31 October 2012

This just in

Whoa, wait a minute. Who said anything about gay marriage? What I am proposing is opposite-sexual-orientation marriage.  And I propose it because it already exists and has for centuries. Either to hide their sexual orientation, to produce children, to take advantage of the socio-politico-economic advantages of marriage, or just because it was what was expected of them, gay men and women have been marrying straight people since recorded history.

Same-sex marriage does not open the door for these "abuses" of marriage. The door, if there ever was one, was wrenched off its hinges and splintered into a billion pieces by opposite-sex marriage long ago. If these are "abuses" of marriage, then they are abuses that are irrespective of the gender and sexuality of those involved.  They seem, to me, more like "reasons" and they are reasons that already exist. Security. Companionship. Working together to make the world a better place for yourself and others.

28 October 2012

Number 2

If I was trying to take advantage of the government, I would have placed an ad asking for someone to form a corporation with me.

27 October 2012

And only one response to the ad so far


Not unless divorce is already on the horizon, and even then I don't want to be in the middle of it. Again. My father and his family were Mormons, but they didn't practice polygamy and it isn't in my genes. Good luck to you and your family. I hope you get whatever you need to take care of them.

Only two responses so far on Reddit


The marriage industrial complex


Ryan Conrad of Against Equality discusses the complexities of same-sex marriage and the discourse in which it is enmeshed.  In particular, very compelling is the argument that marriage is a raced, classed issue. For example, take note of what he says about healthcare.  Concerns of class, privilege, and access are central to my project because I am in a position where I have something I cannot use (domestic partner benefits through my employment, a reliable automobile, a weekly paycheck) that I can share with someone who needs them. This is central to my selection criteria of future husband-- need.

I was born into a lower-class, farming family that moved gradually into the lower-middle-class after my parents physically moved from our rural town to the suburbs of a larger city. Through education (courtesy of mammoth student loan debt) and near-constant employment (at times in three jobs simultaneously) I have moved into the central middle class, where I enjoy privileges I could have never imagined in my childhood. I have a job in academia that, most days, doesn't even seem like work. And, most days, I feel I don't deserve it.

What I had not considered are issues of race that complicate the same-sex marriage movement. Even embedded in my Craigslist ad are signs of internalized racism: the fact that I said I am seeking a "Straight White Male," for example. I chose these words only cursorily, influenced by my own minute experience with personal ads and, perhaps even with a specific candidate in mind. This was not intentional, but, of course, the best of intentions...

Thank you to Ashlie Sandoval for sharing this video on Facebook.  Keep fighting the good fights, Ashlie!

26 October 2012

Good Cop Black Cop


More absurdity from friends at UFMe Productions.

Ceci n'est pas un mariage

The second project that begins today is one that I have been developing for a couple of years now, but have only recently been able to conceptualize how social media might be its vehicle. There are four stages to the project.

1. Using Craigslist I will post an ad seeking a male marital partner. I will direct all my various social media connections to the ad to draw attention, but hope that replies come in from those I don't virtually know, as well.  The responses, if any, will be redirected through this blog, and perhaps Facebook, which holds the largest possible audience. There had better be responses. I mean, I'm a goddamned catch.

Today, I posted the ad:  http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/crg/3367083326.html thus setting this project in motion.

2. Sometime in the Spring semester, I will pare the responses down to a couple of serious candidates (remember, I'm a catch) with whom I will conduct videotaped (videoSDcarded?) interviews. The interviews will be posted to YouTube. From this group, I will choose my future husband, the father of my future children.

3. During the summer of 2013, he and I will fly into Seattle, rent a car, and drive to Vancouver, BC for the wedding (ceci est un mariage) and then on to enjoy a honeymoon in Alaska (ceci n'est pas un mariage). Honeymoon photos will be posted to Tumblr. We will drive back through BC to Washington (ceci est un mariage parce que vous l'avez fait ailleurs) afterwards, and, rather than flying home, take the rental car back to Cincinnati via a circuitous route: all 48 contiguous states. Photos will be taken all along the route, each captioned with one of the above parenthetical phrases, depending on if, at that particular spot, same-sex marriage is legally recognized.

4. Upon arriving back in Cincinnati, I, my now unhusband (determined spatially), craigslist responses, video interviews, and the photographs will be available for viewing in a gallery for about a month, until it's time to return to work for the fall semester. Ideally, there would be live video feed streaming from the gallery space. The exhibition will be titled Ceci n'est pas un mariage.

What happens from there is up to my unhusband and I. Perhaps we will someday travel again to a place where we can say, "Ceci est un mariage."

I'm hoping to crowd-fund this project through Kickstarter, embedding it even further in the social media sphere from which the project will be distributed. If anyone is interested in helping through some other means, I'm happy to have you on-board as wedding planning crew.

Timeline travel

Today, I begin two new projects, the first of which continues my experiments with Facebook.  By placing your cursor on the timeline at any point in your Facebook wall, you can add a photo, status, location, or life event at that point in the timeline, adjusting the date based on the preceding or succeeding posts. Logical use of this would be to align your virtual timeline with the events of your biological timeline through life events: births of children, divorces, conversion to new religions. For me, though, this opens up possibilities of virtual time travel: I have started using Facebook out of time.

23 October 2012

Unme

Sunday, October 1, 1995 6:25am

I just destroyed six years of my life.  I threw out over 300 pages of journal entries.  Nothing dramatic about it, no ceremonial burning or burying. I simply took the pages out of their binders, carried them to the dumpster, and watched them rearrange themselves into a meaningless paper carpet, a cage-liner for the waste of the rest of the neighborhood.

Sure, I had skimmed it all before throwing it out, a slide-show of crushes I had held in secret, movies at which I had laughed, trivial grudges I let fester within-- the predominance of my high school and undergrad careers.  Sure, afterwards, a tinge of sadness returned only by the silent, chill air. But, regret it? Never.

I am dead to the old life. There is no returning. Now there is no physical evidence of it ever having existed.  There are only memories, and memories fade, a natural process.  The collection and entrapment of them is unnatural.  How silly to carry ten volumes of unme around from house to apartment to apartment to apartment to house in some futile attempt to keep myself. I will never be found within a three-ring binder.

So, perhaps, these words, too, will one day line a trash can. I only know that, now, they represent me to the best of my vain knowledge.  When I learn myself enough to know that they are unme, I will rid myself of them.

14 October 2012

A status is a place--

a temporary position in spacetime, a location of thought, emotion, and whim. I've started experimenting with Facebook's "place" function, or "checking in." When used, Facebook creates a very specific linguistic structure that begins "Matt Bennett was at," so I have started to play with that preposition and what it can be made to say. I am not sure if anyone will even notice that I am doing it with the location feature.  Previously, I would occasionally check in at "reality," but that went unnoticed.

05 October 2012

Blogging as a time-based medium

Working on this blog has fostered my understanding of blogging as a temporal medium, and one that renders the objective timeline two-dimensional. Posts are added chronologically along the timeline in one direction, one after another; comments are added chronologically to each post in one direction, one after another. A blog, then, can be mapped to an array of chronological time with objective time extending in two directions.