Trolled!

I’d like start today with a special message for the troll who recently complained about one my photos on facebook – Please kindly go and fuck yourself!

So, last week had a bit of an unfortunate start with my being banned from facebook for twenty-four hours after allegedly breeching their seemingly arbitrary standards. Those who follow my social media accounts know that I do tend to share rather a lot of images of the male form, some saucier than others, but none that actually cross the line into hard-core pornography. Indeed, the model in the photo in question wasn’t even naked, granted, he was wearing fairly skimpy underwear, but everything was still well and truly covered…apparently that wasn’t good enough.

Naturally, in a situation like this it’s tempting to think of myself as a fairytale prince who’s been unfairly hounded by the nasty troll who lives in the sewers beneath the castle – jealously is a curse, after all. Of course, I’m far from alone in this matter, as quite a few friends have been trolled in a comparable fashion but it is still vexing nevertheless. Usually, my posts are well enjoyed by friends and strangers alike – nothing brightens the day quite like the shameless exploitation of a strapping specimen of manhood. Obviously some people have nothing better to do with their time than to cause annoyance for others – one need only look in the comments section of any online article to see that type of sad twisted soul.

The Wrath of the Travel Gods.

As I sit in yet another airport, not so patiently waiting for yet another delayed flight, I am once again compelled to ask – what on earth have we done to piss off the travel gods? You may remember that barely a week ago I was complaining about the very same thing and a few weeks before that…and a little before that as well. This time round, we don’t even have the civilised option of sipping champagne in the comfortable surrounds of the Air France lounge, as it was overcrowded due to all the delayed flights and even the staff recommended we’d be better off outside. Frankly, I’m seriously beginning to believe we’ve cursed! It’s all I can do to stop myself from falling to my knees and screaming – ‘why gods why?’

Granted, I’m far from a patient man and today is only a postponement of a few hours – rather than the tortuously long Barcelona ordeal – but it is thoroughly aggravating nevertheless. Of course, we’ve experienced issues whilst travelling before – late transports, misplaced luggage and such – but not consistently for every single time we take leave of Paris. It’s been going on for months now! Our woes aren’t even restricted to planes, as trains and buses are also seemingly a part of this grand conspiracy. It’s gotten so bad that I find myself getting pre-emptively angry as we walk out the door with our bags in tow.

The Unfriendly Skies.

Hell hath no fury like a Jimi scorned! I’d like to start my rant today with a very big FUCK YOU to Vueling Airlines, whom we would happily never fly with again apart from the fact we are booked to go home with them…may the gods have mercy on their souls if they screw us around again on Saturday, let me tell you.

What should have been a most lovely start to our summer holidays turned into one of the most frustrating travel experiences that I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter. Granted, the plane didn’t crash and there was no loss of life – although it looked like some of the passengers were keen to hold a lynching near the end of our ordeal – but it was still enormously annoying nevertheless.

So, dear reader, it all started off simply enough with my beloved and I arriving at the airport an hour before our flight, as you do, only to be told that instead of the original departure time of 8.10pm it would now be 2am. This news was delivered with a goofy ‘what can you do’ kind of smile and not even a hint of an apology or vague attempt to explain why our flight was suddenly six hours behind schedule. This was a theme that continued through the evening with no real effort ever being made to justify the situation.

Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels…

As Australia is still struggling to work out who’s in charge after the election, days after the event, I’m wont to contemplate on the nature of government and the pitfalls of democracy. Not that I’m advocating dictatorships, mind you, but the system of elected officials isn’t all kittens and rainbows either. Admittedly, I haven’t always been particularly politically inclined, but living in France for a good while has altered my perspective somewhat and I now find myself very interested in the machinations of those who govern us.

I dare say I am far from alone in thinking that the majority of politicians are generally a bunch of professional liars who would happily harvest their grandmother’s organs to win an election. They lie about their opponents; they lie about their campaign promises and when they do on occasion deign to tell the truth, it’s usually in such a diluted form as to be barely recognisable.

Senseless.

Fuck Hate!

Ever since I heard about the massacre in Orlando, I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach – a swirling mixture of anger, frustration and overwhelming sadness. When will this senseless violence end?

Whenever I’m confronted with such atrocities it seems to drain the joy out of the world, as I imagine is the case for a good many people. Granted, it’s comforting to see the waves of support around the world – the vigils, the rainbow coloured monuments and flags, and even the overwhelming generosity of people donating blood for the victims. It helps, but it’s not enough. As comforting as offering prayers may be, the gods aren’t going to fix the issues behind this…only people can.

Of course, this latest travesty has struck an even more personal chord with me, as it was a slaughter of people just like me, who were simply out enjoying themselves. Even more horrendous was the fact that it occurred during the time of the year where gay pride is being celebrated and in a place that was traditionally considered safe. Admittedly, I don’t directly know anyone who was killed but one doesn’t need to in order to feel empathy and compassion for the victims and their families, and to be weighed down by the sheer horror and awfulness of it all.

Toilet Wars!

There’s an issue that’s been getting a lot of attention of late and has had me shaking my head in disbelief and disgust. Have people really nothing better to worry about than the genitals of the person using the toilet stall next to them? As always, those most up in arms about these alleged threats to personal safety are focused on sex. One does wonder why they are so obsessed with what everyone else is doing with their nether regions.

Even though I’m no stranger to discrimination, given my same-sex attraction, I don’t pretend to know the struggles of being a transgender person. I can only imagine that it would be challenging to say the very least, so why on earth do they deserve to be harassed for simply wishing to use the bathroom?

While North Carolina has never particularly been seen as a beacon of progressiveness, it is 2016 for f@&k’s sake! The newly passed  HB2 – ‘toilet law’ – is archaic – not to mention unpoliceable – and has only lead to an increasingly hysterical atmosphere. Case in point, a young woman was recently removed forcibly from the female toilets because she was deemed to have a masculine appearance and didn’t have ID to prove otherwise. Don’t even get me started on the evangelical Christian lawyer who has vowed to begin taking a gun to the bathroom with her to protect against some imaginary threat. Seriously?

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As with all battles over civil rights, there has been a vile smear campaign designed to create an issue where none existed before. Frankly, the fear-mongering and hateful rhetoric has been staggering and completely without basis. Transgender people have been using the public restrooms that they feel more comfortable in for years without a single reported case of them using their visit for nefarious purposes. If anything, they have been the victims of aggression and violence, not the perpetrators.

OUT OF ORDER!

As I lay here on my deathbed – I have the man flu so I could very well slip off this mortal coil at any moment – I have had ample time to reflect on all the ways my body has begun to betray me. Damn you! Damn you to hell!!!

Despite my youthful appearance, the ravages of time have indeed begun to take their toll upon my increasingly fragile frame. Granted, a fair chunk of my rage should be directed towards myself, as a lot of the damage has been self-inflicted through lifestyle choices – such as my penchant for partying. Who knew that all those weekends spent dancing for ten hours straight in front of deafeningly loud speakers could possibly be detrimental to one’s health? Well, at least there was a great deal of fun had in the meantime – from what I can remember at any rate.

Perversely, it appears that the main culprit behind the destruction to my body is my unending quest of trying to keep it fit and healthy. That’s right, exercise; I’m talking about you! For years, I’ve been tormenting my carcass, trying to twist and turn it into its most desirable shape. Countless step classes have left my knees in a rather worrying state, honestly, some mornings I stagger out of bed feeling rather like an arthritic eighty year old. Not that stops me from doing my very best to inflict further damage to them in Tap and Street Jazz, mind you. Weight training hasn’t done me any favours either – apart from all those nicely bulging muscles – as the stress placed on my manly build has led to all manner of aches and pains that no amount of stretching ever seems to cure. Maybe, I should be looking at some Borg-style cybernetic implants to help ease the pain?

The Hateful Mates.

What is wrong with people? Sadly, this is a question I find myself asking on a regular basis. What’s riled me up today, dear reader, you may ask? Well, that would be the recent unprovoked attacks on men in my beloved hometown of Sydney, with the gentlemen in question targeted simply for the being gay.

Of course, it wasn’t one lone bigot who attacked these men; rather, they were violently set upon by groups. How fucking cowardly! People may talk of mob mentality and use the defence of being swept up in the moment but that’s no excuse for such appalling behaviour. Theoretically, everyone has a brain and should be able to think for themselves.

For my part, I just can’t comprehend the mentality behind such hate crimes. Honestly, I don’t understand what they can possibly get out of it. Is their moral compass broken? Does it reaffirm their masculinity somehow? Do they feel somehow superior by inflicting pain? And who the fuck is raising these people?

Bikers From Hell!

Now, I must preface this rant by saying that some of my best friends use bicycles and motorbikes – my own father rides one. That being said, cyclists of the manual and motor variety are menaces to society that must be stopped.

Of course, I don’t mean all of them. That would be a gross over-generalisation and completely untrue. Rather, those who have drawn my ire are the thoughtless, law-breaking ones that use the roads as if they were indeed cars but then wilfully ignore the rules when it suits them. I well understand the feeling of freedom that comes from zipping through traffic with the wind whipping around you in a pleasing manner, but that doesn’t give one licence to behave badly.

The most blatant instance of their misbehaviour is in regards to the use of traffic lights. Unquestionably, when the light is red it’s a clear indication that it’s your turn to stop – this stands for both pedestrians and drivers. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be the case for a great many two-wheeled fiends, who see it as an opportunity to scoot through and continue on with their journey without a second thought as to the safety of those around them. Several times a week, I have to dodge these reckless riders whilst on pedestrian crossings. One could maybe even forgive them if I had been the only one in their path – and they actually were trying to kill me – but most often the crossing is full of people, which seem to be merely inconvenient obstacles for them to dodge.

Cut The Bull!

We may have had a change in Prime Minister in Australia not so long ago – the fourth in five years, mind you – but the conservative, backward attitude remains the same. Why oh why is it so difficult to change the definition of marriage to offer equality to all? They did it once to exclude same-sex unions without a great deal of legal fuss so I see no reason why they can’t change it once again. A free vote amongst the politicians themselves would easily do it. Honestly, I can’t believe that this continues to be such a divisive issue.

This is obviously a topic that is dear to my heart as it affects not only family, but also my friends and myself. Granted, I’ve been able to realise my dreams of legally wedded bliss in my adopted homeland but I’m still forbidden do it in my motherland. One shouldn’t have to flee your own country simply to get hitched. Australia is better than that…or it damn well should be.

And the promise of a plebiscite, are they kidding??? It’s purely a stalling tactic by the current government, which is hell-bent on dragging it out for as long as possible in order to delay the inevitable change in law. Our fearful leader, Malcolm Turnbull, claims that it will allow every Australian to have their voice heard, even though he was originally against holding the plebiscite in the first place. Spending well over one hundred million dollars to ask a question they already know the answer to – polls have consistently showed that it has had majority support for the past few years – and which won’t be even legally binding, leaving the government to do what they please anyway. Several politicians have already stated their intention to vote against marriage equality regardless of what the Australian people say.