A series on sexual orientation in the 1990s with a curious moniker

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Back in the 1990s there was a sequence of two books that constitute almost an antithesis to my work.

These are two items from Routledge, authored by Bob Powers and Alan Ellis.

The first is “A Manager’s Guide to Sexual Orientation in the Workplace”, for which I have a hardcover dated 1995.  The second is “A Family and Friend’s Guide to Sexual Orientation”, dated 1996, paper.  I actually purchased these in paper copy in 2000 at a Barnes and Noble in Minneapolis.  Today, the first of these is a collector’s item on Amazon; the second appears unavailable.

The books do make up a real series, because the subject matter of each book is different (unlike the “Healing our World”, last post, which has multiple editions of essentially the same material).

I had previously (in 2000) reviewed these on a legacy site here. http://www.doaskdotell.com/books/bguide.htm

A couple of aspects of the series still seem noteworthy in today’s discussion.  One of these is simply the authors’ viewpoint.  The authors treat sexual orientation as an immutable trait that invokes no need for any existential (or “essentialist”) moral debates on personal life courses, choices and actions.  And there is relatively little attention to the political issues of the time (military, marriage, and the like) now so well known. That is in marked contrast to the tone of my own “Do Ask, Do Tell” series that I commenced in 1997.

The second is that the authors treat these works as practical, didactic “handbooks”, especially the second of these, where there are empty spaces for consumers to write down notes, as if at a weekend hotel symposium.  The books have many testimonials or accounts of various people in workplace or familial situations.  To me, this approach is hyper-commercial, and tends to “talk down” to the reader.  But in some contexts, this method (like the “for Dummies” series) does sell a lot of books and makes money. I’ve seen it done with religious matter.

The books have each have a red button with a white “Do Ask, Do Tell” text on the cover art. Page 14 on the first book has a little sidebar conclusion “Do Ask! Do Tell!” and mentions little novelty items with the slogan being sold, but I don’t recall seeing these anywhere in the 1990s (I lived in the DC area then but visited Texas, California, Nevada,  Washington State, New York and Minnesota during that period).  The phrase was not included as part of the formal title of the books.

Mary Ruwart’s “Healing Our World”

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One concept of a “policy concept” series of books is like mine, to have a series, where successive books add new subject areas.

However, Mary Ruwart has taken a more vertical approach, with “Healing our World”, which has three editions, in 1993, 2003, and 2015.  The new editions add new coverage on the same 22-chapter, 5-part structures.  The first two editions have the subtitle “In the Age of Aggression”, but the most recent version had the subtitle “The Compassion of Libertarianism: How to Enrich the Poor, Protect the Environment, Deter Crime and Defuse Terrorism”. Edition Two has a Foreword by Frances Kendalll and Leon Louw.  The third edition has a foreword by Ron Paul.

I had reviewed the first two editions on my legacy site, here.  The author’s site is here and her publishing company is SunStar Press, in Kalamazoo, MI.

The books (especially the first two) have a much more tutorial style than do mine.  There are many illustrative notes in the columns.   The earlier books were distributed partially by an education company called Pinnacle.

The books also confine themselves to economic and (especially in the latest edition) international non-intervention issues, rather than the “moral” social issues.

However, the terms “non aggression” (a lynchpin of libertarianism) and “compassion” to address the tendency of governments to use force to force individuals to bow to group norms, at some risk to themselves (as in the self-defense issue), or to practice crony capitalism, encouraging established and politically connected businesses to overrun individuals and entrepreneurs.  The Internet has indeed allowed small businesses envisioned by individuals to break out and become powerful (look at Facebook).  Ruwart especially gives many examples of where over-regulation and over-licensing interferes particularly with minority small businesses.

The recent debacle with water supply in Flint, MI (and other communities) illustrates her ideas well.  So do past Jim Crow laws.

(Published: Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, at 12:30 AM into Sat AM EST)

My parents had discarded some “anti-social” books that had been popular in the 1950s

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When I was growing up, through the 1950s, my parents had many books in the den case, including a set of 1950 World Book Encyclopedias (I remember the salesman’s visit just after we moved into the Drogheda house in late 1949) with wonderful color-coded elevation maps of U.S. states and Canadian provinces, that TWB did not continue printing in later editions. I wonder why.
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We had some books that my parents later decided were problematic, after the expulsion from William and Mary and later the stint at NIH in 1962. One was “Education for Death” by Gregor Ziemer, which now is sold only as an expensive collector’s item by resellers on Amazon. The book inspired a short animated film “Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi”, directed by Clyde Geronimi, from Walt Disney Studios, in 1943 (my birth year). That book disappeared in the 1960s from the shelf.
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Another book that had been there was “Facts of Life and Love, for Teen-agers”, by Evelyn Millis Duvall, originally published in 1953 for the YMCA Associated Press. That disappeared, and the paperback (Popular Library) was pubbed for 25 cents in 1954. It’s mainly about dating and petting, and preparing teenagers to accept a life where sexuality will live only inside marriage producing children. Actually, it had a lot stuff about how girls and boys mature physically, like on p. 33, where she describes the significance not only of the beard but of chest and leg hair (writing for a segregated white audience, and not too concerned about aging many years later). But the most controversial passage in the book may occur on page 65 where she, in talking about homosexuality, separates “overt” from “latent” homosexuality. That has become be basis of my declaration of “latent homosexuality” to the Dean of Men at William and Mary, and it was a bone of controversy at NIH, seen as a deliberately divisive ploy to rationalize ideas that others were used to seeing as immoral. Duvall tries to write reassurance for boys who don’t develop as fully (and girls), and even says “We learn to love as we grow up with other people” (p. 66). The implication of this line of thinking otherwise (very much evident at NIH in 1962) was that the path I followed mentally could mean there was no place at all in the world (of marriage, at least) for less competitive men and women. And two decades before, we had been fighting a world war over this idea, in part.
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The most notorious book like this was probably “Growing Up Straight”, by Peter and Barbara Wyden, republished by Signet and available from resellers in paper, subtitle, “What Every Thoughtful Parent Should Know about Homosexuality”.  (The back cover reads “A book that talks frankly about a parent’s great unspoken fear.”) This book came out (pun) in 1968, one year before Stonewall, and one year after the notorious 1967 CBS News broadcast “The Homosexuals” with Mike Wallace. It has a foreword by Stanley F. Yolles at NIH (where I had been a “patient’ in 1962 (link ). He mentions an NIH psychologist, Howard Moss, whereas I remember a psychiatrist named Maas. One gets the impression that this whole charade is a self-serving exercise for “professionals” to make money with their “expertise” on sexuality – regarding homosexuality as mental illness could make some people money (including pastors). Today we have amateurism.
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The authors write as if public opprobrium against homosexuality were alone enough reason to try to prevent it, ignoring the obvious circularity of the reasoning. In fact, the first chapter is “Why talk about it?” On p. 21 he states his purpose, “The homosexual life today entails truly fearful penalties”. At various times, he admits that something about this is over-the-top and not completely rational. On p. 153, he talks about some legal cases where the government tried to ban homosexual immigrants, as if to admit something is self-serving for those who enforce these ideas.
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Nevertheless, the Wyden’s pander to the stereotypes, with characterizations of the “pre-homosexual child” (like me), and how parents inadvertently raise homosexual sons and daughters. They want everyone to grow up to be “sexually normal” and sexually “safe”. There is a lot of discussion that modern culture inhibits boys from becoming manly and makes them fearful of performing with girls. (The comments by certain Dr. Bettelheim.) That naturally leads to the idea (which used to be feared in boarding schools, dorms, and the military) that the mere presence of homosexual men makes marginally straight men less sure of themselves. In one passage, around p. 83, the “experts” explore the idea of fear of getting hurt in sports (which, today, given the concussion scandals in football, seem justified after the fact), as well as physical frailness, or less-than-normal physical development, such as a high-pitched voice or the lack of body hair (which would apply to white men – this was a segregated world). Even so, the book offers no “solutions” for the less “well endowed”. Somehow, they are to be encourage to court women anyway and give their parents grandchildren, and women (who in past generations needed economic support) are supposed to go along with these men and accept them as potential marriage partners anyway. “You do the best you can” and not more. It’s easy to see how the sports metaphor took on moral overtones in earlier generations, when in earlier wars, women had to do the support work so that the men could do the fighting.

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There is actually another book with the same title, “Growing Up Straight” and subtitle “What Every Family Should Know about Homosexuality“, by. Dr. George A. Rekers, 1982, published by the Moody Press of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.  Out of morbid curiosity, I ordered a used copy from “Sunrise”, which came with a thank-you note. The copy was heavily underlined, as if used as a text in a Bible class at one time.  The book makes no pretense of any non-circular reason for objecting to homosexuality, and not much interest in science, beyond religious authority.  To give it some credit, it mentions the health risks (like Hepatitis B) of some male homosexual conduct in the years immediately before the AIDS epidemic became big news and a huge political risk to all the gains from Stonewall.
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I do recall a book in 1987 by Richard Green, “The Sissy Boy Syndrome: The Development of Homosexuality”, from the Institute for Social and Policy Studies, actually published by Yale University Press.
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On Blogspot, I reviewed a book on this topic authored by Joseph Ncicolosi as late as 2002, “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality”, link.
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Forcing people to conform to the gender debts imposed on them by others used to be “big business” that some political “conservatives” still want to defend.
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(Posted: Monday February 15, 2016 at1:45 PM EST)

Another post on the “American Lynching” project; some more old “home movies”

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I have posted a few more videos on my Vimeo account, to support future filmmaking.

The film called “Mini DV” includes the footage I took at the Capitol in June 2005 when Gode Davis was in town filming “American Lynching” (Feb. 6, 2014).  It also has a little footage around Lexington, VA of VMI and nearby military attractions.

MiniDV from John Boushka on Vimeo.

The other three videos are silent “home movies” made by my parents.

The first is split into two parts to cut out an inappropriate bathtub scene if me (this was OK in 1950 but not now for the Internet). Part 1; 2.

The second (the longest) shows my parents on some trips before my birth, especially to Williamsburg and to Canada.

The third has more childhood pictures.

(Published: Wednesday, February 10, 2016, at 9:30 PM ET)

 

“Do Ask, Do Tell: Epiphany”, detailed outline and screenplay structure

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I have recently completed a shooting script for “Do Ask, Do Tell: Epiphany” (formerly, “Conscripted”). It is quite detailed except for the secondary backstory flash scenes. The script notes in Final Draft 9 are quite helpful with tracking the details.  I had explained this on Blogger Dec. 30 here.

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Although the July 30 post is still a fairly accurate overview of the story, I have changed some significant deals in how the story progresses.  There is only one visit to each of the “ashrams” until near the end, so the physical journey around the space colony has been simplified.

I think it’s useful to review Mchael Hauge’s “Screenplay structure: Five Key Turning Points” link and map the screenplay onto his outline.

Introduction: Setup:

Bill (me) gradually regains consciousness in a dark room in bed, and feels like he is in a “paralysis of sleep” state.

Two other young men, both tall, Brutus and Randy, watch through a one-way window and try viewers (similar to the idea in “Strange Days” (1995, Kathryn Bigelow). .  Elmo, the geek arrives, and does some shell scripting on an older-looking computer terminal to set up “remote viewing” levels for the other arrivals in the space station.  The other young men don’t exactly know where they are either, but can look out on a landscape that resembles Titan, a moon of Saturn.  Gradually, some other young men from Bill’s life arrive, including “Tompom” and Aaron.

Bill relives his own fictitious screenplay, called “The Sub”, where a precocious student comes on to him (when he is teaching), and where he sinks into legal trouble.  The fiction is shown in black and white. Past real incidents that fit the screenplay occur in color.  Bill momentarily experiences a fleeting memory “before anesthesia” of returning home from a party and concert (Elmo had been there) and being surprised to find his mother returned from hospice, before getting a mystery email and leaving the house. But the memory disappears, like a dream that is hard to remember.  The other guys, especially Randy and Brutus, practice reading Bill’s fictitious mind/

The Turning Point occurs when Nolan arrives (“Opportunity”).  Though he resembles the other young men, he seems to be in charge, and is regarded as an “angel”.  As Bill completely regains consciousness, Nolan escorts Bill underground through some chambers to a subway system called the “Mobius”.

The Opportunity first shows Randy checking into a hotel, having trouble checking his social media, but looking up a former mentor, Tobey, on line, and learning it takes time for posts and messages to process.  He has dinner with the other men, who have similar experiences.

Bill checks into barracks of what are called “Ashram 3”, with technology of about 1900.  He meets Tovina, who looks about 40 but who hints he dated her in the past and took her to the Senators’s last baseball game. Bill has to learn the housekeeping and cooking chores, sees an unusual garden. He finds a piano that doesn’t work on more modern compositions.  He plays some yard and board games with the kids and finds gravity is a bit weird.

Bill meets Richie, about 50, an old nemesis from his social life years ago in the City.  Richie continues to “domesticate” or “feminize” Bill. Randy arrives, and explains the rules for using the Mobius Metro.  Other college kids “Wechsler” and “Kip” arrive. Wechsler stays “overnight” in the Ashram to monitor Bill, who starts noticing the days seem like a perpetual twilight, like summer at the North Pole.

Bill travels by Mobius to Ashram 4, which looks colonial, mid 1700s.  He learns piano tuning and glassblowing, and finds out that he can’t even play Mozart on the “fortepiano”.  He meets (“Change in Plans”) a former music chum from his days at William and Mary, “Jonesboro”, with whom he refreshes his memory of how he got into music (which got “into his blood”).

In the “Progress” stage, Tompom, Kip amd Wechsler set up a stage play at Ashram 1 (based on year 2001) after traveling from Ashram 3.  Then they put on the play, showing what went on behind the scenes to get Bill “fired” when he was subbing after the school found out about his screenplay.

Bill visits the low-gravity softball field and plays some workup, and has chest discomfort.

In the “Point of No Return” Bill gets a keyhole heart treatment, which will not be disruptive, in the “City” near the hotel, under normal gravity.  Then Sydney (also from William and Mary) visits him.  Elon trains Bill in managing the software that controls the access others have to his own “telepathic broadcast” which more or less replaces social media.

Bill is recovered enough to visit Ashram 5, which shows a village as it might have looked at the time of Christ. He learns how “money” works in the ashram, and among angels (where there is a galactic “bitcoin system”). He interacts with Sydney, who confronts Bill about what used to make him tick. Bill learns he will choose a “messiah” among the other young men there.

At “Ashram 2” (1960) Bill helps build a recital hall where his music will be performed.

In “Higher Stakes” Bill travels back to the City, gets a nanobot injection to help with his memory, and sees the setup: much of the colony is set up as a cylindrical rama with artificial gravity, perpendicular to Titan, so when on it there is a Coriolis effect.

He returns back to Ashram 3 and gets some practice in “just living” before the young men assemble and trade stories as to how they got there. The travel together by “train” to Ashram 1 to re-enact the story of Bill’s 1960 expulsion (although that could have fit Ashram 2 better!)

They travel to Ashram 2 (now!) to do the concert.  As a Setback, some of the music still doesn’t work. But the Nanobots start to work, and Bill finally remembers how they got there

In the “final push” Bill plays his music (with Elmo’s help), and the “tribunal” ritual (“Climax”, quite literally) starts.  Brutus stimulates Bill, who impregnates Tovina.  The ritual poses the question, what in people really should matter?

(Aftermath):  Bill returns to the world, which has been placed in upheaval by repeated power grid failures, while accepting that UFO’s are real because they have been seen publicly.  After Tovina gives birth to Bill’s child, he can return to the spaceship and join on a journey with the angels to other planets.

The people on Earth will rebuild, another cycle of history, but for the next couple hundred years, doomsday preppers (like “Survival Mom” on Facebook) will take over.  History will have many up and down cycles before man is ready to move to the Stars.  Only the chosen few seem to go now.  Oh, please, how do you deserve to be “chosen”?

The “City” on Titan should look like the art work in this video of Alexander Scriabin’s Symphony #1 in E, with the “famous” choral conclusion.

Play the grandiose ending!

(Published Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 10:30 PM EST)