'Philadelphia' (AIDS film)
Posted in the Bellingham Forum
#1 Oct 16, 2011
'Streets of Philadelphia' by Bruce Springsteen plays at beginning. Just watched the film again--it's from 1993--brings up lots of emotion; tears to the eyes. Knew numerous gay men that died of AIDS over the years, some very close; very sad. Highly recommended. The Youtube video with Bruce Springsteen singing the song is good too. Shows some of the film footage.
#2 Oct 17, 2011
From the song 'Streets of Philadelphia':
"I walked the avenue till my legs felt like stone"
That's probably referring to leg neuropathy. AA friend Ed N. in Tucson spoke of having it in the years before he died of AIDS. My mother had it from diabetes--she wore slippers since shoes were too heavy. I've had it from Lyme disease (brain/spinal cord lesions, etc.). That is exactly how I described it when first experiencing it--that my legs felt like they were turning to stone. Numbness too. I have it in all four limbs, at times severe.
But the song expresses loneliness and isolation so well. It evokes much emotion for me. Harvey Milk's documentary (narrated by Harvey Firestein [sp.?]) always has too (about gay SF mayor shot point blank by Dan White, etc.). Which kind of affirms for me that I'm probably homosexually repressed to whatever degree. Seldom conscious of homo attraction, predominately aware of hetero, but because of past homo relations many years ago, know it's part of me. Why else would the subject evoke tears? There is strong emotional identification.
Interesting part in the film when Denzel Washington returns to his wife and they're lying in bed (following the scene where Tom Hanks describes the opera song's meaning for him). They show his face; he's realized he too has (some degree) of homo inclination. Showing an aspect of homophobia due to fearing discovering homosexual attraction within one's self. Very insightful.
I don't understand poetry, bu a book recently referred to poet Tennyson. I tried reading one of his books, but couldn't understand the poetry. Interestingly enough though, his Wiki page explains he was predominately hetero, but his 'In Memorium' has homosexual meaning.
I think most humans are to some degree bi-sexual.
#3 Oct 18, 2011
Pat Metheny Group - Hermitage [live 1980]
video by TheAmericanGarage
--just found this on Youtube. Sueno con Mexico and Hermitage are two of my favorite songs by Pat Metheny. Both are from his 'New Chautauqua' album. Missed seeing his concert at Mt. Baker Theater last month. Have read Metheny credits George Benson and Wes Montgomery as major influences.
#4 Oct 18, 2011
Anyhow, the R-71 issue is on front page today. About revealing names of people who signed petitions opposing gay marriage. Apparently a federal court is now allowing the names to be public; available online. I skimmed over the article, but think that's what it's about it.
I don't know enough about it to have an opinion. But what I agree with is that people are most definitely being persecuted, and there is organized harassment. I haven't opposed gay rights since deciding on going solely w/ heterosexuality in 1997, but nevertheless have experienced unrelenting persecution for doing so.
Both sides are organized, and I've suffered over the years from both. What bothers me is the pull in one direction or the other. Gays insist the reason I'm going with my hetero is due to seeking cultural acceptance; conforming to the status quo after being harassed years ago following coming out with my homosexuality.
This is true to some degree. However, the troubling part of all this is that both sides insist a human being is one or the other. One man in AA, a self-proclaimed "sage" ("not guru"), an old-timer that speaks to standing room only crowds when he shares his AA story, told me, "There is no such thing as bi-sexuality. You're either one or the other. Bi-sexuals cannot commit in a relationship." That man was a leader amongst those that attacked me in the AA meetings in Anchorage when I spoke openly of being gay. And apparently the gay community sees the matter similarly--once I decided to go with hetero, I was maligned by gays as not being honest. That my true "sexual orientation" is gay, and if in a pro-gay culture I would then be at peace with my homosexuality.
However, I was in pro-gay culture for many years when attending gay AA meetings on a regular basis. And socializing with other gay people on a regular basis. I followed the advice to "come out to family, friends, co-workers" for that reason (Harvey Milk's documentary was influential in urging everyone to come out of the closet). But that social acceptance for being gay didn't bring resolution over my being bi-sexual. Even when attending the gay meetings, I often desired females.
An attractive lesbian couple in the meetings, in a conversation where we happened to refer to a man that attended the meetings, shared with me they thought of him as very attractive, that they were sexually attracted to him. That kind of struck me, that here was a prominent lesbian couple, always together the two of them, yet they too were to some degree bi-sexual.
But what really got my attention was when a gay man confided in me about the particulars in his obsessiveness over a man he was in a sexual relationship with. How he was consumed with jealousy and trying to control him, etc. I thought to myself later, "wait a minute. That means a person can be homosexual, in a homosexual relationship and tormented by control issues. That was my incentive for coming out with being gay, that I would subsequently be at peace with homosexuality and not be preoccupied with conscious sexual attraction or lust for females". But that man sharing what he did made me realize that being honest about one's homosexuality does not guarantee peace of mind. You can still be troubled with desires one way or the other.
So a reason for writing all this is hopefully to show there may not have to be such cut and dry absolutes regarding human sexuality, such that people's lives are ruined for political reasons (such as mine has been--and yet the harassment hasn't abated even still).
#5 Oct 18, 2011
Wow. Couldn't find a review of Metheny's (Sept. 18th) Mt. Baker Theater performance but found his tour dates...looks like now he's headed all over Europe: Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Germany, Poland, France, Spain....totally missed out by not seeing him here. That's very unfortunate.
#6 Oct 18, 2011
(The Underground Man continues with his social commentary):
Just re-read what was written earlier (above). A little muddled. Will try and explain.
About the man from the gay AA meeting who later shared with me the particular troubles he was having with his desires to control the man he was in a sexual relationship with:
He struck me as someone completely open about his homosexuality, such as to say he didn't he have a problem with any sexual oreintation issues. He knew that's what he was predominately interested in, and wasn't concerned with political issues regarding homosexuality, or society's view of it. He was simply doing his thing but was struggling with negative relationship issues that involved his trying to control the other person, being obsessed over him, following him, stalking him around town and such.
That was how I was when involved in two significant hetero relationships. Very insecure, jealous, possessive, controlling. Have psychoanalyzed that to death as to what was the cause of my insecurity. That I was homo too? Not "all man" (all hetero)? Or that, this is a bit graphic, will state it politely, that I swung a Pete Rose Mizuno while the the women I was with desired men that swung a Reggie Jackson Adirondack?
Funny (since actually in real life I swung a Reggie jackson autographed Adirondack when playing baseball as a teen, later wore Pete Rose Mizuno cleats). But you get the point: was it Tom Pillibi syndrome (1960's Jaqueline Boyer video on Youtube sung in French--learned its about her boyfriend creating elaborate tales to cover up the fact he was small--but she loves him just the way he is).
Well. That theory too was reevaluated when seeing 1970's film 'X, Y, and Zee'(Elizabeth Taylor, Susannah York, and Michael Caine). Caine is extremely confident about his lovemaking, yet even he has buttons to be pushed (Elizabeth Taylor torments him by describing her affair with another man). He too has sexual insecurities, even though he was much sought after by women (different from me who has been largely ignored by women most my life).
Anyhow, hetero relationships were fraught with insecurity for me; emotional turmoil. Homo relationships weren't. So did that mean if I embraced the homo within homo, I would then be well adjusted, irregardless of societal beliefs? Not necessarily when considering the man described above. He was all about being homo, but was tormented with insecurity issues.
So, my last on this for now....when struggling with my sexual orientation years ago in Anchorage, and many AA members were aware of my confusion in Anchorage then, I happened to meet up with one of those women I had been involved with years previously. We met in a grocery store, and I immediately laucnhed into about how I was unsure of whether i was gay or straight, and she just laughed, indicating she'd heard about it through her brother (who attended the same AA meetings there) and said "I think you are definitely straight!". That was somewhat consoling to hear, that at least my heterosexuality was not completely illusory--it was confirmed by a woman who would know. A large problem for her, I concluded, was my buffalo breath. I think that's why she decided on another guy that she married and yet told me then in our grocery store converstaion that that guy ended up committing adultery, cheated on her.
#7 Oct 18, 2011
Attempted to post but it did not appear--will trying posting again:
The sentence above came out messed up:
"So did that mean if I embraced the homo within homo, I would then be well adjusted, irregardless of societal beliefs?"
Meant to write: So did that mean if I embraced the homo within, I would then be well adjusted, irregardless of societal beliefs?
Somehow included too many "homo"'s in the sentence. I hunt and peck. Explains the haphazard tone to my writings on the internet.
But one last thought here....Granted, so much of this is terribly self-absorbed. But have written openly in hope it helps someone else that may happen along and can relate to some of it.
And a reason for my being self absorbed is that due to political reasons (along same lines as subject here but too much detail to include), I'm poliitclaly/socially isolated. Malicious gossip and slander has alienated me from AA. Which, hurt thereby, I then resorted to criticizing AA as a whole when trying to understand where the harm was coming from, what principles were involved, or what principles were being ignored rather, that would allow members to unjustly incite others against me so much so as to no longer be welcome in AA. Which is why Chuck Mayer having being excluded from AA for speaking of having AIDS has been helpful to recall--he too was unjustly ousted from "the last house on the block" that is meant to provide a safe haven for social outcasts yet has gone and formed its own society and ousts people at will. Unbeknownst to many.
Who is controlling AA--social Darwinists? Capitalist elites? Corporate powerdrivers? I don't know but the same persecution has occurred in places of employment and in churches as well--not by other Christians--they express understanding initially--but by organized religious leaders that conspire and incite others against me. I have no criminal record (not to imply that makes me better than those that do, but to show there is nothing criminal that they could be using against me).
All of which means that I'm cut off from much needed support in AA and church fellowship (and of course stable employment, even when I was very healthy years ago).
And that's important because my relationship with God does not seem so good as to thrive alone. I need to be able to help and be helped by others. In early sobriety, had much turmoil at times, very difficult, but there were also times when meditation with God was superb. Profound experiences; realized a willingness to listen to what God's will was and follow that. However, lost that willingness at some point, and meditations ever since, for 26 years, have often seemed unfruitful. "Dry drunk"? Quite likely. Like Bill W. perhaps (as opposed to Dr. Bob).
Yet many have expressed similar. One man heavily involved in the service structure in Tucson, replied to me (in 1993) that he seldom ever prays or meditates at all--he couldn't notice much good in it. However, a woman shared that her morning mediattions with God were the best part of her day. I believed she was being sincere, and I figured she was referring to experiencing surrender on a daily basis to God's will. Only she was doing that on a regular basis in her sobriety, whereas I started out that way then lost the willingness or grace. Unable to find that kind of willingness to surrender or know God's grace in that manner for over two decades now. Perhaps that woman had what's referred to as "quality sobriety". Interestingly enough, she was a quiet member, unassuming, not a sponsor of many people or an articulate circuit speaker (one who travels around giving talks at AA Conferences, etc.).
#8 Oct 18, 2011
And becoming Christian in 1996 (in a somewhat fundamental manner--having decided solely on hetero as God's will for me and joined a Mennonite church) did not change the relationship with God in my heart all that much.
I recall sharing as much when being baptized in a creek there in Anchorage. That I still was not very surrendered in my heart to God. Keith Benner (the man with me when we were attacked by the brown bear) shared then that maybe the emphasis is on renewal of the mind.
I've tried that as well, but it seems to me the integral part is surrender of the heart (or will). And that seems to elude me unfortunately.
So I'm presently reading the 'Confessions of St. Augustine'. Didn't like it when trying to read it in 1990, but it's making some sense this time around. The reason I chose that particular book is due to his desiring the pleasures of this world more than God's will. That which the Apostle Paul wrote of as well--that he does that which he ought not do--the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, etc. Referred to this point on another thread on this forum weeks ago.
Hopefully it helps. I think the social/political isolation and being cut off from support has given power to the "disease" (alcoholism). A desire for a relationship to heal my loneliness may well be a disguise for desiring oblivion from the misery of this world (miserable it seems especially when you are isolated--though not to imply in a worse way than others since those suffering active alcohol/drug addictions are very likely suffering acute loneliness of a kind i knew before getting sober in 1985). Hopefully God will help, and/or I will make good choices so as not to feed an addictive personality due to being isolated.
#9 Oct 18, 2011
There should have been 8 posts here--the one prceding #7 does not appear--the entire lengthy post does not show.
#10 Oct 18, 2011
Rather the one preceding #8 disappeared. It was avery lengthy post. Very time consuming to write. Very thoughtful and honest. Gone.
#11 Oct 19, 2011
No, it's okay now. All posts appear. In the past have posted and not seen the post appear, reposted it, and checked back next day and it still hadn't appeared. Wacked out at times. Maybe it's that one public computer I was using.
But this <snippet> is in Fox news online today, a story about a teahcer under fire for anti-gay comments on her facebook page:
"The Union Township school district said they are investigating whether Viki Knox violated school policies when she allegedly posted remarks saying homosexuality is a sin that “breeds like cancer” and describing it as “perverted.”
Extremist comments; offensive. I don't know what should be done about this. However, it does seem there are times when people publicly speak out against homosexuality and do not use extremism yet are villified anyway. That isn't right either.
My only other though about this thread goes back to the character in the fil 'Philadelphia', when he is with his wife in bed and realizes his homo inclination. At least that's how I perceived the sequence of scenes--that following Tom Hanks becoming emotional when describing the opera song and what it means, Denzel washington leaves the house, but turns back on the sidewalk like he thought of going back in. He stops himself from going back in and turns and leaves. The next scene shows him in bed with his wife, and his face may convey that he's thinking back on what just transpired and that he may have been aware of homo attraction...maybe not...
But if so, the thought provoking aspect for me is that if he had become aware of homo attraction, he didn't then say to himself "Oh my God. I'm gay", and then decide to leave his wife and abandon his children. No, he remained faithful and committed to his wife, and continued on with his heterosexual marriage. Showing that a person may be aware of a homo aspect to themselves, yet go with their hetero.
#12 Oct 23, 2011
Pat Metheny - Are You Going With Me
video by desweef (North Sea Jazz Festival)
Excellent tune; shows Pat Metheny's guitar skill; from 'Off Ramp'(Off Ramp is a bit dark but had the tape as a teen--listened to it often)
The video of Are you going with me by pat metheny with Anna Maria Jopek is good too; so is their cover of David bowie's 'This is Not America'
#13 Oct 24, 2011
Thought so....From pat metheny's Wiki page:
As a young musician, Pat Metheny did everything he could to sound like Wes Montgomery, but when he was 14 or 15, he decided that he felt that it was disrespectful to imitate him. In the liner notes on the 2-disc Montgomery compilation Impressions: the Verve Jazz Sides, Metheny is quoted as saying, "(Smokin' at the Half Note) is the absolute greatest jazz-guitar album ever made. It is also the record that taught me how to play."
Wes Montgomery and George Benson are two of my other favorite guitarists.
I like much of pat Metheny's, but come to think of it, his Offramp was too dark for me. And although I like Anna Marie Jopek very much too, with or without collaborating with metheny, her music too began to come across as dark and gloomy somehow. Pardon the criticism. I've enjoyed both of them very much on Youtube over the past few years. Surprised to see his 'New Chuataugua' wasn't listed amongst his 17 grammy awards. It's my favorite album of his.
#14 Oct 24, 2011
Have always liked Montgomery's cover of 'Eleanor Rigby'. This is very interesting (from under one of the Wes Montgomery 'Eleanor Rigby' Youtube videos):
John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery (6 March 1923 - 15 June 1968) was an American jazz guitarist. He is generally considered one of the major jazz guitarists, emerging after such seminal figures as Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian and influencing countless others, including Pat Martino, George Benson, and Pat Metheny.....
...Instead of using a guitar pick, Montgomery plucked the strings with the fleshy part of his thumb, using downstrokes for single notes and a combination of upstrokes and downstrokes for chords and octaves. Montgomery developed this technique not for technical reasons but for his wife. He worked long hours as a machinist before his career began and practiced late at night while his wife was sleeping. He played with his thumb so that his playing would be softer and not wake her. This technique enabled him to get a mellow, expressive tone from his guitar. George Benson, in the liner notes of the Ultimate Wes Montgomery album, wrote, "Wes had a corn on his thumb, which gave his sound that point. He would get one sound for the soft parts, and then that point by using the corn. That's why no one will ever match Wes. And his thumb was double-jointed. He could bend it all the way back to touch his wrist, which he would do to shock people."
#15 Oct 24, 2011
Never been much of a Beatles fan, but especially loved Wes Montgomery's cover of their 'A Day in the Life'. He also did Mama's & papa's 'California dreaming'--both his and george benson's versions I love. There is criticism of Montgomery doing covers of pop songs, and not staying with pure jazz arrangements, but I've always enjoyed his having done so. Some of the songs he simply remakes. Wouldn't listen to them otherwise.
#16 Oct 24, 2011
Absolutely love this version:
JACQUELINE BOYER - TOM PILLIBI 1960
video by peterreinhardveit
#17 Oct 25, 2011
Pat Metheny & Anna Maria Jopek - Are you going with me?
video by ff0000
Yeah, it's not only dark and gloomy, but down right spooky. But I think it's the best version of the song. Enjoyable to view--and the backup singers complement Anna Maria Jopek's beauty very well--they're super cute with straight long hair.
Anna Maria Jopek reminded me of a young woman named Lois I was briefly involved with. One night affair, a rarity for me, got up the following morning and went out in the super cold and cleaned the frost off her cars windshield/windows, warmed the car up for her. Enjoyed doing it as an expression of love and appreciation. Like how I loved spending money on Barb, the girl I was involved with for three years as a teenager. Very fond memories in that respect of expressing genuine heterosexual love.
#18 Oct 25, 2011
Anna Maria Jopek and Pat Metheny - This is not America
video by czikken88
--recall reaidng comments under that one a couple years ago about how its not as good as David Bowie original. I disagree--I think it's far better.
AMJ is so beautiful, and her videos are so good, but always end up movinf away from them as they tend overall to be too spiritually dark somehow.
#19 Oct 25, 2011
Pretty sure Jaqueline Boyer placed first at Eurovision that year...fantastic performance--always love the b/w:
Eurovision 1960 - Jacqueline Boyer - Tom Pillibi
video by Euroencyclopedic
(and as beautiful as Anna Maria Jopek is, didn't stay with her like Jaqueline Boyer--have been viewing Boyer's 'Tom Pillibi' and 'Mitsou' for over three years now--bright, uplifting, and very pleasant)
#20 Oct 25, 2011
Jacqueline Boyer - Mitsou 1963
video by fritz51164
(my comment from two years ago is still under that video: "love this one")
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