IT'S HOT AND GETTING HOTTER, with temperatures averaging 102 from Boonville east. Sunday, it reached 97 in Mendocino County's most happening town, which is Boonville, if you absolutely must be told. It was 99 in Ukiah, 100 in Covelo but a balmy 88 in Willits where our ace eco-reporter, Will “Hawk” Parrish, remains strapped about forty feet up to a piece of road building equipment in protest of the Willits Bypass. Fort Bragg, our county's coolest town — coolest in every way — was 66 and clear. Temps will be over 100 on Tuesday but won't cool until next weekend.
BRUCE McEWEN REPORTS from Willits: When I visited Will Parrish’s crane-sit protest in the wick drain “stitcher” at the north end of the planned bypass on Saturday morning at about 7:30 the cops would not allow me to get close enough to call out to Will. In fact there were four of them and they ordered me to leave the property or face arrest for trespassing. “You need to leave,” one of them said. And you have to call Caltrans and they'll escort you out here. But you can't just come out here. And the Caltrans office is closed on weekends.” They let me take a photo, then told me to leave again. So I left.
A FEW SMALL fires over the last several days, but nothing to speak of except for one oddity in the Hopland area where a few of acres of vineyard were destroyed in a slow-moving blaze.
LAST FRIDAY, the Ukiah Police Department was called to sort out the folllowing: A man said his child was locked in a dungeon behind the family couch, but soon called back to say the child was asleep in his own bed. A woman screaming from under a bridge was non-existent. A man was asleep under a tree at the WalMart parking lot. An aged cat hadn't moved from a vacant field until police took it to Animal Control. A raving tweeker was taken into custody. A resident of North Franklin said there was a raccoon or a possum in her bed. It was her cat. Items reported as bombs in a parked car were fishing tackle. A woman selling books door-to-door was advised to dial down her sales pitch. A water balloon accidentally struck a passing vehicle.
GAY-PRIDE PARADE Sets Mainstream Acceptance Of Gays Back 50 Years
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA–The mainstream acceptance of gays and lesbians, a hard-won civil-rights victory gained through decades of struggle against prejudice and discrimination, was set back at least 50 years Saturday in the wake of the annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade.
“I'd always thought gays were regular people, just like you and me, and that the stereotype of homosexuals as hedonistic, sex-crazed deviants was just a destructive myth,” said mother of four Hannah Jarrett, 41, mortified at the sight of 17 tanned and oiled boys cavorting in jock straps to a throbbing techno beat on a float shaped like an enormous phallus. “Boy, oh, boy, was I wrong.”
The parade, organized by the Los Angeles Gay And Lesbian And Bisexual And Transvestite And Transgender Alliance (LAGALABATATA), was intended to “promote acceptance, tolerance, and equality for the city's gay community.” Just the opposite, however, was accomplished, as the event confirmed the worst fears of thousands of non-gay spectators, cementing in their minds a debauched and distorted image of gay life straight out of the most virulent right-wing hate literature.
Among the parade sights and sounds that did inestimable harm to the gay-rights cause: a group of obese women in leather biker outfits passing out clitoris-shaped lollipops to horrified onlookers; a man in military uniform leading a submissive masochist, clad in diapers and a baby bonnet, around on a dog leash; several Hispanic dancers in rainbow wigs and miniskirts performing “humping” motions on a mannequin dressed as the Pope; and a dozen gyrating drag queens in see-through dresses holding penis-shaped beer bottles that appeared to spurt ejaculation-like foam when shaken and poured onto passersby.
Timothy Orosco, 51, a local Walgreens manager whose store is on the parade route, changed his attitude toward gays as a result of the event.
“They kept chanting things like, 'We're here, we're queer, get used to it!' and 'Hey, hey, we're gay, we're not going to go away!'“ Orosco said. “All I can say is, I was used to it, but now, although I'd never felt this way before, I wish they would go away.”
Allison Weber, 43, an El Segundo marketing consultant, also had her perceptions and assumptions about gays challenged by the parade.
“My understanding was that gay people are just like everybody else–decent, hard-working people who care about their communities and have loving, committed relationships,” Weber said. “But, after this terrifying spectacle, I don't want them teaching my kids or living in my neighborhood.”
The parade's influence extended beyond L.A.'s borders, altering the attitudes of straight people across America. Footage of the event was featured on telecasts of The 700 Club as “proof of the sin-steeped world of homosexuality.” A photo spread in Monday's USA Today chronicled many of the event's vulgar displays–understood by gays to be tongue-in-cheek “high camp” — which horrified previously tolerant people from coast to coast.
Dr. Henry Thorne, a New York University history professor who has written several books about the gay-rights movement, explained the misunderstanding.
Gay Pride Parade 1970
“After centuries of oppression as an 'invisible' segment of society, gays, emboldened by the 1969 Stonewall uprising, took to the streets in the early '70s with an 'in-your-face' attitude. Confronting the worst prejudices of a world that didn't accept them, they fought back against these prejudices with exaggeration and parody, reclaiming their enemies' worst stereotypes about them and turning them into symbols of gay pride,” Thorne said.
“Thirty years later, gays have won far greater acceptance in the world at large, but they keep doing this stuff anyway.”
“Mostly, I think, because it's really fun,” Thorne added.
The Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade, Thorne noted, is part of a decades-old gay-rights tradition. But, for mainstream heterosexuals unfamiliar with irony and the reclamation of stereotypes for the purpose of exploding them, the parade resembled an invasion of grotesque outer-space mutants, bent on the destruction of the human race.
Gay Pride Parade 2013
“I have a cousin who's a gay, and he seemed like a decent enough guy to me,” said Iowa City, IA, resident Russ Linder, in Los Angeles for a weekend sales seminar. “Now, thanks to this parade, I realize what a freak he's been all along. Gays are all sick, immoral perverts.”
Parade organizers vowed to make changes in the wake of the negative reaction among heterosexuals.
“I knew it. I said we needed 100 dancers on the 'Show Us Your Ass' float, but everybody insisted that 50 would be enough,” said Lady Labia, spokesperson for LAGALABATATA. “Next year, we're really going to give those breeders something to look at.” (Courtesy, The Onion)
JOHN MUIR DEFIES THE FOUL FIEND
Hetch Hetchy Valley, far from being a plain, common, rock-bound meadow, as many who have not seen it seem to suppose, is a grand landscape garden, one of Nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples. As in Yosemite, the sublime rocks of its walls seem to glow with life, whether leaning back in repose or standing erect in thoughtful attitudes, giving welcome to storms and calms alike, their brows in the sky, their feet set in the groves and gay flowery meadows, while birds, bees, and butterflies help the river and waterfalls to stir all the air into music—things frail and fleeting and types of permanence meeting here and blending, just as they do in Yosemite, to draw her lovers into close and confiding communion with her.
Sad to say, this most precious and sublime feature of the Yosemite National Park, one of the greatest of all our natural resources for the uplifting joy and peace and health of the people, is in danger of being dammed and made into a reservoir to help supply San Francisco with water and light, thus flooding it from wall to wall and burying its gardens and groves one or two hundred feet deep. This grossly destructive commercial scheme has long been planned and urged (though water as pure and abundant can be got from sources outside of the people’s park, in a dozen different places) because of the comparative cheapness of the dam and of the territory which it is sought to divert from the great uses to which it was dedicated in the Act of 1890 establishing the Yosemite National Park.
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. Nevertheless, like anything else worthwhile, from the very beginning, however well-guarded, they have always been subject to attack by despoiling gain-seekers and mischief-makers of every degree from Satan to senators, eagerly trying to make everything immediately and selfishly commercial, with schemes disguised in smug-smiling philanthropy, industriously, shampiously crying, “Conservation, conservation, panutilization,” that man and beast may be fed and the dear nation made great. Thus long ago a few enterprising merchants utilized the Jerusalem temple as a place of business instead of a place of prayer, changing money, buying and selling cattle and sheep and doves; and earlier still, the first forest reservation, including only one tree, was likewise despoiled. Ever since the establishment of the Yosemite National Park, strife has been going on around its borders and I suppose this will go on as part of the universal battle between right and wrong, however much its boundaries may be shorn, or its wild beauty destroyed.
That anyone would try to destroy such a place seems incredible; but sad experience shows that there are people good enough and bad enough for anything. The proponents of the dam scheme bring forward a lot of bad arguments to prove that the only righteous thing to do with the people’s parks is to destroy them bit by bit as they are able. Their arguments are curiously like those of the devil, devised for the destruction of the first garden—so much of the very best Eden fruit going to waste; so much of the best Tuolumne water and Tuolumne scenery going to waste.
These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar. Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.
— John Muir, 1912