Riding with Strangers

Today walking home from dinner I was reminded of something that happened last(?) year.   I was new at Ft Bragg, so it must have been about two years ago, and was walking to the base minimall, and someone pulled over to offer me a ride.  I thought to myself that it must be someone in the company that I don’t know yet; also this was on post so I had that false sense of security that a gated community provides.  I hopped in the truck and said thanked the driver, a young man of about 20-5.  As we are driving along it become apparent that this is a soldier, but he is not in my company.  He asks me if I am new and if I like Ft Bragg so far.  I reply that I am and that I had not been very happy to PCS here.  He asks me what my hobbies are and what I like to do on the weekends.  I believe he is making small talk, but there is that itch on the back of my brain that is bothering me.  Then he pops the big question “Have you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your person saviour”?

I knew it!

Then things started to get unconfortable, as some of these Evangelical Christians creep me out.

I then tell him that I am good and really am not interested.  Then he starts to get upset, and I am happy that we are quickly approaching my destination.  However, instead of making the second left into the shopping center, he takes the first, pulling in back of the store where the loading docks are!

I think to myself, that he very may well kill me if I don’t except Jesus right then and there.  He stops the truck, and I look at the door, and it is locked.  Can I escape? No one is back here and we are all alone.  If I shout will someone hear me?  Probably not.

“I really think you should reconsider your position and join my and my church this Wednesday for some bible study and Men’s Ministry Group” he says to me.  Again I protest that I am well and good and am not actively searching for Jesus (truthfully, I didn’t even know he was missing!).  He gives me a card with his number on it, puts the truck into gear, and pulls around the front, dropping me off on the curb.  “So long brother, see you on Wednesday”.  “Whatever” I mumble and walk quickly into the shop.

Since then, I haven’t accepted rides from people on base, unless I know them.

Be careful, this could happen to you!

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Many Sleepless Nights Indeed

From Chris Zammarelli @ Bookslut

When Earl Adams discovered his two teenaged sons had seen Felice Newman’s book The Whole Lesbian Sex Book at the Bentonville (AK) Public Library, he e-mailed Library Director Cindy Suter and requested the book be removed from the stacks. Suter had the book moved to what Richard Dean Prudenti described in an article for The Morning News as “a less accessible location” in the library.

Adams responded by faxing Mayor Bob McCaslin with the demand that the book be removed from the library for good because it is “patently offensive and lacks any artistic, literary or scientific value.” He also requested that Suter be fired and asked the city to pay him and his family $20,000 in damages because the library violated Arkansas obscenity law.

In an e-mail to McCaslin, Adams wrote, “My sons were greatly disturbed by viewing this material and this matter has caused many sleepless nights in our house.”

Adams said that his younger son Kyle found the book while browsing the library’s stacks for books about military academies. It’s worth pointing out that The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, which is no longer in the public library’s catalog, would probably be shelved in under the 613.9 section of the Dewey Decimal System. Books on military academies, (say, David Lipsky’s Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point, which is in the Bentonville Public Library collection), are classified under 355.

When asked in an interview for the San Francisco Chronicle about Adams’s contention that his sons were looking for military books, Newman told Violet Blue:

“Perhaps the book ended up in the military section because the boys hid it there. Or perhaps, having found the book in its proper section, the boys were reading it in the military section, where they had told their father they would be researching military academies. Someone catches them smack in the middle of the fistfucking chapter and they make up the story as an alibi.”

The library’s advisory board voted to remove the book from the stacks while, as Prudenti’s article notes, “a suitable book on the same topic” is found to replace it. Said board member George Spence, “A more sensitive, more clinical approach to same material might be more appropriate for the library.” Adams was invited to attend the board meeting on the book, but did not go.

“I’m not sure what Spence means by clinical. Some people say my book is pretty clinical, in that it gives basic health info, etc.,” Newman said in the Chronicle interview. “But if by ‘clinical’ Spence means boringly technical, I can’t see who is going to write it, let alone read it.”

Suter said that if a more appropriate book is not found, The Whole Lesbian Sex Book will be returned to the stacks. Adams responded, “Any effort to reinstate the book will be met with legal action and protests from the Christian community.”

The city’s attorney, Camille Thompson, told Prudenti, “There is not a valid legal concern here” because the book is not pornographic. She added that Adam’s demand for $20,000 “made me question his motivation.”

Suter, as it turns out, resigned from the Library Director position, effective May 31. Both she and McCaslin said that her resignation had nothing to do with the flap over The Whole Lesbian Sex Book. Suter said that she wanted to spend more time at her art gallery.

Newman sees a silver lining to the controversy over her book: “If there was one teenaged lesbian or bisexual girl in America who didn’t know there was a book about the sexual experiences she so desires, she knows now.”

Weekend in Myrtle Beach

DC Trip

 

I spent this last four day-weekend in Washington, DC.  It was so nice to be in a very cosmopolitan area, after being removed from such things, thanks to the army, for so long.  Its been a long 18 months.  Anyway…

I met a good friend of mine, who had never been to DC (I visited when I was in high school), and we pretty much did touristy things.  It was terribly warm and muggy.

 capitalgraciela.jpg

Highlights include shopping in Georgetown (though being fashionably assaulted by the hyper-homo manager of Club Monaco was really not too nice – that guy needs to calm it down a bit.) and seeing Rolling Thunder drive by the Lincoln Memorial.  I also got some great shots of orchids at the National Botanical Gardens.  The Adams Morgan district was way cool, I’d like to spend some more time there, with all its independant shops and restaurnats.  I got in some religious tourism the first day and went to the Franciscan Monestary, the Basilica, and the offices of the Archdiocese for the Military Services.  I did not get to visit the mandirs or the OCA Cathedral of St Nicholas, due to a nasty case of snoozebuttonitis.

  

As far as dining, I finally had the chance to visit Teaism, a tea house, after visiting it online.  I visited the Dupont circle location (twice), across the street from the Embassy of Tchad.  For lunch one day I visited Etete, an Ethiopian restaurant, which was ok, just ok.  I have had better in LA, plus the tej was bad and made me sick for the rest of the day.  While in Georgetown we visited Paolo’s for drinks and apps and we were going to go to Mie N Yu, which looked really interesting, but the host staff was terribly rude to my friends, refusing to seat them (again), so we went across the street to the retarded Bistro Francais, where the service was lacking and the food was substandard.

 I stayed on the Air Force base and made good use of the DC metro system.

 All in all it was ok, I learned I need to get a better camera bag and wear better shoes next time.