So, I haven't blogged all year, but I have to write this one post at least. I just re-watched 'Bobby,' a movie all young people should be strapped in their chairs and forced to watch, at least if they're of voting age. The words at the end are the most important thing to me, especially in light of tomorrow's election.
I have to think Bobby Kennedy would be proud of this country that we've at least gotten to this point where a black man just might be president.
I wasn't alive when Kennedy ran for president, so I didn't have the chance to live when young people cared enough to march in the streets about the things that mattered. Most of those young people weren't old enough to vote, because you had to be 21 back then. I also didn't have to face the prospect of going to Vietnam to die for some cause that never really existed, kind of like the one in Iraq.
But I sent my ballot in as soon as I could this year (we have vote-by-mail in Oregon). And I hope to hell that anyone who just happens to read this does the same. Because what's worse than living with the Bush Doctrine (read about it, Sarah) is living with apathy. There's no excuse for it.
Too depressing. I can't possibly try to assess the lack of progress the world's made in the past year yet. I still have 24 hours to go.
So all these policy changes at LJ had absolutely nothing to do with the recent purchase by a Russian company. Absolutely nothing. I repeat, absolutely nothing.
I was 15 years old when I came out. My parents did not support me in any way when it came to understanding myself or dealing with the homophobic attitudes in the small town I grew up in. In fact, my ex-cop dad would just as soon never have to look at me again, which he pretty much hasn't in six or seven years.
At 15 I was reading stuff about what it's like to be gay, if I could find it -- what it feels like to fuck another guy or be fucked by one. I wasn't ready to actually do anything. I wanted to read about it. Did I read slash fanfic? I really didn't know where to get my hands on it, because this was before it was all over places like LJ. I found some gay novels at the bookstore, and I hid them in my room.
I realize this country arbitrarily determines who has the maturity to read certain things or see certain images, from a legal standpoint. The MPAA, for instance, decides what movies you can see. And according to television executives and media watchdog groups, for a long time nobody was really mature enough to watch gay themed programming. Until the Logo Channel and 'Queer As Folk,' we couldn't even see two guys kissing on TV, much less pretending to have sex. Gays on TV never really fucked, they just acted funny.
The examples I had of what my life was going to be like were few and far between. And although that's changed a bit since I was 15, it seems like there are people who would like to change it back. And now LJ is doing the same damn thing. If you're not at least 14, you can't read this post. And if I end up getting flagged by enough bitches, you won't be able to read any of my shit until you're 18. And no doubt that will end up happening to *all* my slash fanfic.
Yes, I'm a writer of slash fanfic. No, I do not advocate slash fanfic as a way for gays to learn about being gay. Generally it's not realistic enough for that. But I try to keep it as realistic as I can. I've had some great feedback from women (who mostly write and read slash) saying they have shared my stuff with their relatives who are gay and need something to read. I've even had at least one woman send me a detailed email explaining what it feels like for *her* as a chick to get it in the ass, and how much it conforms with the stuff I've written for a male character.
(Now writing that in this entry means it can get flagged and censored from anyone under the age of 18.)
Do we realize that the suicide rate for teenagers is higher than ever? Less than every two hours a young person kills himself (and they're three to one male). It's the third highest reason for death of young people, while it's the 11th for older people. And statistics show that 33% of gay youth will attempt suicide! A gay kid is FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT SUICIDE THAN A STRAIGHT KID!
Being a kid often sucks. You don't realize that soon enough you'll be able to control your own destiny if you can just hang in there long enough, that the feelings of angst that often accompany the teenage years will eventually pass. Sometimes you figure the only control you have over your life is to end it.
LJ has several communities where kids coming out can talk to each other and get advice from older people. Is there potential for abuse here? Sure. There's potential for abuse anywhere on this fucking planet and all over the internet. But this is not MySpace! This is a completely different platform full of thousands of very thinking people, both over and under 18 years of age.
Am I saying that more kids will kill themselves because they can't automatically read what they want or join the communities that interest them at LiveJournal? Of course not. I'm just saying we're making it just a tiny bit harder for kids to relate to the adult world and to work out their issues through journaling by limiting their access and/or censoring content.
When all these journals and communities go ADULT and/or EXPLICIT, we will have given the young people who come to LJ another reason to think they either have to lie about their age or forget about having access to the thoughts and feelings of people who might actually be able to give them insight and hope about their futures, gay or straight. And, NO, not all parents are doing that. And if you really think the parents in this country should be the final arbiters of what a 15-year-old reads or sees or writes about, you probably are not intellectually developed enough to be reading the censored stuff yourself.
ETA: And how ridiculous is it that all a kid needs to do is gack the URL, log out and then use the URL to view the journal from his or her browser? This proves one thing: LiveJournal's massive database will then have no record of that user visiting the offending journal, and thus no responsibility for that visit from a legal standpoint. Folks, this censorship is about a corporate entity protecting its ass. Don't believe for a second it's anything else.
I can't help myself.
I have to fuck around a little here at LJ. I'm probably just poking a stick into a nest of rattle snakes, but I can't help myself. Sometimes the idiocy of LJ and some of its users are just too much.
If I'm going to be around this crazy-assed place, I have to find a way to cope. So sue me. Let me just warn some of my close friends here at LJ not to be alarmed.
When Charlie and Marilyn got their permanent LJs, they decided to transfer their paid time to me. So, I need to make some cool icons (it's been years), write some fanfic, and do some posting.
I guess I'll revisit my John Smith Tudor story.
HBO is now showing the full length version of Alexander, and the description is: "Oliver Stone's majestic epic, which boasts a top-notch cast." What a difference a few years make! Funny that Rhys Meyers is now bigger than Colin in many ways (and even did his own stint in rehab this year).
So, it's 2007, and will anything in the world change much in the next 12 months?
Did we hold out hope for 2006? Here we are, 12 months later, and we're still at war, gas prices are climbing back toward $3.00 a gallon here in Oregon and our celebrity-obsessed culture is more concerned with whether Britney's wearing panties than whether people's human rights are being violated right here in our own country. So, the electorate seemed to care back in November, but will it really make a difference? It sounds like no matter who's in power, we won't be leaving Iraq for a long time to come.
Yeah, we all need to escape and we have the right to play and party. I do it all the time. And maybe it's not good for you to be cynical.
But I can't help it.
A couple days ago a man considered a horrible Criminal against Humanity was executed and buried. We'll be hearing about him and reading about him for years to come, but his life on the planet has been ended. And no doubt he was guilty of too many crimes to even count.
But this other man sits comfortably on vaca right now where he couldn't even bother to attend the funeral of someone we're all told we should honor and respect. This guy is responsible for invasion, for terror, for thousands of deaths of both military personnel and civilians. And he'll never stand before a tribunal for his crimes. History will be his only judge.
I'm glad to see 2007 begin. But I doubt much will change.
Hope all my flisters are having a great holiday. I haven't been around that much, but you're in my thoughts.
(And for all you fanfic fans out there, hope Santa fills your stockings with slash!)