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Life Magazine was once an effective source for informing, entertaining and shaping the American mind. I remember well the days when local newspapers, reporters and editors, happily ruined peoples' lives and eagerly destroyed careers -- joyfully detailing a police bust of a small gay bar. There was a fine doctor, well beloved by his patients, and by his students at the University of Buffalo, where he taught medicine. He got caught in a police bust and his name was listed along with many others in the Buffalo Evening News, (another newspaper with an equally vile editorial stance, which long ago went belly up, to which I say, "Good riddance!" And I say it with my thumb firmly attached to my nose while waggling my fingers as my tongue emits a rude, loud, razzberry) and the good doctor was forced to leave town before the end of the week, and permanently.
The police only busted the places which didn't pay well enough in the first place. And in Buffalo a big payoff was expected each month. And not just for the cops, but for the folks in City Hall. All the way up to the top office. And quite often even having paid off the cops the exorbitant monthly payoff, the bar was still busted anytime an election was anywhere near.
Buffalo was all so corrupt that police decoys were known to have sex with their victims first -- and not merely as passive recipients, but as enthusiastic participants -- and then, afterwards, they'd arrest the poor guy anyway. And as if it wasn't bad enough to be busted for being in a bar of your free choosing and all you were doing was having a drink with some friends; but then reporters got your name and printed every name of every person who was caught, photographed and fingerprinted, and their only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Funny, how society's values tend to become more liberal as time goes on. The ugly conservatives such as the Life Magazine staffers who put together this piece are now distant and despicable voices, barely audible whispers of a darker world when people were denigrated, arrested and even killed for no other thing than their sexual preferences. That is the world I grew up in.
Words fail to express the depth of my loathing for this issue of Life Magazine. Not merely for itself but for the now familiar attitudes it reflects. Yes, it's all so very familiar. Like the face of a schoolyard bully you can never forget or forgive. Like my own mother's face, twisted in disgust whenever we passed a known gay bar on Delaware Avenue. As far as this article goes...It's an unforgivable crime publishing such garbage in any age.
But that's Life for you.
 

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