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The Future of Man (1968): An American Fairy Tale

 

Pardon me for this is a bit of self promotion.  Any regular follower here might recognize the occasional insertion of pieces I call “American Fairy Tales,” which is a project I have been working on and off for close to thirty years.  The idea behind them, initially, was to tell one story about the United States of America from every year since the end of World War II, when the US became the most powerful nation in the world, and up to and including the present.  I have written many of these stories, scattered throughout the decades, non-chronologically, some dealing with the Red Scare and later developments through the Cold War.  Others are tales about the collapsing morality and growing selfishness of society and the increasing radicalism of people in a complicated, stressful world where our only relief are mind-numbing, digital distractions.  The pieces I have published on here are all very recent, tales of the late Obama and current Trump administration years, certainly most of them not dealing directly with the specific politics, and more as sociological studies and satires about the impact and changes in civilization as we become increasingly isolated, and remain closer and closer to our homes, trapped in the “bubble” so many commentators have come around to calling the closing of our minds, regardless of perspective.  These stories really helped to develop my fascination with human history–all over the world, and has also inspired an arrogant and hopeless desire to learn about everything that has ever happened.  So I write these parables, realistic fiction dealing mostly with some form of fanaticism or individual apocalypse (nothing I write is particularly cheerful, although sometimes I hope you can get a few laughs).  I am presently piecing together and editing Volume One, preparing it for publication, along with the biography I am writing, a novel being revised, the editing of another author’s book, and the daily essays I attempt to paste onto Recording Editorial History.  And so, this is my tale for 1968, a grim piece about gender relations in a time of radical social change, written over four days, the third and whatever time I have spent on this today for rewrites, revision, and the sculpting people like me convince ourselves is ‘art.’  I hope at least some of you enjoy this.  If you do, please check out the others I have posted here, and I will certainly add a link once the damn thing comes out.

 

 

“The Future of Man”

(1968)

 

Once upon a time people women were an oppressed majority.  Reduced to menial jobs and convinced they were less important than men, many women wound up isolating themselves in their homes and loveless marriages, drinking too much, taking pills, and falling so behind in the endless, grueling tasks of household upkeep and the upbringing of children that was nothing to look forward to but the stress and misery that often inspired husbands to treat them even worse.  Abuse was rampantly ignored, sexual assault was blamed on the victims and the opportunities to rise up out of this existence were very rare.  And even if they achieved some sense of authority, an influence on the world, or at least on other women, the men would react with such disdain and jealousy, as they always did when seeing just a bit of their power on the wain, that they went on the attack.  And these women were shamed, discarded, turned into cultural villains.  And sometimes, sometimes in those growing radical days, some women had finally had enough.

 

Margaret Simon had changed her name to Saffron.  She didn’t tell anyone about this, but would patiently correct people when they got it wrong.  Then, after a while, after she’d broken up with her last two boyfriends who had cheated on her she decided that she wanted to try out lesbianism. Margaret decided to run away to San Francisco (she had lived all of her life in the suburbs of Philadelphia up until this point).  In San Francisco she could have a new identity.  In San Francisco, as she had heard and seen on TV, all see needed to do was tell her new friends her new name and they would love her, giving her the new name forever.

 

Saffron was confused in San Francisco, the rising and falling hills for streets, a bursting bustle of humanity and traffic.  There were people rushing around everywhere, many of them with harsh expressions on their faces, and angry glares left and right.  They seemed both offended and terrified because the milling, aimless crowds throughout the streets were young, foul-smelling people, simply wandering about, blocking traffic it seemed for spite.  They were laughing, uproarious, shouting obscenities at the squares.  Some of the things Saffron overheard were shocking.  She was just a young girl, 18, her ambitions formed from of records and magazines.

 

Saffron had seen the protests on television and watched the public mourning over heroes like Dr. King and RFK.  These events had ultimately been the cause of her change.  When her father stated that it was good that “Martin Luther Coon” had been killed, and her mother claimed that “Maybe now things can calm down and get back to normal,” it was finally too much for her to take.  She made her plans slowly, not having any idea how she could leave, and then Bobby was shot right before he was about to be president.

 

Her father’s reaction to the second Kennedy execution had been laughter.  “Another one!” he yelled, “Can you believe they shot another one!”  Then he added, “I guess the people are going to wipe all the scuzz off the earth!”  Saffron’s mother, more physically attracted to the Kennedy’s than interested whatsoever in their political platforms, shook her head with a slight smile on her face, never quite amused enough to laugh at her husband’s crudity.  She mumbled, “Oh John . . .”

 

Saffron had shrieked and called the two of them fascists.  For some reason she was much harsher on her mother while her father sat there (it was the morning after the assassination), while her father sat there drinking his beer and watching the coverage on television.  John’s company had closed for the day, fearing riots.  When Saffron’s mother started to cry, John grew annoyed and shushed the two of them.

 

But now, lost among the crowd, Saffron was unsure of herself.  Why had she come here?  She wasn’t really a hippie.  She had been a straight A student and was planning to go to Princeton before the fight with her parents.  And now she was just another teenage runaway who had tricked herself into believing in a new life of purity and freedom and–

 

“You look lost, beautiful one,” came a humbling voice behind her.  A heavyset woman with scraggly hair, dressed in what could only be described as a smock, walked up to her and embraced her, kissing her hard on the lips.  “Welcome to freedom,” she said, and then disappeared back into the hordes.

 

Confused, Saffron looked around.  Plenty of people were kissing, so she felt slightly more comfortable about the confrontation.  Men and women were kissing, some of them going farther into the next stage, hands up braless shirts, fingers down tight, tight pants, and some people simply naked, men erect, woman visibly wet.  There were a few couples pressed up against street poles, actually having sex.

 

Men were kissing men and women were kissing women and sometimes there were more than two people involved.  There was an orgy going on within the center of the crowd, nominally blocked off by the nervous passersby.

 

Other people were peeing in the street, a random one or two easing their bowels.  The whole scene was a mess.  It was disgusting.  Who were these people?  Why had she ever wanted to–

 

“Do not judge, little girl.  If you do then you’re no better than them,” said a man with a fat, steaming joint in his mouth.  He spoke with contempt, mockery.  He was condescendingly arrogant.  He wasn’t wearing a shirt and he was far too thin.  His hair was long and extremely dirty.  He walked right past without turning back, and passed his joint to a random somebody.

 

Saffron kept wandering around and found herself in the insanely crowded City Lights bookstore.  She squeezed her way through the crowd murmuring and sharing pot near the entrance, and sought a quiet nook to think and maybe find a book of poetry to restore her faith in the movement.  In the aisles she found many solitary people, sitting on the floor or in chairs, wrapped up inside some book or another, all of them annoyed and scowling when she passed by with in an endless refrain of excuse mes.

 

Eventually Saffron found a place, although it was tight and very narrow, in a dark, dusty corner against a wall.  The only books nearby were sociological current events studies, most of them on feminism, and blistering attacks on the patriarchy.  She grabbed a random one, Man Hating by Hester G. Crane.  She paged through it disinterestedly, growing increasingly miserable as she realized that the love generation in the capital of the freedom movement was not what she expected.  In many ways it seemed every bit as judgmental as the rest of the world.

 

Another young woman entered this section after a while.  Saffron, with nothing else to do, had decided to read some of the angry rant in her hand.  She had been at the part where MsCrane was saying “. . . the lies that seed carriers tell about true Herstory are the most oppressive part of the ongoing chattel slavery we have experienced, since Eve was framed for biting an apple.”

 

“That’s my favorite book,” the young woman said with a smile.  She plopped herself down beside Saffron, effectively blocking her in.  “You’re going to hear the truth for the first time in your life.”

 

Saffron looked at the girl with interest.  This was the first person she had encountered in San Francisco who was neither threatening nor rude.  And she was beautiful: long, luscious, wavy Auburn hair, piercingly reflective dark-green eyes reflecting deep intelligence, and a Romanesque face.  She had perfect cheekbones, a perfect nose, and her body, beneath a thin, almost see-through white blouse with sky blue flowers, was perfect.  She was a goddess as far as Saffron was concerned,  With her new desire for women she found herself melting under her gaze.

 

The girl smiled and pulled herself back up.  ” I’m Heaven,” she said.  ” Come with me.”  She held out her hand.

 

Swooning, Saffron reached out and allowed herself to be guided along.  They walked out the door, Man Hating still in her other hand, a finger marking her place.  Then Heaven took her into the future.

 

*

 

After wandering for a short while through the overwhelmed streets, Heaven led Saffron to a dented Volkswagon van, formerly white, put painted with swirling paisleys in every off-color imaginable.  Heaven stated without explanation upon seeing Saffron’s wonder that the van was colored after the song-birds of paradise.  Saffron nodded, then allowed herself to be led to the rear doors and stuffed inside.

 

The van was musty and crowded.  It smelled strongly of pot.  Inside there were four other young women, all of them dressed in trendy hippie chic.  Up front there were two more ladies, these far less dazed, and they were arguing.

 

“The one in the pink,” the driver said, “I don’t trust her.  I mean . . . pink?”

 

The passenger was whining, seemed to be yearning.  “Oh . . . come on!  She’s just an innocent little girl.  She’ll be fine.  She can’t be a spy.  I mean . . . she’s really sexy!”

 

“I don’t trust her,” the driver said again.  An evil smile lit her face.  “Still got that strappy thing?  Maybe you can beat it into her.”  The other girl laughed.

 

Heaven got in and said, “Let’s go.”  She seemed to have completely lost interest in Saffron and was chatting and laughing with the two up front.  Saffron simply sat there.  She looked at the other girls.  The one in pink was smoking a joint, and she offered it to her.  Tentatively she accepted it, then took a weak pull.  The smoke went into her lungs and immediately exploded in her brain.  She was suddenly very high, but it felt like something more.  It was something more.  This wasn’t just pot, it was . . . it was . . .

 

“Pass that over here, sister,” one of the others said, reaching for it.

 

“Wha . . . wha is this . . .” Saffron asked with a hand so shaky that she dropped the joint on the floor.  The other woman picked it up without regard and leaned back, taking a drag as though it were a book of divine poetry.

 

Two of the others were looking and laughing at her.  They were whispering.  They were so silly and over the top that Saffron did not know whether to relax–clearly they were on the same drug she had just taken–or to be even more horrified.  There were several joints going around.  Did she smoke the wrong one?  Did they dose her with something?  Was she being kidnapped?  Was she about to die?

 

The girl in pink smiled at Saffron.  She appeared to be sympathetic.  “Don’t worry, honey,” she said, a surprising confidence to her voice.  “It’s okay.  It’s just mixed with a little Rocket Fuel.”  Saffron had no idea what this meant and she was scared.  As the girl in pink was talking to her she began seeing the nubs of horns popping out of her forehead.  The girl was going on and on about something and the words stopped making sense.  They were pouring out of her mouth so fast that they began to take on a visual aspect, letters endlessly connected and taking over all the remaining space in the van.  It was suffocating and Saffron began to choke.  The two giggling girls began laughing loudly; the girl in pink leaned back to smoke some more, along with the rest.  Saffron collapsed on the floor and passed out.  The women in front did not even notice.

 

*

 

     When the van arrived at the compound outside Jewel Lake, Saffron was still unconscious.  In her mind she saw numbers spinning around and around like a whirlpool that was threatening to suck her down.  There were trillions of nines swirling, swirling, and then they all changed into eights, and the black hole in the center grew larger.

 

     With the countdown, lying there helpless, Saffron began to panic inside her dream.  Her heart rate drastically increased as two of the girls carried her out of the van.  As the numbers shrank and the darkness was taking over Saffron knew she was going to die.  The ones started to fade as the black hole consumed them, pulling everything in this mental universe down into its oblivion.  And yet, when Saffron’s mind was finally sucked through, she fell into a realm of endless nines again, an even larger, although tinier cosmos of the infinite mathematical calculations that formed the universe–that may even be the actual proof of God.

 

This went on for hours while a rotating band of women watched over Saffron, sometimes nudging her, one of the angrier ones lifting her by the hair and slapping her with increasing severity, several times in the face.  Eventually she woke up.

 

It was a stunning place she saw, despite the rather primitive set up of the camp,  There were high, snow-capped mountains in the distance beyond the muddy waters, surrounded by tall, lusciously green trees.  Wandering around Saffron could see mossy formations pocking the cliffs.  It was the most beautiful place she had ever seen.

 

Saffron was still woozy, the world pasted over in plastic.  She was unsure if anything she was seeing was real.  Remembering her long nightmare, and almost forgetting how she had actually gotten here, Saffron wondered if she was, in fact, actually dead and that maybe this was Heaven, or at least Purgatory, and that she could live with the musical birds chirping and the clean air forever and ever and never have to worry or fear  anything ever again.

 

Then she started vomiting, coughing up whatever poison she had ingested with that one puff.  Throwing up felt strange, however.  The only times in the past Saffron had ever been sick like this was twice when as a child she’d had a stomach flu, and the three times she had gotten so drunk with her friends that she could no longer hold it all in.  But now, this time, with all this strange fluid and acid pouring out of her mouth she could only see rainbows in the puddles of puke.  And the feeling, the sensation of vomiting was nearly bliss, like a purging of all stress and all evil from her deepest soul.  Perhaps that was what this was, a kind of new age baptism.  Maybe these people really knew what they were doing.  Perhaps this was the ideal way to live.

 

Eventually Saffron saw Heaven again, talking to several people, and walked over to her.  “What was in that–”

 

“Excuse me,” Heaven said, turning away from her conversation with three other ladies, all of them older than the milling crowd of women that made up the compound.  Heaven turned back to the others, dismissing Saffron.

 

She went in search of the girl in pink.  There must have been fifty young girls in the camp.  Most of the ground was covered in tents, although there was one crude structure made out of sodden, rotten logs, with a hole in it’s roof and the scent of shit and spoiled nature wafting all the way over to the lake.  Saffron wondered where she was.

 

All of the girls were smoking the drug,  Several of them were reading books.  It was the same book she had left in the van.  Saffron recognized it as Man Hating.  Some of the other girls were excitedly talking.

 

“I can’t want to meet Hester!” one of them shouted.  This was followed both by “Me too(s)!” and outright applause.  One girl were dancing, wrapped up in an internal rhythm, raising her hands and rubbing her body with her eyes closed.  Girls were naked, frolicking around in the lake.  Some of them were kissing and fondling and even making love.  The voyeur inside Saffron kept her interest on the scene.  She was not even aware of stripping her clothes off and walking towards the lake.

 

As she waded in a feeling of community overcame Saffron, even though no one was talking to her.  Her awkward loneliness began to fill with a similar rhythm as the one girl, now publicly masturbating to the song in her head.  Eventually Saffron swam over to some of the others, and they instinctively got into the hilarity of a splash fight, all of them laughing, some falling down, the hysteria like yet another drug.  By the time they began wandering out of the lake Saffron was hungry.  She was thirsty.  The drugs were beginning to wear off and suddenly she felt the need to remain high.  She casually walked over to one of the smoking girls and took the offered joint.  This time she smoked more thoroughly, sucking in and holding the smoke until her lungs were about to burst.  She took another quick hit before passing it on to another girl quietly waiting.

 

A bell clanged.  Saffron hoped it was to announce dinner.  As the crowd began walking over towards the sound, Saffron wondered what the meaning of the compound was.  She noticed that almost half the people were holding copies of Man Hating, some reading without looking where they were going with looks on their faces like they were learning the gospel.

 

When they arrived Saffron was pleased to see that it was, in fact, lunch time.  There was a large cauldron over an open fire, full and bubbling with something that looked like oatmeal.  She licked her lips.  At the front, by the cauldron, several women were scooping up bowls while others walked around dragging a sack, occasionally stopping and handing a book to the hungry.  Standing behind the cauldron Saffron noticed a short woman, much older than everyone else in attendance, watching with a keen eye.  Beside her stood Heaven.

 

The women began bringing bowls around to the girls, and before they handed it to each person they poured a few drops from a glass vial into the mush.  When the woman gave Saffron hers, and dripped the liquid in, she lifted her head and smiled at her and said, “time to turn on, sister.”

 

The books continued being passed around and when Saffron received hers it was no surprise that it was Man Hating, by Hester P. Crane.  Slurping her gruel down, Saffron opened the book randomly and read.

 

“The true issue is that we have been at war since we were extracted from Adam’s rib in his selfish act of masturbation.  The “rib,” in such prim times of ancient storytelling, was merely a stand-in for the seed man oozed onto the earth, planting what would become the ultimate perfection of God’s plan.  Mixed with Mother earth herself, inside her body we gestated and came to be as perfection.  Truly Her plan.”

 

Shushing suddenly tore through the crowd.  Saffron looked ahead.  The old woman was moving forward.  She moved to the center, in front of the boiling cauldron (Saffron amused herself thinking that it looked like the witches pot from MacBeth).  The whispers announced her name.  “It’s Hester!” they said, warped into a tone of divine worship.  Saffron looked at the book again, which to this point she had found confusing and really nothing but an angry revision of the bible.  But the way many of the women were standing, clutching the book to their hearts, it was like this was a new bible to them.

 

Saffron began feeling strange, the liquid LSD poured into her food beginning to take effect.  She zoned in on Hester Crane with fixated fascination, like under a strange crowd hypnosis.  Everyone around her was suddenly silent.  Hester stood there waiting, staring at the people.  She waited long enough for the drug to push everyone far gone and then began to speak in a soft, monotone voice:

 

“The law of the land,

Makes woman a slave.

The law of the land,

Persecutes gays.

The law of the land,

Is a structure of hate.

The law of the land,

Insists we go straight.

I do not take these laws as the truth

We will not bear their shallow use

We cannot take this anymore

And so, my womyn, let’s go to war!

 

All were transfixed until a soft clapping began by one of the women behind her.  This caught on immediately until several people were shouting and woo-hooing.  Hester smiled.

 

“We spell womyn with a ‘Y’ because men are not a part of our lives,” she began.  “Womyn are the final evolution of the human species, replacing the primitive cave beast that was once called man.  And we are winning the war, we are winning because we are learning how to control men, to make them into pets, to put them to sleep and euthanize them.  Please turn to page 26.”

 

There was a rifling through the book, the only sounds beyond nature being the flipping of pages.  Saffron was already there.  She stared at the words.  Her mind was reeling.  She had never taken LSD before and she had apparently been given quite a lot.  The plastic sense of reality had returned, but had altered into a melting smear of colors with only the rhapsodic words of the master–of God Herself–preaching Her gospel to the devoted.  Saffron realized that she was ready for this, had found what she was searching for all her life, and that this was where she would plant herself, a fellow member of the devoted, the only real seekers of truth in all the world.

 

Hester read from her book, her tone suddenly changing to the wild invocations of an Evangelical Preacher, shouting out the word of Lilith, of the formerly censored judgment on Adam (referred to as ‘a man’).  This was high religion, a radical faith.  What was demanded was a reevaluation of biblical truth and an understanding that, “if people could just realize that God was a womyn (who else gives birth?), then the truly ordained order of the world can finally begin, as prophesied.  Please turn to page 116 and bow your heads and pray,” Hester commanded with a hovering glare for those not following the order.

 

Saffron looked at the book but the world had finally smudged in her view.  She heard others saying repeatedly variations on feminine dominance and forced segregation of the genders.  There was outlined, apparently, a developing social and scientific process to restrain men on farms and continuously “milk” them, then transfer their emissions to a laboratory, where a eugenic process was being developed to increase the likelihood of female birth.

 

“By the year 2000,” Hester said, “The global population will be ninety percent female.  By then we will have the newest development, which our scientists are working on today.  They are inventing a synthetic, viable sperm substitute that can only form female zygotes.  The remaining men will be neutered and will serve as carriers, gestating the growing fetus until birth.”

 

Laughter grew, and the words “cesarean section,” were spread about.

 

“Considering the nature of the new product of life, they will easily develop inside a man’s otherwise useless body.  And while most of the infants will be cut out of the intestines when they reach their full potential, some are able to be born naturally, squeezing through the penis to give our womyn the idea of just what those things were meant to be used for.”

 

It was insane, but seemed possible.  Saffron found herself nodding her head.  And while some lingering doubts threatened her confidence, repeating to herself that this was nothing more than a cult, a cult, a cult that she had joined, there seemed to be an important truth hidden within the extravagant gospel of the messiah.  There was a deeper metaphor about the way things were supposed to be.  Man was the servant–the servant of God, even in their own holy scriptures.  But womyn was never called a servant.  She was a “helper,” his “partner.”  If translations have been lost, as Man Hating stated, men had provided false meanings to these words.  Originally, the new bible claimed, womyn was designed as the future, the more fully evolved “master” of man.  And Hester was correct that prophecy was being fulfilled.

 

Saffron remained there until the police rousted the group two weeks later after complaints from tourists exposed their lair.  Violence erupted and several women were injured.  The hatred of men was spat out with increasing fury and the officers were condescending and sometimes even sexually aggressive.  Saffron overheard one of the officers with another, pointing his thumb, saying, “These bitches just need some hard dick.  That’ll straighten them out.”  The other man laughed.

 

Rage.  Pure rage.  Saffron was now a true convert, one of the missionaries sent into town to seduce the lost little girls like she had been.  The future was going to be bright.  It would be feminine.  Hester told them that there would soon be a holy war between the genders and Saffron knew this was true.  And their army was growing.  It was growing and before too long men would know that they were nothing more than horses to ride, cows to milk, and dogs to sometimes pet or beat.  Men would become women, finally, and be treated as God had planned since the dawn of life.

 

 

 

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How to Build the Perfect Tyrant: A Visual Narrative

 

Remember them?

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How?  Why?

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and

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Image result for social unrest revolutions

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Social unrest

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Extreme Poverty

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Starvation

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No work, nothing to do

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What about fear, terror, the idea that people are coming to get you?

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People see plots against them everywhere

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You can’t trust anyone

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What can we do?

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But if everything is broken?

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People’s doubts leads to rage

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What is the solution?

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And yet, “tyranny” can take different sides, mistrust turning all opposition into tyrants.

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Just remember:

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None of this has a specific target, a separate political agenda preaching some solution to the nagging nightmares that continue to overwhelm the world.  All this is meant to be is a reflection, a look in the mirror at how far we have come from the ideals that once made the idea of freedom the only thing people yearned for.

 

One last thing:

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Uncategorized

What is the Gay Agenda?

 

Is there anything wrong with this?

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or this?

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How about this?

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Why do people have such a problem with love?

 

Now we know that the majority of us are wracked by doubt–especially regarding our personal relationships.  We wonder how we feel, what the other person feels about us, and if it can possibly ever last.  And with all of these questions consuming us, should anyone actually risk putting their soul on the line when, chances are, as with nearly everything else in life, nothing goes as planned, and your efforts end in sullen disillusion?

 

The concept of ‘true love’ has certainly taken a hit in our cynical, distracted age, and the fact that most people no longer talk to each other beyond blips and abbreviations on tiny, faceless screens; that there seem to be only a handful of leftover relics who bother having deep conversations with one another (and not us old folks who have already told everything deep about ourselves to the ones we truly love, or have at least settled for.  We have nothing left to say.  But I mean the few youngsters who take note of the way things possibly were once upon a time, through activities, mutual interests, drugs and polyamory, doing their best to avoid divorce for as long as they can).  And that very idea–true love–doesn’t have any meaning, or at least not anything specific, or even as a shared experience.  Nobody experiences anything in the exact same way.

 

This is obviously the appeal to so many women (as well as men–you’d be surprised) of romantic films and novels (although men can pretend to be burdened when taking their partners to the movies; should they buy or take a novel out of the library–or a collection of erotic stories–it is almost like explaining your rental of porn, sputtering excuses unasked about how it is for somebody else).  There is a deep yearning for something never experienced, an ideal that can only live in the realm of fairy tales no matter how hard we try to justify its existence after the passage of our prime and the loss of the love of our life.

 

But what does this have to do with the ‘gay agenda,’ some fearful idea that there is a subterranean, subliminal–even Satanic plot to normalize sin, with the paranoid threat that somehow this will be the end of the human race; terrible stories about pillars of salt and the rape of angels, offering a warning about what the true goal actually is.

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Let us outline what certain people believe, dependent almost exclusively upon religion to justify their ideas:

  • “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
    –Leviticus 18:22
  •  “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act.” -Leviticus 20:13
  • “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”  -Romans 1:26-27

This is just a sampling from both the Old and New Testaments, ancient books that tell stories about the way the world will end.  And that is all they really are, apocalyptic mythology attempting to prepare every person for their inevitable death, offering both comfort and warnings, giving individuals the idea that they have led better lives than others.

 

As a parallel to this thinking–ideas it is difficult to argue are anything more than mere prejudice about inclinations different from one’s own personal modesty finding such acts tasteless, or from hidden desires that terrify, imposing severe complications on the way that some people have been taught they are supposed to live their lives–especially when caught in an airport bathroom stall engaged in the very thing they hate.  And so, as with so many other panics, conspiracy theories come to the forfront, suggesting that homosexuals want

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They must mock it:

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(the above is of course meant to mock anti-gay thinking, but people believe it is true anyway)

 

They stoke fear:

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People believe all of these things.  They think that there are people attempting to impose these ideas on the coming generations, not as an effort to promote tolerance and equality of all people, giving them a chance at the same sort of life every other person is free to have (and let us admit, marriage, family life, can be very stressful and might lead to terrible experiences for everyone involved).  No, there must be some secret plot, some evil agenda seeking to change the world.  This is what these monsters want.  This is who they are!

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And so celebrities and people with real cultural influence and a public platform start spouting off their terror, promoting fear, imposed upon their audience every bit as harshly as they claim their enemies are attempting to indoctrinate the young:

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There are solutions to the crisis, however, these pastors and preachers and doomsayers tell us, offering what little comfort they can in our doomed world, facing the gay Antichrist.

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“Vote them out, vote them out, vote them out!” is the solution.  A campaign–a propaganda campaign just like the queers!  This is what some people believe must be done to save the nation, to save their own souls, and to maybe stave off Armageddon at least until their children are grown.

 

“I just received an alert from the Christian Conservative group, Public Advocate, telling about Paul Ryan’s past support and his vote in 2007 to pass the Gay Bill of Special Rights (H.R. 3685) which makes him the perfect “Trojan Horse” to pass (a) radical homosexual agenda. We Christians cannot allow this to happen. Please therefore call your Congressman or woman and demand they vote against Paul Ryan’s nomination for Speaker of The House. We cannot allow anyone to hold public (office) who in anyway promotes the homosexual agenda.”

 

The above was heavily posted on numerous Christian web pages, and beyond obvious theocratic sites like Christian Forum (https://www.christianforums.com/threads/paul-ryan-supports-homosexual-agenda.7914545/) such statements spread like wildfire (another thing blamed on the gay agenda, hellfire burning the land of sin) on Facebook and Twitter, and with videos on YouTube:

 

All of this causes one to wonder–you have to wonder–what exactly the meaning of the term ‘agenda’ is, and how it applies to the larger world around us.  This is not a strictly American phenomenon.  In Africa (where I have a growing fan base, whom I adore, and who have offered me some of the best comments and suggestions I have received), especially in Uganda, we see the political leaders of the nation imposing these views and new laws:

 

I am not a homosexual.  On a personal level I happen to find men disgusting.  Being one I have plenty of experience learning this about my brethren.  But I am not against love of any sort, nor the desire of people to live their lives honestly.  Before the recent wave of acceptance for homosexuality–the triumph of the gay agenda to some–think about how unhappy married couples often were, a man or woman desperately in the closet, trying to force themselves to feel differently than their minds told them to.  How unhappy are both of them, man and woman, gay and straight, filled with lust and desires for things their partner can never offer?  If anything, this is the imposition of a cruel way of living.

 

I realize that lesbians have hardly been discussed in this essay,  not out of indifference to the realities that many of these women face,  but because I wanted to talk about the justifications people use to condemn homosexuality, and it seems that primarily the men are targets.  On a more personal level, women are often targeted–hate crimes, family abandonment, a hard life in lands where no one will accept you–but the biblical attacks on their lifestyle are far more difficult to understand.  Sure, gay women get lumped together with the men by lazy, absolutist bigots, but there is also the even more sinister fantasies of the men condemning homosexuality where watching two women together is okay.  They key word there, of course, is “watching,” as though the man was the primary figure in the equation, and the ladies were performing for him.  It is little wonder that the only reference to lesbians in the bible that I could find merely dismisses them as prostitutes, proving that this masturbatory fantasy goes back a long way.

 

In the end, homosexuality is becoming increasingly acceptable everyday and everywhere, and for all the activists promoting their own agendas, it is important to realize that tolerance is transforming in the modern world.  Hatred seems less and less to be about simply who a person is on the outside and, appropriately, is diving deeper into who a person actually is, the sort of man or woman they present themselves as.  So many of us are hardly worthy of respect.

 

People with superficial hatreds are a dying breed, yes, condemned by the larger culture, becoming a minority–a hated minority–who are losing their battle, losing those rights that for so very long they have been trying to take away from others.

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Uncategorized

Notes on the Coming Gender War

 

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Women are the single most oppressed group of people in all of human history, we need to get straight on this fact first, before we pursue anything else.  We can pinpoint every racial and religious divide, and challenge the hatred and bigotry that inspired those serious problems, and yet were we to look more deeply we would realize just how much worse women have had it even within the most tortured and enslaved groups of people.  For example, a male slave still believes in his own power over a female slave, and is usually given that much freedom in their own mind.

 

Oh sure, men in our current age of dwindling power and complicated notions of equality suffer from deeply growing resentment.  They no longer have quite as much say over their mothers and sisters and daughters and cousins and wives, and all of the other former chattel that their forebears proudly guided, and they can somewhat legitimately blame political trends and social movements–there are certainly instances where truly valid evil may be uncovered, some counter-bias imposed upon the world order in a misguided effort to remedy past injustice.  None of this, of course, will get us past the truth that women have been treated terribly forever.

 

Please do not mistake me for some wishy-washy guy bemoaning the cruel exploits of my ancestors (what is the point of doing this unless we can reconcile ourselves with the realities and modern impact of the past?), nor as a person so consumed with a singular vision of fairness and justice that I am announcing, right here and now, a new social order that we all need to follow.  No.  Not me.  I am far too disillusioned with humanity for such sweetly childish dreams.  And so I must fulfill my role–the only one I am suited for.  I must call into question people’s beliefs.  This sort of inquiry, of course, can lead to great misunderstanding and, in spite of intention, even offense or outrage.  Not that I care, but oftentimes this can get me into trouble.  Let’s see how it works if I go after our #MeToo generation. . .

 

I am not going to state outright that there is no validity to this movement–of course there is!  If you have ever been out among young people (even when you were young yourself), and you listen to your friends, both male and female, and hear how they talk about one another and each other like possessions or objects or games to be played, you probably realize that most of us have no consideration for anyone else–gender, race, religion, anything.  And yet when we feel shunned or rejected–when whatever masturbatory fantasy we have about ourselves is undermined, the over-the-top reactions we explode with are prime examples of the sort of bigotry most people otherwise renounce.  For this commentary let’s reduce the topic simply to gender.

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Look at this leering scumbag.  Who does he think he is?  What the hell is he doing?  Does he not realize how uncomfortable he is making this person?  But then again, of course, this picture has a very small frame.  He does not actually appear to be looking at her.  He may be communicating with someone else, someone behind her.  Even more likely he is simply oblivious and staring into his phone.  We have no idea how crowded this space is.  Certainly, we can safely assume, the guy is a self-absorbed jerk, someone with no consideration for anyone other than himself, but why is she immediately forgiven for the same thing?  Do we know if he said “excuse me,” while trying to get by, and that, instead, she rudely closed her eyes and ignored him?  For so long we have been saying that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ that we forget the fact that in a thousand words we can create a pretty convincing fiction.  Let’s have a look:

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This old timey image was meant to represent chivalrous gallantry, the sort of polite and deferential behavior it was once considered proper to treat one another with.  But no, no.  Today this is considered sexism, plain and simple.  Look at the woman’s face, after all.  She’s mad about something.

 

Have you ever been yelled at for holding a door for someone?  I have.  “I can hold it myself!” she actually shouted, and followed this up by calling me an “asshole.”  It is on par with blindly, meaninglessly saying “bless you” to an atheist after they sneeze and having them take violent offense at your casual politeness.  And this is what I’d like to focus on.

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Looks pretty bad for the guys here, doesn’t it.  You can see the thought bubbles: “Check out her ass!”  But despite the unfortunate profile, and the fact that in the second picture Obama and Sarkozy no doubt talked about the girl’s ass briefly shortly thereafter, what is anyone really doing wrong?  Despite the discomfort some people may feel, it remains okay to admire someone.  Of course there are lines that are sometimes crossed,

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behaviors that have no place in a civil society,

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and we can understand the rising anger and demands to establish safeguards against such terrible things.

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This is a good thing, legitimate, and it helps to eventually make society better.

 

But we don’t have any patience, and people angry at not being tolerated tend to be counter-intuitively intolerant of incremental change.  And of course we can understand this–Equal Rights Now!–but this has never been how society works.  Whenever we try to force change immediately, troubles rise in the form of resistance movements and often violent hatred.  Look at this present tense contrast:

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And of course both sides have a point, to a certain extent.  The culture that has oppressed woman for so long needs to be done away with, but this does not mean that lies are necessary to speed the movement along.  For every one hundred legitimate instances where some piece of shit man attacked, abused, raped or oppressed a woman personally and professionally, there is an increasing number of women taking advantage of this, not because the issue isn’t valid, but because people are innately corrupt and seek the simplest solutions to the problems they face in life.  I will not give a number of how many for every hundred.  It is probably far less than one.  But this does not mean it doesn’t happen.  Things like this are not absolute and not sustainable:

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They are not sustainable because we as people will allow it to become perverted as the hyper-feelings of both sides overwhelm the legitimacy of the original outrage:

 

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I can hear the laughter too.  But are these guys wrong?  Surely, circumstantially, and with far more frequency than we are likely willing to admit, what these men are protesting against has validity.  And the more power women rightfully gain, human nature does not gain in its notions of equality even if the strict separations we have always placed upon ourselves continue to fall.  We are still angry creatures.  We are vengeful.

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And then the men get angrier and angrier and lose their very identities.  Look at that last image again.  How many of us know men like this today, overwhelmed by their wives or girlfriends or partners, or whatever term is presently used to be non-specific on the identities of those involved in a relationship.  When we strip it down, and if we are truthful, does a woman really want a man like this, some broken, nervous, nodding yes-dear child, the oldest baby there to take care of the other children when she has better things to do?  Because this odd trajectory has entered increasingly into the real world as well, perhaps merely a consequence of the occasional over-reactions to the very real horrors inherent with gender relations.

 

Here is, for a literary academic such as myself, something that terrified me:

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This is an example from another academic–one who takes themselves far more seriously than I do–about how the English language is inherently sexist.  And of course there are valid arguments to be made in favor of this, but languages tend to be diverse enough and metamorphic enough to transition themselves into different eras by simply continuing to expand.  And with a language such as English, where words can take on numerous meanings, this is particularly relevant to such a discussion.

 

But this comes from a person who has no interest in HIStory, but only HERstory.  This is a person who changes the spelling of words–womyn, womin, gurrrl, and other roaring grunts of assertive anger not because they believe that this corrects things, but simply as a renunciation of the world as it is.  They do not protest ‘El’ versus ‘La’ in Spanish, nor the ‘o’ versus ‘a’ endings of words, and neither do most other languages’ native speakers.  But here . . . here . . . radical lunatics decide that we need to invent a new language, modifying the past entirely, in order to destroy all evidence that once upon a time in the people were intolerant of one another for stupid reasons.  To me that is the essence of intolerance, no different, really, than the sort of violence that the original civil rights leaders and seekers of justice rose up to combat.  But everything goes too far, everything is broken and destroyed, and we are left muddling in some bitter aftermath where no one can face each other, and we distract ourselves with yet another new form of outrage.

 

Men are childish jerks, boors.  We as men know this even better than women do.  We are almost constantly filled with shame and regret over the stupid things we have done and said.  For many of us this leads to blame, and in the broadest sense we blame women, our mothers and everybody else:

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But, as with everything, there is an equal and opposite side, perhaps not quite as prevalent, but not irrelevant either, a sort of subliminal attack on future generations:

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Misogyny, many people want to proclaim, is a hate crime.  In plenty of instances one’s actions under this world view fulfill this, just like racial hate crimes are provoked by the simmering irrational bias and blame within so many people.  And a racial hate crime, of course, is a crime by anyone against anyone on the basis of race.  A white on white or black on black or every other twist and dice roll or exchange of every shade of skin crime can be a racial hate crime if that was what provoked it (and I will ignore the simple statement that all crimes are some form of hatred, because we are here talking about one provoked by ideas on race or gender).  But there is a growing secular radical hate movement, misandry.  Here’s a distinction:

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Once again: listen to the words drooling out of our mouths as we talk about each other, not bothering to humanize the issue we are caught up with.  There is a whole turgid history of misunderstanding based upon the refusal to hear what we are saying to one another, as well as our inability to express the deepest ideas on equality we wish for the world.  And we lack the patience to follow through and, frankly, the interest to care about the struggles of world problems.  And this is leading us into an increasingly complicated and self-loathing age, one where children have no idea who they are nor who they want to be or should actually try to become.  This is in no way meant as an attack on trans movements or culture, but it still points a bit of a shaky finger at the drastic rise in such social changes, especially as they are coming at younger and younger ages:

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We should all celebrate the teaching of acceptance–the toleration and valuing of one another over our struggles, our differences, and our triumphs.  But we should never interfere with validating one’s identity, or cast a person into shame simply because they are part of a group fallen into disrepute.  This is exactly how racism and sexism and homophobia got their legs in the first place, as society solidified its desired ideals.  A new world of toleration is not what we seem to be seeking however.  It is a re-prioritization of shame that seems to be winning these final culture wars.

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Uncategorized

Hypocrisy, Stupidity, and American Partisanship

 

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I would like to address my fellow Americans, as well as all of those outside this nation with either a fleeting interest, or an amused snarl at the very obvious decline of the United States as the ideal of hope much of the rest of the world once upon a time mistook us for.  I want to talk to the Trump Supporters, and those every bit as equally fanatical in their opposition.  This commentary is directed at all of those who are simply sick and tired, and bored, and fed up, and willing to believe anything about anyone just so long as it paints them with a negative light.  I want to address this to you folks, and so I suppose this means that I am talking to everyone.  We are at a dire moment, my nation, my world, and without coming across like some crank with a microphone outside of a huge public park, shrieking about how ‘they’ or ‘it’ are coming to get us, there are a few things it might be worthwhile to consider.

 

Now I have very clearly made my views on President Trump as an administrator (and as a human being), and there is nothing positive I can say.  Of course this already marks me for some as a partisan, as someone willing to believe whatever alternative narrative I study and tell myself, or worship at the alter of whichever biased media conglomerate I have chosen to proselytize me, but my personal interest and curiosity in different points of view, and in seeking an understanding of conflicting perspectives, I believe, has shielded me from imposing many of the biases that are par for the course with on-line social media platforms, and at gatherings where cliches are tested before they turn into taglines that partisan advocates repeat endlessly, diminishing deeper thinking on the larger issues into a knuckle-cracking rage.  And so I attempt to sit here more as a spectator, watching a game in which I have no rooting interest, only enjoying the unfolding of the drama of the larger story: the future of the nation and mankind.

 

So I want to ask you, pro-Trump initiates: we all know that Democrats (and Republicans) have been mercilessly corrupt throughout most of their administrations (certainly within the memory of our lifetimes).  They have done some pretty bad things.  Some of those acts may have been committed legitimately, under the protections of their office, as well as the Constitution of the United States, but that certainly does not make these ‘crimes’ we wholeheartedly disagree with any more palatable, does it?  It becomes an emotional response, and we can even transform it into something darker, something truly foreboding about the stake of the future, and don’t we wish those crooked weaklings in Congress had had the guts to shout some of this wickedness down?  But they didn’t, they couldn’t.  They don’t.  They keep getting beaten at the larger political/corporate game.

 

But Trump was like salvation to you, wasn’t he?  He took that smug condescension and spit it right back in their faces, and then taunted them and laughed at them and challenged them to try to do anything about it.  Donald Trump came of age in American politics at a time when the system itself was shattering, existing in a tabloid, reality-TV blip; an exaggerated scandal universe of hyper-sensitivity and confusion.  The internet, for all of its potential benefits, has ultimately become a processor of various strands of information, presented as life narratives to sell to those willing to believe in them.  Donald Trump, savvy media observer that he is, latched onto this.  He successfully sowed and exploited the doubt–on every side, both pro and con (people who hate you will buy your product too, just to shout about how awful they believe it to be), and transformed the entire world into a perverse sort of game show, where there are no winners, merely those who last for another episode, until the program is finally cancelled.

 

But the show goes on, doesn’t it, Trumpites?  Familiar faces keep popping up again to boost the sagging ratings.  What is going to happen when the structures that had long been put into place, that had been slowly cracking, and that were finally bulldozed under Trump, come around to face the next Democratic tyrant?  With Congress neutered, what is it going to sound like when the drones who supported the destruction of the American system now attempt to invoke it to stop things they see as getting out of control?  Once the checks and balances are eliminated, it really is a dictatorship.  I mean, how do you think certain nations have presidents that everyone clearly knows is a monster getting 97.3% of the vote?  The people watch five of seven people running against the leader either arrested or executed.  Where do the stories come from, suddenly–those clearly untrue rants about someone who might pose a slight threat to the leader at the polls, how they are suddenly involved with child-trafficking, and the distribution of hypnotic, homosexuality inducing cancers in utero, or maybe just some cartel enriching gangster scheme?  How is it that someone who does not bother to conceal their own corruption becomes the only person capable of telling the truth?

 

We are hypocrites, all of us, playing the game of life as though it actually were a sport, and not the very urgent and serious thing it has always been, a case for the survival of every one of us.  And yet we ignore the villainy of our own partisans in a blind race to the finish line, crying foul only when the other team gets the ball and they use what they’ve learned to cheat in a similar way.  This cannot–it cannot go on, and all of you deep down know this.  But we are so stained, so cracked, so cynical, and none of us are any longer capable of trusting anyone (I suppose we’ve been cheated on by too many people too many times).  And we have stopped seeking excellence.  We ask only for the best in entertainment, just to keep things moving.  We ask our leaders to distract us from the general, overall decline.

 

None of us believes in love anymore, I suppose.  No one believes in freedom (freedom for all, anyway), and we simmer in this cooling cauldron of doubt, where the fire has long since burned out, and we sometimes wish that there were a blaze of light so harsh and glaring that the slate could be wiped clean–entirely.  We could wash away the all toxins that have built up inside our minds and infected our blood, and so reclaim a biblical flood of purification: a literal baptism of fire.  Somehow, in someway, we tell ourselves as we try to dab the oil off the drowning baby seal that is our earth, someday maybe we can be clean again.

 

This long, stretched metaphor, with its two too many examples, provides a perfect summary, I believe, for the world as it is today, lost in a short-sighted attack on everything that matters by defending nothing that ever has or ever truly will.