Originally I was going to do And the Band Played On at the same time as Conduct Unbecoming. However, to do so would be a disservice to both books. For me, I can think of few other journalist/authors that have had the impact that Randy Shilts has had. This series has already featured one of his books, The Mayor of Castro Street.
Before I begin, I have a problem with how we think of history. Reading something from the pages and experiencing something are two different things. Events shape the actions that get written down, but sometimes they fail to grab context. President Obama finally succeeded in ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell. That was a policy put in place by Bill Clinton.
Conduct Unbecoming is a book that directly addresses Gays in the Military.
A funny thing happened on the way to the Texas Kos meet up: I stopped by Half Price Books. This was not what my diary today was going to cover instead that little trip turned into this dairy.
I am a book collector. While I have an E-reader (and use it often) I love BOOKS. I love shopping for them, love picking up random titles and exploring different avenues of thought or new worlds to explore. One of my collections is Gay Literature and a solid portion is gay erotica. Part of that colection is gay comic books and art works, but I digress.
The trip to Half Price put me in touch with vintage gay erotica from the late 60's and early 70's. Talk about a completely different world. From the vantage point of today it is hard to remember the entirely different realm of gay culture then compared to now.
And so we come to the end of an exciting and dynamic season. The rookie QBs came out in force and are rewriting the game. There were some new stars to be sure who aren't QBs. JJ Watt took the league by storm and is a super nice guy as well. He proposed to a little fan who was crushed she was too young to marry JJ. There were tons of other story lines including the drama in Gotham. Can't wait for that to be over.
Anyway on to the game:
Baltimore Ravens at San Francisco 49ers
I must admit up front and have stated all along that I am a lifelong Niners fan. The Ravens have been knocking on this door for years and should have been here last season. With it being Ray's last game, emotions will be high and Joe 'not elite but I win' Flacco at the helm this team is formidable. They are playing much better ball than they did all season.
The Niners made a daring switch at QB late in the season even though Alex Smith was doing a very god job, but he doesn't take the offense to the next level. Colin Kaepernick does. Meanwhile, the defense has been very good all year.
I didn't read what experts were saying all year in game picks, but I did for this game. I must concur that it looks to be a very good game on paper with evenly matched teams and brothers at the helm. I have crappy numbers in the work pool so I need a safety and field goals to win some money!
I never picked a score, but I will for this one: 49ers 24, Ravens 21
I can already tell you that this score pick will be horribly wrong. :)
Bow Grip: A Novel by Ivan Coyote was a surprise to read. A thin book, it is easy reading and was recommended by the staff of Borders back in the day.
Joey is a forty-something mechanic going through a divorce. His wife left him for another woman. Joey is decent good guy and the divorce is transforming his life, but he and his soon-to-be-ex get along well. He still loves her and she still talks to his mother all the time.
This book's central character isn't LGTB, he is a guy who has to deal with those issues because his wife is dealing with them. This story is about how people build their own families beyond those based on blood. It is a story of human growth.
I went 2-2 last weekend. Playoffs I'm 6 -2. Seattle had a comeback for the ages and I will give Atlanta credit for holding on and winning in the end, but the Seahawks are going to be tough next season. Denver...Peyton doesn't like the cold and his postseason record is now 9-11. He's great in the regular season and mediocre in the post.
The Packers apparently have all kinds of locker room issues. They have an all-world QB, but unless the Defense shows up...not much is going to happen. And then there are the Texans. They have an all-world defensive end and until they get a QB who can make plays...not going to happen. (Though getting Cushing back solves all kinds of linebacker issues.)
In other news...all coaching positions are filled. I think the Bears pick can be good, not sold on the Eagles at all. I feel for Bruce Arians going to Arizona already. He can be a wizard on offense, but no O-line means bad QB play.
Well, I managed to go 4 -0 last week though I must say the games were meh pretty much. The NFL Quarterfinals are here and all but one of the division winners made it to this round. I think if Washington had been smart they would have made it a complete 8 for 8.
I was shocked that Andy Reid got picked up so quickly and went to KC. They don't have a QB, but have some other talent. I am very interested in seeing who goes to the Bears. The Bills hired a college coach - not impressed so far. Dallas fired Rob Ryan, Carolina is firing every position coach possible and who knows who is going to coach in San Diego. The Jags hired a new GM and fired the coach after one season. The Browns have hired a no-name, but sometimes these are the best pickups.
The AFC games this weekend are rematches of blowouts earlier in the season and the NFC should have some great games.
That is a quote from Dune and a truism that seems to be the order of the day for so many things. There is a segment of our society that seems hellbent on denying all reality and that life has changed systemically since 1950.
There are many challenges that face us as a society at the moment. There is drastic climate change that is occurring. That, to me, is the single biggest threat to civilization. Why?
The thing the ecologically illiterate don’t realize about an ecosystem is that it’s a system. A system! A system maintains a certain fluid stability that can be destroyed by a misstep in just one niche. A system has order, a flowing from point to point. If something dams the flow, order collapses. The untrained might miss that collapse until it was too late. That’s why the highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences. Pardot Kynes - Ecology of Dune.
We don't know the consequences of a collapse of the climate system that fostered the rise of humanity. Consider that everything we know about our history has come since the Ice Age ended. Humanity rose to build great cities and societies in a period of relative climate stability. Extended droughts in the American Mid-West will reduce grain supplies. Imagine disruptions in monsoons and normal rainfall amounts in India or the Ethiopian Highlands. Food instability and fresh water availability could lead to mass human migrations.
But to address climate change requires thinking for the future. It requires real energy policies that can meet current needs, but place the structures for future developments on the table. Wind, Solar, and other clean technologies - along with smart grids that deliver the energy effectively - must be pushed now.
But too many politicians don't want to deal with reality. They claim that climate change is a hoax all the while burying their heads in the sand. Perhaps they need a swift kick in their upturned rumps to get them over their denial.
But that is not the only way that the future is denied...
The Regular season is over and I went 148-91. I had no picks for Week 1 and the Thursday night game of Week 2. So the playoffs are here and New Year's Eve was a horrible day for coaches. As expected Andy Reid was fired by the Eagles. Norv was finally let go from San Diego along with his partner in crime, AJ Smith. The biggest surprise had to be the firing of Lovie Smith after a 10-6 campaign by the Bears. I fear for Jay Cutler, he may be the next Alex Smith, owner of a new OC every season.
For my money the best job openings are either the Bears or the Browns. The Browns have some young talent and new ownership. The job that may be the worst - the Bills. A very overpaid defense there and a bad QB situation. The Cardinals need an O-line, the Chargers and Eagles need new voices. The Chiefs, they have some good talent, but need a healthy QB. I figured Rex would survive another season and did, but the QB situation in Gotham smells like a pile of garbage left out in the summer sun for two weeks.
The final weekend of the regular season is at hand. 10-6 last week and 137 - 86 for the year.
The overall one seed for the AFC is still up for grabs and the NFC East and West titles are still up for grabs. The final Wild Card is also up for grabs in the NFC. Since this is the last weekend of the season and tomorrow will be the marching off the plank for many coaching staffs some of the games which mean nothing will look at who stays and who goes.
The regularly scheduled diary about something written in the LGTB world is taking a Holiday. It will return in two weeks for a brand new year. But we would like volunteers to help write about books that interested or helped you while you dealt with Coming Out, or other issues related to LGTB issues. If you don't want to write a diary then we will take suggestions as well. Anything helps. I love writing for this series, but Dave and I can't do it alone. We need other voices from the Community to bring to light great stories than we simple may never have heard of. So, please think about writing or making suggestions if you can.
I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very safe, prosperous, and Happy New Year!
Last week continued the trend of mediocrity. I went 8-8 and will have a winning record for the year even if I get every pick wrong for the rest of the regular season. Overall I am, 127 - 80 for the year.
The Playoffs are almost set. The NFC East is a mess and the AFC North is unsettled. The AFC playoff positions look certain at this point barring major collapses. Houston will be the one seed with Denver and Patriots taking up the two and three spots. The Ravens can win the AFC North with a victory this weekend or next and the four seed with it. The Colts are on target to get the five seed while the Bengals and Steelers are in a battle for the six spot and a visit to the Pats.
On the NFC Front: the Falcons are in line for the first seed with the 49ers and Packers following in the that order. The winner of the NFC East will get the four seed. The Wild Cards look to be Seattle and four teams are tied for the last slot. Lots more on this will be addressed in the picks below.
Lots of playoff wishes are being asked of Santa this year, but who has been naughty and who has been nice...
I love Ab fab and have for twenty years now and Eddie's rant about taxing stupid people came to mind as I was reading about how gays don't deserve 14th Amendment protections. So Ms. Harvey that will be a tax increase on you for your epic stupidity.
Anyone else? I think this would be most effective on the modern GOP. They'll be broke by the next election.
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Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock in Netflix's 'Daredevil'
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