Kathy Griffin, “Strong Black Woman”

Kathy Griffin is my queen and I will love her until the day I die. We share the same birthday and the same sick sense of humor, not mention we also don’t give a fuck what we say. I imagine that has to do with us being Scorpios but… that is all conjecture.

When I saw her photo I have to say I was a little appalled. I couldn’t understand what it was my Diva was trying to accomplish. As I thought about the artistic implications it was a comedian holding a fake head of a president. What I came to believe was the statement the photographer was trying to make was that she would verbally behead this dude, because that it what she does to all public figures. I say “public figures” because you’re allowed to say and do whatever you want toward a person with that title because it is part of the first amendment.

Should she have done it? Probably not. I don’t know why she didn’t foresee the backlash from the photo. Yes, most of America does seem to hate him, or so the polls tell us so. (However these were the same mother fuckers that said Hillary was going to win, so take that how you will.) There is also the fact she is a comedian known for saying whatever she wants and being ruthless. That is the reason so many adore her. So for her to do it is really par for the course.

The reaction though… Is harsh but probably deserving. I have formulated a test for myself to see how I should respond to such things. I just replace Trump with Obama (I do in so many situations because sometimes it’s the only way to get through the day) and gauge my reaction. If a comedian had done the same… I would have felt precisely how I do now that it was in poor taste and shouldn’t have been done. To think she was trying to awake some kind of sleeper cell to take retribution against the president is the real joke. (I mean, who is she awakening? The gays and women? We’re dangerous but not known for being gun toting nuts that accost people in the supermarket or subway.)

One of my favorite of the comments posted on Twitter the day the photo premiered (I don’t know how else to word that reveal) was that it was a “Satanic ISIS” ritual. There are quite a few things wrong with that statement. First and foremost, ritual? It was a photo. Unless you saw her doing some sort of voodoo and chanting about his headless corpse, I don’t see how it’s even a ritual. All she did was hold it up. Second, satanic? Even the satanic church tweeted out that they had nothing to do with the photo. You know why? The satanic faith is all about the self and no one else. Third, ISIS? Yeah… that’s who ISIS wants. The Islamic based terrorist group wants a white woman without even a hijab to make a statement. And finally, Satanic ISIS? Those are two very opposite ideas of theology that have nothing in common at all, except in the mind of the nut job reading conspiracy theories all day who sees them as a threat to their white “christianess.”

What she’s going through is rough. I can’t imagine the horrible messages she’s receiving from the other side of the fence about it. She’s said she’s been getting death threats, which is no surprise. To that I hope she takes legal action, because, like she has said before in one of her stand-ups, threatening someone’s life is a crime.

Whatever may come next I know she will pull through. She is a fighter and this too will pass. She’s apologized for the photo, she had the photographer take it down, I don’t know what else she could do. At this point it is a waiting game. If Ted Nugent, who literally threatened Obama at one of his shows, can get an invite into the White House I imagine the same could be said of her.

Stay strong, Diva. Just know, some dude you don’t know is in your corner and will always be a fan.

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Faithful Musings

I know that I will not offer up any new insight into religion. More than likely most of my views have been gathered by others around me. What I can say in regards to religion is from my own perspective of having grown up in a deeply religious household, in addition to attending Christian school from pre-k to 8th grade. 

Through all that time I can tell you that religion does not make people good. On the contrary most of the people I have encountered in the faith are cold, cruel, and heartless unless it directly benefits them. There have been a few that exhibited what it is to be a “Christian” but they are few and far between. Primarily what I witnessed was “oh you’re not in our faith? You don’t go to our church? Then sorry. Not my problem.” Also, if someone wasn’t attractive or thin they weren’t wanted. 

My worst nightmares from church were the moments when the pastor had everyone in the congregation stand up and greet their neighbor. I hated it because most people didn’t say anything to my parents or myself. No one was ever friendly. They were doing it because the man in the suit told them too. Which is hilarious because that is the summation of what faith is. 

At one point faith was created as a way to explain the things that didn’t have a basic answer. It was man trying to understand all that was around them. Science has done away with the mystical powers. That’s why any scientific thought was considered heracy. It made man begin to question the world around them and as one of my heroes, Jim Jefferies, says is nothing is more toxic to religion than questions. 

With science the reason for even having faith, other than getting sky cake when we die (thanks Patton Oswalt), was to tell people how to be good and not be sinners. The strangest part about that is I have seen more hatred in the name of faith than anything else. At least if an atheist does something cruel we all just know he’s an asshole. When someone of faith does it they rationalize it and try to justify their actions with this made up bull shit from their respective texts. 

A couple weeks ago a gay couple in Indonesia were sentenced to a public caning for having sex. Now, they were discovered by accident but their punishment was deliberate. A news organization that covered this event interviewed the attendees to see their reaction and one woman, with her head scarf, said that she was glad they did it. That way no one would do it in the future. That statement shows her ignorance like someone would just choose to have sex with someone of the same sex, without any attraction. That’s not how sex works. Or just attraction. If there’s no spark nothing’s happening, you know?

I have gotten to the point where I want all faiths to go away. They really don’t offer anything to society except a reason to be a dick without being labeled one. And my thought is if you have to have some “higher being” tell you to be nice, you’re just not a good person and no amount of prayer will save you. 

When I was younger I prayed every night for god to take away the gay. I didn’t want to be at all. Yet as I got older I realized it wasn’t me that was broken, it was the thought behind that prayer. If god doesn’t make any mistakes then me being gay isn’t one of them. However the faithful work around is that it’s the devil trying to corrupt me. Okay, sure, Mary Beth. I think the real evil was if I had forced myself into a Hererosexual relationship with a woman to please god while all the while having no real attraction for her and lying. More than likely I would not be able to fight the “urges” and I would meet up with a stranger and thus have committed adultery. Then the lying gets stronger. It seems like I’m doing more sinning pretending to be straight than I am just being gay. 

Which brings me to the strangest of my week. I encountered a conservativel, Christian, gay man. The first two statements make sense but the gay part is the one that doesn’t fit. Out of the three that is the one I think is the most honest. The other two need to go because it’s him trying to live up to a standard or expectation that is inauthentic to who he is. And because he’s forcing himself into a mold he does not fit he is a RAGING alcoholic. This dude got so wasted at our game night I couldn’t believe he didn’t pass out. (Not to mention he used the n-word in the way it was originally intended. And that is NOT okay.) 

Religion is truly a harmful thing and is used to control the masses. Anything that forces you to not question anything and expects everyone to follow their faith is a cult. 

Always with the gender identity

I have a playlist called “Gay Shit!” and on it resides the songs that one would think lived up to the title. I forced my husband and roommate to listen to it on our way back from a day trip to San Jose. (We saw Bianca Del Rio’s stand-up show.) Now, I say forced because my husband doesn’t like a single song on the list. He’s more of a country and 80-90’s rock kind of beast; our roommate couldn’t have given two shits, as long as it wasn’t more country.

As I raced along I-5 in the middle of the night, we bumped the usual kind of club beats. As it reached the end I felt a pang of guilt for subjecting them to my “poor taste.” So, I readied up my next favorite playlist called “The 90’s.” I didn’t, however, tell them that I was doing that and after about eight or nine songs into it our roommate said, “Damn, this is all on ‘Gay Shit.’ I like all these songs.”

I quickly corrected him and changed the subject.

After harmlessly rolling over his statement it occurred to me, even if these songs he liked were on my “Gay Shit” playlist what would that have meant? That he is somehow ‘gay’ for liking them? It should be noted, that our roommate is the gayest heterosexual I have ever encountered. It is this detail that gives me the confidence to say that he meant nothing by his statement. But it definitely got me thinking.

For instance, why did I even feel the need to label the playlist “gay shit” in the first place? Couldn’t it just be “fun favorites?” Just because a song happens to be attracted to a sub-group of society doesn’t mean that it should just be bulked with them.

I get that this is just me being over analytical about a mundane statement. No matter what way I cut it. My title was just me being cute for the sake of myself. But is there a level of shame from both of us in what we said and did?

For me I concluded that it goes back to the idea of gender identity and what is and isn’t masculine and “appropriate” for a man to do. Society is so hung up on what is meant for one sex to do over another. If a man goes outside of the usual tropes they’re seen as a sissy or less than a man. Because of these deeply ingrained ideas we keep ourselves from enjoying things without some sort of baggage or label attached to them.

God, I hate people. We can never let someone just enjoy something. Even I am super guilty of that. I made catty and bitchy comments about this dude at the Bianca Del Rio show.

First off, this queen was GOING OFF. He was standing, waving his finger until it was just a blur above his knuckles, shouting “YAS QUEEN,” and snapping like he was at some sort of slam poetry. It was relentless. It got to a point where this dude, just enjoying himself, was distracting me from the show and I was having a horrible time. I couldn’t stop watching. (Plus it didn’t help that some fag-stag’s head was in my way of viewing Bianca Del Rio so I was forced to see only this queen.)

Now, I’d like to think that I hated this stranger because he was being super obnoxious. However, I’m afraid that it’s because of the bullshit male stereotypes I found his overabundant “faggotry” to be offensive and thus ruin my time. Although he was having a blast. Well, until Bianca turned on him and told him to kill himself. The entire theatre erupted in cheers and the bitch rushed from the theatre in shame.

So maybe it was just that he was annoying as fuck.

The Want of Journalism

For the past nine months I have been consumed by producing my school’s newspaper the Renegade Rip. As my teacher likes to share, is that it’s a tradition of almost 100 years and we were the next to carry the torch.  With them I followed ledes, wrote stories, photographed events, and for one semester was the Photo Editor.

Now, my time is coming to an end with the paper and I feel so unbelievably lost. It’s weird the little habits that become all too familiar until they’re no longer there. I would bitch about the chaos and consuming nature I had allowed it to play on my life (because I like to complain as it gives my misery purpose) but in reality I loved it. Without it… Well, I will go on, because I survived without it in my life before. It is just that after having experienced it has made me crave something I never knew that I wanted or needed.

During these months the two things I held as my own was a column I wrote each issue called “The Gay Agenda” and the calendar. The second was not as glamorous, but the first won me an award. I won 3rd place for my first column that recounted my two times coming out to my mother. The columns that beat me out for first and second place were both about goddamn Colin Kapaernik which gives me a reason to join the conservative masses that dislike him. Except he has personally affected my life as opposed to just “offending” me.

One of my fellows editors says that we are a unique fraternity and that no others will understand what it was like to be an editor. I truly agree with him. My biggest worry in regards to my frat brothers is that we will drift apart. I’m sure we will, that’s kind of the nature of college life when you don’t have the same classes and are at varying degrees in the life of higher education. I will try to keep in touch but… Life gets in the way.

This Wednesday will officially be the last day of class. It will be bitter-sweet. I imagine the two people in my life who will be more than enthused are my boss and my husband who both dislike the all-consuming nature the class has played on my personal and business life. Whatever. It is definitely an experience I will not soon forget.

 

Literary Stretches

Even though I have been writing a column for my school newspaper every other week I have noticed my writing seems to be rusty. Especially this last week. I could not think of a topic to write about. And when I attempted one I ended up not liking it because it didn’t flow or sound as good as I wanted it to. In the end, for this one assignment I wrote 4 columns. One might say “at least you’re prepared for the next issue,” but they were all crap. The thing is, I KNOW I can do better. Like I said before I’m just rusty. 

It seems that most of my blogs are about how I’m not writing enough or that I’m not good enough. The first one is very true. The second… I have come to believe and understand that like any athlete or musician it takes practice to keep myself in tip-top writing shape. I further confirm this with my need to start and restart any piece I write. I used the example as of trying to start a lawnmower to my husband. The first couple pulls didn’t get the motor running, but i finally got the engine to turn and start humming away. 

One of the biggest traps I fall into is that I get halfway through something and either lose interest or tell myself, “who cares?” I’m curious where that idea began. When I was younger I didn’t care and just wrote. Maybe it was my own inflated sense of self as a teenager that kept me going. It would seem strange to reverse myself as an adult and become even more insecure. 

I did this workshop called the landmark forum. I’m convinced it’s a weird cult. However, it helped a lot. It definitely gave me more confidence than I had held before. And I’ve definitely learned to accept my faults. I think even this blog post is a result of that class. Before I would have said I’m a shit writer, I’m not very good, why do I try… Now I just know that it’s practice I am severely lacking. 

A man of no land

Today I am no longer an American. The ideals of the president elect do not reflect how I feel is the American ideal. He and his ilk represent the selfish bigotry of the dark side of humanity. I hate everyone that voted for him and I despise any person who voted for a third party and are upset with the results. You brought this on yourself.  

I have resigned to the fact that I am here because I was born on the wrong continent. I have no attachment to the people or place that I am. It is not my home nor will it ever be again. The very site of the American flag disgusts me. It represents hyprocrisy and lies. I piss on it. I spit on it. Fuck that fucking flag. 

This is truly a turning point in my life. I have so much anger and hatred in my heart that I will never be the same. At one point I felt love for my fellow man and now not a speck remains. 

I will be told I’m a poor loser and I don’t care. I truly don’t. I have sat through 8 years of these people bitching about Obama and the bull shit republicans have pulled only to pass the entire government into their hands. Of course the government was broken because they threw the fucking wrench into the gears. They broke it. They were why nothing got done and the things that they did were in spite of them. They were nothing but obstructions. They should be hanged for their crimes against the government. 

I have resigned to never stand for the pledge or anthem, nor will I applaud or show any semblance of respect for the armed forces. Fuck them. They’re nothing but a bunch of uneducated hicks that had no other options available to them BUT to go into the army. 

I will forever refer to any and all that voted for orange face douche bag as racist misogynists because that is what they are. 

I know without little doubt I will once again be demoted to a second class citizen being a gay man. The ideals asshat sold on the campaign trail was more devisiveness and derision. It did not speak of community and togetherness. It spoke of white male christian privilege. 

I cannot wait for the day when they are no longer the majority. And imagine how obnoxious they’ll be as a minority. It’ll be the temper tantrum antics from the last eight years. 

Sure call what I’m doing now a temper tantrum. It is. But it’s also resigning myself to being nothing and realizing I hate everyone and everything. I have no respect for authority or my elders. I no longer show respect to those I do not feel have earned it. 

My American dream ended this election. My very Americanness has ceased to be. I am no longer a citizen of this ridiculous country. I hope this truly is the beginning of the end. And I hope it all goes in a blaze of glory. I don’t want to limp away from the wreckage. 

Wealth

Wealth disgusts and enrages me. Some might say it is just because I don’t have it and I am green with envy, which is truthfully not the case. It sounds silly but when I do see it, and see it at its douchiest, I get sick. None of it makes any sense to me.  I suppose my parents somehow instilled in me the idea that it’s not the possessions you have that make a great person, but who you are and whom you surround yourself with. Or I may have learned that from the countless movies I watched as a kid.  Who knows?  Either way, when I see a 7,000 sq.ft. home within a gated community, equipped with a fucking safe (larger than my living room) for guns it wrenches my gut and makes me incensed.

I have two reports I am working on, both proposed new construction, and located within gated communities. They are the most sickeningly opulent and over the top abodes I have yet seen in my profession. (I’m an appraiser, by the way.)  Three car garages, built-in bars, giant rec rooms, safes, pools, gates… All of it meaningless in the big scheme of things.

Today I went to do a visual inspection of the site of one of the homes my boss and I are appraising and couldn’t even do that because this particular home is proposed to be constructed in a gated community within a gated community.  It’s not enough to sit behind one set of gates, they have to be behind another, ultra-exclusivity.  I mean, why bother being behind one set? Those homes aren’t cool enough.  They’re trash, really.

What I fail to understand is why do they need such monstrous houses? Do they have a family of 12 inside there? Probably not because they wouldn’t be able to afford such a huge house. Kids are fucking expensive and they would get in the way of having such trappings that give the illusion of wealth and success. That is the real thing I can’t quite understand.  None of that shit matters. Build your ivory tower higher and higher, but once you lose the wealth, and they will, everyone will see that all this while you were just a piece of worthless matter that has no real semblance of humanity.

I swore to myself that if I ever got a modicum of wealth I would not flaunt it in such a manner. I want to live in the same house with the same shit. I would have it go toward bettering the lives of others. I don’t want thanks I just want to make a better life for everyone. I suppose I’m very socialist that way.

The only problem with my pledge is that my husband will not agree in the slightest. Already he’s bitching about our house being too small. He wants bigger and better. He wants the trappings and baubles that make one look like a winner. (A winner at life? Everyone loses in the end.) He wants the huge house behind a pair of gates, he wants a huge, expensive automobile, he wants to have the expensive, tailor-made clothing.  WHY?! IT MEANS NOTHING! NO ONE GIVES A SHIT! In reality, it makes one think less of that person.  (Example: me. Right now.)

I don’t know if I gained this worldview before or after the Landmark Forum. I am fairly certain that it was a perspective that existed prior to the event, all the seminar did was solidify it in my mind. For whatever reason money has no meaning to me. Just as long as I have enough to keep living comfortably I am fine. There is no drive to have more. At a certain point it is just a number sitting in an account, more than likely, gaining interest to accumulate more wealth that will do nothing for no one.  It’s just a superficial “score” that no one cares about but the holder of the title himself.