Skip to main content

The Forgiveness of Blood

Celebrity chef Paula Deen has had a rough month. Falling from grace due to accusations (and admissions) of using racial slurs and some poor judgement in what she's asked her African-American staff to do, the 'aw shucks' southern cook continues to feel the heat. No word on whether or not she's gotten out of the kitchen.

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner is now running for mayor of New York City, despite having resigned his seat from the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011 after his sexual proclivities with women (while married) were made public. Now, in the midst of his mayoral campaign, he's been caught again, or should I say his sexual alter-ego Carlos Danger has.

Racist chefs, sexually dangerous politicians, media scrutiny, public dismay -- these aren't good things, obviously. Both of the aforementioned people have faced harsh judgement from many, including myself. I don't much care for what both Paula Deen and Anthony Weiner have admitted to doing. Deen comes off as a bit racist, while Weiner comes off as a bit of a scuzz-bucket.

Through all of this, not just the scandals of Deen and Weiner, but of Mark Sanford, George Zimmerman and others, I've oscillated between discouragement and forgiveness. Yes, forgiveness. It's a difficult concept to grapple with. I have trouble with it often, but view it as something to try and strive for. There are, however, many questions that arise when it comes to forgiveness.

Is the undertaking to forgive sincere? Does to forgive mean to forget? Can you successfully forgive while not forgetting? At what point is forgiveness not an option? How egregious must the actions or words be in order to be unforgivable? How soon is too soon to forgive? Does the ability (or lack thereof) to forgive say more about the person who has trespassed, or about ourselves?

I dunno. People are complicated. If you're religious, you'll say that we sin. Those of us who are more secular tend to use the term 'make mistakes.' Regardless, none of us perfect. And most of us are multi-faceted. To think of someone as just one thing -- racist, adulterer, etc. -- is to do humanity a disservice. We don't have to like, approve of, or celebrate everything that everyone does, but that doesn't necessarily mean we should write them off.

Would I buy a product from Paula Deen, make one of her recipes, or dine at her restaurant? Would I -- assuming I lived in NYC -- vote for Anthony Weiner for mayor? I don't know. That may seem odd to some who are blessed with greater certainty, but there you go. We're imperfect people seeking, almost demanding, perfection from others. Perhaps realizing that is the first step toward forgiveness?


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …


"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…