Saturday, February 13, 2010

KD Lang Wows The Olympics

If you missed the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, you missed a lot of high-tech theatrics and visuals. The biggest thing you missed was KD Lang, everyone's favorite "cow-punk" lesbian crooning a knockout version of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. Watch it here and try not to get shivers up your spine!

She stood on a high platform in a stunning white suit and belted it out as the whole crowd lit battery operated candles and swayed to the tune. It was so simple and yet so powerful. Canada should be proud!

Surviving the Great Dallas Blizzard

Some have called it Snowpocalypse, others Snowmageddon, but no matter what you call it it sucked!

Dallas received over a foot of snow, and though to folks in the great white north that is just a mild annoyance, to us here in Dallas it's a record breaker. Dallas has no snowploughs, no snow emergency routes and no real provisions for tons of heavy wet snow. The show broke tree limbs across the area and as they sagged or fell they in turn broke power lines. Voila! A full fledged mess.

Over 250,000 homes without power including ours! So, we toughed it out for a night and then wimped out and moved to a hotel. The first hotel, a friendly La Quinta on Central Expressway had rooms available, even though the town is packed for the NBA All-Star game Friday night. We arrived, My aging Aunt and Cousin in tow, since their house was dark and cold as well, only to find the hotel had lights but no heat. That is a deal breaker for sure.

The folks at La Quinta were very helpful and they did find us a room for the Irving, Texas. So we trucked across town and ensconces ourselves in the hotel. After a nice dinner at the Outback with my Aunt and cousin we spend a warm cozy night in Irving.

This morning we called our house and the answering machine failed to pick up. Making an exploratory trip we found the house fully powered and warm, the cats serenely asleep on the bed greeting us with insouciance. But hey they are cats and that is what they do. We checked my Aunt's house and she did not have power, so I treated them to another night at the hotel should they need it.

All in all quite a little adventure and all because of the pretty white stuff that falls from the sky.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, my ass!

Update 2/14/10 - Not so fast! Well we had a nice dinner out and returned home last night to a dark street. Power out yet again! So, we spent the night with friends and finally today the electricity is back on. Hopefully, it will stay that way.

Homosexual vs. Gay - Words Color Poll Results

I just read a new study that said that more people polled support "gays serving in the military" than "homosexuals serving in the military". The numbers are astounding, 70% in favor versus 57% even though both terms are accurate and neither is a slur.

It is absolutely wierd how a simple change in semantics can color a poll. This is a good thing to remember in the future and especially when it comes to minorities. I suspect if the term "negro" is used instead of "African American" in a poll you'd get similar results.

Now that our community has started adding letters to LGBT such as QQIA (queer, questioning, intersex,allied) I have to wonder how that poll would work with those terms. My suspicion is that if you askede people if they wanted "queers to serve openly in the military" they would be overwhelmingly against it. That word, though many in our community have embraced it, still carries a big emotional wallop.

The lesson here is when speaking with the general public, use non-inflamitory words to get better results. Does this mean we should assimilate? Hell no, just refraim from using our jargon with the unenlightened.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Online Sex Game for Teens!

OK, that's a pretty inflammatory headline, but it is mostly true. The Middlesex-London Health Unit, a Canadian public health service has launched a new online video game called Sex Squad. It's aimed at teens who are starting to become sexually active and it just might work. Meanwhile the graphic was too good to pass up, especially the guy with the big penis for a fist. Talk about Freudian!

Quantum Mechanics Friday Blog

Yup time to expand or possibly blow your mind with a little quantum theory tidbit.

Some physicists in Hanover, Germany have been doing a little experiment (GEO600) to try to detect gravitational waves. There are ripples in space-time thrown off by super-dense astronomical objects like black holes. Funny thing. So far no gravitational waves have been detected, but in the tradition of many physics discoveries, they might have found something even more nifty.

In a story that reminds me of the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, (remnants from the Big Bang, Edwin Hubble's theory) they have been getting noise in their detector. They just couldn't find an explanation until a coolleague at Fermilab, Craig Hogan, postulated that they might have stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time. That is the point where space-time stops behaving like the smooth continuum Einstein described and dissolves into "grains". Think of a photo in a newspaper when you examine it under a magnifying glass.

In a quote by Hogan that is sure to either puzzle you or make you say "what the f*&k?" the doctor makes the copmparison, "if the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram."

Can I get another "what the f*&k?"

Ah again physics reaches a level that sounds more like either The Matrix or religion or maybe both. Alas, that is the kind of strangeness you get when space-time is examined at this kind of level. Which brings me to my next revelation. Our whole universe is quite likely just a construct of our consciousness that makes our existence easier to comprehend. The recent theory of "bio-centrism" pretty much say time and reality are simply the way our minds understand existence. This means where we should be looking to understand the universe is in our cognitive processes as well as in what we perceive as the physical world.

So to make a very very long story short, relax your reality is only an convenient illusion and eventually it will be replaced by another one. And no I haven't been smoking wacky tabaccy.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Debra Medina Backtracks on 9/11 Comment

So if you ever want to know what the Tea Party is about,it's about quotes like this one by Debra Medina, Republican "Tea Party" candidate in the GOP primary for Governor of Texas. She was on Glenn Beck and he asked her if the US Government was behind 9/11 to wit she replied:

"I don't have all of the evidence there, Glenn," Medina said. "I think some very good questions have been raised. In that regard there's some very good arguments and I think the American people have not seen all the evidence there."

I suspect that answer wasn't written on her palm, because once her opponents got hold of that she backed away like she had just touched a hot stove. Her official tune is now: "
There is no doubt in my mind that Muslim terrorists flew planes into those buildings on 9/11...."

That's a far cry from "good arguments".

So, like I figured, the Tea Party folks are populists without a clue.

Video Footage of the White House in the Snow

For those of us in Dallas, at least it isn't as bad as Washington, DC. Here are clips from the White House.

APA Issues New Guidelines & BDSM is Still a "Disorder"

Well, so much for lobbying the American Psychological Association. The new DSM-V is about to come out and guess what? Anything but missionary position for sex is pretty much a disorder.

This means that even though the fine print clarifies that Paraphylia, or what the real world calls fetishes are not a disorder unless it causes "distress and impairment", few shrinks are likely to read past the heading. This has been an ongoing problem and a lot of time and money has been expended to try to get fetishes tossed out completely, since it is not the fetish that is the problem in most cases. However, the folks at the APA are very, very, very conservative and wouldn't budge.

After all, it took years to get them to declassify homosexuality as a disorder, so what do you expect?

Meanwhile people with Asperger's Syndrome, many of whom I am very familliar with, are now classified as Autistic. Poof! A whole disease is dismissed. My guess is that Asperger's Syndrome doesn't get the same kind of money from insurance companies that Autism does, so the APA, following the money just enriched their members with full coverage!

Call me cynical? Maybe just suffering from Life Irony Disorder?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

AFA Unhealthy Fixation With Showers

The old bigots at the American Family Association are up to their same tired tricks. They are railing about the repeal of DADT. Their cry is the same as always, "gays in the shower"!

Here is a bit of news for them. There are gays in the showers now in gyms, military and colleges. The military does not deny that LGBT people already serve, they just have to lie about being straight. That means that LGBT people are already naked and cleaning themselves alongside straight counterparts. That won't change under a repeal of DADT.

And here's another buliten for the AFA. According to a Zogby poll, 73 percent of military members are comfortable with lesbians and gays. 73%! So why is the AFA so fixated on the showers?

I figure it's because they are the ones who want to be in that steamy environment leering at the other naked men and women, and they are just projecting that onto the LGBT service members.
Time for some serious soul searching AFA folks!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Iowa Republicans Propose Pro-Bullying Laws Against LGBT Students

Take a good look. This is the face of a bully. He is the guy that might have pushed you to the ground in the schoolyard and called you "fag". He is the guy who might have robbed you of your lunch money or slammed you into a locker and he is trying to do it again in Iowa, but with the this time he wants to do it with a law.

His name is Matt Windschitl, and he is a state representative in Iowa. He and his bullying friend, Jason Schultz have introduced a bill entitled, "Exclude Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Students from Safe Schools Law ".

These assholes actually have the nerve to actively push a law that encourages bullying and harassment of LGBT kids. Now perhaps you think my language is a bit strong. You're God damned right it is! This is the kind of thing I would expect form the American Nazi Party not the Republicans, but perhaps I have forgotten that the GOP is now run by jackbooted thugs!

This is going to take a national effort to bring these bigots to their knees. I propose a letter writing campaign to flood their offices with mail. Not EMAIL either, real honest to God letters.

The bullies addresses are:

Matt Windschitl
222 West Huron
Missouri Valley, Iowa 51555

Jason Schultz
18 Valley View Circle
Schleswig, Iowa 51461

Let these two know how you feel and why they are the problem not the solution.

Here is the bill!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

A Big Thank You To Everyone at Creating Change

To all the folks who made Creating Change such a success, I do not have enough words to thank you. I saw so many excited and energized LGBTQ activists this weekend I feel a whole lot better about the state of our movement.

I also wanted to thank the NLGTF for their unexpected award for Leather Leadership. I will cherish this for the rest of my life and I will try to live into the expectations such an honor means. I hope I am up to it.

I thought I would print my thank you speech here, in case some of my friends might want to read it.
I am incredibly honored to receive this award. I want to thank the task force for their bravery in continuing to present this award every year. I well understand that the Leather community is often used by our enemies as that boogie man that can drum up fear in their followers. They portray the LGBTQ community and more specifically the leather community with half truths and inflammatory lies.

It is sad that they cannot see people like us as simply another facet in the jewel that is God’s gift of sexuality. Now I also understand there are those here who will get uncomfortable when I bring God into the discussion, but I can find no better explanation for the intense and rewarding relationships I have found in the LGBTQ leather community but a gift of the divine.

On a hopeful note, I want you to know that in my travels and presentations at leather, BDSM and Fetish events across the continent, I find that we leatherfolk have a unique ability to unite people of many sexual orientations including heterosexuals. These people have found common ground in the leather BDSM fetish realm and have come to understand the unique difficulties being a sexual minority. The knowledge we share with one another, the principals of safety, consensuality and negotiation in our activities contributes to a richness and authenticity in their lives and relationships. That can only be a good thing.

I sincerely hope that the work of the task force continues, but not for too long. The goal of any organization that works to end discrimination and intolerance is to work itself out of a job. My fondest dream is that someday we will no longer need to dedicate so much time and money and effort to enjoy the freedoms and rights that most Americans take for granted. Until that time, we all have a lot of work to do.

Dallas Morning News Favors Repeal of DADT.

The Dallas Morning News is a bastion of conservative opinion in Dallas and has been all of my life, that's why it is so surprising that they have come down on the side of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Long out of touch with the changing political demographic of Dallas the News often rails against anything that even resembles progressive, so this move is huge. I can only imagine that even the DMN inderstands that DADT is just plain bad policy and encourages dishonest behavior. I would think honesty is something you would want in people serving in the military.

I know several military men who are not LGBT and all of them favor the repeal. They have seen good officers and specialists discharged when the military needs all the expertise they can get. Even General Colin Powell is in favor of doing away with this crappy policy.