Via Bob Mann:
Gay people, more often than not, throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to religion. But we have a good reason. We’ve been scarred. Religion has damaged us. And I try to share with them the light I have seen in the Episcopal Church. But every time I get close to a breakthrough, something happens that brings out the worst in people.
One year it was Chick-fil-a. This year it’s Phil Robertson.
Thanks to Phil, I now know where everyone in my family stands on the issue of whether or not I’m a human being.
I even saw a “friend” of mine post something about how gay people can’t be Christians. Wow. Not only will they keep us from having equal rights, but they’ll keep us from equal salvation. We can’t just be second-class citizens. We have second-class souls.
The worst of my problems from being openly gay is that I get some nasty email. That means I have it really easy. In a country where gay teenagers are being bullied at school and thrown out of their homes by their parents and told by their clergy that they’re going to Hell, we should not count my inbox as a hardship.
Rather than hurting me, these emails are a reminder that I have not just an opportunity but an obligation to be out of the closet — an obligation of which other people in my position should be mindful.
The only reason these emailers make me angry is that I think about how their insults affect other people. I’m too arrogant for self-loathing, but that’s not true of everyone. A lot of gay people still live in communities where these hateful attitudes are dominant. A lot of gay children and teenagers are at the mercy of parents, teachers and clergy who hold bigoted views.
Being open and unashamed about being gay is just one small thing I can do to change the culture and make life easier for people who haven’t had my luck.
Despite a precocious childhood obsession with all things heavy in the 80s, I somehow missed the original incarnation of NWOBHM OG’s Satan the first time ’round (though vaguely recall Pariah). Their ripping 2013 comeback LP Life Sentence (featuring the classic Court in the Act line-up) totally cold-cocked me with its timeless, taut intensity, nimble dual guitar heroics, and soaring clean vocals. No rust to be found anywhere as these veteran metal warriors bring it full throttle from start to finish with unrelenting, unexpectedly inspired drive.
While your’s truly managed to make it out for The Dirty Nil at Fanshawe College last night (an effervescent performance, bee tee dubya), I neglected to take any pics. Which is a shame, considering all the half-ironic cock-rock posing that went down (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Oh, and I also drank PBR draught for the first time in several years.
At a certain point irony and masochism become entirely indistinguishable (a rhetorical juncture located somewhere in the small intestine from the sound of things).
“I don’t feel like a hero at all. That girl who ran towards me is brave. That’s bravery.”
‘Hero’ is indeed an extraordinarily over/misused word these days. But despite his insistence to the contrary, Westgate Mall rescuer Abdul Haji deserves — no, embodies — the title.
Not only because he risked his life to save countless innocent civilians (including the especially iconic moment portrayed above) caught up in al-Shabaab’s deadly 4 day assault that began on September 21st, leaving at least 72 dead and scores injured and/or traumatized. Haji’s willingness to put his safety in further jeopardy by taking a public stand as a Muslim and ethnic Somali for tolerance and unity, despite the attempt to drive a destabilizing wedge between Muslims and non in Kenya, is a whole ‘nother level of courageous.
That said, the little girl is still without a doubt the baddest of ‘em all.
I’m not exactly keen to join in on the collective online WTFery re: heterosexual manly-man Canadian author and sessional University of Toronto lecturer David Gilmour’s steadfast refusal to allow girl germs and POC cooties to infect the pristine, middle-aged white male sterility of his syllabus. There have already been ample creative rejoinders (and demonstrations — Serious Heterosexual Literary Scholar Northrop Frye never had it so goddamn good) to fulfill even your wildest schadenfreude-fueled fantasies (this highly-sophisticated ‘Gilmour-penned’ Woolf bio is a particularly fine example). But I am undeniably curious about one thing Gilmour said in his insta-infamous over-the-shoulder with some icky giiirrrrrrlll (who was probably just trying to make a name for herself by accurately quoting what was said on the record, amirite guys?):
Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall.
“[I]f you want women writers go down the hall.”
Ok, well, not to cast aspersions upon Mr. Gilmour’s highly-selective passion for what Belle Waring recently dubbed ‘Important [sic] Male Novelists’ (if not his apparent inability to untangle it from the accumulated navel lint prior to entering a lecture hall), but, speaking for myself, anyway, I kinda sorta *do* want exposure to a variety of perspectives. Most people who aren’t 60-something upper-middle class straight white dudes nursing their sexual hang-ups like a bloated, neurotic teat (ie, the overwhelming majority of 1st and 3rd year undergrads) probably want that too. And it’s kinda sorta Gilmour’s ethical mandate as an educator to give students exactly that, rather than offering a guided tour of the fragile male ego (now with extra menstrual-pad munching).
Sure, Gilmour may genuinely cherish his life-long diet of mayonnaise sammiches on white with the crusts cut off, but that doesn’t mean everyone else has to indulge his demonstratively infantile palate. Therefore, as a public service to future students before they are forced to endure such a dreary literary diet, how about U of T offer a sample of what they are serving down the hall, this estrogen-saturated smorgasbord of women, Chinese and Friends of Dorothy that is so unappealing to David Gilmour’s narrow pedagogical appetite? I dunno ’bout the rest of the non-middle-aged upper-middle-class white guys out there, but this one is definitely starving for writers that don’t fit on the rote Important Male Novelist comfort food menu.
Indeed, as shocking as it may seem, some folks actually use higher education as a means to expand their horizons, as opposed to painting themselves into a safe, narrow corner of the same house that they’ve always lived in.
Quite possibly the most unfortunate lynching metaphor ever (or so far this week, anyhow — bear in mind, it’s only Tuesday):
The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitchforks and their hangman nooses, and all that — sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.”
Yes, clearly AIG CEO Robert Benmosche was only a few comment threads away from becoming the Emmitt Till of financial plutocracy. And that’s not just whistlin’ ‘Dixie’ (or any whistlin’ at all, period. Natch).
I just– just–had one of those painfully awkward thirty-something moments when I realized that Atheist’s breakthrough sophomore full-length, Unquestionable Presence, is now a robust 22 years old (insert pimple-faced nostalgia featuring the requisite imagery of generic teenage wasteland, a life reduced to reverse-chronology disaster pr0n). That it sounds so fresh today only emphasizes just how ahead of its time this progressive jazz metal masterpiece truly was. Check it out after the cut, courtesy the fine folks at Seasons of Mist (h/t): Read More…