The Daily Agenda for Thursday, July 5
July 5th, 2012
TODAY’S AGENDA (Ours):
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Budapest, Hungary; Cologne, Germany; Haarlem, Netherlands; London, UK (World Pride); Los Angeles, CA (Black Pride); Marseille, France; Porto, Portugal; Prince George, BC; San Luis Obispo, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Sitges, Spain; Tuscany, Italy; and Victoria, BC.
Other Celebrations This Weekend: Bear Week, Provincetown, MA.
TODAY’S AGENDA (Theirs):
Family “Research” Council’s Values Bus Tour: Pearisburg, VA. The Family “Research” Council, an SPLC-certified hate group, continues its Values Bus Tour with the Heritage Foundation today. The tour is part voter registration drive and part propaganda tour where they will disseminate “materials on defending life, marriage and religious liberty.” Today, the bus tour stops at Giles High School in Pearisburg, Virginia, where the stop will feature Pastor Shahn Wilburn of Riverview Baptist Church talking about ” the importance of protecting religious freedom and how we can Save the American Dream!” Complete with exclamation point! The event takes place this evening from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Tomorrow, the bus will head to Harrisonburg, VA for a monthly GOP luncheon, and continue on to Woodstock for a rally Friday evening.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
PFC Barry Winchell Murdered: 1999. He had enlisted in the Army in 1997 and was transferred to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky in 1999 where he was assigned to the 2/502nd Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division. He learned to fire a .50-caliber machine gun so well that he became the best marksman in his company. He hoped one day to become a helicopter pilot, but that dream was cut short, brutally, on July 5, 1999 when he was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat as he was sleeping in his cot in the barracks. Pvt Calvin Glover, 18, was arrested and charged with Winchell’s murder after admitting to the beating. While in custody, he made several disparaging remarks about blacks and gays to another prisoner.
In fact, there is little reason to believe that PFC Winchell. In the ensuing investigation, Sgt Eric Dubielak, Winchell’s commanding officer, testified that he knew that Winchell had been experiencing daily harassment from fellow soldiers over rumors of his perceived homosexuality, rumors that had been spread by Winchell’s roommate, Spc. Justin Fisher, when Winchell began dating an MtF transgender woman from Nashville. But Dubielak never intervened, nor did any of the other superior officers who admitted that they were aware of the abuse. “Nothing was done, sir,” said Sgt. Michael Kleifgen, who told of one fruitless effort to complain to the post’s inspector general when a master sergeant referred to Winchell as “that faggot.” But when asked why he himself didn’t order his platoon members to stop harassing Winchell, Kleifgen responded, “Everybody was having fun.” As for Winchell himself, he didn’t lodge a formal complaint, and for good reason. Doing so would have likely put him afoul of the “Don’t Tell” part of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” given his superior officers’ demonstrated inability to distinguish between sexual orientation and gender identity.
Glover was eventually court-martialed and given a lifetime sentence. He is still behind bars. Fisher, who had goaded Glover into attacking Winchell and participated in an attempted cover-up, was sentenced to 12½ years in prison and was released in 2006. But Ft. Campbell’s commanding officer at the time of the murder, Major General Robert T. Clark, refused to take responsibility for the anti-gay/trans climate under his command. Furthermore, the Defense Department under President George W. Bush exonerated Clark of any wrongdoing, and he was promoted to Lieutenant General in 2003. The year 2003 also saw the release of the Peabody Award-winning film film for Showtime, Soldier’s Girl, which portrayed the romance between Winchell and Calpernia Addams which led up to Winchell’s murder.
Jean Cocteau: 1889. Most artists work in just one or two mediums; Cocteau excelled in nearly everything he touched. The French poet, novelist, author of plays, ballets and operas, clothing designer, interior designer, graphic designer, painter, illustrator, filmmaker and actor excelled in just about everything he did. The title of his 1929 novel Les Enfants Terrible, about two siblings who create a game out of hurting each other’s feelings, has become a shorthand expression to describe those who go out of their way to shock others. His 1940 play, Le Bel Indifférent, created for his life-long friend Edith Piaf, enjoyed enormous acclaim. His films, which included Blood of a Poet (1930), Les Parents Terribles (1948), Beauty and the Beast (1946), and Orpheus (1949), are credited for introducing the avant-garde into French cinema.
His circle of friends and collaborators included Marcel Proust, André Gide, Guillaume Apollinaire, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, Sergei Diaghilev and Rayond Radigue. His personal life was similarly varied, which included an affair with Princess Natalie Paley (which ended when Paley aborted her pregnancy with Cocteau’s child) and long term relationships with actors Jean Marais and Édouard Dermit, the latter of whom Cocteau formally adopted. He died on October 11, 1963, of heart failure, just an hour after learning of Piaf’s death.
If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).
And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?