Culture War

I was watching The Daily Show from November 3 (thank God for Tivo) and I witnessed an actual epiphany from Jon Steward. He had on Chuck Schumer (Idiotarian-NY) and it was so amazing that I had to transcribe it to fisk it.

Jon Stewart: Were you surprised that turnout did not work in the Democrats’ favor?

Chuck Schumer: Yeah, we all thought, yesterday, we all thought that Kerry was going to win, the turnout was going to put us over the top, and they did a better job, and the interesting thing is it is in places that you don’t even know about, you know, all these places, the churches, everything else turned out people. I mean, this was an interesting statistic, half of the new Hispanic voters, which traditionally young Hispanic has been Democratic, voted Republican, mainly on these values issues. So we’ve got a lot of thinking to do after we get paddled.

“Places you don’t even know about”. I think that speaks volumes. To the New York Democrat, people outside the cities don’t even register. They are there on an intellectual level, but they have no emotional connection to them. There is a real “us and them” mentality.

Here’s the deal. You can take someone from Sugerland, Texas, and plop him down at the airport in NYC, or Chicago, or Atlanta or Dallas or any big city, and he’ll do fine. I wonder sometimes if you could do the same with a New Yorker. We get New York culture, even if we don’t accept it. I don’t think that the average New Yorker even gets any culture outside New York and Hollywood.

JS: It was — I honestly have to say, this is the first time in my life, I think I understood the culture war. In the sense of, being a guy who lives in New York, and feeling helpless about the ability to control whatever political destiny occurs in my own area, and I realize, it’s sort of their revenge for us controlling the TVs. Don’t you think, in some respects?

CS: Their revenge for like, 50 mile speed limits. You ever drive out in Wyoming at 50 miles an hour?

JS: Right! That’s the revenge. It’s them saying, “you know what, we’re not crazy about Will and Grace, so… so here’s what we are going to do about it.”

CS: More Bonanza reruns.

Jon gets it. Chuck doesn’t. That probably explains why Jon would have a decent shot at winning an election in, say, Atlanta, where Schumer wouldn’t stand a chance. This isn’t about some return to the Sixties in Bonanza. This is about a rejection of the sixties in the communist ANSWER protests. It isn’t that we didn’t see enough photos from Abu Grahib — it is that we saw too many shows where cartoon gays like Will and The Queer Eyes shoved down our throats.

JS: Right. It’s a really interesting phenomenon, and I think, uh, the big shock is there’s more of that than, I think, everyone realized, and that maybe, the thought process of, “yeah, you know, things are not–” the country doesn’t agree with, what I think a lot of us assume are bedrock values.

CS: That’s exactly right. I think seriously there’s going to be a lot of thinking going on. I mean, I’ve been on the phone all day, commiserating, really, with my colleagues, and we’re all scratching our heads and saying, uh, we better do some thinking here, because we really thought we would win this election and the amazing thing is when people say the country is moving in the wrong direction, they think the Iraq war is a mess, the economy isn’t good, and we still lose?

JS: It really seems like none of it trumped the idea of dudes kissing.

Jon, Jon, Jon, you were soooo close. It isn’t the idea of dudes kissing. It is the idea of the dudes busting in the door to the living room, and saying, “we’re queer, and we’re here, and there’s nothing you do about it, and if you say anything about it you’re a homophobe, and that’s a hate crime, big boy,” and then making out on your living room couch.

After Schumer makes the old, “America agrees with us, but those wily Republican’s always manage to find a wedge issue” line, Stewart steers him back in:

JS: But doesn’t this election almost say, isn’t this the one that almost blows away the assertion that your positions are closer to the average American, because this was the voter turnout, closest to the highest turnout. Isn’t that really the issue now, is to have to go back and go, “oh God, we are the media elitists that they say that we are.”

CS: It’s a good question, but I for instance don’t think that we drew the meat and potatoes issues or the issues that have always been the strongest. If you look at the polls the people were, even the middle class people, said they can’t stretch their paycheck to pay for drugs and stuff, we didn’t draw that issue, I mean, you need a sword and a shield.

JS: I couldn’t tell you how many times I, “Five million people lost their insurance, fourteen million people are shorter,” you know, how else do you draw it other than saying it out loud?

CS: I think we have to come up with sorta, not only just saying it, but saying, “here is what we are going to do to make your load a little lighter.” I don’t think we have done that very well, and we have to do it better.

JS: Let me say this: good luck with that.

That last line was dripping with sarcasm, because I think in that moment, Jon saw that Schumer still didn’t get it after he spelled it out to him. Jon is on his way to not being part of the problem, and it frustrates him that the Titanic has hit the iceberg, and Schumer is still wrenching the helm into the floe.

It isn’t that people don’t get what you are saying, Chuck, they just don’t agree with you. They have figured out that when they are having trouble stretching a paycheck, the solution isn’t to have you take more of that paycheck and spend it for them.

When the message of the electorate is, loud and clear to the media, “you don’t get us,” and the only news (and I use the term loosely) program that seems to hear the message is The Daily Show, the media have a deep deep problem, and the only way to get them to hear is to keep paddling them in the electorate, and the pocketbook by tuning out of them and into Fox News.

There is a culture war going on, but I think that we can still negotiate our way out of it. In that sense, I recommend that the other side send Jon Stewart as an ambassador. He seems to be one of the few who seem to at least be able to translate our language.

17 Comments

  1. SayUncle says:

    Couldn’t find his ass with both hands and an ass map

    On the Culture War, Phelps illustrates that Chuck Schumer doesn’t get it:

    That last line was dripping with sarcasm, because I think in that moment, Jon saw that Schumer still didn’t get it after he spelled it out to him. Jon is on his way to not b…

  2. Oh, if only…

    I don’t actually reference this post, but I wanted to point out that some of our Distinguished Opposition do, in fact, get it. The main link on this post illustrates it and my blog examines the relevance.

  3. Solomon says:

    I saw the same Daily Show episode and was thinking how Chuck Shumer was missing the point. I may sit to the left of you Phelps but I’m more like you than not. And that’s the thing that intrigues me. Maybe because I’m not a Democrat but a Green, I saw the 2004 election for what it was: a culture war. When I saw those popular vote results, I was blown away by the 4 million lead Bush had. It really put things into perspective.

    I’m a proud gun owner and won’t hesitate to use it in self-defense. Even though I’m an ex-con. I’m tolerant of gays and lesbians but I don’t like it flaunted in my face like I have a problem since I’m not homosexual. I don’t have a problem with a strong military. I just question how we use that strong military sometimes. And you will never see me working with Hezbollah to sell a damn movie (Michael Moore).

    So Shumer and Company doesn’t even connect with some of the Left. So they don’t have a chance with the Right.

  4. Kevin Baker says:

    Excellent piece. I saw it and thought precisely what you did: Jon got it, Chucky didn’t.

    And ‘it’ bothered Jon both that he got it, and that Chucky didn’t.

  5. Aidan says:

    the ‘culture war’ in your nation is really just a rural/ city divide.

    you have the well-educated, liberal-minded, gay friendly, heavily populated urban & city areas…

    and you have the rural areas, chock full of the poorly-educated, the jesus-freaks, the evangelicals, the gay-haters, crazies.

    what do you mean by “gets it”? Acknowledgement that evangelical, fag-hating hill-billies feel ‘hard done by’ when they tune in to ‘Queer Eye’ and realise that not all the world (or nation) shares their narrow, insular world view?

    turning your back on the world, voting on abortion and gay marriage, ignoring your country’s monumental fuck-ups in Iraq — these are not things to be proud of…

    i am sad to see the religious crazies drag your country down into the muck.

    ps: liberals don’t want to take your guns.

  6. Aidan says:

    >it is that we saw too many shows where cartoon
    >gays like Will and The Queer Eyes shoved down our
    >throats.

    gays made up a larger proportion of the electorate than Jews. How many sit-coms, legal dramas, etc. do you see with Jewish characters? Now how many shows do you see with gay characters? Gay people ARE vastly under-represented on television. the fact that you think TWO (2) popular shows dealing with gay themes is somehow beyond the pale… that is just crazy. the fact that you think having a couple of gay-themed shows is “shoving cartoon gays down your throat” is also crazy. You don’t have to watch, you are free to turn off. But of course, what you are objecting to is what the presence of those shows represents — i.e., a changing of attitude among mainstream America about gays. (by the way — some gays in real life ARE true to stereotype… that’s how the stereotypes got started.)

    I perceive you to be a coward and dishonest, in that you are unable to acknowledge your own homophobia in all of this. The porblem is not gays being “shoved down your throat”, the problem is you can’t deal with the value set that shows like that represent (equality, treating people equally, and so on). So very sad.

  7. Phelps says:

    If you can come up with “well-educated, liberal-minded, gay friendly” for one side but the best you can do is “poorly-educated, the jesus-freaks, the evangelicals, the gay-haters, crazies” for the other means that you are indeed part of the problem.

    As for the “Jews vs. Gays” argument, you might have a point of we had “Rabbi Party” and “My Favorite Yid” being hyped by the networks all week. You might have a point if every time a Jew was shown, he was some guy with a mouthfull of phleem and three foot long sideburns. However, that isn’t the case. It is the case, however, that “gay” is used as a gimmick by the networks, and the gays they use are just as cartoonish as the big-nosed Hassid who runs around yelling “OY!” all the time.

    In my experience, I’ve never had a problem with most of the gay people I’ve met. I’ve had huge problems with the drama queens and the militant fags — and from what I have seen, so have most other people.

  8. Aidan says:

    >If you can come up with “well-educated,
    >liberal-minded, gay friendly” for one side but
    >the best you can do is “poorly-educated, the
    >jesus-freaks, the evangelicals, the gay-haters,
    >crazies” for the other means that you are indeed
    >part of the problem.

    what is this ‘problem’ exactly? the fact that liberal America (and now, indeed, the rest of the world) doesn’t understand the ‘crazies’ in the ‘heartland’ of the USA? what is there to understand?? liberal culture doesn’t reflect your insular, backward looking mindset — and your nose is out of joint. Poor babies. I hope you don’t think Bush winning the election will have any effect on the number of queers on TV.

    >In my experience, I’ve never had a problem with
    >most of the gay people I’ve met. I’ve had huge
    >problems with the drama queens and the militant
    >fags — and from what I have seen, so have most
    >other people.

    Well, I’ve never had problems with those honey colored blacks I’ve met… of course, the dark-skinned blacks who request equal treatment are just BEYOND THE PALE…

    You “have problems” with gay men who REFUSE to conform to the standard-issue male gender role — unemotional, quiet, stoic, etc. That is just so STUPID.

    What is it about your rigid, inflexible, brittle sense of masculinity that is SO OFFENDED by a carping, flaming, lisping QUEER???????? I would really like to know.

    Has it ever occured to you that the drama queens, the flaming queers, might actually have something valuable to offer simply through being themselves?

    (You are like an introvert who gripes about the behaviours of extroverts… it really does “take all sorts”, in my opinion).

    The least you could do is ADMIT that you resent seeing gay people portrayed on television as if their “lifestlye” is entirely ‘normal’, worthy of making TV about, not something that needs to be hidden away…

    are you a ‘libertarian’? the most glaring thing about your ‘shtick’ on this blog is your lack of committment to those fundamental American concepts of equality, liberty for all… you want “freedom” for your own self (your right to carry guns) but you don’t seem particularly concerned with blatant violations of principles of liberty, justice, equality in your country pertaining to gay people. This is the American Disease — hypocrisy. these kinds of hypocrisies are why the rest of the world does not take Bush seriously when he natters on about taking “freedom” to the Arab world… IMHO.

  9. Aidan says:

    I’ll say it again: You don’t have to watch, you are free to turn off. But of course, what you are *really* objecting to is what the presence of those gay-themed shows *represents* — i.e., a version of America where gay people are accepted as just another part of the ethnic melting pot, nothing remarkable or special, and certainly nothing to condemn or get all worked up over. You feel that this version of America — where gays are granted respect, equality — is not YOUR version of America. The problem lies with ‘you’, in my humble opinion.

  10. Aidan says:

    Admit it!

  11. skh says:

    Aidan, I don’t know where you live, but you have a fundamental misunderstanding not only of US demographics, but of the underlying principles of our Republic.

    Our population is around 295 million. Not all of it is concentrated in large metropolitan areas. There are universities in every state, and other than Tennessee, where some former senators possess an extra chromosome, intelligent people are found everywhere. Cities don’t have monopoly on intelligent citizens. For you to think so must mean that you live in a country where that is true. That’s too bad. It also tells me that you live in a rural area.

    You are apparently gay, also. Hey, that’s cool. Peckerpuffers are protected by the same rights as the rest of us. Your comment that gays are under-represented in TV land is ridiculous. Are you advocating quotas for entertainment venues?

  12. Phelp says:

    what is this ‘problem’ exactly? the fact that liberal America (and now, indeed, the rest of the world) doesn’t understand the ‘crazies’ in the ‘heartland’ of the USA?

    Yup. You got it in one. Good job. That is thier problem, because they got the centralized, way-too-powerful tyranny of the masses they clamored for over the last 50 years, and now they don’t have enough votes to control it.

    You “have problems” with gay men who REFUSE to conform to the standard-issue male gender role — unemotional, quiet, stoic, etc. That is just so STUPID.

    Nope. I’ve known lots of effeminate men that I never had a problem with. I’ve known lots of straight effeminete men (and a few that I wasn’t sure about one way or the other.) The ones that I have a problem with are the ones where everything in life revolves around the words “queer” and “homophobia.” In other words, they act like the world revolves around them, and that is offensive in anyone.

    Has it ever occured to you that the drama queens, the flaming queers, might actually have something valuable to offer simply through being themselves?

    Yes. Ocurred, considered, determined to be bullshit and dismissed with prejudice.

    The least you could do is ADMIT that you resent seeing gay people portrayed on television as if their “lifestlye” is entirely ‘normal’, worthy of making TV about, not something that needs to be hidden away…

    It isn’t normal, and I resent it being portrayed that way, yes.

    are you a ‘libertarian’? the most glaring thing about your ‘shtick’ on this blog is your lack of committment to those fundamental American concepts of equality, liberty for all… you want “freedom” for your own self (your right to carry guns) but you don’t seem particularly concerned with blatant violations of principles of liberty, justice, equality in your country pertaining to gay people. This is the American Disease — hypocrisy. these kinds of hypocrisies are why the rest of the world does not take Bush seriously when he natters on about taking “freedom” to the Arab world… IMHO.

    You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding about the words “freedom” and “equality”. They are mutually exclusive. The American Revolution was about freedom. The French Revolution was the one about equality. The only place that equality is enshrined in America is in equality of opportunity.

    Gay marriage, for example, has absolutely nothing to do with freedom for gays. Gay have the same freedoms as anyone else. A gay man can marry any woman he wants, and no one is going to check to make sure that he puts his penis in her vagina on the Honeymoon. On the other hand, a straight man can’t marry another man, even if he is willing to take a roll with him.

    Everyone has a right to be tollerated in America. What you absolutely do not have a right to is acceptance. You can do whatever you want in America, as long as you don’t force anyone else to go along with you. What you can’t do it make other people think the way you want them to. If people don’t like you, all you can do is piss off and go fuck yourself. You can’t sic the law on them.

  13. Aidan says:

    >If you can come up with “well-educated,
    >liberal-minded, gay friendly” for one side but
    >the best you can do is “poorly-educated, the
    >jesus-freaks, the evangelicals, the gay-haters,
    >crazies” for the other means that you are indeed
    >part of the problem.

    I think what I said is accurate enough.

    >As for the “Jews vs. Gays” argument, you might

    I gave no Jew v. Gay argument. There is room enough for everyone.

    >have a point of we had “Rabbi Party” and “My >Favorite Yid” being hyped by the networks all >week. You might have a point if every time a Jew >was shown, he was some guy with a mouthfull of >phleem and three foot long sideburns. However, >that isn’t the case.

    My point was that Jewish characters (to take another minority identity) appear with regularity in US television. The gay community is about equivalent in size to the Jewish community in the US; yet gay characters are still somewhat of a rareity. Fortunately for gay people ๐Ÿ™‚ that is beginning to change. Nevertheless, if you were to compare proportions of gays in the community, and proportions of gay characters represented currently on tv, you would find that gay characters of any kind (whether complex or cartoon representations of lesbian or gay people) are represented. Your objections to gay people on television (as if there is somehow an over-abundance of gays on tv) therefore strikes me as odd. What yard-stick are you measuring up against? It can’t be the number of gay citizens actually living in the states. I guess it must all boil down to what you feel ‘comfortable’ with, i.e., your homophobia (sexual prejudice against gay people, a form of bigotry).

    >It is the case, however, that “gay” is used as a
    >gimmick by the networks, and the gays they use
    >are just as cartoonish as the big-nosed Hassid
    >who runs around yelling “OY!” all the time.

    It turns out a portion of the viewing public has a willingness to watch gay-themed programs. That is a relatively newly identified market, and no doubt producers falling over themselves to exploit it’s potential right now. Shows like Will & Grace, Queer Eye, are not to my mind offensive; there really are gay men living lives not unlike the characters or people portrayed or represented on those shows. If you want complexity, try “6 feet under”. I find it odd that you claim to object to the use of “gay” as a marketing ploy. I’d guess it is the content (i.e., the gay content) more than the marketing methods that you are objecting to.

    >In my experience, I’ve never had a problem with
    >most of the gay people I’ve met.

    People like you don’t have close friendships with gay people, because we sense your underlying homophobia, and move on.

    >I’ve had huge problems with the drama queens and
    >the militant fags — and from what I have seen,
    >so have most other people.

    Please clarify your remarks. What are “drama queens” and “militant fags”? By the way, straight people don’t use “fags”, not unless they want to be thought of as ignorant & bigots. (Use of that word is a gay privilege, or “special right” ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Aidan says:

    >Aidan, I don’t know where you live, but you have
    >a fundamental misunderstanding not only of US
    >demographics… Our population is around 295
    >million. Not all of it is concentrated in large
    >metropolitan areas. There are universities in
    >every state…

    “it’s the cities, stupid”:
    http://www.urbanarchipelago.com/

    >intelligent people are found everywhere. Cities
    >don’t have monopoly on intelligent citizens. For
    >you to think so must mean that you live in a
    >country where that is true. That’s too bad. It
    >also tells me that you live in a rural area.

    Lol. There is no doubt in my mind that, on average, there are more uneducated and stupid people living in rural areas than urban areas. ๐Ÿ™‚ Why do you think so many gays leave the rural areas, move to larger cities?

    I live in inner-city Melbourne. I’ve lived in rural areas as a child/ teenager.

    >You are apparently gay, also. Hey, that’s cool.
    >Peckerpuffers are protected by the same rights as
    >the rest of us.

    What is that supposed to mean?
    What state are you in, by the way?

    >Your comment that gays are under-represented in
    >TV land is ridiculous.

    No, it’s a statistical fact — assuming the extent to which gays are represented on tv ‘should’ more or less accurately reflect the proportions of gays in the population. Of course, if you are a homophobe, then no doubt you would ‘feel’ that any representation of gays on tv is too much; hence phelp’s objections to “cartoon gays” being “shoved down his throat”.

    >Are you advocating quotas for entertainment
    >venues?

    I am pointing out that it is absurd to suggest there is an over-abundance of gay characters (cartoon gays or any other style of portrayal) on television.

  15. Aidan says:

    >> What is this ‘problem’ exactly? the fact that
    >> liberal America (and now, indeed, the rest of the
    >> world) doesn’t understand the ‘crazies’ in the
    >> ‘heartland’ of the USA?
    >
    > Yup. You got it in one. Good job. That is thier
    > problem, because they got the centralized,
    > way-too-powerful tyranny of the masses they clamored
    > for over the last 50 years, and now they don’t have
    > enough votes to control it.

    So why is it important, to you, that liberals “get
    this”? Are you hoping for a change in the material
    coming out of Hollywood, a reduction in lesbian or gay
    characters on TV, a Democratic party committed to
    banning gay marriage, blah blah?

    >> You “have problems” with gay men who REFUSE to
    >> conform to the standard-issue male gender role —
    >> unemotional, quiet, stoic, etc. That is just so
    >> STUPID.
    >
    > Nope. I’ve known lots of effeminate men that I never
    > had a problem with. I’ve known lots of straight
    > effeminete men (and a few that I wasn’t sure about
    > one way or the other.) The ones that I have a
    > problem with are the ones where everything in life
    > revolves around the words “queer” and “homophobia.”
    > In other words, they act like the world revolves
    > around them, and that is offensive in anyone.

    It seems to me you have a problem gay citizens who
    don’t know their place.

    Homophobia is to sexual orientation, what racism is to
    race, by the way. It’s a form of sexual prejudice, a
    bigotry. As long as homophobia exists, you can expect
    to hear about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    People in Texas are very homophobic, apparently.

    >> Has it ever occured to you that the drama queens,
    >> the flaming queers, might actually have something
    >> valuable to offer simply through being themselves?
    >
    > Yes. Ocurred, considered, determined to be bullshit
    > and dismissed with prejudice.

    So what, these people should attempt to suppress all
    external indications of homosexuality — so YOU will
    be feel less uncomfortable? Lol.

    >> The least you could do is ADMIT that you resent
    >> seeing gay people portrayed on television as if
    >> their “lifestlye” is entirely ‘normal’, worthy of
    >> making TV about, not something that needs to be
    >> hidden away…
    >
    > It isn’t normal, and I resent it being portrayed that
    > way, yes.

    What is your yard-stick for what’s ‘average’ or
    ‘common’? I’d say what you see on “Will & Grace” or
    “Queer Eye” is normal for a not insignificant portion
    of the gay male community (and gay friendly
    heterosexuals) in every major city in just about every
    country on the planet. ๐Ÿ™‚ What precisely is the
    problem with the more or less accurate portrayal of
    the lives of lesbian and gay people on television, i
    wonder? Please explain yourself.

    >> are you a ‘libertarian’? the most glaring thing
    >> about your ‘shtick’ on this blog is your lack of
    >> committment to those fundamental American concepts
    >> of equality, liberty for all… you want “freedom”
    >> for your own self (your right to carry guns) but
    >> you don’t seem particularly concerned with blatant
    >> violations of principles of liberty, justice,
    >> equality in your country pertaining to gay people.
    >> This is the American Disease — hypocrisy. these
    >> kinds of hypocrisies are why the rest of the world
    >> does not take Bush seriously when he natters on
    >> about taking “freedom” to the Arab world… IMHO.

    > You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding about
    > the words “freedom” and “equality”. They are mutually
    > exclusive. The American Revolution was about freedom.
    > The French Revolution was the one about equality. The
    > only place that equality is enshrined in America is in
    > equality of opportunity.

    Is equal protection of the laws not also enshrined in
    your constitution?

    > Gay marriage, for example, has absolutely nothing to
    > do with freedom for gays. Gay have the same freedoms
    > as anyone else. A gay man can marry any woman he
    > wants, and no one is going to check to make sure
    > that he puts his penis in her vagina on the
    > Honeymoon. On the other hand, a straight man can’t
    > marry another man, even if he is willing to take a
    > roll with him.

    Saying that gay people have the same ‘freedoms’ or
    marriage rights or as straight people ( i.e., everyone
    can marry a person of the opposite gender) is perhaps
    technically correct, but this kind of rhetoric masks
    the injustice of the current situation. It’s like
    saying blacks and whites had the same marriage rights
    prior to the 1967 US SC decision invalidating
    anti-miscegenation laws. I.e., blacks and whites were
    each free to marry within their own race. What
    happened to that small number of individuals who fell
    in love with someone from a different race? Was the
    outlawing of mixed-race couples from marrying was a
    just or even legal thing to do (even if blacks and
    whites DID have the same right to marry within their
    own race)? Saying that gays have the same rights or
    freedoms re: marriage as heterosexuals is mere
    semantic masturbation: a technically correct
    statement, which serves to obscure the real injustice
    of this situation.

    If you look at the laws pertaining to marriage, there
    is undoubtedly an inequality between married
    heterosexual couples, and gay couples who are living
    together “as if” they are married. I’m talking about
    things like being able to visit your partner in
    hospital, having the right to make decisions for your
    partner in a medical emergency, having your assets/
    belongings pass on to your partner (instead of to all
    those relatives you never liked anyway) if you should
    die without a will, etc. These kinds of so-called
    “benefits” or rights can have a huge effect on quality
    of life for gay people, and straight people lose
    absolutely nothing in extending these rights to
    same-sex couples. It just seems mean-spirited to me to
    seek to prevent same-sex couples from accessing these
    kinds of legal protections (as we saw with some of the
    recent constitutional amendments in some of the states
    in the usa).

    Heterosexual people get to marry the partner they fall
    in love with; this is not an option for gay people.
    What is the meaning of that institution, if you are
    not entitled to marry the person you actually fall in
    love with? The meaning of marriage has changed: it’s
    less about obligation, more about a voluntary union
    between two people who love each other. Under those
    rules, there really is no convincing rational reason
    to exclude gays from marriage.

    > Everyone has a right to be tollerated in America.
    > What you absolutely do not have a right to is
    > acceptance. You can do whatever you want in America,
    > as long as you don’t force anyone else to go along
    > with you. What you can’t do it make other people
    > think the way you want them to.

    I hope you don’t think us gay folx want pricks like you to
    “accept” us or “like” us. What ‘we’ want legal equality,
    i.e.,
    1. marriage rights
    2. end of the military ban
    3. appropriate anti-discrimination protections.

    > If people don’t like you, all you can do is piss off
    > and go fuck yourself. You can’t sic the law on them.

    Are you referring to protections of grounds of sexual
    orientation in areas of government provision of
    services, provision of health care, employment,
    housing, lending, etc.? I see no reason why sexual
    orientation should not be including alongside
    religion, race, gender, disability, etc.

  16. Phelps says:

    So why is it important, to you, that liberals “get this”? Are you hoping for a change in the material coming out of Hollywood, a reduction in lesbian or gay characters on TV, a Democratic party committed to banning gay marriage, blah blah?

    Nope. It is important because we need to negotiate these things, and you can’t negotiate until both sides understand what the other side is going for and what price they are willing to pay. When there is no more room to negotiate, that is when the shooting starts. I would prefer to avoid the shooting part.

    Homophobia is to sexual orientation, what racism is to race, by the way. It’s a form of sexual prejudice, a bigotry. As long as homophobia exists, you can expect to hear about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    People in Texas are very homophobic, apparently.

    Homophobia is a psychological disorder that you seem to confuse with a lack of acceptance. I can disagree with you without fearing you. I can find you a contemptible person without being scared by you.

    By your logic, Australia is very homosexual, apparently.

    So what, these people should attempt to suppress all external indications of homosexuality — so YOU will be feel less uncomfortable? Lol.

    That wasn’t your question. Your question was “might they have something valuable to offer?” The answer is no, not really.

    What is your yard-stick for what’s ‘average’ or ‘common’? I’d say what you see on “Will & Grace” or “Queer Eye” is normal for a not insignificant portion of the gay male community (and gay friendly
    heterosexuals) in every major city in just about every
    country on the planet. ๐Ÿ™‚ What precisely is the
    problem with the more or less accurate portrayal of
    the lives of lesbian and gay people on television, i
    wonder?

    Both shows commit the mortal sin of American society. They are both not entertaining. The networks seem to push them beyond thier ratings, which insinuates that there is an agenda behind them.

    Is equal protection of the laws not also enshrined in your constitution?

    Absolutely. A gay man can marry any woman that will take him.

    Saying that gay people have the same ‘freedoms’ or
    marriage rights or as straight people ( i.e., everyone
    can marry a person of the opposite gender) is perhaps
    technically correct, but this kind of rhetoric masks
    the injustice of the current situation. It’s like
    saying blacks and whites had the same marriage rights
    prior to the 1967 US SC decision invalidating
    anti-miscegenation laws. I.e., blacks and whites were
    each free to marry within their own race. What
    happened to that small number of individuals who fell
    in love with someone from a different race? Was the
    outlawing of mixed-race couples from marrying was a
    just or even legal thing to do (even if blacks and
    whites DID have the same right to marry within their
    own race)? Saying that gays have the same rights or
    freedoms re: marriage as heterosexuals is mere
    semantic masturbation: a technically correct
    statement, which serves to obscure the real injustice
    of this situation.

    And now we get to the heart of the argument. Here is the fundamental flaw with that argument. Marriage is a convention of the church. The state had no business getting into the marriage game in the first place, but what is done is done. The quandary that the gay agenda finds itself in is that the argument isn’t about rights any more. As I said in the other thread, Americans were ready to agree to civil unions, giving all the same rights and privileges.

    The gay agenda (not gay people, but the loud minority) managed to push the issue into an argument over the word “marriage”. At that point it turns into “mere semantic mastrubation” [sic] on the part of the gay agenda. From the way the word marriage has been fought over, we see the true motivation — rights and privileges have nothing to do with the movement, and the movement is shown to instead be a movement for the government to condone gay association and an attempt to force acceptance (rather than tolerance). This has, as I said, been rejected by The People.

    Heterosexual people get to marry the partner they fall in love with; this is not an option for gay people.

    Try this one for size: “Pretty people get to marry the partner they fall in love with; this is not an option for gay people.” Life sucks. Get a helmet.

    I hope you don’t think us gay folx want pricks like you to
    “accept” us or “like” us. What ‘we’ want legal equality,
    i.e.,

    1. marriage rights

    Again, this isn’t about equality. Civil union would have provided equality under the law, and this was rejected.

    2. end of the military ban

    No. Military service is a privilege, not a right. Cripples don’t get to serve. People with hemophilia don’t get to serve. People with bad eyesight don’t get to be pilots. People who are too tall don’t get to fight tanks. (Both disqualifications prevented me from getting that AH-64 or M1A1 command that I wanted when I was 16.) Gays cause problems with morale and command structure, and therefore need to be excluded. We already made the mistake of taking on women, and it has been horrible for the service. Close to three-quarters of women become casualties in any combat deployment, and most of these through pregnancy.

    3. appropriate anti-discrimination protections.

    There is no right against private discrimination. You have the right to be treated equally by the law.

  17. The Owner's Manual says:

    Best of Me Symphony #69

    A commenter to Spirit Fingers’ Inaugural Wardrobe says, “Somewhere between Nerdella and Skanky Ho there has to be some kind of reasonable middle ground.”