Thursday, December 30, 2004

Bush's Stinginess

I've been reading about how people are reacting to the Bush Administration's stinginess towards Tsunami relief. I've been reading about people wondering what could possibly motivate our president to NOT address this issue in public for 4 days, offering a PALTRY 30 million, and possibly (probably) insult millions and millions of Muslims SINCE Indonesia is the most populated Muslim country in the world.

Somehow, I envision the living room in Crawford, Texas, where Bush gets the call about the devastation -

Adviser: Mr. President! Tsunamies are hitting South East Asian countries. An earthquake happened not long ago and initial reports are about 20,000 dead. We're expecting the figure to be triple that at least. Probably the worst hit will be Indonesia which was right next to the earthquake. You remember Indonesia, right? The one that has the most muslims in the world?

Bush: Not anymore they don't.

Filed under Politics & B.S.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

It's Catching

She's sad. She's been sad since Christmas Day and I can't help her. And it's infectious. I'm starting to get sad myself since every suggestion I make to alleviate her sadness seems to be either ineffectual or rebuffed.

It's more than just her that's making me sad though.

It's what's happening around the world. The tsunami disaster has left me shaken; an entire island the size of California moved 100 feet. Over 80,000 dead and counting. Cholera, malaria and typhoid all moving to the forefront of diseases.

My co-worker is from the Phillipines and together, we've enjoyed many discussions about South East Asia, since I spent a lot of my formulative years in Malaysia and Singapore. Had that earthquate hit about a hundred miles north, three major cities in Southeast Asia would've been hit: Kuala Lumpur, Djakarta and Singapore. I can't even contemplate the consequences there. There would probably be no more Singapore, being a teeny island of 225 square miles.

It's hearing that 32 people were blown up by being lured into a house.

It's feeling that compassion, empathy, and all-round niceness will lose out to distrust, slyness, deceit, and malevolence.

It's feeling that right now, in board rooms all across the globe, people are sitting around trying to figure out how to turn this calamity to their advantage, how to make a profit from the disaster. Not that they're trying to make it worse, but it's like the fox coming to the hen houses and seeing one unlatched and trying to figure out how to unlatch the others.

It's feeling that the leader of this country I call home, is too busy clearing brush to address the world, rally his citizenry and showing great acts of kindness.

It's feeling that it's only a matter of time before greed conquers all.

Filed under Bloodsport, err Relatives.

Marriage Vows

My other asked the other day if I would marry her. I was hesitant having just gone through a major roadblock with her and said that I'd say yes after 5 years of being together.

Well, she wasn't happy with this response. She wanted a definite answer. The reason? She wanted to be able to relax in the relationship. She wanted to know, no matter how angry I got, I wouldn't kick her out.

Today, we had a minor disagreement. She's still upset though she won't admit it. Her whole attitude (tai doh) towards me is stiff, unresponsive, monosyllabic.

I started to think about what it meant to be committed. To her, that mean security. She could relax knowing that she had a roof over her head still. To me, coming from an abusive parent that I was bound to, this guarantee meant that no matter what abuse was heaped upon me, or that I could heap upon someone else, this person or I could not escape.

This morning, I got upset cause I "felt" she wasn't paying enough attention to my wants. My morning shower is very important to me. I can spend a half hour in there easy, being pounded by the water. (My building has great water pressure). Well, we bought a shower head that split into two and the one designated as mine, had little pressure. It was like being dripped on, one drop at a time. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but compared to the force gale I was used to, it was a wimpy thing.

I voiced what I felt (which is a big deal for me since I felt this was "her" thing) and got an "mmm, okay." Her attention seemed diverted. Later, as we're driving to get her breakfast, my mood gets steadily worse. She's chittering on about getting this and that for this person, getting this and that for that person... and I'm getting madder.

I finally tell her what's going on, and she tells me, "fine, go get it!" And that's when I explode. I told her, it's the same argument over and over again. I am not feeling like I'm part of her life. She's part of mine, but I don't feel part of hers. I explain that when I tell her about my wants, I feel like I have to go out and get it myself, but if it's her wants, I go help her get it.

I think she's in a bad mood. I think she's been unhappy for quite a few days. But how... how can I express what my wants/desires are, and feel that my wants/desires are factored into what WE are doing, and yet find out what's at the bottom of her unhappiness?

I've a nasty feeling that her unhappiness is due to an unwanted adjustment to body shifts. I guess I just have to be firm in voicing what my needs/desires are, try and be supportive, help her adjust all without reverting to abusive behavior that I'm so used to.

Who said growing up was nice and easy?

Filed under Bloodsport, err Relatives.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Karen Carpenter - voice extraordinaire

My other tivo'd a PBS documentary on the Carpenters for me, knowing that I'm a huge fan.

I watched it last night, remembering the sweet, crystal voice of Karen Carpenter. Around 1974, I found among my parents collection, a cassette tape of the Carpenters and from then onwards, I was in love with this voice. Such emotion it carried. You could tell when she was smiling when she was singing, when she was sad, when she was anguished, when she was fighting with her own emotions.

I remember hearing on the radio in 1983 that she died of a heart attack caused by anorexia and bulimia. It was her that brought those words to the national consciousness. Prior to her death, few had heard of this disorder. When I heard of her death, I pulled over and started crying.

This was the woman who kept me company all those lonely years of my childhood. Through her songs, I thought I understood human emotions. I sobbed.

I think now, that since that day, I refused to love a public figure as much as I cared for her. But I still carry a torch for her; I realized that when I started bawling at the sight of the skeletal thin Karen, singing her heart out for her audience.

My mother insisted in 1981 that we see them in Lake Tahoe. At that time, they were in decline, and thus reduced to performing in venues like Tahoe. This was one of the most precious presents my mother ever gave to me. I sat in rapture in the audience, hanging onto every nuance of her voice. Thank you Mother.

Watching this documentary, I hadn't realized what an innovator Richard Carpenter was. The over-dubbing that was so uniquely Carpenters were his doing. The solo guitar riff in the middle of Goodbye to Love was his doing as well. It amuses me that rockers probably don't realize that he was the one who did it first.

Karen, may you rest in peace. Realize that for one little girl, your voice carried her to places richly painted. Thank you.

Filed under Reviews.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Who Benefits?

In some countries, I would be shot for what I'm about to write. But I was reading this editorial
in the WaPo and read
New polling shows that half the public rejects privatizing the most successful anti-poverty program in human history, which over the past 70 years has transformed retirees from the group with the nation's highest poverty rate to the group with the lowest.

The most successful anti-poverty program.... hmm who would want to destroy it and why? Who would benefit from old people being poor?

Just think about it. Old people being poor means old people dying off faster. They won't be able to afford housing, nursing care, medicines, heating bills, food.

Wait you say. If senior citizens died off faster instead of lingering around, then no more money can be made off them. That makes no sense.

Ah, but you see, what do board members look at? They look at profit margins. The margins of making dollars off senior citizens as opposed to the margins off younger people are much less. There is a higher cost in dealing with senior citizens.

The less they have to spend on making money, the more money they'd make. If they take their energy and pour it into more profitable ventures, well, they'd be more wealthy. AND if the senior citizens are poor, they can't afford care or support which means there'd be no one to sue cause they aren't paying for services.

Am I just being too cynical here? But why would they want this? Why destroy the most successful anti-poverty program? Please, I really don't want to think this.... so someone please give me a plausible reason. Answer me in simple terms. Who benefits.

Filed under Politics & B.S. and Reveries & Paranoias.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


On several feminist sites, there are entries about Otherness.

I must admit that I am an Other. Have felt so all my life, and will probably feel that way until I die. At parties, I consciously seek out the wallflowers. I figure 1) the popular people won't want anything to do with me (the Other), 2) there's only so much superficialities I can take and if you're surrounded by people at a party, chances are the ONLY topics of conversation are superficial and 3) the look of utter surprise when the wallflower realizes someone IS asking them about them.

I distrust crowds, especially in-crowds, seeing in them an opportunity for lowest common denominators to flourish and multiply, stupifying the multitudes.

Any group that wants me in, I instantly invoke Groucho Marx (paraphrased): I don't want to belong to any group that wants me. I am instantly suspicious, asking why they might want me. Not trusting that my otherness is desired, or that it'll be used as a cause.

Because I was a sickly wealthy charming child, I was branded with the Scarlet "O" immediately upon entering elementary school. I missed school a lot, but cause I was quick, I was always at the top of the class. Add to that the fact that my parents contributed financially to the school AND I could get my way pretty much with all the teachers and you get instant Other.

Mix that in with uncertainty about how to act in society (cause more than half the time I was removed FROM society due to illness) and you get instant identification with being one of the Others.

See my previous post from last week, musings about identities and you'll see that I heartily embraced being Other so much so that I actually embraced being gay.

IF being part of "us" means I have to become an inane, inarticulate, hate-mongering, angry, victimized being, no thank you. The mantle of Other rests well upon my shoulders. For in being one of the Other, I join the ranks of others who wore the mantle too, like Copernicus, Camus, Epicurus.... and I thank you all who belong to "us" for the honor.

Filed under Reveries & Paranoias and Scary Gay Stuff.


I love how this works.
  1. No cure for the common cold or the flu.
  2. There is a vaccination against most common strains of flu but it won't get rid of the most virulent ones, so...
  3. The weaker ones get eliminated, leaving no competition for food/fuel for the stronger ones
  4. The stronger viruses get stronger
  5. We still get sick anyway...
  6. And the drug companies make millions off us to treat the symptoms;
  7. And because the viruses are so virulent now, the government has to give research $ to the drug companies to find a cure.
The other one I love is:
  1. We can't afford to give you health insurance or sick pay.
  2. You get sick and cause you can't afford not to work, you go in.
  3. You get the others in your office sick.
  4. They can't afford not to work so they go in.
  5. They get you sick again.
  6. Meanwhile, efficiency is down 30% cutting down on profits.
  7. And *that* (lack of profits or the downturn of profits) is the reason they'll cite for not giving you health insurance, sick pay OR a raise.
As I think of more, I'll post.

Filed under Reveries & Paranoias.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Happy Beethoven's Birthday!

I always celebrate Beethoven's birthday... no, not because of his 5th or 9th symphony. Rather, I celebrate it to remember the man who gave me such joy and laughs when I was sick in bed more than half my childhood - the wonderful Charles M. Schultz.

When Mr. Schultz created Schroeder and his obsession and ultimate genius with the toy piano, he managed to capture one of the most fascinating American archetype - the fanboy.

I recognized a kindred spirit in Schroeder even when I was too young to pronouce Schroeder OR Beethoven. So, thank you, Mr. Schultz. Rest in peace.

Filed under Reveries & Paranoias.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Musings about Identities

When I was a child, I grew up on Enid Blyton's Famous Five books. One of the Famous Five was George... actually named Georgina. But she was a thorough tom-boy and refused any other name but George.

Needless to say, George was my hero. Her cousin Anne, was a mouselike but smart quiet girl. I guess I always wanted to marry Anne, but be George.

I recognize now that my desperate (and boy, did it feel desperate) need to have such a hero in my life was due to a number of factors. One, I was a tom-boy and living in Singapore in the 70's, there really weren't too many role models to choose from. Secondly, I needed someone to validate my anomaly of an existence.

I still honestly believe that I had no choice in being gay. However, I do recognize that part of my embrace towards gaydom is due to my thorough rejection of society's gender values. I did not want to cook. I did not want to clean. Girls were the servants, boys the served. And I wanted to be served.

Nowadays, I look at girls with amazement. Straight girls, gay girls, a lot participating in sports. Girls who are proud of their voices and identities. And I wonder, had I grown up in today's environment, would I still be gay.

Well, considering no man has EVER made me fantasize about making love before, and plenty of women have, I would say that no, even in today's more nurturing environment towards girls, I'd still be gay.

The difference is, I wouldn't have been so desperate to.

The lines of gender were so... absolute back then. It was that absolutism I chafed against. I hated that I was expected to learn to sew, to knit. My family soon accepted my rigidity about roles. When my uncle painted the exterior of our house, I rushed out there to help him. None of his three children bothered to help, nor did my sister. I never knew how my uncle felt about my helping him out, but I just knew that at that moment, I relaxed. I didn't have to fight anymore for a while.

Oh, a realization hit me. Perhaps it's because I defined my identity as anti-others and framed it in such an absolute way that whenever my sister picks up a hammer in front of me, I visibly jolt. My sister is actually very good with wood and construction, probably much better than I am. It was just jarring to have the roles reversed.

Filed under Scary Gay Stuff and Reveries & Paranoias

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Liberal Pansies

I just read an editorial by Peter Beinart in the Washington Post, basically saying that liberals have taken the anti-war stance too far and that we are not concerned with national security when the rest of America is and that's part of the reason ol' Dickbush is in the Oval Office.


I am a liberal. While I believe National Security to be important, I DO NOT SEE ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS AS THE ENEMY. I SEE GREED AS THE ENEMY.

Islamic extremists are reacting to OUR POLICIES. Our policies that basically tell the rest of the world, fuck off cause America's Truckin' On, regardless of whether it's green house effects, taking away from Islamic nations to pay off thugs we had take over some other countries and THAT KIND OF STUFF.

If we take on a more inclusive attitude towards the world, INSTEAD of changing the rules everytime someone else starts to build something that isn't part of our expansionist capitalistic goals, PERHAPS people won't be so pissed off at us.

What are our policies? Well, politicians learned really early that if they throw in a lot of four-syllable words, talk fast, and about boring shit, the world tunes out. Their constituents tune out. and HEY, what do you know? Instant cache to do whatever the hell you want.

Yes, I believe that there ARE people out there who are making it their LIFEGOALs to make sure some Americans go down with them. I ALSO believe that most of the people in our government don't care about until election time or the evening prime-time spot.

Going after Islamic Extremists will only treat the symptoms but perhaps even exacerbate the problem. Changing our policies might actually cure this fury over what we've done.

Filed under Politics & B.S. and Reveries & Paranoias.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Social Security Magic

Okay, so from what I've been reading and trying to understand about this so-called crisis about Social Security, this is so far what I've gathered.

1) Social security will START running out of fund in 2045 or something like that. By running out, they mean that around that year, it will be able to support 80% of the retirees.

2) The reason why Social Security will be running out is because there will be more people taking out than putting in.

3) The reason given as to why we should fix it now is because (okay here's where it gets confusing) we're in the hole financially and sooner or later, our debtors are going to come knocking.

So far, I'm gathering that two schools of social security redemption is out there.

1) Borrow money now so we have the money to pay back later.


2) Move everyone from a general fund to a private one, one that you take responsibility for.

Hmm, let's see...

Dear IRS: I have had experts come and look at my health, my work energies, my income levels and I can tell that in the year 2010 that there will be a large shortfall and I will be unable to pay my taxes then.

So, in order for you to get your money in 2010, here's what I'm proposing. I borrow a huge sum now (so I won't get caught by the short hairs) and even though I'm supposed to keep it around for you in 2010, you know how creditors are and the utilities and the mortgage companies are. So, the money I'm borrowing now to pay you then might not be around. Because instead of having a tax account just for the IRS, I'm going to mix up my funds... you know, keep me more flexible and liquid.

Well, if you don't like THAT idea, how's this? You get the money you're supposed to get from me in 2010 by you starting a private account and YOU save for it, okay? Since you have been given advance notice that I will be experiencing a short fall in that year and I (the well-meaning person that I am) don't want to short change you, I'm telling you that personal responsibility is a really good thing. You can do so much if you just only relied on yourself instead of the citizenry trying to help you out. By starting your own private account, YOU will be in control of how much I will be giving you. See?

Let me know if this works okay, IRS? I'm just following my government's example here.

Filed under Politics & B.S.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Why I Don't Respect the Stereotypical Red State Person

I realize that this is addressing the stereotypical person. However, I feel it needs to be said after I read Maureen Dowd's column about what her brother emailed her.

Why I respect you:
  • You have convictions and strong ones at that.
  • You're willing to put your sons and daughters' lives on the line when you think Freedom is at stake. You proved it in WWI, WWII and all throughout the 20th century and you're proving it now.
  • You have both reverence and irreverence.
  • You have faith. God knows I lost mine years ago and I admire anyone who can hold onto their faith in times of adversity.
However, this is why I DON'T respect you:
  • You're lazy in your thinking:
    • Freedom means accepting the bad with the good, or accepting that it is your responsibility to keep away from you and yours what you don't accept. But not the government's.
    • You refuse to acknowledge any other viewpoint as if you think that would weaken your position. It doesn't. It just means you're a bigger man/woman.
  • You will do anything to win and maybe I'm too much of an anglophile, but I prefer a gentleman's approach to winning.
  • There seems to be a disconnect between the election and the results. Meaning you all seem to view the election as a sports event (between red & blue), and that this has very little to do with how low the dollar is slipping, with mistakes made, etc.
  • You like to hate. There's just no other way to describe it. You hate the faggots, the dykes, the towelheads, the liberals, ... basically anything that doesn't do what you do, doesn't see what you see and doesn't say what you say.
There's more, oh there's so much more to why I don't respect you, but this will do for now.

Filed under Reveries & Paranoias.