I miss the way guys used to dress.

Today’s masculine look doesn’t quite do it. Baseball caps. Even worse, backwards baseball caps. Wife beaters and droopy pants. Boring suits and ties.

A couple of friends and I visited an exhibit at the art museum this week. There were some plump ladies getting kidnapped by Greek gods, a lot of paintings of severed heads (reminding me that ISIS is nothing new), but I couldn’t get my mind out of the portrait section. Because, man, those eighteenth century gentlemen had style. I had forgotten about those amazing fashions I first fell in love with way back in the Amadeus movie. The wigs with the ponytails and fancy ribbons. The fantastic stockings and shoes with gold clasps. Why don’t men dress like that anymore? Well, okay…probably because people on the street would point and laugh at them. But hey, I’d be a huge fan!

This is one of the reasons why I’ve always been crazy about Prince. The little man is not afraid to be beautiful. He can rock the ruffles and high heels, and do so with complete confidence. Now there’s a deity who can kidnap me anytime.

Then again, if I demand that guys put more elaborate effort into their outfits, shouldn’t I be doing the same myself? Wouldn’t that mean having to wear giant frilly dresses, petticoats and corsets? Since I’m writing this in my pyjamas, I’m the last person who should be offering fashion critiques. Modern convenience cuts both ways.

All right, I’m not willing to spend fifteen minutes every morning lacing myself up at the waist, and I don’t want to have to run for the train in a long gown. So I won’t expect others to put in that kind of work, either. It’s only fair.

I think I’ll settle for our local hipsters with their bowler hats and handlebar moustaches. They certainly look bizarre enough for me….

It’s the middle of the week and I’m still suffering from severe post-Pride depression.

I went to the Pride parade last Sunday. I usually try to go. Other cities may have bigger gay pride celebrations, but the Portland one is always such a fun party.

After a while, watching the parade really makes me feel like I’ve landed in a magical alternate universe, full of color and glitter and dance. Rainbows are everywhere. There’s a giant disco burrito rolling down the street. Happy people are wearing shiny unicorn horns and fluffy raccoon tails, and happy dogs are wearing pink tutus. I end up cheering at everyone and everything, even the guy selling balloons.

And then it all ends, and it’s such a coming down. At first it’s not so bad, as I leave the waterfront with a crowd of straggler unicorns and other partiers. But then the celebration scatters, and it hits me. I’m back in the mundane world. It looks dull and drab. Instead of fantastic drag queens, it’s the usual assortment of families in Wal Mart-style T-shirts and flip flops, and drunken dudebros with their pants sliding down to their knees.

Yes, I’ve officially exited Wonderland and find that I’ve returned to my greyish-brown cubicle existence.

But hey, I guess that’s what makes any celebration, whether it’s Pride or Christmas, special–the fact that it only happens once a year. Wouldn’t be the same if I felt that way all the time. I’m sure that next June, Santa will bring me an even bigger and better parade–right?

Fall to February — A bunch of guys in ugly uniforms giving each other concussions. Some of them have underinflated balls, which is apparently a problem.

February — A has-been pop star performs crappy music and the TV plays a bunch of dumb commercials. So the usual, but there’s also a game of some sort.

Spring — A bunch of guys strolling around a field, scratching their (not underinflated) balls and spitting out wads of chew. This is also the time of year when soft-spoken public radio hosts reminisce about hearing the crack of the bat when they were little children and bemoan the fact that America’s national pastime is no longer as popular as it used to be.

April — The Portland Trailblazers lose again. “We’ll definitely win next year!”

May — Awwww, look at the cute horsies getting raced to death.

Summer — Portlanders put on colorful scarves and pretend that they care about sports and that they’re European. Hint to Portland: Real soccer hooligans set cars on fire.

Summer, Once Every 4 Years — The world comes together to celebrate peace and harmony through athletic competition. I can tell that we’re totally serious about it because there’s a giant dove puppet involved.

Also Once Every 4 Years — The world falls in love with the most beautiful game, as FIFA is paid massive bribes.

Winter — Figure skating! Finally, I can watch a real sport! Also, the weirdly hypnotic appeal of curling. Hands down, the best part of the year.

Except that it’s back to the guys in the ugly uniforms again.

I’ve never been one to hide the fact that I find the libertarian point of view to be annoying and unrealistic. But now, there is a new kind of person which irritates me even more than libertarians: People Who Pretend To Be Libertarian.

Yep, a lot of folks out there are faking being a libertarian. Whether it’s because they’re desperate to appeal to a changing demographic, or because “libertarian” has become the latest trendy term to fling around, like pretending to be a geek. How can you tell they’re not genuine? It’s the “I’m libertarian, but” phenomenon.

“I’m a libertarian, but I’m against gay marriage.” “I’m a libertarian, but we shouldn’t legalize marijuana.” This statement is then followed by some flimsy excuse about why, even though “I’m all about liberty!”, this particular freedom shouldn’t be allowed. Well…okay. So…hate to break it to you…you’re not a libertarian. The one redeeming value of the chaotic, might-makes-right libertarian vision of society is that you’re supposed to be completely free to make your own choices about how you live your life. If you reserve that right only to the people whose preferences match yours, and do not grant others that freedom, then the entire point of this concept breaks down. If you want the country’s laws to be based on the Bible, then we’re not in a libertarian universe anymore. Mind you, you can base your personal life decisions on the Bible if you wish, but the moment you try to force that on others, you are no longer a libertarian.

No, if you want to outlaw abortion and ban gay marriage, then you’re just a same old, same old religious conservative. I get it, you want to call yourself something else, because these days, being a conservative Christian is considered kinda lame. But your disguise is see-through. If you’re really a constitutional conservative, traditional on social issues, then own that. Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not.

Because political labels come and go, but one thing remains the same–posers are never cool.

Mom was staring at my plate in shock. It was covered with a messy pile of bacon, cheese and chicken.

“What is *that*?”

I was stunned myself. “It’s…it’s a…salad.”

Ah, the danger and the mystery that is the American roadside restaurant. You never know quite what you’ll get served. Somewhere, underneath all that protein, a few wilted green leaves could be found, or so I suspected.

But I was a wimp compared to my fellow eaters. Other families seated in the Kozy Kitchen dining room placidly awaited their deliveries of greasy eggs and meat, with two and three dishes per person, while here I was, a rank amateur, unable to handle a simple “salad”.

“There’s no way you can finish that.”

“Maybe I can, but I’ll need a stent right after.”

Let’s face it, on our trip through the towns of Southern Oregon, we must’ve acted like the most obnoxious of tourists. “Do you have anything with kale in it?” “Why doesn’t this store have an organic veggie section?” And things got even worse when it came to the alcohol department. “What do you mean you only serve Bud, Coors and Corona? This is a joke…right?” At least I dissuaded Mom from her idea of bringing her own personal lime into restaurants with her, so that she could “fix” the Caesar salad dressing. I figured the natives wouldn’t take too kindly to that.

Leaving my little hipster nest to travel the rest of the state has made me realize just how Portland I’ve really become, and has made me appreciate living here much more.

And my bacon and cheese salad? Well, I managed to eat about half of it, and was sick for the rest of the day. Like I said, I’m a total wimp. My review of the Kozy Kitchen–it’s only for the strong.

I’m not sure I can handle it.

The trashy pink lights. The corny classic rock soundtrack. And oh, those horrible performers.

There’s Hillary, sitting on a potential donor’s lap. “See? I can be warm and friendly,” she murmurs.

Meanwhile, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are working the pole, gyrating their hips as hard as they can, while the Koch brothers make it rain cash on the stage. Maybe they’ll get more money if they make out with each other?

Poor Chris Christie is sitting at a table alone, all forlorn in his bra and garter belt. Nobody cares about him anymore.

And off in a dark corner of the club, Rand Paul is doing his own weird dance. Only a few are turned on by him–those who are into the kinky masochistic fantasy of living in a pure libertarian state.

Watching this spectacle doesn’t exactly cause feelings of arousal. It’s more of a mixture of disgust, despair, and a complete loss of self-respect. But this is the best we can do, or so we’re told.

Yeah, the 2016 election season…it’s going to be the worst striptease ever.

Yeah, it’s only Facebook, or “Loserbook” as some here may call it. But “Loserbook,” like everything else, reflects trends in the larger society it’s a part of.

One of the most irritating–and effective–ways of going after people on Facebook is to report their content for being inappropriate. Pictures of breastfeeding mothers have been removed because of the dangerous boobie visuals involved. Likewise, photos of topless couples embracing, etc etc. Facebook is great at protecting us from random nipple sightings.

If you’ve been anywhere near social media lately, then you’ve likely come across the picture of hunter Rebecca Francis stretched out next to the dead body of the unfortunate giraffe which crossed her path while she was on safari. The pic stirred up controversy, as Rebecca is smiling happily next to her kill. This caused some Facebook users to question whether or not it would be possible to report sites devoted to posting pictures of hunted animals for inappropriate content. I can see their point, especially since the links to the sites would sometimes pop up as ads in the middle of the newsfeed. If you’re not expecting to see a bloodied animal corpse wrapped around a grinning hunter’s shoulders, it may be a bit disturbing.

But it so happens the hunters in the pictures were fully clothed, so Facebook’s response to the complaints was all too predictable. The users who reported the sites received a stock reply–Facebook had reviewed the content of the pages for graphic violence, but found none of the posts violated its terms of use.

Naturally, Facebook has the right to make its own decisions about what it does or does not consider to be inappropriate. But an issue which has always puzzled me resurfaces here. In America, nudity is unacceptable, but violence–whether administered to human or animal–is perfectly fine.

Where does this come from? Is it that this culture is so in love with the Old Testament, in which a vengeful God has no problem wiping out entire cities, but has huge issues with human sexuality? Is it a consequence of our mixed Puritan/cowboy heritage?

Whatever the case, just remember that if you finally get to take that dream trip to Greenland to club little baby seals to death, and you want to post your vacation pics, for the love of all that is holy, WEAR A BRA.

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