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Secret Shoppers Fun Money

A nice little summer playlist is beginning to come together. Here’s the latest from Seattle-based Secret Shoppers.

Stay classy, Summit Church

Witness what happens when someone tries to challenge the lies told by an ex-gay speaker at a church in Sparks.

What incredibly Christ-like behavior, don’t you think?

Parents of gay kids, do yourselves (and your kids) a favor. Accept your children, be involved with their lives just as you would if they were straight, keep your family together, and for the love of all that is good in the world, don’t encourage this sort of menacing, un-Christian behavior by attending, and worse yet, tithing to, authoritarian outfits like this one. These pharisees are giving Christianity a bad name and causing more life-long mental and behavioral issues than they can ever hope to prevent.

Kudos to you, Kathy Baldock.

Early Man Was Quite Possibly Fabulous

My mother found this article.  I wasn’t sure what to think about it, initially.

It’s quite possible modern folks think of gay and lesbian existence as a purely contemporary idea, or at least one that isn’t very old.  I’m likely to disagree, not with any merit or fact to back it up, just good old-fashioned opinion.  The notion of a nelly caveman certainly has its place in humor, but we really haven’t changed that much.  Sure, ideals, religion, politics and technology changes, these are all abilities that are on a logarithmic scale when compared to our genetics.  We’re programed to be innovative, and it probably didn’t take a genius homosexual primitive to figure out he wasn’t (or she wasn’t) into the standard breeding populace.

Anthropologically speaking, it is interesting to see how it is possible 5,000 year old societies revered, if not this individual, but the lifestyle.  All-too often we think of ourselves as “enlightened,” but we’ve gone through many periods of ups and downs, where traditions, good and bad have trounced choices and freedoms, even things we can’t help.   Religions, ideals and governments come and go, empower or deny us these same things.   It’s hard to say if this was just one important individual that transcended the natural way living things breed for a more personal choice, or this was some “gay worshiping” society that considered these kinds people shamans or of some significance overall.

Meanwhile, this queer primitive must have been an interesting individual no matter what.  I hope we find more about him (or colloquially “her?”) because we can only learn from our past, if not be summarily entertained.   If we have learned nothing from gays and lesbians is they have a flair for the dramatic.  Clothing, speaking, stage performance, the arts, even in situations of business and community.  Few are boring, humdrum folks.

It further raises the question of how we treat people, that sometimes acceptance and respect is a matter of worth rather than something of being.  I’d like to think of this situation as the person was important first, and possibly gay or transgendered second.  Respect and reverence being earned is an old idea, it is only recently, more recently than this fellow, that we seem to think gay reverence is a right.  Simply being gay is no more a guarantee of genius or advantage any more than it is a disadvantage or an abomination.  It just simply is.

Acknowledging the details of someone and then accepting them is a hugely important thing.  It is what our heroes, role models and aspirations are made of– gay or not.


Gay Humor Gets The Shaft

I have been told frequently that I’m “the straightest gay guy” people have ever met. I could take this a number of ways, from obviously not falling in line with what people expect out of a common homosexual (as defined by gays or the rest of society), to somehow I’m forcing myself to be different. Like any identity, you know full and well it is your own when you not only don’t have to try, but are so laughably separated from the insecurities that come from a label you may or may not claim, that you remain immune to the effects.

Labels are something that confound and irritate me, and I’d encourage them to be irritating to you, too. Beyond being “Kyle Weiss,” what else is there? A tax bracket? A zip code? Someone’s silly social or subculture tag? I’m really not sure. Every time I’m faced with such a classification, I have no idea what to do with it, and I suddenly find myself almost mentally patting down my person as if I was missing my keys. It’s about insecurity, if not for the labeler, certainly the labelee.

This isn’t about labels, though, as much as I’d like to croon on about how politics, neighborhoods, car emblems on keychains, grocery store labels on the bags we carry, etc, etc define us in American society. This is about how labels become culture over time, especially when the inescapable life choices we make inevitably define who we are to someone else, like it or not.

Gay humor. I’m not talking about the gay jokes we all hear at the local watering hole after a shift at work, accompanied by back-patting blue collar smoker laughs. “How many queers can you fit on a bar stool?–Four if you turn it upside down!” Yuk-yuk. How quaint, if not practically Americana itself.

Real gay humor is the kind of predictable, raunchy and almost colloquial in theme kind of “funny” that is as common to the average queer as is the stereotypical gay joke is to the after-work crowd. Those of you who are gay, or have gay friends, know what this is. Just about any sentence or statement, of any subject matter, be turned into a joke about dicks, asses, sex toys, anal sex, and the like. The typical guffaw of acceptance must be uttered. I’m not sure what would happen if it weren’t, probably a label as being a “prude” or “uptight” or “conservative” would likely then be applied, then more penis jokes.

Is it okay to simply find that kind of thing boring? To balance out my business-nature and proper company I keep, I also have a good background of queers, drag queens and weirdos to add to my social resume. I’ve practically heard it all, and in every configuration. It doesn’t take a lot to reach rock bottom or critical mass (…see, even now I’m looking at the incantation of double-meaning there…) with subject matter so shallow. I can usually see these little terrible bits of humor from a mile away, like a drunk trying to hit people in the head with a beach ball.

Why does it happen? I have a theory, and it isn’t one that’s likely going to win me my “Club Gay” membership card back from whence it came. I honestly think it’s a way for nominally intelligent people, i.e., the gay sect, to focus on more so-called “important” things, like age, emotions, looks and other self-involved aspects yet still retain a sense of wit and vibrancy. I mean, I’m funny, genuinely funny sometimes at best, and I hardly resort to grade school body part levels with a few more syllables added on for charm. Even declaring this makes me sound like a kind of separatist or elitist in that manner, of which I probably should be proud, but honestly, I’m not. We all like to fit in, and have done disastrous things past and present in which to achieve this goal. No sense in pissing off the tribe when we all need to survive, right? When it comes down to it, I have so many interests in life that go far, far beyond being gay and gay bar humor. When I hear this applied to gay society, either in actuality or because people automatically assume I’m pre-programmed to respond, it’s quite alienating.

I’ve never really “fit in” to anything, nor am I a model human. Sometimes this has been painful, but largely, the independence and unrestrained self I have come to enjoy through this discomfort has been monumental in my development. If we are all copies of each other (…ask me about my definition of the “clone gay” sometime…) then what chance do we have of standing out? Standing out isn’t such a bad thing, in fact, it means we can be flexible in times of survival, especially if we’re NOT necessarily a sheep, and we are aware we are not a sheep. Regardless, there’s different wiring of every person, factory-built from society’s plans or the self-made man.

I cannot begrudge a whole society, gays in particular, of having their “culture” of humor, music and way of doing things, as it stems from a long history of people that have been teased and downtrodden in multiple class systems’ societies for a long time. That however, should not mean this is the only path, nor should one be expected to walk upon it. On the contrary, plenty of people have the ability to mask themselves appropriately only to later reveal there’s much more to them than one would think. Interesting. There is a joy of fitting in, and a joy of NOT fitting in. While I personally look at myself as Kyle Weiss first, and the other facets are just tedious details, I continue to struggle to walk whatever path I want–and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Nevadans and Californains: A Quick Reno Brainstorm

This isn’t going to be some monumental, well thought-out or groundbreaking Reno idealist standpoint, however, a recent discussion really made me think about a few things regarding Nevada and its next door neighbor.

Reno has often groaned at the influx of “those Californians,” coming over here and changing things, bringing their California bullshit, driving styles, carefully crafted homeowner’s associations, love of sprawing strip malls, freeway-side coffee shops with outdoor seating and unnaturally raising housing prices on cul-de-sacs.  I suppose a few good things have been taken from California’s attitude, as well.  I’d like to see marijuana treated as a legal, taxable commodity, I like some of the music and artistic inspirations that affect our own subcultures here, and I think it raises the bar on how and where we eat our food, and what quality it is presented.

Beyond that, Californians, like any outsider to Nevada, debatably have to learn to speak “Nevadan,” if they are to be here.  Social sovereignty and tradition are important parts to why Nevada is Nevada.  We are an  independent, non-haughty,  and creative bunch, we enjoy our space, we enjoy our personal freedoms, and we do it here like no other state does it (Las Vegas NOT included–Clark county can just join LA County any time if they’re so inclined).   Which is why so many other states are loosening gaming laws and have loosened the divorce process.  Nevada CAN be an influence, too.

Will we, though lose what makes us special?

I have some suggestions, especially for Reno, and this is by no means a complete list:

*  Let Reno revitalize and reinvent its history by becoming the Gay Divorce Capital of the world.  It may sound dark, but in the momentum and fun everyone that’s supporting gay marriage is having, did we even think about the part where gays are also normal, fickle, picky humans that may make bad decisions and rush into getting married?  Maybe one cheated on another (…in a gay relationship?  Never!), or it just isn’t working out.   Being so close to San Francisco, where much of the gay marriage initiatives are happening, I’d love to see Reno catering to the Rainbow Sect and happy husbands washing that man right out of their hair with those old wedding rings being tossed traditionally into the Truckee River.

* Let Reno spearhead the legalization of marijuana.   I don’t even smoke marijuana and I would love having it be a legal, taxable item.  In Reno, I already smell, witness and walk past countless public instances of marijuana usage.  I don’t buy the gateway drug theories and haven’t had much experience being threatened by an abject pothead while he was high.   I doubt much would change socially, except that little charge people get being in the “exclusive pot club,” by having secret meetings behind the building, watching out for cops and “being really bad.” You all are gonna MISS THAT– admit it.   Honestly, though, it is something I think would put Reno on the map and give Nevada some thoughts to how money could be generated transporting, selling and even warehousing marijuana.

*  Let Reno be the center of outdoor attractions that it is.  Let’s face it:  Tahoe’s casino resorts aren’t interested in promoting the outdoor aspect of their area, they want people inside spending money on machines.  It’s almost criminal considering the beauty and experience of Tahoe.  With Pyramid lake, countless mountain roads leading and crisscrossing to little unknown gems all within a motorcycle/car/bicycle trip during the day, why isn’t Reno more centered as “America’s Playground?”  These casinos are dying, good riddance, and there are other ways to create an economy with almost identical jobs but with better pull for Reno.  Is CommRow a wonderful beginning to it all?  I have to wonder.

California may be an inspiration for some, and a bane to others, but there is an inevitable crossover that will occur here.  If Nevadans stand-fast and keep Nevada being Nevada, this invasion of outsiders will not effect us, and we can assimilate them rather than them assimilating us.  There’s plenty of Nevada to go around, really… well, until the water resources prevent further development (which WILL happen one day…) but we can build and share on ideas for years to come.  If we are willing on both sides.

Music for Saturday–Secret Shoppers

Seattle’s Secret Shoppers is a prime example of that great sound I guess they’re calling “electro” these days.  Good stuff.  This stuff adds the extra dimension of being (a) gay and (b) totally awesome.  Here’s their track, Genie:

Now go outside.

President Signs DADT Repeal

It was a long and frustrating process to watch, but today President Barack Obama signed into law the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.  The military can now figure out how, and in what time frame, to do away with this order.  This long overdue action follows the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence vs. Texas, which struck down sodomy laws nationwide as unconstitutional.  With no legal recrimination to fear in their civilian lives, openly gay people will now be able to serve in the nation’s military without fear of recrimination there on the basis of sexual orientation.

President Barack Obama signs a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on December 22, 2010

Good job, government.  Once in a while you get one right.

Disgusted With Politics: DADT Edition

The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is long overdue.  Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was the worst kind of political cowardice.  In requiring military personnel to lie to their peers and superiors, it creates a risk of blackmail – a legitimate compromise to national security.  Even to someone not wanting gays in the military it falls totally short – since silence without proof means gays are in the military already.

Incredible, right?  So take that and add to it the broader dimensions of a whole class of people being used as political footballs in a culture war.  The war against gayness is a war that has no possible victor.  It would seem only to produce more victims.  Fighting human sexuality, and codifying repression of sexuality both seem to be recipes for disaster.  Want proof?  How about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals?

These are just a few reasons the recent failure of DADT repeal in the Senate is so baffling.  Here are two senators whose ‘no’ votes are particularly nonsensical:  Republican John McCain and Democrat Joe Manchin.


The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, ‘Senator, we ought to change the policy,’ then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it," McCain said in October 2006 to an audience of Iowa State University students.

McCain appears to shift on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, Michael D. Shear, Washington Post
Feb 3, 2010

McCain’s position now, opposing repeal, after not only the leadership of the military have called for repeal but a study which he called for was conducted with the results appearing to support repeal, is mind boggling.  Is he still smarting from having lost the presidency to Barack Obama?  Was he ever the maverick lots of people thought he was in 2000?  Or is he just trying harder than ever to be a tool of his party, as seems to have been the case since 2008?  What about all three?

Senator Manchin’s vote against repeal is principled from a certain perspective, but still an idiotic one in light of his statements after his vote.

First the principle:  by noting that the chiefs of the Army and Marines oppose repeal, and citing the effect it might have on the chaplain corps, Manchin raises good questions that would appear to be based on principle.

… while I may disagree with a repeal of DADT at this time, some believe that President Obama, as Commander-in-Chief, if he so chooses, has the authority to suspend discharges under DADT, if he deems it a matter of national security. In fact, I asked this question during the second day of hearings on the repeal of DADT.  If this is correct, and the President was to make such an order, while I may disagree with it, I would respect his authority as President to do so.

– Senator Joe Manchin

But the idiocy comes in his statement after the vote:  Manchin apologized to those who might disagree with his vote, and suggested that the president just stop enforcing DADT in the name of national security.

Ridiculous.  Certainly, what your constituents think is important.  (One reason Manchin gave for voting no was that he hadn’t had a chance to talk to enough constituents about the issue.)  But if you would rather the president break the law than you stand up for what you believe in and act within your powers to change the law, you are not a very good representative of your constituents.  (Unless you’re a reflection of the character of your constituents, I suppose.)

All this makes me shake my head and wonder if any rational thought will ever return to American politics.  Here’s hoping.

Bounce Rap! Whatever will the kids think of next?

Clearly I’m a little late on this phenomenon, but it appears as though there is a gay rapper from New Orleans whose primary purpose in life is to make women shake their asses a lot.  Choice quote at 1:22.