The Rainbow Flag

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on July 27, 2014

On June 19, artist Gilbert Baker, who created the rainbow flag in 1978, shared his memories of that period and the flag’s creation in a discussion at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco with longtime activist and friend, Cleve Jones. The rainbow flag is so iconic, so ubiquitous, so universally recognized, that there is a habitual tendency to think that it has always flown to represent queer Pride. Yet it is not so: it was created and consciously adopted in the streets of San Francisco, when activists spoke of gay liberation rather than LGBT acceptance in the after-fires of the political fires of the late 1970s. And no, it wasn’t created because we’re all friends of Dorothy.

“1977 — that was a pivotal year,” Baker said. “That was the year of Anita Bryant. That was he year Harvey (Milk) was elected. That was the year we became galvanized.” It was also the year after the American Bicentennial Celebration, a period that Baker said made him more flag conscious as he cranked out hundreds of banners and signs for the endless parades that activists were busily organizing. “I thought, You know, we ought to have a flag,’” Baker said. “A flag is something you can’t disarm. What makes a flag a flag is that people own it. It connects to their souls. It belongs to them.” Baker said he did not want to work with the symbols of oppression that had been adopted in the early victim politics. “The Lambda was a little obscure, and the triangles were given to us by the Nazis.”

He began researching rainbows and their uses in the Bible, in Native cultures and in the psychedelic hippy peace and freedom culture of the Sixties. “It represents all the colors, all the genders, all the humanity,” Baker said. “I wanted to expand on the use of visual images that would not depend on language.” Baker said the first two flags were made using all-natural materials and dyes in the fashion of the day. But the colors ran when they got wet. In addition, the flag started off with eight colors, not the six it has now, and each color stood for something different: pink (sex), red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sun), green (nature), turquoise (magic), blue (serenity) and lavender (spirit). “Eight is a very magical number,” said Baker. “It’s symmetrical, and allowed me to split them into hot and cold colors. It gave me a way to incorporate pink. Of course, it was a fuchsia hot pink. And it allowed me to bring in turquoise, connecting to Native island cultures.” But, in the long run, the eight color flag was too complicated and costly to reproduce in the pre-digital age of four-color printing. So he dropped pink and turquoise. “I felt strange because I was giving up sex and magic.”
Jones said there was a lot of community conversation at the time about the need for a unifying symbol. “When that went up the flag pole, all conversation on it stopped,” Jones said. “Everybody just embraced it.” It seemed, Baker and Jones said, that just about everyone wanted the gay flags except the flag industry: world of flag-makers and vexilographers. “It took about 10 years,” Baker said, recounting how he cut his hair and dressed in business attire in order to try to fit in at the flag industry conventions. “They pretty much decide on what a flag is. They would not even entertain a motion that there even was such a thing as a gay flag. A lot of good old boy flag companies down in Texas didn’t want to know anything about a gay flag.” But when one took a chance and made 5,000 little flags for Baker, they sold out in two hours. Game over, battle won. Now they are everywhere, and the rainbow is incorporated in knick-knacks and collectibles. Jones teased Baker about not having patented the symbol. “How do you feel when you see all this rainbow crap and you don’t stand to make a penny off it?” Jones asked. “It’s not about money,” Baker teased back. “It’s about power.”
There have been some iconic world record moments for the flag since then, such as the Stonewall 25 flag in New York City in 1994, and the sea-to-sea rainbow flag in Key West in 2003 on the 25th anniversary of the flag. And there have been the grim reminders of why the flag was needed, as when a parade of the flag in a celebration in Stockholm drew 300,000 spectators, and then was disrupted when gangs of young neo-Nazis grabbed and brutally beat some of the spectators. “It blew my mind,” Baker said. “There is this resistance that comes to us in the form of violence. We’re lucky to be in America. I think about those gay people in China who can’t come out making those rainbow tchotchkes and they can never come out. Or Uganda: there wasn’t any ’Will and Grace’ in Uganda. Our liberation is an ongoing struggle. It was before us and it will be in the generations after us. It’s more than the colors we can see: It’s the colors that we can’t see, the thing that go past our own lives.”

The text for this feature is borrowed from Creator of Rainbow Flag Shares His Memories of the Movement. Pictures are from The Library of Congress This is a repost. Out in the bay has a wonderful radio interview with Gilbert Baker.

Inner Goddess

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on July 26, 2014










The End Of Racism

Posted in GSU photo archive, Race, The Internet by chamblee54 on July 26, 2014










One of the touted TED talks in the weekly email is Color blind or color brave? It is by Mellody Hobson, a POC in the investment business. It is the standard call to talk more about race. Talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. The word listen is not used.

At the 3:13 mark, Mrs. Hobson makes a remarkable statement. “Now I know there are people out there who will say that the election of Barack Obama meant that it was the end of racial discrimination for all eternity, right?” It is possible that someone has said that. There are also people who say the earth is flat.

PG asked Mr. Google about this. The top two results are about the TED talk. The third result is an article in Forbes magazine, Racism In America Is Over. It is written by John McWhorter, one of the “black guys at” Dr. McWhorter does say racism is over, sort of. The problems that remain are a lot worse. Too much food for thought, for a population with intellectual bulimia.

There is a quote in the Forbes article that is pure gold.
“When decrying racism opens no door and teaches no skill, it becomes a schoolroom tattletale affair. It is unworthy of all of us: “He’s just a racist” intoned like “nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!””
There are a lot more results. PG is getting tired of looking. If you want to see for yourself, google “the election of Barack Obama meant that it was the end of racial discrimination for all eternity.” Except for a rogue title editor at Forbes, almost nobody has said that. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.










Blue Tail Fly

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on July 25, 2014








Q: What does “Jimmy crack corn” mean, and why does he not care?—Matt, Columbus, Ohio

PG was trolling when there was a convergence of stupidity. (The site does not exist in 2012.) All his life he had heard “Blue Tail Fly”, and been embarrassed. And there, in (pardon the expression) black and white, was someone who wondered the same thing.

It seems as though “Blue Tail Fly” started out as a minstrel song. For those who don’t know, minstrel shows were white people putting on black makeup, and imitating African Americans. Minstrelsy is not well thought of these days.

The story of BTF involves a slave named Jim. A fly bit the pony the old massa was riding, the pony was offended, and threw the old massa off. He was hurt landing, and died. Jim still has to crack corn, but he doesn’t care anymore, because old massa has gone away.

Dave Barry took a poll once to find out the stupidest song of all time. The overwhelming winner/loser was “MacArthur Park”. The combination of over the top show stopping, while singing about a cake left out in the rain, makes this ditty a duh classic.

In the spirit of corny convergence, the video is a karaoke version featuring Donna Summer . Miss Summer is a talented singer, who happened to connect with Giorgio Moroder. Lots of singers could have hit the big time by fronting those records. Donna Summer hit the jackpot.

For a proper post, there needs to be a third stupid song. This is not about stupid bands, singing about being D U M B. Even though they totally don’t belong, there is a video of the Ramones included. PG saw the Ramones at the Agora Ballroom in 1983. This was after their prime, and before a homeless man caught the Ballroom on fire.

We still need a third stupid song, and PG wants to get this posted with as little research as possible. Just like some writer was once given twenty minutes to write a song, and he decided to do the worst song he could think of. The result was “Wild Thing”. PG used to have a 45 of someone who sounded like Bobby Kennedy singing “Wild Thing”. This video (of the Troggs performing “Wild Thing”) has the late Casey Kasem, and Portuguese subtitles.

This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. This was downtown Atlanta in 1941.









Posted in Library of Congress, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 24, 2014











Maybe there is one for internet test taker. The fbf posted a link to a test, Which Jung Archetype Best Describes You? PG thought he would investigate the archetype concept before diving in.

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) (pronunciation) wrote a few books. The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious is where he introduced the concept of archetypes. One definition: “archetypes are inborn tendencies which shape the human behavior.” If you want to read more, you can use the links.

As online tests go, this one is good. Many online test questions have no good answer, and one is left to choose the least bad option. Most of the questions here have a good answer available. Question three even has the option of “other/ none of these.”

Numver four is a favorite of motivators … is the glass half empty or half full? This is more a quirk of the english language than an indicator of personality. There are three options: half empty, half full, who drank the other half? If there had been a “who cares” option, PG would have chosen it.

The answer: “The Caregiver You’re the caregiver! Jung identified this archetype in many goddesses and female role models throughout history. You’re the mother figure: the selfless caregiver and helper. Everyone comes to you for advice. You truly love others as yourself and your greatest fear is selfishness and ingratitude. You manifest compassion and generosity. A Jungian psychologist would tell you to be careful not to be taken advantage of and never let yourself play the martyr.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.











Noodle Flavor Chemicals

Posted in Poem, Undogegorized, yeah write by chamblee54 on July 23, 2014









Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics by chamblee54 on July 23, 2014








Yesterday was the runoff. In Georgia, the runoff is the inevitable part two. Some people say the runoff system is racist. In Georgia, everything is described as racist.

Not many people paid attention to this runoff. Jack Kingston and David Perdue were trying to get the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. The winner will face Michelle Nunn in November. Her main qualification is being the daughter of a former U.S. Senator.

This was not what you call a sexy election. PG lost interest after Karen Handel finished third in the primary. You should never use the word sexy in the same paragraph as the name Karen Handel.

PG is a label resistant, non affiliated, voter. The spectacle of Republicans arguing over who is more conservative than whom is amusing at best, and deeply depressing at worst.

The runoff candidates sent mailouts to PG. These are handy for bloggers. You stack them up when they come in. When you need some text to go between the pictures, you let out your inner snarxist.

Neither Mr. Perdue nor Mr. Kingston look good in these glossy sheets of card stock. Technically. one flyer came from a PAC, and was not authorized by any candidate. It showed a station wagon, full of dollars, with dollars flying out the window. The tens and twenties seem to spell something. Subliminal advertising gets more liberal all the time.

Mr. Kingston was the candidate with the flyers from Rosetta Stone Communications. It is cute. One side is dirt on Mr. Perdue. The insults are on a file folder, with the words BIG GOVERNMENT on the tab. There is a fax message header on the insult sheet. The message was sent at 17:56.

The other side tries to be positive. There is a picture of Mr. Kingston talking to a black man. The CONSERVATIVE RECORD is recited. The dude is “endorsed by the NRA, fair tax sponsor, 100% pro life record, cut Obama’s budget by $3.6 billion, 100% small business voting record.”

Below that is “Jack’s ENDORSEMENTS:” Karen Handel, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, Erick Erickson, Phil Gingrey, and Hershel Walker. Mr. Erickson endorsed Mrs. Handel in the primary, and is zero for two in this election. Maybe Red State is not as cool as some people think.

This was the final touch. PG decided that Mr. Perdue was the lesser of the two evils. Apparently, Georgia agrees. Mr, Perdue got 50.9% of the vote.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The spell check suggestion for Perdue is Duper.









Fly On The Wall

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on July 22, 2014








search engine items for chamblee 54 today:kenneth anger babylon interview gossip, violence of bad people silence of good people, colostomy bag for cats, was franklin d. roosevelt’s funeral open casket?, is having sex with a horse legal in michigan, doc watson. ~ what about failyour and failyou’re? ~ There may be small errors in this transcript. ~ What about bad breath? ~ Celebrity Gossip, Relationship Advice, Beauty and Fashion Tips ~ are comments about so called negative attitude a form of acceptable prejudice? ~ How did the camptown races turn out? ~ vimeo runs for a second or two, and then gets stalled for half a minute this is similar to the “peace process” ~ Is that a remake of a song by the Doors called “The End”? ~ Remember this letter when the Jesus worshiper tells you that you are a terrible person, and that you are going to hell, unless you agree with certain ideas about Jesus ~ As long as it is not a clockwork orange. ~ maybe it is internet activism ~ virtue of your style inscribed in your contempt for mine joni mitchell ~ i would like to be a fly on the wall if joni mitchell had an argument with toni morrison ~ there are some author interview radio/tv shows with big online archives. I have heard a few with Toni Morrison that are terrific. In the ones that I have heard, race is not mentioned. Finding the full interview with Charlie Rose is on my to do list. Often, a spicy quote makes it’s way onto youtube, and is lost without the context. ~ BTW, I read the linked article. It was a bit too academic for my taste. ~ what about oralytical? ~ Syria is routinely condemned as a terrorist nation. To a certain degree, the reputation is deserved. However, Syria take in refugees. Over a million refugees from our war in Iraq were taken in by Syria. Many of the women are now sex workers, so it is not all rosy. (How many Iraqi refugees did Israel take in?) Syria has also taken in Palestineans and Aremenians. ~ “Who determines what is best for the collective?” The person yelling the loudest. The baddest bully. The most radical. The “community builder.” ~ In a community that is 90% white gay men, how do you determine this? ~ When you give a shit, do you gift wrap it? ~ Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. ~ selah









Jesus PTSD

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, Religion by chamblee54 on July 21, 2014












Annabelle is a song by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. It is quite lovely. Annabelle is the daughter, and the one bright spot in a hard life. This life of toil lasts until we “go to Jesus.”

PG has had a tough time with Jesus. Rudeness, disrespect, verbal abuse, and humiliation have been landmarks on the journey. When you don’t agree with the plan for life after death, you wonder if the bad parts of Jesus are worth it. To PG, the negatives overwhelmingly outweigh the positives. Just hearing a passing reference to Jesus can set him to brooding.

This morning, PG wondered if it was always going to be like this. When people talk/sing/act out for Jesus, is it always going to remind him of the pain? The Jesus worshipers have so much fun with their noise, that they scarcely notice the discomfort of others. They usually don’t care. .

Some youtube listeners felt the same way. gotohellgoogle2223 i just wish the words weren’t religious. 001Bigred @gotohellgoogle2223 I don’t find this religious except in the aspect that it tells the TRUTH. You can’t have all things to please you til you go to Jesus. Hope you find Him.

PG has found Jesus, in the words and deeds of his believers. It has been one of the worst experiences PG has known. When you decide that Jesus was killed for being a trouble maker, and his death has nothing to do with what happens to you when you die… it takes away the one justification for all the abuse. Maybe one day there will be no Jesus, and PG will know peace.

Pictures from The Library of Congress.












Posted in Georgia History, Poem by chamblee54 on July 21, 2014











The Problem Of Anti-Racism

Posted in GSU photo archive, Race by chamblee54 on July 20, 2014








Some people are proud of being anti-racist. This is not always something to be proud about. Often, as in anti communism and homophobia, the struggle against the unseen enemy is worse than the problem you are fighting. When you denounce someone as racist, you might be talking about yourself.

The discussion that follows should not be seen as pro racist. People should treat people with kindness. The word people does not need an adjective. This kindness should be extended to those who do not share your opinions about racism.

Maybe you should lead by example. Instead of worrying about how your neighbor thinks, worry about how you think. If you don’t like the nasty word don’t use it.

To some, racism is the ultimate taboo. It is the worst charge you can make about a person, and the quickest to be made. Once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. It does not help that the definition of racism is expanding all the time. What one person considers racism is normal thinking to another. It used to be that racism was when you treated someone poorly because of their ethnicity. Now is is a multi faceted boogieman about power and prejudice. Keeping up can be a full time job.

Anti-communism has been compared to anti-racism. To our younger readers, there used to be a system of government called communism. It was alleged to be involved in a cold war with the United States. This cold war was the justification for a bloated military industrial complex. Many crooked politicians were elected on the basis of being anti communist. Often, the fight against communism was worse than the actual system of government.

Anti-racism is the new McCarthyism. Guilt by association is the rule. Difficult to refute charges are made against people. The charge of racism is used as a red herring.

Homophobia is compared to anti-racism. In both cases, the accuser has a set of standards. If the accused does not meet those standards, then the accused is considered fair game for abuse. The accused and the accuser may not agree on these standards. That does not matter. If someone wants to make the accusation, then they will, and will feel righteous about doing so.

It is frequently speculated that the homophobe is secretly gay. The need to be heard badmouthing gays stems from a perceived need to prove heterosexuality. Could this be the case with the anti racist? Maybe the anti-racist is secretly afraid that he/she might be a racist. The “calling out” of others, for perceived racism, is an effort to overcompensate for his/her own shortcomings.

Some things need to be said one more time. People should treat people with kindness. The word people does not need an adjective. Shaming and guilt mongering, because someone does not share your attitudes about race, is not appropriate. To use an anti-communist expression, there are better ways to win hearts and minds. This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.









Johnny Winter

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on July 19, 2014









Johnny Winter died Wednesday, July 16, 2014. He was born John Dawson Winter III, on Feb. 23, 1944, in Beaumont TX, which makes him 70. He was an skinny albino, and played guitar.

In 1971, the rock concert phenomenon was a snowball rolling down a mountain, getting bigger every inch of the way. The combination of loud music, theatrics, and public dope smoking had a lot of appeal. Johnny Winter was one of the hottest performers.

In Atlanta, the number one venue was the Municipal Auditorium. It was a sturdy concrete building on Courtland Avenue, in the middle of Georgia State University. The front of the building is still there, but the guts are long gone. When a Johnny Winter concert was announced for May 1971, 6,000 tickets went fast. The Omni would open in 17 months.

At this time, PG wasn’t quite into the concert thing. The first show he saw at the Auditorium was in March 1972. The second act was Edgar Winter, Johnny’s younger brother. The headliner, Humble Pie, might as well have not shown up.

At some point in the proceedings, Johnny Winter began using heroin. He took some time off to recover. When the comeback tour was announced in 1973, PG was ready. On the morning tickets went on sale, he was at the Sears in Athens GA, and copped front row seats. The show was scheduled for the Fox Theater, which had not been used for concerts long. Until then, it was mostly a movie house.

The opening act was Foghat. They were amazing. Foghat built a career by opening for acts that somehow didn’t quite measure up.

Johnny Winter just wasn’t very good that night. He didn’t have Rick Derringer, or a second guitar of any sort, to play with. It was him, a bass, and drummer, and his girlfriend. The lady beat a cowbell with a drumstick, and did some backing vocals.

Pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.











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