Matt of Long Burn just sent me this link to find out what move rating your blog would get:
Blog Rating. (Thanks, pal!)
It rated my blog NC-17, based, it said, on the presence of the following words:
death (25 x)
Really? Did I mention death 25 times?
Well, probably so: it has been a big theme in my life in my forties... personally and politically.
But I don't recall using the word "dyke" in the sexual-orientation sense since I was in my late-teen angry lesbian-feminist days when I thought that if women ran the world we wouldn't have nuclear war.
Remember, this was before Margaret Thatcher, and I had just crawled out of the swamp of high school, when, meaning no disrespect, relations between the sexes are not at their best. Or not for me anyway.
It's a good thing to be irrationally impassioned about stuff when you're 16, 17, 18... even if you're wrong, which you probably will be.
This is the time to write a lot of bad poetry (or good, if you can manage it) and embarrassing journal entries. (You can always later burn them later. I did.)
That way you've built up a good head of steam to plow on through the mediocrity of life, which sure piles up fast and thick.
Like Katherine Hepburn says in Holiday,
"We're all grand at seventeen; it's after that that the rot sets in."
I've wondered if I might like to work with teenagers, in fact, because I haven't outgrown my sympathy with the wildness, the pure flame, of that age. Well, some teenagers have that, anyway.
Teenagers, at their best, are like Jesus whipping the profiteers out of the Temple, you know--they are raging against the machine.
They haven't yet hung up the whip of moral outrage at hypocrisy, at selling your soul for a seat at the country club of social approval.
The thing is, at some point we've got to harness that wildness to a vehicle that'll do somebody some good. Otherwise you'll burn out or you'll kill (NC-17 word) yourself, like beautiful Kurt Cobain, poor guy. And he's one of the lucky ones--before he died, he DID leave something good and true. You don't want to gutter out your life in some stupid parking lot without at least having tried to do that.
Bruce Springsteen said that at some point after Born to Run he realized he'd put all those people in all those cars, and now he had to find somewhere for them to go.
So he brought them home, back to communities and friends and family, where their (our) wildness could fuel the plow of change.
But we've got to pull that plow, not just sit on the couch telling boring stories of glory days.
Now, about being a dyke, an Amazon, a woman-loving-woman.
It was the best, coolest choice I had at 16.
At midlife I am not a purist, and I've come to understand where men--and boys--are coming from. Some of my best friends (and former lovers) are men.
But in high school it was otherwise.
Choosing to be a lesbian gave me room to find out who I was. I needed a time when I wasn't feeling fucked to do that.
I don't think you get anywhere in the long run by practicing separatism of any sort.
But separatism for a person or a group who has felt powerless can give her (me, us) a chance to catch her breath, and that's a good thing. You regroup your scattered soul and you find like spirits.
Then you can get back in that car and drive into the fucking mess of being human, where you take out your Jesus whip and say NO! to nukes, to torture (any kind, anywhere, any time), to killing, to stupidity.
But it's not like being a dyke was just a political, psychological, and social choice. Of course not.
What can I say? Women are sexy.
As Bruce says, You make your choices and you pay the price.
And the price of love and the right to fuck whomever you want (consensually, of course) can sometimes be high.
But those fuckers who say you don't have the right to love whomever you love, and to marry them too, if you want? They can go fuck themselves.