Friday, May 26, 2006

Thoughts on the Gay Marriage Hysteria

This is an issue that I've thought a lot about in the last year. I have lots of gay friends and I am also one of those people who is pretty much anti-marriage in a lot of ways. I don't like the idea of being "owned," or of having the state certify my right to co-exist with another human being, or interfere in my personal sex life with intrusive legislation. It's no one's business but the two people involved. As long as it by mutual consent, it is no one's business what they do to and with each other. Period.

I also have many times felt my heart tug with sadness when my gay friends that are so clearly in love with each other, have no right to even hold hands in public without fear of bigotry and intolerance being directed at them. We heterosexuals don't even think about this, it is so much our right to do so. And yet, there are so many people right among us who can't even do this simple act of belongingness with each other.

I also went through that horrible period of time when so many of my friends died of AIDS and what made it even worse was that very often their life partners were not allowed to be with them because they weren't "legal" family members. This is so wrong, so heartbreaking, so cruel. For no other reason then this, I feel gay people should be allowed to marry with all the benefits and legal protections any other person in this country has to right to do.

For those of you who think this would require a separate amendment or new legislation, you are wrong. All it would require is removing the word "gay" from the discussion and make it marriage between two people as the law already stands. The definition of between "man and woman" is not the law. It is a religious tenet that should only apply to people who are members of that particular sect or cult. Personal religious beliefs are just that...personal. They should never be universally forced on people. That is quite simply UN-American.

I'm old enough to remember what it was like having all my accomplishments preceded by the word "female." It made me more sensitive to such adjectives. I fought for my right to be a poet and not a female poet, a web designer and not a female web designer, a human being and not a female human being. It always felt as if I was being demeaned to have my accomplishments adjectivized.

I also see this as just another Karl Rove hate tactic to divide people just in time for the election. If nothing else, that evil bastard has proven that the way to win is to divide us against each other. Those who jump on the anti-gay marriage crap he is spewing only feed the fires of his politics of mean. Don't fall for it again. We are better than that.

I wanted to make a design that took all this into account and yet wasn't mean or angry or hostile and I came up with the one at the top of the page. If you would like to buy it on t-shirts, mousepads, coffee mugs, and lots of other things, then do visit my store. My designs mostly focus on Peace, Pets, Pagans, and Politics. I really believe that art can change the world and that the first changes often are found on t-shirts. Come be part of this change. Enter the world of Ursine Logic


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Holy Wounds Of Love

I'm always astonished at the cult of the celebrity that feeds on famous people's lives with an insatiable hunger. I always preferred the more immediate satisfaction of speculating about, feeling sorry for, and lusting after those I knew personally. It always seemed boringly futile to go beyond my own life for those life and death moments that defined me and made me the eccentric and bizarre human I am today.

If my heart was broken I wanted my friends to know about it because they were the ones who could heal me. They could tell me I didn't fail, I wasn't worthless, it was his inability to love and not any inadequacy on my part. I needed these pretty lies to patch up the wounds in my heart so I could love again. I needed to know there were still people who loved me, people I could call at three in the morning and just cry into the phone until I was empty. It kept me alive to have this base of support. Without them I would have thrown myself off the nearest mountain.

And the same if I lusted after someone. I wanted it to be a person I had some realistic chance of connecting with or else it just seemed like worthless suffering to me. I saved my heroic worship for those who had truly inspired me--spiritual leaders like Gandhi, courageous examples such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr, musicians such as long dead composers who were so inspirational no one else has come along with the same power, the same awesome talent and ability.

And if someone I knew broke up, if a couple in my immediate circle's relationship ended, if through them I learned that everlasting love sometimes turns out to have a weak battery, then it was even more important that it be someone I knew intimately. The main reason for that is I am by nature a comforter. I can't imagine anything more frustrating to have that part of me floating free with nothing to land on because I didn't know the person who was drawing those instincts from me. It just didn't seem natural. It was impossible. I might as well weep at a wall's inner pain.

When you combine all that with my solid belief that what happens between two people is their business alone and it is rude and stalker-like to care about other people's lives so much, then you get the picture that I basically could care less what happens to celebrities. They are strangers. To care so much about their personal lives is the same to me as going up to some stranger on the street and demanding to know the intimate details of their sexual behavior and other intimate moments that are absolutely none of my business. It is saying to complete strangers yes, you can ask me about my own life, you can probe my privacy, dig into my love life, my successes and failures just because I entertained you at one time.

That said, I think I finally am beginning to understand with this latest focus on Paul McCartney and Heather Mill's relationship end. Let me say first of all that my favorite Beatle was George. I like my men to look like men. He had that lovely ruggedness that I adore. Paul was always too pretty for my tastes. But that aside, his sad life is making me understand something about this obsessive need in people to pry into his pain and Heather's. It has to do with the magnitude of the pain caused by love gone bad, the humiliation of love that didn't last, that allowed so many people into it, it never really had a chance.

If you think of the pain of love as something that can be measured, it begins to make even more sense to look for something larger than you are to hook your suffering to so you don't drown in your own misery. There's so many different levels of love pain. You have the small pain of a weekend fling that never called back. You have the distant high school ouch-relationship that warned that love and flowers and butterfly stuff in books was a lie: real love, true love hurt like hell. Especially in High School.

But to focus so much on these two celebrities tells me something about people that I know fairly well about myself : we've all loved that one person that brutally betrayed our blind trust in love. It was the life-changing moment we suffered through and whose memory continues to haunt us. The pain always seemed so much bigger than our own circle of friends, well-intentioned though they were, could possibly deal with. The pain was just too big. It needed a bigger stage than the limited area of a friend's shoulder. It needed more voices than your dear friends on the telephone. It needed more impact than the sympathetic emails. It needed a performance hall large enough to show off all the wounds so everyone would know the depth of your pain.

That is why we turn to bigger than life celebrities when they suffer. When our own pain is so big that it cannot live in a normal world, we turn to those whose wounds are bigger than life. It makes our own pain more tolerable to see that no one is immune from such wounds. We say if they can suffer, then maybe it wasn't our fault. Maybe we are not such bad people. Maybe it wasn't the end of the world. Maybe we can go on. Maybe we can patch our own hearts back together, no matter how many patches it already has.

And in a very sad and twisted way, it makes us accept our own lives, the limitations of having to work for a living, of being in debt, of never making enough to take that vacation, buy that beautiful home, that private getaway. It tells us that those things are not enough, that money is not the bandage we tell ourselves it would be. If the rich and famous can suffer over love, then we truly are equal, aren't we?

I wish Peace to us all in love and especially in war.

I made the rough draft of this image several years ago when I refused to let myself be defeated by a love gone bad. At the time I felt completely alone in my suffering. I felt no one understood me. And yet, I also knew I believed in love so much that I would patch up my poor, battered heart and try again and again and again until I got it right.

If you want to buy it on a variety of products for yourself or as a gift for a fellow suffering soul, just enter HERE

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Worst Theft of All

By now most of us are over the shock and just stand in awe at the blatant destruction for personal gain of the Rapture Republicans. They live as if there were no tomorrow because that is what they believe: there is no tomorrow. Think about it. No tomorrow. If you believed that, if you believed that whatever you did would never be punished, never be accounted for, never challenged as wrong and selfish just because you did it while on your knees, would you do what these greedy and corrupt bastards have done and continue to do?

I think most people would not. This is a special kind of greed that was deliberately shaped in the past by such pre-indoctrination as burning down the library in Alexandria because the knowledge contained within was so vast and so contradictory to the christian brainwashing then in effect that it was considered heresy.

It is a particularly evil kind of ignorance that burned books like the Nazis did because they contained philosophies that did not take into account the rich, white, land-owning christian man ruling over everyone else. It is an especially moronic and manipulated idiot that continues to do this in the many small pockets of ignorance that continue to build " stupid people" bonfires in the present day for artists like Michael Moore and the Dixie Chicks for the imagined crime of daring to speak out against lies, war, and more lies.

Those who engage in hate and ignorance-spewing rationalize their twisted actions because the voices in their heads told them to, and their hate-spewing radio stations told them to. But especially because they learned crap in schools that were dumbed down by making education not something you learned but something you endured in the process of making social connections so one day in the future you could pat a totally inept, in way-over-his head moron on the back and say "heckuva job brownie."

These idiots are the manipulated fools who were bought with cheap hot dogs, marching bands, Chinese-made American flags to wave in the parades, and coca-cola to rot what was left of their teeth in order to support a war based on lies and greed. These are the used and abused who were fed hatred against groups of other human beings in mono-syllabic grunts they could swallow without any thought at all. These are the greedy and powerful who hired dominatrixes and prostitutes to "punish" them for their sins because they know what they were doing was so evil and so wrong, that nothing short of expensive humiliation would ease the burden enough to be able to look in the mirror and face unconscionable slime staring back in disgust.

And the worst sin of all is their combined rape and destruction of natural resources that any thinking, feeling, responsible human being would understand was the most precious legacy they possessed to leave future generations. This is what our grandchildren and their grandchildren will never forgive: the blatant theft and abuse of something left in their trust, an heirloom so precious it can never be replaced.

Truly, they will rightfully perceive this time as evil and as ignorant as the book and library and knowledge destroying fanatics. They will refer to this time as the dark ages of the human soul when greed, ignorance and outright hatred of anyone different led to the destruction of their heritage.

But within that sad history will be the small glimmer of hope that has always grown strong against the wave of such destruction: the tiny choruses of voices who spoke timidly at first, who were drowned out by the trumped up shouts of war, who were jailed, spied upon, punished, derided and degraded...but who continued nevertheless because they knew if they remained silent, the bad people would win.

These people are us. We can win because we have something more real, more precious, more alive than religious manipulation and hatred on our side: we have truth and honor and compassion. Those are strengths that return again and again to defeat evil.

Please add your voice to the growing chorus or there will be nothing left to leave our great great grandchildren other than a sense of shame that we could have done something, could have spoken up, could have stopped the madness...but did not.


note: I began my online store as a way to help in the fight for peace and justice in the world. Most of my designs help the silent and timid speak up. Yes, I do believe the world can be changed one t-shirt at a time. It is my way of fighting back without having to pick up a gun, a sword, a brick, a rock, a weapon of any kind.

You can visit my store by entering HERE

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Nature As Teacher

One of the reasons religion and its limited concept of spirituality never found a home in me is because my soul has always been tightly woven with Nature. I've always felt myself in the flow of the river as it wound its way through canyons and valleys and lush, abundant mountain ranges. I've always seen myself in the depths of a lake's many layers--the silty gray of thawing ideology, the multi-hued greens of new growth and maturing spirit, the blues of ice and sky and blinding insight so intense that my heart found new heights to test its wings. I've gazed at the ocean as if it were an oracle with answers to all the questions worth asking.

I am not separate from Nature. We are one entity with many hearts all beating in a rhythm of different places in the same time. We are a breath taken one thousand years ago and reborn as the whispered sigh of a creek dancing through a break in the rocks. We are a drop of rain that falls one thousand years in the future as the tear of a love so profound, one can only weep from the intensity of emotion and feeling. We are the crash of a wave against the rocks as we ebb and flow and sweep over the man-made obstacles of being alive.

When I sit in silence in the depths of a forest, the soft rustle of scurrying feet mix with the song of birds, trees shake their leaves and whisper secrets with the wind, the scent of change dies and grows and evolves to a new form, a new reality, a new growth.

I change with the seasons. I die and I am reborn in harmony with the death and rebirth of Nature. I am the waves of the ocean forming new inroads into the shore of my understanding. I am the mist and the cry of the seagulls and the call of geese flying through the fire glow of a setting sun.

In all of Nature is a piece of my soul, a part of me that was shaped and formed and created by processes that are nothing less than a mother giving birth to a child.

Is it any wonder that I find religion and its unholy intermediaries irrelevant to who I am, who I am becoming, and who I shall be?

The Van Gogh quote and design is available HERE


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Breaking Free From The Herd

Have you ever noticed while driving along a highway that clumps of cars travel together, leaving empty spaces in front and behind them? It's as if everyone is afraid to be the lone car, the sore thumb raising it's damaged appendage to draw the highway patrol's attention. Ticket me! Ticket me! I'm outside the herd and therefore bad bad bad.

You see this same behavior while walking along the sidewalks of Anytown, USA. If you stop and look inside a shop, sure enough, within moments, there will be a sudden crowd of slack-jawed gapers joining you. Go for a hike on a public trail and people will slow down or speed up in order to not be left alone where they can be mauled by wild bears or the "authorities."

We have become a nation of puppies suffering separation anxiety from the collective feeding sacks. When you consider that one of the many traits America once prided itself on: rugged individualism, has virtually disappeared in the frenzy to look like everyone else so you won't be picked out of the crowd, it becomes more than a casual observance. It points to a fundamental change in character.

There are several places to focus on as being responsible for this herd behavior. Of course the easy ones are the churches. Dissent is frowned upon. You join a church because everyone thinks like you, acts like you, behaves like you, and most importantly, believes like you. The hive of sameness is comforting in this ever changing and scary world, and believe me, the unholy intermediaries know it is in their self-interest to keep you huddled together. It is easier to pick your pockets...and your souls when you are all in one convenient place, both physically and mentally.

The less obvious one is the growth of the politics of mean. It has no purpose except to divide people into groups that can be manipulated for personal and political gain. It works especially well if you implant the evil seeds of "us" and "them" to keep the different groups from co-mingling and finding out exactly how they are being manipulated.

So go ahead and hate people for their sexual orientation, their politics, their ethnic identity, their legal or illegal status, their religious beliefs--or especially their LACK of religious beliefs. And once you make all that part of your collective soul, give up language and just bleat bahhhhh bahhhhhh bahhhhhhh every once in a while because it is the only fitting response to how you've allowed yourself to be stripped of everything that makes you unique.

And once you no longer stand out in the crowd, once you no longer think differently from the herd, once you no longer have the will or desire to stand up for yourself or for what you believe, then your life ceases to have any special value. You become cannon fodder for the war party. You become a pawn in the game of death. You lose everything and never miss it because you no longer remember what it was like to have value as a human being.

This is how the revolution happens. Not by violence. Not by dissent. Not by fighting for liberty, freedom and democracy. It happens by mutual and blind consent. It happens because you sold yourself like some cheap whore to a political party, or a televised religious bigot, or the promise of things and money and glittery, shiny toys, and especially for the promise that no one but people who looked and thought like you would ever enter your gated community mind.

You might as well kick some dirt over yourself because you are pretty much dead.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wiretap This!

Privacy is a strange thing. In many countries it does not have the importance it does in America. It is not unusual in some cultures to satisfy one's curiosity by opening someone else's purse or backpack and examining the contents. Privacy in such cultures equals secrecy and secrecy equals bad. Friends don't have secrets from each other, therefore they should not mind if one examines their most intimate items with total and complete interest. To claim the right of privacy is to immediately draw everyone's suspicion.

This uniquely American "right" is on an equal footing with individualism, the right to live free of government intrusion, and separation of private vs. public lives. This country has always prided itself on the lack of evil entities such as secret police, faceless spies who tracked every move of its citizens. It cherished such things as private property, private and personal beliefs, private time, private thoughts, private conversations.

These cherished rights were the fabric of an America envied by the world over. It was one of the things that gained us respect and honor and the desire to be America's friends and allies. It is what set us apart from those awful totalitarian regimes, dictatorships, and puppet governments we were told were very different from us. We were told they were very bad governments who SPIED on their own people, LISTENED IN on private conversations, and INTRUDED on every aspect of people's cherished lives.

Now we have become what we once opposed because of power-hungry and greedy bastards who care nothing about this country. They care only to enrich themselves, to steal what they can and control everything so they can continue to lie and cheat and steal without exposure.

This design is for them, those bastards who for years told us the enemy would break down our doors and steal our privacy. However, they neglected to tell us that enemy would be them.

You can buy this design at Ursine Logic

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Green Bears Discuss Immigration

No matter what you think about the immigration issue, the impressive thing is the number of people who turned out who weren't immigrants, legal or otherwise. It makes me think what people really protested against was the disenfranchising of everyone who isn't part of the Stepford Elite that the Republican party has become. Most people in this country are very much like those of several decades ago who were not Fascists, Nazis or Communists. They are apolitical and never gave their vote or party affiliation much thought. Punching that card or screen became a tedious task that one had to do but that meant very little emotionally.

The Bush Theocracy changed all that. People woke up and realized the nuclear trigger is in the hands of a madman who thinks some imaginary playmate is whispering in his ear to nuke the world for jesus. If he wasn't president, he'd be heavily medicated and kept somewhere he couldn't do any harm except shout at ghosts occasionally.

But this is the leader of the country, the head of an administration that has cultivated fear, suspicion, division, and war for the sake of greed. And the congress is worthless either because they've had their silence bought through dirt uncovered in those illegal wiretaps of American citizens, or they are so stunned at the extent of the greed, madness and corruption that passes for the presidency these days that they literally cannot summon up the words to describe their outrage.

Either way, this country is moving closer to choosing a third party rather than the War Party or their accommodating minions in Congress. It's time to clean house, and the senate, and the presidency. It's time to open some eyes.

I made this design after the immigration rallies because I am certain the whole issue began as this election year's wedge issue, the gay marriage button pusher of 2006. It backfired on them. But they will keep trying because to lose any of the elections is to move closer to the jail cells that await them for being the thieves and war criminals they are. All they are left with are the cheap tricks of last year that fooled only the most moronic of their base: throw two dudes up on the tv during prime time, have them lock lips, and the screams of terror will propel the horrified populace to the ballot boxes to cast votes for more Republicans.

Only this time the lip-lockers will be Mexican because that way they won't completely lose out on the immigration issue.


Green Bears designs available at Ursine Logic