Archive for January, 2008

Celebrity Angels

Friday, January 25th, 2008

People die. In the last week or so we’ve had a couple of celebrities shuffle off their mortal coils at far too young of an age. That’s Brad Renfro and Heath Ledger, in case you’re wondering. So we talked about it a bit, God and I.

The first thing she pointed out to me is that people, on average, are living longer than ever before, so a couple of anecdotal data points don’t really amount to much. Then we got to talking about euphemisms for dying, and for being dead, and we got onto the one about the dead person “sleeping with the angels.” Saying that somebody sleeps with the angels is supposed to suggest that they’ve gone to heaven, but the thing is that it could just as easily mean that they’ve gone to hell. I mean both heaven and hell have a lot of angels hanging around. Heaven is where they all started out, but hell was founded and populated by fallen angels, so it’s also a pretty good place to run into them.

But getting back to that metaphor: somewhere along the way I’ve seen this whole thing get confused. A lot of people seem to be going with the notion these days that when people die they become angels. This is not only wrong but it’s sort of like suggesting that if you move near Disneyland that you become an animated mouse.

Honestly, you’d think that if people were going to invoke modern mythologies that they’d at least bother to learn some of the rules. Then again, maybe they look at how even celebrities, who have more than enough money to take good care of themselves, can end up dead at a pretty young age and they figure they just don’t have the time to learn what they’re talking about. Of course, when it comes to religion, that’s nothing new.

Body and Mind

Friday, January 18th, 2008

I’ve been thinking about why I consider myself gay rather than bi, since God brought it up last week.

Rather than merely being a strategic decision, to make it clear that I’m seriously interested in men, like I suggested, I think there’s a more solid basis.

It comes down to the difference between romance and sex. This is an area that we don’t talk about much as a society, other than to make snide and false innuendoes that romance is for women and sex is for men. I’m not going to really get into what the difference is between sex and romance except to make the inadequate and far too un-nuanced observation that romance mostly happens in the mind and sex mostly happens in the body.

So I’m bisexual in that I enjoy having sex with both men and women, but I’m gay because I really only feel romantic towards men.

Although, for me, this distinction has largely been like a man in prison discussing where to have lunch. You can discuss all the fine restaurants or notorious dives that you want, but when it comes down to it, you’re going to take what you’re given.

Sexual Strategy

Friday, January 11th, 2008

God asked me why it is that I consider myself gay rather than bisexual. After all, I’ve had sex with women and certainly enjoyed it.

What I told him is that it seems more useful of a label. What I’ve told a number of people (a small number) over the years is that since there is an assumption of heterosexuality in human culture, it is always easier to make sexually oriented contact with the opposite sex. Declaring oneself to be gay doesn’t stop that, in fact, if many works of fiction are to be believed, it can even increase attention from the opposite sex. So that suggests that declaring oneself to be gay may be the only way to get same sex potential partners to take you seriously, and since I’m no Adonis, I figure I’ve got to be taken seriously if I want to be taken at all.

So declaring myself to be gay, rather than bi, is the strategic thing to do, and I’ve always believed in living life strategically.

Of course, given my track record, maybe it hasn’t been that good of a strategy after all.

The Big Three

Friday, January 4th, 2008

The rallying cry of the modern hedonist is “sex and drugs and rock and roll.” The three subjects I was taught to not bring up in polite company are religion, politics and sex. So the common theme is sex.

Now if you think about it that makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. One of the things that makes us alive and not just machines is that we reproduce organically. This is so key that many people have suggested that we exist just because DNA needs us as a way to make more of itself. But, ignoring that, how is it that something so important that it becomes the lead figure in a cultural rallying cry is also something that we shouldn’t talk about?

So I asked God about this? He told me that it’s because we don’t like to be reminded that at the core we’re just animals. Sex is something that we can’t avoid, it’s programmed into us at our deepest levels and when we really get into it we really get in touch with our inner animals. We rut. We grunt. We put all five senses on the case and shut down a lot of our higher order thinking.

And then, if we’re lucky, we completely forget about both politics and religion, for a few minutes anyway.