I'm about as good at keeping my thoughts to myself as you'd imagine I was. A bevy of friends and an intellect capable of using the word “bevy” in a sentence correctly have not better equipped me to avoid those awkward situations where I unthinkingly upset or offend people by tearing apart the things they love in violent, verbal outbursts of rage and liberal arts hubris. Some of my more “clued in” friends have been Pavlovically conditioned to put a drink in front of my face whenever I say the words “well, you see, it's sexist because...”. This seemed to do the trick and yea there was peace o'er the land. But then I moved to California from my birth religion of poolhallism to karakeology, and lo many beloved companions were lost to the gnashing of teeth amidst that infinite darkness. I now enter the bar alone in a paralyzed fearlessness, like an actress hosting a press conference without a publicist. It is inevitable that I will say something icily ignorant. My notoriety depends on it.

Some time ago, between now and when Michael Steele was still scientifically considered “human” (I refrain from using exact dates, lest the people mentioned in this anecdote put two and two together, find me, and give me a stern talking to), I was in a bar with some friends, drinking and chortling in appreciation at the modern performance art that served as our entertainment (talk-singing “Light My Fire” by The Doors could perhaps be the single greatest deconstruction of modern music since Richard Cheese). By chance, the subject of retro video gaming came up. I said “by chance” because we didn't all have gags, tongues, or genitalia in our mouths: when a gaggle of queers get together, video games can be expected to come up in conversation 9 times out of 10, the 10th being the aforementioned orgiastic fantasy. So anyway. I'm really trying to be better about these outlandish tangents. Doing the time warp by to when I still had a point...

We were talking about retro games, a subject that I am very involved and invested in. I have a personal blog devoted to the subject, and I've just begun conceptualizing a gallery show/installation called “The 8 Bit Medicine Show” (same as the blog). My love of retro gaming has influenced my philosophy in regards to all gaming (and life, because really, isn't life just one really long game with no continues?). I have not adjusted to non-academic (see also: real) life very well, and still haven't gotten used to the notion that when someone nods and says “huh, really?”, it is not necessarily an invitation to elaborate on your original statement. When I get that through my head, I can cease to have the following exchange with people, which is itself a sweeter reward than any chocolate covered treat or obligatory sex act done with the TV on could ever be.

“So I think that retro gaming can be incorporated by the queer community as a tool of political, social, and economic expression of protest to the classist heteronormative economic system. Many queers are looking to MMOs, but that's a death trap, man, because all an MMO does is eat your time, and soon we'll have people just stuck sitting at a laptop for 18 hours a day, not going anywhere, not making any real life connections, and our visibility in the real world will eventually disintegrate. I say we promote retro gaming to show that we enjoy gaming, but refuse to keep up with the Joneses. Xbox and PS3 games are only going to get more sexist, more racist, and less original over time. We're funding the media machine that in turn silences our voices and keeps our back pressed to the fringe.”

“Huh...well, that's neat...I'm not sure if I agree...you know, I have my own crazy theories.”

“Well fuck, man, if there was a time and place for crazy theories, it's here and now, brother.”

“All religions preach the same basic moral values, you know? So maybe they're all made by the same divine force, you know, God was smart enough to craft separate religions that would speak in one way or another to all people of the world, and that it doesn't matter what you believe in, as long as you believe.”

“You come up with that all by yourself?”


“No research team of theology and world religion majors?”


“Well you better write that thesis paper now before anyone else thinks of it. That's a million ruble idea right there.”

TLDR version: A friend (he may not be anymore, I haven't checked my facebook f-list in a while) opened up to me about their spirituality (a tender subject to many queers), and I mocked them in front of their friends because I thought their idea of a multi-conceptual God was somehow more ridiculous than my idea about queers all over the world giving up their Xbox's and reclaiming the Dreamcasts and Super Nintendos from the closets of their pasts...or houses, if that's where said systems are literally located.

I cannot express in words the remorse I feel in refuting what I imagine must have been a hard conclusion for a religious queer to come to (though “jerkface” comes close). Religion, as I've stated before, can be a really touchy subject in queer circles. The ratio of practice what they preach to persecute the everloving shit out of us of many organized religions has driven many queers to the greener pastures of atheism/agnosticism (science and homo/transsexuality are tight and a good word has been put in for us) or the unorganized “old school” spiritualities that constitute what Pat Robertson call “the paganssssss”.

As a Discordian, I am torn between my logic and reason, which tell me that there is no definite and materialistic way to prove the existence of an unseen diety and it is in the best interest of all humanity to live with and acknowledge this doubt, and then there is the childish buffoon in me that takes a particular glee in saying she worships a Goddess who tells her to eat hot dogs and cause as much mischief and confusion as humanly possible. I didn't read my first Richard Dawkins book until I was 23 because I was afraid that it would drive me irreparably mad, like the Necronomicon and Oprah Magazine before it, or force me to grow the fuck up so I could be taken seriously as an adult. But as luck would have it, no matter how well read you are on atheist literature, however, an art degree doesn't get you very far in intellectual circles. Damn it. I never should have played God. Pass me the Dolphin-to-English dictionary, would you?

We as a community cannot succumb to the political and social cannibalism that has brought down the American Left. We must not eat our own, for even united we suffer a massive numbers disadvantage. We need every warm body we can get. Perhaps even some dead ones propped up on sticks. Don't look at me like that. You ever seen a teabagger rally in person? Like a Statler & Waldorf family reunion.

So I've decided that the only way for me to atone for the mockery of my fellow queer is for you to mock me. Don't be shy. I majored in art. I can handle it.

If all things return to you threefold, I figure if just three of you tell me off, then I can be forgiven my transgression.

I know, I know. I'm talented, attractive, articulate, and very attractive. But this must be done. This is not a case of “one law for the rule, and one for the ruler”. If another queer blogger with half the readership I have were to do the same, I would be a real meanie to them. I expect no less from the legions of my personal fan army.

Without further ado, I present you the stick with which to beat me. It is an excerpt from a paper I wrote in college, about six months to a year before I came out as trans. If problematic language and privilege were tacticle attributes, this metaphorical stick would ten feet long, covered in thorns, and possibly have the words “whoever gets hit with this is an asshole” etched on it. Enjoy. Let the trashing commence.

“Although the aesthetic principles and humorous, self-referential nature of the film are surely strong enough to secure my argument that Rocky Horror Picture Show is the most relevant film of the 20th century, I would also like to note that RHPS has what I firmly believe to a culturally impacting message: “give yourself to absolute pleasure” has been interpreted by some film scholars to mean “everyone should be hedonistic and fuck anything that moves”. While we as art critics tend to eschew the more blatant messages found in media, I feel that with the current and historic socio-political landscape of American (and to a larger extent, Western) culture, this seemingly tongue in cheek paper-thin moral could be used to empower those considered to be sexual minorities. The LGBT movement of America has become increasingly platonic and non-sexual in the pursuit of the restoration of its human rights, for fear, perhaps, of “grossing” mainstream America out with the schematics of their sexuality. The flamboyant “queen” of the 70's-80's has been replaced with the suit-and-tie garbed executice circa Will & Grace. Words like “love” and “commitment” are plastered on picket signs to justify the fulfilling of genetic programming. This, I feel, is unncessary. It shouldn't, and doesn't, have to be about love. Frankly, few hetero relationships are. If we could all come to this understanding (that being “sex feels great”) we could avoid much of the arbitrary lip service and backtracking LGBT organizations have to endure to justify their relationships to a perhaps equally hedonistic and materialistic heteronormative culture. If we could all find common ground in the pursuit of hedonism, then we could, in theory, overcome inane, pointless prejudices and open up our schedules for even more mindless, NSA fucking.

This, I believe, is the message RHPS has for America, even if Richard O'Brien didn't intend for that. Deconstructvism for the win."

Do your worst, blogosphere.

Creative Commons License