As I lay in bed this morning, I thought I had the day worked out. First I need to get up and get started though. The first hitch wasn’t getting out of bed though, it was that I had planned to eat breakfast first before doing some writing. The problem was that I went to bed rather late so I hadn’t brush my teeth, I had used mouthwash as a sticky plaster method and so felt the need to brush my teeth now. Surely though I should eat being doing the cleaning. The decision went the way of brushing teeth before eating because I might not get around to it after breakfast, but brushing teeth meant toothpaste altering taste sensations and that I really don’t like so no breakfast then. Straight to writing but no, there is a clothes wash my wife put on which needs hanging up and if I don’t do it now, I’ll probably forget. I start making a mug of tea but then shift to hanging up the clothes which when finished leads me back to the kettle.

Tea made, I decide to buy a new toothbrush online. My current one only holds charge for a couple of days now and I like to have my toothbrush hold charge for a week when I travel. Well you may be thinking don’t take an electric toothbrush then but there are two points against this in my book. Number one is that a good old fashioned hand operated toothbrush just doesn’t clean as well as electric and I may be a bit obsessed with doing a proper job when it comes to cleaning (I know it doesn’t make much sense not to clean one’s teeth like last night but if I do do it I want to do it right). The second point is that I get lots of mouth ulcers which last for a few weeks when I don’t use an electric. I think this is a combination of being on immune-suppressants and wanting a good clean, in any case, ulcers are a pain I could do without.

I wonder if there is any power difference between the 2/3/4/5 thousand ranges which seem to be based on the number of “actions” the brush can achieve. The handle sizes are all the same so one can hope that the battery is the same in all of them too. I suspect it is not, but I can’t find any information on this on the manufacturer’s website or on the packaging. I plump for a 2000 one but pay a bit extra for a special edition version mainly because it is pink and I am in the mood for challenging stereotypes. I put a white shirt wash on and put some milk in my tea, it is only when I sit down to write that I realise that I can’t drink the tea because of the toothpaste use.

Actually it was the pink toothbrush decision that I wanted to explore a bit more because the whole prejudice thing has been on my mind since last night. I find online gamers, mainly in America, seemingly obsessed with using “gay” as an adjective: “Those colours are so gay”, “the warlocks reach is so gay”, “that gun is so gay”. I find it really confusing to be honest because I think they might be using it as an insult but actually writing those phrases down, it seems to mean “over the top” which actually seems closer to its original meaning of exuberant. Hmm which means that it is actually me that expects gay to be used as a negative term not the gamers, even though I don’t have any negativity associated with gay myself. Except I do. All boys do because it is used as a taunt at school for those that seem to be different, and I am pretty sure the kids who used it on me didn’t think I was over the top, merely by using it in an accusing manner means that there is a judgement (good or bad) going on.

Where American gamers do excel though is using gay sexual terms as an insult. Except that when you examine the terms themselves they could apply to hetero sex too. “Cocksucker” for instance applies to anybody that engages in fellatio. I feel a bit uncomfortable writing along this line, it seems to be going off topic really. Sorry.

So that thing that got me thinking was that one of my friends has a son in a same sex partnership and loves him dearly but asks the boys not to show affection in his house. Then there was the photo taken on the New York tube of a Muslim woman in full black hijab sitting next to a very exuberantly coloured and more revealingly dressed woman using her mobile. For New Yorkers the picture represents what is best about their city, acceptance of differences but for conservative elements it was used in a negative way, “is this what we want America to become?”.

I saw the picture in a video clip on the BBC website and at first I couldn’t understand why it had gone viral. When they interviewed New Yorkers (maybe five anyway) they all saw the picture as a positive affirmation of the city they lived in, the negative view was only mentioned at the end. Having spent a bit of time in London, I saw nothing to comment about the picture but I can see why the people from the city would take pride in it in the current culture. I do wonder though if it had been a man dress up in the same exuberant clothes as the woman whether the reaction would be the same.

How far are we accepting of difference? How far am I accepting of difference? I think because I don’t have a good handle on emotions, I am pretty accepting but I feel uncomfortable making that statement because it involves a judgement and I can’t say I am 100% clear on it. In fact I know I do have issues with people that make judgements unfairly so I am meta-judgemental (time for tea? Sore brain). Perhaps I am more sensitive to difference than I might be because I have always felt different and often see myself being treated as different even when I might not be. In American terms then I might even be described as gay, wearing shorts in a Scottish winter and bright colours might be seen as exuberant but I wouldn’t expect to be call gay because of it here.

The thing is that I don’t mind being called gay anyway. I don’t see it as a negative term, if another man finds me attractive then I think that is a compliment and besides I think it is all about whom we want to connect to. Like all decisions based around feelings I find myself ambiguous. I have a female partner and kids but I see no reason why if the right man had come along I couldn’t be in a same-sex relationship. I don’t see why these things should be fixed but that is me, indecisive as ever until a context is set.

 

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