Category: thoughts

a mind split into uncountable fragments, thinking of everything and anything in infinite instances ?

Gay Cowboy Movies

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I’m twenty-one and gay and watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time. (This alone is cause for writing.) There’s a scene where Ellis (Heath Ledger) takes a moment to stare at the night sky, reunited for a weekend four years after a passionate summer with Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal). Both men are married and further bound with kids, but the commitment here is an afterthought. When they meet for the first time, they kiss tighter than the first hundred times, pushing each other against the wall where one raised a home and wed a wife and lived an entirely separate life: in an instant, their life was theirs to reclaim. Ellis receives no answers from the moon. Shadows are falling from the trees. The world guts men and does not sing for them. “Is there anything interesting up in heaven?”

Scholars are so convinced that David and Jonathan were never gay. The Wikipedia page discerns “a number of groups made up of gay Roman Catholics trying to reconcile their faith with their sexuality…” for those who’ve taken the names of two myths, homosociality as if any different from homosexuality. The Hebrew Bible is an ancient text used to kill men and free them. Listen, “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul,” is love in its truest, and “then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he had loved him as his own soul.” Jonathan also gave everything to David. He stripped himself from his robe, his armor, his sword, his bow, and his belt –– because noting that the belt was given is just as important as the embodiment of your being. Modern day Christians go out and scorn Scorsese’s Last Temptation because of Jesus and Magdalene, but existing right in the canon is a disciple whom Jesus loved. So desperate do we desecrate the holy texts, relegating it to the author and the author far from a valid lover, as if Jesus and John were comparable to the love I had felt so closely with anyone I’ve slept with.

I’m thinking about covenants and what it must take to break them. How queer love is constantly portrayed as fleeting, passionate things as if to frame them as temptations and urges. Everything but love is allowed to be fueled by passion: constantly reignited, stronger than ever, an immense devotion. The moment queerness exists in a form, it exists distinct from suburbia and consistency. Ellis and Jack kiss with bloody noses. Grating, skin-on-skin, rolling on the hill under the beating sun kind of love. Everything else is cathedral and familial. The wives are routine, even if whole histories lie beneath them. Another summer, internalized homophobia rendezvous where Alex Lawther pushes French male lead down on the hills, hate in each other’s veins, one calls the other faggot before kissing. And each instance of love is built on a history of fear and self-hatred. And the Bible scholars still insist that there was nothing more between, even if their souls were bonded and given to one another. Must every act of my love today be an act of reconciliation? When I take a lover, is it an act of forgiveness? Everything I do is mirrored unto this foundation of internalized homophobia and fear that I keep trying to pinpoint: for Ellis, a beaten, tortured body shown by his father of a man suspected of homosexuality; for the Catholic, a history of scorning and flinching when holding your friends’ hand and the bruising and the thought of eternal damnation for the act of love. Wherein: God will kill you and take all that is good if you kiss who you want to kiss. And then at that moment, I knew I had trouble believing.

In canon, people take concubines. Sexual relations are separate from “love”. That is, the heterosexual is allowed a body, a human body and spirit that he puts his own flesh in and abandons forever, an object of possession but not quite of love. In queer cinema, promiscuity is often mistakenly equated with liberation, as if sexual agency is the stripping of freedom and the body as a whole: if not for one other, it is the world.

Take the other gay cowboy movie. (Wikipedia acknowledges ‘gay cowboy movie’ means Brokeback Mountain, but I had to dig through Letterboxd to jog my memory of the first gay cowboy movie I watched––which is mostly farmers and not explicitly gay cowboy but it’s nearly the same anyway, the same as how homosexuality means men means questioning god means cheating means the soul is a tender, tethered thing that means nothing if not unto the opposite sex.) Everything is relational. Everything we consume points to this. Everything I love comes at the risk of breaking. This is all that can come from someone so ruined too, participating in an act that even the gods look away from…

God’s Own Country. Johnny loves migrant Georghe, the former a wreck who drinks and fucks men in port-a-potties, a fact less important than the fact that a calf in the movie died from a breech birth (or maybe it functions as an analogy for how homosexuality is an opposite, bottom-first, Freudian Phallic stage and all––actually, this is likely the case). The moment things turn, Johnny drinks more and more and more and engages in another sexual encounter until Georghe leaves the farm. Johnny must love Georghe slowly, making up to him with softness and tenderness, and the two turn from roughness and passion and instantaneousness and blind flee-and-pursue to stability and a home. Homosexuality is only valid if placed within the idyllic white picket fences. Johnny and Georghe want to be nuclear. Nuclear means the decay is irreversible.

Sappho writes to wish that someone will remember all this in the future. She does not know that an act of love will ever be named after her. Say, all these queer writers must only be able to draw from centuries of fear since it is all we had. When love is normal and domestic like the American dreams of Ellis and Jack, will it be worth writing about? If a soul bonded to a soul between man and man weren’t special, would we be debating here in the millennia after?

First, I beg to be spared from the hellfall and the thought of my parents and teachers and the misshapen cross condemning me to the abyss because of who I love. (This cannot be helped.) Next, my love is painted as an act of forgiveness. Each act I do explained by the unnamed authors and writers, taking my love and pursing the words as if their own, penance for my childhood and all the stones unturned. There must be rational explanation to the irrational act of selling my body for the other. For the deviation from my parents’ wills and the natural order itself, where my kiss must only be returned because this is a vicious act of contrition––where sinfulness is a delight, where all the bad things in the world are rooted in pleasure. Then, my love will is to become domiciliary and docile. One takes the traditional role, one gay takes the top and the other the bottom, one queer is the man and the other the woman in this relationship, or a mishmash depending on whether the gay people are in a polycule or not––because gay people fuck anything over, especially themselves.

Nothing is interesting in heaven. I have no intention in providing defaults to the modes of compassion I learn of, the ones to be condemned, the ones that I too––must figure out how to endure. I wonder why the love my kind of people live is immediately electric and fleeting. I want to prove that as an exception, I must endure––but I also owe this act to no one. I can’t live with the family and kids. My love is an infinite thing. I am busy trying to not be forgotten. (Cinema says we smell shirts and are haunted by ghost stories.) We sing bad and fish for praise and call each other slurs.

Whenever I want to kill myself, I remember that the love I have left to give on the dirtside is more gritty, borne of integrity, and humanly fleeting than the choir of heavens above. I must be on my way to bury the forgiveness I’m told I bear, but I can’t find it at all.


Related: Sitting in Theaters with Girls

21

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Elaboration to come soon, maybe.

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About five years ago, at sixteen (fuck), I wrote a looong letter to myself about how I thought 21 was going to be the end. It still might be. I am still so far from the person I imagined myself to be, even if it feels like I’ve had centuries to work at this.

I am learning how to see myself in the worst of things. To enjoy sulking in my misery and excessive gluttony. To speak and be silenced during days that were never mine. To feel nothing when everything is happening and vice-versa. I control my own life. I end it when I can. No gods exist in this world that could possibly take this level of control from me. For that reason, this existence and consciousness that is an extension of the world can be forever destroyed––my misery that connects me to everything, my nothingness that intertwines me with everyone else’s fate––the sixteen year old in me knows that the only form of power I will ever have is the choice to end it all. I destroy everything inside of me and around me. It is my duty to be incredibly aware of this.

Kind 21 thoughts

  1. If I can’t be authentic, I may as well be nothing.
  2. Physical proximity with those you love matters.
  3. To measure for myself in time is meaningless, but everything for others.
  4. I am not obligated to bear the weight of everyone who had come before me––but die trying, anyway.
  5. I am no savior.
  6. And I must lean into love, gentleness, kindness, and softness more––resisting a world that has long refused to equate this with strength or progress.
  7. I carry a piece of everyone I’ve encountered with me, and because of that I too, am loved and holy.
  8. I must write because I forget. I must write to document, and then to reimagine.
  9. My (and everyone else’s) effect on both systems & individuals is far greater than I can possibly fathom.
  10. Signs are merely signs. Things must be spoken.
  11. Things that bring joy and truth are rarities, and are as meaningful to pursue as anything else.
  12. After giving, living for myself can also be living for others.
  13. Gratitude over fear, anger, disgust. Affirmation in an age of silence.
  14. Repetition rarely diminishes.
  15. My life does not need to be story. Every act I do is novel and grand, ut also mine.
  16. Every distance consequence is still a consequence.
  17. It is a time to be prolific. It is time to consume & love & crate, without fear. I leave behind only what I am able to show and let others feel.
  18. Resistance, every single day. Radical acts & beliefs, any time. I act against a world & what others have built that threaten it all over again. This is urgent.
  19. Technology can be a human thing. “Only the human invents tools to make tools, and has always used its own artifacts to reinvent itself.”
  20. Nothing I lose compares to the everything I have to gain.
  21. The love I have to give and have yet to give is far from a finite thing.

Less kind 21 thoughts (to myself)

  1. You already know that nobody cares after you die, or when you want to die. What are you going to do with your life knowing that now?
  2. Live the rest of your life as dangerously open and online as you have the past. Be an experiment for its effects.
  3. Am I going to be one of those people that exist better as an idea –– with no tangible representation or thought?
  4. Everything you wish for will never come true. Your mind will never be able to grasp anything real. Every desire you have is destructive.
  5. How utterly selfish of you to not spend every possible waking moment for betterment that will change other people’s lives drastically, instead of meager things that barely mean anything to you incrementally.
  6. Fall Out Boy lyrics are still so true even if people think they’re stupid just put them in your fucking bio since you want to do it so badly anyway
  7. It is always too late and too early.
  8. Likability matters a lot, so start sucking up a bit more.
  9. Warning sign after warning sign, nobody has cared. It is pointless to ask for help. Do everything else you can to live.
  10. Anger and rage are valid fuels.
  11. Most of the time, it will be the only fuel you ever have.
  12. You will regret everything at the end, anyway.
  13. Everyone just wants the best for themselves. Nobody cares about you.
  14. Only your own consistency can salvage you from a chaotic world.
  15. Love is infinite. Love is also very easily tested.
  16. Everything is only as unkind as you make it seem.
  17. You are running out of time. Especially at this state.
  18. Nothing matters, and as such everything does.
  19. I am only what I leave behind. Every thought unsaid, every quiet non-response… it’s like I have been existing to erase myself and my being. Do you want to be nothing?
  20. I do not deserve a single thing that has ever happened to me.
  21. It will never get better. You destroy yourself and then it becomes nothing. What will you do about it?

The future is a tiny internet

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Being written in public and expanded on.

There’s no shortage of talk on how audio is the prevailing future of the web. Clubhouse especially is bringing rise to this future, but so is Roadtrip, Capiche, DialUp, and even Omegle. We have long sought to use the limitless internet, unbounded by geography, to transmit ourselves and being long and far––for work, play, sex, attention, and the sake of longing.

Facetime and calls bind one generation, and I can’t help but feel like I’m an internet native boxed to another end. It was hard for me to feel safe in many spaces and I was accessing the internet late at night where I was desperate to distance myself but explore the world in hushed tones. Instead of raucous laughter over tangled earphones or the love of displaying myself all over an iPad, the internet felt most intimate to me when I was with people over long drabbles of text and chatlogs now irretrievable. I communicated and built culture around trends in text, because Americanizing myself in voice was difficult and the internet as a place of escape made me dread hearing myself. I was utterly unconfident, more of a lurker, and treaded amongst many communities at once –– only seen if I wanted to be.

Our current social tools make this kind of ghastly lurking a lot less possible––and I get it, it’s undesirable. On Discord, I have to go Invisible, but my name still treads in every community I’m in. On Twitter, it’s maintaining private lists and reading through them instead of following people. Reddit and 4chan are still the best places where I can maintain this behavior since you only are seen when you truly want to be (though they are the hardest to monetize). While ghostly, they are still the most tight-knit communities that exist. The cultures, trends, and inner knowledge present within a subreddit easily rival the sense of community in smaller Discord groups. It manages to feel “tiny” and welcoming, even if numerically it’s far more than that. While there’s sections like RPAN that allow for unfiltered livestreaming, new user subreddits that let you broadcast every single thing you feel, it’s still one of the truest spaces there is that product people are frantically trying to unbundle.

Peach’s usage of “magic words” presents new modes of interaction

Most Discord servers and subreddits don’t require a voice for you to be embedded in the culture. Your voice and sound is a sacred thing, easily identifiable––something I struggle with when meeting up with people. I know, it’s ideal for meetings and quickly getting rid of the tension and miscues from text––but there’s something special and comforting with instead navigating relationships and cultivating them through text.

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Garena Talk was a SKype/Discord-like client for League, used by clans and friends

I played League of Legends for years with the same circle of friends, never really speaking to them in voice. We would get together without fail every single night, even more in the weekends, literally playing 12+ hours straight for around five years. Some of my closest friends in the world are people I’ve never heard. Out of timezones and hecticness, my best friends are people who I share voice conversations with (and we went to the same middle-high school together) that only comprise a tiny sliver of all our conversations––the rest happen in online logs. Mentoring and teaching people, I also come to understand how advice through text is more meaningful and permanent (things I desire, even if the internet exists to resist them) than spoken words. Disconnect and connectivity make it harder to speak to people I love back home, but the words we exchange through text are never any less real. I like to think that I also exist more as a person to be known in the written form, never heard or seen by the vast majority of people who will know me. I dig that idea.

So here’s a case for tiny, intimate internet spaces. “Tiny” does not have to exist in numbers, it can also exist in cultures. Little forums and groups tucked away and servicing friend circles and niche interests, virtual avatars that act as extensions of ourselves without the labor of presence, the ability to weave between circles with many pseudonyms (as done on archiveofourown), concentrated updates and dialogues that prioritize safety, immediacy, and privacy.
Letting people craft and segment their identities to fit different online spaces essentially mirrors what we do in our real life bubbles. Decentralizing identity and anonymizing ourselves is a powerful thing.


As younger generations become increasingly onlineTM, we’ll see the needs for spaces like these to safeguard the experience of internet exploration. Where we explore our identities, touch on global issues, and uncover global frames of knowledge––we do so in chat, learned cultures, and soft conversations––not radio and the out loud.

Houses Prop Pack | garrysmods.org
Putting together messy 3D worlds with friends on GMod as a quintessential Steam kiddie experience

It’s easy to read social media as a place where young people are constantly vying for social capital, but the class of people who perform for an audience is a small fragment compared to the hundreds of people who dwell, watch, and later depart to go to their own spaces –– if they have any. And even if safety and privacy aren’t immediate, obvious needs for the masses wistfully surfing the internet today––is it a cruel thing to want to offer this as we approach a decade of retracted deference to our data?

Things are obviously a lot different now. I’m unafraid to stream games live (and annoy my friends in doing so), have my face plastered across dozens of loosely interlinked social networks, and am one of the most easily investigable yet completely boring people you may find on the internet. There’s simply a case to be made for spaces where we can cradle ourselves in, carving out universes and spaces and shared languages through text and image and memes and all the glory of the infinite mediums we have at hand… these days, I know I am all for it, as I have been built by it.