Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Goodbye to Summer

I don't guess Summer is the favorite time of year for very many of us who live in southeast Texas. It's just too hot and muggy during summers here. By far Spring is my favorite time of year. Everything is being reborn and refreshed, the days are pleasantly warm and the nights are cool. I love the Spring.

For many years I became mildly seasonally depressed each Fall as the days grew shorter and leafs began to fall leaving the trees bare and bleak looking. That doesn't happen so much anymore because most of the trees here in the Houston area are either Live Oaks or Pines which stay green year around. I've come to appreciate the shorter days because life becomes a little bit less of a rush for those of us who are retired. We can't cram as much into short Fall and Winter days as we try to do in the seemingly endless days of summer.

Nevertheless, I enjoy summers, especially the couple few weeks leading to the end of summer. My
Stunning Shot of Northern European Village
wife and I have taken to traveling frequently in the latter days of August and in September when kids are back in school and their parents are back at work. It's an especially nice time to visit Europe. Everything is still open, the weather is mild and crowds are small or even non-existent. This year we took a few days to visit Northern Europe. It is a place I had wanted to visit since my childhood. I was not disappointed. It is a magnificent part of the world and I enjoyed it immensely. My only disappointment was that I have, with my cancer, become simply unable to hike the rugged areas as I once would have done.

I enjoy the people of northern Europe. They live their lives well. Like Switzerland, the countries of
northwestern Europe are sparkling clean. Everywhere one looks, the eye sees a picture post card. Rarely is anything out of place. Houses are well maintained and neat as they can be. Maybe there are some slum areas, but if there are, I've never seen them. European Socialism seems to have, in the decades since WWII, brought everyone firmly into the middle class, and there are, as well, those who are just as firmly in the upper 10% or 1%.

One thing I like a great deal about the northern Europeans is they take a more sensible approach to religion than do Americans. In some parts of northwestern Europe, almost 30% of the population are atheists, compared to only 10% in the United States. More importantly, of the 70% who remain believers, almost none worship in churches that are involved in anything even close to the fundamentalism that attracts more than 30% of all U.S. Christians. The lack of fundamentalism means that northwestern European cultures are significantly different than U.S. culture. They see religion beliefs as a personal thing not open to active proselytizing. Fundamentalist in the U.S. are extremely active in proselytizing and see it as their duty to save everyone who does not believe as they do from Hell by converting them not just to Christianity, but to fundamental Christianity. We should be so lucky here in the U.S.

Norwegian Stave Church
Because religion is seen as a private thing in Europe, the way one leads his life, even his sexual life, is considered private as well. All the countries of northwestern Europe allow gay marriage and it is not allowed because high courts have demanded it. It is allowed because the majority of people support it. How different from what we have to put up with here in the U.S. where fundamentalists are not content to have their own beliefs but insist that everyone else share their beliefs as well.

We could certainly learn a thing or two from the Europeans. Of course, to be fair, I have to point out that not all is rosy there. In a conversation with one man, I told him within two weeks of being diagnosed with cancer I was undergoing treatment by an oncologists. He readily admitted such a thing rarely if every happened in the socialized medical systems in Europe.

In some northwestern European countries women who give birth are give one year off with their babies and retain their full pay. Such a thing is bound to be a boon to childhood development, but we'll never see it here in the U.S. And, of course, it must be pointed out that everything in northwestern Europe is expensive for Americans. Social benefits are not free. There is a definite cost, and high prices and even higher taxes are required to support the cradle to grave welfare systems.

I think America and Americans suffer from an all too often parochial outlook because they are too isolated from the rest of the world. We won't and we shouldn't adopt everything that is European, but it would be nice to consider where they seem to have made better decisions that we.

Jack Scott

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Art of Living

The quote, "If you are young and not liberal, then you have no heart, but if you are old and not conservative, then you have no brain," is most often attributed to Disraeli or to Churchill. It seems more Churchillian to me, but it really doesn't matter who said it as much as it matters what was said at this point in our history.

I usually try to stay away from politics in this blog, but the country is sharply divided between liberal and conservative citizens like no other time in modern history. Worse yet, the country is divided between radical liberals and radical conservatives as in no other time in our modern history. To me it is very easy to navigate the radical divide. Radicals are never deserving of our considering their ideas and ideals other than to guard against them. The reason is simple, radicals have stopped thinking, if indeed they every thought at all, they act only on emotion and self-interest. That is the root of the evil that is presently preying upon our country. So many citizens, including most of our elected officials have long since forgotten their duty to the public interest and the good of the country. There is not a single statesman left in the Congress. They all say and do whatever is necessary in their minds to get reelected and enrich themselves at the public expense.

The prime example of this kind of behavior, unfortunately, is at the very top of our government. That is not to say that he is acting any worse than other elected officials, he just happens to be at the top of the heap and thus more visible. He and the other 644 men and women who make up the three branches of our Federal government have long since forgotten the art of governing. In fact, they have tragically forgotten the art of living itself, and the country, indeed the world, is the worse for it. For much of our 218 year history, the United States has been a positive and respected bastion of leadership and selfless service to the world. Over and over again, we have spilled our own blood on foreign battlefields to save the world from tyranny and tyrants. Now, we have squandered that leadership and that respect in the name of partisan politics and self-interest.

All this can be turned around. Reagan was very successful in giving the United States a new sense of love of country and a new respect for  the countries place in the world after the devastating Carter years. It could happen again, but I'm not optimistic. I see no one on the political stage that has Reagan's abilities to unite people and make them realize there is more to our common good than to our disagreements. More dismaying is that I see no one on the national scene that has Reagan's natural goodness of heart.

It is important to realize that the shape the country is in today did not have it genesis in politics. Its roots are unmistakably entwined in all of us. We are a people who have succumbed to the baser sides of prosperity, self-interest and emotionalism. In short, as a people, we have forgotten the art of living.

For those of us who are gay or bisexual, the art of living has always been a struggle. But now, life has become a struggle for almost every American. The middle class which has always been the backbone of the country has largely disappeared. Why? Because businesses have broken the social contract that allowed them to make money while allowing their workers to prosper too. Henry Ford made himself a millionaire by building and pricing his automobiles in such a manner that the men who built them could afford to drive them. The genius of his thinking is now forgotten. The business of business today is to make as much money as possible with absolutely no regard for the workers who actually make the money for their employers other than to push them harder and harder to make more.

Anything that makes money is fair game. Houston's Enron Corporation opened the flood gates on that way of doing business and the biggest and once respected members of the U.S. financial firms and the Barney Madoff's have followed their example in droves. Just find something to sell. If you have to make it up that's ok. Package it to look inviting and hawk it to the suckers all the time knowing it is worthless. No matter that millions of people loose their jobs and their homes so long as a profit is made by the crooks in suits, white shirts and ties. If you have any doubt of this at all, consider that while the financial sector makes up just 6% of employment in the U.S it now enjoys 30% of U.S. income. That tells the story.

It doesn't have to be this way. None of us is above some degree of greed or self interest. Certainly, no one is above disreputable behavior, but that doesn't mean that greed and disreputable behavior have to be the things at which we excel.

Last week, I came across an article in the August, 2014, Reader's Digest entitled "Art of Living. The title itself caught my interest and I began to read the excellent article by Mark Divine. The article is taken from Divine's book The Way of the Seal.

Divine confides that after college he entered the world of accounting and consulting without much thought other than making a lot of money. As a talented young man he did indeed begin to make a great deal of money, but to his surprise he found that more and more often he found himself feeling unhappy and dissatisfied with the daily grind. It was not only the grind that was getting to him. He found himself feeling dirty about tactics his firm was using that were not precisely illegal, but were unethical. The tactics sometimes forced companies innocent of any wrong doing into bankruptcy and forced their workers out of their jobs. The realization horrified Divine.

For some time Divine had had a desire to quit his high paying job and become a public servant. A big
man in great shape with a real love of physical exercise and the outdoors, he knew exactly how he wanted to serve. He wanted to become a Navy Seal Officer. Soon the straw that broke the camel's back occurred in Divine's company. He resigned. A year later he graduated from Navy Seal training. Eighty cadets had started the training. Divine was one of 19 who graduated, and he was at the top of his class. He went on to serve honorably as a Seal, and after retiring from the Navy he started an entrepreneurial career which lead him to create several successful multi million dollar companies.

My son is career Navy. Though he was never a Navy Seal, he was a member of the Navy's Special Ops. I was very pleased to read Divine's description of some of the things he learned along his successful career in leadership. Several of them were the same conversations my son and I have had about leadership. For instance, Divine says that leadership is not a skill. Instead, leadership is a character set - a core value of one's personality. Successful, happy and fulfilled people, Divine says, have core values such as honor, courage and a true commitment to personal excellence that makes them natural leaders. It is a conversation my son and I have had many times. For my son, his own sense of honor, courage and commitment to personal excellence helped him to become one of the youngest Command Master Chief's in the U.S. Navy, and it has guided him through many a battle and many a tight squeeze. No one should ever get the idea that honor, courage and commitment to personal excellence is something that is always appreciated. It's not. When one rises above his peers, there is often jealousy and peek. When a young career military man still in his twenties begins to be singled out for praise from senior officers, junior officers are, more often than not, less than supportive.

Divine tells of a senior officer challenging him to succinctly state what he stood for. After several false starts, he told the officer, "Destiny favors the prepared in body, mind and spirit." Again it is a concept my son and I have talked about many times. When he first joined the Navy, I told him that if he was always willing to do more than was asked of him, he would have an exceptional career. Luckily, it was one of the times he truly listened to me and his personal commitment to always being prepared and willing to go the extra mile served him well from the very beginning of his career right into the second decade of his career.

Divine goes on to explain that after talking with the officer, he went on to expand what it meant to him to be prepared in body, mind and spirit. He wrote the following stand:

  • Destiny will favor me if I am prepared in body, mind and spirit.
  • I must work harder than expected and be more patient than others.
  • Leadership is a privilege, not a right.
  • As a warrior, I will be the last to pick up the sword but will fight to protect myself, my family and my country.  (This another conversation my son and I have had many many times. Nothing irks my son more than for someone to say or imply that military men and women love fighting. He tells people that as a young man who has seen the horrors of war often and first hand, he hates war and fighting, but he accepts the responsibility to protect his country and those he loves at any cost.)
  • I will find happiness by seeking truth, wisdom and love and not by chasing thrills, wealth, titles or fame.
  • I will seek to improve myself, my team and the world every day.
Divine, correctly states that few people these days take the time to think deeply about their personal ethos.  He encourages the people he works with to take the following steps to correct this:
  • Write out a personal list of the principles on which you stand.
  • Define personal values.
  • Identify personal passions.
  • Discover the purpose of your life.
I believe that every life has a purpose. Unfortunately, I also believe that the number of people who identify their life's purpose are much smaller than the number who do not. It's a tragedy. Knowing one's purpose in life can make the good times in one's life even more rewarding and it can smooth over the inevitable rough spots as well.

As a young boy, my parents always reminded me that God would use me - use me as a good example if he could, as a bad example if he must. We live in a time when bad examples surround us on all sides. Those who cheat, steal and use others are exalted in our popular culture. Even those who murder are often admired. How did we get to this point? I think Divine would say, it is because so few of us have any personal set of ethics. We just go with the flow.

I was raised by parents for whom ethical behavior was paramount. Breeches of ethical behavior on my part were always punished. Thus, ethics became an important part of my life as well. As a young bisexual man who wanted a traditional marriage and family and who seemed to need something beyond that as well, ethical behavior in that part of my life was always troublesome. As I've gotten older I find that I am glad to have been troubled. The troublesome nature of my life helped me to at least stay within personal boundaries of propriety and safety.

As a Christian, I've always struggled with the concept of hell. I have come not to believe in a geographically defined pit of burning unquenchable fire. However, I very much believe that hell does exist. It exist all around us and within us, and when hell does invade our minds and our spirits, its metaphorical fires can indeed be unquenchable.

The antidote to this metaphorical hell is the Art of Living. A life lived well is a beautiful thing and a
very satisfying thing. Unfortunately, we live in an era when parents dearest wish for their children is for them to live a life free of adversity. We would do well instead to teach our children to live an artful life. In an artful life children would grow into adults who could face any adversity and overcome it, if not in a physical sense, in a spiritual and mental sense. I have an incurable cancer. Barring a medical breakthrough, it will kill me. But I have overcome my cancer. I do not let it define me. I define myself and I choose to live a life in which I count my many blessings rather than to dwell on physical and social cancers that surround me. Such is the blessing of living an Artful Life.

None of us can control what adversities we encounter in life. What we can control is how we handle those adversities. Handling them in such a manner that they are temporary inconveniences and refusing to be defined by our adversities is the definition of Artful Living.

Jack Scott

Thursday, June 26, 2014

And Then There is Texas

I've always been proud to be a Texan. Texas is a truly unique place in the world. That is not to say that there are not other unique places in the world. There are of course. That is why my wife and I spend so much time traveling around the world. But Texas is the unique place with which I am most familiar and the place I always return to from my travels.

That said, more and more my pride in being a Texan is being shaken these days by the utter stupidity
of some of those who make news as political activists. Recently Texas had its State GOP Convention. Nothing wrong with that of course. Every state has one, but undoubtedly none of these other states conventions come up with as many stupid platform proposals as do the far right-wing Texans who represent the evangelical Christians and the Tea Party and dominate the Platform Committee.

In the recent GOP Convention in Texas the approximately 7000 member Platform Committee decided in their total lack of wisdom that the GOP Platform should contain language supporting Reparative Therapy for gays to help them become straight. Seeing as how every respected psychiatric organization in the United States has declared Reparative Therapy to be roughly the equivalent of curative snake oil, it was an embarrassing moment for most Texas Republicans and for Texas. But that is part of the problem. The far right-wing Christians and the radical Tea Party members have no capacity whatsoever to be embarrassed over their own stupidity and ignorance. The are perfectly comfortable in their feelings that what they believe is truth and that it is their duty to see that everyone else believes it too.

While other states are recognizing the reality of equal opportunity under the law for gays to marry their same-sex partners, too many Texans cling to the false notion that such marriages would be a direct and immediate danger to their own marital status.

Fortunately, at the same time, an amazing number of Texas citizens do not subscribe to this foolishness. The other day a couple of my gay friends invited my wife and I to a party at their home. They have a large home in a part of Houston that is being regentrified  on the north side. This regentrification is largely the product of gay couples who are moving into the area and fixing up homes that have been home to squatters for the last several years. The house my friends bought was totally covered in vines in the front. In the back, windows had been broken for squatters to enter and the house was a total wreck. Light fixtures, air conditioners and anything else with any value had been ripped out and carried away. In just less than a year, my friends turned it into a showplace again much to the liking of their straight neighbors.

The neighbors have not only continued to be supportive but also quick to include my friends in the social activities of the neighborhood. At the party there were lesbian couples, gay couples and straight couples. It was not a gay party. It was a neighborhood party and everyone had a great deal of fun. The party started at 5:00 p.m. and the invitation said it would continue until the last guest departed. That turned out to be a little after 2:00 a.m.

The point is that most of Texas' population is located in its three large metropolitan areas and these
people are doing a great job of learning how to judge people, not by their sexual orientation or the color of their skin, but rather by their character. It is a wonderful thing. It's not such a wonderful thing that the chief purveyors of hate and discrimination these days is found in our politics and in our evangelical churches. Oh sure, the claim to love the sinner but hate the sin thinking that lets them off the hook. It never occurs to them that homosexuality might not always be a sin.

Yesterday a circuit court in Denver ruled that every state must allow same-sex marriage under the equal protection provisions of the Constitution of the United States of America. This sets in motion the process that will end with a review by the U.S. Supreme Court. No one can predict what the sharply divided court will do in this case; but if I was betting, I know where I'd place my bet.

We live in interesting times. There is much wrong with our world. Hatred looms in too many areas of the world fed all to0 often by religious zealots who use religion to support their own hate and prejudice.

I'm proud to be an American and a Texan, for although we're far from perfect, we remain the best hope of the world and things generally are getting better all the time in our part of the world. Hopefully our politicians and our religious leaders will come to recognize that they are out of touch with the citizens they represent. We'll never get rid of political institutions, but if religious institutions don't soon come to grips with changing realities, they'll soon find themselves having to close their doors for lack of money and congregations to keep them open.

Jack Scott

Sunday, June 15, 2014

What I've Learned Along the Way - Part Two

As I said in the first part of this post back in December, "Gay men have won their battle to be accepted into the culture. That is not to say there is no work left to be done, there certainly is, but they won the war."

I went on to say that the same is not true for bisexual men. They have a very long way to go. There
are many reasons for this. Perhaps that is the reason this post was delayed so long, letters and phone calls just kept coming in to give me background input.

A caller said: "bisexual men just don't know what they want." And, he is right. Even a casual look around the bisexual scene will confirm this. To be fair, let's start with what the caller considers should be the definition of a bisexual man. He is a man who knows from experience that he can perform with both men and women and be satisfied performing with both. Gender has little to nothing to do with those he sees as possible  life partners.

A personal friend of mine agrees fully, married for 24 years, his marriage existed on paper, and it produced children, but besides the children, nothing good ever came of the marriage. It was just a 24 year long fight which ended in divorce. After the breakup my friend found his life partner, another male. He said, he loved Charles greatly, but if Charles had been Charlene, he would have loved her just as much.

My friend and the caller agree that to a bisexual man, gender has little or nothing to do with whom they form a long term partnership. When you think about it, this is really a pretty nice thing. The problem though is not many bisexual men subscribe to this way of thinking, or don't subscribe to it soon enough to prevent a lot of pain for themselves and others.

The second, and perhaps the most common confusion that "bisexual" men create for themselves, and
everyone they interact with, are those men who call themselves bisexual simply because they are married to a woman, but enjoy sex with a man. There are two subsets for this kind of man:

  1. the man who really loves his wife, but also loves sex with another man, or other men.
  2. the man who does not love his wife, but stays married for convenience while he has sex with other men.
There are millions of men in the category. Most of them are in the 40 and above age bracket. They are the ones who cause people to say that bisexual men are self-centered. All too often, they are right. I'm not casting stones at these men, I'm one of them. If there is any difference in me it is that I was so bothered by the experience that I began to do a lot of critical thinking about what should be done about it.

The third way bisexual men stir up trouble for themselves is the clash between the bisexuals who want a monogamous relationship and those who want to use their bisexuality as a license to party hearty, or even engage in regular sexual orgies. Some of these guys say they practice safe sex, but the reality is there is really no way to practice safe sex in a sexual orgy scene. For those who are married, their wives were at that orgy too even though were not physically there.

All of the things that lead to confused thinking about bisexuals, both inside and outside the bisexual ranks, have flaws that do not serve the bisexual man well, and give way to just cause for criticism to those outside the bisexual community.

There is a fourth reason men turn to active bisexuality that has some reasonability about it. In the case of a man whose wife becomes incapacitated, but he is not ready to become celibate. Sex with another man is less binding. Rarely does one man try to sue the other man. Usually, there are no expectations of marriage between two men in such a situation. Of course, this still leaves the other man in such a relationship? That must be a consideration too.

About four years ago a young man contacted me and asked if I would meet with him. We arranged a meeting. At the meeting, I met a very attractive young single man who was so uptight it was beginning to affect every part of his life. At this first meeting and many to follow he only wanted to talk generally and avoid telling me anything that might identify his real name to me. I respected that.

After a while, he began to open up and tell me what concerned him. It boiled down to his feeling he was homosexual. Since he was not married, it didn't seem to be too big a deal to me, but there was a catch: he didn't want to be gay. The thought of being gay was driving him nuts.

He's a very athletic guy (not that athletic guys can't be gay). But just a casual meeting with him would never cause one to walk away thinking: "What a nice gay guy." I told him that. I think it helped, but
not much. He continued to be consumed with this "what if" question.

I told him I thought I could help him find out if he was gay, bisexual or straight, but he had to promise to answer all my questions honestly and completely. He agreed. One of the first questions I asked of him was why he thought he might be gay. He said that he loved to look at pictures of good looking men, and he noticed good looking men he might see in public.

I told him I like art of all kinds. I've spent all day in the National Art Museum of several countries. It doesn't mean I ever expect to own something that would be in there.  I told him also, I like to look at good looking men. Doesn't mean I want to have sex with any of them.

He had previously told me when he was a kid, he was small and had been pushed around by other guys. That had caused him to become a gym rat, so such abuse would not happen. He accomplished his goal. I told him he knows how much work goes into building a body that people would notice. That could be part of his attraction to good looking well built men - an appreciation of the work they have done to sculpt their bodies.

I asked him if he had had sex in college. He said he had a lot of sex in college. I asked if that was with men or women, or both. He said it was always with women. He had never been with a man.
I asked if he enjoyed straight sex. He said that he enjoyed it very much.

We continued to talk for weeks. Our custom was to get something to eat and then just drive around in the car. He still had not told me his real name. One day a strategy came to mind. I was driving and just headed west. We came to one of Houston's many gated neighborhoods. I avoided the guard and approached the gate through the resident's lane. It opened immediately as it would for any resident. All residents have to have an electronic sticker on the windshield to trip the gate. I drove to my house and pointed it out to him and giving him the address. My thought was that now that he knew where I lived, he would soon tell me his address. A few days latter he did. This was important because it showed trust on both sides, and would encourage him to talk openly about his life.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge between this young man and me in the last four years. He's  one of the most impressive men I have ever met. We've become great friends though we are separated by almost 35 years in age. I give him free access to the store of wisdom I've accumulated during seven decades on this earth. He gives me a measure of confidence that when I'm dead and gone, the world will still be in good hands because of guys like him.

He's married now to an exceptionally beautiful and gentle woman. It seems to me that they could me my wife and I starting over again. Together, they are going to go to places they never dreamed of just as my wife and I have done. "What about his sexuality?" you ask. He's come to realize he is not gay. He's bisexual. We talk a lot about his bisexuality and mine and what he must learn if his life is to be as satisfying and successful as he hopes it to be. What I tell him is something that I would have once thought ridiculous, but now I think it is the real answer for every bisexual guy for whom morality is important.

As those of you who have read much of my writing know, I am a Christian. As a Christian, the moral complications of bisexuality have always been a grave concern for me. How could I be both bisexual and a Christian? There are actually several parts to the answer of that question, that I came to understand well in my personal struggle. But the one thing that always continued to nag me was the fact that I was cheating on my wife who trusted me not to do such a thing.

The problem, of course, is that morality is not important at all for a staggering number of men all around the world. In India, gangs of men are roaming the streets looking for young women whom they can rape and murder. It is a national past time. The same is becoming true in Egypt. Sexual assault against women is open and rampant. After all, boys will be boys!

Throughout the middle east and spreading quickly to other countries around the world women are the property of their husbands. They have no rights other than those he decides they can have. They are kept hidden away behind  the dark burqa or the black abaya and niqãb depending on what part of the Muslim world the reside in.

Houston is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the United States. Still it did not stop a Muslim father from killing his own daughter recently because by marrying an infidel (a U.S. Citizen who was not Muslim) she had brought dishonor to the family! How anyone much less any group of human beings could have arrived at the point of seeing such a thing as an honorable act is simply beyond my understanding. I know very well that most American Muslims would never do such a thing, but why would any Muslim who would even want to come to the United States?

So, we are all still immersed up to our necks in the human condition. Some of us get it. Some of us never will.

I've always been proud to be a Texan. "Texas", as we say, "is a whole nother country." And it's true. Texas is a state of mind found nowhere else in the world. It's a can do spirit mellowed with a readiness to help a neighbor in a time of need. It's a feeling that "I worked hard for mine, and you should damn well work hard for yours."

No matter what one may think of this Texas Spirit, reality tells the real tale. If Texas was still an independent nation, it would be the 14th largest economy of all the countries of the world. Is it any wonder that Texans worry that the millions of immigrants pouring into Texas may bring with them the old ideas, old feelings and old politics that served to keep them poor and subdued in their old home states or counties.

Don't get me wrong, even Texas has its share of assholes. I even know a few of them personally. They are guys that only care about looking out for number one, and they don't care whom they crush to stay on top. As an example, 7000 delegates to the recent Texas State GOP Convention overwhelmingly voted to endorse Repairative Therapy for gay men. They might as well have voted to cut off their dicks and their balls. It would be the same type of thinking. The American Psychiatric Association has not endorsed Repairative Therapy in years and no reputable therapist has used it for an even longer period. Who are these 7000 ignorant assholes. Well, for the most part they are members of the radical Christian Right Wing who actually know nothing about Christianity and don't want to know anything about science. Their idea of God is an all powerful being who just happens to hate homosexuals just as they do. But I digress (as I often do).

The world will always have those who choose to not bind themselves by morality. The rest of us simply have to carry on as best we can. Oh, don't get the idea that I'm saying one has to be a Christian to be moral. These days, some of the most immoral people I know call themselves Christians. As a young child, a Sunday School Teacher once told us that only Christians could be moral. Even as a young kid, I thought he was some kind of troglodyte.

So, the immoral, like the poor, will always be with us. How do we as bisexuals keep our membership in the moral humans club in good standing? To begin with, we don't allow our problems to become problems for those we love.

A young man I know recently came home to his wife and infant son and told her he didn't want to be married anymore. He didn't want the hassle and he didn't want the responsibility! More than likely to his great surprise, she said, "OK".

All of this is actually connected, I promise.

Recently, national news sources reported that for the first time in our history as a nation, female college students and female college grads outnumber males. What the shit is going on in this country?

According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, 36% of young people ages 18 to 30 are still living with their parents. Forty percent of these are young men while only 32% are young women. Again the question, "What the shit is going on in this country?"

I think the fact is that more and more men are simply choosing to become Peter Pans. They prefer to remain boys rather than grow into men with with responsibilities! To be sure, a huge number of these young men had help in becoming irresponsibile idiots. They had the help of their mothers who gave birth to them as a single parent with no responsible man in her life. On top of that they had help from their baby daddies who didn't give a damn about them and never even tried to help raise them into men. In my younger, more liberal days, I use to rail against the idea that a child needed both a committed and involved mother and the same type of father. I was wrong. A mother's job is to love her children unconditionally and express that love to them often. A father's job is to kick their asses and assure them the world doesn't give a damn about them. To succeed in this world takes never ending amounts of judgment, brains and courage.

I never was a hippy, but I was part of that generation. The hippy culture has never gone away. It just got older. The kids that smoked dope and dropped out are now the old farts who are still smoking. Many of these guys were either physically or emotionally absent from their sons in their formative years. It shows.

If there is any good news, and I believce there is, it is that many young people have seen enough of the kind of parents they were raised by. They are determined to be a different kind of parent to their own kids. Kids these days don't want anything to do with organized religion. They see it as an hypocracy, and they are dead right in too many cases.

The good thing is that doesn't mean they don't have morals. They do have them and they really intend to live by them. They just might end up being the salvation of this country and the American way of life.

My wife and I were actually surprised at our recent 50th class anniversary how many couples had stayed together over the almost 50 years. We all married young, but we were all brought up in conservative rural Texas. Those moderate conservative values have seen us through a lot of tough times.

Ok, Ok, I know your screaming at this point. How does all this relate to a new moral philosaphy for bisexual men. Well, actually it's pretty simple. Moral heterosexual men have always had to make a choice in their adult lives. Just because they married, often young in decades past, did not mean they went blind. They still reacted viscerally to the sight of a pretty woman, but they made the choice to enjoy the scenery without trying to possess it.

I think the time has come that bisexual men must take the same stand. Fifty years ago it would have
been much more difficult, but today it can actually be pretty easy. Young people are marrying at a much later age now than in decades past. They date much longer. They are exposed to a huge number of people. Homosexuality is a won battle. Not many people these days care who one is sleeping with, male or female.

I think a young male who thinks he might be gay or bisexual has a moral obligation to find out before he commits himself to another person in his life. I've never believed that sex should be something between two married adults. Sex is much too important in a relationship to leave to chance. Responsible mutual exploration, to me, is a must whether it be between two males or a male and a female.

Only when one decides, "I may be bisexual, but traditional marriage is what I want for my lifetime," or conversely, decides, "I'm bisexual and I can relate well to either sex, but a commitment to another male is what I want for my lifetime, should he submit to a long term relationship.

Like moral heterosexuals for generations, he won't be giving up his appreciation of his brand of sex. He'll just tried it all and arrived at what meets his needs the best.

Over the years, I had same sex relations with a bunch of guys. It eventually dawned on me that never once had I found a guy who rivaled the woman I had at home in any way. She out classed them all. I'm a bisexual man, but I know without a doubt that my wife was the life mate for me.

Jack Scott

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Note from Jack Scott

My life continues to be one foot on firm ground and one on an ice flow. The good news is that I am feeling better and better.  I am able to read again and think again, so that has been good for me. Best of all, I'm walking again and that is really great.

The only thing is I have just not had the inspiration or the wit to finish Part II of What I've Learned Along the Way, but I think I'm getting close.

I am pleased to see that even though I've not been able to post any blog pieces for quite some time about 10,000 readers a month are looking at the older articles. I appreciate that very much.

Hope to get back soon.

Jack Scott

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Progress Note

I promised some friends who contributed to Part Two: "What I've Learned Along The Way" I'd have it out last week. I just couldn't make it happen. Today, I was convinced I could, but there were problems with my Google ID and problems with my password. It took all afternoon to get those straightened out.

However, the time is drawing near when the article will be finished. Keep in mind my good days are limited, and I never know when I wake up in the morning if the day is going to be good or bad. Please spread the word to your friends that the blog will be reactivated soon.

I have intentionally made the blog challenging because that is where I think the truth is to be found in challenges to the old thoughts, ideas and ways. I hope no one who reads it will fill intimidated to support it or say it's trash. I want to hear what you think.

Best wishes.

Jack Scott

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Day I've Been Dreading

I've known for sometime now this day was on its way. Now, it has arrived, even quick than I imagined it would. The day has come to say goodbye to the picture blog. Since we got home at the end of August, my life has been a zoo. I 've had to rely on my wife for more and more of my daily needs. I don't like that, but it is true.

Add to that , because of my surgery in November, I have lost my ability to type. I had hoped I would recover that, but I haven't.  If I didn't hadn't watched every word as I typed it, you would have been unable to make any since of what I just typed

When I am speaking, it is even worse. I have to have words that will fill in for the words I can't remember. I've never had trouble using words. If it doesn't clear up Bisexual Buddies Yahoo  and Bisexual Buddies blog spot will have to go too.

It has been an absolute privilege serving you over the past few years. Thank you for all your kindnesses. I hope you'll continue reading and participating in the other too groups. There is no schedule for them, and it makes it easier for me.

I am happy to report that today is the first good day I've had in well over a month. Unless you ever had metastatic cancer you can imagine what it does to you brain.

I still owe you the second  part of "What I've Learned Along the way. I'm just taking a little more time to let the cobwebs clear out.

I must say an enormous thank you to George Starzz for all the year he has helped my giving thousands of pictures to draw from. I couldn't have done it without you George.

Jack Scott

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Comment on "What I've Learned Along the Way"

A follower of this blog who writes me on a regular basis sent me a long comment on my blog piece, "What I've Learned Along the Way." He was afraid it was too long to publish in the comment section. I told him I would post it for him.

His story fits well in the context of "What I've Learned Along the Way." He has had, as many of us do, some very difficult decisions to make in his life. He has tried his best to make those decisions based on what is best for him and his family. The results have not been entirely satisfying to him, but neither have they been altogether bad. Many of you will most likely recognize yourselves in his comment.

Hey Jack,

I just read your latest blog post.  Interesting to me, because I fall into the category of folks you described, the ones who choose to stay married and monogamous.

Lately, I have been very frustrated on many fronts.  My life just didn't seem to work out like I wanted.  

My marriage is mediocre.  Our sex life has dwindled to nothing (literally, have not had sex since January [last year], and last year was a nearly no-sex year too).  

My career is mediocre.  I got a decent education, with a couple of degrees.  I have fumbled in the work world.  I make a decent living, over the six figure mark. But, I have never really felt connected to my work in a way that is satisfying.

Family life is hard. I am thankful to have kids. I think I am a mediocre parent.  I wish for something better for my kids than I seem to be able to provide for them.

I am bisexual.  I was in some sort of denial about that for many years, even though it was as plain as day to me from an early age that when I watched porn it was the hard dicks that got me hard.  I never tried same-sex sex, and always assumed I never would.  But, the same-sex arousal caused me incredible shame and I know it had a serious impact on my life overall.  

But, the truth is, I can't blame my life circumstances on my sexuality.  I have struggled with depression.  I can be pessimistic.  This challenge runs in my family.  This is yet another burden I must bare. 

I was raised by a bipolar dad who was emotionally distant and at times emotionally abusive.  It left me scarred and self loathing.

I am quite introverted.  That has been yet another burden.  

I've done counseling, prayer, introspection.  Somewhere along the way, I finally started sharing the whole truth about myself, including the sexuality issues.  That was a necessary step, for me.  I had to come to grips with the fact that I am not completely straight.  It's hard to put a number to it, on the Kinsey scale, because I never tried same-sex sex. But, I am confident I could enjoy it. Maybe I'm a 2, because I've never bothered to try it. Maybe I'm a 4, because, damn, those porn images are hot. In the end, it doesn't really matter. I dig gay porn and it provides a useful release for me.  But, I like straight sex, and if I had a more engaged partner, I'd enjoy having a lot more of it.  As I have shared with you previously, coming to grips with who I really am sexually was helpful for me.  It was life changing, in that I was able to release the longstanding shame.

But, because the sexuality issue is not my only struggle, coming to grips didn't solve all my problems.  I'm still a work in progress.  I don't know that I'll ever be "happy" in the sense of being free from the trials of my life.  But, I am happier.  And, I am more at ease.  And, I know better who I am.  Or, rather, I can accept it better.  So, I am thankful.

Your blog has been helpful to me, as have your emails.  I enjoy reading what you write. And, I enjoy writing you about my thoughts on what you write.

I don't have a big network of people I can be the "real" me with, but I have a few people now, online friends with whom I can be fully honest with.  Only one is someone I would call a real friend in the truest sense.  But, I would consider you a "friend" in the sense that I have felt a degree of useful support.

I appreciate you sharing my version of bisexuality on your blog. I wonder how many people like me are out there. I think we tend to live quietly, in the closet.  But, I assume (now) that I can't be the only one.  I think part of my struggle to accept myself was that I felt I could not be me if I was gay or bisexual. To me, for years, accepting that I was gay or bisexual would have meant I should be acting gay or bisexual in the real world, not just in my head.  But, having gay sex, especially as a married man with a family, just simply never felt like an option I could or would consider.  I think that would have shattered my world too much for me to recover.  So, I hid from the whole thing, feeling I had no other options.

When I went into the discovery mode, it was not really by some active choice. I hit the lowest period of my life, and I was suffering from crushing depression and anxiety.  I felt that I had to deal with the sexuality issues. I suppose I felt prompted by God to finally deal with it.  That pressure to face it started three years ago.  I was absolutely terrified.  I didn't know what facing it would mean. But, even if my world turned upside down, I had no choice, because I was suffocating and seemingly dying the way things were.

Now, I am past that crushing, terrifying, ominous sense of doom.  

I'm finally able to see and accept who I am, and I know that gay is a word that applies to me to some extent, even if I can't put a percentage to it.  But, tangibly, in my daily life, things have not really changed.  And, for me, I think that is the right choice. It's not because I have a great marriage or a great sex life that I can't give up.  It's because I have a family and a sense of duty and responsibility and loyalty and honor to the people that I live with.  Honestly, I could think of plenty of reasons why living single would be easier, and sexuality is probably lower on the list than you'd think.  But, if I left my family, I know I would not be happy with myself, and I would not be doing what I believe to be the right thing, in my life.

So, I am making the right choice, for me, at this time.  That seems clear to me.

A Reader


Every decision we make, and even the decisions we do not make affects our lives for better or worse. This reader has tried to make the best choices he can for himself and those he loves. Sometimes that is all one can do, and sometimes it is the right thing to do.

Sometimes, even though we feel like we're not satisfied, we are where we are supposed to be. For instance, I'm always talking about how blessed I am, and how happy I am. That does not mean everything is just as I want it to be. I rather not have my cancer to deal with. I'd like to be a billionaire. But I'll never be a billionaire, and my cancer will kill me at some point. I basically have the choice to cry and complain about these problems or choose to ignore my wishes and appreciate the good things I do have in my life. Sometimes we cannot control what problems we encounter in life, but we can always control how we react to them.

I appreciate those of you who have commented on "What I've Learned Along the Way." One reader noted that he enjoyed the blog although he didn't agree with all that I had written. He is right on target. If I write about scientific fact such as, the sun rises in the east every morning, no one who is sane can refute that. But I rarely write about scientific facts. I usually write about social and cultural controversies, and my opinion concerning them. Wheather its my opinion or anyone else's opinion, there is always room for disagreement. I'd like to hear from those of you who have not commented on the blog yet. Part Two will be posted soon.

Hope all of you have been able to survive the record cold across the U.S. in the past few days.

Jack Scott

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It seems impossible to me that we have entered 2014. The years pass so quickly. Not only that, every year is shorter than the last. It makes me very aware of how important it is that we live each day well.

Some of you, I'm sure, remember that I promised the Hot Guys of January, 2014 would be published on January 1st. I underestimated the disruptive realities of my recovery, the number of kids and grandkids in the house for the holidays and a few other unforeseen disruptions.

My plan now is to have the January blog published by 8:00 a.m. Central Time on January 6th.

Thanks for your patience.

I hope each of you has a great 2014.

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