Wednesday Weirdness

Notetaking continues, I’m alternating chapters. Deathlands has longer chapters than Doomsday Warrior, but also has a tendency to use ten words when five would suffice, so it’s fairly easy to summarize what’s going on. Doomsday Warrior also lends itself to summarizing, thankfully.

Still listening to creepypastas to fall asleep. Oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to impact my dreams. Or at least doesn’t seem to be making them particularly scary, so yay!

For now, good night!

Sleepy Creepy Sunday

Notetaking continues on Doomsday Warrior and Deathlands – I’m alternating chapters. Both books are a lot more dense and descriptive than The Survivalist was. Which means I’m doing more summarizing.

Of the three books I’m liking Deathlands the best. The worldbuilding is a lot better than the other two series. There’s a reason this is the only Nuke Opera series that has been running continuously since the 80s. The book does lean hard on description, maybe more than it should, but it generally makes it work.

Doomsday Warrior is also heavy on the worldbuilding, though in a more superficial way that I’ll have to explain in more detail when I do the review.

For now, I’m going to sleep while listening to creepypastas on YouTube. Weird dreams, ahoy!

One Down, Many to Go!

I finished the notetaking for Survivalist #1: Total War – which worked out to about 65 pages of notes. So, now I’m on to the next books! I started with Deathlands #1: Pilgrimage to Hell and I’ve decided to also work on the first book in the Doomsday Warrior series as well. Both of these books are a lot longer than The Survivalist – like twice the size and with smaller print, so this will take a while.

I want to cover the first book in each of the series I have and right now, I’m thinking about covering them in chronological order to show the progression of the genre. I’m planning on getting the notetaking side of things done before I start writing articles to hopefully reduce the lag time between reviews.

I’m also planning to do brief summaries of these books, comparing various aspects of setting, worldbuilding, and characterization. Toward that end, I started an Excel spreadsheet.

In 9ther news, I’ve hit 350+ blog posts and 5,000 views! Yay!

Some Tentative Plans

I’m still working on rebooting Nuke Opera 2020 (not sure if I’ll update the name to Nuke Opera 2021 or stick with the original name). I’m chugging along with the notetaking for The Survivalist – I’m on Chapter 24 of 33 – and should be done soon.

I’m thinking for September and early October, I’m going to focus on research – finishing notes on The Survivalist and maybe begin work on notes for the next book (which might be William W. Johnstone’s Out of the Ashes – the first book of the Ashes series) as well as working on the definition of the Nuke Opera. The goal is to start posting articles by mid-month in October. There’s also a history article or two or three for the 1980s that need doing.

For now, I’m going back to my notes. Talk to you on Sunday!

Quick Post for Sunday

I’ve been taking notes on The Survivalist #1: Total War by Jerry Ahern and I’m about halfway through. So far, it’s falling very much into the “bad, but entertaining” category with some pretty good bits here and there. The set up for why World War III breaks out is nicely done, for one thing.

On the other hand, some things are beyond goofy – or at least seem so on first glance (pretty sure you can’t use a hair dryer’s power cord as a makeshift defibrillator,but I could be wrong). There are going to be some epically weird Google searches in my future.

I described this book to my girlfriend as “fairly realistic, except for the Soviet Union having particle beam weapons” which made her laugh.

Ok, back to notetaking and then, sleep.

Nuke Opera Updates

I’m taking notes on Jerry Ahern’s The Survivalist #1: Total War and it’s going fairly quickly. The chapters are relatively short – though the layout is annoying. It’s one of those books where there aren’t clearly defined boundaries between chapters. Like, a chapter ends, then the new one starts immediately without a page break.

I’ve also taken notes on Judith Merril’s short story, “That Only A Mother,” which I’m going to include along with a couple other stories from the early Cold War era written by women. And I’ve ordered a copy of Merril’s 1950s book A Shadow on the Hearth, about a family coping with a nuclear war. Looking forward to that one and might contrast it with Wylie’s Tomorrow!

I like taking notes. It’s relaxing and almost like meditating.

Wednesday Whinge

I’m tired, it’s hot, I’ve got a basic home repair job that’s vexing me and I’m not feeling at my best today. There’s nothing really wrong, beyond some personal stuff and I’ve already decided to reach out for professional help for that (nothing serious, just run of the mill anxiety and pandemic stress).

I’m not ok right now, but I’m going to work on being ok.

Take care of yourself, you are enough.

Nuke Opera 2020…er 2021: Getting Back To It:

This is going to be quick because my library computer session is going to end in less than 10 minutes — I’m working on a new Nuke Opera 2020 article; going to be continuing looking at the three main genres that fuel Nuke Operas: Western, Science Fiction and Mystery. I might actually go back and rewrite/edit/fix up the Western article because looking it over I’m finding some errors that are like, whoa…not good. Also I’ve learned some additional information.

Why am I getting back to it now? Because the real world is hurting my brain and I need to get back into something that can distract me from *gestures vaguely at everything* while I try and get myself back on track. Also, I’ve hit a wall on the worldbuilding stuff and maybe this’ll jostle some things loose.

More info as I figure it out!

Now, is food time!

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Boilerplate Links:

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. If you want to join, you can at any time. Set the goals you want to accomplish and get and give encouragement to fellow ROWers. Feel free to join us on Facebook at ROW80 or follow us on Twitter at #ROW80.  You can even find us on Instagram! Pick one or you can do all of the above!

Wednesday Wittering

Ok, technically? Wittering means “to chatter or babble pointlessly or at unnecessary length” — I’m pretty sure I can handle the pointless chatter/babble thing but I’m not sure how long this is going to go. This is, when we get down to it, another post for the sake of saying I posted something and I can maintain my streak. In the interests of talking about something more interesting than the definitions of words, my favorite play is You Can’t Take It With You by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. I first saw it when a performance was broadcast on PBS when I was a kid – maybe around 14 or so, since a quick Google search shows that it aired as part of Great Performances in 1984. The play, which won the 1936 Pulitzer Prize, is a comedy about the eccentric Sycamore family. The patriarch, Martin Vanderhoff, spends his days going to graduation ceremonies and collecting snakes; his daughter Penny, is an amateur playwright, her husband Paul creates fireworks along with a boarder, Mr. DePinna who just kind of showed up one day. Penny and Paul’s adult daughters, amateur ballerina Essie and sensible, bank employee Alice help round out the family, along with Essie’s husband Ed who is a printer and plays the xylophone as does the family’s housekeeper Rheba and her boyfriend Donald. Prior to the beginning of the play, Alice has fallen in love with Tony, whose staid and steady banker father and socialite mother don’t approve of the match. Alice herself has doubts that her relationship with Tony could actually work – in part because her family is just so…*gestures in exasperated love* For his part, Tony is game and finds her family charming. He even goes so far as to try and persuade her that all families have their quirks, explaining:

Tony: “Alice, you talk as though only you could understand them. That’s not true. Why every family has got curious little traits. What of it? My father raises orchids at ten thousand dollars a bulb. Is that sensible? My mother believes in spiritualism. That’s just as bad as your mother writing plays, isn’t it?

Alice: “It goes deeper, Tony. Your mother believes in spiritualism because it’s fashionable, and your father raises orchids because he can afford to. My mother writes plays because eight years ago a typewriter was delivered here by mistake.”

I don’t know why but that last line tickles me no end and I think it’s a perfectly acceptable reason to start doing something. Hell, I started writing down stories because my cousin Kate got sick of me saying “one day I’m going to write…” and told me to go ahead and do it already back when we were kids. And, long before I saw You Can’t Take It With You, I decided I wanted to be an oceanographer because I read a story about the Scripps Institute for Oceanography in an older kid’s social studies book. No clue what the textbook was called, but this would have been around 1979 and it had other cool stories about kids in other places, including one about a kid living on a sheep farm in Australia. I know this was probably around 1979 because that year’s Childcraft Annual book was “The Story of the Sea” which helped spark my young mind toward all things aquatic.  To this day, I still think sea life is pretty darn neat. I don’t have much else that I want to say here. I’m at the library and about to head out and go home because I work early tomorrow so I need to be in bed soon. Just wanted to get a bit of a blather out and will talk to you guys later. Stay safe. Get vaccinated.

Cleaning House

Literally. We’re attempting to clean our apartment and it’s a hell of a job because things have piled up for a while. Longer than I like to admit.

So, this is a quick post to let me focus on the tasks at hand. Best wishes, prayers and good vibes accepted cheerfully.

No Library, Only Zuul!

Ok, there’s no Zuul either. I’m sorry.

For reasons, I ended up not going to the library today, so I didn’t do anything with spreadsheets. Instead, I got ice cream, filled up my gas tank (not with ice cream) and came home.

I’m planning on going to the library tomorrow after work, since I’ve got an early shift. I’m going to try and get some ideas out of my head. I’m still trying to tweak Universe-46534’s origins and I think I’m on to something.

I’ve got a lot of ideas for Universe-46534, which oftentimes leaves me feeling like I’m trying to grab hold of a bunch of balloons floating past. And there’s a lot of balloons. Unfortunately, ideas tend to pop into my head when I can’t write them down. I need to come up with a way to keep them in my head until I can record them.

For now, I am full of very good stir fry, so I’m going to sleep. Later, gators!

Worldbuilding Wednesday, Day 3

Today was a notetaking day. I went to the library and did some research on UFOs because I’m going to be using UFO folklore in my worldbuilding, along with folklore about faeries. I’ve got some ideas for incorporating both into the history of Universe-46534.

Basically, there are aliens from other planets and other realms and there is a bright and beautiful spectrum of weirdness. I’ve been interested in these things since I was a kid and I’m going to indulge myself because why the hell not?

When I was a kid, I read Julian May’s Saga of the Pleistocene Exile, which blended time travel and Irish mythology and aliens. That’s the kinda thing I want to play with.

Of course, right now, I am in a bit of a food stupor, listening to the latest Joe Ledger book and drifting in a comfy doze.

More on Sunday. I’m going to be cozy for now.

Sunday Slowdown

I went to the library today and did some notetaking – by hand, with a pen and everything. It made a nice change from working on spreadsheets (which I did on Saturday).

I did some thinking today too, worldbuilding thoughts and I’ve got ideas to write down. That’s the next step, which I’m planning on getting to Tuesday.

For now, sleepy Sunday is sleepy.

Podcast Recommendation: Old Gods of Appalachia

Because I have been sick for the last few days (it’s a cold, thankfully), I have been listening to audiobooks and podcasts. I found a new one: Old Gods of Appalachia, which is an eldritch horror anthology show featuring stories set in Appalachia and written and performed by people from the region. The stories touch on real Appalachian history and folklore, weaving those elements with cosmic horror to create a very satisfying experience.

There are two seasons so far. I listen to it on Stitcher, but I think you can find it elsewhere too. They’ve also got a website: Old Gods of Appalachia

In terms of worldbuilding, I’ve done nothing but sleep and rest. I’ll get back to it later. For now, I nap!

Spreadsheet Sunday, Part Two:

Ok, technically, this should be Spreadsheet Saturday and Sunday, but ehh.

I finished the concordence last week and started on typing up a timeline. I was going to use a Word document but I opted for Excel instead since spreadsheets are sortable. Plus, if you use conditional formatting, you can color code things — and I do love me some color coding.

I started the timeline earlier in the week and spent several hours yesterday adding real world events and other fictional, in-universe events. I’ve got a timeline now that stretches from 12,000 years ago through to 2007 CE. And I’ve got events that cover all three stories I’ve been working on as well as some background information.

My next project is to work out some of why Universe-46534 is so weird. Well, I mean, I have that worked out but I’m going to weave it into my timeline. See you Wednesday for the next update.

Worldbuilding Wednesday: Day 2

Ok, technically it’s been more than 2 days since I started working on my big Universe-46534 comprehensive timeline project but this is the second update so, Day 2 it is!

I’ve been working on a timeline using background work I did on Omegas: Cake Walk and now I’m adding bits from Storm Warnings and the as yet still untitled Will Cartwright story that started this whole grand adventure. I’ve added in historical events, both real world and in-universe to help serve as landmarks.

Next phase is to weave in some of my newer ideas and link those to the other events. I’ve seen some places where I can connect things and create a kind of overarching story to use in other stories.

I’m taking a nap at the moment, but might do some more work later today. If not, I’ve got some free time coming up this weekend that’ll be a good time to get the work done.

Spreadsheet Sunday

I finished typing up my Omegas: Cake Walk notes into Excel yesterday along with some other miscellaneous notes. So, now I have a sortable and searchable list. Some things need to be double checked against the story itself and possibly/probably changed because my ideas have changed but that’s going to be easier to do now.

I also found a timeline centered around main events in my characters’ lives so I’ve started typing that into Excel as well. This is going to be used to build a comprehensive timeline for all three stories set in Universe-46534 and for the universe itself. Again, some ideas will need to be revised but that’s okay.

For now, though, I am going to try to stay awake long enough to eat and then go back to sleep.

Worldbuilding Wednesday: Day 1

I’ve been thinking and tinkering with ideas for Universe-46534 for a long time now but this is the month I am going to try and get serious about pulling the various threads together into a cohesive whole. Essentially, I’m wanting to create the Universe-46534 Extended Universe to put all my various stories into a larger place.

My first step in doing this is making a more or less comprehensive list of the various concepts, ideas, characters, places and things that I’ve come up with for the universe itself and for the three storylines that I’ve already created: Storm Warnings (set in the 1930s and featuring the foundational heroes for this universe), The Omegas (set roughly in the early 21st century featuring members of a private security firm who investigate jobs that seem easy/inconsequential which turn out to be anything but) and the Will Cartwright stories (Will Cartwright being the first character I created for this universe).

Most of the heavy lifting I’ve done for universe creation was done while working on the first Omegas story, Omegas: Cake Walk. I had a notebook where I went through the manuscript and created a concordance, noting down the first appearance of people, places and things within the story. Then I misplaced the notebook — as you do.

Until today! I went looking for it and found it and now I’m transcribing stuff from the notebook into an Excel spreadsheet so I can organize things and add other concordance information from other stories I’ve worked on. This way, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel (particularly annoying when I already came up with names for things that I really, really liked) and I can see which concepts and ideas can be woven into the larger world history.

So, all in all? It’s been a pretty darn productive day for me. I’ve got about half my Omegas: Cake Walk notes down in Excel so now it is time to take a break and get some sleep.

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Boilerplate Links:

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. If you want to join, you can at any time. Set the goals you want to accomplish and get and give encouragement to fellow ROWers. Feel free to join us on Facebook at ROW80 or follow us on Twitter at #ROW80.  You can even find us on Instagram! Pick one or you can do all of the above!

AROW80 2021 Round Three: Goals Post

Writing this on my phone, so this is going to be short and sweet:

First: working on worldbuilding for the entirely of Universe 46534. I’ve got a handle on some things and I want to finally get them down on paper. My plan is to work on this for most of July as part of Camp Nanowrimo.

I’m going to be using some of the many books I have on worldbuilding for ideas on how to organize my ideas. I’ll share thoughts on what works for me as I go. And maybe some snippets of ideas and stuff.

Second: finish more of my Nuke Opera series, since I’ve been away from that long enough. That will start in August, I’m thinking.

Third: doing some personal journaling because it’s been a long time since I’ve done that and I like it. Also, it’ll get me back in the habit of writing regularly.

Last Day of Pride, but the Pride Never Stops

Pretty small-p proud of myself for actually managing to post one fact a day over on my Facebook. Came very close to missing the 28th but managed to get it in right under the wire at 11:59 pm and some change.

If I do this again next year or for another month, I’m going to plan things out a bit better, I think. That way I don’t find myself going “Auugh, what do I post about!?” and I can theme things a bit better. But, this was fun, I learned a lot and I hope other folks did too.

Here are the Pride Fun Facts #21-30:

Pride Fun Fact #21: Stephen Rhodes was the first openly gay driver to compete in NASCAR’s national touring series. He came out at 17, prior to his debut in 2003 in two Craftsman Truck Races.

Source: Stephen Rhodes (Rading Driver) @ Wikipedia

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Pride Fun Fact #22: Okay, this is less of a ‘fun fact’ and more of a grammar lesson/brief bit on linguistics but bear with me, okay? This is important stuff.

These days when people talk about someone’s ‘pronouns’ they’re probably referring to ‘personal pronouns’ – which include he/him, she/her, they/them and other constructions often referred to as ‘neopronouns.’

While people who sneer at such things like to believe that neopronouns are some newfangled thing the ‘kids today’ came up with along with their LiveTumblrs and their SnapToks and their InstaBooks, that’s not true. Not by a long shot.

The neopronoun ‘ou’ was coined in 1789. Other examples include ne (ca. 1850), heesh (ca. 1860), er (1863), ve (1864), en, han, and un (1868), le (1871), e (1878), and ip (1884). The composer C.C. Converse created the pronoun ‘thon’ in 1884 and it was included in a couple different dictionaries.

More recent creations Include tey (1971), xe (1973), ey (1975) and ve (1980).

Source: Nonbinary pronouns are older than you think

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Pride Fun Fact #23: Though this one isn’t all that”fun.” TW: suicide

Alan Turing (June 23, 1912-June 7, 1954) was an English mathematician and computer scientist who is considered the father of modern computing. During World War II, he worked as a codebreaker, specifically on breaking German Naval codes. He helped break the Enigma codes, helping the Allies win the war in the Atlantic.By one estimate, Turing’s efforts shortened the war in Europe by two years and saved an estimated 14 million lives.

In 1946, Turing was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by King George VI for his wartime service as a codebreaker.

In 1952, after a break in at his home, Turing’s homosexuality was revealed to the authorities. Since homosexuality was illegal in the UK, Turing and his lover were arrested, charged and tried for “gross indecency.”

Turing agreed to chemical castration as an alternative to prison. He was given DES, a form of estrogen as a way to curb his libido. Additionally, he list his security clearance and was barred from working in cryptanalysis. He was also refused entry to the United States.

On June 7, 1954, Turing died from cyanide poisoning. An inquest ruled it a suicide, though others believe the cyanide was ingested accidentally.

The British government apologized for its mistreatment of Turing and in 2014, he was pardoned for the “gross indecency” charge — which led to the passing of a law granting an amnesty to other men who’d been convicted or cautioned for homosexuality in England and Wales .

Source: Alan Turing @ Wikipedia and Alan Turing Law @ Wikipedia

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Pride Fun Fact #24: From 1965 to 1969, a series of Annual Reminder protests were held on July 4 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia to remind people that LGBTQ Americans didn’t have the same basic civil rights protections.

The protests were pickets, with marchers adhering to a strict dress code to show that LGBT people were presentable and employable. They carried signs with slogans like “15 million homosexual Americans ask for Equality, Opportunity, Dignity”

Source: Annual Reminder @ Wikipedia

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Pride Fun Fact #25: According to a February 2021 Gallup poll, 5.6% of American adults (18+) identify as LGBT. This is roughly 18 million people. Of that group, 54.6% identify as bisexual, 24.5% as gay, 11.7% as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. Another 3.3% identify with some other non-heterosexual group such as queer or same-gender loving.

Because people could identify with multiple groups, the numbers don’t add up to 100%.

Looking at groups by age, the two largest groups are Generation Z at 15.9% and Millennials at 9.1%. Both of which easily outnumber Generation X (3.8%), Boomers (2.0%) and Traditionalists/Silent Generation at (1.3%).

3.8% of LGBT Americans live in rural areas. 3-5% of rural adults and 10% of rural youth identify as LGBT.

Source: LGBT Identification Rises to 5.6% in Latest U.S. Estimate and Rural Queer History: Hidden in Plain Sight

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Pride Fun Fact #26: Hastiin Klah (also listed as Hosteen Klah) (Diné) was a master sand painter, chanter, weaver and healer among the Dine (Navajo) people. Among the Dine, there are traditionally four genders and Klah was considered a “Nádleehi” or “one who changes.” Based on historical evidence, it’s suspected he was probably intersex – though Nadleehi can also be born male.

Klah’s gender status was part of the reason why he was allowed to learn both weaving (a traditionally female craft) and chanting/ceremonial sandpainting (traditionally male). He was something of a prodigy in learning chants – most singers only master one or two chants, while he mastered at least eight.

Klah was born in 1867 in the Bear Mountain area near Fort Wingate, New Mexico. He demonstrated weaving and sandpainting at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

His weaving was and is controversial among the Navajo. Klah incorporated elements of the Navajo religion into his weaving, including depicting sand paintings. This was (and still is) regarded as sacreligious by some Navajo.

Klah also helped to document and preserve the Navajo religion through his friendship with Mary Cabot Wheelwright, a Boston heiress. The two collaborated in founding the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After his death in 1937, Klah was buried on the grounds of the Wheelwright Museum.

Source: 5 Two-Spirit Heroes Who Paved the Way for Today’s Native LGBTQ+ Community and Hosteen Klah @ Wikipedia

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Pride Fun Fact #27: This one is going to be long – and a lot of it isn’t going to be all that “fun” but it’s actual history and it needs to be discussed, so I’m hoping you’ll bear with me on this.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which happened June 28, 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York City. I’ll be talking more about Stonewall itself tomorrow. Today I want to talk about the protests that happened prior to Stonewall. We’ll be looking at a few events that occurred from 1959 to 1969.

May 1959 – A group of trans women, drag queens, lesbians and gay men clashed with police at Cooper Do-Nuts, a 24-hour café in Los Angeles, California. Cooper Do-Nuts was located between two gay bars, so it was a popular place for gay people to hang out. At this time it was illegal in Los Angeles for a person’s gender presentation – how they dressed/presented themselves – to not match the gender on their ID, so police could and would harass LGBT people (especially trans women and/or drag queens) by asking for their ID, then arresting them, taking them in to be interrogated and fingerprinted but not booked. It was a scare tactic to prevent gay people from hanging around.

On the night of the riot at Cooper Do-Nuts, the police attempted to arrest several people. When one of the people who’d been arrested protested about the lack of room in the police car, onlookers began throwing coffee, donuts, cups and trash at the police until they left without making the arrests. The riot continued and police backup arrived, blocking off the street and arresting several people.

Some consider Cooper Do-Nuts to be the first gay uprising in the US, though others say that it was more of an isolated and local event that did have some lasting repercussions. If nothing else, the event serves as a reminder that the struggle for LGBT rights didn’t start on June 28, 1969.

May 31-June 2, 1964 – Not a protest, but a good thing. After witnessing first-hand the oppression and violence homosexuals faced, Rev. Ted McIlvenna wanted help improve things. With the support of the Methodist church, he convened the Mill Valley Conference at which sixteen clergymen – Methodist, Protestant Episcopal, United Church of Christ and Lutheran – met with thirteen leaders of the homosexual community to discuss ideas. Out of this meeting came the Council on Religion and the Homosexual (CRH), the first group in the US to use ‘homosexual’ in its name.

January 1, 1965 – The CRH, along with several other pro-LGBT groups, held a costume party at California Hall in San Francisco as a fundraiser. The San Francisco police, having been told of the event, agreed not to interfere with it – but on the evening of the ball, they showed up in force. They surrounded the building and focused klieg lights on the building, lighting it up to make it easier for them to take photographs of the over six hundred people who were attending the event. The police also repeatedly entered the event, allegedly as a ‘fire inspection’ but probably in the hopes of finding a reason to start making arrests. When two gay men, both attorneys, attempted to stop the fourth “inspection” they were arrested, along with two straight attorneys who were there to support the group’s right to assemble.

Twenty-five of the most prominent lawyers in San Francisco joined the defense team for the four and the judge on the case directed the jury to find them not-guilty before the defense even had a chance to state their case. This case marked a turning point in gay rights on the West Coast.

May 21, 1966 – On Armed Forces Day, 1966, a coalition of homosexual rights organizations across the US arranged simultaneous demonstrations to protest the exclusion of homosexuals from the United States armed forces. Protests occurred in Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Just a note: on May 14, 1966, over 400,000 college students took a draft deferment examination in hopes of being exempted from the draft. Of the 1.8 million students who were eligible for a draft deferment due to being a student, 1 million registered to take the test, which was also given on May 21st (also June 3rd & 24th).

Ok, this is getting long enough, so last one for now:

On New Year’s Eve, December 31st, 1966, plainclothes police infiltrated the crowd at the Black Cat Tavern, a gay bar in Los Angeles, California. This was at a time when it was still routine for police to arrest LGBT people for gathering together, even in private. And since it was New Year’s Eve, the police knew they’d have the chance to catch people engaging in illegal behavior.

Their chance came at midnight. While “Auld Lang Syne” was being sung, couples kissed and embraced to celebrate. Something that was likely happening in bars across Los Angeles. But here, the couples were both of the same sex, which made the act “lewd behavior” and, therefore, a crime.

That was all the excuse the police needed to start beating patrons and making arrests. Fourteen arrests were made and two of those arrested were later required to register as sex offenders, a charge they unsuccessfully fought in court.

The event is often described now as the Black Cat Tavern Riot, but that’s inaccurate. There never was a riot. The only violence was perpetrated by the police, who beat patrons and staff. There were peaceful protests on February 11, 1967, in the form of a picket against police brutality against the LGBT community.

The raid on the Black Cat and a later raid on a gay club called the Patch in August 1968 led to the Rev. Troy Perry, a gay Pentecostal minister from rural Tennessee to found the Metropolitan Community Church after his boyfriend, who’d been arrested at the Patch, told Perry “God doesn’t care about us.”

Sources/Additional Reading:

New Year’s Eve Jan. 1 1965: A Night for Gay Rights

Protest on Wheels, from Tangents magazine, May 1966

Black Cat Tavern @ Wikipedia

The Patch (bar) @ Wikipedia

Rev. Troy Perry @ Wikipedia

https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/before-stonewall/

1966 in the Vietnam War

List of LGBT Actions in the United States before Stonewall

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Pride Fun Fact #28: The Stonewall Inn was a mob-owned gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York City. Since legitimate bars could not or would not serve the gay community, the Mafia saw a business opportunity. By the mid-1960s, the Genovese crime family controlled the majority of gay bars in Greenwich Village. In 1966, Tony “Fat Tony” Lauria, a member of the Genovese family, bought the Stonewall inn and renovated the place, turning it into a gay bar. He bribed the police at New York’s 6th Precinct around $1,200 a month to turn a blind eye to the club and, in exchange, the cops would tip off the Stonewall Inn if there was going to be a raid.

The Stonewall Inn wasn’t a great establishment. Fat Tony had renovated the place on the cheap, cutting corners when it came to safety and hygiene. There was no fire exit and no running water behind the bar, so drinks were served in dirty, used glasses. The liquor was either bootlegged or stolen and was watered down but served at top shelf prices.

On top of that, there was money to be made in extorting wealthy patrons, which ended up being the most profitable part of Stonewall’s operations.

The Mob would sometimes allow “show raids” by the police to appease other, neighboring businesses. Because liquor wasn’t stored on site, the Inn could be easily reopened the next day and if a few patrons ended up humiliated by the arrests, so what? It wasn’t like they had many (or any) other places to go.

The Stonewall served a variety of clientele from wealthy, established businessmen to drag queens to street kids who considered the Stonewall to be their one safe haven in a world that hated them. It wasn’t much but it was a place to go for a drink or to dance and meet up with friends.

On June 24, 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, confiscating the alcohol on site and arresting some of the employees. They planned to raid the place again on the 28th in hopes of shutting Stonewall down for good.

The raid occurred after midnight on the 28th of June. The place was packed when eight undercover cops (six men, two women) entered the place. They singled out drag queens and others who were cross-dressing for arrest, using New York’s anti-masquerade law as justification for the arrests. Other patrons were allowed to leave without being arrested. Outside the bar, many of these patrons gathered with onlookers, watching as a paddy wagon arrived and police started loading employees and others who’d been arrested on board.

Exactly what started the riots is unknown – or, more correctly, stories vary. Some witness accounts say that the crowd began fighting back after police roughed up Storme DeLarverie, a butch lesbian activist after she complained about her handcuffs being too tight.

Other reports hold that Marsha P. Johnson, a drag queen, threw a bottle or brick or shotglass and that started the fight. Marsha P. Johnson herself said that she wasn’t actually at Stonewall when the riot began. She was at later protests and did drop a brick through a parked police car’s window.

The fight on the 28th led to the police barricading themselves in the bar, waiting for reinforcements. The crowd used a parking meter to break through the door of the bar, while others threw beer bottles, trash and other objects including improvised firebombs made from bottles and lighter fluid.

When police reinforcements arrived, the crowd ran from them, then circled back and came up behind them. This lasted until around 4 in the morning, when things settled down. That first night, no one on either side was critically injured or killed, though the police did report some injuries.

Stonewall reopened the next night, despite not being able to serve alcohol. A crowd gathered outside, chanting slogans like “Gay Power” and “We shall overcome” The police again showed up to restore order, beating and tear gassing members of the crowd. Again, the protest lasted into the early hours of the morning. The protests continued over the next several nights, with gay activists gathering and spreading information and building the beginnings of what would become the gay rights movement of the 60s and 70s. As the protests went on, the mood of the crowd became less confrontational and isolated skirmishes replaced the larger-scale riots of earlier nights.

Newspaper coverage of the riots was less than sympathetic. The Village Voice referred to the protestors as “the forces of faggotry” and the New York Daily News ran the headline “Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees are Stinging Mad.” The New York Times barely reported on the events, publishing a short article on the 30th of June about police routing ‘Village’ youths on page 22.

But the riots did have a lasting effect: they helped create a movement that lasted beyond the six days of riots and protests surrounding the events of June 28th. Several gay liberation groups were founded after Stonewall, joining with pre-Stonewall liberation groups to continue working for gay rights and liberation.

In November 1969, plans began to commemorate the Stonewall riots. Originally named Christopher Street Liberation Day (in honor of the street the Stonewall Inn was on), the name Pride became associated with the event, thanks to the efforts of organizers Brenda Howard, Robert A. Martin (aka Donny the Punk) and L. Craig Schoonmaker.

On June 24, 2016, Stonewall was designated a national monument, making it the first national monument in the US to be dedicated to LGBT rights and history.

Sources:

THE GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND THE MOB

The Stonewall Riots @ Wikipedia

What Happened at the Stonewall Riots? A Timeline of the 1969 Uprising

Stonewall Riots

Timeline of LGBT History in New York City @ Wikipedia

Stonewall Forever: A Living Monument to 50 Years of Pride

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Pride Fun Fact #29: On June 28, 1970, roughly 3,000 to 8,000 people attended the first NYC Pride March. (Some estimates say as many as 20,000)

In 2019, for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, there were five million attending.

Source: NYC Pride March @ Wikipedia and Pride March: The First Fifteen Years

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Pride Fun Fact #30: In 1978, Gilbert Baker created the Rainbow Flag. At the time, the only internationally known symbol for the gay rights movement was the pink triangle, which the Nazis had used as a way of marking gay men and trans women in concentration camps. Baker wanted to create a symbol that celebrated the diversity and joy within the LGBTQ community, something that could be used in addition to the pink triangle and other symbols. In his own words:

The rainbow is a part of nature, and you have to be in the right place to see it. It’s beautiful, all of the colors, even the colors you can’t see. That really fit us as a people because we are all of the colors. Our sexuality is all of the colors. We are all the genders, races, and ages.”

Source: Gilbert Baker Quotes and Reclaiming the Pink Triangle

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In Other News: Camp Nanowrimo for July 2021 starts in…about 2 hours and 45 minutes. I’m doing something for it, probably worldbuilding related. More on that next week when I post my goals for the 3rd round of AROW80 for 2021.

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Boilerplate Links:

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Sunday Snooze

I’m going to post the rest of the Pride Fun Facts for the month on Wednesday, since that’s the 30th.

In other news, I found out about the conworld community, which is people who create worlds not just for storytelling purposes but also just for the hell of it. I knew there were folks who did conlangs – constructed languages – but that there are folks who build worlds too is news to me. Delicious, delicious news.

Wednesday Loafday

I woke up and went for a drive today because the Amy was asleep and I felt like getting out. I didn’t really have any destination in mind, just wandered. I called my aunt and we had a nice chat while I roamed around.

I’m one of those people who walks when they’re on the phone so this was just that writ large.

After the call, I was near the library so I went in and goofed around for a bit. Checked out a couple books, looked up some information on asteroid strikes and stellar distances and earthquake effects and attempted to write out some of my world building ideas but without much success.

I think part of the reason for the lack of success is that I’m trying to eat a whale in one bite. There are so many things I want to talk about and it’s hard to focus on just one for long enough to get it out.

Plus, other ideas keep springing up and I’m finding out that I need to do more research for those ideas and the original ideas and it ends up being a huge muddle.

I mean, I’ll get there, it’s just taking a while to get my bearings. Something I think will be easier now I can go to the library again.

For now, I am loafing because I just ate a box of Milk Duds and I am trying to figure out if that was a good idea or a bad idea…. Mostly.