If Kleinheider is Right, I’d Better Get Busy

Today, Kleinheider is talking about gay people, again.  It’s his usual bullshit of "I believe homosexuality to be unnatural and likely a symptom of one or more mental disorders" so if that galls you, you should skip it. 

Basically, he’s arguing that it sucks that if men seem to enjoy anything particularly cultured, they’re perceived as gay.  Surprisingly he neglects to see this as a larger symptom of the right’s purging of intellectuals by linking intellectual pursuits with the right’s great hang-up–gayness.  "Don’t seem too smart or people will think that you’re gay!"

But let’s move to the interesting portion of the post:

However, I think, while we can all spout platitudes about individuality and being your own person, we can also agree that most individual are not islands. Our internal selves are shaped by how we are viewed, interpreted and treated by the outside world. We frequently adjust our behavior based on how it is perceived. It may be unfortunate in many cases but it is an intractable fact of life.

Perhaps there’s hope for Kleinheider yet. 

In tangentially related news, Brandon Waters of Athens, Tennessee came home to find a seven foot tall burning cross on his front yard.  And yet, it’s Waters who supposedly has "one or more mental disorders," not the fucktards who wanted to make sure Waters knew they hated him.

In other tangentially related news, the Butcher and I went to see Superman.  It’s a good movie and beautifully filmed.  Every bit of it is carefully crafted, lovingly put together, and spectacularly shot.  Afterwards, the Butcher and I were talking about the accusations of it being "gay" and we are both in agreement that we just have to start calling people on this bullshit.

The biggest problem the Left has is that we are constantly hogtied by our own rhetoric.  We preach tolerance and so we tolerate ideas that are harmful to the people we care about.  We teach that different points of view should be respected and so we stand by while people spew things we know to be nonsense.  And when we’re faced with ludicrousness, we make nice.   Because we don’t want people to think that we’re mean or that we don’t like them. 

But, I think, there comes a point when not calling people on their bullshit is disrespectful of them as people.

Kleinheider, for instance, when he says "As much, I despise our culture’s mainstreaming and acceptance of homosexuality, as much as I believe homosexuality to be unnatural and likely a symptom of one or more mental disorders," he’s ridiculous.  And I should say so because he has a brain and he is a thoughtful person and, if I think he’s wrong and I don’t say anything, what I’m saying to him is ‘I just don’t think you can help your stupidity.’" 

How is that not worse patronization than "Bless your heart, you’re just wrong and here’s why?"

So, Kleinheider, again, I say to you homosexually cannot be unnatural because it happens.  It happens all the time in a lot of species, not just human.  And it’s been a facet of human sexuality since the beginning of recorded history.  It happens in nature, of which we are a part, therefore, it is natural. 

Unless you mean something by "natural" besides "frequently occurring in nature," you need to use another word beside unnatural, because your insistence on the term makes you look like an idiot. 

Second, regardless of what you think about homosexuality being the result of one or more mental disorders, the psychiatric community by and large disagrees with you.

Here’s the problem, as I see it.  You hate gay people.  You also believe yourself to be someone who strives to be a good person.  Good people do not hate other people without justification, therefore, you must have some justification, no matter how flimsy or refutable for why you hate gay people.

Kleinheider, please, just stop it.  For the sake of sane conversations about issues that affect real people, just be up front.  You have homophobia.  Like anybody suffering from any other phobia, you have a strong, persistent, unreasonable fear of gay people far beyond their actual threat to you.

That at least makes sense.  It’s a position I can understand, a place conversations can start from.

Udderly Ridiculous

Lee!  Holy shit.  The Butcher and I went to see Superman and one of the trailers is for "Barnyard."  Have you seen this?

Unexplained in the trailer is why all of the cows have udders.  Could they really have made a whole movie about farm animals and never bothered to look at a bull?

Independence Day with Walt Whitman

Since Abramson and Newscoma already have the relevant and important words from the statesmen, I thought I would take some time to further alienate Nathan Moore, and once again turn to America’s beloved Uncle Walt.  No, not Disney.  Damn it.  The other beloved Uncle Walt.

There’s this moment, early in our country’s history, when Emerson laments that no poet exists who can capture the essence of America:

I look in vain for the poet whom I describe. We do not, with sufficient plainness, or sufficient profoundness, address ourselves to life, nor dare we chaunt our own times and social circumstance. If we filled the day with bravery, we should not shrink from celebrating it. Time and nature yield us many gifts, but not yet the timely man, the new religion, the reconciler, whom all things await. Dante’s praise is, that he dared to write his autobiography in colossal cipher, or into universality. We have yet had no genius in America, with tyrannous eye, which knew the value of our incomparable materials, and saw, in the barbarism and materialism of the times, another carnival of the same gods whose picture he so much admires in Homer; then in the middle age; then in Calvinism. Banks and tariffs, the newspaper and caucus, methodism and unitarianism, are flat and dull to dull people, but rest on the same foundations of wonder as the town of Troy, and the temple of Delphos, and are as swiftly passing away. Our logrolling, our stumps and their politics, our fisheries, our Negroes, and Indians, our boasts, and our repudiations, the wrath of rogues, and the pusillanimity of honest men, the northern trade, the southern planting, the western clearing, Oregon, and Texas, are yet unsung. Yet America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres. [emphasis mine]

And just like some quasi-mythological figure, Whitman seems to come out of nowhere to answer Emerson’s call and to start to articulate for us what America is, who Americans are, and what American poetry might do:

Other states indicate themselves in their deputies . . . . but the genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges or churches or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors . . . but always most in the common people. Their manners speech dress friendships—the freshness and candor of their physiognomy—the picturesque looseness of their carriage . . . their deathless attachment to freedom—their aversion to anything indecorous or soft or mean—the practical acknowledgment of the citizens of one state by the citizens of all other states—the fierceness of their roused resentment—their curiosity and welcome of novelty—their self-esteem and wonderful sympathy—their susceptibility to a slight—the air they have of persons who never knew how it felt to stand in the presence of superiors—the fluency of their speech—their delight in music, the sure symptom of manly tenderness and native elegance of soul . . . their good temper and openhandedness—the terrible significance of their elections—the President’s taking off his hat to them not they to him—these too are unrhymed poetry. It awaits the gigantic and generous treatment worthy of it.

And, of course, then Whitman sets out to give America the gigantic and generous treatment worthy of it, starting right in with “Song of Myself.”

There’s something about Whitman that just kills me.  His America is my America, but his arms-open love of this big old messy place is not something we have any more.  We’re all about loving America when abortions stop, when gays go away, when people stop complaining about how they’re being mistreated, when the theofascists stop ignoring the first amendment, when the Bush nightmare is finally over, when we get back to the good old days, when we finally fulfill our promise.

There’s so much wrong, so we put off our love.  We make it contingent on America finally deserving it.

But not Whitman.  And his is not some jingo-istic love wrapped up in fancy theoretical notions.  His is a love for the the people, free and unfree, just and unjust, bride, prostitute, slave, slave-catcher, sea captain, lunatic.

Sometimes, I think we should strive to be an America worth Whitman’s love.  But, of course, that’s wrong.  Whitman thinks we’re worth his love right now.  The squabbling mess of millions of people all just doing their own thing, he loves that.

Still, when I think of how much Walt Whitman loves America and how we don’t love him back, it breaks my heart

Happy Birthday, America.  I got you Walt Whitman.  I hope you like it.  I wish you’d love it.



I have freckles, too.  I shouldn’t complain.  But mine are tiny and light brown.  You have to get right up close to appreciate them. Not that I mind you getting up close, but I like freckles that look dramatic from afar.

Anyway, I’m pleased to say that for the first time in my life, I apparently judged correctly how much and how often I would need to apply sun screen as I am not red except for one splotch on my back, which apparently just didn’t get hit with sun screen.

Even the tops of my ears and the bony part of my forehead are burn-free which is pretty remarkable for me.

And, in a development that tickles me a great deal, I have freckles creeping up my arms and onto my shoulders.  It looks like I’m a negative of the night sky, a vast light canvas filled with clusters of dark stars.