I enjoy birthday parties more than most people. Considering that I don’t enjoy birthday parties very much, this is noteworthy commentary on our society. Granted, it is entirely possible that a link exists between my conduct in achieving birthday party enjoyment and others’ failure to attain such mirth, but you’ll have to ask them. I can’t recall a thing.
Recently a friend from Vancouver announced she’d be coming to Australia to celebrate her fiftieth birthday. I knew at once there would be no avoiding this event. Fiftieth birthdays mark a worthy and notable milestone, a serious business. Continue reading 03. Serious Business
Amongst gays, “camping” has a meaning very different to “the activity of spending a holiday living in a tent.” Wikipedia explains “Camp aesthetics disrupt many modernists’notions of what art is and what can be classified as high art by inverting aesthetic attributes such as beauty, value, and taste through an invitation of a different kind of apprehension and consumption.” I cite this blather not as the alternative definition of camping, but as an excellent demonstration of that alternative definition.
In 1986, Boston’s Gay Pride Parade was a very different animal than it is today. For starters, it was still called “Gay Pride”, rather than today’s beast which is mandatorily and generically referred to as “Pride” so as to encompass “people of all walks of life and all identities”. I guess that’s a good thing. I certainly supported it when they made it “Gay and Lesbian Pride”, and got on board when they added “Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex”. After that, although I was delighted to have their support, it was a little difficult to explain the view that adding “Black, Latin and Youth” to the list had the effect of watering down the potency. Today we celebrate everybody’s Pride, including, presumably, war criminals, performance enhancing drug cheats, bankers, and all the bigots who hate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, black, Latin and youthful persons. Huh. Continue reading 02. A Camper’s Outing
Recently I spent some time camping in south eastern Queensland, Australia in a rented $150,000 motorhome. It was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life. The thing is, it all went exactly as planned. It was not only predictable, it was predicted – by me — that I would not enjoy it. Yet, I did it, clinging to the hope that I had grown or changed or learned to enjoy certain things despite a pretty good inkling that I wouldn’t enjoy them.
Let me say from the get-go that I am not a big fan of camping. It is not for lack of trying. Like sailing, camping strikes me as one of those naturally peaceful things every one of us victims of the post-industrial age should enjoy. Over the years, each time the emotional wounds of a previous foray healed, I’ve made another attempt to enjoy another form of camping. Continue reading 01. Hardwood Island