Atlantis Alumni

Monday, April 28, 2008

Is Monogamy The Opposite Of Polygamy?

Here are two definitions to consider:

Monogamy: The practice or condition of having a single sexual partner during a period of time.

Polygamy: The condition or practice of having more than one spouse at one time, e.g. "plural marriage."

Isn't that strange? You would think that if polygamy is having more than one spouse at a time, then monogamy should mean having one spouse at a time, wouldn't you? However, for some reason, which I suspect has to do with certain social and cultural agendas, polygamy is defined with respect to the number of spouses one has, while monogamy refers to the number of different sexual contacts one has.

I'm confused. Why aren't these two related concepts defined in more similar terms? Do you know? Shouldn't monogamy really be defined as having one spouse at a time? After all, you can be either polygamous or monogamous and yet in addition, be promiscuous, i.e., have sexual contacts outside of your spouse or spouses. It seems to me that we need to clean up the definition of monogamy and de-politicize it. Monogamy should be defined as having one spouse at a time, just as polygmy is defined as having more than one spouse at a time. The correct term for having multiple sexual partners is promiscuity (undiscriminating sexual behavior: behavior characterized by casual and indiscriminate sexual intercourse,) which really has noting to do with monogamy or polygamy.

PHOTO: The "Schuylkill Navy" refers to the rowing associations that maintain boathouses along the Schuylkill River In Philadelphia


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Robbed Of Our Gay Adolescence

Why are so many gay men sexually promiscuous? This question has often been asked and in today's New York Times Magazine there is this explanation:

There was a reason, of course, why so many gay men my age and older seemed
intent on living a protracted adolescence: We had been cheated of our actual
adolescence. While most of our heterosexual peers had experienced, in their teens, socialization around courtship, dating and sexuality, many of us had grown up closeted and fearful, “our most precious and tender feelings rarely validated or reflected back to us by our families and communities,” as Alan Downs, the author of “The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World,” puts it.

So, we who had no sexual adolescence feel compelled to make up for lost tine once we finally come out. It's a powerful argument and quite a revelation I suspect for many men. In my own case, not only was I robbed of my gay adolescence but I also married a woman in my early 20s, so I was robbed of that decade as well. Nevertheless, when I finally came out at age 29 I did not feel the need to "make up for lost time" by racking up a number of sexual conquests. Rather, I went looking for a partner to fall in love with and settle down. So I guess I don't quite fit the mold. But I can see how this could resonate with a lot of gay men.

The article in the Times, entitled "Young Gay Rites" focuses on gay men who get married in their 20s. It certainly is a different world for them than it was for us older gay men. By and large these young gay couples favor absolute monogamy and do not view the sexual and emotional components of their relationships as potentially separate entities as many older gay men do. I was at a cocktail party the other evening with a group of mostly older gays and I tried to make the argument that it is possible to separate out the two as in the case of loving but sexually "open" relationships, but no one would agree with me. Particularly, two younger 30 somethings professed their monogamy in response to my argument.

My own attitudes about monogamy have changed somewhat over the years. How to define monogamy is also something I'm not sure of. Strict monogamy means absolutely no sexual contact with others, I suppose. I think that's a tough standard for many people, both straight and gay. A casual one time contact, or even several with different people, or an occasional three way, are these violations of monogamy? Or, as I am beginning to believe, is an "affair" or a multi-session liaison with the same person that contains both sexual and emotional components what constitutes non-monogamy?

My own behavior actually fits the strict definition for the most part because I have just never felt the need to experiment sexually with a number of different men. I have a loving partner who I enjoy sexually and for those times in between I can look at porn and get off. That's always been enough for me. Come to think if it, porn and self release was enough for me during all of those bleak years of my tortured adolescence, and those years I spent married to a woman. Sure, I yearned for sexual contact with another male, but I never experienced it until my wife left me when I was 29.

I'm glad things are better now for younger gay people. I'm glad that they can come out earlier, date earlier, and marry earlier. They'll experience some of the same problems we all do in life, but at least they won't start out behind the eight ball to the same degree that we older gays did. No one should be robbed of their adolescence. There's no way to make up for that no matter how hard you try.


PHOTO; The Fire Island Pines Harbor on an early Spring morning

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cherry Grove: Early Spring In The Garden

We've had a few summer-like days out here and the plants have responded with a spurt of growth. Yesterday there were some people on the beach and some kids actually went swimming. Today we're back to more normal Springtime weather with more seasonal temperatures in the 50s. It's been dry so we need some rain. Maybe tonight we'll get some. The plants would like that.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Gasoline Will Be $5.00 A Gallon Next Year

So says economic Guru "Mad Money" Jim Cramer on the Today Show this morning. I think he might be too conservative in his estimate. I've heard other anslysts say that gasoline could reach double digits per gallon in a few years. Yes, that's $10.00 a gallon or more! Americans are in for a major shock and awakening. Cramer said that many businesses will fail because of the gas price increase. That's an understatement. What will happen to the domestic auto industry when sales of gas guzzlers fizzle because people will finally do what Europeans have been doing for years: start driving small, energy efficient cars. There will be so many Hummers, giant pickup trucks, and SUV sitting idle that there will not be enough junk and scrap yards to handle them all. Also, just think about the effect on food prices as the trucking industry passes on the increased fuel prices to American consumers. Maybe rising fuel prices will kill off trucking and force this country back to mass transit and railroads. We can hope, but there is going to be a lot of pain along the way.

PHOTO: The fixed-up Fire Island Pines Pizza And Bistro


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Three Days Grace - Never too late

Three Days Grace - Never too late

The young struggle with suicide. I've had a suicide close to me. I have a friend whose brother took his own life. It's tough to get through. At age 59, I'm past the point where it matters very much or where I can relate to the problems of the young, but for the them maybe a song can help those who feel desperate.

America's Obscene Love Affair With Big Cars

Rationing rice? And, food prices skyrocketing because, we're told, grain is being used to make ethanol. Meanwhile, Detroit continues to make gas guzzlers and Americans continue to buy them and pay ever increasing prices at the pump. There is something radically wrong here. Gas at any and all costs to fuel America's love of big cars and trucks, even if it means we may starve others or ourselves. It's obscene, there is no other word for it.


PHOTO: New construction in the Fire Island Pines - sprucing up the entrance to "Sip 'N Twirl"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How Hillary Can Still Win

Sure she can.

Why Hillary Still Lives To Fight On Politically

Last year the conventional wisdom was that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party's candidate for president in 2008. She was touted as the "presumptive nominee." The pundits believed it, and she herself believed it. So what happened?

What happened was that there are a lot of people who have been turned off by Clinton style politics. After all, we had eight years to evaluate the way the Clintons do business, and so we know that they have no real principles, except what is best for them politically. They maintain a fleet of buses to throw people under who get in their way.

We also have seen Senator Hillary Clinton in action. Much of the base of the Democratic Party, including young people, are dismayed by her votes in support of the Iraq War, and her vote to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization - the same as authorizing George Bush to attack Iran. They don't trust her to end our involvement in Iraq. Come to think of it, they don't trust her, period. She won't renounce the Defense Of Marriage Act, and she still thinks "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was a good idea at the time.

This is what the pundits mean when they point out that Hillary Clinton has "high negatives." This is the reason why she has not been able to seal the deal even though she was thought to be a shoe in for the nomination. Should she steal the nomination from Obama, she will still have those high negatives. In the meantime, she is tearing Obama down with her negative attacks. Read today's New York Times editorial, which chastises her for the negative tone of her campaign.

Let's hope Obama finally manages to drive a stake through the Clinton's political heart during the next set of primaries. Otherwise, we might as well prepare for the third McCain-Bush term.

Photo: Sometimes the sand piles up over the stairways on the Cherry Grove beach.


Monday, April 21, 2008

The Candidates And Military Spending.

What to McCain, Obama, and Clinton have in common? They all refuse to promise to cut military spending, the real "sacred cow" that ought to be slashed, rather then the favorite whipping boy: "entitlements."

Military spending is 28.5 percent of the federal budget. It's the biggest single expenditure item, and it's growing:

Between 2000 and 2006, there has been a 70% increase in military spending,
while spending on debt payments, veterans benefits, housing assistance, the
environment and job training have been cut.


There is no really progressive candidate running, not even Obama.

PHOTO: Another Spring view along the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park


Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm Speechless....

Follow this link and see where this wonderful years of GW Bush and the Republican Reich has taken us.

We've become a nation of hypocrites.


PS Thank's to Tom Tomorrow's site for pointing out this article...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cherry Grove Fire Island Beach

Sometimes conditions on the beach make it difficult to walk in the sand, especially when there is a high tide produced by a storm or strong Northeasterly winds. While this scene looks bad, usually the beach levels itself off after a while and returns to a relatively flat condition. The sand leaves and the sand returns, most of the time.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Immoral Benedict: The Pope And Morality

Benedict tells American lawmakers to "make decisions based upon morality." That's nice, now when will Benedict start treating gays and lesbians morally instead of demonizing them based upon his interpretation of scripture? Is it moral to discriminate against and condemn members of sexual minorities? The answer is no. So one wonders when Benedict will begin doing what he is telling us to do, i.e., act morally. Don't hold your breath.


PHOTO: The garden on Fire Island in the early Spring

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pope Benedict Is Ashamed Of The Pedophile Scandal

As well he ought to be - with all of the cover ups over the years. Benedict also ought to be ashamed of his own record of demonizing gays and lesbians all the while his church has harbored and protected the real criminals among the ranks of the Catholic clergy. He'll be met with protests by gay Catholics but it won't matter because he won't change his hateful ways. Gay Catholics are like gay Republicans - in denial. They ought to quit the church.


PHOTO: The lovely blooming trees along the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park

Monday, April 14, 2008

Carl Bernstein on Hillary As President

Carl Bernstien speculates on what A Hillary presidency would be like:

What will a Hillary Clinton presidency look like?
The answer by now
seems obvious: It will look like her presidential campaign, which in turn looks
increasingly like the first Clinton presidency.
Which is to say, high-minded
ideals, lowered execution, half truths, outright lies (and imaginary flights),
take-no prisoners politics, some very good policy ideas, a presidential spouse
given to wallowing in anger and self-pity, and a succession of aides and
surrogates pushed under the bus when things don’t go right. Which is to say,

Just what we don't need: a re-do of the first Clinton presidency, with all of its unfulfilled promises, failures of leadership and of character, and bitter disappointments (ask most gay people how they feel about the Bill Clinton legacy for our community ("Don't Ask, Don't Tel, and DOMA.)


Saturday, April 12, 2008

What's Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?

Dr. John Corvino lectures on themorality of homosexuality.

Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Bayside Erosion II

Here are a couple more photos showing erosion on the bay side. The platform at the East end of Bayview Walk has been undermined. The other photo shows more trees down due to erosion near the bay overlook on the way to Sailor's Haven.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Bayside Erosion

We had a mild winter this past year, but it seems as though erosion on the bay side is continuing. This is the outlook between the Grove and Sailor's Haven. The platform is sturdy still, but looks precarious. Note the tree that is down due to the sand having been washed away underneath it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fire Island Pines Construction - What Recession?

This new house is under construction in the East End of The Fire Island Pines. This particular house is surrounded by one of the nicest gardens in The Pines. There is a lot of new construction in The Pines and one wonders at the amount of money that is still available to some people even in bad economic times. I guess the bad times are only for some of us.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Richard Crooks - In My Garden

The really beautiful singing of a great tenor from long ago.

The Hopelessness Of The Iraq Situation

Why are we in Iraq? What "national interest' is being served by our occupation of Iraq and our interference in the internal power struggles between factions of the various religious sects in that country? Yes, there's the oil, but nobody wants to talk about that. What is the "end game?" When will we withdraw? When we "win?" What does that mean? What is "victory" in Iraq?

The invasion of Iraq was illegal and was based upon a fictional "WMD" (Weapons Of Mass Destruction) premise. Now, five years later, 4000+ Americans dead, many many more Iraqis dead, and a half a trillion dollars spent, we remain mired in an occupation. The leading General cannot say when we will be able to leave. If asked, which he was not yesterday, I doubt that he could even say what his mission is except to act as a police force to help prop up the current regime in Iraq. Will the Democratic candidates for president actually end our involvement in Iraq if either of them is elected? I doubt it. They won't be able to do it. Meanwhile, don't be surprised if Junior Bush starts a war with Iran before he leaves the White House. You read it here.

PHOTO: Sea foam.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fire Island Birds

One of the real joys of being on the island at this time of the year are the birds. They are a hungry bunch in the Spring before their natural sources of food are plentiful. We have a feeder just outside of our TV room. It's fun to watch and count the different species of birds that are drawn to the feeder. These colorful Grackles really do a number on the seed supply.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cherry Grove's "Top Of The Bay" Comes Back!

Saved from demolition, one of Cherry Grove's landmark structures is being beautifully rehabilitated by its new owner. The structure has been jacked up and the foundation strengthened, and it has been fitted with new floors, windows, and doors. It is receiving beautiful new shingling. Many Cherry Grove residents have enjoyed good times in this structure. It's great to have it back.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fire Island Sailor's Haven Improvements

Visitors to the Fire Island National Seashore Sailor's Haven recreational center will find that a lot of work has been done to spruce up the facilitates. The wide walkway from the bay to the ocean has been replaced. This area is served by ferries that run direct from Sayville. While there are no restaurants or other commercial establishments at Sailor's Haven, it is a popular site for day visitors. It is one of the few beaches that has lifeguards on Fire Island. Visitors can walk to Cherry Grove (it's about a 20 minute walk) to visit restaurants and shops. Visitors can also visit the unusual "Sunken Forest." The trail starts at Sailor's Haven.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Back To The Beach

Bradley (the dog) and I opened the summer house on Monday. It's always "exciting" to return to Fire Island in the Spring, but not always in pleasant ways. This time I returned to find the power lines broken so I had only limited power, and I found two pipes that had burst over the winter due to water freezing in them. Why that happened is a mystery, since we hire a plumber to blow out the pipes and close the house for in the Fall. Luckily, I was able to get the power company to come out within a few hours and fix that problem. The plumber repaired the pipes on Tuesday morning.

Wednesday was a beautiful day. On our afternoon walk we saw these two gulls standing in the bay shallows.

It's great to be back out at the seashore.