I've added a new topic called Miscellany. I've decided to use this area as a container for the various writings I've put together throughout my life. They all fall into such varied and bizarre categories and take on the form of poetry, prose, letters to others, and so on. I've been an avid writer since I was in my early teens, so I have a somewhat unbelievable collection of interesting memories (and related texts) that I've put together over time. I'll be sifting through it all and posting items here that I believe are presentable and that still seem to strike a chord with me today.
As you've undoubtedly heard, the US Supreme Court on June 26 struck down an anti-sodomy law in Texas. This is one of those issues that most people will have an opinion on — whether they are happy or upset about the ruling. I think the decision was long overdue.
The Texas "Homosexual Conduct Statute" (Texas Penal Code section 21.06) goes as follows.
§ 21.06. Homosexual Conduct
(a) A person commits an offense if he engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
The code goes on to define "deviate sexual intercourse" as follows.
§ 21.01. Definitions
In this chapter:
(1) "Deviate sexual intercourse" means:
(A) any contact between any part of the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person; or
(B) the penetration of the genitals or the anus of another person with an object.
(2) "Sexual contact" means, except as provided by Section 21.11, any touching of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of another person with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
(3) "Sexual intercourse" means any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.
Editor's Note: For reference, Section 21.11 referred to above is the penal code which defines Texas' "Indecency With a Child" statute, just in case you thought I was leaving something important out of the discussion.
So, now we know that Texas' sodomy law had nothing to do with sodomy and everything to do with homosexual acts (any law dealing strictly with sodomy would not single out homosexual behavior as criminal while making the same activity between heterosexual couples legal).
The Supreme Court struck down the law based on two different aspects of its unconstitutional nature — privacy and equal protection.
On the privacy issue, they agreed that any sexual act between two consenting adults should not be relegated to a crime by a legislative body with too much time on its hands.
On the equal protection issue, the argument was clear — homosexuals were singled out as a class of persons under this statute by only making their sodomy illegal.
Of course, Texas is a funny place, since Texas law does not define bestiality as a "deviate" activity.
I hail the court's decision on this issue since the Texas law (and that of Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri — all with homosexual discrimination defined as a legal act — and Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia — all of which made any act of sodomy illegal) were attempts by narrow-minded, puritanical right-wingers to govern the intimate acts of consenting adults.
For those out there with little or nor brain capacity left, you're likely wondering why "those homos" should be allowed to have sex anyway. I can hear you saying it now — "It just ain't natural."
My first response would be to tell you to eat shit and die, but I'll stay on topic instead.
For many years, our laws counted African-Americans as only three-fifths of a person. These laws were eventually repealed as we progressed and learned that we were wrong.
Likewise, our country, having been founded by religious cults so puritan in thought that French kissing was even outlawed, desperately needs to pull itself out of the morally-bankrupt quagmire which it is drowning in. These laws have long been justified as attempts to maintain the moral high-road in society, yet they are defined by politicians — not exactly known for their moral fortitude.
And regardless of that mind-bender, the issue at hand is equality and privacy. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution clearly dictates that all people are to receive the same protections under the law.
The Texas law has long been used to assault the rights of homosexual members of society with regards to employment, child custody and visitation, and many other aspects of life. When it's known that you are gay, it can be assumed that, given the law, you must be engaging in illegal activity. This is a below-the-belt weapon that should never have been passed, but this is Texas.
The Court's decision is a welcome declaration that indeed all people are equal and that the law needs to keep it that way.
As the right wing of this country scrambles to decry this decision and point out that the downfall of American society is at hand, remember that it is this same fanatical base of mindless automatons that declared the very same thing when women were given the right to vote, when African-Americans were granted all rights any American is entitled to, and when French kissing was made legal.
I should be getting back to normal with site updates now. I've spent the last week installing and configuring the operating system and all of the applications after I trashed my PC working on an issue for work. Needless to say, I solved the problem for work, but I totally demolished my own computer while I was at it. Although things still aren't back the way they were, I do have almost everything installed and working again. I've got some articles I'm already working on as this week has been an interesting one. Stay tuned…
There won't be any site updates for a few days (that means no Random Thought updates as well). I've been hacking the hell out of my main workstation at home trying to solve a problem for work. Well, as fate would have it, I finally trashed the PC entirely and am having to rebuild it — starting with a clean install of the OS. Until I get everything installed and functioning again, I don't even have access to my Random Thoughts database to publish updates. Hopefully it'll only take me a few days to complete. My main concern is to get everything installed and working again, then I'll go back and get the configuration set the way I want it. I'll get back to regular updates as quickly as possible.
Only recently have I realized that the person I've been lately is nothing more than a façade — a false representation of myself effected as a courtesy to others. It's as if I've interpolated what society expects from me into the person I want others to think I am. What's most shocking about it is that most people are this way — speciously correct in the eyes of society while they hide in shadows and live their real life behind closed doors, while I've never been that way until I took this job. Honestly, I've grown to miss the real Jason.
Before I took the job I have now, everyone knew me — the real me. I was visible.
The real me took chances and had no time for superficial niceties. He did not prevaricate nor equivocate. Now I dance around conversations like a ballerina walking on hot coals, and all to ensure that I'm accepted by those who have the power to hurt me.
There was a time when the real me anesthetized my logic and kept me above such imitation. That aspect of me stayed on top of life and was like an open nerve — immediately and honestly responsive to everything and everyone, not caring who took offense, not being bothered by the small-minded morality or expectations of the world at large.
I enjoyed the wonderful tension created by sliding into uncomfortable subjects with people, much too proud to give a damn what others thought.
I was me, the me I truly am, the me I am comfortable with, the me that exists when the façades are washed away.
There was nothing I wouldn't do to get a laugh or to push the envelope. There was no subject too controversial to be discussed, nothing left unsaid out of concern for the overactive sensitivities of the world ready to sue because they were offended. Now I carefully weigh each and every word before it comes out of my mouth.
Outside of work, I'm still very much me. I'm still very much the same person, the man who doesn't care what others think of me, the person who finds interest in diversity, the man who celebrates differences and finds nothing offensive (well, nothing except egg plant and sweet potatoes).
You might be wondering by now what brought all of this on. It's something that has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I've driven home quite often over the last few months wondering how much the people I work with really think they know about me — how much they really think they know me.
Oh, I suppose some of them think they have me figured out while others couldn't care less. There are those, as in all companies, who simply care about appearances and couldn't care less who you really are. To my dismay, these are the people most often in positions of power.
The truth is that I hate pretending to be someone I'm not just so I don't rock the boat around a bunch of folks who seem as intolerant as they are prude. I just want to be me, the person I set aside to work in a place that treats employees like commodities rather than assets.
After all, if we can't be ourselves because we must fit in, the world is beyond hope and not worth saving. It's our differences that make us who we are. When we're forced to fit in a mold determined too long ago by people who are already dead, what does it say about our society to be so inflexible, so stagnate, so uninteresting?
To conform to the "norm" is to be a mindless automaton, a worthless lump of flesh and bone, a follower. To conform is to be nothing.