Suicide freaks us out.
In late July, a coalition of farm, consumer, rural and faith-based groups wrote the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the proposed merger of Tyson Foods, Inc., and The Hillshire Brands Co., which originated in Wisconsin. The coalition wants the department to oppose the early termination of the antitrust examination and take a second review of the merger, which the groups argue creates a monopoly, threatening small farms, reducing consumer choice, allowing for higher prices and possibly degrading the food quality.
In 1969, Angela Lansbury starred as the madwoman Countess Aurelia in the Broadway musical Dear World, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. The show was a bomb, but Lansbury won the Tony Award that spring and the show is noted for one great tune, a passionate anthem to denial called “I Don’t Want to Know.”
Last Shabbat, as my husband and I were walking home from a long, lovely lunch with friends, I noticed scribbling on the sidewalk. Since the letters were written in white chalk and were upside-down from where I stood, it took a moment to decipher their meaning, and another moment to get over the shock.
This was on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the epicenter of the liberal American shtetl, a place so ubiquitously Jewish that even the smallest grocery store posts Friday night candle-lighting times each week. So to see even this mildly anti-Israel graffiti was a surprise. For the first time since we moved to the neighborhood a couple of years ago, we felt uncomfortable, targeted, as people who care about Israel and as Jews.
I ran across the acronyms “LGBTQIAP+” and “GLBTQIZX” recently and had to look up what the heck they mean. This crazy alphabet soup of sexual minorities is getting out of hand.
Sarah Waters has published five novels that have been literary sensations and bestsellers. Tipping the Velvet is a lesbian romp across the stages and back alleys of late Victorian England. Affinity and Fingersmith are riveting psychological and sexual thrillers. The Night Watch is a World War II drama about love and loss, and The Little Stranger is a great ghost story.
We have to wait until September for Waters’ erotic thriller The Paying Guests. She declared, “There will be lesbians,” to the delight of her core readers, who were disappointed by the lack of lesbians in her last book. In the meantime, Bloomsbury has published a Sarah Waters essay collection that offers fresh insights into her work.
40 years ago: In 1974, the Gay People’s Union worked with the Milwaukee Health Department to set up a free VD screening clinic for gay men on East St. Paul Avenue. The clinic moved to Farwell Avenue when GPU opened a center there in 1975. The clinic continues to serve people today as the BESTD Clinic on Brady Street.
Lesbians who had graduated from the “freespace” coming-out groups and were looking for ways to get involved in lesbian issues created Grapevine: A Lesbian Feminist Action Core in 1974. In its first years, Grapevine had a political focus. It evolved into a social group that sponsored potlucks and camping trips. It was revered for providing a non-bar atmosphere in which newly out lesbians could meet women and learn about the LGBT community in Milwaukee.
Thirty-five years ago, as editor of Amazon: Milwaukee’s Feminist Press, I reported on the murders of Heather Halseth, Alice Alzner, Joanne Esser, Janet Marie Bey and Nancy Lynn Radbill.
Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear about the dire consequences of climate change and the impending doom it will bring on the planet and all of mankind. Heat trapping gases created by our reliance on and addiction to fossil-fuel energy sources are raising the temperatures in our oceans and our atmosphere, melting ice caps throughout the polar regions and causing extreme weather patterns all over the globe.