The later problem is clearly on my side of the line. What is not clear to me, as I ponder this, is whether it is the Gay Community that Scares Folks or is the real problem just one more form of xenophobia? The threat that there are those other than those like US.
As my friends understand, I am fundamentally gay-neutral. It remains so comical when friends go fish-eyed and say things like,
But didn't you know that .... was GAY!and all I can say is, "no, was there some reason that I was suppose to?" Let us be honest, I have enough issues on my plate as it is, I need to haul around a matrix of who likes what? Granted I must confess that at least the folks in the gay community were less stressful when I came back to the world, as they had a simpler approach to my 'core issues'
Covert OpsWhich is clearly better than the unresolved emotional baggage that the Het Community was hauling around about whether or not they were 'man enough' for which ever thingusOfPooh was yanking their crank.
In The Closet
So of course at times there are a few cultural conflicts that arise from this posture. Like the time I had to explain to my friends that I am all into 'kamp' - but this with tents and trees and outdoor privies - is just TOO Kampy...
The upside of course is that I get to have "girl's day out", as we did yesterday, ruth and I, as we moved the first round of stuff into the new crib, then up to IKEA to do some serious power shopping. What most folks don't get is that it is the social context and not the volume of junk that one acquire that puts the 'power' into 'power shoping'. Needless to say when ruth had mentioned this to her sister-in-law, there was the inevitable 'that sounds like a guy geek day...' So clearly there are still some issues that the 'feminist side' of the line is still sorting out. But we will leave those things on that side of the line.
So while we didn't get anything tangible for my place, we did get some stuff that Ruth Really Needed. What I got was one of those unpleasant reminders that in america some things are still a bit too scary for folks. As you might imagine IKEA is an experience, one that one just has to do for the experience. Needless to say It was just TOO HARD for me to keep a straight face in the freaking context. All I could think about were all of the queens I have known, and all of their collective advice on how to really shop, and what goes with what, and how one really does interior design. So the 'straight face' fell to the floor and I started to have way too much fun with all of the toys in the toy store and what could be done...
In the middle of all of this, I had the usual knee-jerk reaction... I would explain it to Ruth over dinner. I think I have finally been able to wrap my head around a part of the problem. When I am 'moving a package' through a space - the package is the highest value target in the space - and I have a sufficient modesty blaze that I presume i can keep the package safe. But when it is just ME in the space, I AM the highest value target in the space. An interesting Gestalt for me personally. It may sound egotistical in some respects. But underneath all of the professionalism, that is the emotional reality.
I noticed this problem, because the same skills I use 'in shopping' to quickly decide on what is worth it, and what is not, is, well the same set of skills I use 'in a hunt'. They are for me 'hunting behaviors' - whereas the 'shopping experience' in full on foppery is about the experience, the joy of living, the fact that we are having another day above ground, and this in the company of friends.
Normally I talk about the problems on the HetBoy side of the line as their usual crisis about whether or not they are Man Enough - sometimes this comes out in overt 'homophobia' and actual acts of violence, because the poor HetBoy is panic'd and deems the threat to be imminent enough to require a pre-emptive strike.
We have seen less of the usual attacks on the anti-war crowd for not being 'man enough' as we did during the vietnam era, but the inference remains there, that some how majikally, war makes men of boys. I of course have fun with that notion given the number of folks who want to be so patriotic and yet still in the rear with the beer. So the usual underpinning of homophobia may have been toned down in america because of the lack of an active draft picking only the best available prime beef. Or it could be that so many americans have wandered into the space that while they can 'love the sinner and hate the sin', and they are not ready yet to deal with what makes a marriage a marriage, the old saws about being a 'faggot assed nancy boy' are no longer as stinging in the land of MetroSexuals. But I will defer this matter to those who have had to deal more directly with the sorts of NeoCons who are that stoopid.
My friend dr_strych9 must be blamed for re-introducing me to the term foppery - and if you have not googled it, try it, you will like it.... But I would like to re-introduce this phrase back into american culture as a way of helping those of us who are RetroSeXuals cope with the current Collapse of the MetroSexualists in these current grave and desperate times. As you can imagine, given my druthers, I would rather be prancing around with a collection of fops concerned about our appearance, literary wit, erudition and urbanity - than working on someone's chest chanting 'breath mother F...., breath' as we deal with Your Friend the Sucking Chest Wound and all of the small social unpleasantries that go with the introduction of low velocity shrapnel into a bag of mostly water.
In like manner, I would rather be worrying about which IS more kitschier, this or that consumer grade product, than wondering where the snipers will be positioned, and which of several places I would choose to park and IMD is today's lucky winner in the daily contest of "we have news and information...."
But I have the luxury of knowing these things for myself. I do not have the glorious illusions that some how majikally, mystically, and probably only metaphorically, doth war make men of boys. There is that complication when I think about this problem that the veteran's community by it's very nature is an ever decreasing minority. Even with the american habit of trying to stay fresh and contemporary, and having these fun filled little extravaganza's on a semi-regular basis. But clearly the happier times when we could have those manly male heMan masculine gatherings where we would slaughter all before us have just painfully come and left. It is so not cost effective.
Oh dear. That must really be depressing to all of those who were raised on the whole Idolatry of the WWII Veterans, the "greatest generation EVER!" and the really emotionally traumatizing notion that they will never be able to be half the man that those folks were - because war made men of boys, and those RealWars[dm] came and left. The Baby Boomers still appear totally unresolved in themselves about how to cope with their last positions on ThatVietnamThingiePoo, and are hoping, desperately Hoping, that the withdrawl from ThatIraqiThingiePoo will be quick enough to allow them to avoid having to worry all that much about the damage already done to their sense of Machismo for having sat this one out as well.
Oh dear.... Oh Dear! Oh Dear! What ever will we do...
All of those flag wavers, and so few of them were actually willing to step up and validate their manhood.
That has so gotta Suck.
Oh, hold it, if that sucks, then doesn't that mean someone was cramming their cultural experience down their throat???
But was it really the Gay Community? The mere existence of which was suppose to be so startling and threatening?
Or is the problem here the culture clash with the shift in Military Technology since the Wonders of D-Day, married to the failure of the Super Sekret V-Veapons to prevent the Soviets from taking out Berlin? So that while the glorious and romantic days of the FDR trumped up war are still, well, that Golden Era. We're just not going to see that sort of fun ever again.
That problem with the 'true america' IS in place whether or not there are any homosexuals in america. So why blame the gay community for the bouncing reality check?
Granted, without the gay community, there would still be the problem of "true manhood" in a world where one can not achieve it through combat. There will always be those who are just not 'as manly' as the RealMen[dm]. As I have been rude enough to note, those victims of chickenhawk angst who have spent 'the war' hiding behind the skirts of the likes of Lyndie England, these must be such a psycho-sexual angst driven time. But again, that is a problem of their own making, and does not require that we actually have a gay community.
I feel that it is relatively safe to drop the 'gay community' from the matrix of 'issues' - since, well, it appears that the HetBoy Kultur is having a hard enough time dealing with their own issues on their side of the line. Merely fobbing off their angst on the Gay Community is just, well, a foppish fashion faux paux.
So if we are going to deal with the unpleasantry that the advances in modern military technology have overrun the ability of the HetBoy community to cope with their issues - then, gosh, why not deal with that issue as the critical facet in the crisis that IS the 21st Century. The current gamboling about 'terrorist threats' - gosh, does anyone really believe that the massive technological firepower that a 1st world nation like the USofA has can't deal with these little upstarts? Or is the real problem here that vastly unpleasant problem that for some reason the pansies in America are all squimish about waging another nuclear war to total victory?
We asked them before we went into Iraq, so why exactly DO you folks want Dead, Maimed and Wounded GI's when we could just as easily Nuke First and Ask Questions Later. But as we have all noticed - that would only "solve" the stated public geo-political issue, it would not resolve this underlying issue about "manly male manhood". But of course, back then, it was suppose to be such a lovely glorious little war. None of this messy stuff about people willing to take up arms against an occupation force, as if the Iraqi had their own Militia Movement willing to take on the Blue Helmeted One Worlders...
So what if there is really something to the whole Glory of Foppery?
Hum. Base our sense of Manhood on the fact that we are the persons who Haul Around the Throbbing and Tumultuous Tuber Of Truth! Unlike NonMalePerKin who do not have the Divine Divining Rod Of Riotous Realism!
Music: "I Need A Man" - Eurythmics
Maybe Annie Lennox Had ISSUES with scottsmen or something?
What if being a RealMan[dm] was never as easy to resolve? No majik formulae. No simple to follow instruction guide?
Why gosh, wouldn't that mean that MalePerKin were humans first, and what ever next?
Maybe that problem with the 'true america' - that land of immigrants from somewhere else - carries with it the very problem of how to be from some place, if one has never left the place one has always been in? What if the 'true ameria' has also always had it's problems about what to be first, and how one gets from there to the next place.
If we drop the whole "He Man Woman Haters" Club motif from spanky and our gang, will that really make us less Manly? Since, gosh that would mean leaving us in the Clutches of NonMalePerKin to define who was More RealMan[dm].... Clearly we can not do that... Since the True Individualist could never leave their sense of self definition in the hands of Another, now can they?
Ah yes... Formalizing an Effective Theory of Foppery is clearly not as easy as it would seem.
This may help explain why it is simpler to whine about the existence of HomoZeXuals as the root cause of all of the WhateverOnWhomever that has been so emotionally traumatizing to everyone... The alternative would be to implement some policy of personal responsibility, and that clearly is going to take a whole LOT of work.