aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Corteo in Atlantic Station
Originally uploaded by spooks and ghoulies.
We’re headed out to Costco, Ikea, Corteo and Mitra. Should be fun, Fun, FUN!
No Geographic Cure
In the AA Glossary, a “Geographic” is when an alcoholic tries to find a cure through a “fresh start” in a new location.
It don’t work!
But lawmakers nationwide seem to think a solution to the sex-offender problem is a kind of inverted Geographic; ban sex offenders from living near schools, day care centers and other places that children gather. The NYTimes editorializes today:
Of all the places that sexual predators could end up after prison, the worst is out of sight, away from the scrutiny and treatment that could prevent them from committing new crimes. But communities around the country are taking that risk, with zoning laws that banish pedophiles to the literal edges of society. [...]
Just as it would feel foolish to forbid muggers to live near A.T.M.’s, it is hard to imagine how a 1,000-foot buffer zone around a bus stop, say, would keep a determined pedophile at bay. If children feel secure enough to drop their wariness of strangers, that would be a dangerous outcome. And of course, no buffer against a faceless predator will be any help to the overwhelming majority of child victims - those secretly abused by stepfathers, uncles and other people they know.
The problem with residency restrictions is that they fulfill an emotional need but not a rational one. It’s in everyone’s interest for registered sex offenders to lead stable lives, near the watchful eyes of family and law enforcement and regular psychiatric treatment. Exile by zoning threatens to create just the opposite phenomenon - a subpopulation of unhinged nomads off their meds with no fixed address and no one keeping tabs on them. This may satisfy many a town’s thirst for retributive justice, but as a sensible law enforcement policy designed to make children safer, it smacks of thoughtlessness and failure.
The Closet in decline
SoVo’s Year in Review story of the year, Swan Song for the Closet:
Having confined and defined much, if not most, of modern gay existence, “the closetÃ¢â‚¬Â� showed once again in 2006 that it is still a mighty force, albeit a shadow of its once powerful self.
In fact, some believe the closet is steadily inching toward irrelevance, as successive generations of gay and lesbian youth settle into their sexual orientation without first surrounding it with four walls of angst, denial, duplicity and shame.
We can only hope.
2007 Prediction: User Generated Devices
Fred Wilson has my favorite 2007 prediction:
Yes, the web has brought this power of the user to the forefront of our society, enough to make us the person of the year. That’s cool.
But what is cooler is that this is part of a larger revolution in information technology that started back in the early 90s with Linux. It’s the open source movement and it’s about opening up technology so that anyone and everyone can contribute to the collective good.
And I believe its time for this revolution in information technology to move into the hardware space. It’s time for user generated devices. [...]
[T]he existing consumer electronics manufacturers aren’t interested in modularity and giving the user more control over their devices. Their desire to tightly control the user experience will lead to a movement much like what has happened on the web.
Users are going to take control of their devices and I think 2007 is the year we will start to see it happen.