You can choose compassion

The ginger bobsledder who is not Mr. HEATH SPENCE, Herr MANUEL MACHATA, and his team become the yellowest bobsledders.

Two yellow bobsleds, a yellow race BMW, a yellow enamel-panel building, two bobsledders and a driver

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.21 15:34. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/21/yellowbob/


BATIFOLE in ornate Art Deco letters on a vitrine that reflects a cloudy sky

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.18 15:13. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/18/batifole/

Duane Michals concludes his oddball war memoir The Lieutenant Who Loved His Platoon with this letter from one of his grunts. (Copy-edited.)

May 15, 1957

Duane,

Way back there you were faced with the choice for the first time (as were most of us) of going along with the gag or not. Unfortunately for you, you deliberately chose not to play the game and, therefore, became painfully aware of your own uniqueness – for after all, how can one feel other than pangs of guilt, he who has set another standard for himself apart from the sacred ideal of the holy elite of several score million philistines (for his very solitariness in the face of such a multitude of true believers ought to convince him of his error). The rest of us made our compromises early and we have since cooperated passively – and we hate ourselves for it. But you hate yourself for not having the capacity for easy ambivalence.

Is it worth it? Well, ponder this: On the way back in August ’55 half your old platoon including Schwartz and myself were on the ship together for the first time after being scattered but after the hellos the initial question among all was news of our lieutenant and the expression of the common hope that he got out all right without getting any more sticks with both ends dirty. Considering that the only thought among us then was getting off the boat, I think it’s surprising anybody bothered to remember about our jolly tour in that good old place, picturesquely situated in the hills. Is it too much to say that today twenty-odd people are somehow better off, if only with the memory, that in the midst of that humane horror someone made them still feel as if they were persons? There was nothing we would not have done for you then – and probably yet today.

You must excuse this let’s-try-to-flush-the-rabbit-by-beating-around-the-bush style I affect. For a number of reasons too tiresome to go into, but principally because all original composition is a highly torturous process for me, especially anything highly personal, this is the only type of thing I am capable of right now. What I should have baldly stated last time was that I came home apparently feeling the best way to readjust was to get busy at something “stimulating”; what I unconsciously really wanted to do was fine a hold to hide in. The contradiction took quite some time to become obvious but in the meantime the confusion and emotional turmoil of pursuing unrealized cross-purposes did nothing but compound a highly neurotic condition with an essentially antisocial, withdrawn, almost boorish attitude on my part for the time being. Well, anyway, it was touch and go for a while, and not the least among the unresolved little problems of moral cowardice was this fact of constantly taking, without making even a token effort of giving in return – of which the presence of your letter was a constant reminder. What good intentions there were never came out in a successful positive effort because they were negated by other disabilities. The passage of time has healed much, but maybe most should be credited to “maturity.”

This thing has again taken too long to write and finish so it probably won’t reach you before you take off. Anyway have fun.

DON

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.18 13:11. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/18/duanemichalsarmy/

The late Eric Rofes in Reviving the Tribe: Regenerating Gay Men’s Sexuality and Culture in the Ongoing Epidemic (1996, pp. 155–157, mildly edited):

We may be witnessing the creation of a new urban gay-male life cycle.

Hank Homo (primarily white, but not always; primarily middle class, though not always) spends his childhood in the Midwest (or the South, or New England, or Colorado) with a dawning sense of being “different” which blooms in adolescence into full-blown alienation. He fools around with guys in high school, sneaks out of his college dorm on Saturday night to visit the nearest gay bar, and, shortly after graduation, comes out of the closet at age 21. Hank spends the next few years exorcising demons of self-hatred and addiction, immersing himself in queer culture of the nearest small city, and trying on different kinds of gay identities. At 25, seeking to fulfill a seemingly unquenchable thirst for gay life and a heightened queer identity, he packs his bags and gets on a Trailways bus (or a plane, or in his used ’78 Chevy Nova) and heads for San Francisco (or New York, or Los Angeles, or Chicago). He finds a roommate situation in the Castro (or the East Village or West Hollywood or New Town), a gig as a barback at a neighbourhood bar, and a gym filled with hundreds of other mid-20s homo-migrants.

He knows what’s safe and what’s not safe and wears a red ribbon on his leather-jacket lapel. Hank throws himself into “the life” with gusto, good humour, and the best intentions. He discovers the dance clubs and the sex clubs, is jerked off in the showers at his gym (or the park at night, or the tearoom in the department store), and picks up men on subways, streetcorners, and at the corner market. He’s feeling good, he’s feeling hot – finally attractive and at home in his body. At 28 years old, he’s living the kind of life he’s always dreamed of: Out and proud as a gay man, immersed in a gay-positive environment, sharing in a communal culture of pleasure and freedom and affirmation.

One night (or day, or afternoon) he goes home with a man he’s dated a few times (or a man he met on the street, or his ex-lover, or his ex-lover’s new lover), and gets caught up in a moment of passion (or too much to drink, or wanting it so bad) and he engages in sex he knows he’s not supposed to engage in and never has before (or only has had a few times, or has had quite a bit lately). He frets about it for days (or weeks, or years) and before he knows it, he’s at the HIV test site, scared shitless, waiting to get the results.

At 30 he hears the news he’s feared for years (or expected to hear for years): He finds out he’s infected with HIV. From age 30 to 33, he’s in denial and tells himself HIV is “chronic and manageable” (or the test was wrong, or that there’ll be a cure soon). From 33 to 36, he’s mildly symptomatic, and learns to meditate and eat right (or begins taking AZT, or becomes religious, or joins ACT UP). At 37 he’s diagnosed with KS (must have been those poppers or the speed, or all the semen swallowed, or bad genes) and gets on several experimental treatments (or withdraws into severe depression, or writes a column for the local gay paper, or moves back to the Midwest, the South, or New England). He recovers his health for a while, joins a healing circle (or a 12-step program, or a phone-sex line, or a new compact-disc club) and tells the world he’s “gonna beat it!” His energy begins slipping away, he loses weight (or eyesight, or bowel control, or mental functioning), becomes increasingly debilitated and homebound.

Two months before his 40th birthday, Hank Homo succumbs to HIV disease, another soul caught up in a truncated life cycle increasingly prevalent in gay-male worlds.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.18 12:44. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/18/hankhomo/

Be a man in a dress, like:

  • Dana Contreras, who pled guilty to domestic violence and false imprisonment (this really means “sexual violation of my body,” according to his wife, the victim) and is not a woman, female, a lesbian, “Dana McCallum,” a convicted rapist, or an employee of Twitter anymore

  • “Meghan Stabler,” a “working mother of the year” despite being a man who impregnated the actual mother of his children

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.17 14:06. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/17/contreras-stabler/

I do not understand the beloved Paul Ford’s Tilde Club experiment. As this month marks my 23rd year onliné, I initially felt left out<slash>as though missing out. But I already spent enough time in or on actual tilde accounts in the era when there was no choice. Plus the very old archives here are indistinguishable from that type of writing.

Tilde Club is, I guess, some kind of pure or authentic online writing because its tools and presentation are worse. (Typewriting is more autochthonous than typesetting?) It’s still HTML, and I’m still the only one who has written consistently correct HTML. A single page with multiple entries is a failing that was overcome by technology.

Setting up a page explaining how to telnet into a box and edit in vi is like explaining how to make your own water. (Is Martha Stuart Living?: “I usually make a test batch and then just multiply the recipe by 800 billion.”) We are not using VT220 terminals anymore. Even if you wanted to go along with this charade, you would use Interarchy or Fetch and BBEdit to create and edit and save documents directly.

How is any of this better? It isn’t.

By what means are we supposed to decide which lucky Tilde Club account-holder to read? There are already more of them than there were early bloggers. Updated editorial sites without RSS are a contradiction in terms.

All the early bloggers won the Tilde lottery. The last thing we need is another power-law effect. You don’t need another place to read mathowie. Nobody on Tilde Club needs a new place to write. Another venue to write in that also pays zilch does not qualify as “self-expression” and devalues your work ever closer to zero. Not unrelatedly, Mr. SICHA refused to let me sponsor his Tilde editorial-content flat file for 50¢ in PayPal.

Which would you prefer: An iPhone or feeding dimes into a payphone that cannot receive calls? Next you’ll tell me, as some twits now do, that cassettes were a great way to listen to music.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.17 13:52. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/17/tildeclub/

Transgenders consistently lie about what happened at the Stonewall Inn in 1969. Their lie holds that the Stonewall riot was variously spurred by or chiefly carried out by transgenders, specifically “transwomen of colour” and even more specifically an “instigator” named Ray “Sylvia” Rivera. If you’d like all Stonewall-related transgender lies collected in one place, I would refer you to the so-called Transadvocate.

Of course this isn’t what happened. It was illegal to appear in public in the attire of the opposite sex in New York in 1969. You couldn’t just sashay down to the Stonewall of a Friday night for a watered-down drink served in a dirty glass, at least not without expecting hassles from cops. The Stonewall Inn was not an early Woody’s with weekly drag shows. The primary clientele was gay males, with some lesbians, and they were dressed like men and women, respectively, in most cases. Whatever “transgenders” frequented the Stonewall were actually drag queens, though that is a distinction without a difference here.

The facts are well established, except to lying transgenders. We have not merely the eyewitness accounts of gay men who were at the Stonewall that night (or the next two nights, or some combination), as in PBS’s Stonewall Uprising. We further have the direct statements from Sylvia Rivera herself, as recorded by recognized historians.

Eric Marcus, Making Gay History

Actually, it was the first time I had been to the friggin’ Stonewall. The Stonewall wasn’t a bar for drag queens. Everybody keeps saying it was. The drag queen spot was the Washington Square Bar, at Third St. and Broadway. This is where I get into arguments with people. They say, “Oh, no, it was a drag-queen bar, it was a black bar.” No. Washington Square Bar was the drag-queen bar.

If you were a drag queen, you could get into the Stonewall if they knew you. And only a certain number of drag queens were allowed into the Stonewall at that time. [...]

That first year after Stonewall, we were petitioning for a gay-rights bill for New York City, and I got arrested for petitioning on 42nd St. I was asking people to sign the petition.

I was dressed casually that day – makeup, hair, and whatnot. The cops came up to me and said, “You can’t do this.” I said, “My Constitution says that I can do anything that I want.” “No, you can’t do this. Either you leave or we’re going to arrest you.” I said, “Fine, arrest me.” They very nicely picked me up and threw me in a police car and took me to jail.

Martin Duberman, Stonewall

  • Washington Square was Sylvia’s special favo[u]rite. It opened at three in the morning and catered primarily (rather than incidentally as was the case with Stonewall) to transvestites[.] [...]

    If she was going out at all… she would go to Washington Square. She had never been crazy about Stonewall, she reminded Tammy: Men in makeup were tolerated there, but not exactly cherished. [...]

    If the raid went according to the usual pattern, the only people who would be arrested would be those without IDs, those dressed in the clothes of the opposite gender, and some or all of the employees. Everyone else would be let go with a few shoves and a few contemptuous words. The bar would soon reopen and they would all be back dancing. It was annoying to have one’s Friday night screwed up, but hardly unprecedented.

  • Note 39:

    Section 887(7) of the New York State Criminal Code was the one traditionaly invoked by the police aganst transvestites. The law was supposedly ignored on Halloween, though the police-department handbook specified that even then, someone dressed in costume had to be wearing a certain number of garments “appropriate” to their sex.

  • Note 40:

    The eyewitness accounts in RAT (July 1969) specifically credits “one guy” (not a lesbian or a queen) for precipitating a scuffle by refusing to be put into the paddy wagon…. At least two people credit Sylvia herself with provoking the riot…. But I’ve found no corroboration for either account[,] and Sylvia herself, with a keener regard for the historical record, denies the accuracy of both versions. She does remember “throwing bricks and rocks and things” after the mêlée began, but takes no credit for initiating the confrontation.

Transgenders lie about Stonewall in part because they are fundamentally dishonest (about themselves and about human anatomy, to give two examples), but they do it here to establish primacy over the legitimately constituted lesbian and gay community. The way they tell it, we owe them because they bravely instigated the Stonewall Riots that led to actual gay and lesbian liberation. (Even that last part isn’t true just in the U.S. context, as veterans of the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis will attest.) As far as they’re concerned, transgender is the supercategory and we gays and lesbians are mere variations of trans. And Stonewall proves it.

Well, all of that is untrue, honey, and nobody’s buying what you’re selling, literally or figuratively.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.13 15:41. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/13/stonewalllies/

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