We Love Kim Davis

tumblr_nvilx7K2t41qcb3w6o1_1280Be honest, deep down we love Kim Davis. In fact we need Kim Davis. She’s the lazy man’s villain we need to prove that we’re the good guys. She’s the Lex Luthor to our Superman. Like Lex Luthor she’s evil but we all know at the end of the day there’s no real threat and good will triumph like it always does. Nothing feels better than the self-righteous glory you get from fighting injustice simply by sharing an angry article from the comfort of your couch.

But what do we do with all this pent-up rage? Should we take real action like boycotting a delicious chicken restaurant that openly gives money to anti-gay groups? Should we just relax and be happy? FUCK NO! We need someone to hate. We need a villain. Correction: We need an unintimidating villain with very little power that we’re able to focus our anger towards simply by making fun of her bad hair. Those memes aren’t going to make themselves. Does it matter that her actions are only directly affecting less than 1% of the population? No. Does it matter that those 1% can go to any other county in the state to get a marriage license? No. Does it matter that she doesn’t matter? No. The only thing that matters is that we have someone to hate. Getting mad at Kim Davis and making snarky comments about her appearance serves the real purpose of us feeling better about ourselves. She gives us that much-needed self-righteous high. Oh and what a high it is. It’s similar to the high we get when we type an opinionated 3 paragraph comment every time someone shares a Huffington Post article about the Pope.

Whatever we do we can’t stop talking about Kim Davis. Please don’t stop talking about her. We need to keep re-posting the same articles about her on Facebook over and over again. Like another famous Kim, attention and publicity is what keeps her alive. If we stop talking about her she might actually go away and be forgotten. Oh god what would we do then?! We wouldn’t have an excuse to be outraged. I for one don’t want to live in a world where we actually direct our outrage toward high-ranking congressmen with real power. Congressmen who, for example, have the power to shut down the government. Their hair isn’t as bad and their clothes aren’t as ugly. Obviously they’re not the real villains. We’re not fooled by your tricks Satan. We know that Kim Davis is the real enemy and I won’t listen to anyone who calls her a red herring.

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9 Things I learned in Maui

I spent all of last week on vacation on the island of Maui in Hawaii. While I was there I learned a lot about the island and about myself.

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1. You must travel a long way to get to a little beach. While we were in Maui we met a great couple from Seattle who told us about a big Sunday party on the local nude beach called Little Beach. With a YOLO mentality we decided to check it out. Little beach is next to Big beach and that’s really the only information we had. When we arrived at Big beach we wandered around for a while searching for clues. Come to find out we needed to climb up the steep lava rocks to reach Little beach which was hidden on the other side. I don’t want to over exaggerate it but this was kind of a legit rock climbing exercise. When we got down to the hidden beach on the other side we found a large crown of clothed and naked folks all relaxing in the sun. It was a very mixed crowd of old and young, men and women, and straight and gay, much more mixed that I expected. There was less of a sexy atmosphere and more of a hippy vibe. With the was a non stop drum circle and the scent of weed everywhere it’s what I picture when I think of the 60’s. Other than the incredible people watching my favorite part of the beach was the incredibly big waves. Jumping and bouncing in the water kept me laughing all afternoon. I loved the whole experience because it felt very unique and something I knew I would have trouble recreating.

tumblr_nvez5gdX7i1qcb3w6o2_4002. Like heaven, you’ll never get to Hana. The road to Hana is on every must see list written about Maui. The road traverses much of the north shore of the island and provides some of the most beautiful most picturesque spots. Every where you turn it looks like a postcard. Unfortunately with all the stops and due to the incredibly tight winding road the journey to Hana is several hours long. Most people, us included, end up giving up somewhere along the way and turn around. I’m proud to say that we made it 75% of the way there before throwing in the towel. (The road was so windy that Russ actually got car sick and threw up) Even though we didn’t cross the finish line we still got to see waterfalls, nature trails, and probably the prettiest coast line I have ever seen. Also the more we talked to people the more we found out that almost everyone quits before reaching Hana. It’s about the journey not the destination.

IMG_00163. Vacation friends are the friends you didn’t know you needed. Maui is the relaxed and laid back cousin to the much busier Oahu. The whole island feels like a small beach town and at night the town goes to bed early to prepare for the next beautiful day. There isn’t much nightlife on Maui beyond some local bars and strolling along moon lite beaches. We were lucky enough to meet Eric and Chris on one of our first days there because not only had they been to Maui before but they were also buddies we could spend time with throughout the week. We would meet at a local bar for cheep shots and just shoot the shit. They gave us valuable tips on what beaches and restaurants to go to and we introduced them to shaved ice and a mountain top sunrise. They were friendly and down to earth and helped make an already enjoyable trip that much better.

IMG_77614. Driving up a 10,000 ft  mountain will give me a panic attack. One of the must do activities on Maui is driving up to the peak of Haleakalā to watch sun rise. At 10,023 feet the peak rises above the clouds and it’s truly a beautiful sunrise. To get there you must first drive for about an hour through endless hairpin turns. I was driving and to say I was tense is an understatement. By the time we got to close to the top my nerves were stretched very thin. We got to the parking lot and I could finally take a deep breath. That was until we realized the lot was full and we’d have to continue up for more parking. I soldered on and once the car was parked I got out I had a mini break down. All I could do was sob into Russ’ shoulder. It wasn’t until that moment that I had let myself feel the all the terror that was building inside me. I tell you all of this to say that it was totally worth it. The sunrise was so breathtaking that it was worth all the stress. To look down at the cloud line is truly a unique experience. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s really worth the early wake up call and long drive to see such a beautiful part of nature. Btw, Jordan saved the day when he happily agreed to drive down.

IMG_77905. Fangirling is not appropriate when you see a turtle in the water. Jordan and Russ really wanted to go snorkeling so I agreed even though I wasn’t that excited about it to be honest. We got on a boat with about 10 other people and an incredibly friendly crew. After a few basic pointers we were in the water. One of the first tips they gave us was to try to refrain from getting too excited when we saw turtles. Not surprisingly turtles get a little skittish when humans waves their arms and legs wildly in the ocean. I’ll be honest and admit that when I finally saw an adorable turtle my gut reflex was to act like a total fangirl. Luckily I resisted the urge and let him swim by undisturbed. The same theory worked for fish too. There was a large school of purple fish that were constantly swimming around me seemingly without fear. I never expected to get close enough to a fish to see an expression on its face. The experience was really wonderful.

IMG_78446. Slaughterhouses can be very relaxing. On one of our last beach days we decided to head to the eastern side of the island and go to Slaughterhouse beach. It was described as a beautiful beach that was tucked between two cliffs and not heavily infested with tourist. We were one of only a handful of groups and it was nice get away from some of the crowds. The waves of Slaughterhouse beach were much smaller than Little Beach and therefore a pleasant relief. As we were leaving it started to rain lightly and by the time we got back to our car there was a fully realized rainbow in the sky. A perfect end to the day. FYI the drive to Slaughterhouse beach is also beautiful.

tumblr_nvez5gdX7i1qcb3w6o1_4007. Hawaiian airports are more concerned about their produce than actual security. The airports in both Maui and Honolulu are open air airports. This means that as you’re walking down the corridor to get to your gate you are walking in an open air hallway with a floor and a ceiling but noticeably absent walls. The whole atmosphere is both wonderful and bizarre all at the same time. It’s difficult to imagine this being very secure. However don’t try to sneak outside produce into the building because they have tons a check points and scanners that are only looking for rogue fruit. (Honolulu airport pictured above)

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8. The fun is in the details. There were a lot of details that really celitified the fun of our trip. We found a local Maui open-mic stand up comedy show which brought nothing but uncomfortable first time comedian tension. While having lunch in a quiet Mexican restaurant we found both the nicest waitress we’ve ever met and the hottest ‘monogamous but still has a secret Growlr profile’ bear on earth. There was the jelly fish tank at the aquarium that was so incredibly relaxing that it’s one of my strongest memories. A naked baby befriending Russ at one beach and Russ befriending the greatest dog at another beach. The most delicious shaved ice at Ululani’s that is the perfect treat for a hot summer day. Great memories.

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9. Exhaustion can play tricks on your mind. We rented a condo that didn’t have air conditioning. The good news was that it force us to get up and out in the morning and I do think we were more active because of it. The bad news was that trying to fall asleep was a challenge. Sleeping was difficult (but not impossible) and throughout the whole vacation I slept enough to not be tired during the day but I also never felt well rested. It started to catch up with me at the end of the week. By the time we started our long day of travel home I was totally exhausted. There’s a difference between just being physically tired and being physically and mentally exhausted. It was so bad that I started to question and regret all of my life choices. Thankfully I had enough strength to realize it wasn’t really a feeling of strong regret, I was simply worn out and in need of a good nap.

The Sauna Smoker and The Evil Pumpkin

 
I came across this picture on Tumblr and the more I looked at it the more I became perplexed. Obviously this was a deliberately staged photo and not just an “in-the-moment selfie.” The picture’s overly styled look is something Vanity Fair would do if they ever put out a porn issue. 

So much of this photo feels contrived. The wood wall setting reminds me of a sauna although I’m guessing they were going for a log cabin vibe. What stuck out to me first was the cigarette. The equation of beer+cigarettes= tattoos is so cliché and in this case they haven’t even done the cliché well. The model is giving strong face and the cigarette just gets in the way. To be clear this is an esthetic critique and not a rant on smoking. While the Miller beer can also seems forced I’ll except it’s use as a way to sets a mood. 

Visually there’s a lot to look at here. As my eyes dart around taking it all in and I notice his bangs, his tattoos, his balls, the cigarette, the beer can, the sauna-esc wood paneling and then the pumpkin. Oh the pumpkin. I don’t know how I missed it but I noticed the evil light up pumpkin last. I’m not even sure what to say other than who looked at this shot and said, “You know what’s missing? A big light up pumpkin.” What exactly is the senecio supposed to be here? Is he a hard drinking chain smoking bad boy who got drunk at a Halloween party in his buddy’s dry sauna? Or better yet maybe he’s a anarchist recluse who lives up in the woods with his Wilson impaired best friend Jack-O the pumpkin. Either way it feels overly cerebral for a porn picture.  

My recommendation: Stop trying to reinvent the wheel and lose all the props. Get his dick hard and spread his legs wide so his hairy hole is presented properly. 

Coming Out of the Conservative Closet

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The differences between social conservatives and liberals are extensive and multifaceted. However in my opinion when watered down to the very basics, social conservatives want everything to stay the same and are wary of change while social liberals embrace change and welcome differences. Although it’s a little simplistic it’s a definition that tends to hold true.

Gay rights has always been one of those issues that has very clearly divided people. If you were pro gay marriage you were liberal and if you were anti gay marriage you were conservative. Simple and straight forward. However with gay marriage acceptance growing amongst people of all backgrounds, it’s starting to become much less of a divisive issue. The change started slow and back when Ellen came out and was steady through the days of Will and Grace. In the last couple of years though the tides have quickly turned in our favor. Now that gay marriage has become legal across the country it deescalates the issue to some respect. Obviously we’re not there yet but it’s not impossible to foresee a future where both presidential candidates support gay rights. Now that our make it or break it issue is off the table (or soon will be) for the first time we’re given the chance to stop and think about our other political opinions. As this slow process starts I think we’re going to see that many gay people are more conservative that they previously let on. In some cases there will be gay people who for the first time realize they are more conservative then even they realized.

I’ve already started to notice it amongst my friends and acquaintances when talking about the growing Trans rights movement. For decades we as gay people have asked the straight community to accept and respect us even though many of them didn’t really understand our lifestyle. We would shame and ridicule (rightly so) anyone who shunned us. I’m fascinated to watch how we will handle it now that the tides have turned. As gay people we are being asked as part of the larger general population to accept and respect Trans people even though we don’t necessarily understand their lifestyle. It will interesting to see if we can practice what we’ve preached. So far it looks like some gays aren’t quick to jump on board. I hope we as a community don’t turn into a bunch of hypocrites but only time will tell. 

It should be noted that I still don’t consider myself to be conservative. However I have realized that some people around me are. One other thought is that they are becoming more conservative with age… but that’s a theory for another post. 

Where Do We Go Now?

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Back in the early 80’s our community was united in the fight against AIDS and more recently we’ve been united in the fight for marriage equality. Unfortunately AIDS is still with us but it’s not the unifying force it once was. The fear of the disease has dissipated and I get the sense that many people just see it as an unfortunate part of life like diabetes or heart disease. Gay marriage on the other hand has been a tremendous success. Granted we’ll continue to deal with flair ups from country clerks but those are very minor and will dissipate as time goes on. With the fight against AIDS locked in a standoff and the fight for marriage won, what will unite us now? Many of the more committed activists will quickly point out that there is still a long fight for work place protection and that the war isn’t over yet. While that’s true it’s not a very tangible thing for people to get passionate about especially since many large companies have already taken steps to ensure equal protection. It’s kind of like when you have a big party and no one wants to stick around to help you clean up afterward. Although there is still work to be done we all just want to move on and go home.  

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I’ve started to wonder where do we go now? For the past several years gay rights groups have done an incredible job at organizing and sending out a clear message of marriage, marriage, marriage. It’s a great accomplishment and we should all take a moment to celebrate the victory. But who will be left to clean up after the party? I predict we’ll start to see a slow but very large shift in the gay community away from activism. For example I suspect HRC will see a dramatic decrease in their yearly donations. The most passionate activists will march on but how many of us will be there with them? 

I’ll be honest and admit that I’m not sure I have enough fire to continue to fight when it feels like our win is almost guaranteed. Laziness and complacency are very hard to overcome. My feelings toward gay right are becoming similar to my feeling about the troops going off to fight in actual wars. I totally respect and support them for fighting but don’t want to have to get off the couch and do anything. Overall not having injustice to fight against is a real gift that we are getting closer to everyday. Hopefully we will retain our sense of community and brotherhood while assimilating into general society.