One Year After Pulse: Has Anything Really Changed?
I wrote the two blogs that appear here in the days and weeks that followed the Pulse carnage. But in reading them now, I am not surprised but still saddened and frustrated that little has changed a year later except for the fact a regime is now in power in D.C. which is most homophobic in decades.
Okay, What Next?
I live within a few miles of Wilton Manors, a burb of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale and the current gay capital and party town of the U.S. right now, not just for vacationers from across the country and around the world, but also for an ever growing number of gay baby boomer retirees – and young’ens looking for a sugar daddy.
As such we, more than any other city in Florida, and possibly much of the rest of the country, are especially vulnerable to homophobic psychotics. Some say business may be down in the theme parks this summer and moving forward as a result of the shooting (the shooter was considering Disney World before he decided on Pulse), and the gay bars and clubs here were already suffering the drought of off-season business before Sunday happened. You think some of the millions of gays who flock ere for sun and fun between late fall and early spring may be thinking twice about their upcoming plans? Will this even affect the over-priced Wilton Manors real estate as snowbirds and retirees reconsider living in this high profile target? I mean, do you want to be blown up going to the supermarket for milk or meeting a would-be liaison at Java Boys?
What will the bars and clubs, str8 and gay, not just here but across the country, have to do to create some sense of security?
Metal detectors at entrances? What about all those cockrings, piercings and leather men gear?
Right now most of the bars here maintain minimum wage bouncers. Will they need to put out the dough for security officers with guns who flash their weapons like a hottie flashes his nine inch dong in the gym showers? I mean a bouncer without a weapon is as useless against a perpetrator as an eighty year old without Viagra trying to have fun with his new twenty year old “friend.”
Will these retro fem boys l see more and more camping it up start toning down their swishy behavior so not to draw attention or antagonize? Supposedly what set off homophobic, and some say closeted Mateen (he was a frequent Pulse patron and chatted with guys on sites like Grind’r) was seeing two men kissing in Miami while he was there with his two year son. Could he have evoked Islam as a cover for his own internal conflicts? Nothing is worse than a homophobic religious zealot.
BTW, this is the same daddy/hubby who beat the shit out of his wife on a regular basis before she got out from under and divorced him.
Most of the clubs here have multiple entrances and exits clearly marked, but there’s a certain leather bar – those if you who live here or have been down here know who l’m talking about – that is configured so badly that it is a tragedy whether by fire or by gun waiting to happen. Will state and city authorities start cracking down on these death traps?
One other frustrating note: the FBI freely admitted the shooter had been on their radar screen for years and, in fact, had been interrogated a few times, but the Feds were unable to connect the dots. Officials say he had passed all the necessary background checks to buy the assault weapon about a week ago in Florida that he used to murder. But, given the FBI’s suspicions, shouldn’t his name have at least been on some type of watch list so maybe, just maybe, the gun shop owner, who sounds responsible, might have hesitated and reached out for a second opinion?
And why are such murder machines legally for sale in the first place?
But perhaps the people l’m most disappointed in are us.
True, there have been vigils here and around the world in support of Orlando. Yet Sunday night, except for Lauderdale’s iconic Alibi, the bars remained open and our leading dance club was filled with the usual Sunday Studio 54 disco patrons. Okay, they had a moment of silence then continued shaking their booties. Big fucken deal.
Business or no business, every place on the strip should have shuttered. If we don’t show respect for one another, what can we expect from the world?
“Love is Love is Love is Love…”: Mass Delusional Brainwashing
You see and hear it everywhere, ” Love Matters” placards at Lauderdale’s gay pride parade this past weekend, “Hamilton” star and author’s “Love is Love is Love …” in neon signs at the countless vigils around the globe. Even Broadway stars just recorded the old Dionne Warwick hit, “What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love,” all to make us survivors-at-large of Pulse somehow cope with the largest mass killing in this country’s history. And the largest mass killing of gays since the Holocaust.
Well, all l can say is this bullshit is opium for the masses.
There is no coping.
Fifty people are dead.
And countless others maimed for life. Because of one madman, the lives of scores of families and millions of us have been changed forever.
Did any of the latest post-Pulse attempts in Congress to stop the sale of assault weapons or include background checks for gun sales at flea markets and gun shows pass?
Will any of these measures even if they were enacted prevent another Pulse? Or worse?
No. These weapons will always be available on the black market.
Will all this feel good pabulum bring back one life or even bring back Mateem so we could slowly carve him up as vengeance earned?
Will this stop some Mateem wannabe, confused crazy or determined terrorist, from striking again?
Will our stop making mental health a stepchild in this society when it comes to treatment make a difference?
Even if we did it all tomorrow, it would take years to see any effect.
Will reporting suspicious behavior or an unhinged friend or family member change things?
Maybe, but there will always be another crazy looming just around the corner, FBI watch list or no FBI watch list. (The FBI is great at investigating its fuck-ups AFTER the fact.)
Yet all this “Love” is exactly what the NRA and other wizards behind the curtains pulling the strings want. Let the stupid public lull itself into a heroin-like stupor with silly recantations of love this, love that…
No, instead we should all stand up like that character in “Network” and yell out on the top of our lungs, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.”
But will anybody be listening?
Come this fall, vote every NRA stoolie out of office, Republican and Democrat.
But you know that won’t happen.
Or maybe what we need is for one of these crazies to kill the wife or son of an NRA exec or some tight-fisted Republican whose kids’ college tuition the NRA is paying for in exchange for their hardlined vote to see things change.
No, it’s not love we need right now, it’s unadulterated hate against the enemy within.
But in the end will even this do any good?
The sad truth is this will continue.
All we can do is live our lives for the moment.
‘Cause that’s all we got.