January 2007

Do you want peace of mind?

Then don’t randomly look up your nephew’s MySpace page on a whim.

Just FYI.

So, I forgot all about Sunday’s bouts until they were well under way.  The weather might have kept me home anyway, given it was cold and rainy and gross and I wouldn’t have much enjoyed getting there or back.  Still, the truth is I didn’t make it because I forgot.  How lame is that?  Very lame.

So… can someone fill me in on what happened?

In the spirit of Blog for Choice Day, blogged so brilliantly by LizardBreath, why I am pro-choice:

I’m as far removed from any personal situation that would involve a practical application of pro-choice opinion as possible; I’m a gay man. Just ain’t no way never that I’m going to wind up rolling snake eyes on a pregnancy test. Despite that, choice is my #1 measure of a politician. If a politician is pro-choice then I feel pretty comfortable hearing the rest of what they have to say. If they are pro-life to the point of working to undo choice, I am pretty certain that I will be disinterested in supporting them regardless of any other plank in their platform.

Why? For a very simple, practical reason: a person cannot coherently deny women control over their own genitals for their mechanical purpose, the one such people would argue is the purpose given them by God, and at the same time respect my right to use mine for pleasure, satisfaction, emotional health or expression.

If they won’t let you control whether you give birth, they won’t let you control whether you can have fun, too.

In truth, my philosophy is (a little) more serious than that, but it’s not hard to boil it down to that (seemingly) flip point. It’s not really all that flip, though, is it? Sexual expression is arguably the most basic expression of who we are. Control over that is the most basic kind of freedom we can expect in a free society. Ditch respect for a woman’s right to control her own body and her own right to use those mechanics to express herself and you have ditched respect for any form of personhood.

There are other reasons, if I’m completely honest. Some of them are practical and seem cold and calculating: that a woman who is already among us and contributing to society is a safer bet than any baby. Some of them are subjective, anecdotal, refuted by counterexample: that in the handful of instances I know of, the lives of the women I know who have had abortions were improved by that choice.

To be completely straight with you, though, I think the debate over reproductive freedom is overdue for some honest talk about practical concerns. The right wing has been so effective at turning this into a vapors-inducing moral firestorm that even we on the left feel some obligation to dress it up in moral talk. Fuck that. Let’s throw the cold water of pragmatism in the face of all those who insist that we justify ourselves to them. In a way it makes me wish I could sit around and invent practical, amoral reasons of my own. I don’t even know what they’d be. I just wish they were out there to counterbalance all those people who don’t grasp that their moral quandry isn’t welcome on my doorstep.

If I try to dig down to the philosophical core, though, it’s just that: if they won’t let a woman use her junk how she wants, they won’t let me use mine how I want. Period. Anything else is a slippery slope.

Does it get any cuter than this?  Gogo has a habit of wrapping himself around my arm when I’m at the computer.  A few weeks ago I documented the phenomenon.

During the winter we pile a big bunch of leaves and pine needles and whatnot on top of the flower bed that runs from the back porch to the other side of the house. It’s just cheap mulch, basically. It’s usually piled pretty high and then in the spring I pull some of it away and see how things are doing in there.

No need, currently. There are at least four different kinds of flowers poking green stalks through the leaves.

This is what 70-degree weather in January gets us.

Mind you, I’m not asking for a blizzard. (No, really, I’m not.) But those flowers are going to get killed deader than a doornail, and that’s really bothersome.

My family, despite having uniformly moved further left over the course of the Bush administration (prior, we ranged the spectrum from right-of-center to centrist to left; now we’re all left, as far as I can tell), still never really talks about politics. Rather than crack it open as a conversational topic, we tend to just kiss it on the tangent as we chat about other things. Our entire conversation on Christmas Eve about the Iraq War consisted of four sentences in which we all expressed disgust with the people who designed this war. It was all we really needed to say, but it’s also a big part of that mountain rule: no one has any right to tell another what they should think under their own roof. There is an emphatic – to the point of obsession – rule that the borders of the mind are as sacrosanct as any found in geography.

This is not to say that all mountain people are saintly in their respect for others’ opinions. What this means is that the type of personality likely to respect a mended fence is likely to let you live your life the way you want. Trespassers, bullies and the ignorant, however, are no more respectful of philosophy than they are a posted sign.

I bring all this up, therefore, to lend some weight to the two sentences exchanged between my mother and myself on the phone the other night, discussing the warm weather.

Me: Well, I guess that’s global climate change for you.

My Mother: No doubt about it. Tsk.

Is it wrong of me to say that one of the things that most excites me about 2007 is that I’ll get to write more 7’s, which I love to write because I do the European 7 with the little – through the middle?

I don’t plan on breaking any bad habits this year. I plan on reveling in the ones I have. I plan on frivolous impulse buys, Manhattans, maybe a good cigar somewhere along the way and the company of my friends. I plan on not dunking my head into a bucket full of misery when I can whistle a tune instead.

The Boyf and I were going to go to a John Edwards rally on Saturday but I balked at the last minute. “The people who won the last election haven’t even taken office yet and the next election is starting? No thanks.” I refuse to let that horse-race take this year away from me.

2007. I’m going to turn 33 this year, and 3 is my lucky number.

Last night, right before midnight, I made 11 wishes.