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10 Things I've Learned In The Past Year - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
guysterrules
guysterrules
10 Things I've Learned In The Past Year
1. Planning a future is futile
2. The only thing within my control are my actions and my statements
3. The true meaning of the word "never"
4. Barbra Streisand is still repulsive
5. No one grieves the same way
6. Most people don't want to talk about death in a meaningful way but have no problem watching "CSI" or "Six Feet Under"
7. Friends define your legacy
8. Death is not the final step
9. There are angels
10. There is God

Current Mood: calm calm
Current Music: "River Of Salt" - Bryan Ferry

18 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
wonderboynj From: wonderboynj Date: January 22nd, 2003 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wholeheartedly agree on all but one item.

: )
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: January 22nd, 2003 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
You make me beg to ask which one....number 4 maybe? : )
wonderboynj From: wonderboynj Date: January 22nd, 2003 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I admit it. Im a fan of Barbra Streisand. Actually I like most of the singers that are attributed to *gay* people. Though I liked them long before I knew I was gay. Thanks to my Grandmother.

Barbra lately just ticks me off. I much prefer the young Barbra.

: )

Dont hate me ; )
prowler323 From: prowler323 Date: January 22nd, 2003 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am SO with you on this. I remember being -- what, five or six? -- plopped down in front of the TV eating up Cher with a SPOON! I would jigger with the TV and tune into a barely tune-inable station from Dayton in order to watch "The Cher Variety Show" because Cincinnati's station was too conservative to carry it.

As a little kid, I went to see "What's Up, Doc?" in the theater (what were my parents thinking letting me go see that movie as kid with a cousin only slightly older than me?) and I thought she was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen. What clinched it for me, though, was also my grandmother, but I suspect my experience was different from yours. I was a little kid watching "On a Clear Day" or "Hello Dolly" on TV, and my racist pretend-Southern grandma (we called her "Miss Katherine," which should give you an idea of her persona) spewed out, "Oh that Jewess! How can you watch that?" From that moment on, I gobbled up anything Barbra... as far as "A Star is Born." I hated all that late '70s pop crap that came after "Evergreen," especially the Barry Gibb-produced album.

And Bette Midler! Damn, I remember tuning in her TV special, the one that started with her coming out of the clam shell on a tropical beach and launching into "Oklahoma." My parents didn't get it and changed the channel. I went to the basement and watched the rest of the show through fuzzy reception.

So what was it that attracted me -- as a child -- to these people? I didn't have any queer influence in my life that I can think of. It was all just me and my little, unformed brain grabbing on to this stuff.

The only connection I can see at this point is that I was getting some sort of message that each of these people were outsiders or forbidden for some reason? And that hooked me?
wonderboynj From: wonderboynj Date: January 22nd, 2003 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, much has been written about what attracts gay men to these ladies.

When my mother got pregnant with me my Grandmother told her that no matter if it was a boy or a girl, that this grandchild was going to love the Arts. So the story goes that the first time my Grandmother held me she sang me a showtune. And I've been hooked ever since.

My grandmother lived on the opposite side of town from us, and in the early years of my life it was quite an ordeal to get there i.e. no expressways. So when I did see her it was always for at least a few day visit, hence, the first day I arrived we would go to the library and she would make me check out a stack of records and books about art, or subjects which she would approve. It's funny, looking back now, my grandmother and that whole side of my family (my dads side) were all mostly liberal democrats. My mothers side, whom I spent the most time with, were all conservative (read closed minded) republicans, and most of them are extremely religious. So I'm thankful for what my Grandmother did. Anyway, back to the story.

I remember being 3, 4 and 5 years old and just being in love with Judy Garland. On record, Ive never been much of a fan of her movies, but her voice when it was in good shape was quite something. That's another good discussion topic for sometime, what about The Wizard of Oz attracts gay men?

Anyway, I think that what attracts us to those performers is they are different from the norm. Judy wore her heart on her sleeve and sang her emotions. Barbra had the nose and the looks and the second hand (before it was fashionable to wear them) clothing. Bette Midler was baudy and outrageous. Cher had the looks and the different from the ordinary voice. I think we as young gay people saw that they were different, and perhaps knew there was something different about us. Though I suppose you could argue that every person who makes it in the music industry had a look about them, so maybe my point isnt valid.

Nowadays, the younger generation have so many role models that they think it's stupid for people to like women like that. Except for Cher, who has done a lot to appeal to the younger generation, musically. I cringe when people come over to the house and start looking through my record collection, or ask me online what kind of music I listen to. Music is a very big part of my life and I almonst always have something playing.

Oh well, just my two cents :)
prowler323 From: prowler323 Date: January 22nd, 2003 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re:

Wow, so your grandmother was actually Auntie Mame!
wonderboynj From: wonderboynj Date: January 22nd, 2003 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
People have made that anology before. She was a wild character much like Mame.

I never knew, until after my Grandmother had passed away, she was always very troubled by the fact that I was gay. But she never told me that, she was always very supportive.

I remember once when I was probably 6 or 7, we went to see The Sound of Music on a big screen somewhere and when it was over I told my Grandmother I wanted to marry Captain Von Trapp. She said I could marry whomever I wanted, so long as I would be happy :)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: January 22nd, 2003 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a great woman! Kind and wise enough to keep her opinions in check while simply loving you. Since you agreed with the rest of the list, then you know you are a lucky man to have such a wonderful angel at your side.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: January 22nd, 2003 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Believe me, I have my gay icons in my pocket as well. Madonna, Sandra Bernhard, Bette Midler, Morrisey, Bette Davis, Dolly Parton, "Showgirls"...the list goes on.

I also was never very impressed by a "voice." This would include Whitney, Mariah, Celine and Kelly Clarkson. Being a hard core rocker from the cradle, I just never really understood the value of a pretty singing voice. The exception to this rule is Annie Lennox because, well, she's Annie. And I love Patti Smith but she would hardly be considered a great voice.

But there's something about Babs that just really ticks me off - in spite of her politics. Maybe it's the way she handled "Prince of Tides," a beautiful book made unrecognizable by her. In fact, she took out the title character. And why not? Why bother having the title character in the film when you can beef up the secondary psychiatrist's role?

I knew this would be the one point that would flash. I like that : )
prowler323 From: prowler323 Date: January 22nd, 2003 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re:

See, I think "voice" isn't sufficient, there has to be something more behind "voice," which is why Whitney, Mariah, Celine and Kelly Clarkson don't appeal to me, while Alison Moyet and Joan Armatrading do.
wonderboynj From: wonderboynj Date: January 22nd, 2003 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah there has to be something behind the voice for me as well.

I love Alison Moyet and Annie Lennox.

I hate whitney and mariah blech.

I like Kelly Clarkson in a wierd way, mostly I like the song A Moment Like This.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: January 22nd, 2003 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
As Sandra Bernhard once said, "She was never the same once she went down the Stoney End. She didn't want to go down the Stoney End but she went anyway."
wonderboynj From: wonderboynj Date: January 22nd, 2003 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL

I whole heartedly agree with Sandra
lapalomita From: lapalomita Date: January 22nd, 2003 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Amen to #4 & #10.
explosivo From: explosivo Date: January 22nd, 2003 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not unlike some of the radio charts I post, I think I will put these in order of my favorites :) (with comment)
1. Barbra Streisand is still repulsive
(AMEN, BROTHER - I'm sure Don Johnson wouldn't mind his foreskin back at this point in time)

2. There is God
(As I understand him/her, I remain sober when I could not have gotten this way without some sort of divine intervention. Good enough for me.)

3. No one grieves the same way
(I am already losing sleep over my bewilderment over whether I will cry or not when my mom finally reaches the "express check out line.")

4. The only thing within my control are my actions and my statements
(And I *SO* never believed that before. I always thought I was a direct descendant of Svengali.)

5. Death is not the final step
(I *SO* want to believe that... because every time I see birds on a 2 lane highway flying low across the road barely avoiding cars, I assume they were another life form previously, and realized they had come back once, so they could come back again, so they might as well live vicariously as birds.)

6. There are angels
(More than the ones that play baseball at Edison Field?)

7. Most people don't want to talk about death in a meaningful way but have no problem watching "CSI" or "Six Feet Under"
(I don't watch either, but based on LJ comments I think people would rather talk about hairy backs and bear porn.)

8. Friends define your legacy
(Horrifying thought, but friends are also supposed to know when to say when, right?)

9. Planning a future is futile
(One Day At A Time, baby)

10. The true meaning of the word "never"
(I never thought about it)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: January 22nd, 2003 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
1. Don Johnson got chopped for her? Are you kidding me?

2. Agreed

3. You will cry and it will be ok. Cry hard. Cry like no one else is watching. It's ok. And Point #2 will help you. And #5. And #6.

4. But you know it now : )

5. Go ahead, believe it. Read "The Afterlife Experiments." It's a scientific study. No one would have believed in so many things we now take for granted 100 years ago. I have simply explored too much evidence and personally experienced too many things to believe otherwise. I like the poetry of the birds.

6. You've seen "Angels in the Outfield." Come on! Duh.

7. This one just makes me laugh and sadly nod my head at its truth - although it has not been a LJ experience for me.

8. Not sure what you mean.

9. This one I know you know.

10. Good closer.
explosivo From: explosivo Date: January 22nd, 2003 07:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

8. Not sure what you mean.

knowing that if friends will define my legacy, I took a page from the "Drink Responsibly" commercial tag line and thought, "well, my friends are supposed to know when to say when." MEANING: I pray my friends will always tell me when I am going over the top and to cool it, or else their definition of my legacy may be skewed a little further to the left than I would like it to be.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: January 22nd, 2003 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: 8. Not sure what you mean.

If I'm not mistaken, you've surrounded yourself with friends who are adept at speaking their mind and who are good people. Your legacy is in very good shape...so far : )
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