Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

And oh, the places I've been and gone and went. And never want to go back to. 

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Béla Bartók

Strange, on a seething hot summer day in New York City, to listen to Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, a piece written in the dark days of 1943. Zubin Mehta, looking young and handsome above, conducts.

You Can't Go Home Again

Dungannistan is always depressed to hear news of bad things happening in Ireland, and so Dungannistan is always depressed. I was especially depressed to learn that the manager of a food store in my hometown Dungannon, was murdered March 2008 by two other men he had met in a bar. The manager, Shawn Fitzpatrick (left), was 32 years old. I only heard of this recently because the two murderers were found guilty a week ago, and now await sentencing.

After the guilty verdicts, Fitzpatrick's sister, Stacy McNally, read a statement on behalf of the family. She said that they "pray that these evil men never walk the streets of Northern Ireland again, because our Shaun won't." He was "a loving son, a great brother, wonderful uncle, fun-loving, hard-working, soft-hearted, kind and inoffensive."

The two men who killed Fitzpatrick said they did so because he was gay and they did not like gays. When the EMT personnel found Fitzpatrick, they later reported that he had been beaten so badly that they assumed at first he had been shot in the face.

Oh Dungannon...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Heat wave, July 5th, 2010

The sky over New York City has been like this for many days — that is, an intense blue, but not necessarily containing the Golden Arches of McDonald's. We are in the grip of a heat wave...
This was my swiftly-eaten dinner/snack in Chelsea the other night. If the days are intense heat, that heat and the thick city air then give the nights a rich, succulent sense of color. Which you can enhance greatly in Photoshop, of course.
In Brooklyn one day last week, I turned a corner from shadows into the direct sun on Marcy Avenue (above). It was like a blow to the head...

In Red Hook, I stopped to try and make images of myself in a series of mirrors outside a warehouse...

As for the forecast:

Gay Pride 2010: Lifted Up Yet Kicked in the Groin

My Gay Pride photos are in fact largely from the 18th annual Dyke March which took place the evening before, along the same route — down Fifth Avenue. This seemed to be a choir from the Marble Collegiate Church at 29th Street, who were belting out songs and hymns of the "We Shall Overcome" variety...
At least there was no need to 'overcome' the police, as happened at the original Stonewall riots. Cops were visible along the route but seemed to be enjoying the sights and sounds like everyone else...I have my opinions about the cops, but I'd prefer the police be present rather than homophobic violence.
The crowd was especially spirited and happy.
A guy and his guy watched from the sidewalk.
A girl and her girl (I hope) walked in the March.

Marchers seemed good-natured, energized, rowdy at times and... what I felt at this march and the following day (I skirted the main Pride Parade but was able to get a feel for the mood on the streets) was as though a sense of community and political purpose has returned to gays: there was more political-themed banners and signs than I'd seen before. The Proposition 8 fight in California seems to have angered people across the country; there may be yet residual fervor from Obama's election; perhaps younger gays are more political anyway? 

Prop 8: This was a ballot proposition during the November 2008 election season, which, when approved by voters amended the Constitution of the State of California with these words:
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
And so thousands of marriages between people of the same gender were voided.

Obama: I'm not about to give up on the promise of the Greatest President of All Time. As Maureen Dowd said this week, Bush handed Obama problems that were Job-like in their immensity and complexity.

Younger Gays? I'm feeling old and ill these days so I'm hoping younger gays will do all the running around that I never did...hehehe...

As Michael Musto wrote in his column the week of Gay Pride:
... the truth is that while gay is everywhere, our rights are still being messed with as gay marriage and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" continue to be battlefront issues that ignite debates about whether or not we deserve to be human. We're in the weird position of being incredibly glam and popular in our culture, yet denied equal rights on a daily basis—lifted up and kicked in the groin at every glittery turn. We've gotten a place at the table—and we even designed the table—but as we sit down, the tablecloth is rudely pulled out from under us every time.
It's especially debilitating to know that the power to change much, lies in one place: the President's wrist, who could (and probably will, sooner or later,) sign away Don't Ask Don't Tell with a few strokes of his pen.