Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Black Slaves Matter

One of the more intriguing aspects of the BDSM and kink communities that I find is the participation of African Americans and our acceptance of the label “slave.” I have always rationalized that if I were ever able to have an articulate conversation with my ancestors about how my proclivity towards leather and little flogging is indeed a celebration of the work they put in to keep as many light years between their plight and my own (and not a political act cleverly designed as an uncomfortable fetish to put Black people back in chains), that I would fully embrace leather, BDSM and kink communities. After a little research and some extremely insightful counsel from “elders” in those communities the more prevailing question arose of, “What exactly is a slave?” If you were to look at your typical Hollywood penned attempt to address the query you would more than likely get a film that would raise your anger exponentially watching Black people huck, shuck and get beat for an extended period of time more so than an exploration into the nuances of a person with limited resources dealing with the frustratingly complicated politics of the time. I believe it’s one of the reasons why modern day African Americans tire of the idea of slavery themed media; the theory being that if you’ve seen one slave, you’ve seen them all and that the totality of their experiences, while vitally important, are drawn in exhausting and predictable monochromatic hues of cruelty, lynching and cotton fields. But weren’t slaves… funny, and arrogant, and horny, and shy, and devious, and helpful, and argumentative, and sensitive? Weren’t slaves… people?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Trials and Tribulations of Mobile Dating Apps


Despite the fact that my main profession revolves around technology I have never been a big tech nerd. While I can navigate through any software, program, application and many games thrown at me, for the most part I’m not really one to ride the wave of modern technology. This has never been so blatantly true as when it comes to cell technology. For YEARS I avoided buying a cell phone and when I finally broke down to purchase one I remember the customer representative behind the counter asking me if I was looking for a phone with more data or more space or specifically for gaming or social media, or how about one with high pixels for crystal clear pictures and other assorted features. When she finally quieted down I distinctly remember looking her in the eye and saying, “I’m looking for a phone that makes phone calls?” I wound up getting a Pay-As-You-Go phone that was smaller than an Altoid tin. And yes, all of my friends and family ridiculed me about it. Nevermind. It made phone calls. That’s all I really cared about.

Monday, June 13, 2016

God Bless America


It’s been a little over 24 hours since the massacre that happened at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL leaving at least 50 dead and 53 injured. The Pulse, if you didn’t know, is a gay night club and I, if you didn’t know, am a gay man who is all over Facebook and Twitter and with the deluge of opinions and conjecture that has flooded every social media outlet, I imagine anything I would say about the shooting would just be a single drop in an ocean of posts, tweets and video blogs. But even still, how can your normal scheduled programming NOT be interrupted at something so horrific. Because I am gay, I do think I have a biased opinion and I take it personally... the same way I took the Dahmer murders or the people getting crushed to death at the now defunct Clique Nightclub personally. I used to frequent those places that Dahmer sought his prey and at the time was the age, financial and race brackets that he was looking for. I used to work as a waiter at the Clique and every night I passed by that locked backdoor that refused to open thus causing  a melee that ended with several people being trampled to death as they tried to leave. I received a buttload of frequent flier miles from my last trip to Chicago and could have used that $40 roundtrip ticket I have coming to celebrate Pride in Orlando, in Pulse. I could have gotten eaten. I could have got trampled. I could have got shot. I know the comedy that exists because of the distance between my life and those actual occurrences... none of that actually happened to me. But my snicker at the thought does have a tinge of discomfort... people did get picked up and eaten at the dirty bookstore I used to frequent, people did get trampled to death at the place I used to work, people did get shot at a club I could have gone to. I don’t think the Grim Reaper is “following” me, but he doesn’t necessarily seem to be the most discerning motherfucker does he.