September 29, 2003

I coin a new term

It’s time for bed, dear journal.

I have been and shall address you in that manner because I feel as though I’m spinning my flimsy web of thought into an infinite but empty cyber space, where all individual’s thoughts become random bits of on/off flotsam dispersing and mixing with one another till there is no meaning left. You, dear journal are that space emptied of meaning. There are no bodies at the other end of this monologue. I am just hurling myself and my history out into the vast cyber void. That’s comforting in a way - sort of like Mahler’s 9th symphony . In the end it just fades into random bits of sound.

A-hah! The “cyber void.” Good Isaac! From now on, if I say “CV,” dear journal, I’m making reference to the above.

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Take a look at John Giuffre’s blog Thoughts From A Collapsed Brain

Things I did today

    1. got up
    2. had breakfast
    3. talked with Myrtle
    4. had lunch
    5. got sick to my stomach
    6. took a nap
    7. got up
    8. ate supper


September 27, 2003

And, now we return to our normal programing.

I Do Go On Again: or the End of Love, Spirituality, and Sex

Sounds like a good old 1950’s rock and roll song.

I do go on again.
I do go on and on.
Do-be-do- I - do.

That last series of entries dated 9/13/03 through 9/23/03 was a full lunch menu, plus dinner, and a bed time snack. How many days did I spend writing about those artists? And, it’s not the End of Love, Spirituality, and Sex. There are many more artists whose work relates to my concerns in creating the Silver Man and the alternate reality I live in, Varnastrama. I wish people were reading these entries dear journal, because I would be so encouraged if people would begin to think of their sexuality as it relates to their love(s), and their spiritual lives. I believe that only when each and every one of us think about the relationships between these layers of ourselves and the relationship of these to our conscioousness will our culture begin to mature. Only then will prejudices against all the sexualities of which we are capable (regardless of our sex and/or gender) be ended.

So, you can bet I’ll write you more about these things another time dear Journal.

Eight Elderly Burned to Death!

I just read an article about this horrible nursing home blaze in Nashville, TENN.

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Take a look at John Giuffre’s blog Thoughts From A Collapsed Brain

September 25, 2003

We’ve been Duped

We interrupt this program to bring you a news flash!

And now Du-bu-yah says that there’s no connection between Al quaida and Sadam Hussain. Well, actually Rumsfeld said it for him.

In case “ya’ll’ didn’t notice, the entire premise for a preemptive strike was that Hussain was creating weapons of mass destruction and that there was a connection between Hussain and al quaida. Well, there are no weapons of mass destruction, and there’s no connection to al quaida - what a surprise. Those Texas guys just wanted control of the OIL!

So much for the conservative Republican version of "The New American Century."

Good Morning America!

Now, all we have to do is spend the next 10 to 20 years trying to rebuild all the bridges we burned between us and all the other nations of the world during the 2nd Persian Gulf War. Of course that can’t happen until this administration is relieved of office. Voters, please get your butts ready to move. You’ve got 7 months to exercise your lever pulling arms before the primaries. Please don’t sit there and pretend that this hasn’t happened. Our president, who was not elected by a majority in the first place, actually fooled enough of us into thinking it was morally okay to invade another country without provocation. We killed women and children in the process, and allowed priceless artifacts of ancient cultures to be stolen and, or destroyed. Additionally, our own sons and daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters, some of them gay and lesbian, patriots all are being killed on almost a daily basis as well. Shame on us!

It is time to end this 21st century crusade!

This is your wake up call America.

It is time to look inside your own borders for terrorists, not outside. It is time to look inside ourselves for the terrorist in each and every one of us. And, It is time to strive to convince the United Nations to develop an International Anti Terrorist Police Force that can work with the nations of the world to make the entire planet a safer place for all the peoples of the world to live in.

It’s 6:01 A.M., September 25, 2003, and I’m listening to Berlioz Requiem as I write. I hope this ridiculous and immoral 21st century crusade is about to come to an end. I know what needs to be done.

Wake up America! Man the voting booths!

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Take a look at John Giuffre’s blog, a young gay man's running commentary about his life Thoughts From A Collapsed Brain

September 23, 2003

Summing up Love, Spirituality, and Sex

The work of these artists demonstrate that I am not alone in creating art that deals with human sexuality However, my work takes a trajectory that is inclusive of many of the issues these artists deal with individually. In Varnastrama, my alternalte reality, sexuality includes spiritual eroticism as well as the very real human propensity for pan sexuality (the ability to have sexual partners of various sexual orientations). In my art work as demonstrated through my journals and The Silver Man Performances sexuality is dependent on the time and place in which one lives. The silver man also demonstrates that gender roles are assigned since his/her sex is not visible. In my life and art, sexuality, love, and spirituality are intimately related and none of them can not be placed in opposition to one another.

I will write about opposition and our dependence on it in Western thought one of these days.

Rain Again!

Well, First Isabel blew through and knocked over 400 trees into power lines around the county. Some schools are still closed. Then the National Weather Service said it would be sunny for a week.

Surprise, they were wrong!

It poured all last night. It’s still raining this morning, and the roof in my living room is leaking. I'v got a big pot and a bucket sitting in one corner and I had to move two chiars across the room. Later I’ll have breakfast in the main dining room instead of here in the apartment and I’ll hunt for one of the maintenance guys when I go. I also need to check with my neighbor, Myrtle, to see if the ceiling in her livingroom is leaking since it is next to mine. I think THE BIG NEEDLE is built out of cardboard and papier mache.

Have a lovely day, Cyber Void.

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Take a look at John Giuffre’s blog, a young gay man's running commentary about his life and loves Thoughts From A Collapsed Brain

September 21, 2003

Love, Spirituality, and Sex III

Attila Richard Lukacs takes Barney’s ideation about the limitations imposed by male versus female sexual roles into another realm entirely. In an article titled “Attila Richard Lukacs at Phyllis Kind,” David Bourdon wrote about Lukacs’ painting, Lotus Series, #5 (Bourdon,David. “Attila Richard Lukacs’ at Phyllis Kind,” Art in America Feb. 1996: 121). He described the work as simultaneously onanistic and spiritual.

I have not been able to find any of the lotus Series images on the web, though I am including two links; one, to the artist’s biographical web site, and two, an article by Eugenio Filice which is a distilled bio of the artist in the “glbtg” (Encyclopedia of Gay Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Queer Culture). Instead of a visual link to the painting I shall describe it. Lotus Series, #5 depicts a spiritual experience which is based on the belief that there is a vital, animating force within all living beings, as opposed to a religious experience which implies the belief in a supernatural power that exists outside of individuals, but in the universe. In the painting, a young man is seated cross legged, meditating, though balanced precariously on the base of the spine. The image is visually provocative and disturbing because the figure seems to be on the verge of falling. If, however, I turn the painting on its side, I see that the figure is presenting itself in the receptive and passive sexual position. At the same time, the hands are placed above the head, and they lead my eyes to the cranium, seat of thought, and of fantasy. Thus, the painting refers to an Eastern understanding of sexual expression that includes the spiritual, and it demonstrates the artist’s vision of spiritual and sexual integration through a masturbatory practice. In Lukacs' world, sexuality includes spiritual identity.

Fall Equinox

The sun is directly over the Earth’s equator today. It’s fall, the season of old age. Why don’t I feel good about that? It’s certainly better than winter, the season of death.

I know that I definitely want to move somewhere warm. I don’t want to feel winter rattling around in my old bones anymore.

And that reminds me, there is an article in my new Advocate magazine about Rainbow Visions Retirement Community in Santa Fe, New Mexico, p. 17, “Retirement Breaks New Ground,” in the September 30, 2003 issue. Of course New Mexico isn’t the warmest climate. But the place looks wonderful!

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Take a look at John Giuffre’s blog, a young gay man's running commentary about his life and loves Thoughts From A Collapsed Brain

September 19, 2003

Ode to Removal of a Post

To remove posts or not to remove posts, that is the question.
For to remove them is to be lost in a ring
Circling in Cyberspace, lost in an infinity of cycling.
Oh that this too too diaphanous cyber void would not disolve,
But would resolve itself into solid touchy-feely flesh.
Or that the everlasting could fix upon empty spatial inflation
The necessity to be born anew, saved from self anihilation.
Still More Love, Spirituality, Sex

Matthew Barney

I’m just an old man who nobody’s ever heard of, but this kid’s work is really cool.

In his Cremaster series, contemporary video artist Matthew Barney (a straight male) plays with a complex and many layered thought process about reconceptualizing human sexuality. He offers the possibility of a reconstruction of sexual identity based in human biology and his own very personal psychology. In an article titled “The Third Sex,” in Art in America, Jerry Saltz summarizes Barney’s oeuvre with particular attention to Cremaster IV. His complex reading of Cremaster IV supports the notion that Barney’s work is a carefully constructed though very personal reaction to gender and the sexing of people. Saltz states that “...Barney is ready for some kind of transformation: he has returned to, or evolved into, some kind of undifferentiated new sex” (Saltz, Jerry, “The Third Sex,” Art in America Oct. 1996: 82-91. Barney’s work is particularly important because he has constructed a new sexuality for himself through his art work that ignores or purposely violates gender stereotypes.

Barney’s reconstruction is based on the notion that our culture generates the binary gender stereotypes that each of us accept for ourselves without questioning their validity; that is feminine women v. masculine men and all the baggage that is attached.

And, when we get old (I would add) our culture stops applying the dichotomy and desexes us.

Daily Matters

Okay. I’m done with the heavy stuff for now. Time to SSS (Bleep, Shower, and Shave). I’m going to the Big Needle’s dining room for breakfast this morning. I usually have cereal, juice, and coffee here in the apartment, but not on pancake day!

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Late Post

Didn't get up on time, so I had to send my morning post much later than usual. Yes, I did make it in time for pancakes. I posted after I got back.

And - I forgot to mention earlier - I won at bingo last night - A FIRST! When we win a bingo we get a wooden nickel which is good for purchase of various items at the "Big Needle Drug Store" including a one dip ice cream cone. So, I'll treat myself to ice cream instead of lunch today.

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September 17, 2003

Love, Spirituality, and Sex II

Another Artist

Marcel Duchamp’s creation of his ready-made, Fountain, in 1917 was possibly the first installation (a piece or pieces seemingly taken out of context united by an artistic concept). Duchamp appropriated the mass produced urinal and renamed it Fountain, usually, a term meant to indicate a beautiful object installed permanently for our contemplation and appreciation in a public space. Thus, Duchamp used language to alter our understanding and appreciation of the visual object. Additionally, I argue that Duchamp’sFountain also demonstrates the first twentieth century attempt to reconceptualize human sexuality. Duchamp’s heterosexist image of the urinal is gendered female because it is used as receptacle for one of the male’s body fluids. In my own sculptures of urinals and my drawings of men using them, I reinvoked Duchamp’s image of the urinal as container for the male’s body fluids though I have gendered it as male.

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September 15, 2003

Love, Spirituality, Sex II

Before my birthday I was talking about the above.

Paul Cadmus, "The Haircut," 1986

As a gay artist I thought it important to look at a few artists whose work touches on one, or a combination of these. Most gay art is voyeristic and its goal is to make an object of the male body for lustful purposes. These images are of perfectly proportioned buff bodies. For most of us such perfection is unatainable, and because of this the images are off putting. However there is art about human sexuality, gay and other, that may include the erotic image, but that goes
beyond it.

For instance, Paul Cadmus’ The Bath is a graphic presentation of male nudity created by a gay male artist during the mid-twentieth century. It is, however, much more than that. Cadmus’ work celebrates two young servicemen returned to peaceful pursuits of education and domesticity by way of the GI Bill, following the end of the Second World War. Lincoln Kirstein described the painting in the following manner:

In “The Bath,” Cadmus has harvested a homely still life of laundry--damp and drying towels and socks draping, the day’s salute to a continuum of the week’s study and chores. Their shared existence--chums in common feasts and famine, books, bath and bed--free from military discipline, held in its cozy routine the blessings of a world freshly at peace. Poverty could be defused, and since it also sheltered affection, might seem luxurious. (Kirstein, Lincoln, Paul Cadmus (1984) New York, Rizzoli , p. 24-25.

I am both a contemporary of Cadmus and a twenty-first century viewer of his work looking back through time at The Bath, and I can not help but anticipate the approaching McCarthy Era. In the 1950’s, “Minorities-- especially blacks-- fought the oppressiveness of the Eisenhower era, but only gays struggled without any public allies in the liberal establishment.” (Kaiser, Charles. “Life Before Stonewall,” Newsweek 4 July 1994: 78-79). The prevailing cultural cliché of the time was that homosexuals were too promiscuous to sustain meaningful relationships. Set against this oppressive political climate, the Cadmus image is designed to do much more than titillate the homosexual male gaze, and it asks the following question. Why can’t a man have a meaningful, long-term relationship, not unlike marriage, with another man? It brings social and political concerns to bear upon its own sexual content through the use of a domestic tableau, in which the two naked young men are depicted by the artist as homespun, “boy-next-door” type partners, and it invites the viewer to construct a narrative about the two young men. The painting demonstrates that the need to reconceptualize the Western definition of human sexuality existed for Paul Cadmus in 1950.

I shall continue with this series of artists whose works touch on the relationship between these concerns of mine; Love, Spirituality, and sex as I have time to do so, dear journal.

Or, perhaps I should say; Love, Spirituality, and Gay Sex. No, there's heterosexual sex, too. It's just not as good as gay sex.

May the Force be With You.

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September 13, 2003

I do go on!

I’ve been reading back over my entries for the month. That was such a long winded academic sounding diatribe on September 4th. Its got to be a reaction to the professor’s archeological dig in my studio. He talks about “ the psychology of my work and “the psychology of gay male art,” “the position of my art in relationship to other gay male art, the second feminist wave,” ad infinitum, ad nausium! I guess I was just trying to show that there is a cosmology to my art, and that I have thought about it. It’s not just an accidental body of outsider work that was created by this now old gay Pennsylvania Dutch man.

I have my bridge group today at 10:00 AM., Other than that, I have to do the following.

My TO DO List

1. white laundry
2. dust the living room
3. vacuum the living room
4. groceries for the next week

I like to get the living room cleaned on Saturday. Then I don’t have to worry about it during the week. Ruth gets upset if its dusty or if I leave books and magazines stacked on the coffee table or end tables next to the couch.

Two Johns Dead

Sounds awful put that way. Sorry, I didn’t mean it. Though I have never liked Johnny Cash’s voice, I know that he is an icon of Country and Western music. For millions, his death is of momentous importance. As to John Ritter - dead at age 54 - how horrible! At least he died doing what he loved best. However, it is so sad for the rest of us, to lose someone so young, vital, and visible in our society.

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September 11, 2003

I’m 84 Years Old

We interrupt this program about love, spirituality, and sex to bring momentous news of a singularly important event.

It’s my birthday!

Ruth had a party for me at Orchard Hill Farm last night. My sons Abe and Joe were there with their wives. My grandson, Zac was there - home from New York University - with his girlfriend, Susan - I think. I lose track. Zac is working on his Masters degree in Theater Arts. My grand daughter, Rebecca, named after her grand mother was there with her husband, Steven, and their children, Kayla and Steven Jr. I love Kay - I refuse to call her Kayla - but where did that name come from? She is gay with the cutest giggle of any child in the world. Steven Jr. is quiet and introspective, too much so for a little boy of eleven years. Steven Jr. and Kay were with me two years ago on my birthday, and we watched the terrorist attack on television. Both their mother and grand mother wanted me to turn the TV off, but I refused. What’s worse, watching it live, or played back 200 times, or if totally protected, just hearing about it from friends and “others?”

Because it’s my birthday, and because that horrible, world shaking event since tagged “9-11” took place on my 82nd birthday, I’m including the poem, “My Stand.” I used it in my journal back in July of this year, but it can stand repetition, I think. It was sparked by a poem “The Stand” e-mailed to me by a friend. I have “The Stand” stashed somewhere, but can’t find it. I was incredibly angry when I read the poem, because, and I am paraphrasing, it said that anyone who was against the war in Iraq - and I still am - was not a patriot.

That war was, and is, a foolish adventure waged by a foolish president (who was not elected to be president) who risked repeating history. I say that “Duh-buh-yah” risked repeating history because Vietnam, and the Spanish Armada should have given both he and his cabinet great pause. The American people were fooled into going along with this misadventure, and for that, we must each take responsibility. We are all responsible, even those of us who did not agree, because we did not shout our opposition from the roof tops. It was and still is politically incorrect to voice such an opinion. So what! The war on Iraq was morally wrong. It stands in contrast to everything we say we believe in; God, peace, and freedom. We destroyed a nation and killed many women and children in the process. Our own children are dying in Iraq.

God, and only God knows what the result of this travesty will be.

My Stand

Isaac Stolzfuts

I was born on September 11, 1919.
I was with my great grand children
On September 11th, 2001,
My 82nd birthday.
We celebrated by playing together.
Drawing pictures, they told me what they saw;
The farm, our orchard, friends at school,
Their Mom and Dad.

Black space...

The TV’s white-noise-background
Suddenly startorian to my mind
Though the anchor man’s voice
Even and measured announced
Pulled us away
And, no longer laughing at play,
We watched "live" as thousands died.
It felt as though we were there
Engulfed in that ebon cloud of dust,
The taste of death in our mouths.

Rebecca (named after her Grandma)
Cried, “That’s just a movie, Grandpa,
Right?” And Abe Junior said,
"Where are all the super heroes?
When we need-um!"
Well, the super heroes are in Iraq today,
Fighting for what they believe.
I pray for their safety even as
Mr. Bush says, “ I pray for peace.”

I was born on September 11, 1919,
At the end of WW1 and the flue epidemic.
A Surreal world of horror
Was born on September 11, 2001.
Flowers and fireworks opposed to cinders and soot.
A world in which the lost lives of Iraq's
Women and children are not counted.
A world in which stolen artifacts
Testament to the beginning of civilization
Are casualties to Imperialist ambition.
A world in which a 21st century crusade has begun.

I do not believe in this war.
I do not believe in the "New American Century."

I do believe in a United States that stands for peace and trust.
I do believe in a United States that leads the world by example.
I do believe in a United States that bequeaths to the world
A vision of democracy and freedom.

Each American in Iraq is a hero and a patriot.
Each American who states his or her opinion
Opposing this war is also a hero and a patriot.

Dissent is one of the freedoms we believe in!
Would you have 225 years of national endeavor destroyed?
Do not call me anti-American.
Do not tell me that I did not suffer on September 11.
Do not tell me that I am not a patriot.

I was born on September 11, 1919.
My life always circled around Nine Eleven.
By birthright I am Nine Eleven.
I am a child of Nine Eleven.
I am freedom.
And, like Whitman I am part of you
And all of you are a part of me.
I am American.
I don't believe in this war of American conquest, and
I am a 21st century American patriot!

Remember Them the Way They Used To Be

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September 09, 2003

Love Spirituality and Sex

And, what is a label but a stereotype. It is not based on actuality, but on a perception - or should I say misperception - we acquire from others or the society in which we live.

To clarify my thoughts about sex - in this case, having it - It does consume one’s physical and emotional person at the time. I’ve even been transported outside self-awareness by incredibly good sex. That is, at the moment immediately before and during climax I have lost the sense of ego. During such an orgasm, the “I” does not exist for seconds. Strangely, those seconds are empty. I can not describe them for there is nothing to describe. At such moments, sex has approached the spiritual. Perhaps this is what some persons of the fundamentalist persuasion are fearful of. Heaven forbid that sex isn’t just for procreation. Not only can it be fun, but it can be spiritual as well. Oh, and an old queer man has discovered the spiritual part. Egads!

However, if I felt it, I know that God meant for me to feel it. I don’t believe God gives us capacities that he does not wish us to experience. It wasn’t the devil either since things of a spiritual nature aren’t part of his work. His job is to move us away from the spiritual.

Corollary to the above, I believe that human love of the deepest sort can and does exist without sex. I also believe that human love of the deepest sort can exist with sex, though it is more difficult to integrate the two. It takes a great deal of effort for the persons in love to work through the uses of sex as an enhancement of that love. And when sex becomes less important than love - because love can grow beyond the human capacity to experience sex - it is important to accept that and continue to build on the love. Love is a capacity that God has given us because he wants us to know the way he feels about the universe. Therefore, nothing is more important than love.

I believe that young people - anyone younger than myself - have been taught by our culture to expect an extremely large quotient of physical pleasure from sex. (I was young once upon a time too and I was led to believe that sex was the pinnacle of human experience.) However, today, as soon as sex doesn’t meet those high expectations the search for a new partner begins, rather than try to understand why the pleasure has decreased. We might have to face the fact that it is something we are or are not doing that is preventing growth in the relationship. God forbid we should have to work hard at a loving relationship! And, that is the important element in the relationship - the love shared between two persons, not the sex they have.

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September 07, 2003

What’s That Have To Do With Love Anyway?

I cried last evening - wept copiously - and had to go to the kitchen for a paper towel. I was transferring CD’s to computer that my friend Tina let me borrow. She lives two doors down the hall in my apartment section here at THE BIG NEEDLE.

I was transfering Paul McCartney’s “Back in the USA.” and “The Long and Winding Road” wiped me out.

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear.
I seen that road before.
It always beats me here.
Lead me to your door.

The wild and windy nights
That the waves washed away
Have left a poor little tear,
Cry’n for the day.
Why keep me standing here
Let me know the way.

Many times I’ve been alone,
And many times I’ve cried
Anyway, you’ll never know.
The many ways I‘ve tried
But still they lead me back
To the long and winding road.

You left me standing here
A long long time ago.
Oh, yeah.
Don’t keep me waiting here.
Lead me to your Door.

Oh, Oh...

Of course, it was because of Peter, my love, and because of Rebecca who was my partner. I still carry the torch for them both. There is a dull ache that stirs from my feet and flows through torso’s center, through the breast to my throat where it lodges as I sit here writing. It threatens to erupt once more in tears. The images that accompany these thoughts in my mind are of a sparrow falling to the earth, and Antonello da Messina’s painting “The Martyrdom of Sebastian.” The feeling is not related to sexual intercourse, or sexual identity. I do not deny that sexual intercourse was a part of my relationship with both. However, I believe we place too much emphasis on this part of our communion with those we love. Because, in the end, all that is left on Earth of these two marvelous human beings, is the love I feel for them.

These ruminations leave me with a question - I am an eighty-three year old man (soon to be eighty-four) who identifies as homosexual. How does the label fit with my pain at the loss of both Peter and Rebecca?

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September 05, 2003

Ohter Blogger

Dear Journal,

Yesterday I had e-mail from another blogger! His name is John Giuffre and his blog Thoughts From A Collapsed Brain is interesting. I especially enjoyed reading his entry about the artist Salvador Dali. Today he's really upset with the help his's not getting from AOL live help.

Have a good day Cyber Void.

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September 04, 2003

The Silver Man Performs by the Sea

The whole Gay and Lesbian Retirement Community thing has been taking all my time, dear journal. I’ll keep you informed as my research on the subject progresses. Meanwhile, I’m changing the subject back to me as an artist...

During the 1950’s I also went to Rehoboth Beach and performed in foil on many occasions. One day in late summer 1956, was the most memorable for me. The photographs created that day record the large waves generated by a tropical storm far out in the Atlantic. I built a pyramid complex in the sand, making four large step pyramids, and several smaller ones as well. Some of these had columns on top, and I used soup cans to mold the columns. Each of the large pyramids was about four feet tall, and they were oriented on an axis that went from North to South along the beach with ramps leading from one to another. I donned my foil suit and asked nearby sun-bathers to take photographs. Several refused, but amazingly, two agreed and were enthusiastic photographers. They followed my directions carefully, though they avoided expressing curiosity as to the purpose of my foil performance. We shot the photographs from several different directions, capturing large crashing waves in the background and the temple complex with me seated in the foreground. Two little boys had many questions, but their mother told them to stop bothering me. I also met a group of young men from Washington D.C. because of this performance. They had marked their beach territory with antique silk scarves that flew from bamboo poles. They wanted to know all the particulars concerning my performance, and they suggested that I should visit them in Washington D.C.

I did not bring Rebecca or the children to the beach for these performances because I knew they would be embarrassed by the attention the silver man sometimes attracted. Once again, it is the adult Ruth who has decided in retrospect that these performances are upsetting. And, she doesn’t care to know why I did the performances.

The silver man photographs demonstrate visually my limp-wristed performance and I hope to get them on line soon. In 1956, the foil man was a parody of feminine behavior, though ironically because of the reflective power of the foil he cannot be sexed. In these early years of the new millennium my performance of the foil man would be labeled by heterosexists (including gay persons with internalized homophobia) as “effeminate.” However, Judith Butler demonstrates the inadequacy of such cross-gendered labels in her books, Bodies That Matter, 1993, and Gender Trouble, 1990. She discusses the “performance” of sexuality and its limitations, and she claims that sexuality and gender are personal traits acquired from the culture in which one lives, the result of a process over which neither the individual nor society has much control. Rather, normative behaviors accumulate through a process described by Michele Foucault and others in which institutions and discourses acquire the power to prescribe normative human behaviors over time. Thus, according to Butler, feminine, or masculine behavior behavior, is like a surface patina acquired from the culture. Neither is necessarily the prerogative of either sex. Rather, they are prescriptions for behavior that is taught to one sex. If a person of the other sex adopts that prescription as his own, his behavior is seen as transgressive, or in this case “effeminate.” Of course, in 1954 I had not thought all this out so carefully. Judith Butler’s books did not exist. The silver man was to an extent an instinctual performance. I knew that he was made of shiny material and so he reflected back that with which he was surrounded. In a way he was not present, as I sometimes felt I was not present. It seemed to me that I played a part in my day to day life. I even had dreams in which I performed my family and work activities in various disguises. In one of these odd phantasms I was dressed in a Mickey Mouse costume with huge floppy ears that I kept straight with sticks held in both right and left hands.

The silver man is not a temporal being. He is my image/portrayal of a universal phantom, one who reflects the time, place, and culture in which he happens to be performing.

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September 03, 2003

It Won't Go There

No matter what I do, my link to Rainbow Visions in yesterday's entry doesn't work. It's probably some silly mistake I can't find, damn it! So, if anyone should happen to read this, or my last entry, here is the URL for Rainbow Visions. Type or copy it and go there yourself. AOL still won't take me there. Open a window in Internet Explorer.

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September 02, 2003

They’re not Gone!

I found Rainbow Visions Retirement Home!

I had an e-mail today from Joy Silver at Rainbow Visions.

She suggested the same URL I had been trying, so of course it did not work until I minimized AOL and opened Internet Explorer and used it instead. So, if you are using AOL, you know what you have to do.

Anyway, at some point I need to get airline tickets again and go see the place as originally planned. It looks great on line!

E-mail me! My e-mail address is
Visit my homepage at AOL Hometown

September 01, 2003

Happy Labor Day!

Had to get that out.

I’m to go to Ruth’s for dinner this afternoon. I promise I’ll be good. I won’t say anything to upset her. Promise!

I should be happy. Most of my straight friends will sit around “The Big Needle” being miserable and complaining that their family doesn’t care about them.

Ruth is domineering and self seeking, but she doesn’t ignore her gay old dad.

E-mail me! My e-mail address is
Visit my homepage at AOL Hometown