February 23, 2013

And the show must go on

The other night my wife and I went to an AIDS benefit thrown by the TCU dance department. The dancers were young and energetic and talented and I smiled politely and applauded at all the appropriate times – and inside my head was exploding and my fingers were trembling.

See, that was my generation they were dancing for. “Generation Gone”; Generation, “Here Today, Dead Tomorrow.”

My generation of Broadway dancers wasn’t “touched” by AIDS, we were sledge hammered by it.

In one terrible week in 1986, during a run of CATS, we lost a costumer, a hair dresser and a dance captain – all in one week they died – and the show went on.

If you were in the audience for a Broadway show back in the 80s, you never knew how scared we were, how sad we were, how hopeless we felt. It was our job to entertain you.

Our tears and worries were saved for the blue lights of backstage. There’s some oath, you see, that performers take – “the show must go on!”

We’d leave the hospital rooms of dying friends to get to the theater in time to make you smile, then go to a late night mass for another friend – two weeks ago alive and laughing, and now for some reason known only to God, dead.

I applaud the young performers who are carrying on today for such a worthy cause. Today AIDS benefits feature red ribbons on tuxedos, red shoes with black evening dresses – there’s a certain dignity to it. Back then it was a horrible stigma. But it wasn’t confined to the homosexual community. Straight, gay, woman, man – we feared to touch each other, kiss on stage, the plunge of a bobby pin from the mouth of a hairdresser through our wigs – the sling of sweat from a pirouette.

If you prescribe to the theory that homosexuals are sissies – come watch them die. Come see how bravely those young men died. How to the ends of their lives they did what they could to make you laugh, to entertain you, to keep your spirits up. To get you back to the theater so “the show could go on!” I was straight and, at the time, afraid to say it, but now I don’t care. Society has lost so much, so much talent gone, so many songs unwritten, so many songs unsung and too many theaters dark with only the glow of a ghost light hiding far too many shadows. Go to the theater and watch for ghosts in the corners … the best ghosts haunt musicals. How could they not be, they were such good people.

Randy Clements



Fair Tax can fix stupid

Congress and the President Obama continue to disagree on ways to fix our economy while avoiding the real solution. The Income Tax is the real culprit.

It is driving business overseas to avoid its penalizing effects.

HR25 The Fair Tax Act will change that. Every worker will receive their full paycheck without payroll taxes or income taxes deducted.

Every business will not have to pay income tax or report any activities to the IRS. Imagine the effect of a consumption tax that will allow that to happen.

The economy is expected to grow by 10.5% the first year HR25 is enacted. Exports are predicted to grow by 35% the first year. How is that for STIMULUS?

HR25 has been shelved within the House Ways and Means Committee for many years. Dave Camp, the chairman of W&M, has indicated they will be considering alternative tax proposals this year. He has assigned committees to study them.

The Income Tax lobby is the largest lobby in Washington, D.C.

Call your congressperson and demand they support the Fair Tax.

Roy T Newsom


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