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November 2002

Customer Service

Satisfied customers are the best advertising, and the most flattering. Thanks, kids.

By the way, if any of you local kids getting shirts are willing to show 'em off, Aron owes me some photography in exchange for his shirt, and we want to make you look glamorous.

For All the Nerds

Wonder WomanInto comics? Free tonight? There's a very cool panel discussion at the Center tonight at 7:00 Drawing Closer: Queer Representations and the Comics:

Off Center and the Gay League present what promises to be an exciting, raucous forum on the queering of comics with many of the artists at the epicenter of this growing phenomenon. From Wonder Woman to the Riot Grrls, these bold and brash icons do much more than empower our youth. They forge queer identity and influence our aesthetics well beyond adolescence. You're invited to this interactive forum with an eclectic group of artists including: cartoonist Jennifer Camper, creator of subGURLZ; Howard Cruse, creator of Stuck Rubbery Baby; Joan Hilty, editor at DC Comics; Phil Jimenez, writer and artist for Wonder Woman; and Ariel Schrag, artist of Potential and Likewise. $5 suggested donation.

Come check it out. It sounds nifty. Off Center is an ongoing series of events that my friend John has been putting together since the summer ("Off Center seeks to provide a forum for a variety of controversial ideas, opinions and experiences exploring what it means to be LBGT today."), and they've been doing all kinds of good stuff like this that would be worth keeping an eye out for. If, you know, you like to think and stuff.

More Shirts!

Some new shirts to go around some requests, some up for grabs. I’m still taking orders...

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Get Yer Shirts!

After a long, idle weekend (which was just lovely, except for the slight guilt about being so idle), I finally got down to business the last couple of nights and started working on some of those t-shirts I mentioned a while back. Don't you wish you could get one, too?

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Freaky Gay Porn

No one was more surprised than me, but it turns out that Jackass: The Movie is the funniest gay porn I’ve ever seen in my life.

Johnny KnoxvilleI mean, I was just hoping for a quick glance at Johnny Knoxville's butt and maybe a derisive chuckle or two, but I left the theater cramped over from laughing so hard (not to mention cringing an awful lot, usually while laughing at the same time). It strays so often into the realm of all-guy, potty-obsessed lewdness that it really does come across as an edgy porn movie, over and over again. Most of the guys are pretty hot, and they almost never wear much besides droopy pants and sneakers. When they're doing a lot of the stunts, they're usually doing them in jockstraps or skimpy underwear. And I thought to myself more than once: "This is pretty funny, but I know people who do stuff like this pretty regularly because it's a turn-on." Sure, that may be another variety of edgy behavior altogether, but it was pretty interesting to see how often the big challenge for these guys amounted to be being dropped into the middle of an S/M movie to see if they could take it. For Pete's sake, one of the first images of the movie is the name of the production company: Dickhouse.

In some ways, it's a brilliant piece of absurdist theatre, Granted, that may be unintentional, but after reading this article and also realizing that Spike Jonze was involved, I think there may be a whole lot more consciousness of the many layers to this than I would have given it credit for right off the bat.

No, it sure ain't for the squeamish, but it's a hoot.

Full Disclosure

I’ve confessed to a lot this year, unburdening myself of all kinds of secrets that I kept for one stupid reason or another. All in all, life has been better that way, and 'fessing up to my shortcomings has made it much easier for me to address them and correct them.

But here's a big one. Here's one that makes perfect sense if you understand my tendency to procrastinate and avoid responsibility, but one that’s truly at odds with my views on good citizenship and the Golden Rule:

I’ve never voted before.

Every year my good intentions have fallen prey to one excuse or another not wanting to choose a candidate I knew nothing about, general resentment of the electoral system, deep-seated cynicism about politics, hatred of bad campaign graphic design, whatever but they all came down to two things: apathy and irresponsibility.

I’ve been paying a lot more attention to news and politics in the last couple of years, no matter how angry or depressed I get from doing so. One of the things that has come from that is the realization that I have no business whining when I didn't even participate in the first place. I always felt like my single vote would never make a difference, or that there was no point in making a choice when I didn't know anything abou the people running. Well, that’s stupid.

For one thing, it's easy enough to find out information about who's running in your area. (For starters, just find out who's running in your area at the League of Women Voters DemocracyNet and then head over to Google.) Even if you're not familiar with the individual candidates, take a look at their party affiliations and keep in mind that voting by party could put someone in office who would then be able to give a lot of helpful support along the line to other candidates you're more familiar with.

I’m really serious about this. It matters. I have been ranting and raving about how much the Bush administration terrifies and angers me, but in fact I might be able to take some of the sting away from them by helping put some sensible Democrats in office who can help keep the idea of actual checks and balances in our government alive. I’ve ranted about how hard it can be to find dissenting opinions about politics in the country, but I’m still able to help bring about change by who I can help elect.

There's not a lot of direct, individual glory or reward in voting, but it sure as hell is the easiest way to actually do something concrete to play a role in your community, your state, your country. What's the point in believing in Democracy if you don't participate?

I mean it, don't be the lazy-ass boob that I’ve been for so long. Sleeping late isn't more important than doing your share. Neither is getting to work on time, going a few blocks out of your way, standing in line, or any other minor inconvenience of adding your two cents to the democratic process. Get out there!

Some helpful links:

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