Brokeback Families…

family treeI‘ve heard several comments by conservatives, seemingly unable to directly criticize the love story that exists in the movie Brokeback Mountain, railing about the injustice of how these two men treat their undeserving wives. The pain caused to Michelle William’s character (Alma) is unmistakable, and many conservatives point the finger at Heath Ledger’s character (Ennis), and by inference, indict the entire gay community for the harm they’ve caused to the broken families they leave behind.

This, as I read between the lines, is another attempt to demonize the gay community, to blame them for the problems that exist when their relationships fall apart. The criticism isn’t without some merit, and therefore, can’t easily be dismissed. The irony, however, is that equal criticism should be aimed directly at the conservative community which has worked to demonize and dehumanize gay individuals, making it difficult for them to understand their own sexuality, and ignorantly promoting the idea that if you just act straight, you will be straight. Read more

A Restrospective on an Experience

“Let us lay aside both the guns and the roses of idealism.”

I travelled to Venice and Prague this Summer. Both destinations were important to me for different reasons.

While in Prague, I had an experience while touring the Prague Castle and simultaneously listening to my iPod. I’ve created this short video in an attempt to capture the experience and the thoughts and feelings I had while walking through this city.

5 People I’d like to Meet…

Leonardo da Vinci

mp_davincida Vinci transcended the normal constraints of the human experience. The ability to talk art, politics, science, religion, sexuality…and all the while, doing it with style. If I could give him a gift, it would be an Apple iPod. Quote: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”


mp_herodotusHe was asking all the right questions at a time when most others were looking in entirely different directions regarding life, humanity and nature. The ability to ask the right questions is what makes for interesting conversation, and I think he’d provide that in buckets. Quote: “Circumstances rule men; men do not rule circumstances.”

Steve Jobs

mp_jobsThis man has so affected my life and shares such a compatible vision of technology and how we interact with it. Mostly, I’d spend much of my time trying to convince him to bring back the Apple Newton. Quote: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Sade Adu

mp_sadeI can’t explain it. But, I’d want her band to be involved as well. I envision a weekend in Monte Carlo, or in Spain. Good food, great music, passion, tears, and heartbreak. Oh, and we’d have to ride horses as well. Quote: “I know the end before the story’s been told, it’s not that complicated, but you’re gonna need a bullet proof soul.” [NOTE: I got to meet Sade. I write about it here: My Life With Sade]

Somerset Maugham

mp_maughmOf Human Bondage is one of my favorite books. I so identify with Phillip Carey, the lead character, that I think I would likely connect with Somerset Maugham as well. There is a kinship there that I’d like to explore and better understand. And then, I’d like to explore the ideas of human bondage that he wrote about. Quote: “It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched, for they are full of the truthless ideals which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real they are bruised and wounded.”

Other candidates: Carl Sagan, Aristotle, Joseph Smith, Frida Kahlo, Anne Rice, Joseph Campbell, D. Michael Quinn, Kurt Cobain, Jeff Buckley, Karl Popper, Low

To America

I am your son. I have been raised to value and cherish your ideals. I have been raised to fight whenever those ideals are challenged. And this morning, I must draw a line in the sand and give a warning to any who would seek to deny those ideals to me, my family, or my friends.

My brother is gay. He is an American. I will fight to make sure that he is recognized as a full citizen of this country. Any “ideal” that seeks to marginalize his full and unapologetic participation in this country will be met with as much resistance as I can marshal. This is not negotiable.

We will not find common ground so long as your goal is to deny him. If your vision of America does not include my brother, you have set yourself up as an enemy to the ideals of America that I cherish; ideals I learned at your breast.

Aural Fixation

I just can’t get enough of the brit group Zero 7. And, this song describes my mood tonight…

Zero 7: Simple Things: Spinning

Too Busy Gathering Material…

Just a quick note to explain the lack of posting lately…

As a political consultant, this is my busy season, and I’m focusing all of my energy on the race I’m managing.

After losing a very close and politically interesting primary election by 1.35% (I managed Mark Sidran’s bid for State Attorney General–results here), and then being immediately hired to manage a city-wide initiative with only 5 weeks to pull it all together, my mental energy has been tapped.

But, the good news is that I’m gathering lots of ideas for future postings! Check back soon…

Passionate Agnosticism

When asked about my beliefs in God, I describe myself not only as an agnostic, but as a passionate agnostic. Many chuckle when I say this, thinking it an oxymoron. I of course, passionately disagree!

Claimed knowledge should be justified. If we don’t have adequate data to justify a claimed belief, we harm ourselves and our community relative to understanding and furthering our knowledge on that given topic.

I guard my claims of justified knowledge. Relative to the God defined by the religion of my youth, or the God of the religions of my friends, I have found little to support claimed knowledge.

By capitulating on questions of knowledge, by claiming knowledge before we can justify such claims, we do injury to our ability to continue on in the search, unimpeded by falsehoods.

See? I’m justifiably passionate in my agnosticism.