Friday, November 16, 2007

POST #300
I always look forward to receiving my copy of PSYCHOLOGY TODAY.
Deciphering the inner workings of the magical 3 pound organ holding our ears apart is the key to understanding Human Behavior.
The most complex activity that we will ever be involved in is dealing with other Humans. Our Brain has evolved over millions of years to manage and maintain these ((cough)) challenging relationships.

The articles in PSYCHOLOGY TODAY are always a treat...
a cool mixture of Pop Culture Referencing and Scientificky Thingamabobs...
and no I am not getting paid to write this. I just think that it is worthwhile to actually examine the reasons WHY people do such outrageous things..
we are complex creatures driven by instinct and conditioning...
why are we such a baffling mixture of monster and angel?

How do these thoughts actually form inside of an organ? Everything that our species has ever accomplished, from whacking some unsuspecting guy over the head with a big stick to landing on the Moon, started out as an idea.

Anyway this month's issue had a couple of things that made me go Hmm. Does anyone recall seeing Dubya having his picture taken while holding hands with the Saudi Prince?

Thanks to Millenia of homophobic religious dogma, most people here in the West were surprised by the sight of two, important, male, politicians holding hands..
which is as pathetic..
as it is weird.

I suspect that many hardcore Fundamentalist Republicans in the Bible Belt were scratchin' their chins when that image showed up on the TV news!

Kids go to your rooms NOW!

In the new issue of PT, Jessie Graham explains this traditional expression of affection between men exists because,

"in much of the Middle East and Africa homosexuality is taboo and rarely acknowledged, so straight men feel free to show affection in part because no one will assume they're gay."

Oh the irony...or should I say hypocrisy?

Disturbing images snuck out of Countries such as Iran show Gay men being hanged in public from cranes mounted on trucks yet the cultural separation of the sexes forces young men to engage in public displays of affection.

I know that it isn't PC to discuss this but if it walks like a Duck and talks like a Duck...

Another interesting tidbit that I came upon was a piece detailing subtle differences and distinctions perceived by Occidental and Oriental viewers.

Mathew Hudson writes:
"when viewing objects in front of complex backgrounds, Asians fixate more on the surroundings than do Americans. Compared with America's stress on Individuality, context is king in Asia."

I thought that was very interesting..I have no idea if that is true, but it did make me go Huh what? We were all designed to decipher the motivations of other Humans in the twinkling of an eye and try to determine if they were friend, foe, or a fornication partner, and then plan for our appropriate fight, flight, or you-know-what response.

Now that most North Americans live in urban environments maybe some of that frontier uberman mythology will dissipate...I noticed where Dubya and the Prince were holding hands but I'll admit that I was trying to see how uncomfortable the President actually was.

The great social experiment known as America is wrestling with the notion of having a Female or Black President..a Gay President is still totally out of the question for over half of the country. Individualism?

I wondered how differently we would deal with homosexuality had we not invented all of those angry gods and taboos. Do you suppose that the prehistoric Cave-Clan Leaders tolerated Gay men in the tribe? Why not? There was safety in numbers and the more Hunters and Warriors the better. Best of all the Gay Guys weren't any threat to his harem.
I would love to see a documentary or movie about Gay Cavemen and utilize all of the modern cliches from shows like Will and Grace...

you know..they'd be redecorating the Cave, designing posh fur coats, and performing eshthetic miracles on those gruesome looking Neanderthal Cave Ladies with their gigantic foreheads...


"Bertha Butt* look at you?
Oh-my-god something crawled up on your head last night and died! UGH..
have a seat and let's get your your hair did.
I hope you didn't plan on gathering any roots and nuts with the rest of the Butt Sisters because this is going to take all day...
Hey Grunk, be a dear and cancel my 11 o'clock! "

in case you have never heard the song

26 comments:

  1. Did Bush do that "I'm the daddy" thing of patting Abdullah on the upper part of the back. Maybe Georgie couldn't do it this time because of Abdullah's headscarf. Maybe he thought holding hands would be the next best thing (Bush Senior used to hold his hand) as long as his hand was on top.

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  2. Homosexuality and bisexuality are taboos which I never really understood. Even in a religious context - if God made us how we are, he made gay people too, right? And if I remember rightly, there's only one obscure line in the Bible condemning it. But people close their eyes to the complete normality of it. There is a book documenting and detailing many instances of homosexuality and necrophilia displayed in the animal kingdom. (I mean animals with smaller brains and no opposable thumbs.) Homosexual humans have been around since forever. There seems no particular reason for a taboo. There probably were homosexual cave-men! There's no reason why there couldn't have been. I don't understand modern man.

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  3. What is taboo?

    Don't tell any one, I said that.

    In India asking that is blasphemy!!

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  4. BTW, I like this new look. One should always keep changing. I am looking for better 3 column templates without much success.

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  5. I always assumed that Dubya would be a kerchunker! That is what we call it when someone is shaking your hand and then they put their other hand on top. kerchunk!

    stace,
    In the USA it would probably be easier to elect a President who was a Necrophiliac rather than a Homosexual.

    Many old married couples can relate to having sex with cold, dead, lifeless, people.
    ba-da-bing ba-da-boom

    gautami,
    You are at the Apex of the Enlightenment..you cannot fool me.
    This is my original template...
    feels good...
    like putting on an old sweater.

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  6. Holly Smokes! Happy 300th super duper intelligent smart sexy fun damn cool mega fun post(s)!

    Maybe its more than a taboo...people are afraid soon there will be more gay people than straight.

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  7. The Western and Asian viewpoints are cultural, not racial. My two Asian daughters are American individualists through and through. I've got one who is fighting the stereotype of Asians being good at math by posting horrible grades.

    Did I ever tell you I have a degree in psychology?

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  8. ghosty,
    That would make an interesting concept for a novel..what if 95% of the population was same sex oriented..aside from the obvious population crash, what would our society look like? Hmm post #301..

    miss cellania,
    I realise that it is cultural and I laughed out loud when I read about your daughter's report card...I am not surprised that you have a degree because your amazing blog is psychodelicious!

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  9. Seems like there's two issues here that are only slightly related at least in some contexts.

    One is men showing physical affection for each other.

    I can and will hug other men I'm close to (unless I can tell they don't want to be hugged or would feel uncomfortable) and my 15-year-old son still allows me to hug him and even kiss him.

    The other is homosexuality.

    I have gay friends and I can appreciate them and respect them as friends, but I still can't understand why they are that way and I never will despite what science says, but that debate's for another day, if at all.

    The two issues come together when the two men who show physical affection toward one another and who are not gay are teased or condemned because those feelings they're showing are immediately seen as a sign of being gay.

    It's some sort of societal thing that we all have to watch out for because the big bugaboo is that we're taught those of us who aren't gay never want to be seen or portrayed as gay.

    I don't know any more than that. These taboo things are odd monsters, they are.

    (By the way, I commented on your last post but see it somehow never showed).

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  10. without
    Both of these issues are inseperable.

    In the Middle East two guys can walk around holding hands, because nobody thinks that they are gay, because if they actually were gay, the government would have to execute them.

    Over here, if two guys walk around holding hands, we all assume that they are gay. Straight men eschew public displays of affection because of the residual stigma of our religious heritage...
    unless they are drunk..
    then all bets are off.

    So OK if two guys are holding hands then we must assume that they are gay OR drunk..
    or both I suppose.

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  11. In the context of your post, they're certainly inseperable, and it was a brilliant link you made.

    Keep those PT's coming!

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  12. My dad DOES NOT understand homosexuality. He's not homophobic, he just doesn't get it. He said to me once (when we'd finally got him down the pub and shoved a couple of beers down his gullet) "How do they know they're gay?"

    erm, well dad, you know that thing called sexual attraction?

    "Yeah but how do they know they're attracted to other guys until they actually have sex with them?"

    I asked him how he always knew he was straight, and it was clear that he had NEVER thought of it that way before. it stumped him, and I think he's a bit worried about it now... :D

    I never thought holding hands was such a big deal! I mean, you hold other stuff with your hands without worrying about it. And they're really dirty, aren't they? Hardly a romantic gesture: "darling, I love you. Please hold the big ol' lump of bacteria at the end of my arm".

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  13. I don't know that I've ever mentioned this, but I identify as bisexual so this issue has some real meaning for me. I would love to see a gay president, even more so a female gay president. I want gays to be able to marry or have legally recognised relationships, and be able to adopt. The gulf between my views and the views of the majority of people is massive... I literally do not understand why they feel homosexuality is wrong or abnormal, when I feel that it is just a pure and simple fact of life, as normal as taking a dump. The fact that I rarely tell people I'm bi is not because I'm ashamed or worried about it, it's just because it doesn't occur to me that I need to specify my sexuality - after all, HE, you've never said, "I want to tell you something... I'm straight..." People just assume you are, and people might very well be wrong!

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  14. without,
    Get ready for PT 109
    you know, JFK?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PT-109

    fathorse,
    As a card carrying germophobe EEWWW! I can attest to the horrors of the anti-hand washing epidemic..
    and medical professionals are the worst offenders?!

    We do need to build up immunities so I have always let the kids play in the dirt but get me near a public washroom, especially our football stadium with it's gigantic urine trough..
    *gasping for air...
    floor spinning...
    and I would rather have needles poked in my eyes than void my bladder in there.

    I pretty much knew that I was straight when I saw a scantily clad Raquel Welch in the movie One Million Years BC in 1967..
    I was only 10 but HELLO!

    stace,
    Thank you for adding an extra layer to the discussion. I guess that is true, I have never come right out and admitted that I am a 'vanilla' hetero..
    hopefully no one will think any less of me.

    I think that most if not all of our 'Western' weirdness about human sexuality in general stems from the fact that the designers of the Monotheistic religions that have evolved to dominate the world stage, came from tribal, desert nomads who were a smidge war-mongering, and misogynistic.

    I often wonder if the severe climatic conditions had something to do with it? The religious inventions formed in more Edenic climes on alluvial plains weren't as weird about the sex thing...which of course has become progressively worse when we decided that we Humans were separate from Nature ((HELLO!)) and culminating with the phobic abhorrence of Sex courtesy of the Puritans and Victorians...who have thoughtfully left us a mountain of 'baggage' to handle!

    Exhibit A: The 1912 journal of Lady Hillingdon:
    "When I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, open my legs and think of England."

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  15. 'rhhoid rage10:54 PM

    Misunderstanding is what makes
    the world go around, not sexual orientation. There are plenty of
    examples, of this, yet people can
    still deceive themselves into the
    notion that they have anything useful to say about someone else' proclivities, short of when No means No. It's one of the few
    instances where Butt Out has a
    constructive meaning.

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  16. rhoid rage,
    I concur with the misunderstanding part..our species still has a brain built for living in small clans and we are totally out of our league trying to absorb the enormity of sharing our experience with 6.6 billion others.

    I think that we all deserve a level playing field (except for psychotic sociopaths and their ilk..boo hoo) and a naturalistic view to prevail over the current collection of assorted antiquated notions...
    I'm all for personal privacy but individuals shouldn't have to hide either.

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  17. I confess my ignorance: "religious inventions formed in more Edenic climes on alluvial plains" - I have no idea at all the specifics of what you mean by that. But no doubt that Western religions do have a lot to answer for, as do Victorians!

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  18. Great reading, (great magazine, nice to know the site, ta).

    Totally agree, people are fascinating, humankind is a mystery in so many ways. Actually I wonder what country has the highest reported homosexuality? I have been trying to find some guiding figures...that's tricky though, so many factors..

    I found this and it was interesting:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=KLiaRkpzc-EC&pg=PA177&lpg=PA177&dq=country+with+highest+rate+of+homosexuality&source=web&ots=KZA_1rVzIN&sig=_RHIOCocw66uwcLQQZJWYaY37r4#PPA180,M1

    What if humankind started out more or less bisexual, and we have drifted toward hetero?

    Totally agree on personal privacy, but individuals should not have to hide...just gets the brain ticking over so much on the why's and wherefor's...so much more to learn..

    Pam

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  19. stace,
    I meant the Floodplains and the tropical paradises that had plenty of water, flora and fauna...
    I was wondering why the people who had been defeated, forced into exile, and sentenced to a life of subsistent living out in the desert, were the ones that came up with the idea that there was only ONE true god who was jealous, angry, and not really "into" human rights or equality issues...
    sounds like there is some bitterness issues that need to be resolved?

    Did living in the desert drive them to create such an extreme deity?

    pam,
    Psych Today is a lot of fun and atleast I feel like I am lerning something useful.

    While some countries have more libery and human rights I think that the percentages of populations:
    who are left handed or
    prefer the colour Orange more than Burgundy,
    Dachunds over Wolfhounds,
    Gothic over Bauhaus,
    Soccer more than Tennis,
    Jazz over Chamber,
    Herons more than Robins...

    are exactly the same all over the world.





    .

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  20. Ah I see. Well, I think it's probably true to say that gods are created in the likeness of their believers!

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  21. most probably there wll be a elite 5% offering mating for a million bucks per night. :D

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  22. stace,
    God was definitely created in the image of Man...he/she/it would be way cooler than anything we could ever dream up.

    ghosty,
    Now you're talkin!

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  23. I thought the Western and Asian viewpoints were cultural? Westerners stare at you most rudely while many Asian cultures seem shifty because their cultural attitude is "rude to stare".

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  24. "friend, foe, or a fornication partner"
    dude- you're a scream, and i'm so glad you're still blogging!
    and i can tell you- the african men holding hands comes up again and again in "get to know each other's culture" sessions that big businesses hold on a regular basis!

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  25. Oh so much juicy fodder for discussion! Excellent post. I, too, examined that photo of duhBush to see how uncomfortable the turkey is...

    I've loved "Psych. Today" for years. Thx for reminding me I should subscribe or maybe there's a linky dinky in your post. (I'll go back and check.)

    I've always been liberal which I feel is only logical, but that's another post. Homosexuality has always made sense to me as a part of humanity, just different, but never wrong, long before I read articles showing how prevalent such was in the animal world.

    Stace's comment hits the mark and would be resonated by many others!! Brilliant.
    And HE, OMG, the "Butt sisters!" It's been awhile since the oldie station played that doozy. Now, I'm going to hear it in my head as I stuff the turkey's butt for Thanksgiving. LOL

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  26. llewtrah,
    It IS rude to stare unless the object of your derision has purposely pierced every inch of their face that doesn't have a swatika on it...then 'they' are begging you to stare and the worst thing that you could do is to IGNORE them..ouch!

    angel,
    I am not so sure that men need to have all of that touchy feely stuff forced on us..especially with strangers at some corporate growth seminar...I don't know..it's not so much the 'ghey' stuff it's the the whole germ thingy.

    gel,
    It makes sense to me too from a purely biological viewpoint what I cannot fathom is how the Fundies think that it is a lifestyle choice...never mind I don't want to ruin your Thanksgiving...which is also a weird thing to celebrate..if the First Asians had not helped those settlers through the winter they would have all died..D'OH!
    Next time.

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