aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, May 26, 2008
Links for 2008-05-26
A family visit to my old Pennsatucky home in which the words “socialist” and “communist” were bandied about with abandon to describe me and the positions I hold and vile racist jokes were casually told in the living room has tested my “tolerance” and made me understand the truth about Josh Marshall’s Upcountry post in ways I never thought I would.
Later a fist fight broke out (I wasn’t involved) and my brother called my gay nephew (his son) who lives with my partner and me the old French derivative word meaning a bundle of sticks or branches, though, of course, he intended no such meaning.
We won’t be visiting home again for a good long time.
And I hope you’ll understand that I’m way behind on both blogging and links…
ON TMV FRI 5/23
TODAY I took a holiday.
- Tomorrow I’m off to FALLING WATER so there may be no blogging again. I am on vacation, after all!
- Actually this link says blogging is both good for you and an addiction, so they’re going to do a study…
- On the IP beat, Adidas claims it owns stripes!
- Old by now but not to be missed, Keith Olbermann’s “Special Comment” about Hillary Clinton invoking Bobby Kennedy’s assassination:
Because a senator—a politician—a **person**—who can let hang in mid-air the prospect that she might just be sticking around in part, just in case the other guy gets shot—has no business being, and no capacity **to** be, the President of the United States.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Links for 2008-05-22
Today was my last day in NYC so I’m late with links.
Last night we went to see the absurdly enjoyable, gleefully theatrical riff on Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” on Broadway; afterward we went backstage to meet one of the amazingly talented stars, Arnie Burton. Dinner at Vinyl rounded out (groan, couldn’t resist) the night.
ON TMV TODAY:
- DRM ALERT: Don’t give Microsoft the remote control - Bad Vista! Following reports that digital television viewers were blocked from recording the new season of NBC’s “Gladiators”, Microsoft confirmed that it is preventing users from recording the show.
- Georgia: publication features Obama in crosshairs on cover for article on white supremacist threat, spiralstairs @ Daily Kos and Blogs for Democracy have this too. Very alarming.
- Teen Alex Phillips puts girlfriend’s nude shots on MySpace: Child porn? - this is something I would typically give the full post treatment but given that TMV is skittish about such things I’m not sure where to go with this important topic. The kid was seriously out of line. The answer is NOT a child porn charge.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Links for 2008-05-21
Today Doug and I celebrate our nine year anniversary!
And last night we went to see a performance by the man responsible for our first date. That man, Emmett Foster, was supposed to have dinner with me on that fateful night ‘lo those many years ago. But he had theater tickets so he wanted to bow out and suggested instead that I have dinner with Doug. I did and the rest is history.
Emmett was terrific last night at the Laurie Beechman Theater of the West Bank Café. He was performing in a comedy cabaret along with a couple of friends, Pat Candaras and Nancy Giles, who I hadn’t seen in a long time so I was thrilled to catch, and some unexpected acts—Matthew Cooper of Valerie Plame fame (who did a fun Al Gore) and Walter Shapiro of Salon.com—and a number of other performers. We had a fantastic time!
Meanwhile, at home a not tornado hit with baseball sized hail knocking down trees in our front yard, breaking my nephew’s windshield and generally causing mayhem. On to links…
ON TMV TODAY so far…
- My first post edited for content. I had originally titled it:
- Kasparov Interrupted by flying dick, they chopped it down to Kasparov interrupted
Protesters had a “radio-controlled penis” interrupt an address by former chess champion Garry Kasparov. I posted it, with the video (deleted and replaced by a link) as a kind of light-hearted joke post. I alerted the TMV editors because I wondered if it might cross their boundaries, but I didn’t really think it would. Now I know....
- Racism and sexism: it’s time to change the paradigm - this is Richard Thompson Ford speaking at Google on his book, The Race Card.
- There was lots of talk about racism and sexism last night. Here’s a really good compendium of links to pieces dealing with the sexism/gender issue in the Democratic presidential primary campaign, Trumping reality with the sexism card.
- Hamilton Jordan, “a fun-loving political operative who helped propel a virtually unknown politician from the Georgia statehouse to the White House,” died last night in Atlanta. He was 63.
- In this piece—Earth to Democrats: Black votes count!—I almost dared to dream that Georgia and the South could go Blue this election season ("I’m left wondering if, hoping even, that with Blacks having moved back to the South, this religious, rural, evangelized, conservative Southern region that flipped from Democrat to Republican might surprise everybody and just as quickly flip right back").
- At lunch yesterday with my old Mediapolis colleagues they pointed me to this Marc Ambinder post:
Did you know that a half a million African Americans Georgia are eligible to vote but haven’t registered? The Obama campaign knows this. And they plan to register these voters by November
Dare to dream!
Stretch (a fantasia)
The poster in the theater lobby
the theater lobby
17 Clinton St, NYC
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Links for 2008-05-20
Breakfast yesterday at The Dish. The best French Toast! There I ran into my dear old friend Gretta Schiller. She’s lived in Chelsea for 25 years. I worked with her on Before Stonewall and tell just a bit about that here.
Last night we went to see Stretch (a fantasia) that “imagines the final days of Rose Mary Woods,Richard Nixon’s loyal secretary. Observing the 2004 presidential election from her swing-state nursing home. Thinking about power, and loyalty, and lying. And having some very strange dreams...”
The NYTimes review calls Kristin Griffith’s performance “commanding,” I liked the stoner boys too.
Dinner before at Frankie’s 17 has Doug and me talking about a hot dog joint for TJ. Don"t ask. Photo’s here. I’ll probaby post one or two on the blog later.
ON TMV Yesterday:
ONE SO FAR TODAY:
I have to assume everyone in Georgia’s already heard about this one:
Jesus H. Christ: State GOP Chair Claims McCain Is ‘Kind Of Like Jesus’
Sonny prays for rain, she calls McCain Jesus. The Georgia GOP should keep it up! It’s the best get out the Democrat vote effort I can imagine…
Monday, May 19, 2008
Links for 2008-05-19
I’m happily ensconced on 23rd Street in NYC!
Saw my dear friend Alex perform (beautifully, Bravo!) at Central City Chorus last night. Then had dinner at Suevos (?) on 17th St. in Chelsea. Heaven.
On to links…
SATURDAY AT TMV:
NOTHING SUNDAY (a rare day off) ONE POST SO FAR TODAY:
I’m pleased to see that, six months after being released from prison, Genarlow Wilson says college life is treating him just fine. If you’re not familiar with his case, some background here, here and here.
There was a clemency rally held for Troy Anthony Davis in Atlanta Saturday. Troy sits on death row in Georgia despite the recantations of seven witnesses who testified against him, despite the fact that no murder weapon was ever found and no physical evidence linked him to the crime, and despite the fact that he has maintained his innocence throughout. Learn more here and here.
I have a post at TMV about a 60 Minutes a segment on the Dallas DA and the Innocence Project that featured the story of James Woodard, who became the longest of any inmate in the nation to be cleared with the help of DNA evidence when he was released from prison last month.
We have innocent people in prison. We should err on the side of innocence, not guilt. The standard is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I do not understand how there can be no reasonable doubt with the facts as they are in this case.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friends and regular readers have said they find it difficult to find my posts at The Moderate Voice. What I will try to do is post links here every day to my posts there, along with links to articles of interest I’ve read that I may not have posted about. We’ll see how it goes…
This one took a while…
We’re not as racist as we’re afraid we are
I’m working on a follow up to it. The post was motivated by Edwards’ endorsement of Obama. In it I say something like “Obama’s done a good job on hope but not so good on our fears...” The completion of that thought is he’s doing about as much as he can. We now have to step up to it, do our part. Edwards did that with his endorsement. I’ll say it better in a post to come…
Jon Stewart on the West Virginia primary (very funny!)
Oh, brother… UPDATED: He’s a father of 2 girls… Obama’s sweetie “gaffe”
Now I’m off to NYC for vacation. I will try to update links every day so that you won’t have to go fishing for my posts at TMV!
PS - My take on Huckabee: the way they say the gay marriage decision will turn out Republican voters… that is NOTHING as compared to the way this will turn out Democrats. At the NRA convention no less, and in the context of what he was saying, it is so utterly and completely disgusting and revealing of the mindset and undermining of what they are trying to do. The news this week was already filled with stories on Republicans self-destructing. Huckabee was right on cue.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
You may have noticed I’ve been missing in action lately… Well, actually, I’ve been busy blogging at The Moderate Voice where I am grateful to have been welcomed as a regular contributor.
These are among the posts I’ve been most proud of while there:
Two on the NPR series on how parents are addressing their children’s gender-identity issues which aired last week, NPR: 2 families, 2 approaches to gender identity and most especially, On gender identity, amputee wannabes, & our contagious natures; McCain, abortion, Southern Baptists & the emergence of the Religious Right; Earth to Democrats: Black votes count!; Jeremiah Wright & Martin Luther King: “Tolerance” v. “Equality & Justice for all”; Fightin’ Words; Colbert & Stewart: One Formidable Opponent; Is mainstreet ready for gay PDA?
Unfortunately, I started blogging there just as the semester was winding down and work was heating up which means… the worst possible time! I was far too busy, had way too much to do to be able to keep everything going. Something had to give and, sadly, it was my own little blog.
As you may recall, I had been having troubles here. The fallout from the disastrous business relationship with E.Webscapes and Lisa Sabin-Wilson has left me in a quandary as to what to do about this site. It continues to have technical difficulties. I have closed down comments and have yet to settle on a long-term solution.
Meanwhile, there is no easy means to find my posts from among the others at TMV. And posting there is somewhat more time consuming than here on my own site. I’m trying to decide how best to address these issues and will let you know what I come up with shortly.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Fake palace boom across Germany
On Marketplace tonight:
A conference center planned for Hanover will look just like the Herrenhausen palace that was wiped out in 1943. In Potsdam, the state parliament just voted to move into a $200 million replica of a baroque palace. Frederick the Great stayed there sometimes. It was also destroyed in the war. Total cost, around $200 million. In Berlin, the government plans to rebuild the decimated former home of Prussia’s royal family. That tab, $700 million. Palace-building hasn’t advanced much in the past couple of hundred years. Stone masons, sculptors, 80 percent of the cost is labor, only now the workers are paid union wages. Why spend this much money to rebuild palaces that few Germans can even remember?
PETER SCHABE: It’s linked to an anxiety about globalization. People want a place to identify with, and they want to create cities that looked like they did a long time ago.
Peter Schabe works for the German Foundation for Historic Preservation. He says a lot of Germans are sick of modern architecture. These new-old buildings remind Germans of their proud past, while conveniently skipping the 20th century. This back-to-the-past movement started in Dresden, which was flattened by Allied firebombing. After Germany reunified in 1990, the city’s famed, domed Frauenkirche was resurrected from a pile of rubble. Today, nearly eight million tourists a year flood the city. Cities without palaces to rebuild, such as Frankfurt, don’t want to be left out. They’re building brand new “historic districts.”
A side-effect of all this? “Money spent creating fake new buildings means less money going to preserve authentic historic buildings.”
Dream ticket a nightmare for Democrats
On Monday Andrew Sullivan had a piece about the possibility — and what he claimed was the powerful logic — of a unity Obama-Clinton ticket for the Democrats.
They call it the “dream ticket” - a unity deal, brokered at the Democratic convention in Denver, Colorado, that puts both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on a bumper sticker and, hopefully, in the White House. Now that the mainstream media, Clinton’s greatest ally, has finally recognised the legitimacy of Obama’s triumph over her grinding and obdurate campaign, the dream ticket has lost any speculative vagueness of Beltway cocktail chat. Now, that dream is a matter of deadly seriousness - because it is now Hillary’s dream, and her last remaining option. Make no mistake: going into Denver with a heap of white votes and fortified by the new power of the post-Cheney vice-presidency, Hillary Clinton intends to force her way onto the ticket. If it knows what’s good for it, the Democratic party should stop her.
He details how Hillary has consistently put her own interests and passions above those of her party, everything that Obama’s about has demonstrated that he’s as good or better than she (wasn’t that why we went through this extended primary battle?), and there is no VP “problem” to begin with.
The nomination of Barack Obama presents the Democratic party with more than its fair share of historic opportunities, and not just skin deep. Among these - and I think Obama would be the first to agree - are the possibilities which open when Democrats realise that the 2008 campaign is about more than the petty personalities of particular persons. Democrats have a once-in-a-generation chance, sorely needed, to fully refresh their national leadership. This chance has conveniently come at a time when Republican fortunes are at lows unseen since the last days of Herbert Hoover. To accept the GOP’s most profitable punching bag onto the national ticket after Democratic voters have plainly rejected her is to sacrifice the party’s best hopes to its worst habits. With American citizens of all persuasions crying out for fundamental change in Washington politics, such a failure hurts not just the Democratic party but the country as a whole.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
UGA spent $2.2M in New Orleans for Sugar Bowl
How the other half lives… The AJC reports on the school up the road:
It takes a lot of money to party with Georgia in New Orleans…
Georgia spent about $2.2 million, or $323,753.30 more than it was allocated, in New Orleans from Dec. 26-Jan. 2.
But the university will get that money back and more when the Southeastern Conference hands out its annual revenue distribution checks later this month. Georgia is expected to receive at least $10 million.
Perhaps that’s why the Bulldogs lived well while in New Orleans, according to information obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution through state and federal open records laws.
The Bulldogs spared no expense. A massive group, including the president’s official party of 89 people, made the trip and went to numerous parties, all paid for by the athletic association. The 400-member Redcoat Band made the trip. So did the cheerleaders, Hairy Dawg and Uga.
Michael Pollan @ Google
You know the drill by now, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Watch for the Q&A.
Via Boing Boing
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
No honorary doctorate for anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly
Washington University announced last week that they are giving Phyllis Schlafly an honorary doctor of humane letters.
Here’s Schlafly bio from her own organizations website:
Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo. She has been a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization now called Eagle Forum. In a ten-year battle, Mrs. Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, called the Equal Rights Amendment. An articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement, she appears in debate on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative.
Emphasis mine. Here’s the definition of humane:
1. characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, esp. for the suffering or distressed: humane treatment of horses.
2. of or pertaining to humanistic studies.
Not to, um, beat a dead horse, but by her own proclamation the woman is anything but! Apparently, 1,600+ students, friends, and others (including me!) on Facebook agree. They’ve set up a Facebook group:
This is the woman who lives the hypocrisy of having a career that takes her around the country lecturing “family values” groups on how women should stay home.
This is the woman who said of husband-wife rape, “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape [sic].”
This is the woman who described sex education classes as “in-home sales parties for abortions.” Do her views fit with the future the men and women of Wash U’s graduating class see for themselves and their peers? Probably not. Then why honor her with them? Wouldn’t having someone like her in the midst of Wash U’s female graduates be incongruous at best, offensive at worst?
E-mail Chancellor Wrighton and let him know what you think! .
Jane Stone, coordinator of the Board of Trustees:
Inside Higher Ed asks, Is Phyllis Schlafly Worthy of an Honorary Doctorate? And says, “Washington University released a statement Sunday in which it said that honorary degrees require a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees and are nominated by the unanimous vote of a board committee that is led by a trustee but that also includes students and faculty members.”
Oh, and making matters worse, Chris Matthews will deliver the Commencement address.
Lethal Injection Set for tonight
A Georgia man is set to be executed by lethal injection tonight. William Earl Lynd is to be the first inmate in the nation to be put to death since the Supreme Court held that the method is constitutional. Lynd’s clemency bid was denied yesterday by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Monday, May 05, 2008
I’m still thinking Obama’s our next president. No matter what the polling shows or the outcome of tomorrow. Hillary is indeed nothing of not dogged. But the numbers aren’t working for her.
Voter excitement, always up before a presidential election, is pushing registration through the roof so far this year — with more than 3.5 million people rushing to join in the historic balloting, according to an Associated Press survey that offers the first national snapshot.
Figures are up for blacks, women and young people. Rural and city. South and North.
Overall, the AP found that nearly one in 65 adult Americans signed up to vote in just the first three months of the year. And in the 21 states that were able to provide comparable data, new registrations have soared about 64 percent from the same three months in the 2004 campaign.
Voters are flocking to the most open election in half a century, inspired to support the first female president, the first black or the oldest ever elected.
Also, the bruising Democratic race has lasted longer than anyone expected, creating a burst of interest in states typically ignored in an election year.
Superdelegates are you listening?
Among the new voters in North Carolina is Shy Ector, 25, of Durham. She favored Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry while a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill four years ago, but never actually took the time to make sure she was registered to vote. Barack Obama’s candidacy was enough to make sure she did this year, she said.
“I was like ‘Oh, now this is a reason to vote. This is different,’” Ector said. “I was inspired and I was excited.”
New voters are generally less reliable. So there’s no guarantee this year’s newcomers will stick around in years to come — or even cast ballots in November if their candidate doesn’t make it.
“I will be very disappointed, and it will take me some time to recover,” Ector said of an Obama loss to Hillary Rodham Clinton. “I’m not going to say I’m just going to write off politics for good, but it does make you feel like you’re doing all this work for nothing, and nothing’s coming to fruition.”
Still defending Wright
I’ve got a piece up at The Moderate Voice with a more in-depth articulation of my position on Jeremiah Wright.
The historical movement shift of emphasis from “freedom and justice for all” to “tolerance” frees us to be intolerant of others, in this case Wright. Once marginalized, we don’t even have to ever address or deal with the substance of any of his arguments.
MEANWHILE.... Big Tent Democrat is betting on an 8 point win for Obama in NC.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
The Empire Strikes Barack
1 day and 320,525 views…
What happened to YouTube?
He tells us that YouTube receives about 10 hours of video per minute, and serves up terabytes of data per second and promises an update later. I’ll be curious to know what happened (and will post here too).
Study: Most Facebook apps are silly, pointless
I defend Facebook, I think Facebook is all well and good, but Facebook is not for me. Why should it be? I’m a 53 year-old man!
But when I read that most Facebook apps are silly and pointless I have to wonder if Robert X. Cringely wasn’t right when he said that he was beginning to think that Internet social networking is another CB radio....
Friday, May 02, 2008
Ariely: Thoughts on gas prices
What makes a design “Googley”?
A small team gathered to discuss these questions and define the Googley Design Principles:1. Focus on people—their lives, their work, their dreams.
2. Every millisecond counts.
3. Simplicity is powerful.
4. Engage beginners and attract experts.
5. Dare to innovate.
6. Design for the world.
7. Plan for today’s and tomorrow’s business.
8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind.
9. Be worthy of people’s trust.
10. Add a human touch.
Jobs is up to something, something big.
So says Robert X. Cringely. He says Apple was quietly shopping around their pro-apps (Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Logic, and Shake) at NAB in Las Vegas and suggests he has figured out what Jobs is up to:
To my knowledge we haven’t yet seen Apple include that H.264 video encoder/decoder chip that I have written Apple is committed to using across its entire Mac/iPod/iPhone line. Could they be inside the new iMacs that were just quietly launched? That would be interesting.
It seems obvious to me, however, that there is only one real reason why Apple would sell off its professional applications and that’s to avoid antitrust problems when/if Apple buys Adobe Systems as I predicted at the beginning of the year. Final Cut Pro competes directly with Adobe Premiere. While in my opinion the Apple video software is clearly better, Jobs couldn’t be at NAB trying to sell Premiere—software he doesn’t yet own. Maybe there’s a planned bait-and-switch, seeing who is interested in Final Cut then trying to shift them to Premiere.
The major point here is that Adobe is in play, or at least Apple thinks so. The company has plenty of cash and stock to do the deal and plenty of incentive, too. Apple’s goal in acquiring Adobe would be to control first Flash and second Adobe’s emerging Air application platform. Adobe announced this week a broad industry initiative to extend Flash to mobile devices, but Apple wasn’t a participant. Why bother if you intend to shortly own Flash outright?
Owning Flash and merging it with QuickTime would give Apple near-total dominance of Internet video, furthering the advantages of iTunes and shoring up in the process the iPod franchise. They’d be giving up a sports car in Final Cut Pro, but end up effectively owning the road instead.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
4 Minutes live @ Roseland
More from last night…
First Gay Senate Candidate in Czech Republic
On April 19, gay rights activist Jiří Hromada was nominated by the Czech Republic’s Green Party as their candidate for the Senate, a nomination which has already sparked plenty of controversy, according to the Prague Post:
“Following reports of his nomination, news servers such as Novinky and Aktuálně.cz had to shut down online discussions because they were full of homophobic and vulgar comments. The right-wing extremist National Party immediately issued a press statement branding Hromada a ‘homosexual deviant.’ Despite years of hard work by many gay and lesbian activists, it seemed from such reactions that homophobic feelings are still a part of the national culture, and Hromada’s candidacy in the upcoming election could serve as a test of the public’s tolerance and open-mindedness.”
Hromada ended his “career” as a gay rights activist, according to the paper, in 2006, when the nation’s Gay Initiative rights group felt that it had completed all its goals (imagine that!).
As it happens, I was in the Czech Republic two years ago at this time with a study abroad program and the Czechs were indeed very proud of their accomplishment: registered partnerships for same sex couples after a 17 year struggle.
I was there to make a film with the students about their experiences in the country. They also kept a video blog. This was their first post: