Saturday, May 20, 2006

Fun in the sun and a rant on the side

So tonight, Jonathan and I are having a PJ party.

Quite literally, actually.

Jon's little brother Pierre-Joel is making a pit-stop in New Westminster for the weekend, on his way home from a friend's wedding in Seattle.

He will be the very first overnight visitor in our new house and we are very excited. Here are some of the things we plan to cram into the next ... 24 awake hours that we have together:

- the Grouse Grind
- the Afghan Horsemen
- the Vancouver Aquarium
- Cafe Artigiano (for Art Lattes of course)
- Jericho Beach or the Spanish Banks
- Stanley Park
- Granville Island Brewery
- La Casa Gelato (think 508 flavours available 24-7-365)

Of course, many of these activities are highly weather contingent and all are zero-sum (i.e. if we do one, it's also at the expense of another) but I'm pretty confident that we'll make a decent dent into that list. Sadly, there are so many other things that didn't make the cut - like fish & chips in Steveston, a ferry ride to Vancouver Island, shopping in West Vancouver, dining in Kitsilano ...

PJ - you will just have to move here. That's really the only option.
In other news, my sister Nat is in Montreal visiting a friend and has promised to bring us back bagels from St Viateur, which is enough to make anyone droolably jealous. As you should be. Come visit in the next week and you can have a bite!

Other than that, not much going on here. We cleaned today, and went for an hour walk along the Fraser river yesterday evening. Our walk was followed by Brokeback Mountain, a movie I think even the staunchest supporter of the religious right could be moved by. At least ones that still retain some of their humanity.

Speaking of which, [FOREWARNING: I AM TOTALLY SWITCHING GEARS HERE INTO SOMETHING MORE DARK AND DANGEROUS] I came across this, this week and I gotta tell you, this book - "It's Perfectly Normal" - has stirred quite the controversy in the American Christian circles. As a side note, I would like to say that its interesting the way that socially right wing associations have appropriated "family" and "values" and "Christianity" all for themselves. How terribly greedy. Some of us non-ethnocentric, non-homophobic, non-sexist folk like families and values and jesus bobbleheads too. We just like them for entirely different reasons.

Anyways, if you go here, you'll see my point. And if you don't, my point is, many Christian organizations down south are appalled because the book and pushing to ban it's publication because 1) includes cartoon pictures of children and thus qualifies as "kiddie porn" - seriously, those are their exact words; 2) includes cartoon drawings of adults having... sex... which is entirely inappropriate in a book about sexuality; 3) doesn't denounce homosexuals as evil but instead emphasizes that homosexual feelings are normal and natural and not to be ashamed of; 4) discusses issues such as birth control, abortion, and masturbation, and has the audacity to encourage the latter (masturbation) as "normal and natural" and providing frank information about the former (birth control and abortion).

I would just like to say that when I have children, this is exactly the kind of book I want my eight-year old reading. It's about time the religious right faces the facts: all of us are - normally and naturally - sexual beings; our children are ready to know this at any age; given that more than half of our population bleeds profusely once a month, menstruation needs to stop being a woman's private, dirty, inappropriate matter. In fact, I submit that the whole of women's reproductive system - from nursing in public, to NOT covering up menstrual cramps as a stomach ache, needs to be normalized.

It's crazy that in an age which information is so important - for mothers to make the right decision regarding unexpected pregnancy, for young boys and girls to overcome the shame of masturbation, for daughters and sons to have self-respect and to be informed about the options and emotional and physical risks corresponding to a wide range of intimacies - it is being censored by politically powerful (the word "powerful" can not be overstated here) Conservative Christian organizations such as Focus on the Family and the American Family Association. In an area (sex) where information and the dispelling of myths is the most important tool for children and young adults to make healthy life choices, the religious right finds frank, unbiased, accurate, and value-free (leaving parents to instill whatever values they wish to regarding abstinence, abortion etc.) information to be the reason behind promiscuous behaviour. That is birth control causes abortions and morning after pills cause premarital sex. Heck, the Fraser Institute once wrote that welfare causes single mothers, because with state social support, single women have both an incentive to get pregnant and a disincentive to find a husband (or marry their abusive boyfriend, perhaps?).

Information and access to contraception for the religious right is the source of all promiscuous behaviour. Naked cartoons of children are child porn, and visual depictions of sexual intercourse to explain sex to children are, by their account, deplorable.

This is a real issue. The rights of heterosexuals, homosexuals, and especially women are currently being challenged all over the United States and to some degree in Canada too. With the demise of the welfare state (i.e. national programs that support families, predominantly mothers), with increasing political attacks on sexuality and women's reproductive rights south of us, and with the rise of extreme-right parties in the U.S. and Canada in recent times (Alliance, Reform, the governing Conservatives?), it astounds me that we aren't talking more not only about this attack on our sexuality, but as well the appropriation by the religious right, of what it means to the rest of us to "be Christian", to "have values" and to be "a family".

I am totally enraged but entirely psyched for our weekend of fun.


Anonymous neilesh said...

So sad.

That a masters degree could go to such a waste.

Let me just clear up some very basic rules since you seem to have failed common sense 101:

If guys dont know what masturbation is, they will never masturbate. I think that one is pretty easy to explain. And really, the catholic church has allready shown us: who needs masturbation when you have altar boys?

Continuing on, clearly, if young women are unaware of their menstrual cycle, they will be unable to perform the only acceptable form of birth control (family planning) and clearly, will refrain from sex.

This all seems fine and dandy to me. I dont see the problem? well. Actually I do. Why ban? I suggest a book burning session. How many copies has this devil book sold? I vote we collect them all. So we can burn them. (Hope Emma doesn't have a fit about that grammar - but mine is only an eng deree :P) And roast marshmellows while singing Jesus Love You (with of course, the disclaimer that this message doesn't apply to: gays, muslims, atheists, gay atheists, gay muslims, single mothers, those who like loud music, those who have gay friends, those who have read that DaVinci Code, those that have seen the DaVinci code, those that have had sex in any position other than missionary, and finally, those that are gay (yes, it needs to be mentioned twice))

I think this comes down to a very simple, basic issue.

If we dont give them condoms, they wont have sex. I think that one is also pretty self explanatory.

And so we damn well better not give them these books.. or else we will have tons of 8 year olds running around humping each other. Unless we give it to them while its burning. God's fiery wrath delivered right to their doorsteps. Maybe with some complementary kerosene oil for all the gay little children.


(This was of course, written in jest.. for those who dont know me :P)

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i see you've discovered hyperlinks.

and i miss st. viateur bagels.

- brendan

12:21 PM  
Anonymous isaac said...

Hey now! Let's just all agree to disagree.

p.s. There's another position other than missionary? Maybe I should stop watching that Baptist Porn channel.

1:58 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

Greetings from Atlanta, y'all. In my neck of the woods this is considered pornography:

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/ /;' ./____
------/ /-/ -. \----------.
__/ / \ ~-.. \ \
`~ ~~ `--.._ ). \ \
- - - - - - - - : /- \ \ - - - - -
| / (_ \_
/ / ~--~
`' `' `' `' `'( \`' `' `' `' `' `'
~._\ \_/

1:23 AM  
Blogger Gujustud said...

"who needs masturbation when you have altar boys?"?



3:12 PM  

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