Chapter 83: Comrades in Arms | My Southern Gothic Life

I posted a new post on my other blog a couple of days ago.

Here is an excerpt and a link to the full post:

 

It seems every generation has their wars; some are just more obvious than others.

I’ve been reading a biography of the poet Siegfried Sassoon and studying the British “War Poets” of the First World War.  Stories of young men struggling with the realities of war and trying to reconcile them with the peaceful, conventional world they were fighting to preserve.  Many of them were young men trying to reconcile their sexuality with the roles they were raised to play in a world that was fast disappearing.

In theory, my generation had no wars.  We were too young for Vietnam and too old for the first Gulf War.  I remember being in my early teens when the Vietnam War ended.  I remember being outside as fireworks exploded and everyone tried to make merry over the fact the Paris Peace Accords had ended a war no one had really wanted by then.  I remember my neighbor, whose son had safely survived the conflict, hugging me and saying:  “I’m so glad you won’t have to go to war.  You are safe.  We can all get back to normal.”

More:   Chapter 83: Comrades in Arms | My Southern Gothic Life.

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Chapter 82: A Death in the Family | My Southern Gothic Life

I’ll be relaunching this blog soon, but in the meantime, here is a new post on my other blog:

 

Chapter 82: A Death in the Family | My Southern Gothic Life.

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My Southern Gothic Life | When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not; but I am getting old, and soon I shall remember only the latter. (Mark Twain)

New post up on my other blog.

Here is an excerpt and a link to the full post:

 

My Father has been a peripheral character in this blog.  It is very difficult for me to write about him.  Mainly, because of our complicated relationship that was ultimately unresolved due to his early death.  He died in 1983 when I was 24 years old and he was 54.  We had a complex relationship that, 30 years later, I am still trying to understand.

via My Southern Gothic Life | When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not; but I am getting old, and soon I shall remember only the latter. (Mark Twain).

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Demographic Shifts That Are Sinking The Republican Party

There is a lot of good news for Democrats and bad news for Republicans in this article from ThinkProgress.org.  It makes it even more obvious how the GOP’s days in power are numbered.

I find the information on education and the value of a college degree especially interesting….

However, there are interesting facts relating to education and the value of a degree as well.  Here are a couple of excerpts and a link to the full article:

The 25 top counties for net Democratic vote gain include many of the most populous counties in the country. They include Los Angeles at the top, eight of the ten most populous (LA, plus Cook [Chicago], San Diego and Orange [CA], Dallas, Kings [Brooklyn], Queens and Miami-Dade) and 15 of the top 25 most populous. The rest, without exception, are large counties that include a major city or are urbanized inner suburbs of a major city. The magnitude of Democratic gains in the top 25 ranges from 1.2 million in LA down to around 140,000.

The top gainers for the GOP, in contrast, tend to be in much smaller counties on the periphery of metropolitan areas (“exurbs”). The top 25 GOP gainers include no county in the US top 25 in population and include only one in the top 50. And the magnitude of GOP gains in the top 25 is much smaller than those enjoyed by the Democrats. Indeed, the largest GOP net gain of all—90,000 in Provo county, Utah–is not only smaller than the 25th ranked gain for the Democrats (140,000) but also smaller than Democratic gains all the way down to the 61st ranked Democratic gainer county.

Democratic strength in dense areas is clearly one reason for the Democrats’ increasing electoral potency, particularly in Presidential elections. Conversely, the concentration of GOP gains in more lightly-populated areas limits their strength now and in the future…

AND

The report notes that 34 percent of Millennial generation 25-32 year olds have a four year college degree, compared to 25 percent among Gen Xers at the same age, 24 percent among both late and early Boomers and just 13 percent among those from the Silent generation. Millennials are also receiving the highest relative values from their degrees. A Millennial college graduate has median earnings of $45,500, compared to just $28,000 for a Millennial high school graduate. Back in 1965, the gap was much narrower: a Silent Generation college graduate earned $38,800 (2012 dollars) while a high school graduate earned $31,400.

via The Hidden Demographic Shifts That Are Sinking The Republican Party | ThinkProgress.

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Chapter 79: Old Acquaintances | My Southern Gothic Life

New post up on my other blog….

Here is an excerpt and a link to the full post:

 

One of the great things about this blog and being on Facebook has been connecting with old friends.  And learning which people are truly “friends” and which are “acquaintances.”

There are people I barely know or still have never met, in person, whose interaction and comments I cherish.  I firmly believe Facebook and blog friends can be as real as friends you see in person everyday.  Cyber friendship is one of the keys to life in the 21st Century.

It’s also nice to again come across people who have crossed your path in life and see how they are doing.  Some will never know how fond you are of them and that you watch their pages on Facebook just to see how their lives have developed, how they are doing and that you watch them from a distance, like some benign guardian angel, just to be sure they are okay.

It’s friendship the easy way….

via Chapter 79: Old Acquaintances | My Southern Gothic Life.

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Reclaiming the VEQ

I’m cross posting this from my other blog, http://www.mysoutherngothiclife.com, as I feel a followup coming and think the dialogue may be more suited to this blog….

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There has been an off and on effort in the Gay Community for years to reclaim certain derogatory terminology and make it acceptable to the Gay Community.

The first and foremost example of this is the word “Faggot”.  Larry Kramer started the reclamation of this term with his novel back in the 1970′s.  To sum it up, as Joe Jackson sang in his song “Real Men”, “don’t call me a faggot unless you are a friend.”

I still don’t like that word.  But then, I have never been but so Politically Correct.  Accepting standard orthodoxy has never been my strong point.

Instead, I’m planning to spend 2014 reclaiming the word “Queen”, and all its derivations for the Gay Community.

First of all, I want to reclaim the term VEQ, which stands for “Very Efficient Queen.”  I think this terminology adds much more value to the social dialogue and is a much more important point of departure for the social discourse.

There has been so much focus on showing how “normal” Gay People are over the last few years- since “Will and Grace” illustrated how Gay Men can be successful house pets- that I think it’s time to re-evaluate us all and celebrate our uniqueness.

I don’t want to be some “normal”, house pet Gay.  I worked too hard to be classified as that…

I’m very proud to be a VEQ.

VEQ’s were the Gay men who set the social standards for generations.  We were the products of a culture of repression.  And we still made the world a better place…

VEQ’s were, generally speaking, Gay Men who always felt they had to be better at whatever they did than anyone else.  We always worked twice as hard to be efficient and indispensable out of fear.  We knew we had to be much better at everything we did than any straight person because we feared being fired or replaced if/when people found out we were Gay.

We worked extraordinarily hard to climb and make our lives better than they might or should have been….

If you are over 40, think back to your youth and young adulthood.  Think of those hardworking, quiet young men who ran all the committees, worked outrageous hours and seemed to have no personal life.  Think of the perfectly groomed escorts who gave wonderful parties and made no sexual demands.

Odds are, they were all VEQ’s.

Our efficiency and style, driven by fear, made the world a better place.

We just need to replace fear as our motivation with the knowledge that we just make the world a better, more functional, prettier and more pleasant place to live.  And that should be enough motivation for us all…

Let me try to clarify this by naming a few historical VEQ’s.   Bayard Rustin, who planned the March on Washington that culminated in Dr King’s “I Had A Dream” speech, was a VEQ. Alan Turing, the great “code breaker” from World War II  was a VEQ.  T. E Lawrence (aka “Lawrence of Arabia”) was a VEQ.

Cole Porter and Cecil Beaton, who provided the soundtrack, stage settings and photographs of an era were also VEQ’s.  Noel Coward and E.M. Forster were VEQ’s.  Michael Bennett, who created “A Chorus Line” and directed so many  Broadway shows of the 1980′s was a VEQ.  These guys understood style, showmanship, substance and depth and brought them all together in their work.

Not to trivialize the AIDS epidemic, but AIDS wiped out a generation of VEQ’s.  But still, the surviving VEQ’s formed ACT UP and fought back to save untold millions from AIDS.

Had the tragedy of AIDS not happened, we would not be facing the societal repercussions we face today.

VEQ’s would not have tolerated the growth of “Great Rooms”, the breakdown of style and manners and the general tackiness that is now pervasive in American life.

We would live in a much more decorous and orderly world if more VEQ’s had survived the AIDS epidemic.   We would all be prettier, thinner, more well-mannered and happier….

There is a flip side to this….

The VEQ’s Evil Step Brother, also a product of repression, is the EBQ.

The Evil Bitch Queen.

I’m happy she has almost disappeared.  The EBQ felt that their homosexuality limited them and that societal prejudice against Gays limited their options.  The VEQ would just have kept going and trying and been so good at what they did that their sexuality was irrelavant.  The EBQ gave up and blamed society for their short falls in life….

Much as I love his work, Gore Vidal was an EBQ.  No matter how wonderful his books were, he felt he was thwarted in his desire to run for political office due to being Gay.  He was a bitter queen who denied his sexuality.  Matt Drudge is an EBQ. Ken Mehlman is an EBQ trying to become a VEQ again.  The Republican Party is just full of EBQ’s…..

I know.  I was briefly an EBQ in the GOP before I became a VEQ again and  made myself a happy life….

This is a dialogue we need to have.  We need to talk about these Queens.  Life is so much better today, but there is still repression for Gay People.  We just need to decide how to channel the results of this repression and oppression.

As long as there is repression and oppression, there will be VEQ’s and EBQ’s.

That’s why it’s time to revive the terminology VEQ and openly discuss how to handle EBQ’s.

All Queens are not created equal…..

But they still rule….

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Chapter 78: Reclaiming the VEQ | My Southern Gothic Life

New post up on my other blog, My Southern Gothic Life…

Here is an excerpt and a link to the full post:

There has been an off and on effort in the Gay Community for years to reclaim certain derogatory terminology and make it acceptable to the Gay Community.

The first and foremost example of this is the word “Faggot”.  Larry Kramer started the reclamation of this term with his novel back in the 1970′s.  To sum it up, as Joe Jackson sang in his song “Real Men”, don’t call me a faggot unless you are a friend.

I still don’t like that word.  But then, I have never been but so Politically Correct.  Accepting standard orthodoxy has never been my strong point.

Instead, I’m planning to spend 2014 reclaiming the word “queen”, and all its derivations for the Gay Community.

via Chapter 78: Reclaiming the VEQ | My Southern Gothic Life.

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