Monogamy Shmonogamy…

I’m back already.  My goal of two posts a week is beginning to appear a little more realistic.  Anyway, I seem to be on a judgment kick lately.  Not sure why, but as usual I’ll just go with it.  After all, who am I to judge what to write about.  Shit comes into my head and I spill it out into the wild world of the collective online unconscious.

In the last post I wrote about… Oh never mind.  Just scroll down and read it.  Today I’m thinking about relationships.  Here’s a good question- define monogamy.  The dictionary says that it’s either being married to one person at a time or having one sexual partner at a time.  That’s a pretty broad fucking definition.  Oops, I made myself laugh.  Discussing monogamy and using the words ‘fucking pretty broad’.  Sorry, my sense of humor is on par with Bevis and Butthead. Where were we?  Oh yeah, define monogamy.  Can you?  Is your definition the same as mine, or even the same as your partners?  Wouldn’t you think that a society that’s supposedly built on the monogamous relationship could agree on what the fuck it means?

Let me pose a bunch of questions.  Let’s say you’re married and monogamous.  Where exactly are the boundaries?  Is it cheating if you look at another person?  How about if you look at them longingly?  Or sigh wistfully while looking?  Is it cheating if you watch porn?  What if you have virtual sex with someone in another country and you never actually meet them?  What about phone sex?  Or flirting?  A recent Senatorial candidate espoused the view that masturbation was non-monogamous.  Was she right?  (Of course she also may have been a witch.)  How about fantasy or role play?  Is it wrong to pretend your partner is Pee Wee Herman during sex?  What about a lap dance in strip club?  Or a perfectly chaste massage for that matter?  It involves intimacy and nudity.  Would it bother you more that your partner had a close friend with whom he shared emotional truths or if he got an anonymous blow job while drunk in a bar?  See, it’s not that easy a question, is it?

Of course I have the answer.  I always do.  Drum roll please…………. I lied.  I don’t have the answer.  Because there isn’t one.  Or more correctly there isn’t just one.  There are millions.  Every single person gets to have their own.  That’s the only way it can work in this wild and free world.  I get to set my boundaries, you get to set yours, and they might be TOTALLY different.  And that’s OKAY.  And here’s the mind blowing part.  Your partner doesn’t even have to have the same definition that you do.  In fact, they probably won’t.  Wow, cosmic, huh.  Maybe we better explore that a little more.

If you’re in a relationship have you talked about what the boundaries of monogamy are?  Why not?  Your relationship is probably based on monogamy so why haven’t you defined what it means to both of you?  The biggest part of being together might be that particular negotiation and the compromises it brings.  One of the things you’ll probably find is that it won’t work well to have both of you under the same rules.  Things that might make one partner crazy jealous won’t bother the other one at all.  A frank and honest discussion over time will lead to clear understanding and a lot less pain for both of you.  What’s more, the compromise you reach will be ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE.  No other couple in the whole fucking world will define monogamy in EXACTLY the same way you do.  Isn’t that wonderful?  Yeah, I think so too.  It’s the very essence of freedom.  But that’s where judgment rears it’s ugly misshapen head.

The world is full of busy body squirrels who apparently have nothing better to do with their sad, empty little lives than judge and condemn the beautiful, unique relationship you negotiated with your beloved.  Religions are full of them.  The government seems to think it gets a vote too.  If you’re monogamy happens to have the same genitalia, or a different race, or too big an age gap, or involve more than two people, or smiles upon extramarital coitus, or includes sex slaves, or whatever, some repressed little shrew somewhere is going to get their giant granny panties in a bunch and pass judgment.  Get enough of the evil little fuckers together and those judgments turn into laws and religious codes and pretty soon the universal suffering index skyrockets.  And who, exactly, the fuck are they to define a word that is clearly open to very broad interpretation?

The world is full of joy and relationships can be a vehicle toward it.  I’m lucky to enough to have met a wonderful partner.  We’ve been together for 22+ years and we have a monogamous relationship.  I know what she means by that and she knows what I mean.  The rules for each of us are DIFFERENT because we’re DIFFERENT PEOPLE.  What those rules are is none of your damn business and that’s exactly the point.  You decide what works for you and I’ll worry about me, and if other people are threatened or disapproving or judgmental they can go to hell.  Cause that’s where they belong.  Vaya con Dios and Viva la Revolucion.

-Archbishop Angus

Judge not lest ye be judged…

When I sit down to write it takes one of two forms.  Most of the time I outline a piece, work on it in a very systemic way and allow it to mature over time.  I have two pieces like this in process right now.  But sometimes that just won’t do.  Every once in a while something bubbles up and demands that I sit down and pour it out RIGHT FUCKING NOW.  This is one of those times…

I try to live my life according to four basic principles: Manifest Joy.  Appreciate Beauty.  Train for Center.  Strive for Compassion.  That’s all.  Nowhere in there is “Be Judgmental of others”.  One of the interesting side effects of avoiding judgment is that I end up with all kinds of friends.  I’m very comfortable with ALL of them.  Straight, gay, every race and creed, very religious or militantly atheist, police or outlaw, hippy or tea-partier, unemployed and destitute or wealthy attorney, I couldn’t care less.  I find common ground and love them all.  But sometimes those relationships end or are strained because people seem to discover that I’m not who they thought I was.  It’s been both perplexing and a little bit disappointing.

A wonderfully wise friend of mine recently sent me a note that included a line that resonated deeply with me.  He said that sometimes conflict arises because people’s notion of him doesn’t match the reality of who he is.  BINGO.  Something I’d been thinking about for years suddenly coalesced and the problem became a little easier to understand.  In my own naive little way I was unconsciously assuming that being nonjudgmental went both ways and frequently I turned out to be wrong.

I accept people for who they are and therefor they think that I must agree with them.  Totally.  Because they see that we share some traits, they may assume that we share complete world views and when they find out otherwise they feel betrayed.  All of this is rooted in their judgments that certain things are ‘good’ and others are ‘bad’ and it must confuse the hell out of them when someone who has their ‘good’ traits also has a lot of ‘bad ones’.  Their ‘notion’ or idea of who I am is based mostly on their own ideas, not me.  Those ideas end up being more important than our friendship.

Let me give you some examples.  I lost a couple of very close liberal lesbian friends when they couldn’t accept my tattoos that, in their opinion, “made me look like a felon”.  I have very conservative biker friends who were stunned to find out that I didn’t vote the same way they did.  A very religious friend and I shared very similar world views but eventually he couldn’t quite accept the many ‘alternative’ people in my life.  A couple very liberal friends are uncomfortable with things I’ve written in my books because they conflict with THEIR world view.  My best friend once walked away from me because I decided to quit my job in order to better raise my children, an irresponsible decision in his world.  You get the idea.  Every one of them assumed that because I was ‘this’ I was also ‘that’.  And they judged me for it.

I try HARD not to be judgmental and never let the things that friends do or say change my overall view of them.  People are so much more important to me than ideas or issues and I KNOW that they’re more complicated than any political, aesthetic, or religious orthodoxy.  A very close friend once asked me if he should marry the girl he just met.  I told him that it was probably a mistake after such a short time.  The next week I stood next to him at his wedding and did everything I could to help him make it work.  My thoughts on the matter WEREN’T IMPORTANT.  It was his life and he was my friend and I just wanted to help.  The rest was and is NONE OF MY FUCKING BUSINESS.  He’s still a big part of my life.

Look, I get it.  I’m different and frequently contradict myself.  I believe that life has a strong spiritual component but philosophically appreciate atheism too.  I’m a tattooed biker anarchist hippy.  A left wing libertarian with a gun.  I’m a nut and I refuse to pretend that I’m something I’m not just to make somebody else more comfortable.  This attitude has had it’s costs.  Neither Sharon nor I have much contact with our families because they couldn’t or wouldn’t accept who we decided to be.  Everyone can find something to be threatened by if they so choose. I’m just a little sad that so many people make that choice.  It’s hard not to mourn relationships that can’t survive or are severely limited because I don’t live up to someone else’s ideas about the world.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a few friends that have stayed with me through it all and they are worth the world to me.  I just think my life might be richer if more people heeded the oft quoted advice: Judge not, lest ye be judged.  Vaya con Dios and Viva la Revolucion.

More revolting stuff…

I’m baaaaaack.  After a couple months of transitions, tribulations, tragedies and triumphs I have returned once again to the imaginary pulpit.  Not necessarily any wiser or smarter but a whole lot more ornery.  I’ve got posts coming up on the presidential race and the spirituality of atheism but those will wait.  In the meantime, let’s rabble rouse a bit, shall we?  Of course we shall…

As the walrus poet once sang, “So you say you want a revolution…”.  Of course you do. The world is skipping merrily along toward hell.  But do you really?  Are you willing to do the WORK?  Are willing to be INCONVENIENCED?  I doubt it.  Most of the world is made up of sheeple; lining up to molested, working for the man, writing checks to big ugly corporations, and voting for the same old idiots.  Sure, you want a revolution, you just want SOMEBODY ELSE to do the hard parts.  Well, it doesn’t work that way.  If you want something better you have to be willing to TOIL and  CHANGE, and maybe even SUFFER a little.  And the Man is betting you don’t have the spine for it.  And He’s probably right.

If you want things to improve you’all are gonna to need to change your ACTIONS rather than just talk about it.  Here’s a list of places to start-

1- Stop flying.  Immediately.  EVERYBODY.  If you want the TSA to stop stepping all over the 4th amendment we need some good old fashioned civil disobedience.  A full boycott.  Empty EVERY airport for a few weeks.  Stay at home.  Meet with coworkers by telephone or teleconference.  Celebrate with the people who live in your own area.  Vacation within driving distance.  If the entire month of October saw empty planes and abandoned airports the TSA would be gone by Thanksgiving.

2- Take your money out of big banks.  Too big to fail, huh?  Great.  Let’s make them smaller.  Take your money, accounts, and investments to small banks or credit unions.  If enough people refuse to deal with the big banks they won’t be big anymore.

3- Stop using credit cards.  Use cash or checks.  Every time you use sa credit card the merchant pays the lender money and then you pay the lender money.  Try not to use them at all.  Use Debit cards for online transactions and cash for everything else.  Much of the money that corrupts the government starts with you putting that cup of coffee on Visa.

4- Tell the truth.  It seems that every one accepts lies these days.  There’s a billboard at my local mall that promises that if you let this lady thread your eyebrows you can seduce ANYONE.  Really?  We let advertisers lie to us CONSTANTLY.  Start telling the truth yourself and demand the truth from others.  The truth is truly revolutionary these days.

5- Say no.  If a policeman or federal officer makes an unreasonable request politely say no.  Don’t be angry or abusive.  Be kind but very very firm.  And if you see some TSA idiot bothering someone else please get involved.  Firmly and politely.

6- Let others protest.  Join them.  Here in the Bay Area the Bart police seem to believe that shooting unarmed people is perfectly acceptable.  When some protesters tried to apply a little civil disobedience and protest they were met by angry riders.  A perfect example of sheeple.  Every last one of those idiots should have gotten off the train and joined the protest.  Now BART is illegally scrambling cell phone service so protesters can’t organize.  You know, like they do in China.  All of the BART board should be voted out for this crime, but they probably won’t as long as the fucking trains run on time.  This how Fascists take over.  If you see a protest, join it.  There truly is strength in numbers.

7- Stop voting for Democrats and Republicans.  Both parties have shown absolutely no ability to lead.  In the next election you should refuse to vote for either one.  Vote for any other party instead.  More on this later.

8- Stop choosing sides in a battle where both combatants want to fuck you over.  Republicans and Tea Party idiots keep screaming about Big Government taking over our lives while giant corporations steal them blind.  Democrats and so called Progressives fight the good fight against corporate greed while legislating everyone into bland, safe monotony.  Both sides are evil, though possibly well intentioned.  Why are you working for either one?  The government and corporations both have goals that probably conflict with your growth, freedom and happiness.  The wisest choice is to limit both of them.  Let them fight f they must, but don’t think that either side gives a shit about you.

9- Quit hiding behind religion.  If you’re Christian, act like it.  Be loving and forgiving.  Ignore those who preach hate and divisiveness in Jesus’ name.  More about this in a later post.

10- Take responsibility for yourself and help those around you.  The Man can’t handle this.  He needs you to be dependent and selfish.  Don’t give in to cynicism.  Be joyful.  It’s the ultimate weapon.

But Angus, I hear you say, that list is HARD.  I like flying to see Grandma.  I like having 10,000 ATMs.  I don’t have time to protest, I just want to get home.  I need to buy a bunch of shit with my Mastercard.  If I don’t vote for the evil democrat a more evil republican will win, or vice versa.  Well, that’s fine.  But that means you need to SHUT THE FUCK UP.  No more complaining.  Just bend over and let the government, big banks, corporations, the TSA and any other institution that might want to line up and fuck you in the ass.  Me, I’m doing every last thing on this list.  Vaya con Dios and Viva la Revolucion.