Touch magazine profile. My name is Paul Friedman and I write off. The wall poems, which people don't like and good ones that they do. I'm a sports freak.
The last sentence no longer holds true. My interests are dominated by feminism.
At some point in time I have to type some words about pornography. So, where to start? For awhile I thought the Batgirl bondage scene from fifty-something years ago was important. It just proves that there's no such thing as community standards, meaning kids have always and will continue to be subjected to hardcore pornography. That is to say when they themselves are not the object of it.
I'm listening to what seems to be a documentary about the second world war as I begin typing a possible submission for a Vocal Challenge having something to do with the theme of good deeds. It occurs to me that this means I am multitasking, which a certain ladies oriented magazine claims to be unhealthy. Then again people text and drive, walk while chewing bubblegum, etc. so it's difficult to know what to take seriously as legitimate advice. Footage of my high school reunion contains a drummer issuing the disclaimer "Smoking can be dangeraaahhhs" and I'm pretty sure this was meant in jest; the reunion took place in a bar , I recall this guy to have been an occasional smoker, etc.
I just read something on Vocal about how to get paid to write for Vocal. My experience tells me that this doesn't apply to me. However, I'll qualify that by saying I remember an Ivy League instructor said that the human mind can't concieve of a number beyond 11. If that's so, then it seems to me that money becomes irrelevant after one has earned eleven dollars. So far be it from me to criticize someone who's earned money writing for Vocal; her article was readable and I plan on applying what she wrote, just on an extremely limited scale. I've never earned money writing, none of my teachers ever said they made a lot of money at it but that's just my experience. If Kathryn Milewski earns money writing writing for Vocal more power to her.
I can't seem to concieve of writing without including briefly two subjects: 1)Flr (Female led relationship) and 2)Politics. The two inevitably intertwine. I find two prominent proponents of Flr to be readable, Lady Alexa Martinez and Te Erika Patterson. At first I was all in 100% as far Ms. Martinez ' went but in time I came to conclude that it appeals to me largely to my senior citizen status and that a young person of my gender would find Ms. Patterson's philosophy easier to swallow.
My first memory that ties in with the subject of transgender/transexuality occured in preschool. I didn't want to get my hair cut. A few years later I cut my hair for the first time and have styled it, on and off, over a 50+ year period. This seemed to be a matter of necessity, aesthetically and financially. We had the appearances of wealth but I knew by elementary school that saving ten cents was worth crawling under a pay toilet stall and did so up until they ceased to exist. I never was one to interfere with someone using the restroom, maybe because it seemed to be a guy thing. Presumably people outgrow this practice, kind of like heading into a public restroom with another male can have a whole other purpose for adults than it does for young boys. Restroom priveledges are a controversial subject when discussing the main topic I wanted to deal with here. To paraphrase Forest Gump, that's about all I have to say about that other than to mention I relieved my bladder from the squatting position for over a quarter century. This represented what seems to have been a tragi-comic effort on my part to accomplish two goals. One of them would be to eleviate the terminable boredom of the everyday grind. The other goal is less quantifiable, meaning I don't know exactly what motivated opposite gender activities such as ballet, body piercings and makeup. Transgender surgery is a young person's option, with few exceptions. I was optimistic after watching some youtube videos, however the majority of the subjects seem to end up dissatisfied with the results. The happiest seeming male-to-female youtuber acknowledged it to be a chore dilating herself regularly to keep a surgically carved opening from closing up. Attending a couple of support group meetings wasn't very productive, although I don't regret having done so. I mistook someone with a beard for a biological male until she mentioned her desire to have a hysterectomy. I suppose the main reason it wasn't of interest to me was that I was by myself. The other people either showed up with someone or were going home to someone. So it was easy to confuse my need to consult, say, a urologist with someone elses being treated by an endocrinologist. Then there was the faux pas where I used the wrong pronoun to describe a woman's husband who became her wife. The last three churches I've attended have similarly have led to a comedy of errors. I mistook a church's wallpapering their place with liberal advertisements for a license to show up sans body hair. Church number two was disposed of largely due to the negative thoughts I had while absorbing their fake liberal sermons. The third was done for me when I found myself being stared at by the dominant species which seemed to consisst of really massive, thick, large-boned older females. I've absorbed a wealth of female oriented and transgender literature over the years, including simultaneously subscribing to four ladies magazines. Then there have been novels like The World According to Garp and television movies like Soldier's Girl. The latter movie ends violently and Garp contains its share of violence; a documentary following a male-to-female transexual simply concludes that the person's life doesn't seem to have changed positively post-surgery. To give the churches I attended their due, I was probably stared at for a very good reason; showing up at the last service I attended in yellow sneakers, the ugliest motorcycle jeans ever...I could go on. As far as the fake progressive sermon church goes, in fairness, the person who had negative thoughts just isn't the jew for jesus type, anymore, if I ever was. I can't seem to get the concept of Flr (Female led relationship) out of my head. However, rather than thinking of it as an all-encompassing philosophy, as I did at first I now see it in a different light. It now seems to me that it makes sense only in non-sexual relationships. In my experience, when sex was involved, I was always the initiator, aggressor, etc. When it comes to non-sexual relationships with women, however, it just doesn't work for me to pick and choose. In my mind, the jury is still out as to what it means to have a female vice president elect, secretary of the treasury of the fair sex, etc. Maybe we're just catching up with Germany, Great Britain, etc., here in the United States.
Finally we got one...a lady veep. Let's see. She remembered who she was running with for the duration of the campaign. Always impressive. No participation in bad reality tv, another plus. Also, not a tabloid star. Inivitable. Had to happen. So, now what? Well, sort of like with George Bush Sr., not a big deal, unless you succeed your running mate. In which case, perhaps, a big deal. That's my take. Isuppose it'd be taken about as seriously as, say, serial callers on talk radio are. Three things to avoid discussing in polite conversation: politics, sex and religion. A teacher instructed her class to write about what they know. Interesting advice for a fiction writing class. It worked for William Faulkner whose novels dealt with his home region, state, etc. and achieved a measure of popularity. It does give a measure of authenticity difficult to manufacture. A teacher suggested there'd be no healthy competition for me in the deep south. Doesn't mean I'm in the wrong place. I was never going to be wildly popular. Not only am I disinterested in attending family gatherings but I'm no longer encouraged to do so. Lots of my neighbors are rarely, if ever, visited by relatives. My former high school produced roughly 30 videos. I never would've guessed that six years after I left my former classmates would film credible cover versions of artists ranging from Henry Mancini to Carlos Santana or that they'd branch out into fusion jazz, etc. Meanwhile I fell light years behind, in every way imaginable. Ask me if I care. I just appreciate that I can watch Evil Ways, Fire, etc. I got high, drunk and learned Livin' Lovin' on guitar at a party one night in my early teens. I guess my you tube ex-classmates had a lot of nights like that, perhaps. They probably never took a commuter train, missed their ride and hitchhiked up a mountain to get to school, though. I had to do that a couple of times by the time I turned 13. Riding a commuter train to school was an interesting experience. I had ridden Amtrak as a toddler, though, so it wasn't all that new. Four schools were represented on our commuter train. Two were alternative schools, one a prep school and one christian school. We were separate from the adults on the train, although it wasn't mandatory that we ride in our own car, technically. For a year I rode in the kids section, due to pressure from an older boy from my school diagnosed as hyperactive. After he transferred to vocational school I briefly shared a seat with a couple of younger boys, neither of whom lasted very long. I also rode with a teacher for a little while. Good experience; exciting, in some ways. Kind of like riding Amtrak can be exciting. I always liked traveling. I just can"t afford to anymore. At least that"s what I tell myself. The last time I traveled what I considered to be a long distance by myself I didn"t sleep for 72 hours, roughly. Travel was a big part of the alternative high school I attended. Briefly, the director of the school had the idea that a group representing the school should be on the road for the entire nine month school year. During the six years that I was a student there school groups traveled to destinations in no particular order Nova Scotia, Florida and California. Diagnoses seemed to be a large part of what brought students to the school. Kind of like one of the schools represented on the train was for kids diagnosed as being emotionally disturbed. For whatever reason they were, like the other three schools 99% one ethnicity. In fairness, our school may have been representative of a lot of expensive private schools. There were kids of mixed ethnicity, though, too. At one point the school director said, apropos of a proposed increase in tuition that she didn't want the school to be known as a rich kid school. Her husband was a university teacher, as were a couple of the parents of a couple of other students. Not that unusual, considering the school existed several years on property of a private university. Like any school, it was what you made of it. For a lot of us it represented a break from whatever public school pressures we needed to escape. The school actually was relocated twice. It began as a small home schooling project. By the time I arrived they were situated on the campus of a prestigious private university, the second of three locations in three different towns. Technically, it represented a radical departure from public school. Remember, the more things change, the more they remain the same. During my time there there never was a phys ed program. Not that that people couldn't play competitive sports or study gymnastics and ballet while attending school, like many of us did. The main idea was that kids can decide at a young age what to pursue without a schedule of activities laid out for them each day.