Friday, December 20, 2013

What I've Learned Along the Way - An Interim Observation

Thanks to all of you who have already commented on "What I've Learned Along the Way," Part One. I hope you will continue to comment and that those of you who haven't will do so. This is a subject in which no one's opinion is set in stone. Even the so called experts disagree vehemently. But in my mind those of us who have lived gay or bisexual lives are more likely to grasp bits and pieces of the truth than are the experts.

Those of us who can take the bits and pieces of truth we possess and apply them thoughtfully and realistically to the homosexual and bisexual communities at large can shed a great deal of light on the overall cultural characteristics of the still evolving homosexual and bisexual communities. And because we are all a part of these evolving communities in one way or the other, each of us has an obligation to share our thoughts and feelings.

Anyone who has read my blog for anytime at all knows I believe in destiny. I believe life has a purpose for all of us, and I believe to the extent we are on track to fulfill our purpose in life and our destiny to be a prime contributor to our overall sense of self-worth and happiness.

I gave up on believing in coincidence long ago. It was not something I chose to do. It became
something I was compelled to do, for if coincidence is real, my life has been an almost never ending string of fortuitous coincidences. That is just not possible. It would be the same as going to Vegas and winning every hand one played for years. It's not possible.

Behind everything we might want to see as coincidence, there has to be a guiding power. Otherwise, my life has defied impossible odds. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not some male version of Mother Theresa.  I'm no saint! I've had my share of adversities, wrong turns and doubts. But, along the way, I've had way more than my share of instances of seeming coincidence that simply had to be much more than mere serendipity.

Such a thing has taken place in just the last month. I made up my mind to write this article 6 to 8 weeks ago. My illness and subsequent confinement to an Intensive Care Unit gave me a great deal of time to think about the self-assigned task. I didn't tell anyone about it. I just thought about it. But the most amazing things began to happen. An old friend whom I had not heard from in a long while phoned me he other day. And what did he want to talk about? He wanted to talk about this article. He didn't even know I was writing about it, but he was facing issues in his own life that was leading him to some of the same conclusions I was planning to address in this article. It would have been unnerving had such a thing not long ago become ordinary in my life.

In addition to that call, my young friend here in Houston who had inspired this article over the last three years of our relationship, suddenly wanted to talk about the issue in detail as he was experiencing it in his own life. There were, out of the blue, several other seemingly coincidental incidents which contributed to this article. Every where I turned, I was finding thoughtful pieces of information that were valuable to the task at hand. Such an unrequested outpouring at just the right time cannot be mere coincidence or providence. There has to be a power of some kind behind it, especially when I consider that it happens over and over in my life.

The only down side of all this is that I have much more to consider now than I had planned. That along with my transition to a new therapy for my cancer will delay the planned publication date for the second part of this article for a few more days. During the wait, I hope many of you ( by many, I mean at least 100 of you ) will take the time to read or reread Part One and comment on it. It would make my day. I've never received 100 comments on any post.

Hang in there. Thanks for following my blog. I appreciate you all. Please tell your friends who like thought provoking reading about my blog.

Jack Scott

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What I've Learned Along the Way


Just before I got sick, I had finished the first part of this two part article. But before I published it, I wanted a good friend whom I trust implicitly for his intelligence, his thirst for knowledge and his ability to introspectively deal with his own bisexuality.

This article is meant to be challenging. I have written it with the hope that it will hit many readers hard enough to cause them to take an introspective and honest look into their own lives as a whole and their sexuality as a part of the whole.

In writing the article, please trust that I am mindful that each of us is different. Our sexuality is influenced by our personalities, our faith, our families and much more. Even identical twins do not always share the same identical sexuality.

In a very real sense, there is no right or wrong way to live ones homosexual or bisexual life so long as one is happy with it and not using or abusing others. That said, there are ways to live it that are likely to be more fulfilling than others. Some guys just never take the time to figure themselves out. Some, including one of my best friends, are just too undisciplined to carry out their own plans and desires for happiness. They are always willing to settle for a lifestyle they neither need or want.

i'd like very much to hear some of your comments about this blog. I know some of you will hate it. That's ok. I know many of you will like what you read as well. I challenge you to put what you've read into action.


What I've Leared Along the Way

It's almost impossible for me to believe, but next May, I'll have been posting this blog for seven years. During that seven years, I've posted 181 blog articles, read over 800 comments (not nearly as many as I'd like) from some of the 400,000 page readers and hosted 400 to 500 readers each day. I would never believed it possible when I posted my first blog piece on May 7, 2007.

Through this blog, it has been my privilege to interact with a great number of men, and help some of them to come to a better understanding of themselves and sometimes to help those who love them to understand them better as well. For some, the solution to their problem was to seek a divorce and begin a new life as a gay or bisexual man. For others, who, for what ever reason, did not consider divorce a possibility, solving their problems was usually much harder. For these men, solutions often revolve around mental and emotional adjustments rather than making a new start.

Helping people to better understand and accept their sexuality was the prime reason I began this blog. One of my greatest pleasures these days is to see the results of the combined efforts of me and another guy who is really willing to find peace of mind. It is truly an awesome thing when his efforts transform him into a new person prepared to live his life to the fullest as a bisexual or homosexual man in a way that works for him.

But this blog piece is not about me trying to help others. Instead, it is about how others have
helped me to fill in the gaps in my own understanding of my life as a bisexual man. It is also about what I have learned about bisexuality and homosexuality from those who are collectively closest to such a lifestyle. It has been a most interesting, informative and rewarding journey.

In a way, I think bisexuality is the new homosexuality. I don't mean that to be an offensive statement to homosexual men. It is, in fact, a compliment.

Gay men have fought the good fight. They have faced their antagonists and looked them in the eye without stepping back. They have persevered through decades of battles. They have, at last, for all intents, won the war. All that is left now is the mop up. That will take a while, but that's alright because the mop up will contribute to the new order that has begun. There will be time for thoughtful consideration about how the new order is to be structured. There will be time for consideration of new laws, based not on politics or religion, but on the best interests of America and all its citizens, both gay and straight.

That is a good thing. Progress is already taking place at an unbelievable pace. As the older generation begins their exit from the halls of leadership making way for a new generation of leaders more open mindedly dedicated to equal treatment and equal opportunity for all, regardless of their sexual orientation or religious beliefs, the final chapter in the battle for gay rights will be written and gays will become nothing more than Americans, workers, congressmen, teachers, preachers, and fathers. They will become just one of the many groups of Americans that are known collectively as the common man. That is a wonderful thing, a goal long sought.

And this is not just my vision. It is actually happening, even among those who have resisted the most. A recent newspaper article in the Houston Chronicle reported on problems currently bedeviling professional faculty, staff and students at Baylor University. Everyone in Texas knows Baylor as a conservative Baptist institution. In fact, it has been becoming less and less a Baptist University for years. This year there has been a strong push from students to amend the code of ethics to mitigate the University's long held view that homosexual conduct is sinful and contrary to the teachings of Christ.

As is so often the case when conscientious objectors try to defend what is indefensible, their line of thought blurs or even becomes nonsensical. So it is with the newly proposed code of conduct at Baylor. Wisely, however, the student body is, for the most part, accepting it as a real step forward toward their eventual goal of achieving equal rights and recognition for gay students.

It has been widely reported that college students are making it clear over and over again
they have no problem with homosexuality. In doing so, Baylor students have also made it clear the recalcitrant stance against homosexuality at Baylor lies within the faculty and the leadership, all of whom are thoroughly vetted by the Baptist Church's leadership. The current President of Baylor is Ken Star. Star has impeccable credentials and has done undeniably good things for Baylor. However, he is a very conservative member of the Baptist church. Had he not been, he would never have been asked to lead Baylor. Star does not intend to let Baylor become gay friendly or supportive on his watch. He is a staunch defender of the old guard. Students are just as determined to sustain the fight for as long as it takes. In the long run, my money is on the students.

The same is true for the Baptist church. Young Baptists do not understand the church's disdain for gays. When they read their Bibles, it is clear to them, were Christ on earth today, he would often be found hanging out with gay and lesbian people. They recognize the traditional stance of the Baptist church is clearly outside the teachings of Christ. When the younger generation of Baptists begins to replace the old guard as more and more of the elders are laid to rest, even the Baptist Church will change direction or be laid to rest itself.

With gays becoming accepted members of the group often referred to as the common man, some of the more flamboyant displays of homosexuality' meant to make Americans realize gays are present in everyday life, will begin to disappear. They will no longer fill a need. Gay men already see themselves more and more as husbands or spouses, and in some cases fathers, in legal and/or religious unions. They are ready to become just part of the group of married Americans in a life where their sexuality is one of the least of things important to others, and in a life where they are judged by their character rather than by whom they love.

I've learned bisexuality, and most of those who see themselves as bisexuals are not yet fully ready to take their proper place in society's group known as the common man. Unlike homosexual men who have fought the long fight, mostly united in a common understanding of who they are and what they must win, bisexual men, in large part, have no common understanding of themselves and no realistic goals they wish to achieve. Until that changes, their fight to become a part of the group known as the common man can't even really begin. This is not meant to be an "I'm better than you" statement by any means. It is just a recognition of current reality, my reality included. As a bisexual man in his late 60's who is happily married and happily a part of straight society, I see nothing to gain by my coming out to my family and friends. One might correctly say I could help pave the way for others. It's true, but I feel I'm doing my part in this blog and in other ways that avoid conflict I just don't need at this stage of my life. If that's a cop out, and it may very well be, then I'm guilty."

Another reason I started this blog was because I wanted a vehicle through which I could better understand myself as a bisexual man. In other words, I wanted to be part of a dialogue with other men which would help all of us to better understand ourselves.

It's hard for me to imagine now, but I didn't even know there was such a thing as  bisexual men until I was 30 years old. The fact was, most of my emotional torment and pain arose from my understanding I was not a homosexual man, but neither was I a straight man. Because neither of these two categories fits me and my desires, I came to think of myself as some kind of monster.

But in 1977, the world was on the cusp of a technological revolution. Personal computers were just around the corner. Few realized how quickly they would change our lives. For the first time in history, the combined knowledge of mankind would be at the fingertips of a great number of the world's people. Even more astounding, much of it would be free.

It was the world wide web which really began to open my understanding of bisexuality and thus my understanding of myself. Over the next several years I read everything I could find on bisexuality on the web, as well as, much of what was recommended on the web. But just reading was not enough. I wanted to talk with bisexual men and find out how their lives were unfolding. That led me to the chat rooms that had began to appear on line in the late 1980's and by the 1990's were ubiquitous. For the first time I could talk with real live men who, like me, were struggling to understand themselves. It was a new world. Never before had I had a place where I could talk openly about topics which could not be discussed at all in the real world.

In the 35 or so years following my first steps into the world of chat rooms and open discussions about sex between men, a whole new world has overtaken all of us. Some of us, mostly the young, have enthusiastically embraced this new world. Some of us have been less enthusiastic, but recognize that we must adjust or be left behind in our own society and even in our own network of friends. Those who adamantly refuse to give an inch now often find themselves the outcasts.

This was illustrated recently in a situation which my good friends (a gay couple here in Houston) became members of a group of Houston Texans fans which rotated amongst each other's homes on game day to eat, drink and watch the game. From the first time they were invited after moving into the community, my friends had been surprised at the welcome they received from their older straight neighbors. But the bonds of friendship continued to grow.

As the second season opened this September, a crack suddenly appeared in the group. My friends were absent at a restaurant date where the neighbors gathered to eat and have some fun. One family took advantage of their absence to announce to the group they did not appreciate the acceptance of two gay men into the group. He stated that he and his wife would no longer participate if the gay couple were participating. The conversation quickly became very heated. One member told the complaining couple that he'd rather be associated with a gay couple than a couple of narrow minded homophobes. He ended his  comments by saying if the gay couple was asked to leave, he and his wife would leave also. One by one the other couples sided with him, saying they wished the couple who wanted to leave would reconsider, but they were not going to bar the gay couple from the group. I'm sure the couple who opposed associating with gays were shocked to find they had become the outcasts in the blink of an eye. It is a good example of how  quickly cosmopolitan society has changed.

I certainly was glad my friends had been so open heartedly accepted by the group and how the group had supported them in a very difficult situation. I can't help but think that had my friends been openly bisexual, the outcome might have been different.

I think the reasons behind the possibly different outcomes are pretty clear. The United States citizenry has reached the level of over all sophistication and information need for it to  accept those who are  gay. More and more we accept people for the quality of their character than for any other reason. After all, stripped to its core, prejudice is nothing but fear and/or misunderstanding of the unknown.

On the other hand, one of the reasons gays who have come out of their closets are
respected is because they have had the courage to openly present themselves to the world as who they are. They have largely dropped the circus atmosphere that surrounded the first generation of gays who came out. Instead, The group of gay men coming out are more apt to be doctors, teachers, pastors, business leaders or one of thousands of other professions for which they are already judged to be members of the upper levels of the common man than any thing else including their being gay.  They don't ask to be given anything. They ask only to be judged by the quality of their character and just importantly by what they can contribute to our society. Only the most truculent homophobes even try to deny the recognized contributions to society by homosexuals over the centuries as well as those now coming out who are already more often than not professionally successful, affluent and ready to contribute.

In contrast, bisexuals are perceived as dishonest, self-centered, shallow, untrustworthy and incapable of acting in the interest of anyone except themselves. How did this view of bisexuals develop so quickly since it has only been a few years that the general public thought homosexuals and bisexuals were just the same thing; or, at most bisexuals were homosexuals who had not yet had the courage to see themselves as homosexual, I know I did for years. I simply did not understand why I had these seemingly irresistible desires that were mutually destructive of all I loved. Either way I went, my life was going to be adversely impacted, perhaps destroyed.

And such destruction was not an abstract idea. The web was and is still, alive with men who  have destroyed everything they ever loved. Some of these men have fallen from the ranks of very successful providers for their families and from positions of responsibility and community respect to men who have nothing in an inconceivably short time. Some sought help through counselors or organizations who promised to "fix them." Some embraced the desire that had cost them all they had, and began to have male/male sex anytime, anywhere and with anyone who was available. Some were in such shock they simply existed from day to day. Some, reaching the utter bottom of their lives, took the only out they could see and ended their own lives.

The lack of will to climb one's way out of ignorance can indeed be disastrous. Strangely enough, the failure to gather one's will to entertain new ideas often can be traced to a lack of will to confront one's parents or challenge religious beliefs of one's parents. The centre of the Wheel of Life. In the image above: ignorance is represented by a pig; attachment/desire is represented by an Indian bird known for its attachment to its mate; aversion/anger is represented by a snake, since it is quick to strike. I think the ancients showed great wisdom in placing all these conflicting elements of our lives at the very center of the Wheel of Life. How we each deal with these conflicting elements determines whether our lives will be happy and successful or miserable and hopeless.

There are, cf course those who have been much luckier. Those who found they could manage the duality of both their own sense of guilt over their male/male sexual explorations and their obligations to their wives and families while continuing to pass as straight guys, did relatively well. I am one of these.  Others turned to formal or informal counseling. Those who found the right counselor and worked tirelessly to come to a new understanding of themselves also, more often than not, found in themselves something they could live with. They began to form new paradigms that supported and defined their non-straight sexuality.

For some, the new paradigms allowed them to be bisexual but not act on it if they were already married to a woman. Others found they could handle occasional male/male liaisons so long as they limited the activity.

In my younger days before the world wide web, I thought I was the only man on earth who both loved his wife, had a great sex life with her; yet could not shake the thoughts or desires for sex with other men.

The truth, I later found, is far different. There are hundreds of thousands of such men around the world. Just finding that out helped, but it left much yet for me to understand.

Jack Scott

Thursday, November 28, 2013

On The A - Line

Just when I thought it was safe to get out of bed - I should have taken a second look. The other morning I woke up feeling better than I had in quite some time. However, within minutes of getting up, I was laying on the floor nauseous and exhausted. I lay there a while thinking with a little rest, it would be easier to get up and finish getting dressed for my appointment with my Oncologist.

I did manage to get up, but when I stood up, the nausea turned very quickly to actively throwing up. I did make it to the car, pan in hand. My wife began the drive into Houston's Medical Center. By the time we got into town, my pan was full. By the time we got to the parking garage at MD Anderson, I found I could not get out of the car. My wife retrieved a wheel chair. I struggled out of the car and into the chair.

Having given up my pan, we stopped at the desk for a barf bag. Throwing up into it, I noticed for the first time the "coffee grounds" look of what I was throwing up. I knew what was happening, and I knew it wasn't good. I was throwing up blood.

When we got to the Doctor's office, I could no longer sit up. Instead, I stretched out on a sofa. They called me a minute or two later, but I didn't have the strength to get up, and I could only communicate  somewhat incoherently. My wife filled them in on what she knew of what was happening. Shortly after they got me into the Doctor's office, all hell broke loose. I was now throwing up bright red blood and  coughing it up as well. It was also coming out of my nose. Someone was asking me if I could stay in the wheelchair long enough to get to the ER. I agreed, I could, but I would have agreed to any thing at that point. All I really wanted to do was lay down to sleep and be left alone.

Before I knew what was happening, I was in the ER being prepared for the insertion of two Arterial
Lines. I'd never had an arterial line inserted while conscious before, but I had helped insert them and I knew they were hellishly painful, but what was I to do. It was either let them establish the lines or die. I was so overwhelmingly tired I might have chosen to die, but no one gave me that choice. I had bled out half of my volume of blood. There really were no choices.

The doctor began to insert the long needle deep into my right wrist and dig around for the artery. Even in my weakened condition, it was all I could do to stay still. The pain was almost unbearable. With the arterial line in my wrist, stitched to my skin to hold in place and patent, they began immediately to infuse blood while a second larger bore arterial line was established in my groin. The pain was intense as the physician struggled to get the line just the way he wanted it and then stitch it to me so it would not move. That done, they began to run more blood into me at a fast clip.

Within a very short time, my body began to change from a very pale white to pink. I was still foggy, but I knew I was going to live. There was no pain from the hemorrhage or the surgery, but my wrist, my groin and my penis ached from the assault of the catheters which had been inserted. My arms looked like I had been in a fight with  a couple of cats. There were needle stick marks up and down them from where they had tried to find veins that would tolerate a catheter and, of course, the venous catheters that marked their ultimately successful stick. In another few minutes I was transported to ICU where I was to remain for 4 days without food and without water except for the IV bags which were constantly flowing their contents into my arms. More often than not, ICU patients are not fully conscious. It is a blessing, a blessing I did not have. Believe me, there is no allowance for one's dignity in ICU. Neither is there any time to sleep. Nurses and technicians are in and out in and out. Monitors are sounding their shrill warnings almost constantly. It is impossible to get comfortable with the tubes running in and out of ones body. The slightest movement is likely to cause a tube to crimp, and the monitors began their obnoxious warnings.

After five days, I was released to home with warnings to take things slow and easy. There was no need to warn me. I didn't have the energy to cuss a cat!

I'm feeling better today for the first time, but my energy level is still low. There'll be no family
Thanksgiving for me. My immune system is too low to be around a bunch of people, especially the little kids. But now that I'm getting better, I'm glad they ignored my pleas to leave me alone. Life is not what I wish it were anymore, but there are still so many blessings to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving day and every day.

As a part of taking it easy for a while, I'm not sure when the next pictures will be posted, or the next blog written, but I hope you won't forget me. Check back every few days to see what's new.

I hope you won't just celebrate Thanksgiving watching the Cowboys game. I love football, but there is more to life. Take time to actually name a few of your blessings and be thankful for them. Life is really short, and it hangs on a very thin string.


Jack Scott

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Sincere Salute to All Who Served

For Our Tomorrows 

The sun is setting on a Veteran's Day which was absolutely beautiful here in Texas. That we might enjoy it, thousands upon thousands of American soldiers through the centuries have given the ultimate gift, their lives.

As the proud father of a career military man who has worn the uniform for over two decades, I know well, the sacrifices our military men and women make every day. They make up less than 1% of Americans, and we trust them to have our backs 100% of the time for very little in return. 

Why do they do it? Even as the father of one of them, I simply do not know. The best I can make of it, they simply feel called. Like the 3 year old in the lyrics of the famous song, "The Wall," my own son was playing war when he was only three. Think of all the war zones you've heard about in the News over the last 20 years. My son and the sons and daughters of a host of Americans have been in every one of them. And in a very personal and intimate way, those who love them have been there too. 

Americans have become war weary. We have not forgotten that to whom much is given, much is required. We have not forgotten that Americans, for generations, have stepped into conflicts that were not their conflicts, but nevertheless, conflicts, in which, we felt duty bound to take a side. Things have not always turned out well in these conflicts where we've offered a helping hand. But we can be proud we've never tried to build an empire and more often than not, our national enemies have eventually become our allies and friends. 

Today our enemies are not nations, but radical religious zealots who prey upon the uneducated, the poor and the ignorant to make them their human weapons of mass destruction, promising them unlimited rewards in paradise of which the zealots themselves are not yet ready to partake. 

Though we are a nation who has sacrificially earned our present condition of war weariness, we will have no choice but to continue the fight against the radicals, those who try to exalt themselves on the bloody bodies of their people, the purveyors of false religions, and those who are nothing more than everyday tyrants. 

Fortunately, scientific achievement takes exponential leaps forward. We are on the brink of a sea change in the technology of warfare. Fewer and fewer Americans will have to be physically present in war zones in order to achieve our goals. Our technology will keep our military men and women out of harm's way. I know people are already complaining about the rise of drones and the collateral damage they often cause. Those people have simply forgotten the real definition of collateral damage which was a brutal reality of World War II. The reality is, the collateral damage of World War II was one of the reasons the ward did not drag on for 15 years or so like our present wars do. While no collateral damage should always the goal for Americans, if there is to be collateral damage it should be upon our enemies and those who support their tactics or turn a blind eye to them.

So, as night closes in on this Vetran's Day. Let us each say a prayer or simply take a moment to say, "Thanks," to those who have born the battle. Let us remember that we will always need those few special people who love America enough to die for it and to gladly serve it. 

Jack Scott

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hanging Tough - I Think

It's been a while since I posted anything that doesn't pertain to football. Frankly, I have been pleasantly surprised at how many readers those two posts have attracted. After last Sunday's Texans loss to the Colts, I'm considering whether NFL Football is entertainment or self torture. 

Anyway, I wanted to let all of you I'm working on a non-football post. Not sure when I'll have it out. I've been working on it for a couple of weeks and making only slow progress.

I've always heard about chemo brain. Now I know what it is all to well. I've always been one who could just pick up a pencil, and the words would come. The chemo has ended that. I have to drag the words out of my brain. Beyond that I'm wearing out my spell checker. 

I often become confused too over little things. I've had my share of confusion during my life but not over little things that we all have to deal with every day. Add to that the constant fatigue, and I'm moving pretty slow these days. However, I refuse to give up; so I'll get something substantial posted fairly soon.

Thanks to all of you for your patience and your support.

Jack Scott

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NFL 2020

I enjoy NFL football.  I  have  had season  tickets  to t he  Houston Texans  games   since the inception of the franchise. Watching an NFL game either in the stadium or on HDTV at home is a great experience though watching at home is a very different experience from watching live in the stadium.

Watching at home gives one immediate insight into the game through the work of
professional commentators who give a running commentary about what is going on down on the field. Most long time fans can keep up pretty well; but for newer fans, the commentary can be very useful. This year has been a strange year in the number of rarely seen penalties that have been assessed leaving even the most knowledgable fans in the dark.

One such penalty was in week seven in the game between the Patriots and the Jets.  Jets kicker, Nick Folk was wide left on a 56-yard field goal attempt, but the miss was negated when New England's Chris Jones was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on a 15-yard penalty that never had before been called in an NFL game. Fans in the stands as well as fans watching on TV at home were left wondering, "What the hell?" How was Jones guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct?

Referee Jerome Boger explained in a pool report that Jones was called for pushing his teammate "into the opponents' formation." Umpire Tony Michalek threw his flag "almost instantaneously as he observed the action," Boger said. "We just enforced it as he called it."

It was the first time such a penalty had ever been called in the NFL. Soon enough, the commentators were briefed and explained the penalty to the fans at home. 

Watching at home in a comfortable recliner in a temperature controlled room where beer is six or seven bucks cheaper than in the stadium is also a big plus. There are other pluses of watching from home.

To me the big pluses of watching in the stadium are tailgating with friends before the game and watching the game in the presence of 60,000 to 70,000 other fans who sustain the excitement of the game with their cheers, boos and outlandish costumes. Game day in the stadium is a holiday.

But as every fan knows, NFL football is changing and changes in NFL football trickle down to college football, school football and even to kids football leagues. Unfortunately, some of the changes being made for health reasons and are justified on that account, but take some of traditional excitement of the game, especially from the fans who love to watch the hard hits. The hard hits are great to watch (though they often come at great expense to the player taking the hit as well as the player delivering the hit). As for me, (and I may be the only NFL fan who would say this) I enjoy the artistic nature of the game. These highly trained and motivated players often seem to defy human limitations in their athleticism. It takes on the nature of an art form to me.

It's important to remember though that football has always been a work in progress. In the beginning
there was very little or no protective gear. When helmets first arrived on the scene they were simple stitched leather coverings which really did little to protect a players head. Helmets have evolved into technological masterpieces which greatly enhance head protection. Pads, shoes and other protective gear have also evolved considerably, but the evolution is not over by a long shot.

The NFL has recently begun a video series on what fans might expect football to be like in the year 2020. In the series, they look at equipment as well as other changes almost certain to come to pass. 

One non equipment change they speculate on is the first NFL star to come out of the closet as a gay man. When it happens, and it will happen, football will be revolutionized as will the way America looks at gay men.

Take a look at NFL Football Episode 1, Look and Feel in the year 2020 by clicking on the URL: 
2020 NFL

Jack Scott

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Texas Hero Lost - A Notorious Houstonian Dead

Texas lost a hero Friday night. We knew it was coming, but knowing it is coming doesn't lessen the shock of realizing such a man is gone forever.

He wasn't a politician, never dreamed of being one; but what a different world it would be if all politicians had his outlook on life, his simple concept of what it is to be a man, what is right and what is wrong. What would the United States of America look like today if it had such a natural born leader as this man was? In a country where true leadership is virtually unknown to a whole generation of Americans, this hero could teach many valuable lessons to our politicians if only there was someone willing to learn.

He died Friday night surrounded by family and former Oiler's tight end, Mike Barber, without accomplishing a couple of his fondest dreams; but no one who knew him would ever think of calling him a failure because he never gave up and he never quit. And those who knew him best know if he had achieved his fondest dreams he would have reacted by simply dreaming bigger dreams. He was just that type of man.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans knew his name; but he wasn't impressed with his own
President George H. W. Bush and Bum

celebrity because celebrity was never one of his goals. Instead, his basic goal was to mold young men into talented men of courage, determination and character. 

He never thought of himself as anything other than a simple man. As a simple man, he tried to be the best father, Texan, rancher and coach he could be. As a man who desired to be each of those things full time, he spent his life regretting it was not possible. He had to make difficult decisions about priorities that troubled him. But those he fathered never felt cheated because he had to spend so much time away. Texans loved him and never turned their backs on him. He died a happy man on his small, by Texas standards, 400 acre ranch. It was the place where he wanted to die and be buried. Coach? It  was something he loved and it consumed about half of his adult live. But to him, coach was not just a title attached to any ball coach. To him coaching was much more than winning games. It was about molding the character of  young men, teaching them to plow through adversity as well as teaching them to be humble in victory and resolute in defeat. Above all he was determined to teach them how to exhibit these things on the ball field as well as in their personal lives. Mike Barber was an example of Coach's success. After Leaving the NFL he became a minister. In the last few months, he visited coach several times in that capacity.
Bum, overwhelmed by 70,000 fans who showed up to show their support after the Oiler' playoff loss to the Steelers on January 6, 1980.

It has been said he was the Will Rogers of the NFL; and indeed, though it is a title he would have rejected, it fit him well to those who knew him. Like Rogers, some of his off the cuff comments have never been forgotten:
"If I could be remembered for one thing, that would be for being myself. You may not always be right, but you do what you think is right. If you're wrong, have the ability to admit it. Both are damned important."
"How do you win? By getting average players to play good and good players to play great." 
"Don Shula? Now there's a good football coach. He can take his'n and beat your'n, or he can take your'n and beat his'n." 
"There's only two types of coaches; them that's been fired and them that's gonna be fired."
 "I always thought I could coach. I just thought people were poor judges of coaches." 
of Earl Campbell, "I don't know if he's in a class by himself, but I do know that when that class gets together, it sure don't take long to call the roll."
(when asked about Oilers RB Earl Campbell's inability to finish a one-mile run in training camp) "When it's first and a mile, I won't give it to him." 
(referring to Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon) "That boy could throw a football through a car wash and not get it wet." 
"There are people, maybe two or three, that ain't gonna like you. Not everbody likes everbody. My grandpa used to say, 'Just nod and grin.' "
"You can lead me a lot further than you can drive me. …You can't win today by embarrassing your football players. If I played for a guy who shouted at me, I'd sock him. …If you gripe at everbody, you accomplish nothin. To motivate somebody, you have to explain why something needs to be done before you can ask somebody to do it. Tell me why and I'll do just about everthing."
"The Dallas Cowboys may be Americas team, but the Houston Oilers are Texas' team.
(To an official) "Hey, can I, can I tell you one thing? That's three holding penalties on one football team in a quarter and a half. (Pauses) That ain't funny."

I was privileged, a few months ago, to be in Reliant Stadium in Houston when Bum made what was to be his last visit to a Texans game. At half time he and Earl Campbell and other ex Oilers were honored for their contributions to Houston's NFL teams. There were thousands of young people in the stands who weren't even born when Bum was still coaching, but they still knew who Bum was and joined the throngs in rising to their feet and filling the stadium with extended cheers for Oail Andrew Phillips, the man who will always just be "Bum" to Texans.

I have no idea what Bum's views on homosexuality or bisexuality were. But to me, he seemed like a man who always judged others more on the quality of their character than anything else. More than likely, in his long career, Bum coached a homosexual young man, maybe two or theree. That it never became a public issue fits right in with the man we all came to know and respect.

Bum Phillips

(September 29, 1923 – October 18, 2013)

Rest In Peace, Bum

You Eared Your Place In Our Hearts

We'll miss you Bum! Thanks for your example. Thanks for the memories.

Jack Scott 

P.S.  A couple of the dreams Bum never achieved were winning a Super Bowl and opening a facility on his ranch for deaf youngsters. No one can help with the Superbowl win but everyone can help Bum achieve his goal to open the facility for deaf children.

The Phillips family invites donations to Bum's charities. Contributions can be made through:

or  to

Bum Phillips Charities
2189 South Riverdale Lane
Goliad, TX  77963


   The Most Hated Man in Houston Dies

Life often take strange twists and turns and so it did with  the death yesterday of Bud Adams. It was strange that Bum and Bud who were close friends who parted ways over business  and owner/coach issues and finally decided to let bygones be bygones years later were again separated by death and then joined in death 3 days later.

For Bum it showed what a great guy he was to let bygones be bygones and to forgive Adams for doing the unthinkable. Texans and especially Houstonians never did forgive Bud although after moving the Oilers to Tennessee he continued to live in his Houston River Oaks mansion, where he was found dead on Sunday, and conduct much of his business in Houston. As he was worth an estimated 1.3 billion dollars at his death, he contributed greatly to the Houston economy and the welfare of Houston.

In all fairness, Adams along with Lamar Hunt, another Texas billionaire, must be given credit for creating the AFL. Without the AFL coming into being, there never would have been a professional football team in Houston, at least for several more decades.

Some Texans fans and former Oilers fans don't know that. Some do and don't give a damn. They still have never forgiven Adams for taking the Oilers to Tennessee and never will. Even in death, some are not willing to forgive. He is seen by many Texans as a deserter and a man who got too greedy when he was already worth millions.

He bought the Oilers franchise for $25,000.00 in or about 1960. At the time of his death, the Titans franchise was worth in or around $1,000,000,000. 

Suffice it to say Adams, dead at 90 years of age, the same as Bum, lived a long and productive life and he shared much of that productivity with the City of Houston and its citizens. Maybe he won't ever be forgiven by Houstonians, but then too, he'll never be forgotten.

Rest in peace Bud. I can't say many Houstonians will miss you. But thanks for what you did for Houston before and after snatching the Oilers out of state in the dark of night.

Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams, Jr. 

(January 3, 1923 – October 21, 2013)

Founder of the Houston Oilers - now the Tennessee Titans

Jack Scott


Friday, October 18, 2013

Neo Sexuality

Earlier this month Josh Hutcherson gave gave a candid interview to "Out Magazine." Hutcherson is an up and coming actor whose latest film release was "Hunger Games."

Hutcherson turned 21 years old on October 12th. He was born in Union, Kentucky, a state not noted for its liberal or cutting edge social values. However, in the "Out" interview, Hutcherson held nothing back while discussing who he is and his views on his own sexuality.

At one point in the interview while replying to a question on his own sexuality, he replied:
"I would probably list myself as mostly straight,"  Maybe I could say right now I'm 100 percent straight. But who knows? In a fucking year, I could meet a guy and be like, 'Whoa, I'm attracted to this person … I've met guys all the time that I'm like, 'Damn, that's a good-looking guy,' you know? I've never been, like, 'Oh, I want to kiss that guy.' I really love women. But I think defining yourself as 100% anything is kind of near-sighted and close-minded." 
"I have this dream that one day, my kid's gonna come home from school and be like, 'Dad, there's this girl that I like, and there's this guy that I like, and I don't know which one I like more, and I don't know what to do.' And it'd just be a non-issue, like, 'Which one is a good person? Which one makes you laugh more?'"
Hutcherson may well be the voice of the future for the young people of America. There is no doubt that a large number of American  youngsters are, unlike their parents, not  uptight about  homosexuality and
bisexuality. A huge number of younger Americans see homosexuality and bisexuality as just another choice of sexual identity; and to them, one who makes that choice is no more cause for being singled out than is one who chooses heterosexuality.

A growing number of Americans of all ages can and do identify with Hutcherson's dream for a time when sexuality is a non-issue for their children and grandchildren.

Hutcherson went on to explain how his opinions on sexuality were shaped, in part, by the deaths of his two gay uncles in the AIDS epidemic of the 1990"s. His uncle Steve died only one day after his mother revealed to her brother that she was pregnant with Josh. Hutcherson told "Out" he was sorry he never met his uncles.

"…they sound amazing," he said.

In "The Hunger Games," Hutcherson plays the part of Peeta, a baker's son in the poor District 12. He finds  himself  in  triangle amoureux  with   heroine Katniss  and her life  long  male friend Gale. "Out"asked Hutcherson if he thought some of Peeta's problems could have been solved by a threesome, he thought it was a great idea. He said he was even going to pitch the idea for the sequels. 

Hutcherson has been active in GLBT causes and willing to use his fame for the good of the GLBT community.

In 2012, Hutcherson was presented with the Vanguard Award by GLAAD in recognition of his work, an honor that's given to a straight ally who fights for GLBT equality.

In his acceptance speech, he spoke about why he launched Straight But Not Narrow, a group dedicated to providing straight people with tools to fight against homophobia.  

"We wanted to create a place where straight people felt safe coming out and saying, 'It’s okay to be gay,'" he said. "And I didn't know one, so we decided we were going to make one and we have. It's gaining momentum and it means the world to me."

Clearly Josh Hutcherson is a seeker and supporter of change in America's views on sexuality. There is evidence that he and others like him are the vanguard of a movement which will result in extraordinary change in our sexual morés. Here's wishing him success.

Jack Scott

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lifetime Achievements

Recently I received a long and very complimentary letter from a reader. Two paragraphs were as follows:

"You seem to be successful, happily married, with a history of a good marital sex life, socially at least somewhat liberal, fiscally conservative, Texan, intelligent, an interesting writer, bisexual, good taste in men (at least from your photo blog), Christian, and you have had longstanding very close friends-with-benefits relationships with men, and your wife is aware of this and it didn't ruin your marriage.
Jesus, man, how did you manage all that?  Kudos to you."
Like anyone, I appreciate a compliment whenever one is offered. However, in this case, I have to point out that the person offering the compliment is seeing me as a man in his mid sixties. If he had known
me when I was in my mid thirties, his compliment might not have been offered. There certainly have been times when I struggled to keep it all together, and there have been times when I was scared shitless about what it was going to take to achieve a goal.

Even so, the person complimenting me has more than likely seen, as have I, men in their sixties and even seventies who have not been very successful in their lives. What is it that allows some of us to achieve great success in our lives while others among us seem to struggle throughout their lives, or even worse, simply give up at some point?

The letter writer is correct when he describes me a fiscally conservative and socially liberal. For the most part that is correct. However, while I consider myself socially liberal, I am, by no means, a bleeding heart liberal. My recent reply to an "Anonymous Liberal" points out the distinct difference between me and the bleeding liberal hearts who are too blind, too elite, and too egotistical to see that they are on a path to destroying this country and its heritage.

I point out this reply because it answers part of the letter writers questions. My father was a man of few words. He spoke in a clear and simple way. He took seriously his duty to raise me and my brothers to be men who could support ourselves and our families. From an early age, he impressed on us that we were part of a world which doesn't give a damn about us. He stressed that there was no excuse for failure to be found outside ourselves. Adversity was just another name for challenge; and challenge was just another name for opportunity in my father's philosophy.

Feeling blue or mistreated? Get over it! Pick yourself up by your own bootstraps and keep doing whatever it is you have to do to achieve your goals was another major part of my father's philosophy of life, though he didn't say it in such gentle words.

I can't remember a single time I ever got a single word of sympathy from my father. Bleeding or
bruised? "I've had worse places on my eyeball," he'd say. Bullied or mistreated? "Learn to defend yourself; give as good as you get," he'd say. Yet, my father was always there, it seemed when he had to be. I almost drowned on my tenth birthday. I was going down for the 3rd time, and convinced my life was about to end when my father plucked me out of the deep water. I don't know for sure, but I've always felt my father let me get enough lake water in my lungs to convince me I'd better learn how to swim.

In today's world, not nearly enough people share my father's philosophy for success. "If I can't make more than minimum wage, why work?" they say. "Why should I stay in school?" they ask. "The governments got money, why should I work? they contend. Worse still, many people today would consider my father's philosophy a sign of ignorance. In response to anyone with such a viewpoint, I point out that my father raised three very successful sons.

Liberals contend minorities still need preferences and handouts to achieve success. The truth belies their contentions. Tens of thousands of minority middle and upper class Americans have made their lives a success just by taking advantage of the opportunities available to all Americans and by refusing to be defeated. The only fight I have with these successful minority Americans is, even they, now fall victim all too often to the liberal lie that minorities must have special help and preferences to achieve success. They have forgotten that it is their own struggle that made them what they are today.

Such self delusion is not just engaged in by successful minorities. It is also engaged in my successful white Americans who try to shield their children from the struggles they had to overcome on the road to success. They give their kids everything money can buy and never teach them the value of hard work and personal achievement. I admire Bill Gates and other wealthy Americans who do not plan to share their fortunes with their children, but instead teach them how to make their own fortunes.

Another reason for my success is that I was born with an inquiring mind. I always wanted to know, Why? I was never satisfied with success. I always wanted more. As a young man, I looked at people
who had grand homes and expensive cars and I wanted to be just like them. I was willing to work long, hard hours to achieve what I wanted.

I have never been a person who is afraid of or resistant to change. Nothing has ever been sacred to me simply because it is the way it has always been done. I have always been sensitive to the rights and the feelings of others because I have always been a believer in the old maxim that "what goes round comes round." Now, in the twilight of my years, I can honestly say that in my observation throughout my life those who cheat and steal and take advantage of others are seldom successful in the long run and never happy in the long run.

I have never been one to blame my failures on others. That sort of thing is simply alien to the philosophy of life my father instilled in me. It is a tell tale mark of the ignorant. If I fail, I simply try to learn from the failure and initiate a new strategy. Along the same lines, I've never thought of myself as the only person who has to carry a bag of rocks around with him. I know everyone has their own bag of rocks, and I believe it is out bag of rocks and what we do about them that determines our stature in life. No one else can relieve us of our rocks. They are our personal responsibility.

I've always been willing and able to reassess my bag of rocks. Often I've found what I thought was just a rock was, in fact, a gem stone. Such is the case with my bisexuality. For years it was one of the biggest rocks I had to carry. When I finally was able to assess it correctly, I found it to be one of the biggest gems in my life. It was because of my bisexuality, that I met some of the most important people in my life. It was because of my bisexuality I have been able to help some people to deal with their own sexual challenges. It is one of my life's greatest satisfactions to know that I have been able to affect lives for the better. At the same time, there is satisfaction that I was not able to affect such change all by myself, but rather by helping others to identify their options, clarify their thinking and take on new paradigms that brought about the changes.

I have always been a planner. I had the good sense to marry a woman who was also a planner. She is also intelligent and self sufficient. She doesn't need me to take care of her. She simply needs me to share my life with her. So many people ruin their chances of real success in life by marrying beautiful, needy women who are both unwilling and unable to be an asset to them. Such carelessness, more often than not, takes a huge toll on one's life.

Finally, throughout my life, I have surrounded myself with great people. Especially in my career, I
intentionally hired people who were smarter than I and who knew things I didn't know. I intentionally tried to avoid at all cost hiring problems and instead to hire competence and team members.

Have I made mistakes in my life? Too many to count, but mistakes have always been just a weigh station on the road to success. One of the greatest discoveries of my life has been that people appreciate a good attitude and a willingness to do something, even if its sometimes wrong. More often than not, such people are quickly forgiven their mistakes. It has happened to me over and over in my life.

I've always believed in powers bigger than myself. In my mind such belief is vital to keeping oneself grounded.

It's never too late to achieve success. We don't have to be rich to be counted successful. We don't have to have the grand home of the expensive car to be seen as a success. Some of the most successful people I've ever known have been quite poor in material means. As my father always said, "Be the best at whatever you do. If you dig ditches for a living, be the best ditch digger anyone has ever known."

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott