Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Journalists on gay man’s murder: gossip or analysis?

I’m not sure what to make of this clip. CNN’s Rick Sanchez and L.A. journalist Lisa Bloom discuss the murder of WABC radio news host George Weber. The New York journalist was murdered this past weekend by a man he met through Craigslist.

It seems to me that Sanchez and Bloom veer from the facts to revel in the salaciousness of the story, seemingly appalled by the victim’s behavior to “find companionship.” Ostensibly, the interview is about social media. However, the focus of the discussion seems to be on the victim’s poor judgment and their disbelief that he met his killer on the internet. The tenor of the discussion reveals some homophobia. Would the journalists have been as appalled if the victim and the murderer were straight?

Sanchez: “Are you kidding me? He invited somebody to his house who had a picture of himself holding knives to his throat?”

Bloom: “He didn’t deserve this horrific outcome, but it was terrible judgment on his part.”

If this ain’t reporters simply gossiping, I don’t know what is.

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Filed under: homophobia, media, , , , ,

Obama administration: Ok to the Gays

In 77 countries around the world, it is legal to sentence death to a gay or lesbian person.

Yesterday, Obama’s administration signed a U.N. declaration calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality around the world. The move is notable for the fact that it is exactly the opposite of the Bush administration stance, who refused to sign on to the same declaration in December and reinforcing the U.S. lack of support for international GLBT rights. Well, this has all changed. In the clip above, one of my favorite talk show hosts, Rachel Maddow, notes that Obama’s support means that “it is OK to have the Gays.”

President Obama has made another sure sign of his support for GLBT equality. Now comes the hard part: convincing citizens on the domestic front to support home-grown issues of federal marriage equality, repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and unjust bans on adoption for gay families in places like Arkansas.

Filed under: gay rights, global justice, government, , ,

Pope Benedict: Condoms fuel HIV/AIDS crisis

In visits to Cameroon and Angola this week, Pope Benedict says that condoms could only make the HIV/AIDS crisis worse. The Vatican is pushing abstinence and monogamy to fight AIDS in Africa–rather than condom use–as did the Bush administration.

Twenty-two million people are living with HIV/AIDS in Africa. As reported by CNN, there is also a significant rise in converts to Catholicism. Therefore, the Pope’s comments are of critical importance to the millions of congregants on the continent.

Is this debate merely a question of the best route to HIV/AIDS prevention? What role does religion play in establishing governmental policies? How do the words of one man–granted, an important man–play in the individual decisions of others?

Filed under: africa, religion, , , , , , ,

Back from hiatus: A flagrant homophobe, a subway hero

As the little girl in Poltergeist says, “I’m back.” My dog, Lucy, recently passed away and my fear in blogging again has been that all of my posts would be about her. She was a loving, smart, one-of-a-kind dog and she will be missed. Enough said.

18subway190Two interesting stories of note: poet Mark Doty was strolling with his partner in San Francisco this weekend, and was told to “Get lost, faggot,” by homophobic passersby and restaurant owners in North Beach. A disturbing account, not only because it happened to such an articulate, beloved writer, but because it happened in this day and age. Think we’re in a post-homophobic era? Read Doty’s account or Houston’s reaction to GLBT mingling or to  China’s censoring of the Oscars or this hate crime involving a 62 year-old man in Vancouver.

To combat these depressing state of affairs (not to mention our downward-spiraling economy), here’s an article I read this morning about a subway hero who lifted a man from the tracks, saved him from an oncoming train, and then quietly left the scene before the media and authorities could congratulate him.

Filed under: gay rights, social justice, , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
March 2009
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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