Today's Mighty Oak


Alright, catching up on a bit of a backlog in addition to some current items, but let’s see what we have today. First up, a favorite web comic/series, Surviving the World is returning with classic reposts! Here’s where he ended it. Class Dismissed.

Science news you can use: don’t drink your whiskey ‘neat’:

The United Methodist Church is splitting over gay issues. As someone who has come out of that on the other side, hey welcome, it’s a bumpy ride. Sorry you have to do this, it’s painful.

This fight (is still going on all across the country) happened in September in Arizona. Their GOP governor said they don’t need to extend non-discrimination protections to gay people, and their supreme court said businesses can deny service to gay people. The fight continues, and is seemingly never ending.

In other disturbing news, the Interior Department cut sexual orientation from their internal discrimination policies as well.

I wrote earlier about my displeasure at Marvel (and Star Wars) for LGBT erasure. The upcoming film, The Eternals, will, for the first time, feature a gay superhero (and kiss). Yes, it’s progress. Should it have taken 11 years? No.

In other movie news, the trailer for the new Wes Anderson film looks amazing:

If you haven’t, check out Eastsiders on Netflix. It was an amazing series, and here’s an interview with the creator.

Stranger Things 4 gives us a present from Russia (with love).

In good news, a New York state park will be named for Marsha P. Johnson!

The Church of England said sex is only for straight, married people. Then they apologized for offending people, not actually changing their minds.

Firefighters who got angry comments when they showed their support for the queer community hit back in an awesome video.

NASA is adding a luxury hotel to the ISS. Spoiler, if you’re reading this, you will not be able to afford visiting.

An awesome video from a favorite creator that I’ve been mulling over: death and minimialism:

The Utah Governor pulled the campaign that put AMAZING art on condoms to prevent STIs. They’re all great, and it’s a shame he pulled them.

Speaking of, the UK has seen a massive decline in HIV infections due to PrEP. No surprise there.

The Catholic bishops in Texas have blasted their governor (who is Catholic)over his rule to not accept refugees. I’m highly, highly critical of the Catholic Church, so I have to give them points when it’s appropriate. Good for them.

Disney is announcing more details of their immersive Star Wars hotel for their resorts, and it looks amazing and I can’t wait to go!

Google pretty much hit it out of the park with their Superbowl ad:

And another great ad, this time from Microsoft:



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, I might have actually linked to this before, but did you know that we have a plan in case we ever find Nessie?  Now you do!

If you haven’t seen it already, stop everything you’re doing and watch the new Randy Rainbow song:

There’s going to be a Baby Groot Chia Pet!

The Downton Abbey movie is finally confirmed and moving forward!

Remember all that money Jill Stein raised for a recount, yeah, she’s spending it on her legal defense for her involvement with Russia.  Raise your hand if you’re surprised.  Nobody?  I didn’t think so.

Gay ‘conversion therapy’ is torture.  Full stop.  And there’s a feature film about it and it looks powerful:

Queen Elizabeth II is a master stateswoman.  She greeted the President last month while wearing a brooch given to her by the Obamas.

Speaking of Britain, an artists has created a portrait of Princess Diana using diamond dust and HIV+ blood:

And in infuriating news, the Health and Human Services have removed all LGBT references from the ObamaCare website.  The erasure continues.

Integrity USA celebrates progress made at the General Convention.

And finally, Stranger Things 3 has a great new promo!



We’re a third of the way through the month already!  I’ve been enjoying writing every day, and really enjoyed the more free-form blogging over the weekend (as well as the time to work on the site a bit), so I’m certainly glad I’m doing this.  However, if other NaNoWriMo projects are any indication, this is where it starts to get hard!

Anyway, first up today, it’s illegal for the Pride flag to be displayed in Russia.  But these World Cup fans have found a way around that!

The Governor of Maine has vetoed a ban on gay ‘conversion therapy torture.’  No word on if the state legislature will overrule him.

Various LGBT groups have come together to help stop the SCOTUS pick.  If he’s confirmed, we will most likely lose any kind of discrimination protection and will probably lose marriage equality as well (in addition to legal and safe abortion, contraception, voting rights and the list goes on and on).

The trailer for OITNB has arrived:

 



I hope everyone is enjoying their post-Thanksgiving turkey comas.  Let’s see what we have today.  First up, an insane 360-degree water slide.

I’m sure you voted in this last election, and if you live in Allegheny County, you can check out amazing statistics about how everything went (you can drill down to you voting district)

And speaking of voting, need help getting people registered for the so, so important 2018 election?  Indivisible has you covered.

And lastly in politics, this amazing song from Randy Rainbow:

The Player’s Tribune has an awesome article up about the crime of running the Boston Marathon while female.

I’ve talked about it before, but an amazing article from The Good Men Project about straight people trying to make things like National Coming Out Day about themselves, and how hurtful it really is.

And lastly, I just finished it, but here is the trailer for Season 2 of Lady Dynamite.  Maria Bamford is one of my favorite comedians, but she is a very acquired taste:

That’s it for today, I’ll be back with more soon as November wraps up, have a great one!



Half a world apart, two interconnected stories have emerged.  The treatment of LGBT individuals in sport, and in the broader world, is one being examined with the coming out of Michael Sam and the games of the Sochi Olympics.

Even spaces created to be safe havens for the LGBT community, both physical 2 and online 3, are now being targeted.  A ninth grade girl was found guilty of violating the ban on progpganda and was placed on an offender list and was subsequently beaten by her father, landing her in the hospital with head wounds 4, just for coming out to her classmates.

Recent documentaries about the subject show hope for the Russian people, even from the Russian LGBT community.  In the face of such adversity, they wish to stay to fight for their cause, knowing that changing hearts and minds comes about from knowing out gay people.

But sadly, that won’t heal that ninth-grade girls head.  It won’t heal those targeted by “morality patrols,” or other vigilantes.  It won’t heal those who trusted in the basic decency of humanity and were instead met with hatred and broken bones.

The day of the opening ceremony brought more than 60 arrests across Russia of LGBT activists.  The IOC defended the arrests and beatings 5 and Rachel Maddow gives a great and concise report here.  Few other protests were held, but the arrests (and then dumping in the wilderness) were defended by the IOC 6.

The Google Doodle that is referenced was in place for two days and mentions both Principle 4 and Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter.  Principle 6 7 reads:

Sport does not discriminate on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.

In response to the Russian law, as well as the IOC’s utter refusal to stand up for basic human dignity, a few athletes have taken matters, literally, into their hands with protests on mittens 8.  The Canaidan Institute of Diversity and Inclusion produced this tongue-in-cheek video and the US State Department’s clip promoting the games and the athletes made sure to include sexual diversity 9.

And back here in the United States, we are now looking at the distinct possibility of the first openly gay NFL player.

Sports has always had a place in culture as one of the last bastions of homophobia, at least male professional sports.  Since women are already “subverting their traditional roles” by being athletes, lesbian professionals in sports seemingly make sense.  In at least some sort of backwards psychosis type of way.

So a gay male player, in the most popular of the “big four” sports, is a huge deal.  And that player may be Michael Sam.  While Jason Collins came out last year, he is at (or near, although he was practicing with the Nets recently) the end of his career, so seemingly what progress was made with him, came to a sudden stop.  Well that escalated quickly.  Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the New York Nets, and on Sunday became the first openly gay man to play in one of the big four sports.  And as we’re finding out, the owner of the Nets is Russian, and a political opponent of Putin 10, so the contract may have been partially a political move.

Michael Sam on the other hand, is well respected by press, his teammates, coaches and his entire school.  He was out to his team this entire year, leading them as a captain to a season with only one loss and capped by a victory in the Cotton Bowl.  And he’s about to enter the NFL draft process.

A few collegiate athletes voiced their concerns 13, some were punished, others were not, but I have a feeling that in the long run, those that judge Sam on his sexuality instead of his athletic proess will be left behind in the dust of history.But this seemingly upending of the heteronormativity of the NFL has brought the bigots out of the woodwork.  Both Jon Stewart 11 and an eloquent Texan sportscaster12 have pointed out the hyprociticy of a league and a public that would rather have murders, assailants, dog fighters and a parade of other criminals instead of a well-behaved gay man.

Sam’s own father, who, admitedly, was not involved in his life, came out with a confusing and hatefilled statement, claiming that he does not think the NFL should have any gay players, but he still wants his son to be able to play professionally 14.  Honestly, I can’t wrap my mind around that, and thinking about the mental gymnastics he is putting himself through hurts.

But for the majority of us, we will never compete in an NFL stadium.  We will never have a chance to win gold for our home country.  But this is a situation that affects us all:

A news flash for every straight man out there: You’ve been naked in front of a gay man.

This is not the end of the world, some sort of chemical imbalance being brought into your sacred locker room space or even open “hunting season” for straight men.  As Frank Bruni of the New York Times continues, if a gay man happens to be next to you after the showers, a squeal is probably not the correct reaction 15

What I think has been the most interesting aspect of this, and the Jason Collins story, is the resistance set up by some corners of society.  And here’s the big secret: straight people don’t get to tell the gay community what’s news to us.

Of the 3,000 (give or take) professional male athletes on the rosters of the big four, we have yet to have an openly gay one 16.  So yes, this is news.  This is progress.  Announcing he is gay is not shoving it down anyone’s throat any more than every single act of sexual declaration heterosexuals unknowing commit each day: talking about their spouses, dates, children, hand holding, kisses on the cheek, photos of loved ones on their desks.  Yes, there is much more to Michael Sam than his sexuality, as being gay is more than who we sleep with.

This is about love and equality.  The very principles sport is supposed to embody.


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Notes:

  1. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/02/anti-gay-demonstrators-in-sochi-identified-as-americans.html 
  2. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/02/putinsrussia.html 
  3. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2014/02/did-russia-hack-gay-hook-up-app.html 
  4. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/02/03/teenage-girl-comes-out-to-her-classmates 
  5. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/02/ioc-defends-arrests-and-beating-of-lgbt-activists.html 
  6. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/02/ioc-defends-removal-of-italian-lgbt-activist-vladimir-luxuria-from-sochi-olympic-village.html 
  7. http://www.principle6.org/ 
  8. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/02/maas.html 
  9. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2014/01/state-department-issues-gay-inclusive.html 
  10. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2014/02/about-owner-of-brooklyn-nets.html 
  11. http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/jon-stewart-wins-internet-forever-response-michael-sam-coming-shesaid/ 
  12. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/02/13/sports-commentator-dale-hansen-of-texas-on-michael-sam-and-the-nfl 
  13. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/02/msus-rufus-warren-football-is-a-man-sport-and-being-gay-is-not-a-man.html 
  14. http://www.towleroad.com/2014/02/michael-sams-father-struggling-with-his-sons-sexuality.html 
  15. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/opinion/bruni-panic-in-the-locker-room.html?ref=opinion&_r=0 
  16. http://outinleftfieldblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/the-straight-persons-guide-on-how-not-to-react-to-the-michael-sam-news/ 


Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, this amazing series of Post-It notes from a new father.

The Mars Rover Opportunity celebrates its 10 year anniversary!  Not bad, considering it was supposed to be a 90-day mission!

Putin wants to “cleanse Russia of homosexuality”  But he TOTALLY HAS GAY FRIENDS.

Harry Potter World is expanding, which means now I really have to go!

And finally, Lust for Love, which pretty much features the cast of Dollhouse, finally has a trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqAFCkxKZfY

That’s it for now, have a great one!

 



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, it turns out that intelligent people drink more.

In case you forgot, Rick Santorum is an idiot.  Like, there aren’t enough words to decry this man.

If lawyers were copywriters.  It’s sad, by the way.

And for fans of “Orange is the New Black”

The beginning of the year-end round-ups (I’ll have a special post later, still waiting for one more video to be released), but here are 45 of the most powerful images of the year.

A man went an entire day (with one slip-up) by only saying “Hodor.

Research has proven that anti-LGBT legislation causes harm, especially on young people.

And sadly, speaking of, a prominent Russian actor was applauded when he said he wants to burn all gay men alive.

The final book in The Magicians trilogy comes out in August, and we have a cover.

That’s it for today, have a great one!



It’s been a while, so I have a lot of fun stuff to share, let’s get started.  First up, amazing facts about frogs:

Holy crap, scientists have invented Lightsabers!

The commissioner of the NBA slams the Olympics for their handling of the Russia LGBT laws.  And speaking of, Brian Brown, head of NOM, worked with Russia lawmakers to draft the legislation working its way through the Duma to forcibly take children from LGBT adults.

And lastly about Russia, a music video about the torture of the Russian church:

Sometimes, grandmothers play one of my favorite games, Cards Against Humanity.  Yeah, weird and creepy, and I would have given her the point for that round.

Just like you can’t open a business and refuse to serve the Irish, or women, or Jews, you can’t flat our refuse to serve the LGBT community.  Unless the Republican party gets it way, of course.

The new trailer for the next Hobbit movie:

You’ve probably seen the Chipotle ad that’s making its way across the Internet, but here is the “truth” version.

Here’s a great essay about the impact Harry Potter has.

And another great essay at the Good Men Project about gay sex.

This will make you smile, I promise:

That’s it for now, have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, seriously, it’s not hard.  With very few exceptions, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that your brand can add to the 9/11 conversation. Every marketer should memorize this immediately:

And if you ignore that, this is what happens

And interesting and awesome use for a prison, that saves money.

So check out this trailer for Dan Radcliffe’s new movie.  His accent is jaw-dropping.

It’s a scary and bad situation, but it really does look like Mt. Doom in the SF Bay area:

The head of the Sochi Olympic Games has asked the new head of the IOC for help stopping the criticism of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws, which means, at least I think, they’re starting to feel pressure.

A drone’s view of Burning Man 2013:

That’s it for now, short update today.  Have a great one! 



Alright, let’s see what we have today, first up, this amazing ad from Guinness:

Also in the world of advertising, this guy spend over $1,000 on Twitter ads because an airline lost his luggage and he wanted them to actually do their job.

The KKK, which is sadly still a thing, had their first-ever meeting with the NAACP, and it was described as “peaceful.”

A new study shows that gun ownership, not suicidal behavior, is actually the highest indicator of suicide.

Hahaha, amazing chart of things said to designers.

So this exists:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIcduHjDMI

Russia is now moving towards forcibly taking children away from LGBT parents.  At the end of the G-20 summit, when Obama met with Activists, they begged him to help get them out of the country.  Things are only going to get worse as we head towards the Olympics.

Utah follows in Florida’s idiotic footsteps.  Again, for those keeping score: those on public assistance are far less likely than the general public to be on drugs, stop wasting money.

And finally, a great idea for a public service campaign:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efAUCG9oTb8

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