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Things I Hate But Should Try To Like

I’m a bad bear. I should be punished, or at the very least hit repeatedly over and over with a stick. But I don’t want to go into that now…

Instead, I’m currently serving penance for a post I sent to septimuswarren. I ranted about how I hated reading Thoreau as a teenager. So, I just bought “Walden” and will start it tonight. I’m trying to be a better person, or at least expanding my horizons beyond my tight list of likes and dislikes.

With that in mind, here is a list of other things that I hate, and I should work on changing:

1. Poetry

I’ve tried to like poetry. In the last five years, I’ve started several books, only to get bored and put them down. Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy”. W.H. Auden, which I bought because I like the fact he was homosexual, and I was touched by “Four Weddings and a Funeral” with every other fag in the audience. Similarly Pablo Naruda, after watching the movie “Mindwalk”. Yeats from the rock group the Waterboys and Heather Alexander. Shakespeare sonnets because I love the plays. Walt Whitman, because if I could go back in time, I would have sex with him in a civil war bunker.

And all the poems are good… they’re just dull. Boring and without a point. I think poetry is for people that like Deep Thoughts without committing themselves to a coherent argument. They are people in love with words, words, words. When friends of mine want to show me poetry they’ve written, I run screaming. I should try again… I bought “Leaves of Grass” and maybe I’ll try that after “Walden”.

2. Nature

I would be completely happy if I never left the house again. It’s not that I’m agoraphobic, it’s just that the best things in life are inside: electricity, computers, refrigerators, videogames. This morning I noticed that I walked outside and noticed some yellow… yeah the daffodils are out. But I didn’t look at them for more than a tenth of a second.

I don’t appreciate sunsets. If I stand outside a car looking at a breathtaking view, all I can think about is how I want to get started on the roadtrip again. If I squint hard, I can pretend what it’s like to be a normal person… I can see the beauty of a mountain, and could write a passable poem about it (see #1 above). But it feels fake.

The funny thing about this is that I *love* to get muddy. Caving or working cattle or 4-wheeling is a sexual fetish for me. And you can only do those things outside. So, I made a new year’s resolution to go outside more in 2007. We’ll see how that goes. Until then, I’ll be inside, unless my boyfriend forces me to garden.

3. Cocksucking

Contrary to most gay guys, I don’t like sucking dick. I don’t know why. My friend Gerry once told me rapturously, “I’m very oral.” Anything goes into his mouth: lollypops, fingers, ballpoints pens. Many men’s penises.

I wonder if this is a form of self-hatred and homophobia… if by not sucking dick I’m portraying myself as a sexual top. But that doesn’t work psychologically – I love being fucked, and I’m not really into *getting* a blowjob either. There’s just not enough stimulation, and tons of things I’d rather be doing with the guy.

On the other hand, sometimes I like being a sexual slave. And sucking dick is mostly expected for a slave. And in a twisted way, I *like* the fact I don’t like sucking dick. When a Master makes me do it, the fact that I dislike it makes it a hundred times worse, and as a result, a hundred times hotter. And don’t get me started on force-feeding.

4. Watching sports

I imagine it would be fun to watch baseball on TV. My friends that like televised sports seem to enjoy themselves. I like the trappings of the games: eating food at the stadium, watching your team progress (or regress) up a bracket, gambling is fun. I had a former roommate who used to watch 10-20 baseball games a week, and the time he spent on the sofa was equivalent to a part-time job.

I love playing sports, though. Part of the reason is that I didn’t play rough-and-tumble as a youth (you know, being repressedly *gay* and all), so I feel that I’m making up for it as an adult. Getting lasik surgery five years ago changed my life, because now I didn’t have an excuse not to swim, jog, and get mud in my face.

But even games I am trying to get better at, like hockey, wrestling, and rugby, seem like classroom exercises when I watch them on TV. My body wants to follow the action on the screen, and my mind tries to figure out why the professionals are so good while I suck. I get exhausted, even with a few beers, and it’s not fun. The guys are hot though.

5. Religion

I’d rather be a Christian instead of an atheist. I miss the *music*. Ah, from classical Bach to puerile contemporary Christian rock like Amy Grant, I love it all. I miss the fellowship, the comradery. The sermons. The intellectual parsing of scripture. The self-help jolt on a Sunday that got me through the whole week.

But I’m missing something. FAITH. I’m not sure what proselytizing Christians want me to do. Sit quietly in the pew, even though I think the main tenets of their faith (the existence of miracles, the efficacy of prayer, the existence of god) are complete bullshit? Do they want me to fake it? Should I grin and nod and not let on that their arguments are empty?

I still read the bible. I read the prophets and visionaries of the old testament last summer, and whoo boy! Those guys were fucking nuts. Ezekiel in particular. I’m shocked at the lack of knowledge of most Christians. The primary details of modern faith aren’t in the bible. Human beings dying and becoming angels? Not in the bible. The majority of people speaking directly with god and hearing his voice? Extremely sporadic in biblical history, certainly not at today’s levels. The description of heaven in the bible is horrifying to me, certainly not like fluffy clouds and harps.

This is your book… not mine. Do you even *read* anything but the easy to understand parts? I think every since religious and spiritual person is guilty of an advanced degree from MSU: the school of making shit up. But I miss the certainly and belief. My life would be a lot easier with some certitude.

There are tons of other things I dislike but should learn to like: country music, wine, smoking cigarettes, sport shooting, laying on the beach, spicy food, photography, soap operas, hunting, ham radio, hiking, bridge, genealogy, birdwatching, astronomy, stamp collecting, opera, scrapbooking, and working on cars and motorcycles. So many of my friends enjoy these things that there must be *something* to them. However, I can’t seem to see the pleasure yet.

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You don't HAVE to like anything.

Though reexamining things now and again is a good idea.

(Deleted comment)
Hey! Let's get together and not have oral sex!

Here's one I forgot: oh god, I hate photography. Why should you be complimented just because you *saw* something? A bicycle wheel, a squirrel, an old bucket. Why does that make you any more artistic than a guy standing and pointing and screaming, "Hey! Look at that!"

You're just trouble all around!

Sorry - I was cranky and judgemental. Photography is a serious art, and the people that do it spend lot of time and energy working on it. I admire the crisp technical ability of Ansel Adams, the sacred and profane dimensional of Mapplethorpe, gothic beauty by Arthur Tress and Sally Mann. I was impressed when I found out that Richard Avedon often mashed several photos together to get his seemingly candid photos.

I think my favorite photographers right now if Jeff Wall. Cindy Sherman is fun, too. I would turn straight for Annie Leibovitz or Sandy Skoglund.

I didn't mean to insult... I'm just mad at myself because I just don't get it. "Yeah, it's a tree in a field. So what?"

I was laughing.

It doesn't help that there is so much *bad* photography out there.

I don't get poetry. Can't hear it.

He is nice to look at, and reportedly a fun terror in the sack (or collar, etc.) ... so there are some redeeming qualities. ;)

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Re: religion is the opiate of the masses

yeah I am with mr whiskerfish.

It's fine not to like things.

but to reduce the things you don't like into this kind of catch phrase psychology that basically invalidates any form of pleasure that doesn;t appeal to you is astonishingly Republican and Evangelical of you. You did the same thing with your addendum on photography which is just shows a baffling and seemingly willful ignorance of the artform.

i don't like most poetry myself. I don't particularly like Whitman. But I'm glad as hell that not everyone perceives everything through the same filters I do. How boring would THAT be?

Re: religion is the opiate of the masses

Oops, I wasn't aware that I was using catch phrases. I was hoping to be kind of fun and amsuing on this dull Thursday. I wasn't aware that any of my arguments were over-used.

Anyway, I really have tried to like photography. I go to as many modern art galleries as I can. And I have my favorite artists.

Sure, it's fine not to like things... my point is that if so many people enjoy photography, I must be missing something. So, I've been trying to approach it with an open mind lately. Anything you can share with me so I enjoy the numerous posts on Livejournal of people's photography? Any favorite books or artists I should check out?

Re: religion is the opiate of the masses

I said "catch phrase" I meant "arm chair"... too many ideas in my head at once and I mix my idioms.


"my point is that if so many people enjoy photography,
I must be missing something. So, I've been trying to approach it with an open mind lately."

This is SO much more of a diplomatic way to state what you mean. Honestly, your original post reads more as if you mean to say "If I don't like something then it doesn't have value." Which I found irritating. So I'm glad you rephrased it.

as for photography... it's a difficult artform to find a voice in. Anyone with a camera can point and shoot and with the advent of digital, there's not even the expense of film to create limitations. So the world is flooded with photos and any single one of them might be good, but an artist with a consistent voice that appeals to you. That's what to look for.

>In fact, people who are well-read, tend to have an easier
>time with poetry because the references are not lost on them.

Argh. I’m getting defense to think that you’re saying I’m having trouble with poetry because I’m not well-read. I’ll challenge you to a game of Jeopardy any time Sir! The bible, Milton, Shakespreare, history, pop culture… I can glean with the best of ‘em.

>Though, I would agree that many poets, including myself, are
>in love with word, words, words, it is not the words alone upon
>which all this love is heaped.

(Didja catch the Halmet reference? Didja? Didja?)

Here’s the first poem I remember memorizing for grade school:
“hist whist- a poem by e.e. cummings
hist whist
little ghostthings
little twitchy
witches and tingling
hob-a-nob hob-a-nob
little hoppy happy
toad in tweeds
little itchy mousies
(cut) Oh god, it goes on from there. And I *like* cummings, as well as Odgen Nash, Lewis Carroll, and Shel Silverstein. But this poem is in love with itself. It’s about alliteration and cleverness. It’s like rap music if you took out the words and just went “da da da” for four minutes. I’m sure the author has a point about Halloween, or imagery about death, but I just don’t care. I could write three paragraphs in prose that say much more than the entire poem, and bring up more ideas and thoughts. One of the hallmarks of good writing in my opinion is to be clear and concise. Poetry makes a fetish of opaqueness.

>I just think you've not found the right poetry.

Argh again. I said I’ve tried everything from Chaucer to Ken Nordine. If there is a hidden shelf in the library full of the non-sucky poetry, I gues I haven’t found it yet.


It helps to know Walt was gay, right? Or at least it adds a little frission to the way he uses “him” as a stand-in for all mankind, the was Prince writes pop songs that could be interpreted as about god or sex. So, Walt, you’re raising a tree. The whole Big Issues of the past and the present… interesting stuff, but comparing it to a tree doesn’t really strike any interest from me. There’s an exciting point to be made about immortal laws, whether they exist or not, and to what extent people have to change (“dilate and fuse”) to adapt to truths that are supposedly inalienable. I’d love to read an essay like that. But Walt doesn’t address the role of self-determination… he just says a word (like “freedom”) and expects all the subtext and connotations of that word to bring up the same feelings for me as it did him. Or maybe he doesn’t care if his thought is being conveyed to the reader. Maybe he is just throwing out words, and hoping that some imagery will stick to the wall of my mind.

>Not dull. (at least I think so)

Sorry, I thought it was dull, but thank you for sharing it with me. I don’t know what puzzle piece my brain is missing, but I wish I was you.

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Re: religion is the opiate of the masses

But wouldn't it be kind of nice if you did?

You'd have something to do on Sundays. When Bush mentions God, you'd get a nice feeling in your stomache instead of the gnawing annoyance that you and I feel.

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(Deleted comment)
Not even a good cigar now and again? (P.S. just finished Dave's book, and it was great)

"I'm mostly with you on 1, 2, [certain number conspicuously missing here,] 4, and 5."

*sorry. couldn't resist.

I have to agree with wet_in_sf. Life is too short to worry about those things that you ought to like but for some reason don't.

Poetry, especially those you mention, are from a time past when people needed entertainment. Epic poems are not appreciated in the modern age. They come from a slower paced time.

Nature can be wonderful but you have to be in a frame of mind to appreciate it. Too often we are rushed by other things. If tree hugging isn't your thing, that's OK.

Cocksucking is an acquired taste. (Did I say that?) I harbor an attraction and a revulsion at the same time. When presented with a couple of hundred cocks in a place like Blow Buddies in San Francisco, I'd rather not. If I'm with someone hot I at least want a taste.

Sports are best played instead of watched. I don't see the facination of watching professional teams. I respect people who watch games that are played by one of their friends. But unless I am in the action I cannot be bothered. And when it comes down to playing, it really isn't the game. It is the comradeship. It is the shared experience. The game could be tiddly winks or mumbletypeg.

As for Religion, I've always longed for a Secular Church. One that has the fellowship without the dogma. I'm told there is a group like that called Ethical Culture Society. However, there are none of that group in Colorado.

As a nonbeliever, I find I know more than most Christians about their book. In fact most of the beliefs that Christians espouse come from two great sources, Dante's "Inferno" and John Milton's "Paradise Lost." That brings us full circle to Epic poetry where we first started this discussion.

Your "you" is a bundle of likes and dislikes. That is what makes you "you." No amount of Dante, nature walks, cocksucking, NFL or Bible pounding will change what we like about you.

But you *love* Ogden Nash. Don't you want to share that taste with other people? I love it when you quote him at the gay bar.

So, why don't I like Nash? Should I buy a book? What am I missing that you see? Very often in my life I feel like someone with Asperger's Syndrome that is unable to have normal feelings or emotions. YOu have to admit not having an appreciation of nature makes me a shallow person. Or at least kind of sad and deprived.

As a gay teenager, I felt isolated from my peers, because the things that fascinated the other boys (tits, cars, football) left me cold. That left me rather isolated and lonely. As an adult I want to "get it"... or at least try to.

Yes, I love Ogden Nash. But my love for his work comes from my Mother. I can't make you like Nash. I can only share his work with you and hope you feel it. Nash is best understood when heard rather than read. Anyone who can rhyme Chiropedist with St. John the Baptist takes work to read.

I don't have to admit that lack of appreciation of Nature makes you shallow. You are awe inspired by something the way others are inspired by nature. You are fascinated by something. It's just not tits or football. You don't have to "get it." You are it. You don't have to be somebody else's creation. You are you. We love you for that.

I don't worry too much about "the things I don't like" - there is so much that I do like, I can't get to do it all!

That said, we all need to try and broaden the old horizons now and then.

know what I love most about humans? their ability to like so many different things. I find it fascinating what you do and don't like. if everyone liked everything how milquetoast would the world be? everyone would be an expert and everyone would judge how *well* you like something, I *like* it more than you *like* it....booooring.

Know what I HATE? (and this one drives people crazy! I've had friends try to force me to do this) I HATE TRAVELING. HATEITHATEITHATEIT. and I've done plenty in my life, hell, I lived in Greece. and traveled from there. and now I'm finished.

so like what you do, dislike whatcha don't. I think you are splendid the way you are, mud and all.

I agree on traveling. I hate the "homeless" feeling of sleeping in a place that's not your home. I always fear that something will happen to my reservation, and then I'll be tossed out on the street of a strange and unfamiliar city!

jesus is coming back! quick look busy!

if your going to spend time reading the bible try the 4 gospels. i'm not pushing religion, I'm just saying take in what jesus is saying. I would read gnostic writings and sufi parables with Jesus in them and find insights all the time. Don't even concern yourself with faith in God, miracles or beliefs. Just listen to what jesus is saying and doing. That where the religious right has screwed the pooch, they have gone so far away from the wisdom, love and compassion jesus demostrates with everyone around him.

Re: jesus is coming back! quick look busy!

I admire you for your courage to say that.

Re: jesus is coming back! quick look busy!

"I admire you for your courage to say that."

courage? bro your a hoot! courage suggests possible loss or pain from taking an action or stand on what you consider right.

It has been my experience that when people read the bible one of two things normally happens to them, and sometimes the 2 things happen on and off at the same time! And I'll tell you it took me 30 years to understand this.

People will read the bible and make the bible their god. This is of course idolatry.
This is like when you have a cat and you want the cat to look at something, so you point to it!
The cat does not understand "look at what i am pointing at" it's attention is on the pointing finger, it totally missed what you are trying to call attention to. When men make an idol out of the bible they are very concerned with the belief that all of it is “inspired by God”. So Adam and Eve really existed, there was a universal flood, God made everything in 7 24 hour days. This will make anyone a legalistic pharasee (the only people in the new testament who pissed jesus off!)

When people read the bible correctly they understand that god loves them, and is forgiving and mercyful and wants to use them as a tool to do good things in this world and in their lives. These people realize that the only thing they can do is surrender themselves and permit god's spirit to guide them and work through them. These are the people who will stop on an isolated road and see if your alright after you dumped you cycle. You will almost never see these people doing these things because they are not looking to be noticed.
These people have plugged into a good thing and just want to share it. They will not be judgemental.

When I see a Falwell or a Robertson I just look at their "works" and understand that they are Pharasees. It is pretty obvious in a world of people starving, sick, naked, unjustly in prison, etc., etc. These Pharasees are concerned about same sex marriage. If it wasn't so tragic, it would be funny!


Re: jesus is coming back! quick look busy!

Good idea to read the gnostic stuff. I've intended on doing that! Like Jefferson, I can get a lot out of the bible without having to accept the supernatural. Jesus is a *really* complex charcter, often being cranky (killing pigs and fig trees) and then being radical. I have a feeling he'd undertand gay people really well, particularly us drama queens.

But one of my points is that the gospels are kind of "easy reading". The stories are fun, and the parables easy to understand. Sure, you can parse them 'til the cows come home, but the other %80 of the bible with schizophrenic contradictory messages gets overlooked by most christians.

Pushed a few buttons, eh?

There's so much in life to enjoy, why worry about what other people value? I've found nodding politely can be effective, even a good way to learn. For better or worse, we no longer have standards about "good" and "bad" in art.

Cocksucking maybe.

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