It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

This was going to be about censorship because Facebook decided to censor the painting I placed on my homepage. I have never understood these groups who make the decisions as to what a person can or cannot see, mostly because they're always contradictory or just plain stupid. For instance, FB allowed this picture:
 But decided this one was too 'Sexual':
Makes no sense to me.

Still, it got me thinking about how we go through life censoring or own stories, our 'Real' selves because we're afraid we might alienate someone close to us or lose us a friend or family member (Which has happened to me on more than one occasion). A lot of times we work around our personal history, insinuating and not just saying because those who love you will stick by your side and those who don't, well, the decision on what to do or say isn't always easy.

But these parts of our lives shouldn't be hidden because they helped make us who we are which, most of the time, is considerably better than the person we were. Secrets eat away at you, they cause you to make some really stupid decisions that seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Good example was way back when my girlfriend told me she was pregnant. Now, timing here is everything so I suggest you don't tell someone this while driving in heavy traffic because it just won't turn out well. A lot of back and forth happened, deciding on an abortion and went to California for the procedure and I ended up just asking her to marry me instead so I tried to tell her about my past, being bisexual and involved with some not so legal people and she didn't want to hear it because the past was the past.

If that were only true.

A lot happened during that time including going to Tulsa to attend a Bible School founded by Kenneth Hagin (Sr)...Back then it was still an exclusive school and my friend, Barry, convinced both my brother in law and myself to apply and I honestly did not think they would let me in because a part of the process of application was to write a short biography and I was brutally honest. Imagine my surprise when they accepted all three of us. Probably not the smartest thing they ever did and I know for a fact they learned from their mistakes as they grew larger and larger. 

I liked Tulsa. It was beautiful, green and had a river running through it and people were pretty friendly...And virtually all of them belonged to some religion of some kind. I ended up working for Oral Roberts and was assigned to clean up after him...I had the same kind of ID the Faculty carried and I found out I was chosen because I had been accepted by Rhema (The Bible School). Every night I worked there was a revelation of what goes on behind the scenes of a televangelist. I stocked his hidden bar in the 'Prayer Tower', a beautiful room with expensive carpet, every kind of alcohol possible and exclusive Bibles with commentary by Oral stacked for those special visitors. I also discovered he really liked to drink and would take a golf cart around campus at night and toss his empty bottles everywhere until security caught up with him and I was left to clean up his mess. And it wasn't just him...His son's wife use to come to work with black eyes and bruises everywhere and I'm certain she received a really good package in the divorce.

 But we were told to keep it a secret. The drugs, the booze and everything else...Who would believe us anyway. We were nobodies and I saw how they could ruin a person's reputation real fast. 

I kept mostly to myself and did as told, said nothing. One day my manager told me he thought the hours I was keeping was a bit much...I went to Rhema from 8am to noon and then worked at the university from 2 to midnight, went home, slept for a couple of hours and began the whole thing over. He fired me, told me to finish out the week. The next day he apologized and said I could stay...Turned out Oral's personal aide suggested I continue because of the details of my job. I didn't tell anyone about being fired and rehired but I decided to find another job and I began working in the Art Department of a large store...And I loved that job. I never talked to anyone else about religion, I just wanted to be...Normal. 

There was this one guy, Nick, who'd been that person everyone who went to church decided to try and 'Save'. Right off the bat he told me not to preach or talk about the Bible. And I said not a problem. Which stunned him and he asked me why not? I just said it's not for everyone, including myself. Nick and I became good friends which kind of pissed off the others who'd been spending so much time hammering at him. I knew something they didn't...Nick was gay. Eventually I convinced him that was okay and he really needed to be somewhere else so he could be himself. I suggested San Francisco and he took that advice. Everyone thought I'd converted him when all I did was care enough about him to help reassure him that he wasn't a monster.

I've lived a crazy life filled with way too many secrets...Some are necessary because there is no statute of limitations on a couple of incidents, others have been left unsaid simply for the reason I didn't want to hurt this or that person who had a reputation of being 'Normal' or because I was a part of their secret. I have told a few friends some of the sordid details and only did so because those involved in these secrets were still alive.

Not so much today. We grow older and some of them have died. I've been bolder since my sister outed me to our dad (He just pushed her too far) and, yeah, lost a lot of family members over my personal life. It hurt for a very long time, their stopping my being a part of their lives, and I know there are some people who will never embrace or accept anyone who belongs to the LGBTQ community...I'm hoping this is just a bump in the history of humanity, that the future will be a place without labels and hate...

...Yeah, I'm not even convincing myself about that one.

I'm a Pagan. I've done things I guess still offends some people and I'm not really sorry for most of them...Not only was it kind of fun but I've had experiences that still can't be explained in natural terms. I've been close to death more than once and I honestly cannot explain how I made it to 65. Most people, myself included, had me maybe making 30 and the 80s were a long drunken and stoned blur I'm still working on trying to piece together. 

So, censorship. Don't like it and especially not when it comes to my art...But, like I said, I have been self censoring for a very long time and I no longer care to be secretive or hidden or alone with my experiences. I've had way too many friends who have died and I don't understand why they were taken and I wasn't and I'm thinking I still have things to say and do. 

I guess this is where I say watch this space. If I'm going to be censored by a site I'll just use this one or return to my Tumbler page. What I won't do is remain silent any longer, today more than ever. I hate what's happening to America, I hate the fact that every fucking day some cop shoots another black person or another Transgender woman has been murdered or more of our so called 'Rights' are eroding as fast as our atmosphere and I'm not going to allow these things to continue without making it a fight. 
And, yeah...There will be nudity.

So, enjoy the questionable act of Facebook censoring one painting while another, more explicit and clearer painting of the same view was okay...Until the next time.

Continue to Fight the Good Fight.

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