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Sam

April 1997

Ceci N'est Pas Une Article

"Begin at the beginning, and go until you come to the end; then stop."

Okay, so we're browsing the web late-night, after a few hours of IRC, chatting it up on a gay teen channel. Funny thing is, only about a third of the users are teens. Bit odd, that. I mean, far be it from me to call anyone's choice in partners odd, but the whole father/son scene (of which there seem to be many of the former seeking the latter, at least on IRC) kinda weirds me out. What's wrong with just settling down with a nice guy your age and living a happy life?

But I digress. So, it's my first tentative column, if it makes the cut. As such, I run into the label problem: What do I call it? Naming it after myself seems too egotistical. I'd call it Eponymous, but a rock/blues band from Georgia took that one. I want it to reflect my life so far, as both a young gay lad and as a person as a whole, but who'd read an article called "That closeted screw-up who's always in the library"?

On to idea two. Maybe the title can reflect the "queer aesthetic". (Isn't this decade great? In the 70's we had ACT UP and the Boys in the Band. In the Eighties we had Queer Power and Queer Consciousness. Now we actually have the Queer aesthetic. Anyone who whines about how hard and painful their coming-out was should just talk to a homosexual even five years older than they are, let alone ten, to get a dose of how hard life used to be. (Of course, that isn't solely a gay phenomenon. I love hearing my parents tell me about how when they were my age, they had to walk thirty-seven miles to school naked in the snow uphill both ways.( And now I'm shooting for the most simultaneous parenthetical digressions))) Maybe I can call it "The Parenthesis"? Nah. Too schoolish. I want it to be more playful. Besides, "parenthesis" sounds like a mix between "parent" and "thesis", two things that any normal teenager has reason to dislike, let alone us friends of Dorothy and Co...

Idea three: How about some sort of obscure reference? Maybe not entitle the column at all per se, but start it with a quote? But which one? I run into the same problem with quotations that I do with books: There are so many good ones out there that if you really start to seriously look at it, you get overwhelmed and end up sinking back into something by Fabio. Not that I would read anything by Fabio, mind you... Okay. Maybe just a little of it. But if you have some spare time on your hands, check out one of his novels. They're incredibly funny in the same way that Rush Limbaugh is: You laugh at the people who take that kind of thing seriously. Only with Fabio it's easier, since the kind of people who take that kind of thing seriously don't happen to be running Congress at the time. That is, I don't think they do. Maybe that Newt guy, though... Gotta keep an eye on that one. He's as slippery as a... well, never mind.

So, in the end, I guess I'll go with all three. A brief bio at the end should fulfill the "ME! ME! ME! Pay attention to ME!" requirement. Stack on top of it an aesthetic reference, and a terrific quote, and we're in business. Next month (if there is one) we'll move on to how to actually _write_ the damn thing.

Sam


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