The Boston Marathon bombings today represent a cowardly act by unknown persons against presumed innocent people trying to achieve something equivalent to superhuman goals. For the vast majority, running the marathon, any marathon, let alone Boston, was a strongly individual act. Few were running for national pride or some ideological system. Most were running to achieve personal goals. A few may have been running against the best-known marathoners.
To commit an act of violence and mayhem against the world’s greatest idealists and athletes is truly a crime against humanity. To achieve in the midst of a field of high achievers is at best an intensely personal act–to rise to one’s own greatest potential. At worst, it is only to achieve amongst other high achievers and to bring a sense of pride to groups–national, racial, economic, or geographical–and give groups who identify with a high achiever, pride in the accomplishments of one of their own.
To attack such a group of the best of the best is senseless, just as it would be to attack a group of the least amongst us. I can imagine no ideal that would justify such an act.
If notoriety is the goal, then attacking a public event, in the abstract, is a little more understandable. Since no one has come forward the feeble attempt at notoriety is moot. The act is hate. Nothing but hate.
I recently viewed the movie, Shank. It makes the argument that a kiss is the most intimate act between individuals, and I believe it. Yes, physical with another guy is fun and exciting; but, it is the initial moments of contact that set the mood, whether it is deep kissing or intertwining fingers as we hold hands, or the passionate cuddling that leads to something more.
Image via Wikipedia
This is an academic question as well as a deeply personal one. Close women friends often greet me with a kiss, most on the cheek, a few on the mouth, surprising me each time, even when I know it’s their habit.
Straight male friends—just a few—also greet me with a kiss, usually on the cheek or the neck. These are not guys whose ethnicity sanctions such a greeting. I don’t know whether they greet straight male friends so. I think they understand the ambiguity of my gender and greet me as they feel is appropriate to greet a close gay male friend. I’m a rather butch guy, so the ambiguity is known but not frequently expressed. Still these few understand that between us it is socially acceptable to plant a light kiss and that a handshake alone, given our closeness, would almost feel like a brush-off, or even cold or potentially homophobic.
Gay friends frequently greet me with a kiss. In all cases—male or female, if it’s a peck or slightly longer, but close-mouthed, the question of where seems more a personal style choice, than an indicator of level-of-intimacy.
Among most my friends, the kiss is intimate, but with very clear limits. In no case is it assumed a grope is the next step. The kiss is a beginning and an end in it itself. In all cases male or female friends, I welcome such intimacy. It’s just a small signal that there is a bond that is more transcendent than mere acquaintance.
This is a video of The Last Word, with Lawrence O’Donnell, in which appears one of my best friends in the world, Peter Montgomery, for People For the American Way, decimating the arguments of hater David Barton.
This is my main blog in which I discuss news and politics, often, but far from always, with a gay perspective. Feel free to leave a comment. If you’re interested in engaging honestly, you’ll get honest engagement in return. If you’re selling snake oil, might as well move on, but come back and visit when you have something useful to say.