Otherstream at 20: 2009

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In 2009, I got my master’s, got my first professional library job, thought a lot about cities, and bought a house in Pittsburgh. It was perhaps a more interesting year than I gave it credit for at the time. Anniversary in six days. Highlights from 2009 below.

January:

February:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:

December:

Otherstream at 20: 2007

 

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Past the halfway point now, and only eight days until the anniversary. Highlights and favorites from 2007 (the year I started grad school and actually started working toward having a real career) follow. I have to admit very little of it is especially entertaining or inspiring.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

 

Otherstream at 20: 2005

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Back to one year per day as we move toward the big anniversary on 13 January. 2005 was another pivotal year as it brought my departure from San Francisco and return to the East Coast. Highlights and favorites follow.

January:

Febtuary:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:

December:

Otherstream at 20: 2004

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I’m almost caught up from my vacation break and so I can return to one year a day soon The anniversary happens on 13 January.

In 2004, the trend toward daily updates with no substantial essays continued, making the site more of a journal than a reflective space. Thus it’s harder to pick “highlights” as such and the ones I chose don’t really show what was on my mind quite so well as in earlier years. Anyway, here are the ones I chose, such as they are.

January:

February:

March:

May:

July:

August:

October:

November:

Otherstream at 20: 2002

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Twelve days till the big anniversary, and fourteen years to cover because I missed a couple of days.

2002 was all about love and mushiness, until September, when it became all about love and cohabitation. But I occasionally managed to write about other things, too. In retrospect, I’m not wild about some of it, but most of it holds up OK.

January:

February:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:

 

Not perfect. Just forgiven.

Thirty years ago, I was working part time as a DJ in a gay bar. I enjoyed it because I was very into music and I was especially happy about getting to play something other than the miserable disco schlock that is mandatory in 99.25% of all American gay bars.

One night, several heterosexual friends came by to hear me. Two of these friends were a couple (of the male-female variety, obviously). At some point during the evening, they kissed. And that finally pushed my boss over the edge. He was already offended by their very presence in the place and when they had the audacity to engage in a very tame public display of affection, he came up to the booth to tell me he thought they should leave.

I was appalled that a fairly sophisticated gay man would not ultimately realize the irony and hypocrisy involved in his actions. Ethically, I felt that I could no longer work for him.

So I quit.

That very night.

You see, that’s what you do when you face such moral outrage that you can no longer justify doing your job.

And that’s what Kim Davis needs to learn. She needs to do the job she swore an oath that she would do. Or she needs to quit. Right now.

For her to continue accepting her salary amounts to theft and misappropriation of public funds. For her to continue refusing to do her job amounts to criminal misconduct. Her beliefs don’t matter one infinitesimal damn. She’s free to believe whatever she likes. She is not, however, free to continue collecting her salary while not doing her job.

A lot has been written today about the hypocrisy of “sanctity of marriage” claims being made by a woman who has been married four times and divorced three, and who seems never to have cared very much whether or not her children were fathered by her husband at the time. It’s a fair criticism, but one that her supporters feel is a moot point since her sins happened before she was “washed in the blood” (or in the Holy Windex). Too many conservative Christians use the “not perfect, just forgiven” excuse as a way of refusing to take responsibility for any of their own actions, which is particularly ironic in that so many of these same conservatives very much stress the concept of personal responsibility in others.

But even being the biggest hypocrite on the face of the earth would not disqualify Kim Davis from keeping her job–although her double (triple? quadruple?) standard does make her a pretty wretched human being.

What disqualifies Kim Davis from keeping her job is the fact that she refuses to do it.

Death in the news

Maybe it’s because it was fairly close (Roanoke is about a hundred miles away), or maybe it’s because I’ve known a fair number of reporters in my time, or maybe it’s  because I’ve known a lot of people who work in broadcasting, but this morning’s shootings are getting to me more than these things usually do.

And what really disturbs me here is that I just typed “more than these things usually do” as if random gun violence were a pretty regular and otherwise unremarkable thing. Which, of course, it is here in America, where every crackpot gun nut in the trailer park (or on the golf course) believes himself to be a one-man “well-regulated militia.”

There’s no way in hell you can convince me that we’re going to solve this problem by arming even more people. And the next person who tries to compare this to the shootings in Charleston may get smacked for being an idiot with whom I no longer feel the need to be patient or tolerant.

Roy Moore’s Facebook whitewashing

When you visit the Facebook page of a controversial and divisive news figure, would you be surprised (and maybe a little suspicious) to find that everyone who’s made a comment on the page agrees with him completely and seems to think he pretty much walks on water?

Welcome to the world of Judge Roy Moore, whose social media minions are engaging in an ongoing campaign to keep his Facebook presence devoid of any trace of dissent whatsoever.

I have no doubt that rude and inappropriate comments have been posted by some of Moore’s opponents. If these were the only things being deleted, I might  question the wisdom of the decision but I could still probably acknowledge a valid reason for doing so. But Moore’s people are deleting any dissenting comments, no matter how reasonably and politely phrased. A couple of examples:

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Even his supporters are having trouble following the threads with all the deletions.

Ultimately, this is Facebook and this sort of whitewashing is common from a certain subset of both the right and the left. I don’t really question Moore’s right to do it (or, more specifically, his right to have his staff to do it) but I think that people expect one of a state’s highest ranking elected officials to have a slightly higher ethical standard, and to at least pay lip service to the concept of open public discourse.

With Roy Moore, this would obviously be expecting too much.

No surprise there.

Hooking up

Two thoughts upon reading this article:

  1. Joel Simkhai seems like a completely vapid little wanker, with whom I would never want to have dinner or a conversation. I imagine he would most likely prefer to skip any potential encounter with me as well. I’m really okay with that.
  2. Given Grindr as one’s only hookup option, celibacy starts looking really attractive.

To start, let’s make it clear that I have no problem with hookups. That would be pretty hypocritical on my part given that it used to be one of my primary hobbies. I also don’t have a problem with meeting people online. I met many of my best friends, random sex partners, and even my ex-husband online. But I met most of those people because of words not in spite of them.

I’m just not ready to be a product that can be ordered from a database, I guess, and my hesitation is only partly due to my fear that no one would choose me.