Monday, February 25, 2008

File This One Under "Stupid"

Words fail. Really, they do.
Raising the age of consent is a veiled attempt to assert conservative moral values on youth, queer and youth-led groups told Senators today.

The Senate's legal affairs committee is studying a Harper government bill that would raise the age of consent from 14 to 16. It will almost certainly pass — no political party has opposed it — but queer and youth-led groups came out Feb 22 to insist on their sexual freedom.

As he began frequenting gay venues and indulging in promiscuous sex, Fitzgerald developed a crude HIV-detection system that he thought would keep him safe. His screening process led him to start a relationship and have unprotected sex with a boy he met at a birthday party in early June 2006.

Fitzgerald had never seen the young man before, which he interpreted as a good sign.

“I figured he was somewhat of a new person who hadn’t been around the block,” said Fitzgerald, who had a three-and-a-half week relationship with the young man. Three months later, on Sept. 17, 2006, Fitzgerald tested HIV-positive at age 17. “I never felt like I was Superman, I just felt like I could outsmart the system,” he said. “I always felt like it definitely could happen to me, but I thought I could figure out a certain method of how it was dispersed by people.

“It’s definitely something I was not expecting, especially this early in my life,” Fitzgerald added.

Oh, and it gets better. Much better (emphasis mine).
The proposed changes will have a disproportionate impact on gays, said Richard Hudler of the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario.

"My first lover was 17 years older than me. And this is common [among gay people]," he said. "It is dangerous — considering the attitude toward sexual orientation in schools — for a young person to attempt to make sexual contact with a peer."

Mhm again.
The numbers suggesting steady condom use among gay youth don’t harmonize with 23-year-old Kelvin Barlow’s experiences in Atlanta. “A lot of my partners are not thinking about condoms,” said Barlow, who was diagnosed with HIV at age 17. “I think I’m usually the first one to bring [condom use] up [in sexual situations]. Sometimes my partners know my status and sometimes they don’t — they just want to jump in the bed.”

Barlow believes a combination of ignorance and emptiness led to his seroconversion. “At that time I was the dumbest thing walking — I thought I was invincible and could do whatever and not get ill,” said Barlow, who was 15 and dating a 35-year-old man. “I thought I was in this relationship with this man who loved me, why do we need to wear condoms?

The irony value of it goes even higher when you consider that these youths are claiming they're responsible enough to fool around in the back seat a full four years before most of them are even considered responsible enough to drive.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

CubsTracks, All Hail Carl XVI Gustaf Edition

Maybe it's the fact that I lived in Minnesota for eight (long, dark, freezing cold) winters, maybe it was the Children of the Damned lookalikes that populated our little village, maybe it was one too many visits to Svensk Hyllningsfest, but for whatever reason, I have always had a soft spot for things Swedish.

And there seem to be a lot of them lately.

You Don't Know, Stonebridge (Hott 22 Remix)

Satellites, September

And, just so you don't think she always looks like she got attacked by a tanning bed:

Can't Get Over, September

And how could we forget one of my all-time favorite songs:

Beautiful Life, Ace of Base

Let's hope this love affair goes better than the last time I swooned for a Swede.....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Know Your Host

As of the scale at the gym tonight, I am 5'11 and weigh 238 lbs.

And, in my VividBlurry-esque worldview, I am still too scrawny.

That is all. Carry on.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An Interesting Article, But......

I give it fifteen minutes before it's declared "antigay" by the screaming victim class it references.

UPDATE: Oh, it was worth the wait.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shop Early and Often

My previous record for overscheduling on Valentine's Day was four dates (breakfast, lunch, supper, and overnight).

As it stands, this Thursday, I stand to equal that -- only they now are regular work, interview for different position, meet with executives to defend bonuses for seven hundred people, and teach my evening HR class.

Needless to say, I am moving anything I can either to tomorrow or to Friday, romantic dinner and cuddles with husbear included. But since I am such a giving person, I want to make sure you all get your gifts well in advance.

For the Bear411 voyeur:

To the muse-finder:

Perfect for a trio of cosmopolitan queers:

And just what the doctor ordered for the international sophisticate:

There's something in the bag for the Wonder Twins (or at least the dating one of them):

Let's not forget the blog-free, but ever-patient, commenting Pat:

And for the man who started this whole concept of bloggers "gifting" each other with witty banter and video links:

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

So What's The Big Deal?

In regards to my previous post about the questionable exegesis of the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool in terms of asserting that several male-male relationships mentioned in Scripture were indeed sexual, frequent commentator and smart person QuakerJono aired a few points that might be better answered out here on the main.

To whit:
I haven't read the book and I am fairly sure no one else here who's commenting on it has, but Bishop Jones' actual words imply that he's not drawing any more authoritative conclusion than it is quite possible several relationships within the Bible were homosexual in nature and the modern church should at least recognize this possibility and be more accepting of modern day homosexual relationships as a result.

The main beef with that is twofold; first, the interpretation of what constitutes a "relationship" is extraordinarily broad in application, and second, the application of it carries consequences far beyond the examples in question.

One, the Bishop uses the existence of a close relationship, physical contact, and emotional behavior, especially upon the death of one of the pair, towards the other to denote a relationship that could be sexual in nature.

However, as Scripture shows us, Jesus had a close relationship, made physical contact, and displayed emotional behavior towards a whole horde of folks -- John the Baptist, John the Apostle, Simon Peter, the other ten apostles, Mary of Bethany, her sister Martha, her brother Lazarus, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, Zaccheus, and Mary Magdalene, with those of them who were alive weeping hysterically at his death.

So applying the Bishop's logic, Jesus was quite the playa on BOTH sides.

Building on the first, this assertion of close relationships invariably being sexual, if true, makes some interesting hash of things asserted elsewhere in Scripture. For example, David and Jonathan, while having the sexual relationship that the Bishop asserts, were married to women and having children, thus throwing that whole "do not commit adultery" thing into complete disarray. Meanwhile, the point of our Lord in mentioning the five husbands and live-in lover of the Samaritan woman at the well changes from an admonishment of bad behavior to a pungent example of hypocrisy, given the twenty or so people mentioned in HIS harem.

So as we see, this isn't really good Scriptural or theological interpretation, and in fact, is rather rotten on multiple levels.

But then, QJ brings up another piece; does it matter?
In a secular sense, we have someone in a position of power who has come to a new understanding of homosexuality and a more open acceptance of its existence, but we're going to bag on him because he dares to suggest that maybe homosexual relationships existed in the past?

Well, that depends.

The Bishop would have been on far more secure ground if he had pointed out that Scripture's primary cautions and condemnations are against promiscuity and allowing sex to take precedence over all else, which means a blanket condemnation of gay sex is, at best, rather lopsided, and at worst, makes no more sense than one of heterosexual sex would.

But instead, the Bishop attempted to assert that specific relationships mentioned in the Bible were sexual, even though it means that a) David and Jonathan were adulterers, b) our Lord was a slut (and a hypocrite) on an epic scale, and c) thus the Bible endorses cheating on your wife and having promiscuous sex with multiple partners.

I suppose if being able to point to relationships in the Bible as being gay is more important to you than anything else, that might be an acceptable tradeoff.

But it certainly isn't to me.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

How Very Golden

One of the things that I love most about California that isn't immediately apparent from the outside is that, for every brazen group of utter loonies, there are hundreds of thousands more that have their heads screwed on straight.
California voters' refusal to alter state legislators' term limits will force three of the Legislature's top leaders to give up their posts.

It also will free candidates running for 34 legislative seats from having to face an incumbent this year.

Proposition 93 aimed to trim two years off the maximum amount of time most legislators could serve, but it also would have given dozens of lawmakers a chance to extend their stays in Sacramento.

It failed by about 7 percentage points, despite support from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and a who's who of labor unions, corporations and professional groups that poured nearly $16 million into the Yes-on-93 campaign.

And I couldn't agree more with this.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Thank You for Reinforcing Stereotypes

As performed by the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool.

A senior bishop appears to have performed a complete U-turn by suggesting the Bible might sanction same-sex relationships.

Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend James Jones, claims in a new book that the bond between Jesus and John the Disciple, as well between David and Jonathan, are possible examples of close relationships between two men.......

In the book, A Fallible Church, Bishop Jones calls for Anglicans to "acknowledge the authoritative biblical examples of love between two people of the same gender most notably in the relationship of Jesus and his beloved [John] and David and Jonathan."

Referring to the Theology of Friendship report, he discusses John "leaning against the bosom, breast, chest of Jesus".

The Bishop also describes an "emotional, spiritual and even physical friendship" between David and Jonathan, who appear in the Old Testament books of Samuel.

When Jonathan, the son of Saul, King of Israel, first meets David after he slays Goliath against the odds, the Bible describes him as being immediately struck by the young man.

It reads: "And it came to pass, when he [David] had made an end to speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him with his own soul."

It's been roughly a year since the gay community's snit fit over a Snickers ad that made fun of two men believing that they had to prove their masculinity after inadvertently kissing, as if doing so automatically made one "gay".

Now we have an Anglican Bishop trying to say that Scripture sanctions same-sex relationships based on the theory that men who have close friendships or physical contact with members of the same sex are gay or bisexual.

No one anywhere is saying that two men are incapable of having a deep and abiding love for each other. But just because you love someone doesn't mean that you have sex with them.

I can't figure out whether this guy is so clueless that he doesn't realize that....or honestly believes that men can only love that with which they have sex.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The View, 5 February 2008

Pittsburg/Bay Point BART, MacArthur Station, Oakland, 4:25 PM

Words Fail You

Seriously. They do.

Of course, now the Berkeley City Council members are flip-flopping on the advisability of their actions -- no doubt stung by the fact that there is video out there SHOWING them referring to Marines as "gangsters" and "trained killers".

To show you just how deranged these people are, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates is HIMSELF a veteran -- and yet he goes around calling the people who used to serve with him monsters and baby-killers.

No wonder the Obama campaign sent John Kerry to campaign for them in the Bay Area.

Monday, February 04, 2008

CubsTracks, Positive and Empowering Affirmation Edition

'Cause everyone needs to hear this now and again.

Amazing, Seal (Kaskade Remix)

Don't ask me where they came up with the video. It was the only one on YouTube.

Live Fast, Die Young, Save Money

Bet you didn't see this one coming.

In a paper published online Monday in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, Dutch researchers found that the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are more expensive than those of either fat people or smokers.

Van Baal and colleagues created a model to simulate lifetime health costs for three groups of 1,000 people: the "healthy-living" group (thin and non-smoking), obese people, and smokers. The model relied on "cost of illness" data and disease prevalence in the Netherlands in 2003.

The researchers found that from age 20 to 56, obese people racked up the most expensive health costs. But because both the smokers and the obese people died sooner than the healthy group, it cost less to treat them in the long run.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

But Harry Potter Is....Right?

I would laugh at this.....but you just KNOW that a quiz would come back showing that numerous Americans thought Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were real.