Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton is almost upon us. It’s been branded the wedding of the century with a guest list of 5000 people and is expected to be watched by 2 billion viewers, of which I will be one. There has been a huge build up to this wedding to the great annoyance of some who find this wedding to be nothing more than a pain in the ass. While on the other side of the spectrum there are obsessed people who are organizing parties, buying commemorative plates and even Will and Kate condoms for their own crown jewels. There’s allot of buzz surrounding this wedding across the globe, which led me to wonder why do we even care?
Personally, I lost interest in the royal family after Lady Diana’s death. (Coincidentally I also share my birthday with her.) Diana was the only one that actually made the royals interesting and worthy of attention, albeit unflattering at times. After her “accident” the royals reverted back to their natural dull and pointless state of being aloof and regal. They were boring! It wasn’t until the princess grew up that the royal family started becoming engaging again. The feisty ginger and his tall attractive royal brother with his receding hairline (which I wish he would fix with plugs or something), showed promise of possibly bringing the royal family into the new century and humanize them to the general public.

Yes, Princes Harry and William showed potential. Even though they are royalty one had a sense that you can relate to them. They smoked and drank, once whore a swastika armband, showed some bad judgement and displayed some human flaws. The worst judgment I have noticed about Prince William is his choice of underwear or possible lack thereof. You see, this past weekend I saw a video clip of him walking down the pavement and it was rather unflattering. One could clearly see that this young prince was well hung as he was either wearing boxers or was going commando - the outline of his royal penis was clearly visible and it was intimidatingly large. Kate is one very lucky girl, no wonder she’s always smiling!
There’s allot of talk about what Kate will be wearing, whether her hair will be up or down and which tiara she will be adorned with. Now, myself I don’t particularly care. What I am concerned with is whether she knows what the hell she’s getting herself into. The Queen does not look like the best in-law to have. She looks like a bit of a bitch if you ask me. Prince Charles will probably make a good father-in-law as he now seems genuinely happily married to Horsesilla. Prince Harry will be sure to be an entertaining brother-in-law, and I can’t wait to see who he’s going to pick to bring into The Firm also known as the Royal Family. The big question is will Kate cope with being a Princes and being married to the second in line to the throne?

I guess it’s every little girl’s and gay boy’s dream to become a princess and be married to a future king. In theory it’s quite a magical thing, but in reality I speculate that it could be rather daunting. Apparently, Kate is being mentored in protocol, diplomacy and the pomp and drama expected of her in her new role. Rumour also has it that she’s a quick study. No doubt she’s been practicing the royal wave and serene grateful noble smile. Waity Katy will not have to wait no more. Tomorrow she will enter the church a commoner and leave a princess. I wonder whether you feel any different after you’re magically transformed into royalty and if Kate will have a microsecond of dread as the gravity of her situation she now will find herself sets in.
With the world’s eyes firmly fixed on the royal family tomorrow, as an outsider (not being British) one can’t help but wonder what purpose the royal family serves in the United Kingdom. What is it that they really do? Are they career meet and greeters, plaque unveiler’s, charity sponsors? In this day and age does the United Kingdom still have a need for them? I guess these are questions only the British people can answer and I can only speculate. Princess Kate’s first biggest responsibility after her position is made official will be to pop out the heirs to the throne. No doubt she will be enjoying this part of her royal duties. Maybe the William and Harry generation of royals will show us the monarchy’s relevance in the modern world. One can only hope that they will do a better job.

So why do we care about the Royal Wedding? Is it that we are all just too glad that there are some good news on BBC and CNN for once? The last big royal wedding was 30 years ago with Charles and Diana’s wedding. I was only 4 years old at the time. And we all know how that marriage turned out in the end. Personally, I hope Will and Kate’s marriage last as I quite like them as a couple. Hopefully the ceremony tomorrow will run smoothly and there will be no mishaps, because if there are it will be viewed by billions and no doubt will go viral on YouTube.

Till next time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Shitty Situation

Life is a queer phenomenon. All of us want to go to heaven but none of us wants to die. Before I mislead you in believing this will be a morbid article about the afterlife or being once again at the precipice of insulting the Catholic Church for being infinitely stupid. This article is far more serious and far worse than you can imagine. Recently I had an interesting discussion with a friend regarding small things in life that we found annoying and/or discomforting, and I realized that all of us have little embarrassing idiosyncrasies. And what we do in the loo is one of them.
Our toilet behaviour is a topic that we rarely discuss in social settings. No one wants to know about your bowel movements or lack thereof. But all of us takes a dump, and if you don’t you need to consult your medical practitioner regarding the fact that you’re literally full of shit. The one thing about bowel movements that I don’t like is when it happens in any location other than one of our three bathrooms at our house.  Personally, I prefer them scheduled for early mornings or late afternoons. I prefer them quiet, peaceful and solitary while reading a newspaper on my BlackBerry. You see, I find unscheduled bowel movements inconvenient and if I don’t have to I will not make a number two outside of my comfort zone area. Once I found myself all panic stricken due to bit of stubborn excrement that refused to flush away at a friend’s house. Knowing that I wouldn’t be pleased finding a little brown gift in my toilet after a friend has used it, I had “the battle of the turd”, the details of which are far too disgusting to labour over. Hence, I now absolutely refuse to make chocolate brownies at other people’s houses if it is not absolutely necessary. Let’s just call it one of my many lifestyle choices.

Making a number two at work is, let’s say for politeness sake, slightly less stressful. At least it’s a semi public toilet and if something refuses to vanish after you flush, you have plausible deniability. For me the problem comes in when I am not the only one there. Once I hear another stall door close my natural instinct says clinch! Normally I would try finishing my “business” quietly which is almost impossible to do if you had Mexican food the night before, but I would try never the less. A timely placed cough can conceal many an unflattering bowel movement sound. But, queerly enough, there are people out there (and you know who you are) who are less concerned about their bodily noises. These inconsiderate folk just let it rip sounding like an enema gone wrong combined with a rock slide followed by a putrid stench leaving you wondering what the hell they had for lunch and whether they are OK! All the while you’re gripping the sides of your stall gasping for air as it turns into a phosphorous gas chamber reminiscent of the holocaust concentration camps.
When it comes to public toilets I get seriously anxious. I once watched an investigative journalist program about germs and the amounts they found on public toilets’ door handles. I hyperventilate just sitting here thinking about it. At least at work you know the people using your toilets, their general hygiene and can estimate the amount of contaminants you have to battle. But public toilets are open to everyone - the business man, the crack whore, the cholera patient zero! Sometimes I firmly believe it would be better to rather shit yourself than entering some of the germ orgies that are out there. A couple of years ago I found myself in just such a predicament, contemplating rather soiling my pants than placing my perfectly clean cheeks on what looked like a blatant invitation to contracting hepatitis A B & C.

Hubby and I were on our way home from Egypt. The night before I ate some, what I found out 2 hours later, to be bad crab. I had a mild case of food poising and faced a 14 hour trip home and the notoriously unhygienic toilets at Cairo’s airport. My stomach was turning, I was nauseous and the hour and a half taxi ride to the airport was bumpy and a tedious torture. Arriving in Cairo, ten minutes out from the airport, I already was at the point of negotiating whether I was just going to shit myself a little, keep on holding it or just let it all out. I decided to hold it. Checking in at the airport was uncomfortable to say the least. Once past customs I rushed to the toilets. I entered a stall and was horrified to see the floor was wet, there was some stuff floating around and the toilet itself had a hose stuck in it and was filthy. At that point the shit it was coming! In one fell swoop I managed to cover the toilet seat with toilet paper, pull down my pants, press my feet against the stall’s door so that no part of my body was actually directly touching anything in there. I braced myself and then the flood gates opened. It was noisy, it was smelly it was EPIC!
The worst of the worst when it comes to toilets are those folks who deem it appropriate to talk on the phone while they’re passing yesterdays food through their very inconsiderate rectums. I, for one, outright refuse to answer my phone while I’m having royalty time on my throne. It’s just plain rude! This has happened to me before. I could hear the tell tale sounds of a lavatory while talking to one of my friends. Considerately, I enquired whether I was phoning at a bad time and he responded it wasn’t. Eventually he admitted to being in the loo and, to my dismay, confessed to be doing a number two. Now shitting should be a private matter and shouldn’t be shared nor be a bonding experience. I don’t want to see you do it, hear you do it or talk to you while you’re doing it. The only person with which this is rarely OK is my husband because, yes we’ve been together that long. Needless to say, I hung up the phone and washed my hands before I phoned him back after 15 minutes. I know there are some twisted people out there that poop on each other – it a sex fetish thing. I don’t get it, will never do it, and this is the last I will ever talk of it! It’s disgusting, unhealthy and I imagine messy. And the same goes for talking on the phone while on the damn toilet. It just ain't right!

Yes, our toilet behaviours are fascinating and we should talk about it more often. We all have our little rituals, preferences and aversions. There is no rule book for what is and what is not appropriate and/or recommended as it should be common sense. It’s just a pity some folks lack the latter. So the next time you retreat to your loo to unload some bodily fluids, I hope you remember this article, think of little old me, wash your hands and refrain from phoning people.

Till next time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Love Hate Relationship

Having just returned from another trip to Kenya, I can honestly say I am developing a love hate relationship with airports. Unlike my previous Transit from Hell, this trip was rather uneventful with only one “incident” occurring yet again involving my luggage. Besides the personality less security and customs officials whose sole purpose in life is to humiliate you with an over botoxed like expressionless and void of emotions face, I found the other people I met fascinating. Reflecting back on my 5 hour layover in Nairobi, I couldn’t help but recall the conversations I had, the people I met and the impact some of them had on my views on life.
My journey started off like so many before – trying to fit my whole wardrobe into a suitcase just big enough to stuff in the lifeless body of a full grown Labrador. And NO I haven’t actually done that before! Having had to scale down on my wardrobe I eventually manage to zip my bag close using a technique I perfected years ago: Sitting on your suitcase in just the right manner you can manage to close it, no matter how overcapacity it is, on the second or third attempt. Jumping on it is sometimes also required and cursing is absolutely optional but usually unavoidable. For my two days and one night in Nairobi I managed to pack the essentials which included all my "oils of delay", hair products, certain other beauty essentials, four outfits, two pairs of shoes, PJ’s and undergarments (it just sounds so much more sophisticated than underwear) to last me a week, because you never know when the next ash cloud, earthquake, snow and/or fog could fuck with air traffic again.

Traffic was a breeze for once and I arrived at the airport in Johannesburg thirty minutes early. Feeling relaxed and confident I checked in my luggage, got my ticket and unassumingly made my way to the security checkpoint. I took off my shiny accessories and my belt, placed them along with my fag bag and Blackberry into a tray and as they made it through the X-ray thingamajig I strolled through the metal detector without any bells or whistles going off. Then the dreaded words “Please come with me” got spewed in my perfectly moisturised face. I was escorted to a table where the zombie like man posing as a human proceeded to search my fag bag. Eye drops, lip eyes, deodorant, my inhaler, travel size moisturizer, hand cream and my IPod were all carefully scrutinized. It was embarrassing having people walk past thinking I was some kind of Yves Saint Laurent product smuggler. Being the Drama Queen that I am it’s not surprising that there was a brief but intense altercation.
Lobotomy man wanted to throw away my stuff and I wasn’t about to have it. We fought and at one point it almost escalated into a screaming match as there was no way in hell I was about to throw away or leave behind any of my “dangerous items”. Fuck, how is a half empty bottle of deodorant, eye drops or lip gloss a flight risk? Stinky passengers with desiccated skin are a far greater danger don’t you think? Eventually, I managed to get through to Mr Fuck Face, and we settled on me throwing away my deodorant and matches in exchange for keeping the rest of my essential and now classified “non-dangerous” items.

The rest of my journey was uneventful. Two hours stuck in traffic in Nairobi, being briefly entertained by a petite female police officer who were beating up a guy three times her size with a thin long black baton and seeing Giraffes and cows crazing together next to the road all made for excellent distractions. As the sun was setting and the smell of leaves and wood burning permeated the air I made it to my hotel at dusk. My meetings went as scheduled and at around 2pm the next day I made my way back to the airport. Armed with a fascinating book about a case I worked on “Killing Kebble” and my IPod playing Nina Simone I was ready for my 5 hour wait at Jomo Kenyatta International. But as luck would have it, I didn’t get to read much of my book.
For some strange reason, I must have looked like a people person that day as I met the three most interesting people in a span of 5 hours. The first guy I met was a travel agent from Kenya. With a slight American accent I found him to be dynamic, well spoken and best of all interesting. He told me of his planned engagement and even solicited some advice from me about how to propose. We exchanged Facebook and Twitter details and he was off to India. The second man I met was a Canadian miner, who spends months away from home. Married for seven years, but being together with his wife for twenty seven years, they have no children and live simple lives. He spoke with such endearment of wife that it was clear he missed her and loved her very much. He entertained me with tales of his work in Africa, stories that he must one day pen to paper. His take on life is to be happy with what you have, even if it’s not much and that love, friendship and family is more important than money, fancy cars or the best brands.

The last person I met before leaving Kenya was a very sweat and pretty woman and her demure but attentive brother from Rwanda. They were refugees from the genocide that occurred there. They lost family in the conflict and she also saw her father murdered and mother raped. They fled Rwanda by foot and barely made it alive to Kenya where they have been exiled since. At first she seemed hesitant to tell me her story; clearly the memories were still painful and fresh in her mind. They were heading back to their hometown of Kigali in Rwanda and her message of forgiveness both stunned and amazed me. “Even though we will never forget what happened, my body’s scars reminds me of that every day, but we can forgive, and I have forgiven them. It’s time to move on” she confidently said. She extended myself and hubby an invitation to “come home” and visit her in Rwanda and we surely will do so one day.
I never did manage to finish my book, or be soothed by the poignant lyrics of Nina Simone during my 5 hour wait. But what I did manage was to be amazed and enlightened by three people with such diverse backgrounds, experiences and infectious spirits that it made my initial airport altercation in Johannesburg seem almost insignificant. I unexpectedly managed to open the door to enlightenment by engaging with my fellow travellers, in transit to different destinations, each carrying with them a tale, a history and a future. Yes, I have a love hate relationships with airports but every so often I am reminded by the most unassuming of people that life is not about the destination but it’s all about the journey.

Till next time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Judas

Lady Gaga 's Judas.  Tell me what you think.  I'm sure the music video, when it is released, will have the tongues wagging like there's no tomorrow!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Homophobia and Religion

Religion and homosexuality sometimes are made by ignorant people to be mutually exclusive. Religion is also used, by some, to proliferate homophobia and hatred. I don’t have guest authors on my blog often, but recently I was contacted by Rev. Gary Konecky and sent an article written by him. I found it interesting and a must read so I decided to publish a part of it as I believe you will find it an interesting read too!

About the Author:

Rev. Gary Konecky is an interfaith minister. He has spent his life working on gay and lesbian civil rights and AIDS issues. When you read the account of a gay, Jewish man being persecuted by the government of Fair Lawn, NJ, that man is the author of this piece. Rev. Konecky is also the author of a groundbreaking series exploring issues of sexual orientation and the bible and the founder of Loving Ministries / G-d Loves You. He can be contacted by clicking HERE.



Homophobia and Some Examples of Other Hatred as Well


Gays, lesbians, and other sexual minorities are subjected to discrimination and violence all over the world. Often, these attacks are justified, encouraged, and motivated by religious teachings. The religions most often responsible for these attacks are certain branches of Judaism, the Roman Catholic Church, certain protestant faiths, Christian fundamentalists, and Muslims. This analysis is going to detail the massive extent of homophobia in our society and then the biblical prohibitions against such discrimination and persecution.

One of the reasons gays and lesbians are condemned in society because they do not engage “natural sex”. As Rabbi Simchah Roth notes: “When heterosexuals involve themselves with masturbation, mutual masturbation, fellatio, anti-pregnancy pills, condoms, spermicides, curettage and the most amazing acrobatic feats in order to defeat conception, theheterosexual claim to ‘natural sex’ is sheer hypocrisy!”

Gays and lesbians are singled out as promiscuous, often by religious leaders and politicians. Yet when those same gays and lesbians attempt to form a committed monogamous relationship; those same religious leaders and politicians condemn gays and lesbians as they rant about the sanctity of traditional marriage and make false statements such as “the bible says marriage should be between one man and one woman.” Setting aside the multiple wives and concubines of the bible (as well as the commandment that a rapist marry his rape victim); this argument is nothing more than these homophobic politicians and religious leaders trying to have their cake and eat it too (in a damned if gays and lesbians do, damned if gays and lesbians don’t scenario).

Nor can we overlook the politicians and religious leaders that use gays and lesbians as whipping boys in their culture wars, in their fundraising, and in their political campaigns. Many of these politicians and religious leaders have gone so far as to demand that gays and lesbians be stripped of the limited legal protections currently afforded gays and lesbians. Least anyone think thatwill not happen here, it has already happened. In California in 2008, the Mormon Church allegedly violated campaign finance laws and bought the election to have same sex civil (as in married at City Hall and not a church) marriage repealed after the California Supreme Court ruled that under the California state constitution gay and lesbia ncouples have a right to civil marriage. Despite a federal court ruling that this repeal of same sex civil marriage is unconstitutional, gays and lesbians still cannot be married in California.

2009 saw same sex civil marriage repealed in Maine. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designated hate group the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) spent $2 million on this vote, and the Roman Catholic Church spent over half a million dollars on this vote, while at the same time closing local churches for lack of funds. NOM is still battling in court to keep the names of their donors’ secret, despite loosing every court ruling thus far. If NOM is as moral as they claim, what are they hiding? Why do NOM’s donors demand secrecy if they are doing G-d’s work as they claim?


By the way, this is the same Roman Catholic Church that has been rocked by a decades long, worldwide series of scandals involving pedophilia and child abuse. Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church’s persecution of gays and lesbians appears to be a smokescreen to divert attention from these scandals. Additionally, in an effort to divert attention form the naked bigotry and hate spread by the Roman Catholic Church (a hate that includes persecution of women and Jews in addition to gays and lesbians), the Vatican has gone crying to the United Nations claiming that their freedom of religion (which they define to include hate mongering) is under attack and that they, not their victims are being persecuted.

Nor is the hatemongering limited to religious groups. 2010 and 2011 are seeing the same repeal efforts, as well as voting judges out of office and attempting to impeach judges if they rule in favor of same sex civil marriage. The entire Iowa Supreme Court has been voted out of office or faces impeachment because they ruled the Iowa state constitution provides gays and lesbians with equality under the law, including the right to a civil marriage. Attempts to enact constitutional amendmentsto discriminate against gays and lesbians are currently underway in several states including Iowa. An effort to repeal same sex civil marriage in underway in New Hampshire. Both Iowa and New Hampshire are considered early must win states in the presidential nomination sweepstakes. Leading the charge in Iowa are several SPLC designated evangelical and Christian hate groups. Leading the charge to discriminate in New Hampshire is the SPLC designated hate group NOM. Additionally, the bigoted politicians in congress are attempting to re-enact the failed, unconstitutional policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).  They obsessed with re-enacting DADT, because if DADT stays repealed, then the world will know that the limp-wrested stereotypes of gay men are merely stereotypes; and that gay men are strong, honorable, men that capable of fighting and defending their country. To put all this activity into historical perspective, one need only look at the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany where first the Jews were first relegated to second-class citizenship and ultimately to the gas chambers and concentration camps. For those who think I am overstating the case, one need only look at theAmerican Christian fundamentalist inspired and promoted pending legislation in Uganda, legislation that carries the death penalty for being homosexual.

Prior to World War 2, Henry Ford wrote numerous anti-Jewish materials that were published in this country. Many of those writing sfound their way into Hitler’s Mein Kampf. History is now repeating itself in Uganda, where right wing politicians and the American Religious Righthave been very active in seeking laws criminalizing homosexuality, including making homosexuality punishable by death.

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