Web links related to the Back of the Book program of October 19th, 1998

All right, I got this entire page finished in the wee hours of Tuesday, but now it's almost Wednesday and someone got back to me and I have something to add here. This thing never gets done sometimes. But this should be it. This page is finished at last. Time to start working on the next program's page!

Of course the subject of the murder of Matthew Shepard took up a lot of the program. Here's a Yahoo! list of items relating to this tragically not uncommon, but for once uncommonly noticed, incident of anti-gay hatred.

As I said on the air, I think this murder was at least partly motivated by the current right-wing campaign to promote the Christian Right's phoney campaign to “cure” gay men, lesbians and bisexuals of our sexual orientation. Their message of hate is cleverly concealed and affords them deniability, but that message gets through.

Looks like I'm still embroiled with resisting the efforts of AIDS cranks to spread disinformation. Unfortunately, or maybe predictably, AIDS crankery is sort of repetitious.

Much of the current mythos of the AIDS cranks centers around claims that HIV, the retrovirus which causes AIDS, has never been isolated. This simply isn't true. Quite a few mutations of HIV have been isolated over the years, in fact a new strain of HIV has recently been isolated.

One of the difficulties in dealing with AIDS cranks is that their arguments are frequently incoherent. When the big name AIDS crank gurus change their stories it doesn't seem to faze the true believers. There is also a tendency to blindly accept the statements of other AIDS cranks and not pay any attention to refutations or advances in science that show those AIDS crank statements to be false. One of the still oft-cited “authorities” for the idea that HIV doesn't exist at all are some AIDS cranks from Perth, Australia who issued a “reward” in 1995, for anyone who could isolate or otherwise prove that HIV existed. Here's a rebuttal of “The Perth Group's Challenge” by Edward King

Not only has HIV been isolated, but scientists have made genetic maps of the genome itself! There are two main strains of HIV, they are called HIV-1 and HIV-2. Here's the genome map of HIV-1, and here's the genome map of HIV-2. These pages are not exactly scintillating reading to a nonscientist, but there they are.

One of the things I have not heard AIDS cranks address has been the question of all the thousands of people around the world who are working with the retrovirus itself. Are they all lying? Hallucinating? Part of a vast, global conspiracy that adds new members every day?

Someone who has been fighting AIDS cranks for a while is a guy named Edward King, who has a Web page on AIDS. He also has an amusing parody of one of the AIDS cranks' favorite hobby horses.

Shari Lewis died in August. I used to watch her when I was a kid, although these days people would say that this program was not quite “age appropriate” for me. I suppose that it was because I was a bit older than her target audience that I was not that fond of her chit-chat with Lambchop and the others. I think I watched Shari Lewis' show and learned about the inhabitants of “Shariland“ because she had some cartoons or something that I found interesting. Later in life, of course, I remember her more fondly. And I can't recall what the cartoons or other recorded segments were that originally got me to watching her in the first place! Here are some biographical details about the late Shari Lewis.

Buffalo Bob Smith died this Summer too. I remember sitting in the bedroom of my parents' 2-room apartment on 9th St. in Park Slope watching Buffalo Bob and Howdy. My parents had gone into debt to buy a 12-inch Motorola TV set. We discovered The Howdy Doody Show right away. It was 1949, and Howdy Doody was already famous. I was an instant devotee of the child's soap opera that was Doodyville and watched it until some time into grammar school. When the program went from daily to weekly on Saturday mornings my father watched it too. I made certain to watch the final episode when Clarabelle the Clown finally spoke.

In the real world of Always Always Land Buffalo Bob Smith had to make a living and the original Howdy Doody marionette got auctioned off in 1995.

I've looked at the “We're Revolting! Gay Power After Stonewall: The Photographs of Richard C. Wandel” photo exhibit at the Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center. If you want to see what I looked like in 1971, here's your chance. It's in Room 206. The exhibit will be there until November 29, 1998.

Good chance I'll go to the “Inqueery Series” panel discussion “Gay Power, Lesbian Liberation: 1969 - 1972” on Wednesday, October 21st, at the above mentioned Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center. We'll see if any sparks fly.

Easy directions to the Center for those not intimately familiar with the ancient, winding streets of Greenwich Village: go west on W. 14th St. till you reach Hudson St. This is also the intersection of 14th St. & 9th Ave. Turn left (south) and walk two blocks on Hudson and you're at Little West 12th St.

The 33rd Chess Olympiad began a couple of days late, but ended on time. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the President of FIDE (the international chess federation), has been reelected to another four year term. One delegate to FIDE did dare to say something against Ilyumzhinov, who is also the dictator of the tiny, semi-autonomous Russian Republic of Kalmykia.

FIDE had been taking the unprecedented step of banning games from the internet, and trying to charge $19.95 for them. This has proved so unpopular, and detrimental to chess, that they have reversed themselves and all of the games from the 33rd Olympiad have been made available. FIDE has announced that suckers who sent in their $19.95 will have their money refunded.

The Week in Chess has all the games from the Olympiad.

But FIDE isn't done being stupid yet. They have decided to claim copyright to all chess game scores and say that they will bring legal action against any company that makes money off the publishing of chess games. This attempt was made in America years ago and it failed. Looks like wasted efforts await FIDE.

There are a lot of issues that we can't talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an internet list called "Free Pacifica!" which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

If you want to subscribe to the Free Pacifica! list just click on this link and fill out the form, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

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