Saturday, January 28, 2006

To be clear... On fluff expression and serious expression

I am going to write pieces that are sometimes completely fluffy with conclusions I don't always believe 100% in... and I will write pieces that aren't fluffy that I do believe 100% in... what I am getting at is... blogging is expression and expression isn't always about exposing one's actual beliefs, but exploring the world of possibilities and maybes which are sometimes in complete juxtaposition with the reality of the world.

GLAAD probably does do some good work, but sometimes, I think they are rather silly. It hurt when I was called a faggot by my peers when I was in school from the 1st grade till 12th grade, but the moment "faggot" had no power over me was a beautiful day.

No, I do NOT equate faggot and nigger as they do not have the same history. I plain do not like the word "nigger" and wish it could be excised from the language. White supremacy is larger than heterosexism although both have made impacts and uncomfortable assaults on my life, sometimes working together in not-so-beautiful intersectionality.

My quest, with my blog, is to express myself and my views the best way I know how which means sometimes, my expression/view is going to be wildly out of touch. However, what happened to the ability to dream? What happened to the ability to create?

I will try not to let myself become overly concerned with how I am being read... especially since, as far as I know, I am not being read at all....


Because Faggot is my rightful name...

Without certainty, I want to say that generally, I think GLADD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is pretty stupid. No, really.

However, perhaps not for the reasons I was going to write about since I have fallen for the inaccurate news feeds I have seen, too. (Including on yesterday's The Soap)

But I do want to talk about American Idol and Claykin for a moment.

In case you haven't been paying attention, it seems as though Clay Aiken's days as a sexually ambiguous gay dude are about to be over. For those of you who want the shorthand version, he hooked up with some guy from the internet, went to his room, had sex with him, and the guy kept the rag he shot his love juice into and went str8 to the Enquirer. Now, while this story has some issues (mainly... "Don't Ask, Don't Tell anybody? But he's a *former* soldier. Eh.) the fact remains that *something* happened.

But really, *who* thought he was str8? Ok, maybe that is a trick question. Teenie boppers LOVE Clay Aiken. Shit, my MOTHER loves him (and as a birthday gag gift to Ryan, my partner, she sent him a frame with a picture of Clay Aiken in it... no, this brand of my mom's humor never translates to me -- I lack that gay funny bone I guess). Maybe they like him for the reason reason so many women and teeny boppers have loved sexually ambiguous white male performers like Wayne Newton, Liberace, Michael Jackson (ha! j/k) -- because they seem so harmless and gentle, the kinda boy you can take home to Mama, that you can totally ravish behind doors because he wouldn't know anything about sex, which would be so sweet...

*shakes head*

What's up with that kind of romanticized sentimental malarky?

So, Clay Aiken has been effectively outed -- I mean, homeboy kept the cumrag... his career as he has known it is over.

Or maybe it is just beginning?

Artists like Rufus Wainwright has never been closeted and his career is just fine. Jim Verraros (don't groan yet... have you SEEN that child lately?) still has a career, too -- and he was like the first Idol queer -- the grandma of the Queers of Idol (Wait... that's Seacrest... does anyone else remember the first season, before Simon made that comment, when Ryan Seacrest would str8 flame out? I miss that Ryan Seacrest. Although I like Seacrest more this season than I have since that moment. Seacrest is the orginal Gay Idolmother... but who knows about his politics... maybe I give him too much credit!). We are on the verge of sweeping social and political changes regarding gay sexuality, and we still have artists (like the late Lutha) who are closeted.

My partner and I had a conversation about outing. He doesn't like outing. I don't like outing either, HOWEVER, I don't like that there are some people out there gaying it up and closeted, depending on other people to keep their lies intact. Besides, I am not yet convinced that outing has ever hurt anyone (sexual desires outing, not gender outing). Besides, I have this horrible, naive feeling that it will free Claykin as an artist. Let him flame on and maybe be authentic and maybe be himself.

One of the things I have always enjoyed, sometimes much later, as an out person is the effect I have had on people who were not out, who would see me and somehow get enough strength from my being out to come out themselves. Now, that is not to say I understood it -- I have to be honest and true to myself in all the conflicting ways and messages and forms that takes... I am not trying to be anyone's hero. But if I am *shrugs* that's cool, too. Now, while I am not someone who thinks people should look to "famous" people (preferring to find my heroes in my community... one of my heros is Cookie Brown -- both the real person and the person they called "Cookie Brown" who's real name escapes me from Bennettsville, SC and Jeff ____ who was a total Bette Midler queen....), but folks do. *shrugs* "Give 'em what they want" -- Claykin, stop being selfish and self-serving and do your duty to those young fags and dykes looking for someone to inspire them to come out of their closets. Shit, North Carolina could use it.

To switch subjects slightly, I don't think Simon's remarks are cruel. The little trannygirl who came in (the one that embraces himself, but you know will be on hormones in two years and good for him because that child is fierce) is used to people being closed and narrow-minded and perhaps this was the shove she needed to be who she is. The B/black boy who Simon said should shave and wear a wig actually WOULD make a gorgeous woman.

Thing is, this is the entertainment world and fags and transfolks have always been involved and there. To be a male and to sing (whether you are good or not) by most masculinity codes means you are going to be picked at -- I know.... I am a male who can sing h/is ass off and I have been picked at because of my voice, mannerisms, and general noncompliance to B/black Southern masculinity codes. I have had to sit in choruses where guys called themselves "basses" because at least if you sang "the low notes" you still hang onto some semblance of masculinity because everyone knows that tenors are just faggots.

So, I don't think Simon is being homo- or transphobic, he is just being, well, Simon, which is to say insulting and amused with life. I mean, *grins* one might ask how he'd know... since many say that male Brits (well, before the Lad movement anyway) just seem gay in some manner anyway (I've heard... I don't really notice or care very much... I mean, they work from a different cultural context -- American masculinity isn't their brand... or wasn't. *shakes head* Enough of this messy topic)...

I guess... my rambling leads here: When will people stop acting as if it is a shameful thing to be identified as a homosexual (lesbian, gay), bisexual or transgendered person? Honestly, when the power is taken out of the possibility of being identified as such, everything else gets easy.

That's the problem. Everyone is "supportive" of LBTG people and politics and issues UNTIL they are identified as one. Instead of chuckling and nodding or something, they respond with a HUGE disclaimer -- as if something is wrong with being, thus negating their entire position and making being a TLBG person be seen as something shameful and disgusting.

The day someone called me a faggot and I could do nothing but laugh because, well, I AM a faggot and there's NOTHING BAD about it was the day I became free. I feel that all the censoring, over-sensitivity keeps oppression in play instead of truly liberating anyone.

If you are serious about TIFQQLBG liberation, whether het ally or queer, call yourself the word your would-be oppressor calls you and laugh, don't let it hurt you... because... really, whatever.

I wish Clay luck... and Verraros's stylist.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Hamas against the World: a reaction

Why oh WHY are people shocked that Hamas won? It can't possibly be that everyone is so incredibly stupid and I am the only sane one on the planet, can it?

See, THIS is why contrastive rhetoric is SO important. Sure, you can call me a cultural relevatist (1 2), but um, there's a REASON why that kind of thinking exists. I am certain, from the view of Palestinian people, Hamas looks like the best thing. Sure, they are known to the world as "terrorist" (a term that should seriously be unpacked), but I have always wondered if they would be better thought of as freedom fighters. (Oh yes, there I go with the unpopular opinions!) To Palestinian people, I wouldn't be shocked if they saw them as a group that gets things done ("by any means necessary" to quote Malcolm X). They have schools and they run shelters and stuff... why is it so foriegn for people to understand that which looks like a "monster" in these contexts can look like "savior" in those?

Gah... people make me SO SICK sometimes! WHY IS THE WORLD COMMUNITY SHOCKED? I find it funny that BUSH would say that Hamas 'must" speak peace when America and most everyone else are the ones 1) Not speaking peace themselves and 2) not listening.

"The state of Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian administration if even part of it is an armed terrorist organisation calling for the destruction of the state of Israel."

"What Hamas was achieving in the past in terms of neighborhood improvements was small-scale," said Duzdar, the political analyst. "Now, in the government, they need to think bigger."

(Also, why is it that people always talk about the number of Israelis killed, but gloss over the number of Palestinians killed by Sharon's terrorist raids a la Bush? I notice the same thing when people talk about Iraq -- they tell how many American soldiers die, but somehow, always, fail to mention the many, many Iraqi deaths... See, how can anyone trust the media that only tells the news of the victor? How can anyone trust media which seems to give information with automatic bias?)

"Speaking at a news conference, Bush did not directly answer a question about the fate of U.S. aid to the Palestinians, though he suggested Hamas' victory could have an impact. "I made it very clear that the United States does not support political parties that want to destroy our ally Israel, and that people must renounce that part of their platform," he said.(*here*)

And here is one of the things that pisses me off, too, and seems horribly and terribly high schoolish... "our ally Irael"... How can anyone expect anything balanced or just coming from that attitude of pre-judgement? I mean, I am so annoyed more people didn't get to see some of the early UN footage where they would have seen Iraeli soldiers beating anyone with brown skin -- for example. I hate this idea everyone has that Palestine does not have legitimate beef. I mean, sure, Israel is a nation; it exists. But why is that Americans, especially, still act as if Israel's hands and arms and legs and faces aren't covered in blood? And, not to seem petty, how long until someone starts to realize the importance of the Jewish holocaust in forming the rhetoric of "our ally Israel"? Africans had a holocaust, too, one that is STILL happening in many ways, and... I'm sure you can put it together. Point of fact: Palestinians did NOT commit those crimes (of the holocaust) against the Jewish people. Why must they pay with the lost of their country and their land? Why should Hamas "recognize" Israel? I mean, how stupid. Of course they "recognize" Israel... as the people holding them hostage in their own land which they have also occupied.

In ranty conclusion, I am really tired of people saying that if you are not pro-Israel you are anti-Semetic. Grow up.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

WWKD?: Civil Rights Movement and Critical Re-envisioning

"Cartoon Network must apologize and also commit to 
pulling episodes that desecrate black historic figures,"
Sharpton, a civil-rights activist and former Democratic
presidential candidate, said in a statement Tuesday.

I think Sharpton is absolutely wrong on this one, folks.

What Sharpton calls "desecration" I call "critical re-envisioning."
Let's not fool each other or ourselves any longer, the Civil Rights
Movement failed. Only *part* of Dr. King's dream was achieved,
the part where B/black people with middle-class aspirations, who
wanted the "same" as white folks (who were middle and upper class)
wanted. Some of them got it, and once they got it, they began to
distance themselves from "them" -- meaning working and working
poor B/black people.

Now, my purpose here is not to create a discussion about class and
class aspirations and the ways in which I feel the B/black community
was lost right there (and using at least Fanon and hooks to back me up),
but to discuss the passing of the torch.

You see, the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement, it's failures and
achievements is left to us -- us "young" folks who are still grappling
the effects of it. You see, Sharpton fails to notice that the fictional
Dr. King
only uses the "N" word out of frustation with this generation
of B/black
folks who believe King's Dream was about getting crunk,
having a "grill" full
of platnium and diamonds, getting our collective
"groove" and "drink" on --
but we don't care anymore. We don't care
about each other. We don't care
about the state of our people. Indeed,
we don't even THINK of ourselves as
a people unless we want something.
We sell each other down the river with a glance.

But you know what, that is not what I want to talk about either.

I want to talk about how our history is belongs to us, those of us who
ourselves in the position to do something with that history, to
upon it. Personally, I am very proud of McGruder because he
does not
allow himself to be silenced -- I am sure he knew, just as I
knew when I
was thinking of writing about Rosa Parks and how troubled
I felt about
her, an essay that troubled me for a month, but I could not
commit to
paper and eventually put out of mind because I knew it
would not be
taken well by my peers, by anyone who saw it. And all I
wanted to do
was ask... "Really, y'all?"

What MrGruder did was to re-envision history and cultural criticism
as well. How WOULD Dr. King respond to today's world? People do this
all the time with historical figures. Consider: WWJD?


Who didn't feel that McGruder was on point when he said that people
would turn their backs on King if he had, for instance been against the
war in Iraq and Afghanistan (as I was and I did lose friends over that
Or that people would find King culturally irrevelent (as they did
Rosa Parks
-- and especially when she sued OutKast over a song she didn't
and no one TOOK the time to understand beside noticing the
song was named
after her and deciding that, yes, she must have a case...
plain ridiculous
speciousness). The only persong who stood beside him
was Huey who tried
to warn him, tried as well and as respectfully as he
could... but there are
some things you have to see and witness for
yourself to fully appreciate.

If we are to get anything from our history, we have to stop thinking of our
leaders and historical figures as being past the point of satire,
critical criticism, etc. We have to stop thinking that to see
one human quality
in our historical figures as denying the great things that
person did. But also,
we have to stop thinking that, well, and I am going
against how I have thought
all these years, we have to stop thinking that
all avenues have already been
taken and the only thing we can do is hop
in-line and go with the flow because
we are unable to make new pathways
when it comes to changing what will
become our collective history.

The "N" word offends me, too. However, I have always felt we had to think
the "N" word within context. However, something inside of me still jumps
shudders and dreads at the utterance of it, but in that episode of
Boondocks I
understood the usage, the cry embedded in McGruder's usage,
in the fictional
King's usage, of it.

I want to move to Canada, too... but it's just too damn cold for my tastes.

- Quentin Ergane


So, I am pretty... I dunno. I have decided to try to use this thing more, and my margins are fucked to hell.

I have downloaded the blogger link and the blogger function for Word... hopefully this will answer my frustrations -- I mean, there's a reason why I love LiveJournal: Ease of use.

Ya hear that Blogger: EASE OF USE!

Sure, I might not get a book deal out of my LJ, but at least it doesn't make my posts look like SHIT.



Quentin Ergane