A Conversation with Oscar Wilde–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–March 1995, Part 11

As part of my Lit mid-term, I was to write a dinner dialogue between myself and one of the twelve authors we studied.  I wrote,

I have invited over Oscar Wilde, have sent my time machine to him and brought him to my house.  We go to Country Kitchen, not because it’s the best food (not), but because it’s the “local hangout” and he can see bits of local society.

“I loved ‘Importance of Being Earnest,'” I say.  “It was so funny and so ridiculous.”

“Well, in my day, society is ridiculous,” Wilde says.  “Marriage based on how much money you have, your worth determined by what you do and what your connections are–I wanted people to see how silly they were being with these attitudes.”

We go on discussing the play for a while, not any others since that’s the only one by him that I know.  Then we begin to talk about contemporary issues–starting with marriage.

“Marriage these days is supposed to be based on love,” I say, “but we now have a 50% divorce rate.”

“We base it partly on love,” Wilde says, “or, rather, infatuation–and partly on economics.  Our divorce rate is low because people just don’t divorce.  But so many people are unhappy because they didn’t know their spouse well enough before marrying them, and now they’re no longer ‘in love,’ if they ever were in the first place.”

Somehow we end up on the subject of homosexuality; I admit I don’t agree with it, but I say that I think it was wrong for Wilde to be jailed for it.  “You shouldn’t be put in jail just because of the way you are, when you can’t always help it,” I say.

“I was put there for ‘corrupting a young person’ with it,” he says.  “I wish I’d never fought the Marquess; when he said I was homosexual, it was true.  Maybe people would’ve forgotten about it if I hadn’t sued, but now I’m in prison for a drive I have.  A drive I don’t know how to control.”

“You must admit, you were pretty–promiscuous there, and you do have a wife,” I say, which leads to AIDS–which leads to a discussion of the prevalence of syphilis in Wilde’s day.  Interesting, but not something I’d want to record here.

People look at us and wonder why Wilde talks the way he does and why he dresses the way he does.  But he notices that they seem less shocked at our topics of conversation than they are about him.

“It seems like you’re so much freer to talk, really talk, in your day,” he says.  We eventually leave, and I take him back to my house to spend the rest of the evening–wishing all the while that such a handsome man weren’t gay!

Actually, I’ve since discovered that he swung both ways.  And changed my mind about homosexual love being wrong.  But anyway, finding this test paper especially interested me after reading De Profundis (my commentary here) and a new biography of his wife.  There are details in the above conversation which, over nearly 20 years, I forgot I ever even knew.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

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Reblog: The Misinformation is Absolutely Stunning–Proposed Housing Ordinances in Fond du Lac

If one needs any further understanding why young people like myself and countless others leave places like Fond du Lac that we largely enjoy, jobs are usually answer number one.

However, reasons like having to deal with closed-minded and outright ignorant people on matters of LGBT equality certainly matter as well.

Hence, why when news that the Fond du Lac City Councilman Dan Manning was forced to pull his proposed housing ordinance barring gender discrimination, I had to shudder.

…And ladies and gentlemen… this is why we can’t ever truly make PROGRESS in society.

It’s closed mindedness like this where people somehow think that sexual predators are going to come out in droves and claim they are LGBT so they can use the opposite sex’s public restrooms.

–The Misinformation is Absolutely Stunning – Proposed Housing Ordinances in Fond du Lac

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“Gender-Identity and Expression”: Let’s add this to our anti-discrimination ordinances!

A gay member of our local city council wants to add “gender identity and expression” to our anti-discrimination housing ordinance.  At first I thought it was covered under “sexual orientation,” but he explained that it refers to transgender individuals–not the same thing at all.

Now, I have my own opinion on whether or not we should be tampering with our genes, but there is absolutely no reason why my opinion means that such people should be tossed out into the cold.

If they are decent tenants, paying their rent, keeping up the place, etc., then you shouldn’t be able to evict them just because they believe they should’ve been born a woman/man.

I’ve seen the same response from enough people that I have to ask: Did the local Republican party put out a flyer with talking points on this issue?  Basically, focus on bringing jobs to our area, not on this guy’s agenda.

Um……..The job of the city council IS stuff like this.  It’s their JOB to deal with such things as garbage, street clearing, water rates, anti-discrimination, ordinances, etc. etc.

And as my husband says, if they take care of that well enough, that attracts more jobs because businesses can attract workers who want to live here.

Should we have told this to the ones who fought for Civil Rights: “Focus on jobs, not ending discrimination”?  This is civil rights for the LGBT community.

I may not be part of that community, and my husband does not agree with it, but we are united on the importance of fighting discrimination.  Our religious beliefs should not infringe on another’s right to live as they wish.  Isn’t that what freedom really is?

If freedom is so important to you, then why deny it to the LGBT community?  According to the city council member who wants this, people do lose their homes over this.

Now I found a blog (which I do not wish to link to) complaining that this policy is dangerous and will violate our “safety, privacy and religious objections.”  The writer is upset that another city has already added the clause, and now our city is talking about it.

How does it violate our privacy to not get tossed out based on what we do in the privacy of our homes?  How on earth is our safety compromised by this?  And why is it okay to allow our “religious objections” to force some law-abiding citizen out of his home?

Some things about this town are so backward that it does get very frustrating.

 

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Victory for Gay Rights: Supreme Court Ruling on DOMA

Supreme Court Gives Big Boost to Gay Marriage

Gay marriage is allowed again in California, and DOMA is struck down!  Just yesterday there were complaints that the Supreme Court is too conservative, thanks to Bush’s appointments, leading to gutting the Voter Rights Act….But today, the liberals won, as homosexuals in this country made a huge leap forward to full equality.

Since this is about legal rights, not religion, and as science and real-life gays show that they’re not just a bunch of sexual deviants–eventually opponents must admit that they’re trying to keep gay marriage illegal just because they don’t like it.

We have religious freedom in this country; if you don’t believe in gay marriage, then don’t have one; nobody will force you to.

This is not about forcing conservative churches to perform gay marriages.  This is indeed like the struggle for blacks to be allowed to legally marry whites.

Yes, I’m Orthodox and liberal.  What of it?  😉

 

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