aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, January 25, 2007
ESPN on Genarlow Wilson
A major piece on the Genarlow Wilson case on ESPN.com today. You’ll remember that Genarlow is serving 10 years in a Georgia prison for engaging in consensual sex when he was 17 years old with a 15 year old girl:
He has followed his appeals from behind bars. He watched as the state legislature changed the law that put him there, then declined to make it retroactive, for reasons that still boggle the mind. That was a dark day.
He watched as B.J. Bernstein, his new attorney, filed a petition for writ of certiorari, asking the Georgia Supreme Court to review the case. The petition was denied, then set aside, then denied again, then appealed, then denied again. Those were darker days. [...]
No one involved believes Wilson should be in jail for 10 years.
The prosecutors don’t.
The Supreme Court doesn’t.
The legislature doesn’t.
The 15-year-old “victim” doesn’t.
The forewoman of the jury doesn’t.
Privately, even prison officials don’t. [...]
Hope is all he has left. He believes in a system that has failed him. He believes in those powerful men in Atlanta. He believes in the kindness of others, and in the skills of Bernstein. He lets her work, spending most of his days in the prison library, reading all the books he can. Sometimes, he pretends he’s a character, living in a fantasy world, not in a cellblock.
When the weather’s nice, he can run laps around the yard, as if he’s still on a football field, chasing down future first-round picks. The burn in his lungs feels like a time long past. It feels like freedom.
He looks through the windows just a moment more, sadness in his eyes, then turns around. Wilson stares down the hall of his prison, waiting on a day when he can go home.
Free Genarlow. Sign the online petition.
Hillary & Yahoo Answers
Hillary Clinton has turned to Yahoo Answers, the social media driven Q&A experience from Yahoo, to look for some ideas on how normal Americans would improve health care in the United States.
I find this quite interesting as not only a campaigning tool but also in choice of media.
Senator Clinton asked her question 22 hours ago and already has over 24,000 responses (with 12 days of Answering remaining). I cannot think of another form of media which would allow the same kind of user interaction AND approachability that Yahoo Answers brings to the table.
You won’t find that on CNN, radio, townhall meetings or 99.9% of the Internet.
Yahoo Answers dominates not only the Q&A site market with a 96% market share, but also dominates social media in terms of community, 17.9 million users according to comScore, and its hodgepodge of lifestyles amongst such members.
Amazon + Wiki = Amapedia
Amazon has just released a new Wikipedia clone, called Amapedia. It’s described as "a community for sharing information about the products you like the most." So far Amapedia has had no promotion from Amazon, but it was discovered today byRogers Cadenhead. Anyone with an Amazon.Com account can edit the site. Regarding the name, Amapedia appears to be a combo of the words Amazon and Wikipedia:
The site looks pretty raw currently and has little info in it - it is after all brand new. But a wikipedia for products makes perfect sense for Amazon. Who better to spotlight products and gather product information from the community, than Amazon? Another way to look at this: Amapedia could become the next generation of user reviews. User reviews on websites today are relatively rigid and old fashioned, so Amazon may be thinking that Amapedia will be a new platform for user reviews - it may help remove redundancy in reviews, while offering more completeness.
Who’s out of line?
Via Andrew Sullivan:
The vice-president really does believe that he can somehow champion a party that declares that his daughter must be barred from any legal protections for her child and marriage and never be confronted with the contradiction. Sorry, Mr vice-president, but one day you will have to address how you can front a party dedicated to smearing, marginalizing and disenfranchising a member of your own family. Wolf Blitzer’s question is not out of line. Your hypocrisy is.
The story of the gay sheep became a textbook example of the distortion and vituperation that can result when science meets the global news cycle.
The news coverage, which has been heaviest in England and Australia, focused on smirk and titillation - and, of course, puns. Headlines included “Ewe Turn for Gay Rams on Hormones” and “He’s Just Not That Into Ewe.Ã¢â‚¬Â�
In recent weeks, the tide has begun to turn, with Dr. Roselli and Jim Newman, an Oregon Health and Science publicist, saying they have been working to correct the record in print and online. The university has sent responses to senders of each PETA-generated e-mail message.
Dr. Roselli, whose research is supported by the National Institutes of Health and is published in leading scientific journals, insists that he is as repulsed as his critics by the thought of sexual eugenics in humans. He said human sexuality was a complex phenomenon that could not be reduced to interactions of brain structure and hormones.
I first happened on the gay sheep story at Outside the Beltway and have been following it since. I was completely persuaded by Jim Newman’s emailed response to Andrew Sullivan and ignored the blogosphere hubub.
Their media strategy seems to be working out. On the merits, I’m all for legitimate research; and the prospects of picking your baby’s sexual orientation are far from an imminent threat. They don’t scare me. Instead, maybe one day gay people can parent gay children raised in gay families.