Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Rolling Away to the New Year.

How to Survive a Plague

COP 24/7 has been firmly committed in sharing the latest news, updates and interconnected issues and challenges around the HIV/ AIDS health dilemma. Even more relevant is that fact that I personally
experienced the hate rhetoric, misinformation, lack of government intervention and much personal loss.

I will never forget a wheelchair bound young man who came into a store of which I was working in San Francisco at the time. He was visually arresting with his lesions from Kaposi Sarcoma, however as I asked, "may I help you?" He confronted me with the reply," I don't want no nigger's help."

Yet today as a long term survivor of the madness that engulfed my world then, I am profusely proud to know that those who died, did not die in vain, because I lived to tell the tale. Even for that nameless customer who didn't want my assistance.

Despite those type of incidents, I believe that all of that crazy energized me as advocate to continue to lead the charge in demanding this now chronic disease continue to be addressed. Tonight at 10 pm the Academy Award nominated film, How to Survive a Plague, directed by David France will be the featured presentation on Independent Lens on PBS ( check your local listings). In Arkansas, AETN will show the film at 9 pm in high definition. ( )

The PBS website offers this synopsis. In the dark days of 1987, America was six years into the AIDS epidemic, a crisis that was still largely being ignored both by government officials and health organizations — until the sudden emergence of the activist group ACT UP in Greenwich Village, New York, largely made up of HIV-positive participants who refused to die without a fight. Along with TAG (Treatment Action Group), and emboldened by the power of rebellion, they took on the challenges that public officials had ignored, raising awareness of the disease through a series of dramatic protests. More remarkably, they became recognized experts in virology, biology, and pharmaceutical chemistry.

Their efforts would see them seize the reins of federal policy from the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and NIH (National Institutes of Health), force the AIDS conversation into the 1992 presidential election, and guide the way to the discovery of effective AIDS drugs that turned an HIV diagnosis from a death sentence into a chance to live long and healthy lives.

First-time director David France culls from a huge amount of never-before-seen archival footage — most of it shot by the protesters themselves (31 videographers are credited) — to create not just an historical document, but an intimate and visceral recreation of the period through the very personal stories of some of ACT UP and TAG’s leading participants. How to Survive a Plague captures both the joy and terror of those days, and the epic day-by-day battles that finally made AIDS survival possible. 

France has received the National Headliner Award and the GLAAD Media Award, and has seen his work inspire several films, most recently the Emmy-nominated Showtime film Our Fathers. He is at work on a major history of AIDS, due out soon from Alfred A. Knopf.

Duck Quackery

Alright so Daddy Duck, Phil Robertson has been restored to the reality based show, Duck Dynasty. In full disclosure, I have not seen this show nor do I have any reason to watch it or any of these
mindless offerings as programming cited as "must see TV." By now everyone has weigh in on this hot mess ranging from Sarah "I can't keep my mouth shut about anything" Palin to some rambunctious conversation in the LGBTQ community.

In all the noise about this lame duck issue is a firm "consider the source." Obviously I abhor the comments from Robertson concerning his take on "them beasty gays and "happy go luck coloreds," I understand the 1st Amendment position taken by supporters. People of his ilk always believe that there personal thoughts are wrapped in religious beliefs as he know or purport to know.

 But what I don't understand is the fact that why is anybody interested in these jokers in the first place and why folks keep buying products with their mugs featured on them to the help them amass a 400 Million Dollar empire! I get it that they are an American success story building their brand via Duck Commander outpost in West Monroe, Louisiana but again, so what's so thrilling to see or hear and that making duck calls could make one that rich?

As for A&E whom I use to watch for "Art & Entertainment" before they decided to rush to the bottom of the programming barrel. I have to assume that executives had to find some suitable ridiculousness to get some ratings and make some cash for the bottom line. You know investors ain't happy if there's no dividends. Furthermore, I had noticed that this channel seemed to be pivoting to producing "reality" fluff that has never had an appeal to myself.

That's right, no housewives or Honey Boo-Boo will be seen on my flat screen any time soon or in the near future. I believe in the thought of "garbage in...garbage out," is the byproduct of what one decides to make their viewing pleasure. With that said, enough already about the Duck Dynasty folk because if there's enough money involved most likely almost anything goes. In the meantime, I'll stay with the ALFAC duck instead.

Gay Republicans Outraged

Once again COP 24/7 was on the money with its posting of an Ad produced by Out2Enroll
concerning marketing to the LGBTQ community about the Affordable Care Act. No matter how you look at it, whomever dreamed up this campy parody certainly gets high marks for creativity but as haters would have it, some folks are not amused especially Log Cabin Republicans.

Although this forum posted the video, for some reasons we have yet to determine what's up with the sound issues on You Tube. Another interesting question to this mix is the fact the Arkansas Insurance Department actually awarded a local community based organization a contract on providing direct outreach and education in the LGBTQ community. But beside the fact of a massive media campaign, not one part of the campaign contained any gay specific material designed for the purposes of reaching that community.

Even more interesting is the company, Mangan Holcomb engaged to do the materials had several issues with their cultural appropriateness or sensitive materials. I'm almost sure that certainly nothing with this tone would have ever made the cut not to mention that much of the advertising budget was not renewed. However, none of this mattered to some gay republicans who were having none of it with the following statement:

“This cynical ad betrays the depths Obamacare advocates will sink to in order to pad their pathetic enrollment numbers,” Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo declared. “As a self-proclaimed ‘fierce advocate’ of gay equality, President Obama would do well to distance himself from this nonsense and denounce it immediately. This ad is also an example of the left promoting harmful stereotypes that gay men are nothing more than sex-crazed lechers. If anyone on the right made such a comparison, liberals would be apoplectic. At a time when left-wing propagandists are decrying Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson for equating homosexuality with promiscuity and deviance, Out2Enroll and others should take a look in the mirror and ask if the truth is that they are the ones responsible for promoting such harmful stereotypes.”

Read more:

The Queen Pardons Alan Turing
Queen Elizabeth pardoned genius mathematician Alan Turing for his conviction in 1952 on charges of homosexuality, which was then a crime.  Turing's sentence required that he undergo chemical castration. In 1954, he took his life after experiencing physical, emotional and intellectual effects of the chemical treatment.

A 2006 LGBT History Month Icon, Turing headed a top secret WWII British Team that developed the machines and algorithms that unscrambled the German military codes. This effort helped assure defeat of the Nazis and shortened the war by two years.

Turing is the father of the computer. He wrote the first scientific articles on artificial intelligence and computer software. His algorithm continues to be the basis for computing.

In 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a formal apology to Turing.

To learn more about Alan Turing, click here.

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