Larry Kramer's quote about the upcoming elections, courtesy of The New Republic.:
"I cannot support any of the candidates thus far running for president because none of them supports me and my people in the ways we need to be supported. This is not just about gay marriage, which has become a nonspecific red herring for non-specific maybes. (Why do you hate us so that you will not permit us to legally love?) Of course we want gay marriage, but that is not all we want. We want safety. (We are the only people in America that it is socially and legally acceptable to hate and discriminate against.) We want no more taxation without representation. (When I die, our government gobbles such an unconscionable amount of my estate that my partner will no longer be able to afford the house we both have put so much of our money and energy into.) We want the approximately 2,000 benefits our government provides to heterosexual married couples. (Why don't we get them? We pay the same taxes they do.) In other words, we want equality. We want everything straight people have and get and are entitled to. And there is not one candidate who has come anywhere near offering anywhere near any of this. In fact, I am afraid that there is not a one of them who, when push comes to shove, would not continue to sell us down the river. In fact, I have come to believe that forbidding us all of these things we are entitled to is based on hate, pure and simple. There are, by some estimates, 20 million of us. But we don't make as much noise as our enemies do. In fact, we don't make any noise at all. More fools we."
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Larry Kramer's quote about the upcoming elections, courtesy of The New Republic.:
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Tomorrow, Wednesday January 30th, I will be reading for my third time at Rapture Cafe's series Reading for Filth: Queer Writers Read Queer Sex stories. In the past I've read about the humorous misadventures of online hookups, the impact of HIV/AIDS on a young gay man, and for Wednesday- oh, you'll just have to come by and see....
I'll be sharing the night with community big-wigs such as:
Blog Daddy Joe.My.God
Gay comedian and showman, Johnny McGovern
Legendary Drag performer, Sherry Vine
Young Queer writer and activist, Sam J. Miller
and the wildly creative and humorously raunchy, Chadwick Moore
Come check us out. Rapture Cafe (Avenue A between 12th/13th St.) 8PM.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
It's Friday and Friday is a time for friends. I love my friends so much. So much that I cry sometimes when I think about them being in my life. I'm so lucky to have them. They truly are my BFFAEAEAE (Best Friends Forever And Ever And Ever And Ever)
Eric, The Roommate and I have been friends since the 5th grade. After college we lived together in LA for two years and we're still roommates here in NYC. He is the closest thing I've ever had to a brother. We're pretty inseparable and despite his crossed legs and baby blue V-Neck shirt- he's straight. If any women reading this blog really dig fit Jewish vegetarian musicians- Eric's your guy.
This is us when we lived in LA with Matt (our other best friend who we've known since Junior high and who is also a musician and yes- straight.) Schook, a few friends down, lived next to us and referred to us as "My Three Jews," as if we lived in a sitcom, which much of our life happened to be.
Gwen is another best friend of mine and my first official gay role model. Gwen came out at 14, when we were in the 9th grade by writing a courageous article in the school newspaper demanding acceptance and tolerance for gay and lesbian students. I didn't come out until 18 but she was a definite catalyst in my decision to do so. She has an intimidating intelligence, a great sense of dark humor and is a favorite drinking buddy- she knows more than anyone else that when I've had one too many, instead of getting rowdy, I get smoochy- she's always a target.
Gruber is yet another best friend of mine from childhood. We've been friends since we were 5! He is also a brainiac- responsible for creating some very popular and widely used virtual worlds and knows everything from books to film to hip hop. His first name is Eric, so yes, that makes three best friends all named Eric who all happen to be Jewish. I'm the only rainbow flavored one though. He's seen here trying to kiss Gwen's girlfriend- the always stellar, Nikki.
Eyal and I have been friends since Palm Springs White Party 2002 when I noticed a Star of David dangling from his towering 6'7" body frame and bonded over being, quite possibly, the youngest guys there. I was only 20 and he was just 24! We've been friends since- from Palm Springs to New York to LA and back to New York. Eyal is the founder and CEO of BoyButter Lubes. He's seen here smiling his face off (as always) with boyfriend Brendan.
Schook is a more recent best friend. We met in 2004 when we were just piss-on Production Assistants on Paris Hilton's "The Simple Life" reality TV show. He was and still is my go-to for a dry and witty sense of humor and the latest in hot-poppin' sneakers.
Rrrriot! and I happen share a brain and there's more to it than simply being queer 1st cousins. Thanks to that side of the family we're almost identical in silly-obnoxious humor, taste in movies, music, people and taking our shirts off. We can make each other laugh for hours. She's my sidekick, my cuddle-buddy, my partner in crime and my favorite person to cruise guys with. After meeting and hanging with so many of my friends she's a self identified queer-female bear lover! Every Sunday we set out in an aimless direction and get brunch at any new restaurant we stumble upon. Mostly we find ourselves in the West Village and almost always end up at the Christopher St. Pier, whether it's winter or summer, where wrestle and roll around in the grass like mentally challenged maniacs. My mother refers to us as yenta 1 and yenta 2 and she's drop. dead. GORGEOUS!
Wayne. Wayne has become more than just a great friend he's become an influence, a mentor and a motivator. Since meeting Wayne my views on so many things- from activism to literature to gay culture to sex to history have all changed for the better. I first met Wayne by picking up his novel "Hard" at Barnes and Noble. "Hard" is a fictional novel about the struggle for liberation during the NYC based sex wars of the 1990's told through the eyes of a sex positive Jewish bear-cub. I read the book in a matter of days and googled Wayne with hopes of sending him an email to tell him how much I enjoyed it. A few months later I was making my way across town to the Dugout where Wayne was holding a book signing. As he signed my copy I called him Mr. Hoffman and told him how much I appreciated his book and how courageous he was to write on the topic. I had no idea that months he'd become an incredibly close and important friend. He's adorable and has one of the biggest hearts I've ever known. Here he is reading at Rapture Cafe.
I have to go and wipe the tears from my keyboard now. :)
Safer & Saner, the safe sex positive leather/fetish based organization brings you the 2nd annual Jail & Bail party this Saturday 1/25 at The Eagle. What I understand from the intriguing and sexy flier I have in my hand is that for 5 dollars you have the opportunity to have your friends get interrogated or arrested by leather clad muscle brutes. Once interrogated or arrested you have to suffer the consequences or bail yourself out by submitting to punishment or taking orders.
This sounds like a great party if you're looking to fulfill that rough and tumble prison/guard fantasy and/or a great opportunity to get a chuckle out of your more easy-to-be-embarrassed timid and prudish friends. I can name a few I'd LOVE to see get arrested!
All money goes to benefit Safe & Saner who's tagline is "Safe...Saner...All ways consensual."
SAFER+SANER was formed to provide sexual, substance, and physical safety information to the leather, BDSM, kink, and fetish communities. By engaging community members in innovative, artistic, and culturally appropriate prevention and education activities, S+S works to promote and support healthy decision making.
SAFER+SANER provides outreach services to leather and other community events; facilitates educational activities; and develops informational materials about leathersex practices. S+S has provided outreach services at many local, national, and international events including International Mr. Leather, American Brotherhood Weekend, Mid-Atlantic Leather, Mr. Toronto Leather, Ms. World Leather, Philadelphia Deaf Leather, and Pride in the City. S+S has also been the official safer sex sponsor for International LeatherSIR/boy and ONYX Blackout, and hosted monthly events at the Eagle NYC.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
...and getting worse!
There seems to have been a shift in the last two years in the way people use text messaging. I remember text messaging to be a source of easy information, point to point contact and confirmation of plans. Then suddenly people began having full-on text conversations when they just as easily could have called that person at that time. Back and forth, back and forth, T9 and emoticons. Ugh! I fear this created a whole new source of passivity amongst person to person communication.
Texting used to be: "In Midtown will see you in 15min."
Now it's: "Hey man, what's going on? Long time no see. Just touching base to see what's happening with you. What are you doing this weekend? Let's get together if you don't have plans! OMG, btw..I have to tell you the funniest thing!"
Texting has become a source of great confusion, miscommunication and misunderstanding and a goddamn headache to boot. I can't tell you how many plans bunked out or how many times I've been in a situation where things changed and the excuse was, "well I sent you a text!" Or, "I texted you last week and you didn't respond! What gives?" Well, what gives is that your text left no impression on me because it was a flaky little note to begin with!
A recent situation happened to me and an ex-boyfriend of mine from LA who I'm still
madly outrageously kind of in love with and who I would have definitely slept with seen on an upcoming vacation I'm taking. Unfortunately Mr. X originally had plans that same weekend but found he was able to get out of them. Apparently several weeks ago I supposedly got a text that said, "hey are you definitely coming because I think I can break my plans." Well, I don't know what happened..? 1) I don't remember getting the text. 2) If I got the text and was busy at the moment I probably shut my phone and intended to answer later but forgot because a text isn't as memorable as voice or voice-mail is. 3) I got the text and answered but never got a response. Now we're both shit out of luck. If he CALLED, like the way people are supposed to communicate with one another this would have never happened. But noooo everyone has to be so fucking skittish and passive these days that texts are now excused as true communication. IT ISN'T THE SAME THING! Here's the deal Mr. X, and any of you wanting to get together with someone whether it be a friend, lover or potential friend or lover. CALL people. TALK to people. COMMUNICATE with people. This texting nonsense is getting out of hand!
Sure it's ok to text a friend if he/she isn't at a place when they said they would be, or if it's really loud, or if you're meeting someone and going to be late and, yes, the occasional inside joke and pic message is totally appreciated but leave it at that. The minute you start texting a conversation is the minute you already decided the conversation isn't really worth having, for if it were, you would be CALLING them! Text INFORMATION not CONVERSATION!
And for T9's sake, don't ever ask someone out by texting them! Do you really want to try and start off a relationship or a getting-to-know someone by proving how passive and meek you are about talking with them? Are you kidding?! That's no way to show an interest in somone! Grab your balls, jump back a decade and do it the way were meant to, from one voice to one ear!
Way to so easily buy into rhetoric, America!
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."
The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
Feel duped? Angry yet?
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Gosh- Who cares about health care when American politics turn into a typical afternoon on The Maury Show? hiss!!
Here's Joe.My.God's take
Here's Andrew Sullivan's please don't give me guff for being a kind of fan of Sullivan (yes, it's more than the bear thing.)
Here's mine- I'm an Obama man. "Yes, we can."
Friday, January 18, 2008
I won't give too much away but I'll say it's 8 out 10 for the monster/disaster genre and I definitely recommend seeing it in the theaters. I hear there are screenings at IMAX and imagine that would be quite an experience.
If you are a fan of the 1970's disaster flicks: The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, Avalanche, Towering Inferno, etc you'll enjoy this film for employing all the old classic conventions in a modern and technologically souped-up form.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
(lifted from JMG)
Matt Barber: "The human body is quite callous in how it handles mistreatment and the perversion of its natural functions. When two men mimic the act of heterosexual intercourse with one another, they create an environment, a biological counterfeit, wherein disease can thrive. Unnatural behaviors beget natural consequences.
"In recent years our culture has adopted a laissez faire attitude toward sexual deviancy. Television shows like Will and Grace glorify the homosexual lifestyle while our children are taught in schools that homosexuality is a perfectly healthy, alternative sexual 'orientation.' 'Stay out of our bedrooms!' we're often commanded by militant 'gay' activists.
"Well, now the dangerous and possibly deadly consequence of what occurs in those bedrooms is spilling over into the general population. It's not only frightening, it's infuriating.
"Citizens, especially parents, need to stand up and say, 'No More! We will no longer sit idly by while politically correct cultural elites endanger our children and larger communities through propagandist promotion of this demonstrably deadly lifestyle'. Why does it take a potentially deadly staph epidemic for people to acknowledge reality? Will that even do it? Enough is enough!"
HRC Executive Director Joe Solomnese responds:
"We've come to expect hysteria and gross distortions from an organization like this and normally their bigoted rants don't even warrant a response. But the statement today about MRSA is beyond the pale. In typical fashion, they disregard the facts and instead chose to demagogue the issue in order to fear-monger. Serious medical issues deserve serious consideration, not wildly off-the-mark press releases from anti-gay groups trying to capture media attention. We saw this kind of hysteria in the early 1980's around HIV/AIDS, I'll be damned if we will sit idly by in 2008 and let them perpetrate that type of anti-gay hysteria without calling them out on it."Thank you for your words Joe. Gay men, get angry- you're allowed. This is YOUR life- YOUR existence too. Do not roll your eyes. Do not relax in complacency. Do not think someone else will do it for you.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Sometimes I'll look in the mirror and in that bizarre mushroom-trip thought process I'll try to conceptualize that I have hair..growing...on my...face?! So weird sometimes! My really good friend, the Norelco 9-setter Beard Trimmer, has allowed me to shape and mold my face into some really interesting directions. This past November I tried to get all Daddy and keep my cheeks trim and my goatee thick and bushy. I looked more "homeless" than "Daddy" but it was worth a shot. I also let my moustache grow out a little in an attempt to be "Tom Selleck-y" but it began to grow over my lip and I didn't know what to about it and food kept getting caught in it so I took it down a bit. Now I'm at my usual look which is either a 4 or a 5 out of the 9 whole settings on my trimmer.
In any case, a friend of mine just pointed me to beards.org. The website that's "all about beards." There you can find tips for growing a beard, grooming advice, galleries, blogs and yes, even success stories. Check it out. The site is both funny/informative and also
Monday, January 14, 2008
This Saturday Bossy and I attended the 7th Annual No Pants! Subway ride which,needless to say, was a pantless hoot! Prior to attending I simply thought the event was something where everyone gets on a train, disrobes and rides the subway pantless, getting off at whichever stop they please. I had no idea a real prank was involved! This of course, made it all that much better.
Around 900 people showed up at Centre Street in downtown Manhattan and awaited instruction. The leader of Improv Everywhere stood up with megaphone and broke us all into groups of three. From that point we were broken up into groups of nine and the number we were assigned was the train car number we were going to ride. It works like this: Bossy and I were assigned the number 5 on the R train uptown. That means we are to get on the 5th car of the R train and ride it to 59th. While the train is in motion one person disrobes and gets off at the first stop. At the second stop 2 people, and so on. Before the third stop Bossy and me needed to be in our underwear. Then at the third stop we get off the train and wait on the platform in our underwear, as if it's a regular day, nothing unusual for the next uptown R. If someone asks us what we're doing or why we don't have pants we're to answer to the effect of, "I'm sorry. What are you talking about?" By the time we're back on the train, those who were told to get off before us, are back on the train wearing their undies and we join them, not looking at eachother, reading books or staring out the window. As the train makes it way uptown we pick up more riders in their underwear while people around us wonder what the hell is going on. Others reacted in typical New York fashion by seeming as though they were completely unphased, unimpressed or otherwise completely disinterested. Go figure. Everyone assigned to the Uptown R transfered back downtown at 59th and Lex where we again rode the subway, now packed with underwear riders down to Union Square which marked the final stop in the prank.
Union Square was the meeting spot for both the 6 trains and NRQW trains. There were at least 500 people walking around Union Square station in their underwear, panties, boxers and long johns. Yes, there was sufficient eye candy. At Union Square people were snapping photos, shaking thier heads and just being really confused. As Bossy and I put our pants back on and resumed our normal NYC life we noticed people took the prank above and beyond, running around Union Square park in their underwear and dining at restaurants like Coffee Shop sans their pants.
Wonderful event. Lots of fun.
Friday, January 11, 2008
You think I don't know 
you are only fucking me 
for a place to sleep? 
Yes, the sex was great. 
But did you have to steal my 
damn i-pod charger? 
Why put up with you? 
None of my friends can stand you. 
Your erect penis. 
Thursday, January 10, 2008
oh Brett, behave!
Well since us gay bloggers love to plug each other endlessly (no pun intended) check out the wonderfully insightful, honest and damn humorous Try Hard with a Vengeance by the insanely handsome and talented Canadian blogger, Brett Stewart for some ideas.
The black space of American teenage sexual education may have met its biggest foe. Who needs to worry about what's being left out of text books when you have the Internet?
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Midwest Teen Sex Show, a website and episodic video blog dedicated to sex information and the discussion of teen sex.
Through a series of skits, ranging anywhere from "Female Masturbation," to "The First Time," to "Birth Control," to "Homosexuality," to yes, even "Backdoor Business" the Midwest Teen Sex Show discusses sex openly and honestly with no apologies. The skits are narrated by a courageous suburban mother of three who says she learned sex-ed the hard way -- when she got pregnant at 18 after a one-night-stand.
The mother of three says, "We're encouraging both boys and girls to be responsible for having safe sex. And we're also telling them that they don't necessarily have to have sex at all."
Why a show on teen sexuality?
Teens and sex. It happens. Not every teen is having sex and not every teen is abstaining. We hope the Midwest Teen Sex Show will create a space for frank discussion of all things related to teen sexuality. Broadcast media shies away from any real exploration of the topic, and they forget that not all teens live in Orange County. So subscribe on iTunes, Miro, or your favorite RSS reader, download our latest episode, tell your friends, and let’s get it on! (Midwest style).
Is this sex education?
Sort of–we like to call it sex information. We’ll leave the formal education to classrooms and textbooks. Midwest Teen Sex Show is here to provide sex information in a clear and entertaining way. We won’t pretend to be experts, but hopefully a few of our own embarrassing experiences and insights will keep you out of trouble.
Are you promoting teen sex?
No! We’re promoting a discussion of teen sex.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
In The Life TV, a documentary film company committed to illuminating the gay experience, cranks out another riveting hour long doc entitled Wide Stance. Broken up into segments the appropriately named Wide Stance straddles everything from an interview with queer-based comedienne Margaret Cho to gay rappers to the always on-going subject of homosexuality and the bible, and with a historic background, delves into this year's hot topic of public sex and police entrapment as well as many other stories about the gay experience.
In particular, Scott Miller Communications Officer over at In The Life, has this to say about the public sex/entrapment segment,
...when people see it, it’ll get a lot of conversation going on a number of levels. On a broader one, it touches on issues around public-sex laws, systemic inconsistencies in how they’re enforced from state-to-state and among various groups, and how – depending on where in the country they are – what might be treated as a minor offense, can snowball into a felony.Click here to view the Wide Stance trailer.
Click here to watch the educational and profound Public Sex/Entrapment segment.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
An article in Gay City News titled "Examining Bathhouse Policy, NYC Says HIV Infections Up" details NYC's re-examination of bathhouse policy in light of increasing HIV infection rates and suggests either stricter rules and/or complete closure of businesses and parties.
A six page memo was drafted and discusses 4 specific options as to how to enforce stricter policies on bathhouse and sex parties.
1. Continue current policy. Allow bathhouses to operate without inspection in private areas; close (or threaten to close) gay bars and other venues in which sex takes place in public.The article, released yesterday, has already been making heavy circulation in the gay blogosphere. As it should. Bathhouses and sex parties have always been the menacing scapegoat in increased HIV/STD infection rates but often, in any policy or policing, amounts to nothing more than facade used by state and government officials to prove to the public that they're "doing something."
2. Continue current policy for bathhouses, but attempt to enforce this policy with sex clubs and "private sex parties." Make greater efforts to close sex clubs and "private se parties" that have fixed locations, regular hours of operation, and charge a fee.
3. Attempt to close all commercial sex venues. Use the Sanitary Code to close all commercial sex venues, including
bathhouses currently in operation.
4. Modify Sanitary Code to permit bathhouses and sex clubs to operate under City regulations designed to promote safe sex. Allow bathhouses to operate under strict safe-sex rules, and allow "private sex parties" to either become permitted bathhouses under these rules or risk closure as in option 2.
For more than 10 years now NYC has banned all public sex in bars and clubs and tightened its grip on venues suspected in doing so. But, due to a recent CDC article which informed the public "oops the numbers might have been higher than we all presumed" infection rates haven't changed, yet remain "relatively stable." So is the proof not in the pudding here? Has the policy making and policing for more than 10 years while infection remain the same, year after year, suggest that bathhouses and sex parties may not be to blame?
Maybe it's time we start re-examining how we talk about and teach sex and sex-communication in public. Maybe it's time we say to younger generations, "oh ok, fine! Homosexuality exists and if you happen to be gay or curious here is the absolute safest way to go about it." No, that would be just too darn
I have some bathhouse experiences. When living in Los Angeles I ventured out to one or two out of a sense of thrill, boredom or outright horniness and both times I remember receiving, along with my locker key, a number of condoms, lube, and a pamphlet on safe sex and on-site HIV testing and counseling opportunities. As I walked through endless dark hallway after endless dark hallway I took note of the amount of signs discussing safe sex practices and the amount of free condoms everywhere. Now I don't know if I went at the wrong time, or the wrong day, but both times I found minimal attendance and ended up having paid $15 dollars all so I could end up going home and getting off alone.
So city officials want to re-examine bathhouse policy and threaten to shut them down, so be it. Take away another freedom, another right and watch nothing change. Instead, public sex will be pushed to private and attendance on the, easy cum-easy go, easy to be anonymous, websites like Manhunt or Craigslist will heighten. Yet the only difference between bathhouses and websites is that when you enter the anonymous man you've just been chatting with's house, apartment or empty office building, you won't get the free condom, the HIV/STD information, the list of safe sex rules hanging on every wall or the on-site testing. You'll just get yourself and the man, with no information or influence supporting anything to do with safety. After all, even the above article admits, "[T]his is likely to be challenged in court and will cause anger among gay activists and some AIDS service organizations. Many will argue that closing bathhouses will disperse men to other locations where sexual activity may be riskier."
Monday, January 7, 2008
Aside from scoring the title of "child most likely to be prescribed Ritalin" I've never really won 1st place in anything. That is until the Spread Eagles took the championship in the first official Big Apple Dodgeball league.
Last night our team sponsor, The Eagle, hosted the dodgeball reunion party where all teams were invited to gather around and receive their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medals and find out who ranked as each team's Most Valuable Player. Appropriately our teammate, the hard-throwing, swift-dodging and sticky-finger catching, Koray Duman took that title.
Big Apple Dodgeball League organizer Mark Marracini made a heartfelt speech thanking everyone for being a part of his vision for a fun, friendly and community-based sports league. He received a loud round of applause before announcing his move to Los Angeles and his inevitable stepping down as league organizer (tear.) Fortunately, Mark had no trouble finding a fellow team player to replace him and ensured the continuation of dodgeball season 2.
As always, in the words of our team captain, Jason "Keep spreading!"
Spread Eagle MVP: Koray Duman
Spread Eagle Team Captain, Jason Saft
We couldn't have done it without Jew, Jason!
And of course, The first place team, the league champions- The one, the only - Team Spread Eagles.
Friday, January 4, 2008
I was born on June 24th 1981- the same year you would be discovered. 18 years later, sitting on the living room floor of my suburban New Jersey home, a stream of tears running down my face I would come out to my mother as being gay. My mother would remove herself from her seat, crouch down to my eye level, tears welling up too and in a soft, breaking voice say, "It's going to be OK. Everything is going to be alright." She hugged me and hasn't let go since.
From the day I was born, through the days of my coming out and pushing into adulthood you would match my years, gain speed and mutate. From pre-school to grade school you would ravish an entire community, leaving hundreds of bodies in your wake. From grade school through Junior High you would break community boundaries and affect broader populations. By the time I would reach College you were on your way to sweeping whole nations.
As I received pluses or minuses on my Grade School exams men would be receiving similar symbols forecasting their mortality. As I was beaten and/or standing up to bullies on the playground, a community of men would be doing the same in the streets. Screaming or having their screams be ignored by authorities. "You're not on our team, Eric. You're too short." There will be no education bill that will "encourage or promote homosexual activity." Senator Jesse Helms- October, 1987. At six years old, first grade, at the 8AM bell, 250 bright-eyed youngsters would stand at their desks, place their hands over their hearts and pledge allegiance to the flag. Elsewhere 71,000 people would be diagnosed. 41,000 would already be dead. As I collected baseball cards and Garbage Pail Kids men collected their friends at funerals and as I ate Skittles and learned of the birds and the bees men would be crying and desperately reaching for their AZTs.
You would change, evolve and progress. From not understood to deadly, from death to comprehension, from comprehension to manageability from manageability to normalcy. At 10 a famous black basketball player would be diagnosed and remove your face from one community to all communities. You would be mentioned on Beverly Hills 90210, Pop singers wearing bright fluorescent clothes would sing "let's talk about sex, baby" and Tom Hanks would play a role in a movie called Philadelphia.
By the time I strapped on my first spike-studded bracelet, dyed my hair green and discovered Operation Ivy, The Misfits, Sex Pistols, NoFx and Jack Kerouac you would receive your first blow. They called it a protease inhibitor. In first world nations men began to live and by the time I reached college T Cell levels were stabilizing, but you were still spreading. As I received my diploma and stepped out into the world it was said that in some African nations you would leave 1 in 4 children orphaned.
This June it will be our 27 birthday, Virus, and where are we? I've become a man, I got a job, moved into a city and continue to grow and learn. You've continued to grow as well, doing what you do best, spreading and multiplying, spreading and multiplying. But we have you understood virus, we have you suppressed, we even know how you're spread and you remain one step ahead! Somehow you've even managed to go quiet. When I hear you talked about it's with a roll of the eyes, hushed tones- if even mentioned at all. But I've seen what you can do, the fear you cause, the hate you muster up, the divisions you create, the scars you leave on bodies and the memories you leave on brains. You're once favorite victims, men 10, 15, 25 years older than me are showing a decreasing level of you but you have moved on to us, our generation, your own lifelong companions. You're infection rates are still the same and in some cases, growing. You haven't changed for 10 years.
I've always kept my eye on you. I've wrapped myself in a giant quilt made by your victims, listened to stories, seen the pain in my friend's and mentor's eyes and my veins have woven themselves into a hard, red ribbon- my shield against you, education and history. But with your aimless direction you burrowed yourself in the generation that is the same age as you. We live with you now. You no longer have the ability to kill as easily a you once did and you have many of us believing you're not the same as you used to be. You're aided by a large portion of this nation who refuses to accept the reality of my sexuality and with further determination, refuse to condone it. These people help you and you help them. Yet, even if it was you alone- you'd still do damage.
Dear Virus, mine and many other's, lifelong companion, just know that I will be running alongside you, always. As long as you are there, I will be too. There are others like me who have been running against you before I was able too. Together the group of us have become a WE and WE have existed as long as you have. It is my time now to pick up the pace, to go round for round with you as long as you still stand. To bring those uneducated and unaffected to light. To snap awake those sleepy heads who are unconcerned, uncaring, neglectful and passive. I will be there, as I have always been in the past, since you received a name and I was placed on this planet. Since I can't find you in any school-based text books and teachers as well as many families aren't talking about you, you'll find me on the edge of a broken generational bridge separated by the very mass grave you helped create. One side older, one side younger and in the middle tens of thousands of dead bodies. I'll be there, on that edge, doing what I can and yelling to the other side for stories, history and shared experience until we can fix this gap and stand in the unity we need in order for us to beat you.
The Younger Generation
PS: Inspired by this must-read article: New HIV Cases Drop but Rise in Young Gays)
Thursday, January 3, 2008
I don't know how "new" this 30 second Cloverfield ad is but I caught it last night on TV. I am huge fan of zombie, horror and monster movies and this one produced by Lost creator JJ Abrams has received a lot of my attention.
If you're wondering what that killer track is they use behind the ad it's Surface of the Sun from the Sunshine soundtrack. Which is another movie I highly recommend.
Oh and just FYI to any producer or director making any films like this in the future or any dreary, depressing indie films- please consider me. It's with life long regret that I missed the boat to be in something like The Goonies or Larry Clark's Kids and Bully. OH! and I'll take any lead role in Holleran's Dancer from the Dance if/when that ever gets made. Thanks!
To sum up Berlin in one post or to detail my travels there seems like way too much of a daunting task to even attempt. The city, culture and people of Berlin deserve more than I can say in a post or journal entry so with that in mind I'll just throw in some pics and say that I had an incredible time in a city so centered around youth, age, wisdom, progressive thinking, life, social welfare, adventure, cafes, bars, nightclubs- all who tell the city when they feel like closing and not the other way around, a grieving of a dark history which has now forged a way into liberalism and the celebration of human life, diversity, tolerance, and throbbing all accepting sexuality.
Berlin is a place that I honestly feel is a city of the future. Crime is low, people are up, tolerance is normative, diversity unquestionably appreciated, public transit organized and life ultimately celebrated. I hope to visit again many times throughout my life.
The TV Tower in Mitte. One of the most recognizable city landmarks.
One of many well organized, outstandingly clean, on time metro stations and the detailed and easy to navigate metro system
Anonymous faces cut from steel in the Memory Void of the Jewish Museum and 2,711 faceless, nameless tombs at the Holocaust Memorial (by the far the best, most personal Holocaust Museum I've ever been to.)
Remains of the Berlin Wall or what is now the world's largest Open Gallery
Graffiti, trains and bar time antics (found all over the city)