General: November 2002 Archives

I think, and I expect others to do the same. I have some control over the first part of that statement, but I am helpless in advancing, and am continually disappointed in the second. Still, I talk and I write, frustrating most of us, I suppose.

Why would I bother to post on my website a paean to apple pie, motherhood, patriotism, or the obvious virtues of not murdering your family, friends and neighbors? I post what neither I nor my readers would expect to see elsewhere. My enthusiasms are rarely directed toward the banal, and instead look for the challenging and the new.

If I take the effort to espress myself I try hard to avoid the obvious, or to add my thoughts to the chorus of a majority, whether the subject is opera, yiddish culture, General Motors, the pope or patriotism.

I don't feel inspired, and should not be compelled or required, to first demonstrate my credentials as a right-thinking human being or to declaim the obvious in order then to address my subject, with what I hope would be a fresh perspecive, provocative in the best sense.

I will take not a loyalty oath and I will subscribe to no cathechism. I leave such silly but dangerous stuff to small frightened souls, and hope they will keep them away from decent folk.

--in the islamic world as much as anywhere else.

Salman Rushdie, at first disgusted with the usage of his name by islamic neanderthals as an epithet, now decides he should take pride in the label, but asks why there aren't actually more "Rushdies" speaking out against a closed muslim world.

A couple of months ago I said that I detested the sloganization of my name by Islamists around the world. I'm beginning to rethink that position. Maybe it's not so bad to be a Rushdie among other "Rushdies." For the most part I'm comfortable with, and often even proud of, the company I'm in.

Where, after all, is the Muslim outrage at these events? As their ancient, deeply civilized culture of love, art and philosophical reflection is hijacked by paranoiacs, racists, liars, male supremacists, tyrants, fanatics and violence junkies, why are they not screaming?

To Jeff Reilly, who did not leave an email address, and to everyone else who has commented on this post:

You should read what I actually wrote. Nowhere is there a reference to an evil person, but rather to evil that was done, yes by both parties.

"Diversity?" Eeegads! I'm living in the middle of Manhattan and there's still not enough diversity to satisfy me! Barry and I thrive on it, but love of diversity does not require suffering fools patiently, as my neighbors know well. Moreover, living in New York certainly means you do not have time for such amusements.

I have never knowingly spoken or acted in a manner which restricted the freedom or belief of others, but I do not have to waste my time, or that of others, in discussion with individuals and groups displaying culpable ignorance, prejudice and their enjoyment of name-calling. I understand you yourself are not guilty of all of the previous, yet the "comments" posted are all off-target and do not suggest any interest in dialogue.

I'm not sure what you mean by "related actions," but I suspect it involves importuning, if not actually assaulting, the "noses" of queers. (as in, Oliver Wendell Holmes' "your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins") We don't have missionaries ourselves, and our cultural memory means that proselytizers from the straight world, and especially the religious world, represent great injury unimaginable to those who are not homosexual. For many of us, like Nicholas Gutierrez, the reaction tragically does not always remain reasonable.

I have not yet discontinued the "comments" function of the log, although I have been sorely tempted and may still do so. So, those who have an interest in the descriptions ["sick," "pervert," "sick fuck,"] used of me and of Barry by those responding to our postings about the Chicago killing may still see there the evidence of their misreading, their ignorance and their fanaticisms.

--supplied by its own scientific agencies. This is to save us all from the evils of information relating to human sexuality. The winners? The AIDS virus, teenage pregnancy, cancer and other diseases, ignorance, distrust, a reactionalry religious and social agenda.

Over the last year, the [Department of Health and Human Services, currently headed by Tommy Thompson] has quietly expunged information on how using condoms protects against AIDS, how abortion does not increase the risk of breast cancer and how to run programs proven to reduce teenage sexual activity.
There's a history to such manipulation, but it's not always been in the service of ideology.
The department has previously been accused of subverting science to politics by purging advisory committees and choosing scientific experts with views on occupational health favorable to industry.

Oh but that Bin Laden is so 2001. Sadam Hussein is this year's color.

I don't know what to say about this story. I know what I feel about golf, and I certainly have mixed feelings about the Russian Tea Room's history, but is this what is to become of New York?

So it's not good enough to be straight if you want to remain in scouting; you also have to be religious.

[Eagle Scout] Lambert, who is 19 and has been an atheist since studying evolution in the ninth grade, was told to abide by the vow of reverence by next week or get out.

As Mr. Lambert described it, he was given a week to find God.

"They say that I should think about what I really believe and get back to them," he said. "I have thought about this for years. Can they expect me to change my beliefs in seven days?"

Two years ago the Supreme Court said it was ok for the Boy Scouts to discriminate against homosexuals. It's unlikely anything will stop the organization from discriminating against the un-American belief that there is no god.

A national spokesman for the Boy Scouts, Gregg K. Shields, describes this latest assertion of the organization's right to bigotry and superstition as simply a matter of doing the right thing for its members.

Mr. Shields said for the Boy Scouts to insist on anything less would be unfair to the five million members. "It would be a disservice to all the other members to allow someone to selectively obey or ignore our rules," he said.

As for the other 11 points of the Scout Law, Mr. Shields could not say whether anyone had been ejected for being untrustworthy, disloyal, unhelpful, unfriendly, discourteous, unkind, disobedient, cheerless, unthrifty, cowardly or sloppy.

The last paragraph above is the NYTimes editorializing. It would be nice if the paper, in its usual reporting of political news, showed even half the courage it shows in this article.

This page is an archive of entries in the General category from November 2002.

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