Tag Archives: society

A Tower Of Babel

Mt, Wilson observatory, iPhone photo from the trail. 14 miles up and down, 4,700 ft elevation gain.

Politics is the art of articulating control and some voices have more profound global impact. Our modern age has given us dogma in legal language codified as legislation that was born of cowardice, forged in privilege, and wielded against the marginalized.

The “Tower Of Babel” is a great Judeo-Christian story of incredible relevance here. This was the story that made me doubt the existence of god but also awoke a kind of panic about authority within me. The Book of Genesis, in general, turned me off from the idea of God because it reminded me too much of Stargate. As a text the Judeo-Christian Bible does pick up quite a bit with all kinds of great philosophy and tremendous insight. But as a child I could not get behind the fascist god of genesis. The story of the “Tower of Babel” presented us with a humanity that came to gather after god’s genocide with the flood. Now, ostensibly, you might think this was the lesson of the flood–to learn how to love one another again, to work beside one another, to share a common language.

I have always interpreted this to mean sharing the language of love. This sounds hippie-dippie but stay with me: think of the time a stranger went out of their way to help you out with something simple. Maybe you were a little lost and in need of directions, maybe it was a quick freebie snack, maybe it was someone who didn’t make you feel like shit when you had to mention a boundary about personal space and genuinely accommodated the situation with humor. That was a time when you shared the language of love with someone and it does let you peek into a view of what those from “Shinar” experienced.

When people are taking the time to be present one another as individuals with a different contexts that require calibration for full communication they tend to get a lot of shit done. This is why you may have been subjected to work retreats even though that’s an industry in and of itself that has forgotten the purpose of the exercise. Another quick glance into the extent of empathy would be those rare and precious moments when you feel uncertain where your body stops and your lover’s begins.

The people worked together to build a tower to God because they shared a language, a purpose, and a plan to accomplish it and they were getting shit done. “A tower to god” is a symbol from my understanding. Perhaps, though, it was a tower. I look to our space programs and global space stations, I see the beginnings of a Tower of Babel. When you get to such heights you stop splitting so many hairs about the differences between individual humans because you’re united as earthlings exploring the cosmos. That’s the dream we seem to come back to across the ages, at least.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under activism, censorship, community, culture, feminisms, opinion, religion, skepticism

Queer Porn Cohort At The Quickies

OFFICIAL event photo featuring Reid Mihalko, Jiz Lee, Allison Moon, and Me!

There was Halloween in the air when the Castro Theater in San Francisco opened itself up as the host for the GoodVibes “Quickies,” this past October 26, 2012. It’s been the home of the festival since 2006. What first started out as rag tag, homemade erotic films has now become an international festival with a focus on sexuality that may or may not include nudity or graphic sexual content at all. There are a lot of upsides to the festival including shorts of the non-erotic variety but as the amount of porno decreases and the number of really slutty (so far as festival entries are concerned) flicks that could be distributed or screen in safe for work venues, I start to wonder if the festival should be renamed “You Tube Videos Gone Wild.”

I say this because erotic films really don’t get to be screen and enjoyed in many places. For one, the audience has to be carded lest the dangerous ideas of sexuality destroy our innocent and vulnerable youth. On top of that, you have to be on the lookout for innocent and vulnerable adults who protest events that screen independent erotic features and try to get them shut down for the over 18 crowd as well.The Adult Video News (AVN) awards focus on a particular segment and aesthetic of a global genre, the Feminist Porn Awards are a burgeoning venue for alternative porn, but I do have hazy fantasies where the best of truly amateur erotic and fetish films are screened because they never cease to amaze me  with the curveballs of bad budget and niche vision they throw at an audience.

What I’m saying is that a curated selection of the “Best Of Clips4Sale” would be a night of unprecedented surrealist, evocative, and absurdist erotic film and it would be well worth the price of admission to see on a big screen in one night.

But we aren’t talking about my fantasy film festivals right now.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under art, community, culture, feminisms, film, queer, queer porn

Privacy

If you have a vagina and undergo anesthesia for surgery, you might have had a vaginal exam performed on your by a medical student without your knowledge or consent, even if you were getting your tonsils out. This is more likely for those of you without insurance or the money and class status to throw a lawyer around. Can you imagine if men found out that while they were undergoing anesthesia, med students were learning how to use anal specula for rectal exams while they were getting an unrelated surgery?

From 1932-1972, an experiment on Syphilis was conducted on uniformed and non-consenting black men in Tuskegee, Alabama.

If you receive public health care, the data about your health is used to compose statistics and acts as the case studies for analysis.

People debate about Facebook privacy settings and how they relate to things being seen by people. It’s easy to forget that all of the data and information that happens on Facebook belongs to Facebook and those in business with them. They sell data. Facebook profit is made of people.

I think waiting rooms tell a lot about class and privacy. The bigger, the more uncomfortable, the ones with the most cameras and windows and visible armed security guards, and no magazines past 1997, fuzzy generic television; that’s where real America is, in those big shitty waiting rooms. They’re all bus stations and operate like three dimensional reminders that you are not flying first class. You’re not flying coach, either. You’re on a bus designed for long hauls with broke ass passengers and people walk down the aisles and watch you sleep. Or ER waiting rooms, urgent cares. Dental clinics with huge waiting rooms. Family planning clinics that do all of their abortions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Journalism, in the name of “good reporting” will out someone as transgender and publish their legal birth name and really drive home the importance of details, facts, and research but then still use terminology like “hermaphrodite” or “tr*nny” because despite all of their studios research they manage to miss everything else on the internet including the cat pictures.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under feminisms

Biblical Anti-Feminism

At first I thought, “Should I feel bad about giving these internalized-misogynist websites traffic?” Then I realized that there is no greater joy than the fact that my website will come up on their referring traffic statistics and I feel better. The truth is that I’ve given this website more traffic over the years than I could ever cultivate from one blog post. I’ve been visiting for years pouring over the articles and visiting its favorite links for a peek into bizarro world.

A lot of anti-oppression folks may be looking for something more challenging to the status quo than feminism and there are a lot more looking for something a lot less challenging to the status quo if not a full on societal reversal back to the days when men were in charge and gosh darnit, women liked it that way. These are folks who believe in the “the patriarchy” and think it’s the best thing possible for society.

It’s not just being conservative, it’s a full on call for women to be baby machines (hello quiverfull movement) and for the right to vote to be repealed. It’s a straight up condemnation of educating women outside of the home for any grade level lest the ladies have some semblance of autonomous life skills that would allow them to change their minds and escape with basic knowledge of how the “heathen world” works. Domesticity is next to godliness and it contains a long precedent of abuse.

One article, “No Shades Of Grey” sums up the tone of this scary movement: there is no nuance, there is only biblical patriarchy. It’s a total denial of subjective truth and that’s bigger than a theoretical issue. When you deny the multitude of realities happening in any given frame of life then you have set the stage for totalitarianism. There’s no way around that.

Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under activism, atheism, feminisms, gender