No Longer Queer

 

Marriage is a cultural relic, a “throw-back”,  if you will. No, I am not just talking about “traditional marriage”,  I am talking about marriage full stop. I am talking about the state having the power to certify certain relationships over others. Actually, not even that, it is the fact that the state has any say at all in our private affairs that is at issue.

I am not going to go into the history of the institution of marriage in the western world, but let’s just say that it is a story about private property rights.  Full Stop. It has nothing whatsoever to do with love so let’s just get that straight to begin with.

Marriage is not some romantic ideal which transcends the historical, the cultural, and the geographical. The very idea of romance and marriage, and even our very concept of love itself, is ideologically driven. An ideology that is not born out of religion, or art, or poetry, but from economic necessity. Let us not be blind to this truth.

So, where does that leave us today in Australia, in 2015?  Well, same-sex marriage is not about love, it is not about equal rights under the law (we have those already) it is about our own insecurities. It is about a community which has seen great change in the last half a century, which, at one time, pushed against the dominant culture, challenged heteronormative, stood up and said “Fuck That”.  However, like many other political and cultural movements, we have been absorbed by the dominant ideology, we now no longer want to push the boundaries,  we no longer fight to change the system, we want to be part of it, and in doing so, we are no longer act as an oppositional force.

By asking for same-sex marriage, by allowing our pride symbols to be co-opt by major financial institutions and by fast food companies and the like, we are capitulating. We are saying that there is no longer a fight, that there is no queer, that we are all the same.  We need to stop, think, realise what has happened, and re-start the fight. If the Queer movement isn’t acting as an oppositional force, then it is no longer queer.

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Fuck Colloidal Silver

This may be one of those rather self indulgent posts in which I complain about how crappy I feel because of all sorts of health reasons.
It’s my blog,  so here it goes.
Fuck it,  just fuck fucking fuck it. I have very little control over my body and my mind at the moment. Usual pain levels I can cope with as long as I keep to my pain management routines. However,  add to that prednisone withdrawals and I am just so fucked. Tired,  constantly hungry,  bruises,  hair falling out,  depression and the almost constant feeling of thousands of little tingly electric impulses in my brain,  my teeth and my tongue. Oh it is so much fun!!!
There are a million and one books out there about coping with chronic illness, chronic pain or mental illness,  and you know what? They are as bullshit as the gurus who peddle them.
The aspirational dream of the “wonder cure” for health and self contentment is big business,  it is a product of a market that quite literally exists to steal from vulnerable people and to give out not only bad but dangerous and unscientific advice.

FUCK GURUS!!!
FUCK COLLOIDAL SILVER!!!
FUCK ECHINACEA, CHIROPRACTIC AND AROMATHERAPY!!!

I’m sick, I will continue to be sick,  I know all about what is wrong with me, and the last thing I want is advice about the latest phase in alternative natural homoeopathic claptrap.

STOP SELLING ME SHITE!!!!!!

Contentment?

The longer I have to learn how to be content, the easier it becomes. Youth is tricky. Don’t get me wrong, I am not content with the state of the world, with politics and the appalling injustices we all view on the news each day.  Which is, itself, an extraordinary mindfuck.  We all view the most terrible things everyday, repeatedly, but have no power to stop what we are seeing,  no power to “make a difference”. The psychological affect is real, and, for some, can be paralysing.  We try to find ways to placate our emotions,  we sign the petition, we share the meme,  we wear the ribbon for awareness,  as if we aren’t all already bombarded with over-awareness,  as if millions of people knowing something is a problem can actually lead to a solution.

We do other things too, we stop eating certain foods because we see the animal cruelty that goes into its production, forgetting that in almost everything we consume there is an element of human suffering that has gone into it. We only buy “Australian made” products because it is good for Aussie jobs. Forgetting that the foreign produce that we consume also involves workers whose livelihood would be threatened if we stopped buying the imported can of tomatoes or beans. The world is fucked and we all have to find a way to come to terms with the fact that, as individuals, we are powerless to change the system.

So, where does that leave us when it comes to our mental health? Well, for a start, it isn’t helpful to take personal responsibility for things that are out of its control. It isn’t helpful to feel guilty for the system that we didn’t create and have no choice but to participate in.

It can help to occasionally take a break and turn off the tv. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care.

It also helps to stop having useless arguments on the internet. Some people just aren’t worth your time. By all means have constructive conversations, think, learn, but don’t argue for the sake of it, it’s a waste of energy.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t become involved in our local community, that we shouldn’t help those around us, especially if it provides material assistance to those who need it. Just don’t expect to change the system.

Can we be discontent with the system, but content with ourselves? Perhaps, but only if we stop believing the ideological bullshit that we all have the power to change the world through our individual actions. You don’t have to be a hero. In fact, you do not have the power to be a hero. Our hero culture comes from the ancient Greeks, and they knew that only those with immortal blood had the power to change the world.

Why blog? And for Whom?

I suppose I have a reader in mind, a mysterious x who has the characteristics of many of my friends rolled into one entity, my audience. As it is predominantly my real life friends who read my ramblings anyway, I guess I am not far from the truth.
So, the point then? Why do I write?
Hmmm…. well, to help me think things through, to hopefully have someone who is intelligent comment on what I have written and make me think something new, see something from another angle, questions my assumptions, or affirm my own position. It is always nice to preach to the choir, especially since my choir is rather small. The opinions expressed here are hardly mainstream.
I write to practice with words, so that my future self can be better than I am at explaining her ideas.
Or perhaps I am just bored, and while I wouldn’t say that I am lonely, I do have a lot of time to fill.

Why do you write? Who is it that you think of when you are writing?

“when I grow up, I want to be…”

The question every child is asked by friends, teachers, and relatives.
We are all trained by this very question to believe that we are our career, that our role as a worker is our role in life and that each of us must choose a single career path and that is what we are. When we grow up, rather than being a person, a human being, we will become a job.
This is a problematic and harmful for all concerned, but particularly for those who, for whatever reason, grow up to be a person who sits on the couch in their pyjamas all day eating cheese toasties.  (Okay, so I do other things as well, but I don’t have a job)
The reason is neither here nor there. I am sick of explaining myself in an apologetic manner as to why I have dropped out of the labour market.
My point is that it has made me into a kind of illegitimate person. A person without that crucial identifier, when I meet new people and I am asked what I do, I freeze, I have no acceptable answer and I need to provide an explanation for my life that seems so absurd.
I know fully well that it is bullshit and I have learned, at least rationally, to not to let it bother me.
In a world that is obsessed with  personal identity, that demands that the individual categorise themselves and thereby legitimise their every desire or action from their gender and sexual preference, to their eating habits, I am certainly not lacking in terms to describe myself.
BUT, I am not my labour, I am not my job. If I was, I wouldn’t exist.

A Licence to be queer: A plea to those with money

I recently read a very annoying article  (I won’t Link), that claimed that we should campaign for same-sex marriage “because of the children”.  That a wedding is like buying a first car or a house,  that it is an important memorable right of passage.  PUHHHLEASE!!!
Given that only a small and ever decreasing proportion of the population can actually afford the car, the home and the wedding, should this really be our number one queer rights priority?
Is it really so vital that we put all our funds and time and labour into fighting for the good of the feels of wealthy gays who can afford the nuclear family white picket fence heteronormative dream? Surely not. 
But the campaign funds come from somewhere.
So,  this is a plea,  to those in our community who have money,  to think about what is most important, to think about the young queers who have been chucked out of home, of those who are struggling with meeting their basic material needs, those who desperately need to access free mental health services that don’t even exist!! of those who can’t even afford a piece of wedding cake, let alone the car and the house.
Please, think about it.

A Licence To Be Queer?

It is very difficult, from a queer perspective, to argue against Same-Sex marriage. I am met with reactions ranging from bewilderment to outright hostility, from gay and straight alike. So this is an attempt to outline, hopefully in simple terms, why exactly I, and many others in the queer community (perhaps more than you think), would take such a seemingly contradictory stance on what has become the hottest “gay rights” issues of my generation.

Firstly, I am writing about this as an Australian. We have equal rights under the law (with the notable exception of adoption in NT, VIC, SA and QLD). We have, for now, universal health care and a comparatively sufficient welfare system. We are very lucky. The basic, material human rights that are denied to American citizens based solely upon their marital or employment status, and the way in which this impacts upon the queer community, is not being discussed here. If you would like to read more about this topic, I highly recommend you read Gay Marriage Hurts My Breasts by Yasmin Nair.

When I say to my queer friends that we already have equal rights, they exclaim “but we do not have the right to marry!!!”. Is marriage really a “right” and if so, should it be? Well, have you heard the term “marriage licence”? Tell me this, if you could drive a car without obtaining a licence, would you fight for the “right” to pay for your driver licence? Let’s take the analogy a bit further…  Say you argue that driver licences are a good thing for the safety of the driver and the community. I wouldn’t disagree.  However, what is the benefit of a “marriage licence”? …. think about it….  what does it mean to licence a relationship? It implies that there are good relationships that meet the standards of the state, and that there are bad relationships that do not. We are saying that it is the role of the state to decide who gets the tick of approval to be in a relationship and who does not. Marriage is not about love, it is about the state defining and sanctioning something as personal and arguably indefinable as human relationships.

My point is, that the state should stay out of our bedrooms/lounge rooms/kitchens or wherever it is that you do whatever it is that you do with your partner/partners/friend/friends/companions/undefinedhumanrelationofsomedescription etc. I am being completely serious. I am not saying that there is no place for legal arrangements, but I am saying that these arrangements do not have to take the form of a life-long commitment between two monogamous lovers. Life is far too complicated for that. It works for some, but is it really the way in which we should be basing the organisation of our society?  Surely it is the nuclear family ideal that we, as queers, should be rallying against, not campaigning for, and thereby solidifying.

To Be Continued when I can figure out exactly the what it is I want to say and how to say it.