So, my husband and I got motivated to move out of Zamora, by a variety of things/occurences, and thought we'd try the coast. Puerto Vallarta, to be precise. We went on-line and found a condo to rent for the month, got our asses out to the coast by bus and then sweated for 30 days. And nights, I might add. We had a good time, swimming in the pool, eating all sorts of foods that we can't get here in Zamora and generally not doing much of import. We'd seen a house for rent on-line that looked interesting in the photos, and contacted the owner and went to see it. Lovely place, and it actually looked just the way the photos showed, so uncommon in real estate photos. Unfortunately, I can't/couldn't breathe in the humid hot air, and June is apparently better than any other month from June to September, depending on which local is exaggerating the size of the fish he's caught. Oh, sorry, the quality of heat and humidity he has survived. So, no coastal living, no quick access for the husband to the ocean, no more access to not-bad sushi and good to great fish'n'chips for us. The kayak the husband laboriously dragged from California to here will remain in dry dock for some time yet.
We talked, and when we got back, we decided to leave the house (currently nicknamed Casa de las Putas) we were in and move to a new one. There are many reasons for this move, all of them called Lulu or Pau. Or the Vengeful Sluts( in the collective), depending on my mood. These are the daughters of the owner whom are supposedly responsible for the house in which we were living. The oven didn't work: tough shit, we are not going to replace it. Well, I don't really need an oven, I never cook for more than six anymore, and my little countertop convection glass oven invention thing will work. When they showed me the house, there was scalding hot water in the kitchen. When we moved in, the hot water in the kitchen had disappeared. I eventually discovered that in order to get hot water in the kitchen, something in the connections on the roof between the solar water heater and the supply pipes had to be switched around, which cut off water to some part of the house. Last June, after a freak heavy rain, the roof proved to be leaking into the bedroom we were using. Partly the rain, partly the fact that the water storage 'tinaco' was dripping into the same spot all the time, and partly that the drain had been half-closed by the last application of waterproofing. I complained. Pau sent a man to look. They came back and scraped up all the old waterproofing, took out the old cement/asbestos water storage tank, cleaned out the drain - and left. Not to be seen again until December 23. In May of 2014, I finally got fed up and paid a contractor to waterproof the roof anddo repairs and deducted said cost from the rent. In June, the month we spent in PV, my friends and protectors Miguel and Paul paid the rent for June. But they gave it, in an envelope with the receipt for the roof, to Pau's son. When I got back in July, Pau asked me for the rent for June. In short, they are lying cheating Vengeful Sluts scum, and we decided it was time to leave the house.
I hated the kitchens in our first two houses here: both of them were small, no counter space, and so narrow that, with a rag tied to my ass, I could prepare dinner and clean the wall behind me at the same time. Brings to mind old joke about the unreasonable boss and the worker with too few hands, broom up the ass - that old thing. Anyway, I liked the kitchen in the Casa de las Putas a lot better, so I rented it despite the no oven thing. This house has a kitchen counter of approximately 4 metres' length, enough room for two to pass without having intimate relations, and a counter open to the dining room, making the kitchen part of the life of the dinner party. Storage space! counter space! working oven! It is older, which in this country really does mean better built, and it has some of the problems of all older buildings, door handles getting gunked with age and dust and odin-knows-what, scratches in surfaces that have been very badly repaired, nothing too major, so far. Lots of safe parking. On a corner lot, and taller than most of what's around us, we get breezes and sunshine. We're close to the central market (think fresh veg and fruit all year round) and there is a chain grocery store a couple of blocks away. Noisy during the day, usually quiet at night. So far, I'm loving it, to quote McDonalds' ad agency.
And the most fun? - having to move without benefit of husband, who had made plans months ago to spend 7 weeks in the Untidy States relaxing and enjoying himself with old friends. With a bad back, and a bout of pneumonia. He gets home in about two weeks; I'm thinking I'll let him live the childhood nightmare of abandonment: coming home from a week at camp to discover that the family has moved away without leaving a forwarding address. (joking, in case you missed that)
I am so grateful to Miguel and his skills, he has kept us organised, found helpers and generally done a lot of heavy lifting (literally and figuratively) to get us moved. The story of how he came to live with us is for another post, I have to go feed the cats.
I came across this list of twenty questions on a conservative web site under the title, “Are You a Pro-Gay Bigot?” The questions reveal quite a lot about about the author’s mentality. Here are the questions, with my own answers to each.
1. Do you believe in free speech about homosexuality for everyone except conservatives or Christians?
No, I believe in free speech for everyone.
2. Do you participate in name-calling of those who object to homosexuality — names like bigot, hate-monger, etc.?
No. It takes more than an objection to homosexuality. Here are the people I call bigots:
- People who bully, assault, and kill gays because of their sexual orientation.
- People who think gays should be imprisoned or put to death.
- People who devote their professional lives to stripping gays of their rights.
- People who make sweeping generalizations about the character of gay people.
- People who automatically believe any anti-gay statement they read, while shutting their eyes to contradictory facts and evidence.
3. Do you believe ‘gays’ have been deprived of the right to marry? Doesn’t pretty much everyone have the right to marry now — to a person of the opposite sex?
a. Yes I do.
b. No they don’t. Here are three responses:
- Do you really think we’ve achieved equality and freedom just because I have the right to do what YOU want me to do? That’s not equality or freedom — that’s putting you in charge of me.
- Your question is based on the principle that if everyone has the same rights, then everything must be okay. But does this principle hold true? Apply it to religion: Suppose we passed a Constitutional amendment shutting down all non-Christian places of worship. Your principle would suggest that no one has been deprived of their rights because everyone has the same right to enter a Christian Church — and if everyone has the same rights, then we’re fine. That would be ludicrous, so your principle is flawed.
- If only same-sex marriages were allowed, and all opposite-sex marriages were invalidated, would straights think they’ve been deprived of their right to marry? I’d like to see someone do on a poll on that question.
4. Do you believe those who object to homosexuality are motivated by fear or ignorance? Do you believe they could never be motivated by compassion for the people involved, and if they say so, they must be lying?
a. For the most part, yes. I was raised to be afraid of gays and was kept ignorant of the facts by my parents (who were trying to “protect” me and had themselves been taught untruths), by my church, by my public school teachers, and by the media. I think this is true of most people, not just me.
b. I do believe some anti-gays are motivated by compassion — a compassion based on ignorance and fear. They’re trying to “rescue” me from something they fear, they know nothing of, and they’ve been lied to about by people they trust.
5. Do you believe some people will just inevitably be homosexual, and that there’s a set percentage of the population that will always be ‘gay’, and that this won’t increase, even if a culture embraces ‘gay’ sex? Do you think homosexual experimentation could never become ‘chic’ and popular? Is there no risk for the people involved or our culture if this happens?
a. Of course. There’s me, so that’s at least one. And while it’s possible that more people will engage in gay sex if the culture embraces it, we won’t see an increase the number of people who are actually gay.
b. Anything could become “chic and popular.” Especially if it has the lure of the “forbidden” around it.
c. All sex carries a measure of emotional and physical risk. That’s why we need realistic and genuinely useful sex education, not “abstinence” programs that lead kids into risky behavior (like unprotected anal sex) because that way they can still think of themselves as virgins.
6. Do you automatically dismiss any conservative comments about homosexuality without listening? Do you believe you are well-informed, while refusing to learn about what homosexuals actually do and the risks involved?
a. No. I dismiss lots of conservative comments because I do listen. And then I write a blog post detailing the factual and logical errors.
b. I do believe I am well-informed, despite the best efforts of conservatives to deceive the public about what homosexuals actually do.
7. Do you believe that the tragedy of any suicide by someone involved in homosexuality is the fault of conservatives? Is the best solution to these tragedies to demand that everyone in America accept homosexuality?
a. No. People — straight and gay — commit suicide for many reasons. I do believe, however, that quite a few suicides (especially teen suicides) are the fault of those people — liberal or conservative — who perpetuate lies about homosexuality.
b. I believe many teens now dead would still be alive if their parents (and our culture) were more accepting of homosexuality, rather than telling kids that all gays are despicable, selfish people who prey on children and can never know love.
8. Do you automatically dismiss the idea that anyone could be a former homosexual, despite the hundreds of groups started by ex-‘gays’ and the thousands who live in America?
Please define “former homosexual.” Many ex-gay groups say they cannot take away your homosexual urges but can help you stop acting on them. That’s an odd definition of “former homosexual.” Sounds like a celibate gay to me, and yes, I do believe some gays are celibate.
9. Do you believe that homosexuals are born that way? Do you refuse to consider the evidence against this claim? Have you ever looked at the connection between child sexual abuse and later homosexual attraction?
a. I don’t know.
b. The “evidence against this claim” tends to be weak. People point to a lack of definitive evidence in favor of the claim, and erroneously call that evidence against it. They also say things like, “We’ve mapped the human genome without finding a gay gene, so it doesn’t exist,” which does nothing but illustrate their ignorance of what genome-mapping means. Or they assume “born that way” means “100% genetic” and ignore research on things like pre-natal hormones.
c. Have you ever looked at the connection between child sexual abuse and later heterosexual attraction?
10. Do you believe that only churches that accept homosexuality have interpreted the Bible in the ‘correct’ way? Do you feel it isn’t necessary to read the relevant Bible passages yourself, all of which are straightforward in condemning homosexual acts? Do you believe it’s impossible to be “kind” and oppose homosexuality?
a. I only have access to a translation of a copy of a copy of the Bible, so I can’t speak on the correct interpretation of the Bible.
b. Again, I can’t read ancient languages, and even if I could, no one has access to the original documents, so no one can really read the relevant passages themselves, much less claim they are “straightforward.”
c. No, I think it’s possible. There’s so much deception from the anti-gay leadership, it twists the kind impulses of some people into tragically ugly statements and actions
11. Are you quick to say “Judge not, lest you be judged” ( Matthew 7:1) and similar passages, without understanding the Christian theology behind it, and all the while being very judgmental yourself?
12. Do you sincerely believe Jesus would have accepted homosexual sex acts? Do you believe Jesus is cool with whatever anyone wants to do? Do you believe there’s such a thing as ‘sin’ and if so, how is it defined? Are you the one who defines sin for yourself? Do you have no need of a savior and if not, wasn’t Christ’s death and resurrection pretty pointless? Despite all these contradictory and self-constructed beliefs, do you consider yourself a “Christian”?
a. I don’t know and neither do you.
c. I think of sin as a religious concept that differs from religion to religion. I do believe in right and wrong, and I think “wrong” is defined by treating others as objects and things for your disposal rather than as human beings who deserve the same kindness, generosity, and respect you would want for yourself.
d. Life is hard and we all long for a savior sometimes. Christ’s death wasn’t pointless because it gave rise to a religion that has, in various times and various places, inspired humanity to greatness and led it to horrific acts of evil. I don’t have evidence that the resurrection happened.
e. I do not consider myself a Christian. But what contradictory beliefs are you talking about? You didn’t even know the answers to my questions when you wrote that. Is this a thought-provoking questionnaire or merely yet another listing of stereotype and prejudice?
13. Do you believe sweeping stereotypes, like that all ‘gay’ people are innocent victims or that all conservatives must be mean and stupid?
No. Do you believe the many negative sweeping stereotypes about gays?
14. Do you close your ears and figure it’s a conservative plot if you hear that at least 2/3 of all the HIV transmission in the United States still involves males having anal sex with each other?
No. But if conservatives believe this then I have to wonder why so many of them oppose realistic sex education.
15. Do you believe anyone who objects to homosexuality is automatically “hateful,” while you seethe with hate yourself?
No. And I’ve written at length to that effect.
16. Do you believe it’s okay for thirteen- year- olds to learn at school that they have the right to have homosexual sex with each other? Do you close your ears when concerned parents are outraged? Would you call such parents “ignorant” and accuse them of “censorship”?
a. I don’t know what you mean by “they have the right.” I do believe that thirteen year-olds should be taught the information they need to protect themselves from doing permanent harm to themselves, and I’m amazed anyone could advocate otherwise.
c. I would call the parents ignorant if they were ignorant, but not if they weren’t. I don’t throw around the term “censorship” lightly.
17. Do you believe that, after several thousand years where most cultures have prohibited homosexuality, only now the ‘real’ truth is emerging? Do you believe this is not an arrogant, narrow or immature position?
a. Have most cultures prohibited homosexuality? Certainly ancient Greece and Rome, from which our own culture derived, did not have blanket prohibitions on homosexuality. And what do you mean by “prohibit”?
b. No, for two reasons.
- I do not think it’s arrogant, narrow, or immature to think for yourself. I find your question appalling, frankly.
- I also find it a bit frightening that you think it’s arrogant, narrow, and immature to move beyond the moral code of our ancient ancestors, who once believed it was fine to rape women as long as they belonged to a different tribe. Do you think we were arrogant, narrow, and immature to outlaw rape?
18. Do you believe that ‘gays’ are the target of widespread violence that goes unpunished in the United States? Do you understand that hate crimes stats don’t support this claim and that laws already exist to punish all crimes, no matter why they are committed? Would you be unconcerned about overall civil liberties if trumped -up charges of so-called “hate speech” were used to silence people?
b. No, I do not understand that hate crimes stats “don’t support” this claim. Yes, I do understand that laws already exist to punish all crimes — do you realize that this statement is an empty tautology?
c. I am in fact concerned about countries in Europe outlawing hate speech against gays, Christians, and so on, and I’ve written to that effect. Fortunately, in the US, there is no such thing as a legal charge of “hate speech,” and the First Amendment prevents such a thing from happening here. I wish conservatives understood that, too.
19. Do you believe that conservatives are making a big deal out of a behavior that has no harmful effects on individuals, families, communities, or societies? Do you scoff at any claims that serious public health issues are involved, like sexually transmitted diseases or risks to children?
a. I believe that many conservatives are making a dishonest deal out of something — not a behavior, but an intrinsic human trait — that can be a source of joy and of harm (just like heterosexuality).
b. I do not scoff at serious public health claims. I believe we need realistic sex education about sexually transmitted diseases and risks to children associated with sexuality in general (not just hetero or homo).
20. And–very big question: Is your need for other people’s approval greater than your appreciation of truth? Do you refuse to consider an unpopular viewpoint because it might make you appear unenlightened to some people? If your mind and heart changed about this issue, would you have the courage to be a rebel for a worthy cause, to speak up and inform family, friends–and fellow humans who are involved in homosexuality?
a. We all struggle with this issue throughout our lives. You can be sure an openly gay person has struggled successfully at least once, by coming out of the closet and living in truth rather than hiding for fear of losing the approval of the people around them.
c. Yes. And in fact I get enormous satisfaction from being a small rebel in a great and worthy cause — the crusade for truth, dignity, and equality. Wait — are you people claiming to see yourselves as rebels?