the world that is hurting you, though you will never admit it, and, frankly, hurting me. My "careful crafting" of a conversation is my way of trying to stay on task against personal attacks. If you cannot have a philosophical debate and exchange of ideas without dragging personal feelings into it and slandering me personally, it's better that we avoid such conversation. Then what would our friendship be? You can get all that other stuff from everyone else. Attacking me personally is definately not the best way to convince me to change my mind about something. Why? It's always how you act towards me? Hanging up on me after warning me not to hang up on you probably isn't the best way to change my mind either. Your behavior last night was unacceptable, especially considering the day.When I am ready to speak to you again, I will let you know. What about my feelings about when I may or may not want to talk to you?

At this point, I'm so torn about whether I even want to keep this friendship. There is a bigger problem that K. That was just a more immediate concern that helped us avoid the bigger issues. You are in a bad place. Not as bad as some of the places I've been, but, then again, the worse it is, the more incentive you have to dig out of it. It seems obvious to me that the way you deal with the world is not working, or at least not working to make you a better person, a more fulfilled person, etc. When you were trying to ground yourself in Eastern thought and your moral ideals, you could almost see that life could be more than ordinary, even if it was only internally extra-ordinary. That is completely gone now. And I want so much to help you see that it is still out there, but you only see attacks and slander and insults. Or what I say is so pedestrian that you dismiss it out of hand. On my end, I feel strong contradictions in our relationship. On one end, I feel like orthodoxy always comes at too high a price, especially yours. I feel like you have such high expectations that no one will ever meet them, especially me, and that you are always keeping score. Now, you might not kick me out of the game for too many fouls, but you just won't play me for the rest of the season. On the other hand, I know I am doing good, but I almost feel like I can only do this good without you in my life. All the good things I had done over the last year, I did when you weren't around. I haven't been depressed or cried or wanted to cut or wanted to die, except in relationship to you and our dealings with each other. Last night, I spent a half hour scratching my forearms until they were red and raw. I can deal with most things, even the more stressful work and school and illness all at once, but I can't deal with you in a constructive way. "Nobody said it was easy. Nobody said it would be so hard." I wish I could go back to the start. I just don't know what to do.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Barenaked Ladies- Call and Answer

For Sir and K

Call and Answer
I think its getting to the point
Where I can be myself again
I think its getting to the point
Where we have almost made amends
I think its the getting to the point
That is the hardest part.

And if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, Ill pick you up
And if you court this disaster
Ill point you home

You think I only think about you
When were both in the same room
You think Im only here to witness
The remains of love exhumed
You think were here to play
A game of who loves more than whom

And if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, Ill pick you up
And if you court this disaster
Ill point you home

You think its only fair to do whats
Best for you and you alone
You think its only fair to do the same
To me when youre not home
I think its time to make this something that is
More than only fair

So if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, Ill pick you up
And if you court this disaster
Ill point you home.

But Im warning you, dont ever do
Those crazy, messed up things that you do
If you ever do
I promise you
Ill be the first to crucify you
Now its time to prove that youve come back
Here to rebuild.