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Robert
19 February 2009 @ 05:37 pm
A
- Available: Yep. (Q_Q)

- Age: 18

- Annoyance: Probably a lot less than I think sometimes.

- Allergic: Pollen. Pine tree pollen.

- Animal: Kitty  =3

- Actor: Daniel Craig and/or Alan Rickman

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Robert
04 February 2009 @ 02:18 pm
Yeesh, what a half-week.

January term just ended, which gave us a short break before second semester starts. So, with the prospects of a week off lifting my spirits, I made my way home and then to Bar Harbor to visit my friend at the College of the Atlantic, which is basically the ass end of nowhere, but is quite nice anyway. So, after passing a pleasant two days, I was all ready to catch a bus home, where I planned to chill out for the rest of the week before going back tot school on Sunday afternoon. So imagine my surprise when I get a text from my roommate yesterday afternoon asking when I was going to be getting back that night. It turns out that classes start not next Monday, as I had thought, but this morning. Cue a stream of decidedly choice swear words, calls to my mom, e-mails to professors, and frantic browsing of the bus schedule. Eventually it was decided that I’d just take the bus home today, as planned, and get a ride back to school tonight, after a brief stop at home to pack some items of minor importance, like all of my clothes. Oh, but the story doesn’t end there; We had originally planned for me to catch the 7:00 bus out of Bangor, which dictated that my car-endowed COA friends and I be on the road by 5:30. Go figure, though: Sara shakes me awake at like 5:45 and tells me that we’re late and we have to get going now.  To our credit, we were out of there by 5:50, but it takes an hour and fifteen minutes to get from Bar Harbor to Bangor; do the math and you’ll see why this was a bit of a problem. Factor in the fact that it snowed like four inches overnight, and you’ll be unsurprised to hear that we got to Bangor at about 7:25. The next bus goes put at 11:00. Oh, cruel fates! It wasn’t all bad, though; we got to go to the supermarket to get some breakfast (freshly baked donuts for me) and discuss how sketchy I looked to the only other customer we saw, who happened to be a cop. So. I bid a fond farewell to my friends at the bus terminal at 8:30... And sit on my ass for two and a half hours, at which point I boarded the bus for Merrey Olde Damariscotta, where I have now been sitting on my ass for another two hours writing this. My ass is a bit sore by now. *Sigh* All in a days work, eh?  I don’t even have my books for tomorrow’s classes yet.

Maybe I should stop going home so often. =P I bet volunteering with Equality Maine over spring break would be fun...

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Robert
29 January 2009 @ 05:58 pm
Direct from the Ukraine, I've ordered a new toy...



This, my comrades, is the legendary FED 5, produced in the millions from 1977 to about 1994. The FED factory was founded in 1927 and began to produce copies of the famous German Leica camera in 1934. The FED 5 was the last of these. Despite being a product of Soviet Russia, it is a very fine instrument, although obviously not of the same quality as its German parent. Basically, it's way bloody smexy, and it's going to be perfect for the class I'm taking in the fall. Yay!

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Robert
04 December 2008 @ 05:53 pm
An oldie but a goodie, from 1972. I swear to God I'm just going to post this next time someone bitches to me about t3h ghey on the Debate Floor:

1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?

2. When and where did you decide you were a heterosexual?

3. Is it possible this is just a phase and you will out grow it?

4. Is it possible that your sexual orientation has stemmed from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?

5. Do your parents know you are straight? Do your friends know- how did they react?

6. If you have never slept with a person of the same sex, is it just possible that all you need is a good gay lover?

7. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality... can’t you just be who you are and keep it quiet?

8. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?

9. Why do heterosexuals try to recruit others into this lifestyle?

10. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual... Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual teachers?

11. Just what do men and women do in bed together? How can they truly know how to please each other, being so anatomically different?

12. With all the societal support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?

13. How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to compulsive, exclusive heterosexuality?

14. Considering the menace of overpopulation how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual?

15. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to be objective? Don't you feel that he or she might be inclined to influence you in the direction of his orher leanings?

16. There seem to very few happy heterosexuals. Techniques have been developed that might enable you to change if you really want to.

17. Have you considered trying aversion therapy?

- Martin Rochlin, Ph.D., 1972

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Robert
30 November 2008 @ 12:49 am
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night”


Allen Ginsberg wrote those words 53 years ago, in 1955. He was referring to a generation that came into its own in the aftermath of World War II and during the revving-up period of the Cold War, in a reality where both the United States and the Soviet Union had the Bomb, but neither side had yet forced a standoff such as that which came in October of 1963 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The generation that he refers to are not the same men who fought and died in Europe and the Pacific, nor are they the men who categorically rejected the kind of lifestyle that valued that sort of thing, during the counterculture of the sixties. Ginsberg’s generation (and by extension, his poem) is the fulcrum on which the division between national pride and national dissent occurred, fueled not by opposition to the Vietnam war, or by the drug-craze of Ken Kesey or Timothy Leary or Albert Hoffman, or by the backlash against intolerance that boiled over at Selma and Stonewall. The nineteen fifties have been remembered as a period of Pax Americana, marked by the ascendance and supremacy of the cookie-cutter nuclear family, when the men, the women, and the children all knew their place. In reality, it was anything but; the unspeakable horror of the war and the impending chaos of the sixties makes the era seem sedate, almost like the eye of a great cultural hurricane. Not everyone had  perfect jobs that required perfect suits ironed by perfect wives who made perfect lemonade that was drunk by perfect kids, all of whom ate at perfect restaurants and took trips to perfect destinations in perfect cars. The surge that Ginsberg’s generation represents had been building for years; the beat movement provided the tipping point, if you will, for the explosion of weirdness that bloomed in the sixties, the seventies, and even into the eighties, where it finally fizzled and died in a violent cocaine haze, to be quickly glossed over by the shiny newness of the nineties, although again the only thing that had really changed was our perception, as we were of course still stuck with the same bureaucracy, the same ossified government, the same inequality, the same bullshit, basically. All that ever really changed were the lenses we looked through.

    Sitting here more than half-way through the first decade of a new century, a new millennium, I wonder what, exactly, my- our- generation is doing, what it is, even. The hallmarks of our generation are our computers, our cell phones, our Facebooks, Myspaces, LiveJournals, Twitters, Flickrs, text messages, instant messages, blogs, forums, status updates, instant, instant, instant, instant, but idle.  Everybody says so much, all the time, in so many words, but so much of it, so much of it, is empty. It’s not really anything. If you want to write a meaningful message on Twitter, you have to do it in Haiku; because otherwise it’s only good for letting people know, oh, hey, I’m doing my laundry now. It’s communication on a massive scale that would make Isaac Asimov gasp, but it it’s basically mostly gaseous. My generation is going to be known not for it’s poetry, or its music, or its prose, or even its leaders, but for its blog posts. I have to wonder, when are we going to wake up, when is our cultural Renaissance going to rear its head and rip the stagnated horseshit nostalgia of the nineties a new one? I think were starting to see a bit of it with men like Barack Obama, but he and the movement that surround him are not even the tip of the iceberg; they just can’t be. They’re not anywhere near on the right scale to be. For those of us who, like me, were born during the crossfade between the eighties and the nineties, who are now young adults in late high school, college, and just beyond, I’m of the opinion that our awakening is now. Society has progressed more in the past ten years than it did in the preceding fifty, and it’s about to show. Are we looking for enlightenment, understanding, harmony, or resolution? I don’t fucking know. That’s for you to decide. All I know is, just as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs were the heralds of the dramatic tempestuousness of their time and what came after, I think we’re close enough to seeing our own heralds that if we stand at the top of the tower of all, or maybe even none, of our knowledge, our technology, our being, we will be able to see the sea change rushing towards us. Here’s the stairs. Climb.

 
 
Robert
14 November 2008 @ 05:39 pm

 
Okay, so, I haven't posted here since late August, which means I have a lot of recapping to do. A lot has happened since I last wrote, both in my personal life and, obviously, on a broader scale.

So, firstly, I've now been in college for about two and a half months. It has indeed been interesting, and so much new stuff has come along that I hardly know where to begin. (Classes, maybe? Classes sounds good.) I'm taking World History, Cultural Anthropology, Theatrical Design, and Spanish. The first three are epic win and everything I ever expected from college courses. Spanish, however, kinda sucks. I don't know if it's because the approach is so different from that which I was accustomed to (or spoiled by) in high school, but it just isn't a very dynamic course in my mind. Ah well, only two more semesters of it. ;_;

Interestingly, TD has awakened in me some previously untapped little rivulet of artistic interest that doesn't pertain to photography. I've made several collages, both for the class and at my own indulgence, and I've enjoyed the process of finding usable pieces that are visually striking or powerful, in terms of color and form. So, that's been fun.

Obviously, I've made a bunch of new friends since I've been here. My roommate is a very cool guy, and he plays violin like woah. I think his only vices are smoking weed and telling really inappropriate jokes. I also now have a bona fide urban exploration cohort. We've already had fun finding ways of getting into the technically off-limits sections of the library, and we are now plotting to explore the steam tunnels that run beneath campus. As usual, I think that I once again have a larger proportion of good female friends than good male friends (about nine to four, IIRC), so that's interesting. On the whole, I've pretty much adapted myself to the routine of being here.

Clubs, we have clubs. I'm currently pretty heavily involved in our on-campus branch of Amnesty International, which does its share to fulfill my general jones for lefty activism. My friends recently started a juggling club, and that's coming along quite well (I'm up to two balls with my right hand, although I still cant actually juggle three balls at all). Lastly and probably most importantly is Colby's totally awesome LBGTQ-ally club, The Bridge. Weekly meetings can cover everything from politics to pop culture, and we are almost always planning some sort of social event. At the end of the day, though, it's really nice to have a group of people with whom to commiserate about various things.

I think that that serves as an adequate segue into talking a bit about some current events-type stuff. First and foremost is the election. Wow. That's really all I can say. Wow. Not only did I get to vote for the first time ever in my life, I got to cast that vote for the man who, at the end of the day, carried the contest and will become the first African-American president in the history of our country. This is no time to rest on our collective laurels, though. Barack Obama got elected by promising some pretty earth-shaking changes, and now we as a country need to hold him to his promises. Something tells me that this won't be a major struggle, and I have confidence that the office of the president will now be more receptive than ever before to the voice of the people.

Unfortunately, the amazing joy that everyone I know  felt on the evening of November 4th turned to numbness later in the evening. Propositions 2, in Florida, 102, in Arizona, and 8, in California all passed, basically banning same-sex marriage in those states. The passage of Proposition 8 was especially depressing, because it stripped away rights that were already granted to the citizens of California. This is only the second time in United States history that rights have been actively taken away from people (the first was Prohibition), and it's the only time ever that people have voted to strip a minority of their extant rights. Why are the rights of a minority being put up to popular vote, anyway? When can I vote on the right of straight couples to marry? The people who ran the campaign to get Prop H8 passed based their arguments on a couple of core ideas: a.) kids will be forced to learn about homosexuality in schools, and b.) churches who preach against SSM will be forced to close. These are both, obviously, outrageous lies. The legality of same-sex marriage has absolutely nothing to do with school curriculums. If anything, kids will be taught that some people live different lives than they do. O noes, it's the end of the fucking world. On the second point, churches are protected by freedom of speech, no matter what kind of bile they spew. The legalization of SSM does not force churches to perform gay marriages; it allows same-sex couples to enjoy the same rights under the law as straight couples do. Marriage, as it is used here, is a secular institution; the religious aspect is and has always been entirely optional in the eyes of the law. Basically, though, the big meta-meme pushed by the backers of Prop H8 is that SSM will somehow damage heterosexual marriages. I have yet to receive a logical explanation of that stance; for the most part, the people I've asked end up shoving Leviticus in my face (on that note, when are people going to start calling it a sin to shave or wear clothing of mixed materials?)

My take? The people who want to ban SSM are scared. They are scared of things that don't fit their nice little white-bread view of the world. This isn't about "protecting marriage" or "protecting families" or any of that horseshit; if they wanted to do that, they'd be trying to ban divorce and child abandonment. What do they really have to be afraid of? Happy families? I've never understood the fear, and I doubt that I ever will.

In closing, I want to talk a bit about the protests that have been going on every day now since Prop H8 passed. I've heard from a lot of people that this sort of thing is uncalled-for, because the people have spoken; we should "get over ourselves" and shut up. This isn't just from the real hardcore right-wing haters; this is also from people who wouldn't otherwise care less. So, a majority mislead by bullshit info put out by the haters just voted to take rights away from people and all we're expected to do is smile and tell them that it doesn't hurt as they fuck us over.

Fuck That Shit.

It hurts, and it hurts a lot, but we're channeling that hurt into righteous anger and action. It took the Supreme Court of the United States to declare segregation unjust and to strike down laws against interracial marriage; it looks as though the same thing will have to happen here. So yeah, we're angry, and we're going to go out in public and show the world that, frankly, we're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore. Protest brings visibility, and visibility brings change. As of November fifth, I am standing up for the rights of myself and everyone else who is not yet equal in this world, and I'm not going to sit down again until that happens.

Haters, your time is over.
 
 
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Robert
31 August 2008 @ 04:39 pm
Who the hell is Sarah Palin?
 
 
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Robert
27 August 2008 @ 06:33 pm
Pros:
Really good food.
Fun people.
All the comforts of home.
Interesting classes.
Beautiful campus.

Cons:
...

I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK I'M DOING!!!

More later, once I get my bearings.
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Robert
29 July 2008 @ 10:41 pm
It seems like I'm always really negative when I post about politics and gay rights and stuff such as that. So, without further ado, I present three recent items from the world of equal rights that made me grin.

First up, Congressional hearings on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The DADT policy currently prevents gay people from serving openly in the military. It was enacted by Bill Clinton in 1996 after the Republicans gained control of Congress and threatened to completely scuttle his attempts to eliminate the ban on letting gays serve. It was basically a compromise, albeit a totally spineless ass-covering one. Fast forward to 2008. The United States Army is having trouble recruiting enough people to fulfill its projected troop requirements. As a result, they've raised the maximum recruitment age, lowered the required minimum intelligence test score, and made it easier for convicted felons to join. Meanwhile, Congress remembers that there is a totally able and willing group of people out there who are still not legally allowed to serve; you know them as t3h gays. Congress calls a hearing on the subject, essentially to determine whether or not the law is still necessary. Who takes the stand to defend our poor, poor soldiers against those nasty, nasty queers? Elaine Donnelly, the president of the Center for Military Readiness, who has exactly zilch in the way of military experience, and who is possibly the biggest boob to ever grace the hallowed airwaves of CSPAN. Protip, Ms. Donnelly: When testifying before Congress, it's not a terrific idea to pretend that they're the same fundnut sheep you usually preach to. After the jump, an example of the way the proceedings unfolded (courtesy of HRC bloggers Chris Johnson and Rachel Balick):

 
 
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Robert
So, I'm browsing news sites, as I often do when I'm as bored as I am, and I come across this Newsweek article on the murder of Larry King, an eighth-grader who identified as gay. The article was so-so, with a lot of the same not-exactly-as-objective-as-it-could-be details that seem to show up in Newsweek stories, but what really, really got to me were the comments. Now, I know that I do an awful lot of bitching about assholes who can't pull their heads out of their Bibles long enough to see that there is no fundamental difference between gay people and straight people, but this shit made me physically ill. You really get the full spectrum of fuckheads here. From the Bible-thumpers:

       "Homosexuality is a sin and a abomination. That young man needed Jesus in his life not these sick T.V. shows telling him it's OK to fall in love with and be intimate another man. I can't believe America has actually went from "ONE NATION UNDER GOD TO ONE NATION GOING UNDER" Gay IS NOT OK. We were created Adam and Eve, Man and Female. Don't get me wrong I love the people but I hate the life style."

... To the Nazi doctors:

        "Homosexual BEHAVIOR is learned; because no one was born seeking to mate with another. Such unhealthy, unnatural and abnormal BEHAVIOR should not be learned or passed on... F@gots need to be Cured or Closeted or Confined, and Castrated when they pick on children."

... To the "I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about" people:

        "You don't grow up homosexual, you choose to be homosexual. Sometimes it comes from not having a strong father figure, and sometimes it comes from them being molested."

... To the plain stupid inbred hicks:

        "One less queer."

And this is a tiny fraction of literally hundreds of comments saying the exact same thing. The pure weight of the ignorance, the intolerance, the pure hatred that spews from these fuckers is unbelievable. As a student of history, I find it very hard to believe that this country fought to get rid of people like Adolf Hitler, and yet there are still so fucking many imbeciles who spout the exact same things that he preached - AND THEN TRY TO USE A FUCKING BOOK TO DEFEND IT! Does the fact that Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf  that Jews are evil make it okay for anyone to persecute them? HELL no! Why, then, is it considered perfectly acceptable to uphold the exclusion, persecution, degradation, and murder of human beings based on nothing more solid than a few sentences in a book of folklore? Many of the comments on that article took the position that Larry King, who was all of thirteen years old, by the way, deserved to be shot twice in the head at nearly point blank range because he identified himself as gay. There is nothing even slightly acceptable about such a viewpoint. Period. End of conversation. No middle ground. I'm reminded of something I once read on a favorite blog of mine on the subject: This is not a reasoned debate between two equal, logical viewpoints. This is a struggle by a group of people who want the same rights as every other goddamn human being in this pathetic country against idealogical forces who truly believe that we are less than human, who believe that we do not deserve the same rights that they take advantage of every single day. This is the kind of shit that makes me fearful for my own safety. I had previously told myself that I am going to be out in college, but after reading this vast, steaming, ferocious pile of bullshit, bile, and vitriol, I am truly frightened of doing so.

I sincerely wish I had happier news with which to offset this, but I really don't, and I'm not at all in the mood to go look for any.
 
 
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