From Jeff Sharlet, who I knew long ago: Inside the Iron Closet: What It’s Like to Be Gay in Putin’s Russia. In 2010, Jeff wrote about the American roots of Uganda’s anti-gay persecutions. He notes: “Centrist media sources dismissed my reporting as alarmist; The Economist assured us it would never pass. [This week], Ugandan President Museveni is signing the bill into law.”
There was no Jesse Owens at Sochi.
Arthur’s letter to straight people: why coming out matters; read the linked articles therein, too. (Watch that Dallas sportscaster on Ellen.)
So Dangerous He Needs a Soo-da-nim. Racist homophobes who comment on Sharp Little Pencil’s blog.
Continue reading February Rambling: niece Rebecca Jade in a movie →
There is a movement to have the United States and other nations boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014, and I’m a bit conflicted about it.
One group wants to boycott because of the country’s highly repressive new law banning any speech that equates the social status same-sex relationships with heterosexual ones. I agree with the intent of the boycott in this case. But we’ve had Olympics in repressive regimes before; the dissidents in Beijing were just locked away for the Summer Olympics in 2008, and let’s not even talk about Tibet.
Another group wants to boycott because Russia has given sanctuary to Edward Snowden, the leaker of all that NSA classified information Continue reading To boycott or not to boycott; that is the question →
I’ve watched a lot of Olympic Games over the years. Somehow, though, they are starting to run together in my mind. What year was it that Sarah Hughes won the women’s figure skating finals, after being in fourth place after the short program? It was 2002, but I couldn’t have told you this without looking it up.
So here are my now fading recollections, without checking sources except to verify that my memory was in fact correct.
1896 Summer: Athens, Greece – obviously, I don’t remember the specific event – how old do you think I am? – but I do recall that this was the beginning of the modern Games
1904 Summer: St. Louis, MO, United States – the debacle that Shooting Parrots mentioned
1936 Summer: Berlin, Germany – this will always be the Jesse Owens (pictured) Olympics for me, with Hitler’s assertion of a master race being shattered
1948 Summer: London, United Kingdom – I must admit that I learned much about the still bombed out city holding the first summer Games since the end of World War II from NBC’s coverage of the 2012 Games
1960 Winter: Squaw Valley, CA, United States – I don’t specifically remember these games Continue reading O is for Olympic Observations →
Joe Kubert, a comic legend best known for his DC war comics, died Sunday morning at the age of 85. Read this piece by Christopher Allen with links to other articles. Here’s a piece by Mark Evanier, plus ADD’s controversial take.
Steve Bissette, who was a student at the Kubert School, writes To Joe, With Love: A Sad Farewell to the Man Who Opened All the Doors. He also wrote on Facebook:
“If you want to do something to express your feelings or help, donations can be made to the Multiple Myeloma Foundation in Joe Kubert’s name; sympathy cards or notices can be sent to the Kubert family c/o the Kubert School, 37 Myrtle Avenue, Dover, NJ 07801. In all ways, be kind.”
This story depressed me thoroughly Continue reading Joe Kubert, and the Olympics (again!) →
That first week of the London Olympics 2012, when I wasn’t watching, the primary storyline apparently was about Gabby Douglas’ great accomplishments in the Olympics. And her hair. Yawn.
As long as I’ve been alive, how black girls and women wear their hair has been “an issue” with someone. Processed or natural – “proves” how “black” someone really was, at least when I was growing up. Dyed or not – hey, do they “want to be white”?
In large part, I’m less upset by it Continue reading Black girls' hair →
My niece (wife’s brother’s daughter) has been staying at our house for much of the last three weeks. She is really into horses; she even owns one. So when she wanted to watch TV, and they had show horses jumping over barriers, we ended up viewing that. Which led to watching some other activities. Sunday morning, live, I got to watch Andy Murray of the UK beat Roger Federer of Switzerland, one of the greatest tennis players in the world, in straight sets, four weeks to the day after Federer beat Murray at Wimbledon, at the same venue. I was fist-pumping so much that my daughter demanded that I stop.
Then Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night, we were up until 10 or 11 pm, watching various events. This was partially a function of being on vacation, with no chance to record the programs. (And no real desire to; one cannot watch old sports events.)
Jaquandor asked Continue reading As soon as I write that I'm not watching the Olympics… →
I haven’t been reading the comic strip Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau as regularly as I once did, 40, 25, even 10 years ago. I own three hefty early volumes of collected strips which I used to reread frequently. However, I’ve never cottoned to it appearing on the op-ed page of my local newspaper. So I managed to miss the great announcement in Sunday’s paper Continue reading Past perfect: Gore Vidal, Mike Doonesbury and the Olympics →
Cognitive Deficit: How Budget Cuts Could Prevent Scientific Breakthroughs
“The Higgs boson isn’t just one missed opportunity – it represents how much the U.S. stands to lose if we don’t give our scientists the support they need. The Congress of the early ’90s might have pulled the plug on a $10 billion particle accelerator, but it’s hard to imagine today’s Congress even contemplating such a project when attempts to fund basics like unemployment insurance and infrastructure repair result in partisan gridlock.”
We’re ALL Immigrants, Higgs is Our Common Ancestor.
Why the boson is like Justin Bieber.
Remembering when Francis Scott Key, the man who penned “The Star-Spangled Banner,” defended slavery in court. Continue reading July Rambling: the God particle, and Key's defense of slavery →