Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween Thoughts

I've always greatly enjoyed Halloween. And Halloween was a lot more fun for those of us of the Baby Boom generation than it is for kids nowadays. For one thing, nearly every neighborhood participated in trick or treating. Those of us who had the good fortune to live in subdivisions or other areas of high population density made out like bandits on Halloween.

Another factor is that most kids were considered old enough to go trick or treating on their own in groups of other children from about age eight or so. Even though our parents warned us about not eating candy not in its original packaging until they'd checked it and about razor blades in apples, there wasn't the widespread worry about children being safe on Halloween back then.

I can remember when my son went trick or treating with a friend when he was ten, his friend's parents drove them to each and every house in their minivan, and the kids spent most of the night getting in and out of the van.

That would have taken all the enjoyment out of it for me, as part of the attraction of Halloween was the air of mischief and being out on our own having fun, as well as getting good exercise walking around the subdivision going from house to house. There were enough people out on foot back then that this was a safe thing for older children to do.

Also, the fundamentalists had not yet deemed Halloween an eeeeevil holiday, so all kids were free to participate and the schools were able to openly celebrate Halloween without worrying about wet blankets trying to rain on everyone's parade.

I remember one good Halloween for my son and I. The local mall sponsored a costume contest, and he wanted to participate. I was determined he'd have an original costume; not something fifty other kids were wearing. I was working for the PD then, so he and I decided he would be a police officer that year.

I bought him a blue shirt styled like a police shirt, along with navy blue pants. I brought the shirt to the police uniform supply store, where the lady there offered to sew our town's police logo patch on each on each upper sleeve. He wore my actual badge pinned in the proper place on his shirt, plus my hat, even though it was miles too big for him. He had my cuffs in their leather case attached to his belt, plus my PR-24 baton suspended on its ring holder. At eight, he was just barely tall enough to hang the PR-24 on his belt without it dragging the floor. The only thing that wasn't real was his gun, of course, though the realistic looking toy gun I bought him was placed in a real leather holster.

While we waited at the costume contest, I noticed that most of the other kids were in typical, unoriginal costumes, such as devils, ghosts, witches, and the like. There were several categories for costumes, with "Most Original" being the category we were gunning for.

We saw only one other truly original costume, a little boy dressed up as the Titanic! The hull and superstructure of the ship was constructed of painted cardboard, extending in front and in back of him. On top of his head was a painted cardboard funnel. I remember my son telling me that this kid's costume was so good, that he'd not mind losing to him.

But it was not to be. The winner of the "Most Original" costume was a kid in a generic devil's costume, with several other kids in the audience dressed just like him. This child, while cute, was in no way original, and the Titanic kid's parents and I concluded that this child had to be a relative of one of the judges.

My son lost quite a bit of faith in humanity that day, particularly in the idea that people can be fair and impartial. I was sorry that he had to learn this at such a young age.

Feel free to share your Halloween memories in the comment box.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Morality: Relative or Absolute?

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so
-- Shakespeare, Hamlet

To me, this means that morality is a relative thing, though many people would not agree. However, the truth of this can be easily seen by just looking around at how the world works.

As an example, for nearly everyone, myself included, murder is considered inherently wrong; immoral. Most people would consider this an absolute moral value. However, our society has several exceptions to this general principle -- killing enemy soldiers in battle, executing criminals, and for some, euthanasia. So, even for what is probably our planet's most universal moral principle, there isn't an absolute idea of right and wrong.

And if this is so for murder, imagine how much more flexible other ethical ideas in our society are. Lying is considered a character defect by most societies, yet no man in his right mind is going to answer in the affirmative if a woman asks him if her butt looks big in what she's wearing, even if said butt could have its own zip code!

One sees this principle operating in the matter of laws. We have laws banning things most people consider inherently wrong, such as murder, and then we have laws banning things that are deemed illegal for practical reasons; simply because a particular society says so.

We have speed limit laws, not because there's anything intrinsically wrong with driving over a certain speed, but because it's been proven that fewer accidents occur below certain speeds. We have "status offenses", such as the ban on alcohol consumption below a certain age. This is not because there's anything particularly heinous about drinking before a certain age -- indeed, our society has changed what that certain, arbitrary age is more than once -- but because most, though not all, people below that age are not mature enough to handle drinking responsibly.

And this brings me to my own pet issue, monogamy, or at least, sexual exclusivity. This one is firmly in the camp of relative morality, even though, again, many folks would not agree.

For one thing, it's never been a universal value, in all societies and all times. That alone should convince people that it isn't an absolute moral idea. Laws banning adultery, bigamy, and other forms of multi-partner marriages definitely fall into the category of the "It's wrong because we say so" brand of morality.

I will concede that it's easier if people conform to this widely accepted practice, simply because our society is set up on nearly every level to accommodate those who do. But having said this, I'm not convinced that limiting oneself to a single sexual partner at a time is inherently morally superior to availing oneself of multiple partners. For me, the how and why is much more important than the what.

In regards to adultery, I think that it's the lying that is the "cheating", not the having sex with another person, per se. That is, having sex with a person other than one's committed partner is unethical only if one has promised to be faithful. If one has not made this promise, it's a whole different ballgame.

But I digress.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Three Wild Dreams

Over the last few days, I've had some rather vivid dreams, much wilder than normal.

In the first dream, I was inside a mall somewhere in Texas. Suddenly, tornado sirens went off. People were running everywhere looking for a place to hunker down during the approaching storm.

I looked in several unsuitable places, until I finally ran into a rest room and crouched down at the end of a long row of toilets. I'd figured the small room, combined with cinder block construction and the plumbing structure would afford some protection.

Just before I ran into the bathroom, I looked out a window and saw four small tornadoes combining into one big one. I knew it was going to be a bad storm. Fortunately, I woke up before the tornado hit, though.

In the second and oddest dream, I was a zookeeper. We had two mountain lions, male and female. The female went into heat, so I brought the male in and locked them alone together in a room. I went into an observation room to make sure they did the deed.

The male was just barely grown and didn't have a clue as to what to do. The female was older and impatient for him to get on with it. After a few aborted attempts, I went in there and mated with the female to show him how it was done.

She laid on her back like a human and her lower body looked vaguely human as well. After I was done, the male cat got the idea and proceeded to do what he'd been brought in there for.

I have no idea what prompted me to have such a strange dream.

In the third dream, I was a Mafia hit man. This dream was in two parts. In the first part, I was in this house with other members of our local group. Our boss was to meet with a rival boss from the next house. I was in the kitchen with some other guys waiting for the meeting to begin. I had my gun pointed out the window facing the other house, standing guard. As I stood there, all the occupants of the other house were evacuated, walking stark naked through our yard. Naturally, I paid keen attention to the women, noting those who had large, firm breasts.

Finally, the other mob boss walked into the kitchen. He didn't say anything but just walked around looking at everything. I couldn't stand it and asked him if he was ready yet. He got angry and said, "You know I said that no one was to speak to me!

The dream drifted and I was driving down a narrow dirt road, late at night. I parked up near some trees, then went through a short patch of woods to the backyard of the person I was to kill. I quietly crept through the high grass in the yard, planning on entering the house through the sliding glass doors in back.

Suddenly, the outside floodlights snapped on and I was caught like a deer in the headlights. The target was standing by the glass doors, saw me, and I saw him dialing the phone. I hightailed it out of there, back the way I came.

The dirt road suddenly had a lot of people on it, all minding their own business. I saw a Jeep Cherokee driving up in the distance -- a Sheriff's deputy. I quickly disappeared into a cornfield by the road, hoping to get out of there unnoticed.

I ended up in a locker room which was also a shoe store. The room was deserted and I looked for a place to hide for awhile. Before I could find a place, someone came in and accused me of stealing shoes.

I got away and found myself running through a field. I got to a grove of tall pine trees in a semi circular pattern, where I found a young woman. There was another meadow in front of us, with the lights of the interstate about 500 feet in front and to the right of us.

It was still pitch dark and very cold, but she lifted her shirt to flash the cars passing by, who cannot possibly see her. And this is where the dream ended.

I can hardly wait to go to bed tonight and see what I dream next.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Halloween Decorations

About ten years ago, the fundamentalist complaint du jour in my town was Halloween. They asserted that Halloween was an evil, Satanic holiday designed to turn children into godless demons. At that time, they made a lot of trouble for local public schools, harassing them about school Halloween decorations and celebrations.

In reaction, many fundie churches began sponsoring what they called "fall festivals". These were children's parties at the church with pumpkins and other harvest/autumn decorations, but no witches, devils, ghosts or goblins. Most of the churches allowed the kids to dress up in non-spooky costumes, but a few of the more extreme ones banned all sorts of costumes.

While driving around this fall, I've noticed for the first time that many homes are extensively decorated for Halloween. And it's not just pumpkins anymore. People now have elaborate illuminated ghosts and witches, with orange candles in the windows and orange lights outlining their homes. It's every bit as elaborate as some people's Christmas decorations are.

What's most interesting is that many of these decorated homes also sport those tacky metal Ten Commandments signs in their yards as well. And, although I still see church signs advertising "fall festivals", I don't hear fundies railing against Halloween much anymore.

Could it be? Could many of them be reconsidering Halloween?

It would be nice to think so -- and that they could start reconsidering a lot of things while they're at it.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Personal Space Violations

Despite being a libertine, I've never been much of a touchy-feely person. Most of the time, I limit myself to engaging in intimate touch with lovers, and the giving and accepting of comfort from those close to me. I'm not the type that goes around hugging everyone.

I have a keen sense of my own personal space, which I seek to maintain in nonsexual situations. I consider it rude when others invade that space for reasons other than intimacy or comfort.

While at work today, a coworker invaded my personal space in a way I find especially intolerable. The area where the drivers bag their orders and dispatch them is a narrow, crowded space and, during rush times, we're always dodging and bumping into one another. Though it sets my teeth on edge, I understand it's inevitable in this poorly-planned space.

However, the above-mentioned coworker crossed a line today when he said, "Excuse me" and, before I could maneuver around another driver to get out of the way, put his hands on me and pushed me out of the way. I immediately turned on him and told him never to push me again.

I reacted on an instinctive, atavistic level. It was definitely a territorial thing, a matter of dominance. Fortunately, he backed off immediately, recognizing his faux pas, and I also let it go.

Other personal space invasions I can't abide are being tapped on the shoulder or someone tugging on my sleeve to get my attention. I taught my son at a very early age to never do either of these things with me.

Another thing that will piss me off is for someone to either shake or snap their fingers in my face. I've been known to tell people to get their finger out of my face before I break it off and hand it back to them. Again, a purely instinctive reaction.


Friday, October 21, 2005

The Police Are Always Dead Right

Our town had two "meter maids" who would patrol the downtown area in Cushman scooters, covering a radius of several blocks They'd cruise behind parked cars in angled parking spaces, marking the tire of each car as they went by.

After a specified period of time, they'd cruise through again. In areas of time limited parking, if they came upon a car they'd already marked, they'd write that car a parking ticket and stick it on the windshield.

An area they paid special attention to was the courthouse square. At the time this incident occurred, there was no large parking lot in the area of the courthouse and parking spaces were at a premium.

On one ordinary day, one of the women wrote a parking ticket for a car and stuck it on the windshield. A man inside appeared to be asleep, apparently waiting for someone to come out. The meter maid didn't want to disturb him, so she did not attempt to hand the ticket to him personally.

The next day, the other meter maid came through and did the same thing, also not wanting to bother the "sleeping" man behind the wheel.

It wasn't until the third day, when the first meter maid got the courthouse zone again, when she noticed that the same car with the same man was still there, his windshield now sporting two parking tickets. She took a good look at the man in the car and finally noticed that he was deader than a mackerel.

Are people that oblivious or are they that stupid? You decide.

It is a common practice in our town for funeral homes to have a police car to lead funeral processions to the cemetery. It is an optional service that the city charges a nominal amount for -- twenty five dollars at the time I was on the force.

On the day of one such funeral, the police escort had arrived a bit earlier than the agreed-upon time, and had parked his car into front of the hearse. He settled in to wait for the procession to get loaded up and ready to go. As he waited, he listened to the police radio, as we were short handed that day, and if an emergency came up, he'd have to cut himself loose from the funeral duty.

Just as the funeral procession was ready to set off, the dispatcher called him, sending him to the scene of a bad accident. She apologized for having to do so, but all other units were busy, and this accident had injuries, so he had to go. He didn't have time to tell the hearse driver what was going on, so he just gunned it out of the lot, heading for the address the dispatcher had given him.

Yep. You guessed it.

The funeral procession followed him to the scene of the accident.

I'll bet that reassured the people involved in the accident!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

So THAT'S Why We've Had So Many Hurricanes This Year!

While at work today, I made the mistake of commenting to one of our resident fundies that I hoped that Hurricane Wilma would not do much damage.

Big mistake.

It was almost like pulling a cork, because this innocent remark set off an irrational fundie rant. He said that God is angry with humanity, and that's why we're getting all the bad weather. He went on say that this anger was because of our "immorality" and how we've turned away from the intentions of the Founding Fathers, who designed the USA to be "under God". Never mind that this didn't go into the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, or that the separation of church and state was established by these same founders.

He insisted that the bad weather was a "warning" from God to straighten up or else we'd end up like Sodom and Gomorrah. A member of his church had made the comment that Bourbon St in New Orleans was spared -- apparantly a symbol of debauchery to these fundies -- but he gleefully said he told the other man that "God wasn't done yet".

He also told me that I ought to turn away from my "life of sin" before it was too late.

I didn't say much -- I knew it would be a pointless endeavor. He'd never accept that perhaps all these hurricanes are a symptom of global warming and that we've brought it on ourselves through years of polluting the environment and conspicuous consumerism, not as punishment for having too good of a time in our lives.

Nor did I mention I wanted no part of a petulant, angry God who would wipe out the lives of thousands of people, innocent children and all. None of that would have mattered a whit to him. His mind was made up and he wasn't about to let it be clarified by logic.


Monday, October 17, 2005


Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
-- Voltaire

This quote rather accurately reflects my attitude toward religion. I am agnostic, which means I don't think there's enough solid evidence to either prove or disprove the existence of a god or gods. And I believe that if there is a God, that the world's religions have largely failed to accurately capture how the deity relates to humanity and how humanity relates to the deity and one another.

I've felt this way since childhood. I can remember a fundamentalist cousin trying to convert me, but even at age ten, my rational mind just couldn't wrap itself around the implausible things recorded in the Bible.

As I grew older, I was able to better verbalize my doubts. For example, why did God have to be intangible? That is, one cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or smell God. Essentially, God can only exist within one's mind -- and how did one separate one's active imagination from the presence of God?

Why did Jesus have to die for humanity, when God could have created people perfect in the first place? It seems to me as if people were intended from the get-go to be imperfect, to make mistakes, to "sin". After all, perfect, static human beings could not learn and grow. How boring that would have been.

These and other doubts about religion brought me to my current position as a skeptic. Unlike Voltaire, I do not find doubt to be an unpleasant condition, but rather the inspiration of questions and beginning of knowledge. To ask why and to seek answers is a good thing.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Captive Audience

When I was in the high school band, I participated in fund raisers to raise money for our many trips. I remember bake sales, car washes, hoagie sales, and the like. And we also sold quite a bit of stuff door to door, such as candles, candy, and, one year, light bulbs. We did the leg work ourselves; we didn’t expect our parents to do it for us.

The only younger kids that sold anything were Girl Scouts selling cookies, which didn’t begin until the fourth grade or so. And, again, the kids did most of the work themselves, with just a bit of parental supervision.

It’s much different now. From the moment kids start in kindergarten, they are expected to sell stuff for the school, even if they don’t participate in any extracurricular activities. And because five year olds aren’t old enough to do much of the work themselves, the parents end up getting stuck with it.

This means the parents take these brochures, full of overpriced items that no one really wants, to work with them and lay a guilt trip on their coworkers, many of whom who are stuck selling the same crappy stuff for their own kids. All during the school year, there’s always someone at work trying to shake you down for one thing or another.

Many people will reluctantly buy this stuff, whether or not they want or can afford the almost weekly solicitations. They have to work with these people and think it's better to go along.

Not me. I don’t feel any obligation to buy this stuff. Nor would I sell the crap for my son when he was in school. The first time they sent home a sales brochure when he was in kindergarten, I returned it the next day with a note. I told them I was sending him to school to get an education, not to be an unpaid salesman for the school, nor would I sell the stuff for him, as I already had a job that actually paid me for my work. I would not have felt comfortable taking advantage of my coworkers as a captive audience in this way.

If he’d joined some sort of extracurricular group in high school, that would have been different, as he’d have been raising money for something he could get the benefit out of and, most importantly, he would have done the work himself and learned something in the process.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Some People Have to Be Led Every Step of the Way

Every year, my town has a Christmas parade in the downtown area. It's always on a Sunday, so there is NOTHING open downtown then. So, for parade goers, the only place to use the bathroom is at the police station.

As luck would have it, when I was on the PD, I usually got stuck with desk duty on the day of the Xmas parade. Oh joy. Not.

The doors to the men's and women's rest rooms were no more than 12 feet from my desk and could be easily seen by anyone motivated enough to turn their head to the right. That didn't matter, everyone who came in to use them would ask me where they were, anyway. And wanted detailed directions, too. "Down the hall and to your right" wasn't good enough for these 'deer in the headlights' people, no sir! They wanted me to take them there, personally. And they would have liked me to have wiped their butts for them too, no doubt.

One person asking where the bathroom was wasn't a problem, but a steady stream of people doing this when I had things to do other than being a bathroom buddy got annoying fast.

One year, I got the bright idea of posting little signs with arrows, directing people to the facilities. The captain, seeing me taping up my little signs said, "That's a waste of time, you know. Half the population can't read, and the other half won't read!"

And he was right. All the cattle....err, people...who came in asked me, anyway.

Some people just have to be led, every step of the way.



Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Church and State Issues in My Town

While reading my local newspaper, I noticed three articles related to the separation of church and state...or rather the violation thereof.

In the first article, it reported how all City Council meetings have been traditionally opened with a specifically Christian prayer. In the wake of an appeals court decision prohibiting sectarian prayer before public meetings, the mayor got a letter from the local ACLU asking them to comply with the new ruling.

The council voted unanimously to adopt a written policy that continues the body’s practice offering an invocation and allows a council member to choose not to pray.

The mayor said he would resign his office if he were prevented by law from invoking the name of Jesus in a prayer before a council meeting.

While most residents attending the meeting stood in support of the council’s decision, one woman said she would prefer a moment of silence.
"That would make everybody happy," she said.

One of the county school districts has stopped open prayer and the distribution of Gideon Bibles to fifth-graders, and the actions have prompted a community outcry.

District officials have said "moments of silence" are allowed on campus during school hours by law, but prayers led by school staff are not.

Naturally, all the fundies in the district have come out of the woodwork to protest this decision, saying that if some students were offended or felt excluded by any prayers that they could step into the hall during such sessions. They asserted that the religious freedom of children who have Christian beliefs are being denied when they cannot pray openly on campus.

The district reiterated that public school employees are prohibited by law from encouraging or discouraging prayer among students and from actively participating in such activities with students.

Students may organize prayer groups or other religious clubs or activities before or after school — or during non-instructional time during the school day — to the same extent that student may organize non-religious activities or groups.

Doesn't sound like Christian kids "can't pray" to me.

My readers might remember an entry from several months ago when I reported the opening of a sex toys/novelties store in my town. Protest followed from local fundamentalist groups and a campaign was started to change the city zoning laws to either prohibit such businesses or make it more difficult to operate within city limits.

Responding to pressure from these groups, the city council recently voted 7-1 for new zoning laws that will make it more difficult for sexually oriented businesses to operate.

Existing sexually oriented businesses in the city limits now have one year to relocate or be forced to move if they do not comply with the new zoning law.
Sexually oriented businesses may locate in industrial zoned areas, but they must also maintain a 1,000-foot buffer from each other and keep 500 feet away from schools, day cares operations, places of worship, parks or homes.

Fundies 2 -- Secularists 1

I guess that's better than a total fundie victory, though.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Grammar Talk

Often, I see a lot of otherwise well-written stuff on the internet that is marred by common mistakes in grammar. This is a shame, because it will distract the reader from the content of the message.

Misused homonyms are typical errors; that is, words that sound alike or nearly so, but are spelled differently. These are the most common mistakes because a spell checker will not catch them. The words are not "misspelled", but they are merely used in the wrong context.

Following are some common homonym mistakes, along with the words used in proper context:


We were going to go to the movies, but decided to stay home.

We're (We are) going to go to the movies next week.

Where are you going?


(They are) going to the mall.

Their house is the blue one at the end of the street.

Put the books down over there.


Your dog is in the house.

You're (You are) my best friend.


Let's sit here.

I can hear the music


Bear with me; I'll take you to see the bear at the zoo.

I like it when a woman will bare her boobs.


Let's go to the store.

Your sister can come, too.

I need to buy two cans of cat food.


It's (it is) going to rain.

The cat licked its paws.


Mark Martin had the dominant car in the race yesterday.

Hitler had plans to dominate the world.


My son is going through a teenage phase.

Violent movies don't faze me.


She has a flair for decorating.

There was a solar flare last night.


I have a new lover.

I knew her friend.


We have a pear tree.

We need to pare down our expenses.

I need to buy a pair of shoes.


She is my soul mate.

I am the sole support of my family.


The book is for you.

I have four cats.

The golfer said "fore" before he hit the ball.


I have long hair.

A hare is a type of rabbit.


Eric Clapton is a guitarist without peer.

The ship was docked at the pier.


Pour the milk into the glass

Poor people need job opportunities

The lawyer will pore over his books until he finds a loophole.


I will be back in an hour.

house is small.

Are you going to go home with me?

Feel free to add any that I've missed.

Friday, October 7, 2005


Another blogger has inspired this entry with the following query about responsibility:

Talk about responsibility.

What a wide-open question! I think responsibility is a virtue that most people would like to avoid. Many people would like to avoid responsibility for their actions (I see that every day with students, and we try to correct that); many people would like to avoid responsibility. Heck, just thinking about it on a slightly different level, there's something appealing about not having responsibility in a more general sense: not having to pay bills or make important decisions at work, or worry about anything. But then, that's not how the real world works. We're surrounded by responsibility, and avoiding it (at least, avoiding it entirely) is only an immature, easy-way-out reaction. All of which isn't to say that we always have to take the hard way, that we have to take responsibility for everything for which we potentially could take responsibility.

So what do you think?

Instead of answering in the comment area of his blog, I thought I'd talk about it here.

What is responsibility for me?

As a libertine, responsibility has meant taking a good look at myself and honestly facing up to just what and who I am. After a brief misadventure into marriage, I decided to never marry again as a key point in owning and taking responsibility for the lifestyle I'd freely chosen. I wasn't about to kid myself into thinking I could live in a traditional marriage and keep up the usual expected part of the bargain.

On a practical, everyday level, being responsible as a libertine is telling any new prospective partners what I am and how I manage my relationships, so they can walk away from me if they can't handle that. Being responsible means carrying condoms with me wherever I go, because I never know when a likely prospect will cross my path, and, like a Boy Scout, my motto is "Be Prepared".

Being responsible meant sucking it up and being a father after my son's mother decided not to be responsible and bail on him, even though I never wanted to have any children. The fact was, I DID have a child, like it or not, and the responsible thing to do was to take care of him and give him a secure home. It was the right thing to do.

As an adult, being responsible means providing for oneself. I've spent a lifetime working at jobs I didn't like, jobs beneath my aptitude, working for people who did their best to demean me. I've had jobs I've had to talk myself into showing up for each and every day. Why? Because I had bills to be paid and at any particular point in time, such jobs were my means to do so. I've swallowed a lot of guff and bit back a lot of honest comments, all to provide for my son and myself, when I'd really have liked to have told them to Take This Job and Shove It.


Thursday, October 6, 2005

Tattoos and Trashiness

I recently read another blog that had an entry about tattoos. This blogger's emphasis was on tattoos in the workplace. He went on to say how he personally found them unattractive and unprofessional, that their acceptance in the workplace was an indication that the business world is going to hell in a handbasket!

He added that he especially found them offensive on women, and that it implied trashiness in said tattooed women and that he'd never date such a woman. These remarks were made completely unconscious to the glaring double standard it implies.

As far as the business world goes, if it's going to hell in a handbasket, I'm sure it's not because of trivial and superficial matters of image. It will be because of important substantial matters: shady business dealings a la Enron and the like. Business would be in GREAT shape if all they had to worry about were trivial image concerns.

It might surprise this blogger, but I don't particuarly like tattoos or find them attractive myself. On men or women; I'm not prejudiced. What's good for the goose is good for the gander and all that, you know.

However, I'd not let something like the presence of tattoos stop me from seeing a woman I found otherwise interesting and attractive. It would just be something I'd ignore, like a mole. No one is perfect in this world, and those of us who are successful with members of the preferred gender accept that there are quite a few inconsequential things about people we should overlook. Being too picky would mean losing out on knowing a lot of very nice people.

But the blogger said that decent men would not date a woman with tattoos. That must be it.

No one has ever accused me of being a "decent man" and I hope they never do.

Tattoos and Trashiness

I recently read another blog that had an entry about tattoos. This blogger's emphasis was on tattoos in the workplace. He went on to say how he personally found them unattractive and unprofessional, that their acceptance in the workplace was an indication that the business world is going to hell in a handbasket!

He added that he especially found them offensive on women, and that it implied trashiness in said tattooed women and that he'd never date such a woman. These remarks were made completely unconscious to the glaring double standard it implies.

As far as the business world goes, if it's going to hell in a handbasket, I'm sure it's not because of trivial and superficial matters of image. It will be because of important substantial matters: shady business dealings a la Enron and the like. Business would be in GREAT shape if all they had to worry about were trivial image concerns.

It might suprise this blogger, but I don't particuarly like tattoos or find them attractive myself. On men or women; I'm not prejudiced. What's good for the goose is good for the gander and all that, you know.

However, I'd not let something like the presence of tattoos stop me from seeing a woman I found otherwise interesting and attractive. It would just be something I'd ignore, like a mole. No one is perfect in this world, and those of us who are successful with members of the preferred gender accept that there are quite a few inconsequential things about people we should overlook. Being too picky would mean losing out on knowing a lot of very nice people.

But the blogger said that decent men would not date a woman with tattoos. That must be it.

No one has ever accused me of being a "decent man" and I hope they never do.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Polyamorous Civil Union Solemnized in the Netherlands

I am pleased to announce that the first legal civil union between three polyamorous partners was solemnized in the Netherlands on September 23, 2005.

Victor de Bruijn married both Mirjam Geven and Bianca (no last name given) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union. De Bruijn is heterosexual and both women are bisexual.

When asked to comment, Victor said,“A marriage between three persons is not possible in the Netherlands, but a civil union is. We went to the notary in our marriage costume and exchanged rings. We consider this to be just an ordinary marriage.”

Predictably, there has been a flurry of outraged reaction from conservatives, all bemoaning this turn of events and uttering dire predictions of gloom if such a thing catches on in larger numbers and is allowed to continue. Those against gay marriage, have been gleefully saying "I told you so", as they'd previously used slippery slope arguments in their opposition to same sex unions, saying it would lead to legal acknowledgement of "polygamy".

Though I've always agreed with conservatives that the acceptance of gay marriage would likely eventually lead to the legal acceptance of multi-partner unions, I see this as a good thing, rather than a disturbing one. It's about time that there is an official acknowledgement that human beings are not naturally monogamous and that provision is made for those who wish to live in legally and socially recognized nonmonogamous relationships.

While I still believe that the best thing would be to eliminate marriage of any sort as a legal category altogether, I also firmly believe that as long as legal marriage exists, it should be available to all consenting adults: straight, gay, bi, monogamous and nonmonogamous. I see the extension of legal marriage and its attendant benefits as an important middle step to the ultimate goal of completely privatizing marriage and its total deregulation.

I also see this as an important step in recognizing all adult consensual sexual arrangements, including libertinism.

Congratulations to Victor, Bianca, and Mirjam. May they know nothing but happiness together.