Communique No. 7: Wishing Everyone a Very Happy Holiday

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.Before I wish everyone a happy holiday, I want to talk first about what I mean by that well-wish.

It’s been a while since I felt the term “Christian” was an adjective I wanted to apply to myself. Despite my best efforts, that word has come to connote to me many more negative attributes than good, even though I know few, if any, of those attributes are things I would consciously associate with Christ. I’m referring to more than just the rampant, increasingly shrill, and occasionally vulgar anti-gay bigotry emanating mostly from people styling themselves conservative Evangelicals, too. A few of the other attributes that involuntarily come to mind when I hear the word “Christian” are provincialism, group-think, anti-intellectualism, and cultural-fascism. I know people who do call themselves “Christian” and who I personally like, but they are increasingly few and far between.

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Communique No. 6: For Whom the Wedding Bells Toll

Crowd in support of Gay MarriageBefore I get to the point, I spent greater than half my life up to this point more or less hiding and simultaneously wrestling with a very major component of what makes me who I am. It’s neither the single biggest nor the foremost component, true, but to pretend it’s not firmly in the top ten at least would, in my view, be to continue being dishonest, both to myself and to the people I love. With that in mind, my frequent discussion of the topic of late is hopefully a bit more understandable. Also, compared to the challenges one faces after the fact, coming out is the easy part. Anyone can publish an online letter or use social media to announce their previously hidden sexuality, but the real question for those who do is, “Are you prepared to handle what comes next?” It’s important to answer that question honestly, otherwise a man might very quickly find himself in a situation he’s not quite ready to tackle.

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Communique No. 5: Avatars, Faith and Doubt, and Jodie Foster

Deutsch: Jodie Foster bei der deutschen Filmpr...

Jodie Foster at a premiere in Germany, 2007. (Photo: Wikipedia)

JODIE COMES OUT. AGAIN.

I don’t watch the Golden Globes. I also don’t watch the Oscars, the SAGs, the Grammys, the VMAs, the CMAs, the Emmys, or, for that matter, any of the other manufactured news events where celebrities from the entertainment industry gather in a big room to gush all over each other on the back for a couple of hours.

Add the fact that so many people do watch them–gobble them up, in fact, as though they’re truly examples of prime television–to the list of things I fundamentally don’t understand. At any rate, I did catch a few of the highlights the next morning, the most notable of which being Jodie Foster’s stirring speech after accepting the Cecille B. DeMille Award. Continue reading

Communique No. 4: Passive-Aggression, Subtweeting, and My First “Hate Mail”

Don't we all?

Don’t we all?

WHAT IS “SUBTWEETING” ANYWAY?

Technically, I guess, this sort of thing could be classified as “subtweeting” were it on Twitter. Heard of it? It’s a passive-aggressive way to confront someone by indirectly tweeting about them. Take, for example, Sandra, who is annoyed with her boyfriend, Jake, because she’s convinced he never listens to her; instead of sitting down and talking about the situation with Jake, she takes to Twitter and tweets: “WHAT IS IT WITH MEN?!?! It’s seriously like they never even listen! #WeHaveFeelingsToo”.

The true subject of Sandra’s tweet is left intentionally ambiguous so that it becomes awkward for Jake, who follows her on Twitter, to respond in the public forum that is the Twitterverse. What’s the end result? Well, a lot of things, and none of them good. Even so, there are many reasons this post doesn’t fit the bill of a massive subtweet and for reasons which should become clearer as we go.

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Communique No. 3: Rowling, Pussy Riot, and Political “Dafuhs”

J. K. ROWLING AND THE WRITING LIFE

Actress Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her performance in “Misery.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Remember the movie Misery? I confess I haven’t seen the whole thing and have only a basic idea of the plot. The most prominent thing that really comes to mind is that scene where Kathy Bates has the sledgehammer raised over head ready to bring it down on James Caan‘s ankles… yikes. For whatever reason, the gore of Lord of the Rings doesn’t bother me but stuff like that just makes my skin crawl.

Anyway, there’s another scene earlier in the movie where Bates’ character Annie, a nurse, is talking to Caan’s Paul, an author trapped in her home and injured from a car crash during a blizzard; she reveals to him that she is a huge fan of his books but, meekly (at first) and only after being coaxed by Paul, admits she isn’t the biggest fan of all the “swearing” from his characters. So awkward. Continue reading