Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No More Neda Soltans, Please!

So I’m watching Hannity on Fox the other night. I don’t usually do the Fox channel since it seems to be more interested in commentary rather than news and even though I hate labels, I guess I’m a liberal at heart but with a conservative streak somewhere in the middle that dislikes the stuff they do.

This night they were talking about what is going on in Iran and the protests and the lack of President Obama to come out strongly against the recent election results there. Hannity brought up time and again the death or “martyrdom” of the young lady who was shot and killed during one of the protests and I realized that even though I had heard the story before, I hadn’t really paid that much attention to it.

I believe Senators McCain and Graham and other Republicans had told the story in order to criticize the President as being weak and timid and decided that I would see what they were talking about. It wasn’t difficult to find the video of the death of Neda Soltan, the Young Iranian girl who was shot, and I was surprised that it was still up. Here is a link to that video if you are interested. I didn’t post the actual video because it’s sad and discomforting as you see her slip away as I’m sure most deaths are. But even more than the death of the young Neda, I was struck by idea that many politicians seem not to realize that her death may have been determined 30 or more years even before she was born by the actions of the British and Americans in the ‘50’s. Here is what I mean.

In 1953 the freely elected Iranian Prime Minister Dr. Mossadegh was ousted by British and American interests when he decided to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi was reinstalled as the absolute ruler of Iran with the support of the Americans until the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Then American hostages were taken in Tehran and we backed and supplied Sadam Hussein with arms in his war against Iran. That war now over, the Iranian government now reflects an Islamic fundamentalist outlook and is a total rejection of the Shah’s rule and the distrust of and disaffection towards the United States.

This view and the recent Iranian elections have led many young people, such as Neda Soltan, to protest against it and the outbreak of violence in the streets where the militia has cracked down on them. The Republicans and some Democrats want the President decry what’s happening, increase sanctions and isolation against Iran and threaten the possibility of military intervention in the name of “freedom” and to what end? So we can start the cycle again? So there can be more blood shed by Iranians and possibly American or Coalition troops. Hasn’t there been an adequate amount of life lost in that region where we can say “enough already” and just stay away?

Sure I grieve for Neda as much as anyone else will who didn’t know her, but I don’t want her held up as a poster child for an excuse for more violence, for more suffering and for more fear. I don't want to see more friends and family go off to places they shouldn't be in to die or kill again. I don’t want to read the papers 60 years from now and say this all seems familiar.

I wonder if I’ll still be able to read 60 years from now?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I hate Hoaxes!

“There is someone being sucked out of the aircraft where the tail is supposed to be and there is some bozo standing up taking a picture of it happening,” was my first thought to myself. The second was that I was ashamed for even giving a nanosecond of thought to the picture and the others that came with it.

The pictures screamed hoax and I felt sorry for myself that I gave them any attention. I felt sorry that someone or some people didn’t have the sensibility to restrain their urge for fame or notoriety by not playing with someone else’s tragedy. I felt sorry for friends and family who might have been subjected to their losses as just a joke.

I am referring to a series of pictures that were circulating on the net this week showing what was supposedly the last moments of Air France’s flight #447 from Rio to Paris. It was said that a camera belonging to a Brazilian had been found in and amongst parts of the wreckage and it had three pictures of when the plane’s fuselage had broken apart. It reminded me of the picture of the tourist in his winter coat and hat at the end of summer on top of one of the Twin Towers in NYC having his picture took just seconds before one of the jets hit the World Trade Center. Why do people get a thrill from this, I don’t get it?

Sure, my sense of humor can be little sordid and out of place at times, but give me a minute or two and something will usually kick in and tell me to rethink what I’m about to do. As long as I haven’t said anything, I can generally steer clear of any mess that I’m about to commit and no one is the wiser for it. Why can’t others do that?

Speaking of which my next post will be about why I think John McCain is a crazy bitch and that the world is so much better than it would have been if he had become President. Well maybe. I have to think it through first.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Philly Pride 2009

naked marineMisery o’ misery!

I hadn’t really intended to write anything about Gay Pride this year. If truth be told, I’m not really that much into it, politically that is. Yes, I see the significance placing yourself out there so everyone else can see you and not brush you aside like yesterday’s trash. I realize the need to be heard when I or anyone else wants to state that we are human, we are equal and we deserve the rights that everyone else has in order to exist because our lives are not less than anyone else’s. But I’ve never really seen these events as being that effective.

In fact when President Clinton wanted to ban the ban on gays in the military, video tapes of gay celebration parades were shown to the top brass and the politicians including John McCain and said if gay people acted like this in the street then it would a cold day you know where before they would knowingly allow anyone with homosexual tendencies in their armed services. They thought the parades to be too flamboyant and too drag queeny to have officers and philly pride 2009men like those among them. They must not have known that I would do a video that would be as dull as dish water and thrown out all of those fun concepts out.

As usual I decided to go to Philly’s Gay Pride Parade at Penn's Landing this year instead of Odunde, the African-American festival they have in South Philly. I don’t go there anymore because I’m becoming more of a snob as I get older and I realize that those people are really not my sort and there’s also less chance of me losing part of a kidney from gunshots if I stay away completely.

So after arriving after 4pm, less than 2 hours before the event would finish and probably well after any of the good stuff, acts, people and half naked muscle boys (there, I’ve said it), had left and I was wondering why was I there. It looked like I had missed all the fun part of the festival but just in time to sign up for the political stuff which as I said I wasn’t interested in.

Oh well, in order to salvage part of the weekend there is this little video which I realize is edited all wrong but I’m over it and I’m just looking forward to some leather at Folsom St East in NYC this weekend. Hopefully that will bring me out of this misery. I wonder what I will wear.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friends of Dorothy

Little EdieI hate clichés and stereotypes and maybe labels, unless of course I’m using them and then I can find a good excuse for bringing them up. At least that’s what I tell myself.

One of the clichés that I have always hated is that if you are a man and you like musicals you were automatically labeled as gay. It is as if under Webster’s or the OED if you are that way inclined, the definition of homosexual is male lover of the musical theatre. How absurd. That would be like saying only women and straight men are interested in sports. By the way is there some sort of basketball thing going on now?

So I’m at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in Philly tonight to see the Grey Gardens the Tony award winning musical and I notice something. Well I noticed two things actually:
1 I’m the only black person there not working and
2 about 70 percent of the audience consist of all male couples.
It was like I was in an episode of Frazier.

Now what’s up with that? It’s not like the theatre had sent out a notice that they were going to do a rousing rendition of some Judy Garland song, Over the Rainbow or something and audience participation was expected.

In case you are unaware of the story, Big and Little Edie Beale were the aunt and cousin Jacquelin Bouvier Kennedy Onassis who lived in a rundown mansion in the Hamptons that was condemned by the Board of Health as being unfit for human habitation. I remember reading part of the story in the NY Times Sunday Magazine in the late 70’s or 80’s before I knew that Jackie O and Jackie Kennedy were one and the same person. Recently I’ve also seen part of the documentary Grey Gardens as well as the HBO movie, but I don't remember anywhere any indication or receive any clarion call that this was the must see theatre for gays around the region.

Although now that I’m thinking about it, it is June which is Gay Pride month and it is the 40th anniversary of the Miss Garland’s death as well the Stonewall Riots.

I can be so slow on the uptake at times, but as Little Edie in the play sings, "da da da da dum."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I have a Question

I have no family members living in Brazil or France that I’m aware of, although with the number of uncles and aunts and cousins that I have it may be possible. I also have really have no vested interest in the recent Air France tragedy but since the plane was an Airbus, the plane I seem to use more and more when I travel, I do seem to have slight curiosity as to what happened since, I’ll admit, I have a fear of flying.

As most people will know already flight AF447, an Airbus A330 took off from Brazil last Sunday with 216 passengers and 12 crew members and disappeared off of the radar as it hit a large storm in the southern area of the Atlantic Ocean. Experts from both sides of the Atlantic as well as government men have been speculating about the causes were for the disappearance. While terrorism has not been ruled out, most people have talked about the catastrophic failure of the plane’s onboard computers, including the autopilot, all of which shut down within a 4 minute time span and are guessing that the disappearance was due to frozen wind speed sensors or a broken rudder.

I say guessing because the “black box” has yet to be located as well as any other part of the plane which can be identified as belonging to the A330. The French have said that the debris that has been found in the ocean doesn’t belong to the missing plane and that they are not even sure that plane fell in the same area. That is why I haven’t used the word crash yet, but before I start to go into my Bermuda Triangle theory and I’m carted off somewhere in a jacket with straps in the back for my own safety, I have just one question. If the debris that has been found floating on the water doesn’t belong to flight 447, then who does it belong to and why does it seem to be Airbus planes that seem to do all the crashes these days?

Alright so that's 2 questions, but still who and why?


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