I met Mike Wallace only once, at a National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association dinner years ago (he was already in his eighties but playing tennis every day and far too young in his thinking  to decline our invitation) and like most Americans, I felt I had come to know him over the years, one “60 Minutes” segment at a time, as he championed truth, freedom, and the American way.   Give the man a cape: until his death at 93 Saturday, he was fearlessly fighting for us.

He was also the subject of this 1981 New Yorker cartoon that I liked so much I bought the original.  He had a framed copy in his office; for 31 years I have had the framed original in mine.  Titled MAN WITH A CLEAR CONSCIENCE, by Charley Barsotti, it depicts an old-fashioned mid-level manager — frumpy, balding, mustache — sitting behind an old-fashioned desk at what has to be an-old fashioned firm.  I think he’s the comptroller.  Over the intercom, his secretary is saying:  “Mike Wallace to see yo Sir.”

“Terrific,” says the man with a clear conscience, “send him right in!”

 

BACON

Barry:  “Of course you’re aware of the wonderful Bacon Maple Bar offered by Voodoo Doughnut here in Oregon. Not to mention the Bacon Maple Ale, which is a collaboration between Voodoo Doughnut and Rogue Brewery, also based in Oregon. Voodoo’s entire menu is worth a look. And the shops are just as cool as you’d expect them to be, as they are dedicated to Keeping Oregon Weird.”

Tommy Thomason:  “Dilbert weighs in: bacon and financial planning.”

 

IT GETS BETTER

It’s not easy being one of the estimated 1,800 LGBT students at Brigham Young University.  But even that is changing.  Says one student in this moving video:  “I decided to come out to my friends.  And they’ve been supportive!  Even here at B.Y.U.”  Says another:  “I don’t go to school with a bunch of hateful people.  Which is what I thought before — I thought I was surrounded by homophobic people that would hate me if they knew.”

There really are two different worlds, in part divided by the generations.  My friend the openly gay Columbia crew coach had one of his oarsman show up a few weeks ago, distraught.  He had just told his dad he was gay and his dad had given him a choice: enter a Catholic “reparative therapy” program to change his sexual orientation, and he would continue to pay his tuition; or not, and he would have nothing further to do with his son.  They have not spoken since.

Coach Parker called the financial aid office, got the young man an emergency appointment, Columbia arranged for a full work-study financial aid package — which means no time for crew, but beats dropping out — and I’m going to go out on a limb to guess that most Americans, in 2012, albeit not all, would be rooting for this kid and think his father is a dick.  Or, to be less flip, think his father is sincere in his fears or revulsion or embarrassment — but misguided.)

 

IT GETS BIGGER

Type on this page too large or small?  See the aAA at top right to match your world view.

 

 

 

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