Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NYS sends tax dollars to out of state corp.

NYS sends tax dollars to out of state corp.

The NYS Department of Health (DOH) is asking county legislators to take a ten minute survey by phone, conducted by RTI International, asking them and the director of health in each county to determine their views on regulating tobacco product advertising in the retail environment.
The letter was sent to “New York Community leaders” on May 9 by Harlan Juster, Director of Tobacco Surveillance, Evaluation and Research at the DOH.
Our community leaders are promised their responses will be kept “completely confidential” and as an added bonus and in an effort to get them to take the survey, “RTI will make a $25 donation to the charity of your choice.”
RTI maintains headquarters in North Carolina and seven regional offices in the United States, non of which are located in NYS.
This survey might be interesting if it were more inclusive and asked the leaders of our communities how they feel about the advertising and display of gambling, beer and condoms in the retail environment but that is not the case.
In a Sunday, May 22, editorial by the Plattsburgh Press Republican has some advice for the Akwesasne Mohawks: diversify the reservation economy.
The editorial says: “We aren't judging the morality issues involved in the heavy dependence on gaming and cigarette revenue. This is a business issue, and the economy would be stronger if the tribe had more major income producers to provide income and jobs.”
If the PPR is not judging morality issues, then why even bring it up?
Major income producers?
Maybe because when it comes to morality issues, truth be told, NYS gains the most in profit from tobacco products and gambling? NYS is the biggest of Big Tobacco and the number one advertiser of gambling.
Think about it. Your tax dollars are going out of state to help the state regulate you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vampire T-shirts

This probably won't go anywhere but I have added something called "CafePress Shop" to my web page petekleinvampires. In it are some T-shirts and coffee mugs imprinted with "Warning, protected by a vampire" and "I love Pete Klein's vampires.
This mostly for fun but maybe I'll sell enough to cover what I end up buying.
Now it's back to writing my third vampire book that I hope to finish before the end of summer.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Writers of fiction and venttiloquists

I draw the connection between writers of fiction and ventriloquists because I believe both do what they do for a similar reason. Both get to say and do things through their characters that they would be unlikely to say or do in their real life.
The thought crossed my mind when listen to Bob Edwards of NPR talk with Mark Goffman, about his documentary DUMBSTRUCK, which is about the trials and tribulation of 5 ventriloquists.
During the interview, it was said ventriloquists say things through their puppets they wouldn't have the nerve to say without their puppets. I think this is true for many writers.
Cases in point, my vampire novels, The Dancing Valkyrie and The Vampire Valkyrie, and especially in my novella, The Confession of an Online Male Prostitute.
Over the years I have come to wonder about how most people have no problem reading a book or watching a movie that has graphic scenes of violence and murder. No problem. They don't become disgusted. But tell a story in print or on film that has graphic scenes of gay and lesbian sex and many say, "I can't read or watch that filth."
It doesn't stop there with declarations of disgust. While few if any wonder if you might be a murder because you write about murders, many will question your sexual orientation if you write about gays or lesbians in graphic detail.
Does it matter to me what people think of me because of what I write? My honest answer is both yes and no.
It matters primarily because I don't believe it should matter. To me, it would make more sense to worry about any potential I might have to be a murderer than it would make sense to wonder if I might be gay.
It doesn't matter because I deeply believe all of us have within us the potential to be all things we would like to be and all things we hope we will never be. You know the phrase - "There but for the grace of God go I."
While I guess I'm safe writing about vampires because we all know vampires don't really exist - we hope. But when it comes to gays and lesbians, we know they do exists. So why take the chance and write about them with explicit scenes of them having sex? Simply put: all sex is fantasy.
It has been said and I believe it is true that the main sexual organ is the brain. It can imagine anything. Obviously, you can imagine vampires which don't exist. Why the fear in imagining what two men or two women can and do do in a sexual situation? What they do is basically what men and women do when the clothes come off and they are alone together. If the brain doesn't put up any stumbling blocks for the body to respond, the body will simply respond to the touch of another person, be that person of the opposite sex or the same sex.
If we can understand this and can appreciate the very basic human need to be close to another human being, we can begin to understand the why and the how of two men or two women engaging in sexual intimacy.
I have known at least one man, maybe more without my knowledge, who wanted to be intimate with me. The one I know for certain was one whom I loved in a platonic way but rejected at the sexual level. Because I rejected him and thus hurt him, I felt somewhat guilty over having hurt someone who loved me and whom I loved. Was I wrong to reject the desires of his love? I think not. It would have been wrong to pretend to feel what I didn't feel. But that is the nature of intimacy. You can't fake it. If you try, you do so at risk to yourself and the other. It's either there or it isn't. It is for this reason I believe it is wrong to act with disgust towards those who find the intimacy we all need but find it with a person of the same sex. It is for this reason that I write about people, humans and vampires, who find sexual intimacy with someone of the same sex. I guess I just want to experience what I can't experience in my personal life and rejected when the opportunity was there many years ago.

Remembering Pebbles

Yesterday I brought home the ashes of my friend, Pebbles, a Springer Spaniel whose only fault was laying down in spots where she blocked you from walking. She always trusted me and anyone to step over her without stepping on here.
She turned 15 years old in April and died on the May 5.
She had been in decent health until around April 30 when she rapidly began to lose interest in her food. This was something she did from time to time, so for the first few days I didn't give it much thought.
As the week progressed, her interest in food continued to drop until she stopped eating on May 4. All she wanted to do was sleep.
When I got up on Thursday morning, I saw Pebbles had an accident in the house, something she never did. I cleaned up after her and then cleaned her up. She could stand and walk if I encouraged her but by then her breathing was labored.
Maybe the vet could have saved her. I don't know and I know I'll wonder for as long as I live if I should have asked the vet to do whatever to save her, instead of asking the vet to put her to sleep.
It didn't take long. I was there on the floor with her while the injection was given. In less than a minute she was gone and we were alone on the cold floor.
People ask when/if I'll get another dog. I don't know. I do know that no dog can replace her. She was with me longer than any of the dogs I have had since I was a very young boy and I do feel a avoid but not for a dog. The void is for her.
I guess the best way to describe what I'm feeling is that you can't replace a living being that you loved and who loved you. You might find another to love but that will be a new love, not a replacement. This holds true for dogs as well as humans.
I hope all dogs go to Heaven, just as I hope all people go to Heaven. I hope but I don't know. And considering how I feel about Pebbles - trusting and loving and putting up with me - I don't think I want there to be a Heaven unless there is a Heaven for all God's creatures.