Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Backtalk Edition 2.0

Its the first Thursday throw down of 2012 and we're off to roaring start! I expect it to be quite a year for COP 24/7 considering its a political year to boot. As a provocateur in chief,  you must always find yourself prepared for slings, arrows and the occasional "bullet point" that could drop in the e-box. Since the inception of this forum I have always been about interaction and stimulating discussion on a host of subjects. I've wholly encouraged all readers, supporters, allies, or haters to share their viewpoint openly and honestly. Its been our policy to limited our editing of responses while always being attuned to reason. In 2012, this vow will continue to stand as this platform blazes a course to be apart of the information "revolution" that's needed to raise consciousness, empower and speak to power on behalf of those who may feel powerless. It would be great if we had a local newsletter or gay rag but as I have point out previously, none of this possible without firm support of ongoing advertisers, subscribers, supporters and allies ready to shore up its existence. In meantime, its COP 24/7 among other outlets that will do our damn best to keep the communication streams flowing.

Voices Carry: Our Lives, Our Stories

This forum has had a vested interest in the situation that occurred concerning the Arkansas Community Planning Group in regards to a vote held during its past December meeting. The vote supported purchasing the resource book, "Our Lives, Our Stories, The Untold Stories of Women with AIDS" which was slated to be disseminated among local agencies and community based organizations that have sexual health programming or initiatives, especially organizations that are HIV/AIDS based. It was noted that through a reversal decision the publication will be purchased. the3 book is scheduled to be released January 18. Produced by The Living Affected Corporation, composed by the participants and sponsored by Tibotec Pharmaceuticals, the ground breaking book reveals the layers of emotions of four women who participated in the groups The Plus Club program. The program was created to facilitate a safe zone for women with HIV and AIDS to meet and share their experiences, which was viewed by the organization as lacking in the area. Many of the stories speak to how each individual coped with learning their status and the aftermath of that reality within their family structure or extended relationship. Vera S. wrote that when she disclosed to a male friend her status, he laughed. Writer D.Guy said that she was "wild and crazy" before learning she had contracted HIV. She said she felt "alone and that one one wanted to be around her." Others in the book recall numerous incidents and circumstances including those who would not drink from the same glasses, didn't use the same toilets and religious rhetoric citing their diagnosis was God sent. A book release event is being scheduled with an announcement forthcoming. To purchase copies of the book contact or call 877.902.7HIV

The Body Beautiful: A Blue Boy Obsession

With every new year comes those tired resolutions of getting fit, eating right and busting out at the local gym. I have stopped making those type of resolutions and decided that I will make a point of living as healthy as I can while being the best person that I can. This approach seems to be more sensible and practical. Although I love me some "body beautiful" along with those pecs and abs, I would personally like some brains. I tend to find the cerebral set most attractive, unfortunately sometimes you don't always get what you want especially when at the time you may not know what you really need. We are all full aware that we feast with the eyes as we gaze at those who seem to stay in the gym 24/7 or go to what ever lengths including steroids to get that hot ass body. With all this said, I was intrigued by a Facebook post from my NABWMT brother on this subject which he discovered on the Huffington Post. At the core of the story is the premise of giving one year of life for being body perfect. From my perspective, I'm not giving up any life above ground to have a tight anything or buff this or that. I do my best to be active while enjoying a bounty of healthy food minus the occasional Rally's, Taco Bell or Mac's drive thru. With five decades under my belt, I've never felt more sexier than I do at this point in my life. I've never really pondered about what makes me appealing, I've just take the position that being my autherntic self will have to suffice. My packaging or package shouldn't be the focus of developing a healthy realtionship. Ultimately, its in the eye of the beholder which will reign supreme. My doctor certainly doesn't mind reminding me that I could still loose a few more pound which means cutting out those dastardly TraXs pitchers of beer. I'll be putting them on notice that I will be cutting back on that guilty pleasure. If you've got stories or tidbits to share, don't forget to send them to our comment box. In the meantime read on and see where you stand in this mix...
Exactly how far would you go for cast-iron pecs or the perfect six-pack?
Indeed, gay men have been stereotypically cast as gym bunnies by popular culture for some time, but a new British poll has now revealed a slightly more disturbing fact about that population's fractured relationship with body image. A study commissioned by the Central YMCA, the Succeed Foundation and the University of the West of England’s (UWE) Centre for Appearance Research in Bristol found that 48 percent of gay male respondents would sacrifice a year or more of their lives in exchange for a perfect body. Perhaps even more onerous: researchers also found that 10 percent of those men would agree to die more than 11 years earlier if they could have their ideal body right now, according to Pink News.
Not surprisingly, authorities attributed the results to popular depictions of gay men in media. "Today gay men are under enormous pressure about their bodies, and we believe that a lack of body diversity in the media, including the gay press, and a relentless focus which values people based on appearance, may in part explain why gay men are particularly susceptible to this issue," Rosi Prescott, CEO of Central YMCA, told Pink News. "This is of concern when we know that record numbers of men are taking steroids or having unnecessary cosmetic surgery to achieve what is often an unattainable or unrealistic body image ideal."
A total of 384 men, a quarter of which identified as gay, were reportedly surveyed as part of the poll, with an average age of 40, according to the BBC. But overall, researchers say the increase in body hang-ups surged among both gay and straight men. As The Telegraph notes, the survey found a staggering 80 percent of men regularly discuss body shapes, often comparing them to those of top celebrities and fashion models -- and 59 percent of them admitted that doing so makes them feel worse about themselves.
Among the most popular phrases by men discussing how other men look: "beer belly," "man boobs" (or "moobs"), and "chubby," along with "six-pack" and "ripped."
"Girls want to be slim and males want to be big and lean, and while it isn't a bad thing for people to want to look better, it has become more like a competition, which has a bad effect on most people's mental health," one respondent told The Guardian.
"Body talk is saying things which reinforce the traditional standard of male attractiveness, which is having a tall, lean, muscular body with clear skin and a full head of hair, and is for most people unattainable," Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs of UWE also told The Guardian. "This research really demonstrates that body image is an issue for everyone, although in men, especially middle-aged men, it has been woefully under-reported, but has a negative impact on social relationships and on attitudes to diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Although I have moved to the midwest, I still consider myself a resident of the state of Arkansas. I have volunteered and worked for many non profit organizations that serve a very marginalized and quite frankly SCRUTANIZED community of people. It behooves me that people can offer up judgement and complaints so freely on organizations such as LACorp that are merely doing what God and human leaders like our so called politicians and clergy urge us all as people to do; SERVE! IT IS CLEAR THAT OUR HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY IS TO SERVE, NOT OURSELVES, BUT OTHERS THAT ARE TRULY IN NEED!
Lets look at the bigger picture here, our fellow brothers and sisters are seeking, suffering, and with just a little bit left..HOPING that, one day, we, as human beings no greater others, will get off of our high horses, stop complaining, stop judging, stop criticizing, stop questioning, stop hating, stop the endless cycle of selfisness, and lend a hand, their pocketbooks, their love, and compassion and:
Esteem these unwed teenage mothers, provide a safe haven for abused and neglected children, not only feed and clothe USED clothing to the homeless, but offer them a home to get back on their feet, medication to assist with their mental illness(es), provide them the tools and resources to get them to a place of sustainability and self reliance, stop treating those infected with HIV like they are lepors, grab them by their collars, kiss their necks, whisper love and peace in their ears, and stand with them as they fight for equal rights and comprehensive care. At what point will the people that need our help actually get our help?

Is it just me? Or does anyone else understand that the time taken to brow beat, tongue lash, write an article demanding copies of financial documents, posting gut wrenching useless blogs about a particular group or entity, and sending out mass emails bashing one particular group of people or persons is merely time that could have been spent strategic planning, brainstorming, writing a letter to your local government, advocating, and feeding the mouths of those that are hungry, educating the uneducated, clothing the naked, helping an elderly woman keep her electricity on, paying for a promising young person's college education, hugging an HIV positive man or woman and telling them that they aren't forgotten, and the list goes on and on!

Seriously people, the book, "Our Story, Our Voices" costs $20. How many of you waste that amount of money on a ticket to a concert, Beyonce's new album, a BBQ meal at Corky's, a fresh set of manicured nails, a haircut, to get into a dance hall, a comedy show, a pair of underwear or panties, etc. What do you think those establishments that you waste away your money are doing with the dollars you generously and effortlessly give? How many of us pay tithes and offerings to our church and have no idea where the money is going? How many of us spend that kind of money, if not more to join a dating site only to discover you might never me meet and fall in love with, "The One"?! How many of us waste away a dollar a minute to download a song on itunes? Seriously people. Where are our priorities?

And I leave with one more powerful question; looking back on your life, who invested in you?

Leave the folks, people, organizations, groups, and other entities that are doing the job and taking on the responsibility that all of us have that most simply refuse to do ALONE and allow them to do what they do, sometimes taking money out of their own homes and pockets, in order to; SERVE!