A Strange Country — On The Insanity of the “No” vote

I would never have thought, as I grew up in a semi-rural town and learned to deal with my homosexuality as covertly and as indistinctly as possible, that I would one day be told that my prospects of marrying the man that I love would become a distinct possibility. However much my love for the same sex would be attacked by my own sense of christian doom (having being brought up in an obsessively religious school) or by my fellow classmates or teachers, the ongoing thought that the feelings I felt would be somewhat vindicated would be wondrous, not to mention liberating, where I knew that I would be able to shout my love for another man over the hills and not be afraid of public attack or ridicule. As I grew older and watched on as the world welcomed same sex marriage with open arms, I felt that my country would be swift to do the same, as I believed, quite naively as it turns out, that Australians are, on the whole, people who love the fair go, and enjoy’s the prosperity of it’s fellow citizens.

Despite seeing so many people I know and love become succumbed by christian fundamentalism, drugs, booze, or self pity, or a thorough combination of all the above, I have grown to believe that politics is one of the major pushing forces for change and improvement in our country. As the years went by, this thought began to disintegrate more and more, and, now, with the marriage equality “yes or no” vote throughly underway, the belief in our countries politicians and it’s rhetoric, has disappeared altogether.

Living gay in Australia is, as of this point of our history, a very arduous and disheartening prospect. Most members of the LGBT+ community have suffered discrimination as well as the steady prospect of ignorance and abandonment which has lead to the suffering and repression of the community; especially towards the young, the most vulnerable of our beautiful community.

I need not tell you about the deceptive ads that have crept up on television; being the ones targeting not the actual issue of marriage equality but, it seems, talking about the rights of the parents to “choose”. To what this implies has yet to be clarified however, seeing as how the arguments pertaining to this debate about religious freedom (seemingly in bitter spite over our apparently secular country) and moral delinquency. The One Nation party has hijacked this campaign of insanity by instilling conservative fear over the apparent abolition and desecration of the Australian nuclear family. We already know, from the earliest television commercials, that it has never been about the idea of marriage equality, but a seemingly wretched and deliberate cash in on the arguments against Safe Schools, which is about nothing else other than the protection of children’s mental well being (if anyone in their right minds could force themselves to think that an organisation dedicated to the reduction of teen suicide and bullying, is somehow pushed by a political agenda, then it is clear who is the worse for wear).

The tireless work of school counsellors and teachers in pushing for such a program is something that should be greatly admired by the public, but thanks to the sad and bitter arguments of Pauline Hanson and Cory Benardi, Peter Dutton and Tony Abbot (I will not add Andrew Bolt to this list of shame, as he is possibly the saddest and least interesting of the strange political nutbags of this era). This putrid stain on Australian politics, and it’s disgusting embellishment of attacking and morally degrading some of the populations most vulnerable people, awaking a feeling amongst many of the community to have lost faith in the already morally seditious collection of bigots, racists and homophobes that fill the seats of the countries  highest seats of government.

In such a short amount of time, the language of bigotry has been ever so nicely excused in the name of free speech and respectful debate, especially in the name of such abhorrent debating skills on the side of the no argument, seemingly avoiding proper polemics and understanding. Notice the way that most of these points are argued, and i will be using a short video by liberal MP Andrew Green as the major point here:

“I’ll be voting no because I think that marriage, as it is currently defined as both a public and societal good, it is a special union between a man and a woman, it is a meeting of body and mind, it is sealed by consent through sexual intercourse and because the sexual union is at the heart of marriage, there is also procreating potential. Because of that fact, it is inherently ordered towards family life.”

Taking away the blatant disregard for LGBT parents to create a family of their own and for the quite bizarre notion that the only reason marriage even exists is because of the sexual act, we must attack this argument from the logical perspective:

  1. Notice the lazy terminology here i.e. that marriage is seemingly defined as a beneficial “public and societal good” not clarifying, of course, to what this actually means, nor why it provides such a service.He therefore neglects the failure of most marriages as forced shambles that pressure so many young people into marriage and of the societal pressures marriage places on so many young couples (homes that they cannot afford, jobs they are forced into, dreams thoroughly destroyed). So here, we have a very damning reason as to marriage exists from the lack of the MP’s explanation as to why marriage is such an important institution.
  2. And they call us gays sex obsessed! This is a man that claims that the only reason that marriage exists is the inevitable sexual union (because as we all know, no one has sex outside of marriage, regardless of sexuality). This is a few words far too problematic. As well as disregarding the idea that marriage is supposed to be a declaration of love in terms of it’s modern 21st century description, which, as far as the NO argument goes, has been thoroughly neglected as an argument.
  3. As before mentioned, he ignores the LGBT couples who are in fact, raising successful families and raising kids who are abandoned by their own families and are raised through adoption.

So..based on that side of the argument, where the meek and mild pretend that they make sense, we have no argument. Even ignoring the language of the argument itself, which is based on “I think” or “what if”, is not an argument for a secular society to have, unless there is something empirical (most politicians are not as ridiculous as Malcolm Roberts, nor as idiotic, but they just may be as incoherent and impotent)

Now let us look at a small sheet of paper that seems just as poorly worded and inane as the above statement:

“VOTE NO TO PEDO PARENTING

Protect the genetic wellbeing (!) of children who deserve better than legalised sick parents. Don’t trust the FAKE news, owned by the pedo left (getting a little repetitive aren’t we?) NBN Catholics (whatever that means) gAyBC (very clever) and SBS gay left. All biased, anti-Australian, pro-globalist propaganda. Tell your friends.” (I may add, that the capitalisations are all the writer’s, not mine.)

Among many points here, I feel that we need to apply a bit of a Hitchens Razor. With this we can determine that any statement that is placed with no evidence, can be easily dismissed without evidence. The above statement is short, though just as problematic. It is the opposite of “”meek and mild”. It is vicious, angry, brutal, almost non – intelligible. This was a print that has been shared on Facebook, placed into peoples letterboxes. Whether or not this may be so ridiculous as to be a joke, we may never know.

This plebiscite tell’s me many things about Australia. Like America it’s secular intentions and decree’s seem to be blissfully ignored by Parliament, and organisations such as the Coalition For Marriage (an organisation that is the epitome of the disregard of the term “due diligence” seeing as how their “flag” is the same colours of the bisexual flag. Hopefully they will find this as humorous as everyone has when they are eventually told this, but I suspect that they have already chosen to ignore it).

It seems to me that Australia is still kept hostage by the ignorant and the angry ideologies of institutions that claim for tolerance yet are still unable to accept it amongst anyone else. It has also revealed that there are in fact many religious nut balls in Parliament, which are still given the floor despite the childish and incomprehensible nonsense they sputter.

Right now I have sent my YES vote, and I do think that many Australians will vote the same as me, even for anyone who is not LGBT+. I still maintain hope that it will be overwhelmingly the yes vote, and a pathetic, small yet loud minority of fanatics are holding back any semblance of proper discussion. One day, I will marry the man I love, I hold hope in that fact, and at the end of this harsh and brutal “debate” that marriage will finally mean something positive to me.

Poem — Neon Velvet: Seven Sonnets

NEON VELVET

I.

Shining lights, lighting beauty in solemnity

Cool winds and crisp air slide through my lips

The breath of my cigarette lighting my indemnity

I see him with another sealing the night with a sip

Cooling the wind harsher than my fire lighting

The blistering effect of his hands on someone better

He kisses the other with his kiss inviting

Within me the tears turning, the streets rain’s petter

If the cool winds held my hand through the chilled

Crying in the far tundra of concrete rhythm

Mourning where we last stood; our kiss fulfilled

Now tattered in the whirl of mind, broken as strip of film

If Fire could tame the love fulfilled

The burn would wait until properly distilled

II.

To soft and bodily frames, I shared your youth

Talking to me as I dream in that neon light

He talks of seismic orgasm forsooth

He talks to me of something I always saw in flight

In the frozen grass of the foreign countryside

Where we swam in the lakes of sexual discourse

With you I felt the language of Hyde

lying naked in the fields, finding the source

When I find it, wherever it might lay

Finding what was left of what we used to be

I find you so beautiful, not knowing you were gay

Even when together, in places no one was meant to see

There was never anything wrong my sweet

Even with you gone again, I still feel your heat

III.

As we were draped in neon fusion, cold fingers

slipping along your neck, and I could not stop

kissing you. Draping lips along my neck to linger

I never knew a man could love so beautiful, a top

is what you called yourself, back when

whether ignored or beheld, you were held

stolen by what the cloth of church said was sin

but what we felt was not at all what we compelled

As the dark world of sex flashed before us both

When, back we both walked down the rain glistened

streets, hand in hand walked without the fog of loathe

The world makes us live in seconds with love never christened

Stay with me tonight, with broken lovers in beloved bastion

Where at last I would stay in dark with sweet Sebastian

IV.

In the morning your sweet breath is the quietest

You were there to quieten my aching mind

As if harsh lion tamer, quietening the angry nihilist

The desolation row of those lost loves, only left blind

Blinded by what tethered us, held by the war in hearts

The church bells rang with angry fire on our loves

Toiling the castle walls calling us sinners for our parts

Of turning good boys restful whoremonger’s killing doves

When the pastors screamed gospel, calling darkened skies

I always stumbled through the world, afraid of knowing love

So many lost passions died in the youthful clockwork cries

Wherever we walked, fire followed our desire

Blown by arctic breath, from Apollo Bay to Ayrshire

V.

The fire of guilt, burning down the spine, always waited

When hair’s stood endwise, the world sunk slower

If anyone would fall, it would always be the first baited

And there it hung from your lips, where it always was colder

Steel towers hung high above the fog of the early morning

Morning twilight that tinted the country blue

You looked at me with the red eyes afire with scorning

We ran through the streets, but you were stuck in that avenue

With a wavy body you flung head on through without a voice

With a hardened face I tried to save you from the sweet spot

But it was never up to me, saving you from choice

For you it was never me, but the rapturous rot of the shot

You never waved away from me with your tears in my arm

But you would never wait for me to keep you out of harm

VI.

The morning mist dewed with rusted coloured horizon

The blackened birch tree’s tangled in half frozen coil

You left with dying fray, as if whipped lion despising

A cold bed is worse than what pity calls a sweet turmoil

You used to be that voice calling in the dead of night

Smoke of cigarette drifting across your hair

The needle dangles onto the dirtied floor; gargled in fright

I see you smile with an angry flare

You did never really care because of you and bitter thoughts

Still resting deep next me instead of you

In love I am always drawing lottery lots

Its all over, I have nothing else to make do

You kissed others so I would not follow

You left a scar on the heart, and flew far, a bright swallow

VII.

I should stay here, in the dark wind

The rain drenching my hair and hiding the tears

Outside here in the bone narrowed land, I leave behind

That night deep in concrete jungle, in the music of the sphere’s

Where the memory of you was turning black

Left in the ditch of the coke strewn alley

Where the last cry of the razorback

Brought you and me down into the valley

Of the traps of love still mark my heart deep

The marks of the scorching words making me twitch

I cry at last, with the war of hearts lost in the last weep

And, at last, after your fires gone, I can flip that final switch

I am so weary, left behind by you

So away I left, away I flew

Essay — The Portrait of W.S

It is easy to say, especially as one discusses the great Queer writers of the past few hundred years, that there a great deal many surprises. I wish of course not to discuss the beat poetry of Allen Ginsberg, nor the fiery rage of W.H. Auden or the stark brilliance of Wilfred Owen, or the even of the beautiful romanticism of Oscar Wilde. If you discuss the beauty of the power of the male form with many gay men, especially with many young lovers of literature; when Shakespeare’s sonnets are discovered and read, it may feel like the beauty of that immortal phrase “The Love That Dare not speak it’s name” had being immortalised and solidified by one of english literatures most exquisite and immaculate gods: William Shakespeare. If the world of queer literature indeed could be indebted to any writer more than him, his sonnets, discarding the question of the writers sexuality and whether he did in fact, fall in love or in lust with men, still inspire the concepts of forbidden love and the gaze of forbidden desire.

Keep in mind, as I indulge in this topic, of England’s conspicuous and the puritanical indulgences of it’s which hunting and demonising monarchy. In saying that, Shakespeare is not one to be taken lightly with this matter, Henry VIII’s Buggery Laws of 1533 where still well into effect, leniently deviated by Queen Mary, and juggled capriciously during the reign of both Queen Elizabeth and James IV/I of England. Shakespeare, as well as many other non royal subjects, tended to avoid any form of documentation or biography, so what we know of him is little, but of course, these sonnets, more personal, and just as breathtaking as his plays, is as close as we will get to an autobiography of the man. We must consider, if queer theory were to be applied to the bard and his work, and in all seriousness, the profundity of the language of his desire, it must be dissected carefully and sparingly if to avoid mockery. We must observe the trials and tribulations of these sonnets as work of pure transgression on the part of the writer, how they changed the face of sexual representation, and how much most queer writers dedicate their form, technique, and style as a beautiful and well earned send off to the most glorious bard who surely had ever lived. Before Shakespeare, we had Marlowe, but after Shakespeare, we would have the genius of Wilde, Proust, Woolf and Radcliffe.

We know from first hand accounts of the early folio’s of the collection of sonnets, as a dedication to a wealthy, young and strapping benefactor of Shakespeare, and as such, many other poems to which he penned, where dedicated to the mysterious and ever illusive “Mr. W.H”

It is important to note, indeed necessary, that homosexuality as a term is a 20th century invention, at least, as far as the name goes. No one would accuse in all seriousness of Shakespeare himself as a rawhide sodomite under the pre tense that was, in any case, a fact of his life. Homosexuality or the concept of “Socratic love” has and was for a long time, both before and after his time, was long for theatrical humility, mostly highlighted in the exasperated storytelling of Edward II by Christopher Marlowe. As condemnation rang high for queer people of the time, precautions and careful delineation had to be created for any form of artwork or literature to surpass the wrath of the church:

Sometime a lovelie boye in Dians shape,

With haire that gilds the water as it glides,

Crownets of pearle about his naked armes,

And in his sportfull hands an Olive tree,

To hide those parts which men delight to see….

Excerpt from Edward II By Christopher Marlowe

Could ever such clear indulgence of same sex love ever be so upfront in any play from shakespeare? And if so, could it ever be beloved by the local populace, and not seen as a farcical tragedy on the part of a delusional king? More than likely an effort of that magnitude would have come to nought; Shakespeare was an innovator that is certain, however his desires were not overcome by his work, he was, at heart, a playwright for hire, and wrote for highest royalty.

Instead of over passages of homosexual desire as we see above, we have much more elusive clues to follow. It is clear that, around the time of the first publication of the early sonnets, and among the publication of his other poems: Lucrece and Venus and Adonis (both quite raunchy and highly sexual for it’s time) we have a dedication to a man; to which man, it is not entirely laid out. a certain Henry Wriothsley was the dedicated subject in both these other poems, but the early sonnets however (the first 126 that is) had being dedicated to a man also, perhaps, would this be the same man? Indeed scholars have for years attempted (always without success) to persuade people that indeed, the intense study of the beauty of the masculine to be nothing more than an infatuation of friendship more than love or lust, though, despite the impossibility of avoiding the subject. To provide probably the most infamous example; look over, for example, the sonnet to which was used in Oscar Wilde’s witty short story on the subject of the bards secret desires: The Portrait of Mr. W.H, in which the legendary scholar and personality revels in the delectations of theory and rumour. In Sonnet 20, we see the most obvious examples:

A woman’s face, with nature’s own hand painted,

Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;

A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted

With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion;

An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,

Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;

A man in hue, all hues in his controlling,

Which steals men’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth.

And for a woman wert thou first created,

Till nature as she wrought thee fell a-doting,

And by addition me of thee defeated,

By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.

  But since she pricked thee out for women’s pleasure,

  Mine be thy love, and thy love’s use their treasure

We see also the timelessness of the beauty of which the bard desires in sonnet 56, appearing as a staple of queer romanticism that has being one of Shakespeare’s greatest accomplishments. Poetry, especially sonnets, were always reserved for courtly love, specifically for the desire of a man to a woman. The theory of Shakespeare’s concept of “Brotherly Love” much espoused by deniers of homosexual intention in his sonnets, is very quickly and very easily destroyed :

Being your slave, what should I do but tend

Upon the hours and times of your desire?

I have no precious time at all to spend,

Nor services to do, till you require.

Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour

Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,

Nor think the bitterness of absence sour

When you have bid your servant once adieu;

Nor dare I question with my jealous thought

Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,

But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought

Save, where you are how happy you make those.

   So true a fool is love that in your will,

   Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.

Would you not see here, the desperation the bard feels towards the young man, how he begs for subjectivity?

If there is what we should call a definite stamp of queer love, we need only look here, in these “ Fair Youth” sonnets. These sonnets, thoroughly and emphatically divulge into the beauty of a young man; a young man who’s identity remains a mystery aside from the initials W.H. In the art of courtly love, Shakespeare begins to transcend the beauty of gender and makes it an irrelevant aspect of beauty, and i will point out the particular passages through highlighting it above. It is in the same story of Wilde’s, to which he proposes a theory of love that is indeed “Socratic” or “The Love That Dare Not Speak It’s Name” as Wilde’s lover would come to phrase it, but we shall come to that. He argued about the many persons that this “W.H” could be in sonnet 38:

How can my muse want subject to invent,

While thou dost breathe, that pour’st into my verse

Thine own sweet argument, too excellent

For every vulgar paper to rehearse?

O! give thy self the thanks, if aught in me

Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;

For who’s so dumb that cannot write to thee,

When thou thy self dost give invention light?

Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth

Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;

And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth

Eternal numbers to outlive long date.

If my slight muse do please these curious days,

The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.

Indeed, Wilde places  a theory that had not being explored, that being Shakespeare’s possible infatuation with a boy who had performed as one of the women in his plays, but as enticing as the theory may be, it has no real historical basis in fact. This is not mine, and i suspect it was no Wilde’s intention either, to provide validation to Shakespeare’s sexuality, but indeed it is the intention to revel in the undeniable fact of the beauty of the masculine, and its transgressions; name one other poet during this time, that dared mix the the eroticism of both sexes and celebrated the masculine as love. It would be hard to find even Marlowe, with his dramatic pathos of the love of men, would be hard pressed to combine such subversive techniques. In both sonnets, not only are we revealed to a gaze that is conflicted by what the writer see’s, but also the conflict of libido and the untameable fashion of shakespeare’s wild and sumptuous verse. These sonnets in particular, are the crowning achievement of Shakespeare’s glorification of homoeroticism, which we would not see celebrated until the early dawn of the 20th century.

Yet indeed “Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves”. We surely would not have Wilde’s exquisite “Ballad From Reading Gaol”  or the beauty of Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past”  volumes, all inspired by the queer beauty of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Queer poetry, as it is today, started with Shakespeare. Without him, we would not have the beautiful works of homoeroticism that perforate the western world, and without a doubt the most astounding accomplishment of Shakespeare’s sonnets, is the universal ability to make even the most upfront of queer narrative to be understood, beloved and worshipped by fans of the english language across the world, and began the first wave of modern, not to mention, secular, art.

Poem — Lost Cinder

The chained little black hearted fighters

Topping off their hats

Full of things of fires and lighters

And challengers fighting, the coldhearted queens rabid

So the world coughed up the little people who would yell

To let the frozen cinders scatter

So light me up and set me out

The fires in me are raging kindly and true

As everybody dreams of virginal truth

the young ones chug back their hard heads

Saying I’m the one to notice how they hear

so go find me under, living in a bubble.

But that sunk the ship

And their they go, sinking deep within the depths of the sea

Into a hole the writers and critics fall

And their the fires dim

And while those little men on fire

yanking the chains of the fighters

I look up and say

“little men and big ol’ fighters

you lost them rights to yell

its gonna go away”

And I raise my hand

The burning embers

I do catch again

So It Has Come To This…

So, here I am, a filmmaker and a writer trying desperately to figure out the why’s and wherefore’s of my life, and why I should muster up the energy to really care. I must admit, I am proud of who I am, and the person I am today; but that is not why I am here, writing. I write and I make films because I am interested in everything. I do what I do so I can figure out this world, and understand what disturbs or frighten’s me, as I feel that is the work and the intention of all artists.

I am throughly of the opinion that all good artists wish to create something that, while it may not be needed or necessarily desired, is something to which the artist feels a dreadful need to express and create, pushed by an all encompassing desire to create. This feeling a desperate and ultimate inclination to give the world something that the artist feels needs to be said, whether it be a political statement or a beautiful statement on the nature of love. The urge is almost sexual. It draws the artist to a point to which the desire and the lust of creation needs to be fulfilled.

This is probably the closest I can come to at this time to explain why I am still working today. I have been working in the film industry for a number of years now, producing my first films from a very young age. My writing however, has been as if an abandoned stack of over-used gay porn magazines: abandoned long ago, forgotten but the thoughts still lingering guiltily in the back of my mind, hoping desperately that no one will ever discover it and reveal my shame.

This website is the accumulation of my porn collection. It is my poems, my films, selections of my writings to which I am most proud of, and glad to have written. It is me finally acknowledging myself, on who I am and what I want to do with my life. Whatever I am able to create, as well as what I wish to talk about, will be published on this site, for anyone who wishes to see it. I do not wish to create any form of worship of myself as most vloggers and bloggers tend to do. i simply wish to express myself. It is as simple as that.

I would hope that, for you gentle readers, ladies and gentleman, brothers and sisters…comrades even, that you will not judge this mildly narcissistic contrarian any ill, as I would not judge harshly any of the works of my dear fellow writers. If I fail in a piece; whether it be a poem, article, essay, film or whatever, then it will be so. It will be a piece that fails, and I will move on, as I have no doubt about how much I will fail and continue to fail within the next few years of my life. The dreadful spectre of failure and miserable mediocrity, as without a doubt, been a huge motivator for many literary hacks such as myself.

Recently I have been reading the published letter’s of Franz Kafka; one of the most frightfully desperate geniuses of his time, and a man who doubted his power over words throughout most of his writing career. His letters are just as heart wrenching and profound as his works of art, and, if you look carefully at the pictures of the man, you can see his anxiety and the terror he feels. These letter’s are both sincere and beautiful, and doubtless are essential for any follower of the great writer.

Kafka seemed to have doubted himself from the very first day he dipped his pen onto the page, and his anxiety and depression must have pushed him to the furthest ends of mental endurance. His works of fiction, however, are too telling to not focus on. Like many great writers, there works of fiction can tell you so much more about them than any mere biography.

I shall stop with these rambles for now. But hopefully this is a helpful introduction to what this website is all about, as I intend to use this space as a living tapestry, evolving with me and my work. Hopefully something may click with you, gentle reader, and that you may find a kindred spirit. I should hope someone other than myself will find something worth looking at.

I should like to “sign off”, so to speak, with the words of one of my early boyhood heroes: Mr. Edward R. Murrow, the great American journalist who spoke with great clarity and conviction during one of America’s grossest and most maniacal of political witch hunting, and who became somewhat immortalised in George Clooney’s film about the man . His words and voice are some of the most valuable works of journalism at that time, and he always ended his television broadcasts with a group of words which always were mildly cryptic when I heard them at first, but now provide waves of comfort when uttered with his gruff, hard hitting sincerity.

He would smoke his cigarette, staring deep into the lens of the camera that stared back at him. After denouncing McCarthyism with the violent rhetoric of the day, he would simply utter these few words, with a beautiful clarity:

“Good Night, And Good Luck”

It was his sign off line, and a brilliant one at that. I wish these lines to be my motto, to be uttered on my deathbed, and to be shared by my best of friends.

Good night, gentle reader, and good luck to you too.