Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Travelling by Air

Now I believe in equality and democracy and the American way and everything… that is until I don't get my way and then everyone has to suffer, but why do I always have to be put in the GLBT section of the plane whenever I fly? I mean, take my last trip for example.

It was bad enough that I was in the last row of coach. You know they really should call it steerage because they treat you like an illegal alien getting ready to sneak aboard the Titanic and you know what happened to those people when they asked, "Excuse me sir but does anyone know where the life boats are?" Never heard of again. At any rate, it was Boeing 7 something 7 and I was seated in the row just in front of the only coach toilets, an aisle seat to be exact, when these two young women, they could have been in their mid thirties, but when you reach a certain age, everyone seems to be so young; well they excused themselves and informed me that they had the window and middle row seats. I guess they thought they were being helpful and that I couldn't figure out that information for myself since it was the last row in the airplane.

How thoughtful, I must remember to send cards next year.

Well they sat down and larger of the two in the window seat immediately asked the stewardess for a glass of water for her friend. I should have known then there might be trouble. The water came and the friend took out a pill and swallowed it down. Then they started cooing and petting with each other and I realized I’d seen this stage show before, but never quite so close up. You see I’ve been travelling since the days of when the airlines would provide you with hot towels, meals and clean seats, and the passengers would dress for air travel and behave only in certain manners. Now here I was looking rough sitting next to Riff and Raff making out in the back row. My, how times have changed.

Anyway, I am not a particularly large person, bigger than a lot but smaller than a lot more. So I took up much room as I needed without encroaching on anyone else’s space but grabbing both armrests for myself; trying to get comfortable for the 2 hours plus journey.

The plane was eventually pushed away from the gate when window girl, unexpectedly closed the shade. I turned my head flustered that I would not be able to look out of the window like I normally do. The plane started to taxi onto the runway, we were number one and ready for take-off. In just a few seconds we would up and in the sky.

We started to gather speed as the plane rolled down the runway when all of a sudden; I felt what I can only describe as the Nazi death camp grip on my right wrist. Middle row girl was almost in a trance with her back pressed against the back of her seat, had grabbed a hold of me with a clutch that would have made Darth Vader proud and was shaking, no vibrating as her knees spread apart and pressed against me and her partner on the other side. At least I think she was vibrating, it could have been me trying to get some blood flowing in my arm before she made it wither away.

After a minute or two when we were up in the air and no longer being buffeted by the wind, she relaxed her grip turned to her friend and they rested their heads against each other. No “pardon me,” no “excuse me for the inconvenience.” Well what can you do? Young love. Young dykes.

A quick digression - I decided to go to the bathroom piss and put on a sweater as soon as I could. When I got there, I did what I had to do, but I struggled to put on the sweater. I looked about the small enclosure and wondered how my Ex could have said he was a member of the mile high club and I couldn’t even find room to take a fart. What acrobatics he must have performed there. I should have known earlier not to walk away like others told me to, but to run.

I’m back – Well, so on my return trip to back to Philadelphia, I had the window seat this time and not so far back in the fuselage. I sat next to a young white man and young Asian man. Now I know they were gay, because you never see a white guy and an Asian guy together unless they are fucking or doing business. Although in some parts of the world there would be no distinguishing between the two. They both shared a head phone set and watched Ocean’s 12 or something on their computer. When the Chinese looking fellow wasn’t watching the movie he would rest his head against the other ones shoulder. Ahh, young love...again.

I decided not to go to the bathroom this time because I remembered Brad Pitt’s dilemma in “Fight Club.” What should I give them, the ass view or the dick view as I passed by them? Either one I‘m sure, they would have been happy with, but I decided to hold it until the airport.

So back to my question, out of an airplane that can carry up to 150 or more people, why do I always seem to be sitting in the gay section? Can anyone tell me?

Monday, December 24, 2007

To Tampa

I shall be in Tampa for a few days during this festive season and I wanted to let everyone know that I wished them a safe and happy holiday.

What do think too corny?????

Friday, December 21, 2007

American Gladiator

So what is this entire hullabaloo about? Some members of the blogosphere are acting as if someone ripped off their left testicle and left it to dry in the sun, all because Alex Castro (Militia) is now a gladiator. He is a gladiator in NBC’s reincarnation of American Gladiators debuting in the upcoming season.

Alex Castro
Why all the consternation and hair pulling? Well Mr. Castro apparently has posed naked before for such fag rags as Colt. He has also appeared in gay soft porn videos for companies like Muscle Hunks and Sharpshooters Studios and some people are astounded that he can now find work in the legitimate entertainment industry. Like as if he’s performing Hamlet somewhere.

Alex Castro
What people should be astounded about is the fact that a stupid and sophomoric television show that was cancelled in the 80’s has come back. Is this all that network TV is capable of producing now?

Listen, this shit isn’t Shakespeare. Let the man do what he does best, show off his assets. The only sad thing is, it's NBC so his best assets will still be confined to smutty video and magazines... when you can find them.

Alex Castro

Alex Castro
Alex Castro

Alex Castro

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dinner with Auntie

There is a book that they are hawking on NPR called the Complete Book on Aunts and it states how as a “group title” Aunts are dying out. I haven’t read the book, but it shows how aunts have played or not played various roles in various cultures. In fact, the role of aunty wasn’t really established in English speaking cultures until sometime before the Victorian period and it really started to flourish after civil war in America and the World War I in Europe.

Writers like Jane Austin and later Charles Dickens would sometimes write about maiden aunts who would take in and care for lost and forlorn orphans. They would also guide pubescent young men and women into making suitable choices for marriage. Later in the mid twentieth century, we were introduced to aunts like Bea and Mame who would guide children into making suitable choices for life.

Before the 18th century, you never heard of anyone named Aunt Ruth or Jezebel in the bible even though I am sure they were somebody’s sisters. You also never hear mention of Aunt Drusilla or Aunt Julia Minor from the early days of the Roman Empire and sisters of which ever Caesar was in power at the time. The term Aunty never really became popular until society with its Victorian mores started justifying why someone’s sister had reached a certain age and still had no man in her life. Why Bertha was sitting at the end of the table hogging all the bread rolls as her only comfort with no marriage looming in her future. They had to explain why Sally was living by herself or with some other spinster woman down at the end of the street? So they came up the title Aunt and let’s face it, Aunt is really code for dyke.

Now there is nothing wrong with being labeled a dyke. It just means that no one is laying down that pipe unless it’s made of rubber or plastic, and is strapped on. No shame in that. I know a lot of women that don’t need to call themselves aunty anymore and live their lives and enjoy it. This is the twenty-first century and no one needs to act like the strange man behind the curtain in the Emerald City any more. No, the embarrassment only comes when you are living your life still trying to get some and you end up in a crowd of people looking like somebody’s great aunt who has never seen it and probably never ever will.

Take for example my recent dinner at XIX, a restaurant in the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue. “What, the Bellevue?” you say. “Isn’t that the hotel where legionnaire’s disease came from and all those people died?” Yes, but let somebody else’s blog talk about that shit, I’m talking about dinner.

Anyway, I was surrounded by all of the old world charm and opulence that the "Grand Old Dame of Broad St" could offer on the 19th floor of the building, The dining room, although not too large but actually small enough to be intimate, was bathed by a low light that reminded you of sitting on the banks of the Seine or riding in a gondola on the Canal Grande in Venice. In other words romantic. There was a humungous string of oversized pearls that hung from the ceiling in the dining room over our group of mainly gay men. How appropriate.

We were there to celebrate the birthday of a friend of mine who having turned or about to turn 40 had decided to commemorate it by going to this restaurant. He had his partner with him, whom I am actually closer to and almost everyone else there was also similarly paired with their partners. The only exceptions were my friend’s sister another guy and of course you guessed it, me.

Now during the last two or three years, I have become used to being the one with no special person to turn to, or even being with someone who would not last longer than the night. Hell sometimes they wouldn’t even last the length of time that it would take to think about it. But this night, this night, something different happened.

I was speaking to the person across from me and I asked him, for what reason I forget now, how he felt when he turned 40, since except for the young-uns, I thought that was the general age group and theme of the party. Well faith and begorrah, shock and awe, Captain and Tennille. Alright, I don’t know how to describe the distress and anger that he was going through. But you would have thought that I had just made a sexual proposition to his mother or some other nearest and dearest as he clutched his imaginary pearls.

So I looked to my left and then to my right and apart from the old man at the end of the table with the nineteen year old, don’t ask I don’t have all the details yet, I suddenly realized that I was the oldest one there. I was the elderly maiden aunt that everybody tolerated but spoke about behind her back. I felt embarrassed for myself and I decided then and there that I should keep quiet and to myself before someone started asking me questions about what it was like during Prohibition or something. Suffice it to say, I realized that even if I didn’t hog any of the bread rolls, I behaved and was probably perceived as somebody’s maiden aunt who was to be helped and pitied.

I shall let NPR know that not all maiden aunts are dying out. Some of us are alive and well, keeping the tradition of saying the wrong things at the wrong time. By the way, I kept the pen that I signed the check with as a keepsake of the event. That’s so old womanish.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

James of Survivor

Not much to say today. I don’t have my muse to give me ideas and so I have to think for myself. That will be a joke.

Besides, it’s been cloudy and cold and wet in South Jersey since this morning and I’m not sure what I should do today just because of the way the weather makes me feel. But I am sure of sure of one thing, I’ll be watching the season finale of Survivor China tonight.

I don’t really care who wins, but it’s going to be last time that I will be able to see James. I don’t really get to watch that much TV like I used to, so when I have the opportunity to see a fine looking brotha broadcast on TV, I take it.

It’s not that I will be able to see James half naked like most people like to see him, since he has been kicked off the show and you only see him dressed in his civvies on the jury. But it will be my chance to say farewell and dream a little again.

Who would have thought that I could develop a crush on a grave-digger? What is this world coming to?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mandingo Fantasy

The other night I was talking over a pizza with Curtis, a friend of mine and fellow blogger and we were talking about why so many white men like to have black men for lovers or just sexual encounters. I don’t think of myself as a racist but I’ve never been with a white man or at least admitted to it, but I said that that many white people were looking for that Mandingo fantasy.

Now I wasn’t talking about Mandingo, the name of the movie that I saw in the eighties or the book that it was based on. I was talking about Mandingo, the big dick African warrior of urban myth that would come and take you, manhandle you, rape you but leave you smiling and begging for more. Well maybe I am talking about the book and movie, where Ken Norton, a big black buck came in and took care of business for his white mistress. She wanted the Mandingo fantasy where she was ravaged by the black man but still be in control and still safe.

I say this is a fantasy, because most black men, although blessed physically, rarely come up to the standards that their white counterparts are looking for. Very few us will have that ten to twelve inches of man meat that they want. In fact the only person that I have ever come across with that kind of measurement is Mitch.

Mitch stands about six feet three or four and has a face that is almost punishingly ugly. From what I understand, his family no longer talks to him. I’m not sure if it’s because he is gay or because they are frightened of his looks. But he has an ass of two firm round orbs that stick out like a park bench, so solid that you could bounce a quarter off it. And his dick is a thing of beauty. It is so long and thick with veins popping in all the right places and a head that reminds you of a small Portobello mushroom that you would need to shave off all the hair from your ass so you could fit the whole thing in. To see him move when he is naked is to melt into your own dreams, slide into your own fantasies.

He is always surrounded by white men. Men he has been with and men that he will probably be with. These are people who even though know they will never measure up to his measurements in height or dick length think they will always be in control and they and will never be hurt by him. But I think as in most relationships they are hurt, because eventually they realize he is more that just a fantasy. He is a real person.

White men will always long for Mitch or men like Mitch. In fact black men will want him too. The Mandingo fantasy isn’t just confined to the white community. As gay men we all long for someone who will take us into a different world. As humans we all look for that partner that will affirm what we think of ourselves or cover what we least like about ourselves.

As for me, I think I will just rent Mandingo the movie again and leave real life and real fantasies for others to deal with.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Many Faces of Bette

As part of what is known as the TV generation, that is the generation before cable, MTV and the 24hour news networks, I grew up watching lots and lots of television.

Television was there when I came home from school and my parents weren’t. Television was there on the weekends when my friends were unavailable to play with and I needed some sort of interaction with something, lame as it was. Television marked the Rights of Passage, the older you grew the later you were allowed to stay up and watch.

As a consequence, I grew up watching many old shows that I can remember today, at least partly; Star Trek, Julia, I Spy and the Flying Nun to name only a few. And then I remember the movies.

Now many of these movies would be considered as classics today. In fact you can only see them broadcast on Turner Classics, AMC or the occasional 6 movies that they show over and over again on your local PBS station. I learned and grew to love the old stars like Bogey and Bacall, Tracy and Hepburn, Gable and Lombard, Crawford and Davis. Not that Joan Crawford and Bette Davis were ever really a team. They only made one movie together, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” and from all accounts they couldn't stand each other so they never worked together again.

So imagine my astonishment when applying for a teller’s job at the now defunct Chemical Bank on Water Street in NYC when in a crowd of about 300 applicants, one of the interviewers shouted out the name "Betty Davis." The entire room or I should say warehouse of people turned to see if the Hollywood legend was indeed there. I mean I don’t think that she had worked in a while and who really knows about other people’s finances. This was the time when people were trying to figure out who shot JR and anything was possible. Anyway it turned out to be someone else, whose sister I worked with for about 2 weeks and told me that Betty had been plagued by that name all her life and was trying to live it down. So let’s advance a few years to the mid eighties.

I was walking down Christopher Street towards the Piers, the Promised Land back in the day, on an early Saturday evening when I noticed a moderately sized crowd standing outside a theatre. I closed in and saw a tall grey haired man looking very distinguished and very important enclosed by the crowd and one or two television cameras. Former Governor Hugh Carey of the great State of New York I thought? (Well not in those words, but you know what I mean.) I wasn’t sure who he was so I got in closer. That was when I looked down.

There she was, somewhere between belly button and nipple level stood Bette Davis. She was wearing some Willi Smith monstrosity that was about 50 years too young for her. She looked old and shriveled, like death warmed over actually, but she still looked feisty. She smiled at some of the crowd with that sneer that she had developed after surviving her mastectomy and stroke and signed one or two autographs.

The women next to me screamed out, “We love you Miss Davis,” as Bette, propped up by the grey haired man was escorted to her stretch limousine. They drove off and I thought, I should jump onto the trunk of the car and then she would let me in, talk to me and take me away from the dirt and drab of New York to the sunny, happy climes of Hollywood and I would become a star. Dreams.

I learned later on that she had been to see the play, Steel Magnolias and was thinking of taking one of the parts in the upcoming filming of the story. She never did of course. I can only imagine that it would have been either the Shirley MacLaine or Olympia Dukakis role. She was physically too frail to both work and continue smoking after having a stroke. And so I never got to Hollywood and I never became as well known as I thought I might have done when I was a child. But I don’t think the story or movie of my life is over just yet. There’s still time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Things that make you say hmmm.

Its late and so I really have nothing profound to say. Although some people may think that I have nothing profound to say anyway, but I do have a question. Why do runners no longer seem to wear underwear or support? Wont they be slowed down by all that bouncing flesh?

Just something that has occurred to me tonight.

In fact, now that I think about it, whenever NBC air track metes like the Olympics and such, they always try and avoid showing the front of an athlete below the waist. I guess too much trauma for that housewife in Idaho.

"Harry, get the vapors!"

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I'm not Stella

I am not been one of those people who has travelled from circuit party to circuit party. Neither, am I someone who has been to all of the black gay events that are seen on almost every major holiday in every major city. I am more of a stay at home person whose big excitement for the week will be finding something new on TV or maybe a trip to the park for sightseeing the boys or reading a good book alone on the bench. But this year, I have been giving some thought to celebrating next year’s Memorial Day weekend in Mexico. Why there?

Well Mexico was the country that was chosen for Memorial Day’s bacchanal by the San Juan Brothas organization. They are a group of people who have dedicated themselves to having the best god damned party and get together for gay black and Latino brothers on the island of Puerto Rico on the holiday. A party, where the sex and the alcohol flow freely. Where everyone has a good time and everyone walks away with good memories and maybe a few regrets. Hopefully these regrets are cleared up with a few visits to the clinic. But next year, as rumor has it, Bill Gates will be holding a conference on the island and so almost every hotel in Puerto Rico has been booked up in advance. What was the group going to do?

Well they chose Puerto Vallarta in Mexico as the spot to be for a few days but changed it to Cancun when a host hotel, ME, was found able to accommodate both the group and the anticipated arrivals.

This is a hotel that seems to sit on land that is stuck out in the middle of the sea on land not much wider than the width of the building. This is where a friend of mine at my gym has a time-share he’s trying to sell, says that they have just finished replacing all that sand that was lost from the last hurricane and brought to an end all the repairs to the building structure. Hmm. Nothing says a vacation of rest and relaxation better than when you are putting up boards in the windows and facing a life threatening event.

Then I wondered to myself, who else would go to Cancun? My answer was young people, married people, straight people. People who want to be doted on hand and foot. White people. Not that I have anything against being among these people, in fact some of them pay me and call themselves friends, but how am I going to get loose in front of them? How am I going to be able to get my groove on or even back?

Well I guess I have until next year to figure out these conundrums. But if I don’t and you see me out on Memorial Day in Rittenhouse Square, please leave a little room on the bench, I'll probably have a good book to read.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

All About Mike

It’s strange how some people can look at something or someone and see fire and music while others, to paraphrase Margot Channing, will see only an old kazoo with bit of sparkle. The latter will be the phrase that I will refer to myself as. It’s not something that I want, but I’m not ashamed of it either. What I would be ashamed of, would be to act like the other old kazoos who hang out in the locker rooms of my gym.

In the men’s locker room at a gym, you will often be surrounded by youth and testosterone, muscle and power, supple bodies and lithe limbs. You will also find older trolls lurking about, leering at what can be seen and hoping to approach those that can be easily had. These men are the ones that think they are the only grown faggots in Boys Town. They are the ones that stare in the mirror imagining what it would be like to touch you. These are the ones that linger in the shower a little too long, gawking behind the half closed curtains with their dicks saluting the midday sun. Milkman Mike is one of these people.

Mike, of course that is not his real name, is a middle aged man of average height. He has a lumpy build with pale and pasty skin. I have seen him at my gym for the last seven of eight years and I am still looking for some sign of physical improvement. But what he does do well is make himself known to almost everyone there. He speaks to all, from employees to management and from students to senator. He makes banal and forgettable statements that interest no one all the while searching for an opportunity to ingratiate himself with you.

I first noticed Mike when he would stand naked in front of me, legs akimbo, blow drying his balls in hope that I would take notice of him. It wasn’t difficult to keep my eyes above his waist or even turn away in complete disgust and ignore the show. But when he started following me into the sauna or steam room he began to get unbearable.

When I was in the sauna I would always be wrapped in a towel if I was sitting up or completely naked if I was lying down like many of the guys who go there. My eyes would be covered or closed as I tried to relax and take in the heat. Then Mike would walk in, dressed in his work out clothes and bottle of eucalyptus oil. He would pour the oil somewhere on the furnace so it would stink up the room to open up the sinuses or annoy the shit out of me, I’m not sure which.

After a while when he had finished saying how good it was to see me and I had turned my head towards the wall, I would hear the sound of his hand sliding rhythmically up and down flesh. If I turned suddenly or looked up, I would catch him either be staring at my dick or tucking his own into his pants.

The idea of being stuck in a room with him nauseated me, but he soon got the notion that I was not interested in him and started to leave me alone when newer and fresher dark meat started to come to the club.

Now I look at Milkman Mike and laugh to myself when I see him trip over himself chasing the younger guys. I see him wander in out of the sauna from ten to forty minutes trying to get someone to nut with. It amuses me that he still doesn’t realize that very few people are interested in him or his antics. I entertain myself by wondering why he doesn’t grasp the idea that he is just an old kazoo with NO sparkle in him.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Brother can you spare a dime?"

After I left the gym tonight, I was feeling hungry. What to do? Get something from a fast food restaurant or pizza place? Quick and easy? No, the best thing would have been to go to a supermarket and get what I needed so I could actually have something nutritious, possibly fresher and in the long run cheaper. So I went to the Whole Foods Market on South St. in Philadelphia and got some vegetables and something to drink. The purchase was small and was done quickly. I was in and out of the store within minutes.

As I left the store, I passed a man, taller and younger than myself, as seems to be the case more and more these days, standing outside. He was only a few yards away from the exit door and while he looked clean and well mannered, if there is such a thing, I knew that the first thing out of his would be the plead for money as I passed him.

Sure enough, even though I had my iPod on trying to shut out the world and keep what I didn't want to be seen away from me, I heard him ask, "please, can you help me out so I can get something to eat?" as I got closer.

Hah, the nerve. Asking me for money so he could buy food outside of a supermarket. Everyone knows that people in his situation want money for only two things, drugs and alchohol. I wasn't going to fall for that line, so I just shook my head and walked on my way. "Happy Thanksgiving," he said as I left him behind.

"Mother fucking bitch," I thought. He was trying to make me feel guilty for having what I had and he didn't. That was another line that I wasn't going down for. You have to wake up pretty damn early in the morning to think of something that would make me feel bad, or guilty over something that I had no control over. I walked away fuming, but solid in my commitment not to fall into his trap.

However, as I reached the corner and I began to hope that the few dollars that I had in my wallet would be enough for me to get a pack of cigarettes at the Korean store on 10th St. I know, cigarettes, a dirty habit, I've heard it all before, but if you're not sleeping with me, lay off. Anyway, I also began to wonder what made me so holier than thou. I thought, "how can I get my drug fix and look down on him? How do I even know what he really wants to do?" I didn't and even if I did what difference would it have made?

So I turned back. I walked over to young man and handed him two dollars. He said something to me, I didn't really hear, either the iPod had become louder or the blood was rushing in my head. I'm not quite sure. But I did know leaving the area that no matter how "happy" my Thanksgiving would be, I woud not feel guilty about my new found friend this season.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you...

I saw Philadelphia's Mayor-Elect, Michael Nutter today around lunch time.

Well when I say I saw him, I don't mean we had a power lunch together to sort out the present ills of Philadelphia, or even its' future goals. When I say I saw him, I mean exactly that. I saw him on 13th Street standing outside some store a few stores away from the adult book store and across the street from the gay movie house. (Does anyone actually watch movies there?)

The Mayor-Elect was surrounded by the 3 or 4 mayoral lackeys that you usually find around a mayor. You know the type, clean shaved and dressed in 3 thousand dollar suits. Looking for all the world as if nothing could touch them now. Standing as if all their hopes and ambitions were about to be met.

I walked towards Mr.Nutter and I noticed people would go up to him as he spoke on his cell phone and shake his hand. I assumed that they were congratulating him on his recent victory. I kept getting closer and closer to him until finally we were at each other side, an arms length away from one another when I turned my head, looked in a store window and kept walking. I had places to go, people to see. Shady? Well I don't know.

This was not the first or even the second time that I have acted this way with the Mayor to be. There was some street celebration earlier this year, the Jazz festival on Broad St. I believe, when he and his entourage walked up to where I was standing. People around us congratulated him on winning the Primary. I merely turned my back and tried to listen to the music.

It wasn't that I was sore that as city council man he was responsible for putting the ban on cigarette smoking in bars into effect and now, if I were so inclined, I would have to stand out side and smoke, looking like one of those dogs you see tied up outside a grocery store. It wasn't that I had kept a grudge from 14 years earlier when I had applied for a job at his office and have never to this day received an answer. No, I'm not upset. In fact I really want him to be successful in turning the city around. It's just that I don't know him; and what is the point of speaking to a man if he will forget who you are within 30 seconds?

So if any of you out there know me and knows the next mayor of Philadelphia, introduce us. What harm will it do? I swear I wont speak about smoking, lost job opportunities or grudges. Promise. I wouldn't embarrass you.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's Yesterday Once More

When I was young... I mean younger, I thought that if you had a radio and was not listening to music, then you must have been considerably old, World War II generation. You were someone who was completely out of touch with real life and would gossip nonsense with others just to make yourself feel good. Everyone who was "with it" had a television set. Some of us even had a color one. All the entertainment and instant news and information could be got just by sitting in front of the box a few hours a day.

Now, I still don't listen to the radio, but I do listen to what's produced on it. I listen to podcasts. These help me listen to shows that I could not otherwise listen to because of scheduling conflicts. The shows that I want to listen to are played while I am at work, or when I am underground on the subway, or when I want to do something else at that time. National Public Radio (NPR) has become a favorite of mine because of this new technology or fad. Their podcasts sometimes give me a different perspective on subjects that I had thought I had already known about. I will agree that they are often politically liberal in their approach to things, but I don't think they are politically biased and they will often show both sides of an issue.

So think of my surprise when a few days ago when I was listening to a podast about, "How the Internet is changing how we think about our reputations," when they started to talk about websites like Don't Date Him Girl.com, a website dedicated to outing men who did their women wrong. Can you imagine a website where all your dirty laundry will be out there for everyone to see for maybe who knows how long. The entire idea sends chills up my spine.

It's a good thing that they don't have a website where gay men could do that sort of thing. It would be brutal. The things some vicious queens would say about their men would shock you into the next century. I mean take for example my last 3 exes... Oops, sorry got to run.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

No man is an Island

I am not one who will go to all the Black Gay Pride events that are out there. In fact apart from this year, I have not been to one since the 90's. Sure, I have done the Pride Parade in New York and the little kind of festivals they have here in Philadelphia, but none of those have been about black people getting together to celebrate just the thought of getting together.

Well this year was different. I went to the Black Pride events in New York City, but I'm not going to talk about that just yet due to some personal issues that I am still not over. No, instead I will talk about the Fire Island Black Out.

Now Fire Island is a strip of land just south of Long island in New York. To get to it, you either have to drive or take the train to Sayville and catch a ferry from there. The whole trip can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours one way from Philadelphia depending on what day and time you leave. When you do get there, on most days you will find the part that you're interested in will be split up into 2 parts, the Pines and Cherry Grove. Mainly men on the Pines and women on the other. It's a rather laconic type of place, what you see is what you get. There is little to do but strip down to what you dare, or even less, and lay about and think of things to do to amuse yourself. Most times, you are going to see mainly white people laying around, many of them taking in the sun, the surf, or the view. Some even heading behind the Dunes for some illicit adventures. But during the Fire Island Black Out (FIBO), you will find a large black spot on the sand where brothers will be loving brothers and sisters co-mingling with sisters.

This year was the first time that I had attended the event. I was told by a fellow gym member that he and a few of his friends and had been renting a house on Fire Island for a few years and that they were tired of being the only African Americans around. So they started to organize an annual event where they would encourage more black people to go to the island.

I arrived shortly before noon on the island with some friends and was immediately struck by how I was surrounded by so many black men of all types. Big and muscular, small or fat, fem and butch, the young and the not so young. All were there, showing off what they thought were their best assets the best way they could on what ever small patch of sand that they could claim.

Men with their tumescent dicks extended so far out of their bathing costumes, that I can only surmise that they must have been wearing cock rings in their trunks, were beaten out only by the men who dared show part of their ass cracks, some of them all of their ass crack. And then those men were out numbered by the big titty women who came later on in the afternoon, letting their large naked pendulous breasts swing freely in celebration as they joined the group.

Then everyone started playing with one another, meeting old friends and getting to know new ones. All of us recognizing that we were all part that great diaspora and the petty conflicts and rivalries that usually accompany such gatherings were put aside.

I have not enjoyed myself so much in such a long time. Being there in the company of good friends and good people. But I left before the night's entertainment began knowing that I would return again, soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The plane! The plane!

Why do people get tattoos? Can anyone actually answer this?

Now I am not talking about the body tattoos that you get when you become a man in Samoa or some other Pacific island where hot running water is a luxury. No, I am talking about the ones people from the so called developed world; get between a trip to the local Cineplex and the 7-11. The tattoos you get when you flash your ID and hope that the tools that are being used won’t give you hepatitis or beriberi. Does anyone really know why it seems that people, more than ever, are covering their bodies with designs, symbols and emblems that haven’t been seen as body art since, oh I don’t know, the Iron Age?

I remember when I was younger; the thought of permanently marking your body was something that was done only by two types of people: 1) drunken sailors in some seedy port that was covered by a dense fog, you know the place, found only in an old Warner Brothers movie and 2) the ones that would ride about the country on Harleys bringing mayhem and violence to small sleepy towns. Now almost everyone has a tattoo or knows someone who does. But almost no one can say why they got it other than they liked the idea of it and so they got it.

back tattoo
So instead of saying that getting a tattoo is a call by people for their ancestral and cultural heritage, maybe it’s just a fashion statement, a fad waiting for the next thing to excite us. But if that’s the case, why do I have one?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why this Title?

It would seem that a title like "Limited Means" would be dour and self defeating. Indeed, it is not the kind of statement that makes you run, singing and dancing into the middle of the street proclaiming how, "God is in his Heaven and all's right with the world," because we all know that in a world of global warming, uncertain national economies and political instabilities, that is not true. But it also is not a statement telling you of how sad my life has been or will be.

The title is simply just two words telling you that here is where I am and like so many institutions, like so many people doing what I can with what I have. So what am I doing? Well, primarily, I don't know.

I am reminded of my maternal grandmother when she went to Florida to live with my parents who had moved there earlier when they retired, isn't that such a cliche? Well anyway, she was telling me about how she was getting along there, living in a suburb outside of Tampa, and how nothing ever happened there. After her neighbors had left for work in the morning, the streets were empty and everyone else who was left was locked up in the air conditioned homes or they went to the air conditioned malls to spend the day. She had never driven a day in her life and now she was alone, not knowing anyone and unable to get do anything beyond a certain boundary. She told me, "there is nothing left for me to do but die." That was the last she ever spoke about the subject. That was seven years ago and she is still not dead, but I doubt that she has become any happier.

Well I don't want to just wait for death without saying a few things like grandmother, so this will be my effort. There will be no difined direction in which I will go, but will be about me and my goals and aspirations. It will be about the people I have met, friends and others. It will be about where some of us are heading or how some of us will affect the outcomes of those around us.

Of course all of this will done from my own perspective, without the help of other people or institutions. There will be no "think tank" to help me focus my thoughts or head me in the right direction. It will all be done by me. Using my sources of reasoning. Using my experiences. Using my thoughts. Using my limited means.


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