Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Q Toon: And the Rest

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
-Mar 13, 2013
For its first season of "Gilligan's Island," the show opened with a catchy little sea ditty as its theme song, which told the story of how the castaways got to the island, then introduced the characters in its third verse:
"With Gilligan,
The Skipper, too;
The Millionaire
And his wife;
The movie star
And the rest."
There were only two other characters in the regular cast, but it wasn't until the second season that the writers crammed "The Professor and Mary Ann" into the last line (leaving, I suppose, the radio announcer as the last regular cast member out in the cold.)

This month, the British Commonwealth produced a "Charter for the 21st Century" proclaiming broad support for human rights, which states, "We are implacably opposed to all forms of  discrimination, whether rooted  in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds." The London Daily Mail asserted that "other grounds" is meant to refer to gays, lesbians, transgender and bisexual persons.

Not everyone is impressed, however. British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell points out that:
"More than 40 of the 54 Commonwealth countries still criminalise homosexuality, mostly under laws imposed by Britain during the colonial era. Six of these countries stipulate life imprisonment. Uganda is currently considering legislation that would introduce the death penalty for repeat gay offenders. The Nigerian parliament has before it a similarly draconian anti-gay bill that will outlaw same-sex marriage, and LGBT organisations and advocacy. The Commonwealth's response to these two bills - and to the homophobic witch-hunts in Cameroon - has been feeble."
Homosexuality is still a flogging offense in Pakistan; in Jamaica, anyone convicted of the "abominable crime of buggery" faces up to 10 years' imprisonment, with or without hard labor; Nigerian punishment already includes death by stoning as a possible punishment. (Wikipedia has a page devoted to LGBT rights in all countries of the world -- worth checking before booking that Caribbean vacation.)

The difference between the British Commonwealth and Gilligan's Island is that there were only seven castaways on the TV show. There wasn't any question who "and the rest" were.

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