Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Rebirth Of Catholicism

The Dish

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I am, I must confess, still reeling from Pope Francis’ new, lengthy and remarkable interview. I can barely believe that these words – so redolent of Jesus’ – are coming from the new Bishop of Rome, after so long an absence. Although the Pope is unfailingly respectful of his predecessor, let no one doubt the sharpness of Francis’ turn away from the dead end of Benedict. His message is as different as the context. Where Benedict, draped in ornate vestments, spoke from the grand edifice of the Vatican, Francis is in the same simple hostel in which he was ensconced during the Papal Conclave. Why?

Community. I was always looking for a community. I did not see myself as a priest on my own. I need a community. And you can tell this by the fact that I am here in Santa Marta. At the time of the conclave…

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The Gay Wrestlers Of Mexico

The Dish

Eric Nusbaum explores the evolving culture of the exótico:

Mexico’s professional wrestling tradition, known as lucha libre, is a deeply ingrained part of the national culture. Exóticos have long been a part of that tradition: wrestlers who dress in drag and kiss their rivals, never quite revealing whether the joke is on their opponents, themselves or conservative Mexican society at large. Most working today are gay members of an often ostracized minority for whom lucha libre is a statement of pride, or at least a campy, unrestrained extension of self. …

The old-time exóticos had been straight men harping on tired gay clichés. In the mid-1980s, that began to change. A new generation of openly gay wrestlers reveled in the exótico’s sexuality, coyly tweaking stereotypes to confront the audience with the idea that being gay could be something more than a stage joke. They also ushered the exótico out…

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My Running Commentary While Watching “Life 2.0,” a Documentary About Second Life

A couple where she is rather plain and he has gray hair — I thought everyone who did Second Life had characters that look like pro wrestlers (the muscled up kind) and “Baywatch” actresses.
A real estate agent shows luxury homes that you can buy in Second Life . . . Now, I’ve seen it all.
A Second Life tabloid magazine that covers news and celebs in Second Life. Um, wow. NOW, I’ve seen it all.
A woman talks about how she has a fashion line and a skin care line and stores where people can buy her products. While I cannot wrap my head around the idea of buying clothes for an online character — skin care?!? Huh?
A guy in shadow, as if he is a government whistle blower, talks about how he plays an eleven-year-old girl in Second Life. Okay, playing a female character is one thing, but why did he make her a child?
There’s a scene of the eleven-year-old character dancing in a nightclub — why? — I guess they don’t have bouncers in Second Life.
The guy who plays the eleven-year-old girl has a (really understanding) girlfriend who is shown fully in regular light. I wonder what her friends and family said to her after this came out.
The guy doing the documentary shows himself as a Second Life character aiming a video camera. We’re through the looking glass, people.
The eleven-year-old character goes to an elementary school where other people’s characters are the teachers and students. She plays soccer.
There are, it turns out, a lot of other people who play children characters. Some of them are developed by people who have developed whole families and some of them are by people who have only one character.
Apparently, the child characters have slumber parties.
There are “adoption centers” in SL where SL characters can get adopted by other SL characters.
The skin care/fashion lady goes to a house for sale where she talks to a real estate agent.
The guy who plays the eleven-year-old girl bought a lot of weapons and a suicide bomber vest and went around killing other characters. I guess we all knew that this was not going to end well.
The powers-that-be put him (her?) on a 24-hour suspension. He says how he did it to get suspended because he couldn’t control his habit of going on SL, and his life was going downhill, so he went on a killing spree hoping he would get suspended.
The fashion/skin care businesswoman says she makes six figures in real life U.S. dollars from the sale of her products in her SL businesses.
She lodged a complaint that people were bootlegging her products, then it turned out that the problem went beyond just her.
I find myself wondering if I could get a job writing for the SL magazine if I created a character.
The SL couple left their real-life spouses for each other. I feel bad for the spouses. Imagine having to tell the people in your life that this is why your spouse left you.
The guy w/the girl character said they decided together when would be her last day on SL. She throws a party where she d.j.’s at a nightclub with the other kids to say goodbye to them.
She gives her clothes and toys to other kids. That’s nice of her.
This whole thing makes me sad. I guess being discontented in your real life, but . . . this seems to pale in comparison so much compared to . . . actually doing things in real life with actual people.
There’s a guy with a beard and a leather jacket standing behind the eleven-year-old. This looks creepy to me, but apparently they’re friends.
She says her final goodbyes. She says there are only ten minutes left until her death. She disappears. The guy deletes the character.
Six people who had their intellectual SL properties copied hired a real-life lawyer to file a lawsuit against the main guy who it turns out was ripping them off and selling the bootlegs, They won. The guy’s character was a blond Adonis surfer, but the real guy does not look like that. Shocked, I tell you! I am shocked!
The woman of that couple said, “This was supposed to be Utopia, and it sucks now!” I’ll let everyone analyze that on their own.
There is so much creativity, so much artistry in all of this. People designing characters and clothes and homes and businesses. I wonder if some of these people, who have spent over twelve-hours at a time online as these characters ever thought that they could write novels or something with all that time they put into SL.
Some people (e.g. the fashion/skin care lady) make money off of SL. Some of them (e.g. the guy with the girl character) don’t.
The guy with the girl character and his girlfriend are breaking up. I wonder if he’s going to relapse and make another minor girl character.
The couple who left their spouses for each other are having problems with their relationship and getting along in the real world.
There’s a nice scene of them gardening. I find myself asking them in my head, “Isn’t this better than Second Life?”
Then, they get into an argument.
These people are going to be meeting each other IRL in Las Vegas.
I think of the line from “Paradise Lost” about it being better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.” I wonder if it better to have an awesome online life if one cannot have an awesome real life than to not have an awesome life at all?
The documentary has not mentioned how unhealthy it is to sit at a desk for all of those hours, whether one is in SL or writing a novel or whatever else.
How do people even have time for this? I mean, if they have jobs and stuff. I always wish I had more time for reading, writing, yoga, martial arts, lifting weights . . . everything. I do not have enough time for all of the things I want to do in my real world. I get that these people want something more than their regular lives, but trying to make your real life better does not leave much time for second lives. Trying to be who I want to be in real life takes every waking second.
Things take a darker turn for several of these people.
I wonder if there are mental health care professionals or clergy in SL world for them to talk to in character.

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September 20, 2013 · 3:07 am

Some Nice Tips For Old And New Bloggers

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Francis of Assisi

Film adaptation of the life of Saint Francis Assisi, a knight and son of a wealthy merchant, who turned his back on both violence and materialism.

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September 19, 2013 · 7:41 pm

Posting Movies

If you’re like me, then you sometimes feel like your values are being assaulted when you watch contemporary American TV shows and movies. 

Due to that, I am making it a point to post videos of movies that do not do so, which are often older movies. 

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Bullied

Great poem from Nae’s Nest:

Nae's Nest

Why hold me back, why not listen, see or hear

 I mean something.

I am here.

I am as real as you.

Yet I feel I am made of wax.

A poor reflection of what might have been.

A mere rejection of the past.

A reminder of what might have been.

Bullied from the start.

Never able to fit.

 Capturing my heart.

Holding it hostage.

Stabbing at its beat.

Hating my heritage

Trying to stop my song.

Stop my beat.

Why, I want to know?

What have I ever done?

Why does your darkness show?

Why all the hate?

The rewards of love are so much greater.

The reward is Heaven’s gate

Hate is lonely.

A deserted highway.

Crowded and alone.

With no one who cares.

Hate is full of pain.

 Inflicted on others.

Filled with grief and despair

If only I had been given voice.

If only I could…

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Real Redneck Approach to Gay People

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September 16, 2013 · 11:23 pm

New Movie About Mother Teresa

Megan Fox plays Mother Teresa!

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September 16, 2013 · 1:47 am

Real Christianity and Jewish People

Too often Christianity and the Bible are used and to justify malice toward people based on race, religion or sexual orientation, when in reality not only are such usages perversions of what is really being said in scripture by both selectively choosing text and then twisting the text’s true meaning, but bigotry toward gays, Jews and people of different racial and ethnic groups is forbidden to Christians.

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September 15, 2013 · 8:50 pm