KSL, a Salt Lake City NBC affiliate, decided to drop The New Normal, Barkin’s new show that centers around a gay couple having a child. “So L&O SVU (rape & child murder) is ok? But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?,” Barking tweeted on Friday. She followed that up with, “L&O SUV…anal tearing not ‘explicit’ content, child slavery not ‘explicit’ content? But @NBCTheNewNormal, laughing & loving is? #KSLBigots”
“If our ability to unite as a nation is about who we see as “one of us,” then education alone will not help us transform the American psyche. We need stories. We need stories that bind us, break us open, and make us human to one another. Only storytelling can cultivate the empathy that invites us to imagine walking in another’s shoes. In the weeks after Oak Creek, we should encourage Sikh Americans – and all people struggling for civil rights and human dignity in America – to tell their community’s stories through art and film, photography and testimony, poetry and song.”
Renée Feltz reads from a statement by the son of legendary author John Steinbeck condemning Texas for using Steinbeck’s fictional character, Lennie Small, as a benchmark to determine who might be eligible for execution. “On behalf of the family of John Steinbeck, I am deeply troubled by today’s scheduled execution of Marvin Wilson,” Thomas Steinbeck wrote. “The character of Lennie was never intended to be used to diagnose a medical condition like intellectual disability. I find the whole premise to be insulting, outrageous, ridiculous, and profoundly tragic. I am certain that if my father, John Steinbeck, were here, he would be deeply angry and ashamed to see his work used in this way.”
Deeply angry, indeed. And Steinbeck best describes my reaction to all of this:
“In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”
Sel Publishing House put out a Turkish translation of Burroughs’ The Soft Machine, which features “hanged soldiers, North African street urchins, addicted narcotics agents, Spanish rent boys, evil doctors [and] corrupt judges”, all laid out in Burroughs’ famous “cut-up” technique, last January. Accused of furthering “attitudes that were permissive to crime by concentrating on the banal, vulgar and weak attributes of humanity”, the publisher was first put on trial last summer, but a decision was taken last month in Istanbul to postpone the trial until 2015 due to the implementation of a new law.
Kudos to Spencer Platt / Getty Images for getting this shot of today’s news coverage of President Obama supporting gay marriage, site of the 1969 Stonewall riots – one of the most important events in American history for gay rights.
“Great art, original art, is never created in a safe middle ground. Originality is dangerous, as it is at the edge,” Rushdie proclaimed at one point.