Friday, February 25, 2011

Stanley Kurtz Is Dead

I'll miss Stanley. Oh, he wasn't a close friend, or anything like that, but I'll miss him, nevertheless, much as God misses any of His Creation. I mean, I don't have to know his intimate life (although I do) to appreciate the fact that Stanley, well, Stanley was quite a piece of work, and a hard worker, too.

I've got to keep better track of things. I didn't see it coming, and I should have, because that's my job. I suppose I could have prevented his death, it was untimely. According to my charts, Stanley was supposed to clock in another twenty-two years, four months, and eighteen days. I did not anticipate that flying lunch box. Normally, air resistance would have slowed it down so that it would have dented Stanley's head, but it wouldn't have been fatal. Alas, it contained one too many cans of sardines, and it fell, unimpeded down those eighty-seven stories.

No, I don't take the blame for Stanley's passing. I don't engineer events. I just let them happen. I'm not a personal God, because that would make me a personal servant. I don't make coffee for anyone else. And Stanley was walking when the lunch box impacted his cranium. He was one of my best thinkers: clear sighted, energetic, calling out Obama and the homosexual agenda, defending my values. I adored what he did, although I thought he was a bit stuffy and overly combative.

Stanley was right about one thing. Homosexuals getting married is really going to upset the applecart. It's so sad that he stepped in front of that bus trying to avoid that gay skateboarder bearing down on him. I mean, I knew that the skateboarder was packing fudge, but Stanley only knew that theoretically. Stanley was plastered up against the windshield like a giant locust from Utah. His colleagues at the Hudson Institute (of which Dr. Kurtz was an associate fellow) will miss him terribly. The skateboarder was unhurt, but ticketed for feckless behavior.

If I had hands, I would wring them. I once had hands, and I did wring them, and it caused lots of problems. To put it simply, the unexpected expansion of the universe shortly after The Big Bang was caused by a lot of my hand wringing. Or maybe it was the blink of an eye. I forget. Fifteen billion years doesn't seem like a lot of time, but there is so much to remember, and frankly my memory is not that good. I would wring my hands over the demise of Stanley Kurtz. He was that good.

Yes, he was walking his dog, Swoosie (that was his little joke for being saddled with his last name: he really didn't like it that much), when the dachshund leaped after a squirrel, and Stanley slipped on a banana peel. How life mimics art! His left leg came up over his chest and wrenched his buttocks into an airborne state. The cheery whistle on his lips morphed into a rictus grin of prescient doom. Clearly, Stanley knew that his number was up. Felled by a banana peel. This is an end of Biblical proportions. I didn't plan it this way at all. Stanley crumpled on the street, only to be run over by a charging garbage truck. Because I'm God, I don't believe in luck. Fate is another, different thing, though.

Like Stanley, I don't particularly like homosexuals mocking me. They pretend that when they marry each other, it's all going to settle the matter. I sent them Fred Phelps. I sent them Pat Robertson. I sent them Stanley Kurtz. I even sent them Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith, Jr. I stripped them of their dignity. I had thugs beat and murder them. I turned my back on them, even the ones I loved (Caravaggio's angels come to mind). And what do they do? They want to get married. Can you imagine that? They want to get married!

Stanley would have none of it. He was a great statistician, which is to say, he was no statistician at all. He knew how to make numbers lie so that hateful pols and smarmy media commentators could make blood libel (truly, those Americans really do like to kill homosexuals) about part of my imperfect creation, something that I was a little disturbed about, too. Stanley knew, and I fully agree, because I am God, that homosexuals threaten marriage. I'm not sure why they threaten marriage, that was up to Stanley to figure out. So he lied about it.

My creation started out better than this, and the six thousand years or so (yeah, I know I cooked the fossil record, too) turned out pretty well. The earth had a certain bloody order (if not the universe). But it's gotten out of whack. The Madonna isn't a virgin anymore. Jesus is a Mexican baseball player. And Modern Family is the most popular television show in America. I gave them Sarah Palin, but they are watching Glee. And now, Stanley is gone. I weep, but enough of that. You don't want to see me weep. It messes up the atmosphere.

So Stanley died at his desk. He was reading M.V. Lee Badgett's book, When Gay People Get Married. His hippocampus suffered a proto-molecular quantum wave collapse. He never recovered. Dead as a door nail. Stanley Kurtz is dead.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fort Lauderdale, Days 1 and 2

We arrived here yesterday around 2 p.m. Ron's bag wouldn't fit in an overhead bin, so it got checked, which meant baggage claim. (Fortunately, he was not charged for the checked bag.) This is tourist season, and the shuttle ride to the rental car center was crammed full. It was a harbinger of things to come.

I had reserved a car with Thrifty. When I made the reservation, I had forgotten to change the default pickup and return times. When I went back to the web site to change the times, the cost of the rental went up $80. Ron printed out both confirmation letters and took them with us. We were able to get the original contract price, then when we went to add Ron to the contract, the woman helping us had already printed out the contract, so she just added him gratis. It certainly makes me a loyal Thrifty customer!

We headed out of the airport to our guest house, the Alcazar Resort. The staff here is very friendly. It's clean and neat, and just a little spartan, two pools, and a hot tub. It's very comfortable.

As soon as we got settled in, we headed (walking) for the beach. We found a cafe and had a pizza. I finished it all off with some ice cream. We walked up and down A1A for a couple of hours. There are a lot of us tourists in town, and an abundance of gay men, too. For dinner, we went out to the Casablanca Cafe. We had a great meal, Ron eating about half his entree (I ate an additional quarter), and I had mussels in a cream sauce.

Evening found us in the hot tub back at the Worthington (the Alcazar's sister (brother?) resort. We stayed there for an hour and a half. My backache was gone this morning. My arm felt 100% better. It must be something in the water.

Today we got up late for breakfast. Then I caught up on email this morning, and laid out in the sun for a while. We took a long walk before lunch, walking up on Sunrise Avenue. We ended up eating lunch at The Deck. We had quite a character for a waiter. He made some recommendations that we followed, and we were quite happy with the result, a seafood salad (and I had a side of potato salad). After lunch we walked down to the gay beach. It is exactly one block wide. It's this invisible line in the sand that quite visibly separates gay and straight. I know where I'm going to be tomorrow.

The afternoon saw more time at the pool, then a nap, then dinner. We went to Il Mulino, an old-style Italian restaurant, and another delicious meal. We've decided we're probably not going to lose a lot of weight on this vacation.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


O Spiderman of sticky web
How did you end up in my bed?
I dreamed of this, you know, quite wet
Revealing that you're not quite het.
No Mary Jane could turn your head:
instead a fag in spandex skin,
A circumstance I revel in,
A situation, queer, indeed.

I can't believe your hairless chest
is getting my attention best.
I dreamed of this, a spider's nest
of comfy love togetherness.
A tighty white across my pecs,
You, Spiderman, made quite a mess!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just Walk Away with Your Hands in My Pockets

I heard a disturbing news story about home foreclosures on NPR this morning. In Nevada, one in four of all foreclosures were owners walking away from their mortgage payments. The article reported that the stigma that used to be attached to foreclosure simply isn't what it used to be.

The news story reported that homeowners with a mortgage are frustrated with the bailed-out banks, and that homeowners haven't yet received their bailout. Bankers seem to be pretty unpopular among the indebted set. The government assistance programs to troubled homeowners are too cumbersome, and are not helping to relieve their debt load. So the homeowners take a walk, even those who can afford their mortgage, they take a walk.

Human nature strives mightily to rationalize behavior in ethical or moral ways. When we have moral lapses, we look for excuses to explain why bad behavior isn't so bad. Sometimes, foreclosure is necessary. Sometimes the debt is too much, and circumstances make it impossible for homeowners to pay on their mortgage. Certainly, loss of a job, major illness, divorce may make it impossible to pay the mortgage. Are walkaways, where homeowners have the means to pay their mortgage, justified?

Homeowners sign a contract with a bank when they get a mortgage. What does a contract mean if a person willfully breaches the contract when that person has the means to fulfill the contract? The decision is a moral decision, and I didn't hear much justification in the news story, except that it just didn't make economic sense for the homeowners to continue with their mortgage payments. These are people who can afford the payments, but choose to walk away because their homes will never have the resale value as the mortgage that they are paying.

Here is where the finger pointing begins. Undoubtedly, banks were out to get homeowners to buy as big a mortgage as possible, in some instances to re-finance and pull most of the value out of their homes. Homeowners believed that the value of their homes would never fall. Bankers engaged in predatory practices. Homeowners bought overpriced property with money they didn't have. Now the banks are bailed out and moving toward financial health, and the homeowners are struggling and feeling like they've been screwed over.

Unfortunately, the bubble has burst; the horse has left the barn, and we're closing the barn door. Homeowners who walks away from mortgages that they have the means to pay are devaluing the property of their neighbors who continue to make their payments. While it may be best for the individual homeowner to walk away, such action damages the social contract. It hurts the rest of us. On the face of it, the act is dishonest. It does no good to blame the greedy bankers. Somewhere, sometime, individuals have to be held responsible for their actions. Unless a homeowner was signing that mortgage contract under duress or fraudulent circumstances, that homeowner knowingly and willingly signed the contract and agreed to make regular mortgage payments.

This news story isn't over yet. I'm not sure how the government can (or should) help homeowners who are underwater. I can appreciate the anger and frustration that homeowners feel. I hope they think long and hard before taking a walk when they have the means to pay the mortgage. When they walk, they are taking money out of your back pocket.