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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Academy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris has underwear 'wardrobe failure'

87th Academy Awards Neil Patrick Harris underwear

PHOTO: Neil Patrick Harris wears only tighty whitey bikini underwear for his very gay costume during the live ABC TV network showing of the 87th Academy Awards. The next day on the "Live with Kelly and Michael Show" (2/23/2015 season 27, episode 125) Neil Patrick Harris tells the hosts that during the dress rehearsal the lights made the underwear see-through and the network censors had a wardrobe person sew on a second layer of underwear, so that you couldn't see anything, but Neil proudly noted that it was real and there was "no sock" stuffed in there to make it look bigger. I noticed that unlike other crazy costumes that former hosts had worn, this Kelly and Michael show was the only recap I saw that explicitly mentioned it. I heard only one female TV news anchor obliquely refer to it by jokingly telling her co-anchor not to have a "wardrobe failure" like Neil Patrick Harris did at the Oscars, which was also a reference to a previous scandal that occurred when this was the excuse one female gave for exposing herself at the Oscars. I suspect the lack of attention NPH got was due the straight media not appreciating the gay cultural meaning of this stunt. Revealingly, I bet somebody that got the joke was the anti-gay religious preacher James Dobson who has accused the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon of being "pro-homosexual," Perhaps because of the way SpongeBob wore his tighty whitey underwear. (See previous post SpongeBob outed on Nick 10th anniversary show (7/25/09)).

Jim Palmer Jockey Y-front colored underwear ad in Newsweek, Jun. 20, 1983, p. 9

PHOTO: Jim Palmer played for the Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball team (1965-1984) and posed for the above Jockey underwear ad in Newsweek, Jun. 20, 1983, p. 9. See previous post Jim Palmer Jockey underwear 1980s ads (7/2/09)

Andy Warhol Rolling Stones Sticky Finger zipper art showing white briefs inside

PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) the original vinyl LP record album cover for The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers music (1971) has a real zipper (top) that can be zipped open to reveal white underwear briefs inside. Opening the record jacket (bottom) reveals the back side of the glued on zipper (bottom left) and a photo signed by artist Andy Warhol that is widely believed to be of the gay porn icon Joe D'Allesandro. (See previous posta and Wojnarowicz, Warhol, Smithsonian censorship and the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers zipper art (12/18/10), "Album Cover Joe," joedallesandro.com Web site accessed Apr. 12, 2003 and David Coleman, "POSSESSED; 1970's New York, On an Album Cover," New York Times, posted Feb. 9, 2003)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

OSU Beaver's Digest replaces Beaver yearbook R.I.P. features LGBT students

PHOTO: The display ad for the "Beaver Yearbook Moving Sale," as printed in the student newspaper for Oregon State University, Feb. 13. 2015, p. 8, is shown next to inside pages of the first edition of a print magazine publication that is replacing the century old college yearbook. The first edition of Beaver's Digest OSU's student life magazine blogs.oregonstate.edu/beaversdigest included two articles related to traditional activities by LGBT student groups on campus: "Rainbow Continuum: Fabulous, Darling," Beaver's Digest, Vol. 1, Issue 1, p. 10-11 posted as "Feeling Fabulous," Nov. 8, 2014 and another article about the annual drag show for AIDS: "Red Dress Fashion Show: Strike a pose. Strike down AIDS," Beaver's Digest, Vol. 1, Issue 1, p. 36-37. (See Oregon State University Beaver's Digest abut page accessed Feb. 14, 2015)

VIDEO: Oregon State University "Student Health Services teamed up with the business school's Oregon State University fashion organization to put on their fifth annual World AIDS Day Red Dress Fashion Show." Source: Barefoot Island Beauty, "Red Dress Fashion Show | Oregon State University," youtube.com posted Aug 13, 2014

"The lights dimmed in the auditorium to alert the crowd that the show was about to begin. The audience's murmurs turned into silence as two spotlights shone down on the queens standing on stage. . . Rainbow Continuum, the longest-running lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQQIA) club at Oregon State, puts on a drag show every fall and spring term. The show has usually been held at the LaSells Stewart Center, where they transform Austin Auditorium's stage with multi-colored lights and a catwalk. According to Vickie Zeller, co-director of Rainbow Continuum, scouting out queens and kings is the biggest part of putting on the show." (Quoted from Tracie Allan, "Rainbow Continuum: Fabulous, Darling," Beaver's Digest, Vol. 1, Issue 1, p. 10-11 posted as "Feeling Fabulous," Nov. 8, 2014)

I vividly recall in the 1960's seeing my first drag show in what I didn't realize at the time was a gay bar full of closeted homosexuals. I appreciated the performance art, but I didn't know until later about the long history of drag and association of drag with "theatre people and homosexuals," and drag still appears to be a common cultural tradition among young LGBT people today. Gay liberation activists and feminists of the 1970's tried to hide the drag performance tradition because it demeaned women and made LGBT people look abnormal to the general population, which resulted in many transgendered people feeling left out of the early movement. I find it heartening that in the social setting of a politically conservative rural state college, LGBT students can put on a drag show freely and also make it a popular money-making event that is popular for straight frat boys to attend. This proves the old adage, "gay boys know how to put on a show and a party." The yearbook tradition has been made obsolete by social media, such as Facebook, but drag performance art survives alive and well, despite all of the changes in culture and society over thousands of years. This fact still amazes me.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

OSU student recruits volunteers by pitching gay sheep research

Barometer headline 'Ba ba homosexual sheep research' 20150210

PHOTO: I enjoyed reading the newspaper column written by Gregory Christensen, "Ba ba homosexual sheep research," dailybarometer.com Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2015.

Tess Jarmain escorts four male-oriented (homosexual) rams in Oregon State University's flock back to pasture, photo by Tiffany Brown, 'The science of rams and sexuality: Not all seek ewes,' By Mary Ann Albright, Corvallis (Oregon) Gazette-Times, August 12, 2005 PHOTO: OSU student Tess Jarmain escorts four male-oriented (homosexual) rams in Oregon State University's flock back to pasture. Photo by Tiffany Brown from 'The science of rams and sexuality: Not all seek ewes,' By Mary Ann Albright, Corvallis (Oregon) Gazette-Times, August 12, 2005 (See previous post OSU Gay Sheep NY Times (2/7/07))

The agricultural roots of Oregon State University, originally called Oregon Agricultural College, still shines through today when the competing University of Oregon students call OSU "cow college" in reference to the actual cows seen on campus used for various research programs. I am sure U of O students are also making vulgar sheep jokes about OSU, especially after reading the following column written by an OSU Animal Science major whose agenda is to recruit volunteers for sheep research:

It might be rainy, gloomy and "Baaa humbug" mood outside, but there's lots of excitement at the Oregon State University Sheep Center.

That's right, its lambing season -- the best time of year for a sheep farmer. Consequently, it's also the most tiring.

After all, it's hard not to get sheepy when you're counting sheep in the wee hours of the morning.

Life on the lambing crew is tough.

I've had the opportunity to work a late night shift a few years back and can sympathize with this year's volunteers.

It's rough, but so worth it.

Getting the chance to see the sheep industry full circle is so rewarding.

Plus there are baby lambs to play with.

The OSU Sheep Club maintains a constant watch over the pregnant ewes and stand at the ready to assist in the birthing process if complications arise. Some lambs even receive special treatment when born prematurely.

Remember that photo of an OSU student with a lamb in her backpack that went viral last year?

That lamb even received a free education.

Did you know that OSU is a leader in homosexual ram research?

I wish I had a baaad pun here, but out of a shear lack of creativity, I can't think of anything right off the hoof.

Going to have to chew the cud on that one for a while.

But seriously, we raise homosexual rams.

According to Dr. Fred Stormshak from the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences, "gay rams are a costly problem for sheep producers because breeding rams are worth $300 to $500 each."

Homosexual rams will never produce offspring, and lambs are kind of the point of the sheep livestock industry.

In fact, a majority of rams turn out to be heterosexual.

One in five are bisexual, about 15 percent are asexual and about eight percent would identify as homosexual.

Learning about hormonal, neural, genetic and environmental determinants of ram preferences could help us select heterosexual breeding rams that will continue to advance the sheep industry.

OSU is proud to be on the forefront of this research.

The OSU Sheep Center, a 600-acre farm three miles off campus, maintains a 60-ewe breeding flock for research and teaching.

Then there are the saanen goats and llamas, and who doesn't love goats? Answer: nobody.

The Sheep Center is staffed by up to 40 dedicated Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences students who volunteer during lambing season.

Although sheep are notoriously stubborn, stupid, and just downright dumb, they are fun animals to be around.

If you are interested in learning more about these amusing wooly bullies, don't be sheepish; sign up for an Animal Science class for next term.

Gregory Christensen is vice president of the agricultural executive council at OSU. The opinions expressed in Christensen's columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Christensen can be reached at forum@dailybarometer.com.

(Quoted from Gregory Christensen, "Ba ba homosexual sheep research," dailybarometer.com Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2015)

RadioShack bankruptcy evokes memories of OSU and Hewlett-Packard

RadioShack bankruptcy newspaper headline, 1962 catalog and 2002 catalog

PHOTO: The newspaper headline for a wire story that ran in my local newspaper by the Associated Press, "RadioShack Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy," (Corvallis, OR) Gazette-Times, Feb. 6, 2015, p. A9, shown above an original 1962 print catalog from RadioShack that was mailed to my home when the company was expanding its mail-order business, and one of the last RadioShack print catalogs, which in 2002 was not mailed to me, but was given to me, only upon request, when I physically went into a local RadioShack store (bottom). (See previous post Radio Shack 1962 transistor madness (1/19/08))

GE Analog computer Radio Shack 1962 catalog p. 322

PHOTO: Radio Shack's 1962 catalog on page 322 offered "New!! General Electric Transistor Educational Kits," including an "Analog Computer" that required no-soldering for $23.95 (about $170 in inflation adjusted 2008 dollars). Analog computers, both mechanical and electrical, were around before the invention of the digital computer. Analog computers were used by engineers to simulate the linear and non-linear differential equations that describe the physical behavior of jet airplanes, moon landing spacecraft and other complex devices. Analog computers were used long after the advent of digital computers because they were much faster. Today, the superior computational accuracy, stability and flexibility of digital computers have relegated analog computers to only a few niche applications. According to the U.S. Government's official inflation index CPI calculator, $23.95 in 1962 is equivalent to $187.74 in 2014, which would buy a good tablet or smartphone computer today. (See previous post Radio Shack 1962 transistor madness (1/19/08))

"I don't think RadioShack Corporation ever realized the power of their catalog," Michael D'Alessio, who founded RadioShackCatalogs.com, was quoted as saying in the business magazine article on RadioShack's bankruptcy by Joshua Brustein, "Inside RadioShack's Collapse, RadioShack's Endgame: It took Devades of blunders, but it's on the brink. How did he electronics retailer go broke? Gradually, then all at once," Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Feb. 9-15, p. 54-59 and earlier posting by Dawn McCarty and Lauren Coleman-Lochner, "RadioShack Files for Bankruptcy Protection," bloomberg.com posted Feb. 5, 2015. Also see the previous article by Joshua Brustein, "Consumer Electronics: RadioShack's Last Hope for Survival: Shrinking Fast in Bankruptcy," www.bloomberg.com posted September 11, 2014.

Even though knowledgeable electronics consumers frightfully sneered at RadioShack products, the fact was that it was an easy source of toys for a cheap price that could not be obtained anywhere else. When the catalog stopped being sent to me, I quit seeing new, fun toys that I wanted to buy and I am sure I wasn't their only loss of sales. It is sad because there is a whole new demand for remote controlled Drones and Bluetooth or internet Smartphone controlled electronic products, and RadioShack would be a natural place to sell them. Ironically, the last thing I bought at RadioShack was about ten years ago when I upgraded my over-the-air antenna and amplifier to receive the new HDTV digital TV signal. TV Stations owners should be worried because I can't think of where I would buy one in a hundred miles, and the large antennas often required are very hard-to-ship items.

The newspaper wire story by Associated Press story, "RadioShack Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy," (Gazette-Times Feb. 6 p. A9) made me recall the Corvallis RadioShack store, which from the 1970s was located near the corner of 9th and Circle, until shortly before the building was remodeled to become the "Market of Choice" grocery store a few years ago and the RadioShack store moved to another, nearby, shopping center.

Apple Computer founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak famously bought components from RadioShack, near the Silicon Valley Hewlett-Packard calculator division where Wozniak worked before it was moved to the newly built HP Corvallis site in the 1970s.

The first Apple computers, and a personal computer built by RadioShack in 1977, imitated earlier desktop computers built by HP.

Ironically, in the 1970s, HP's Corvallis research and development engineers would also occasionally buy parts from RadioShack, while designing a new HP personal computer and related 8-bit microprocessor, which they manufactured in a new Corvallis integrated circuit fab.

Also, RadioShack was often the only local source of components for Oregon State University students until students started selling parts from a Dearborn Hall closet.

Today, OSU business students will be taught the lessons of RadioShack's failure as reported in this week's (Feb. 9-15) cover story in "Bloomberg Businessweek."

There is no shortage of histories of RadioShack online:

The company issued its first catalog in 1939 as it entered the high-fidelity music market. In 1954, Radio Shack began selling its own private-label products under the brand name Realist, but was subsequently sued and consequently changed the brand name to Realistic. After expanding to nine stores plus an extensive mail-order business, the company fell on hard times in the 1960s. Radio Shack was essentially bankrupt, but Charles Tandy saw the potential of Radio Shack and retail consumer electronics and bought the company for $300,000.

In 1962, Radio Shack was purchased by the Tandy Corporation, which was originally a leather goods corporation, and renamed Tandy Radio Shack & Leather. Tandy eventually divested itself of its non-electronic product lines. (Tom's note: my high school shop class used products from the local Tandy leather craft store.)

In 1977, two years after the famous MITS Altair, Radio Shack introduced the TRS-80, one of the first mass-produced personal computers that became a big hit. This was followed by the TRS-80 Color Computer designed to attach to a television for use as a monitor. In the late 1980s, Radio Shack made the transition from its proprietary 8-bit computers to its proprietary IBM-PC-compatible Tandy computers; however, shrinking margins and a lack of economies of scale led Radio Shack to exit the computer-manufacturing market by the mid-1990s.

Until 2004, RadioShack routinely asked for the name and address of customers who made purchases so they could be added to the mailing list.

(Quoted from RadioShack From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia accessed Feb. 9, 2015)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Are antidiscrimination laws weakened by applying them to non-racial minorities?

A news story that has persisted for months in Oregon is the claim by a Christian bakery that they are the victims of a court ordering them to provide a gay wedding cake and so they shut their doors to the public and became a private bakery so that they can pick and choose only customers who match their religious beliefs. (I won't link to the stories here because I am too lazy today and they have appeared in major newspaper publications across Oregon.)

There had been something bothering me about this case, other the usual fact that it bothers me when somebody who is a bully claims they are the victim instead of the person who they are bullying.

My thoughts crystalized after reading the latest letter to the editor by Milt Weaver, "Letters: Don't force bakers to make cake for gay wedding," Gazette-Times, Feb. 6, 2015, p. A9, which prompted me to write, without singling out this particular letter writer, the following letter to the editor in reply:

Having grown up in the segregated South, the recent complaints about a public bakery being forced to make a gay wedding cake sound eerily similar to the complaints I heard from white segregationists about their religious beliefs being compromised if forced to provide public accommodations to "negroes."

To be fair, a few racial or ethnic minorities worry that the Constitutional anti-discrimination laws, originally enacted by both Congress and State Legislatures in response to racial discrimination, are diminished when applied to non-racial minorities.

I believe antidiscrimination laws are strengthened, not weakened, when courts enforce them equally, on a rational basis, for all minorities.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letters: Anti-gay bakery's protest harkens to civil rights era," Gazette-Times, Feb. 10, 2015, p. A7)

I tried to be careful comparing racial and non-racial minorities because it can be offensive to some people and it can easily lead to bogus conclusions, however, this issue of minority status has been dealt with by the U.S. Supreme Court creating the legal concepts of interpreting laws with "strict scrutiny" or with a "rational basis test." In general, courts have insisted on strictly interpreting laws associated with racial discrimination as requiring more than just a rational basis for any exceptions to the law as it was written by the lawmakers.

So far, all gay rights victories have been decided by the courts with the looser standard of just requiring a rational basis to permit discrimination.

Please note that my above paragraphs are inadequate to summarize all of the nuances of civil rights and minority antidiscrimination laws because this topic can't even be fully taught even in a law school classroom, however, it is easy to find good examples and cases, which, as I said earlier, I am too lazy today to provide today.

See previous post Arthur Leonard on Oregon Marriage Ban and Minnesota passes gay marriage (5/15/13)

To keep my letter short, as required by the newspaper, I also did not attempt to address a popular question in the gay wedding cake case: "Why would anyone want to force a bakery to bake them a wedding cake?" This is question is usually asked by those who believe public bakeries should be allowed to do what they want, for who they want, and then let the marketplace decide, but their philosophy implicitly rejects an important point of civil rights laws, which is the concept that any public business should be open to all customers equally. This is an American value and it is an idea embedded in the U.S. Constitution -- anybody who rejects these values may not see how this would make America a less democratic society, consisting of warring tribes and independent factions, which is a society that no conservative I have met say they want and they assume it won't happen because they assume they are in the majority.

Unrelated note: The reason I am so lazy today is because I just saw a neurologist this morning that was unable to give me any hope of helping me with my life threatening medical condition. I am grateful to God for the good life I have lived and I plan to live the rest of my life the best way possible until I die.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

OSU library tearooms mentioned in letter about sex video

Front page headline 'Sex video raises furor at OSU' Gazette-Times Jan. 30, 2015, p. A1

PHOTO: Front page newspaper article by Nathan Bruttell, "Sex video raises furor at OSU. Former student filmed graphic scene inside library." Gazette-Times, Jan. 30, 2015, p. A1, A6 gazettetimes.com posted Jan. 29, 2015 as "Former OSU student's pornographic video getting national attention" - also see TV news account by Rhoda Krause, "Former OSU Student Cited for Porn Video," KEZI-TV kezi.com Published January 28, 2015 and student newspaper story by Staff, "Citation filed in library porn video case," The Daily Barometer, Jan. 29, 2015, p. 1, 4, dailybarometer.com posted Jan. 28, 2014.

The idea of public sex and tearooms is an old one -- historically it was often the only place many men who wanted to have sex with other men could find it. See my previous posts Book: 1912 Portland 'Vice Clique' gay sex scandal, OSU football player, and possible Women's Suffragists linkage (3/22/14) and Senator Craig promotes public sex (8/29/07) that comments on the arrest of Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig for cruising for sex in a public restroom at an airport. Craig represents the "old gay culture" of closeted gay men using unhealthy public sex venues for anonymity.

Amusingly, a reader of my local newspaper, in response to the furor over a student's sex video made in the Oregon State University library, sent the following letter that mentioned the old problem of cruising for sex in public tearooms by closeted gay men seeking sex from men (See original article by Nathan Bruttell, "Sex video raises furor at OSU. Former student filmed graphic scene inside library." Gazette-Times, Jan. 30, 2015, p. A1, A6 gazettetimes.com posted Jan. 29, 2015 as "Former OSU student's pornographic video getting national attention,"):

The Gazette-Times Jan. 30 headline, "Sex video raises furor at OSU," has a special meaning to those of us who have fought for decades to end discrimination based on sexual stereotypes.

On the one hand, it is heartening to see a young female college student feel free to be sexually provocative in a manner that only male college students felt entitled to do decades ago.

On the other hand, I bet some of today's students, both male and female, feel just as violated as I did nearly half a century ago when a male flasher targeted me in the old OSU library.

Back then, the biggest problem for campus security was in the library "tearooms," where men seeking sex with men would occasionally be caught disturbing the peace.

Kim Wilson, Corvallis

(Quoted from Kim Wilson, "Letters: Some perspectives on library sex activity," Gazette-Times, Feb. 2, 2015, p. A7)

Two days after the above letter ran, the weekly column in the student newspaper written by Kathy Greaves, senior instructor and faculty member in the college of public health and human sciences, "Pornography incident in library raises feminism questions," OSU Barometer, FEb. 4, 2015, p. 7 said, "From a feminist perspective, there are two ways to look at this. . . On the one hand, feminism is about not stepping in and rescuing women, but rather allowing them to make their own choices and respecting those choices. . . However, feminism is also about recognizing that girls grow up in a social context -- a patriarchal context that only values them for their physical qualities, their appearance, and their bodies -- not their minds."

See the previous posts and related items of interest:

TV Soap features fist gay male marriage

TV Guide Jan. 19, 2015, p.42 first gay male marriage in soap

PHOTO: The first gay male marriage in a daytime soap opera is described in the print magazine article by Michael Logan, "Gays of Our Lives," TV Guide, Jan. 29 - Feb. 1, 2015, p. 42 (not yet posted online Feb. 4, 2015) -- the article headline, of course, being a play on the show's name "Days of Our Lives'.

Speaking of soap operas, I was almost admitted to the hospital this weekend becauseI had another stroke, but I was fortunate to recover with only a little bit more loss of vision and muscle strength.