Monthly Archives: April 2001

friday, april 27

I recently finished Love Undetectable by Andrew Sullivan – I’d never heard of Sullivan but found a lot of powerful insights in his writings. Some of his reasoning is a little over-Catholic for me but his balls to call self-destructive behavior as it is finds me in agreement. But the final chapter which explores the tenets of friendship had many insights that just hit me over the head – it reminded me of the historic recentness of romantic love and it’s construction. By comparing platonic friendship with romantic love, Sullivan seems like he is speaking directly to my group of friends. We have known eachother so intimately over the past seven years – they are such an enourmous support base that I’m willing to sacrifice the possibility of a romantic connection with these people in order to remain in the service of the friendship. It is why I’m so suspicious of lust and the idea of being enveloped and totally consumed by someone else. The idea that I’m wandering around incomplete until my perfect half finds me and we come together and all is well with the world. I just can’t believe that to be true. It’s all such a set-up. Love that blinds everything around it. Love that burns everything else in its path. This is the love of great novels and plays but in real-time this kind of sustained magic is just that – magic. It also got me thinking more at this article about ‘gay vague’ ness in advertisements – the indirect homosexual themes in current ad culture. Some of these examples seem so stretched – like the gay community is jumping at any time two men are shown together without a woman as another point scored for the movement. This denies the complexity of both sides of the coin and leaves everybody feeling a little idiotic. The VW commercial where the guys drive around and pick up the couch – some were saying they were lovers – essentially that if they aren’t ogling the bikini team or sharing a brewski this thirty-second friendship could be seen as having homosexual overtones. That just seems like it is really pushing it. And the little in-jokes you’ll see in commericals – the Old Navy one where the chick from Will & Grace proclaims (surrounded by a herd of pretty-boy dancers): These bottoms are the tops! It is all a part of America just getting the fuck over it. That one day these little ‘risks’ of humour in the mainstream will seem so boring and passe. Sullivan echoes here with:

The fear of male intimacy, which is intrinsically connected to a fear of homosexuality, has too often denied straight men the bonds they need to sustain themselves through life’s difficulties. Perhaps the most overlooked benefit of a culture which can relax its strictures against homosexual love and life is that we could finally liberate heterosexuall life to experiene a more fluid and satisfying and intimate range of nonsexual relations without the fear of stigma or moral panic. This is why the movement for homosexual liberation is actually a misnomer. It is a movement for human liberation, and heterosexuals stand to gain from it as much as anyone.

I note the added sensuality of my male friendships growing up – female as well. That there was an extra physical component. A vibrance. That when I say goodbye to my best friend Alan we kiss on the lips and embrace just as I do with my female friends. Same with Matt. One of my co-workers remarked that this was very European of us. But I do feel an elevated sense of friendship over romantic love. Too many times romantic love can’t be counted on and can’t be built on. Maybe it’s my own emotional nutty-ness in play here. Lovers come and go. But you’re friends are there. They are the family you choose. We are born with a blood-kin clan around us that we love/hate/tolerate and we append that family with our friends. And the added idea that how can I expect to just wander into a satisfying romantic relationship of that same level of depth when it has taken seven years to build some of these friendships.

thursday, april 26

‘Mother said there’s no real monsters. But there are.’ (Newt in Aliens)

There are terrible people in this world. There are heinous, deceitful monsters out there. They will eat your children while you watch and demand you pay for the ketchup. I have never known true evil in my life but I have come to know true not-love – which is the closest thing I can imagine to evil. Total disregard for another person’s health – emotionally, physically and financially. Who will enmesh you in an all-consuming net of lies and destruction. Masks upon facades upon lies upon falsehood. Be careful.

saturday, april 7

there is power in
a black magic marker.
it’s binary – black or
empty space – no grey
there is no aesthetic.
it is bold writing. you
can’t write small. you
must proclaim your
message. loudly proudly
unabashedly. – (me)

Spring cleaning through my stacks

Spring cleaning through my stacks and stacks of pages torn out of magazines – here’s a little braindump for the record:

“I believe we were born with a mouth to do more than just suck, spit, and whistle.” – Ralph Steadman in Living Marxism 11/98

“In many ways the media today makes dictatorship impossible. But it also makes democracy intolerable.” – Shimon Peres in New Perspectives Quarterly Fall 1998

“Naming it ‘God’ is alread a problem. Giving this problematic God a gender is adding an absurdity that is unconscionable. Yet we are so accustomed to the idea of a male deity that we perpetuate it in our language, say it in our prayers, teach it to our children, see it in our art, hear it in our poetry, and expect it in our essential myths. This results in enormous pain each time we encounter the suffering of the world, so that we ask, ‘What kind of God is it that would do such a thing?'” Rabbi David A. Cooper in The Quest Winter 1998

The Mind Control Myth

Street Brawl in the Twilight Zone

“[It] pisses me off when people get all excited about Xena the Warrior Princess… The media… confuse feminist action with pictures of scantily clad women who have weapons in their hands or are doing karate kicks…. I guess some people think these images are feminist because they give women positive role models. But I think role models are stupid; it’s just naother hierarchy, just another way for capitalism to keep us looking up at impossible images, instead of looking at ourselves, our neighbors or our friends…. How is anything gonna change if we’re all at home watching Buffy?” – Kathleen Hanna, former lead singer of Bikini Kill in Bust Spring 1999

“AIDS is managed at a low level, and it’s not a national priority…. If a bomb… kills 10 people, it becomes a national emergency. Sixteen thousand people [worldwide] are doomed to die each die from HIV infection…. That’s a Madison Square Garden full of people dying each day, or several hundred jumbo jets crashing every 24 hours. Why [we] don’t have greater national leadership is beyond me.” – David Ho, AIDS researcher in Rolling Stone 4/29/1999

How I Got my D.I.Y. Degree at the University of Planet Earth

The Hidden Power of Houseplants

The Loose Canon: 150 Great Works to Set Your Imagination On Fire

“You know, the feminists really tire me, they really bore me to death. Especially my generation. I can relate to it if you’re talking about my mother’s age or my grandmother’s age and they’re still angry and upset…. For women to stand up and say, ‘It’s just not the same, men get all the chances, it’s so hard to be a woman today,’ they’re basically dissing all the women in the century who have fought…. The cage has been opened, and what you’re got to do… is walk out of it.” – Bjork in Bust Fall/Winter 1996

The Road Frequently Traveled

“Real creativity is life-altering. It threatens the status quo; it makes us see things differently.” – Madelein L’Engle in Fast Company

Boooorrriinngg!:Philippe Gaulier uses theatrical techniques in order to help would-be leaders find their inner clowns.

Living Dangerously by Harriet Rubin

Here’s a sneaky way of getting people to reveal their true passion. Have them make a list of two things that they most want to do. Then have them cross off the item that they listed first. I once read that on any list of two things, the item that you place first is the one that you mention because you think that it makes you look good to others — it’s the one that you list for them. The item that you place second is your true passion — the one that you want to do for you.

friday, april 6

(Sorry for the black out the past few weeks – I hope to be able to resume posts again in the very near future – it is a time of great chaos – like the Clone Wars – but not)

monday, april 2

It has been a very strange past few weeks. I am living a life that is a cross between The Talented Mr. Ripley and Fight Club. It seems that I’ve been celebrating April Fool’s Year for the past twelve months as one of my closest ‘friend’-ships disintegrates into a tangled geometry of lies and manipulations. On one hand I feel so stupid and gullible for believing the fiction I’ve been supporting and on the other utter contempt for the perpetrator of such delusion. You really can’t trust many people in this world. That’s what I seem to re-learn ever couple of months. And this is the ultimate reminder of that fact. There are maybe four people (along with my parents and sister) that I trust fully: emotionally, creatively and financially. I have been party to a sociopathic, self-destructive, crazymaking compulsive liar. And not just lying about things to get out of responsibility or accountability – the creation of a false identity. The structuring of a ‘better self’. At the end of the day it is ultimately saddest that this person feels that they can’t be loved unless they create this plastic facade. That their true self is not worthy of affection or attention from others. And at the end of my day I was persuaded by this faux sense of glamour and priviledge – that this friendship fed my need to intrigue and distraction. I’ve gone from rage to frustration to anxiety to coldly taking care of business. The signs were there. They were plain as day. And I was blind. Everybody out there: GET A LAWYER. For everything you do. That’s my advice.