Saturday, May 2, 2009

Obama v. Bush: Comparing Communication

National Public Radio host Roy Blunt, Jr. gave an entertaining and interesting interview to MotherJones recently about how he does NOT miss the embarrassment of Bushisms:

An excerpt:

MJ: Do you miss the linguistic oddities of Bush's speech?

RB: No! I don't. I didn't like them when I first heard them and I don't want to hear any more of them. I like linguistic eccentricity that has a point to it and that explores the possibilities of speech, but Bushisms were ways of not saying anything, or ways of saying something that he didn't really mean to say, and it was embarrassing to listen to. Obama is certainly a lot more interesting to listen to. I mean, Obama's the most thoughtful-sounding president I can remember. He seems to be saying what he wants to say, and that is a great relief. Even though he's gotten a lot more solemn since he's gotten elected, and I can't blame him. He always sounds like he's thinking about what he's saying while he's saying it, and that's a rare thing in politicians. We had him on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me one time, back before he had declared for the presidency when he was a little more willing to be loose, and he mentioned that his first day in the Senate he found that every senator had a little desk, and that all the senators over the centuries had carved their names into their desks. And I said, "Are you supposed to do that?" And he said, "Well, as the only African American member of the Senate I thought I might spraypaint my name." Tag it, as it were. So, I think he's got a great sense of humor, but mainly he has a great thinking presence, which is uncommon. It's hard to imagine being able to do, think over answers and deliver them on television. If I were president I would constantly be spluttering.

Read More Here.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today in Gay History

April 30, 1997

Ellen Morgan,

portrayed by

Ellen DeGeneres,

came out on her

ABC television

series "Ellen."

And the world has not been the same since. Thank you, Ellen!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today in Gay History

April 29, 1997

The State of Hawaii creates
the first
statewide "domestic partners registry"
in the U. S.



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Today in Gay History

Happy Birthday
Mary Meigs (1917-2002) Writer, Artist
, Feminist Activist

h/t to glbtq

An American-born painter who emigrated to Canada, the artist Mary Meigs is best remembered for her literary contributions and her feminist activism on behalf of elderly lesbians.

Mary Meigs was born on April 27, 1917 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to physiologist Edward Browning Meigs and Margaret Wister Meigs. After spending most of her childhood in the Washington, D. C. area, Meigs returned to Pennsylvania to attend Bryn Mawr College. After earning a B.A. in 1939, she returned to the Seven Sisters school as an English and creative writing instructor.

With the outbreak of World War II, Meigs joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), a part of the U.S. Navy. She served as a lieutenant junior grade from 1942 until 1945. A fellow WAVE provided her sexual initiation.

Following the war, Meigs studied art at the Art Students' League in New York from 1945 to 1947. She became a painter, honing her talents under the guidance of close friends and fellow artists Henry Poor and his stepdaughter Anne Poor. Meigs held her first exhibition of landscapes and portraits in 1950.

. . .Meigs met author Barbara Deming in 1954. The two became companions almost immediately and settled in a house in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Both women remained closeted, however.

Meigs and Deming were part of a Cape Cod artistic circle that included abstract painter Philip Rothko, critic Edmund Wilson, and writer Mary McCarthy. Meigs is the character of "Dolly Lamb" in McCarthy's A Charmed Life (1955). The portrayal, typical of McCarthy's acid pen, blasted Meigs's alter ego for paintings "cramped with preciosity and mannerism." The brutality of the depiction wounded Meigs and alienated her from McCarthy and members of their circle.

Meigs never felt at ease in Wellfleet, believing that her heterosexual friends thought she had settled for a "half-life" out of a fear of men.

In 1959, Meigs and Deming traveled to India. Deming, fascinated by Gandhi's theories of nonviolence, became politicized. Upon returning to the United States, she immersed herself in leftist politics, much to the distress of the more timid Meigs.

As Meigs' relationship with Deming crumbled, Wilson introduced her to Québécoise author Marie-Claire Blais in 1963. The three women became enmeshed in a six-year relationship that ended when Meigs and Blais moved to Brittany, France in 1972.

In France, Meigs and Blais became involved in another ménage à trois. This stormy relationship with a woman that Meigs identified only as "Andrée" ended after four years, when Meigs and Blais moved to Montreal in 1976. Meigs chronicled the experience in The Medusa Head (1983), with the title referring to the monster that Andrée becomes when consumed with jealousy and anger.

In the 1970s, Meigs concentrated on writing but continued also to work on her art. Chiefly a book illustrator, she completed drawings for Blais's novels as well as illustrations for Indian lesbian author Suniti Namjoshi's The Conversations of Cow (1985).

But Meigs's focus decisively shifted to the creation of literature, and it is for her writings that she is best remembered. Once too terrified to respond to Edmund Wilson when he asked if she were a lesbian, Meigs now embraced life as a very public lesbian.

Lily Briscoe: A Self-Portrait (1981) is her most autobiographical work, exploring both her life as a lesbian and artist. The Box Closet (1987) is a childhood memoir that integrates her parents' diaries and letters with Meigs' discoveries as a daughter and granddaughter. Meigs also contributed to a number of periodicals including Room of One's Own, Fireweed, Canadian Women's Studies, The Body Politic, and Women's Review of Books.

In 1988, Meigs held her last exhibition of paintings. From this period onward, she used her prominence as a writer to become a spokesperson for elderly lesbians.

Meigs found aging to be liberating and did not believe that ageism existed within the lesbian community. She wrote, "I find that, as I grow older, the last remaining patriarchal shackles--guilts and self-imposed obligations--seem to fall off one by one and give way to imperturbable defiance."

In 1990, Meigs appeared in Cynthia Scott's The Company of Strangers, a Canadian film about a group of elderly women who are stranded in the wilderness and struggling to survive the ordeal. Her book, In the Company of Strangers (1991), describes her experiences during the filming of the movie.

Following a series of strokes, Meigs died in Montreal on November 15, 2002. She was survived by Blais.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stand Out Story of the Week


Today in Gay History

April 26, 2000

Vermont's Governor Howard Dean
signs the nation's first civil union bill
. That was the state's response to the fact that its state Supreme Court had ruled that to deny legal state recognition to committed same-sex couples was unconstitutional as violative of the principles of equal protection.

In April 2009, the Vermont legislature passed overwhelmingly, and by a single vote to spare overrode the Republican governor's veto of a law phasing out Civil Unions.
Commencing September 1, 2009, no further civil unions will be created. Civil unions created prior to this date will retain their status, but these couples will have the option of entering a marriage. Marriage Equality is legislated in America for the first time.