Friday, April 29, 2016

oh, the interwebs

The interwebs are a wonderful way to keep informed about what's going on in the world. They're also a surefire way for me to derail my emotional and spiritual condition. For example, I've just read that a House committee has approved an amendment to President Obama’s executive order prohibiting anti-LGBT workplace discrimination among federal contractors. The amendment, introduced by Rep Steve Russell (R-Okla.), would enable religious organizations doing business with the U.S. government to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Every one of these recent anti-LGBT laws are being pushed through under the guise of 'religious freedoms.' Let's be perfectly frank. The legislators pushing these new laws aren't concerned Jews leave work early enough on Fridays to be home before sundown. Nor are they concerned Hindus be offered vegetarian options, or Muslims have adequate breaks for prayer. These new laws are specifically designed to allow people to legally discriminate against faggots and dykes in the name of Jesus.

Let's take a moment to consider what Jesus actually said about discriminating against fudge-packers and carpet-munchers. Please turn to Matthew 25:40.

'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'

Wait... What?

Okay... let's turn to 1 John 4:21

He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

In other words, Jesus ain't down with this shit!
Y'all are just hateful bigots!

As you can see, I've gone and made myself completely nuts this morning by keeping abreast of current events. So here's a picture of Matthias Schoenaerts with a bulldog puppy. I'm just gonna take a few moments and let its healing power sink in. 

Have a good day.

Monday, April 11, 2016

look at the pictures

I watched the HBO documentary last night, “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures.” It's very good and very interesting. The big takeaway for me was the necessity of drive and perseverance, most specifically as it relates to having success as an artist. Of course, as always with his work, the issue of exploitation versus love of subject matter is brought to the surface, and it reminded me how essential it is for an artist to express his or her own passion and life through their work. 

It was certainly brave of HBO to show the images that caused so much controversy back in the day (basically penises, and oh yeah, fisting and pissing, etc...). But they now somehow seem surprisingly tame; maybe because those images have been seen so much as to have become almost iconic representations of what controversial 1980s photography was, or maybe it's just harder for me, personally, to be shocked by sexual imagery, I don't know. 

Two people who played prominent roles in my youth were featured in the doc and in the photos. It forced me to think if the trajectory of certain events had shifted just slightly, might he have photographed me? It seems self-centered to even think that, but it's not out of the realm of what would have been possible at the time. The whole thing brought back youthful, nostalgic, exciting, clandestine memories of a vibrant and gritty New York. A New York that's been washed away by tourists and foreign investors; a New York that I mourn daily as I walk through scrubbed canyons of shiny new luxury living towers. Light, shape, form, sexuality, work, friendship, family, the artist's process, the passing of time, the cultural significance of imagery, mortality; this doc had it all.
Well worth a watch.