May 30, 2004

Rainbow Vision Properties

I’m so excited! This morning when I opened my e-mail what should greet my sand filled old eyes but a note from Rainbow Vision, Santa Fe. The e-mail tells about groundbreaking for the new section of apartments in that LGBT retirement community scheduled July First. It also details a completion celebration scheduled for September 3 and 4. I will definitely put Rainbow Vision in my travel plans. This gives me all the more reason to pursue my car hunt with renewed vigor.

Life at the Big Needle

Tillie Herr, my next door neighbor had to be taken to the hospital yesterday because she was (literally) walking into walls. She had been increasingly forgetful, and two days ago she arrived at the Prickly Needle dining room for supper without her wig, dentures, and dress. She created quite a stir. I understand that they will be doing a brain scan, and other tests starting Tuesday. I hope it’s not Alzheimer’s.

Bush Keeps Saddam’s Gun as War Souvenir

It’s in the room next to the oval office with other trinkets he likes to show off to special guests. That’s the same room in which President Clinton and Monica had their cigar trysts.

“You wanna play with my gun?”

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May 25, 2004

Nothing New in Mr. Bush’s Address Last Night

Not one new proposal for how to finish what we so foolishly started in Iraq!

Abu Ghraib Won’t Go Away

As a gay man, I’m alarmed that my government used my sexual orientation as a weapon in this ill advised war on Iraq. I wrote in detail about my reaction to the prison abuse scandal on April 30, 2004. Last night, after watching Mr. Bush’s speech I read an article in The Advocate by Patrick Moore titled “Weapons of mass homophobia” in which Mr. Moore details his very similar reaction to the prison abuse scandal. Last night I also watched the military give Mr. Bush a standing ovation at the end of his speech and I thought, “this is our worst nightmare!” We have a military leadership gone mad with power, and, their Commander in Chief, a man who would write a 28th Amendment to our Constitution that will make lesbian and gay Americans second class citizens. The though of such an abuse of the constitution of the United States - a document designed by the forefathers of our nation to provide for our freedom - almost makes me ill.

Mr. Bush has got to go!

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May 23, 2004

American War Deaths in the Eight Hundreds!

Notice we no longer say post war, or Iraqi reconstruction related deaths. The war did not end with cocky Mr. Bush strutting on an aircraft carrier in May 2003. Instead, our young people are being killed by the hundreds, and blamed for military / clandestine government programs to torture Iraqi civilians (which THE PENTAGON is managing to wiggle out from under). Shame! Shame! Shame!

Bush the Frog Blower-upper

Visit "Hightower: Bush the ‘Warrior," at for the explosive details.

And, that’s all I have to say about Mr. Bush and Iraq today.

Moving right along.

I Channel a Guy From 2024

Be sure to read “Straight World,” the adventrues of Stephen Gulliver at

See what the world will actually be like post Mr. Bush’s second term in office.

Pray he doesn’t win the election next November.

Looked at Toyota’s SUV Yesterday

I spent about an hour and one half at our local Toyota dealer yesterday afternoon. I test drove the RAV4. It was too noisy. Also, it was bumpy, and didn’t have enough room inside. I had wanted to check other dealers, but I hadn’t taken my age into account. I was exhausted and so I drove back to the BIG NEEDLE in good old Auta Mobilita, parked, staggered into my apartment, crashed, and napped.

* “Casualties in Iraq,” ANTIWAR.COM, (viewed April 23, 2004, 9:34 A.M. EDT)

*2 “Hightower, “Bush the Warrior, (viewed April 23, 2004, 10:11 A.M., EDT)

*3 “Car Reviews” Vancouver Car Net, "http://www.vancouvercarnet,” (viewed April 23, 23004 at 10:29 A.M. EDT)

May 20, 2004

Four Things I Need to Think About Every Day (Instead of George Bush the Second)


  1. Be kind even when others are not.

  2. Allow myself to make mistakes but make corrections.

  3. Allow others to make mistakes but think real carefully before making corrections.

  4. “BOOM CARS” have people in them. Think kind thoughts as the glass rattles in the living room windows, and remember, those folks will eventually be deaf!

I Put Money in a New Certificate of Deposit Today...

because I’m trying to save enough money to be able to buy a condo in “The Palms of Manasota,” the lesbian and gay retirement community near Sarasota, FL. However, I still have to make all the arrangements to drag my 84 year old carcass down there to find out if I like it or not.

“What if you don’t like it, Isaac?”

I’ll worry about that if it happens.

I talk more and more to myself every day.

It’s Okay as long as I answer.

Lesbians and Gay Men are Marrying in Massachusetts!


I’ll worry about the fact that 60% of Americans polled said they were against gay marriage later. And, I’ll be good. I won’t remind my straight neighbors here at “The Big Needle” that 50 % of their children and grandchildren have been married and divorced at least once.

*News & Views, “,”Ther Requested URL/news&views.htm was not found on this server, (May 20, 2004, 6:23 A.M.)

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May 16, 2004

Bush’s Armada

*1Normally I’m not a pessimist, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t dwell on thoughts about Mr. Bush so much. However, I read an article that will be in tomorrow's issue of theNew Yorker that implicates Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as involved at the primary level of enabling the abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, and I have to write the following.*2

Last year in March when we invaded Iraq, I made a mental comparison between King Philip the Second’s attempt to invade England in 1588, and President Bush the Second’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. A storm defeated Philip and the British gained control over the worlds oceans for 300 years. I’m not a prognosticator, so I don’t know what the actual results of George’s invasion will be, other than, I’m afraid, defeat, pure and simple. To expect that an Arab nation will accept domination by a Western nation was and is foolish. To me this misbegotten adventure felt like a crusade, and perhaps should be called The Eighth Major Crusade. Of course it was not inspired by a pope as Pope Urban II inspired the first crusade. However, it was inspired by fundamentalist religious zeal at a time when all the religions and nations of this earth are experiencing a fundamentalist revival of the faithful.

Mr. Bush through his administration’s planner and advisor, Karl Rove has made it clear that they do not respect intellectual enterprise and intellectuals, that they are instead men of action.

As people do better, they start voting like Republicans -- unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.” Karl Rove

I do not have an extremely powerful intellect. However, I am able to recognize arrogance at the expense of rational thought when I see it.

Unfortunately it has taken the Abu Ghraib fiasco and the beheading of Nick Berg to bring a small majority of Americans to the realization that this Eighth Crusade was and is a mistake. We are spending money and our national resources including our youngest and strongest men and women (our own children) to maintain this miscalculated adventure of the Oil Oligarchy. At what point do we regroup, admit our error, and focus our attention on the actual problem at hand - which I might add has been increased ten fold by our misadventure in Iraq - TERRORISM?

*1 Open Source Politics: WorldView, (viewed May 15, 2004, 10:38 A.M. EDT)

*2 Seymour M. Hersh, "The Gray Zone," The New Yorker(May 24, 2004), posted May 15, 2004 (viewed May 16, 2004, 10:42 EDT)

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May 14, 2004

Nick Berg, FBI, CIA, al-Zargawi, Moussaoui, al-Qaida

The connections are
So strange.
The events are
So horrible.


God Bless!

May 12, 2004

I'm still channeling Stephen Gulliver from the alternative universe "Straight World, 2024," in which Mr. Bush was elected to a 2nd term in office, dear Journal. Check the link out in the side panel.
I’m Writing About Art Today

As part of my plan for my new life, I will avoid my preoccupation with the “Bush Disaster War,” tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, and the failing economy. Instead, I will write about Art, at least occasionally. Afterall, I am an artist, and I need to dwell more on my work, the reasons for doing it, ideas about art in general, and other artists whose work is related to my own.

I must confess, however, the scandal over the sexual abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners has started me to thinking about a possible series of art works in that vein. But, dear Journal, more of that when I have something more concrete.

Duane Michals

Now Becoming Then , is a book of Duane Michals’ photography, a large black volume that I discovered by accident at the Franklin and Marshall College Library in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The book had been placed casually to the side of the library stacks, and I, being obsessively neat, picked it up in order to return it to the correct location on the shelves. Of course, I was intrigued by the title, and the weight of the tomb, and so began to page through it. Thus began a fascinating inquiry into Michael’s work.

I was pleased to discover a professional photographer of the “fine artist” variety whose work shares some of the same concerns as has mine. First, he works on many different levels. Second, he bridges the transcendental tradition of nineteenth century visual art, the transgressive tradition of Modern Art, and possesses the Postmodern sense of simultaneity, though he creates a sequence with his photographic stories that is not present in my own work. Third, his work addresses his sexuality at least some of the time as does mine. He even built a pyramid as have I (More on my pyramids in the future).

However, Michals uses his own writing within his photographic sequences as a narrative device, which may be historical and/or fictional.

Through the written elements and the photographs themselves, Michals seems to inhabit his work. I can’t find the following online, and so I include a detailed description of the photographic essay titled The Return of the Prodigal Son (1982), a series of photographs that tell a story. Here, the artist himself is seen in the role of the father. Michals inhabits the first photograph, reading a newspaper at a round table. Flowers and a reading lamp suggest a domestic scene. The prodigal youth enters the photograph from outside, nude, “bringing nothing with him but his humility, penitence, and need.” *2 In the second and third photographs, Michals undresses and allows the youth to cloth himself in Michals’ clothing. In the final photograph, the youth is clothed, and Michals is nude, which suggests the exchange of innocence for guilt in an Edenesque manner. The exchange of clothing also suggests the initiation of the youth, by his elder into the world of knowledge in the ancient Greek tradition of the mentor/lover relationship between a youth (eromenos) and the older lover ( erastes) as a positive relationship which would serve to inform the youth both intellectually and in battle.*3 Such a relationship is in opposition to the contemporary American politically correct position that defines the ancient Greek ideal as pederasty (sex relations between men and boys). None the less Michals takes a risk, and expresses an erotic desire for the youth, despite the taboo against incest, and sex between older and younger persons (It might be added that the desire is expressed, but the actual consummation of such an act is never demonstrated.) The series of photographs also suggests the wistful desire to go back to the beginning, to exchange the accouterments and ancillary baggage acquired by age, for the clean slate of youth. At the same time, Michals is “the Other,” and simultaneously, in the psychoanalytical sense, he is the youth. He is a dreamlike projection, which he, as the older man, nurtures and protects. Michals uses what at first seems a simple combination of symbolic images involving presence within a space, movement into that space, dress and undress, nudity, an exchange of clothing, youth and old age and, simultaneity. The images, however, taken together, signify a complicated story involving ancient cultural traditions as well as contemporary cultural taboos. Michals’ character is dispersed among the roles his photographs describe, and like a Shakespearian actor, he plays the parts dictated by the culture in which he finds himself, though he is also motivated by the desires within his own person.*4 He manages to transcend cultural limits through a unique vision, and he describes the structure and the limitations of his gayness through this unusual photographic narrative.

The best site found in an on line search for Duane Michals was Kadak’s. Legends Archive.

Also, Studium Zero is in Portuques, but the images are excellent.


1. “Duane Michals,” Photography at Temple, (visited Saturday, May 1, 2004, 11:42 P.M. EDT)

2. Max Kozloff, Now Becoming Then, (1990) Altadena: Twin Pine Publishers, p. 74-76.

3. K. J. Dover, Greek Homosexuality,(1978) Cambridge: Harvard University Press, pp. 15-17, in Allen Ellenzweig, The Homoerotic Photograph, (1992) New York: Columbia University Press, p. 42.

4. I use the concept of dispersion which includes “the Other,” developed by Michel Foucault in the following works. Naissance de la clinique: une archeologie du regard medical (1963) Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, English translation, The Birth of the Clinic: An archaeology of Medical Perception, translated by A. M. Sheridan Smith. New York: Pantheon, 1973. Les Mots et les choses: une archeologie des science humaines, (1966) Paris: Gallimard, English translation, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, translated by Alan Sheridan. (1970) New York: Pantheon.

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May 08, 2004

I have but four things to say about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s Testimony

Five, if you count the Bosh Illustration

  1. He knew about this situation but had not looked at the pictures for months!

  2. See my May 4th Journal Entry, Titled “What Did We Expect?”

  3. This entire misbegotten invasion is an poorly conceived adventure engineered by this president, his cabinet, the Oil Oligarchy, disguised with fundamentalist Christian rhetoric “that will go down in infamy.” Please excuse the parallel to President Roosevelt's announcement concerning the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor.

  4. Abu Ghraib should be shut down and leveled.


I will have more to say on the subject as the Defense Secretary continues to mishandle the situation.

Writing About Art

It seems that I have not been doing enough of that lately. Look for me to do so soon, dear Journal.

Visiting Varnastrama

When was the last time I did that. It's time for me to take a vacation and bed down with Peter.

*Escher Art Collection, “,” (viewed May 8, 2004, 9:33 A.M. EDT)

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May 07, 2004

Things I Need to do to Plan My New Life

    1. E-mail “Palms of Manasota” (Gay and Lesbian Retirement Home) because I’ve lost their folio of materials.
    2. Visit my lawyer and change my will. You know who is out.
    3. Open a new bank savings account and switch funds into it for possible purchase of property and car.
    4. Buy a new car (Auta Mobilita is 6 years old and won’t be up to the trips to Florida she has to make during the next year.).
    5. Actively shun Ruth.
    6. Start cleaning out closets and loose the junk.
    7. Don’t think ugly thoughts about George Bush.
    8. Stop obsessing about the war in Iraq so often.
    9. Stop obsessing about the Bush deficit.

* “Goal Setting and Life Planning Events,” Goals Guy Learning Systems Inc., (viewed April 6, 2004, 6:46 P.M. EDT)

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May 04, 2004

Dear Journal,

I must preface this entry with two items.

First, as I wrote previously, I have begun an exercise program. As part of that program, I have obtained a membership at a local health club.

Second, There will be no photographs in this entry.

What Did We Expect?

Friday, April 30, 2004

I had just begun walking the tread mill at the health club. There are flat television screens mounted on the treadmills, and I turned to CNN as I walked. The screen lit up and a blurred image of naked male bodies piled on top of one another in an orgy of anal sex appeared. “What is gay porno doing on the news,” I thought. I put my earphones on and was informed that Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad had been abused sexually. The euphemism used for “sexually abused” in the news report was “sexual humiliation.” In several articles I have read since last Friday that the Iraqi prisoners were made to participate in these acts because homosexuality is particularly loathed in Arab and Iraqi culture. I was shocked, but probably not for the same reasons that many of my heterosexual brothers and sisters were upon watching and reading about these reports. of course I was dismayed that Iraqis were being tortured and abused sexually. However, there are several implications implicit within the decision to use this form of sexual abuse. First, the form of torture chosen does not say as much about Arab / Iraqi sensibilities as it does ours. Whoever chose homosexual abuse and acts of sodomy as torture, whether it be the general in charge at the prison, army intelligence officers, or ordianry enlisted personnel did so because they are part of a Twenty-first Century American culture that perceives homosexuality as a bad thing. For instance, an American heterosexual male myth that only “pansies” could possibly engage in homosexual acts classifies the stereotype PANSY as BAD. Thus, the irrational fear that any athelete might be gay. Well, I have a news flash. Homosexuals come in all types, just as heterosexual males and atheletes come in all types. So it was that these robust Iraqi men were forced to commit acts that only “sissies” might wish to perform. Second, these forms of sadistic sexual torture were chosen because they allowed the American personnel involved an approved (how sad) way to sublimate their own homosexual / heterosexual desires. I’ll bet there were American male participants who had to wash their under garments after they sexually abused the Iraqi men. And, I wonder too if any of the torturers participated activiely in the sexual performances the Iraqi men were forced to commit. Third, I noticed that one of the American persons in at least two of the photographs appeared to be female. I don’t care to speculate on her sexuality, but there are many possible variations that occur to me. I do wish to note that one of my own recollections from my early childhood was the fear and confusion brought on by potty training; fear of my own mother, suppositories, and my confused and willful retention. The participation of a woman or women in these acts of homosexual sadistic sexual torture further complicates the picture of the American sexual psyche.

It is taboo. We dare not speak of it. In the middle of this war that was supposedly over last year, with thousands of Iraqi’s killed, 723 American armed forces personnel dead, and Thousands of Iraqis imprisoned we are confronted with the unspeakable. What did we expect?

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