Friday, January 6, 2012

Stamp to Commemorate Gay Codebreaker Alan Turing (edited)

Another lazy day, another link:  this is of interest not only because Alan Turing was gay, but because, while he was instrumental in breaking the Nazi code during WWII, he was nonetheless a victim of archaic and oppressive laws against homosexuals. (Personal observation edited)

8 comments:

Bob said...

Treat you like crap.
Fire you.
Humiliate you.
Then make you a stamp.

Mitch Block said...

Sad what came before but heart-warming to learn what has followed!

Russ Manley said...

Nice story, Frank, but your final comment has me scratching my head - doesn't make sense. Britain is far, far, far ahead of our country on gay rights in every direction, and as the story says, the Prime Minister officially apologized on behalf of H. M. Government in 2009 for the way Turing was treated sixty years ago. How do you get "makes it OK" out of all that?

Mmm, maybe it's time for a cookie and a nice little nap, eh?

Frank said...

Russ,
All I'm saying is, I'm not sure an "official apology" and a stamp can ever neutralize the horrible ordeal of "chemical castration" and Turing's ultimate death by suicide. Necessary but not sufficient gestures.

But, can I have milk with those cookies? Chocolate chip?

Russ Manley said...

Well, just what would be a "sufficient gesture," my friend? Would you like to see the P.M. commit hara-kari live on the BBC? Or, since it's probable that all of Turing's persecutors and prosecutors are dead by now, should we dig up their rotting corpses and let them hang for the next 20 years over the gates of London, as was actually done at the Restoration with that of Cromwell and the rest of the men who signed Charles I's death warrant?

Where does it stop, Frank? With your thorough Catholic background, you need no schooling from me on the virtue of forgiveness, and its necessity. Before you answer, I wish you would go read the actual text of Gordon Brown's apology (click to enlarge the scans):

http://blog.jgc.org/2011/07/complete-text-of-gordon-browns-apology.html

It's really quite moving, and it pulls no punches, does not try to whitewash the past. What more can anyone now living do, buddy? And not just for Turing and the gays, but also for the blacks, the Indians, the Jews, the Irish, the Italians, the Ethiopians, the Suffragettes, and everyone else who was mistreated and hurt in the past? Where does it end?

Or shall we just make perpetual war on everybody whose ancestors did something nasty to our ancestors, forever and ever, amen?

Tell you what, though - I'm about to make some real Nestle's Toll House cookies here, why don't you come over and have some with me, and a big frosty mug of milk apiece, and we can talk more . . . after we watch Superman, and the Mousketeers. Deal?

Frank said...

I have no argument with you Russ, I just don't express my thoughts as clearly as you do. Perhaps unclear thoughts should just not be expressed at all.

The PM's speech was indeed moving and significant. I admire him and the UK for all they have accomplished on the human rights front.

Other than that, I will delete my commentary.

I'm in no mood for cookies.

Russ Manley said...

Hey man I hear you, I have my bad moods and hangups too. Sorry if I hassled you.

Frank said...

Russ,
No problem.

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