Monday, June 03, 2013
culturally insensitive nerdery
Setting: I am watching a documentary about Broadway musicals as Jewish legacy. Irving Berlin’s daughter is speaking about anti-Semitic responses to ‘God Bless America’ that complained who was a Jew to be asking God to bless America. Ainah is at the computer working on data for her website.
me: It’s not as if he’s asking Jesus! They wrote the first book! Without the Jews Christians would be S.O.L. You can’t have Next Gen if there’s no TOS!
me: I guess that makes Islam DS-9.
me: So if that’s the case… then are the Mormons Voyager?
Ainah: They're just fanfic.
Sunday, June 02, 2013
A Great Lady
Jean Stapleton had a vast career beyond “All in the Family” – it is more likely her portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt I see in my mind whenever I think of the famous First Lady and not the real thing – but the moment I will never forget, when she touched my heart, was in the character of Edith Bunker. In “Edith's Crisis of Faith" (originally aired in 1977 I saw it in syndication a few years later) Ms. Stapleton’s Edith mourns her dear friend Beverly LaSalle who died from injuries resulting from a mugging… that turned into a gay bashing. Beverly was a transvestite and professional female impersonator played by San Francisco drag star Lori Shannon and was originally introduced in “Archie the Hero” in 1975 appearing in a total of three episodes over two years. Through the lens of Edith’s well established innocence Stapleton’s raw emotion was focused to such a fine point that no one watching could not experience with her the confusion, loss, anger even rage that is grief. At a time when gay people were all but invisible on television and considered expendable to the point that gay bashings were barely investigated even in New York there was Jean Stapleton in primetime giving a voice to the pain of our community and of those who love us. She held it up to the light so that America couldn’t look away and said these are people, they have value, they are loved, how can you possibly think otherwise? For this she will ever have my gratitude and my respect, may she rest in peace.
1923 - 2013