Friday, November 21, 2008

All Things Gay and Republican

Just a few items that caught my attention lately either gay, Republican, or gay Republican.

  • Kathleen Parker continues to point out what those on the left have known for years, the Religious Right is dead weight for Republicans and alienating other constituencies of the party. As she notes, it "isn't that culture doesn't matter." But rather that the Republican party and conservatism "will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one's heart where it belongs" What a novel concept - religion in your heart and not on your sleeve (or your politics). What will those clever Republican/conservatives come up with next? It's not like James Madison had this concern during the creation of our country or anything... oh wait, he did.
  • GayPatriotWest, in his usual conservative boy in a bubble viewpoint, calls on gay leaders working on the No on Prop 8 effort to resign, because they lost the vote. Apparently, in his mind, it was a deliberate way to keep their jobs by losing, gay leaders are not introspective enough, No on 8 people are filled with insane rage, juvenile and sore losers, and if only they were more like conservative leaders they would have done better.

    Now I know he lives in California and is a conservative website, but about half of his posts since starting to write about the controversy are about the issue and do nothing but criticize the people fighting for marriage rights in the state. Does anyone else find that curious? This is someone but his own admission isn't in a long-term relationship and constantly whines about being rebuffed by guys for his politics. He overlooks issue like the Mormon church, based in Utah, contributing over half of the millions of dollars spent on the Yes on 8 campaign, overlooks the amount of money the Mormon church has spent in other states on similar efforts, nor does he criticize the scare tactics used in the advertising and marketing of the issue, demonizing gay men and women. He doesn't highlight the fact that in this vote the result was much better than in the past. He doesn't criticize Yes on 8 folks for not highlighting the option of civil unions instead of marriage. In fact, as a gay person, he gives the whole Yes on 8 campaign a complete wash and only criticizes the No on 8 effort. I know constantly rails against the whole self-loathing meme critics of the site portray but especially on this subject there's not a lot of support against that criticism.
  • And to round out the gay, Republican, or both theme, once again we turn to GayPatriotWest who has a particular bug up his butt (pun intended) about the whole eHarmony gay lawsuit controversy. So it seems some cranky-ass gay guy sued eHarmony cause he couldn't use the service to find guys to date. To me, it's kind of a duh sentiment. eHarmony is still a private company and for now sexual orientation is still not a federally protected class. The company was under no real legal pressure to settle, but it seems they may be planning an IPO and it also gives them a "I have no control over it" way to create a gay equivalent or component to eHarmony without offending either their conservative consumers, board or potential investors.

    But that wasn't good enough for GayPatriotWest. He of course, as his current call to arms, wants the heads of the gay leadership for not commenting on the issue. He somehow extrapolates that that's because they're worried that people will begin suing for equal access to gay dating sites. That's ignoring the fact that many "straight" people use these sites already. I say if straight guys want to find hookups with straight women on a site called "Manhunt" with all their advertising of guys in slings and leather gear, they should go for it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

McCain Media Bias? Just who did you bring to the dance, Senator McCain?

I find it amusing that GayPatriotWest finds it ironic that there was some kind of media bias against the McCain campaign leading into this election. Why are Republicans pretending that the John McCain of the 2008 election is anything like the John McCain the press knew and liked. This wouldn't even be a question if the John McCain of 2000 or 2004 had run this race.

I think what GayPatriotWest sees as bias (noting that the GayPatriot camp tends to imagine most of life is against them anyway) is really just scorn. "No one is angrier than a woman who has been rejected in love," so says William Congreve in his 1697 play The Mourning Bride. And so the rejection began at the GOP convention where a host of speakers railed against the elitist media. And then McCain himself chose Sarah Palin, a politician that few in general knew well, if at all, as his running mate. The campaign hindered the efforts of the media (and by extension, the nation) to get to know her first hand and to let her speak for herself in a straightforward manner continuing the media's ire of the campaign. That combined with contrived, highly controlled campaign stops in overtly Republican areas of the country and aggressive, negative and misleading campaign rhetoric created an atmosphere of skepticism for the media.

The media that used to have a friendly, trusting relationship with McCain was being dumped for his new girlfriend, the Republican base. Joe Lieberman, who should have been tapped as his running mate as his first choice, was dumped in favor of a sassy cutie-pie from the frozen North beloved by the evangelical, conservative crowd. His image as a maverick, and the corresponding authenticity that went with it, was undermined by dropping everything that made him who he was for everything he hoped would fulfill his personal ambition. This seems to be a theme in his life.

I know GayPatriotWest optimistically sees Governor Palin as a half-full glass of GOP mavericky-flavoured energy drink, rather than the mostly empty, yet skilled, tumbler of koolaid we've come to know. He also wants to believe that the John McCain of 2008 is just like the do-good, straight-shooting, independent teddybear people rooted for in the past. However, it wasn't the media that changed in 2008. It wasn't some new liberal bias that came into play (or any old liberal bias the GOP trots out as a bogeyman when convenient). It was John McCain himself and his campaign that rightfully brought on this scrutiny and skepticism. If there's anything he and the rest of the GOP should learn one thing from this year's past election: you dance with the media you brung. Otherwise, don't be surprised after you dump them when they hook up with someone younger, smarter and hotter who then gets elected prom king.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Almost Normal - What if Things Were Different?

Via Queerty via JoeMyGod comes a cute, short movie Dads, I'm Straight, pondering what it would be like to live in a world where everyone is gay and a young boy had to come out as straight to his two fathers.

If you liked that, you should definitely catch the 2005 Canadian movie Almost Normal, where a college professor is transported back to high school to do it all over again, except now everyone is gay. He now has the chance to land his high school crush, the most popular and cute guy in school, until he realizes he's actually straight and in love with his best girlfriend. It's a "what if" film, with a twist at the end that's well rendered, with a good supporting cast and an adorable and smart turn by J. Andrew Keitch (who seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth).

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Great American Hero Revealed

Currently reading Glenn Greenwald's Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics. I'm only up to chapter three and am finding my thoughts absolutely reflected in Glenn's writings.

Chapter one zings the myth of John Wayne as the archetype of American masculinity, instead revealing him the archetype Republican chicken hawk - a draft dodging, drug addicted, valueless husband and father his personal life revealed. This "cowboy" (whose son confessed preferred suits and tuxedos to chaps and boots) set the hypocritical standard that all Republican conservatives look up to today both in his public persona and his personal hypocrisy.

I highly recommend this read. Glenn can be a little heavy handed in his rhetoric and I'd prefer him to focus more on deconstructing the myth of public personas versus private values (on both sides of the aisle actually). All in all though, you learn much about how both the game of politics and the American people are played daily by political mythmaking.