Thursday, 28 April 2005

No Surprise There

Being one of them bloody foreigners, I will not be able to vote at this election and it is a damn shame, believe me! However, I have taken the test. The results are as expectedreally. Go Charles, go!

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:

Liberal Democrat


Your actual outcome:



Labour 16
Conservative -21
Liberal Democrat 66
UK Independence Party -32
Green 40


You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Wednesday, 27 April 2005

Committees committments

What a busy week! Four of my evenings this weeks are taken up by the Chorus. On Sunday evening, was a production meeting for the next show. On monday, we had rehearsal as usual and last night was the first meeting of the Steering Committee. It was quite interesting and I have to say I was quite favorably impressed by the new chair; both his ideas and the effecient way in which he seems to be conducting things. Let's hope this will be a lasting impression.

On Thursday, is the first meeting of my very own committee and people are already dropping like flies! I have already received 5 apologies (out of the 18 people on the mailing list!). Let's hope this is not a comment on my election but rather on the fact that everything was decided at the last minute. I can't really wait to get going. This is promising to be very interesting work, especially if we manage to avoid the sort of drama I have witnessed recently.

Tonight I have the night off and will try and make it to the gym before preparing more for tomorrow's meeting.

On Sunday, I am off to France. While I am not particularly looking forward to it (I am going back to attend my god daughter's communion), I want to try and make it worthwhile and I have already a longish list of things I need/want to do. Hopefully it will be nice...



Wednesday, 20 April 2005

Is The End Nigh?

In this time of Papal upheaval, I thought it would be interesting to bring The Prophecies of Saint Malachy into the debate. Just for fun and to muddle things that tinny wee bit more. :O)


Tuesday, 19 April 2005

Rags To Riches

On Saturday I was toiling away in a dusty basement but on Sunday I was (almost) rubbing shoulder with the elite at the V&A.

I work for the legal services of one of London's councils. Our organisation is one of the few among the London Boroughs' to have been granted the Law Society's LEXCEL accreditation. This was two years ago. Now, each year, Legal Services are submitted to an assessment to make sure that we still comply with the LEXCEL Standards. This is usually the occasion for some furious catching up by many people to make sure that everything they failed to do during the year looks like it has been done regularly after all. To be honest, we should have assessments every month to keep the service running as it should!

Anyway, last week, my former manager, in a different position from the one I currently hold in this place, pleaded with me to help her sort out some of the archived files in the basement. I used to be in charge of that and she claims I am the only one who can do it without her having to keep too close an eye on the proceedings. I am not sure why, but I agreed to this although I loath the place and would like nothing better than to see it exposed for the mess that it is. This is how I ended up spending my Saturday locked in this dark, airless basement sorting through dusty legal files. Not much food for the brain there, trust me. In the end it wasn't that bad. It was something different from what I usually do and because I had my new phone with me which includes a radio, I was able to listen to Radio 4 and then to some music.

On Sunday, I first had a meeting of my reading group. We were trying out a new venue after the cafe we have been using for a couple of year shut down to undergo a "minor refurbishment" which will turn part of it at least into a hairdresser's. Of course the major event in London this week-end was the 25th London Marathon and the street were first empty in the morning when I went to do my weekly shopping and then packed with people when I got to Trafalgar Square in the vicinity of which the new venue is located. As luck would have it, the place which usually opens at 1 did not open till 2 that day (probably to avoid to many people coming in just to use the loos), so we ended up waiting a bit outside, bemused as to what was happening and already thinking about a another place to go to. The meeting in the end went very well with a strong turn out and an interesting discussion. The place will do us nicely too, I think (especially without all the toing and froing due to the marathon). We might even manage to exercise our Pink Pound Musclepower and get then to turn the music down a bit!
It was then time for me to go home and get ready for the next stage of the week-end. The London Gay Men's Chorus was having a posh do to launch their new patron scheme and as possible future chair of Marketing Committee as was attending to give a hand. A selection of 300 or so people (including a few minor celebs: Stephen Twigg, Sandi Toksvig, Brian Paddick, Jasper Conran, Mary King, Gareth Valentine, Clare Summerskill, Linda Bellos, Hamish Clark and Lee Williams) had been invited to a private preview of the new Arts and Crafts exhibition at the V&A and then to partake in canapes and champagne while being serenated by members of the Chorus. The V&A had been very kind by giving us access to their Gamble and Morris rooms. The evening went fantastically well and everybody was full of praises. All the more I think because lots of people came not quite knowing what to expect. I was standing in the Morris Room manning the information table while all the action was taking place in the other room. I did not see much and the evening would have been all in all quite unmemorable for me would not have been for one of the waiters (not sure who cast them, but they have my congratulations. Yum!!!) attending on the our guests that evening. He was quite young (early 20's) with long blond hair and was almost certainly straight. The type who listen to hard rock. After the first set of songs, he came to our table, where copies of our CDs were on sale and asked us if the songs he just heard were on one of the CDs and if we wrote our songs. There was a sort of urgency in his voice as he was asking his questions. He seemed to have been expectedly touched by what he had heard. This might seem quite insignificant but this is what the Chorus is about: not the performances in big venues, not the meeting of celebs, not even the fun we get from it. What the Chorus is about is changing people's lives in that tiniest and most unexpected of ways. This is why the Chorus is important. And this is why I am proud to be a member of it.

And since I am on the subject of the Chorus:
Apart from two performances in Paris as part of the Various Voices conference, the next stop for the Chorus now is our summer show: You'll Do For Now. We have three dates booked at the Cadogan Hall at the end of July. Here is the blurb I have produced for the venue's brochure:

After their sell-out Christmas show at the Barbican Hall and recent success in Paris, the London Gay Men’s Chorus present the premiere of You’ll Do For Now - an unusual exploration of gay life in London since 1945 through dance and an eclectic collection of pop hits and show tunes. This original show guarantees a fantastic evening of laughter, emotion and sheer entertainment in the time-honoured fashion of the 120 strong, world-renowned Chorus.

Well worth coming out for!

This performance will be BSL interpreted for the Deaf.

The show was imagined and put together by one of our members and (from what I understand from the few details we have so far) focuses on the different ways gay guys found to meet over the years, from cottaging to the Internet. I have to say that I am slightly disappointed by the slant the things seems to be taking. I was expecting something more educational and "historical" than what the end result promises to be so far. The show includes songs like Music to Watch Girls By, Another 100 People, Space Oddity, Baby Face and Something Inside So Strong.

Some of these will be used at Various Voices so we have started to learn the stuff for some time now. But last week we really started on You'll Do For Now material and we did so with a bang. The song chosen was one of the most difficult one of the show and also probably one of the most controversial. Even within the Chorus, there were discussions as to whether we should change the lyrics or not. In the true spirit of the Chorus, we are going for it. The song is I Just Wanna Dance from Jerry Springer, The Opera and contains such lines as "I just wanna fuckin’ dance" and "I don’t give a fuck no more, if people think that I’m a whore." Despite that bad language and even after only one rehearsal, i can only tell that is going to be a great number. It truely sounds great and it is such an empowering and liberating song too thanks to these lines: "I'm tired of laughing and I'm tired of crying. I'm tired of failling and I'm tired of all this trying. I wanna do some living cause I've done enough dying."

What more can I say?

I just wanna dance!


The Fever Has Dropped Already

Looks like I am now responsible for the image of the London Gay Men's Chorus. I did get elected last night and although it was not the landslide that other candidates enjoyed, the margin was comfortable enough. That was the easy bit though, it seems.

This morning (the one after the night before), I already got sent back to my basket by members of the Committee who basically told me that they were the professionals and I knew nothing so I'd better shut up. This is technically true but I certainly feel that I was making a valid point (I had the support in this of another professional not involved with the Committee) and they did not raise any argument that convinced me of the contrary. I guess this will be my major problem in this position: my lack of legitimacy in holding it. People seem very timorous in the way they approach the Committee activities or is it just me being too earger and therefore not considering things enough?

But hey! I asked for all this, didn't I? :O)


Habemus Papam

And what a choice it is!!! Benedict XVI aka Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a 78 year old german, is renowned for his rigid orthodoxy, making him once of the worst possible choices for those hoping that the Catholic Church would turn to a more liberal and open minded attitude. In addition to the fact that once again the "third world" (the most important congregation of the Catholic Church) is not represented, the chosen Pope is also clearly homophobe. Here is what Outrage! have to say:
In 1986, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote the infamous Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Ratzinger wrote that a homosexual orientation, even if the person is totally celibate, is a "tendency" toward an "intrinsic moral evil". Moreover, a homosexual inclination is both an "objective disorder" and a "moral disorder", which is "contrary to the creative wisdom of God". "Special concern and pastoral attention should be directed towards those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not." Ratzinger's 1986 Letter concludes that pastoral care for homosexual persons should include "the assistance of the psychological, sociological and medical sciences", and that "all support should be withdrawn from any organisations which seek to undermine the teachings of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which ignore it entirely".
In July 1992, the Vatican issued a further proclamation authorised by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and by Pope John Paul II, entitled "Some Considerations Concerning the Catholic Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons".
This document was designed to mobilise Catholic opinion against equal rights legislation for lesbians and gay men. It describes homosexuality as an "objective disorder" and a "tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil". Rejecting the concept of homosexual "human rights", it asserts there is "no right" to homosexuality; adding that the civil liberties of lesbians and gay men can be "legitimately limited for objectively disordered external conduct".
While condemning "unjust" discrimination, the Vatican document says that some forms of antigay discrimination are "not unjust" and may even be "obligatory": especially with regard to "the consignment of children to adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or coaches, and in military recruitment".
Most shocking of all, the 1992 document suggests that when lesbians and gay men demand civil rights, "neither the Church nor society should be surprised when ... irrational and violent reactions increase".
This implies that by asking for human rights, lesbians and gay men encourage homophobic prejudice and violence: we bring hatred upon ourselves, and are responsible for our own suffering. The Catholic Church, it seems, blames the victims of homophobia, not the perpetrators.
Born in 1927 in Bavaria, Ratzinger was already a professor of theology by the age of 31, holding prestigious positions in Freising, Bonn, Münster, Tübingen, and Regensburg.
Throughout the 1960's he held influential positions on Vatican commissions dealing with church law and education, rising in 1977 to become the Archbishop of Munich and be appointed a cardinal.
In 1981, Ratzinger moved to the Vatican in his position as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he authored the two key homophobic Catholic declarations of 1986 and 1992, endorsing discrimination against lesbian and gay people.


Oh, and did I mention that he was a member of the Hitler Youths and belonged to a Luftwaffe AA battery? Admittedly that does not exactly make him a Nazi but this is close enough to be worrying and to require some explaining...


Monday, 18 April 2005

Gaylection Fever

In 1995, I think, I was elected as a member of the Town Council of my parents' village. I was asked by the mayor if I was interested and basically only had to say yes for it to happen as I was very much elected on my father's good name and reputation. I did not get to do much there, either. I was very junior with no real skills to share and the council's role was more to agree to the mayor's decisions than anything else. Not a very satisfying experience. When I left for this country, I had come to the conclusion that I was usurping someone else's place on that council who could perhaps have done more than I did.

Two weeks ago, I made my first ever "political" speech. By a decision I am more and more starting to question, I was standing for the position of Chair of the Marketing, PR and Merchandising Committee of the London Gay Men's Chorus. I have never really had any dealings with the Committee other than the odd suggestion and the designing of the programme for our Pinner gig in November last year. What decided me, I am not sure. Probably the fact that I have an interest in design and advertising and in promoting the Chorus and its ethos of fighting prejudices and also because I believe I can do better than what people have done so far. There seems to be (like in all the rest of this country) an incredible lack of organisation and common sense in the way things are run. A lack of imagination too.

I have been a bit more involved recently, due to my candidacy, and I have rather enjoyed this but I am worried of "office politics" at which I am really crap. Knowing myself I will probably try to do everything myself (just because it is easier and/or because I don't like what I see and hear) and people will probably not like it. Those touchy queens! There are also a couple of people on the Committee, the quality of whose involvement I am slightly wary of. They are however in a position of power and I am not sure how things will shape up in that respect. My general impression is that people have very low standards in their expectations of the quality of the Committee's work. Because this is a hobby for them, they don't seem to realise what prominence the Chorus has achieved in the past few years especially and therefore do not recognise the need for professional standards in everything that we do; not just in the performances. Of course these are all a priori impressions and things will probably be quite different on the field.

To top it all, it is also one of the first times I will find myself in any sort of prominent position, having to lead people and make decisions. I am rather a behind the scene sort of guy. This should be a very interesting learning curve! And perhaps also a way to get myself out of the professional dead end I am in at the moment.

The election is tonight. I am standing unopposed, except for the dreaded RON (Reopening Of Nominations)....




Thursday, 14 April 2005

Further Reading

With the General elections looming, the Tories trying to drum up poeple's xenophobias and Labour, seemingly following suit, not doing much to raise the debate by producing a different discourse on the subject, I thought these two articles from the Journal of The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce were very much worth reading.

Welcome Opportunity
Uk Immigration policy increasingly focuses on exclusion rather than inclusion. According to Satvinder Juss, however, migrant workers should be recognised as a vital economic and social resource for our society.

Get Wise: The Value of Diversity
As the Uk population gets older and more diverse, employers will have to think proactively about how to remain competitive in the international market.

Monday, 11 April 2005

Body Count - Continued

Read the first part of this post.

I was going to carry from where I left but I think I will just ask people to go and read this fantastic article by Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, which says what I still had to say so much better than I could put it. (thanks to Submit Response for this.)

Finally a bit of comic relief with The Pope's Message From Hell and Saint Pope John Paul George Ringo II.

Update - 13 April 2005
One wish this was comic relief too but unfortunately it is not.


Saturday, 9 April 2005

Body Count

It has not been the best of weeks for prominent octogenarians. After Pope John Paul II (84), it is the turn of Prince Rainier (81) and Saul Bellow (89) to go eat the dandelions by the roots (as they sometimes say in France). It is a sad thing when someone dies but at the same time nothing unusual or unexpected when people get to that age. Still the media are a-buzz with the shocking news when each day millions of other people die in resounding silence of far less natural causes than old age.

As is always the case, too, in those circumstances, the departed are praised to high heaven for all the wonderfully good things they did in their life, while the bad things (they are humans after all) are quickly swept under the carpet. In Rainier's and Bellow's cases the praises, because limited mostly to their work and public personas, are probably quite reasonably given and deserved. Rainier did turn the fate of his small principality and Bellow (whom I must confess I had never heard of), one can assume pretty safely, did not get the Nobel Price for Literature for vacuous reasons.

In the case of the Pope, however, I feel that people should be a little more circumspect in their unmitigated praises. Yes, he was probably a very spiritual man and yes he had considerable influence on the destiny of millions of people. By being instrumental to the end of the Cold War and the dismantling of the Soviet Block and by generally being a voice (and not much more than a voice, it seems) for peace in the world. He also helped develop a strong ecumenical trend in the major world religions. And something that brings people together and encourages them to speak to each other can only be a good thing. As shown in the quote below, he also apologised for some of the Church's past actions, thus implicitly recognising what negative force religions can be.

"During his long reign, Pope John Paul II apologized to Muslims for the Crusades, to Jews for anti-Semitism, to Orthodox Christians for the sacking of Constantinople, to Italians for the Vatican's associations with the Mafia and to scientists for the persecution of Galileo. [...] an Italian journalist compiled a book of more than 90 papal statements of contrition.

Yet victims' groups say the pope never apologized adequately for the most shocking behavior that came to light on his watch: sexual abuse of children by priests and the church's attempts to hush it up. [...]" The Church was at any rate, very slow in reacting to this scandal.

Washington Post

The paedophiliac scandal in the States is the accusation that seem to be coming up most often against the Catholic Church (on the US dominated web anyway) but there many other negative stances taken by its leader, which can be held against it.

Many people agree that John Paul II took the Church backward into a more rigid dogmatic position. Sometimes reverting to before the reforming and modernising Vatican II council which took place in the 60's. This is however matters restricted to the inner workings of the Church and should only concern its members.

Religions and religious leaders for many centuries were the dominant moral guides and although things have now change and it is quite possible to live a moral life outside religious precepts, Churches find it very hard to let go of this moral ascendant they used to hold (and still unfortunately hold with many people). While it is perfectly legitimate for them to air their views and take part in a democratic debate on any issue they feel strongly about (like any other member of society), religious leaders find themselves too often speaking with an authority they do not possess any longer and with expectations of being heard and heeded much greater than what they should be. This recently led the Pope to muddle with the internal politics of sovereign countries in Europe, when he virtually ordered Catholic politicians to do whatever they could to prevent the recognition of gay relationships. This is not acceptable! Any other pressure group behaving in this way would have been told off from every quarter. Religious leaders and Catholic leaders in particular seem however to benefit from some ingrained impunity in this respect, where their views are accepted without being discussed, challenged or put under scrutiny by the media.

There is an interesting contradiction in their teachings by the way. While they claim that Man (and that includes women too, though just about, I would imagine) though created in the image of god, possesses free will allowing him to choose his own actions, they insist on not only telling people what to do but also on forcing them to do what they say they should. Why can't they just let go and leave people choose to do what they want (which includes following the Church's laws)?

To be continued...


Random Googling on the subject:

The Catholic Church's view on gay unions: CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS

John Paul's Conservative Legacy

Vatican Release Pope's Will

Have a look at this article from The weekly newspaper of the Communist Party of Australia.

Here are a few random examples of what the Catholic Church is up to in the US:
Catholic Church Defends Decision About Dead Gay Man
Bishop Apologizes for Denying Funeral to Dead Gay Man
Turning People Away From God's House



Friday, 8 April 2005

Simple!

You will remember my frustration at trying to get any information from the dreaded French administration as to how to get a duplicate copy of my driving licence. In the end I came to the conclusion that I would have to just go there and ask them directly. With this in mind, I had taken today off and this morning got up an hour earlier than usual, got into a bus and faced one of the coldest days we have had for a while to queue in front of the French consulat. I got there a good half hour before opening time and there were already about 20 people shivering in the wind and drizzle.

Finally, they opened the door and I got admitted unto this little bit of French soil. After a cursory search of my bag by a gendarme, I got to the reception desk where I explained my situation. The officer in front of me explained that I would have to make a declaration of loss with the consulat, send this to France to the prefecture which delivered my licence originaly to get some document or other from them which would then allow me to go to the DVLA who, after three weeks, would be in a position to give me a new driving licence. Oh and they would require to keep my passport for those three weeks to be able to do so. I was also informed that some people tried to have a new licence made in France. When, my past frustration surging back from its hiding place, I asked whether there was a more simple way to do things, the man informed me petulantly that it WAS all very simple, before directing me to one of his colleagues who would explain everything to me.

Once in the office where I had been directed and when I asked for the person dealing with driving licences I was told she would be there in a minute. I took a seat and starting to wait. Looking around at the people going about their business, the posters of long obsolete pictures of missing children, boxes of old books in French (one of them, said a label, to be delivered to the "visitors center" of some prison or other), my eyes finally settled on a TV showing the broadcast of The Funeral on the French equivalent of BBC1. I noticed a tall handsome man with a beard, looking like he was an employee there. He was walking down the corridor, when he looked up at one of the TV screens, signed himself and kissed his fingers. Quite an unexpected sight.

Eventually, I found myself in front of a middle aged woman who told me she was not dealing with driving licences (was I hearing right?). she printed out a document explaining what to do and told me to go back to the reception desk where I could make the declaration of loss. I went back there as directed and was told I would have to now wait an hour and did I want to do this. I said I would since I was there, was given a ticket and got directed to the waiting room. All sorts of people were piled up there on unconfortable lines of seats in a grim looking room lighted by overhead neon strips. Another TV was force feeding us The Funeral. I took my book out and tried to blank it out. It felt rather strange to hear people speak French around me. They sounded articifial as if they were taking extra care in pronouncing their words.

After a while (thankfully much less than an hour), a young woman, probably about my age, called my number and took me to her desk. We quickly identified (as I had expected) that I did not have the right documents with me to make the required declaration. I was told I would have to come back but that, this time, things would be more simple as I would be able to book an appointment through the internet. I have now booked the appointment, the earliest available one, on Monday 25th.

And so I was released from the simplicity of French administrative life into the rainy, windy and complicated English morning.


Thursday, 7 April 2005

Contribution

I have found myself commenting a few times on this post recently; engaged in a debate on racism and white privileges.



Wednesday, 6 April 2005

Mirror, Mirror - Light Gender Theory

One often hears that women are more superficial than men because they are the ones who are for ever worrying about their hair and what they are going to be wearing and "does my bum look big in this".

I have my own little theory that they probably are not but that men are (superficial that is). I think women are so conscious of their appearance because for centuries they have been "groomed" (!) by the socially dominant sex (those bastards!) to behave in this way, to try and appeal to them. And that in fact men are the ones obsessed with appearances. Do not women say that the don't really mind what their man looks like as long as he is nice and makes them laugh? Some even profess preferring the Teddy Bear look, whatever that is. Men are all focusing on boobs and bums (the straight and the transgendered ones that is). Of course this gender divide is now getting blurred by the current trend for cultivating the right image and everybody feels the pressure to look good.

I often think that gay men (although a lot of them seem to behave like prepubescent girls) have the same qualities and defects as any other men but that for some reason their personality traits are exagerated, made stronger perhaps by the fact that they grow up and live (read: are pushed) outside normal social rules and constraints. Every homosexual know that the "gay scene" is all about what people look like; all about form no substance. Who is wearing the news clothes of the right type, who has been going to the gym and is able to show off those abs and "does my cock look big in this".

Concretely for me this means that, while I don't even have the excuse of being able to say I am good looking too, I would just rather look (I don't tend to do much more) at good looking people than at mingers when I go out. When I hear about a club or bar described as having "no attitude", I groan and run as I have grown to know that this is a bye-word meaning that most people there are mingers.

I am pleased to say that I have had "offers" from very nice people in my time (intellectually nice, that is) but not people I found physically attractive and while I recognise the importance of intellectual chemistry for a lasting relationship (and I know that for some this only means staying until breakfast!), I also believe that there has to be some physical thang. I therefore had to turn those people down often the detriment of our friendships. I know this is bad to be superficial like that but however much I think about it and try to reason with myself, I can't help what attract me. I am as shallow as the others, what is a boy to do?!


Tuesday, 5 April 2005

Me and Religion

I often talk about religion in here, so here is a way to clarify my position:

You scored as agnosticism. You are an agnostic. Though it is generally taken that agnostics neither believe nor disbelieve in God, it is possible to be a theist or atheist in addition to an agnostic. Agnostics don't believe it is possible to prove the existence of God (nor lack thereof).

Agnosticism is a philosophy that God's existence cannot be proven. Some say it is possible to be agnostic and follow a religion; however, one cannot be a devout believer if he or she does not truly believe.

agnosticism

75%

atheism

71%

Buddhism

58%

Paganism

54%

Satanism

54%

Islam

50%

Christianity

42%

Hinduism

42%

Judaism

33%

Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com

Monday, 4 April 2005

Increments

Now that the rush for the end of the financial year is over, our lovely management people are thinking about rewarding us for the hard work *cough* we did this past year. Today was a special day; we were given our increments directly by the Practise Manager. And very nice chocolates they were too.

Since my line manger is so clueless that I haven't had one single assessment session or review of my Work Plan this year (out of the 4/5 session scheduled), and despite the fact that I have been doing things which did not appear in my job description, these are likely to be the only increments I (and my colleague) will get. Better enjoy them!


Radio 4 on Blogs

Fated Wedding?

Due to the Pope's demise, with everything being cancelled from theatre and cinema performances in Poland to sports events in Italy and Parliament dissolutions in the UK, and now that the funeral date has been set for Friday, should The Wedding be postponed? Perhaps the Pope's death is an act of God to prevent this alliance from happening?!

More on the Pope soon.... (that is the plan at the moment anyway)

Update - 2.45pm
Looks like God's plan is starting to work....

Friday, 1 April 2005

Gay or Not?

There are times when I wonder whether I am really gay or not. Well to be honest I know I am not, not really. I AM a big poof who fancies men, not doubts about that but as for being "gay"! I have been asked to give my Pink card back so many times now, that I know I can not be.

Yesterday evening, I met up with My Friend. We went to Gay's The Word for the launch of a new book: Lust Unearthed - Vintage Gay Graphics from the DuBek Collection, by Thomas Waugh. The author was there with a collection of slides. It was fairly interesting to hear him talk about the little that was known about this worldwide (as in occidental) underground black market of reproduction porn drawings which seems to have flourished from the 1930's to the late 1960's. The drawing themselves, some of them not too bad some of them truely awful, were all quite reminiscent of Tom of Finland (although not inspired by him) and are all your filthy minds imagine they can be. They did not do much for me to be honest. I like pictures better. I am too literal for drawings in those matters it seems!

Anyroads as they say "op norf". After the event we quickly absconded to, you might have guessed: good old Wong Key. On the way there, probably because he is more of a poof than me, My Friend started talking about Prince Charles' latest tiff with the press. From there we moved to The Wedding and how, according to My Friend, it will create problems in Australia and other countries where she would become queen. He mentioned India as one such country. This seemed odd to me and I told him so as I was pretty certain the India is an independant country and had therefore nothing to do the British Royals any more (India IS a republic)). We discussed this for a while before arriving at Wong Key.

We were sent "upstairs" to the second floor and, as is usual, had to share our table with other customers. Last night we got what obviously a couple of guys. One, about our age, with one of those funny haircuts which made him look like he had been attacked by clippers on a rampage rather than having stepped into a salon. The other was much holder and I believe French, though I am not quite sure. We ordered our usuals and started talking about this and that.

After while it became apparent that, like us earlier, our neighbours were talking about the wedding. However, unlike us, they did not digress into constitutional law. Like good gay "boys" that they were they stared discussing what Camilla was going to wear for The Wedding. I am sad to say I can not report here what their, I am sure, highly qualified opinion on the subject was. My non-gay genes must have taken over at the point and I stopped listening.

So what do you think she'll be wearing then?