Van Cliburn is such An Institution here in the Fort that he tends to get taken for granted. But this past weekend The New York Times showed Cliburn some love with an intriguing story about his recent return visit to Russia to serve as honorary juror at an international piano competition. The story recalls Cliburn’s controversial role as a cultural ambassador at the height of the Cold War in 1958. It’s a nice reminder of his accomplishments.


  1. Cliburn could have accomplished one very important thing which he refused to do. He could have outed himself a long time ago, back when it would have mattered and helped. It would have helped because this area is a hotbed of homophobia and thousands of young gay men could have had one more example of being open, successful and gay.
    He had nothing, literally nothing, to lose. His fans, neighbors, colleagues — nobody would have spurned him. He could have even waited until his sainted mother died (though I suspect she could have cared less).
    He may be a good pianist, but he is still a self-loathing closet case.

  2. It shouldn’t be somebody’s duty to explain his sexual likes and dislikes to the public, not back in the 1950s and not today. It isn’t anybody else’s business.

  3. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with “sexual likes and dislikes.” With gay and lesbians being persecuted, killed, bullied, and discriminated against at every level of government, it is the duty of every self-respecting LGBT to be open and honest about their orientation.
    To sneeringly describe one’s immutable orientation as merely “likes and dislikes” clearly identifies you as a bigot.

  4. Editor of this fine puBICKation , commonly known as Fort Worth Weekly ‘biz chit’… as of about 7 years ago, anyway… has a disclaimer on most pages that states they :” reserves the right to remove any posts that we deem to be overly abusive or offensive.”

    WOW. Define Offensive. Because I’m a solutions kind a gal, may I interupt my reply to this VAN russian ride with a suggestion to your Editors and YOUR board… of pretenders. News publications are already biased enough. Please consider viewing the alternate side of the current town tone. You could save a life.. or a few… instead of futher FIU. My two cents aren’t worth much when I TYPE em.. but tears fall too hard to speak em.
    Whahwah says……

    “It shouldn’t be somebody’s duty to explain his sexual likes and dislikes to the public, not back in the 1950s and not today. It isn’t anybody else’s business.”

    Along the same lines of my disclaimer rhetoric, your dually noted opinion on HIS sexual likes and DISlikes strikes me as odd. When is it anyone’s right anywhere about ANYONE to publically discuss ANYONE’S anything without express written permission ? Its almost like some folks fingers just type MEAN AND CRUEL stuff about innocent terrified humiliated good people all by themselves.. and the HUMAN.. supposedly att the other end of those digits isn’t aware that the characters they send out are destroying a persons life.

    If you wish to type a WPS document and fantasize or ridicule the president of the untied UNITED States … GO FOR IT. More Power to you. That’s your home, your computer, your space, and your document. JUST LIKE THIS IS MY ROOM, MY SPACE, MY VOICE AND MY OPIONION ( sometimes ) and I really DON’T have any control over who’s extracting what my VOICE JUST SAYS …. but yet… You ( participating media mennaces in this place ) by and large somehow believe you have a right to listen and then utilize the things that belong to ME…

    If I write a song.. before I can even sing it… someone else has published it. If I invent a FM CHANNEL BLOCK, its hijacked and covered up before I can even press send on a patent lock.

    WHERE IS THE JUSTICE IN THAT ? Sexual Likes and Dislikes are just like Personal preferences in Sheet Thread Count and Drawers Style. Read the lines and between them… if I press send and its got my signature SEAL… but change the FM channel… remove the batteries from the Bass Boaze Jones Wear you have rigged up…. AND LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE AND WRITE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORDS, OPINIONS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND NAVIGATION.