Monthly Archives: April 2008

April 23, 2008

Yesterday at the drug store I saw this king-sized candy bar:


It was delicious.

I mean, come on, what else is there to say? It’s all already there.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 13 Comments

April 21, 2008

Undoubtedly, everyone on the web has already seen this (which I learned about from him) and by posting it now I am doing nothing but confirming my inadequacy as a human being.


Posted on by Joel Derfner | 16 Comments

April 20, 2008

Someone sent this to me and I have absolutely no idea whatsoever why. I mean, I can’t think of any two people at all in this kind of relationship. Can you?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

April 18, 2008

Man Faces Charges for Having Sex With Picnic Table.

I mean, I’ve done some kinky stuff in my time. But patio furniture?

Four times?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 10 Comments

April 16, 2008

Today I went to the high school where my friend N.F. teaches a class in American cultural studies. They’ve just finished a unit on gender and identity; I was there essentially to talk about things with them that they can’t talk about with their friends/relatives/teachers. (To talk about intellectual, gender things. Mostly. I mean, I kept the explicit descriptions of orgies to a minimum. At least until the principal left the room.)

So at the beginning of the two-hour class, I talked about myself. Then N.F. asked me questions about myself, which was terrific, because of course the only thing I like more than talking about myself is listening to other people talk about me. Then I read the class part of Swish, and then there was a question-and-answer session.

I understood before this last began that there would not be a great deal of intellectual heavy lifting going on here. First of all, while it’s true that the students were seniors and had therefore passed the age at which children are at their most loathsome, really what can one expect from people to whom “We’re here, we’re queer, and we can spell potato” is meaningless? Second, with so many positive gay role models around like Larry Craig Ted Haggard Charlie Crist oh whatever, these kids’ basic questions had almost certainly been answered. Nonetheless, I was glad to be able to offer them the perspective of a very slightly older person, and I looked forward to enlightening them in whatever way I could, whether about how being gay isn’t really a choice, or about how the common stereotypes aren’t universally true, or–well, you get the picture.

So the first question was, “Is acceptance something you’ve found or something you’ve created?”


After a few moments of shock I started stumbling through an answer about being drawn to certain communities but also having to function in communities that I haven’t chosen and–

“Well, what I actually mean is self-acceptance.”


It went on and on like this, question after question. “Do you feel pressured to conform to binary gender norms?” “What’s the relationship between sexual attraction and other parts of gay identity?” “How do you feel different when you’re the only gay person in a group from how you feel when there are others?”

And I was like, binary gender norms?

Eventually I recovered some of my equilibrium, more or less: I feigned long-standing familiarity with the concept of binary gender norms (a phrase I had never encountered in my life, much less uttered, before this afternoon), I spluttered something that I think sounded moderately convincing about sexual attraction and gay identity. When I was really desperate I drew some Venn diagrams. I’m just glad nobody started talking about signifiers without signs because then I would really have been fucked.

What kind of high school is this? What is N.F. teaching them? I began to worry that I was actually on the episode of the new Doctor Who where Giles from Buffy is both the school principal and a giant bat and he and the other giant bats have somehow arranged for the students all to become super-geniuses before they eat them.

Political climate aside, it is inconceivable to think that in my high school anybody would have been able even to frame ideas like these, much less ask the questions.

So now I’m thinking that it’s possible—just possible—that there’s hope for the young after all.

Binary gender norms. I mean, come on.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 14 Comments

April 14, 2008

It’s taken me a week to write this entry. Or, rather, it’s taken me a week to write a version of this entry that I can post without fear of shooting myself in the foot in some horrible way that will ruin my life and make me want to kill myself.

Because last week my [long and fascinating but dangerous-in-the-wrong-hands passage redacted] never go to Iceland again, or else.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 14 Comments

April 13, 2008

I spent a significant amount of time today at the first birthday party of a child whose parents are Republicans. There was no chocolate.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 7 Comments

April 10, 2008

Can somebody please explain to me the appeal of lolcats? Because I don’t get it at all. Like, not one tiny bit.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 22 Comments

April 8, 2008

Today a friend alerted me to the fact that there is for sale, on, a book called Penetrating Wagner’s Ring.

The reader comments are all like this:

With great trepidation but with an insatiable curiosity I endeavoured to plunge to the very depths of Wagner’s cavernous and archaic ring. Donning my hardest literary helmet I trusted myself aggressively through its hard exterior and endeavoured to wallow in its soft core. It was a stubborn, yet ultimately fulfilling transition, which reaped a teeth grinding crescendo, the like of which only Wagner could truly facilitate. A deeply personal work and at times I felt that I had violated him but the relief I felt after annihilating his ring left me deeply satisfied. On the surface it may seem unreceptive, arduous even unyielding but with positive literate lubrication, Wagner’s ring can be successfully penetrated.

There are sixty of them.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 9 Comments

April 6, 2008

All right, so here’s the deal.

I’m using the imminent release of Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever as a spur to develop an e-mailing list, in order to keep people informed about future projects*. In the lower left corner of your computer screen you will notice the means to sign up. I intend to send out updates only when there’s a very good reason to do so (I have another book coming out, I have a show going up, I’ve been abducted by aliens). I can’t imagine this will be more than once a month or so; probably less often.

As an incentive, I’ll be drawing three names at random from the list in a week or so (April 14 or just after). The bearers of those three names will be doomed to receive signed copies of the galleys of Swish. (Galleys are the low-rent paperback version of the book that gets sent out to reviewers long before I’ve finished editing.)

This means that, if you sign up, then when the actual book is released you have the chance to be able to compare the two and mock me for 1) having made idiotic choices before fixing them and/or 2) making idiotic fixes when something was better in the first place. I will hate you for mocking me, but that hatred will be trumped by my intense desire for approval, so I won’t say anything to you about it.

Now come on, with a setup like that, how can you not join the list?

*(For “to keep people informed about future projects,” read “to get an exact count of how many people like me so that I can both fill the gaping maw of need that is the core of my being and want to kill myself because it’s not more.”)

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 9 Comments