Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve

I will be spending today, tonight, and tomorrow with friends and family.  There is no better way to start the New Year.  I hope you are safe and happy no matter what you are doing as you say goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

5 Goal for the New Year

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.  Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.  For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Philippians 3:13-21 
Now that 2013 is almost here, many of us are in the process of making New Year's resolutions. The concept of making New Year's resolutions is commonplace in our society; however, we all know how difficult it is to actually follow through. This list of Bible verses is designed to help you more specifically approach your New Year's resolutions. The purpose of providing Bible verses is to establish a biblical grounding for the goals you set out. Moreover, rather than merely compiling Bible verses for New Year's resolutions, I've included practical ways that you can use these verses to achieve your New Year's resolutions. With all of that said, here are 5 Bible verses for New Year's resolutions.

#1 of 5 Bible Verses for New Year's Resolutions 

Colossians 3:12-13 - New Year's Resolution: Mend a Broken Relationship

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."

Practical Application: When we make New Year's resolutions, it is common that we first look to ways that we can improve ourselves. Chances are, however, there are broken or severed relationships in our lives that we've given up on. Maybe you've been hurt by a loved one or close friend. The concept of forgiving and forgetting isn't one you'll find in Scripture, but forgiveness is. Consider making it a New Year's resolution to forgive someone who's hurt you or seek forgiveness from someone whom you've pained.

#2 of 5 Bible Verses for New Year's Resolutions 

Matthew 25:34-40 - New Years Resolution: Actively Seek Out to Help the Poor, Homeless, and Needy

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'. And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"

Practical Application: The Bible continually reminds us to take care of the poor, the widowed, and the less fortunate. Make it a New Year's resolution to consciously go out and help those in need. Whether you decide to serve at a soup kitchen or visit the elderly, this New Year's resolution is all about serving. 

#3 of 5 Bible Verses for New Year's Resolutions 

1 Corinthians 19:19-20 - New Years Resolution: Improve Your Physical Well-Being

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

Practical Application: Ever considered that God actually wants you to take care of your body? While in context this verse is actually dealing with sexual immorality, the overarching theme is often missed. We ought to honor God with our bodies through everything that we do; thus, taking care of bodies physically falls under this umbrella and ultimately is a matter of good stewardship. If your New Year's resolution is to get in shape, use this Bible verse to remind you that you're working to improve something that you ought to make the best anyways.

#4 of 5 Bible Verses for New Year's Resolutions 

Matthew 14:22-24 - New Year's Resolution: Consciously Set Aside Time to Spend with God

"Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,  but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them."

Practical Application: Jesus understood the value of time spent with God in solitude. If you do not currently devote time to being alone with God, make it a New Year's resolution to set aside some period of time to God. You can spend this time in prayer, reading your Bible, journaling, singing a worship song, etc. While this can definitely be a difficult New Year's resolution, we have to remember that being in tune with God requires of us to actually spend time investing in the relationship.

#5 of 5 Bible Verses for New Year's Resolutions 

Mark 12:29-31 - New Year's Resolution: Loving God = Loving Others

"Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'. The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

Practical Application: You've may have read this particular verse before on this blog, but have you ever considered what it is really saying? The concept behind these commandments is twofold. One, loving God requires loving Him with all that you are. The second is a direct result of the first: if you love God, you will love others. The practical application here is very open because this Bible verse and corresponding New Year's resolutions take all the previous options into account. All of the aforementioned New Year's resolutions and Bible verses are essentially summed up through this passage. The question then is whether or not we are going to make these New Year's resolutions much more than annual attempts to better ourselves, but daily convictions that stem from a true desire to love the Lord.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A True Moment of Zen!

Reading by the light from the window on a nice quilt with my cat at my feet in some comfy wonderful.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Something Different...

This post is different from my usual posts.  I came across this picture and just wanted to share it.  I find it so incredibly sexy.  I don't know if I can describe why I find it sexy: maybe it's the tattoo, maybe it's the perfect little nipple surrounded by just a bit of hair, maybe it's the blond underarm hair, or the freckles, or that he's not to muscular, the other guy's hand on his shoulder, or maybe it's all of the above. I just know that I find it incredibly sexy.  

What do you guys think?  Do you find it sexy or not?  Why or why not?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Coach James Finley

Just three days before Thanksgiving, one of the most loved and most successful coaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, Coach James Finley, was fired. After delivering a 25-6 winning season and graduating every one of his seniors, Coach Finley was unceremoniously shown the door -- for no reason other than being unashamedly who he is...a gay man.
When letting the team know about the news, the Athletic Director who fired Coach Finley said that he wanted to find someone who "better represented VCU." I have trouble believing that VCU could find a better representative than Coach Finley, who is reportedly a kind and generous man, and an excellent volleyball coach who turned a shambles of a team into the most successful volleyball program in 20 years at VCU.
Virginia, like 28 other states, has no non-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) workers. That means that it's completely legal in most places in this country to fire -- or to not hire -- LGBT folks. These kinds of homophobic decisions are made all over the country every day -- but this time, we're fighting back.
As a school built upon the values of inclusion and diversity, VCU has an opportunity to lead a national conversation to ensure that one's work is judged solely by their success, not by their sexual orientation or gender identity. We urge you to overturn this decision and to welcome Coach Finley back on campus in time to usher our volleyball team into another winning season next year. Our university is better than this, our state is better than this, and our country is better than this. 
A petition has been formed by Camilla Lee Hill, Graduate Assistant for LGBT & Women's Services at VCU, to Reinstate Coach Finley now!  Hill stated that:
My students are angry and scared by this decision, and I feel certain that VCU will lose students, staff, and faculty if this decision is not overturned. Furthermore, as the daughter of an openly gay Division I volleyball coach and as an openly gay Division I field hockey player myself, I'm shocked that Coach Finley has lost his job for the egregious offense of simply being himself.

The petition states:
Michael Rao, VCU President
Velma Jackson-Williams, Assistant Vice Provost and Director of EEO/AA Services 
Reinstate Coach Finley!
We're asking you to reconsider the decision made by VCU's Athletic Director to fire Coach Finley. As a school built upon the values of inclusion and diversity, VCU has an opportunity to lead a national conversation to ensure that one's work is judged solely by their success, not by their sexual orientation or gender identity. We urge you to overturn this decision and to reinstate Coach Finley in time to usher our volleyball team into another winning season!

For more information, please check out these two stories:
ESPN W-Questions about VCU coach's firing
Huff Post Sports-James Finley, Former VCU Volleyball Coach, Claims He Was Fired For Being Gay

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12 Gay Book Characters Turned Straight For The Movie Version

Adapted screenplays may follow books very closely, or may be completely different. When characters are gay or lesbian – or have had some significant same-sex experiences – screenwriters sometimes sidestep those facets of their stories entirely when it comes to the big screen. Here are twelve of those instances.

1. Corporal Fife, The Thin Red Line
Image via TV Guide

The third chapter in James Jones' World War II novel, originally published in 1962, depicts a green-behind-the ears Corporal Fife bunking in a shelter tent next to Private Bead, a fellow member of Charlie Company, during a rainy night. (The two are played by Adrien Brody and Nick Stahl, respectively, in Terrence Malick's 1998 film adaptation.) It's a pretty in-depth exploration of one of the realities of war that American mothers and housewives at the time maybe didn't want to face: Their men had needs.

Jones writes:
What could a guy do? Nothing, that was what … Unless guys helped each other out now and then. It was either that, or find yourself a queer cook or baker someplace, or it was nothing. Guys could help each other out, Bead supposed.
"Well, what do you say?" he said cheerfully. "Shall we help each other out?" I'll do it to you if you'll do it to me."
Bead, finding that he was not rebuffed, now became more confident in his voice and in his salesmanship. Apparently it made no difference to him and did not worry him that he was suggesting something homosexual … As he started to crawl over to Fife's side of the little tent he stopped and said: "I just dont want you to think I'm no queer, or nothing like that."
"Well, dont you get the idea I am, either," Fife had answered.

2. Justin McLeod, The Man Without a Face

Photo courtesy of Giant Bomb

The title character in Mel Gibson's directorial debut, also played by Gibson, was originally gay in Isabelle Holland's 1972 novel. "The fact that the (McLeod) character was gay was prohibitive in selling the book," Holland's book agent Lisa Callamaro told the Los Angeles Times in 1993.

3. Pussy Galore, Goldfinger

Photo courtesy of The Times UK

Ian Fleming's seventh 007 book has Pussy Galore running an outfit of lesbian cat burglars. In the third James Bond film of the same name, actress Honor Blackman's Bond girl has a far more suppressed sexual orientation. (Her character's hair is also switched from brunette to blonde.) Although in both the novel and the movie, Bond has no issue proving his own heterosexuality by forcing himself on her in a barn. Fleming's novel suggests his super spy holds enough sexual prowess to make any gay woman hop the fence.

4. Don Birnam, The Lost Weekend

Photo courtesy of Watch the Academies)

Billy Wilder's character study of Don Birnam, a failed writer turned alcoholic, swept the Academy Awards in 1946, winning Best Picture, Director (Wilder), Actor (Ray Milland) and Screenplay (Wilder, Charles Brackett). But author Charles Jackson didn't connect the boozing to a losing career in publishing. In his ranty novel, Birnam tormented himself over memories from his adolescence.
Excerpted from "Part Two: The Wife" in Jackson's novel:
When, at what time, had he deliberately ignored the responsibility and opportunity that beckoned him? Oh, he could put his finger on a dozen such moments … Some were more revealing than others; one he would never forget.
What went on between them in the carriage-sheds back of the Presbyterian Church, several afternoons a week, in the backseat of an abandoned carriage that hadn't been used for years—used for anything but this …

5.  Paul Varjak, Breakfast at Tiffany's

Photo courtesy of The Skinny Stiletto

Screenwriter George Axelrod updated Truman Capote's WWII-Era novella to fit into 1961 Manhattan. "Nothing really happened in the book," the scribe has been widely quoted. "All we had was this glorious girl—a perfect part for Audrie Hepburn. What we had to do was devise a story, get a central romantic relationship, and make the hero a red-blooded heterosexual."
George Peppard's leading man in Blake Edwards' silver screen classic was hardly the same love interest on celluloid as he was in Capote's text. In section 16 of the novella, Holly Golightly (played by Audrey Hepburn on film) referred to him as a "Maude"—which was understood in the gay underworld at the time as slang for male prostitute.

6. Rorschach, Watchmen

Photo courtesy of Hero Complex

Writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons' archetypical Batman character had a soft spot for his partner in crime, Nite Owl, although it was never explicit (it is, however, the subject of much fan speculation). In the movie version, there simply was no time for the love that dare not speak its name, even though it was only whispered in the comics at best.

7. Ruth Jamison, Fried Green Tomatoes

Photo courtesy of hubpages

Fannie Flagg's 1987 novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe has a pretty clear-cut intimate relationship defined between Ruth and Idgie. The 1991 movie? Zilch. Flagg's screenplay has Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker) hung up on the deceased Buddy Threadgoode (Chris O'Donnell).

8. Ben, Ben-Hur

Photo courtesy of Home Theater Forum

As far as his Hollywood career went, Gore Vidal had a reputation for taking liberties with original source material. When it came to the chariot epic starring Charlton Heston, the historian made an exact effort at finding a romantic connection in Lew Wallace's 1880 manuscript between the title character and his friend Messala (Stephen Boyd in the 1959 film). According to a letter Vidal received from Heston, he and director William Wyler roundly rejected the loose interpretation from Lew Wallace's 1880 manuscript. Ben stayed as straight as they could make him in a sandal drama.

9. Brick Pollitt, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Photo courtesy of Cinema Nostalgia

Another Hollywood alcoholic inexplicably drowned in his own sorrows. Brick (Paul Newman) grieves the loss of his friend Skipper, who committed suicide, and won't sleep with his wife Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor). He just drinks whiskey on the rocks and leaves Maggie to wonder how she's "gone through this horrible transformation." But Tennessee Williams's play remains ambiguous, pushing its audience to raise questions about Brick's sexuality.

10. Celie Johnson, The Color Purple

Photo courtesy the Telegraph

Steven Spielberg's 1985 Oscar bait let Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) and Shug (Margaret Avery) steal a smooch which Goldberg characterized as "about love and tenderness … It has nothing to do with lesbianism. It has to do with, her eyes are opened, now she understands." Alice Walker's epistolary novel takes the pair way further than a kiss.

11. Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter

Photo courtesy of wodumedia

People just know he's gay because J.K. Rowling said so, but it's not really in the text.

12. Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln

Photo courtesy of Slate

This one's a bit of a stretch, but biographer Carl Sandburg famously wrote in 1926 that the 16th president had "a streak of lavender, and spots soft as May violets" in specific reference to the connection between Lincoln and his roommate Joshua Speed. The details of the Illinois boys' relationship have been highly contested for years, although last month Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner stated in an interview that, after the six years he spent working on the script for Steven Spielberg, "there is some reason to speculate that Lincoln might have been bisexual or gay."
Kushner left that part out. "I find it difficult to believe that Lincoln was [with] anybody," during that time, Kushner said, because the president was likely "ground to a pulp by the war and by the pressures of his job."

From:  mental_floss

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The True Christmas

The True Christmas
Henry Vaughan (1678)

So stick up ivy and the bays,
And then restore the heathen ways.
Green will remind you of the spring,
Though this great day denies the thing.
And mortifies the earth and all
But your wild revels, and loose hall.
Could you wear flowers, and roses strow
Blushing upon your breasts' warm snow,
That very dress your lightness will
Rebuke, and wither at the ill.
The brightness of this day we owe
Not unto music, masque, nor show:
Nor gallant furniture, nor plate;
But to the manger's mean estate.
His life while here, as well as birth,
Was but a check to pomp and mirth;
And all man's greatness you may see
Condemned by His humility.
Then leave your open house and noise,
To welcome Him with holy joys,
And the poor shepherd's watchfulness:
Whom light and hymns from heaven did bless.
What you abound with, cast abroad
To those that want, and ease your load.
Who empties thus, will bring more in;
But riot is both loss and sin.
Dress finely what comes not in sight,
And then you keep your Christmas right.

Luke 2: 1-21

King James Version (KJV)
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.). And all went to be taxed, every one into his own cityAnd Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:). To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.  And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.  And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Yes, Virginia...

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.  My mother used to read this to me every Christmas, and I still believe. (And I am hoping he will bring me the packages above, LOL.)

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. 
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. 
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' 
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe exceptthey see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Sent from my iPad

Sunday, December 23, 2012


What CHRISTmas Means

C- Stands for The Christ Child that was born in Bethlehem.

H- Is the Heavenly Father who sent His son for mortal man.

R- Means our Redemption plan, this Christ Child's birth did bring.

I- Is Intercession for our sins from Christ Our King.

S- Says the brightest Star that led the wise men on their way.

T- Stands for this Treasured babe God sent to us, that day.

M- Proclaims the Meaning that this Christ Child's birth conceived.

A - Means His Atonement, with Grace, that saves those who believe.

S- Is God's greatest Sacrifice, His son's life, for you and me.


Matthew 1:25 (KJV)

And knew her not till 

she had brought

forth her firstborn son: 
and he called his name Jesus.


May you have the gift of faith,

the blessing of hope and the peace of
His love at CHRISTmas;

and throughout the New Year !

Merry CHRISTmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Oh the weather outside is frightful, 
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Y'all know that I live in the South, the Deep South, and we don't get snow often.  In fact, it snows very rarely here.  And though I know that many in the North hate the snow, I love it.  I am currently reading About Face by Donna Leon about the Venetian detective Commissario Guido Brunetti.  In Leon's books, Brunetti is either complaining about the heat and crowds in Venice in the summer, or about the cold winters of Venice. In About Face  it is the winters.  When I was in Venice, it was October, but it was cold and rainy.  I was a bit miserable the whole time, but I'd love to go back someday.  I was thinking about wanting to be in Venice yesterday, as I was reading About Face. In the book, Leon describes her detective walking through the streets of Venice when it begins to snow.  I thought of the picture above and about watching the movie The Wings of the Dove, based on the Henry James book, because of a scene that takes place in Venice during winter.  Venice is a beautiful city, but it must be absolutely breathtaking when it snows.

Anyone want to take me to Venice, Italy, this winter?

P.S. Hopefully, the world won't end today as the ancient Maya predicted.  I think the just stopped calculating their calendar assuming they would have time later. scares the hell out of everyone, especially when a deadline is approaching.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Study Reveals Penis Size Linked To Condom Usage

While one researcher concedes the findings are "politically volatile," a recent study of gay men in New York City shows the larger a man's penis is,the less likely he is to use a condom, Pink News reports.

Researchers at Hunter College's Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST) culled responses to surveys of about 500 attendees at local community events. According to Queerty, some respondents in the survey said they had unprotected sex because they couldn't find the right condom fit, and just 40 percent said they were easily able to find condoms to suit their length and girth.
While larger-sized condoms are available in stores, the one-size-fits-all variety are more readily available -- and often free from health clinics in New York City, the study found. (Poor New York City, my graduate school, which is in the South, always had Magnum condoms free at the student clinic.)

The risky behavior revealed in the study's data appears to go against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's long-held conclusion that "consistent and correct use of latex condoms is highly effective in preventing sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS."

But the findings are in line with a 2009 Indiana University study indicating that men were more likely to have "negative attitudes" about condom use if they had penises that were bigger or smaller than average.

"This type of public health research is very important, no matter how politically volatile," Dr. Jeffrey Parsons, CHEST's director, wrote on the organization's blog. He added that the findings would enable researchers to better meet the health needs of gay and bisexual men.

The study, "Self-reported penis size and experiences with condoms among gay and bisexual men," will be published in the February 2013 issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior.

I don't care how big or small you are, WEAR A CONDOM!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

God’s Doodle

Behind the fig leaf
God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the PenisBy Tom Hickman

THE problem with penises, as Richard Rudgley, a British anthropologist, admitted on a television programme some years ago, is that once you start noticing them, you "tend to see willies pretty much everywhere". They are manifest in skyscrapers, depicted in art and loom large in literature. They pop up on the walls of schoolyards across the world, and on the walls of temples both modern and ancient. The Greeks and Japanese rendered them on statues that stood at street corners. Hindus worship the lingam in temples across the land. Even the cross on which Jesus was hung is considered by some to be a representation of male genitalia.

The story of the penis -- a brilliant history of the male member that tells you EVERYTHING you wanted to know but were too shy to ask.

Throughout history man has revered his penis as his 'most precious ornament'. Yet, ambivalently, his penis has always been the source of man's deepest neuroses too. Do women find it, in the erect state, inherently ridiculous? Why can't a man be certain his penis will stand and deliver when he commands? If and when it steadfastly refuses, what can he do to remedy the situation?

And then, of course, there's the matter of size...

To possess a penis, Sophocles said, is to be 'chained to a madman'. God's Doodle examines the schizophrenic relationship between man and this madman -- and the joint relationship this odd couple has with the female sex.  God's Doodle is the tale of the penis and the ups and downs of history -- the macabre and the bloodcurdling, the funny and the sad, distilled from myth, world cultures, religion, literature, science, medicine and contemporary life -- all told with mordant wit.

Yet the penis has also been shamed into hiding through the ages. One night in 415BC, Athens's street-corner statues were dismembered en masse. Stone penises were still causing anxiety in the late 20th century, when the Victoria and Albert Museum in London pulled out of storage a stone figleaf in case a member of the royal family wanted to see its 18-foot (5.5-metre) replica of Michelangelo's "David". Nothing, save the vagina, which is neither as easy nor as childishly satisfying to scrawl on a wall, manages to be so sacred and so profane at once. This paradox makes it an object of fascination. Tom Hickman, a Sussex-based writer and journalist, tells the story of its ups and downs with enthusiasm and a mostly straight face in "God's Doodle", a biography of what the dust jacket calls man's "most precious ornament".

Mr Hickman examines his subject from various angles: its physical attributes, its role in society, its vulnerabilities and the "violent mechanics" of its fundamental purpose. Referring to sources that range from parliamentary records to Howard Stern, Mr Hickman goes, like so many men have gone before, where the penis takes him, and in the process answers a number of questions. Did Shylock want to castrate Antonio in "The Merchant of Venice"? Possibly. Is ingesting semen harmful? Quite the opposite. Mr Hickman claims it could protect against breast cancer. (In fact, an urban myth.) Where does Viagra get its name? Through the fusion of "virility" and "Niagara", as in the falls. "God's Doodle" is a seminal work.