TCU at the HATE BOWL

Here is the text of my e-mail to TCU:


To: Vic­tor Bos­chini, Chancellor

Con­grat­u­la­tions on a first class foot­ball year. You deserved a play­off slot. Alas, you got a bowl invitation.

My whole life has been close to TCU. I grew up on High­view, about a block north of  Amon Carter Sta­dium. I have mem­o­ries of many hours swoop­ing around the sta­dium on skates or bicy­cle. This was long before you put up fences and barriers.

TCU is also the Uni­ver­sity that I attended.

When I was a stu­dent, I got the impres­sion that TCU wanted me to learn how to be a bet­ter per­son. Your uni­ver­sity taught moral­ity, not just facts, and not just hypotheses.I was a stu­dent who hap­pens to be gay, and I always felt safe at TCU. Jim Corder taught me the craft of writ­ing, and I’ve been blessed to have sev­eral dozen books in print. I grum­bled that a uni­ver­sity would force me to take a reli­gion class, but I took it. Many years later, I added to that fresh­man course­work by com­plet­ing a doc­tor­ate pro­gram in reli­gion at a sem­i­narysem­i­nary
➤ (n) a pri­vate place of edu­ca­tion for the young
➤ (n) a the­o­log­i­cal school for train­ing min­is­ters or priests or rab­bis
…by BeeDictionary.com
on the East Coast.

But when you accepted that invi­ta­tion to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, you slapped every les­bian / gay / trans­gen­der per­son who ever went to TCU. You do know you have had gay stu­dents, right?

Chick-fil-A is the most homo­pho­bic com­pany in the coun­try. Feel free to use Google to dou­ble check that. I am per­son­ally dev­as­tated by your choice, and it isn’t like the Hate Bowl was your only choice.

I have instructed my attor­ney to remove the dona­tion to TCU from my Last Will. I won’t give you any money after you showed this aggres­sive dis­re­spect to so many stu­dents (past and present).

Shame on TCU.

Berkleley Riots 2014

Ferguson

MLK Memorial, DC

The ulti­mate mea­sure of a man is not where he stands in moments of com­fort and con­ve­nience, but where he stands at times of chal­lenge and con­tro­versy. [MLK]

I can’t imag­ine what it’s like to live with skin other than my Scan­di­na­vian skin. I used to try when dat­ing or lov­ing an other-than-white guy.

Tony (black) in high school; RIP (AIDS).

His mother wrapped the two of us and drove to Louisiana to see / hear Mar­tin Luther King. I was scared shit­less with bully state troop­ers and their tooth-filled dogs. The calm one was Rev King. To this very day, I can’t imag­ine how he (a) didn’t run from fear and (b) got the crowd to stay firm but non-violent. It was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence, and I am soooooo glad it was a one-time thing for me.

I’m not strong enough to life in this atmos­phere. If it’s your life, I am seri­ous awe of your strength.

Marty (brown) in col­lege; RIP (motorcycle).

Marty intro­duced me to that bar­rio thingy. It was home, where every­one was fam­ily. Even the fos­ter care kid (rais­ing hand). It was real and raw. There are idiots in the bar­rio… vio­lent idiots.

But if some­body called me “mar***n”, I would send back a quick “ch**ga tu madre.” I know… stu­pid. In my defense, I was mostly hang­ing out with sev­eral crazed bik­ers. The bik­ers thought my scrap­pi­ness and potty-mouth was cute.

Now I see so much pain and anger. The gov­ern­ment in and around Fer­gu­son behaved badly / stu­pidly. If you’re in gov­ern­ment, it doesn’t mat­ter whether you’re right or wrong. It mat­ters that you’ve cre­ated a sit­u­a­tion where some of your own cit­i­zens feel that vio­lence is their only option. The anger will last for years. Small busi­ness own­ers will be pay­ing the fis­cal price. If you can’t do gov­ern­ment with­out caus­ing this feel­ing, you shouldn’t be in gov­ern­ment. Period.

I saw that video of Mike Brown in the bodega. The cam­era showed a bully, pick­ing on a much smaller store worker. If he car­ried that atti­tude to the streets, I can see how a cop might react badly.

Truth: if you’re an above aver­age guy, you will try to be police chief in Chicago or New York. Same for the Dis­trict Attor­ney. Fer­gu­son MO doesn’t get the best peo­ple. Bad logic on my part, because police in the big cities are work­ing badly.

Whether the Fer­gu­son facts are  true, it doesn’t excuse officials.

There were mis­steps every­where. The kid shouldn’t have been a bully and a rob­ber. The cop should have had the smarts and tech­nique to arrest the kid with­out killing him. If you have to shoot, one pop in the knee will bring down most folks.

Mis­souri offi­cials should not have acted like idiots. The grand jury should have indicted the copy, so a crim­i­nal court could have sorted things out. Every­one on all sides of this mess have been idiots (at least to my eyes/ears).

To the cops and judi­cial sys­tem: if y’all for­got to inform the kid’s par­ents of the grand jury deci­sion before the pub­lic unveil­ing, you have screwed up a sim­ple and fun­da­men­tal less of deal­ing with peo­ple. Shame on you. Shame on your kids. Shame on all y’all.

It is still and open wound. The com­mu­nity in Fer­gu­son (and else­where) need clo­sure. Peace­ful clo­sure. If you’re a cop or a dis­trict attor­ney or a judge, you need to be able to bring clo­sure. If you can’t or won’t, you need to find a dif­fer­ent career.

To my broth­ers and sis­ters of color: you will get fur­ther if you approach racial prob­lems like Rev King used. I am about as white as a guy can be. I’m not per­fect. I’m a work-in-progress. Tell me where I’m stu­pid, but offer an alter­na­tive. If I need to work on the white dis­trict attor­neys or white cops, let me know what I need to do. I may not see what you know is obvious.

Every­body will get a bet­ter reac­tion from me (and oth­ers like me) if you take it down a notch. Stop scar­ing me, and tell me what I need to do/think/say/believe/hope.

The quote is by Rev King. It’s part of the MLK memo­r­ial in Wash­ing­ton DC.

NFL vs the Roman Pope vs kids/women

NFLSven Andreas WallinYeah for the NFL. They are doing some­thing about their domes­tic abuse cases.

I have an opin­ion about it (no sur­prise). One good thing this whole mess is that it reminds play­ers that domes­tic vio­lence is a major no-no. Seri­ously. Play­ers now have prece­dence. They see there’s no car­rot and only a big stick in hit­ting peo­ple off the field. Break­ing this behav­ior stan­dard gets a player more than just a yardage penalty.

One thing the NFL has done wrong is allow­ing this to go on far too long. There should have been edu­ca­tion and coun­sel­ing before things got out of hand.

 

S.N.A.P.

I am a mem­ber of SNAP (Sur­vivors Net­work of those Abused by Priests). Way back when Mass was in Latin, I was abused by priests. Three of them. I have never asked for com­pen­sa­tion, but I made sure those preda­tors were kept away from kids.

pope logoSNAP is mark­ing its 25th anniver­sary. Goody for them.

The Coun­cil of Trent (1500s) could have threat­ened hell­fire to its ini­ti­ates and employ­ees over pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia. There were damn­ing words for gays, but Rome was silent about abuse.

I think it’s awe­some that SNAP has worked hard for 25 years. They are an out­side group, put together by vic­tims because Rome dug trenches and played games with the lives of their young adherents.

It’s shame­ful that the Vat­i­can has had an awful record of con­trol­ling the preda­tors on their pay­roll. Rome needs to say some Hail Marys for wait­ing until vic­tims started screaming.

Ditto for Amer­i­can foot­ball. Kudos for telling their employ­ees to stop beat­ing up spouses, mates, and kid­dies. I wish they’d done this the instant they detected a prob­lem (and I don’t believe for one sec­ond that the cur­rent cases are the league’s first).

Rebooting the Whole Name Thingy

Sven Andréas Wallin in 2014

Sven Andréas Wallin

I want to say that my name change is done. That’d be rosier than the rose tint of my migraine glasses.

I get every­thing done. No, for real this time. And yet Mother Earth can swing around, giv­ing a robust brown­ish fart-cloud of chal­lenges. Here comes a bushel of com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ment agen­cies who don’t know about the ‘new” me.

Done” is a rel­a­tive term.

If I ever sug­gest another name change, just shoot me.

For any­body who cares, here’s what hap­pened— I was born into The Sys­tem, where they put aban­doned and orphaned tod­dlers. When I was still a young­ster, I was adopted.

My real birth name (fos­ter care name) was Sven. Some­body was mak­ing a funny because Sven means “lit­tle kid.”

It’s been over a decade since my adopted par­ents moved on to another plane. It was just me and the froth of hatred and abuse they sent my way. Seri­ously. The creepy cousins don’t mat­ter to me today. I won’t allow more phys­i­cal or sex­ual abuse.

Sven was my orig­i­nal given name. Fun fact: If you look for “Saint Sven,” you won’t find it in any major reli­gion. Svens are scalawags. The coun­try of Esto­nia too pity on all the Svens up there. Esto­nia has a yearly fes­ti­val called Svens’ Day. If it weren’t for them, I/we would never have a day of my/our own. I wasn’t aware of this defect in so many of our reli­gions when I started the name change process. “We have the answer,” they say. They don’t say what the ques­tion is. If it has any­thing to do with Saint Sven, they are annoy­ingly silent.
Andréas was the name of a Cop­tic (Egypt­ian) priest. If I want to cause trou­ble, it is also the name of a gigan­tic earth­quake fault in California.
My hus­band picked Wallin. The word some­how means “meadow.” The Urban­Dic­tionary has another take: “Used to describe a person/s who are act­ing crazy, reck­less, ridicu­lous, etc” That site says it is also the name of a Swedish rap­per. (oy)

 

The scary changes turned out to be sim­ple. I feared Social Secu­rity, but I was in and out in ten min­utes. Really. The deed for my house was so ridicu­lously sim­ple that I won­der why steal­ing land hasn’t been more common.

The com­pa­nies that I thought would be a snap became lit­tle green night­mares, rolling around my feet. Amer­i­can Express was horrendous.

apple-logoAPPLE was the weird­est expe­ri­ence ever. I was told that one’s AppleID is per­ma­nent and indeli­ble. “Yeah, we’ll see about that,” I thought. “No way to bend, fold, sta­ple, or muti­latemuti­late
➤ (v) destroy or injure severely
➤ (v) alter so as to make unrec­og­niz­able
➤ (v) destroy or injure severely
…by BeeDictionary.com
my AppleID. Most of those IDs are easy to change. Mine is one of the first IDs issued. It was in their con­vo­lutedcon­vo­luted
➤ (s) rolled lon­gi­tu­di­nally upon itself
➤ (s) highly com­plex or intri­cate and occa­sion­ally devi­ous
…by BeeDictionary.com
ID period. My AppleID is stored in dozens of data­bases, and none of the data­bases works or plays well with each other. Engi­neers in Cuper­tino rightly made the rule: none of those old IDs can be changed. I was able to cre­ate a shiny new AppleID, but I would lose all the apps and music that I’ve bought over the years.

Wow… frig­gin’ wow. I had to get Apple CEO Tim Cook involved. He assigned an Apple exec­u­tive to be my fear­less cham­pion. The exec had to trace the changes around dif­fer­ent depart­ments. Fun to watch, by the way.

Här är jag! Vem är du?

The cou­ple that adopted me did their best. It was a rocky rela­tion­ship: I came down with Hodgkin’s Lym­phoma within a year of my adop­tion. I never heard if they kept the receipt or even if the adop­tion agency (Vol­un­teers of Amer­ica, now Lena Pope Home) would charge a restock­ing fee if they had to take me back. Maybe they had an extended war­ranty on me.

My adopted parental units didn’t pick their families.

Not a “real” rel­a­tive, they chanted in four-part har­mony. No queer could ever be part of “our” fam­ily. Mom seemed embar­rassed about their antics. After she died, I learned that she threat­ened a few if they didn’t sim­mer down and behave.

Except for some sex­ual abuse, I never felt endan­gered. I thought they were being silly. “What are you, 12?” I asked one uncle.

Today I just want the entire group out of my life. Hence, the name change.

It’s all good today. A friend who also came up through the sys­tem says she knew I was a street kid. She say orphans have a mist of scrap­pi­ness that fol­lows them around. She said she can really relax around other street kids because she knows we don’t break (not eas­ily any­ways). She calls it a will­ing­ness to face what­ever life serves with a “Bring It!” attitude.

Janie Saved My Life

Janie Marroquin

Rosita Maria Marroquin

I want to tell you about Janie Mar­ro­quin, the per­son who saved my life and kept me out of jail. She got in my face a few times, alleg­ing that I shouldn’t go to my job absolutely plas­tered on heroin or wacked on psilocybin.

I was a news­caster. Janie thought the sta­tion would have some kind of min­i­mum expec­ta­tions on my abil­ity not to slurslur
➤ (n) (music) a curved line span­ning notes that are to be played legato
➤ (n) a dis­parag­ing remark
➤ (n) a blem­ish made by dirt
➤ (v) play smoothly or legato
➤ (v) speak dis­parag­ingly of; e.g., make a racial slur
➤ (v) utter indis­tinctly
➤ (v) become vague or indis­tinct
…by BeeDictionary.com
words. She insin­u­ated that I couldn’t focus my atten­tion on some­thing as sim­ple as a cof­fee mug, so I prob­a­bly couldn’t parse and report on the Viet­nam War. (This was in the early 1970s).

Today, I under­stand the idea. Being stoned on the radio never worked for me. Maybe I’m a wimp who couldn’t hold my phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. At the time, I decided Janie had become some kind of tool for radio/TV executives.

She’d diag­nose my sit­u­a­tion on Sun­day, not­ing that I’d been wasted for the whole week­end… uncon­scious for lots of hours. Janie would ignore me when my lan­guage got testy… like me say­ing she was more like a drunk moth than a friend.

She called my boss a few times, telling him that I had laryngitis.

She was gen­tle but in my face. When she “threat­ened” me with con­se­quences, Janie never backed down. It turns out that’s vital to work­ing with addicts. You can’t “give in.” The addict will think the per­son is bru­tal or doesn’t understand.

She was brutal. ;)

You are such a tool,” I once said.

Io sé, güera,” she laughed.

Janie finally got through to me in 1980. That was the last time I put booze down my throat and junk under my skin. Not once since then.

Sev­eral years ago, I wrote a book about a news­caster try­ing to get sober. It’s fic­tion, of course.

The book is Com­mit­ment Issues It hasn’t been a huge seller, but I think it is one of my most impor­tant titles. Not the slick­est. Not the fun­ni­est (but I wrote it, so there’s plenty of dark/edgy humor). It let me pass along some real hap­pen­ings about gay peo­ple in AA, shortly after that group was founded. It lets read­ers know how com­pletely sup­port­ive AA co-founder “Bill W” was. I include lots of my own expe­ri­ences and hopes get­ting off chem­i­cals. It’s a lot more auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal than the blurb says.

There’s a char­ac­ter named Janie Mar­ro­quin. Every­one in the book always used her full name. It was “Janie Mar­ro­quin” with no real explanation.

Now… I can give you an expla­na­tion: it was me say­ing Thank you, Janie.

The char­ac­ter isn’t the real life Janie. Seri­ously. I used her full name as a kind of shout-out. I put Janie’s full name into a book that will live in the pro­tected archivesarchives
➤ (n) col­lec­tion of records espe­cially about an insti­tu­tion
…by BeeDictionary.com
of the Library of Con­gress.

Before the book came out, I told her about the char­ac­ter. As I recall, she basi­cally said, “Ch**gou, puto.” she said through her laugh­ter. Her tone was famil­iar: the sing-song stage-whisper she used when she wanted me to know she didn’t use such strong words. “Only you make me talk like that,” she once told me.

She said I was nuts, and the book didn’t stand a chance of stay­ing in the Library of  Congress.

My friend Janie died a year ago. I was able to thank her for slap­ping me around all those years ago.

Today (like so many other days) I pray for her soul: Señor con­ceda su eterno des­canso. Y brille sobre ella la luz eterna.

Messing with Texas: Lambast Nation

Don't Mess With TexasRik and I were dri­ving north of Dal­las recently when I saw two new free­way names. The road we were on has been named the Sam John­son High­way. Ick!

In the early 1990, Sam John­son was the right-wing politi­cian who wanted to round up all gay men to put them in a con­cen­tra­tion camp. He said that’s the only way to pro­tect Tex­ans from HIV/AIDS.

John­son is still in Con­gress. His con­stituents think he’s doing a good job.

We crossed a big new road named after Sam Ray­burn. I pre­sume that road goes through Bon­ham, Rayburn’s home. This man was Speaker of the US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. We have the phrase “Yel­low Dog Demo­c­rat” thanks to Speaker Ray­burn. Some­body asked him if he’d ever vote for a Repub­li­can, he said he’d sooner vote for an old “yeller dog.”

Sam Rayburn’s road is big­ger and fancierfancier
➤ (n) a per­son hav­ing a strong lik­ing for some­thing
…by BeeDictionary.com
than Sam Johnson’s. I think he’d lIke that. He was a rar­ity: an hon­est politi­cian. His 17 years as Speaker of the House was the longest tenure in US history.

Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and then-Senator Lyndon Johnson, two advocates for ccivil rights.

Speaker of the House Sam Ray­burn and then-Senator Lyn­don John­son, two advo­cates for ccivil rights.

Sam Ray­burn was hardly lib­eral, but he knew gov­ern­ment needed to watch out for the poor and dis­en­fran­chised. He’s the one cred­ited with light­ing the fires of civil rights with Lyn­don John­son. There were two com­pet­ing fac­tions in the Texas Demo­c­ra­tic party: lib­eral, conservative.

Texas is cur­rently run by the Sam John­son crowd. It wasn’t always that way.

The Lone Star state gave us Speaker Jim Wright, a lib­eral from Fort Worth (my home­town). He’s a friend. It was fun to watch as my GOP-leaning dad winced when Speaker Wright came to our table in a restau­rant just to say Hi to me. Dad would look around to see if any of his GOP bud­dies were watching.

I worked for some Texas politi­cians: Pre­ston Smith (good-old boy Demo­c­rat). And Sissy Far­en­thold, who would have made an awe­some and lib­eral governor.

Sissy Farenthold

Sissy Far­en­thold

Far­en­thold and Wright couldn’t even get started now. That’s mainly because of what Tom DeLay… an evan­gel­i­cal right-wing politi­cian from south­west of Hous­ton. DeLay pushed hard to get Con­gres­sional dis­tricts redrawn to favor other right-wing can­di­dates. Democ­rats and lib­eral Repub­li­cans have been forced to the back of the bus. Tom DeLay was even­tu­ally con­victed of elec­tions fraud, but his ger­ry­man­dered dis­tricts are still in place.

To get elected in DeLay’s Texas, you have to go hard right because today’s dis­tricts are drawn to give hard right can­di­dates the edge. So we get Louie Gohmert.

After sug­gest­ing that the House move to arrest Eric Holder, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Wash­ing­ton Watch host Tony Perkins last week that the push for mar­riage equal­ity under­mines biol­ogy and will inevitably lead the “coun­try down the road to the dust­bin of his­tory.” [RightWingWatch.org]

 

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). So many gaffes, so little time.

Rep. Joe Bar­ton (R-TX).
So many gaffes, so lit­tle time.

Joe Bar­ton, a goofy nut­case rep­re­sent­ing a large swath just south of Dal­las, is the one who apol­o­gized to BP when the feds fined them for that big oil spill in the Gulf. He hates wind energy, say­ing a bunch of wind­mills will slow down the world’s winds. His con­stituents are pleased with this guy.

If Texas has any hope for the future, it’s the racial mix. Older white guys are now in the minor­ity. His­pan­ics are in a grow­ing majority.

Until then, I hope to keep,calling out the idiots, mak­ing fun of the nut cases that embar­rass my home state.

So keep fightin’ for free­dom and jus­tice, beloveds, but don’t you for­get to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laugh­ter ring forth. Be out­ra­geous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the odd­i­ties that free­dom can pro­duce. [Molly Ivins]

 

On the Pulse of the Morning

The poem from the 1st Inau­gu­ra­tion of Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton [Jan­u­ary 20, 1993]

Writ­ten and read by Maya Angelou [1928–2014]

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou [1928–2014]

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon,
The dinosaur, who left dried tokens
Of their sojournsojourn
➤ (n) a tem­po­rary stay (e.g., as a guest)
➤ (v) spend a cer­tain length of time; reside tem­porar­ily
…by BeeDictionary.com
here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their has­ten­ing doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, force­fully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your dis­tant des­tiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hid­ing place down here.

You, cre­ated only a lit­tle lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruis­ing dark­ness
Have lain too long
Face down in igno­rance.
Your mouths spilling words

Armed for slaugh­ter.
The Rock cries out to us today, you may stand upon me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beau­ti­ful song. It says,
Come, rest here by my side.

Each of you, a bor­dered coun­try,
Del­i­cate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrust­ing per­pet­u­ally under siege.
Your armed strug­gles for profit
Have left col­lars of waste upon
My shore, cur­rents of debris upon my breast.
Yet today I call you to my river­side,
If you will study war no more. Come,
Clad in peace, and I will sing the songs
The Cre­ator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the rock were one.
Before cyn­i­cism was a bloody searsear
➤ (v) make very hot and dry
➤ (v) become super­fi­cially burned
➤ (v) burn slightly and super­fi­cially so as to affect color
➤ (v) cause to wither or parch from expo­sure to heat
➤ (s) (used espe­cially of veg­e­ta­tion) hav­ing lost all mois­ture
…by BeeDictionary.com
across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew noth­ing.
The River sang and sings on.

There is a true yearn­ing to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.
So say the Asian, the His­panic, the Jew
The African, the Native Amer­i­can, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Mus­lim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheik,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The priv­i­leged, the home­less, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speak­ing of the Tree.

They hear the first and last of every Tree
Speak to humankind today. Come to me, here beside the River.
Plant your­self beside the River.

Each of you, descen­dant of some passed
On trav­eller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name, you,
Pawnee, Apache, Seneca, you
Chero­kee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employ­ment of
Other seek­ers — des­per­ate for gain,
Starv­ing for gold.
You, the Turk, the Arab, the Swede, the Ger­man, the Eskimo, the Scot,
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought,
Sold, stolen, arriv­ing on the night­mare
Pray­ing for a dream.
Here, root your­selves beside me.
I am that Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.
I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours — your pas­sages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a pierc­ing need
For this bright morn­ing dawn­ing for you.
His­tory, despite its wrench­ing pain
Can­not be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
This day break­ing for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, chil­dren, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands,
Mold it into the shape of your most
Pri­vate need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most pub­lic self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For a new begin­ning.
Do not be wed­ded for­ever
To fear, yoked eter­nally
To brutishness.

The hori­zon leans for­ward,
Offer­ing you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out and upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your coun­try.
No less to Midas than the men­di­cant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here, on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, and into
Your brother’s face, your coun­try
And say sim­ply
Very sim­ply
With hope –
Good morning.

Surprising Ally in the Jock-infested Trench

The Setup

 

Dale Hansen is a TV sports­caster on the ABC affil­i­ate in Dal­las. He’d say he is assertive, a tough inter­view who isn’t shy about hold­ing people’s feet to the right amount of camp­fire. Many say he’s just a bully who lacks nuancenuance
➤ (n) a sub­tle dif­fer­ence in mean­ing or opin­ion or atti­tude
…by BeeDictionary.com
and manners.

When he did some opin­ion pieces in sup­port of Michael Sam and other gay ath­letes, I was sur­prised. He had opin­ions; he shared them on TV. I lis­tened and didn’t have an urge to throw any­thing at the tube.

He became enough of a phe­nom that Ellen Degeneres invited him to be a guest on her show.

Now he has done it again. Click on the image to see his May 11, 2014 seg­ment. My opin­ion: not too shabby for an old white straight guy.


 

A Note

 

Here is a note that I sent to Dale Hansen about his “Unplugged” segment…

 

Dale,

I’ve been sur­prised (in a good way) at your “Unplugged” opin­ions on Michael Sam. In fact, I take back some of the impo­lite things I’ve said to your mov­ing image on the tube over the years.

Mr Sam was drafted late in the last round, but that’s okay. I can make a case that his stats say it was right on the mark.

What­ever. What’s impor­tant is that he was drafted, and ESPN filmed him hav­ing a good reac­tion, shar­ing the moment’s joy with the peo­ple in his life. ESPN filmed it. Aired it. But they mainly dis­cussed football.

I’m sure ESPN had a staff meet­ing on Michael Sam. It showed. There were no oops moments. ESPN han­dled things like they were cov­er­ing a foot­ball story. There weren’t any deri­sive words that get com­pa­nies all the wrong kinds of atten­tion from activists (rais­ing hand).

So kudos, I guess. Y’all did your jobs. Sportscasting.

I am so glad he wasn’t picked for the Cow­boys. On the other hand, I thought the 49ers or Raiders might draft him. I would have loved to see him up in Boston. Sam with Tom Brady and that new QB… holy moly. For a gay guy, that ros­ter is a heart attack just wait­ing to happen.

St Louis works, and I wish the Rams all the best.

Val­ley Ranch is another mat­ter. I “dated” a Dal­las Cow­boy. He lived in ter­ror that some­body would find out he was boink­ing a sports­caster from K-104. But he did boink me, and I was some­thing of a Catch back then. It wasn’t fun being a gay player for the NFL. It was unhealthy. It drained energy that he could have used to focus his Sun­days. I feel so sorry for all those guys who tried to play while lying about who they are.

There’s one other thing. Your past. You were cute back in The Day… not a run-for-the-bank stud muf­fin… but eas­ily cute.

On your WFAA seg­ment, you were whin­ing that nobody hit on you. Oh please… wear a cup, man.

I remem­ber a time back in the Irv­ing sta­dium when you ran me out of the TV area. TV had some seri­ous bar­be­cue. The radio booth down at the end zone had a hor­ri­ble view and zero food. None. Zilch.

And you came between me and the bar­be­cue because you made me go down to sit with the other radio sports­cast­ers. Not likely I’m going to hit on some­body after they deny my Texas birthright (barbecue).

I used to be a looker. Way back. Just so we have every­thing out there, you never hit on me.

And we are both too old now, so.…..

 

 
What hasn’t been said is this: gay kids rarely have soci­ol­ogy on their side. Kids have these rag­ing hor­mones, but soci­ety hasn’t let them see exam­ples on what to do with them. Gay kids feel like they are on their own. They make things up as they go along.

Some­times what the gay kids invent is wrong or weird. They don’t know because they’re doofy kids with pim­ples, and they’ve never done a lov­ing rela­tion­ship before. There aren’t many books or own­ers’ man­u­als: “Being a Gay Kid for Dummies”

Michael Sam and Vito (boyfriend) gave these kids a role model.

ESPN recorded them kiss­ing, like so many of the boy/girl cou­ples were doing. Gay kids were able to say, “Ok, that’s a good way to react.”

Sports­cast­ers, coaches, and play­ers kept the dis­cus­sion to football.

Well played, foot­ball guys. Well played.
 

Yellowstone Shakes

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A 4.8 mag­ni­tude earth­quake has me a lit­tle ner­vous. It hap­pened Sun­day (3/30/2014). To some­body in Cal­i­for­nia, Ecuador, or Haiti, that’s noth­ing. This rat­tler was in Yellowstone.

Yel­low­stone is drop-dead gor­geous and the first part of the US set aside as a Nat­ural Park. It’s also a huge super-volcano (caldera). There’ve been mega-blasts over the past 18-million years, includ­ing 2.1 mil­lion, 1.3 mil­lion and 640k years ago. That most recent erup­tion put 240 cubic miles of debris into the atmos­phere. It’s enough to ruin your whole day anywhere.

Earth­quakes are com­monly caused by move­ment in con­ti­nen­tal plates. Around a vol­cano, earth­quakes often mean lava is on the move.

Lava under Yellowstone’s is mov­ing, and its stun­ning plateau is ris­ing. Geol­o­gists aren’t sound­ing any alarms that I’ve heard, but they’re keep­ing their eye on the 1260 square mile volcano.

Gulp. May the liq­uid under my favorite US National Park be calm for a very long time.

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