Monday, December 11, 2006

Body Politic Pod 5

Here's a new Podcast from The Body Politic as our efforts continue to stay on the cutting edge of technology with information,news, music and commentary. Thanks to our friends at Evoca, just adjust your volume and click on the icon for this online experience. We are proud to announce our partnership with the Pink Spectrum magazine distributed locally and statewide. Pick up a copy today and support an advertiser.

Breaking news: The Ryan White Reauthorization bill was passed by Congress, paving the way for new calculations for funding health initiatives in rual areas and Southern states.

Review Rewind: The Simply Red fundraiser is getting "mixed" reviews for all the hype involved and the lofty expectations that were promoted. Especially the After Party at The Factory that allegedly had a grand attendance of "4" people. If your face was in the place and you got a review, let's hear about here.

Campus Power 2007: Hat's off to students at UCA, Hendrix and other area colleges that will host a February rainbow community meeting to address issues impacting the community at large. Stay tune here for more info....

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Deconstructing Cornelius... The Finale

Come all ye opinionated has been the driving force of the past few post. I am so grateful that silence will not be the norm in our community. Your voices and viewpoints are necessary to open dialogue as well as shape the issues that affect individual communities statewide. I'm certainly appreciative that many of you took the time to weigh in and take your positions with vigor. It is these robust, thought provoking and stimulating discussions I so value. As facilitator of this forum, I believe that every opinion carries weight and I should consider the merits of the facts presented. It's that logical element of my soul that forces me to re-examine my personal stances and reality check myself for a learning curve moment. The point that Wal Mart has barn stormed across the globe with questionable practices, demands and sorted in-house doings is factual. It can't be denied that a company of this size has peddled influence and had a pac-man attitude to all that stand in it's way. But as I see it, these tactics are not new to our economy or democracy. This country's history and for the most part, the world has been filled with large behemoth corporations that have participated in "acts of pillaging" to success. Let's not forget the Carnegie's, Rockefeller's, DuPont's, Ford, Hughes and Kennedy dynasty's had dubious business distinctions that were thought to be scandalous in their era. However, these tycoons have immortalized themselves with foundations, museums, concert halls and other ongoing sources of philanthropy benefiting a host of benefactors despite prior faults and insensitivity's. Apparently, Wal Mart is the latest incarnation of the beast that we either love or love to hate. Just as long as we can have low prices in our consumer frenzied nation. Consequently, as Arkansas's GLBTQ communities partakes of corporate benevolence, we must be willing to comprehend and accept the concepts of oppression, racism, classism and ageism that have been apart of our statewide past and present. This monetary infusion should be directed to affect change across the board, not as a means to perpetuate the status quo. Our efforts should definitely be augmented with creative fundraising, many dynamic funding sources relative to our locale and adapting grassroot models to keep the big tent erected on our own terms, not solely on corporate America. There is so much I could say and there is still much to say, therefore, the dialogue has begun, let's hear more voices from the choir.

Next post: Updates 24/7 and "Talking out Loud...!"

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Divinci Code ala Corneliusonpoint!

In our 24 hour world of news cycles and breaking news, The Body Politic dilligently strives to stay current. Often news within the GLBTQ community requires additional research and or fact checking. It is apart of our mission to disseminate, disect, deliver and sometimes be disquieting about what's going on in the four corners of Arkansas and beyond. This site has all intentions of informing as well as entertaining our readers from an empowering point of view. As 2007 arrives,our goal is to turn up the volume and seriously focus the spotlight on the global issues that are important to all aspects of the GLBTQ community overall. Hopefully we want to take a pro-active stance, acting as a conduit or facilitator to building bridges to a more dynamic future.

Who, What When. As World AIDS Day 2006 folds into the history books, we must assess the successes and improvements that are needed to make this day more significant in Arkansas. Around the state there were a smattering of activity that wasn't coordinated in a fashion that could have maximized it's total affect. The Body Politic offered and distributed poster art work supplied by the WAD committee. Yet, we discovered that only one poster was actually utilized. Meanwhile, a Run/Walk in West Memphis, candlelight vigil in Fayetteville, fundraisers in Little Rock, and forum at UCA were held without adequate promotion by the local GLBTQ community at large. Each event had it's significance but, to our dismay, still many people didn't have a clue that Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day or how to actively participate. Even the televised AIDS in Arkansas 2006 produced by AETN, featuring the Arkansas AIDS Foundation lacked the promotion that it deserved despite being coupled with more prominent PBS programming, A Closer Walk. However, even more interesting is the "premier AIDS service organization" perception the organization presented on a show that they didn't actively promote to the community or stakeholders.

Pride in the City. The Little Rock Pride Committee after being taken to task by miffed and annoyed lavender citizens is making strong efforts to create diversity among it's ranks by adding new board members from various elements of the community. According to board member, Joe Lafountaine, the group is on the move to be more inclusive and address divisive issues from the past and present. This move is to provide a "Big Tent" atmosphere that will spur additional particpation in coordinating Pride Week 2007 slated to climax at the River Market.

Corrections and FeedBack. We would like to acknowledge our savvy readers who catch our gaffs and miscommunications. In the last post we cited our Executive Producers participation in the WAD activity at the Uof A at Conway. We were informed, and rightly so, that this campus is the University of Central Arkansas and has no affiliation with the Uof A system. Point well taken and so stated.
We got feedback from reader "Nick" who called us on the carpet about our post concerning the contribution from behemoth Wal Mart to the NWA Gay Community Center. Nick was not happy with a host of the reatailers practices worldwide and felt that I should not encourage gay people to spend their dollars with this company. He further stated that bookstores, thrift shops, etc. are thriving without corporate cash. I concur that entities such at these are in fact operating and flourishing. I support the argument that such groups need to be self supporting. I've praised this concept and preached it relentlessly, yet the reality in Arkansas is the mediocre infrastructure to attract upwardly mobile gay individuals to contribute in mass or securing other funding sources that can sustain a group over a period of time. Wal Mart with it's warts and all may have other motives, most corporate giants do. But when the rent's due, green backs pay not philisophical differences. Also Nick had a mouthful to say about the $50.00 ticket price to the Simply Red fundraiser being held Dec. 8. He was "outraged" at the possiability that many HIV/ AIDS survivors may not be able to afford this event due to their income status or no stash of FREE tickets provided for those so inclined to attend. His concerns are valid and we will further investigate to whether tickets were provided or donated. However, in leiu of his distaste for corporate gifts, I personally challenge Nick to donate a Simply Red ticket to be used specifically by a survior. It's a put up or shut proposition. What you gonna do?

FAST FACT: In 1986 a World AIDS Day memorial was unveiled at Mac Arthur Park and gone virtually unnoticed since. Who owns this work and why wasn't it used as apart of the this years commemeration since it's been ten years since it's installation?

Yes, we said it and you can too. Keep it coming to:

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tis the Season...Naughty or Nice?

The holiday season is in full swing and so have the tech demons that have plagued our system for the past week. After several tech calls and visits from assistants, we have resumed our posting and preparing for an exciting 2007.

We would like to thank all the gang at the University of Arkansas at Conway and campus group PRISM, for inviting us to participate in their World AIDS Day forum, December 1, 2006. It was a informative evening that demonstrated that college campuses are alive with activist who want to create dialouge and constructive solutions. I congratulate all involved and the coruage to take a stand!

This site has evolved since it's inception a year ago and it's our goal to continue in that track. It is imperative that our community continue to build bridges that propel not constrict, therefore, we applaud those who have added us as links and included excerpts within their publications such as the Pink Spectrum. A new issue should be hitting the streets within the next few weeks. So pick up a copy, pass it on and make sure that you support their advertisers. Our dollars can make tremendous statements, but only if you let the advertiser know that you are patronizing them because you saw their ad or sponsorship. No matter what you may think of Wal-Mart, you have to give them a high five for their $5000.00 contribution to the Northwest Arkansas gay community center without bowing to the zealots of the religious right. Most notably lead by Donald Wildmon of the American Family Foundation, who waged an E-mail campaign citing the reatailer as a "homosexual sympathizer." I hope that the NWA community flooded Wal-mart with lavender purchasing power( I did) and letters of thanks!

Missing in Action: A city of this size can circulate rumors within nano seconds and apparently the community is chatting about the Executive Director of the AIDS Foundation. Sources have packaged and repackaged an array of details about the "missing in action," director. At post time, we were referred from the public relations committee to President Elect, Dr.Dean Blevins for comment. However, we have yet to hear from him or seen any press releases clearing up any matters. Stay tuned. Meanwhile the group has gone full tilt into a fundraising blitz, including the Simply Red extravaganza (Dec.8) that seems like a circut party only for the oh-so fabulous, featuring TV Movie Critic, Renee Shaprio as Emcee and "Broadway Star Emeritus," Lawrence Hamiliton. This affair is sprouting wings with a planned After party being held at The Factory night spot. The after party admit is not included in the $50.00 ticket price to be seen at the bash. I hope that if we can't find out what's up with the leadership at the foundation, maybe the Simply Red folks will produce a splashy donation ceremony, so we will know if there was any money really left to donate for all those people with HIV/AIDS needing assistance.

FAST FACT: What was the last AIDS prevention message you can remember seeing or hearing in the greater Little Rock area? Let us know if you can think of one.


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