Different than the Others.

h, October…LGBTQ History Month! Like any other time when history gets brought up, I usually end up curled into a fetal position crying and begging for the stupid to stop.

I’m a bit history buff, for all the knowledge you might have of cars, Madonna albums, or sports records, I recite historical facts and analysis. Few people know this, but I actually helped create the most popular history web forum in the world which serves to answer questions people have about history. It’s grown so popular that my fellow forum moderators have been asked to speak to the American Historical Association next year on how to make history more appealing in the digital age. Yeah, I’m bragging. So what? I’m proud of that fact and I’m a snob about history. There, I said it.

History is probably one of the most important subjects everyone seems to misunderstand and abuse. For example, you have those terrible and simplistic quotes about history. “History is written by the victors.” No. No it’s not. The South didn’t win the Civil War and there are a lot of people who have twisted the history of slavery and the war to make it seem like it was a noble institution and a righteous cause. Also, the United States didn’t win in Vietnam and we have written a lot of history books about it.

“History repeats itself.” No, no it doesn’t. At best, it “rhymes.” Events are similar but not exactly the same. They seem similar because we have a strange habit of projecting our views onto the people and events of the past. You also have the ‘Historians Fallacy’ where we wonder why history happened the way it did. We have the ability to look back on the past knowing the full story. There’s also ‘Chronological Snobbery’ where we think that just because an idea, a work of art, or science is from the past it’s inherently inferior, like the idea that people in the Middle Ages must have just been ignorant fools.

I could fill up this entire article with different forms of flawed thinking about the past, and I would enjoy doing it, but that wouldn’t be the point.

These silly, overly broad, and illogical ways of thinking about the past at least are better than the worse alternative, which is not knowing history at all. Okay, to be fair, they are both bad, at least when you think Benjamin Franklin was President because he is on the $100 dollar bill. You think that because most people on money are presidents. Still, not knowing your history, your lineages, and the way you got to where you are is sad. It’s like looking at abandoned photographs at a flea market, all of it someone’s life, discarded and forgotten.

The other day, I was performing at the HiLo, and saw where the old door that said, “Private Club” from the days it was a gay speakeasy had been replaced and I was more than a little sad about that fact. It was against the law in Oklahoma to have sex with your same sex partner as late as 2003. It’s technically still on the books in this state! Did you know that the word ‘transsexual’ didn’t exist until the 20th Century? It was created by a German sexologist named Magnus Hirschfeld who also wrote one of the first gay themed movies, Different From the Others. Unfun fact: like most German films, it’s depressing and the main character dies in the end. Yeah, most people don’t know that the Germans were the first people to really study LGBT culture and history in a scientific sense and advocate for equal rights in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Really makes you wonder what the hell went wrong there in the 1930’s.

I mean, I could throw so many crazy facts about LGBTQ history at you. Like one of the most notable HIV hospices during the 1980’s was a Catholic Church in San Francisco’s Castro District. Blows your mind doesn’t it? The reason that Pride Month is in June in so many places is to celebrate the memory of the Stonewall Riots. Did you also know the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Genovese crime family? Yeah, back in those days most gay bars were owned by the Mafia. Kinda weird and strangely cool…but if you know why, also more than a little depressing – they used it to blackmail closeted people and launder money. Thinking that gay history is nothing more than gay bars, parades, and Greek poets doesn’t begin to do our history justice.

The Gayly – October 12, 2015 @ 12:30am.

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Waffle House of Representatives.

Last night during the Democratic Debates a particular peculiarity to popular politics popped up again.  (Suck my alliteration Stan Lee)  Lincoln Chafee, who put on a great Admiral Stockdale impression, was asked why he had changed from a Republican to a Democrat about ten years ago.  Hillary Clinton who disproved she was in fact an android (and that she takes longer than a commercial break to pee), was asked why she changed her mind on the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.  Back in 2008, Clinton also got her balls busted over her vote for the war in Iraq.  In a totally surprising political move she’s straight up said, she was wrong and made a bad call.   Lincoln Chafee during the debate last night also sank himself for admitting he screwed up the Glass-Steagall vote back in 2000.

Horror of Horrors, a politician made a mistake and admitted to it.  Even worse, they changed their minds.

That really grinds my gears, America.

For some stupid God awful reason, America seems to really hate it when a politician changes their minds or makes a mistake.

Unless of course it’s a change of mind we like, or you know, they’re Hillary Clinton.

First off, let me tell you something about Hillary.

Ya see that old dude Hillary is sitting with?  That’s Barry Goldwater.

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Barry Goldwater was a Republican candidate in 1964.  Hillary was a supporter of Goldwater.  Yes, Hillary used to identify as a Republican.  Goldwater wasn’t any old Republican either.  He opposed the Civil Rights Act because he felt it violated States Rights (though honestly he supported Civil Rights, he was just a huge States Righter).  He was virulently anti-Communist, like he wanted to nuke North Vietnam anti-communist.  He thought Eisenhower was too Liberal, and wanted to make Social Security voluntary.  Goldwater inspired Ronald Reagan to run for President.  Thanks Goldwater.

Yes, this was who Hillary Supported as a teenager and member of the Young Republicans.  Yet, by the time she graduated college, she had quit the YR’s, supported an anti-war candidate in ’68, organized student strikes and helped push for more black students and faculty.  She was still a Republican, yes, and voted for Nelson Rockefeller, a man who honestly would be a Democrat today.  By the early 1970’s she was working for Walter Mondale, Marian Wright Edelman, and Anne Wexler.  Hell, she was a law intern for literal Communists!

So you see, she started changing her damn mind right out of college!  Crazy right?  I mean, what is this person doing going to college and changing their entire political view based upon life experiences and assimilation of new information?!

Hey, anyone remember this guy?

John_Kerry_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait

If you don’t.  Quit reading this article.  You’re too uninformed to continue.  Go read some articles about American politics and come back to this part.

John Kerry, former Senator, current Secretary of State, and man with the charisma of Brussel Sprouts, was also from what we’ve been told, a vile Communist Traitor and Sympathizer.  Strangely enough, when he graduated college, where he actually won competitive debates arguing against the Vietnam War, he joined the Navy and became…a war hero?  Say what?  But hold on, there’s more!  Apparently he also became an anti-war activist!?

Kerry_Fulbright_Commission

Well, Holy Shit!  Look at him there.  That’s him at the Fullbright Hearings which were meant to end the war in Vietnam.  Yet, he was also a member of the Navy still at the time!  Hell he stayed as a reservist until 1978!  So many different and changing opinions and viewpoints!!!

Funny thing is though, he voted for the war in Iraq as the right thing to do, just like Hillary did.  He was pilloried when he ran in 2004 for President when he said, “I voted for it before I voted against it,” referring to authorizing the war and then later refusing to finance it.  Why?  After we found out Saddam didn’t have any WMD’s or relations to Bin-Laden and that we had been duped by the Bush administration, he wasn’t keen on keeping the war going.  Crazy huh?  Kind of weird that he changed his mind JUST LIKE THE REST OF AMERICA FREAKING DID!

You see, that’s why drives me up the damn wall.  Why aren’t politicians allowed to change their minds about stuff?  We change our minds all the damn time.  Hell the purpose of the debate where Chaffee and Clinton were called out for changing their opinions WAS TO CHANGE PEOPLES OPINIONS!  How’s that for irony Alanis?

It’s not like people’s opinions change over time on stuff like gay marriage, gun control, or any other set up subject.  Hell, we change our minds on if we like Kanye or not.  I mean our opinions on soda changes.  Why did our opinion on soda change?  Could it be the stacks of articles, books, and shows that talk about how terrible it is for you?  You see, as we became more aware of how crappy soda is for you, we started to dislike it and so it became less popular because our opinions changed.

Crazy right?

So if I’m getting this right.  When we are exposed to new ideas, new information, and new experiences we form new and changing opinions based upon that information.  I believe we call this process LEARNING!  It happens everywhere.  From the minute you watch five minutes of Donald Trump and decide he is a living hemorrhoid, to your teacher showing you how photosynthesis works, to meeting a person from a minority group you have never met before, to reading a study on the toxicity of chemicals, you have opinions change.  Whether they’re right opinions or wrong opinions is subjective and only born out of the long term.  Sometimes these opinions are misinformed, and we try to change them!

Every time you get into an internet fight on Facebook, the comments of a news article, or tweet off, you are trying to change someones opinion!  Be it about gun control or how much of a douchebag Tom Brady is, its an exchange of information and opinion.  Every argument is based on trying to win on an opinion.   You want people to change their minds every day….except your politicans and leaders.  Yet, you want to change your boss’ mind about how much he pays you but god forbid if a politician changes his mind about taxes.

Why am I so lenient on these guys?  Easy.  Back in 1994, I was a member of the Teenage Republicans.  I actually went to go meet Dick Cheney at the airport to have a copy of The Commanders signed by him.  It’s still a very prized possession of mine.  In 1994, I prized it because “I have a book signed by the Secretary of Defense!”  In 2014 my mentality is “Hey, I have a book signed by a guy who is pretty much a war criminal!”  Even my politics have changed over the years.

Yes, some politicians waffle and flip flop on issues, but those guys rarely last long as they are so weak and ineffective.  You actually want your politicians to change their opinions and viewpoints really, and you actually want them to.  Every petition, protest, angry re-post, and time you shout at the screen you are wanting them to change.

But only if its a change you like and are comfortable with though right?

That’s not dogmatic, rigid, and uncompromising at all is it?

Columbus Day Sale! Indignation 50% Off!

I hate Columbus Day.

Not because it celebrates “a mass murderer”.

But because my internet gets filled with so much terrible, rotten history.

Not from the people on the Right who want to scream and shout about “Political Correctness” but from those people who claim to be the smarter, more rational, and more intelligent; the Left.

Firstly, this joke has shown up more times in my Twitter feed than a feel good hashtag should.

“I assume that a Columbus Day sale means that I can just walk into the store and take whatever I want”

The fact that this joke has been stolen by so many people today is truly what defines both the words meta as well as irony.

It’s also patently hilarious to me, that I actually have people who are members of Native American tribes on my Facebook, and strangely they seem to be quite quiet today.  That or they’ve been buried by the standard shitty Buzzfeed quizes and the “Good Progressives” that are totally and quite hilariously mentioned in the Bible of all places, who are making sure you know how they feel about Native American issues one day a year.  Two if they’re doing it on Thanksgiving.  I don’t care if they do get all self righteous on Thanksgiving, I’m to full of mashed potatoes to give a shit.  You’ll have to wait another year before you hear a peep about the issues that face Native Americans from them.  But only if it’s raising awareness.  That’s easy.  Actually raising them out of staggering poverty, crippling substance abuse, horrifying levels of diseases, high crime rates, mental health issues, triple the rate of rape in their communities, failing education systems, exploitation of natural resources on reservations, lack of health care, systemic political disenfranchisement, a suicide rate almost three times the national average, and the death of their cultural heritage, that actually requires fucking work beyond a hashtag doesn’t it?

Betcha didn’t know it was that fucked up for them did ya?  By the way, nice dream catcher douchebag.

dream-catcher

Nah, you’re gonna roll this out on Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, and anytime the Redskins come up again, and forget about it.  Oh, and whenever you get reminded that the Army names their helicopters after Native American tribes.  Boy that makes you mad doesn’t it?  It shouldn’t you uninformed prick.  The military actually gets permission from the tribes before they name them.  Seriously.

When proposed names include the name of a Native American tribe or chief, HQ, AMC should obtain concurrence/approval from the specific tribe to use their name. Additionally, comments may be solicited from the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs

DA- Pam 70-3 Page 10

Ain’t that some shit?  Hell, they even bless the damn things!

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And guess what, those kids are more than 1/16th Native too.

It seems like its moments like these that drag out those 1/16th “Indian Princess” descendants.

south-park-s15e13c01-a-real-live-native-american-16x9

Real live Native American…named Saul Wichowski.

Sure pal.  Look, I did my family tree and if I’m right, I have an ancestor from the 16th Century who is Walloon.  You don’t see me making a huge fucking deal about it do you?  No.  Because no one cares how Belgian you are.  Seriously, unless you’re actually recognized by a tribe then you aren’t Native, you’re probably just some boring white person trying to sound interesting.

Oh, and you St. Patricks Day folks.  I got something for you next year.

And another thing folks.  Stop it with the Noble Savage bullshit.  Natives weren’t living in harmony with nature and all peaceful and weaving baskets, they killed the shit out of each other, manipulated the land, and sold each other out to Europeans all the time.  Hell, the Iroquois and Algonquins fought for centuries.  The Aztecs cut the hearts out of their enemies.  The Inca just wrapped up a civil war, before the Spanish got there.  They over hunted, manipulated land and water, and most importantly when you think about Thanksgiving remember the Wampanoag people signed the deal with the English to help protect themselves from other Indian tribes.  That’s right fuckers!  Indians turned on each other like crazy.  Noble Savages my ass.  Give them horses, steel, and gunpowder and they’re brown Europeans.  And then I saw this on my Facebook.

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Seriously.  What the hell is this?  It makes no sense.  Why the Hell are the Chickasaw in East Texas?  They’re from North Mississippi!  What happened to the Caddo, the Natchez, or the Tunica?  Why are there no Biloxi in Cherokee territory?  AND THE FUCKING ANASAZI DISPEARED BEFORE THE EUROPEANS EVEN GOT THERE!  Not to mention they were from Colorado to boot!

Look, if you’re going to make bullshit up about how the Native Americans would be if the Europeans didn’t show up, at least do a little research to be even remotely accurate.  Besides, if anything this just reinforces the idea that Native Americans would have done just fine conquering, suppressing, slaughtering, and wiping each other out without Europeans helping out.  You’re hurting your own damn argument.  Hell, it’s not even an argument, it’s a series of grunts and chirps coming from the mouths of moronic idiots who get their kicks off of feeling morally superior yet intellectually inferior.

Now shut up and go hit the slots at the casino you twats.

So I haven’t been writing much at all here lately, or at all really.  Okay, fine, I’m a lazy writer and don’t care that much.

Actually, I lucked into having the opportunity to write a few articles for The Advocate.  No, seriously, I have.  I’m not screwing with you like last time.

Okay, yeah, I was fucking with you.  But seriously, I have been writing for The Advocate.  I’m really grateful for the opportunity, and I enjoy it immensely, but I realized that I was focused on that stuff instead of this, or my stand up material.  So, there will be more stuff appearing here soon.

#BernieLivesMatter

Oh that title is just making you scream with righteous rage isn’t it?  Makes you want to share it all over Facebook and Twitter, doesn’t it?  Please do!  I love the page hits.  You do know that’s why I write titles like that?  You do know why EVERY FRAKKING BLOGSPAM site does the same.  Cause you monkeys click on them so you can have a two minute rage while you click through a 20 page slide show that could have been summed up one page (but wouldn’t count for the ad hits).

Seriously though, this whole Bernie Sanders vs. The Seattle Black Lives Matter, um, affiliate station?  Fellow traveller?  Branch Office?  Three day old organization??

What the fuck?  Their Facebook page is like 8 hours older than their bold act of storming the stage at a Social Security Rally?  Their first post was at like 4:45 in the morning.  Were they up all night teaching themselves photoshop to make that logo, or is this the first recorded case of drunken late night internet activist organizing?

Look, there has been a lot of blogs, think-pieces, tweets, and I kid you not a carrier pidgeon with a note on its leg on my windowsill, written about this event.  If you haven’t heard about it, just google “Bernie Sanders Black Lives Matter”, I’m not here to educate you!  It’s oppressive to me to inform you about the issue I’m wanting to discuss in detail!

Ha!  Just kidding, I think that whole thing is a bunch of intellectually lazy, entitled crap.

So lemme sum it up and hit you with a link:  Bernie Sanders goes to Seattle to give some speeches, two black women proceed to interrupt him while yelling and pointing (yes, that is relevant) and threatening to shut down the rally that he was a guest at, said they were speaking for Black Lives Matter (now available in t-shirt form modeled by a white guy), and demanded to speak.  They proceeded to speak over a crowd throwing out a mix of boos, cheers, and general murmuring.  Of all unlikely outcomes, the rally organizer actually let them speak before Sanders.  The girls proceed to call the crowd racists, have a moment of silence, and then begin to lecture the crowd.  It’s actually pretty entertaining to watch.  The best article I’ve seen so far is actually the one from the local Seattle paper that interviews people actually there.  Including the emcee and host who specifically asked for the girls to not be arrested.  The NAACP head who was conflicted about the event.

Whats interesting to me though is, in the video on the Seattle page, is that when apparently the chant of “Black Lives Matter” was lead by the head of the NAACP, the one on the microphone said, “You are full of bullshit with your Black Lives Matter.”

What can I say, I sat there laughing a bit.  I love watching Liberals eat each other.  It’s funny to me.  Mostly because for as much as Liberals and Progressives talk about how they are open minded to other ideas and ideologies, they sure can be really fucking intolerant.   It’s ironic, don’t you think?  A little too ironic, yeah I really do think…

It’s ironic in that a guy who has a 97% rating with the NAACP for his voting record on civil rights, began his work back in the early 60’s, which despite a lot of “so what’s”, was actually a pretty ballsy thing to do in those days.  It was actually kind of violent.  Now of course this doesn’t give him a free pass.  But when the guy has been speaking out against police violence since the first shooting in Ferguson (so, so shitty that actually is a thing now) and he has been advocating ending the “cradle to prison pipeline” for years now.  Now, I’m not trying to defend the guy, but you know….educate yourself.  Go google it.  It’s not my job to educate you on the guys history.

The big problem has really been two things with Bernie:

1.)  He is shitty at talking to blacks about black issues.  You see, he’s on their side, has been his whole adult life.  The man has a track record that would make some black politicians envious.  His problem though, is that he’s from Vermont, which is like the whitest state in the Union.  Like L.L. Bean, Pepperidge Farm, and “let’s go leaf peeping and antiquing this Saturday” white.  Much of his activism has been as a white guy talking to other whites.  He’s never been a White Bus Driver.  You know what that is right?  The white person who thinks its unfair that blacks have to ride in the back of the bus but still won’t let them drive the thing.  He’s supported black people to be the leaders, he just rallies the troops.  As such, when he talks about economic disparities, he frames it the way you would to a white Liberal.  When he talks about violence, he does it like he’s talking to a bunch of white folks.  He wants to help, he agrees that Black Lives Matter, he just can’t relate.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has a small army of interns scouring the web and polling data to build perfect phrasing and image.  If their data said in order to win the black vote she should wear a tophat and a clock around her neck, well…YEAAAH BOYEEE!

Oh, suck it up, bitches, you know damn well she’s a panderer.

2.)  He’s the “wrong kind” of activist.   This is the fucked up part.  You see, at the Netroots Nation rally where they jeered him, they demanded he say Sandra Blands name.  At the Seattle rally they demanded that he have a clear Civil Rights policy (as if his history, and comments up til that point hadn’t spelled it out) on his website.  He caught hell because he hasn’t directly endorsed Black Lives Matter (Trademark 2014, All Rights Reserved, Patent Pending) or tweeted about it.  Seriously, the pundits pointed out he hadn’t tweeted a fucking hashtag.  He’s not saying the right things, tweeting the right hash tags…seriously, people were grouchy he wasn’t repeating rally memes and hashtags.

Look, just because he isn’t pandering doesn’t mean he’s not on your side.  Any movement of any ideology that requires a litmus test by repeating and chanting a required phrase or mantra or swearing loyalty to an ideology in order to demonstrate “right thinking” is fucking frightening.  I don’t care who you are, or your ideology, that’s some Big Brother shit.  Just because you spend all your time hanging out in the same web forums, Facebook groups, blogs, and subreddits, where everyone agrees with you, doesn’t mean that everyone thinks like you.  Congrats, you’ve entered the Echo Chamber.  It’s also called tribalism, or more the more Orwellian Groupthink.  I prefer the Borg-like Deindividuation.  Summed up, “If you don’t think like me and conform to me, you are wrong and will be punished.”  You can see this in the LGBT movement, Feminism, economic conflict, and of course Civil Rights.

Wow, I got heavy didn’t I?  Look, nothing is won by the Black Lives Matter movement by attacking Sanders for not being perfectly in lock step with their ideology and methodology.  Nothing is won by Progressives by fighting over the right way to obtain a goal, be it economic security, ending systemic racism and inequality, LGBT rights, or World Peace.  Ideas and movements grow when they have diversity of views and methods.  When demands for right thinking and orthodoxy of though, “The right kind of activist” start guiding the group or alienating members, it crumbles till only the radical core is left, which ends up destroying the movement, or creating a new absolutist and authoritarian system to replace itself.

You’re still really annoyed by that title aren’t you?  I agree Black Lives Matter, I just don’t hold a hashtag with the reverence you would have for some tablets hauled down a mountainside.

Bernie Sanders Won’t Win, You Don’t Want Him To Win, You Damn Well Know It.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m that damn cynical and jaded, or that people are just that damn naive; But why am I one of the few people out there that thinks Bernie Sanders doesn’t have a chance in Hell of winning the nomination for the Democrats, much less the Presidency?

I see a lot of people that I normally would consider worldy, wise, and intelligent people rooting for Bernie, and all I can do is sit here and think, “Have you not been paying attention at all?”  Look, Bernie has some great ideas, some I don’t agree with I’m sure, but he really is one of the last truly noble and idealistic people left in Congress, an organization that is so generally despised by the American populace, that the only reason it hasn’t been dragged out into the streets and shot, is the fact we would have to stop bitching about them on the internet long enough to do it.

Okay, that and the fact we all like our guy in Congress, it’s all those other assholes out there.

Still, Bernie Sanders won’t win, because he can’t win.  The system is just too busted for him to even have a shot.  First off, he’s not the “right” kind of Socialist to Socialists, but he’s also too far Left for the Democrat establishment.  Additionally, when almost 2 billion dollars was spend on the last Presidential election, you think he’s gonna raise that money?  Cause I know you aren’t gonna raise that by selling buttons and chocolate bars.  The man is strongly anti-Wall Street and Big Business, so he ain’t gonna raise the money necessary.

He also is simply not gonna win because he just won’t pull enough votes.  Sorry, but recent polls, say that Americans are more likely to vote for a Evangelical Christian or even a Muslim than a Socialist.  Think about that.  Both a Muslim AND and Evangelical is more appealing sounding than a Socialist.  A gay candidate out polls a Socialist by over 20 points.  Additionally, to win he has to win in the Primaries.  Oh yeah, you forgot about those didn’t you?  In 2012, only 15% of eligible voters voted in them.  Quick, name the date of your state primary.  You had to go Google it didn’t you?  You suck, you fail, and that’s why your Bernie loving ass won’t see him win.

On top of that, think about this for a second:  For all the shit Obama has had to put up with, even when they weren’t making it about his race, you know Sanders would have it worse.  The guy is further to the Left than Obama…by far.  See what I did there?  Seriously though, he supports Universal Health Care, wants to break up the “Too Big To Fail Banks” (that spend all that money on politicians), tax the wealthy (who like those banks), regulate Wall Street (who like those banks and spends those millions on politics), clean up Campaign Finance (Did you read all the stuff in the parenthesis before?  It all lead up to this), opposes all sorts of Free Trade (which nets huge profits for all the other things I mentioned), on and on and on.  This guy basically wants to undo the entire way our national politics and economy works.  You think the Congress was cancerous before?  Just imagine a guy wanting to raise taxes and regulate business siting in office.  Thank god Sanders is actually not anti-gun…but then neither is Obama, but who cares about that, right?

I’m not saying this is a bad thing.  Hell, I agree with all of it.  I’m just saying Congress isn’t going to do any of those damn things; not in four years, and not in eight.  Unless we end Gerrymandering, that loads up Congress with extremist ideologues (good luck with that, Gerrymandering is as old as the country almost), chip away at businesses that write their own regulations and their control in Congress, Sanders doesn’t have a chance of winning, and if he did, he would be completely ineffectual to the point of being a Liberal Warren G. Harding.  You don’t even know who that is do you?  See my point?

Why I’ll never be a great writer.

1.)  I’m not an alcoholic.  I get crippling hangovers after about 5 beers.

2.)  What’s another word for thesaurus?

3.)  Apparently the suffering of  the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant doesn’t generate enough page hits.

4.)  Calling a sitting Senator “A fucking asshole,” makes editors nervous.

5.)  It’s good to know the usage of to and too.

6.)  Terrible writers who are celebrities still generate more press.

7.)  Journalistic standards?  In today’s blog-o-sphere?

8.)  Twitter is not a writing credit.

9.)  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

10.)  You apparently have to actually write stuff.  Like, regularly.

A Cynical Southerners View on the Confederate Battle Flag.

So let me tell you a story…

In the spring of 1999, I was at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. for Army training.  Being in the military surrounds you with people from not only all over the country, but the world.  During this period of my life, when I’m struggling to find my own identity, I was quite sadly a raverish type.  Basically, I dressed like this…

raver-kid-visor-and-pants

I believe in being honest about ones failures.

Yes, that’s what I wore everyday,  I listened to stuff like Crystal Method and DJ Scribble, I wore children’s necklaces and said, “Yo, Dawg” and “PLUR” all the time.  Yeah.  I know.  I was a tool.  Well, one day, I got into a fight with this guy from like Arizona or something, and he got all up in my face.  I made fun of his yellow and brown teeth and love of Lynrd Skynrd, and he bowed up, squinted at me with one eye with his head cocked to the side, and literally drawled at me, “Yew fuhckin RED-NECK!”  I simply recoiled slightly in confusion for a second and then started laughing at him.  Me?  A REDNECK?  I’m wearing a visor and pants that had a 69″ leg opening at that moment.  In my car I just finished listening to Fatboy Slim.

“I’m a REDNECK?!”  I simply turned around and walked away laughing.  He pushed me hard from behind to try to get me to fight and I just laughed harder and walked out of the barracks laughing the whole way.

The only reason he called me a redneck is because I was from Mississippi.

And that my friends is why Southerners are so attached to the Confederate flag, and “The Lost Cause.”

Have a good night!

Oh, you totally don’t get it do you?

You see, by my virtue of being born and raised in Mississippi my whole life, to this guy, and countless others, I’m a Redneck.  A tobacco chawing, cousin humping, inbred, banjo playing, homophobic, racist, sexist, uneducated hillbilly from “Miess’ippi”.  And that’s what’s the deal with the Confederate flag.

Still don’t get it do you?

Okay, you see a guy from Brooklyn is always going to be a gold chain wearing Goomba.  A guy from Chicago is a sausage and beer swilling mook, Portland are hipsters, people from L.A. are shallow flakes, Boston is nothing but Irish Southies, on and on.  All over the country each state, city, gets its own little culture, but the South?  We’re all racist ignorant Rednecks.

You see, Southerners have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to America’s racist, religious fundamentalist, and terrible legacy.  It’s always all of us.  All of the South is like that.  Meanwhile, those racists, homophobes, thug cops, Bible-thumpers everywhere else in the country, “Don’t represent us!”

Horseshit.

Pure unabashed, myopic, and self-deceiving bullshit.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  You “Yankees” are just as bad as us.  However, we have developed this meta-narrative in our culture, that you can’t even point that stuff out without a massive knee-jerk reaction.  Hell, just the fact that people can call Southerners “Rednecks” and it sounds more descriptive than insulting, while a Southerner calling people “Yankee” makes them sound like “Redneck.”  The South can’t even defend themselves without having it sound racist and ignorant.

And that’s really shitty, because it ends up allowing the rest of the country to smugly feel better about themselves.  When the South produces a bigoted idiot, it’s because of the culture.  When everywhere else does, their place of origin is irrelevant.

Like if I said the name:  Mike Huckabee, you immediately know that he’s that bigoted guy from Arkansas.  But If I said, Michelle Bachman, you would struggle to remember where she’s from probably  (Minnesota).  Rick Santorum?  He’s from Georgia, right?  Nope.  Pennsylvania.  Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly are from New York.  Ted Nugents from Michigan,   Keith Ablow is from Massachusetts.  Tucker Carlson is from San Francisco.  Glen Beck is from Washington.  Michelle Malkin is from Philly, Scott Walker is from Wisconsin.  Wayne La Pierre is a New Yorker.  Sarah Palin will always remind you she is from Alaska.

See, where I’m going with this?  All of these race baiting, homophobic politicians and pundits aren’t Southerners.  These are some of the most vocal hate mongers in America that aren’t wearing swastikas or white hoods, and they are DAMN YANKEES!  Damn Yankees that have taken money and spoken in front of avowed racist organizations.  But that’s not important, they’re one offs.

Right?

If you took the 13 formally announced major Presidential Candidates from the Republican Party, 4 of them are from non-Southern states.  If you throw in Christie and Scott Walker…

Before Barrack Obama, who were the last two Democrats in the White House?  Bill Clinton, a drawlin’ feller from Arkansas and Jimmy Carter, a born again Georgian.  The last couple of Republicans?  George W. Bush, George Bush, and Ronald Reagan.  Two Texans and a guy born in Illinois and was governor of California.

Yeah, the Bush’s are from Texas….except they were both born in either Massachusetts or Connecticut!  They’re Carpetbaggers!

“But Amanda, they’re not known for being born there!”  Fine, want to play it that way?  Then we Southerners get credit for Jim Henson, Lipsynka, Lance Bass, the band R.E.M., Tennessee Williams, Helen Keller, Ellen Degeneres, Juliet Gordon Low, Steve Martin, Patton Oswalt, Justin Timberlake, Truman Capote, Flannery O’Connor, Gordon Cooper, Fred Haise, Alan Bean, John Waters, Hunter S. Thompson…

You’re welcome America for all these alt culture, progressive, or intelligent people.

You see, you don’t even think of the South producing anything other than hillbillies, hate, and ignorance.

And that honestly pisses the South off.

We’ve been America’s butt monkey for years.  Abraham Lincoln swore “With malice toward none, with charity for all,” for ending the Civil War.  Well, instead the South was left burned to the ground, the economy in shambles, and was basically left holding the bag for America’s long history of racism.

People tend to forget that the largest race related riot…hell largest civil unrest outside of the Civil War itself were the New York Draft Riots in 1863.  You see, rich white Yankees didn’t want to go fight, so they could buy their way out of the draft for about $200 bucks, leaving the poor whites to go fight the war.  Well, the average white man in New York City had no love for black people and could give a rats ass if they were slaves or not.  All they knew was, was that they were getting drafted to go free them.  Well, that stuck in their craw.  They lynched black men, rioted in the streets, and fought a running battle against the U.S. Army.  Blacks were so frightened that they fled New York City by the thousands, not to return for decades.

Meanwhile, while those Boston freedom fighters in the Revolutionary War were talking about all men being created equal, they figured slavery would just work itself out of existence, and caused so much fighting during the Convention that they actually wrote into our hallowed Constitution that they wouldn’t even think about resolving the issue for another 20 years!  That’s right, those free states tossed slaves under the bus before the Constitution was even finalized!  Well, ol’ Eli Whitney comes along and revitalizes slavery with his cotton gin, and slavery is back.  For the most part, there was never any real effort to end slavery on the part of the North outside of the abolitionists.

 Why?

Money.

The massive railroad networks, fledgling banks and financiers of Wall Street, and garment and cloth factories thrived off of cheap slave labor that produced that cotton.  Just because the North banned slavery, their industrial prosperity still relied on it.  But we don’t talk about that.  Just like how the Swiss don’t talk about their Nazi gold…  Turning a profit off of slavery’s products was fine, just owning those slaves was bad.

Then of course for years after the war, they were just as segregationist as the South.  I have mentioned how Indiana’s state legislature in the 1920’s had dozens of KKK members.  Klansmen were found as far North as New Jersey.  Good old hipster Portland?  Klan mayor…

“Oh but that’s all in the past!  You guys are still racist down there!”

Oh as opposed to you guys who have some of the most racially segregated cities in America?  Chicago is the most segregated city in the nation.  And in New York City?  Apparently walking while black is still suspicious activity.

“What about Ferguson?”

What about Fruitvale?

“What about McKenny?”

What about Eric Garner?

“What about that shooting in Charleston?”

What about the fact that it’s Southerners pulling down those Confederate flags?  Last time I know about a bunch of white feel good types coming down South to save them from themselves was in the 1960’s.

A couple of gun shots and you guys went home and decided to protest the Vietnam War from your draft exempt college campuses.

Speaking of college campuses…

  Guys like Lothrop StoddardMadison Grant (inventor of the term ‘Nordic Race’.  He got fan letters from motherfucking Hitler), Harry H. Laughlin, just to name a few were the creators of eugenics in America.  All of them Yankees and Ivy League educated. They were so influential they even got W.E.B. Dubois believing that only 10% of the black race was worth a damn.  These were the guys that created forced sterilization, created Immigration quotas on undesirable races, and people like New York blue blood Teddy Roosevelt liked the stuff they were pushing!

Oh, and let’s talk marriage for a second since were on the topic of selective and desireable breeding.  As late as 1948, California had laws preventing interracial marriages.  Indiana had them till the mid 1950’s.  And you guys are laughing at the South for not wanting to issue marriage licenses to gays?  Gay sex wasn’t legal until 1980 in New York and Pennsylvania.  Rhode Island made in legal in 1998.  The US Supreme Court made it legal in 2003.  So good for you New England, you were were only a few years ahead of the South.

And California.  Don’t try to sneak off.  How did passing Prop 8 work out for ya?  Didn’t it have to go to court in that wonderfully enlightened and liberal state of yours?  You had to go through the same process as Mississippi you pompous assholes.  All you got going for you is you didn’t directly ban it, but you sure as hell couldn’t pass it in an vote.

But again.  What does this have to do with the Confederate Flag?

Quite simple.

It’s defiance.

 It’s a scrap of pride.

 When your entire existence is portrayed in popular media and stereotypes as being ignorant, racist, stupid, inbred, poor, and mean, you get to be well…a little resentful.  Especially when you turn on your T.V.’s and see all these places that make fun of you having their own little issues of race, homophobia, religious bigotry (don’t forget the NYPD spied on Muslims after 9/11!), but no matter what, you’re still the bad guys.  Well you grab on to what you can to still feel good about yourself.  Like your religion.  Sure, they make fun of your Bible thumping, but when the you’re poorest state in the union but second in percentage of charitable donated income, you got that.  When you’re overall more willing to give to charity your time and money than California and New York like Alabama is, you hold onto that pride.

And in the sense of the flag in this day and age, its not about slavery, racism, or other bigotry, its about the time you stood up for yourself and gave these people who culturally bully and belittle you a run for their money.  You kicked their best and brightest peoples asses for years.  You just ran out of bullets and people really.  That’s what it means.

When you went from being the wealthiest places in the country to the poorest.  And I mean like Third World poor, you hold onto the times of your dignity.  Don’t believe me, just ask the American Indian Movement and Leonard Peltier.

That’s what that flag means to the majority of Southerners who support it, it’s defiant pride.  Misguided, myopic, revisionist, and twisted pride.  A pride that blinds you to things you should face, and admit.  A pride that ends up becoming hate.  A pride that ends up blaming someone else for your own failures.  It becomes a poison in the veins of your identity.  It makes you more twisted than before.

When someone has that twisted, hateful pride, that level of resentment, that clinging to a whitewashed past, it’s easy for others to scapegoat them.  “Hey, at least we’re not THOSE guys!”  Then the cycle keeps going.  People won’t let that raging prideful person forget why they all twisted.  Those wounds don’t get a chance to heal.  And that prideful maniac lashes out, even more resentful, more entrenched.  You’re not allowed to overcome your pain and past and so it comes to define who you are.  You take pride in your pain.  You embrace your pain.

The Confederate Battle Flag is the bloodied, tattered bandage that keeps getting ripped off the identity of the South anytime race and bigotry comes up in America.  And like a penitent who wants the world to see how they suffer cause it makes them better, they show their blood and bandages to demonstrate they at least have their defiant pride and identity to still go on.

But what does that have to do with me?  I’m that Southerner that used to think that flag was a badge of honor till I got smarter, wiser, and more cynical.  I’m still proud to be a Southerner.  I’m proud of the hospitality, the kindness, the creativity, the beauty we create.  I’m proud of how blacks and whites in the South have intermixed to provide some of Americas proudest cultural works of art and music.  I’m proud that every time when I say that I’m a bisexual transgender Democrat from Mississippi still living in the South, who uses big words, quotes Descartes, Basho, as well as the Bible without a mush mouthed drawl, I make someone stare at me in utter confusion because I’m not a banjo plucking hillbilly.  I’m proud to be White America’s whipping girl, who points out its not just our fuck ups that caused the whippings.  I’m proud how angry and defensive it makes them get when I do.  I’m proud to point out that ridiculous flag that still flys over my birthplace, isn’t a Southern peculiarity, but an American one.  I’m just proud that we make everyone else uncomfortable when they see the thing, because it’s not just our fault the things it represents are still here.

So here America, look at our Southern bandage.  Looks like you could use it.

A Reflection on the Issues in America.

Over the past few weeks things in Baltimore have spiraled out of control, again raising the issues of race in this country.

I…

You know what?  Screw it.  At this point I’m not going to be able to say anything about it that someone else hasn’t already, and frankly I’ve had a lot of drama lately.  I’m truly sick of the anger, the rage, the hyperbole.  Everyone’s angry at each other and you know what?  I’m sick of it.

I’m going to go watch a movie instead.  Something stupid, silly, trivial, and cartoonish.  Something that no one could get mad about.  I hear there’s a new Avengers movie out.

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Oh Goddamn it, I’m gonna go live in a cabin in Montana or something.