Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Because Al Says So

I had heard that the real winner of the 2000 US Presidential election had spoken out for equal marriage rights for GLBT people on the network he owns (Current TV), but I just found the video of his statement today & I wanted to share it here.

Please check out the man who should have been President tell it like it is...


I think it’s wrong for the government to discriminate against people because of that person’s sexual orientation.

I think that gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women, to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights, to join together in marriage, and I don’t understand why it is considered by some people to be a threat to heterosexual marriage to allow it by gays and lesbians.

Shouldn’t we be promoting that kind of faithfulness and loyalty to one’s partner regardless of sexual orientation? Because if you don’t do that then to that extent you are promoting promiscuity and you are promoting all the problems that can result from promiscuity.

And the loyalty and love that two people feel for one another when they fall in love ought to be celebrated and encouraged, and shouldn’t be prevented by any form of discrimination in the law.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Religion Kills

I doubt that anyone who knows me would call me "religious." As a matter of fact, considering how it was Religion that very nearly killed me, I can honestly say that I truly cannot abide Religion. That's why I always make a distinction between Religion and faith. They are not the same thing...not to me.

Religion is what "they" own.

Religion is what "they" use to fill "their" coffers.

Religion is the horrible weapon "they" wield when, as the good Christian Soldiers that they are, "they" seek to destroy the ungodly.

Religion is what "they" hide behind as "they" keep as many undesirables away from God as "they" can.

As my new t-shirt from Jay Bakker's Revolution Church states, "Religion Kills". Faith, to me, is the anti-Religion.

I take pride in the fact that I am not a religious person & that I do not usually wear my faith on my sleeve. I prefer to live my faith & to let it shine in the way I try to treat others. For me, faith speaks so much louder in actions than in words.

In a rare exception to the aforementioned sleeve-wearing policy & while in the midst of recalling my life since that day I gave my heart to God, I was reminded of a song I had heard a while back. Through the miracle of YouTube, I listened to it again today, after not having heard it for a while & it brought me to tears again.

I guess I needed a reminder.

What Sin?
by Morgan Cryar
From the album, Love Over Gold

It happened so long ago
And I cried out for mercy back then
I plead the blood of Jesus
Begged him to forgive my sin
But I still can't forget it
It just won't go away
So I wept again, "Lord wash my sin,"
But this is all He'd say


What sin, what sin?
Well that's as far away as the east is from the west
What sin, what sin?
It was gone the very minute you confessed
Buried in the sea of forgetfulness

The heaviest thing you'll carry
Is a load of guilt and shame
You were never meant to bear them
So let them go in Jesus name
Our God is slow to anger
Quick to forgive our sin
So let Him put them under the blood
Don't bring them up again
Cause He'll just say


Lord, please deliver me from my accusing memory
Nothing makes me weak this way,
Then when I hear you say

Two Days & Counting

So, it seems that Barack Obama has won big in South Carolina! Now it's "Good-bye, Palmetto State" & "Hello, Sunshine State!"

In case I haven't told you, I am really excited to get to vote for Barack on Tuesday. ;-) He is such an inspiration & he gives me hope that things can be different...things just NEED so desperately to be different!

As if I needed another reason to vote for Barack, I read an Op-Ed piece today on the New York Times (link at the bottom of this post) website by President Kennedy's only surviving child, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, who is endorsing Senator Obama for president. The title of the article (A President Like My Father) sums it all up (at least for me) & the first paragraph she writes explains it all so well:
Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.
As I have said before, this vote I will make for Barack is NOT an anti-Hillary or an anti-John Edwards or anti-anyone (except maybe anti-Dubya) vote because any of the current candidates from the Democratic Party who wins the nomination is going to get my vote in November. For the first time in too long, mine will be a pro-hope vote. It's true that Senator Obama may not be one of the old lions of the Senate, and he may not have all the connections that a lot of old politicos do in Washington, but I personally don't think being a part of the "good-old-boys" network is necessarily a reason to vote for someone you hope will change & shake things up in our country. We need to challenge the "conventional wisdom," not give in to it!

On a nearly-similar issue, I was glancing through CNN's website (as I am apt to do when I first thing in the morning in place of reading the newspaper), I read about Barack's huge win in South Carolina & I noticed that CNN had exit polling info with voter characteristics for each state that has held caucuses or primaries so far. Of course, my mind started racing thinking about who the "typical Democratic voter" is as compared to the "typical Republican voter," and then I started thinking about how those numbers looked for each state, so I pulled out the old Excel spreadsheet (I LOVE ME SOME MICROSOFT EXCEL...I know it's a weird thing to love, but I'm wierd, so what ya gonna do???) & plugged in the numbers that I found on CNN's website & I came up with this:

So, according to CNN's polling numbers, the average Democratic voter, so far in the primaries & caucuses that have taken place tends to be a younger female whereas the typical Republican primary voter tends to be an older male. It also appears that the older male Republican primary voter tends to earn more than the younger female Democratic primary voter. I know, you're surprised by that, right?!?! :-/

What really strikes me by this is not only does the much-vaunted "gender gap" exist (at least where the primaries/caucuses is concerned), but there also appears to be an "age gap". In every state that has held both parties' primaries/caucuses, a greater percentage of the voters on the Democratic side are under the age of 30 as compared to the Republicans! The opposite is true for those 65 and over: a greater percentage of Republican primary voters is elderly as compared to the Democrats. So it seems that the old guard is represented mostly by the "Grand" Old Party & the up-and-comers are tending to be more Democratic. That doesn't hurt my feelings any, let me tell you.

Anyway, 2 days & counting 'til I get to vote for a man about whom JFK's daughter wrote,
I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.
It's about time.

New York Times article - link=

Friday, January 25, 2008

Gone Too Soon...Addendum

In the midst of the tragic loss of Heath Ledger, I had wondered about how Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath's co-star in Brokeback Mountain, had been taking his best friend's death.

From this article in the online version of the UK's Daily Telegraph (,22049,23105747-5001021,00.html?from=public_rss), apparently, Jake is as distraught as you imagine a best friend would be.

I didn't know that Jake was Matilda's (Heath's daughter's) godfather, but, besides her mom, another of Heath's Brokeback co-stars, Michelle Williams, at least this little girl has Jake to help her to remember her father.

In the local online newspaper for Heath's hometown of Perth, The West Australian, his family remembered him as ''the most amazing 'old soul' in a young man's body.''

They went on to say,

"As a close knit and very private family we have observed you so determined yet quietly travelling in your self-styled path in life, nothing would get in your way ... no mountain too tall, no river too wide.

"You dreamed your dreams and lived them with passion and intelligent commitment.

"We have been privileged to accompany you on a ride through life that has simply been amazing and through it all we have loved each other beyond imagination."

Heath's older sister, Kate, wrote that, in trying to create a tribute to her famous brother, she could ''hardly breathe''. ''We were the ultimate soul mates,'' she said, and added "You were so many things to so many people, but to me you were just my little brother."

As difficult as this continues to be for Heath's fans around the world, how beyond sad & beyond tragic this must all be for those who knew & loved him most.

The article from The West Australian can be found here

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gone Too Soon...

I am sure this is now not news to anyone with a TV or internet access, but one of my most favorite actors, Heath Ledger, died yesterday. He was 28 years old & he had a 2-year-old daughter, Matilda.

I remember noticing Heath in his first American film, 10 Things I Hate About You. I thought it was a pretty good movie & he did a great job in it as Patrick, the boyfriend-for-hire. I was also very much looking forward to seeing him portray the Joker in the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight". I've seen pix of his character & they are truly disturbing, in a great way, artistically speaking. What a talented actor who can play two such disparate roles!

Of course, he cemented himself as a great actor with his role as Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain. I may be prejudiced, but his part in that movie literally brought me to tears. It is a film that will stay with me always!

Considering the 2 roles I mentioned above with his Ennis Del Mar character, you can't help but see how fearless he was as an actor. I'm sure he was the same in his real (former) life.

It's always sad when someone so young & with so much potential leaves us all-too-soon. Heath, of course, is no exception.

I keep his family in my thoughts & I will miss him very much.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cell Phone Jail

Most of us know it instinctively: Our cell phone companies have us, the consumers, by the short hairs. We must use their selection of cell phones on their system on their terms, leaving us at their mercy. I didn't know 'til today, but the cell phone companies place "locking software" on their phones so you can't use it with any other provider! So, you may not like the customer service, you may not like your reception & you may not like the amount you have to pay each month, but if you go somewhere else, you can keep your same phone number, but you have to pay an early termination fee & then you have to swear another minimal two-year blood oath & enter into ANOTHER contract & you have to buy shell out for ANOTHER phone you can't use anywhere else & hope you're gonna be happy with the new giant & whatever scraps they throw you. For most of us, that's just too much trouble, too much of a gamble & just too much money!

I read this article on MSNBC about the dirty business of cell phones! At the end, they include info on something called "unlocking software" that you can get for next-to-nothing on the internets!

It seems the poor, defenseless cell phone companies in the US were boo-hooing & poor-mouthing how badly this evil pirating software was to their very existence & went to Uncle Sam (or should I say, Uncle Dubya) & was asking for relief!

Just as an FYI, I went to the Wonderful World of Wikipedia, just to check out how much revenue these fragile cell phone companies earned recently & found that, they really aren't hurting after all (I know, you're so surprised, right?!?!). All these figures were for 2006, except for T-Mobile where a year was not mentioned (that I could find). Just out of curiosity, I also perused the Wikipedia & found info on the Gross Domestic Product (which is defined as "the total market value of all the goods and services produced within the borders of a nation during a specified period") for all the countries in the world for 2006, so I could compare. If you can see the tiny chart below (you can click-y on it to make it easier to see) you'll discover that the Big 5 (Alltell, AT&T, Sprint/Nextel, T-Mobile & Verizon) reported $221 billion in revenue in 2006. That's more money than the value of the GDP in countries like Hong Kong, Israel or New Zealand for 2006!

As a matter of fact, of the 183 countries listed by the World Bank, these 5 US cell phone companies combined had more annual revenue than the Gross Domestic Product of 153 of them! In other words, these "defenseless" US companies reported more revenue in 2006 than 4 out of every 5 counties on the planet! Let that sink in for a few seconds! Amazing, isn't it???

Well, despite their OBVIOUS desperate straits, these paragons of American entrepreneurship couldn't even get their loving Uncle Dubya to help them out!! How beyond-screwed must multi-national corporate giants be if they can't get one of their own to rescue them from themselves?!?! It wasn't widely announced (that I know of), but, apparently the cell phone giants were dealt a stunning blow back in 2006 when the federal government ruled that the unlocking software was not illegal. Soon, the smart consumers who knew about this little rule started asking for the unlocking codes, making their phones usable on other networks. Even if you didn't want to spend a couple of hundred bucks to break your contract, after your contract expired, you could go & find a better deal!

The last paragraph of the article (the link is below) states that, even though we can apparently ask to have the phones unlocked,
The phones, as sold, are still hamstrung with locking software by default. Only those who know enough to ask ever consider using their phones on a competitor’s network. Despite the fanfare surrounding Granick’s [a lawyer who decided to fight the cell phone giants] case in techie circles, the vast majority of Americans still think cell hardware is limited to use with a single carrier. But now you know better. From Gotcha to Got Them!
As for me, I am very happy with my T-Mobile phone & I am not looking to go elsewhere, but it's good to know that cell phone jell is now potentially merely a misdemeanor sentence instead of life with no chance of parole!!

Article on MSNBC --->

Monday, January 21, 2008

Until justice flows down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream...

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s real birthday was January 15, but this is the day our nation officially honors the civil rights icon.

Not much I can write about a man about whom so much has been said & written already.

Just one thing:

Thank you, Dr. King, for setting us all free!

May each of us, in our way, honor your bravery & your work & help hasten the day when "liberty & justice for all" are more than just words we commit to memory, but ideas to which we commit our lives!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Can we hear the call for change?

Sometimes, I don't really feel the need to say much when I find an article or a story or a commentary online. Sometimes the author of said work has been more-than-eloquent & anything I say or write would just not do it justice.

So is the case today with the article below written by Rev. Dr. Bennie Colclough, an African American Minister in South Carolina who graduated from Yale Divinity School, and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Dr. Colclough speaks in his article about civil rights hero, Julian Bond, who is joining the fight here in Florida against sullying our state's constitution with an ugly attempt to make people like me second-class citizens.

I hope you will read the Reverend's words, and take them to heart.

Can We Hear The Call For Change?


The African-American community should pay close attention to what Sen. Barack Obama has said about equality for gay and lesbian Americans and the correlation of religion-based bigotry and discrimination against African-Americans.

The struggle for justice, equality, and dignity for gay and lesbian Americans continues and Sen. Obama and other leaders have engaged the African-American faith community on this issue.

Are we listening?

As an African-American minister, I many years ago heard the call for change on this issue and it is still my resolve today to be a missionary for justice and equality, to be courageous, true to my faith, and challenge the African-American faith community, to love God with our whole heart and our neighbors as ourselves.

The African-American faith community must defend the human dignity of all people as distinguished leaders in our community are calling us to this task.

Consider Coretta Scott King’s remarks in a 1998 address in which she said that “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.”

Just last week it was announced that Julian Bond, an icon in the civil rights movement for nearly 50 years and longtime national chairman of the NAACP, has stepped into a leadership role with the Fairness for All Families Campaign in Florida, a statewide coalition effort working to prevent an effort to write discrimination against gays and lesbians into that state’s constitution.

These leaders recognize the history of religion-based bigotry and discrimination toward our own community. We know that religion was once misused to justify slavery.

Today it is being misused to deny members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community full and equal rights.

The African-American faith community must recognize the perpetrators and injustice, and bring about an end to the hurt that has been caused to so many.

Discrimination is morally wrong and un-Christian. Let me repeat this: Discrimination is morally wrong and un-Christian.

Sen. Barack Obama has said that he strongly disagrees with the views of people like gospel singer Donnie McKlurkin and others who use religion to attack members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Those of us who are missionaries for justice and equality are hopeful that Senator Barack Obama will be true to his platform for change, and speak out against religious bigotry coming from a select group of African-American evangelical leaders. His appearance Monday night at a presidential debate in Myrtle Beach would be a good opportunity for him to do just that.

While Senator Obama’s candidacy for president of the United States offers hope, let us not forget a facet of society that has had little hope for change the last 20 years. The purpose of our government, first and foremost, is equality under the law, respect for human rights, and protection of all our citizens, whether they are white, black, male, female, disabled, Christian, or gay. We must be about the business of building a beloved community with a foundation of compassion and justice for all.

The Declaration of Independence says: “All people are created equal and endowed with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Bible says, “love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31 There are no exceptions about who our neighbors are.

We must be courageous enough on our watch to change our society for the better.

So let us hear the call for change from our leaders and join them in challenging those people who misuse religious teachings to justify attitudes of condemnation and discrimination toward our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors.

Rev. Dr. Bennie Colclough of South Carolina serves as co-chairman for the S.C. Progressive Network and has been a longtime advocate for the LGBT community. He is a contributing writer for Faith In America, an organization that works to help the public better understand the harm caused by religion-based bigotry and discrimination.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

So Saith The Snapple Lid

Following, in no particular order, are tidbits of knowledge you probably never knew and/or don’t need to know even now, brought to you by your friends at Snapple! While I personally have no choice but to believe what the Snapple lid tells me (the lid has never lied to me before--that I know of), I can understand any reluctance on your part if you are dubious and/or if you need verification of these supposed facts. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide any confirmation for any of the statements that follow, therefore, if you choose to proceed, please do so with caution!

Also, this is my first blog post here using rainbow-y font colors!

Snapple Real Fact #163: The first penny had the motto “Mind your own business.”

SRF #50: Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.

SRF #10: Mosquitoes are attracted to people who have recently eaten bananas.

SRF #207: Before 1687 clocks were only made with an hour hand.

SRF #28: Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.

SRF #68: The longest one-syllable word is “screeched.”

SRF #53: The average woman consumes 6 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.

SRF #109: Smelling apples and/or bananas can help you lose weight.

SRF #60: The tongue is the fastest healing part of a human body.

SRF #105: You will burn about 7% more calories walking on hard dirt than pavement.

SRF #143: “Q” is the only letter in the alphabet not appearing in the name of any U.S. state.

SRF #69: No word in the English language rhymes with "month".*

SRF #66: Americans on average eat 18 acres of pizza every day.

SRF #22: Alaska has the highest percentage of people who walk to work.

SRF #144: Texas is the only state that permits residents to vote from space.

SRF #44: The bullfrog is the only animal that never sleeps.

SRF #32: There are one million ants for every human in the world.

SRF #193: The year that read the same upside down was 1961. That won’t happen again until 6009.

SRF #214: Giraffes can lick their own eyes.

SRF #40: It is possible to lead a cow up stairs but not down stairs.

SRF #34: Oysters can change from one gender to another and back again.

SRF #82: August has the highest percentage of births.

SRF #130: Koalas and humans are the only animals with unique fingerprints.

SRF #25: The only food that doesn’t spoil is honey.

SRF #31: The average human eats 8 spiders in his/her lifetime while sleeping.

*Just adding my own two cents here, but another word for which there is no rhyming word (in the English language) is "orange". Just another piece of completely useless info that is rolling around in my so-called brain

Monday, January 14, 2008

All Aboard Mister C's Wild Ride...

OK, so yesterday, I was watching part of a movie I have liked since I originally saw it in 1995, Boys on the Side. In case you've never seen it, it stars Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Drew Barrymore & a hunky Matthew McConaughey.

If you've never seen it, the Internet Movie Database provides this short but accurate description:

Jane [Whoopi Goldberg] is a night club singer, out of work. Robin [Mary-Louise Parker] is a quirky real estate agent looking for a ride-share to accompany her to
California. Her advertisement is answered by Jane, who at first was uncertain about her. A stop in Pittsburgh picks up a third, Holly [Drew Barrymore], escaping a violent and drug-dealing partner. Girls on the road, reaching understanding, respect, and care for each other. But this trio is different - Jane a lesbian, Robin suffering with AIDS, Holly running from her past, seeking one-night stands and a good man.

I hadn't seen Boys on the Side in a while & I had forgotten how both humorous & sad this movie is (darn those drama-dies)!

I hope I don't spoil anything for anyone who hasn't seen the movie yet, but if you've had a dozen or so years to watch it and haven't yet, I doubt this post will make you want to add it to your Blockbuster or Netflix queue!

Anyway, in typical road-trip-film-style, the 3 very disparate women wind up becoming more than friends, they become family & through their "zany adventures," they learn that what they thought they were looking for in their lives wasn't really what they needed at all.

I submit that, sometimes our everyday lives get us all sidetracked. I think, as the old saying goes, in our get-it-in-30-minutes-or-less-or-it's-free, instant-credit-approval, when-it-absolutely-positively-has-to-be-there-overnight, lose-10-pounds-in-2-days world, we can't help but miss the forest for the trees. Like Don Quixote, we get an idea in our heads about the giants we must slay to reach our life's goals or to re-live past glories & we don't let anything (even reality) get in our way. Our single-minded pursuit & lack of at least periodic serious self-reflection has us inevitably tilting at windmills. Like Quixote, sometimes the giants we think we see really aren't what they seem at all. Just a thought.

Anyway, while watching the movie I realized that what Jane & Robin & Holly were experiencing, all of us experience, if we ever allow ourselves to have people we love & who love us in our lives. Not that we are all looking for either a golden life in the
Golden State, or a gig in a nightclub or the perfect man (or woman), but their trip serves as a metaphor for life, I believe. As I sat there & watched Robin get sicker & become more helpless, I thought to myself, "This is how it will end for everyone..." & that made me think of the Flaming Lips song, Do You Realize.

I know it may sound silly, but I first heard this song in a TV commercial for a car company (can't remember which one right now), but it has a wonderful tune & shortly after I first heard it, I had to get the lyrics to it & listen to the whole song.

Watching Boys on the Side & thinking about how ever allowing even one person into your life & into your heart will always mean, at one point or another, saying goodbye reminded me of the first two stanzas of the song, Do You Realize. In particular these words:

Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face?
Do You Realize - we're floating in space?
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry?
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die?

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes,
Let them know

You realize that life goes fast,
It's hard to make the good things last,
You realize the sun doesn't go down,
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

When I first read those words, I thought, "How depressing!" for such a beautiful-sounding song! The song was saying that "everyone you know someday will die"! I mean, as a mortal being, I knew that was so, but I didn't necessarily want to think about it, or sing a song about it!

Then I re-read the second stanza which tells us to "let them know/You realize that life goes fast". To me it all really means that we can't let our lives become a place to wait til it's all done. It means that we must embrace our impermanence & use the knowledge of our limited time here to make the most of whatever time we do have, and to take a leap of faith now and again & allow entrance into our hearts to people that we know we will have to let go of one day. Truth is, if you ever allow yourself to love someone else, it means, by necessity, the promise of a future broken heart. You can't really love someone & watch them leave you without enduring what seems, at least for a time, inconsolable pain. I think, deep inside, we all know that there is just no way around it.

Having said that, I don't want anyone who reads this to take from what I have written a belief that I constantly think about how horribly it will all end for each of us. Back when I was in the closet & when I hid my heart & my life from the light of day, I thought regularly that, if I had to "live" this way, at least I wouldn't have the pain of trying to live my life without a love my heart had grown used to. At least I had no good-byes to endure. I did & said a lot of stuff back then that I thought would help me through my existence in hiding, but none of it really worked, of course. I didn't have to worry about the pain of losing someone I loved or of having someone who loved me see me off, but I did have to somehow endure the emptiness until it was time for me to die alone. What a trade-off.

That's what this song reminded me of yesterday. It's true "that everyone you know someday will die," but, if you are fortunate enough to have people in your life who care about you & who love you, it's not about the time it all will end; it's about the time before that. It's about those things & those people with which you decorate your life before the last breath is drawn. It's about the joy & the happiness & the companionship you get to share while you are here.

If it's true that all we mortals must "give up the ghost" in the end & if we can do nothing to stop it from happening, then as Gandalf the White said in Lord of the Rings, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." We can decide to avoid the inevitable pain that comes with having to let go of the hand of those who have helped make our lives worth living, or we can sit by & simply regret a loveless & joyless life knowing that we have no one to even say good-bye to.

No matter what you " do with the time that is given" you, there will be sadness & there will be pain once it's all done, but I guess it's all in how you arrive at it. Either live your life aloof & separated by the wall you build around your heart & live the pain everyday, or allow someone (or even a few someones) to become important to you & allow them to care about you & you for them. Bravely give them the keys to the kingdom of your heart. Acknowledge "that life goes fast" and that "it's hard to make the good things last," and then work as hard as you can to make those "good things" last as long as possible. If you know it's going to hurt in the end, at least make sure you & the ones you love have some nice, warm memories tucked into your inevitable broken heart to help keep you company.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

She-e-e-e-e-ery Baby?!?!?

Talking about going from (as near to) sublime (as I get) with my last post to the ridiculous (we were talking about that, right?!?!), I found a website called Pop Culture Madness (, which allows you to find your date of birth & then see what the #1 song in the U.S. was at that time, according to Billboard Magazine. Since it's a "pop culture" website, I am assuming it's the #1 Pop song when you were born.*

To find the info for date you were born, when you go to the website, scroll about halfway down the page & on the far left, simply click on the link that reads, "[the decade you were born] Billboard #1 Hits," and then on that decade's page, choose the year & then the time frame you were born, and voilà!

Since I was born on October 17, 1962, I went to the "60s Billboard # 1 Hits," chose 1962 & then I found the timeframe where I was born (September 15 - October 19) and discovered that the #1 song at that time was "Sherry" by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

I have to say that I was not exactly thrilled to find out this info! To me (and since this is my blog, it really is all about me, right?!?!) "Sherry" is simply a stupid song. It's basically mindless palaver consisting of the words "Sherry, Sherry, baby, can you come out tonight?" repeated ad nauseum until you can't take it anymore & you are forced to switch off the Hi-Fi if you haven't broken your hand after putting your fist through the wall!

I guess, for trivia purposes, it's good to know, but I am MUCH more impressed with the #1 song from the time frame just after I was born, October 20 - November 2, 1962: "Monster Mash" by Bobby, Boris, Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers! Now that's what the kids call a hella-cool song!

Anyway, if you get a chance to read this post & you find the #1 song in the U.S. of A. when you were born, please share with the class!

Hope your song is a little more substantial and interesting than mine was! :-/

*The writer of this post can make no claims, in any way, shape or form,
as to the accuracy of the information, claims and/or statements found on the Pop Culture Madness website and/or on any websites linked to said website which reader may subsequently explore. Writer is absolved of any liability which may ensue by any information appearing in aforementioned website(s). Void where prohibited, taxed or otherwise restricted by law. No cash value.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


So I've been torn for a while over the plethora (you like that word?!?!) of choices we of the Democratic persuasion have where our presidential candidates are concerned.

Don't tell anyone, but, SOMETIMES, I miss Bill Clinton. I miss the prosperity in which nearly everyone shared during his administration. I miss the optimism of that time. I miss not feeling like an enemy of my government simply because I don't want to give up my rights.

What I don't miss is the nearly daily stories of Monicagate & the he-says-she-says circus that the republicans insisted on showcasing during his administration. Sure, Bill Clinton was wrong for using the highest office in the land to further his sexual indiscretions, but just as wrong was the elephant party's insistence on using every lever of power at their disposal to focus government's attention on one man's prurient desires instead of making life better for the people there were sent to represent. The republican party's lust to get Bill, a man they saw as an illegitimate & undeserving occupant of the White House, was as blatant & obvious as Bill's lust to get...whatever it is he was trying to get.

I don't mean to air already-over-aired dirty laundry, but I wanted to make a point about Hillary. I would wager that I agree with 98.6% or more of Hillary's stances. She is a good woman (in my humble opinion) with a good heart & a desire to fix so much that Bill's successor has destroyed & spoiled for the rest of us. Her governmental experience & public life as First Lady have made her more-than-able to, as she claims in her ads, to hit the ground running. I have no doubt of that. I won't vote for her in the Florida primary not because I don't trust her or because she holds political points of view with which I vehemently disagree. I won't vote for her because I am ready for something new. Like so many other Americans, I want (I need) a fresh start & a fresh face. Hillary has a place in the public discourse & she has so much to contribute to bringing honor back to our country, but, on January 29th, I want to send a message to my party that we need a break with the past & that we have to look forward to a future that gives us all hope that the 7+ year long Bushmare is over. Hillary--as the head of our ticket--doesn't seem to represent that for least not now.

Of the remaining candidates, I am most fired-up about Barack Obama & John Edwards. They are two truly fresh faces that give me a reason to stand up & cheer. They remind me why I've been a Democrat ever since I could vote. They are not perfect people, to be sure, and they disagree with me on civil marriage equality (but, then again, so do most of the other Dems in the race), but they also seem to me to be men who are willing to listen & open to reason. They both talk about the innate unfairness & inequality of the status quo. They both seem to have no interest in business as usual. Not many people I know do.

John Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, to me, is simply a marvel! She refuses to allow her illness to keep her from saving the country she loves so much by helping the man she loves so much to get his message out. She knows that it's not really about her...or about John...but about her children & everyone else's children. She & John seek to give voice to those who either cannot speak for themselves or who are never heard at all in a town where only money talks. They are also good, decent people who make me proud of my party...something that has been a rarity for me for a while.

Then there's Barack. Barack Obama is about a year older than me. WOW! That's just amazing to me! Maybe it's just me, but when you think of the junior senator from Illinois, you can't help but think of potential! Barack is not gay, of course, but with his exposure to so many different kinds of people (his father was from Kenya, his mother from Kansas, and they met at the University of Hawaii & Barack was raised for some time in Indonesia), I truly think he knows what being different is all about, because he has lived it. No need to explain to him how it is to be seen as an outsider. He's not (yet) an equal civil marriage rights advocate, but he also thinks that gay people still deserve the same rights as anyone else & that our relationships deserve equal protection. I wish it were different & I wish he would just cut to the chase & come around to my point of view. It will happen one day, I know. Where GLBT equality is concerned, things just don't ever go as quickly as I think they should. A "no-brainer" to me may not be so to someone else...but at least Obama's (and John's & Hillary's & all the other Democrats') heart is not closed to changing at some point. Call me an optimist...

Like John Edwards, Barack represents for me, a fresh face. You obviously also cannot escape the fact that it is also a black face. The way I see it, most of us are craving so badly anyone who is most UNLIKE our current crop of "leaders". The difference between George DUBYA Bush and Barack Obama goes WAY beyond skin color. They are also people with two different life paths & life views. Dubya came from a life of privilege where his Mom & Dad were always there to bail him out (probably quite literally). Barack's Mom & Dad divorced & he lived with his mom in Hawaii & Indonesia. When it came time to find a career, Dubya's parents bailed him out of a bad oil deal & then helped their son to purchase part of the Texas Rangers baseball team & then later sell it for 24 times what he had invested. After graduating from Harvard, Barack went to work for a legal firm that specialized in civil rights legislation. The difference is like night & so many ways!

Barack Obama's constant mantra of change & his dedication to doing what is right for ALL OF US & not just for those of us fortunate to be able to buy his ear speaks to more than just people like me. Like so many rats abandoning a sinking ship of state, republicans who have finally opened their eyes & their nostrils & have begun to catch a whiff of the poisonous brew of Dubya's willful incompetence & drunken cowboy attitude are slowly but surely shifting allegiances. The British internet newspaper, Times Online, for example, reported last year that,

"Tom Bernstein went to Yale University with Bush and co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team with him. In 2004 he donated the maximum $2,000 to the president’s reelection campaign and gave $50,000 to the Republican National Committee. This year he is switching his support to Obama. He is one of many former Bush admirers who find the Democrat newcomer appealing."

I also found a Harris poll reported that, nationwide, political Independents say they would consider voting for Obama over Clinton by 37% to 29%. Twice as many Republicans said they would consider voting for Obama as would consider voting for Clinton (14% vs 7%). That tells me that people of every political stripe are at least willing to listen to what he has to say. Call me Pollyanna, but it seems that Americans may be ready to ignore the labels & discard their pre-conceived notions to support a man who is what he seems to be: a man who dares to hope for better & who is willing to fight for it...and for us.

That's where my heart & my mind stand right I write this. Hillary Clinton & John Edwards (& Bill Richardson & Dennis Kucinich & Mike Gravel) are not anathema to me. They are not my enemies. I would/will vote for any one of them in the general election, if they get my party's nomination. Except for John Edwards & Barack Obama, however, I have to wonder if my potential presidential vote in 2008 will just be anti-the-republican-candidate instead of pro-the-Democratic candidate. It would be so nice to vote my hope instead what has been left to me, lo these many years: voting out of sheer frustration.

If our country is fortunate enough to be presented with the chance to vote for either John Edwards or Barack Obama, I know that my vote will be made with a weariness for the way things are now & a longing for the promise of blessed change...not just change in office holders, but a national change of heart!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Before today, I thought that "antidisestablishmentarianism" was the longest word in the English language, tipping the scales at 28 letters.

Today, I found out the word that that "honor" goes to a 45-letter word describing, "an obscure term ostensibly referring to a lung disease caused by silica dust, sometimes cited as one of the longest words in the English language." So saith

So just like in elementary school, let's all practice spelling it 10 times in a row:

1. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
2. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
3. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
4. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
5. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
6. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
7. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
8. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
9. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
10. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

There will be a test on this, so study hard!

First blog

Now don't get me wrong, because, while I really am no heterophobe, I don't usually like to promote a lifestyle with which I so strongly disagree. I mean, I know that str8 people exist (heck, some of my best friends are str8) & I theoretically support their right to choose to allow themselves to be attracted to the opposite sex, but why do they have to be so big on flaunting it for the whole world to see: holding hands, kissing in public, walking around with their arm around their partner's shoulder!!! What they do behind closed doors is no business of mine, but why can't they, as Mother Bates so eloquently put it in the movie, "Psycho," appease their ugly appetites in the privacy of their darkened bedrooms (or on their dining room tables, or in their bathtubs or in their Barcaloungers, or wherever-it-is they perform their acts of abomination), and why do they insist on giving themselves special rights???!?

Sorry, I digressed momentarily from the main point of this post...sometimes my righteous indignation gets the better of me...

Anyway, I think this YouTube video is cute and, irrespective of it's subversive promotion of the heterosexual agenda, I just had to share it:

P.S. I just don't get the part where he says, "your weight is lower than your IQ". I personally have NEVER had a problem with that. I guess it's just another aspect of his lifestyle that I will never understand!