Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm Sorry, Random Stranger, but "Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich"

*** A post about an occurrence of the day. A "Random Story" if you will.

Things were getting a little serious around here with all those posts about sexuality. Due to some positive response, however, I will be continuing with that soon, but just wanted to take a break for a quick, frivolous little post here. In fact I am working on something right now to continue the series (after a small chat I had with a friend of mine on the subject), but it's not quite ready yet.
All that being said...

I'm sure it can be seen that I am quite obsessed with cinema, and have some strong likes and dislikes in regards to it. Today, I had a moment where I almost jumped into another person's conversation to argue with them about an actor. However I restrained myself. Here is what happened:

I was waiting for my English class to start today, and had two students majoring in Drama sitting behind me. We had just studied J.M. Coetzee's beautiful novel Disgrace in class, and followed that by watching the film. They stated that they really enjoyed the film, however they "really don't like the actor who played David Lurie. 'That guy' is just not very good in anything."

Oh. Oh this statement snagged me very hard for a number of reasons:

1) "That guy" is named John Malkovich. John. Malkovich.
Saying he is not very good in "anything" makes me believe they had seen him in a number of things yet didn't know who he was still. Alright, so maybe not a lot of people know his name, but shouldn't people that are interested in acting (aka, majoring in Drama) know of more actors than the average person (which I consider myself to be). Especially one that has had a large career on both stage and screen?

2) Speaking of things Drama majors should be aware of, is none other than the fact that John Malkovich is a fantastic actor. He is elegant, dictates beautifully, and has had a successful career not because of his looks, but because of his talent. You'd think that someone who is pursuing acting as a craft would be akin to the skills of an established actor such as John Malkovich.

Yet I restrained myself! I really did, because as I always say, people are entitled to their own opinions. Even if that opinion is very wrong indeed.
Oh yes, that is very biased of me to say, but the whole thing really did take me off guard. If it had been just any other person that I knew nothing about saying these things I likely wouldn't have cared, but it was the fact that I knew that these two people were majoring in Drama-- and should therefore be a little more aware of performing nuances-- that really did not sit well with me.

Why is that? I really can't say. But alas, that is my story of the day.
Has anyone else ever had an experience like that where you wanted to jump into a conversation to defend something you were a fan of? Or for any other reason?
I'll admit, it doesn't happen to me often, which is kind of surprising...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Talking Sexuality, 3: Religion, Marriage, and Freedoms

*** Everyone has the right to his or her own opinions. Mine may differ from yours and I accept that, and if you would like to discuss your own, feel free to sound off in the comments! But please, be respectful. I am not here to offend anyone or try to sway them to see things my way, I am just expressing my beliefs and am open to having a conversation regarding any others that may be presented to me.

Ah yes, here it is, the big discussion about religion and sexuality. Religion is always brought into it when discussing points of view on homosexuality and bisexuality, especially when the topic of marriage is concerned. For me, however, it’s not really that big of a discussion. I will admit, however, that I am not strongly religious (though I do have beliefs) so that may be one large factor in establishing my point of view.

As far as I see it, sexuality is a personal thing that differs from person to person, much like religion. Do you see where I’m going with this? In Canada and the United States, (as well as many other nations, but I’m just speaking of what I know) there is a constitutional right to the freedom of religion. Freedom to believe in what you want to believe in, or to not believe in something someone else does. It’s all about personal choice when it comes to religion, so why wouldn’t sexuality be the same? If someone chooses to act against that may be written in one faith by having a certain type of relationship, then they have the right and freedom to make that choice. A homosexual may not fit into what is “good” in one religion, but it is their decision to “sin” against that God by doing so, and since this is the type of action that does no harm to any other person, I see no problem with it. Especially since, as I mentioned, there is freedom of religion, so why should someone’s life be forcefully governed by a specific faith that they don’t necessarily associate with?

This is not to say that religious homosexuals and bisexuals do not exist. Of course they do, and of course I don’t know what exactly they may believe in, but since faith is so personal, these issues are between that person and their God. That is, if they believe there is any issue to begin with, as there may not even be! Some religions openly accept all sexualities, in fact, which is refreshing seeing as many (as far as I know) do not feel this way.

This, in course, leads us to the topic of Gay marriage. Now, given my above statements on religious freedoms, it stands to reason that Christian ideals regarding the definition of “marriage” being used to define that of an entire nation or state is a little …unconstitutional? I understand that back in the days of establishment in North America, nations were founded on major religious belief systems, thus forming most of the subsequent laws, but in this modern age, I don’t think using one system of beliefs as a prototype is sufficient. I do believe that certain religious establishments should reserve the right to decline performing a same-sex ceremony if this is not something they want to condone, however, making this type of marriage completely illegal based on religious affiliations is unfair and unjust. There are of course ways to be married without the support or influence of any specific faith, so why can these options not stay open to a same-sex couple, even if a certain Church does not want to allow them to be married?

[Amidst all this, however, I am proud to say that the nation wherein I live (Canada!) has same-sex marriage equality. So then why do I feel so strongly about this issue? Because these equalities do no stand up the same in the United States-- directly South from us-- which as a nation often has a large influence upon Canada.]

Finally, I will say that when I bring up religious freedoms, some people will often chime in and say that if someone believes in a religion (or has no beliefs at all) wherein it is alright to kill people, then they should be able to do this too, given my argument. I find this, however, to be like apples and oranges: other wrong acts such as rape, murder, theft, etc cause harm and suffering to other people, and therefore have a place in legal systems and moral values. Homosexuality, on the other hand, does not harm anyone, and is a product of love. How do the two women on the bus that have a relationship together affect you? Probably not in the slightest.

Some might argue that homosexuality does in fact cause some others difficulties or issues, if they believe in a certain faith. Or, for example, the common question of, “What am I supposed to tell my child about the two men living together/who are married down the street? How do I explain that?” You know what the answer is? However you want to explain it! Do you think that these men are sinners for what they are doing and want your child to feel the same way since they are being brought up in the same religion as yourself? Do you want to lie and tell the child that these two men are just roommates with one another? How does this really affect you beyond a few choice conversations with your child? It’s just another to add to the list that you will already be covering at the different stages of your child’s life anyways.

Essentially, I feel as though religion is a personal choice, and thus it is also a choice whether you abide by that in your everyday life or not. If this means that your sexuality does not fit a certain faith, then so be it. Sexuality can be a choice for some, but for others, they feel as though they are born with it. And who is any Deity to deny someone the inherent person that they are? As many would say, God makes no mistakes, and while your God may not accept different sexualities, someone else’s may differ. How can anyone know what faith is right, or tell someone else what to believe in? That is really the heart of the matter, as I see it.\

*** Of course, I can understand as well that certain nations are not based on these freedoms, in which case it is more difficult to argue against certain laws within a nation against homosexuality. Really, it’s a sad to think about, but I suppose that is just the way the world is. Hopefully the world’s views keep progressing however, and that is one thing I will always give my faith to.