Civil War Dream

I was dressed in a civil war costume. It was blue, so I must have been in the Union Army. I had a mustache. (Don’t even laugh.) I and another dude in uniform were strolling through a market place. We strolled past a very beautiful women at a booth who was selling wool. I stopped to tap my cigar ash (yes, I was smoking a cigar. Shut up.) into what I thought was a wastebasket, but I realized it was a basket of the woman’s wool. Oops. Too embarrassed to say anything or apologize, I fled before she could realize what I did. Then I agonized about whether I should go back and tell her.

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Hurdling Cube Walls – A real memo from my work

Steph Mineart

Intercompany Memorandum
To: All Employees
From: Facilities
Date: April 3, 1998

Subject: Hurdling Cube Walls

Please read the following message if you are located at Parkwood.

Please be advised that an injury occurred recently when someone climbed over a manager station cube wall. Do NOT, under any circumstance, climb over these walls. There are two keys available for each of these cube offices. If you are at Parkwood both keys were given to you when you arrived at your new station. Please give the extra key from that station to your Administrative Assistant or to Facilities so that someone has access to your office in the event you are not at work. These cubes are not currently mastered keyed. We are working with the furniture manufacturer to get this resolved.

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On the Subject of “Outing”

The phrases “in the closet,” “coming out” and “outing” are euphemisms for lying about your sexual orientation, or telling the truth about it. They’re phrases I dislike, because they allow people to rationalize away the fact that “staying in the closet” is a fundamental dishonesty. It’s much easier to say, “I’m not out yet at work,” than to say, “I’m telling the people I work with lies about my sexual orientation.”

The gay and lesbian community has created a whole culture around the concept of the “closet,” going as far as creating a pop-psychology theory about the “process of coming out” and naming national magazines and websites after it. (Out Magazine, PlanetOut)

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that it takes time for people to learn about, understand, and accept their own sexuality when it’s different from the norm. I went through it like everyone else, and it’s understandable that we want to help people who are going through the “great awakening.”

The problem is that the “closet” culture we’ve created allows people who are well aware of their sexuality the opportunity to be dishonest merely to avoid the stigma attached to being gay.

I say once you’re aware of your own sexual orientation, it’s time to tell other people unless you have some compelling reason not to. The older I get, the less tolerant I get of people who are lying about their sexual orientation for no good reason.

And there are some good reasons to lie:

  • If you are in immediate danger of losing your life.
  • If you are in danger of losing your children.
  • If you are very poor and losing your job will cause you to be out of food, clothing or housing.
  • If you are very young and telling the truth will get you thrown out into the streets before you are able to care for yourself, or bullied by your peers.

Many of the gay and lesbian people in this country who lie about their sexual orientation are not doing it for one of these reasons. Many of them are lying because they are afraid to face the hatred; afraid they won’t fit in. Black people have to face the hatred every day; they don’t have the luxury of being cowards.

Privacy, Schmivacy

As much difficulty as I have with the concept of the "closet," I get even more bent out of shape when people try to claim that their gay relationships are a "private matter" because that often reduces their relationship to a sexual one, rather than a loving, romantic one, which is the way the right-wing would like it to be.

When a straight person introduces their partner to anyone, they use the words "husband," "wife," "fiancé;" they naturally announce their emotions to complete strangers and don’t think twice about it. Straight people declare their love by getting married in front of family and friends and send announcements of their wedding to the community paper.

The "private" aspect of any relationship is the sexual, intimate part of a relationship between two individuals; the part that takes place behind closed doors. Heterosexual people have a "public" aspect as well; an aspect of their relationship that is the emotional, "love" part, and that love that is shared to some degree with the couple’s friends, family, and community. When other people know about their love and participate in it, they support it and strenghten it. That’s why the public part of their relationship is important.

Gay people rarely have a truly "public" part to their relationships, they may be honest to friends, and some family, but when it comes to holding hands in public or telling new acquaintances about their relationships, they censor themselves. Their relationships are often limited to the private, to the "bedroom." Because of this, gay people and straight people alike tend to think of gay relationships as merely sexual, rather than sexual and loving.

I know one of the first objections gay people will bring up is that we shouldn’t define our relationships by those of straight people. It’s true that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to that model; but we can draw some conclusions about human behavior by looking at them. Not all gay people want traditional, committed relationships and families, but some do and they shouldn’t be denied the opportunity.

"But… I’m Not Lying, I’m Just Not Telling People"

Oh, baloney. There’s no way to "not tell people." Within the first few weeks of getting to know someone, they’re going to ask you questions about your personal life that you have to answer. Sooner of later, you’re going to have to state a pronoun. If you choose to censor your answers, or be evasive, bingo! You’re lying.

I Don’t Want to Help You Lie

The closet culture we’ve created fosters a conspiracy of dishonesty within the community as well. People who are lying about their sexual orientation assume and expect those who are not lying to help them. They speak in conspiratorial whispers, rather than normal conversation tones. They look around before relating information, speak in code ("Is he family?" "Does he sing in the choir?") and expect others to do so, all with a bit of glee: "we’re putting one over on all these stupid straight people aren’t we?"

If people are lying to stay in the closet, and if I help them by perpetuating that lie, then I am as dishonest as they are, and as much of a coward as they are by going along with them.

Continue ReadingOn the Subject of “Outing”

The Circus Dream

I was traveling with a circus, down a winding dirt road. It was a bright sunny day, and the grass was green. I was traveling in the cart with the puzzle girl, who twisted herself into a pretzel and got inside an ornate wooden puzzle box, which was carved on the sides and top in the shape of puzzle pieces. She was doing her act to entertain me as we went along.

Along the side of the road was what seemed at first to be a field of yellow flowers or crops all in a row – the tops of the plants were all level with my feet. When I looked closer, I discovered they were lemon trees, and what I thought were flowers growing on very short plants were the lemons. The tops of the trees were at foot level.

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Presidential Comparisons

Nixon: Watergate
Clinton: Waterbed

The President’s biggest fear…

Nixon: The Cold War
Clinton: The Cold Sore

Complaints toward the President…

Nixon: Carpet-Bombing
Clinton: Carpet-Burns

Their Vice-Presidents…

Nixon: His was Greek
Clinton: His is a Geek

Presidential qualities…

Nixon: Couldn’t stop Kissinger
Clinton: Couldn’t stop kissing her

Things the President couldn’t explain…

Nixon: The missing 18-minutes on the tapes
Clinton: The 36D bra in his briefcase

Presidential Nicknames…

Nixon: Tricky Dick
Clinton: Slick Willy

and finally, Presidential excuses…

Nixon: I am not a crook
Clinton: I didn’t get in her nook

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Seuss on Clinton – extended remix

If Dr. Seuss were President Clinton’s lawyer, his deposition might have read something like this.

I did not do it in a car
I did not do it in a bar
I did not do it in the dark
I did not do it in the park

I did not do it on a date
I did not ever fornicate
I did not do it at a dance
I did not do it in her pants

I did not get beyond first base
I did not do it in her face
I never did it in a bed
If you think that, you’ve been misled

I did not do it with a groan
I did not do it on the phone
I did not cause her dress to stain
While talking to Saddam Hussein

I did not do it with a whip
I did not fondle Linda Tripp
I never acted really silly
With volunteers like Kathleen Willey

There was one time, with Margaret Thatcher
I chased her ’round, but could not catch her
No kinky stuff, not on your life
I would not, could not, with my wife

Now, that Miss Flowers’ tale of woes
Was paid for by my right-wing foes
And Paula Jones, and those State Troopers
Are just a bunch of party poopers

I did not ask my friends to lie
And then just hang them out to dry
I did not do it last November
And if I did, I don’t remember

I did not do it in the hall
I could have, but I don’t recall
There was no sex at Arlington
There was no sex on Air Force One

I might have copped a little feel
And then endeavored to conceal
But never did these things so lewd
At least not ever in the nude

These things to which I have confessed
They do not count if we stayed dressed
I never used that big cigar
You must believe me, Mr. Starr

I did not know this little sin
Would be retold on CNN
I broke some rules my Mama taught me
I tried to hide, but now you’ve caught me

But I implore, I do beseech
Do not condemn, do not impeach
I might have got a little tail
But never, ever did inhale

Continue ReadingSeuss on Clinton – extended remix

Clinton Family Tree

Author Unknown

One Sunday morning Chelsea burst into the living quarters at the White House and said, "Dad! Mom! I have some great news for you! I am getting married to the greatest hunk in Washington. He lives in Georgetown and his name is Matt."

After dinner, the President took Chelsea aside. "Honey, I have to talk with you. Your mother and I have been married a long time. She’s a wonderful wife but she’s never offered much excitement in the bedroom, so I used to fool around with women a lot. Matt is actually your half-brother, and I’m afraid you can’t marry him."

Chelsea was heartbroken. After eight months, she eventually started dating again. A year later she came home and very proudly announced, "Robert asked me to marry him! We’re getting married in June."

Again her father insisted on another private conversation and broke the sad news. "Robert is your half-brother too, honey. I’m awfully sorry about this."

Chelsea was furious! She finally decided to go to her mother with the news. "Dad has done so much harm. I guess I’m never going to get married," she complained. "Every time I fall in love, Dad tells me the guy is my half-brother."

Hillary just shook her head. "Don’t pay any attention to what he says, dear. He’s not really your father."

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Scandal in Heaven!

Christmas Nativity
Christmas Nativity

Author Unknown

Turmoil rocked Heaven this morning as allegations arose that God had an affair with a former worshipper. The scandal began when a 21 year old woman, known only as Mary, claimed that she had given birth to God’s “only son” last week in a barn in the hamlet of Bethlehem.

Sources close to Mary claim that she “had loved God for a long time,” that she was constantly talking about her relationship with God, and that she was “thrilled to have had His child.” In a press conference this morning, God issued a vehement denial, saying that “No sexual relationship existed,” and that “the facts of this story will come out in time, verily.”

Independent counsel Beelzebub immediately filed a brief with the Angelic Justice Department to expand his investigation to cover questions of whether any commandments may have been broken, and whether God had illegally funneled laundered money to His illegitimate child through three foreign operatives know only as the “Wise Men.” Beelzebub has issued subpoenas to several angels who are rumored to have acted as go-betweens in the affair.

Critics have pointed out that these allegations have little to do with the charges that Beelzebub was originally appointed to investigate: That God had created large-scale flooding in order to cover up evidence of a failed land deal. In recent months, Beelzebub’s investigation has already been expanded to cover questions surrounding the large number of locusts that plagued God’s political opponents in the last election, as well as to claims that the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah was to divert attention away from a scandal involving whether the giveaway of a parcel of public land in Promised County to a Jewish special interest group was quid pro quo for political contributions.

If these allegations prove to be true, then this could be a huge blow to God’s career, much of which has been spent crusading for stricter moral standards and harsher punishments for wrongdoers. Indeed, God recently outlined a “tough-on-crime” plan consisting of a series of 10 “Commandments,” which has been introduced in Congress in a bill by Rep. Moses. Critics of the bill have pointed out that it lacks any provisions for the rehabilitation of criminals, and lawyers for the ACLU are planning to fight the “Name in Vain” Commandment as being an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.

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The Famous "Wear Sunscreen" Commencement Address

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40 (get attorneys for hire from here) , maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s. To solve divorce cases, people can check out family law lawyers serving in Bedford

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Continue ReadingThe Famous "Wear Sunscreen" Commencement Address