Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tolerance Is the Same in ANY Language

I am still so surprised to see how willing people are to wear their intolerance and hatred as a badge of honor in 2012.  They say it is their first amendment right and its free speech!  I agree!  But I also know free speech has a price!  That is right, I feel free speech is not always free.  Just as anyone has the right to say whatever they want, someone else has the right to say just the opposite and they may be able to say it louder and even have more voices joining in support.  The price that comes with the freedom of speech is to  listen or to exercise  the responsibility to know when it is just best to shut up!  Each time I write a blog, I expect opposition.  I am a realist and understand not everyone (maybe very few) will agree with me.  I am a little late to the game to discuss Kirk Cameron’s insensitive comments about gays, Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke and then Patricia Heaton insulting Ms Fluke even further.  But what I have to say is timeless (and correct)!!  lol

Kirk Cameron feels he speaks for ALL Christians when he berates gays saying homosexuality is  “unnatural … I think it’s detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”  But when gays and activist for gay causes were outraged, he defend himself by saying, “”I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years—without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach ‘tolerance’ that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square,”  WHAT AN IDIOT!!  No one said he did not have the RIGHT to say what he did, people just expressed their own “moral views on social views” that opposed his.  He was not a victim… he just learned he did not speak for all Americans just the ones with his narrow opinions.

Now Rush Limbaugh on the other hand is used to controversy over things he says as a political commentator.  But I think even he was surprised at the backlash after calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified before Congress in favor of  drug coverage for contraception.  Advertisers used their freedom of speech (money) to say we do not want our product associated with your program.  But he also learned an apology is not always enough to make Americans forget.  I support his right to say what he wants just as I support the advertisers right to distance themselves from his program.  As he questions drug coverage paying for contraception for women, I question drug coverage paying for his Viagra.  Being the crazy liberal I am, I think drug coverage should cover both.

Patrica Heaton is an Actress and tried to ignite her own role as a commentator by firing off at least five mean-spirited Tweets like, “If every Tweaton sent Georgetown Gal one condom, her parents wouldn’t have to cancel basic cable, & she would never reproduce – sound good?”  Or this one,”G-Gal: you’ve given yer folks great gift for Mother’s/Father’s Day! Got up in front of whole world & said I’m having tons of sex- pay 4 it!”  That is only two of the five I read.  She later apologized.  It was easy for me to remove her ABC show “The Middle” from my dvr because if she had tweeted one hateful thing, I would accept her apology as sincere, but since she Tweeted so many, I felt she was apologizing because of the PR mess not because she truly meant it.

I am happy we live in a nation where even these three small-minded people mentioned can share their thoughts.  Just as I am happy that in America I have the freedom to write and comment on their actions from a more open-minded perspective.  Sandra Fluke was not deterred in her attempt to share her opinion even after such brutal attacks as I continue to enlighten others of the rights of gays.  I am not sure what Sandra Flukes view are regarding homosexuality, but I would sure welcome such a smart, strong, and fearless woman also defending my cause.

The fear I do have is that all of this intolerance and hatred is being understood by kids, youth, and even young adults as acceptable.  Many Americans are concerned about bullying in schools and many parents say – they did not learn to act that way at home.  I ask, or did they learn it at home?  When you make insensitive comments about immigrant’s limited language, use terms like MY country instead of OUR country, or say things like “those people” when referring to gays, black people, or disabled people; you are teaching the universal language of intolerance!  No one in the United States is even FORCED to learn and use English properly, so there should not be any fear of being FORCED to LEARN anything in America.  Like learning proper English or a foreign language – LEARNING the language of tolerance is voluntary for individuals, but necessary for society!

http://www.newser.com/story/141020/kirk-cameron-homosexuality-is-destructive.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141199/kirk-cameron-defends-his-anti-gay-comments.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141235/doc-are-we-paying-for-limbaughs-viagra.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141095/patricia-heaton-attacks-sandra-fluke-deletes-twitter.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141163/heaton-back-on-twitter-with-message-for-sandra-fluke.html

http://www.newser.com/story/141699/sandra-fluke-name-calling-wont-silence-us.html

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Atlantis Events’ Hypocrisy In The Name of $$$$$

Atlantis Events is quite hypocritical in its business practices.  They target the gay community for their business yet are unsympathetic as to consequences of choosing anti-gay destinations!  Dennis Jay Mayer and his partner of 17 years, John Robert Hart were arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure and “buggery” on the ship of an Atlantis Events gay cruise.  The part of the story that bothers me is Atlantis Events casual, dismissive attitude.   According to the president of Atlantis Events, “Many countries and municipalities that gay men visit and live in have antiquated laws on their books,” he said. “The guests’ actions were unfortunate but minor in this case and have no bearing on our overall guest experience.”  It should have a bearing on your overall guest experience asshole!  Why does Atlantis Events take gay passengers to places that have these “antiquated” laws?  Why do you take gays to anti-gay destinations?  Oh – for the $$$!!!  If Atlantis Events are going to specialize in “gay” events, then Atlantis should only dock in gay friendly destinations.  If Atlantis Events is a friend of the gay community, they should inform the countries with these “antiquated” laws on their books that they will no longer bring their passengers to these “antiquated” societies!  Or is the $$$ from the gay community all that is important to Atlantis Events?  I think I may start an events cruise specializing in travel for handicap people to places without handicap access and then with a blase’ attitude say these destinations are just that way.

Atlantis Events simply left the island without them!   Mayer and Hart say they were taunted all night long in a jail cell with no light, no water, and no toilet.  Their safety and horrid conditions were, in my opinion just part of Atlantis Events’ ” overall guest experience.”

If Atlantis Events cannot stand up to these antiquated societies on behalf of people they freely target their business to and profit from, then the gay community should make Atlantis Events and antiquated business.  If Atlantis Events and Dominica begin to miss the gay money, maybe they will wise up and update their antiquated laws and business practices!

 I suggest the gay community boycott Atlantis Events!

http://www.newser.com/story/142482/two-americans-arrested-for-gay-sex-in-caribbean.html

http://www.towleroad.com/2012/03/atlantisinterview.html

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It Is Cold In His Shadow

Glen Thomas Johnston

September 21, 1932 – March 22, 2011

I have learned that life in the shadow of my father after his death is even more difficult than when he was living.  Most people have idealized their father to the point of being an unrealistic character.  In my case it was real!  My Dad was a character but it the best way – everyone loved him.  I have NEVER heard anyone say ANYTHING bad about my father, where as I do not have to leave the house to find people that will speak ill of me.  My father was not perfect, and even people that did not agree with him still  respected him.  The year since his death, I have learned it will be impossible for me to have a fraction of the respect from family, friends, and community that he had – this frustrates me.

Next week I will begin therapy (AGAIN)!  Even before his death I had issues.  The more I am living at home and in this community, the more I see things I had felt were big accomplishments in my life have been undermined by some.  I miss Dad because he was proud of me and he let me know it.  Our family did not make a big deal about birthdays, they were usually a simple family meal but never a real party.  Now when I graduated from Ole Miss (University of Mississippi), he and Mom threw me a party!  I was the youngest child, but the first to graduate from college.  When I bought my Toyota 4-Runner, he would not have been happier for me if it were a Land Rover.  When I went to work for Sony, most people would, by his account, think I was hired as the President/CEO instead of lowly marketing guy.  When I bought my BMW convertible while living in Las Vegas, I hoped he would be impressed.  Even though he liked the car, what impressed him was the deal I got on it.  His disappointment was that I had bought a BMW that was 2 years old instead of the brand new Toyota Tacoma I had originally planned to buy.  When I moved to Colombia, an Ambassador’s welcome would have been too little in his eyes.  I was the first in the family to have a Passport and to get a stamp in it.  Now all of my family has Passports and stamps – other than Mom and I hope to change that soon.

The last few years have been very tough for me.  I finally had to surrender to my Multiple Sclerosis by taking disability.  This meant I had to say goodbye to Sony, goodbye to my BMW convertible, goodbye to my Las Vegas life and even pretty much all of my independence.  He had been diagnosed with Dementia. I had just moved from Bogota to Medellin, Colombia, when I got a phone call,

“If you want to see your Dad alive again you better get home as fast as you can.” my Mom said.  My sister’s were in Brazil.  We all rushed home as soon as we could.  

I walk in the hospital room where he was setting up, smiling as if nothing had happened and he said, “What are you doing here?  I thought you were in another country.”  

I replied jokingly, “I came home because I thought you were dying!”  

He said with a smile, “Not today!”

What I learned later was that the night I was flying home, he walked out of the hospital and security found him in his pajamas trying to get into his car.  Mom asked him where  was he trying to go.  He said, “To get Tommy.” (Tommy was my childhood nickname).  Even supposedly dying, he was thinking he needed to come get me.

My Dad not only loved me, he respected me.  He knew how much I struggled to get through college.  He occasionally would help me out with some money, but he knew how I worked to support myself and pay for my education.  I told him years later that I did not want him to leave me anything in his will because of all the help he gave me in college.  But even what I consider to be a grand gesture has been reduced to, “Thomas don’t want anything because his Dad paid for him to party at Ole Miss all those years.”  He is not here to set the record straight and stand up for me and say Thomas deserves respect because his finishing college was quite an accomplishment.  Even though he would have loved for me to have lived closer, he encouraged my dreams that required I live away.

I have given up any hope that people will have the same respect for me that my father had.  My own family can’t even muster simple respect for me and it hurts me, makes me angry, and helps fuel my desire to live away from here.  It is easier to leave and just start somewhere fresh.  People I worked with and customers at Sony had a great deal of respect for me (other that a bitch – I’ll just use her first name – Renee).  Friends that are from all over the world encourage me with my writing – even though it makes me no money, it makes me happy – and my family knows little or nothing of my writing.  My life of wanting and trying to have my family respect me fatigues me more than my MS.  I have severed my relationship with one of my nieces because of her blatant  DISrespect.

A year ago I had to say good bye to my father – and the to the respect he so easily gave me.  I miss my father!  He was ALWAYS in my corner.  Now I just find I am fighting with myself – and I am losing!  He and I did not agree on politics or religion, but he still respect me even though I aggravated him with discussion of these topics.   Maybe the therapist will help me get on a more positive path even with myself.  As RuPaul says, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”  Maybe I have to learn to love myself in spite of how family and friend view me.  I will always be in his shadow and it disappoints me that I will never be half the man he was – even through my own eyes.

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Stories of Glen

March 22, 2012 is the 1 year anniversary of the death of my father, Glen Thomas Johnston.  I am working on a blog post for that day and hope I get it done.  I also came up with the idea that I would request people than knew my father to e-mail me any stories or memories they may have and on each anniversary I will post any of the new stories I received.   Even if you want to recount a story you heard from me or someone else…. anything “Glen” you want to share!

Please send any stories, memories or ideas you have for remembering Glen to: glenjohnstonproject@aol.com

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