Saturday, June 27, 2009


Are Lesbians Homosexual?

There seems to be some doubt, as I discovered via a  survey/polling/consumer research company which very recently asked me to choose among the following options to classify myself (my translation of their French--which was probabably a translation from American).
  • heterosexual
  • homosexual
  • bi-sexual
  • lesbian
  • other
  • not sure
  • prefer not to answer

I don't know whether this was intended to manage quotas (as if... ) or to segment preferences of "sub-cultures" for marketing purposes...which seems pretty vain. But why are homosexuals and lesbians not just homosexuals?  Can a male, who decides he has enough offspring, become a male lesbian?  And what of "autosexuals," wankers male and female alike?

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Friday, June 26, 2009


Don't be Sorry

My offspring would have no trouble adding what comes next: ", be careful!"

In fact, I've drilled them on it so many times ("I'm sorry I knocked over the glass" -- "Don't be sorry, be careful") that "don't be" or even "don't" (I didn't interdict much) would probably suffice. Just as "You don't..." was almost invariably the intro to "you don't know ..." But we--"I" included-- may still not know why I was so firm on "be careful" nor whether I set a good example and practiced what I recommended (probably could have done better, but that is another whatever).

If you can't be careful, at least be sorry.
Recently, I walked past the town railway station which is also (consequently) the town central bus stop, where people of all ages pass the time waiting for their departure in their own ways. A young oaf, looking over his shoulder as he ran from a younger, smaller comrade (whom I suppose he had provoked but have no idea how), knocked down an elderly woman who happened to be in his path. He left her there and went to lean on the bus-stop shelter. The younger/smaller comrade approached to help her, as did some older boys who had been loitering nearby. Then the younger/smaller one approached the oaf-child and said something (like "t'es con"). The oaf-child said, "but I didn't do it on purpose." T'wasn't his plan, thus not his fault. Nor did he take it upon himself to try to minimize the harm he had stupidly caused, much like Pavlov's dogs as depicted in Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow", dogs who could knock over trash cans but never right them and pick up and deposit the spilled trash.

That could be an introduction to a dissertation on how to detect people who, like cats and other presumedly less socially evolved beings, are incapable of guilt -- unlike people and even dogs. Perhaps some other day. This is about being careful.

When I was a child, "circus" was on TV every week. It was admired, aspirational. I even knew a Yale graduate from 1974 who aspired to be a circus clown. I was intrigued, challenged, but risk-averse: I didn't try to "tight-rope" walk, I was proud enough when I could --at six or eight years old--lie on the top of the swing set in the back yard without losing balance. I never broke a bone, never needed a stitch...never pushed my envelope.

One sunny day, in southern California, my mother was weeding the lawn in the back yard in her sun/swim suit. I (seven or eight years old?) was playing nearby at balancing a weeding hoe, the kind with two prongs on one side and a blade on the other. I lost control of its balance and watched, horrified, as the two-prong side plunged toward my mother's back. It hit her, it hurt her, but the prongs didn't penetrate deeply and it wasn't serious (maybe antibiotic ointment was applied and helped, maybe less momentum than I supposed, maybe bounced off ribs, maybe much or all of preceding). The amazing thing is she turned and complained but showed no anger, didn't assault me, not even verbally.

Be that as it may, I have never forgotten that moment when I wasn't careful, and sincerely hoped I could help my offspring avoid such traumatic memories.  I suppose that is the root of my insistance, kids.
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