Our Wedding Gay…. (Photo Album Title)

Surely everyone is gay on their wedding day?  Happiest day of our lives and so forth.  Of course I’m using the original meaning of the word gay – to be happy.  Clearly, I read way too many novels written more than a hundred years ago.  

(“Mr Darcy, you libertine, unhand the hem of my skirt before someone sees”).  Sorry, mental segue there… where were we ?… Ah yes…

I have no issue with other people’s sexual preferences.  In fact, I don’t care and really couldn’t be less interested.  If someone is heterosexual, fine; homosexual, also fine.  Any other kind of sexual… also fine.  I’m completely not concerned at all.  In fact, I consider it to be none of my business… at all.  So I find the whole concept of wearing one’s sexuality or sexual preferences on one’s sleeve rather ridiculous.

I believe that “gay” men and “gay” women should be allowed to get married, if they wish it.  I don’t believe that anyone should be discriminated against, or for based upon their sexual and romantic preferences.  So, Yes absolutely, they should have the right to get married.

My question with the entire issue is something quite different.  My question is, WHY would they WANT to?  Surely the example set before them of heterosexual marriages should be enough to dissuade them forever from it, and that this is a really crap idea !!

Ok.  I’m being deliberately glib. (Note to self – must stop being glib… one day… a long way into the future).   They want to have the right to get married for legal and financial reasons, and for their mutual commitment to be recognised – fair enough..  But, surely, it’s time for us to consider other parameters for this kind of relationship altogether.

For those who wish to take the traditional route, great.  Fantastic.  Enjoy.  But, there has to be a way of creating a “partnership” with another person, which has everyone covered in terms of legal rights and financial security, and airing of commitment, which does not involve marriage in it’s conventional sense.

“Partnership” – such a silly word to refer to someone with whom you are sharing your life and your bed, but not actually legally bound to.

Noel Fielding, a brilliant stand-up comic, star of “The Mighty Boosh” and panel leader on the insurmountably wonderful ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks” put it thusly.  Just a note – if you’re not familiar with Noel’s look – he’s slightly androgynous, and one could easily be unsure of his sexual orientation (if one really cared enough about such things).  He covered this “confusion” about the word ‘partner’ in a gig on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow.  It went like this (sorry Noel I’m paraphrasing)… ..

“I was in the bath with my partner the other night, we were splashing around and laughing; it’s so difficult to do anything in the bath isn’t it?  It’s all too slippery, and we ended up having a fight about whether he was going to sit down the plug/tap end, or I was.  So, we were messing around, and it was all getting pretty steamy.  Suddenly, my girlfriend walked in and said, “Look, I don’t mind the two of you running a small business together, but this is ridiculous”.

(A story about Noel.  My Mother – yes – and I saw him do a stand-up gig, years ago, for the Hatherleigh Festival (world renowned it is… not really), before he was so big and famous and on the telly, and it was pretty clear then, that this was no ordinary comedian – his stream of consciousness style of humour was a brilliant thing to observe.)

So, yeah, gay marriage… no problem with that at all.

But isn’t it time to find a workable alternative to marriage full stop ?!

For straights and for gays.

Straights have rights too !!!!

Addendum – Funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time – a placard at a Pro Gay Marriage Rally… on it was written… “WE WANT TO BE MISERABLE TOO”.

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Career-ing Out Of Control

© Phil Date | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Phil Date | Dreamstime Stock Photos

“You haven’t really had a career yet, have you”, she said in a rather patronising and rhetorical way.

I thought about this, and very quickly smiled and shook my head… more in resignation than compliance.  I also laughed.  A small laugh in which was contained so much.  Later on that night, this is what I thought….

Well, no, I probably haven’t, if we’re going to define “career” on what I think are your terms.

In fact, firstly I’d have to respond to what you posed as a rhetorical question like this… “Define career !”

What does that mean to you?  What’s a career?  I’d guess that it means 30 or 40 years working in the same industry… if not for the same organisation.

(Please use your best impersonation of Rhett Butler for this bit)…  “Frankly my dear, if that’s a career, then you can count me out.   I don’t want one.”

Or, if we define career in my terms… ie: learning how to be a better person – then I’d have to say that at 47 years old, I’ve already had three, possibly four specialisations.

The first one was almost a decade in the Hotel industry.  I learnt a lot in the hotel industry.  Everyone who has an enquiring mind learns a lot in the hotel industry.  It’s such a fascinating microcosm of life, of society.  All aspects of daily life take place in hotels, as well as some other aspects of some lives which are indulged perhaps exclusively in hotels (nuff said)  !  See the TV Series ‘Hotel Babylon’ for further information.

Then there was almost a decade (that’s a bit of a recurring time theme) in Film and Television.   Again, a fascinating place to work.  To be behind the scenes on the creation of entertainment is something quite surreal.  Watching a movie or a TV show is never the same.  The absolute ability to detach from the fantasy is the result of working in the “back end” of Film and TV.  Reality Television ? No, no, my friend, that is a contradiction in terms; it’s an oxymoron.  No TV is reality.  The amount of underwater paddling that goes on to facilitate the “effortless” swan of a movie or TV show is massive.  The amounts of money invested in production and advertising are phenomenal.  Nothing is by chance (unless it’s planned that way !!!)

The next almost a decade (and that’s this one) has been spent working in horticulture… growing things, nurturing nature (and writing).  Horticulture is one of the few places where I find what’s called FLOW.  That’s where time stops, the monkey mind recedes; that’s where it’s just me, and the plants and the universe, and we all understand each other instinctively and flawlessly.

So, yes, that’s 3 “careers” so far – each of which has given me something intangibly wonderful in terms of how I see the world.  Plus my writing which cannot be defined as a career, more of a calling.  Oh, and all the travel… a lot of travel.

Oh, and then there’s the other “career” that I had for almost a decade (!)… the one I did because of love… looking after my elderly Grandparents.  OK, so it was “Part-Time” (approximately 14 hours a week for 7 years) and “un-paid”… and it wasn’t a “job”… so can I call it a “career”?.  Yes, I think so, I think I definitely can, but I’d prefer not to.

What did I learn from this experience?  The list is too long… what didn’t I learn? would be a better question.  How did this change me, as a person?.  Again… How didn’t it change me?  Who I became, as a result of the blessing and the agony of caring for two people I loved so much, in the twilight of their lives until their ultimate deaths is unfathomable and indescribable.  To deem that a “career” is more than a little reductive.

So, have I had a “career” yet??  Dunno the answer – and it’s not even worth answering.  Have I had a LIFE ?  Very much so, an astonishing, rewarding, beautiful, deep life… so far.

That corporate kind of “career” would have shrivelled my soul. I think I knew in my guts that if I didn’t cut out of the game of big business, I would have wound up with the deep parts of me deeply messed up.  

My career has been in experience, in variety, in travel, in widening my horizons, in thinking, in feeling, in nurturing, in watching, in seeing, in understanding, in writing, (there are too many to list, so let’s skip to the good bit Thanks Rizzle Kicks)… and in caring, and compassion.

What’s that worth ??  in Dollars ??  Absolutely no idea, not much I should think.  What’s that worth on the ‘career ladder’ – probably nothing.  On a human level, it’s priceless.

So if she asked me again, tomorrow, the same rhetorical question… I’d give the same answer… a shake of my head and a small laugh.

Land Rights for Gay Sharks

dreamstime_s_12705192That’s a slight play on a much-used slur against “rights” activists in Australia – which normally goes “Land Rights for Gay Whales”.  It’s a knock at the lefty who bangs on and on about Land Rights for Australian Aboriginals, Gay rights for well, clearly, Gays, and to stop Whaling (and any other suitable causes).

All of which I’m for !  The mocking is of the “type” not the philosophy.  You can recognise them by the Che Guevara T-shirt, the Russian novel, and the Lennon (not Lenin) specs.

But right now in Western Australia there’s something else going on.  I can’t seem to work out whether I’m amused by this, whether I’m in agreement or whether I’m not.  Internally I’m really divided over it.  One moment I find myself laughing at the sort of absurdity of it, the next minute I’m adamantly for it, and the following moment I’m agin it.

If I didn’t know myself better, I might think I had some sort of multiple personality disorder.

Usually I find it quite easy to know which side of the fence I’m on.  I don’t dither a lot and based upon my own well-know emotions, hard-won ethics, long / varied experience, and not inconsiderable (?!) intelligence – nothing else, not money, not power, not ego, not self interest – I’m able to know almost immediately if I’m pro or anti something.

But this one’s got me a bit stumped.

Australians are standing up for Sharks !!!

What?  Flamin’ Galahs mate, what’s that all about then ?

In Western Australia there have been several shark attacks in the last few years, the numbers are not stupefying by any means and that’s what the furore is about.  The numbers are tiny, comparatively.  Compared to other causes of death, they are miniscule.

But, the WA Government is proposing to put baited hooks out at sea to catch and kill the sharks who are POTENTIAL killers before they have an opportunity for a meal of surfer or swimmer.

There are actually protests on the beaches in WA, and support in other states, to not do this.  To not kill the sharks.   Most of the protestors are people who swim and surf at said beaches.  I think this is brave.

I don’t feel good about anything being killed, and as the campaigners point out – that’s their territory – the ocean – and they’re simply doing what sharks do – killing and eating, and in a very, very small number of incidents, they have attacked humans.

The smallness of the number of incidents does not, of course, make it any better for those (and the families of those) who have survived shark attacks (it’s an exclusive club) but sustained considerable injuries, or those who have died of shark attack injuries or simply been taken by a shark never to be seen again.

But, my response to this scenario – the protesting, has been firstly…. LAUGH.

Aussies out on beaches with signs saying “Great Whites have rights too”.

That’s funny.  Sorry, it just is.

(Or is it Great Rights have Whites ?  I dunno.)

Then what kicks in is the fear factor – people shouldn’t have to be perpetually scared of going into the sea in case some hungry monster shark decides you’re dinner.  Ugh, it’s unthinkable.

Then (personality three) comes the bit where I care about the sharks.  Yes, they do have rights, and no they shouldn’t be killed in anticipation of them possibly killing.  That’s not right.  And I suspect that, because when I think of Great Whites, I think of Bruce from ‘Finding Nemo’, that helps me to feel some compassion for them.  Can’t do that without a quote from Bruce himself…. I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.”

So, oh dear, I think I’d better leave this one alone, and decide to be undecided about it.

Where’s that fence?   I need to go and sit on it.

PS – My mate Jake in the UK, got his mate Barney – who’s a DJ on Phonic FM Exeter (have a listen – do ya-self a favour) – to give me a shout out today, while I listened online in Sydney.  Doll Face is what Jake calls me.

Barney said “This one’s for Doll Face in the Land Down Under.  Too Hot, Too Sharkey”.

Brilliant.