Archive for June 2012

Poetry takes something we know, or almost know, and makes it strange and wonderful, often transforming words heard before into a language we are hearing for the first time.  Such moments of insight can provide a new perspective for anything: politics, religion, relationships, sexuality, anything.  References include: "Old Man Bickford" from William S. Burroughs, and "Words Per Minute" and "Stop The Bleeding" from me.

Different Drummer: Joyce Peseroff

Poet Reads "The Hardness Scale"

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Chuck Norris is in the news for what some are describing as "taking a stand" against changes that would permit homosexuals to volunteer to serve the Boy Scouts Of America.

I don't intend to address this issue directly, but it raises a question that I first mentioned in Inappropriate Conversations #8.  On the topic of The Sexual Revolution, I asked if "celibate homosexual" has tangible meaning in our society.  The related question is whether "homosexuality" is an inherently sexual concept.

For some this will sound silly.  After all, the word "sex" is embedded within the term in a way that intends to communicate something other than gender.  No, I'm going to keep gender out of this.  But must there be a link between orientation and sexuality?  We don't limit the term "gay teen" to sexual experience.  There is such a thing as a sexually-active gay teenager versus a gay teenager who is completely inexperienced in the area of coupling.  So, clearly, we can -- and, therefore, should -- make a distinction between orientation and sexual practice.

What does this have to do with the Boy Scouts Of America?

The answer is hidden inside this question: who in this debate is sexual-izing (making something "about" sex) the concept of homosexuality?

To connect back with IC #8, is there such a thing as a celibate homosexual?  (My answer is Yes, by the way.)  Would that individual be welcome to serve as a Scouting volunteer?  Let's focus there, rather than on Chuck Norris.  Frankly, he isn't asking the right questions.

Here's the dilemma you must face if you favor the long-standing Boy Scouts ban:

1)      If a celibate homosexual would not be welcome as a BSA volunteer, then this really isn't about sexuality at all.  It's just about discrimination and prejudice.  Rather than teaching these young men the values that have made America strong, the organization is doing the exact opposite.

2)      If a celibate homosexual would be welcome (please don't turn the word "allowed" into a pejorative and demeaning qualifier), while others would not, then perhaps the issue is solely about sexual practices ... but who is making "sex" the issue?  Certainly not the volunteer.  Gay parents who want to help surely aren't sexualizing the conversation unless they are volunteering solely for a topic like sex education.

Who is making sexual orientation "all about sex" in this situation?  I think we know the answer to that, and those people should be ashamed of themselves.

I'm not saying that it is wrong to consider this conflict, or many other examples, as a question of equality and discrimination. I'm also not saying that the BSA organization cannot decide to keep discussions of sexuality out of their mission.  I'm only saying that supporters of the long-standing BSA policies are the ones who have put sex in center stage when the debate (if necessary) should be solely about orientation.

That is a very different thing.  We need to start asking more pointed questions of people who confuse the two concepts, or try to confuse others through willful obfuscation.

There is no badge for deception.

Gameplan for upcoming Inappropriate Conversations

  1. How poetry provides perspective for many aspects of our lives
  2. True missionary work is always local; it should not to be confused with "charitable giving"
  3. Ejaculation is not a synonym for orgasm, not for women and not for men

The door is only as open as the mind inside the office.  For the success of both supervisor and employee, collaboration is crucial.  I have been most successful when I understood how my supervisor's performance was being assessed.  Likewise, I have been least successful when that type of information was withheld, making it impossible for me to make even small decisions to enable that success.

Different Drummer: Toshiro Mifune

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Consider this an echo of sorts for the current episode of Dan Carlin's Common Sense podcast.  Frustrated with the feeling that complaining is all we seem to be capable of contributing to the political process, as it is now, Carlin has made a call to action.  I share his frustration.  So-called evangelical Christian pastors calling for the internment or extermination of all non-heterosexuals?  Proudly "radical" atheists suggesting that all faithful Christians are, in fact, mentally ill and may need to be institutionalized?  Clearly, our society is on the verge of breaking down completely, and our methods of communicating with each other must change before it's too late.

Different Drummer: Statler & Waldorf

Dan Carlin's blog: "A Concentration Of Forces"

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Here is C.S. Lewis, speaking via radio address some of the words that would become Mere Christianity and other works, including several parts that I have quoted in Inappropriate Conversations.

C.S. Lewis Original Recording

Inappropriate Conversations references include:

12: Have we evolved beyond religion or is Christianity itself that mutation?

20: Reading ‘Chapter And Verse’ on what I don’t believe

21: Permanent Things that I believe

49: R.S.V.P.

61: Impermanence of Time

There are several ways to contact Inappropriate Conversations, or to communicate outside of the podcast format.

As always, I can be reached via e-mail at ic_greg [at] hotmail.com .

I often update the Facebook page for Inappropriate Conversations with links and information that I do not post here.

For listening to shows "on the go" here is a link to Stitcher Radio's Inappropriate Conversations station!

Finally, I am now on Twitter as ic_greg .  I often interact there with other podcasters and friends.

Thanks for listening!


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