The Power of Music

Both Alan Turing and Harvey Milk were music lovers. Alan enjoyed singing out-of-season hymns, loved British Pantomines, which are full of silly songs, and even took up the violin. Even as he had the police over at his residence, he entertained them with an Irish Classic, “Cockles and Mussels.” There is a statue in Dublin honoring Molly Malone, the subject of the song,  put up during the mayoralty of Lord Mayor Ben Briscoe, who was a Lithuanian Jew like Harvey Milk. Alan’s musical interests are typical of scientists and mathematicians, many of whom are confirmed music lovers, recognizing that music is a form of audible math.

From the age of eleven Harvey was a determined Opera and Classical music fan. He did not care much for Verdi but loved the music of Wagner, Bruckner, and Mahler. For Harvey listening to music was tantamount to religious experience. Harvey also was fond of ballet. A substantial number of Opera composers are or were gay such as Benjamin Britten and Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

Harvey also was crazy about Broadway musicals, which is not surprising since they are an homage to Opera. Harvey’s favorite musical was Man of La Mancha, a tribute to Cervantes’ Don Quixote. But he also makes allusions to Guys and Dolls and The King and I. His famous “and you and you and you” may allude both to So Long Farewell from Sound of Music at to the Good Morning song in Singin’ in the Rain. Likewise Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim are/were  important gay figures in this arena.

For Harvey to work as producer or stage mananger for productions such as Hair, Lenny, and Jesus Christ Superstar must have been a dream come true. These experiences enriched his theatrical skills as a politician.

Like many gay men of his time, he enjoyed The Rolling Stones as well. According to his biography, however, he got irritated when neighbours played San Francisco based Jefferson Airplane (now Starship) too loud. Harvey also serenaded his last major boyfriend, Doug Franks, with “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca.

Harvey did not typically care for disco, but he was close friends with Sylvester, who performed Mighty Real for Harvey’s last birthday in May 1978. This song is featured in both the movie MILK and in THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK.

Harvey also told his relatives how sad he was he could not come back to Long Island for Passover because he loved singing at seders.

There are many ways to express, experience and further the holy. The music of the Blues, Jazz, and Motown comes to mind as they allowed Black People to pour out their souls and help save White America. Such is the magic of music.

In this novel series, music is used as a vehicle of healing. In all difficult moments experienced by Harvey and Alan, there is a built-in songtrack to help them get through, and many scenes of the novel series involve them enjoying music together.

And of course, Harvey and Alan make beautiful music in other ways too. It is the same energy, expressed in a varied form.

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Today, November 27, 2016 is the 38th anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Bernard Milk on November 27, 1978. If he were alive today he would be 86 years old.  To think of all that could have happened had he and Alan Turing lived out a full lifespan, providing hope and technology to make our world a better place. EVER I SAW TOUR FACE and the series 8008 gives them just that chance.

Both Harvey and Alan had difficulties in their romantic relationships, which is covered thoroughly in their biographies. But they are simply great for each other. Alan needs someone he can talk with about his math and science interests and it just so happens Harvey was a math minor and high school math teacher who used advanced math in jobs such as an actuary. Harvey as a busy politican needs a love who can do well alone for long periods of time and it turns out that that is exactly Alan’s best working style!

They also share a common sense of humor, equally powerful drives for intimacy, and love boats, music, flowers, adventure, new experiences, and fun times in the kitchen! Harvey’s outrageous extroversion is well balanced by Alan’s quieter and more careful introversion. In addition they both love silly and witty banter, going to the movies, playing in the water, chilling at the beach, and being out and proud!

Clearly a Harvey-Alan affair is a match made in heaven. Harvey and Alan are both kind, loving and caring people who would do anything to keep their lover happy. This time, however, it will be a two-way street in which each of them both gives and receives love and support. After all that they went through, noble Alan and awesome Harvey, who had such tough lives, can now find a kind of passionate happiness they both so richly deserve!

This blog is intended to introduce you, a potential reader, to the novel about this love affair which has many different dimensions to it, but at its backbone it is about the beautiful love of two beautiful people and how that love can change the world for the better. Thanks for reading!

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In the Navy

Both Harvey and Alan have deep roots with the Navy.

  1. Little Alan in the photo above is forced to wear uncomfortable sailor clothing.
  2. Alan’s parents met on a ship.
  3. Both of Harvey’s parents were in the Navy.
  4. Harvey served in the Navy during the Korean war and was also a diving instructor. Every day he wore his special double dolphin Navy brass buckle.
  5. Alan Turing’s greatest codebreaking feat was cracking the Naval Enigma. It was complicated by eventually requiring 4 out of a possible 8 rotors and could only be fully cracked with the possession of special bigram tables, sets of random letters that were added to the encode message indicators.
  6. Alan loved sailing and traveled by boat several times to the US.
  7. The Muppet Show’s version of The Village People’s In the Navy aired in  September/October 1980 and features Viking Pigs. Alan was of Danish/Scandanavian ancestry on both sides and learned both Norwegian and Danish.
  8.  During World War II there were special U-Boats known as Milch-Cows  that serviced other U-boats by supplying them with fuel, ammunition, etc. Harvey’s last name was originally Milch and that was also considered as his true surname by Harvey. Harvey also owned a special cow figurine named Milky.


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Mathematical Knitting with Alan

How Did Alan Turing Break the Enigma?

Alan’s Sponge Cake