New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Archive for the ‘James Russell’

Until Our Dying Day

August 21, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, James Russell, Politics

Closing the Gap Between Tolerance and Acceptance

by James Russell

In the musical “A Chorus Line,” the audience follows a group of dancers auditioning for the chance to be in a Broadway chorus line. It’s a popular show about love, coming-of-age and struggle. Told in a series of monologues (and the occasional ensemble number), we eventually meet Paul, a young, gentle, Puerto Rican musical theater enthusiast. “And there was the thing of trying to hide it from my parents,” says Paul, “that was something.” The 16 year old could have been hiding anything from his parents — condoms, drugs, a flask of whiskey. But in this deeply moving monologue, he’s referring to his drag outfit. Paul is gay.

“A Chorus Line” premiered Off Broadway in 1975 between two notable events in the gay rights movement: the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the AIDS epidemic. Both created a generation of aggressive and proud activists angered by the government’s willingness to bust a gay club, but complacency when it came to addressing a deadly epidemic. (more…)

Year in Review

January 04, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, James Russell, Politics

Three Books Encapsulate the Spirit of 2011’s Protests

by James Russell

If 2011 was the year of the protester, as TIME Magazine recently declared, then it was also the year of the protest publication. Before Occupy Wall Street encampments set up in early September, handmade pamphlets detailing protesters’ rights were the primary publication of protests. When at a large-scale action and the activists’ goal is arrest, these pamphlets often appear, replete with legal information.

But with the emergence of Occupy movement, mock newspapers replaced these pamphlets. Publications like The Occupied Wall Street Journal and The Occupied Chicago Tribune served as a chronicle of the various speeches, messages and tactics surrounding Occupy. As reported on The Huffington Post via the Associated Press, some of these items, including the newspapers, are now even being acquired by archives, museums and historical societies. (more…)

A Peaceful Resolution

June 27, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Economy, James Russell, Politics

U.S. Mayors Call for End to Wars and Nuclear Weapons

by James Russell

Peace activists won a major victory on June 20th when the US Conference of Mayors voted to adopt two resolutions that call for a drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and the abolition of nuclear weapons. Both resolutions also demand the reprioritization of defense spending, including the $126 billion spent each year in Iraq and Afghanistan, toward the needs of municipalities.

The group, which represents mayors of municipalities with 30,000 or more residents, has not passed such a resolution in 40 years. (more…)

United, Not Divided

June 13, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Current Events, James Russell, Politics

Marchers Take on History, Confront Mountaintop Removal

by James Russell

Deep in coal country, a revolution is brewing. In rural West Virginia, nearly 500 people have been marching since Monday, June 6, to fight against mountaintop removal, for a new clean economy and to remember the battle at Blair Mountain, the largest armed labor battle in United States history that was fought at its base more than 90 years ago.

Dubbed “Appalachia Rising: The March on Blair Mountain,” the marchers are retracing the steps of the original march that preceded the 1921 battle that pitted union organizers against mercenaries hired by coal companies to fight unionization in southern West Virginia counties. Setting the stage for the American labor movement, the battle left what one expert estimates to be hundreds dead from nearly one millions rounds of ammunition. But now, the unprotected battle site is under threat by coal companies using the dangerous excavation tactic known as mountaintop removal. (more…)

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