I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

500th Post / Clip Show


While scanning my Facebook feed one evening several months ago I saw a game that piqued my interests. It was called Robot Unicorn Attack and it was available on the [adult swim] web site. I was already a fan of [adult swim] because it is responsible for bringing to the world both Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Venture Bros, and I had to admit that Robot Unicorn Attack had a certain ring to it. I ended up playing the game for the next several hours, just as enchanted by the Erasure song "Always" playing in the background as I was by navigating a mechanical/mythical creature from cliff to cliff and straight through solid stars.

For the next several days I cornered any friend I encountered, anyone I thought needed a smile, and I forced them to try out Robot Unicorn Attack in my presence. It was like the Where the Wild Things Are trailer all over again. The only problem was that I couldn't spread the word fast enough. On February 26, 2010, however, I rectified the problem by putting Robot Unicorn Attack on Cavemengo. Cavemengo had turned into a content delivery device, matching the good people of the world wide web up with the simple things that bring me great joy. Cavemengo was about sharing the good things in life.

In light of the recent rash of LGBTQ suicides, however, I found that sharing joy is not enough. I recognized that anyone with readers or followers of any kind is given a dose of influence, of power, and with that power there is a responsibility. There was no longer an excuse. I couldn't sit idly by feeling powerless against injustice in the world. I made a simple and unheroic choice to out myself as a LGBTQ ally and to make any space I occupy, physically or on the web, a haven for the oppressed. Nothing extravegant. Just a simple first step. A stand.

Within a few hours I received a message from a good friend who was there for me when I was scared and unaware of my worth, a person I owe a great deal to. He confided in me that he is gay and told me a story of confusion and sadness. He struggled for a long time trying to find someone, anyone, he could talk to, someone who would welcome him for who he is. To put it quite simply, he had been abandoned by his church and his state. My only response was to see this as a joyous opportunity to renew my unconditional welcome to him.

It matters to me that the things I do make human life more manageable, and I try to do this by making of Cavemengo a place where we can share in the various beauties of the world, but also where we can find solidarity in sharing our sufferings. I am haunted by doubt, wondering if any of the things I post really matter in the end. But then I think of the fact that this blog, my little area of influence, was an instrument that brought me into the confidence of a closeted gay friend, a means of communicating love and acceptance.

And we all know that love and acceptance cannot be hyper-linked or embedded. (But if they could it would probably look something like this.)


People have busy lives. Even though I now feel certain that I have a healthy readership, on any given day I can't promise that a single soul will read this blog. So many factors to consider. Complications at work. Excess homework. Picking up kids from school. Going to the bank. I understand if you're not caught up on what celebrities I had a crush on in the 90s. But my busy readers tell me a very important truth: if I am the only one who deals with Cavemengo on a given day, then this blog has to do something for me.

At the beginning of this year I was not in the best place emotionally. I had just ruined my first relationship in half a decade, a relationship I wasn't ready for because I was emotionally unavailable and distant. I returned to school without any real sense of what I wanted to do with my life. On top of all this, I was bothered that I consider myself a writer and yet I hadn't completed anything substantial in years. I was at a low point, my own personal Carbonite coat.

I started really getting into the David Bowie album Hunky Dory, a brilliant opus with an interesting philosophical point of view. It circled around in my head and made me sick with powerful ideas. I wanted to make music and videos and write about my kookie ideas. I decided that in order to facilitate this creative spike I would start a new blog.

I had written blogs before, but they never lasted. I would devote the blog to a narrow theme - food, travel, philosophy in popular culture, music - but that narrow focus would bore me and I would scrap the project. My friend Elliot had suggested that I just combine my blogs together, one blog to rule them all. Elliot had started a blog to promote his art and music and I was quite a fan. I wanted a blog that was devoted to promoting my creative projects, but also I wanted to tell the world about great works like Bowie's album Hunky Dory. I named Cavemengo after the song "Life on Mars?" ("Take a look at the sailors fighting in the dance hall / Oh, man, look at those cavemen go") and even included lyrics from "Oh, You Pretty Things" in the header as a guiding focus.

Cavemengo was the first step in a process of transformation. I was writing again and I had people giving me positive feedback. I was driven toward creative endeavors and the desire to experience the best food, books, comics, movies, television programs and music the world has to offer. Soon I had decided that I would change Masters programs and aim toward teaching philosophy and religion at the college level. But the crown of this all was that I found a magnificent woman who values my passion and creativity and I entered into the most significant relationship I've ever been in.

Did Cavemengo single-handedly change my life? Has it changed yours? Probably not. One thing I know is that Cavemengo challenges me to live a life of excitement. While some folk want to live the purpose driven life, I want to live the blogworthy life. But the blogworthy life is something that I am incapable of keeping to myself. I always want to share it. It is my hope that you can gain some joy or benefit from what I share.


No comments:

Post a Comment