Saturday, October 17, 2009

Balloon Boy - Or Not!

I go out of town for a few days and don't watch TV and what do I miss? BALLOON BOY!

I caught a glimpse of it in J&R Music World in New York. For the uninitiated, J&R is a temple to anything electronic. A block long complex of stores that have everything imaginable that needs batteries or plugs into the wall.

Well, while waiting for a clerk at J&R I saw an image on the wall-sized Plasma TV that looked a lot like a stunt my partner and I tried several years ago. We constructed a bunch of balloons with glow sticks attached to release in the dark hoping to spark a little talk-radio buzz about UFOs. We got nada! Not a peep by anyone even though the ascending glows looked pretty cool.

Well here was a monster sized version, except some guy actually made a Mylar flying saucer balloon and the press was all over it. Not as a UFO but because somebody somewhere said a kid was in it. For hours the 24 hour news junkies followed pictures of the obviously unmanned or un-kidded balloon drifted aimlessly over Colorado.

Meanwhile lots of "real" news was happening but oh noooo, we had to watch endless pictures of a flimsy Mylar balloon and hear announcers ramble ad nauseam about how they really didn't know anything about it.

Turns out there was no kid on board and now the Sheriff is trying to drum up charges because he is so embarrassed he was wasting time following a damned balloon.

Ain't TV grand!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another Reason Our Health Care System SUCKS

Pilgrimage To The Smithsonian

OK, I admit it, I am sooooo gay! We spent our last day in Washington at the Museum of American History, home of the original Ruby Slippers worn by Judy G in the Wizard of Oz. OK it's just a pair of shoes, but still I had to see them again. They look a bit dingy, but still have a sparkle left in them.

We also visited Julia Childs' Kitchen, preserved in its entirety in the Smithsonian. They even had a tape of Julia trussing up a chicken running from her TV show. Damn, that woman used a lot of butter!

After a late lunch we made our way to the Holicost Museum. Any elation I had from seeing the Ruby Slippers vanished there. It's a wonderful museum, but it is well designed to have an overwhelming effect on visitors.

The heavy iron truss work that surrounds you and the slow descent through the madness of Nazi Germany to the final rooms with an actual box car used to transport Jews, Gays and Gypsies to the camps was very effective.

The room that got to me was one filled with shoes. Shoes confiscated from prisoner prior to their gassing and cremation. These are the actual shoes gathered from one of the camps and seeing all of them piled knee-high as you walk a path through them was intense. Each pair spoke of the owner and their absence.

If you miss this museum on a visit to Washington, you are short changing yourself.

Tomorrow, riding the Acella Train to New York City!

Monday, October 12, 2009

And Now The Money Shot From The Oozenator!

This is a real kids toy that looks like a behind-the-scenes tool for porn producers. Go figure!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Few More Photos of The Equality March in DC

Thousands of LGBT People March On Washington - Where Is Barney Frank?

He's off to the west coast to raise funds to Democrats. His opinion of the march, "Barack Obama does not need pressure." Commenting on Michelangelo Signoreli's radio program Frank says we should model ourselves as lobbyists on "the National Rifle Association." He says people should not come to Washington and should stay home and lobby their members of Congress.

Well Senator Frank, they should do both! If you and other members of Congress won't change the unequal system we have now, someone else will. I would not be surprised if Barney Frank loses his seat in the next election if full equality is not given to all citizens of America. I guess he has his, so screw the rest of us.

Sorry for the editorial comment, but lets get real. Incremental appeasement is only creating an apartheid in America. Imagine if the Civil Rights bill had been as "measured" an approach as our GLBT politicians are advocating?

And for Frank, who says most of Washington didn't even know about the march. Here is a photo of just a few Americans who are denied their rights, or did you forget who we were?

(Photos copyright Hardy Haberman 2009)

Equality March Draws Thousands

It was a big turnout for the National Equality March. I would estimate close to 200,000 or more.
Wonderful weather for the march and lots of news media, and that is what we hoped for!

I was tired but really happy when Patrick snapped this shot. I was glad the march had reached its destination.

Obama Says He Will End DADT

President Obama did what no sitting president has done before last night. He spoke to the Human Rights Campaign at their annual dinner. Though there were protesters gather outside, the scene inside was much more cordial.

He opened with a joke, saying, "It's a privilege to open tonight for Lady Gaga" the iconic singer who performed later in the evening. Then he got down to his speech.

Obama made a bold promise, "I will end 'don't ask-don't tell." The same words he spoke during his campaign. Then he acknowledged the he understood the impatience felt by the LGBT community but he assured the crowd of about 3000, "do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach."

Now my only question is, when? Thirty years ago I came to this same city and marched for gay rights. and here I am still marching 30 years later. I am not going to live my entire life without seeing equal rights!

So Mr. President, had I had a micerophone to ask questions during your speech I would have thanked you for your show of support and then encouraged you to take action and use the bully pulpit to move Congress forward to real equality for LGBT people.