“I’m gay. And right-handed. And I prefer Ford to Hyundai, regardless of the MPG.”

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Becoming a gay person is a complicated process.  First there is the whole self-questioning thing, then part where one has to delve into one’s own identity.  Then once you have the self-awareness portion down, you have to go through the whole coming out stage, where you go to all your friends and family and break it to them that you’ll be schtupping people of your own gender from now on.  Then of course you have to buy a Subaru and start shopping at Trader Joe’s – it’s an ordeal.

The question is, why is this “coming out” phase necessary?  We don’t have to have a ritualistic gathering of our friends and neighbors every time we make any other discovery of our intrinsic selves.  There is no, “You’re my best friend so I wanted you to be the first to know – I’m a Giants fan.”  Why is homosexuality put on the chopping block?

Pressure to “come out” to the world is unfairly placed on homosexuals.  In no other realm of your life are you required to expose details of your life to others:

“Frank, I just want to let you know…I really love country music.”

“Jodie, would you please tell Grandma you’re an investment banker?  I’m tired of lying to her.”

You don’t even have to tell people you are a vegetarian unless someone is literally shoving a chicken nugget down your throat.  And, honestly, in that situation being a vegetarian isn’t your biggest worry because that, sir, is aggravated assault.

Homosexuals are fairly easy to pick out of a crowd.  They’re usually the ones who are walking arm-in-arm with someone of their own gender.  That is more or less the definition of homosexual.

So couldn’t it just happen like this:

“Gerald, did our son Leonard just leave for prom with another boy?”

“Yes, dear.”

“Hmm.  Could you please pass the TV Guide?”

And you’re like, “Of course not, stupid.  No one reads TV Guide anymore.”

The point is that since we know that someone who is a homosexual is someone who will be dating a person of the same sex, can we not just infer this when Brian starts bringing guys home to meet his parents rather than girls?

Because here’s the thing – before he decides to bring Peggy Sue home for the parental meet-and-greet, there is no requisite sit-down with Ma and Pa where he has to calmly explain to them, “Mom, Dad – I’m a heterosexual.”

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Who Needs Kinky Sex?

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“I like it when she licks her lips, and her dress drops to the floor.”

“I like for him to throw me on the bed and ravish me.”

“I like rigging a rope to the ceiling fan, so I can strangle myself while my partner gets me from behind, dressed like Bozo the clown.”

Of course everyone has a different taste for what they like in the bedroom (or the bathroom), (or the office), (or atop the piano), but here’s the thing:  if you require clown asphyxiation to get you off, you might want to reassess what you do with the rest of your time, because I would guess that your life is lacking in stimulation.

According to a recent episode of Fox’s American Dad, everybody’s got “a kink.”  Of course the definition of what is and what is not kinky is going to vary from person to person.  In said episode, “kinks” ran the gamut from spanking to a strange inference involving an acrobatic midget and a flying weasel holding a rocket pop.

The inference is that everyone requires some kind of “kink” in order to make sex a gratifying experience.  But does anyone, at any point, start wondering whether we’re expecting too much from sex?  Yes, sex is naturally gratifying – it was made to be so on a biological level.  But if you need a horse, a pocket watch, and authentic chainmail from the crusades to get off – it’s no longer sex that is gratifying you.

Here are some things that those in the whips, chains, and inflatable-life-size-smurf community might want to consider.  One would be therapy – not because there is anything wrong with what you’re doing, but a better understanding about what drives it would be beneficial in general.  (Don’t take it personally – my first suggestion to everyone for everything is therapy.  Got a hangnail?  Try therapy.)

Second would be introspection on your job and hobbies.  Are you working to your potential?  Is it possible that the reason you seek out sexual partners who will flog you with geneoa salami while you hang from your home trapeze is actually because, well, proofreading phone books for a living is killing you inside and you should be teaching inner city kids earth sciences instead?  I mean, wind currents are fascinating.

Third I would wonder about your choice of sexual partner.  Have you ever experienced a sexual encounter with a partner who you have genuinely cared about?  Have you ever actually made love?  Instead of thinking about sex as a mode of biological gratification, have you ever conceived of it as a construct of emotional connection or expression?

How would sex change if we propogated it as personal gratification rather than physical gratification?  Then everybody’s got a kink would be transformed from “I like to be spanked and called dirty names” to “I like to be hugged and communicated with honestly.”

Does the Carpet Match the Drapes?

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Lots of women dye their hair.  Sometimes it’s a bleach blonde, sometimes a wild, electric pink.  None is so enthralling as the firey red, or the alluring deep, deep burgundy.  And we see these women, their long, stunning locks falling about their soft skin, and we wonder, “Does the carpet match the drapes?”

My first question is this – why do we have an idiom just about pubic hair?  Because we all know what that means:  does the color of the hair on your head match the color of the hair on your groin?  Is there anywhere else, any other culture on the planet, who invented an entire turn of phrase just to subtly ask a person, “Hey – what color are your pubes?”

Okay, so, let’s say that’s okay.  I will just I accept the premise that we can all just go around asking each other about the follicles surrounding our genitals.  I get it:  curtains hang on walls like your hair around your face, and the hair atop your pelvic region sits like a shag rug.

But, really, what you are trying to unveil by asking “Does the carpet match the drapes?” is whether your hair, which is visible, matches the clandestine fleece of your nether regions, which are hidden.  Neither drapes nor carpets fit the bill there.

What you should be asking is something more like, “Do the forks match the fine china?”  Like your hair, the forks you use on a daily basis.  And, like your pubic hair, the fine china only comes out for loved ones on Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Whether you want to know or whether you don’t want to know, there are always ways to find out.  Subtle ways, less offensive ways.  But if there is one thing about our quaint little pube-based idiom that is for sure, it is this:

Worst.  Pick-up line.  Ever.

Control Your Gun, Mr. New

Yesterday I reblogged a very clever satire reflecting on the issue of gun control as it is currently being argued in US politics.  The most popular theme in this debate right now is the idea that guns don’t kill people, just like spoons don’t make people gain weight, and shoes aren’t responsible for kicking people.

I would like to cite this newspaper clipping which has been circulating around the internet as a prime example:

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Yeah, we get it.  Your inanimate gun doesn’t do anything when left to its own devices.

Um, you do realize, sir, that you just left a shotgun, and the requite ammunition, on your front porch?  You left, for all intents and purposes, a loaded lethal weapon where you, yourself, admit the mail worker, the trash worker, and a small child had immediate access to it.

Let’s just assume, for the moment, that this isn’t also a satire.  (And I am going to cross my fingers and squinch my eyes and just hope against hope that it is.  Because, let’s be honest – we all know at least five pinheads who would do this just to make a point.)  Let’s assume “Walter New” actually left his personal, legally obtained, rightfully owned Remington 870 sitting on his front stoop.

In Walt New’s version of this satire, the gun sits there, lazy, lonesome, innocent, and unharming.

That. Is. Convenient.

Because in my version of this story, a man purposefully leaves an essentially loaded weapon on his porch within arm’s reach of a mail worker.  …They don’t have the best reputation for keeping their cool under pressure.

He leaves an intriguing piece of lethal mechanics available to little Ida Mae’s curious hands as she walks Coco the schnauzer down the road.  She takes it down to show Bobbie Jean, and ends up blowing her prepubescent head off.  Of course she can work a pump-action rifle – what do you think this is?  France?

He leaves a ready kill shot available for the trash worker, a guy out on work-release after getting a skip on that questionable manslaughter case.  It would have been a hard fifteen year sentence, but, man, he had a great lawyer.

Yeah, sure, guns don’t kill people on their own.  It’s irresponsible people with guns that are on the stand here, and you, Walter New, have just made that case.  So, thanks.

Mr. New posits in his letter to the editor that the news media suggests that guns kill people.  I think Mr. New is misinterpreting the news.  No one, no one, is suggesting that guns are walking around on spontaneously-evolved hind legs and shooting people with their own brand of artificial intelligence.  We’re three, four years from that kind of technology at best.

But let us be honest about what a gun is – it is a weapon.  It’s only function is to shoot things.  You do not dust with it.  You do not clean belly button lint with it.  You do not groom your dog with it.  You do not fluff your down pillows with it.  It is for shooting and shooting only.  It was made to kill.  So, though guns can do no harm without a human shooter, let us not pretend a gun is something that it is not.

People do not propose gun control legislation because the guns themselves are out of control.  To suggest that this is the issue at hand only brands one’s self as an ignoramus.  People propose gun control legislation, Mr. New, because gun controllers are not controlling their guns.

Even though your decision to leave a loaded killing machine within the grasp of school children is deplorably irresponsible, no one, Mr. New, wishes to take away your right to bear arms.

(Unless you run a meth lab.  Do you run a meth lab, Mr. New?  Because if you do, I should also point out that those places are crazy volatile and can blow at any second.  It is possibly even a worse place for your Remington than your front stoop.)

What I find most ironic is that Walt New cites in his letter to the editor that most gun violence is a problem of “criminals who misuse them.”  (See what I mean about the meth lab?)  And yet, gun-toters are the same census group who voted down the criminal background checks and waiting periods before being able to buy a firearm.

So, those who want the legislation agree with you – guns need operators to kill people.  Those who do not wish to lose the right to bear arms agree that it is criminals who misuse guns who cause the most damage, and cause the largest threat to society.  And yet it is again those same voters who turn down measures to attempt to keep the guns in the hands of responsible American hands, and refer back to the argument that guns needs hands to operate them?

This is my argument.  I’ll leave it in your hands.

Shoe Crime

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Police have announced a shoe amnesty after five people were kicked to death in three separate incidents last week. Anyone in possession of illegal or unregistered shoes can deposit their potentially lethal weapons at Police Stations across the North East from Tuesday.

The response comes just two weeks after a ‘shoe-factory’ was discovered operating out of a back bedroom in Merseyside.  Police seized shoes with a street value of nearly £200, including sandals, flip-flops, and even a pair of wellington boots, specially adapted to cater for wider feet.

The rise in ‘deaths caused by stamping’ has prompted several MPs to call for harsher sentences for those caught in possession of unregistered shoes ‘I would like to see a mandatory four-year sentence for anyone caught with a shoe that could be used as a weapon,’ announced Charles Buckbourne. ‘We need to send out a message that shoe offences are not just…

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Defacing Mona Lisa

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In a school, the students were given paper copies of the Mona Lisa, and were then apparently told to spruce up her face with cutouts from magazines. Upon passing these projects hanging in the hall, I was privy to this exchange:

Elementary/Primary School Teacher 1:  “I can’t believe they’re defacing the Mona Lisa like that.”

Elementary/Primary School Teacher 2:  “I know. It’s a disgrace.”

Elementary/Primary School Teacher 3:  “It’s a complete disgrace.”

All right, first we will enjoy a hearty chortle, and then we will get down to business…

My first reaction is to offer any one of these teachers a dollar if they can tell me who painted the Mona Lisa, what year, or where it currently resides.  One dollar, no smart phones.

My next impulse is to find the art room and tell the art teacher.  Perhaps start a district-wide campaign for intelligence via the arts – educating the educators, as it were.  But that’s silly.  I don’t even go to this school.

I was finally struck by the root of the problem.  What those teachers thought they were doing was expressing an opinion respectful of history and society, but what they were really doing was making an expression of ignorance.

First of all, if we’re going to have a problem with this project, shouldn’t we have a greater problem with the fact that we’re Xeroxing historical art, rather than pasting a clipping of Bill Clinton’s nose cut from an old Newsweek Magazine onto it?  It’s a classic dichotomy between making fine art accessible and cheapening it with mass production of duplicates.  Let’s have that conversation.

Additionally, “defacing” art to make art is, within itself, a form of art.  I have two words for you, Elementary/Primary School Teachers 1-3:  Marcel. Duchamp.  Dude took a postcard version of Mona Lisa and drew a moustache and beard on her.  Now it’s famous, international, historical art. Boom.

Lastly, and certainly most importantly, let’s talk about what these kids are learning, simply by pasting Rambo’s headband across the dainty forehead of a da Vinci.  Here is the Mona Lisa – a form.  A construct.  A paradigm of society.  And now cut random shit from a magazine and paste it on her face.

Maybe it seems like a simple project, but what it’s really doing is forcing the students to break down ideas they may have about social construct and how it’s supposed to work.  Today they’re pasting Snooki’s obnoxious cleavage on La Gioconda, tomorrow they’re reconstructing congress in such a way as to serve their people in a more utopian way.  Because you never know what an open mind might lead to.

Or maybe when they go to sleep tonight they will dream about a highly-cleaved Mona Lisa shooting up the school with her John Rambo machine gun and wake up tired in the morning.  It could really go either way.