aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, July 31, 2006
Bye Bye Birdie
I missed this last week:
A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, though he says he never told his superiors he was gay and his accuser was never identified. [...]
On December 2, investigators formally interviewed Copas and asked if he understood the military’s policy on homosexuals, if he had any close acquaintances who were gay, and if he was involved in community theater. He answered affirmatively.
I only found it today because Justin Rood has more:
Just got off the phone with Former Sgt. Bleu Copas, the Arab linguist who got booted from the Army over allegations of homosexuality—from an anonymous informant.
He told an Associated Press reporter that an Army investigator asked him if he had ever participated in community theater. An Army public affairs chief today told me he doubted any such thing had happened.
Copas told me he sticks by his story. “It was part of their investigation. That was one of their questions,” he said. But the question didn’t come completely out of the blue.
“The informant, whoever he was, had a conversation with me on an internet chat room, and I mentioned involvement in community theater—I had rehearsal, or something,” Copas explained.
So did the investigator ask the question in order to identify you as the person with whom this anonymous informant had chatted? Or because community theater involvement was evidence of homosexual tendencies?
“I think a little of both,” said Copas, “but I would just be guessing.”
I’m guessing he’s exactly right.
Copas was discharged this January. He has moved back home, enrolled in graduate school—and joined a new community performance group, Theater Bristol, which picked him to play the male lead in its production of “Bye Bye Birdie,” he said. Performances start next weekend.
Mankind yesterday, today & tomorrow
When I imagine mankind 100 years from now, I am informed by mankind 100 years ago:
New research from around the world has begun to reveal a picture of humans today that is so different from what it was in the past that scientists say they are startled. Over the past 100 years, says one researcher, Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago, humans in the industrialized world have undergone “a form of evolution that is unique not only to humankind, but unique among the 7,000 or so generations of humans who have ever inhabited the earth.”
The difference does not involve changes in genes, as far as is known, but changes in the human form. It shows up in several ways, from those that are well known and almost taken for granted, like greater heights and longer lives, to ones that are emerging only from comparisons of health records.
The biggest surprise emerging from the new studies is that many chronic ailments like heart disease, lung disease and arthritis are occurring an average of 10 to 25 years later than they used to. There is also less disability among older people today, according to a federal study that directly measures it. And that is not just because medical treatments like cataract surgery keep people functioning. Human bodies are simply not breaking down the way they did before.
TV on the Net
Jeff Pulver has compiled Jeff’s Quick Guide to TV on the Net:
During the past twelve months, as the momentum for Broadband TV has snowballed, an increasing number of media companies have decided to take their content and make it available for viewing on the Internet. In some cases, the content offered is “re-runs” of prime time content, in other cases the Internet is being used to channel “vintage” programming (re-runs of old programs) and there is an increasing number of cases in which new content is being developed by media companies for just the broadband Internet. By default, the viewing experience is being offered to people assuming a Windows desktop. It is the mobile users (Symbian and Windows Mobile) who are most “content-viewing challenged”. Some of the content owners are using variations of Flash and others are using Quicktime and Windows Media to deliver their content.
Some of the sites referenced restrict viewing to certain geographic areas based on their support of digital rights management. (I hope that this is simply a temporarily-limiting aberation, which will be resolved when law and policy catches up with technology and the broader good.)
Commenters have added more and Jeff promises to keep updating the list. Jeff notes, “Amongst all of the “channels” and brands referenced...Viacom appears to be the most active in the creation of broadband TV channels.”