Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The End of the Rainbow: Pride Parade, Part Two

(As the day continued, more and more my attention waned from Barry's rant and to the fête on wheels.)

The song stylings of Prince blares across the street as half a dozen mostly naked men dance a top a story tall float. They are wearing chrome speedo's and chrome cartoonish top hats. Bellow them is a pastel neon portrait of the 16th President of the United States. Mr. Lincoln's beard is green and his eyes stare deeply into the crowd. His demeanor is of hidden bemusement, which seems to be his conduct in any portrait. The men above shake their muscles, proudly expressing their freedom to "Party like it's 1999".

A short asian woman dances on a float themed "Hero's". Along side her are a few non recognizable generic hero's who have obviously put no effort into their costumes. The asian woman has on a classic piece of comic book history. She dawns a perfectly fashioned Jean Gray costume. But not only that, it is Jean Gray as the cosmic entity know as "The Phoenix". The gold boots and gloves match perfectly with the hot green top. She is sexy without needing to compromise the integrity of the character to show her legs or chest. She moves in the costume like she has warn it her entire life. She smiles proudly, knowing that the few people who recognize the her will appreciate the effort she has gone to as a designer and as a true fan.


Gay cow boys square dance to a remix of "These boots were made for walking" and the crowd goes nuts.

Latino drag queens, dressed in Quinceañera white and red, smile in the sun. Their skin shines in the heat of the afternoon. Their hair, despite the wind barreling down the street off the lake, stands defiantly still.

The Illinois Lotto float slowly passes. It is a golden temple littered with sparkelling men, rippled with muscel. A fat queen sits behind on a thrown, quietly watching her subjects. As she passes the protesters, a smile as wide and bright as her float emerges on her face and she stands, blowing kisses to her "fans".

An silver ice cream truck slowly stops in the center of my view. On it's side are a signs for different flavored popsicles. The flavors are all sexual innuendo and puns; the kind that would be written out on a piece of paper in junior high and passed around the class while the substitute teach lecturing about fractions. Atop the roaming example of camp is a giant purple popsicle. A half naked man and woman unashamedly startle the shinny phallus. As the crowd shouts the man and woman raise their hands to the sky and the cheers are rewarded as the popsicles tip explodes with a gush of white steam. Smiles and laugher run rampant through the masses. The level of joy at the end of the rainbow continues and I wonder if the festivities are ever going to end, and if I care?


Walking along the sideway are five waiflike boys dressed as Dorothy, the Tin man, the Scarecrow, the Good witch and the Wicked witch. All are only wearing elements of the original costumes and are mostly naked, their heroin chic bodies on display. They all laugh and skip, singing songs from the land of Oz. Dorothy grabs the Wicked witch by the hand and the wicked witch turns and pulls Dorothy into her. The two passionately kiss, groping each other, Dorothy pulling the witches leg up to her hip and reaching across the black mini skirt to paw at her ass. The other three continue prancing around the lovers as Dorothy's heals click together rapidly. It is a surreal, phantasmagorical sequence that could have only been staged by the ghost of Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde.

It was then understandable that I was in a strange place when I saw that TV personality Billy Mays had been found dead in his Florida home. I don't know why the shock of his passing affected me the way it did, but I honestly shed a few tears behind my dark sunglasses. I then texted a few people, got on Facebook to see who knew(because what's the point of social media if not to see who follows current events and posts their reactions). I sat back, slightly numb, and watched the parade, as a large black pickup truck transporting three aging drag queens passed my view.

Having thought about the death a little, I can say that I was saddened by the loss of someone I had grown to trust. The recent slew of deaths in the realm of Hollywood had no emotional affect on my life. I felt sad because Billy Mays was a old style sales man, someone who had never lead my dollar astray by his endorsements. Yes, some of the product he put his face on were silly and mostly useless to the able bodied. In the rich and affluent '90 my family used OxiClean, and I can still look back on those softer, cleaner loads of laundry with sentimentality.

The demeanor and energy Billy Mays possessed made you believe that no matter what he sold you, it was going to work fantastically. In an age where quick and easy has lead to a global financial crisis, it was the voice of Mr. Mays that the cynical American consumer could trust. I hate to say this, but I'm almost glad to see him go. Much like the greatest minds of the modern era, those who have burnt brightest, and sadly shortest, leave an everlasting impression on us. Thank you Billy Mays for letting me believe that even a sales man could be trusted.


May your coffin be sealed with Magic Puddy, so if the gates of hell open, and the dead rise, I will never be forced to take an axe to your head.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"It's like Gay threw up all over the neighborhood!" My day at the Gay Pride Parade, Part One

From my shaded patio seat, iced coffee in hand, I waited amongst the thousands of Chicagoans participating in the 40th Chicago Gay Pride Parade. I say participating because there was no way you could simply be a spectator at the event. The parading men and women enticed you to stand, sing, and dance like a fool to the sounds of the recently deceased king of pop. This was a celebration, pure and simple. Afterwords, exchanging stories of the day with a friend, she described the event "like St. Patrick's day but instead of bagpipes, there were hot pants".

I was privileged enough to be seated at the end of the parades route, where forty or more police officers stood next to a 20 by 10 square where civil protest was allowed. And protest they did. The area spewed over with conservative christians whom were there to have their opinions hear against the noises of the carnival. A rotund man stood on a latter, his megaphone next to him on a stand, and regaled the crowd with his thoughts on their lifestyles, their place in the world, and the wrong doings they we were all consciously committing. After four hours of non stop talking and yelling I doubt the man walked away with any new friends, let alone his voice. For the sake of this article I'll call the man with the megaphone Barry, most cause "Barry the Bigot" has a nice alliteration to it.

My role in the parade was of documentarian. I sat through the parade, at the cross roads of Pine Grove and Diversy, and observed the thoughts, actions, and images of the celebration. What I gathered are quotes, personal musings, a few silly jokes I wrote, and later, my utter shock and reaction to the new of the dead of television personality Billy Mays.

{while MJ plays in the background}
Barry "Michael Jackson is not singing 'Beat It' where he is! He can't fool God! There are no lawyers in Heaven. There are no loop holes in Gods kingdom! Once you are dead, like MJ, then there are no opportunities to begin a relationship with God. "

{i'm denoting my thoughts with a little ~ mark)
~No loop holes in Gods kingdom? What about Limbo? What about accepting God on your death bed? I think there are plenty of loop holes in any millennia old monotheistic religion based on the dogmatic practices of multiple religious sects. But what do I know?

Barry "I'm a man in love with a man. I'm allowed to love one man. That one man is Jesus Christ!. He's the only man I let come inside me."

~I really thought the joke was on me when I was listening to Barry say this. I couldn't believe he was saying this with a straight face, and not with a wink and a nod. This is a classic routine, and I just don't think he was aware of what he was saying.

Barry "You need to be born again! You must! If not, then you will be an illegal alien in the Kingdom of God."

~Do people sneak into heaven and work the shitty jobs that Angels don't want to do? If so, are Angels doing anything so that these aliens (in this case, non born-again christians; a Lutheran for example) can be stopped from entering heaven illegally? Are Angels who live along the boarder of heaven forming militia's because God doesn't want to build a fence? A gate, a big book and St. Peter are not enough to keep illegal aliens out of heaven!

Barry "There sure are a lot of dogs in this neighborhood. God said do not lie with a man. The next verse is about lying with a animal. I guess you all lie with your dogs. Sick Perverts"

~There are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood. But a lot of these dogs miniature or even toy sized and are owned by all the rich L.P.C.'s (Lincoln Park Cougars). He later pointed out that a dog was wearing a dress ( Barry "A DRESS HE CHOSE TO PUT ON!") and stated in all seriousness "That dog is a homosexual!"

Barry "Will you get this parade going? You aren't the only people we need to save today."

~Barry wasn't a patient man the entire day. I guess he missed the day the priest talked about Jesus's teachings in Thessalonians 5:14 'And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.' Again, what do I know, it's his book, not mine.

Barry "No one should have a parade for sin. Cry about your homosexuality. Cry about your venereal disease. Why can't you be normal like us? He can give you a new mind. He can give you a whole new out look on life. Yu need to be born again. See bible for details!"

~' "See the Bible for details" This reminded me of a informercial' I wrote, which would scare me when I would learn of Billy May's sudden death later on that day.

Barry "God did not create you a homosexual. You are a homosexual because you like it! You enjoy homosexuality! Shame on you.You need to get serious about God. Stop being a homo. Stop being a homitte...homoete."

~Homo is the masculine, and Homoete is the feminine. I actually laughed out loud when he stuttered and corrected himself.

Barry "Hell is going to be filled with people that god loves and people who love god. How many people end up in hell who commit there life to god? Many! Why? Because they are homosexuals! "

~I think the sun was beating down on Barry's fat bald head and got his ideas a little confused. I litterally looked over at a guy who had heard what he had said and he looked back and said "Um, I think I understand what he meant?"


A enormous American flag begins passing where I'm sitting, carried by at least two dozen people. They are all chanting "U.S.A.". Barry responded by stating that he lived in the "United STRAIGHTS of America". I had to give him props for coming up with that on the spot.

A float passes with the phrase "Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame" and I think 'That must be a had club to get into What sort of voting process goes on for you to get inducted? Do you get voted in by the press and members of the gay and lesbian community? Or is it like the rock and roll hall of fame where you just put together another "Best Of..." compilation to get a lot of press before a world reunion tour?'

Barry "No one wants a parking ticket from a homosexual! " As the Chicago Police Dept. walk by with a banner, family members, and smiling faces. The boys in blue who are protecting the protester all cheer proudly for their fellow police. It's a really nice sight.

Barry "John Lennon was a homosexual! " as a young woman plays 'give peace a chance' on a guitar. Wow!

Barry "Hockey is a homosexual sport!" as Chicago's Gay Hockey team practices drills in roller blades, and multicolored briefs.

There begins to be a rumbling in the distance. And with a sudden BANG! a gang of gay female bikers is ontop of us. I am suddenly thrown back to my childhood, as my mother and brother and I travel to Sturgis, South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore. Little did we know that at the same time the annual Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally was taking place (as I write this, I check the Strugis web site, Strugis.com, and see that there is a little more than a month until the 69th rally commences). The sounds of the booming engines alone bring me back to an awkward stage in my development towards adulthood. Seeing these leather clad women stratal the gas powered rockets certainly caused an emotional reaction of nostalgia. And when one particular woman looked over at me, raised her fist high into the air, opened her mouth to let out a cry of passion, it caused a very different emotional reaction; one of desire to get on the back of that beast and have it fly off to cloud city. Nerdgasm.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fun with Words

Fun with Words.
Comment with a word. I'll see what comes.

'Rump' suggested by Kara.

Rump. When the word hits my mouth I feel my tongue rise up. It brushes against my soft pallet. My lips purse, and a small push of air parts them to finish it. Rump.
Rump. The word makes me smile. You have to make the Mmmmnnn sound. The same sound you make when you smell cookies. Mmmmnnn. Warm cookies, fresh cookies, your cookies. Cookies you made for someone to enjoy. Cookies you made as an emotional outlet. Cookies you made because you need to bring something to a party, or dinner, or a child. Mmmmnnn. Think of cookies someone made for you. Think of the act as a definition. You are recieving more then just baked goods. Cookies take time to make. Cookies take time to perfect. Mmmmnnn makes you want cookies more. Mmmmnnn. For cookies and rump. Rump.
Rump. You also make the word Rum. Rum is warm. I get warm when I drink rum. I'm not much of a rum drinker. I remember the sensation of being warm. It's the sugars. Wonderful sugars. Cane Sugar. We've forgotten cane sugar. It powers engines now. The world use to fight wars over sugar. And salt. No salt in rum. Or Rump. You almost loose the effect when you put rum in cola. The cola is a synthesized sugar. The rum gets lost. The warm looses something.The sugars make you feel safe. Comforting rum. Soothing. A drink that makes you warm. Not temperature. Warm in the mind. You get warm to the idea of something. You warm to the feeling of conversation, of contemplation, of deconstruction. You find yourself dancing. Rum makes me dance. Dance! I hate dancing. Rum makes me warm to dancing. I like rum because it makes me dance, even though I hate it. Dancing makes me feel strangers rumps. Rump.
Rump. Rump has an end. Pu. Pu is a fun act. Just playing with the end of rump creates a sensual feeling. The mmmmnnn causes the chest to vibrate ever so slightly. The tongue is crossing your mouth, making you aware that you are salivating a bit. Because you're thinking about cookies, rum, dancing kissing or because you're excited. Because of rump, or a rump, or your rump. Then pu. You're blowing a soft peck. A kiss to some one. A kiss for someone. Exhaling your sentiments. Experience the sensual nature of Rum, Mmmmnn, and Pu. Rump. Close your eyes and say it slowly. To a rump. Rump. Rump. Cookies, rum, dancing, kisses, rump. Rump.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ruminating on my own Ruminations; A continually evolving essay with myself about How and Why I think the way I do.

Part One

I don't always speak my mind. Some might argue that this statement is me lying to myself, and that the gateway between my thoughts and my voice often overflows like a river after a Spring snow melt. Those who know me, or have seen my work, understand I have a gift for discourse.

I was raised in a family that, despite its reservations on talking about taboo subjects (Anarchy, Godlessness, Sex), encouraged conversation. To this day I admire my Mother and Father who could answer all of the perverse questions my young mind could muster. My parents taught me to engage the world through my mind, and allowed me to spend family dinners, car trips, and commercial breaks, as a time to use their minds as a sounding board for my own.

But what most don't realize, or to be truthful to myself, what most cannot comprehend, is the fact that I don't speak my mind because, at times, I literally can't. I cannot fashion into words the vast amount of ideas that bounce around my mind all day and night. No one can. We're not computers...yet.

To foster the idea that I could accurately communicate this ever-changing amalgamation of thought would grossly overestimate my command of my native language of American-English. Which is itself an infinitely transforming bank of terms, facts, idioms, slang, and funny noises. The quandary that arrises when someone like myself, who seems to have such a wonderfully charming grasp on expressing himself through words (i.e. the last paragraph), cannot, is why?

I know I can speak my thoughts. I think something, it forms as words, and those words represent ideas which I cast out onto the world. I am a fisherman of ideas, throwing my thoughts out into a sea of the conscious other, hoping to get a bite. I real in the catch and I have landed a partner in communication, if only for a fleeting moment.

I've described this as 'bridging'; creating a means of connecting to another via emotional investment, similar language, and mutual understanding. I illustrate it as talking with a stranger on the street about something you both love. This incredible feeling you get when you connect with an unfamiliar mind can be one of the most magical sensations a person can experience at any place in history. Strangers passing on a train. That fleeting moment where you glace across from you, and despite the fact that you have no previous knowledge of this person, you know for this instant, you understand each other, perfectly. An impression of beautiful innocence which is impossible to sustain.

I reach out and try to bridge with anyone willing. And if they aren't willing, well, I'm charming, intelligent, and observant.
So I cox
and question
and dig
and prod
and bully
and manipulate
and intimidate
and interrogate
and threaten until I can get this person to connect.
And they do, because I know how to get people to engage.

But sometimes I cannot engage. I don't speak my mind when I am lost within it. It is a miserable experience to be stranded in an abstract which is ordinarily a place of comfort. I become consumed by thought to the point where the present self becomes absent, and my emotional existence seems implausible. The world is but an echo. I see everything as a distorted reflection of my own overwhelming fears. I liken it to attempting to grasp fog; an impossibly frustrating task.

I do eventually escape the labyrinth; always a little stronger, a little wiser. The mystery is how?

To be continued