finally…a little serenity

All of the blogs and comments from the Once Upon a TPM site have now been successfully transferred over to here.  The old site will remain up for awhile, but someday it will go into the dustbin of history like so many sites before it.

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…like Bill Maher in drag.

William K. Wolfrum posted in his blog William K. Wolfrum’s Morning — Don’t Panic at Dagblog, a youtube video of Dan Savage and his husband Terry talking to LGBT youth about how things do get better and not to panic. 

The video is part of the It Gets Better Project on youtubube that Dan Savage started to help those LGBT youth are struggling with a life made miserable because of the rejection and oppression these youth experience because they are part of the LGBT community.

Dan Savage explained the project in one of his advice columns “Savage Love” on The Stranger website.

I just read about a gay teenager in Indiana—Billy Lucas—who killed himself after being taunted by his classmates. Now his Facebook memorial page is being defaced by people posting homophobic comments. It’s just heartbreaking and sickening. What the hell can we do?

Gay Bullying Victim Who Survived

Another gay teenager in another small town has killed himself—hope you’re pleased with yourselves, Tony Perkins and all the other “Christians” out there who oppose anti-bullying programs (and give actual Christians a bad name).

Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother’s property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.

Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.

“My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas,” a reader wrote after I posted about Billy Lucas to my blog. “I wish I could have told you that things get better.” Continue reading “…like Bill Maher in drag.”

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. maybe.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say if you’re reading this, you have read at least one book that changed the way you looked at the world.  In essence, it changed the world.  There was some point, maybe halfway through, or at the end, or maybe even in the first paragraph, when you realized the place you were when you picked up the book was not the place you found yourself in as you laid it down.

Or maybe it was a film with subtitles seen on lazy Saturday afternoon.  Or maybe it was one intoxicating night in a strange land hanging out drinking with a few people who had been strangers on a train a few hours before.

In the room the women come and go

Talking of Michelangelo.

One of those moments for me was as a young lad was coming across James Burke’s PBS series The Day The Universe Changed which was about, well, that moment when culturally, collectively, we had some of the moments when the world when, well, the universe changed.

And with all the focus these days on Congress, the White House, and the beltway-wall street complex being corrupt and inept, I think we do need to put some focus on the people.  And right now, I would say, that the nation of United States, as fragmented as it is, need to have its universe change.  Until it does, we can’t expect much more than more of the same.  Keeping in mind what Ellen Glasgow said: All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.

Here is Burke in the first part of the series

Continue reading “plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. maybe.”

a couple of rallies in october

There is one rally that’s happening that people might be interested in:

One Nation Working Together is a social movement of individuals and organizations committed to putting America back to work and pulling America back together. Coming from a diverse set of backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and orientations, we are determined to build a more united country with good jobs, equal justice, and quality public education for all.

The Partners for this event range from Code Pink to Friends of the Earth to Interfaith Worker Justice to NAACP to Planned Parenthood to United Steelworkers of America.   One hasn’t heard too much about this event (at least I haven’t) but hopefully it will be a little more successful than some of the rallies by those from the dark side.

And then there is the rally of all rallies at the end of October in Washington D.C.  Yes, I’m talking about John Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity.” on October 30, 2010.  In a strange serendipitous convergence, it just so happens that Stephen Colbert is having his March to Keep Fear Alive that very same day.

Here is John announcing his rally, Stephen announcing his march.

Koran Burning and Other Performance Art

Just like about everybody else on this planet, I am at the very least thoroughly disgusted by Pastor Terry Jones and his followers.  Now there seems to another in Tennessee who thinks burning Korans is an idea whose time has come.  I have to remind myself that these whackjobs don’t represent our country, or even the region in which they live.  Yet for every one that actually carries out or talks about carrying out such hatred, there are probably another six or seven, if not more, who feel exactly the same way.

 In the performance of Swimming to Cambodia, Spaulding Grey discusses the conditions and events that led to descending of the Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge upon the people of Cambodia.  Spaulding ends the scene with this:

So five years of bombing, a diet of bark, bugs, lizards and leaves up in the Cambodian jungles, an education in Paris environs in a strict Maoist doctrine with a touch of Rousseau, and other things that we will probably never know about in our lifetime. Including perhaps an invisible cloud of evil that circles the Earth and lands at random in places like Iran, Beirut, Germany, Cambodia, America, set the Khmer Rouge out to commit the worst auto-homeo genocide in modern history.

It would seem that we in the U.S. has had that invisible cloud of evil land here, stirring up religious bigotry and racial hatreds that were just beneath the surface.

Continue reading “Koran Burning and Other Performance Art”

Which Side Are You On

On this day to celebrate labor, a question we need to ask ourselves.

From the blog Labor in America: Those were the Days on Ramona’s Voice: An excerpt from a 1958 Labor Day speech from Walter Reuether, which is true today as it is was then:

As a nation, we need to work out a list of national priorities.  We need to sharpen our vision and we need to rededicate ourselves to the basic human and democratic values that we believe in, and we need to put first things first.  We need to overcome the serious deficit in education, which is denying millions of our children their rightful opportunity to maximum growth.  The American labor movement can be proud that it was among those who pioneered for free public education.  American labor shares the belief that every child made in the image of God is entitled to an educational opportunity that will facilitate the maximum intellectual, cultural and spiritual growth.  We need to wipe out our slums and build decent, wholesome neighborhoods.  We need to provide more adequate medical care available to all groups.  We need to improve social security so that our aged citizens can live out their lives with a fuller measure of security and dignity.  We need to provide all of our citizens, without regard to race, creed, or color, equal opportunity in every phase of our national life.  We need to develop more fully our natural resources so that continued neglect will not put in jeopardy the welfare of future generations.

The People’s Blog

Well, through all the upheaval at TPM Cafe it does seem that there is a need for those who blogged at the Cafe’s reader blogs to find a place to hang out.  At least until they get a new system in place for reader blogs.  In the meantime, maybe people who have never been to the Cafe will find out about some of the wonderful souls that made up that community and come back with us when (and if) the Reader blogs are brought back.

Like the Reader Blogs at the Cafe, any blog that is related to what one might encounter in a cafe that is filled with bunch of caffeinated* progressive political junkies, with a few conservatives and libertarians wandering in, is acceptable.  That includes poetry open mic and the fellow in the corner who just talks to himself.

And for those who don’t know already, I am known as acamus over at TPM Cafe.

Peace.

*all are welcomed regardless of their beverage preference.