Stupid Girls

Monday, January 31, 2005

No Dykes on Sesame Street!

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PBS Censors Postcards From Buster
Episode featuring lesbian moms deemed not 'appropriate'
January 31, 2005

PBS has pulled an episode of the children's show Postcards From Buster
that includes children with lesbian mothers. The episode was yanked the
same day that PBS received a letter from new Secretary of Education
Margaret Spellings condemning the episode and asking PBS to "strongly
consider" returning the federal money that went toward its production.

In the episode, Buster, an animated rabbit, visits Vermont, where he
learns how maple sugar is made and visits the home of real-life children
who invite him in for dinner and introduce him to their "mom and Gillian."

WGBH, the Boston PBS affiliate station that produced the program, still
plans to air the pulled episode and make it available to other stations,
but without PBS or Department of Education support (Washington Times,12/27/05).

PBS chief operating officer Wayne Godwin and spokesperson Lea Sloan gave a
variety of reasons for PBS's decision to censor the show; Godwin said the
episode brought up an issue that was "best left for parents and children
to address together at a time and manner of their own choosing," while
Sloan said it was "sensitive in today's political climate" (Associated
Press, 1/27/05). Godwin also pointed out that some children wouldn't have
a parent with them to "put it in context" (Washington Post, 1/27/05), but
at the same time indicated that it was precisely the context that parents
and media coverage gave the episode that created the problem:
"The concern really was that there's a point where background becomes
foreground. No matter if the parents were intended to be background, with
this specific item in this particular program they might simply be
foreground because of press attention to it and parental attention to it"
(New York Times, 1/27/05).

Godwin went on to claim the episode conflicted with PBS's purpose: "The
presence of a couple headed by two mothers would not be appropriate
curricular purpose that PBS should provide."

It's a disturbing view for the COO of PBS to hold, particularly since
public television's mandate as set forth in the 1967 Carnegie Commission
Report is to "provide a voice for groups in the community that may
otherwise be unheard," to serve as "a forum for controversy and debate,"
and to broadcast programs that "help us see America whole, in all its
diversity."

Indeed, it would seem that PBS's decision to drop the episode would more
likely violate the terms of its Education Department grant than would the
episode itself; the grant requires funded programs to:
"appeal to all of America's children by providing them with content and
characters with which they can identify. Diversity will be incorporated
into the fabric of the series to help children understand and respect
differences and learn to live in a multicultural society. The series will
avoid stereotypical images of all kinds and show modern
multi-ethnic/lingual/cultural families and children."

Previous families featured in Postcards episodes have included Mormons,
Hmong and Pentecostal Christians. It's hard to interpret PBS's selective
reading of its own mandate in the censorship of Postcards as anything but
political pandering in the face of government threats; Spellings' letter
included the blunt reminder that "two years ago the Senate Appropriations
Committee raised questions about the accountability of funds appropriated
for Ready-To-Learn programs" (Washington Post, 1/27/05).

What's more,according to a New York Times report (1/27/05), PBS officials-- including
PBS president Pat Mitchell-- screened the Vermont episode and deemed it
appropriate just a few days before pulling it.

Unfortunately, PBS's decision is hardly surprising, given its history of
moving to the right under pressure from conservative critics. The network
recently added two conservative public affairs programs to its lineup,
apparently to "balance" the alleged liberal bias of NOW With Bill Moyers.
At the time, Moyers had already announced his intended retirement, and
since his departure the show has been cut back to half an hour (see FAIR
Action Alert, 9/17/04).

And this wouldn't be the first time PBS has backed down on gay and lesbian
issues; in 1994, PBS refused to provide funding for a second year of its
popular and critically acclaimed miniseries Tales of the City, which
included gay characters. The show had prompted the American Family
Association to call PBS the "Homosexual Pride Tax-Funded TV Network" and
urge their followers to "shut down" PBS. Though PBS called the decision
financial, Tales was actually a remarkably profitable series (Extra!,7-8/94).

Just two years earlier, when New York City PBS affiliate WNYC began
producing In the Life, television's first nationwide gay-oriented show,
conservatives had vigorously attacked public television from the Senate
floor. Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole railed, "It seems that the
broadcasting apologists are hiding behind Big Bird, Mr. Rogers and
Masterpiece Theatre, laying down their quality smokescreen while they
shovel out funding for gay and lesbian shows" (Village Voice, 6/30/92; see
also Extra!, 6/93).

In the face of such threats and criticism, PBS refused
to distribute the show; over 10 years later, the program still receives no
financial or distribution support from PBS.

ACTION: Please contact PBS and ask them to support programming according
to their mandate, not political pressures.

CONTACT:
PBS
Pat Mitchell, President and CEOPhone: (703) 739-5000
mailto:pmitchell@pbs.org
Or use the PBS comment form:http://www.pbs.org/aboutsite/aboutsite_emailform.html
You might also want to contact your local PBS affiliate to encourage them
to air the censored episode of Postcards From Buster:
http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html

As always, please remember that your comments have more impact if you
maintain a polite tone. Please cc fair@fair.org with your correspondence.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

SpongeBob: Evil, Gay Heathen

You are reading http://viridianariverstone.blogspot.com/.

Mark Morford: 'SpongeBob, evil gay heathen'
Date: Wednesday, January 26 @ 10:06:25 EST
Topic: The Religious Right

How sad to be a right-wing Christian in a world full of homo cartoons and scary nipples
By Mark Morford, San Francisco Chronicle

And oh my God, you think, how these people's lives must be one screaming firehose of inexorable, nipple-torquing, kidney-stabbing pain.

I mean, really.

Because then you read about how James Dobson, the cute little founder of the cute little ultraconservative rabidly Christian happily neo-homophobic Focus on the Family, actually stood up and proclaimed, to the media, to the world, with a straight face, with no sense of irony or shuddering humiliation or an overpowering sense that he was, in fact, contributing quite nicely to the overall violent oatmealy ignorance of the planet, came right out and announced that the wildly popular and much-loved SpongeBob Squarepants cartoon character is, actually and truly, probably gay.

And therefore, of course, SpongeBob is a dire threat to all childrenkind and must be avoided at all costs lest the wee ones watch the cartoons and become overwhelmed with a mad desire to wax their chests and buy a new Miata and drink cocktails made with lemonade. More or less.

And why? Why is the adorable yellow sea sponge suddenly considered to be contributing to the mental and spiritual and genital degradation of millions of innocent children? Because he's a hyperactive none-too-bright short-attention-spanned spazzball of lovable non-sequiturial nonsense who induces rabid devotion among children and gay men and straight adults alike? Why, no. Not quite.

It's because the frantically animated sea creature is now appearing, alongside noted pagan cartoon perverts Barney the Dinosaur and Winnie-the-Pooh and the Rugrats and Bob the Builder, in a nonprofit video sent to 60,000 schools and designed to promote that vile demon called, ahem, tolerance. And diversity.

(Our fair SpongeBob was singled out, by the way, because of his noted popularity with gay men, perhaps given his propensity for flamboyant exuberance and a love of show tunes and his very gayly named pet snail, Gary. Or something).

So then, the cute part: To the vast sentient population of the planet, people like those in Focus on the Family and the American Family Association (the other terrified little group that found SpongeBob to be sexually dangerous) are, well, just plain sad, small, lost in a world where everything is a threat and everything wants to stab at their mealy souls and everything reeks of debauchery and demonism and copious amounts of residual Astroglide.

And we look at such people and we shake our heads and sigh, trying to understand how excruciating it must be to go through life feeling as though you're stuck like a pinned bug to a perverted universe that can't be trusted, one that they desperately hope will be over real soon now, just like the "Left Behind" books promise, so they can forget how miserable and lost and distressed they feel and so they may finally leave their not-so-secret homosexual fantasies behind and drive their big manly SUVs to the Promised Land.

And toward them, we normally just roll our eyes and shake our heads and smile, and feel a fleeting moment of sympathy before shrugging them off like you would a 2-year-old throwing ice cream at a tree.

But now, the not-so-cute part: Much like that other small-minded cluster of clenched nonbrains over at the Parents Television Council, the very tiny but weirdly vocal group that single-handedly managed to hurl the FCC into fits of hysteria regarding naughty swearwords and exposed nipples in the national media, these groups are having one helluva moment right now, one influential and dangerous time in the cultural limelight.

These are the minuscule and shrill groups that, perhaps in a period not seen since the Puritans forbade dancing and kissing and the color fuchsia and all pleasure of any kind, have a shockingly powerful pull on American society and who reputedly helped tilt the election toward Bush and who increasingly have the ear of Congress -- a Congress, it must be noted, that's increasingly crammed with evangelical Christians and homophobic nutjobs and Tom DeLay.

Which is to say, much as most of us on this planet laugh and feel pity and shake our heads at the odd paranoia and dread these cheerless people wallow in on a daily basis, somehow, some way, they have stolen the reins. For the moment.

They now have a semblance of voice, a hook, have warped the ear of the government and embarrassed our national common sense and soiled the clean white sheets of healthy happy debauchery and perversion.

They have jammed a black seed of paranoia and dread into the tired soil of American consciousness, and have made it their lifelong duty to ensure that the seed festers and erupts into a gnarled weed of hate and ignorance and bad missionary-position sex with the lights off.

All of which somehow reminds me of the Spanish Catholic Archdiocese, also recently in the news after undergoing an amazing spasm of lucid awareness in how, for a brief blip in time, the church officially allowed that condoms might be OK.

Did you read that story? About how Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camin, in Spain, announced that condoms are actually pretty good for, you know, controlling disease and inhibiting the spread of HIV? Miss that one? It's understandable. Went by pretty fast. In fact, the astounding stance lasted exactly 24 hours, just enough time for the Vatican to get a whiff of it and for the Vatican's Archbishop of Hateful Sexless Myopia to make a nasty phone call to Spain, promptly threatening the Spanish church with nothing short of castration and excommunication and genital warts.

Whoops, nope, we were wrong, muttered the Spanish church the following day.

Condoms were evil all along. Condoms are wrong and condoms don't actually prevent the spread of HIV and we don't care if they save lives or prevent pregnancy or STDs because condoms promote -- what is it again, cardinal? -- oh, yes, "immoral sexual conduct."
Oh you warped and sad little men.
And lo, the Vatican, still viciously influential in much of Europe and Africa but basically dismissed, as far as sex and gender are concerned, by modern believers in the States as an outdated archaic sexist ignoramus, stomped its callused foot and reiterated its deadly doctrine and stabbed at the heart of progressive humanity. Again.

Which in turn reminds me of Bush addressing a cluster of antichoice activists a few days back, touting the vicious and degrading "culture of life," which translates directly as,
"We aging sexless white Christian males shall hereby stop at nothing to slap women's rights back to 1955 and chip away at female procreative choice, all while preventing stem-cell research from ever saving the life of a single cancer or Alzheimer's patient. God bless." Ah, progress.

And then, in the next ironic breath, Bush announced that his warmongering administration is ready to request another $80 billion from Congress to further the violent and treasonous and unwinnable war on Islami-- er, on non-Christia-- er, women-- er, gays-- er, decent grammar-- er, dictators who control our oil-- er, "terror."
Aha. Promote the "culture of life" while asking for billions more to assist in the killing of all foreigners who hate us more every day. Onward, Christian soldiers.

Note the connection. Note the blood-red thread of fear and dread and homophobia, the brutal irony throughout all these stories. Shrill extremist sects and small-minded leaders with too much control, saddled with self-righteous and outdated doctrines that refuse to allow the culture to progress, to laugh, to moan in joy and sticky happiness.

Note the people who look at hilarious children's cartoons and see only sinister mind control, who look at their fellow human souls and see only an army of debauched heathens, who look (reluctantly) at their own genitals and see only a gnarled clump of pain and confusion, who look up at the beautiful blue sky and see only a massive canopy of daggers.

How incredibly sad. And, for right now, how very, insidiously dangerous.

San Francisco Chronicle
Reprinted from The San Francisco Chronicle:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2005/01/26/notes012605.DTL
This article comes from The Smirking Chimp
http://www.SmirkingChimp.com
The URL for this story is:
http://www.SmirkingChimp.com/article.php?sid=19648

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Pentagon Gang Bang

You are reading http://viridianariverstone.blogspot.com/.

Pentagon probed gay chemical weapon

New Scientist
Jan. 15, 2005

The Pentagon considered developing a host of non-lethal chemical weapons that would disrupt discipline and morale among enemy troops, newly declassified documents reveal.

Most bizarre among the plans was one for the development of an "aphrodisiac" chemical weapon that would make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other. Provoking widespread homosexual behaviour among troops would cause a "distasteful but completely non-lethal" blow to morale, the proposal says.

Other ideas included chemical weapons that attract swarms of enraged wasps or angry rats to troop positions, making them uninhabitable. Another was to develop a chemical that caused "severe and lasting halitosis", making it easy to identify guerrillas trying to blend in with civilians. There was also the idea of making troops' skin unbearably sensitive to sunlight.

The proposals, from the US Air Force Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, date from 1994. The lab sought Pentagon funding for research into what it called "harassing, annoying and 'bad guy'- identifying chemicals". The plans have been posted online by the Sunshine Project, an organisation that exposes research into chemical and biological weapons.

Spokesman Edward Hammond says it was not known if the proposed $7.5 million, six-year research plan was ever pursued.

Published by
New Scientist

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18524823.800&print=true

Monday, January 10, 2005

Homelessness Marathon

You are reading http://viridianariverstone.blogspot.com/.






Homeless?

Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Transexual, Bisexual, Pansexual?

We want to hear from you!

Join us for a live discussion.

February 14, 2005


(hour still to be determined)


KUNMfm Albuquerque (http://kunm.org) will host a one-hour broadcast during the Homelessness Marathon. Our local focus will be about the issues facing the Queer community who are homeless.

Participants have the options of remaining anonymous. We can even digitally alter your voice, so you can't be recognized.

We want to hear your experiences, not cause further victimization. Your voice matters. Your experience is important. This is an opportunity to tell a national audience what life is like as a homeless person who is maginalized as a result of your sexuality, gender and orientation.





(505) 842-8175 Albuquerque or 1-877-718-0691

rriverstone@yahoo.com

The URL for this flier is

http://rriverstone.com/homelessmarathon/flier.html

Please feel free to print, distribute and post this flier anywhere!


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

"Unfuggable" = unemployable?

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http://unknownnews.org

Court backs firing of waitress who�wouldn't�wear�makeup
Reuters News Agency
Dec. 29, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A female bartender who refused to wear makeup at a Reno, Nevada, casino was not unfairly dismissed from her job, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.
Darlene Jespersen, who had worked for nearly 20 years at a Harrah's Entertainment Inc casino bar in Reno, Nevada, objected to the company's revised policy that required female bartenders, but not men, to wear makeup.

A previously much-praised employee, Jespersen was fired in 2000 after the firm instituted a "Beverage Department Image Transformation" program and she sued, alleging sex discrimination.

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Harrah's. All three judges are males appointed by Democratic presidents.

"We have previously held that grooming and appearance standards that apply differently to women and men do not constitute discrimination on the basis of sex," Judge Wallace Tashima wrote for the majority.

He cited the precedent of a 1974 case in which the court ruled that a company can require men to have short hair but allow long hair on women.

The Lambda Legal Defense Fund, a gay rights group that backed Jespersen's suit, had argued that forcing female employees to have different standards than men was unlawful under rules, known as Title VII, against discrimination on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
The ruling found, however, that the casino's appearance standards were no more burdensome for women than for men.

In a dissenting opinion, Judge Sidney Thomas backed the reasoning of the plaintiff. "Harrah's fired Jespersen because of her failure to confirm to sex stereotypes, which is discrimination based on sex and is therefore impermissible under Title VII," he wrote.

"The distinction created by the majority opinion leaves men and women in services industries, who are more likely to be subject to policies like the Harrah's 'Personal Best' policy, without the protection that white-collar professionals receive," he wrote.
Published by
Reuters News Agency

This material is copyrighted by its original publisher.
It is reprinted by Unknown News without permission, solely for purposes of criticism, comment, and news reporting, in accordance with the Fair Use Guidelines of copyright material under � 107 of U.S.C. Title 17:
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include --
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
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(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Don't blame me; I voted for Chisolm

You are reading http://viridianariverstone.blogspot.com/.

��MSNBC.com
First black woman elected to Congress dies

Activist Shirley Chisholm was 80
The Associated Press
Updated: 12:37 a.m. ET Jan. 3, 2005

MIAMI - Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and an outspoken advocate for women and minorities during seven terms in the House, died Saturday near Daytona Beach, friends said. She was 80.

"She was our Moses that opened the Red Sea for us,"� Robert E. Williams, president of the NAACP in Flagler County, told The Associated Press late Sunday. He did not have the details of her death.

Chisholm, who was raised in a predominantly black New York City neighborhood and was elected to the U.S. House in 1968, was a riveting speaker who often criticized Congress as being too clubby and unresponsive.

"My greatest political asset, which professional politicians fear, is my mouth, out of which come all kinds of things one shouldn't always discuss for reasons of political expediency,"� she told voters.

She went to Congress the same year Richard Nixon was elected to the White House and served until two years into Ronald Reagan tenure as president.

?Anyone that came in contact with her, they had a feeling of a careness, and they felt that she was very much a part of each individual as she represented her district,"� William Howard, her longtime campaign treasurer, said Sunday.

Feisty from the start

Newly elected, she was assigned to the House Agriculture Committee, which she felt was irrelevant to her urban constituency. In an unheard of move, she demanded reassignment and got switched to the Veterans Affairs Committee.

Not long afterward she voted for Hale Boggs, who was white, over John Conyers, who was black, for majority leader. Boggs rewarded her with a place on the prized Education and Labor Committee and she was its third ranking member when she left.

She ran for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1972. When rival candidate and ideological opposite George Wallace was shot, she visited him in the hospital -- an act that appalled her followers.

"He said, 'What are your people going to say?' I said: 'I know what they're going to say. But I wouldn't want what happened to you to happen to anyone.' He cried and cried," she recalled.

And when she needed support to extend the minimum wage to domestic workers two years later, it was Wallace who got her the votes from Southern members of Congress.

Unafraid of a fight

Pragmatism and power were watchwords. "Women have learned to flex their political muscles. You got to flex that muscle to get what you want,"� she said during her presidential campaign.

When Bella Abzug challenged Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the 1976 Democratic Senate primary, Chisholm caused a stir by backing Moynihan. "Where was Abzug when I ran for president?"� she asked, when questioned about her choice.

In her book, Unbought and Unbossed, she recounted the campaign that brought her to Congress and wrote of her concerns about that body:

"Our representative democracy is not working because the Congress that is supposed to represent the voters does not respond to their needs. I believe the chief reason for this is that it is ruled by a small group of old men."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson called Chisholm a "woman of great courage."

"She was an activist and she never stopped fighting,"� Jackson said from Ohio, where he is set to lead a rally on Monday in Columbus. "She refused to accept the ordinary, and she had high expectations for herself and all people around her."

Chisholm's leadership traits were recognized by her parents early on, she recalled. Born Shirley St. Hill in New York City on Nov. 30, 1924, she was the eldest of four daughters of a Guyanese father and a Barbadian mother.

Her father, an unskilled laborer in a burlap bag factory, and her mother, a domestic, scrimped to educate their children.

At age 3, Shirley was sent to live on her grandmother's farm in Barbados. She attended British grammar school and picked up the clipped Caribbean accent that marked her speech.

She moved back to New York when she was 11 and went on to graduate cum laude from Brooklyn College and earn a master's degree from Columbia University.

'The people's politician'

She started her career as director of a day care center, and later served as an educational consultant with the city's Bureau of Child Welfare. She became active in local Democratic politics and ran successfully for the state Assembly in 1964.

She was an Assemblywoman from 1964 to 1968 before besting James Farmer, the former national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, to gain the House seat.

"I am the people's politician," she said at the time. "If the day should ever come when the people can’t save me, I'll know I'm finished."

When she left 14 years later, she complained that many of her constituents misunderstood her, that she was a "pragmatic politician"� whose influence was waning in conservative times. And she said she wanted more time for her family life.

After leaving Congress, Chisholm was named to the Purington Chair at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., where she taught for four years. In later years she was a sought-after speaker on the lecture circuit.

"She was a tremendous leader and a voice in politics when she was in office, as well as when she left office,"� Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields told the AP.

Chisholm was married twice. Her 1949 marriage to Conrad Chisholm ended in divorce in February, 1977. Later that year she married Arthur Hardwick, Jr. She had no children.

Once discussing what her legacy might be, she commented, "I'd like them to say that Shirley Chisholm had guts. That's how I'd like to be remembered."

copyright 2004 The Associated Press.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6779424/

Saturday, January 01, 2005

email to a friend

You are reading http://viridianariverstone.blogspot.com/.

Hey, Tommy!

Ma & I have been shopping since she got back. I have a new coat and a beautiful bathrobe.

We've torn up several thrift stores and stocked up on chocolate and replacement xmas lights at after Christmas sales.

Ma's going back to work in a couple of days. We've experimented with her makeup, hair and wardrobe to the point where she's feeling pretty confident about showing up at work with her new look.

I'm ready to begin working on independent projects when she goes back.

I've found several women's presses who are interested in "romantic erotica," so I may be publishing some of my stories again soon.

I lost my old website of erotica, so, any copies of stories you may have that I sent you would be appreciated.

Hope all is well with you. Thanks for always remembering me during holidays.

You're a good friend.

Fondly,

Rogi