Music Rules: The years certainly have gone by…

Two thoughts on Canada Day, 2020:

In one of his many collections of essays, Canadian humourist Eric Nicol mused about what it means to be a Canadian.  He wrote that a Canadian citizenship document would probably say:

“This is to certify I am not an American.” 

I’m not much of a nationalist or flag waver, so that sums me up pretty well.  We can’t even do controversy well, like the Canadian ambassador to Russia allegedly “interfering” with Russia’s attempt to ban marriage equality.

One of the few things I am nationalistic about is music.  Most Canadian music doesn’t travel well because of Canadian Content laws, or CanCon (which will turn 50 years old in 2021).  The laws forced record companies to develop Canadian acts, which created multiple generations of Canadian music.  But at the same time, the US, UK and other places said, “They’re only on Canadian radio because of CanCon, not because they’re any good.”  Their loss.  (Except France, which was happy to have Quebecois artists.)

A year before CanCon, Mashmakhan’s “As The Years Go By” was released in summer 1970, fifty years ago.  It was a #1 hit in Canada in August 1970, a Top 40 in the US, and went platinum in several countries, a rarity for any singles in that era, let alone for a Canadian group. It wasn’t number 1 on Dominion Day (what is now Canada Day), but this is close enough.

As summer ends, though, kidding goes out the window when I talk about a darker event in Canada’s history.

You Suck: Thumbs in the womb as predictors of handedness

I actively look for articles and studies on handedness but they’re not always easy to find.  Sometimes I only run across them by accident, like this item from June 2020 on handedness in the womb.  It addresses the “nature or nurture” argument about handedness:

Does Left-Handedness Develop Before or After Birth?

About 10.6% of humans are left-handed (Papadatou-Pastou et al., 2020). One of the longstanding questions in scientific research on left-handedness is, at which point in life it actually develops.

One commonly held idea is that it is possible to know for certain whether a child is left-handed or not once he or she starts writing. However, scientific studies show that left-handedness actually develops much earlier to in primary school. In fact, it actually develops before we are even born.

Scientists have investigated left-handedness in unborn babies using real-time ultrasound recording in order to track the movements of their arms and hands in the womb.

For example, one study analyzed real-time ultrasound recordings of 72 fetuses 10 weeks after gestation, focusing on left and right arm movements (Hepper et al., 1998).

[. . .]

The big question about these studies on arm movements and thumb sucking is, whether these behaviors actually predict left- and right-handedness later in life or are unrelated. To answer this question, a longitudinal study tested handedness in 75 children aged between 10 and 12 years in which thumb sucking preferences had been examined using real-time ultrasound recording when they were still fetuses (Hepper et al., 2005).

The results were quite impressive.

Overall, 60 of the children were right-handed as fetuses and all 60 were also right-handed at ages 10 to 12. Thus, a preference to suck the right thumb as a fetus is highly predictive of right-handedness in later life. The remaining 15 children preferred to suck the left thumb as fetuses. In this group, 10 children were left-handers at ages 10 to 12, and 5 were right-handers.

Thus, thumb-sucking preferences as fetus predicted handedness as a child in 70 out of 75 children correctly.

The emphasis at the end is mine.

Once again, correlation does not prove causation, but it does prove this should be studied more.  Leave lefty kids alone until the science is in.  And even then, leave them alone.

Last Gasp: Cheetolini knows he can’t win

According to a new item in Politico, it’s not if Cheetolini loses, but how badly.  Despite all the attempts at vote rigging, the rousing of the rabble, corruption and placing cronies into positions of power, and the toadies in the senate, he still can’t consolidate unchecked power.  I suspect he realizes now he can’t even steal the election by force.

Trump admits it: He’s losing

Amid a mountain of bad polling and stark warnings from allies, the president has acknowledged his reelection woes to allies.

The president has privately come to that grim realization in recent days, multiple people close to him told POLITICO, amid a mountain of bad polling and warnings from some of his staunchest allies that he’s on course to be a one-term president.

[. . .]

What should have been an easy interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday horrified advisers when Trump offered a rambling, non-responsive answer to a simple question about his goals for a second term. In the same appearance, the normally self-assured president offered a tacit acknowledgment that he might lose when he said that Joe Biden is “gonna be your president because some people don’t love me, maybe.”

[. . .]

If Trump’s numbers erode to 35 percentage points over the next two weeks, Nunberg added, “He’s going to be facing realistically a 400-plus electoral vote loss and the president would need to strongly reconsider whether he wants to continue to run as the Republican presidential nominee.”

Behind the scenes, Trump and his team are taking steps to correct course. In the week since his Tulsa rally, the president has grudgingly conceded that he’s behind, according to three people who are familiar with his thinking. Trump, who vented for days about the event, is starting to take a more hands-on role in the campaign and has expressed openness to adding more people to the team. He has also held meetings recently focusing on his efforts in individual battleground states.

I know Hitler analogies are always a bad idea, but that republiclown is adopting the “hands on approach”, assuming he’s a military or political genius who can fix everything.  He can’t even run his own businesses, going bankrupt six times.  And he seems hell bent on emulating a second by allowing COVID-19 to run rampant: Hitler’s desire to destroy Germany completely rather than the country live in defeat.

The question is, will the US survive that long?  Some people are optimistic.  I’m not so sure.

A Milestone Reached: 10,000,000 COVID-19 infections worldwide

For the past three months, I’ve been keeping track of when the number of worldwide infections hit each new half million infected (except for the first listed, of course).  These are not exact times and numbers, but close enough to within the hour and within 500 deaths.

In March, it took roughly six days for each new 500,000 infections.  Now in June, it’s taking less than three days.  Depending on how you view it, the “good” (?) news is that most new infections are limited to four countries: the US, Russia, Brazil and India. The rest of the world pretty much has it under control, even hard hit countries like Ecuador. (China’s real numbers are anyone’s guess. The government’s tallies certainly can’t be believed.)

Please excuse the missed times and numbers on June 21 and 24, things were hectic on those days.

June  27 @ 18:00 UTC: 10,000,000 infected, 498,900 dead
June  24 @ **:** UTC:  9,500,000 infected, 484,900 dead
June  21 @ **:** UTC:  9,000,000 infected
June  18 @ 18:00 UTC:  8,500,000 infected, 455,000 dead
June  15 @ 12:00 UTC:  8,000,000 infected, 436,200 dead
June  11 @ 15:00 UTC:  7,500,000 infected, 420,400 dead
June   7 @ 14:00 UTC:  7,000,000 infected, 403,000 dead
June   3 @ 17:00 UTC:  6,500,000 infected, 384,500 dead
May   29 @ 22:00 UTC:  6,000,000 infected, 366,000 dead
May   25 @ 04:30 UTC:  5,500,000 infected, 346,700 dead
May   20 @ 10:00 UTC:  5,000,000 infected, 325,000 dead
May   14 @ 21:00 UTC:  4,500,000 infected, 302,000 dead
May    8 @ 21:00 UTC:  4,000,000 infected, 275,000 dead
May    3 @ 11:00 UTC:  3,500,000 infected, 245,000 dead
April 27 @ 08:00 UTC:  3,000,000 infected, 207,000 dead
April 21 @ 16:00 UTC:  2,500,000 infected, 174,000 dead
April 15 @ 09:00 UTC:  2,000.000 infected, 126,800 dead
April  8 @ 20:30 UTC:  1,500,000 infected,  87,800 dead
April  2 @ 18:00 UTC:  1,000,000 infected,  51,000 dead
March 26 @ **:** UTC:    500,000 infected,  34,000 dead
March 20 @ **:** UTC:    275,000 infected,  11,400 dead

Other good news: In the first month, the number of dead increased almost 50% each time. The numbers of new dead have decreased roughly every two weeks, from 40,000 in early May down to less than 15,000 in June for every 500,000 new infections. That tells you the hard work of nurses, doctors and other medical workers have paid off. Let’s just hope that effort hasn’t gone to waste.

What I Saw: My trip to Chiayi last Sunday

As mentioned a few days (posts) ago, I went to Chiayi, Taiwan last Sunday, June 21st.  Chiayi is exactly on the 23rd parallel, the Tropic of Skin Cancer as I call it. The combination of summer solstice and annular solar eclipse in the same afternoon were too good to pass up.

The good: I got to see both with my own eyes, the sun directly overhead at noon, and the darkened sky as the full eclipse happened.  This is a corona that you do want to see.

The bad: I got stuck at the High Speed Rail station, unable to get into downtown Chiayi until 13:00, which meant the most of the objects I shot weren’t perfectly aligned with no shadow.  And my camera was useless for photographing the eclipse, but at least there are other people’s photos I can link to.  And I got a horrible sunburn, even with an umbrella.

This photo is from an item on the Central News Agency (Taiwan)A second news article on the site includes a two hour video of the full event on youtube.  Below the fold are a few of the pictures I took at the Solar Exploration Centre, and from other sights in the area.

Space.com also has an item on the event with photos from around Asia.

[Read more…]

Why Try? : To Milwaukee cops, Black lives still don’t matter

A house was burnt down in Milwaukee a few days ago, and different incompetent media and cops used the situation to vilify and blame Black Lives Matter as “vigilantes” instead of focusing on the racism and indifference of Milwaukee’s cops to Black lives.

Two teenagers were missing, and their families attempted to file “Amber alerts”.  As often happens, cops refused to file a report at all, refused to treat the girls as missing persons.  Undoubtedly because they are Black.  Cases of missing Black Children and Children of Colour are almost never given the same attention as when the children are white.

A groups of citizens formed a search party to try to find them.  Granted, they group went to the wrong place, the girls were found elsewhere.  But would they have had to form a search party if cops had actually valued the lives of the two teens and started to search themselves?  Don’t label the searchers “vigilantes”, call the cops lazy for not doing their jobs.

Fortunately, the girls were found alive and unharmed.

Missing Black Girls Found After Cops Don’t Issue Amber Alert Amid Sex Trafficking Suspicions: Report

Milwaukee police have a history of being accused of not taking Black missing person reports seriously.

Written By NewsOne StaffPosted June 24, 2020

pair of Black girls missing for days from Milwaukee was found by a search party of residents who banded together after police decided against issuing child abduction emergency alerts for them, according to reports across social media reports and from local media. It all unfolded against the backdrop of an alleged child sex trafficking ring the girls’ relatives suspected they could have been taken to be a part of.

The girls first went missing on Sunday, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that a police spokesperson said the 13- and 15-year-old girls’ cases “had not been considered critical missing and did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.”

However, local media was presenting the story as one of the police being the victims of violence from civil unrest (allegedly caused by a lackadaisical police response to the missing teenage girls). Fox 6 reported that seven police officers and one firefighter were hurt in addition to at least three people being shot, not by police, following a series of fires that were set.

But on Facebook, where local activists and residents were documenting the events with live-streamed videos and photos, a different story was being told. A local photographer identified as Amanda Schlicher Press offered her own account of the case, which culminated in the reported safe rescue of the girls on Tuesday night. She painted a picture of racist policing that worked to serve a particular self-serving agenda.

US cops and have a long and sordid history of valuing only white girls who go missing, of ignoring families when non-white girls disappear.  They label them “runaways” or other dismissive terms that infer non-white girls are the problem instead of systematic racism in the police and media.

 

 

Humanists Report: Freethinkers at risk in 2020

Humanists International released a report on Thursday, June 25, entitled Humanists at Risk: Action Report 2020. which the site says “exposes a lack of separation between state and religion, as well as an array of tactics used against humanists, atheists and non-religious people in Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka to limit their rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly”.  There is a PDF available for viewing and download through the site.

I have only been to one of the eight countries listed.  Just because I have not personally discrimination in the Philippines for being an atheist and Transgender doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  But I suspect (opinion only) that the complete absence of violence from atheists in the Philippines (compared to killings by and of drug traffickers, gangs kidnapping people for ransom, muslim separatists) makes them a low priority or “threat” in the eyes of the religious. From the report:

Humanists and other minority groups are free to gather in public, not because of a lack of stigma towards them, but mostly because of the anti-discrimination measures set in place by local government units.

Edwin Bulaclac Jr. from the Humanist Alliance Philippines International underlines indeed that: “Business establishments cannot refuse service to paying customers for fear of their licenses getting revoked by the local government unit. Filipinos are very vocal when it comes to civil liberties, especially when money is involved. The LGBTQ+ community in the Philippines faces more backlash than the secular humanists/atheists.”For this reason, Edwin adds, “We are allowed to gather in public spaces, even in private rented spaces. Humanism as an ethical stance/belief system is not yet that known in the Philippines. But atheists, on the other hand, might get the occasional eyebrow lift.”

Other countries have issues such as mandatory participation in a fixed list of religions (Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria), “blasphemy” laws, persecutions and executions where the allegedly offended “god” never appears to speak for itself.

It does not shock me that India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Indonesia are the countries with the most reported cases of anti-atheist hostility.  Colombia’s hostility is predictable: predominantly catholic, they falsely equate atheists with satanists, and also with terrorism.

The Guardian also covered this story:

Atheists and humanists facing discrimination across the world, report finds

Non-religious people in Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and Sri Lanka are often ostracised, and some women are forced into marriages, says Humanists At Risk: Action Report 2020, published on Thursday by Humanists International.

Evidence is growing that humanist and atheist activists are being targeted on the basis of their rejection of a majority religion or their promotion of human rights, democratic values and critical thinking, it says.

Mubarak Bala, president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was last month arrested after being accused of blasphemy, which carries the death penalty. Bala, the son of a widely regarded Islamic scholar, has been an outspoken religious critic in a staunchly conservative region of the country.

[. . .]

It cites the case of Fauzia Ilyas, founder of the Atheist and Agnostic Alliance Pakistan, whose ex-husband, a devout Muslim, was granted custody of their daughter “apparently on the basis of Fauzia having left Islam”. After a court in Lahore issued a warrant for Ilyas’s arrest in 2015, she fled to the Netherlands where she is seeking asylum.

Gary McLelland, the chief executive of Humanists International, said: “This report shines a light on the targeted violence, continued harassment and social discrimination faced by humanists in many countries and opens the door to conversations on how best to protect humanists worldwide. What is clear is that all laws and policies which criminalise ‘blasphemy’ should be repealed.”

Damn, They Gorged: How soon will the Yangtze flood?

Remember the Wenzhou High Speed Rail crash from July 2011, when slipshod construction led to the deaths of 40 passengers?

Chinese anger over alleged cover-up of high-speed rail crash

Chinese authorities face growing public fury over the high-speed train crash that killed at least 38 people and injured 192, with the disposal of wreckage and attempts to control coverage of the incident prompting allegations of a cover-up.

[. . .]

Internet users attacked the government’s response to the disaster after authorities muzzled media coverage and urged reporters to focus on rescue efforts. “We have the right to know the truth!” wrote one microblogger called kangfu xiaodingdang. “That’s our basic right!”

Leaked propaganda directives ordered journalists not to investigate the causes and footage emerged of bulldozers shovelling dirt over carriages.

[. . .]

Hong Kong University’s China Media Project said propaganda authorities have ordered media not to send reporters to the scene, not to report too frequently and not to link the story to high-speed rail development. “There must be no seeking after the causes [of the accident], rather, statements from authoritative departments must be followed,” said one directive. Another ordered: “No calling into doubt, no development [of further issues], no speculation, and no dissemination [of such things] on personal microblogs!”

Remember the melamine contamination and poisoning in 2008 that killed children?  China’s continued use of forced slave labour in prisons?  The continued murder of political prisons for organs to feed the transplant tourist industry?  And recently the coverup of 40,000-150,000 deaths and mishandling of COVID-19?

Corruption and greed have been the backbone of China’s economic nightmare.  It’s just a matter of time before cracks appear in the dam of the mass murdering regime.  And that flood may burst through very soon.  This image of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD, on the Yangtze River) is from the Daily Mail UK (aka Daily Fail):

More below the fold.

[Read more…]

Still To Come: What I did on Sunday

Sunday was June 21st, the summer solstice.  The city of Chiayi, Taiwan (in the southern half of Taiwan) is exactly on the 23rd parallel, or the Tropic of Skin Cancer as I call it.  I took the High Speed Rail south on Sunday to take photos of objects on the solstice at noon.

I also went because there was an annular solar eclipse on the same day at 4:00pm.  I haven’t had time to finish dealing with the photos, but intend to finish tomorrow evening.  The last two weeks have been hectic.

As mentioned in another post, this Thursday (June 25th) is Dragon Boat Festival.  Most of the boat races in Taiwan have been cancelled or postponed, but a few are still going ahead because of their locations.  Friday is not officially a day off, but the government had businesses and schools open last Saturday (June 20th) to create a four day weekend.  There’s also the Canada Day events on Saturday and the World Pride event in Taipei on Sunday.

I would rather work the extra day before an extended holiday than make it up after; I had to work nine days out of ten before the long weekend.  If we had made it up after, we would be working eleven days out of twelve.  Working the make up day before feels like you earned the day off.  Making it up after feels like you’re repaying a debt, with interest.

Blackguards Guard: Why does Derek Chauvin need a “whites only” detail?

The murderer Chauvin gets an all-white detail for his protection.  Or did he ask for and get all white guards so he doesn’t have to see any Black men?

Only White Officers Reportedly Allowed to Guard Ex-Cop Accused of Killing George Floyd

By Daniel Politi

June 21, 2020

Eight Minnesota corrections officers filed a discrimination lawsuit claiming they were forbidden from guarding—or even being on the same floor as—Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who has been charged with killing George Floyd, because they are not white. When Chauvin, who was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, was brought to the Ramsey County jail on May 29, all minority officers were ordered to go to a separate floor. A supervisor told them that they would be a potential “liability” around Chauvin because of their race, according to the discrimination charges that were filed with the state’s Department of Human Rights and reviewed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

All the guards who were told to leave the fifth floor where Chauvin was going to be housed were people of color, and they were replaced with white officers, Bonnie Smith, the attorney representing the eight corrections officers, said. That decision “humiliated and debased” the affected officers, Smith said, noting that decisions on work should be “based on performance and behavior” rather than race.

There’s is a clear and racist implication being made: “Black jail guards wouldn’t be impartial and might pose a threat to a white criminal!”

Meanwhile, Black prisoners are regularly subjected to whites only guards.  And if they asked for Black only guards, they would likely be punished.

Shown For What He Is: The racist is an ex-cop

Did you hear about a 55 year old in England, a white male named Bryn Male who beaten up at a Black Lives Matter protest, and saved by one of the protesters?  He originally said he went there to “protect a statue”.  Or did he behave like a football hooligan (and went there with a group of Milwall football fans), hurling racist epithets and trying to incite fights with Black Lives Matter protesters?  He started it, they finished it?

It turns out that he is an ex-cop.  A racist ex-cop, now there’s a shock.  I’ll bet he was chanting “Oi!” as he went.

Man rescued by UK Black Lives Matter protester is ex-police officer

Ben Quinn

Thu 18 Jun 2020

The counter-protester carried to safety by a Black Lives Matter protester last weekend is a former officer at British Transport Police, the force has confirmed.

Bryn Male, who has yet to speak publicly about the events of the weekend that led to Patrick Hutchinson being hailed as a hero, worked in the London area for British Transport Police and was latterly a detective constable.

He retired from the force in September 2014, a spokesperson said.

Male, 55, has been identified as the man pictured clutching his bloodied head as he was carried over the shoulder of Hutchinson, a personal trainer in London.

A delivery driver living in Basingstoke, Hampshire, Male was among football supporters who had travelled to London on the day when BLM protests were due to take place. He is described as a Millwall FC fan on the website of a local village club where he volunteers.

A fellow member of the club said Male was “a patriotic Brit, England through and through”. He told the Daily Mail he had travelled to London to protect monuments after seeing graffiti.

I love the irony of it, a racist saved by the people he hates and went to confront with violence.  Just like the cop in the Louisville protected by BLM protesters, it proves who are the decent people and who are the violent criminals.

 

Why Did They Wait?: More companies are removing racist symbols

A few weeks ago, a racist caricature was removed from the “land o lakes” butter brand.  Predictably, the only people bothered were white people complaining about “tradition” or falsely claiming “this is respectful representation!”

The Quaker Oats company is finally removing the Aunt Jemima caricature from their syrup bottles, admitting that it’s a racist “minstrel” stereotype.  On the same day, the Mars corporation and Conagra have announced they will end use of “Uncle Ben” and “Mrs. Butterworth” on their respective rice and syrup products.  But it shouldn’t have taken a hundred years and public pressure to stop doing it.

Now if only sports teams would get rid of their racist caricatures.  If billion dollar food companies can do it, why can’t billion dollar NFL and MLB teams?

Dead And Buried: Prince George’s Sandblast

I used to live in a small city in Canada called Prince George, a place I have no desire to ever visit again, never mind reside.  I’d rather pay for my friends still there to travel and visit me than go there myself. (Hi, Kimmy.)

Prince George has the 19th worst crime rate in Canada, and the two nearest large towns, Quesnel (120km away) and Williams Lake (240km away) have the 5th and 9th worst crime rates (dis)respectively.  Three other towns in northern BC are also in the twenty worst.  Their proximity likely makes crimes connected, with the United Nations street gang and Renegades motorcycle gang dominating the area and forcing other street and motorcycle gangs out.  (It’s called the UN because of its many ethnicities – white, First Nation, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc.)

That city is also the origin point of the Highway of Tears where at least a hundred First Nations women have been murdered over the past forty years.  There are three convicted serial killers in prison, possibly more, and the RCMP accused of many physical and sexual abuses themselves. (The RCMP claim less than forty murders, showing how little they care for the victims or First Nations people.)

Did I ever tell you I used to work as a security guard in that city?  Confrontations with the gangs and violent abusive men were regular occurrences.  There has only ever been one security company in the city.  At least three security guards (that I know of) were murdered on the job, one I knew personally who was stabbed and killed at a motel I used to patrol. I only did that job because it allowed me to attend college (work nights and study on the job, attend classes in the day).

The worst were men intent on Intimate Partner Violence against women escaping them, staying at motels.  Gangs are known quantities, identifiable and predictable.  Random individual men aren’t.  It’s a hunting area, so legally owned long guns were common, even before illegal handguns were acquired by gangs.

I wasn’t planning to write about the city, I was looking up news stories, facts and other things (what a dreary place to live) to remind myself of why I don’t want to go back there.  Then amongst the videos listed on youtube, a story about Sandblast appeared (seen below).

Sandblast was a “ski race” that took place every August from 1971 to 2003 when it was finally banned.  Just north of the city by the Nechako River is a steep hill called the Cutbanks.  Someone had the idiotic idea of holding a race there, down a 150 metre slope of sand and gravel.  It was popular over the decades and people travelled long distances to participate, including skiing filmmaker Warren Miller.  Amazingly, no one was ever killed or suffered permanent injury, but the last straw was a crash in 2003 so bad that insurance companies refused to cover the event ever again, leading to a permnanent ban.  The crash appeared on the shock TV show, “Destroyed In Seconds”.

The video below speaks wistfully about the event, though I wouldn’t.  I only attended two as a spectator, and that was enough to put off any ideas of doing it.  I miss skiing, but suicide was never my thing.  British Columbia has many ski resorts (some several thousand metres high) so there were plenty of willing victims for Sandblast over the years and lots of used equipment.

Hachette Buried: The TERF’s book got trashed

JK must be Scowling.  Staff at the Hachette Book Group are refusing to work on the TERF’s new pile of tripe because of her recent hate speech.  Publishing company staff aren’t easily replaced, so this one will make a dent.

Staff at J.K. Rowling’s publisher won’t work on her new book after her anti-trans rants

By Daniel Villarreal Tuesday, June 16, 2020  

The staff at the Hatchette Book Group publishing company are reportedly rebelling against working on J.K. Rowling’s new children’s book, The Ickabog, because of her continued transphobic screeds.

[. . .]

“Staff in the children’s department at Hachette announced they were no longer prepared to work on the book,” said one source. “They said they were opposed to her comments and wanted to show support for the trans lobby.”

Another said, “It was a handful of staff, and they are entitled to their views…. But this is a children’s fairy tale. It is not the end of the world. They will all be having chats with their managers.”

This tells me they haven’t read it yet.  They’re objecting to her past hate and ignorance online, not the newest hate and ignorance told through allegory in a book.

Will Anybody Watch? : A last minute pride event for 2020

COVID-19 has necessitated cancellation of pride events worldwide.  Normally, Taiwan holds its pride parade in October (*) but due to cancellations elsewhere, there will purportedly be a pride event in Taipei on Sunday, June 28th.  This is the first I’ve heard of it.  It’s not mentioned in any local groups, so I’m not holding my breath or making concrete plans at the moment.

Taiwan Will Host The World’s Only Gay Pride During Pride Month 2020!

This year marks 50 years since the first Gay Pride march in Chicago 1970, and there should be a celebratory vibe everywhere in the world.

Sadly, due to the COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing, Pride events across the world have been canceled or delayed, and we have lost the opportunity for a worldwide tribute to our heroes and to march globally for unity and pride.

However, all is not lost!

Taiwan is fortunate to have been one of the very few countries in the world that never needed a lockdown, and has not had a single local case in over 2 months.

To celebrate that fact and to honor our global gay family, in league with the Taiwan Gay Sport Association (TGSMA), they will host the world’s only Gay Pride during Pride Month 2020, on June 28th, the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, at Liberty Square at the CKS Memorial Hall, with the theme of “Taiwan Pride March for the World!”

They will provide Pride Flags and signs on which you can write the place you are marching for, which could be where you grew up, a city you hold close to your heart, or where your loved ones are – it’s your march, and your choice!

They will also give away “Made in Taiwan” rainbow masks, to show support and raise awareness. Taiwan is ready to march for the world!

I’m sure people are asking “Why Sunday, not Saturday?” but there are two good reasons.  First, Taiwan is UTC+8, so if this is broadcast worldwide, North and South America can watch on Saturday evening, Europe and Africa on tape delay Sunday. (**) Second, the local Canada Day events are set for June 27th (***).  Thousands go out annually for this event, and the conflict would thin out both crowds. (****)

I plan to go and observe, not participate other than carrying a Black Trans Lives Matter sign.  I’m not too enthused after the Los Angeles Pride’s recent betrayal of Black Lives Matter, and the complete absence of many. . .individuals from the local BLM event last Saturday.  It didn’t surprise me which LGBTQIA weren’t there, given their words and actions in the past.

I don’t know how other LGBTQIA people feel, but I refuse to wear or carry the six colour rainbow flag.  Most “pride” events mimic the worst of second wave feminism, too focused on cisgender able-bodied white people to the exclusion of anyone who isn’t.  Black Lives Matter groups get it, and they are speaking up for and defending Black Transgender and Non-Binary people.  Why can’t these mostly-white run groups and events?

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

One thing I am enthused for that’s upcoming: The Taipei Scream Music Festival on July 4.  Eight local bands will be performing over eight hours.  Qori of All My Boyfriendz is a friend of mine.  Skaraoke is the headlining act.   Bunnlysium and The Flat Fives (not the US band of a similar name) are two other acts I want to see.

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

(* Once again in 2020, the pride disorganizers idiotically scheduled it for October 31st, the same day as all the Hallowe’en parties.  They can’t grasp that they’re splitting the crowds.  Pride parties don’t rate compared to Hallowe’en parties.)

(** 2020! Taiwan finally gets to export culture internationally with baseball and parades, like Japan’s anime and South Korea’s hanliu culture.)

(*** Canada Day is another event that I go and observe, not participate, because of who runs it.)

(**** June 25-28 is a four day weekend.  June 25th is Dragon Boat Festival, and a few races will go ahead because their location allows social distancing, while most are canceled.  June 26th is not a holiday, but schools and businesses will be open on June 20th to make up for it.  I always prefer makeup days before, it feels like you earned it.  Makeup days after a holiday feel like you’re repaying a debt – with interest, because you’re working eleven out of twelve days in a row.  Working the 20th means we work nine out of ten days, then get the holiday.