Saturday, September 26, 2009

Changinge Perspectives

This whole discussion stems from some controversial remarks regarding the effort at saving the Giant Panda.

I took the point-of-view, offered by evolutionary biology, that species extinction is part of the mix.

That was the sum-total of what I was saying. There is no inherent, connoted moral argument one can make from the standpoint of evolutionary biology that we human beings have a duty to sustain all the endangered species on the planet.

On the other hand . . .

A Christian ethic stemming from an acceptance of creation as part of God's gracious love, and the special role human beings have been given for care of creation, usually discussed under the term "stewardship", would most certainly offer a way to approach discussing human responsibility for all of God's creatures.

Of course, an ethic of stewardship should not ignore evolutionary biology; on the contrary, it should embrace it. Yet, it should do so considering it a guide to intelligent and thoughtful stewardship, rather than willy-nilly placing blame and investing in saving every vanishing species on the planet. I mentioned one in the linked post, the gray wolf. That's a wonderful example of intelligent stewardship; hunted to near extinction for the crime of doing what it does, the gray wolf has returned to near-healthy status, population-wise. The opening up of a wolf hunt in Idaho is poor management. The animal needs more time and to recover.

Another good example is the recent effort to draw attention to the plight of polar bears threatened by the disappearance of summer ice due to global warming. Some others are attention to frog populations as barometers of environmental health; the disappearance of frog populations, both in temporal and tropical areas, indicates there are many problems in the environment that should command our attention.

Of course, it should also be noted that we understand very little about the structure of the interconnected web of life to determine, beforehand through the use of some kind of rule, which species should command our attention, and whose perilous place should receive resources for saving. That shouldn't deter us from making the difficult decisions necessary for parsing out scarce resources of money, emotional energy, and intellectual effort, at making these determinations. In fact, we will never have the kind of understanding necessary to make these decisions as completely as we might like. We can only move forward with the information and understanding we have at any given moment.

I would also say that while I am hardly a fan of much of our social and political approach to western industrial society over the past two centuries, assigning blame here is both cheap and easy. It doesn't do anything to change our social practices that put stresses on the environment. I would also point out that while we have indeed made some strides, for the most part human societies do a poor job of preventive maintenance. Even when we know a problem may loom ahead of us, especially when these problems involve entrenched social interests endowed with a great deal of power, addressing them in a way that mitigates the coming ill-effects usually fails. For example, research during the 1970's showed pretty conclusively that the use of chlorofluorocarbons would result in depletion of the ozone layer, leading to an increase in ultraviolet radiation getting through, and creating a hazard for much of life. From the moment that research was released, the chemical industry went through a years-long, full-throated effort to discredit the research in an effort to stem the tide of possible legislation that would harm their economic interests.

When a hole in the ozone layer was discovered in the late 1980's, the global response was pretty rapid and coherent. It was, indeed, a remarkable example of the UN doing something right, and in the right way. Yet, had they done so a decade earlier, when the information was available that this result was coming, the effects may have been less severe (although, to be honest, we have no way of knowing that for sure). We didn't precisely because part of human society is the dubious, and morally frustrating, practice of politics.

This further complicates the way we address issues of global import. While we have made great strides, again, over the past fifty or sixty years not only in defining and addressing issues of global concern, but of raising the awareness of the global community to the necessity of shared, coordinated action, we still have a long way to go. An ethic of stewardship that is aware of the limitations of human political institutions and practices as they exist (rather than as we may prefer the exist, or as they might exist if only everyone were as intelligent and wise as we) is a necessary part of any such Christian ethic.

This is just a sketch, by the way, to point out to some folks that I am not arguing we human beings have no responsibility to "do something" about issues of environmental import. On the contrary, such a responsibility comes precisely from our being a part of creation, part of the natural world (and here I disagree whole-heartedly from Feodor's expressed idea that human beings are "removed" in some way from the global ecosystem; that just isn't possible). I believe, however, we should do it intelligently, thoughtfully, and with one eye always on the limitations inherent to it.

Saturday Rock Show

Still glowing from Tuesday's show at the Vic. Porcupine Tree performed this song, with this video playing on the screen behind them.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Embarrassing, Anger-Producing - I Want To Use A Dirty Word To Describe Sen. Jon Kyl

Since it wouldn't be right to use a bad word in the title of a blog-post, I'll just use is here - Jon Kyl just made the biggest fucking doofus comment of the day. What an asshole.
KYL: I don’t need maternity care, and so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something that I don’t need and will make the policy more expensive.

While Sen. Stabenow's (D-MI) rejoinder is funny, a serious response might include changing the language to include parental leave, offering support for both mothers and fathers.

Does Kyl not realize how stupid we look around the globe thanks to comments like this?

Nasty Things On The Internet Make Me Cry!

Shorter Michael Gerson:
Because the Nazis gave away radios, the internet should not allow people to say whatever they want.

Or something like that. To be honest, I'm not sure what his column meant, other than to whine about the fact that there are bigots out there who express their views.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Which Species Do We Save

Matt Yglesias discusses pandas. While I wonder whether or not it can be shown that pandas, like any other species has gone down an "evolutionary cul-de-sac", I do wonder sometimes if our worry over the exponentially-expanding extinction rate doesn't confuse our priorities somewhat.

When I took high school biology, my teacher made a cogent point - acceptance of Darwin's theory of evolution includes the sobering reminder that extinction is part of the process; a new species may arise to fill a void in the ecosystem. Or, the ecosystem may be changing and whole new areas of opportunity for new species may be opening up even as older ones become redundant or harder to sustain. Even we human beings will go the way of the dodo, giant sloth, and Packard at some point.

There are species such as the gray wolf, hunted to near-extinction due to the fact that they acted like predators (shocking!) and hunted ranchers cattle and sheep, that deserve a shot at saving. On the other hand, there are species like the Giant Panda that receive an enormous amount of attention because they seem cute, but whose evolutionary path has led them to such a narrow place in the ecosystem that extinction may be inevitable, even with human intervention. While they have become the logo for the World Wildlife Fund, and efforts at captive breeding are only beginning to pay off after a generation in zoos in the west, I have to believe that, should we humans allow nature to run its course, they will probably be gone in a century or two. While lamentable on some level, on another it is the way of things.

This, of course, leads us to the whole issue of species extinction in general, and what we human beings should do about it. Trying to determine whether this or that species is "worth" saving, or if the dwindling numbers of that species is due in any correlative way to direct human action, can become a fool's game. Sometimes the lines of correlation (not to say causality) can become so intertwined and twisted that untangling them is more trouble than it's worth.

Accepting Darwin, even in his modified, early-21st century form, means accepting that all species will disappear, at some point. Sometimes, they even die out because another species wins the competition for food, space, and other resources. Human action that creates detrimental effects on other species should not, ipso facto, be considered outside the bounds of Darwin's theory. We do have a certain right (for lack of a better word) to ensure the survival of our own species; if opening more land for cultivation, or creating new spaces for more human beings to live creates hazards for other species, that is part of the process of natural selection, after all.

I realize I am probably ticking off more than a few folks with this, but it's just some food for thought.


I have decided I would like to call Neil out on something. He recently wrote the following:
I do appreciate your clarity, along with Geoffrey’s, that we have different religions. Mine is Christianity.

I have written, up to this point, 2,240 blog posts - my, I do go on, don't I! - and I would invite Neil to go through all of them that deal with my thoughts on the Christian faith and point out, either in comments here, or on his own blog, in as much excruciating detail as he usually manages, where I have ever - EVER - said anything remotely outside a pretty traditional understanding of the Christian faith. Shoot, unlike a whole lot of liberal Christians, I accept the reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus and the Trinitarian reality of God!

So, c'mon Neil. Man up. I do so want to read a detailed smackdown of my views of the Christian faith.

UPDATE: Hardly a surprise, but he's chickening out.
Hi Geoffrey,

Thanks, but I’ve read plenty of your writings already. I subscribe to over 100 blogs, and yours and ER’s are not among them for a reason. Unless you have converted I don’t see the need to spend any more time on them. Here’s one summary from when you laid out the differences between our religions quite plainly — . As I noted there, I really appreciated the clarity and your honesty in finally abandoning your lie that we could possibly be worshiping the same God.

I'm not even sure what to make of this other than a confession of his own intellectual cowardice. At least he isn't hiding it.


I love this story.
Thamail Morgan took the kickoff and headed up the field.

He was at the 20 ... 30 ... 40

He had been avoiding, dodging or just simply running through tacklers on the way. Football always had come easily for Morgan. This game was no different. By the time he hit midfield, only open space was ahead of him. The two-time Arkansas all-state selection was headed for a touchdown.

40 ... 30 ... 20

He glanced at the clock and saw the final seconds ticking away. He realized his team, Cave City, was on the way to a victory over Yellville-Summit, comfortably ahead, 34-16. He also realized two other things: This wasn't an ordinary game. And he wasn't the same Thamail Morgan.

When he reached the 2, he stopped. He took a few steps back and took a knee at the 5-yard line.

Because of a traffic accident, the Yellville-Summit team was down players, including one dead.

Morgan did the noble thing, the only right thing. He refused to take the easy score.

A troubled young man, Morgan is trying to get his life back together. I do hope this story gets him noticed, again, by some big-name schools. He deserves a shot, for no other reason than he understands what "sportsmanship" really means.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This Is Disturbing

I read this and became sad. Of course, since all we know at the moment is that (a) the guy was a census worker; and (b) he was found with the word "Fed" written on his body, we have no way of knowing what was up. The kind of speculation I have read both at the Freeper site and on Facebook from both ends of the spectrum is meaningless.

The guy was lynched, pure and simple. Maybe by a nutter of the political variety, maybe by a meth-head (as common as fleas on a dog in most rural areas). Either way, right now, it's enough to just say that any murder is filled with sorrow.

"[N]one of these things seemed to have anything to do with Columbine"

David Leitch has a piece at TPMCafe Book Club on Columbine.
[T]here's a chasm between normal human understanding and what happened there. Confronted with the lack of recognizable human logic, we have provided our own, to make us feel better, to profit, to justify the way we see the world. If we are Christian, the shooting showed the imperative of others sharing our faith. If we were unpopular in high school, it cast a light on the dangerous petri dish of public schooling. If we believe in gun control, it reflected the recklessness of the gun lobby and our country's frightening obsession with firearms.

To be honest, I was a little put off by his opener, in which he announces he spent "a week" in Littleton, CO back in 2000 "looking for answers". A whole week! I hope his expense account wasn't overburdened.

As far as "looking for meaning", while I recognize the human tendency to seek a "lesson" in an event of the magnitude of the Columbine High School massacre, to want something as large and ugly as that to have something to tell us, I would insist that the recent revelations that pretty much everything we knew about the event is wrong - it was the result of a sociopathic folie a deux, an attempted bombing of the school cafeteria that went awry - should once and for all set aside any thought that events of monstrous evil have something to tell us, as individuals or society. They just are; wanting them to mean more, in the odd belief that the dead would have died in vain without some "good" being dragged from the rubble doesn't change that fact.

Leitch is relentless in his criticism of those who sought either to profit from the horror, or to put their own spin on "what it all means":
Columbine brought out the worst in everyone. The famed story of Cassie Bernall, the "She said yes" martyr supposedly killed because she professed her faith in God, was quickly debunked, but that didn't stop publishers--who knew about problems with the story long before publication--from rushing a book by Bernall's mom into production. (It sold over a million copies.) Cultural commentators from Jerry Falwell to Eddie Vedder took advantage of America's hysteria to shoehorn the incident into a promotion of their own agenda. At least twelve different films have been inspired by Columbine, each with its own interpretation--from Gus Van Sant's "They were into violent video games ... and secretly gay!" in Elephant to Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, which allowed Marilyn Manson to bemoan that he would have listened to Eric and Dylan, "and that's what no one did." Everybody had something to say, even though none of them had the slightest idea what they were talking about.

While the whores behind the "Cassie Bernall" story deserve no quarter, Marilyn Manson's expressed desire to "listen" at least has the virtue that he was expressing something that far too many weren't saying - that our youth need understanding rather than hectoring.

The ending of the piece is interesting.
I want answers. I know I won't find them. But I want them, nevertheless. I can't stop looking for them.

Since you know there's no "there", you can, too, stop. This article is the end of your search, I think.

The Show, Part II - Porcupine Tree

Their latest release contains a single, 55-minute piece of music. Earlier works are a 36:00 meandering combination of hard-edged guitar work, lilting acoustic work, and the kind of electronic keyboard sounds one associates with Pink Floyd at their trippiest. They also have songs that blister the ear drums, sounding more like Tool than anything else.

Often compartmentalized with bands like Radiohead and Marillion, Porcupine Tree is really just band-leader Steven Wilson's outlet for his musically fertile imagination. The fans crammed in to the Vic - and it was freakin' hot in there, more air would have been nice - while appreciating Kings X no end, was there for Porcupine Tree. I would have loved to see a two-hour set by Kings X, all on their own, but when PT came out, and blasted the opening of The Incident through the PA (which was either too large, too heavy, or both to be suspended from the ceiling, so was sitting on the stage; the folks on the floor could feel the sound) we erupted in sheer joy.

Live, the band projects a (good) weird vibe. Leader Wilson, who plays barefoot, seemed oddly reserved, almost shy. Keyboardist Richard Barbieri, for all that he creates moods at turns sinister, frightening, and soothing through his rack of keyboards, complete with iMac, looks more like a technician than a musician. Drummer Gavin Harrison's trap set is large, diverse, and he sits behind it, head hanging down listening for the cues for his breaks, his attention all on what comes through his wedges. Bassist Colin Edwin seems to enjoy nothing more than playing. When the music builds up to a release he really likes, you can see the smile on his face, then his eyes close very briefly, and he moves very slightly - I was impressed by Edwin more than any of the musicians because he seemed to appreciate the music more without having any need for histrionics of any kind.

I've been rocked at concerts many times. Musically, however, this was the single best concert I've seen. For all the first part of the show was completely new music (and they debuted another song off the new album last night, asking for audience indulgence because they needed to concentrate really hard), the entire show seemed, to me at least, flawless (except for something going wrong with Wilson's acoustic guitar at some point), the music by turns flowing out then suddenly beating the audience over the head. They ended their encore with "Trains", after announcing they would be back through Chicago on the second leg of their tour, sometime in the winter. If I had to guess, I would say that most of the people there last night will be back.

They performed this song last night, Wilson pointing his guitar at bassist Edwin who smiled and played the opening riff, his head moving ever so slightly to the rhythm. "Strip the Soul" is its name:

The Show, Part I - Kings X

"We're Kings X, if you haven't heard, and we're here to kick your ass." Lead singer and bassist Doug Pinnock offered this view of their role as opening act for Porcupine Tree last night. Indeed, they did. A quarter century ago, a friend of mine told me about this awesome band from Texas, that I needed to check them out. I hate to admit that while I knew I should like them, and I wanted to like them, it just isn't the kind of thing I can really dig. Rooted in punk and a late-70's hard rock aesthetic (I know that sounds like an odd combination, but after you check them out, I think you'll see it's accurate), the power trio is the most underappreciated rock band out there. They should be as huge as U2, the Rolling Stones, and R.E.M. Pegged as a "Christian band" because, lyrically, the band flirted with certain spiritual themes, they were consigned to a ghetto. Musicians and hard core fans, however, know there is more to them than this, and love them because they are a band with no frills, just chops accompanied by Pinnock's amazing voice (at one point he hit notes Mariah Carey couldn't have reached!). They ended the show with this old but awesome ode to the only thing that mattered to the folks crammed in to the Vic Theater, "Over My Head":

I felt bad, however, because the only glaring technical issue was with Pinnock's microphone. They had been sound-checking it right up to the moment the band came out, and it still wasn't working right through the first song; by about half-way through the second number whatever bug was there was squashed, and the show was so tight and blistering you could forgive the roadies for not getting it all cleared up.

Monday, September 21, 2009

For Crying Out Loud

Tbogg reports that there are humorless idiots out there who call themselves Christian (I refuse to link to gateway pundit, but the original link is at Tbogg).
Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft took valuable time off from hating on negro people to report this very important thing:
It's Come to This... Music Awards Show Audience Holds Hands & Prays to Devil

Jack Black led the MTV Music Awards audience join in a prayer to the devil.

Which should be taken seriously.

Of course, these same people get worried about this kind of thing, too:

Which is a way better song than the one Tbogg posted.

Will The Church Survive?

Part of what prompted last week's little preachy outburst was the announcement by my seminary alma mater of a guest speaker who manages to be "popular" by publishing books pointing out the obvious. Another part of it was the meta-critique of a dear friend of mine that the mainstream church is quite literally dying - aging itself out of existence, really - and the kind of stuff on display at WTS is a shuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic as professor of mine in college used to say.

That the mainline denominations are, and have been for some time, in trouble is beyond dispute. The example of my home church is typical. A quarter-century ago, it was a thriving, lively congregation, with a busy schedule, youth programs, choirs of all sorts, Bible studies, and worship attendance was edging upward.

It doesn't exist anymore.

I usually console myself thinking of the Wesleyan Covenant Prayer, part of which reads, "Let me be put aside for thee." When I received word that the congregation had folded and the property had been sold, I told Lisa, with far more conviction than I felt, that perhaps it was just that a Wesleyan witness in Sayre, PA had run its course, and God might be doing a new thing there.

Actually, I'm still sad.

Yet, I also believe that even if the entire Christian Church, in all its various forms and disguises died out, God would still be God, and the stones might just cry out. In general, while the old mainline churches struggle for a way to define themselves - which is odd - overseas, such as in Africa, the church is thriving. South America is also a lively ground for the Christian Church, in many flavors from liberationist communities to fundamentalist enclaves to the Seventh Day Adventists.

While I think it a bit tiresome for US Mainline denominations to continue to struggle with issues of identity, and to promote the kind of mindlessness that Wesley Seminary is promulgating by featuring this boob at a conference (an institution of higher learning should host serious people with something interesting to say), it is nevertheless true, I think, that even should mainline churches go the way of First UMC, Sayre, PA, the church will continue. It may not be recognizable, to be sure. But it will be, because God isn't finished with us yet.

Music For Your Monday

I owe this one to Kirsten. She went to the Oklahoma City Philharmonic's opening night performance, and along with Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (which, among many other notable things, was used to open Yes concerts for years) included Anton Dvorak's cello concerto in B minor. I hadn't heard it - a person can't hear everything! - but I found it, and it is a marvelous example of romantic orchestral music. All that tension and release, don't you know . . .

So, thanks, Kirsten, for the information. I have discovered yet another wonderful piece of music I now have to spend money to call my own! I thought I'd share it with those not fortunate enough to get to the OKC Philharmonic on Saturday.

For those who like to know who the players are, that's Paul Fournier on cello, performing with the Orchestre National de l'ORTF, Sergiu Celibidache conducting.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Things That Go Bump In The Night

A couple years back I stumbled across a video on YouTube that purported to show all sorts of ghostly activity. I have always been interested in that kind of thing, and was disappointed that the video was a compilation of crap and fake stuff. I felt a bit redeemed, however, because over the course of searching for something really good, I stumbled upon the Syfy show Ghost Hunters, which is a hoot and a half, and offers the occasional moment where you have to go, "Hmm".

For the most part, I think the vast majority of claims of "hauntings" and what not are hooey. Yet, having experienced a thing or two myself, I have a mind that is open to the possibility that there is something to the claims of interaction between our physical environment and energies that can be called, for lack of a better word, spiritual. I would like to know - have you ever had an experience that left you baffled, maybe even a little frightened? No aspersion are to be cast on the character of the person posting; this is a request for reporting information, not an excuse to talk about how silly "ghost stories" are.

Reflecting On Mirrors

I purchased the horror film Mirrors, starring Keifer Sutherland as a down-and-out New York City police detective who discovers some very odd, then horrible, things happening in the mirrors of a burned-out department store where he works a night watchman.

On one level, the movie is so trite and cliche-ridden, it makes the viewer yawn, from the whole "struggling alcoholic ex-cop on the outs with his wife" to the "I'm not crazy I'm really seeing this stuff!" dialogue. On another level, it relies on a recurring theme - mirrors as portals through which evil entities can enter our world. John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness used this particular bit, as did the Keanu Reeves movie Constantine. In Mirrors, a young girl misdiagnosed as schizophrenic is forced by a therapist to sit in a round room of mirrors, described as an "experimental therapy". Of course, the girl is actually possessed, and somehow the demon is trapped in the mirrors.

The hospital is closed after a bizarre and horrific mass murder, and turned in to a department store, which was burned five years prior. A security guard is convicted on the crime, but insists in testimony that "the mirrors did it". The film opens, in fact, with a man running through the Lenox Ave. subway stop, breaking in to a locked room, only to have his mirror image slash its throat; the man dies (of course) as the mirror image watches.

So, on one level the film offers pretty traditional horror-film stuff. There is one scene, however - the murder of Sutherland's long-suffering sister (with whom he rooms as he tries to get his life put back together) by her mirror image - that is probably the most gruesome scene I have ever watched in a main-stream horror movie. What is even more surprising than the scene itself is that it doesn't come across as gratuitous. I was glad, however, I wasn't eating when the scene came on.

There are some obvious scenes designed to make the viewer jump is surprise, and even though one is dragged by the nose to them, they are done so well I jumped even though I knew they were coming.

The most arresting scene in the movie, however, is one in which Sutherland's estranged wife, calling their son out of his room (where he had been sitting cross-legged talking to his mirror; previous scenes had established that whatever possessed the mirrors at the department store had migrated to his bedroom); he gets up and we peer over her shoulder as his reflection stays seated, staring at her. That scene still gives me chills.

I bought the film because (a) I enjoy horror films, even predictable ones; and (b) for all that they are nothing more than "glass and silver" as Sutherland's doomed sister says, mirrors are an intriguing thing to me. Late Victorian/Edwardian occultist Aleister Crowley, it is said, spent decades attempting to make his image disappear from mirrors. In a world and culture in which images of all sorts flicker around us, we are taught to trust images with the use of mirrors. Yet, mirror images are not trustworthy. They are a reversal of reality. Our trust in our reflected image is misplaced. Adding to the issue of trust in images comes the weird (to me, anyway) juxtaposition of a film, which is nothing more than 24-still-fames-per-second flashing before our eyes, about the possibility that images are not trustworthy. Film is the most malleable medium available. Actors portray people they are not, indeed people who have never existed. They have their features changed by makeup and prosthetics. The lighting and sound is artificial; even the setting is usually artificial, said artificiality enhanced these days by computer technology.

The funny thing is that, when I was younger, I wondered about the relationship between mirrors and reality. We stand and look in a mirror, and we see the images of object behind us. We learned, early in life, that these images are accurate representations of the world around us, only backwards. Yet, how is that possible? How is it possible that a mirror shows us what we cannot, on our own, see?

Of course, physics has the answer to this question, and I accept that answer, which makes my own somewhat philosophical wonderment at mirrors and their images silly. Mirrors are, indeed, nothing more than silver and glass; the images are nothing more than light reflections.

The next time you are standing there, shaving, brushing your hair or teeth, making sure your collar is straight and turned out, just remember - nothing is looking back at you.


Intellectual Contortionist

I am no fan of pornography, by any means. It cheapens sex, reduces it not so much to something dirty and horrible, but makes of something profound and complex something far more mechanical and uninteresting. Not to mention the broken lives of the "performers" flickering on the screen, it robs sex of its mystery, its beauty.

Having said that (and I could say much more), I wonder about this guy:
He said, “all pornography is homosexual pornography because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards. Now think about that. And if you, if you tell an 11-year-old boy about that, do you think he’s going to want to go out and get a copy of Playboy? I’m pretty sure he’ll lose interest. That’s the last thing he wants.” You know, that’s a, that’s a good comment. It’s a good point and it’s a good thing to teach young people.

Hazarding a guess, I think he is referring to the fact that, especially for adolescent boys, viewing pornography might lead them (horror of horrors) to touch themselves. If an adolescent boy feels free to touch his own penis in a sexual manner, who's to say he might not be willing to touch another boy's penis the same way? In other words, it's a straight line from wanking in the bathroom to the copy of Penthouse sneaked out of Dad's sock drawer to listening to show tunes.

Since masturbation among males is about as common as breathing, even though most adolescent boys seem to think there is something odd or dirty about it, I think the notion that masturbation leads to gay sex just doesn't pass the smart test. After all, we'd all be gay. We're not.

Part of the problem is that far too many anti-gay folks think it's all about the sex. They just cannot conceive of the possibility that a man can be not just sexually aroused by and attracted to another man, but have an emotional attachment to another man the way the vast majority of us feel about women. I have to laugh whenever I hear about "the gay lifestyle" because what I think of is two men or women sitting around the kitchen, talking about their day, paying bills, cleaning the house, arguing over who took the trash out last, and wondering why their socks keep getting mixed up when they sort laundry. For some reason - well, I think I understand the whole attraction-repulsion thing - anti-gay folks obsess over the physical aspect of same-sex relationships to the exclusion of everything else. Gay couples are just couples, and for the most part sex is an important yet hardly the most important part of their bond.

As far as porn=masturbation=gay, all I can wonder about is the speaker's experience. Does he harbor these kinds of thoughts? I really have to wonder.

Virtual Tin Cup

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