Why I Choose Not to Celebrate Halloween

 Call me self indulgent or neurotic, but I choose not to observe Halloween. There are plenty of things in this world to frighten a person half to death, so why celebrate it?  Best as I can tell paraphrasing from Wikipedia, after the British Isles were “converted” from paganism, Christians imported the holiday from the Irish because Catholicism wasn’t already sick enough.

I got the heads-up from cheerful neighbors the other day letting me know what time the little goblins will be arriving in our part of the neighborhood to shake-us-down for candy and treats. Good. Now I know when to darken the windows, pull the drapes and ignore the doorbell.
Halloween has very bad associations for me, not that I ever liked it – even as a child.

Everyone gets one great love in life, and the last time I saw mine alive was on a Halloween night many decades ago. We danced at a party and made love that night before I had to leave town on business. I associated the holiday with that loss ever since. My lover took his life 3 days after Halloween while I was in Toronto installing my artwork in a gallery. Over the years people have goaded me into putting on costumes and chalking-up that loss as a sad chapter of my personal history, so slap on some lipstick and pretend to have fun because other people wanted me to. Begrudgingly I complied for a while, but I never enjoyed myself.

Four years ago on Halloween my last dog, Edna was kidnapped, tortured and killed by some strange children, who got my contact information and telephoned me so I could listen to the horror. That drove the final spike in the coffin for my Halloween celebrations. While I don’t consider myself to be superstitious, things often seem to happen in threes. If you’re still reading, then you’ve just heard two genuine bonafied Halloween horror stories, and neither were remotely thrilling. In fact the combined events neatly wiped-out Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve – not sounding an “ALL’s CLEAR” until after Valentines Day.

My own prejudices aside, Halloween appears to be the first of a string of indulgent holidays where children are taught gluttony and greed. We already live in a world obsessed with the gruesome, saying “Oh how horrible” when lives are ruined by crime or natural disasters. (Pop another mini Three Musketeers Bar in your mouth and absorb the horror with sweets.) I’ve always secretly suspected more people than we realize find other people’s misfortunes gratifying just so long as it isn’t happening to them. Horror surrounds us daily. You want to be frightened? Pay attention to the news, that’ll make your hair stand on end.  Then have a Peanut Butter Cup…

Winnie and Duck spend 364 out of 365 days of the year in one sort of drag costume or another. October 31st will be our day of rest. Winnie and I will snuggle-up under the covers waiting for toy clowns to come to life under our bed while tree limbs break through the windows to grab us and drag us to Satan’s pit – taking comfort in the fact that the truly cruel holiday is yet to come: Christmas. In fact it’s already here. I heard my first Yuletide advertising well over a month ago.

Tomorrow is October 31st, and children will begin rotting their teeth on mini-Snickers Bars and throwing sugar-fits all the way to wrong date when Christ was born – pitching THE major fit when they learn Santa didn’t bring them this year’s child-sized miniature drivable sports car from the Neiman Marcus Catalog. As for me, I’m going to do my level best to ignore it all, wait it out, and pretend it isn’t happening. There is no candy being handed-out here, because chocolate-dipped lumps of coal would most likely land me in jail.

 

May All Saints be with you…

 

The National Aquarium of Politics

Winnie and Duck visit to the National Aquarium of Politics.

Politics have always been treacherous, but these days it’s a shark tank – and if you want to bring about change concerning the way our government functions, you’re going to have to swim with the sharks. I don’t think Barack Obama is a naive man but I do think a lot of his 2008 liberal base are.

“Change you can believe in” doesn’t mean change that’s going to happen over night. The facts are disheartening, but no one can get elected and bring about change without cozying-up to skeevy, monied power brokers – even when those forces are the very source of problems the most in need of reform. Furthermore, reforms don’t come about by merely electing a candidate – then withdrawing into complacency simply assuming you’re going to get every campaign promise you voted-for. Citizens need to remain engaged in the issues that most matter to them if we’re ever going to progress forward.

For example, none of the enthusiasm of the 2008 Democratic sweep carried-over into the 2010 midterms – Democratic voters literally did not have their star player’s back. Liberal voters made quiet little cricket noises during the midterms while deranged, yet motivated Tea Partiers over-took the House of Representatives delivering a headwind of backward thinking flaky neo-cons.

Progressives complained bitterly about how everything hadn’t turned utopian one year into Obama’s first term. I continue to have faith in Obama’s steady hand and unfettered demeanor because I don’t want an hysteric running our country. Besides, the president doesn’t run this country alone. There are 3 branches of government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Think of it like a 3-way chess game. The primary thing that’s most constipated progress over the past three years has been a dysfunctional Congress, particularly in the House of Representatives. Add to that a conservative ‘stacking’ in the Supreme Court with disastrous decisions like ‘Citizens United’ – which has nothing whatsoever to do with the greater good of citizens and everything to do with handing-over the people’s vote to corporate will… and it’s remarkable Obama has been able to accomplish as much as he has.

Obama vividly illustrated through his Middle East policies how incompetent and short-sighted his predecessors were. At home, the president has delivered the goods on a number of campaign promises – including the repeal of DADT, the withdraw of forces in Iraq and saving the American auto industry – which should please his progressive base. Bear in mind, all this was accomplished while holding a hand of cards dealt to him during the Bush era – including environmental policies that left us with hemorrhaging off-shore oil wells, two wars and an economy in the dumpster – just to name a few.

It took forty years for the economic time-bomb first detonated by the Regan administration to fully implode our way of life – and anyone who thinks it can be fixed in 4 to 8 years is a fool. Hard times are here to stay for a lot longer than any of us can stomach. Therefore the president is forced to swim with the sharks – financial sharks – political sharks – foreign power sharks and even attempts to make deals with closed-minded Republican sharks… merely to set us back on the correct path for the long term. 99% of us are going to face difficult financial challenges for a long time to come.

That’s tough news, but it’s how it is.

The president works from the inside while his supporters are supposed to work from the outside writing letters to congresspeople – emailing and calling them with your ideas and demands – even engaging in peaceful civil protests instead of watching sports and reality shows on TV waiting for someone else to do it. Finally some courageous Americans have taken to the streets with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. It will be interesting to see if they can withstand cold, inclement winter weather to fight for their beliefs, providing they even have a home to go to.

Back in the Oval Office, Barack Obama continues to swim with the sharks who represent obstinate resistance to fairness, progress and change. The very least the rest of us can do is contribute time, money (if available) and personal effort into building a world based on equality and a level playing-field. The alternative is acquiescing to even more shark attacks – especially in the financial sector who’ve laid claim to our political system. The sharks need to be caged and tamed into understanding there’s a difference between Capitalism and Democracy. Fortunately, Obama is a strong and clever swimmer.

 

The Coffee Party – More Caffeine, More Energy

If the GOP can capitalize on the synthetics of the ‘Tea Party’ you’d hope the Democrats could harness the sincere grass roots energy of the ‘Occupy Wall Street Movement.

So much for the ‘Tea Party’ – say ‘hello’ to the ‘Coffee Party.’  More caffeine, more energy.  It takes a lot of hot coffee to sustain an outdoor protest in damp October weather.  Right now as I write this, there’s a cold rain outside – also outside are countless 99 Percenter’s protesting in cities across the world – shining a light on economic inequity in the new era of modern robber-barons.

A genuine gathering of the masses is a lot more unsettling to the backward GOP (party of greed) than a synthetic gaggle of hired losers with teabags dangling from their tricorns.  The ‘Occupy Wall Street Movement’ has taken the Republican Party by surprise and cut-off the AstroTurf Tea Partiers at the knees.  This movement has so unsettled authoritarians, Oakland, California police used tear-gas and violence to disperse peaceful protestors.  Granted, police conduct themselves according to orders – but whosoever issued those orders obviously had no understanding of how badly that action would backfire – especially in light of the only major injury being incurred by an Iraqi war veteran, unemployed 24 year old Scott Olsen, in attendance at the protests, now hospitalized in serious condition with a concussion.  That’s quite a homecoming for a man who risked his life in a fruitless Republican instigated oil-war.

Violence toward peaceful protestors only cements their resolve and diminishes the moral and legal standing of their transgressors.  It’s difficult to believe any of the policemen themselves were in full agreement with the orders issued.  The Fraternal Order of Police themselves stand to benefit from the protestor’s message – as illustrated by Wisconsin’s collective bargaining protests.  Nothing unified the anti-Vietnam War protests more than when the National Guard fired-on and killed 4 innocent college-age students in a peaceful protest at Kent State, Ohio May 4th, 1970.  As I said, it’s gonna take a whole lot of hot coffee to see the protestors through this ordeal.  And who better to supply that coffee than Señor Duck Valdez (a.k.a. el Pato) while no Che Guevara, Duck Valdez makes a fine cup of coffee, Irish-laced if you prefer, and every bit as potent as her famous Long Island Ice Tea recipe.

The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protestors need more that just coffee – they want jobs and fairness restored to America, AND they deserve a hot cuppa Joe.  Unlike the scripted Tea Party zombies, 99 Percenter’s are not pissed-off at illegal immigrants.  The national sit-ins are about a chance for all people to live decent and productive lives with hope and opportunity.  To my understanding the 99% are not even opposed to capitalism or the rich – only to the wrong-minded and the greedy.  There’s a widely held ‘Tea Party’ misconception that Hispanics take away American jobs.  No folks – you got it all wrong –  it’s the very same corporate “people” who finance your embarrassing ‘Tea Party’ who’re taking away American jobs – mostly by sending them overseas.  Wake-up Tea Partiers – you’re eating out of the hands of your own oppressors.  It was fascinating to watch Stephen Colbert’s farm-worker job challenge yield only one natural-born American citizen willing to take-on thankless and poorly-paid migrant farm labor work.  The motivation behind the “god granted” Tea Party’s paranoia is the fear that brown-skinned people might achieve future successes underscored by America having a minority president.  Heaven forbid vanilla people should loose their superiority to the grounds keepers…


I’ve only attended the ‘Occupy’ protests here in Philadelphia, but what I’ve seen have been well behaved, committed and diverse people across the racial and ethnic spectrum drawing attention to the worst disparity between the rich and poor since Vander built the railroad.   What’s at stake is the American dream.  It’s time for the Coffee Party to toss the spoiled tea overboard.

 Note:  All Hispanics do not wear wool ponchos and silly hats – nor are they all picking beans.  BUT the Latin American community might just be the next major block of American voters.

Rick Perry’s Birth Certificate Reveals He was Born Stupid

Rick Perry’s birth certificate reveals he was born stupid.  What does a high profile Republican candidate do when he’s polling in the single digits?  Resurrect a previously unsuccessful and discredited smear-campaign against the sitting president to see if he can make a turkey fly.  Like a midevil surgeon crying-out “Damn ‘ye bleeding leaches, I shall make thee succeed yet.”  Thus goes Rick Perry’s embarrassing bid for the GOP nod as he makes headlines dredging-up the ‘Birther’ nonsense. 


Even the ‘Birthers’ don’t believe their own line of bull-puckey – but it isn’t about truth – it’s about repeating the same lie over and over again until it takes on the faux-appearance of truth.  Truth being a nasty word to neo-cons – subjective at best if you want to give them that much credit, but this isn’t about the truth – it’s about propaganda and prejudice.  Even Karl Rove has conceded that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.


The simple fact remains that the brightest bulb in the 2012 race is still Barack Obama and it galls the eyeballs out of the giant political bowel obstruction known as the GOP – a.k.a. Grand Old Poopers.  The GOP 2012 presidential prospects are a wounded line-up at best.  Thank God Herman Cain is spicing things-up with his own personal Saturday Night Live self-spoofery.  If you haven’t seen it, you MUST view Herman Cain’s new TV ad where some greasy sleaze-ball claiming to be his campaign manager draws on a cigarette blowing smoke at the camera lens, shot in what appears to be a back alley setting – ending with a close-up of Herman Cain breaking-out into a slow-motion grin which is nothing short of deranged.  Here’s the Yahoo link:

http://tv.yahoo.com/news/herman-cains-campaign-ad-just-blowing-smoke-video-234056206.html

The far right of the Republican Party has no patience for any of the semi-coherent candidates like Jon Huntsman or Tim Pawlenty.  They want to endorse tunnel-visioned dunderheads like themselves – and none of them one can stomach the thought of Mitt Romney.  Moving right along, Rick Perry is taking Donald Trump on his word that Obama’s birth certificate is a counterfeit even though Republican officials in Hawaii have validated it’s authenticity and Trump’s credibility is almost as bad as his credit.  We’re at a point where the Republican Party has become even more transparently shallow than ever thought possible…


…Remember when some disenchanted Democrats were angry that Hillary Clinton didn’t get the nomination?  What did the Republican Party do?  They trotted-out Sarah Palin, an inexperienced former runner-up beauty queen and TV weather anchor in a clumsy effort to garner the feminist vote ending in political disaster.  Rick Perry will never be president.  Neither will Herman Cain – but you can just smell the Koch/Rove machine grooming the former Godfather Pizza CEO as a shill-candidate in an attempt to confuse minority voters.


In the end the GOP is going to be stuck with Mitt Romney, and their prospects aren’t – or shouldn’t be good.  God help us ALL if there’s a Cain/Perry or Perry/Cain ticket in 2012.  Transparency in politics is one thing – transparency where ulterior motives are concerned, is another.  Just as Sarah Palin was NO Hillary Clinton – Herman Cain is definitely NO Barack Obama.  That said, Rick Perry IS George W. Bush.

Pope Blesses Occupy Wall Street

Pope Benedict Endorses the “Occupy Wall Street” Movement Shortly Before Stealing Santa’s Chair.  Vatican City, 10/23/2011
In a surprise announcement today from Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI (a.k.a Herr Jozef Ratzinger) bestowed his blessing on the “Occupy Wall Street” movement while politely declining to open the Papal basement’s castaway items for an auction to end world hunger.  “While I personally identify with the plight of the poor and the downtrodden, I have no immediate plans to part with any of my cool stuff.”
Admitting the Vatican basement is filled to the brim with forgotten Renaissance masterpieces and countless artifacts of jewel-encrusted gold, the Pontiff went on to say, “I must respect the sanctity of all the drag and bling acquired by my predecessors in case some of it looks good on me for evening-wear.”   
When pressed as to what he might personally do to ease the financial burden of the world’s poor, the Pope suggested, “People should give birth to more male children, as males don’t grow-up to have babies.”   On being asked to elaborate about how this might improve world poverty, God’s own Representative Here on Earth unveiled a new program where parents visiting Rome could – for a small fee – drop-off their children to enjoy a special Vatican sleep-over, allowing parents to enjoy a worry-free night on the town.   (Hey, if Michael Jackson could pull it off…)
Down-playing a series of recent scandals, including the one where high-ranking Vatican officials were implicated in a Cosa Nostra scheme involving rigged ATM machines, the Pope assured parents interested in taking advantage of the Vatican’s ‘Over-night Daycare Services’ would be allowed to pay via all major credit cards with limited-offer discounts for boys under 12.  Turning the color of his own red Prada shoes, the holy Father added “Each and every child, especially the little boys will be given individualized attention on how to best receive the holy sacraments.” 
- Dissociated Press, 10/23/2011

Duck D. Duck Panders to the Growing Hispanic Voting Block

Most American’s and certainly all GOP candidates don’t seem to have a clear understanding of who comprises the growing Hispanic population.
Republican presidential candidates don’t appear to have a clue as to the significance of the growing Hispanic voting block.  In spite of rising “stars” in their own party like Marco Rubio who’s personal story is now coming under-fire about his being the son of Cuban refugees.  Apparently his parents emigrated to the United States well before Castro took power as the long-running Cuban dictator.   White lies for political convenience are nothing new to politics.  What is new, is the growing power of the Hispanic population and the bewildering prejudice wrought on them by the likes of Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann et at…

My parents were obviously products of an earlier prejudiced era.  On one hand, they insisted I study Spanish in high school because they believed way back in the 1960’s that eventually the whole country was going to be over-taken by Spanish-speaking peoples.  In the same breath as they listened to their ‘West Side Story’ 33 1/3 LP (a collaboration by Bernstein and Sondheim – both Jews) cautioning me that Hispanic people were knife-wielding spitfires who would pick my pocket as fast as they could slit my throat.  

To my knowledge my parents had never met any Hispanics during that period of our lives in the 1960’s – nevertheless I was told to be cautious of all Puerto Ricans.  When my parents settled for a while in Florida, all the nice neighbors who helped them-out doing neighborly things like carrying-in groceries or dusting them off after a senior trip ‘n fall – were Hispanics who displayed no discernible danger signs.  Mom and dad’s original preconceptions had to be reassessed. 

When I went off to college I finally met Hispanics on my own.  Not only did I find them to be an attractive and stylish people, but nary a one of them carried a switchblade.  Perhaps because I, myself am a member of a stereotyped minority, I’ve always been suspicious of hand-me-down opinions where prejudice is concerned.

I’m disgusted by talk of electrified fences with alligator moats, and Hispanic people being profiled to a point where even legal Hispanic citizens are leery of sending their children to school for fear of harassment or deportations of distant family members.  This nation has got to grow-up, and live-up to our own forefather’s commitments to ”Liberty and justice for all.”  We are a nation comprised of immigrants and ancestors thereof.  There’s a nice little piece engraved at the base of the Statue of Liberty that can help clear-up this matter for all doubters.
I remember back after the 911 attacks, dimwitted rednecks harassed and beat-up a Hindu man running his own gas station because one person wearing a cloth-wrap on his head was interchangeable with another in the eyes of the ignorant.  The same dynamic is at play now with regard to American Hispanics who can come from a variety of places – Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, South America.  The typical slack-jawed American flag-waver doesn’t pick-up on the subtleties of  national or regional origin and how that does not automatically condemn a person as being “bad” or “threatening.”  It does us no good to demonize any group, be they black, white, Muslim, Hispanic or come-what-may.  I am a gay man, and in simple terms the rainbow flag represents the gay-bond that transcends all colors crossing every racial, ethnic and religious boundary – we’re all gay women and men.  And yes, there ARE gay Muslims and I’ve met them.  
Maybe my attitude about Hispanics was formed because the first ones I met (and dated) while first out living on my own were gay men – which immediately meant they were tall, dark and handsome with great style and passion.  While the GOP is busy focusing-in on who or what group to demonize next, perhaps they should have a little chat with their own semi-ostracized ‘Log Cabin Queens’ and notice how race, color and creed are far less of a barrier among people when they’re united with common purpose.  


Bickering Fools United Only in Folly

A look back at last night’s content-free CNN Republican Presidential Primary Debates.
How in the world did the Republican Party find themselves with such a terrifyingly comical set of dangerous imbeciles to run against Barack Obama in 2012? The bone-chilling fear is that one of these freaks might actually succeed and continue where the Bush/Cheney damage left-off.   The only marginally normal candidate is Jon Huntsman and even he seems vaguely embarrassed to be associated with this dog and pony show.  Tim Pawlenty actually gave back his rose, and voted himself off the island.
These are Herman Cain’s words, not mine.
Then there’s faux frontrunner, Herman Cain blathering on about moats full of alligators and electrified fences to separate the United States from Mexico – he’s “electrifyin’ and he ain’t even tryin’” – “With an “Uh an uh and an uh, and an uh-uh-uh…”   All he has to offer is his “999 Plan” which doesn’t begin to make any sense – but it doesn’t have to – he’s a shill for the Koch brothers where nonsense is the movement they’re funding.
Linda Evans and Joan Collins couldn’t have staged a better cat-fight.
Lest we forget Mitt Romney who earned his money as the CEO of Bain Capital leveraging companies into bankruptcy and then selling their assets and shipping American jobs overseas – and this qualifies him to fix our economy?  Talk about  naked ambition…
Mitt Romney is adding an addition to his California beach house which is larger than the entire block on which I live.  Somehow I don’t think he really ‘gets’ the plight of the everyday person.
Last night’s debates were marred by childish squabbles between all the candidates – none of whom came-across as responsible adults.  The most notable altercation happened when Rick Perry accused Mitt Romney of hiring a lawn care company that had illegal aliens on the payroll manicuring the lawn for one of his multitude of lavish homes.
An unaltered photo of Mitt Romney (dead center) when he was the CEO of Bain Capital.  What does this tell you about him?
Other hopefuls like Santorum, Paul, Gingrich and Bachmann are completely irrelevant, and they always have been.  None of these people are addressing the issues of lost jobs, home foreclosures and the dwindling middle class.  The Republican Party has NOTHING to offer, and all we can hope is the voting American public is smart enough to see through this nonsense…  But we are talking about a nation that not only elected, but reelected George Bush.  
There’s not a giant among men (or women) to be found in the GOP candidates running for the Republican presidential nod.
Who knows, maybe America wants Jerry Springer politics.  I certainly don’t – I want to live a normal life – indoors, hopefully – with food on my table.  What a sorry line-up of fools.  If Obama doesn’t get reelected, then the entire nation needs their heads examined.  It’s probably a good idea any way.

The Love that Can Finally Speak It’s Name

I sat down in front of my computer a while back to make some adjustments to my pop-up calendar for this past weekend.   The 21st century is full of surprises for marginally computer literate people of my generation.  I highlighted a selection to move to a different day blissfully unaware that I’d accidentally dragged and dropped more than one event into the wrong slot for that coming calendar weekend.  Considering my confusion, I was very lucky to make it to the opera later that Friday evening with my friend Connie to see a wonderful production of ‘Carmen’ at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music.  It was lovely.  Basically speaking, the libretto appears to be about a Spanish gypsy girl who starts a knife fight in a cigar factory.  There are several love triangles, and story ends with a pile-up of dead opera singers in a heap in the middle of a bullfighting ring.   At least that’s what I think happened…
Not understanding French interpreted from Spanish, and too blind to read the English subtitles captioned on the screen at the top of the stage, this to the best of my recollection is what I believe to have witnessed.   The music was beautiful, full of familiar old chestnuts, but the love story and characters therein were bipolar at best if not blatantly insane.  It was a glorious production, but Carmen’s plot has nothing whatsoever to do with love – lust and neurotic passion perhaps, but love? – Never!
So what does this all have to do with my computer calendar confusion?  Friday afternoon my computer pop-up calendar alerted me with a mere 2 hours warning that I needed to jump into the shower and hightail it to New York for a wedding reception for two of my most faithful life-long friends.  I immediately showered so as to putout the fire caught in my hair, and ran screaming for a taxi to get me to 30th Street Station.  While trying to hail a cab I was caught in a sudden downpour of rain, soaking my suit through while hailing countless cabs indifferent to my desperation.  I got to the station in the nick of time only to discover the train was running a half hour late.  I texted my friends to tell them I’d be late only to receive a return text telling me the wedding reception wasn’t until the following day.  It was then I realized what I’d done while trying to rearrange my computer calendar.  Technology can undermine me like nothing else in this world.
Thoroughly soaked to the bone, I walked home, called-off the dog-walker and realized I was actually supposed to be at the opera Friday evening and in attendance at the wedding reception the following day.   Like myself, Carmen never married, but no grass grew under her feet – as they say.  So far I’ve avoided any involvement in knife fights at cigar factories, but there’s still time…
On the correct day, after my soaking-wet dry run, I took Amtrak’s 3:25pm ‘Pennsylvanian’ to New York City to attend a wedding reception for my two oldest friends.  Among the variety of things that made this wedding event exceptional, was the fact that it was preceded by a 39-year engagement.  Why, you might ask, would anyone have such a long engagement and wait 39 years to get married?  The answer is simple: gay marriage has only recently been recognized in New York State, and the two men marrying were doing-so on their 39th anniversary after years of personal sacrifice and involvement in the fight to obtain their very own right to marry.
The couple being wed were my friends Don and Gary, who I’d met, only months after they’d met each other – 1972 or 1973 – who can remember back that far?   Don and Gary are nearly impossible to describe.  I know this, because I’ve tried to write about them before and utterly failed to get a satisfactory character description of them that I’m pleased-with.  They’re both too unique and special to fit into easy descriptions that would make sense to anyone who doesn’t already know them.  

Let the words wonderful, generous, smart and funny suffice.  

Don and Gary always have, and continue to pick-me-up and dust-me-off with far greater patience, loyalty and friendship than I have any right to expect.  The two of them are very fortunate people who fell in love at first sight when they were very young, and that love has endured through the years.   Any two people who can share the commitment of a mutual love for 39 years in the face of public and legal disapproval have a unique right to be legally wedded – as their relationship has already stood the test of time – especially baring in mind the general success rate among conventional marriages. 

Cults devoted to archaic religious mythology have committed countless centuries worth of time and resources to insure that anyone even slightly different from the fold should be ostracized, lonely and as miserable as possible.  Take the Catholic church for example – they vehemently disapprove of homosexuality – so they enlist the most effeminate men from their community to take a priestly vow of chastity in order to advise other people about how to conduct their marriages – while these very same priests secretly molest their sons singing in the church choir.  Priests have very little in common with normal gay men – they’re way kinkier and totally closeted, or so they think.
It was a Justice of the Peace at New York’s City Hall who married my friends with their mutual friend, Claudia as the sole witness.  The ceremony-part was personal, but more than a mere legal formality – it was a profoundly symbolic ceremony that didn’t require any participation from the clergy.  

The greater sharing of Don and Gary’s celebration was held at a restaurant called Eleven Madison Park in the former Met Life building, now a chic dining spot not all that far from where protestors have been camped-out in Zuccotti Park.  There is all manner of unfairness in this world, and dedicated, smart people working together can chip-away at these injustices one struggle at a time. Sadly backward-thinking people do everything in their power to stagnate progress, actively attempting to misguide us all toward an unproductive future of senseless regression.  Economic inequity being the message coming from the Occupy Wall Street movement, while blocks away my friends were surrounded by the people they most love so as to share a celebratory meal for the simple right to openly marry.  Their personal commitment is an achievement of enduring love in the face of social struggle, all the more poignant because they are among the people who worked behind the scenes to help make gay marriage possible.

How can a genuine religious person of any stripe think obstructing the personal commitment of two people harming no one would be a productive use of their time and collection-plate donations?   

I met Don and Gary during the early days of the Gay Liberation Front – several years after the Stonewall riots.  A lot has changed sine then, and a lot hasn’t.  Progress is slow.  In my lifetime a heterosexual couple of two different races couldn’t legally marry in most states, and that wasn’t anyone else’s business either.

I don’t see myself getting married, because I can’t picture myself falling in love this far along in my journey – especially when I look-back on the disastrously poor choices I’ve made in partners in the past.  I’m a life-long old maid bachelor.  However, I take tremendous joy in seeing good friends accomplish during our lifetimes a milestone unthinkable even a decade ago.   

I’ve thought a great deal about what comprises a successful relationship – and there are lots of factors – but the one that most matters seems to be a sense of completion.  Those of us standing on the sidelines mistakenly think there’s another person out there who will somehow complete us and make us whole.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  To find your soul mate, you need to first be complete and whole unto yourself.  I congratulate Gary and Don for accomplishing more than a mere political milestone – they were married years ago – the ceremony was a satisfying symbolic gesture of fairness long past due.   We were gathered to celebrate how two people can be complete as a couple and complete as individuals.  They deserve happiness – as do all brave people who work toward expanding what it means to share love and fairness – clearing the path for all those who follow.

Some of us are bridesmaids and some of us are brides – but all of us can share the joys of a triumphant love story.

Shocking New Revelations About Herman Cain

Herman Cain’s “999” tax package adds-up to the number 27, which is the actual number of people who would benefit from his bold new economic initiative. 27 is also the number of people who liked Häagen-Dazs black walnut ice cream.
Campaign Manager W.P Jumpingbean

Herman Cain may be the new GOP frontrunner, but Häagen-Dazs has discontinued his “Black Walnut Flavor of the Month.”  Now Shocking new revelations about Herman Cain surfaced today when it was revealed the former CEO of Godfather Pizza does not exist, nor does he cast a reflection in mirrors.  Speaking on behalf of Long Island Ice Tea Party candidate, Duck D. Duck, spokesperson Winifred P. Jumpingbean revealed startling evidence that Herman Cain is none other than David Koch in black-face.  “David Koch began applying “Black Walnut” liquid foundation by L’Oreal on his face and hands originally so he could fit-in at rap concerts.”  Ms Jumpingbean went on to say, “Only later did Mr Koch realize the beauty of his scheme – no one would ever again attempt to check for the birth certificate of another black candidate”

LIITP Candidate, Duck D. Duck

Duck D. Duck first became suspicious when she heard Cain make the comment “If you aren’t rich, it’s your own fault” Duck adding “He stole my line.” But there was other evidence pointing to Herman Cain’s true identity – for instance Michele Bachmann’s astute observation that “when you turn 999 upside-down, the devil is in the details.”  Everyone knows that David Koch has a birthmark on his forehead in the 666 shape of the “beast.”  All it took was a little eyebrow pencil (also from L’Oreal) to alter the numerals.  A spokesperson from the Unreal Department of L’Oreal refused to confirm nor deny rumors that Herman Cain is in reality David Koch, but did say “Our cosmetics are trans-formative.”  

The proof is in the pudding – no discernible differences to the naked eye or to a minority voter actually permitted to vote in red (neck) states.

The evidence above is enough for an indictment, and no further research is necessary.  It is a confirmed fact that David Koch and Herman Cain are one in the same person.  For example, when was the last time you saw Herman Cain in a bathing suit?  You haven’t.  There’s not enough Black Walnut Häagen-Daz OR L’Oreal in the world to pull-off that stunt.  A quick research of Google Images could not turn-up one single example of David Koch and Herman Cain in the same room – more conclusive proof.  

Seriously now, how else can the Republican Party co-opt the black vote in the 2012 elections aside from racial profiling at the polling place?   The answer: a faux black conservative candidate with a full face of make-up.  We rest our case.

- Dissociated press, 10/14/2011       

Robber Barons Are So Un-stylish These Days.

The art in the J.P. Morgan Library conversing among themselves.

Robber barons are so un-stylish these days.  

Anonymous money always finds it’s way into politics – always has, and probably always will.  That’s not what our founding father’s had in mind, but it is what we’ve deteriorated into thanks to ‘Citizen’s United’ – which is not to be confused with citizens united (lower-case.)   Switching gears, large groups of people crammed into small spaces equal hygiene issues.   Mayor Bloomberg wants to clear-out  Zuccotti Park for health reasons to clean-out and disinfect the space.  

On one hand, admirable…

…on the other, those people he wants to clear away don’t have health care any way which is part of the reason they’re they’re protesting.  Even if those folks did have health care, they couldn’t afford the co-pays.  I’m being continually clobbered by bogus invoices from an historic Philadelphia hospital for a copay following an ER visit.  It’s a large copay.  Bear in mind, they would not treat me until after I’d given them my COBRA card AND subtracted money from my debit card.  (Never give cash to a hospital or doctor’s office.)  No matter what you pay or HOW – they still charge you again any way. 

J. Peirpont Duck, robber-baron.

 

But back to issues at hand.  No one I know has any money – that said, fashionable restaurants and sidewalk bistro’s are booming.  So is Tiffanys.  Luxury items are flying off the shelves at chic-shops… so WHAT the hell is going ON…?!!!


It seems to me there are two kinds of people in this world – and I’m not referring to the rich and the poor – but rather to those with or without a conscience – or if you prefer – those with our without social awareness.  Conscience and awareness, or a lack thereof has nothing to do with wealth – that’s a mere stereotype – good character is not so easily pigeonholed – that’s why people across the social spectrum, both rich and poor support the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement.  


Mayor Bloomberg, (generally speaking not a bad man) is, nevertheless either frightened or pressured into dispersing the protestors in Zuccotti Park.  Protestors are “assured” they can return once the park is disinfected and made pretty for the shiny-shoed executives who have to look-down on those lowly serfs – but once protestors are allowed to return, they will not be permitted to pitch a tent, let alone lay down.  Everyone is ordered to remain standing at all times.  Obviously this is an attempt to circumvent the courage of the protestors – the very same technique Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker tried in order to reclaim the state capital building in which he currently squats (for the moment.)

J. Winifred Harjes, J.P.’s partner in crime.

Legitimately angry people, repeatedly wronged reach a breaking-point.  This protest represents a genuine breaking-point – a breaking point which would be in the best interests of wealthy Wall Street tycoons to pay to respectful attention-to.  The middle-class is the buffer-zone between the wealthy and the despair of the impoverished.  Shrink the middle-class and the comfortable upper-crust enjoys a far more fragile margin of safety.  Civilized society is what is at stake – personal greed be damned.  Besides, pay attention: Both “Christians” and “Jews” alike – charity and generosity-of-spirit are the foundations of your linked faiths…  

…unless the almighty financial powers that be, have lost sight of such minor details in their pursuit of greed – and “faith” is merely a quaint tool used purely for the purpose of distraction.  Beware, people are hungry.