Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mortality and TMI

I am already somewhat preoccupied with thoughts of death -- not necessarily my own death, but that too. To quote Anne Sexton, who was also consumed with thoughts of death (and, unlike me, suicidal thoughts), "Death's been here for a long time."

In recent days death has been at the forefront of the news with the passing of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcet, and Michael Jackson (the latter of which has already been venerated beyond that of kings and prophets...he may be buried in a pyramid). And now pitchman Billy Mays to boot!

All are sad losses, as is any death really, all those countless deaths that happen every day to people we don't know. A friend's dad died recently to boot, and his death is as important to me (and of course, my friend and her mother) as the death of any celebrity. Of course he was not an international superstar so an obituary in the Charlotte Observer was all that was warranted alongside some private grief...a luxury that the families of Ed, Farrah, and most notably Michael don't get a whole lot of.

For Ed McMahon, I felt a sense of sadness of course, but also a sense of calm at the normality of his deaath. He wasn't drug addled, or tortured by his fame and fortune, or even surprising. I don't mean to diminish what his friends and family must be feeling at all, but he was old -- and that is the way we're all "supposed" to go -- death by old age.

Farrah and Michael on the other hand, were somewhat surprising and shocking. Farrah, a victim of cancer, and Michael a victim of, for lack of a better word, "lifestyle". (I detest the word "lifestyle" as mentioned in my Adam Lambert post, but work with me here.) Then Billy Mays apparantly fell victim to a freak accident at a young age -- the same age as Michael.

I think this particular series of deaths has made me think even more about mortality and what lies beneath the thin veil of human survival is that I have a little in common with the last three. Similar to Farrah (but luckily not actual cancer), I have had "precancerous conditions" that will require monitoringg for the rest of my life (and it's just obscure enough that I will have trouble finding anyone here in Charlotte who knows what I'm talking about, which was a major consideration before I moved but I moved anyway). Like Michael, I certainly do not have the best mental, sexual or physical health. And like Billy, I'm prone to freak accidents.

This all comes up at a time, too, when I'm facing a major lifestyle change. The thought of having no income -- which will happen in the next sex or seven months -- scares me, and while I will be full-time job hunting (and trying to exploit some ideas I have for business and income generation), I will be thinking about the death of that period of my life, and how somewhere up ahead in the timeline death waits inevitably for me, and for us all.

It's freaky to be alive knowing that one day you won't be.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson, 1958 - 2009

I was sincerely shocked and saddened to learn that Michael Jackson died yesterday. Some of my earliest memories are of Michael Jackson in his hey day – the era of Thriller, the sparkling glove, the steps lighting up in the “Billie Jean” video, and my brother owning the “Beat It” zipper jacket.

All of the eulogies include a bit about the inescapable fact that Michael Jackson became increasingly weird over the years. The internet is filled with a sense of profound loss over the death of Michael Jackson, many with the caveat that his scandals should not diminish the memory of his greatness.

I have read disagreement, as well, with something I believe to be simply and obviously true: Michael Jackson was a genius of the performing arts. As for his scandals, I think that he deserved the courtesy of their context. For one thing the way overblown “dangling baby” incident. Would my parents, for example, have been the subject of an international outcry for all the times I rode in the bed of a pick up truck, or for all the times I was literally flung into the air and caught on my way down?

Overshadowing his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley (who posted a very sweet blog on her MySpace about his death), his weird names for his kids, his baby-dangling, and his extreme physical transformation over the years were of course the child molestation allegations.

I am one of the few people on the Earth who still give him the benefit of the doubt over that. I of course was not there and do not know, but my perception has been that Michael was still searching for his lost childhood – he said as much on numerous occasions and even in song – hand that he was not a predator but infantile, asexual. Being a “weirdo” and unfathomably rich would make him a target for such accusations – and in many ways he set himself up for those accusation by allowing kids into his home, perhaps creepily acting as if he were one of them, and seeming to fail to grasp the concept of what made other adults uncomfortable with his interest in young boys. All that said, accusations of being a sexual abuser stick, true or not. And, true or not, it’s sad that those accusations will always be a part of his biography.

I am a little surprised by how sad I am over the death of Michael Jackson. He has been a bonafide superstar since before I was alive, well into my adulthood, with his pinnacle happening around the time I was becoming aware of my own identity. He was too young to die, yet too old to be rehearsing for his upcoming mega-shows in London. As someone else wrote (can’t find my source), he didn’t get a childhood or an old age.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Very sad.

I Love Alaska

The thought of anyone seeing my search strings for the last five days, let alone the last five years, is kind of scary. This happened to 650,000 AOL users in 2006, when AOL inadvertently published a text file containing the contents of their searches (almost as scary is the fact that there were still 650,000 AOL users in 2006). Yet, I Love Alaska, a minimovie piecing together User 711391’s search strings into a story of sorts, is strangely compelling and heartbreaking.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Buffy versus Edward Cullen

If only! Better than the actual Twilight movie.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I took the offer.

Will be made known to coworkers when I return week after next.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Should I stay or should I go?

Hello, Internet. Just taking a minute to blog. My travel schedule has been very busy this month. I had a great time in South Africa, and I will write all about it later (maybe, you know how that goes). I will say that whatever happens with my current job, I think my calling may be to go to Africa and teach the people about HIV/AIDS. The misconceptions there, even among the elite, are mind boggling. Even their PSA's are kind of backward and unhelpful as far as knowledge dissemination is concerned. How has the educational effort failed on the continent? I am not sure but I would love to be involved in solving that problem.

Right now I'm in Orlando, FL. It happens to be "Gay Days" here and I swear I didn't plan this. Anyway, I went out and saw Tiffany perform at the Parliament House last night. Can you believe it, she's still new songs...and of course "I think we're alone now" which is all I remember of her the first time. I always meet people in Orlando, and after all my work was done yesterday I met a really cute sweet little guy and he called me today. Of course, I've been slutting around town a little and feeling guilty, used up and worthless over it, but that's par for the course for me...and anyone I ever meet worthwhile lives no where near me.

That's neither here nor there, but speaking of the work and potential lay off saga, we got this letter from the Supreme Commander of the organization that they are going to start asking for "voluntary seperations" and this whole explanation of how that will work, before they do "involuntary seperations" i.e. "lay offs". I emailed the HR lady to clear some things up and I'm considering doing it...I just don't know what to do though, and how in the world I'm going to manage to get all my ducks in a row considering the financial obligations I have not the least of which is a mortgage.

Well I'm thinking about a little nap here and then going out later, to see if the guy wants to hang out or what not. Oh lord, it's just another day on the Butch Stroll...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Top of the mornin' to ya.

Up so early, down so late
coffee coffee coffee makes no easy escape
for sleepy sauce pan eyes
that refuse whatever you ask.
The dishwashing machine does its single task.
The day has poured
light onto my crime.
Eight hours to do what I do:
waste all of my time.

Monday, June 01, 2009

During a solid 40 hours of flying round trip to South Africa with stops in Dakar and Atlanta,

I saw the following movies on a tiny screen in the back of someone's headrest

Yes Man (B-)*
Hotel for Dogs (LOL...cute little kids movie loaded with hyperbole)*
Changling (B+)
Doubt (B+)
Benjamin Buttons (B)
Frost/Nixon (A)
The Wrestler (B)
Milk (A-) (I had seen it already.)

Hmm...trying to think of others. I watched an episode of Dexter and Family Guy.

*these two were on a flight where there was no personal screen and therefor no choice of film to watch

P.S. Who knew the liquor on international flights is COMPLIMENTARY? This changes everything...