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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Join the PozIntern: The International Carnival of Pozitivities

Dear Mortals,

Recently the Spin Cycle had the signal honour of being the first contributing blog to the premier edition of the International Carnival of Pozitivities. ICP is a blog carnival, an event where one blog hosts a series of articles on a set topic. ICP was founded by Ron Hudson, a good friend of the Spin Cycle and one of our Preferred Perverts.

Now here's the thing. You think writing a blog like the Spin Cycle is easy? Not a bit of it. We go to great lengths to shove our righteous opinions down your ungrateful throats. Wit, grace and style are all on offer here and it's about time you lazy cunts started doing some work.

Oh yeah, it's easy for the members of the Spin Cycle Commentariat to post their pedestrian views on the utterly astounding efforts that your intrepid Bloggers undertake in this place. It's a whole different thing to produce and original piece of work in the way that myself, the Depraved Bucko, Red Ronnie the Socialist Sissy Fag and the Glorious Herman do.

The First ICP has been an enormous success. Ron Hudson has done amazing work and I am greatly honoured to have had one of my articles included in that august company.

So here's what you've gotta do. Visit the website for the International Carnival of Pozitivities and check out the requirements. Create a blog for yourself if you don't already have one and pen an article on AIDS. You don't have to be HIV positive to get your oar in the water on this one, so I don't want to hear any bitching from you spineless shits. You just have to be able to discourse on the subject of HIV. It affects ALL OF US, even the dumb fuck breeder filth who think they've gotten away with it.

Carnivals like ICP are a great opportunity for bloggers to expand their reading audience. Sure, you probably won't end up as successful as the Spin Cycle (10,000+ hits in the last 6 weeks so suck on that Meghan, you stupid slut) but you'll have done something worthwhile.

For a change.



Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Queerer Than Thou

Dearly Beloved,

From time to time your Spin Cycle correspondents don nondescript apparel and slip out into the eternal night that is the web to infiltrate the labyrinthine world of internet subcultures.

As most of you would be aware, Bucko the Depraved has of late been sodomising sex crazed latino meth-heads he recruits at ManHunt. An astonishingly selfless act on his part, he was motivated to ruin endless sets of high priced bed linen because of his commitment to providing Spin Cycle readers with quality material. We have been privileged to share in the curious and often arousing world of the immigrant manslut.

That's what kind of people we are.

Indeed Matty the Damned is similarly generous, however my journeys have been to far darker places than the cyber bath house of Manhunt. In this offering I intend to give you a glimpse into the chilling realm of the Gay Christians.

No, gentle reader, I don't mean the Uber Weenies from that standing joke of organised christianity, the Metropolitan Community Church. Nor do I refer to the spineless self loathers from the Rainbow Sash Movement. I'm not even referring to the tortured bum fuckers of the Episcopalian Church of the USA.

Some months back my good friend, De-Atrophier, referred me to the Gay Christian Network (GCN) as part of my research for an upcoming article on Ex-Gays. Immediately GCN stood out to me as something special and deserving of an article all of their own. Founded by one Justin Lee, they take themselves very seriously:

"The Gay Christian Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing
resources and support to Christians who happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual,
or trangendered [sic]."

See? Queers are real people too! Even the American IRS recognises them. Take that Benny Hinn!!!

The Rouse: My Participation

Intrigued I applied for GCN with little expectation of success. I mean surely someone styling himself as Matty the Damned would be spotted as a trouble making atheist? Not so! Some days later, I received an email from GCN telling me my application had been approved and I could come in and get down with the other saved perverts.

Oh happy day.

Now Matty the Damned is many things, but he's no internet troll. I joined GCN to watch and learn, not create trouble. I openly applied under my standard internet identity. Anyone who googles "Matty the Damned" will find themselves back here at the Spin Cycle.

I posted no more than five times. An introductory post (I relied on my catholic heritage to fudge through that) and some "poor me, I'm so confused about what god wants" threads to quell any suspicions the eagle-eyed moderators may have had and to gain basic recognition from other members so I could participate in some of the on-line live chat sessions. More about
those later.

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

GCN is a highly organised and structured place. It has extensive message boards for members and we will take a look at those in a moment. What's more interesting is the way in which GCN members are (informally) divided up into little denominations, much like real christianity. Unsurprisingly we have:
  • Non denominational -- (The church isn't a building, man it's the people inside!!)
  • Evangelicals -- (Baptists, Nazarenes, Pentecostals and other fundie whack jobs)
  • Orthodox christians -- (Catholics, High Church Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox and all the other frock wearing child molesters)
  • White bread protestants -- (Presbyterians, Lutherans, Low Church Anglicans, Methodists, Congregationalists and the other dusty old Calvinist/Wesleyan try hards)
  • Miscellaneous weirdos -- (Seventh Day Adventist, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists and refugees from other fringe cults)
As you would expect on a predominantly American forum the balance of power largely rests with the Protestants and Evangelicals. Non denoms get a bit of a look in, but Orthodox christians are few and far between.

Messianic Jews are an interesting bunch. Prattling on in a mixture of English and pseudo-Hebrew they seem to be Jews who accept the divinity of Christ. I suppose when Abba Elohim calls you home, who are you to refuse?

Nevertheless, the standard denominational differences between Jesus freaks
is not representative of the real power divide at GCN. To understand that we have to look at The Great Debate.

In reality the gay world is all about sex. No matter how post modern we want to get about queer identity politics, the whole thing boils down to who (or what) you fuck. If having your arse pounded by a conga line of pipe smoking daddies whilst you're shackled to a dungeon wall is your thing, then you're queer my dear.

And GCN is no different. Its reason for being is all about sex. So let us now examine the real factional divide in this strange little internet community, shall we?

Known to GCN'ers as The Great Debate, gay christians polarise into two competing groups, and you guessed it, the debate is all about biblical truth.

Side A Gay Christians: Let's Get Married and Have Cats

Side A gay christians basically reject the traditional christian interpretation of certain "clobber passages" in the bible, those sections of judeo-christian scripture which are held by many to prohibit homosexual sex.Most of us are pretty well familiar with them and I won't list them here.
They include sections of Leviticus, Judges, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Acts and so on.

Nevertheless, don't be fooled. Just because a Side A gay christian thinks that hot man on man action or reciprocated muff diving is ok between consenting adults these people are not sexual subversives.

Side A gay christians almost all universally maintain that sex of any sort is only permissible in "mutually loving" and monogamous relationships that have been ordained by their god. Pornography, casual encounters whilst single, and masturbation are generally a no-no. Similarly many Side A believers, whilst dismissing the clobber passages of the bible are quick to demand a literal interpretation of other sections of scripture.

Side A gay christians are by far the dominant group at GCN. Indeed the
Benevolent Dictator for Life, Justin Lee is himself keen on a bit of arse action it would seem.

Side B Gay Christians: We Love You but We Won't Fuck You

Side B gay christians maintain that whilst the homosexual orientation is not inherently sinful, sex between people of the same gender is expressly forbidden by the bible. Gay christians are called by their god to be celibate. The christian god is a real funster.

Your average Side B member is tortured by the temptations of the flesh and bonds together with his or her like minded brethren for prayer and support. Generally drawn from the orthodox and evangelical subgroups, they have their own forum, where they can hold hands (strictly platonic of course), cry on each others shoulder and look forward to paradise at Jesus' eternal dance
party. I suspect email addresses and more are exchanged behind the scenes.

Oh yeah, these people are fun.

The Gay Christian Network: Doing Christ’s Good Work One Queer at a Time

GCN is primarily a web forum. Like other forums, there are a variety of message boards and live chat sessions that members can participate in. The message boards are a pretty standard selection and include:
There are also forums specific to members geographic locations (I’m a member of the Australian Forum), a forum for poetry (shudder) and other “creative” outpourings and as I’ve mentioned, a special forum for the Side B sexless freaks.

. . . . you get the idea.

The live chat sessions are an altogether different affair. Strictly moderated, GCN operates a special chat room where members can get together at set times to discuss issues of common interest. There are chats for members from specific countries, two specialist HIV/AIDS chat sessions, a women’s chat, a Side B chat (yup, them again) and so on.

Your intrepid correspondent participated far more in the live chat sessions than in the message boards. Specifically the HIV/AIDS chat and the Australian chat. Both, I can report, were disappointing.

The AIDS chats were pleasant enough. A handful of HIV positive guys in a chat room talking about medications, diagnosis, illnesses and other standard AIDS things. Interestingly the US immigration restrictions on HIV positive people were discussed and a Canadian member called Kenn breathlessly reported that Montreal would host a gathering of HIV positive people from
around the world in August/September 2006.

It’s a small world.

The Australian chat was altogether different. The first one I attended was pretty boring. No mentions of Jesus or the bible. Just talk about the weather, holidays in Tasmania and how one might decorate a room with a harbour view. The second was a little more robust. A Seventh Day Adventist member was very interested in knowing which church I went to, how often I prayed, what my favourite bible passage was and so on. Keen on retaining my low profile, I offered bland responses and managed to dissemble until a moderator diverted him with a talk of an upcoming GCN gathering in Brisbane.

Dissent in the Pews: Let’s Agree to Disagree

The first thing you notice when you join GCN is the creepy oppressive atmosphere of the place. It’s not just any old web forum. There are quite strict rules governing how members must conduct themselves. Allow me to give some examples:
  • No blasphemy or profanity or links to porn sites -- (This seems prettyunderstandable given it’s a christian site)
  • All users avatars must be first approved by the Executive Director and cannot be in anyway immodest – (no muscle shots, boys)
  • Rulings by any of the numerous moderators must not be canvassed publicly –- (A veneer of unity must be maintained at all times, Jerry Falwell could be watching)
  • No “flirty”, overtly sexual or other inappropriate behaviour –- (Jesus can see you playing footsies)
  • “Controversial” and political topics can only be posted in the forums set aside for them
That last one is quite important. Whilst most of the GCN message boards can be read by non-members and lurkers, the two most interesting ones are strictly off limits to outsiders. Hence my motivation for joining. I just had to have a peek in the Inner Sanctum.

The Controversial Topics forum is really where it’s all at in gay christendom. Anything that’s even remotely unsettling gets relegated there and it’s only in Controversial Topics (and to a lesser extent Political Discussion) that one can sees the real natures of GCN members red in tooth and claw.

The style of the topics raised in the Controversial forum go something like this:

“I don’t like fat guys, but is it unchristian not to date them?”
“Pornography: modern day prostitution”
“Foul language”
“Immigration: I’m not a racist but those darned Mexicans . . .”
“Female ordination: would YOU let a woman tell you what to do?”
“Does Satan answer prayers?”
“Roe vs Wade: think of the children”
“Politics and the Church”
“Should I try girls?”
“The nature of God”
“Are condoms REALLY effective against STD’s”
“Gays who get HIV did it to themselves”
“Censorship on GCN"

Again, you get the idea.

Special rules govern the Controversial Topics and Political Discussion forums and member are subtly discouraged from participating there. Even when your membership is approved, you have to choose to join them in your profile. The official reason given by the moderators for these forums (and for why they’re hidden) is that heated debate scares away new members.

The poor little lambs.

The foul language thread was an especially good one. Started by an aging evangelical tub-thumper and egregious conservative queer called FloridaSon
it began with:

“I've noticed many of you use expletives on GCN...

The word


for example, has been used 192 times.

Come on people - if you can't express yourself without resorting to crude
language, you've got a problem.

I encourage those of you who use profanity to:

1. Clean up your language, at least on GCN.

2. Expand your vocabulary and your verbal horizons.

3. Remember that as Christians, we are called to be examples. Let's set a
higher standard instead of drifting to the lowest common denominator.

Many thanks!


Yup. The prissy old fuck actually searched the message board archives for references to the word “damn”. The precious poor thing would keel over dead if he was in my company for more than 30 seconds. In fact his comments were so blue nosed that a large contingent of members objected and the GCN Administrators shut the thread down because of the discontent it generated.

In the same vein, another member (Vombatus) offered this charming view of matters queer sexual:

"Well, I would also point out that the penis is also an organ of excretion, so this argument applies to any phallic expression of sexuality, homosexual or heterosexual, including 'standard' straight sex... it is the intromission of an excretory organ into the gential region of another.

This argument presupposes that all of our bodily structures have a single purpose. So, your mouth is for tasting, not for breathing (that's what the nose is for! um, unless the nose is for smelling) or talking, or eating. It must be pointed out that the erogenous zones (which are part of sexuality as well as the genitalia) include body parts (all with other functions) that go way beyond the genitals: ears, breasts, mouths, etc. It seems rather odd to privelege the pleasures brought about by mutual friction of two specific body parts as being 'unitive', while the mutual pleasure brought by any combination of two (or more!) other body parts is just... um, physiology?"

It's a regular party over at GCN, kiddies.

People who break the GCN rules get a polite private message from a moderator
asking them to pray and “consider” editing their offending comments. Although versed as a request it is in fact a thinly veiled order. Failure to comply will result in the moderator censoring the message and suspending or banning the member.

And then everyone prays.

Since I don’t post at all, this has never happened to me but it happens to the more progressive members frequently. Conservatives are rarely chided for their naughtiness. Overall the tone of the GCN forums is intensely conservative. Progressives are bludgeoned into submission by tireless reactionaries who quote scripture, refer to the gross immorality of Bill Clinton and generally rant and rave in typical conservative fashion.

Imagine Rush Limbaugh wearing a cock ring and with a butt plug wedged in place. Oh you can? Silly me.

Issues such as disadvantage, discrimination (except within the ludicrous context of “gay marriage”) poverty are rarely if at all mentioned. Which seems strange given that Jesus never seemed to shut up about the poor.

Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord

Being a member of GCN has without doubt been one of the stranger experiences I’ve had on the internet (with the exception of that whole Water Sports for Allah affair). A motley collection of ex-ex-gays, confused jesus freaks, unnecessarily cheerful Americans and creepy choir masters from private boys boarding schools, GCN is an unsettling and distasteful place.

I’ve come to the opinion that Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Fred Nile and all the other christian homophobes are right. There is no place for queers in the church and frankly, if GCN is anything to go by, I can’t see what we’re missing out on.



Image credit: The Evil Atheist Conspiracy