Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Am I ready for some Guts + Glory?

Dan Kirk envelope When I got this envelope in the mail yesterday, my first thought upon looking at it was, “Do I know a Dan Kirk?”

As you can see, the envelope has real stamps on it, and it looks like it’s hand-addressed. I thought it contained a card.

Chrysler Dodge RAM, Truck of the Year 2013 But when I opened the envelope, instead of a card I found this:
Are you ready for some GUTS + GLORY
asking me if I’m ready for some GUTS + GLORY.

That’s when I realized that not only do I not know Dan Kirk, but Dan Kirk also doesn’t know me, at least not if he thinks I’m ready to buy a RAM truck.

Dan, it turns out, is the general manager of Golling’s Arena Chrysler, where he’s worked since 2005. Dan’s “a sports fanatic and supports the Cincinnati Reds and the Ohio State Buckeyes” and he “enjoys boating, golfing, and bowling.”

Now I know there are plenty of butch gay guys out there — Fuckin’ A, dudes! — but the 2013 RAM 1500 doesn’t really say who I am or how I got here.

I’ll be keeping my VW EOS. I just don’t think the GAY CAR plates would work on a one-ton truck.

Monday, March 4th, 2013
Dayton Daily News FAIL #8 (See DDN Fail #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 and #7)

I hit the Dayton Daily News website just now and saw this:

Did anything jump out at you? If nothing did, you’re eligible to work for the Dayton Daily News as a writer or editor.

If, on the other hand, the misuse of “to” to mean “to an excessive degree” jumped out at you, then I’m sorry, you are too good to work as an editor for the Dayton Daily News.

I won’t criticize the Dayton Daily News for frequently letting “it’s” slip through as the possessive form of “it” (read an earlier post in which I accept that the battle against “it’s” has been lost), but this is just to too much.

Interestingly another DDN reader commented about the incorrect use of “to” and so the headline is now fixed, but really, why wouldn’t that error just have jumped off the screen at the Cox Ohio staff, bless their hearts?

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

If you’re wearing red today, thanks…

but I hope that’s not all you’re doing. Wear red or you don't support marriage equality?

As it happens, I am not wearing red today. It’s not that I don’t ever wear red. It’s not, of course, that I don’t support marriage equality (and I’m not some crazy homocon against marriage equality).

It’s just that I find the idea of changing my Facebook profile pic “in solidarity” or of playing “high school Spirit Day” by wearing red a bit silly.

I’ve been out a long time. Very out. My car has also been out a long time, and not with an HRC sticker that most straight people don’t even recognize. “GAY CAR” is pretty explicit, a lot more explicit than red (although, as it happens, red’s the color both of my first gay car, a 1991 Mazda Miata, and of my current gay car, a 2009 VW EOS).

Wear red like you mean itSo if you’re wearing red today for a reason, make it count. Go up to strangers today and ask them if they know why you’re wearing red. Then explain it.

While you’re at it, explain that it’s still legal in most of the United States for employers to refuse to hire LGBT people because of our sexuality or to fire us when they find out. (Not in Dayton, though, due to the courage of then-Mayor Rhine McLin as well as Commissioners Nan Whaley and Matt Joseph and no thanks to Commissioners Dean Lovelace and Joey Williams.)

Yes, we each have to come out when it’s safe and when we’re comfortable, whether we’re coming out for ourselves or for our family or friends. But think about how far you can come out. Is wearing red all you can do?

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

What’s Facebook good for?
Facebook logo

I’ve been thinking about Facebook a bit this week because my blog entry earlier this week as well as a few posts on FB about red marriage equality profile pics pissed off a “friend” and spurred some disagreement. Facebook’s good for pissing people off, but that will be another blog post.

The point of this post is that Facebook is good for interacting with strangers.

Example #1

While we’re on the topic of the red equality symbol, here’s an example of how Facebook is bad:

People bullied noted friend of teh gayz Kathy Griffin because she had not yet changed her profile pic to the all-important red equality symbol.
Another FB friend (not the pissed off one) pointed out that a lot of people changed their FB profile pics this week, raising awareness of support for marriage equality because the red equality symbol made the news everywhere. For example, Jimmy Kimmel talked about it, saying “I think changing your profile picture to support something you believe in is the least you can do. Literally, it is literally the least you can do. You almost did nothing, but instead you did just slightly more than nothing.” Nonetheless that so many people “did just slightly more than nothing” got a lot of people to talk about marriage equality and showed that a lot of people support it.

Example #2

Here in the Dayton area, a local Sunday school teacher got into trouble with her church for coming out in favor of gay marriage.

Misty Lynch, who formerly taught Sunday school at The Jordan, a small church in Germantown, did not do “the least she could do.” No, she didn’t change her profile pic to the ubiquitous red equality symbol. She flat out stated her opinion so people didn’t have to wonder what a red equality symbol meant, saying on Facebook, “I’m a Christian and I support gay marriage. I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, purple, black or yellow.”

When I read about that, I looked Misty up on Facebook and sent her a message thanking her for what she’d done:

It turns out I wasn’t the only one with the idea to contact Misty. A friend of mine also took the time to contact her and to invite her to our church. I should have done that but didn’t think to (that might be the subject of another post some day).

So yes, Facebook is a great place to stand up for what you believe in (with just a profile pic or with an explicit statement) and to reach out to others who need support.

Example #3

Facebook is also a great way to reach people whose attention you might not be able to get through email or via Twitter. One way Facebook is now earning money is by letting people pay $1 in order to send a message to a stranger that will land in that stranger’s Facebook inbox instead of the “other” bucket that messages from strangers usually go to.

Quick aside: Do not waste your money on the new SimCity
I hadn’t ever taken Facebook up on what I considered a marketing gimmick until earlier this month when I became one of the pissed off people who pre-ordered the new SimCity, only to find on its release that Electronic Arts had no clue whatsoever how to support a game that requires an always-on Internet connection (I should have known better, but I’ve liked SimCity since I first played it on my Amiga years ago).

But, having spent $80 on a game I couldn’t play, I figured I could waste another $1 to send a message to Kip Katsarelis, lead producer for SimCity, asking him why it was such a failure.

Something else fun about sending messages on Facebook instead of via email is that you can see whether the recipient of your message has seen it and when. So I knew when Kip saw my message, even before he graciously replied.

My sending Kip a message on Facebook didn’t really accomplish much, I know. He already knew the game his team produced was a colossal fuck up. I felt a tiny bit better venting, but I still didn’t have a game I could play reliably (even after Maxis added “a few more servers”), and I didn’t contribute positively to Kip’s life. I wasn’t profane with Kip and I’m not incredibly ashamed for anything I said to him, but yeah, this isn’t something to be proud of either.

So be a better person than I am, and if you harness the power of Facebook to interact with strangers, don’t send petty pointless messages.

Still, like many tools, Facebook can be used for good or for evil, and interacting with strangers is indeed something Facebook’s good for.

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