Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
The Year Gentleness Died
by Michael Kiesow Moore
It was the year gentleness died.
Larry was first to go
the sweet young man covered with purple lesions.
He was the sweetest. Men can be sweet, you know.
Then it was Keith’s turn.
He was a rebel rouser, full of righteous anger.
But at his core he was all gentleness.
And it was a plague against the gentle.
And then Frederic went,
dear lovely Frederic.
His spirit was like a puppy’s
bouncing and joyful, always joyful,
and now gone.
I could tell you about Bill
and his love of angels because he was one,
and if you never met Kerry—
I could do this all day, telling you
all whom we lost the year gentleness died.
They went in the tens, then the hundreds,
we lost them by the thousands,
then ten times that across all the lands.
They kept falling, all the gentle ones.
“The Year Gentleness Died” by Michael Kiesow Moore from The Song Castle. Nodin Press © 2019. Reprinted with permission (buy now)
It’s the birthday of Bill Nye the Science Guy, (works by this artist) born William Sanford Nye in Washington, D.C. (1955). He majored in mechanical engineering at Cornell, where one of his professors was Carl Sagan, and was working as an actor at a Seattle sketch comedy show when the host mispronounced the word “gigawatt”; he’d incorrectly said “jigowatt.” William Sanford Nye politely corrected the host of the television comedy show, and the host said, “Who are you?” and Nye said, off the top of his head, “Bill Nye the Science Guy?”
Between 1993 and 1997, he wrote, produced, and hosted 100 episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy, his educational program on PBS geared toward grade-schoolers. The 26-minute program, each featuring a distinct topic, was shown in classrooms across the country, and it still is broadcast on some public television stations. He’s written a number of children’s books, including Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Big Blast of Science (1993).
In recent years Bill Nye has been a climate science advocate. He launched a new show on Netflix Bill Nye Saves the World (2017), appeared on Dancing with the Stars (2013), and was the subject of the documentary Bill Nye: Science Guy (2017).
It’s the birthday of science writer John Maddox, (books by this author) who edited Nature magazine for 22 years, born near Swansea, Wales (1925). He taught theoretical physics at the University of Manchester, then went to work for The Manchester Guardian as science correspondent. He became the editor of Nature magazine (for the first of two separate editorships) in 1966; it was just 13 years after that magazine published Watson and Crick’s findings about the structure of DNA. John Maddox died in April 2009.
It was on this day in 1978 that San Francisco mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by Dan White, a former supervisor who’d resigned but then wanted his job back. White snuck into the San Francisco City Hall through a window in order to bypass metal detectors, then he walked to the mayor’s office and shot him. Then he found Milk in a hallway and shot him, too. Fellow Board of Supervisors member Dianne Feinstein (now California’s senior U.S. Senator) heard the shots and discovered the body of Milk.
Dan White’s lawyer argued that he showed diminished capacity due to his anguished mental state, and that a symptom of this was that the normally fit and health-food conscious White had begun eating a lot of junk food and had binged on junk food the night before shooting his co-workers. It became known as the “Twinkie defense,” even though Twinkies were never actually mentioned in court, and the Twinkie Defense is not a genuine legal defense according to the rules of jurisprudence.
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person to be elected to California public office.
Today he is best known for two books: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941) and A Death in the Family (1958). Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is a long and difficult book, more like poetry than journalism in parts. The book was a flop, selling only about 600 copies and quickly going out of print.
His second novel was published two years after he died in 1955, A Death in the Family (1957), and won the Pulitzer Prize. A few years later, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was reissued and came to be considered a classic, one of the great books of the century.
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