Friday, December 30, 2005
Each year at this time we hear from all the ususal "end year" pundits and naysaysers who recollect all that was notable for 2005. Ususally they painstakinly point out the various mishaps and the "oh so shocking" scandals that are suppose to send vibrant currents of concern through our systems. Therefore, I can't just miss the opportunity to first brag about our new blog look and our new moniker,"CorneliusOnpoint."
This growing new medium is allowing me to be the ultimate "shot caller" and "rim rocker" if I so desire. Unfortunately, our fair city has'nt be able to sustain any type of real media to state the facts or highlight our internal best interest. For too long, the community has been monoplized by short sightedness and all to often petty value systems that have caused any type of media to be one sided, void of any discourse or quality information. I have always encouraged breaking those chains of bondage and beholdings to an atmoshpere that is not empowering but rather self defeating and depricating. Therfore, I am attempting to fill the breach with my own take on where we've been and what were doing now. So as 2005 dawned, we all saw the formation of yet another organization filled with promise. The ADAP working group that was going to re-address AIDS issues in Arkansas held a planning meeting, elected a slate of officers and subsequently hosted a Capitol Hill luncheon to boot. However, since that grand send off and few conference calls later, nothing much has been heard from this outfit. What gives! I personally volunteered to assit, however to my chagrin my expertise was idled and untapped. Meanwhile, this was only the first of my 05 volunteer debacles. The other was with the local CBO, AAF, which actively pursued me but then decided that I was a bit too organized and aggressive as an effective board member. I know you are as I was scrathing my head going, Huh, you got to be kidding? No folks I don't make this stuff up. As the year progressed I watched as the gay community of Conway again put on it's Annual Gay Pride Parade, filled with the usual suspects except those who turned out last year as opponents. It seems that this event went bust as a "news event" because there wasn't really much news, just a replay and a recast of characters who mugged for the cameras. The side stories involving the guy who dumped the "do do" at that dredded purple abode better known as Casa Gayland was fined but had no remorse for his smelly act.Also the "oh so fired" radio personality who passed out porn in his briefs and his partner in crime, went to court and got some type of mismash sort of justice that really doesn't mean much. And the year rolled on or should we say walked on in step with the locally produced AIDS Walk that doesn't seem to be catching on fire with any significant growth but has flamed out a separate "walk" produced by some disgruntled participants from the original. This action calls for the Rodney King anthem of "Can't we all just get along?" On a positive note, the Sidetracks establishment has been doing it's best to rekindle bar life as we once knew it. The owners attempts to create a friendly atmosphere and value does strike a meaningful chord. Other 2005 winners can include Easy Street with it's new additions and forward looking plans. Even though it's homey feeling is similar to that of Cheers, it's not a place where everyone knows your name, but it seems that every body is an investor. Nevertheless, The Factory may fill both bills of looser and 2005 winner.The change in owners has been winningly marginal but the establishment is now a "Hip hop, Latino,Twink, alterntive,dance and drag palace all under one roof and that has some bar goers decreeing it a looser. Not to mention that, rumors abound that there are plans to add "Private late night hangout" to its roster of titles. Only time will tell. On the Political front there seem to be some candidates such as Kathy Webb among others that are evolving from the shadows to run for office. I hope that they are able to create a base of support that will spur some type of unity in this area. Dear Reader, by the time you read this, 2005 will have come and gone, with these items just barely scratching the surface of the year that was and was not so good in Arkansas. However, I look forward to 2006 when I plan to give more of my personal best to this medium and be a conscious observer of our culture. I am hopeful that next year will be better and if not, I'll back to tell you all about. Stay tuned....
Friday, December 09, 2005
I have been thrusted into the 21st century like gangbusters. The new ways and means to connect with the world has been almost overwhelming and certainly empowering. A few years back, I thought I would fall victim to the dredded "digital divide" and not be able to access the super highway of the internet. But my due diligence and determination to learn all the up and comming gizmo's was at it's pitch fever this year.Each day technology seems to morph over night and I keep finding my self adjusting the learning curve to stay current. Amazingly, in my outreach to the "netsphere" I've found so many willing mentors and those who are at the pinnacle of all things net. Yet, with all this rapid fire communicating, I have been befuddled at the lack of public comment and dispering of pertinent information about the issues concerning the community. It seems that one of the lone voices out here is Bob Coffey's, "The Notes" which frequently falls into my mailbox. His efforts to inform and offer a plethora of updates about homeless issues, AIDS info and other valuable nuggets, simply dwarfs the other CBO/ Foundation that supposedly is the lead agency in the area. As a matter of disclosure, I am a former board member, who withdrew his membership due to a conflict of interest. Nevertheless, there seems to be a continuing void in the public message of this conclave, as well as, other emerging concerned citizens such as the Gay and Lesbian Pride Group. It is unrefutable that the Net has developed into a direct source to individuals with abilities to inspire, motivate and admonish. Web sites for the metro area community bars and other entities abound. Most with outdated information, promotional dogma or a lack of any real content. Supposedly, the new proposed Pink Pyramid site touts that it will be the hub of "what's going on," yet the vibe I get is that it will be more of the same. Therefore, I step into the breach with my series of both composed and audio blogs dealing with all of the issues at hand. My approach is to be an omnivorous observer with a sense of fairness and objectivity in all my commentaries. This new medium is bold and allows us to firmly place ourselves right in each others face. I'm ready for the challenge...are you?