File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 453

Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 00:47:00 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Where were you when Mayor George Moscone & Supervisor

I was in Oshkosh, at the University of Wisconsin, setting up a puppet exhibit at the Priebe Gallery when news bulletins  interrupted regular programming on radios and TVs with shocking details of the political assasination of San Francisco's Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk by former Supervisor Dan White. This disgrace followed just  a week after the tragedy of Jonestown.

In one of those peculiar trials, Dan White's 1979 appearance in court hinged on the "Twinky Defense" (that eating so many twinkies affected White's judgement and basically "made him do it").

Even though Dan White had snuck into San Francisco's City Hall through a window instead of passing through security (carrying a 38 caliber revolver) making it obvious that his actions were premeditated, he was only tried on "voluntary manslaughter" charges and after he served 5 years in prison, he was paroled to Studio City, California which was walking distance from my then-home in North Hollywood.

When we learned from the Los Angeles Times that we had a murderer in the neighborhood, I was one of many whose letters of dismay appeared in the Times.

A major irony is that Dan White was an ardent proponent for the death penalty when applied to others. Shortly after the letters to the editor were printed, Mr White committed suicide, in effect receiving the justice he deemed appropriate for murderers.

White was a political murderer, and his actions affected not just San Francisco, but my neighborhood and concerned people everywhere. 

The mayor's deputy press secretary/speech writer was Josh Getlin, who wrote two full columns for last Sunday's L.A. Times (Nov 23, 2008)

He feared that Moscone's memory was largely forgotten today. So this is to prod memories and educate those who were not yet born. This event was one of many which taught me that we don't live in a vacuum and that we must fight bad politics which affect all of us--even puppeteers.. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Moynihan
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:38 AM
Subject: [Puptcrit] OFF TOPIC - 44 years ago today memorial

I realize that this is an international puppetry forum.
But I do think this event reverberated to most nations.
I was in secondary school when it happened, in a Political Science  
class, ironically.
I think everyone near my age recalls where they were on Nov. 22, 1963.
United States President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas,  

My father had passed away in May of 1962.

The 600 student school closed and we were all sent home.
Teachers, male and female weeping openly as we left.
My favorite teacher/mentor, a former prize fight,
WWII vet and the best history teach I've ever know,
cursing and crying as he supervised the shut down.
The quietest school bus ride home.
The long sad dark days afterward.
And then two days later another murder, live on national TV.

Most of what I though I knew about my nation came into question  
starting that day.
Questioning continues to this day.

My wish & hope is that all assassinations will cease.

- moynihan
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