Friday, December 30, 2011

Know Your LGBT History - The Lion in Winter

One of the wildest, mind blowing experiences I ever had was attempting to watch the motion picture The Lion in Winter (1968) for the first time.

It was originally a 1966 play which was made into a motion picture starring Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn. It received three Oscars, including one for Hepburn for Best Actress. From Wikipedia:

Set during Christmas 1183 at Henry II of England's ch√Ęteau in Chinon, Anjou, Angevin Empire, the play opens with the arrival of Henry's wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom he has had imprisoned since 1173. The story concerns the gamesmanship between Henry, Eleanor, their three surviving sons Richard, Geoffrey, and John, their guest, Philip II of France (the son of Eleanor's ex-husband, Louis VII of France), and Philip's half-sister, Alais, who has been at court since she was betrothed to Richard at age 8, but has since become Henry's mistress.

The Lion In Winter was a classic example of palace intrigue done in hyper mode. There are so many twists and turns that it would be best for one not to root for one character because the character would veer off in another direction and betray your sympathies by revealing themselves to be cold and venomous.

The scene below is a perfect example of this. King Philip (Timothy Dalton) and King Henry are bartering over allegiances and property. Henry outmaneuvers Philip, or so he thinks.

Philip has one trump card he plays - his relationship with Henry's son, Richard. It's a nasty scene. Imagine entering into a gay affair just so that you could use it to hurt the man's father in the future:




Historically, it is not known whether or not Richard (who later became Richard the Lion-Hearted) and Philip had an affair. However, history does hint that Richard have been bisexual at the very least.


Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'More Chuck Norris hypocrisy' and other Friday midday news briefs

Chuck Norris Wants The Christian Bible To Be Taught In Every Public School - Excuse me but a man who will deliberately lie about Obama Administration policy as it pertains to the lgbtq community has no business giving advice on the reading of the Bible because it is apparent that he never reads his own.

Capt. Obvious low on ad budget, TWO steps in to run 'Gay is not like KKK' ad - Truth Wins Out kicks butt with another full page ad.

Gay baiting party loses in Jamaica - Too early for the full happy dance, but a bad party has been moved out in Jamaica.

Gay Nativity Scene At Claremont United Methodist Church Vandalized - Ugh.

Pariah Personals - Via Think Progress, Salon looks at the various stories of lgbtq youth of color.



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Take action against the American Family Association

My post yesterday on how the American Family Association (via One News Now) was distorting an Associated Press article to demonize the gay community got many people talking. A reader sent me the following note:

Hi Alvin--saw your blog post on the rewriting of an AP article. The rewrite is surely a copyright violation, and a double violation if they are posting the article without permission from AP in the first place. The same article is on the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/new-laws-target-abortion-illegal-immigration-texting-add-regulations-to-schoolkids-lives/2011/12/28/gIQABLubMP_story_1.html

Note at the end "Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed." Note also that One News Now used the author's byline (Andrew Welsh-Huggins); the Washington Post article provides his twitter address so I would suggest contacting him directly and pointing out their rewrite. He may not be happy to see how his article has been rewritten. Welsh's email address is awelsh@ap.org. He's also on Facebook

I think that it's more than appropriate for those of us concerned with how the AFA dehumanizes the gay community to register our disapproval of such tactics. I also think that it's more appropriate to notify other parties who are unfairly being used to further that aim.

The following is my letter:

Dear Mr. Huggins,

I am a reader who wanted to notify you concerning a possible violation of AP policy as it pertains to the reproduction of its articles.

The American Family Association reprinted an article you wrote after giving it a rewrite to push an anti-gay agenda.

This is what you wrote:

Girls seeking abortions in New Hampshire must first tell their parents or a judge, some employers in Alabama must verify new workers' U.S. residency, and California students will be the first in the country to receive mandatory lessons about the contributions of gays and lesbians under state laws set to take effect at the start of 2012. 

The American Family Association changed it to the following:

Girls seeking abortions in New Hampshire must first tell their parents or a judge, employers in Alabama must verify new workers' U.S. residency, and California students will be the first in the country to receive mandatory pro-homosexual indoctrination under state laws set to take effect at the start of 2012.

Not only is the article given a homophobic spin, but your byline remains, making it appear as if you are aware of  this breach of objectivity. I sincerely that for the sake of your personal integrity as a journalist and that of the AP as an unbiased new sources that this breach doesn't go unanswered.

Thank you for your time.




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