27 October 2008

Lucky Dog

P.S. -- By the way, Dave Annable from ABC's Brothers and Sisters is ridiculously cute. I'll admit it: I'm crushing big time. Every time I see him as Justin on the show looking all vulnerable or concerned or smiling all crooked with his pinchable dimples, I just want to wrap my arms around him and squeeze his completely adorable, totally spoonable self. *sigh* OK, I'm glad I got that off my chest. It's always helpful to openly admit these things rather than carry them around silently. ...and to fantasize about the object of your affection finding your blog post and contacting you personally. *sigh again*

26 October 2008

Solamente Amore

While surfing for a movie quote tonight, I stumbled across a reference to Cinema Paradiso, which I've only seen once a couple of years ago now, and moments later, I was viewing a clip on YouTube of the closing scene.

Spoiler Alert: what I describe here is the last scene of the movie, so if you've never seen it, watch it first, and come back and read this. *wink*

I realize there are various themes and interpretations to this closing scene. It may be a simple example of the beautiful escape movies provide people from the harsh realities and mundane details of daily life. It may be, as I've heard it described, a "tribute" to the magic of movies. But I read something else into it.

As the now grown-up main character sits in the theater, viewing the excised clips of amorous affection and giddy playfulness which were once upon a time deemed morally inappropriate for viewing by the villagers in his home town, he is hit with a realization, something that sparks life back into his eyes. His mentor is sending him a message through the collection of clips he left for him to find. It seems, to me at least, that his mentor is reminding him to punctuate and awaken his soul with romance and passion, to not let go of a dream that life (and love) can be every bit as wonderful as you once believed, even if only for moments here and there.

In this scene, he is now a successful and wealthy man with a family, yet he may be questioning what his life has become. He may be questioning whether he traded the wide-eyed optimism and zest for romance and life in general which he felt as a child and young man for a sort of loveless and mechanical life of financial success and social propriety. It seems to me he's realizing he has missed the point of counsel he was given, and though he toyed with the idea of "going back" during a visit to his home town, it became clear that he can't restore what has been lost as a result.

In one moment, as I watch the scene and see in his eyes a broken man to whom these almost euphoric scenes now seem only a distant memory, I dread waking up, one day, to the realization that I have been living a lifeless formula or that, though I may have professional success, social respect, and family at my side, I have given up on passion. It often feels that to have what seems "right", I must forego and turn away from what richly animates every moment. And even though the kind of walking-on-air sensation most often passes or waxes and wanes in long-term relationships, to be able to nostalgically look back on it with a tender smile would be beautifully reassuring.

Still, the next moment, as he seems overtaken with emotion and I see a light restored in his eyes as he is broken and rebuilt, I wonder where he will go from here, and I am motivated to start from this moment to make sure that whatever my course, that I never, never let go of aspiration to passion in life. I hope for passion in a relationship. And I think passion is more than butterflies in the stomach and giddiness, so I hope I'm not naive in my desire for passion. But even if I remain a bachelor my whole life, and though my passions may be for a certain kind of work or study, or a hobby, or (hopefully) for someone, my task now is to figure out how to breathe passion into what is already my life, to direct my course with that fresh wind in my sails. To look back on my past with tender nostalgia is beautiful, and to feel swept away by the fantasy of cinema or stories is briefly soul-lifting, but my life will be what I make it, and my stubbornness has to be worth something, so maybe it will be for refusal to accept a passionless life.

After all, to live a passionless life seems a fruitless sacrifice and one not required by the doctrines I've subscribed to.

So this scene is, to me, both cautionary and hopeful, pathetic and redeeming. It's bittersweet, just the way I like it.

Warning: The following embedded clip includes, among dozens of short clips of old black and white movies, a couple of brief flashes of black and white breastage. Forgive me for presuming most of my readers would not be heavily affected by such glimpses.

23 October 2008

Persecution Is Alive And Well

Recent news stories include:
- Rash of LGBT Assaults Hits Washington Campus
- Elderly Couple Slain in Indianapolis
- Psych test ordered for Oxnard boy in gay killing

Of course, nobody knows for sure whether the crimes are motivated by hatred for homosexuals, but in both cases, it's pretty hard to give any "benefit of the doubt".

This kind of violence may happen elsewhere to various demographics, so it's not like homosexuals are the only people dealing with this. Somewhere, people are similarly persecuted for believing in the wrong doctrines or adhering to the wrong religion. Somewhere else, people with the wrong skin tone are similarly persecuted. Somewhere else, people aligned with the wrong political activism are similarly persecuted. Somewhere else, people are persecuted for refusing to be silenced when they perceive wrongs by their government or society.

But in the United States, in regions as generally peaceful, tolerant, and let-and-let-live as Washington and Indiana, you don't hear about particular demographics just being randomly beaten without any personal conflict or motives such as theft or sexual assault. Nobody--no other group of people--in those areas (as far as I understand) deals with that kind of targeted, violent persecution.

It's disgusting and a symptom of some serious lingering illness in our society. I hope and pray that such people do not feel justified and energized by current political agendas they may misinterpret as signs of society's rejection and degradation of homosexual people. And I hope and pray that those who are actively fighting against such issues as gay marriage are keenly aware of the possible ripple effects of essentially making the gay community out to be an enemy to the fabric of society...

Note: For more information, see the Wikipedia article titled Violence against LGBT people.

11 October 2008

I Just Figured It Out

The real reason the church is so adamant about passing Prop 8: the logistical and financial nightmare of having to retroactively change all manuals and written materials about and requirements for chastity to specify that being legally and lawfully married is no longer quite enough to be considered "chaste"...

Why didn't I see it sooner? Makes so much more sense now. :-P

09 October 2008

Gay High School?

This is a joke, right? Someone tell me this is a joke.

Chicago Officials Back Opening Gay High School
Trigger Alert: This links to a gay-oriented news web site that links to gay-oriented sites, so if you find yourself easily but guiltily drawn into the licentious world of gay-themed "dating" sites or planning your next sinfully homo-friendly vacation, you may want to think twice before clicking.

Surely there are other minority groups who feel threatened or "in danger". Wimpy dweebs, for one, not to mention racial tensions in certain parts of the country. And surely there are other groups who could benefit just as much from having their own schools with specialized curriculums and homogeneous student bodies.

"Social Justice Pride Campus" where sexual identity issues will be a focus? OK, just as long as we have another school for low-income kids where financial or socioeconomic issues are a focus. And another for students diagnosed with depression where coping skills are a focus. And another for gifted students where channeling your mental energy is a focus. And...wait, who's ridiculous idea was this?!

Yay for neosegregation!