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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Privacy

All the fag talk seems to be cooling down a bit. For a while it was really getting under my skin. As I’ve explained, my brain is wired according to a nonstandard schematic, and very often I will actually see what’s being said. Gets sorta ugly inside my head, when the topic is how gay everyone is. Really hard to be around. But as I say, it’s a little better. Same with all the race talk. Moronic. Still there, but slightly toned down. Maybe I’m getting desensitized. I made my own little race joke tonight, in fact. "Oh, discrimination against Team White, eh?" I felt stupid just saying it. Saying such things more often must make them feel less stupid. I never have the feeling I can carry that sort of thing off. In any case I don’t go for a lot of humor in that milieu -- my old style was deadpan, and I’m tired, at long last, of being misunderstood. I keep it light and vapid. Look at me, harmless ol’ Jack. Haw haw.

It’s hard to find a tone that works. I don’t want to be the conversation police. I’ve said that before. I suppose I’ve just become too aware of how easy it is to hurt people, and consequently to make enemies. And if not enemies, then a need to always be on guard. It’s tiresome, feeling that way, and causing it, and seeing it. Such is the world, alas.

That in mind, someone brought up a picture that one of the young fellas seems sometimes to show. Himself, shirtless, fly unzipped and v-necked down to the boundary of good taste. Artfully done. A good picture, for what it is. Not quite erotic, but certainly sensual. He showed it to me once, out of the blue. Proud of it, no doubt. He has a good build. Here’s the point. I never, never ever would have mentioned it or brought it up to anyone. I assumed an unspoken trust that I would respect his confidence. So it surprised me when someone else referenced it in a group setting. Not everyone operates by the same rules.

Likewise, another fella mentioned a website run by one of our young peers. The lad is an actor, professional, in films and plays and such. That explains it. He’s good looking in a way that you just don’t see. Johnny Depp good looking. Frankly pretty. I’d thought he was just a college student. Both. Well, the fella pulled up the website -- posted with credits and head shots and artful poses. Some of the film synopses were read. One of them involved a homosexual theme. Here’s the thing. I don’t think our fair juvenile told anyone about his website or his career so that he could become the topic of amused conversation. It seems like there was an implicit trust involved in his sharing information about himself. When it’s not observation, but self-revelation that is the source of information, it just seems wrong to use it as conversational fodder.

Again tonight, a fella came in repeating someone’s phone conversation that he’d just heard. “He’s on the phone, all, [meek voice] ‘Honey, can I go tomorrow?’ and then he says to me, [manly voice] ‘Sure, I'll go.’” It’s not wrong. It’s just something that seemed wrong to me. I agree -- I have too many rules.

Well. That’s how I’m wired. It’s like drinking. I never have. Two reasons. I’m wired to see things as black and white. Then I was raised along certain lines. These two factors combined to create an early conviction that I would never drink. It really does have in it for me aspects of purity, of clean and dirty, of good and evil. I don’t do it on purpose, and I’ve outgrown its control. But it’s there. I don’t mind. It’s how I am. I don’t mind how I am. I should mind how I am? It’s like being short. In itself, not good or bad. Just the way it is. We deal with such constitutional issues, and hope that fools don’t judge us for them.

We have the right to judge. But with rights come obligations. It's a question of how ugly we want the world to be. Or how beautiful. And what our part will be in the decision. Because judgment is hard to take. Even a seared conscience can be hurt -- as it should be. But should what is innocuous be hurt, or open to it? We can't live our lives as if we tread on ice. But just stomping around might eventually merit its own judgment.

Privacy is about respect. Even when it's not earned, it's prudent to give it. I'd sometimes follow my, uh, "ward" -- my boy from juvenile hall -- to school because he needed to be checked up on. Creepy, I know, but he was creepy, and the lack of privacy that he unknowingly had was merited. Privacy, in such a case, is not prudent. In non-extraordinary circumstances, however, the less said, the better, regarding the vulnerable things that people say and do. Gossip, you know -- it has a bad reputation. So it seems to me. Isn't there some topic of conversation more worthy of exploration? So rare. So rare.

And you know I'm right. You just know it. Cuz I'm a bad and dangerous man, and even Fate fears my wrath. Life once handed me lemons. I grabbed it by the throat and squeezed lemon juice into its eyes until it screamed like a sissy bitch. Then I made it kiss my ass. Yeah. That's right. You know how it is. Life is my bitch. Hey, Life -- go make me some toast, and then rub my feet. I'm the biggest swinging dick around, and even my farts sound like poetry.


J

5 comments:

JT said...

Actually Actor Boy showed it to everybody the night before

jt said...

And Gay boy showed his gay picture in the process of bragging about the threesome he was about to have with the girls who set up the site for him.

Jack H said...

My. Your rebuttal is almost unanswerable. Almost. But please allow your humble servant to make the attempt. Our young thespian will have shared something of his career because he feels pride about it. That someone else comments on that career, and pulls up a website -- there is nothing at all questionable in such a thing. It's fine. It's good, even, perhaps, if it is an indication of respect. The implicit trust to which I referred doesn't pertain to the sharing of information. It has to do with the respecting of information. It has to do with context and tone. That he is an actor is interesting. That he played a homosexual is not a topic that I think is appropriate for the context of BJJ. For any number of reasons. Not the least of which would be the natural sensitivity that a young man might have about such information, especially in the context of BJJ. That other people feel differently is fine. The paragraph I wrote on the matter is my feeling. I wouldn't have pulled it up, and I wouldn't have read the synopsis. It's just a matter of style. No condemnation here. But I don't suppose it can accurately be said that he showed it to everyone, since I would have been there, and I didn't see it.

Regarding whom you style Gay boy, I don't know anything about a site, but it seems irrelevant to my theme. My question would be, did he show his "gay" picture to the same people who were present when it was referenced so publicly? If not, then my point holds. My point is not that people are wrong for being the way they are. My point is that I'm a different way, or like to think I am. I do wonder how he'd be characterized as Gay, with a gay picture, if he's involved with a "threesome" involving girls only. Pervert, yes. Decadent, yes. Gay? By proxy only.

It has to do, all of it, with gossip, and gossip specifically tangential to matters of sexuality. Gossip about styles of rolling, attitudes of rolling, weaknesses and follies specific to the mat -- these seem like permissible and reasonable topics. The context warrants them. The rest of it, to my mind, belongs somewhere else ... say, some coffee house or something. Which would be the precise reason I've decided to avoid coffee houses.

I might someday make the mistake of revealing deeply personal information to someone. I don't mean what I've written in these pages. They are personal, but I've made them public -- not something I want to *talk* about, but it's out there. But if I should commit the folly of confiding myself, I would hope that it would remain confidential even if I didn't expressly state the need. I think that I can feel no security in that hope. Hardly any. The personable qualities that invite such confidences are the same that might reveal them, betray them, casually or thoughtlessly. It is a dilemma. I know, for example, that I've asked that my name be kept out of certain scenarios, and that it wasn't. I must have been insufficiently clear. But that's the nature of confidences. They are subject to misinterpretation.

My sensibilities are not subject to debate. They are what they are, without apology. I assume it might be the same for you. If we disagree regarding what is appropriate, no harm will come of it. We won't argue. I can tolerate quite a bit. You have no idea, the things I know and don't say. Maybe I'm wrong. But I'd rather say too little than too much. It's one of the reasons I can respect myself. Because I can be trusted. And what I don't respect in others, I can tolerate.

Even all the fag talk, that some seem to feel compelled to return to, like a dog to its vomit. Although it does get, uh, tiresome. But as I say, I'm not the conversation police. Lucky for you.

J

J.T. said...

So it's not the info, but the guys tslking shit about the info...amd they are your feelinigs abot the matter...fair enough

Jack H said...

I feel so ... so *summarized*. Mate, it's always feelings. Feelings are what motivate us. Information can be sensitive or neutral. Talking shit, as you term it, is about character. As a man thinketh, so is he.

J