Why Name-calling is Exactly What It Sounds Like

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If I could offer a single corrective to our culture, a solitary word to collar-yank us safe from the semi-truck of The Intolerably Boring that daily bears on me and my generation, it would be -- "describe." (Maybe with a "dammit" thrown in for good measure. (Describe, dammit. (There we go.))) Description gives us insight, allowing us to see in, to move through the exterior life to an encounter with a person's’ interior life. Great works of literature achieve this.He was a man over fifty, b … [Read more...]

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Too Much Information

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Honesty can be dishonest. The over-emotional, tell-all status-update we awkwardly scroll past is a brilliant revelation of this paradox. You know the one. Sandwiched between a crappy meme and a glowing duck-face, listing the miseries of life and the falseness of friends with vague but poignant references to a significant other who has slighted/ignored/left or otherwise hurt the author of the update -- it's a staple of any news feed worthy of its nauseating nature. All of its information may be … [Read more...]

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Dirty Secrets of the Gay Male Subculture: A Brief Bolster

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I've read something brilliant, and I want to tell you about it.It was a long read (the phenomenon of which turned out to be a pleasant exertion. (Pleasant, that is, amidst our thriving inability to process any piece of prose not malformed into a list of 10 and crowned with a desperate, panting headline. (Internet Writing, dear friends, subsists on viewage, on the "like" and the "share." That's how bloggers make money. We need to promise an unbelievable, all-previous-experience-defying ending … [Read more...]

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A Possible Anthropological Origin of the Duck-face

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All objectification tends towards murder, all self-objectification to suicide, for the only time a person is only an object is when he is a corpse. Alive and kicking, on the other hand, the person is a synthesis of subjectivity and objectivity. If this vocabulary is unfamiliar, fear not. Your objectivity is simply your outward splay of characteristics, observable-you, and your subjectivity is that unobservable interior life glimpsed through your objectivity, through your physical ch … [Read more...]

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Dear NARAL

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I read Pope Francis' beautiful, bold and otherwise death-defying interview. Then I read this.So I re-read the "pro-choice" view at issue: We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of … [Read more...]

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Eyeball the Enemy

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Eye-contact is a fascinating phenomenon. With our beloved, it is a delight. With a stranger walking down the hall, it is unbearable. This leads to the exciting game by which I -- knowing full well that I am about to cross paths with the aforementioned stranger -- pretend not to know it at all. I keep my head down, fascinated -- for some inexplicable reason -- with the movement of my feet, and only at the last moment look up, make eye-contact, and acknowledge the other’s presence with my most i … [Read more...]

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Ghosts With Erections

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This is so blisteringly obvious that it's hardly worth mentioning, but there is a difference between the high-school proms of our grandparents and the proms of current high-school kids. A brief survey of 1950's-1960's prom footage shows, somewhat shockingly, that there was dancing. That is, there were dances and people knew them. Men held the hips of women cupping the shoulders of their man, shuffling through sets of understood and pre-ordained movements of the foot and sways of the waist, … [Read more...]

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Far Better To Be Ourselves

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The problem with classifying people into understandable concepts -- whether "gay," "conservative," or any of the rest -- is that people are ferociously not concepts.Labels "know" the person by reducing him to a series of understandable traits, grinding away his distinctions and forcing him to stand in an abstracted community of liberals, gays, reactionaries, or atheists, no matter how unique he may be to the liberal or atheist he brushes abstract-shoulders with.Labels provide unity … [Read more...]

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No Longer Anonymous: Why I Decided to Come Out as a Gay Priest

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Bravely facing the applause of a world in love with labels, and just in time for the release of a second edition of his new book "Hidden Voices, Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest," Fr. Gary M. Meier came out today and declared himself openly gay to the notoriously unsympathetic Huffington Post.Bless the man, may the Lord keep him, let His face shine upon him and give him His peace. He'll be attacked by idiotic Catholics, whose quotes will undoubtedly be used in his up-and-coming "This Ha … [Read more...]

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Quick, Label Me!

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Labels are not concerned with the accurate description of people. In fact, they work against description by allowing us to avoid dealing with the person -- who is confusing -- by pointing to an abstraction -- which is simple. We replace the infinite, complex man with the immediately recognizable "liberal."This evident in that the labels "liberal" and "conservative" -- in themselves -- mean nothing. A man who is liberal is a man who allows, and a man who is conservative is one who conserves, b … [Read more...]

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