Archive for observation

Hold on to Your Friends

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 18, 2009 by Arthur

Lately, I’ve been in a funk about my friends. I know that I have made some of them mad recently and others have made me upset as well. I’m not sure how friendship is suppose to work anymore. Sometimes, I think that I don’t have it in me to continue with these relationships, but then I remember that these things take work and understanding. Whenever I get into this mindset, Morrissey’s “Hold on to Your Friends” makes me understand how lucky and fortunate I am. Even if I do lose some friends this year, I’ll know that I tried my hardest, but I’m being out-of-characterly optimistic that it won’t happen.

Favorite lyrics:
There are more than enough
To fight and oppose
Why waste good time
Fighting the people you like
Who will fall defending your name

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A Straight Man’s Arsenal

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2009 by Arthur

Recently an article in The New York Times entitled, “I Love You, Man (as a Friend)” by Douglas Quenqua, was published. After reading the text, I had a couple reactions to this piece. To summarize, it’s about the socialization between gay men and straight men and “the flip side of homophobia.” So since this article is all about homophilia, it’s unnecessary to place “as a friend” in parenthesis since it’s implied. By segregating the phrase, it’s alluding that it’s not okay to say “I love you” to another man for fear of losing one’s machismo. Also why would Quenqua use a quote from this past season’s American Idol winner, Kris Allen, right off the bat? Supposedly, Adam Lambert (who is gay) admitted having a crush on Allen and he replied with “I’m flattered, and I think it’s hilarious.” I understand that the two men were friends and all but to start off an article that’s suppose to legitimize actual friendships between gay and straight guys by using a quote that a homosexual is attracted to his heterosexual friend sets the tone. Furthermore, Allen’s response stating that he thinks his friend’s feelings are “hilarious”  is quite belittling and dismissive.  As to say, “you’re my friend but your gay emotion is simply precious to me”.

Quenqua covers the piece with pop culture references, from “The Sarah Silverman Program” to “When Harry Met Sally”. The author utilizes the latter to bring up his first flimsy point about Gay/Straight male relationships: gay men have feelings and can complicate things just like a male/female friendship “only it gets way more complicated.” The article collects quotes that are sprinkled throughout by straight and gay duos and here is a little gem of story from a straight man named Adam Carter:

“We were driving to a party and he put his hand on my thigh,” Mr. Carter said. “I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I just told him it wasn’t my thing. But things were never the same.”

He added: “Now I look back on all the things we did together and wonder, was it all just to get me in the sack? Now I know what girls feel like.”

This is utter bile. First, I apologize that one friend of yours turned you off the entire gay community as potential friends. Secondly, “now [you] know how girls feel…”?! I’m sure all women feel that way if you are the type of straight man that tries to get them all “in the sack”. Honestly, the majority of male friends that I have are straight and that line is never questioned. If these homophiliacs are all about having friends from all backgrounds, it’s no longer required to have these types of qualms. If you’re a straight male and have gay friends to obtain the privilege to say you have gay friends, these continued close-minded thoughts should not be entering your mind. Gay men don’t want their straight friends to live in fear (or complete ignorance) that one day, we won’t be able to control ourselves and fall in love with them.

Evidently, a perk of having a gay friend in a straight man’s arsenal is that they are good for advice on women and fashion. Stereotypically, (I’m looking at you Sex and the City) we will always tell you if you look good and be ready with a sassy and remarkably, snarky remark. If my friend asks me if he looks presentable I will say so and if he doesn’t, I’ll compare him to a homeless nomad. We’ll both laugh and then give him a ten minute makeover to hit “Red Hot” on the fabulousity meter. That’s not how I work. I call my friends names all the time but I haven’t and don’t know how to even manage a successful makeover. It has taken me years to figure out what I look decent in so I can’t push my individual style on someone else. I’ll do my best to help if he’s in a pinch or extremely bored but I don’t dish out fashion advice.

I didn’t study fashion in school but I did pass psychology so I’m more than qualified to toss out relationship advice on the woman psyche. And since I’m “…not in competition with [them]”, the advice I give to my friends can be taken to the bank. Seriously though, my friends do come to me for guidance on things but only because I observe and analyze like a madman. If I don’t have the right answer, I’ll say that I don’t know. Being a good friend means giving support to other friends. The fact that some straight guys go to gay men for relationship advice because they don’t trust other heterosexual men with their advice, is depressing. What’s even more depressing is that some gay men avoid straight men as friends because as Eric Perry, a homosexual man, states:

“I don’t know what’s going on in their heads, and I don’t think they know what’s going on in mine,” he said. “I’m afraid if I have a conversation with them they’ll think I’m hitting on them, so I just kind of avoid it.”

People of one group should not be afraid or intimidated of another group. If there are questions or concerns about something, there should be an open forum where discussion is possible. The population should not get the information via the media and that’s the problem. It’s ridiculous that an article which was published in late June 2009 from the New York Times is being reported. Replace any word that has to deal with “gay” in this piece with “female” or any race of your choice. Would this article even be relevant? Would it be any more offensive? A story about men (or women) with a diverse circle of friends is not news, it’s what should be expected and not be given a badge of honor.

More Than Just a Piece of Meat

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2009 by Arthur

The other day, I was eating lunch in our employee dining area when I heard a familiar song playing on the television. I don’t really care for what passes as television today so I never really watch much of it. However, people at my work watch it intently to get away from stress, though truth be told, they look like zombies with their mouths ajar.  I looked up to see what program was playing a song that I actually enjoy on the tube. To my horror and disgust, this is what was shown on the illuminated screen:

Charming.

The song (“The Moneymaker”) is by a band called Rilo Kiley and is from their fifth album entitled Under the Blacklight. For a split second, I was angry that the band, which I love, gave the greenlight for Carl’s Jr to use this song. Then I thought about what essentially this song and album are about. Under the Blacklight tells multiple stories of different characters who would do anything for fame. This song, in particular, speaks about people who get paid for sex, whether in the form of prostitution, exotic dancing, or pornography. Unfortunately, I don’t think Carl’s Jr. knew that; however, ironically, chose the best song to fully describe Audrina “Top-Rated Bikini Body” Patridge and their continuous chauvinistic commercials.

Information Gratification

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 28, 2009 by Arthur

Among all the astonishingly moronic things that disturb me in my office, there is one thing that drives me mad. A white slip of paper that hangs from my supervisor’s work area screams my name every other day. My supervisor is one of those types of people who need positive quotes from celebrities and CEOs surrounding her at all times. I actually think it’s counterproductive to print and cut out slivers of ridged office paper with words of people you can never actually become. But enough about that, here’s the supposed quote from Mahatma Gandhi:

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”

I did some cursory research and the best source that I can find is that this quote was said during a 1890 speech given in South Africa. The more I read it and try to understand why a man who is known for pacifist views and anti-war sentiments would discuss guest service just flummoxes me. I’m thinking this might be a case of the lazy media carrying over either a) a half-truth quote that was never said but regurgitated enough times to make it false public knowledge à la Gore and his often misquoted claim that he invented the internet. Or b) a complete and apocryphal quote picked up through slothful research.  Recently this happened when Shane Fitzgerald, a student from Dublin, made up a quote for French composer, Maurice Jarre when he passed away. Evidently, the false quotation ended up printing in a slew of American and European articles for a month before Fitzgerald told the media it was a farce.

One day I’ll know the truth behind the cryptic Gandhi quote but until I finish my research, the lesson of the story is never believe what you read or hear. Take the time to do some sort of research and never accept anyone’s word beyond face value. I know in this time of instant information gratification, it’s hard to take a second opinion but find a few legitimate sources and dig deep. Never swallow other people’s opinions and always question authority.

Damn Right

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 27, 2009 by Arthur

Recently, I was looking through an old issue of a men’s magazine and I saw the following advertisement for Canadian Club Whiskey:

Canadian Club
The pictures and text are obvious throwbacks to the 1960’s when a man was a man and evidently, people of color didn’t roam the streets. This type of advertising is really insulting as it attempts to entice an audience via lackluster tactics. It seems that no matter what decade, whether it’s the 1960’s or the 2000’s, women are and always will be sex objects. The text of the ad only reinforces the sexual behavior of men by letting us know that since our fathers were promiscuous, we should be too.

“Your mom wasn’t your dad’s first. He went out. He got two numbers in the same night. He drank cocktails.”

Personally, my father used to drink a lot and be verbally abusive to my mother, so does that mean I should get inebriated with delicious Canadian Club Whiskey and disrespect women? No. And as a man who believes in individuality, why the hell would I have any desire to be like my father? He’s a good man now but has different perspectives and goals. Parents hope to give their children better opportunities than they had, so for the kids to end up just like them seems as depressing as this advertisement’s aim.