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12 September 2015 @ 02:30 am
(This is a first draft, and it still needs a conclusion, I welcome your commentary.) (edited)

When she came out, many were proudly with her, and many were proudly against her, but a great number were proudly uncomfortable with her. It’s that last group that Ms. Jenner appears to be trying to please right now. Her status as a trans woman and a celebrity athlete put her in the spotlight and gave her a voice. She had a great opportunity, and a greater responsibility to use it. The truth is that many people too young to remember the Olympic star Bruce Jenner, know her only for her trans status and her fight for acceptance. In the world of social media, the embrace, and outrage brought her, those of us old enough to know her past will say back, to the spotlight.

Her distance seeking from the LGBT community seems surprising, and maybe shocking to many due to some of our preconceived notions of the political views of those we praise for being out and, we assumed, proud. Okay, so what do we do with her now? In an interview with Ellen, she said she was “on board” with marriage equality, but only because she didn’t want to stand in the way of another person’s happiness, because that word “marriage” was really that important. That’s acceptance, but it’s lukewarm, and it’s that weakness on what has been the paramount issue of this civil rights issue that’s making people crazy.

So what do we do with her now? It’s clear that she’s a conservative Christian and a republican. For some that would signal a need for her rejection and dismissal. She’s not really one of us, and was just a drag queen either making fun of the community, or… or what? The trans community had lacked a significant and vocal spokesperson until she arrived, but her failure to fully embrace the changes in social policy, and culture are disturbing to say the least. What was needed was a lion, and what happened was closer to an old basset hound barking a bit before going back to sleep.

What’s happening needs to be understood. We have to realize that regardless of her gender identity, she lived in a world of privilege. She was a respected athlete and celebrity, not to mention part of the wealthy elite in this country. In short, she had enough money to actually be a republican, but furthermore, regardless of her hidden sexual identity as a woman, for most of her life she was outwardly a man, an athletic man, and with ten children, an outwardly proven virile man. At this point we could frame a great case for a well armored closet, and that may not be far from the truth. As Bruce, we have a powerful man, in many senses of the word, who could walk freely hiding that one little secret. She could rest in privilege due to her status as a heteronormative man, a wealthy and celebrated man, and (as an athlete) as a physically powerful man. That triple privilege shaped a personality bound for narcissism.

While it’s wrong to simply dismiss the risk she took coming out and undergoing her transition, it is worthy to look at just how separated she was from the rest of a community that had undergone physical assault simply due to the desire to exist as it is. She was nowhere near the Stonewall riots, and she never saw more than she wanted of the pain that trans people deal with on a daily basis until she took that brave step to come forward and out into an unkind world that rejected her. Of course she did this still armed with two of her three pieces of her privilege. Yes she would no longer be seen as a heteronormative man, but she still had wealth and status. In addition, she was met with significant support from a beaten down community that was recently seeing real steps in the way for acceptance from the rest of mainstream society. She had our defense to replace the privilege she had abandoned.

So what now? She’s not quite the hereon we wanted her to be, but she’s not really an adversary. This would be a good time to call for more acceptance for a complex individual who is both a brave individual and a person speaking from a place of privilege. But I’m not sure that’s really appropriate right now. The LGBT community is still faced with discrimination regardless of the turn of society’s slow wheel. We still have opposition willing to see themselves as the victims of some religious persecution against a slowly growing tide of people not willing to hold with the prejudice of the past. We have presidential candidates seeking photo ops with Kim Davis and likening her to Martin Luther King, and a backlash that reveals that while we have come far, we have much further to go.

Catlin Jenner’s PR campaign for her own acceptance is just not good enough. What she’s done is worthy of respect, but it’s just not enough. While she plays golf, there is a woman being physically assaulted by a lover who found out that she was a trap. While she does interviews, there are people risking their lives for being different, and while she shows what would normally be acceptable hesitation at the changes in our society, there are thousands of married couples who very seriously, and personally, worry about what would happen if a social conservative comes to power and pushes in the next conservative Supreme Court justice.
27 August 2015 @ 04:26 pm
I deserve it.
16 March 2015 @ 12:08 am
Okay, at times I have a very strange life. I have weird juxtapositions of circumstance that seem to make little sense on the surface. For example, tonight, I seem to have talked a friend through something possibly rather horrible. I think I may have just talked someone through either a roommate's drunken silliness or an attempted acquaintance rape. I stress attempted. Nothing happened, and apparently I overreacted, and so did she. A simple "This is making me uncomfortable and I want you to stop" was enough, and apparently she didn't think of that.
So, the conversation then turned on a dime to open relationships, BDSM and the fourth season of Archer.
22 February 2015 @ 02:06 am
And tomorrow I'm supposed to welcome the next generation of my family. Welcome, to you Davis, and I wish you well. I hope you suffer little and know great joy. I know your parents will do you well, and you join a great and noble house. One with a rich history, and one to which I owe much. You are indeed blessed. You are the first of this generation, and my cousin's first born. May you be happy and learn much. And may they all not task me with questions as to why I have no issue of my own. Of course, being English, none will say a word. Such would be rude, and no one wants that. So welcome Davis Edwards, and be glad that your name is not mine.
23 January 2015 @ 12:56 pm
I'm going to loose my cool for a moment.

Can we just fucking stop dying? Please?
16 November 2014 @ 01:46 am
I'm reading. I can't explain what this means to me, and I'm very sure that most of you who can read this will not quite get it, save one, who can see motion as I do the printed word.

I'm reaching back probably by more than a decade, and seeing the impact of the deal I made when I first took up a pencil to mark a student's paper. If I could read their mistakes, and help them to make it better, I would forgo the perfected printed word. I'd give up plodding through books for my own joy, if it helped them to become better writers. I'm sure that sounds very self satisfied, and like so much martyrdom. This is something that I don't talk about, and if not for tonight, I might go another decade or more before I spoke about it. I'm disabled. I'm wounded, and broken in the place I use the most. It's not noticeable, and some of my close friends don't even know about it, but it's the truth. I have a Master's degree in English, and have a full time job teaching English to those who need the help more than I did when I was where they are. I'm accomplished, and I've never hidden my difficulties, though almost no one knows how long each shitty paper takes me to read, and mark for improvement. None of you know how much proofreading goes into a simple Facebook post, knowing that because of my occupation, I'll have no mercy, and yet, because of my disability it takes me much more to simply make legible communication out of the simplest of comments. I agonize over commas, and I don't always get it right. Long ago I made a deal to allow me to have a vocation and employment in this world, and it's been painful. Tonight was, and I'm pausing here to weigh the actual impact, well, more than I was aware of. Tonight I read four chapters in a book I wanted to read, like most of you would. It took me hours, but it was worth the time and effort. My beloved could run through what I have done like a gazelle, and most people would do it without thought. For me it was hours of doing, though not quite work.

Robert Bly once said that one's greatest wisdom lies in one's greatest wound. For me this is reading, and the use of language. While most can glance and see meaning, for me it's more of a challenge. I think this is part of the recent difficulties I've had with the changes to my work's requirements. I'll get into this more in the future, I hope, but for the now I've done something good, and common, and I did it like anyone with an able brain could do. I read for joy, and unlike the hundreds of books I've "read" on audio, I did this with my eyes, and with print. It still sounds like self aggrandizing. Even writing this missive feels like too much self satisfaction. Still, I'm doing something simple, and difficult, and joyful.
27 August 2014 @ 12:57 am
Meyer. He’s been beneath my gaze for years, perhaps decades. A brief conversation by two people whose scholarly skills I admire brought his work to my attention. A friend reproduced one of his plates for my Alce scroll, and while the art was beautiful, the position in that one plate dissuaded my study. I didn’t know him at the time, but I dismissed him in favor of the Italians. This is a mistake, I will try not to make again.

One of his plates details two swordsmen in close contact. Each flat to flat; each looking for the flinch to move to second and kill. Meyer seems, at this introductory point in my study, to favor a forward committed stance, and one that would require a passé, or a resetting of the stance to finalize the move. A re-commitment (or reconnection) would make clear the intent and cause the opponent to end the strike. No chance there. A passé is the only move in play. My passé is quite good, can I count on it?

This kind of move is one my my favorites, based probably on my own fear of commitment, and weaknesses. Maybe I always need a lateral way out. No second chances with that kind of move, it is full commitment with only three outcomes. Either I thrust in second before the opposition, strike at the chest, and strike a kill (this I know I can do) or my opponent senses my motion, redoubles his third, then strikes to parry my thrust (in which case, I’m vulnerable) or takes a half step in retreat and rises for a thrust to the face, or the opponent withdraws completely, and resets. With a complete withdrawal, I can recover. At least I think I can. In each case, the one to commit first has control and the advantage. All of this requires that I move first which means that time, and nerve is my true enemy, and thereby my strength.
There's only one of me here. I'm not going to be able to take care of all of your concerns.

Did you want me to hold your hand while you peed as well?

OK, so I'm ending my Pennsic trip two days early, so that I can attend a meeting where you will make my job unnecessarily complex, and make our retention rates drop. Do you guys remember what the term "bad practice" means? Do you know what "job satisfaction" means? Just so we understand each other, you can't replace me. I can replace you... once someone local starts hiring.

I think I made your job more complex. I'm sorry.

And this is why I get annoyed when you don't take care of yourself.

OK, you don't want to be right there, right now.

Don't stand so close to me. No, seriously. And while I appreciate the gesture, panties are still mandatory in my classroom.

You are not mandatory in my classroom. These last few days when you did not show up have been very productive.

Please understand something, dude. This is very, very important. I call your wife beautiful, and she believes me. You call her fat, and she believes you. You are not being a good husband, but you have nothing to fear from me. Your wife, on the other hand, may have better things to do.

I can't explain how tired I am of your hypocrisy. If all you've said is true, then I'm not the one going to hell.

If I have to explain that kids deserve better than this, then you have real problems.
24 March 2014 @ 11:03 pm
I was just re-reading my sparse posts from the last half a year, and I wanted to say a public thank you to everyone who helped me, or just offered love when I needed it. You were great. Sometimes just a short note that said you were there was more powerful than anything else. I'll try to remember that and pay back the debt when I can. I'm not worthy of those who love me, but I'll reach for it. I'm very grateful.
OK, just one week....in my life....this year...without something bad, or stupid, happening would be brilliant. Seriously, just one; not asking for much here. Just one, and maybe a preview of Peter Capaldi's work on Dr Who, that would be very cool. But, That's it. That's all I'm asking of you, so... just think about it... OK?