Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Official press release on my "Do Ask, Do Tell III" book

I do have a formal press release on PRWire for my third book is available, at this link from PRWire. The title of the release is “Bill Boushka Releases Third Book of his Do Ask, Do Tell Series: Boushka draws upon life experiences, observations in ‘Do Ask, Do Tell: Speech Is a Fundamental Right, Being Listened to Is a Privilege”.  There is a related post on the Book Review blog Feb. 27, 2014 and an entry on my new footnotes blog April 11, 2014 here. The book is available on Amazon and e-commerce in hardcover, paper, and Kindle (just $3.99). 
The press release notes the mirror of my own experience with anti-gay discrimination (being tossed out of a civilian college in 1961) and the course of the military gay ban and the history of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

It also notes a tension between individualism and equality.  Individualism is essential to the innovation that raises standards of living for everyone but it needs a degree of inequality that tends to breed social instability, which can become uncontrollable and lead to hardship and sometimes “revolution”. 
In my own life, I’ve repeatedly faced “anti-individualist” pressures from various people or interests.  Generally, I field pleas to become more involved in helping others directly and personally, and to find emotional satisfaction in doing so, even when there is considerable sacrifice of my own goals possible and a willingness to advance the proposes of others and “join up” or enlist.  That is certainly counter to individualism.  It also provides a counterpoint to customary ideas of personal responsibility, privacy, and “minding your own business”.  Our culture is not consistent on these ideas. That's largely because luck and fortune do play a huge role in the outcomes for individuals.  So do hidden sacrifices (karma), and therefore place-changing. 
I come into this paradox from different directions.  One of these is, of course, the way people reacted to (my) homosexuality.  When I read generic statements (like those coming out of Russia and some African countries and from Rick Santorum and Scott Lively in the past) that homosexuality is hostile to the family and procreation, my reaction is, well, these ideas, when implemented, have real consequences for some people (like me) who did not hurt you.  What “you” seem to want is that homosexuality (as a proxy for “upward affiliation” and refusal to engage in complementarity) is seen as unacceptable, so more ambiguous and marginal people will share the risks and responsibilities of procreation rather than kibitzing those who do raise traditional families.  Sometimes, that seems particularly important to “you” (in my case, being an only child added to this idea  -- death of my parents’ potential lineage).
The other point is that of “The Pharisee”.  Yes, I like to produce content, and self-publish it, and at least be “heard” (which is a slightly lower level than really being “listened to”).  Sometimes the reaction is “Shut up and help us” (or maybe “Shut up and sing with us” (oh, like the Dixie Chicks).
Today, there is a lot of talk in the media of extreme generosity of strangers.  That wasn’t the case when I was growing up, and it wasn’t part of the culture.  It’s hard to deal with the expectation of being someone else’s backup – even when it comes to kidneys or bone marrow – but in a way, cohesion and togetherness are what sustainable society is all about (the Rosicrucians were saying this back in 1978).  My upbringing saw social prohibitionism (as Andrew Sullivan would call it) as an indirect but essential equalizer and social stabilizer.    But those who moralized with me (like my own father when he said, “You don’t see people as people”)  need to tell me, is it “people first” or “family first”?  The first seems to generate the second.  
I'm left to remember the advice from the MidAtlantic Marketing Conference last Thursday (April 24). Corporate blogs should not be confined to press releases!

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