American Gods

Starz frankly has a runaway hit with it’s “American Gods” series based of the Neil Gaiman novel by the same name. Now I will confess prior to this episode while I knew the name Neil Gaiman, I had never read his works. If not for a friend who is a fan I doubt I would have bothered to watch the series, and the novel would remain unread.

I came in knowing nothing, having no expectations. I finished the season fully committed fanboy. The story enhanced with amazing casting hooked me, and once I fully gave myself to Shadow Moon’s journey there was no turning back.  The ensemble cast, with brilliant actors and actresses top to bottom made this show “must watch” on Sundays. If only to see where they were going to go next.

Further the way they gave backstory flashbacks of just how some of the “old gods” found their way to America made perfect sense. From one place to another the gods were brought and eventually forgotten. Regardless of why that is the truth, and watching the series we see how the “new gods” are waging war on the old and it bares itself out. Media is now our Church, technology the altar at which we pray.

Seeing Jesus shot down as he crossed the Rio Grande so fit the attitudes of modern times that it was difficult to remember the book is better than a decade old. Perhaps Neil Gaiman is an old god, who knows? So much of the story resonates you can’t really say “no” now can you? So, yes the seasin was great and now the torture begins as we await season 2.

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Which Came First?

Oh come on now Sunshine, I am not talking the old “which came first the chicken or the egg”… or maybe I am. What I am questioning, and want you too as well, is did God create man or Man create god? Which was it? 

Now, while you are pondering that let’s talk a bit, shall we? Now me, I get that there are all sorts of religions, belief systems and ways of describing them. I get the fact that for the most part the gods, or their minions rather, have perpetrated mass murder in their names. Why we’ve recently had Muslims skyjack planes and fly them into buildings, they’ve kidnapped and beheaded all for their god, their Allah. 

But what about the Christians? Oh they explored the world centuries ago. Discovering lands and bringing their Messiah, their Jesus. Thing is though people were already there. People who’d never heard of this Jesus, and probably weren’t all that excited about this Jew from Bethlehem who was nailed to a cross and all that. But then the Christians began the old convert or die practices they now condemn in the more extreme Muslims.

Now long before Jesus walked on water, and longer still before his followers spread his new religion like some plague across the planet different peoples were comfortable in different beliefs, different gods, and different manners of worship. 

We know the tales of the Greek and Norse gods. We know of the gods of Egypt and Africa as a whole. Hell, even the Christians have varying beliefs. Don’t believe me? Invite that Southern Baptist to come with you to a Catholic Mass. Invite the Methodist to a Holiness service. Believe me they vary within their own denominations. But you are no fool, no simpleton, you know these things.

But what many don’t consider is who, or in many cases what, we worship today. Why look at the people around you, they probably have mobile in hand. Talking, texting, surfing the net, posting to apps, or what have you. Let there be a disruption in service and look at them. They are junkies needing a fix.

Ever lived through a hurricane? A major Winter storm? Anything that knocks out power, cable, internet? People go batshit crazy. As a species we lived without these things for centuries. Home computers, mobile phones and tablets are newborns but we pay the new technology more respect and worship it more than our gods of old.

So again I ask, did God create man or was it Man create god? Tell me what you think in comments.

Disgraced

Some time ago the Netflix series “Black Mirror” was introduced to me by a friend. I assure you that the episode “The National Anthem both disturbed and disgusted me. I had no intention of revisiting the series after that one viewing. Happily I can say I did return, rewatched the episode, again was “creeped out” by the episode but something happened as I re-watched the episode and followed it with others. I could see them happening or see how they really were happening in one fashion or another.

By the time I finished the opening episode of season 3 “Nosedive” series creator Charlie Brooker had me as a full enthralled and willing disciple. While this particular episode was much more comedic than others it was terrifying in how accurate it was. I admit it, I want this blog, simple as it may be read, liked, and shared. I want tons of followers on Twitter, and massive numbers of likes, follows and shares on Facebook. As much as part of me at times wants to pull away from social media, to leave it behind and go “off the grid” I am as much an addict now as I was initially.

Often called a “modern day Twilight Zone” the series is now reportedly venturing off the screen to book format. I confess I am intrigued. How will it play in that arena? Will the translation work or no? I am eager to find out. 

Any readers fans of the series? Leave me a comment with your favorite episodes, or least favorites, and tell me all about it.

Only Trust The Man In The Mirror

“Oh, I am going to ‘Movie X’ wanna go with me?”

“Man I was watching this YouTuber I really like and he said it sucked so I am gonna pass.”

“Oh geez, bad huh? Maybe I won’t go.”
“Hey, I was thinking about watching this show “X”, have you watched it yet?”

“Yeah, I watched like 5 minutes and thought it sucked so do yourself a favor don’t waste your time.”

“Damn, if it’s that bad I am glad you told me I can watch something else.”
Now to the point of my post. Last night I went with some friends to see the new Universal Pictures release “The Mummy”. Allow me to preface everything I am about to say with ths confession I grew up loving the Universal monsters of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Werewolf, the Mummy, et al and so I had been fan boying big time in anticipation of the movie. Enough so in fact I was afraid that there was no way the movie could meet my expectations.

Then just yesterday on one of my social media feeds was a picture that was supposed to be an empty theater showing the film. That didn’t bother me but I did start seeing titles of articles and it was safe to assume that there were obviously people out there who did not like the movie and garneres no enjoyment for the two hours they spent in the theater. The result of all this was that when my friends came by to pick me up to head to the theater I was more than a little nervous about would I actually enjoy the flick.

Another issue that I ran into, and on more than on occasion, was those people who had issue with star Tom Cruise and his Scientology beliefs. I basically told those people that I go to movies for escape and that who they voted for, or what their personally held religious beliefs don’t factor in because I am seeing the character they are playing, not the actor themselves on screen. I am sorry, but it seems stupid to not go see a particular movie because the star on the marquee voted against your candidate the last election. We deal with enough bullshit frankly in our day to day forking out good money for a movie should be an escape from that.

I guess I’ve made my point in that people had preconceived reasons to “not like” or “not see” the film, and there certainly were not a lot of people in the show last night. But, during the film certain things happened, and I really want to comment on them. Now in a bit of “cart before the horse” I liked The Mummy very much. Before you ask I will say that it was not the BEST MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN, and I will admit there were certain aspects that I would possibly have liked better a different way. But I stated earlier that I see movies as a form of escape and The Mummy provided that for the two hour showing.

I am not here to give spoilers, and am not going to try and shove down your throats that you not only HAVE to see the flick but you HAVE to enjoy it. But what I want to do here is get across that by not worrying about what someone else thought of the movie and what it was going to be I decided to be my own judge. You may go see it and hate it, that’s cool we’re different people. But dislike it for the film, and for yourself, not because “Joe” went and he didn’t like it or you don’t approve of everything an actor or actress in the spotlight believes. I mean how many films have you watched where a secondary actor or an extra believed exactly the same thing, but because they don’t tend to get microphones shoved in their face you don’t know it, so you were simply able to go see and enjoy a movie?

Confession Time

Surprise, I’m gay. Okay, yeah the little birdie has already flown the coop on that one. But it relates so come on it was a little funny, pun intended. 

Anyways, most of my friends have at one time or another expressed an attraction for a celebrity or two. Although as I have gotten older I have wondered how many were attracted to the actor/actress and how many’s blood was pumping for a role the person was portraying?

I can admit my latest “celebrity crush” is Miguel Angel Silvestre. Face it, this Spanish actor is smoking hot and yes, it certainly helps that for whatever reason I am attracted to Latino men. But I also know that his Sense8 character Lito Rodriguez is everything I am searching for in a man so I have to take that into consideration. 

Miguel or Lito? Which truly gets my heart beating faster? Do I have a “celebrity crush” or a “character crush”? If I am to be honest my gut instinct says it is a bit of both with character carrying the load at 65% to 35% over celebrity and I am cool seeing and accepting that.

No doubt you’re reading this and saying to yourself that you’ve read no real confession save for my faux coming out. Well you see, yes I have openly admitted that I was gay but I don’t think I have ever confessed to anyone what I am looking for. 

My problem is I am not a bar guy and frankly the whole “Show me your cock” attitude of apps like Grindr have me wondering how exactly I am supposed to meet a guy, muchless making it a Latino on top of everything else. No, I am not so locked in on that “Latino” label that I am just going to give every other guy the brush off, there’s a whole world out there.

My confession? I am ready for someone in my life. Someone who loves me and someone I love. Someone who is my sun and moon, while I am that for them. It’s scary. It has been a long time and I almost don’t know where to start.

A Baseball Sorta Day

One of the most difficult pitches in baseball to hit is the knuckleball. Not that many pitchers use it for one thing. You can never really be sure where it is going to be at any given moment for another. So when the knuckler is working batters are in for a frustrating night. When it isn’t, well batters can tee off.

That’s what today was like. Early on my knuckleball was working, I was dominating the day and felt awesome. Then about the time of the dat that would be my “7th inning stretch” it was like the mojo all went away and life was taking batting practice.

Fortunately for me, I was able to right the ship, the ball resumed dancing and the day ended in the win column. I should be happy, and I am. But wow the rollercoaster ride of a day took it out of me, that’s for sure.

Social Media Junkie In Recovery

So it all started with the old MySpace and when they changed I along with more than a few folks I know moved to Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram… the list goes on and on throughout infinity. 

Now most of these folks kept things in perspective, not me however. It consumed my life, and not in a healthy way. Where John might collect antique cars and Betty is partial to depression glass I collected “friends”. 

I see the look on your face as you wonder just why this is a bad thing, we all want to grow our brand. Well most of these friends were as a result of games on Facebook which rewarded you for more friends playing the games by making you stronger in the game. Soon I was adding hundreds of people whose posts I paid no attention to and who paid no attention to mine because we were on each others page simply because of a game.

Then there were the people added in large spurts as I took this interest or that, only to have it fade and often die out. Face it folks we are none of us the person we were 5-10 years ago.

So, what I have been doing a little each day is trimming the fat. True friends, folks I know, people I actually communicate with are safe and remaining, many others are not. My goal is to go from some 2,500 “friends” down to below 500 on Facebook by months end. I have no shame in saying I am already below 1,800 so I am well on my way.

I am sure you are all wondering what is next, after the great purge. Well I am working on that. Formulating ideas even as I type this as to where my social media goes from there. What my particular “brand” is going to be and how I will best use social media to present it. I am excited and you should be too.

Pride…

To all my brothers and sisters in the LGBT community, and our straight allies, I wish you all a Happy Pride.

But it is so very important that we are all active against those who would reverse the tide and happily return us to the days where gays and lesbians could not marry, to the days where the only safe action was to remain closeted to protect our physical bodies and avoid “punishments” such as loss of employment simply for daring to love.

Pride started on a sad note for me I will confess when the streaming service Netflix decided to cancel the series Sense8. If you read an earlier entry you are aware how important I thought tbe program was, and its termination on the day Pride month begins I take as an assault on the LGBT community by Netflix. You may think I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but that’s how I feel.

A god by any other name

Yes, yes I “confess” I have never read a book by Neil Gaiman. But a friend of mine is an avid, possibly even rabid, fan and I knew she was very excited about the new Starz series so I decided to give it a watch. Now as I have stated I had never read the book I came to the series blind and had no idea at all what to expect. Now a hand full of episodes later I am hopelessly addicted.

But this post is not so much about the series, the book, Gaiman or entertainment it is more my unburdening in regards to religion having watched roughly five hours of television versus a lifetime of religious indoctrination.

Every since Pat Robertson and his “Christian Coalition” entered the political arena every election cycle we have this fanatical, fire brand, and frankly evil version of religion paraded out for the world to see and it has always scared me more than any “radicalized Islamic terrorist”. Robertson and his ilk are no less vile and evil than the group we call ISIS.

These so called “Christians” twist and pervert the teachings of their so called “Messiah” making a mockery of their claimed beliefs. It would be worth a good laugh if they were not serious and if they were not such a strong voting block able to turn national elections.

I am a male, so even being gay, biologically I can never get pregnant. Now I can be raped, that is true. I can even contract a sexually transmitted disease, HIV included, from being raped. I can suffer the mental anguish and suffering from such an attack, enough so it makes me want to “eat a bullet”. But no rape can put a “baby in my belly”. 

Folks I am going to cut off one line of disagreement with my post right here. No, that baby is in no way responsible for the “imaginary” rape I am representing suffering in this post, and no the baby is in no way responsible for the countless rapes annually that women around the world suffer and become pregnant as a result of.

As a man who cannot get pregnant I am utterly unable to say what I would do if it were me. Let’ cut through the bullshit here, no man can. Women can get pregnant yes, but until they go through being raped and find themselves pregnant as a result they have no real understanding what these heroes, these brave women whose strength and courage is shown by rising out of bed every day and going on living, go through having to go through the mental anguish of having to decide to terminate a pregnancy through abortion. 

But these women who did not ask to be raped are the ones painted the villain by the so called “Religious Right”. 

Hey, let’s bring it closer to home. Ask the religious zealots about LGBT rights, about “gay marriage” and listen to how “Christian” they are. I am old enough to remember the early days of AIDS, when the running joke was that it stood for “Another Infected Dick Sucker”. We still have people out there wrapping themselves in their religion, and not simply at Westboro Baptist, celebrating deaths in the gay community from AIDS. They call it God’s wrath for the homosexual abomination. 

I am just going to “come out” and say it, I don’t know what “god” these monsters worship, or what “heaven” they aspire to but I want none of it.

These people can quote chapter and verse, and pound their John 3:15 into the world’s collective forehead, but a group of North Carolina ministers are using funds from somewhere to have a billboard in support of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. These “religious leaders” are happily turning their back when their Christ told them to “turn the other cheek”.

You know what, let’s cut to the chase. Your Christianity is as cancerous as you proclaim Islam to be and I want no part of it. I am not perfect, I am flawed, but I do try not to be evil and organized Christianity is the deadliest and most repugnant evil this world has ever encountered.