A Gay Guy’s Conversation with “I Own The World”
I’m having a A Gay Guy’s Conversation with “I Own The World” — www.iowntheworld.com which is a weird little website that I enjoy immensely. But with which I have difficulties with, and they with me. Here’s why:
I’m an American. I was born here, in NYC, and grew up on Long Island. I grew up in an immigrant family. No, not my parents, they were born in NYC too. But my grandparents, and my great-grandparents – they were born in what is now the Czech Republic. The family was a very Czech family. I joke, though it’s not quite true: “We got here by 1921, we spoke English by 1950, the boat we came over on is still floating, and I’m lucky I’m not named Ctibor or Vlastimil like granpa wanted.” Well, it’s close enough, that joke to my life. It was quite a thing to grow up with the specter of Communism oh so close. I often wonder if I have an FBI or CIA file because I started to write in Czech to my cousins in Bohemia and Moravia when I was 16, back in Soviet times. Those relatives visited here, too, and they told me the “wonders” of socialism.
I was smart enough to get into NYU, and work full time, and party, and live in my own apartment and not the dorms, and fight my landlord and win five years of free rent in Manhattan for me and 14 other tenants. I’m no slouch in the thinking department. And in NYU I got a degree in politics and business. I’m not going to belabor the point, except to say that my leftist and socialist professors (they said they were) called me a Right winger and a Republican. While my right wing and conservative professors (and they said they were,) called me a Lefty and a Communist. Or some such, the words varied, the concepts stayed the same. And that’s because I’m practical, like most Americans. I’m one of those people who have no problem taking care of the truly destitute, but don’t want to feed everyone. I’m not opposed to putting in a new road or bridge, but very much opposed to giving money to some corporation so they can move into a taxpayer supported building.
For years I ignored what was going on in the country. I figured it was too far gone. The forces of big government and endless government growth were upon us. The Republicans and the Democrats were interchangeable. There was so little difference that I called them the Demopublican party. They both raised taxes, they both grew government, they both wanted to use the machinery of the state for their own purposes and the people be damned. And then the Tea Party surfaced. And I was like, “OK, I like the concept.” For in the beginning it was about the taxes and the size of the government.
It is not possible for the government to tax 50% or more of people’s money and do good. Doesn’t make a difference whether it is in the form of Income Taxes, or sales, excise, telephone, electric and gas taxes, and the plethora of other taxes such that even the poorest among us pays 50% of their income in taxes. The poor might not pay income taxes, true, but they do pay sales taxes and all the other taxes. For the tax burden is not just a matter of whether it is “on” income – for it is all “on” income – just at different points. And such high rates of taxation have historically led to societal ruin.
I have always urged every person I have ever known or met to face that verity – our government is too big, it spends too much, it taxes too much, and it regulates too much, and thus it is screwing up the economy and making everything needlessly more complex and yet at the same time insisting everyone fit into one square hole. This is not about us being round pegs, this is about us being pegs of all different shapes. Some round, some triangular, some pentagons and some polyhedrons of who knows how many sides. The current “one size fits all” federal government is just the wrong way to go about it. And I have urged everyone I know to consider this reality.
But I have this other part of me, that is not part of the Libertarian practical side, which seems to be a major topic of public discussion. A part of me that is irrelevant to all else that goes on around me. A part that has nothing to do with whatever the tax rates are, or how many federal bureaucracies have their hands in what pies. It’s irrelevant to our national defense and to our immigration policy. This side of me has nothing to do with anyone’s life, or marriage, or job or house or taxes. Instead, it’s just whom I am. A guy whom is gay. Not a “gay guy” – such a lousy way to put it, but so convenient. No, a guy whom simply does not gaze at women, ever. And gazes yet at men, always. That’s just the way it is. But somehow, some people are up in arms over this reality. I don’t know why. I really don’t. Oh, I suppose I can figure out that they use the Bible to selectively quote me this or that passage in modern English which was mistranslated from ancient Greek, Hebrew, Latin and Aramaic, or perhaps through a melange of any of them. Along the way these concepts took up bile and mud and strew it together to make me “Evil.”
Except, well, before that process started in the 1200s, gayness was just another type of person. They didn’t use the word “gay” of course. No one really knows the word they used, for no one really talked about it, because it was so common and so few that no one thought to talk about it. In ancient Rome and Greece it just was. And some people were, and most everyone else was not. Just like today. And those who were not often were quite puzzled by it, but didn’t give a damn. They just did what they did, and it wasn’t “gay” at all, and gays did what they did, and no one cared, for it was seen as simply irrelevant. And the population grew throughout time, and since the dawn of humanity no one gave a thought much to gay folks. We were weird, we were left alone. But then, sometime in the 1200s started this thing against us, for no real reason other than that we were not “normal.” Perhaps it really got going with the Black Plague, when Europe lost 1/3 of its people in less than 100 years, and society was wrecked, and there was a great people shortage, and just like now, well, we don’t make babies. And then it built and built, and now we face this bizarre situation where as a whole of “homosexuals” we are an unholy terror, and yet as individual gay person we’re just fine folks.
The best example of this is the Catholic of Chicago – Cardinal George. He’s quite insistent that his gay nephew is a “fine man.” And yet he’s equally insistent that “homosexuals” are an intrinsic evil. Well it’s impossible to be both. “Evil” or “fine”? Which?
The same thing at www.iowntheworld.com – Aka, IOTW – which is a website I go to frequently, as I said. I wish more gay guys would come on over, and comment, as politely as I do, but with ferocity too. For there, “homosexuals” and “gay people” are this unholy threat, and yet, me, Jim, is a perfectly fine fellow. So long, of course, as I don’t get too upfront about the “homosexual” part. It’s like they allow me to be me, so long as there’s not too much me, and they’ll decide when that is. Not that I listen, but they try. They could use a few more gay guys in the mix. They’re bored with me, I think. But they allow themselves the liberty of liking me and engaging me as a fellow American, and then fall short when it comes to their attitudes about “homosexuals.” It’s like they think there’s this uber-group – the homosexuals – and also individual gay guys. I’m a fine fellow, the group is an evil thing. And that can’t be. It’s illogical.
And that’s the trouble with America today, with its gay folks. There’s this idea that as a group we are a threat to the nation. But as individuals no one seems to be able to find much wrong with us. Our families all accept us; and the Family Research Council goes around the nation telling everyone that we’re a threat to families. We have couples galore; and we’re told we never have nothing but bus station bathroom encounters. We have homes and jobs; and we’re told we’re against society. It’s a weird dichotomy. And this surfaces repeatedly in so many places. On thread after thread at IOTW this comes up. They, of course, don’t see this. Heterosexuals are blind to this reality. They say both with a straight face and don’t see the logical problem: evil and fine. It’s one and the same, as a group evil, and as individuals fine. And it can’t be true, both of these things.
We all can’t be fine fellows individually -and yet as a collective group be a danger to anything. It’s impossible. And so in this “acceptance” of gays bit going on – and the nation will accept us – I’m trying to get people at IOTW and everywhere else to think of us as individuals, and not this collective beehive.
Again, there’s no such thing as a “homosexual” anything – not movement, or plan, or agenda, or lobby, or whatever. There are gay groups that do this or that, I don’t even know what they say. They sure don’t tell me or ask me whether I approve, and I sure don’t give them any money to do what they wish to do. I don’t know who gives them money and I don’t know what they do. They don’t make regular announcements to the gay press. Instead, they seem to be part and parcel of the whole governmental morass of too much of everything up there in Washington DC. But I can’t help that. I can’t stop them. I wish they’d shut up sometimes, especially on issues that are not related to removing any laws against us. We as individuals are already working on removing the stigma person by person with straights we encounter, we don’t need a policy group to do that. I didn’t need an agency or activist group between me and my family or my friends or coworkers. No, I needed me. And the TEA Party people I speak to are sort of, some of them, sort of grasping this.
On the other hand, us gay folks need to realize that the country is going to hell in a hand basket economically. It’s impossible to look at the tax rates, the over-grown government, the nonsense in DC, the cronyism in the state capitals, the endless rules and laws and regulations, and all the plethora of big government. And I know that most gay guys I know see this. But they can’t quite put it into words like I do. Nor can they get away from the fact that while the Democrats have been pushing socialism they have been “nice” to gays just enough for getting money and votes, but not really doing anything. And the most religious on the Right have seized control of a formerly sensible political party and is intent on hounding us into submission. Gay folks don’t argue taxes; we argue against the condemnation. We aren’t talking about foreign policy on our blogs; we talking about the bizarre claim that we’re “domestic terrorists.” And since the Democrats have made nice, but used us to push their big government agenda, we’re going to suffer economically as everyone else, exactly as such big government has always resulted in. Then the Republicans are in this unholy irrational war against us as some dire threat while telling us individually we’re fine people.
And it’s not a comfortable place to be politically. For I can’t argue both. Well, I can, but it’s tough. But most gay guys can’t. So they’re fed up with both sides. And something is happening in the gay world, something that I think should rightly be called our own version of the Tea Party. For “Don’t Tread On Us Either,” is our motto. Even if we don’t use it much, yet.
It’s a morass. I have no solution, except to keep telling gays to move to the Tea Party, and to tell the Tea Party to return to our halcyon days of Richard the Lionhearted in the 1180s & 1190s, when not only did no one care, but he was King of England and his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine introduced the word “gai” into English when talking about her favorite son. And then you can go back to our accomplishments, like everyone marveled at Richard’s, and no one gave a damn if he was “gai.”
So that’s where I’m at in the blog world. A gay blogger in a Tea Party world, and a Tea Partier in the gay blogosphere. Typically, like back in college, each side accuses me of being on the “other” team. And all I can say is: I must be rational, for it’s practical. And not ideology which overrides reality. And that pisses a lot of people off. Oh well, life is tough.
- Posted in: Uncategorized