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Brava to Sarah McBride, who just became the first openly trans person to address a national convention. I remember the day of her husband Andy Cray's funeral, and how sad beyond words it was, though leavened with grace and joy at the remarkable life Andy had lived. It is just great seeing Sarah's poise and positivity in addressing the convention.
The In Memoriam video that was shown at the Democratic National Convention on July 27 included former Gay Activists Alliance member Tom Chorlton. Others familiar to Washingtonians who were included are former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, civil rights veteran Lawrence Guyot, and civil rights and HIV/AIDS activist Mario Cooper.
The astute, muscular heart of the president's speech last night:
Look, Hillary's got her share of critics. She's been caricatured by the right and by some folks on the left; accused of everything you can imagine – and some things you can't. But she knows that's what happens when you're under a microscope for 40 years. She knows she's made mistakes, just like I have; just like we all do. That's what happens when we try. That's what happens when you're the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt once described – not the timid souls who criticize from the sidelines, but someone "who is actually in the arena... who strives valiantly; who errs... [but] who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement."
Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena. She's been there for us – even if we haven't always noticed. And if you're serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You've got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn't a spectator sport. America isn't about "yes he will." It's about "yes we can." And we're going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that's what the moment demands.
One of the great film noirs is The Night of the Hunter from 1955, starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lillian Gish. This reading by director Charles Laughton features some of the film's hauntingly beautiful cinematography and music as the children flee down the river. I needed a break from current affairs yesterday, and this artistry from a dark film was restorative. Evil can be overcome.
The Night of the Hunter was not a success with either audiences or critics at its initial release, and Laughton never directed another film. Nevertheless, the film has found a wider audience over the years, and Mitchum's performance, in particular, has been praised.
The film was shot in black and white in the styles and motifs of German Expressionism (bizarre shadows, stylized dialogue, distorted perspectives, surrealistic sets, odd camera angles) to create a simplified and disturbing mood that reflects the sinister character of Powell, the nightmarish fears of the children, and the sweetness of their savior Rachel.
My new Blade column gapes at Trump's fascist rally in Cleveland, as well as the growing scandal over Russian interference in the American election. And I examine the sharp contrast between the two parties' vice presidential candidates. Have a gander while you watch self-defeating leftists trying to sabotage the proceedings in Philadelphia.
Our friend John Becker writes on Facebook (reprinted here with permission):
SHAME -- The chants of "lock her up!" from the delegates and speakers at this week's Republican National Convention are disgraceful and baseless and chilling enough, but now we have a surrogate for and adviser to Donald Trump going even further: he's calling for Hillary Clinton's execution.
That's right, they're calling for the execution of their political opponents now. That's something that happens in dictatorships, not democracies.
Republican friends, let me be perfectly clear: if you do not immediately, explicitly, unequivocally, and loudly condemn and repudiate this hateful ugliness, you are tacitly condoning your party's dangerous slide into the evils of authoritarian fascism. Period.
There can be no hedging on this, no sitting on fences. How you choose to respond will reveal whose side you are on. I'll be watching.