The Week in Review
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 This week of corrected inequality, convicted porn stars, and death galore kicks off in Alaska, where today a moose hunter spent some time between the jaws of a bear. Details come from the Anchorage Daily News, which identifies our moose hunter as Donald "Skip" Sanford, a 65-year-old ex- marine who was hunting this afternoon near the Maclaren River when he encountered a big, angry grizzly. "Sanford had just enough time to fire one shot from his .30-06 rifle before the bear grabbed him," reports the ADN. "The bear's claws dug into Sanford's back, near his kidneys... It bit his head, tearing an ear and leaving deep wounds with its canine teeth at the base of Sanford's skull." As Sanford's hunting buddy Monty Dyson told reporters, "Skip said he remembered his head being in the bear's mouth... All he could do then was pray to the Lord that the bear would let go." Eventually the bear did, and the significantly wounded Sanford was rushed by boat and then helicopter to the Providence Alaska Medical Center, where tomorrow he'll be listed in fair condition.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 In much better news, the week continues with the first day of the post–"don't ask, don't tell" era, as the US policy barring openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons from military service was relegated to the dustbin of history. Signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton (who should remain ashamed), DADT prohibited all who "demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving in the armed forces, as their presence "would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability." Today, this lie joined whatever defenses were used to support segregated pools and whites-only drinking fountains in the US History Hall of Shame, as a proclamation by the president, the secretary of defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff confirming that the repeal would not harm military readiness passed its mandatory 60-day waiting period and "don't ask, don't tell" died. Humongous thanks to all the service members, lawyers, and activists whose years of hard work made today's triumph possible, and congratulations, US military.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 Speaking of things that give gays reason to celebrate (or at least masturbate), the week continues with Ryan Idol, the adult film actor whose Tom Cruisey looks and well-oiled muscles made him the most popular gay-for-pay porn star in the '90s. Then things went horribly, horribly wrong, as evidenced by yesterday's verdict finding the now 47-year-old Idol (real name: Marc Donais) guilty of attempted murder after beating a former girlfriend over the head with a porcelain toilet tank lid. As the Sacramento Bee reports, Donais faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
••Speaking of crappy crimes leading to just convictions: Today Sidney Wright, a 37-year-old man in Bremerton, was sentenced to three years in prison for vehicular homicide after texting while driving and causing a crash that killed a baby.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 The week continues with the execution of Troy Davis, the man convicted of killing a cop under contentious circumstances, whose decades on Georgia's death row and days of frantic final appeals came to an end just after 11:00 p.m. last night, when he was put to death by lethal injection. Also killed yesterday by the state: Texas's Lawrence Brewer, the 44-year-old white supremacist found guilty of chaining a black man to the back of a pickup truck and dragging him to death along an asphalt road in 1998. Troy Davis's final words: "I am innocent... May God have mercy on your souls." Lawrence Brewer's final words: "I have no final statement."
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 The week continues with a death that doesn't involve extensive planning by an allegedly civilized society, just a bear and a hunter doing what comes naturally. Details come from Reuters, which reports, "An autopsy shows that a Nevada man believed to have been fatally mauled by a grizzly bear in northwestern Montana was instead shot and killed by his hunting partner." Short version: Two friends go hunting, one gets attacked by a bear, the other tries to stop the attack with gunfire, the end.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 Today brings a fond farewell to Arch West, the man who made the dream of a delicious orange-dusted tortilla chip that tastes like cheese (with a hint of post-barf bile) a reality. The former Frito-Lay executive and inventor of Doritos died this week of natural causes and will be buried in Dallas along with a handful of the chips that made his fortune. RIP, Mr. West.
••Meanwhile in New York City, a handful of dirty cops assaulted a bunch of peaceful protestors at the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration. RIP, right to peaceful assembly.
••Meanwhile in Mexico, the body of blogger Maria Elizabeth Macias was found next to her decapitated head along with "a message citing posts she wrote on 'Nuevo Laredo en Vivo,' a website used by Laredo residents to denounce crime and warn each other about drug cartel gunfights and roadblocks," reports the Associated Press. "The message found next to Macias' body on the side of a main thoroughfare referred to the nickname she purportedly used on the site, 'Laredo Girl.' Her head was found placed on a stone piling nearby." The text of the message (sic throughout): "Nuevo Laredo en Vivo and social networking sites, I'm The Laredo Girl, and I'm here because of my reports, and yours. For those who don't want to believe, this happened to me because of my actions, for believing in the army and the navy. Thank you for your attention." RIP, Maria Macias.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 The week ends with nothing, unless you count the birthdays of Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill (born on this day in 1951), Christopher "Superman" Reeve (1952), Anson "Potsie from Happy Days" Williams (1949), Aida "Janice Soprano" Turturro (1962), and Mark "Huge Color Fields" Rothko (1903), or the death-days of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham (who died on this day in 1980), Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie (1991), or American writer George Plimpton (2003).
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This article has been updated since its original publication.