Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Blog...

This blogging stuff is hard... but not if you've already written it all!

I've started a new blog to capture a six year series of emails I sent out reviewing and sharing music.

It is here...

Check it out.

Monday, January 19, 2009

If the male nine-banded armadillo was human, its penis would be four feet long.

… heh… hah!… they never mentioned that in the Marvel Comics I read!

The culture of the victim...

So, I've been reflecting on a conversation that Nicole and I had with a mutual male friend of ours. She was giving him a hard time about something he'd said a while back... essentially agreeing with a friend, "If I have a daughter, she has a 9:00 curfew. I know how guys think and act and I'd be terrified to have her out there." Or something to that basic effect.

Now... before the feminist knee jerk reaction (and believe me, I'm a feminist myself) I think we need to examine this statement to understand where it comes from. (The biggest problem with discussing issues of sex and sexism is that both parties are inherently on the defensive and thus not really talking about the issue as much as emotionally trying to defend themselves.) When questioned... the friend said, "Well... guys are physically stronger, and they are agressive, and I'd be terrified for my daughter."

The initial reaction is to argue "What do mean stronger" and all that... but I tried to explain that such is missing the point.

The point is, yes... men are generally physically stronger and aggressive and willing to use force to get what they want... but the point is "so what?" When asked about having a boy, the friend had no concerns.

So I said, "But men, especially young men, are vastly more likely to be injured or die due to violence, men have a shorter life span, higher risk of many diseases, etc. So why are you afraid for your theoretical daughter and not your theoretical son?"

There was no good answer from him. That is because all patriarchal institutionalized behaviors aside... the following is true...
1. We inherently know that life is risky, dangerous and full of potential threats.
2. For some reason, our society generally assumes boys to be "up to the challenge" of a dangerous world.
3. For some reason, our society generally assumed that girls "must be protected" from this dangerous world.

The basic assumption is that women shouldn't have to deal with violence and agression and the uglieness... and if they do, it is a tragedy. Whereas a boy/man who deals with it is considered strong and capable and heroic.

Example: A friend of a friend was a social worker. She worked with a variety of clients, some mentally unstable. One of these clients showed up to an appointment on day, pulled a gun and held her hostage. For several hours she was in the room with this off-his-meds loon, while police surrounded and tried to negotiate. It could have gone really badly, but this woman talked with this guy, worked with him, and eventually took the gun from him and calmly lead him out to the authorities. No one got hurt.
She should have been a hero. She should have been lauded as "Way to go! Nice job! You kick ass!"
But no... instead the reaction from her friends and family was, "Oh my god! That was horrible! You must feel terrible! You must be traumatized! Such things should never happen to you!"

Can you imagine saying those things to a guy who just talked his way out of a hostage situation? Hell no. It would have been, "Way to go, dude! Beers on me! You the man!"

But a woman in that situation is viewed as a victim. The situation was horrible. No matter how competent and kick ass she was, she is considered to have suffered and hurt... victimized by the event.

This woman in particular went from feeling flush and confident after the event, to eventually being talked into therapy and being distraught and distrustful and phobic.

This is the inherent sexism. Beyond a sense that girls/women are not capable of handling the ugliness in the world... they are not rewarded for actually being strong in the face of adversity.

This is what our friend was doing to his only theoretical daughter. He was looking at the rough and tumble world and assuming her to be a victim of it... where a son, who is much more likely to suffer violence, is assumed to just be able to deal with it.

If you want to change sexism, you have to attack this basic, built in bias... not of strength and capability between the sexes... but of the illogical sense of over protection and control we consider necessary for girls, and the lack of protection or guidance we allow for boys.

The world is a violent realm for all of us. We all need to be allowed to learn and toughen up and display our heroic nature in the face of adversity... just as much as we all need to protect each other. Protect each other by collectively facing the shit life throws at us, not trying to shield some completely and letting the others walk alone into the fray.

If we all fight together, we'll find there is much less to have to fight in the first place.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My cousin Michael and me with the coolest toys on the block. 'Nuff said!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kill... your... television!

As the song goes, I'd tried... really I'd tried. I thought it was dead. Months without TV... and I never missed it. Saving money, too.

But television is like the undead... it never stops. IT JUST KEEPS COMING!

Now... it is back... in a BIG way. A seventy inch flat screen with HD cable, an X-Box 360, Wii, PS2 (if I dig my old one out)... and cable in the bedroom, too.

Total media corruption. I'll probably never read a book again. It's horrible.

(But the Superbowl will look AWESOME!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Just Breathe

Further micro fiction. Not pretty.

Don't ask where this stuff comes from. I don't know.


Just Breathe

It was a steak knife. Mostly dull. The barest rasp of serration. She held it overhead pointed down as she tried to drive it into his face.

He barely threw his forearm into hers as it descended, before she could gain momentum.

He knew how to fight, she didn’t. She was trying to kill him, but still he felt bad.

“It’s ok,” he said, trying for calm. She grunted, shoved forward. He sidestepped her momentum, trying not to let her fall. She staggered. He reached out. A wet, scream-hiss and she slashed. The pinpoint teeth crossed his forearm, tearing flesh, not cutting. He felt the blade saw against his radius and his stomach lurched.

“STUPID!” he shouted… at himself not her. Then rammed two fingers of his free hand into her throat. She choked and the knife fell away… then the fight itself. She collapsed gasping. He lowered her to the ground, kneeling to hold on.

Her hair was short and spiky, but softer than he’d thought. It pressed under his chin, smelling clean and sharp.

“Breathe…” he said, calmly. “Just breathe.” Slowly her gasps turned to keening anguish. She shook in his arms but that was his own shuddering.

“I know.” he said. “That’s the problem. I love her, too.” She sobbed, but didn’t fight.

“That’s all we can do,” he said, more to himself. “We just love her.

"The rest is up to her.”

He felt tears and blood running over him and knew neither would be enough.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Flash fiction... micro fiction... an entire story in 250 words or less. I like the idea.


Three months, four days, 7 hours.

“You’re awake?” she asked as her eyes flicked open and she turned, looking over her bare shoulder. “Before me?” Smiling, because they both knew that wasn’t the way it should be. He continued to watch her skin in the blue light of early morning. Her eyes were black, just a hint of white at the edges. Nocturnal. Distant.

He didn’t say anything at first, then, “I never went to sleep.” He leaned his body forward, head still on hand on his side, bringing his lips to her neck. A kiss. A blessing.

“When you get up, you won’t be coming back. I didn’t want to miss anything.” He said it quietly, but firmly. He’d been practicing in his head for hours. “I know it and it’s ok.”

He kissed her spine again, reaffirming the inevitable.

She didn’t try to fake surprise or confusion. Her eyes just softened and that smile brightened. She turned her face back to the pillow and closed her eyes, edging her body back against his. He buried his face in her hair. They curved in silence until she bowed her head away so that her neck was exposed. “Do that again,” she murmured. So he did.

He fell asleep with his lips against her.

When he woke later, she was gone.

She’d never denied it.