Friday, June 30, 2006

The More things Change

On Christmas night, 1996, someone murdered a little six-year old girl named Jon-Benet Ramsey in Boulder Colorado.

That person remains at large.

Jon-Benet's mommy, Patsy Ramsey, died earlier this week due to a cancer which had been in remission before the murder, and before the slanderous and viscious media campaign and the wanton incompetence of the Boulder law enforcement and justice system branded her a murderess.

Patsy will be laid to rest next to her daugher in an Atlanta cemetary.  I pray they both rest in peace. 

The inconceivable torment of being judged and convicted by a sensationalist media is not unique to Patsy Ramsey.  Just ask current Seattle resident, the former Lindy Chamberlain, whose infamous treatment at the hands of an out of control media frenzy became the subject of the film A Cry in the Dark.  The Chamberlains were camping near Ayers Rock in Australia in 1980 when their 9 week old daughter was abducted by a dingo, a wild dog native to Australia.  As rumor and innuendo grew, media speculation about whether the Chamberlains were guilty of infantacide grew proportionately.  At last, the Chamberlains were prosecuted and found guilty.  It took a number of years for them to vindicate themselves and prove themselves innocent of their daughter's death.

Both Patsy Ramsey and Lindy Chamberlain were convicted by a scurrilous combination of rumor mill and witch hunt.  It is a peculiar thing about human society.  Every now and then we need a good witch hunt.  That is not to say that there haven't been mothers who have killed their children--there certainly have.  Susan Smith, Diane Downs and Andrea Yates are the most notorious, but there certainly are many, many more. 

But with Ramsey and Chamberlain the facts just didn't add up.  It took the cold light of science through dispassionate, unbiased investigation to correct the injustice by a wildly speculative rumor machine.  For some reason in these cases, as with others, the rumors were more interesting and entertaining than the facts.  Justice demands we treat every accused with the presumption of innocence. 

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ashamed to be an Iowan

Today I'm ashamed to have been born in Iowa.  It is a grand state full of literate, sensitive people.  Except for one--US Representative Steven King. 

King was instrumental in stripping a House Bill (H.R. 5576) which would have financially benefitted the LAGLC, the largest urban gay resource center in the United States.  You can click on this link: LAGLC, to see the people that Steven King, the bigot (not the author, who with one openly gay child, is a good friend to the gay community) is so damned afraid of.

LAGLC provides AIDs assistance and prevention services, mental health services, and employment counseling.  Apparently, for representative King the only good gays are those who are either (1) dead, or (2) acutely depressed and chronically unemployed.  If this had been a center that provided services to any other class or group of people, King's constituents would have seen the bigotry for precisely what it is.

Reprehensible.  I call on all of my Iowa friends and relatives to oppose this mean spirited and dangerous person the next time he is up for reelection.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Poor Poet

Poor Poetby Robert W Service

'A man should write to please himself,'
         He proudly said.
Well, see his poems on the shelf,
         Dusty, unread.

When he came to my shop each day,
         So peaked and cold,
I'd sneak one of his books away
         And say 'twas sold.

And then by chance he looked below,
         And saw a stack
Of his own work,—speechless with woe
         He came not back.

I hate to think he took to drink,
         And passed away;
I have not heard of him a word
         Unto this day.

A man must write to please himself,
         Of all it's true;
But happy they who spurning self—
         Please people too.

Not in the Mood

I'm not in the mood to blog, so I shall. 

Gurney Halleck (from David Lynch's Dune): "Moods are for cattle and loveplay, not for fighting!"  But my mood is marred by running out of my anti-depressant.  I've been five days without and I'm in profound withdrawal.  I never expected this!  I feel completely wired, as though from speed or way too much coffee.  I have bizarre flashes like electric shocks, and moments of inexplicable rage.  But my neighborhood pharmacist has kindly provided me with three days worth (which is by law all he can provide me with, sans Dr. communication) and I've taken my dose for today and so hopefully things will return to normal soon...

Jared Leto now claims that it was all a joke.  He's the joke.  What a pathetic attempt at free publicity.  What a jerk.  He probably is gay, but now nobody will ever care again.  Asswipe.

I'm wanting to do some graphic arts.  I recently bought this great new artists pen from Rotring.  Sounds like a venereal disease, but it's a fine arts manufacturer in Germany.  "Rot" auf Deutsch means "red".  Ring, I believe, has the same meaning in both languages.  So "red ring" which may be a reference to a target?  Dunno.  Anyway, I have a desire to do some portraiture in ink--stark black and white--with a decidedly gothic bent: I envision portraits of Lizst, Wagner, Poe, Lovecraft and Oates.  If/when I accomplish this, I'll post results here, as well as on my Deviant Arts site.  (I'm not posting a link because my gallery is currently <empty>.

Here's a little toot of my horn: My novel A Diamond in the Ashes (currently unpublished) made the final round of judging for the Pacific Northwest Writer's Conference Literary Contest.  It's a mixed blessing.  On the other hand, my novel After the Fire did not.  And I consider After the Fire by far the superior work.  So I'll be interested to look at the critiques.  Perhaps my judgment of my own work is severely flawed. 

Maybe I have to stop considering myself a literary artist and just write fantasy and gothic horror and be done with it.  Maybe I'm over reaching.  Maybe I have to learn how to tell a story first before I try more sophisticated subject matter, tone and style.

Finally, I had a letter published in the Seattle Times (scroll down to the very bottom).  It's a funny ha-ha one-liner that they love to publish from time to time.  Still, it was a concept that would occur to any fan of Star Wars so I knew that I should submit as soon as I could.  And voila!  In print.

A little background--Tim Eyman was the personality behind the referendum to vote on (and presumably repeal) the recent gay rights bill passed by the Washington State legislature.  He showed up in Olympia Monday dressed as Darth Vader to announce his failure to garner enough signatures to get the referendum on the November ballot.

The thought did occur to me that Eyman may have hijacked the referendum effort from the evangelical Christians who started it in order to impose his own political gravitas and then sabotage the entire effort  In which case, gay Washingtonians owe him a debt of gratitude.  But since that was too cynical by half, I decided to go for direct ridicule.

And that may be the problem with my fiction--I don't utilize the more accessible meat.