Thursday, October 14, 2010


The news reported on a kid who was bullied because she was popular, and can't shut up about the gay kids who are being bullied. What about the straight, unpopular kids? What about the boys who are bad at sports? The girls with terrible complexions? What about all those people who hate their lives not because they look good on a poster for anti-bullying, but because they don't?

I'm tired of this. I'm angry because bullying wasn't a big deal when I was bullied. I'm angry because the kids who do the bullying don't get in trouble, because they are what the schools want their students to look, think, and act like. I'm angry because children are being driven to kill themselves over what's being said and done to them. I'm angry because something that made me miserable growing up is now being used as a gay rights issue.

Bullying is wrong. It's not wrong because of the victim, it's wrong because of the bully. You can be gay or straight, smart or dumb, pretty or homely. I have seen people in every one of these groups get bullied. In every case except pretty, they were bullied about being these things.

When I was in the sixth grade, a boy who had bullied me for years pinned my arm against the desk and pushed on both sides. I thought he was going to break it. Maybe he was, and maybe he wasn't. The point was, I was scared and in physical pain. When he finally let me go, I ran to the teacher: a substitute that day, by the name of Mr. Ramses. Mr. Ramses was the coach of one of the sports teams this boy was on. When I told him what had happened, he told me to quit whining about it. Two years later, after being teased by this same boy for an entire gym class, I snapped back one threat, to the effect of "I'll rip your head off". He went to the office, and I was called in. I was nearly suspended. He said he felt threatened, despite being twice my size and, as he had pointed out many times that day alone, was far stronger than me.

Schools support bullies. They always will. They don't care about the rest of us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Moving Away

Some months ago, I moved to New York. Some months before that, I had planned to move to LA, while still in school. I've already covered in here why I didn't move to LA. Here's why I did move to New York.
First of all, I wasn't finding a job back home. The market here isn't great, but I still managed to get a job, and that does fill one with a certain sense of accomplishment. In my entire jobhunt, I had two interviews: one was a mass-interview for an insurance company which would require that I become certified first, while the other was working as something like an orderly in something like a nursing home, but they turned me down. I really didn't want either job, though. Largely, because of my second reason.
My second reason is that I had friends here. Two of my dearest friends. Some might say my two dearest friends. They had gotten married last year, and wanted me to come live here. We'd talked about it briefly before. For some reason, they finally succeeded. The difference was my first reason, combined with my third reason.
My third reason was a woman named Renée. We'd met at the wedding of those same two friends. She was a nearly-lifelong friend of the bride. I was a college friend of both. And due to a coincidence in the heights of groomsmen and bridesmaids, we ended up walking together at their wedding. Because we walked, we also danced. Our relationship didn't begin then. It was quite a while before we even admitted we liked each other. But that was the moment I fell for her. That was when I knew that, sooner or later, I needed to move to New York.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Morning Amnesia

So, yesterday, I was on the schedule to come into work today at 3PM. As such, I planned my sleep schedule to account for this. Last night, however, I got a call from work asking me to come in at 7 AM instead. Helpful guy that I am, I agreed. So this morning, when my alarm woke me at 6 in the morning, I was tired. So tired, in fact, that I had morning amnesia. Contrary to this comic observation, however, I actually was incredibly disturbed by the experience. I knew exactly two things: "I am awake" and "I should not be awake." Most noticeably, as I recall the experience, I did not know why I was awake. Not "why am I getting up so early" or "is this really worth it," but honestly, I didn't even understand that my alarm had woken me. It sucked. It sucked a lot.

Work itself, on the other hand, was unremarkable, and fairly lackluster. Apart from getting off after only 7 hours (which I will make up later in the week), it was pretty joyless. This is a shame, because I had had a string of several really great shifts at work. Oh well. You can't win them all.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

If you crossed the international dateline on your birthday, would you still get presents?

If you crossed the international dateline on your birthday, would you still get presents?

Answer here

Mosque on Ground Zero

Shorter than yesterday's post, but still political. Apparently, Barack Obama is now openly supporting the proposed Mosque near "Ground Zero" of the World Trade Center attacks. Good.
I considered a couple articles to link to, but instead, I'm just writing two or three points of my own. First, good for President Obama to stand up and openly support someone he's been accused of secretly supporting since before he was elected (well, not exactly the same group, because these aren't terrorist Muslims, but peaceful ones). Second, as a couple of the articles I've read confirm, this is not a moral attack on the families of the WTC victims–the proposed Mosque is not even on Ground Zero, but only nearby. Third, while I do not believe Islam is correct, I respect their beliefs. I hope one day they find the truth of Christianity. But how are they supposed to find it, when we as Christians are turning our backs, and not the other cheek?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Democracy, Equality, Cunning

I've been thinking. Yeah, I know: not something many people like me to say.

When I woke up, someone had sent me THIS LINK

I skimmed the article first and read the basics: Prop 8 has not only been overturned, but may not be allowed to be appealed, because the proponents of Prop 8 had not been the ones sued, but Schwarzenegger. My immediate thought was what the article later suggested: if they can't appeal the ruling, they could appeal the grounds for the trial itself.

A word now on the Prop 8 ruling itself: the voters of California voted and banned gay marriage. A judge told them it would take a constitutional amendment and overturned the law. Prop 8 was that amendment, which also passed by popular vote. Again, the minority took it to a judge and have had it overturned. If it stands, it will, undoubtedly, be a great triumph for equality in California. By the same token, however, it will be a terrible blow against democracy. The courts do not have the authority to settle this issue, but continue to act as though they do. As I've said before, I'm opposed to the government having anything to do with marriage - it's none of their business. But the court doesn't get to decide that.

Back to the article itself. When I read some months back that the suit against Prop 8 was targeting the governor and not its proponents, I thought it was stupid. Not that it was more likely to fail because of its stupidity, but it was pretty clear that Arnold wasn't responsible for the amendment.

This article, however, sheds new light. Schwarzy didn't defend Prop 8, and because the suit that struck it down wasn't against its proponents, it could not be easily appealed. This could have been the plan from the beginning (and no, I'm not positing a conspiracy, just a phenomenally well-planned legal battle).

Anyway: that's what I thought about this morning.

Friday, July 16, 2010


So... I'm now one week into employment. I have halfway completed my orientation class, and then I'm an actual employee. The word "professional" is in my title (a possible subject for a future blog post). Add this to the fact that I'm moved out of my parents house, and have a girlfriend with kids (which apparently makes me an authority figure), and I'm pretty much a grown-up. It's a rather bizarre feeling.
Now, there are a lot of ways one could respond to my new grown-up status. Some would say I'm not, either because I still love videogames, or waste hours online, or because I use the word "grown-up" instead of "adult." These are legitimate points. Others would say I've been a grown-up for a while, as I am 23 (24 in two weeks), have graduated both highschool and college, and have determined the course of my own life for some time now. These points are also legitimate. They are also wrong.
Do you want to know why I'm really a grown-up now? Because I finally gave in. I've spent the past several years resisting it. I tried to get a job, sure. I furthered my education, tried to do "the responsible thing," but I was never a grown-up, because I really didn't want to be. I was still a kid. I wanted money for fun (and to pay back student loans, I guess). I moved several states from home, but that was to be with friends (as well as the lovely young lady to whom I am now attached romantically). I fought being an actual grown-up for as long as I possibly could. Now, though, I am. I don't always like it. I hate that the form I should have mailed in weeks ago and only sent out now (meaning it won't hit the mail until tomorrow morning) is entirely my responsibility, and if there are negative consequences they will land squarely on my head. But they will. And I will deal with it.
To be honest, I didn't intend for this post to take a turn this way. I planned for a simple, biographical look at the past week. I would talk about how it feels like a college class (communications, to be specific). I would describe, in detail, the mixture of elation and dread I felt every day this week, as I learned more about my job and responsibilities. I would go on and on about how I've woken up before my alarm clock the past 4 days, and only this morning managed to sleep until it went off. Sure, I just mentioned these, but they aren't the focus of my post.
I'm an adult. I've lost the fight. There's no going back.

All there is now is the rest of my life.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


You know what's strange?


Last time I posted, I was in a completely different place, both literally and figuratively.

I lived in Ohio. Now I live in New York. I was single. Now I'm in a relationship. I was unemployed. On Monday, I start my new job.

Life isn't easy. It's not always fun. But you know what?

I love being alive.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Remember When We Used To Be Friends

Looking over photos online, I was filled with a sense of disappointment and sadness. I used to have a friend I didn't appreciate enough. For a few blessed months, we finally connected. Then she got busy. Then I got busy. Through this whole time, I tried so desperately to keep in touch. Then she went away. When she got back from her trip, but she had made new friends. Cooler friends. She's still friends with them. She and I? We're civil, at best. I miss her. But because of some unpleasantness in my past (which I describe here), I don't dare try to reach out to her again.

Life is complicated. I wish it weren't.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Writers' Ownership

I was recently reading an article about incredibly dangerous fictional characters, both good and bad, who also happened to be gay. The main article is here. It's an incredibly interesting article. One thing disturbed me, though, in the entry of a superhero named "Shatterstar":

Shatterstar has been a member of X-Force and X-Factor. His past is clouded in mystery: maybe he's Longshot's son from the future? Maybe he is a genetic construct built by Mojo? Maybe he just really likes padded white outfits? Shatterstar has always had a confusing, 1990's style X-Men origin, but he's constantly been devoted to his recently depowered teammate, Rictor. Shatterstar's creator, Rob Liefeld, was not happy that writer Peter David explicitly made Rictor and Shatterstar a gay couple. But as Peter David was quoted as saying, ""I understand that some parents have the same reaction. They were responsible for their children's first appearances and, when informed of their sexual persuasion, firmly declare it's impossible, they can't be gay."

My problem is this: writers are not like parents. Writers create the entire character, from the dimples in their cheeks, to the repressed memory of losing their childhood playmate, even to their sexuality. In comics, however, if a new writer takes over, they can do pretty much whatever they want as long as an editor approves. This is a travesty.

Now, I'll admit: I've never heard of Shatterstar before this article, and I don't care much about him now. What I do care about, however, is that the original creator had expressed Shatterstar's sexuality, and it was NOT homosexual or bisexual. Wikipedia (yes, yes, I know—not a reliable source) even says that he was originally asexual: a far more interesting character. Rob Liefeld was not saying, as Peter David suggested "he can't be gay." He was declaring, from the creative perch atop which all writers of fiction rightfully sit "He IS NOT gay."

Let's look at this from another perspective: that of Albus Dumbledore from JK Rowling's popular Harry Potter series. When Rowling first made the announcement that he was gay, I responded "You can't do that! You never established the character as gay in the series, so he isn't!" But I was wrong. She didn't need to establish his character in series, because she established it before that. Dumbledore is her character, and if she wants to give him a fetish for cans of cheese-whiz, she can (and you could hardly expect her to put THAT in a children's book). So why assume that if she didn't overtly state it, she didn't intend it. He'ck, why even require any kind of statement.

When a writer makes up a story, the lives in that story are wholly dependent on that author. Every thought, action, and inclination comes from the mind of their creator. Writers hold their characters in an even tighter grip than God does His creation, because no matter how much people talk about characters taking on a life of their own, they do not possess free will of their own. Even if it had NEVER come up, Dumbledore would have been gay. Because his creator wrote him that way.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


"Also be sure to cheer on our Cheerleaders who qualified for the State Finals and will be in --------------- this weekend competing."

I got an email from my old high school today which contained—among other things—the above sentence. This is a large part of the stupidity of cheerleading. First of all, if you need to remind people to cheer, the cheerleaders are not very good, and therefore, do not deserve cheers. But let's assume they're good enough, and that reminder was redundant or an attempt to be "creative" while telling people to come see their competition. Even so, this is stupid. The position of cheerleader was created to lead cheers at sporting events. Without a sport to cheer on, there is no reason to have cheerleaders. I suppose they could cheer on non-sports as well, but there are only so many things that bear cheering well.

Don't get me wrong. I support cheerleading. I acknowledge that it is (in many cases) athletic.* I don't acknowledge it as a sport because there is no objective goal by which competition can be judged. Foot races are a sport because you must be the first to go an objective distance in a given race. The "ball" games, anything where a ball is used to score where the highest score is objectively the winner, are also sports. Figure skating, gymnastics, cheerleading, and basically anything where a judges arbitrary decision or "style points" are used to determine the score and thereby the winner, are not legitimately sports. They can be, and often are, athletic. Possibly moreso than some sports. But athleticism is not the only feature of sports. No one has yet provided a compelling reason for me to acknowledge cheerleading as a sport, and I doubt they ever will.**

One last rant before I close this out. TV and movies depict cheerleaders as a very exclusive clique of either frigid or slutty attractive girls (with the possible exception of one female love interest) who won't let anyone with an attractiveness less than an 8 out of 10 into their sacred order. No part of this has been true in my experience. Either both my high school and my college were skewed way off the average, or this is not the case at all. Most of the cheerleaders I've known have been perfectly nice people, and though I hate to say it, many of them were by no means "classically beautiful." And very few of them had reputations of being particularly prudish or promiscuous. However, I have known a couple girls who assumed because they were cheerleaders, they were obviously attractive and deserved special treatment. The longer TV and movies portray cheerleaders as being inherently "other," the more I worry that they will begin to follow this unrealistic pattern, much as men became more useless as positive male role models faded from the public eye. I pray this doesn't happen.

*Many schools have restrictions keeping cheerleaders from doing anything athletic for "safety reasons." While these cheerleaders may still be athletes due to participation in another activity, calling them athletes for this kind of cheerleading seems to cheapen the term.

** Cheerleaders and cheerleading fans: "It's really hard/challenging/athletic" is not a compelling reason. If it were, safely juggling cats would justifiably be a sport (and the winter Olympics have blatantly ignored my suggestion).

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Well, I just watched the series finale of "Dollhouse." Despite my best efforts, I forgot to watch it live last night, but thankfully, Hulu is still free to use and so I didn't miss it. Like all Joss Whedon projects, there is a bittersweet sense of completion to it. Some of the twists I called easily. Others I feel I should have.

One thing that's bugging me is the gap. The jump forward, I can understand, but I'm trying to figure out whether Joss crammed a season (or more) of what he planned to do with the series into what is normally the "previously on" segment, or if he initially intended us to be so in the dark. Frankly, I would watch an entire season or two covering what happened in that gap. I'm even tempted to read speculative fanfiction that attempts to fill in the gap. Those who know what a stickler I am for cannon will understand how impressive that is.

On the one hand, I'm glad that Dollhouse is over. It feels really and truly "done," plus, it means one less show for me to obsessively watch. On the other, I can't stand that it's over, because it was such a great series. Sadly, I feel that I grow more and more under Whedon's thrall with each project of his I encounter. At some point, I fully intend to work my way through everything he's publicly created - though I have too many pots in the fire at the moment.

I could try to work out a clever sign-off related to Dollhouse, but instead, I think I'll stick with a simple "Thank you, Joss."