A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

My Photo
Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sunday Morning Post (V.1 #18) - My Cousin Jimmy

It was summer 1987 when, armed with a fresh Master’s degree, I finally left home and returned to the city of my birth, Philadelphia.  I needed employment and, having outgrown the dead-end cycle of perpetual retailing in Northeast Pennsylvania, I was ready to start a career in a real vocation.  I lived with friends for that summer, then moved in with my aunt and uncle in the Academy Gardens section of the city.  There I got reacquainted with my cousins and really got to know my (second) cousin Jimmy.

At the time, Jimmy was attending parochial high school, well-versed in Roman Catholicism, and giving every indication that he wanted to pursue a career in the priesthood.  He was also, if you chose to believe the things he said, outrageously homophobic. Jimmy would talk about gays burning in Hell, and assert a hormonal excessive heterosexual attitude towards the opposite sex.   To be fair, he was still an adolescent male at this point and any remarks about the fair sex could usually be countered with the admonishment, “Down, boy, down!”

I wasn’t comfortable with Jimmy’s attitudes.   After all, I had known a few gays in college and found nothing wrong with them.  They were usually good company, very intelligent and witty.  I think, in Jimmy’s case, I attributed his attitude towards gays to perhaps traditional religious dogma and inexperience with the world at large.  

It didn’t occur to me at the time that perhaps his years in Roman Catholicism was giving him more world experiences than I could ever realize.  (‘Hi!  My name is Todd and I am naïve.” “Hi, Todd!”)

After a year in Philly, I moved on, stumbled into a career near Washington and finally got on with my life.  In the intervening years, Jimmy also matured.  He completed his religious education with a doctorate and came out of the closet.

We had a few clues over the years about Jimmy.  Once I caught up with him while we were both visiting Bloomsburg.  He was up visiting a boyfriend at the college.  At the time I thought, “Okay, great seeing you again,” and did not give it a second thought.  There was another chance encounter at a Pennsylvania Turnpike stop a few years later when he was traveling with a boyfriend. I don’t know if it was the same one from the earlier incident, but that didn’t matter at the time.  I just felt it was good to see him again.

I’ve thought about the issue of why closeted gays seem to have the most homophobic attitudes among people over the years.  Please understand, I never took a course in psychology or sociology, so I will admit that I don’t feel intellectually qualified to have an opinion on this, but here goes nothing.

I finally decided that this seeming incongruity between expressed attitudes and self-identity is nothing more than “doing as the Romans do”.  You blend in and adopt the attitudes and norms which are considered acceptable in society until you feel comfortable that you have found people who may be like or understand you and not so quick to judgment and condemnation.

I don’t believe that this chameleon effect is limited to the gay community.  Each one of us has most likely felt the need to behave like the rest of the world around us even as we knew that there was something about us (a belief?  a personality quirk?) that was out-of-sync with the world.  We all go through a period of trial, error and social experimentation until we finally either get comfortable with ourselves in our surroundings or find a niche into which that we can fit.

In Jimmy’s case, there is a happy ending.  Yesterday Warrior Queen and I had the honor and wonderful pleasure of witnessing Jimmy exchange vows with his longtime partner, Michael.  It was a beautiful day in the company of family and friends full of love and spiritual acceptance. 

We wish the couple many years of happiness ahead.

(Thank you for reading.  Okay, world, it’s time for you to catch up to us.)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sunday Morning Post (V.1 #17) - Cats and Celebrities and a Celebrity Cat

I had a few ideas for this week’s post, but we should recount the events of the past week. 

First, we should note that it was a rough week for celebrities.

Doris Day passed away on Monday.

Comedian/comic actor Tim Conway died on Tuesday.

Thursday brought the news that Grumpy Cat had passed away, also on Tuesday.

I repeat the past week was a rough week for celebrities.

I enjoyed all three throughout my life.  Grumpy Cat was the most recent addition to our entertainment universe, having only become an Internet sensation in the last 7 years.  She rose quickly and burned out suddenly.  To be fair, Grumpy Cat’s presence has faded a bit with the rise of a newer Internet sensation, Cranky President.

So, who will assume Grumpy Cat’s place in our hearts and memes?  Angry Anteater?  Pissy Puma?  Garrulous Grackle?  Please, anyone step forward!  Cranky President has worn out his welcome.

Despite this bit of melancholy news, there was a feel-good story about cats this week, or, more specifically, kittens.

Recently, in San Diego CA, a group of construction workers were working on a new Kaiser Permanente building when they heard mewing coming from a steel column.  They tilted the post and five kittens slid out.  There was no sign of the mother cat and the kittens were quickly given to the local animal shelter for adoption.

The workers named the kittens Rebar, Piper, Crowbar, Chisel, and Jackhammer.

Moral #1: Don’t let construction workers name your kittens!

Moral #2: Never let bipolar, narcissistic New York real estate tycoons grow up to be President! 

(Thank you for reading.  RIP Ms. Day, Mr. Conway, and Tarder Sauce AKA Grumpy Cat.)

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sunday Morning Post (V.1; #16) - Holy Leni Riefenstahl, Batman!

Why are we surprised at this news that the President Who Shall Not Be Named (PWSBN) wants to alter the traditional celebration of the nation’s founding - recognized with some grumblings from historians about date accuracy - on the Fourth of July?   His desire, according to administration officials, is to move the fireworks and he will address the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The thinking among the liberals is that he wants to turn the Fourth from a party celebrating our patriotic selves to an event all about him and his cult followers.

The speculation from liberals could be off the mark and the PWSBN may very well have the best of sincerest intentions to mark our nation’s birthday.

Oh, who am I kidding!  We all know that it’s me, me, me with #45!

Can a royal coronation be too far behind?

The news has raised alarms with the local government in DC.  Ultimately, they could withdraw financial support for security in the environs of the National Mall where most of the celebration would occur. This could put a serious crimp into the President’s plans.  The backlash to the administration announcement has only begun; we may see the White House back down yet.

In the meantime, we can let this image sink into our heads:  the sight of #45, whose administration has emboldened racial animosity since it was inaugurated, giving a speech at the front door of a memorial to the Great Emancipator.  Really?   This image strains the limits of irony and crosses the boundary into total hypocrisy.

We can also shudder at the imaginary (for now) thoughts of a sea of red baseball MAGA caps moving back and forth, to and fro on the National Mall on the Fourth. It is interesting to note that such a picture would bear similarities to scenes from Leni Riefenstahl’s greatest claim to notoriety, Triumph of The Will.  The film preserved for all time the Nazi Party Congress at Nuremberg in September 1934.  This was a scant 21 months after the star of the congress, Adolf Hitler, became Chancellor of the German government.  

Okay, so the number of months from the President’s ascension to power to a possible event which could seal his absolute rule over the country doesn’t exactly match Hitler’s rise.

To be fair, Hitler had a much smaller geographic territory to work with, and he didn’t have a persnickety Nancy Pelosi nipping at his heels.  Still, I think my comparison is apt. 

To be clear, the President may have, at this point, as many followers as Hitler did in 1934.  Still, this does not represent the majority. Then, as now, both men have rabid and loyal followers who will obey no matter how morally corrupt the leaders are, while the rest of the world recoils in horror.

Perhaps the rest of us should stop recoiling and just strike in the name of democracy.

(Thank you for reading.  Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms!)