Violence again.

 

I meant to post when I got back. Then Orlando. So I waited, because I have nothing more to add. Then it was Baghdad. I started writing again. Catching up on the queue of old work. I wrote this last week. Then Alton Sterling, then Philando Castile, then Dallas, seems like the world can’t catch a goddamn break.

 

So we got a lot of catching up to do.

 

Orlando

 

I was out of town for a week on a work/vacation trip. I do this once or twice a year. One of the perks of what I do is sometimes I work festivals which blend very nicely into time off from the world. I don’t have internet out there.

I wanted to write something, but nothing felt right and I wanted to leave some time to grieve before I said anything about it here. So I’m just going to repost what I said on facebook:

 

I’ve just arrived home. I spent all last week working my ass off for an organization whose goal is to promote radical inclusiveness, particularly within sexual minority communities. Of all the shows and events I work it pays, by far, the least, but it is the work I am most proud of, because it is the best way I know how to serve my community given my particular skill set and experience. I am sunburnt and exhausted and sleep deprived and sick and I am incredibly joyous to be so very lucky. This is the one week a year I also get to shut off my phone for the week and not pay attention to the bullshit on social media and the news, so I didn’t know about the shooting in Orlando until a coworker announced it at strike Sunday evening. It was a strange and somber tear down as the staff grieved and processed through work, laboring so hard you couldn’t tell who was sweating or crying. I hugged and kissed them, some I’d just met Tuesday when we started, others I’ve known for years, said a quiet goodbye and drove home in the company of my partner Clara torn between our elation and being absolutely gutted by the cruelty and sadness of a single misguided individual.
To all my loved ones telling us to stay home and stay safe, I will absolutely be at Pride this year, because that is what is important and right. Because we are so much stronger and scarier acting in collaboration, just like we did last week, than any sick person with easy access to weapons. and because this world ain’t always easy.

It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.

 

I have weird feelings about collective public grieving. The difference with this is that it wasn’t one person and it wasn’t old age or disease. It was… I don’t have to tell you what it was.

 

Pride

 

So I went to Pride. As always, the act of actually going was a clusterfuck of last minute logistics. But I ended up with friends in a single room huddled around the AC. and kissed and rank and danced and smoked and told ourselves it’d all be OK.

As usual, there was the too queer for school group with complaints that Pride has become another mainstream corporate sellout and yeah, they have a point and I have my own thoughts on those, but that is another rant and shall be bitched about another time.

 

Anyhoo, onto other matters

 

Shootings

Here’s what I had to say elsewhere:

For all of those posting their outrage for the slaying of police, but not the dozens of innocent men killed by them, you are part of the problem.
The reason we say Black Lives Matter and not All lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter is because cops’ lives already matter. That doesn’t mean police aren’t killed and that it’s not tragic when it happens, but when it does there is always an outpouring of support there is a manhunt for the killer and we as a society work tirelessly to bring the perpetrators to justice. Their families are supported by our government and the news networks don’t spend so much of their coverage questioning the cop’s integrity, or whether they should have been there at the time, or what did they do wrong to warrant it, or maybe they were a bad cop. No, we give them the benefit of the doubt, because nothing justifies murder, regardless of what we may think of that person otherwise. THAT IS THE VERY MEANING OF HAVING A LIFE THAT MATTERS.
Fine, if you need another white man explaining this though a Biblical metaphor, here’s someone saying it better than me.

 

The Book

 

I’m actually embarrassed to be discussing it at this point, but there is a train at the end of that tunnel. There have been delays and I don’t mean to excuse myself, but I want to explain.

Firstly, there have been a few personnel hiccups. Putting out a book requires other people and I am so grateful for all of you who’ve helped me out so far. A number of people offered to help me with edits and I waited for each one for a month or so before moving on until after almost a year, I’ve finally got someone who may have followed through. I’m meeting with them later this week and I hope that will be the end of that.

I also have found someone to do the cover art. More on that to come.

Before that there was the lost draft.

And then there was the part where I lost three jobs in one year. The first due to logistical problems (I moved to a place that mate the commute and shifts no longer workable). Not too long afterwards I found two new jobs which I worked simultaneously until both of them disappeared when the companies ceased to function.

I soon ran out of money and began to burn through my savings (ie the kickstarter funds) in order to eat and pay rent. Since then I’ve been working to make that money back so I can fulfill my commitment to my backers.

I hope you all will be understanding and forgive me for the stalling. This has been a particularly rough time for me and the project has never been far from my mind.

 

Phew, this was a tough one.

 

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