Thursday, January 8, 2009

The internet and Milk

I have been thinking lately about what it has been so far in my generations time that was such a great discovery. If you think about previous generations they had electricity, the automobile, sliced bread, etc... I have been trying to figure out what it is in our generation that has rocked the world when I realized how fast the internet took over the world. When I was in elementary school we had computers, they were called systems 80 and they were so high tech. 10 buttons with cards to program them, oh boy, they were so much fun. lol. In high school I took a programing class on an Apple IIe, yeah, um, it was soon there after that the computers were destroyed and updated to IBM. It wasn't until I was in college in 95 or 96 when I got my very first email address. I had no idea what to do with it really because I only knew one person that had email, and that was my uncle.

The idea of the internet was so far from our minds. I grew up with a Tandy computer that came from Radio Shack and taught me to type and play games. We had our dot matrix printer that I would print my reports and papers off on to get extra points. I never would have imagined the things I do now on the computer, and how dependent I've become on the computer in just a short 13 years.

I use it for blogging, for research, to answer those random questions in my mind that drive me crazy and to keep in touch with long lost friends, or friends that moved away, and to also meet new people, get closer to new friends and to share my thoughts with the world. When I start to think about it, it's mind boggling.

But is it all good? With the exception of sliced bread, I think every innovative invention in the last 200 years has come with a price. The price of the internet? It's different with everyone. There is the person addicted to porn, the dangers to children by predators, the kids addicted to World of War Craft, and so many other things that I could list if I really thought about it. I watched my old boss destory his business because there was just too much information on the web to find every day, articles to read, that he forgot to do the work required to keep the business open. I have watched it destroy several marriages, and I have watched it hurt so many people.

Yet on the other side of the coin, some of the strongest marriages and relationships I've seen are because of the internet, I have reconnected and grown so close to people I haven't seen in years, I have met some of the most wonderful people that have become great friends on the internet, and I've seen people prosper because of the internet. To think all this and we have Al Gore to thank. LOL!!!!!

I guess it's just something that's been on my mind watching my brother spend so much more time on the internet than helping me, other people's use of the internet has become detremental to my life. How selfish huh? Yeah, well that's all I have to say about that.

Onto another subject......Harvey Milk.

Photo from this site.

I am very sad that I haven't known anything about Mr. Milk until about two or so months ago when I found the video I posted on this blog entry. It was around that time I found the trailers of the movie Milk that came out in December 2008.

Recently I found a website that you can view these screening movies while they are in the theatre, the quality is not that great, but I did get to see the movie. I must say this.... It.was.amazing.

I was a little leary about Sean Penn portraying Mr. Milk, but I guess he has made a few good films. He did a superb job in this movie, the writing, the accuracy, the story, it was all just so moving, so awe inspiring. By the end of the movie I was a wreck. To see what he did for the gay community, the stands he took against the populus, the statements he made and the lives he affected. How could anyone not know about this man? Talk about civil right movements! Harvey Milk not only changed the lives of the gay community, but he fought for all minorities, to try and get people to understand that we are all people, that there shouldn't be rights reserved for certain groups and not others. The man was amazing. His untimely death was so sad and I wonder what he could have done had he been able to live longer.

There is so much more I want to learn about Harvey Milk, I want to read his speaches, I want to watch the videos and I want to know more about him. This man inspired so many people, he moved them to new heights, I just can't even fully express what this movie did to me, to my mind, and to my heart. I can't wait until it's out on DVD so I can pick up the first copy and watch it again and again.

I was only able to find an excerpt of his now famous speech, I suggest watching the movie if you can, when you can and hear the speech in it's entirety.

"You see there is a major difference–and it remains a vital difference–between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It’s not enough anymore just to have friends represent us. No matter how good that friend may be.

The black community made up its mind to that a long time ago. That the myths against blacks can only be dispelled by electing black leaders, so the black community could be judged by the leaders and not by the myths or black criminals. The Spanish community must not be judged by Latin criminals or myths. The Asian community must not be judged by Asian criminals or myths. The Italian community should not be judged by the mafia myths. And the time has come when the gay community must not be judged by our criminals and myths.

Like every other group, we must be judged by our leaders and by those who are themselves gay, those who are visible. For invisible, we remain in limbo–a myth, a person with no parents, no brothers, no sisters, no friends who are straight, no important positions in employment. A tenth of a nation supposedly composed of stereotypes and would-be seducers of children–and no offense meant to the stereotypes. But today, the black community is not judged by its friends, but by its black legislators and leaders. And we must give people the chance to judge us by our leaders and legislators. A gay person in office can set a tone, can command respect not only from the larger community, but from the young people in our own community who need both examples and hope.

The first gay people we elect must be strong. They must not be content to sit in the back of the bus. They must not be content to accept pablum. They must be above wheeling and dealing. They must be–for the good of all of us–independent, unbought. The anger and the frustrations that some of us feel is because we are misunderstood, and friends can’t feel that anger and frustration. They can sense it in us, but they can’t feel it. Because a friend has never gone through what is known as coming out. I will never forget what it was like coming out and having nobody to look up toward. I remember the lack of hope–and our friends can’t fulfill that.

I can’t forget the looks on faces of people who’ve lost hope. Be they gay, be they seniors, be they black looking for an almost-impossible job, be they Latins trying to explain their problems and aspirations in a tongue that’s foreign to them. I personally will never forget that people are more important than buildings. I use the word “I” because I’m proud. I stand here tonight in front of my gay sisters, brothers and friends because I’m proud of you. I think it’s time that we have many legislators who are gay and proud of that fact and do not have to remain in the closet. I think that a gay person, up-front, will not walk away from a responsibility and be afraid of being tossed out of office. After Dade County, I walked among the angry and the frustrated night after night and I looked at their faces. And in San Francisco, three days before Gay Pride Day, a person was killed just because he was gay. And that night, I walked among the sad and the frustrated at City Hall in San Francisco and later that night as they lit candles on Castro Street and stood in silence, reaching out for some symbolic thing that would give them hope. These were strong people, people whose faces I knew from the shop, the streets, meetings and people who I never saw before but I knew. They were strong, but even they needed hope.

And the young gay people in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias and the Richmond, Minnesotas who are coming out and hear Anita Bryant on television and her story. The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us’es, the us’es will give up. And if you help elect to the central committee and more offices, more gay people, that gives a green light to all who feel disenfranchised, a green light to move forward. It means hope to a nation that has given up, because if a gay person makes it, the doors are open to everyone.

So if there is a message I have to give, it is that if I’ve found one overriding thing about my personal election, it’s the fact that if a gay person can be elected, it’s a green light. And you and you and you, you have to give people hope. Thank you very much."

That's all for tonight.

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