oxymoron67: (snoopy)
This April, I was flying into Pittsburgh to attend a conference and to visit the family. While the sky was overcast throughout the flight, the rain actually held off until right when the plane was landing. By the time we got to the gate at the terminal, it was a downpour.

I wasn’t all that surprised. See, I have a superpower. When I travel, I bring bad weather with me. Call me Low Pressure Lad.

My friends spotted the pattern over twenty years ago. Every overnight trip I’d take, be it for work, family or vacation, involved bad weather.

And they’re right. Over the years, I’ve brought an ice storm into Indianapolis with me… the remnants of a tropical storm hit Atlanta the day I flew in for a family get-together… the first tornado to touch down in the city of Pittsburgh in over fifty years hit the night after I arrived in the city for a break from grad school.

The list goes on. I mean, the above examples are championship-level events, and I can’t manage weather that extreme all the time. Sometimes, it’s just drizzle or fog.

You’d think that this would be really useful: I could be called in to douse forest fires or end droughts, for example.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. I can’t control it: sometimes I produce ice storms; other times, just really uncomfortable humidity.

Before you ask, I’ve tried to get this power under control, but I just can’t figure out how. I mean, which muscle do you flex when you want it to rain? Is it different than the one for snow? What if I want some combo-pack of weather, like, say, fog and freezing rain? How many muscles does that require? I haven’t been able to figure it out.

Before you say, “Well, what if this power is psychic in nature?”, I’ve thought of that, too. Do you know how difficult it is to concentrate on CLOUDS? I’ll be sitting at some outdoor café looking at the sky thinking, “C’mon, get cloudier! More clouds! FOG!” and then some really hot guy walks by and I’ll be all, “Oooo… he has a nice ass” and I’ll have to start all over again.

Or I’ll be trying to influence the weather while I’m wearing my headphones, and my taste in music will betray me: “Bring the lightning! Bring the thunder! Make it rain!... It’s raining men! Hallelujah! It’s raining men! Amen!”

As you can imagine, that ruins the whole “weather-controlling” mood.

Even if I COULD manage to concentrate long enough, I have to wonder if I’m concentrating on the correct thing. I mean… do I concentrate on clouds? Temperature? Wind?

So, my powers are likely to remain uncontrolled for the foreseeable future.

Still, I have to wonder why I have this power. I mean, no one else in my family has a superpower. Trust me, I’d know: we’re talkers, all of us. We suck at keeping secrets.

Maybe it’s a queer thing. Maybe Mother Nature gives some of her queer children an extra gift to even things out, and possibly to take vengeance on the homophobic world.

If that’s the case, then Pat Robertson would be right to blame us queers for all the natural disasters that strike the U.S., though he is wrong about the underlying cause. It’s not God saying, “Hate the queers” so much as it is God saying, “Be careful or my queers will FUCK YOU UP!”

That would be cool.
_________________________________

This was in response to the prompt "No Capes." I worked with the delightful [livejournal.com profile] porn_this_way, whose similarly themed entry can be found here.

You can read them in whichever order you please. And... who knew? Queers with superpowers are more common than you'd think.
oxymoron67: (Default)
I have two versions of the (amazing) song Stormy Weather on my iPod. One is by Judy Garland from the album Judy at Carnegie Hall*. The other is Liza Minnelli's cover.

*Yes, I own this album. Well, actually, the two cd set. I bought it the same day I bought my first Shirley Bassey cd.

I think I'll listen to some showtunes now...
oxymoron67: (Gay Army)
I wasn't going to discuss Anderson Cooper's coming out... plenty of other people have, goodness knows, and I didn't think that my thoughts would add anything to the conversation.

Then I remembered that this is the internet... and my opinions would certainly not be as asshole-y as many others'.

So, here I go.

You'd think that coming out would be an easy decision to make: no more secrets, a liberating feeling, no more living a lie or at least not as honestly as you'd like.

It's not that simple.

Coming out is a very risky proposition. Now, according to his e-mail, Cooper is out to family and friends who have no problem with it. That takes time to accomplish. Especially with family. Think about it: even Cher ... CHER, who is remarkably gay friendly, admits that she had problems accepting with Chastity (now Chaz) came out.

It's not that the person coming out has changed... it's that the perspectives of those around him/her have and they frequently need time to adjust.

And that's on the happier scale of reactions. I've discussed my coming out several times, I'm not going into it again. Yet, on the scale of 1 to hate crime, mine is a 7ish: no physical violence (done over the phone, otherwise maybe) LOTS and LOTS of shame and disapproval. I'm lucky compared to many: I can live my life as I wish, but not near my family. Which is okay because I have the education and means to do this.*

My life isn't in the public sphere, so I don't have those added pressures. Cooper's family has been fodder for gossip for well over one hunderd years. If I had that family history, I'd say nothing, ever, about my personal life.

I understood Cooper's choice to live life in a "glass closet". Most people (at least here in NYC) knew he was gay, but given his choice of career, I see why he said nothing. Again, I'm lucky: I work in the (frequently) gay-friendly environment of Academia.

It's great that Anderson Cooper chose to come out. But it's not as simple as "whee, freedom and honesty". The politics (both personal and professional) of coming out are much more complex than that. I wish more people (both gay and straight) would realize it.

Of course, now, this is one step closer to happening.

*Please understand, I genuinely enjoy my life. I'm not trying to be all emo here.
oxymoron67: (history)
Gad Beck, the last known gay Jewish Holocaust survivor, died in Berlin on Sunday, just a few days shy of his 89th birthday.

He stayed in Germany, working in the underground, helping Jews.

After the war, he went to Palestine, where he helped defend the new state of Israel

An amazing man. RIP.

I haven't read his (auto)biography yet. But I will.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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I'm gay... so I'm not sure what my reaction would be. Call my mom and tell her that she finally has four heterosexual children like she always wanted?

I mean, my first response was "Shrug it off and visit a museum", but, let's be honest, that's my response to lots of things.
oxymoron67: (Default)
No Geek Week is complete without a trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Just getting there was an adventure today: I have to take two buses to get there, the Q32 and the M3. (Honestly, the M1, M3 or M4 will do, the M3 was the one that showed.)

Well, as we were getting off the Queensboro Bridge, a construction vehicle clipped the front of the bus. No one was hurt, but the rear view mirror was smashed and the bus couldn't continue the route, so we got to wait for the next one.

Then, two stops after I got on the M3, it stalled. So we had to wait for another bus.

*sigh*

I got to the Museum, waved to the security guard, who recognized me, dropped my backpack off at the bag check and went in.

I started in the Greco-Roman area.

Always a good choice.

The two galleries I focused on were the 4th and 5th century Greek galleries.

The exploits of Dionysus, Theseus, Eros and Herakles were VERY popular themes, as was Hermes.

Then I spent a little time in the African Art area, specifically the art of the Bamana, who live in West Africa.

From there, I wandered through the newly-redone "Renaissance in France" Gallery, which was well done. Lots of new items, but it still has the gayest Moses/Pharoah confrontation painting ever on display.

Finally, we I went through the nineteenth century decorative arts section. This particular section had A LOT of timepieces and a chess set, among other things.

While I want to see the rooftop installation, not on a 95 F day.

Surprisingly, the trip back was uneventful, though traffic was horrid.
oxymoron67: (Gay Army)
Scene: 7 train, a pleasant Sunday afternoon

Me1: Oh my God. Look!
Me2: What? Sweet Jesus!
Me1: Clearly gay.
Me2: I don't know. If we learned one thing from Rick Santorum's presidential run, it's that sweater vests are inherently heterosexual.
Me1: Even ones that are color blocked in various shades of pink?
Me2: Think of it as the Santorum Hypothesis.
Me1: Even when he's wearing MATCHING PINK SOCKS?
Me2: He is not... there is.. no... Damn. Matching pink socks. That's staggering.
Me1: Look, we're as gay as a spring frock at an Easter Day Parade and even we don't own pink socks.
Me2: You know, the dazzlingly white golf pants really do pull the ensemble together.
Me1: Indeed. And no accessories. Of course with that hot pink sweater vest, accessories would be gilding the lily.
Me2: Still, maybe he just lost a bet...
Me1: What kind of bet ends with "... and if you lose, you have to dress like Mr Rogers at the world's dullest gay pride parade"?
Me2: Okay, fine. Point conceded.
Me1: Thank you. Now to celebrate, let's play some Donna Summer on the iPod.
oxymoron67: (Default)
In Gilbert, Arizona, a gay couple with four children are are being attacked and harassed, so they called the police.

If you think the police would be helpful, you'd be sadly mistaken.

So we've got bigotry against gay folks, hispanic folks AND disabled kids! With bonus victim blaming!

After all, they chose to move there and "inflict" their gayness and Hispanic-ness and disable-ness on the town. They deserve what they get.
oxymoron67: (Default)
I mean, clearly the child is being coached. But, Huzzah! for spreading hate!


Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] mountain_hiker at ... yeah
oxymoron67: (Default)
Scene: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art of the Mughals section

Me1: Gay couple at four o'clock.
Me2: Okay, the guy with the jaunty beret, definitely... but the other one...
Me1: Oh, come on...
Me2: Look at the clothes.
Me1: I AM. Spefically the shorts. He clearly chose them to highlight his butt. Straight boys don't think that way.
Me2: Maybe. But they're plaid. And his shirt is horizontal stripes. No self-respecting gay does that.
Me1: Maybe he's dressing ironically.
Me2: Really. Dressing ironically. Really. I cannot believe you just said that.
Me1: Well... I...
Me2: Besides the patterns, the color schemes of the shirt and shorts don't match.
Me1: Okay, think of it as the gay version of grunge.
Me2: What?
Me1: Well, grunge was all about looking as ratty and unwashed and depressed as possible. Well, this is kind of the opposite of that. It's all loud and colorful and cheerful, yet strangely, it's just as ugly and hopeless as grunge. It's like a forced cheerfulness.
Me2: ...
Me1: Maybe he thinks he on the verge of breaking up with Jaunty Beret Guy and this may be their last date together, so he's forcing himself to wear this outfit and pretend to be happy while he's really dying inside.
Me2: Oh, for God's sake. We aren't in a Lifetime movie.
Me1: If this were a Lifetime Movie, they wouldn't be a gay couple. Jaunty Beret Guy would be a scum-sucking cheater; Loud Mismatched Clothes Guy would be played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, and, if she had a gay friend at all, it would be one of those sassy, celibate ones that you only see on TV and in the Movies.
Me2: ...
Me1: Tell me I'm wrong.
Me2: It's not that. It's that we know enough about Lifetime Movies to make this analogy.
Me1: Damn. You're right. That is upsetting.

Colbert

May. 11th, 2012 09:13 pm
oxymoron67: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] mountain_hiker at Colbert


Obama

May. 9th, 2012 08:01 pm
oxymoron67: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] mountain_hiker at Obama


oxymoron67: (Default)
Professor apologizes/repudiates reparative therapy study.

Reparative therapy, for those who don't know, is also known as "praying away the gay".

Because God hates gay people. And if we just tried hard enough, we could be heterosexual or at least stay in the closet. Because that's what God wants.

While this admission of wrongness is nice, given the sheer amount of damage that this study and the whole "pray away the gay" thing has wrought, I have a hard time accepting the apology.

ESPECIALLY when you know that those who use their religion as an excuse for homophobic bigotry will ignore what was said here.

I am tempted to post this on FB to see what the more conservative people I know say. (As in the people I know who actively supported Rick Santorum's presidential run.)
oxymoron67: (Default)
Scene: This afternoon at the Museum of the City of New York*
A brief conversation. )

Second look

Mar. 1st, 2012 07:58 pm
oxymoron67: (Default)
I spend a lot of time in museums, so I frequently see the same pieces several times. I've noticed that how I think about these pieces changes.

For example:




This is a painting of the Madonna and Child from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. If you spend ANY time studying Medieval European art, you will see roughly 80 gazillion versions of this.

Anyway.

This particular painting has the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) looking all holy and contemplative while her son is displaying the energy of toddlerhood.

But then, I stopped looking at it through the study of art history.

I know she's *SUPPOSED* to look all holy and contemplative, but the BVM just looks bored and detached to me here. In fact,
she almost ALWAYS looks bored in these paintings.

If you ever see a painting of the Annunciation (another ridiculously popular theme), as the Archangel Gabriel announces that God wants her to give birth to His son, the BVM always looks nonplussed, as if her reaction to becoming the mother of the son of God is "That's nice, winged dude, want some tea?"

So, the BVM just looks bored, and the Baby Jesus... well, maybe it's because I'm gay, and I view things through fabulousness colored glasses.. but... to me...

The Baby Jesus is vogueing. Look at him: he's clearly striking a pose. I don't know if he wants to get his mother's attention or if he's just bringing some Messiah realness to the party.

Same painting, different views.

ETA: I'm not sure why this photo is stuck on its side. Sorry about that.
oxymoron67: (Default)
We started discussing the stress system of English today, and there were a lot of words that some of my students didn't know, furnace, terrace, and livid, for example.

Then the word "flamboyant" came up.

They looked it up (we're in a computer lab, after all), and when that didn't help much (frequently it doesn't), I explained it and they asked for an example.

I said the first thing that came to my mind: "Drag queens are flamboyant."

My students (all non-native speakers, many relatively recent immigrants) did not know what drag queens were.

I had them google it, and look at images while I explained.

Then we discussed drag queens for about five minutes.

So, today, I taught my students about drag.

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