Since I began and subsequently neglected this blog there’s been a marked change in the internet atmosphere as I’ve seen. Social media has been around for some time and will surely continue. When it all started, the Facebooking, the Tweeting, etc. the big criticism was that it turned us all into amped up narcissicists–posting minutae of our daily lives as if all the people we followed should care what we ate for lunch–which was a legit criticism, for which I committed a multitude of sins. But I’ve seen a dramatic shift, as have others it seems, we’re moving from personal narcissicism to a more collective narcissism. We’re using the internet to boast of our ideologies; primarily through sharing links.

I find nothing so wrong in linking to articles regarding social ills, critiques and such. Recently a transgendered teen committed suicidoe and my Facebook page was awash in linked articles suggesting action should be taken to preven this type of thing from happening. Damn right! I am a fundamentally cis-gendered male; I don’t know what trans-experience is or experience discrimination of my own, but being open to listen to other people’s stories I see something needing a dire change. The deaths of Brown and Gartner were tragedies and failures of our justice system to work, as many links I received suggested, yes.

So where do we go from here? One of the implications of these links suggest I need to be properly outraged and express it as such. Being a white, cis-gendered man, clearly from an egalitarian standpoint there is an aspect of knowing my priviledge and being properly informed of the experiences of others unlike myself who face systematic discrimination. Knowledge is power, sure. More radical minds suggest that I express my discontent at certain places and times where we shall demonstrate away the evil. We shall picket transphobia and racism to death on such and such a date.

If I sound a bit sarcastic in that last paragraph, then good. I believe in the collapse of liberal democracy to work anymore, if it ever did. There is not any longer an out-there group of representatives to listen to the voice of the masses. I don’t even know that there ever was given the failures of the 60s/70s. I beg the question of who the “Who” is that all these link-shares, protest marches, etc. are geared towards in which we’re supposed to, or are desperately seeking a new measure?

Old terms to define social antagonisms feel stripped. We don’t have a class system that Marx saw. We do not live in overtly racist times anymore (we live in racist times, but ironically the rhetoric of tolerance and color-blindness has doubled-back to make even calling something racist, racist, a challenge to racial harmony.) Antagonism becomes a vocalisation of preference. We live in a perfect system. There are only a few kinks to work out, so fill out a complaint form (post a link, protest march, etc.) and they’ll get back to you.

Upworthy is the opium of the masses.

The communist dream that still preoccupies me is how I want to exhume the belief that the whole “we” who are fed up with racist police/courts, trans bullying, the decline of labor, etc. etc. etc. are no longer visualizing this as reform but reclamation. We lost what we had in the egalitrian dream and the point is not to ask for it back, but to take it back. It was already ours to begin. If the *system*, to use an overworked term, will not agree to listen to us, but continue to pat our heads while saying “isn’t their outrage a cute vindication of how great liberal democracy is? We let them protest until they burn out?”

I will share no links, not raise my hands in support of Michael Brown (I’ve literally seen cops laugh at white people doing this, rightfully!)  Enough of the gestures expressing what ought to be. The Left needs to recall that we weren’t always so timid in begging for reform. While conservative, reactionary forces are stepping all over us with glee and carte blanche we’re still opting for the system. For a hot second we had a good thing going with Occupy. It did not conform to rules. It did not ask. It didn’t care if it’s measures disrupted. We need this. We need to cut out supposed-reformists like Obama, to stop placating ourselves with expressions of outrage and start being outraged again.

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I’ve been trying to follow best I can recent developments within the Catholic Church. I’m a pretty good Catholic although it’s not always the most comfortable fit. I dislike it’s official stances on sex and sexuality, it’s regard for its image over justice and care of its more vunerable, and I don’t like the sluggishness of Vatican II reforms.

Yet I love it. I accept the faults because I see a lot of good. I’m blessed to live in a community that is highly dedicated to solving problems of poverty and discrimination, justice, community, and all the while with an exhuberant passion to God and others.

I was happy to find that a couple surveys have shown that Catholics are the most likely of all Christians to support gay marriage. And in the churches I’ve belonged to, I’ve never heard anything but gay-positive talk. The idea of my current priest delivering a sermon on the evils of homosexuality is fucking laughable. As with any priest or bishop I’ve come to know.

So it strikes me as odd that despite evidence both personally anecdotal and statistical that we’re still bogged by a notion of the RCC as an overtly ‘conservative’ institution. People poke jokes about the Galileo mishap, but forget Francis Bacon and others who kept the sciences alive and kicking in Europe’s history. Sexism in the church is real, but so are some real feminist icons. It’s 2013 and I’m worried my imaginary daughter falls in with some Fox News commenter who thinks women should be subservient to their husbands; I’d rather she see herself as St. Catherine of Sienna, who basically ran Europe in the Middle Ages.

There are Catholic conservatives. I raise no objection and pax vobiscum. But it does feel like more progressive Catholics are always so apologetic and treading lightly, whereas some like Rick Santorum or Mel Gibson can speak near heresies and rather than be called out get heralded as Catholic icons.

Progressive Catholics like myself are nothing new. Neither are conservative ones. We’ve always had a wide scope and I think it would be good for all these big reforms to include our voice and theology. We’re here, but we’re not heard. The loudest voices of authority in the Roman Catholic community are a minority and the voices in opposition are stiffled. People like me have to say silly stuff like “I’m Catholic, but I’m not the _____ kind.” It’s fucked that I should be apologizing for myself for my religion. It’s fucked because while I can’t deny grave mistakes are in the story of the Church the priest of my church knows I’m into guys as well as girls, but he doesn’t care. Nor did the priest who retired before him. Neither did the priests I knew back in Michigan. Nor did the cardinal I met (who’s gay!)

And no cheap political victories! Washington can play that crap, but I think or hope the Church can rise above pundits and talking points. I’d embrace some real engagement with all Catholics, or an ecumenical community, we’re all polite adults, right?

The news articles I couldn’t avoid even if I tried, are sort of coalescing into a common theme: conservative/hardcore GOP issues refuse to die even if it kills the party. Gun control? Pssha! Let a hundred grade schools be the sites of mass murders, guns only do good things! Fiscal responsibility? Just don’t let anyone classified as wealthy get a tax raise while we talk like serpents about how Obama is hurting the middle class (never a mention of the lower class, but that’s general politics for you.)

So… you put forth a 2012 candidate who is silver-spooned and openly admitted that most Americans would not vote for him because Americans are mostly spineless moochers. You refuse to raise ANY taxes on the wealthy despite clear evidence that the greater accumulation of wealth by them has not lead to any growth at all. Some have even said guns are not the problem for shootings of late, people are; all the while, trying to open gun access, cut public health services and increase the circulation of the weapon that lead to 20 children being killed in a single morning.

Here’s a new proposal: legalize and distribute free heroin. After all, it’s self-monitoring. Heroin doesn’t kill people, heroin users kill people. Make heroin legal, make it subsidized and accessible, most dealers will OD eventually and problem solved. Why not solve a social problem by the death of the problem-makers? That is the rationale of the gun-lobby.

And fiscal issues… “meh huh huh… Keynesian economics has been disproven, har har har!” Okay, so display what data there is for the success of Reagan-esque “Trickle Down” policy. Oh yeah… you can’t because those policies were disasterous. Except maybe not for those who can’t even understand modern realities of grocery checkouts–thought I forgot about that one Romneyists? Nope! You’re all clearly irrelevant.

Got turned down by a romantic interest because my Christian faith was a deal-breaker. I’m disappointed, but I’m fine with it. A lot of Christians make me sick too.

This election season really hurt hard. I googled the approximate number of verses in the Bible and it came out a little over 31,000. The number of verses that pertain to sexual politics, I’d say is about four give or take. So why is homosexuality, abortion, etc such pressing issues?

How about the hundreds of verses in support of the poor?

Christianity should be the religion of the poor, the sick, the widows, the ill, the addicts, the immigrants, the workers… any interpretation that highlights anything else is a bastardized version of my faith. Claiming that hurricane Sandy or 9-11 was a response to political or sexual issues is a fucking heresy. The rich, puritanical and the established clases are not the vanguards of Christianity. God made Himself a sacrifice for ALL humanity, not for the sake of those who fuck or vote a particular way.

I believe in political-correctness, at least to some points. So long as it’s meant as using respect and not just obeying a social convention one doubts. In that, I’m very PC. In that I ensure I always try my best to use terms around people I don’t wish to offend. Because fuck those arguments about, “OH! PC police telling you what you can or can’t say! BREAHGGHEHGH!” It has nothing to do with that, you selfish shithead. It’s about not being an insensitive dick to people just because your exalted class membership doesn’t know what it is to be offended.

That said I do not always use PC language. Often I use un-PC terms. Mostly, in public, for the sake of a sort of dialectic point. With casual, subtle prejudice being so common I feel often the best you can do in some circumstances is go total opposite. The absolute worst break in social normativity highlights the existence of that social normativity, while not putting people in defensive mode where they retreat into moderate prejudice and lock out thinking. And also, of course, it’s because I’m priviledged and like naughty words. It’s not all noble, I admit.

But I don’t always. I admit sometimes I use very un-PC language merely for fun, but always when I’m with inanimate or non-speaking things. I guess I still obtain a little rush from “naughty words,” but as I do it I still acknowledge it as juvenille and stupid. Usually comes out when I’m dog walking. Today I said to my housemates dog, who was dragging her leash too much, “Come on you slack-bitch faggot! Walk, or I’ll cut your cunt legs off!”

I wouldn’t ordinarily thing of it, because I don’t think “bitch” or “faggot” mean anything but an insult against the intellect of the person using them. I cast them with dogs in fun because they don’t understand English, so I presume the harm is nullified. Words can’t offend if they’re all gibberish. But today a neighbor of mine caught me saying that while she was watering her grass.

And I said this in middle-class Portland. I felt bad. I wanted to apologize to the woman saying I only say such things for my own amusement but I know why they’re horrible in the company of humans. I hate hearing “faggot” especially, I’ve even felt threatened by it, but in the context of satire or absurdity I don’t mind it at all. Problem is, I don’t think dog walking is a clear contextual situation for hyper-satire. So to my neighbor I really do apologize.

Listening to a favorite “Christian rock” band again and happy. I do not generally like the genre, I can’t even say I find it tolerable, though I do like Christianity (my religion) and rock music.

I think it’s just that they capture what it really should be to be Christian:stupid, immoral, childish, clumsy and absurd.

I call on all those fundamentalist Christians to go back to the book and read it with a more critical eye. It’s not about controlled behavior, strict codes, Moral Majorities, etc. Christianity was a break from all that. That is everything Jesus (mostly) said “don’t do.”

On the other end my loved ones on the other side need to cut the crap. The antithesis of moralizing, patriarchal religion is not reason-centered living via “science” and secularity. It’s not opposition, it’s an alternative. The opposite of the oppression of “gay sex is evil” is not “homosexuality is biologically natural.” It’s not! Either way it is constraining behavior by some rigid ideal.

Freedom. That is the promise of both religion and secularity or humanism. If all those molds need to be broken then fine. Jesus was also good at overturning at shit. The money-lenders’ tables? And freedom does not imply “do anything!”  I am free right now to shit and smear it all over myself while singing Jonas Brothers, but I don’t do that. Because having freedom does mean one must use it at all costs.Freedom means believing in right or in dogma, but being unconstrained to realize it.