Struck by Writing

I think most of us who spend the least bit of time reading blogs have encountered some that have captivated our attention and our imagination more than others. Of course, it could be argued that all blogs to which we return with any regularity have that effect; otherwise, we wouldn’t go back to them. But sometimes, there’s something more: the narrative attracts you differently or you’d really like to meet the author. Or both. For whatever reason. And in the past month, I discovered two blogs for which I’ve felt that strong attraction.

I won’t link to the first one; however, I will say I ended up spending a few nights in a row reading her back entries and felt exactly as one feels when picking up a book and being unable to set it aside. It’s the blog of a woman whose husband left (but has since returned), and in the time he was away, she had, to put it lightly, a very busy sex life. I think what fascinated me about her tales (and tails) is how she was completely unapologetic about her appetite and what she’d insist on picking from the menu (i.e., younger, exotic men with above-average appendage). What struck me the most, though, is how such behaviour by a woman still comes across as unusual, yet that thought wouldn’t necessarily come to my mind if these accounts were from a gay man. This is not to say that all gay men or even most gay men fuck like bunnies; rather, it’s simply because they are men, if they behave like she did, it wouldn’t seem unusual. That’s how deep the double standard is: women who fuck a lot with multiple partners are sluts, but men who do the same thing are studs.

The second blog, which I added to my “aMMusing Friends” list, is by a guy my age in Toronto who has been HIV+ for more than 20 years. Now I won’t be coy with you; I admit that I think he’s a total hottie and not much twisting of my rubber arm would be required to…… However, it’s not this fact that draws me to his blog. (Or maybe should I say, for the sake of honesty, that it’s not just this fact.) It’s because of many other things, which I can sum up to his having lived a life that is completely foreign to me. He’s one of those hotties who used to be a circuit boy addicted to crystal meth, but he’s given it all up in the last year and a half.

I think that, aside from the fact I’m physically a pretty ordinary joe, what has kept my hedonistic streak in check is that I’m a chickenshit. I know myself to have an addictive personality; consequently, I’ve had no interest in trying hard drugs because I feared myself more than the drugs themselves. Similarly, I came out just as the media was talking about an outbreak of “gay cancer,” which eventually became known as HIV/AIDS, so even though I was just a teenager back then, my cautious nature kicked in and I found out what I needed to do and not do. I have since been in several serodiscordant relationships and, happily, I’m still fine. And I get angry with “neg” guys who figure that “what they need to do” is to judge “pos” guys and treat them as lepers. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t put pos guys on a pedestal, but I don’t put neg guys on one, either. I reserve the pedestal for other virtues.

But coming back to that Toronto guy, what I enjoy is the authenticity of what he has to say. Now remember, I’m the chickenshit. The drug-avoiding scardy cat. As such, I can’t understand what would lurr someone to try meth. But an entry like this one gives me a better idea.

Living with HIV for over twenty years can get to be a bit of a drag. I get tired of being tired. Tina was always there for me. She knew how to pick up my spirits and forget about the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

No, that doesn’t absolve that Toronto guy. But it’s not about sinning and then seeking redemption. It’s about understanding what drives some people’s decision to help them cope through life, because it’s difficult to maintain a positive attitude all the time. Even if you’re a hottie like that Toronto guy.

Good Ol’ Boys in the Worst Sense

In the past, Canadians have come to expect Conservative candidates to be the pros at putting their foot in their mouth and saying really stupid things during an election campaign — things that worked against them and cost them votes. But it would seem that, in this campaign, the Liberals have taken a page from the Conservatives’ “bad form” book.

  • First, in mid-December, it was Scott Reid, Paul Martin’s communications director, who attacked the Conservatives’ plan to give parents $1200 per year per child to pay for childcare by saying on CBC News: Sunday, “Don’t give people 25 bucks a week to blow on beer and popcorn.”
  • Then, last Tuesday, Mike Klander, the executive vice-president of the Liberals’ Ontario wing, stepped down from his voluntary job after he posted in his blog a picture of Olivia Chow (NDP candidate in the Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina and wife of party leader Jack Layton) next to a picture of a chow chow dog, with the caption, “Separated at birth.”
  • Today we learn that Industry Minister David Emerson, in a speech at a convention dinner in early December, said that Jack Layton has a “boiled dog’s head smile,” ostensibly “in reference to his constant chattering away with this great big grin on his face, pasted on, kind of an overextended grin” and “constantly seeing Jack Layton looking like a boiled dog’s head, talking about some of these shallow, ideologically driven policies of the NDP.”

These good ol’ Liberal boys are phenomenally stupid, arrogant, and desperate.

I must say, though, that I also disagree with the Conservatives’ idea for childcare. It doesn’t create new spaces, so yeah, it is quite possible that some parents wouldn’t spend the money directly on childcare — not because they’re bad financial managers, but because they wouldn’t have the opportunity spend the amount as it’s intended to be spent. That’s the simple point Reid should have made instead of trying to make a sound-clip joke which, understandably, fell flat and offended many.

You’ll notice that the other two comments were aimed at the NDP, and I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a big-time NDP supporter. However, even as I set this bias aside, I believe these nasty, unsubstantive slurs demonstrate that, again this year, the Liberals will do and say anything to sway the soft NDP supporters to their side in order to block the rise of the Conservatives. Clearly Klander, in particular, hasn’t found out that claiming a comment was made in his personal blog does not provide immunity. In other words, he’s only now figuring out what I’ve long figured out, in my case, about blogging about my clients. It’s the same thing, really.

Meanwhile — and unrelated — so much for the campaigning truce, eh? Interestingly, it’s the Conservatives’ good Christian Stephen Harper who’s broken it two days after Christmas. Fucking hypocrite!

Power of the Soundtrack

I don’t even know how to write this entry or what to write, yet after seeing the 1988 Australian film, The Everlasting Secret Family, I feel compelled to make some kind of comment about it.

Oh, what a bleak, sad film it is! I wouldn’t say it’s great film or a lost gem. Not even close. In fact, it’s creepy in so many ways. But the the main musical theme has floored me completely. It is beautiful, haunting and disconcerting, and gives a sad irony to the story told by this film — a fitting melancholy juxtaposing beauty (the song) and ugliness (the story). In my mind, it gives a whole new meaning to “It’s hurts so good.”

As I watched the film, I assumed the song was an old, very British men’s choir song. But then, as I started searching, I discovered it was an original score and nearly impossible to find. I downloaded a few shareware applications to try to get the track to share with you on this blog, but after several failed attempts, I gave up. Then I persisted to try to find the CD, and when I finally found it on Amazon, I ordered it without hesistation. I fear the rest of the CD will be trash and the track I want will be short, but at $9.95 U.S. including shipping, who cares!