July 24th, 2004

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If hanging out with two other guys is gay you're going to have to call me sthwishy

Yesterday was an extremely gay day for me. You see, according to the great fumoffu for three men to do anything together is the gayest thing in the history of gaydom. Now you might think that only a psychotically paranoid homophobe or an extremely repressed closeted homosexual would believe that there is necessarily a homosexual element to three men hanging out with one another, but you'd clearly be wrong. Even though fumoffu routinely turns down the opportunity to spend time with beautiful women, considers any shopping session that takes less than an hour and a half to be extremely short, and sets off five alarm bells on the gaydar of any homosexual male he so much as speaks to, he is clearly as straight as the Autobahn.

Fumoffu: wtf is "chemistry"
S0CRATIC: It's pheremones and if two people click. It's undefinable attraction.
S0CRATIC: See when a man and a woman aren't gay.
S0CRATIC: They don't have to judge one another purely through intellect.
Fumoffu: that's gay
S0CRATIC: Heterosexual attraction is gay? Whoa

It was, therefore, with full knowledge of the sheer fudge-packing limp-wristed gayness of what was to come that I set out towards midtown around 10:00 AM. It was a nice day for a walk, cool and bright with plenty of people out and about. The first mile and a half went by without incidence, as I listened to Bruce Springstein and thought about what the best strategy for the inevitable film about Lance Armstrong would be (It's difficult to maintain drama in any sports film where the outcome is known, and even harder in something like the Tour De France where the race is decided not by one dramatic moment but by trends and long term strategy, two things that don't play wonderfully on film.) Then it started to rain. At first it was a slight drizzle, nothing unusual or unpleasant, just a few drops here and there, a pleasant enough sensation. That didn't last long, as the drops came harder and harder and what followed was a deluge of biblical proportions. I've previously stated that I like the rain, and I do. I even enjoy a relatively heavy rain, with stinging drops and swiftly forming puddles. On the other hand, when the drops are big enough to knock small birds out of the sky and there are ten story buildings floating by...well it can be a little bit unsettling. New Yorkers are hearty folks who are always in a hurry, but yesterday there were clumps of people camped out under bridges and awnings, looking like refugees from Waterworld. It was ridiculous, within minutes my fingers pruned up and my shoes started squishing like I was walking on a field of rotten guava. There were smells coming up from the sewer gratings that I can't even describe. By the time I got to my destination umbrella salesmen were making fun of me. One offered to sell me an umbrella but then took it back, saying "Never mind, that ship has sailed for you." while another pointed me out as an object lesson to other potential buyers, saying "Buy an umbrella, don't get as wet as that guy!"

By the time my friend arrived to meet me at 12:05 I was so wet that I couldn't feel the rain anymore. It was ridiculous. We met up with another friend of ours at his house and I literally went through 2 towels of his just to mop up all the water that sloughed off me. His father showed up and we all chatted for awhile, completely non-gayly since 4 guys is as hetero as it get(ero)s (we determined that on the fumoffu scale 3 guys is totally gay even if they are hanging out at a strip club watching naked women, while 4 guys is uberhetero even if they are having sex with one another. This may sound odd to you, but you must remember that HETEROSEXUAL ATTRACTION IS GAY. So says fumoffu) His father talked about photographs and how you always regret not taking them, informed us that the best parts of our lives had passed us by, and then quizzed us on difficult to spell dictionary words. After that we left there, went back out into the downpour, got some Mexican food prepared by chinese people (although definitely didn't gorge) and went back to my place for Spinal Tap. The movie was good, I've seen it many times at this point, and we all agreed that Rob Reiner's direction is far superior to that of Christopher Guest. Watching the film again I definitely noticed a lot of neat little touches with the camera work, including a hilarious obsession with up-nostril shots that savagely skewers most concert cameramen.

After Spinal Tap we went out for Malaysian food, which was good but mine was richer than I expected. Gabe bought 2 bottles of the cheapest vinegar ever. During the dinner conversation they accused me of being worse than the vile Jing because I knew good manners but refused to employ them, while he wouldn't know how to behave around polite company if you gave him 3 months of round the clock training by Emily Post. (I'm dead serious. She'd say "And the proper uses of the salad fork include..." and he'd say "You have decent tits for an old lady, they're a bit saggy, but I'm pretty hard up, if you know what I mean. And I think you do, baby." I may even have overestimated his smoothness there.) I will admit that I tend to be somewhat crude around them, in fact I'm banned from Gabe's house because of certain things I've said, a situation probably compounded by the gift of porn I gave him yesterday. To prove my point (which was that polite is BORING and BLAND) I switched into full on socially graceful mode, using antiquated language and enough condescending bitingly sarcastic deference to fill a book with. They played along and we actually had a decent time viciously skewering one another beneath a veneer of wonderful manners and polite conversation. A confused old man was so impressed he came up to say hello and ask about antistrophe. He was pleasant enough, and it's always rewarding to have pleasant conversations with old folks. Gives you the impression that maybe our generation is not the socially destructive force for evil that we appear to be (at least the male members!)

After that it was back to my place with Aaron (Gabe had to bring the gift of porn to his French wife, who he accused of being fat even though she weighs approximately 3 kilograms) for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I didn't like it as much as I did the time before, and I noticed some real sloppy work with some of the effects and other elements, where camera cuts revealed disparate elements and the thing looked a little..well...low budget (which it obviously wasn't.) It's still an enjoyable film, but not as good as I thought it was. Also it requires too many jokes about Allison Doody's name. (Such as nothing like a mouth full of Doody, or he wants to stroke some Doody.) We also talked about the frustrations and confusions of being young in the modern, temp based economy. I got a call from a temp agency that saw my resume on Thursday. I'll call them back monday. Companies no longer hire permanent workers, they hire temps that can be fired at a moment's notice and don't get benefits. Welcome to Georgie's America, where all your hopes and dreams get crushed so the rich can get richer.

(Most generic movie description ever. "The actions of clueless people trigger consequences which propel new events." From my digital cable box's info on the film "Bug." Why not just go full out and say "Things, with the happening." or "Stuff.")
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Nobody cares about what happens in my life, not even me, so why write about it?

I'd like to write less about my life. It's boring, a waste of time, and in some ways counterproductive since it takes away from my desire to write the things that are actually worth getting down. Why do I do it then? It's complicated. I'd like to have a record of my life, something that says I was here. While work of one kind or another has that effect, I'd like to be able, when I'm older, to look back and remember these times. A small, dark, arrogant, dreaming part of myself thinks that if I ever do anything worth having a biography written about me that there's plenty of material available. Regardless, I'd rather devote my time to writing original stuff, or analyze stuff I've watched or read, or just watching and reading interesting stuff. I'm not great at writing up anecdotes, it's not really my style, and by discussing stuff like what happened yesterday I actually reduce my supply of material to work with. You could definitely do something with the "Three guys=Gay" idea, but now it's all played out. Of course yesterday my friends and I were having a great time fucking around with it ("The father, the son, and the holy ghost? GAY. Male triplets in the womb? GAY! Wait, they have their mother surrounding them...but no. She can't see what they're doing or anything, so they are alone and therefore SUPER GAY.") The revelation means it can't be used though.

My boss for the website I'm doing some work for called me, and I'm going to have to start moving on this project soon. I am not overly enamoured with the idea and I have a feeling I'm going to have to do most of the work myself, which is unfortunate. If I get the temp job and I'm doing that, I'll have even less time for writing, although hopefully more experiences and inspiration. On the plus side I'll be keeping busy while I look for a film job and I can continue focusing on prolonging my life through weight loss, which is probably not a terrible idea.

I've been talking to a friend who has immense hostility towards women. This is not uncommon, and it's something I've written about before in this journal. What's interesting to me about this particular guy's hostility towards women is that he definitely wants to get married, but he laments all the flaws that his future wife will probably have (from her promiscuity in her younger days, to her spending habits, to the way that she nags him about everything.) He does not have a fiance. I understand that there are reasons why people marry women who they don't really like, from cultural expectations to fear of being alone to money etc... I don't understand why one would expect such a marriage in this society, though. Men who bemoan the shallowness of women but then make shallow demands themselves have always puzzled me. The stereotype of this is the geek who lusts after the cheerleader who won't give him the time of day, because she wants to date the jock. But isn't the geek being just as shallow and pathetic by lusting after her, rather than a less attractive geeky girl who has the very same sorts of qualities he wishes the cheerleader would recognize in him? In 80's movies this was a consistant theme, and I've always thought it was moronic. Why should she care about your intelligence or sweet persona when all you're interested in is the size of her breasts? Sometimes this is defrayed with some sort of nod to good qualities she has, like intelligence or compasion or something. That's never where the attraction comes from though, it's never that the guy meets a wonderfully sweet girl at the animal shelter who just happens to be a wonderfully beautiful woman who he must then pursue despite his lack of physical beauty or social status. The same thing with my friend, who has a cutoff for physical beauty but none for education or volunteer work or any of that crap that doesn't revolve around straight teeth and curvaceous buttocks.

The other relevant point is that I think that marriage in our society is probably a bad idea, at least for men. There's not a whole lot of social cache left in it, there's some level of benefit in terms of insurance from your employer or whatnot, but most of the major issues like medical decisions and inheritance can be dealt with through legal methods that are much more easily reversed than marriage. The risks are enormous. There's the ever-present alimony and community property (which wouldn't be such a big deal if it were more fairly distributed) there's the fact that in many states you're required to pay child support for children born in a marriage even if you can be proven not to be the father, and then there's the whole concept of divorce in and of itself. Of course marriage has its benefits too, and I'd think that it might be worth it if there were a greater social stigma to dissolving a marriage or at least a greater incentive to not do so. That's not really the case anymore in our society. 50% of marriages end in divorce is the popular statistic, but of course that statistic lags by a significant margain, since we don't know how marriages from the mid to late 90's will end for the most part (You can predict from actuary tables and curves, but serial monogamy is in and I wouldn't be shocked if we see a whole bunch of 10-15 year old marriage from that time period start busting up.) You never know the statistics from the time you get married. Plus there's the fact that different demographics have different rates of divorce, and I don't know many people who live in communities like Pennsylvania Dutch Country where the chances of a marriage ending prematurely are so low as to be insignificant. This means that the rates in the sorts of places where my friends need to congregate are even higher than the national average. Throw in the lack of distance for observation in the average engaged person and you have a recipe that often ends in disaster. The numbers don't make sense. You might say "But, if I find my soulmate, of course I'd want to get married!" People say that all the time, get married, and get fucked over. Nobody goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced, except those yuppies who believe in a starter marriage, which may be one of the weirdest and most disgusting trends of modern times. Starter marriages still use the "till death do us part" vows and so they are by definition hypocritical, yet people engage in them all the same.

Whatever.

Marriage used to be a contract by which a woman could achieve stability and security of a sort while doing domestic work for her husband. That makes sense to me. Now it's a contract where two people with similar employment scenarios agree to cohabitate and breed for a time being, and then have to go through an ugly proceeding in order to seperate. That does not make sense. Throw in my friend's misogynystic and dismissive views on women, and it's like saying "I'm going to go get caught in a bear trap. God I can't believe that, it's going to be really painful. That sucks."

He should just avoid the trap rather than complaining about in advance. Marriage is only done properly in Massachusetts because, as fumoffu would say, it's really gay.
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