One of our most talented automotive writers died this week. I will miss the truly extraordinary David E. Davis
As a boy of 10 years old, I discovered the writing of David E. Davis in the pages of Car & Driver magazine and this man's monthly column became my window on the world, exposing me to people, places and ideas well beyond my small Midwestern town. Eccentric, self-indulgent, irreverent, and a wonderful master of prose, David E. surprisedly and thrilled me on a regular basis. His passing makes me feel old and nostalgic...and grateful. So very grateful to have enjoyed his musings all these years.
From yesterday's New York Times:
March 28, 2011
David E. Davis Jr. Dies at 80; Elevated Automotive Press
By WILLIAM GRIMES
David E. Davis Jr., an editor and writer who transformed automotive journalism by bringing an irreverent tone, a literary sensibility and top-notch writers to the magazines Car and Driver and Automobile, died on Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich. He was 80.
The cause was complications of surgery for bladder cancer, his wife, Jeanne, said.
Mr. Davis, a former racecar driver and advertising copywriter for the Chevrolet Corvette, brought a taste for Southern-style storytelling and a penchant for splashy editorial concepts when he signed on at Car and Driver in the early 1960s, first as a writer and later as editor and publisher.
The magazine, a weak sister to publications like Road & Track and Motor Trend, moved into the passing lane under Mr. Davis, a combative swashbuckler who encouraged criticism of the cars it tested, even at the risk of losing advertising, and signed promising young writers, notably a former taxi driver and Chrysler test driver named Jean Lindamood (now Jennings).
Ms. Lindamood’s wild adventures behind the wheel became reader favorites, as did Mr. Davis’s monthly column, “American Driver,” a wayward exercise in which he might veer off into, say, a character sketch of God: “He likes a little Armagnac, but only after the roast has been consumed and the empty Bordeaux bottles cleared away. He drives one of the old fastback Bentley Continentals, and he drives it both vigorously and well.”
In the mid-1980s, Rupert Murdoch, the media magnate, asked Mr. Davis to create a new car magazine. Elaborating on ideas he had developed at Car and Driver, Mr. Davis came up with Automobile. With its heavy paper stock and lush color photography, it aimed at the kind of upscale readers who, he told Adweek, “are interested in driving from New York to Los Angeles in a Porsche 911 Turbo” and whose tastes would be attractive to advertisers like Ralph Lauren.
Shedding the mechanical focus of Car and Driver, Mr. Davis did away with orthodox test drives and numerical results. Instead, he handed the keys to writers like P. J. O’Rourke, Jim Harrison and David Halberstam and encouraged them to hit the road, have adventures and write about the lived experience of driving a spiffy car.
David Evan Davis Jr. was born on Nov. 7, 1930, in Burnside, Ky. After graduating from high school in Royal Oak, Mich., he studied briefly at Olivet College but soon took an assortment of jobs — selling Volkswagens and Triumphs for a dealer in Ypsilanti, working in a men’s clothing store, assembling Fords — before the sight of a Jaguar XK120 inflamed his incipient car lust.
He turned to auto racing, but in 1955, driving in an amateur race in Sacramento, he flipped his MG and nearly destroyed half his face, requiring 18 months of recuperation and reconstructive surgery.
“I suddenly understood with great clarity that nothing in life — except death itself — was ever going to kill me,” he said in a commencement address at the University of Michigan in 2004. “No meeting could ever go that badly. No client would ever be that angry. No business error would ever bring me as close to the brink as I had already been.”
After selling advertising on the West Coast for Road & Track, he was hired by Campbell-Ewald, the longtime agency for Chevrolet, to write copy for Corvette ads. A colleague, the future novelist Elmore Leonard, coached him on how to put pizazz into his prose, advising him, he told an audience at the Adcraft Club in Detroit in 2003, to “write like you talk, and read aloud everything you write.”
In 1962, he began writing for Car and Driver, which had been founded in 1956 as Sports Cars Illustrated and was struggling to compete under a new name. Soon he was named its editor and publisher, but his monthly column got him in trouble. Reviewing the BMW 2002, he wrote that its Blaupunkt radio “could not pick up a Manhattan station from the other side of the George Washington Bridge.”
He resigned after being ordered to apologize and returned to Campbell-Ewald as a creative director. In 1976, he resumed his post at Car and Driver, which he moved to Ann Arbor from New York two years later. He grew disenchanted with the job after CBS bought the magazine from Ziff-Davis Publishing in 1985.
Many of his columns for Car and Driver and Automobile were reprinted in “Thus Spake David E.: The Collected Wit and Wisdom of the Most Influential Automotive Journalist of Our Time” (1999).
At Automobile, to which he gave the motto “No Boring Cars!,” Mr. Davis installed Ms. Jennings as editor, hired Robert Cumberford to write on car design in a monthly column, unleashed the illustrator Bruce McCall and maintained the atmosphere of creative turbulence that had become his editorial style. Being fired by Mr. Davis was a left-handed compliment.
In 1991, Automobile was sold to K-III Communications (renamed Primedia). Mr. Davis, under pressure, turned over the editorship of the magazine to Ms. Jennings in 2000. He stayed on as a columnist and as an editorial director of Motor Trend after it was acquired by Primedia in 2001.
He designed the start-up Internet magazine Winding Road in 2006 and in 2009 returned to Car and Driver as a columnist.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children from his first marriage, Matthew, David and Margaret; a stepdaughter, Eleonore Snow; two stepsons, Vincent Kuhn and Tony Kuhn; a sister, Dr. Jane Makulski; two grandchildren; nine step-grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
“I see myself as a guest in the homes of several hundred thousand car enthusiasts each month, talking about what I’ve driven, where I’ve been and who I’ve met,” he wrote in Car and Driver. “I strive to be entertaining as well as informative, because I want to be liked, to be remembered, to be invited back. It usually works.”
Roger Cohen on removing Qadaffi: "Be ruthless" & then let the messy process of building a democracy begin
...Who are the Libyan rebels? Who are the angry of Latakia? The Arab transitions will be long and bumpy — like those that brought representative government to Latin America and Central Europe and wide swathes of Asia — but now that fear has been overcome, they are irreversible.
Here’s who the protesters are: people like Asmaa Mahfouz, 26, the Egyptian woman who on Jan. 18 made a video urging citizens to go to Tahrir Square on Jan. 25 — the demonstration that would start the revolution. She said then: “We’ll go down and demand our rights, our fundamental human rights. I won’t even talk about any political rights. We just want our human rights and nothing else.” And she said people “don’t have to come to Tahrir Square, just go down anywhere and say it, that we are free human beings.” And: “This is enough!”
People are being born throughout the Middle East. They are discovering their capacity to change things, their inner “Basta!” That’s how the Arab spring began on Dec. 17 in the little town of Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia — with a fruit peddler’s “enough” to humiliation. In my end is my beginning.
Three months later the genie is not only out of the bottle, it’s shattered the bottle. I said of Libya in an earlier column: Be ruthless or stay out. So now the West is in, be ruthless. Arm the resurgent rebels. Incapacitate Qaddafi. Do everything short of putting troops on the ground. Qaddafi, as President Obama has said, “must leave.” So that Libya can be an Arab country that is imperfect but open.
--Roger Cohen in today's NYTimes
People need to see that if you hurt another person, you hurt yourself, and if you hurt yourself, you're hurting another person. And then to begin to see that we are not in this alone. We are in this together. For me, that's where the true morality comes from.
--Pema Chödrön, "No Right, No Wrong"
"To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and...our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different."
Amen! This speech is what Obama promised when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. He promised to use American power when our strategic interests and values are under attack, not in every country, but selectively and with clear-sighted pragmatism. This is just another why I love my President.
Watch this gay Belgium couple tell their heart-warming story of bringing home their surrogate-born son
HIT THE CC BUTTON FOR CLOSED CAPTIONING.
The International Community is helping the people of Libya get rid of their cold-blooded killer & dictator
I am reading that some political observers are worried that Obama will invade Syria if the people there revolt against the government. I doubt it strongly: Obama is averse to wars and invasions, and the last thing he wants to do is get bogged down in an internecine conflict in Syria, which has many religious sects, political rivalries, and ethnic tensions. One Afghanistan is enough...or more accurately, too many.
...the Japanese people and its refugees and rescue workers, oppressed people fighting for democracy across the Middle East, my dad, the Libyan rebels and the families of the African mercerneries who are propping up the Qaddafi government, LGBT advocates across the world, President Obama and Secretary Clinton, Governor Brown, Fred Karger, Jane, my friends, my extended family, Phil, Chris, Jason, Jeff, and myself. May all these being be happy and free from suffering.
I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.
Yep, I pity the people that never cook, garden or clean their own home. By protecting themselves from the mundane, they are missing a wonderful part of life.
Obama's critics and Republican opponents are naturally all too delighted to confuse his internationalist pragmatism with an absence of principles, when in reality these -- pragmatism and principles -- are no antithesis. It would be a happy world indeed if the constant application of idealism always achieved the principled objectives pursued, yet history indicates its near abject failure in nearly every instance ... whereas our hyperpragmatic presidents, from Washington to Lincoln to FDR, achieved nearly all of their principled goals.
Read this viral email going around Japan about the brave workers that are sacrificing their health so others may live. With a deep bow to them
Please send these people your prayers.
Right now there are people working diligently at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant risking their lives to save the this country, this Japan, the citizens, you and your families.
Please Pray! So the work is successful! Please!
The members of the Japanese Specialized Scientific Defense Team are all volunteers. They are all 55 years and older, They all stated that they are done raising their children and have no regrets and thus have volunteered to the group. There are 50 volunteers like this.
There's an article from an information announcement company,
Eastern Electric corporation put out a call for help to all of the electric companies and related companies in Japan. They were looking for veterans in the Nuclear plant related field for volunteers to be a part of a "Decided to die" group (there is no direct translation for this term in English) to work on the internal structures of the nuclear plant.
A man from China Electric, who has been in working on Nuclear power plants for the past 40 years quoted " This work should be done by veterans like me. I am only a year away from retirement, my children are all grown up." And thus he volunteered.
The family shared their feelings with calm, and say that they could not say anything to their father and their husband's firm determination and decision.
This man's daughter says she saw a peaceful face on her father that day that she had never seen prior.
20 volunteers the next day as if going to go to work as usual said "I'm leaving!" and walked out of their front door.
While working at the nuclear power plant there is radiation exposure. The country has a standard rule for allowing no more than 100 millisieverts to their workers. (The International standard is 20 and in Japan it's traditionally 50. The Fukushima plants have been recorded to be radiating about 300 to 400 millisieverts in the past several weeks.) Recently the limit went up to 250mSv. That's because the workers requested that.
If the limit was 100mSv the time allowed to do the procedures would be over in a few minutes and no work can be completed. That's why they turned in a formal request to raise the acceptable radiation exposure level on the books to 250mSv. They made a resolve to face and accept the radiation exposure received in the process.
Because of this, yesterday the reactors were entering their critical temperature for a potential disaster and at the nick of time the critical point was averted.
If critical temperature was reached, we wouldn't be here spending this time, we wouldn't have had this time to spend.
We wouldn't have had this time with our family, our loved ones and our friends. The survival rate for all life within the 300km (186mile) radius of the Nuclear Plant was close to zero. This time we have now, alive, is because of these people's efforts.
The business management executives because of the worry for their own well being, have been limiting and slowly doling out information and have not come out from far away Tokyo.
Please, Everyone pray for them!
This ground-breaking kiss will makes expressions of same-sex love seem ordinary in the future, which is a good thing. Bless the producers of this extraordinary TV show!
For the first time, the United States calls on UN to take direct action to combat discrimination against LGBT people around the world
THANK YOU AGAIN, PRESIDENT OBAMA! You are becoming a more fierce advocate for LGBT rights with every passing day. This would not happen under a Republican administration.
From the U.S. State Department
March 22, 2011
At the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva 85 countries joined a Joint Statement entitled “Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based On Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.” This follows previous statements on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons issued at the United Nations, including a 2006 statement by 54 countries at the Human Rights Council, and a 2008 statement that has garnered 67 countries’ support at the General Assembly. The United States is amongst the signatory states to both previous efforts. The United States co-chaired the core group of countries that have worked to submit this statement, along with Colombia and Slovenia.
Key facts about the new statement:
A core group of over 30 countries engaged in discussions and sought signatures from other UN member states for the statement. In many places, United States diplomats joined diplomats from other states for these conversations.
This statement adds new references not seen in previous LGBT statements at the UN, including: welcoming attention to LGBT issues as a part of the Universal Periodic Review process, noting the increased attention to LGBT issues in regional human rights fora, encouraging the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue addressing LGBT issues, and calls for states to end criminal sanctions based on LGBT status.
20 countries joined this statement that were neither signatory to the 2006 or 2008 statements.
The statement garnered support from every region of the world, including 21 signatories from the Western Hemisphere, 43 from Europe, 5 from Africa, and 16 from the Asia/Pacific region.
The full list of signatories and text of the statement follows:
Joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation & gender identity
Delivered by Colombia on behalf of: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Central African Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the former-Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Venezuela
1. We recall the previous joint statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, presented at the Human Rights Council in 2006;
2. We express concern at continued evidence in every region of acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity brought to the Council’s attention by Special Procedures since that time, including killings, rape, torture and criminal sanctions;
3. We recall the joint statement in the General Assembly on December 18, 2008 on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, supported by States from all five regional groups, and encourage States to consider joining the statement;
4. We commend the attention paid to these issues by international human rights mechanisms including relevant Special Procedures and treaty bodies and welcome continued attention to human rights issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity within the context of the Universal Periodic Review. As the United Nations Secretary General reminded us in his address to this Council at its Special Sitting of 25 January 2011, the Universal Declaration guarantees all human beings their basic rights without exception, and when individuals are attacked, abused or imprisoned because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the international community has an obligation to respond;
5. We welcome the positive developments on these issues in every region in recent years, such as the resolutions on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity adopted by consensus in each of the past three years by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, the initiative of the Asia-Pacific Forum on National Human Rights Institutions to integrate these issues within the work of national human rights institutions in the region, the recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the increasing attention being paid to these issues by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, and the many positive legislative and policy initiatives adopted by States at the national level in diverse regions;
6. We note that the Human Rights Council must also play its part in accordance with its mandate to “promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without discrimination of any kind, and in a fair and equal manner” (GA 60/251, OP 2);
7. We acknowledge that these are sensitive issues for many, including in our own societies. We affirm the importance of respectful dialogue, and trust that there is common ground in our shared recognition that no-one should face stigmatisation, violence or abuse on any ground. In dealing with sensitive issues, the Council must be guided by the principles of universality and non-discrimination;
8. We encourage the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to address human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to explore opportunities for outreach and constructive dialogue to enhance understanding and awareness of these issues within a human rights framework;
9. We recognise our broader responsibility to end human rights violations against all those who are marginalised and take this opportunity to renew our commitment to addressing discrimination in all its forms;
10. We call on States to take steps to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, encourage Special Procedures, treaty bodies and other stakeholders to continue to integrate these issues within their relevant mandates, and urge the Council to address these important human rights issues.
Mo Nabbous, the courageous and patriotic man who created the uncensored Libya al Hurra ("freedom") Livestream news channel, is killed by a sniper's bullet
Read about the tragic death of this pioneering Libyan citizen journalist, a true fighter for freedom and democracy.
I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later. That is why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace.
--President Barack Obama in his acceptance speech, at the Nobel Ceremony
My thoughts about the French & British-led enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya, with American support
I respect those who think we should not be fighting a third war, invading another Arab country, or can't afford this involvement. These people have strong and cogent arguments.
But this is why I think we had to get involved: a country that after 40 years of dictatorship and ruthless suppression, rises up of its own accord, is being murdered by mercenary African soldiers, by indiscriminate bombardment, by jets and over 300 heavy tanks. In contrast, the Libyan freedom fighters have small arms, little warfare training, and no formal organization. Qaddafi has promised to kill anyone who has supported the rebels in any way -- that's well over half the country.
Libya would become the next Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Spain in the 1930s and other countries where the free world has let a tyrant go on a murderous rampage only to wake up to the carnage, with regret and apologies later. No, I am not one of those progressives who oppose all foreign intervention only years later to attend independent movies on the subject, see the dramatization of the atrocities and shake my head grave, amnesia-like judgment. The reality is that there is a mad-man loose in Libya, with billions of barrels of petro-dollars, who is killing his rebelling people with heavy weapons and mercenaries. (Libya is unlike the situation in Iraq which played a key counter-balancing role with Iran.) In this situation, we can and must even the playing field and let the Libyan freedom fighters have a chance to determine the fate of their country. Libyans are begging us. The Arab street wants it. Justice demands it.
23-year-old Justin Alensa tells his story of being bashed. Sad and inspiring (making me double-down my efforts for LGBT equality)
In praise of the brave Japanese electrical workers, fire fighters & helicopter pilots who are fighting to save their nation from nuclear disaster
I have been so moved by the courage of the rescue workers in sacrificing their health to help save their country and fellow citizens from the effects of a full nuclear meltdown. It is so inspiring to see them doing whatever it takes to put out the fires and cool the reactors in a wildly dangerous situation. These brave men are giants in my eyes, true bodhisattvas, kings among men. With a deep bow to them.
By Grace Damman
April 26, 2009
For the last forty years, I have been a somewhat compulsive caregiver. However, I found an appropriate nitch in medical school, and have happily practiced medicine for the last twenty-five years. For the last year, however, I have been on the opposite side of the caregiver/caretaker divide. For eleven months, I have been totally dependent on others for everything: for brushing teeth, being fed, wiping my buttocks, helping me in and out of the chair. What I initially thought was that compassion ought to be aligned with warmth and empathy. Now I feel that it must be aligned with wisdom.
Compassion comes from the Latin word pati, which means to suffer. So compassion means to be fully present with pain and suffering. When I say that compassion ought to be aligned with wisdom what do I mean? What I mean is that when I am served by other people who are driven by their own standards of excellence, and not by the demands of my “whiny self”, and then I am best served by them. I have learned that the most compassionate behavior is that which appropriately encourages my independence from either depressive states of mind or dependence on another being. The least compassionate behavior, conversely, is that which enslaves me, making me dependent on the person performing the behavior.
When I first woke after two months of being unconscious I was focused on one main point. Somewhere during my unconscious period I had decided that all we could do in life is “clean up our acts”, you know, the long trail of, “Could I have done this more skillfully, or better?” I was captivated by the people visiting me and was more than happy to share my so-called wisdom with them. I would ask them, number one, are you in a relationship? And, number two, if in a relationship, are you married? If not, why not? If it is not working why not get out now? What about work? Are you passionate about it? If not, why not? For everyone I had the same fairly boring message: find a place to put your energy with total commitment. That place
might be where you are currently standing. My motto was: Just do it now.
So what was it that I had learned lying on my back? I realized that I
needed to clean up my own act. I knew there was a way that I had not gone through, "the eye of the needle" that we can only go through with 100%
committed behavior. I had all the time in the world to finish my thoughts and so many of those thoughts were driven by, not so much regret, as understanding that I hadn't completely shown up in life. Those few times that I had shown up had given me complete happiness. I also noticed that those who are dear to me were a great deal happier not to be seeing my back all the time — not to be competing with a pager or a cell phone. I was encouraging commitment because, for the first time, I had nothing to do but
look at my life, love the sunshine and people as they presented themselves, and just be.
I hit my head in the accident, and strangely enough my old thought
processes no longer engaged me that much, thank God. What the therapists might have called inattention or processing problems actually enabled me to be completely in the moment. For example, pain came and went, nausea came and went, constipation came and went, but for whatever blessed reason, they didn't hold my attention for long. I spent a great deal of time enjoying the total pleasure of a shower, the way the water felt on my head or the sensation of someone's nails as they were shampooing my hair. I spent little time thinking about the future, what I would do, what had happened to small me. Instead, I was totally fixated on my immediate environment. Waking up, I saw that I was completely held and embraced by the very Earth itself as well as by my wonderful family and community of support.
I realize now that my greatest happiness in life has been in my service to people, particularly the joy that comes from being totally present with my own and their suffering. My new emphasis in service is to remind myself of this motto, “Do it now, just do it now, and be more responsive.” If you want to know how you are doing, just ask the people around you. They will be happy to tell you. Your job is to just listen and absorb it. Take it in. Really try to understand your impact on other people. If you want to know how you are doing at work, just ask your colleagues. Finally, if you want to know how you're doing in the world, just ask the trees and wind, and watch the sun.
I would like to thank Dick Grace from the bottom of my heart for generously giving me this experience two years ago. He helped me find my pod by introducing me to like peas. My sense of belonging to this pod has sustained me over the past year. I bow down to his Holiness with deep gratitude for his willingness to put himself in such difficult situations for so many years with such humor and wisdom and compassion. He is my model for the possibility that with great diligence and practice, we can all become truly compassionate people. For all of you who are acknowledged today as heroes of compassion, thank you for your undying efforts. I suspect that at some deep level, you are happy with your lives. And finally, for those of you who are here to witness this event and are moved by these compelling stories, just do it now. Do whatever it takes so that you can give happily, and thus be happy. . .and compassionate.
Earthquakes, tsunami, and radiation exposure...my heart goes out to the suffering Japanese people. As a coastal resident who lives near an active earthquake fault, I am very empathetic.
Photo via WSJ.com
"I might not play in the top league, but I want to prove that there is no big deal if I'm a footballer and also gay. If I perform as a footballer, then I do not think it matters if I like men or women."
According to Gallup, the happiest Americans tend to live in the West or urban areas, places where progressives (and optimism) tend to dominate. No surprise to me
And adjust all the happiness factors with this interactive map.
And adjust all the happiness factors with this interactive map.
I arrived in Northern New Mexico last night and I am so happy to be home, the place where my Conquistador ancestors settled over 400 years ago, the place I was conceived and born, and the place where my ashes will eventually be scattered. Some of the things I love here: the Santo Cristo mountains, the scrub brush against the color of the high desert earth, the charming sing-song spoken English that mimics the local Spanish dialect, the taste of green chiles, and the smell of frying sopapillas. This isn't a rich or intellectual place, but New Mexicans tend to be big-hearted, tough, family-oriented, Democratic, and supersticious. I love these people and this land, and I can feel my beloved grandmother's presence around me today, even more than usual, now that I am home.
On last night's Glee, Burt Hummel had a talk with Kurt about the birds and the bees. It'd be great if all gay teens (or teens in general) had a parent who cared this much.
"When you're intimate with someone in that way, you gotta know that you're exposing yourself. You're never gonna be more vulnerable, and that scares the hell out of a lot of guys...With two guys you've got two people who think that sex is just sex. It's gonna be easier to come by and once you start, you aren't gonna want to stop. You gotta know that it means something. It's doing something to you, to your heart, to your self-esteem, even though it feels like you're just having fun...When you're ready, I want you to be able to do everything. But when you're ready, I want you to use it as a way to connect to another person. Don't throw yourself around like you don't matter, because you matter."
This show is reaching and shaping the minds of millions about LGBT people.
Today, the Iranian government jailed Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former presidential candidate and opposition leader, for advocating democracy
With the call for freedom and democracy sweeping the Middle East, the Iranian government is running scared and today ordered the immediate imprisonment of Mousavi and his wife, without trial. The above video shows the street support for Mousavi in June 2009.
While the Iranian theocracy try to suppress its people through fear and murder, in the long run, Iranians are eventually going to rise up and throw off the shackles of control. Just as the Libyans are doing right now.
My heart is with these people, including their LGBT ones who carry the additional burden of fighting ignorance, bigotry, and prejudice.