The Daily Agenda for Monday, June 2

Jim Burroway

June 2nd, 2014

TODAY’S AGENDA is brought to you by:

From the GPU News, MAy 1977, page 40.


“Mama’s Boys” Deemed Unfit For Military Service: 1942. At a meeting in Boston of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Alexander Simon of St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington, D.C., described the kinds of people who were more likely to end up in the psych wards after induction in the military:

…the chronic A.W.O.L’er; the lad who can’t stand the social gap between a private and Private First Class, the man or officer who can’t stand promotion, and the one who cant stand not to be promoted, the ‘Mama Boys’ who in peacetime (when there is no selective service) chose invariable the Navy and find that though the sea may be ‘Mama’ the Navy is definitely ‘Papa,’ and blow up promptly in the training station with the shock of the discovery; the lonely, the homesick, the timid, the despondent, the one who never took an order in his life; the one who can’t stand teasing, cussing, and dirty jokes, the alcoholic, the bad actor, the unexpectant father who gets a letter from the girl who met the fleet, the boy who didn’t know he was adopted until he went to get his birth certificate and who must find his own mother instead of fighting a war, the boy who wanted to study Diesels, but who was made a sergeant and had to keep drilling others, the Reserve Officer who thought the sergeant knew more than he did, the man with psychotic episodes prior to service and the man whose best friend went down on his sister ship.”

Dr. Simon commended the Boston draft board for being particularly adept at turning down those who he believed would later become troublesome in the military. According to the press report from Science Service, “This board not only turned down obvious mental disorders but also psychopathic personalities, asocial and criminal types, chronic alcoholics and homosexuals. In other words, Boston selectees were turned down if they seemed more likely than the average (1) to break down under strain or (2) to be trouble makers.”

Candace Gingrich-Jones: 1966. The lesbian advocate and kid sister to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Candice publicly called her brother to task during his 2012 campaign for the GOP nomination for President over his support for California’s Prop 8. “What really worries me is that you are always willing to use LGBT Americans as political weapons to further your ambitions,” she wrote. “That’s really so ’90s, Newt. In this day and age, it’s embarrassing to watch you talk like that.” Things didn’t change much for Newt, certainly not while he was courting votes from the party’s Tea Party base. He spent much of that year running like it was still 1994. (It was only after the campaign was over that Gingrich conceded that the Republican party should begin to think about coming to grips with a distinction between a “marriage in a church from a legal document issued by the state.”)

Candice has long been an outspoken advocate for gay rights, going as far back as 1995 when she became the Human Rights Campaign’s spokesperson for the National Coming Out Project. In 1996, she published her autobiography, The Accidental Activist: A Personal and Political Memoir, where she talked about growing up in a supportive family with a politically-active half-brother who treated her and her girlfriend with the utmost respect. It wasn’t until 1994, when the Republicans took control of the House and propelled Newt Gingrich to the Speakership that she noticed that his politics included close alliances with the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. When an enterprising reporter wrote about the lesbian half-sister of an anti-gay Speaker, she decided it was time to challenge her brother on his discriminatory politics. That propelled her on the road to political activism. In addition to her work at HRC, Candice made numerous appearances in print and on television, including in an episode of Friends where she officiated over a commitment ceremony. Today, Candace is married to her wife, Rebecca, and works as the HRC’s Associate Director for the Youth and Campus Outreach Program.

Zachary Quinto: 1977. He grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, raised by his mother after his father died of cancer when Zachary was only seven, attended Pittsburgh’s Central Catholic High School (where he won the Gene Kelly Award for best supporting actor in his school’s production of Pirates of Penzance), and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama in 1999. In 2000, he made his first appearance on the short-lived NBC series The Others, which opened the way to guest appearances on several other programs before becoming a regular on Fox’s third season of 24 in 2003.

In 2007, it was announce that he would play the young Spock on the first installment of the Star Trek reboot. Leonard Nimoy, who played the original Spock, had casting approval over who would play his younger self. “For me Leonard’s involvement was only liberating, frankly,” Quinto said. “I knew that he had approval over the actor that would play young Spock, so when I got the role I knew from the beginning it was with his blessing.” His portrayal was widely praised, and he returned to the Star Trek reboot in 2013 with tar Trek Into Darkness He has remained busy on the stage, with appearances in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Tony Kushner’s Off-Broadway revival of Angels In America, and more in the American Repertory Theatre’s production of The Glass Menagerie.

Quinto came out publicly as gay in 2011 in response to the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, a Buffalo high school freshman. “[I]n light of jamey’s death,” Quinto wrote in his blog, “it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it – is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.” Even before he came out, Quinto was an active supporter of the Trevor Project, the nation’s leading organization for suicide prevention among LGBT youth.

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?

Eric Payne

June 2nd, 2014

How can you have a mini-bio of Zachary Quinto and not mention the NBC series Heroes (2006-2010)?

Quinto’s portrayal of Sylar raised creepiness to a whole new level, and was one of the best features of the show.

gregory brown

June 2nd, 2014

RE: mama’s boys. I’ve lost the reference but remember reading in a college psychology textbook from the late 1940’s that discussed homosexuality and the draft. Induction examiners were told to be suspicious of men who didn’t smoke. The rationale was that they probably lived at home with domineering mothers who wouldn’t allow it. In twisted logic, No fags probably meant A fag.


June 2nd, 2014

A gay bar closed on Sunday? Not the best business plan, I’d say.


June 2nd, 2014

“Gay rights pioneer and Canadian drag court founder ted northe will be posthumously recognized as this summer’s grand marshal at the Vancouver Pride parade [on August 3, 2014], along with Pride House co-founder Dean Nelson and trans filmmaker Gwen Haworth.”

“In 1958, northe and some friends publicly demanded equal rights for homosexuals — in an era when gays were legally deemed to be deviants. He later assumed a leading role in a campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in Canada, working with then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau to press for the eventual passage of Bill C-150 in 1969.”

“Nelson, who also spearheads the annual WinterPride festival at Whistler and co-founded the Mr Gay World mentorship program, says he feels “quite honoured” to be chosen.”

“Haworth’s seminal film She’s A Boy I Knew, which empathetically but forthrightly navigates her transitioning journey and its impact not only on herself but family, friends and partners, has led to a demand for its screening in film festivals in Canada and around the world.”


June 2nd, 2014


Re: Fag meaning Cigarette…

From my viewpoint, the term fag describing a cigarette was never an American slang tradition, but more British. The term was never used in America in media movies or everyday speech, and the only way I ever even heard said reference was through a rare British movie or documentary where it was mentioned. As a smoker, the only American term I ever heard was “gotta smoke?”
I think the term fag in America has always meant one thing, faggot/gay. To mix it up with also describing a cigarette, for the American male, would have double meanings our paternal nation would not have stood for. But then, different parts of our country use different terms, so maybe some people in the states did hear and use that terminology to refer to a cigarette.
Being raised on the US west coast, it’s an interesting question.


June 2nd, 2014

Surprised you didn’t include a mention of Zachary Quinto’s role in Tori Spelling’s “So NoTorious”, in which he played her gay Iranian best friend.

The series, by the way, was terrific.

Joseph Singer

June 2nd, 2014

Mention of Zachary Quinto’s accomplishments and no mention at all of his playing Silar in the NBC series Heroes for almost four years?

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