Friday, June 25, 2010

Somewhere over the rainbow... MJ dyes

Friday, 25 June 2010 - Do you ever wonder what really drives a person to do the things they do largely because they are things you just couldn't see yourself doing? Can you not picture yourself doing them from a lack of bravery, common sense, or the reality checks that keep your behaviors in check? There are great men, odd men, and men of conviction that give us a rich and colourful history because they maybe just did the things they thought made sense to them and no one else.

George Armstrong Custer was an interesting man, who is probably remembered most for his utterly disastrous battle in the black hills of Montana.  The Battle at Little Big Horn was likely not his best move, but certainly his most memorable.  During and leading up to this battle, the Colonel refused help, left behind the guns that may have come in handy, and divided up his troops - all 600 of them - even though he had advanced information on the sheer number of Sioux that would be faced.  But...this Colonel - even dead, had the benefit of great press. A truly skillful media man, from the great beyond, somehow managed to find himself an esteemed place in US history.  He worked the press before the battle, and his wife worked the press after.  Proving again that behind every great man is a great woman (thank you Annie Lenox).

Good Ol' George died on this day in 1876 on that battlefield.  Not but moments after praising his troops and asking them to finish up so they could hit the saloon and pillage a few buxom Sioux women and a few hottie Cheyennes no doubt.  Custer did not make it to the bar that night.  I have a few other suspicions about that night.  I say he did make it to the bar, made a few indecent proposals, and had the bejesus knocked out of him by a woman. Indeed at a public meeting of the Northern Cheyenne in June of 2005 at a public meeting, a 100 year silence was broken and the traditional storytellers told another version of the days events on June 25, 1876.  They tell a story that has been passed down according to their oral tradition that "Buffalo Calf Road Woman, a Northern Cheyenne heroine of the Battle of the Rosebud, struck the final blow against Custer, which knocked him off his horse before he died."1Chalk another one up to a scorned woman.

Give the Colonel cudos though, he did stick to his guns and he lead his troops into something.  I don't know if I could do the same.  But, people have great strength when it comes to standing up for what they believe.  On June 25th in 1978, Gilbert Baker and his boyfriend Jomar Teng tye-dyed a flag and flew it with pride at the first ever Gay Pride Parade in San Fransisco.  Not only did it take great skill and probably a shit load of pot to make a flag out of tye-dye...  but they had to dress up in there Sunday best spats and thongs and fly the flag in a time when we couldn't really joke about the spats without implying a negative.  Honestly, in today's world, the Pride Parades have the Macy's Day Parades beat hands (and tops) down for entertainment, music, dancing, and body paint.  Gilbert really did need to go out on a limp.  But in honour of Gilbert, and Jomar, and all the other friends they made that day, today is GLBT Flag Day.  Yes... I said Flag, but that reminds me of a side story.

Once while working for the City, I and my conservative bordering on uptight boss, were looking online for the flags of the world for our multilingual website.  While typing in I missed the "L".  Not sure which was more entertaining... the website, or my blushing boss.

Ok, back to Flag Day.  This is the start of Pride Week in cities around the world.  No matter what your lifestyle, the colour, sex, gender, or preferences of your partners or yourself, be proud.  Be proud to live in a time when acceptance and possibility is possible.  We may not be there yet, but I think we are getting there. Its 32 years later... lets hope we've grown as a society and as human beings. Let the waxing begin.f

Oh yeah... MJ.  Well, it is also the anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson.  Speaking of doing things you sometimes don't understand...  MJ was born black.  He was born in a time when great strides were being made for the Black rights movements. He had an opportunity to change the way the world saw people who are black.  Instead, MJ died white.  These are certainly "colours" of some kind, but as a human being I think I am more proud of the rainbow of colours in the GLBT Flag than I am of the greyscale of MJ.  I am neither black nor GLBT, but I believe with conviction that all people, no matter your leanings, biological drive or melatonin is any different than the rest. Perhaps if George Custer had stood up for the same then, there would have been no Little Big Horn, but rather a peaceful meeting over a pipe, and the breaking of bannock.

1.  Wikipedia

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