Thursday, 15 October 2020

the age of consent

Released on this day by London Records in 1984, the synth-pop trio Bronski Beat’s above titled debut album was in reference to legal and social reforms in much of continental Europe that decriminalised homosexuality and harmonised the age of consent with that for heterosexual relationship, legislation which the United Kingdom did not ascribe to at the time. All members of the band were openly gay and their music contained commentary on politics and gay-related issues. Their one charting song “Smalltown Boy” is featured on the record, an eventual anthem addressing hardships of coming-out and experiencing homophobia, released also as a single earlier in the year.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

sede vacante

With already burgeoning anti-Catholic sentiment channeled and thrust to the next level with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln whose conspirators included Mary Elizabeth Surratt, a practising Catholic and hung by the neck until dead, and her son John Harrison Surratt—fugitive from justice who fled to Europe and briefly served as a Pontifical Zouave (the Papal States’ infantry—pictured in uniform) before being recognised and extradited back to the US, on this day in 1867, America suspended consular relations with the Holy See—diplomacy not to be restored until 1984. In the interim, special envoys and emissaries were appointed to negotiate deals and coordinate participation on specific political and humanitarian issues. Kindred sympathies between Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II both over their shared crusade against Communism and a bond formed after each survived assassination attempts in 1981.