Saturday, February 03, 2007

My First Scandal!

(The origin of this piece is a reply to a comment made on the previous post. Once published it was clear to me that the length the piece needed to be was going to be longer than suitable for the Comments section. Also, given the importance of the issues and their current place in the public debate, I made a unilateral decision to elevate them to a position of greater prominence - namely the front page.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I am honour-bound to report that earlier today I received an anonymous comment regarding the previous post, "Boring Old Sex Scandal". It was brought to my attention that I had inadvertantly published a factual inaccuracy: I said Gavin Newsom was married which he is not. Obviously, I immediately corrected the error, and (like I said the last time this happened, and will probably say the next time) I will endeavour to do better about fact-checking in the future.

The comment also mentioned that since Mr. Newsom is not married, he was not cheating. Once again, this is a matter of semantics. I say aiding and abetting a cheater is cheating. Had it not been cheating he also wouldn't have had to apologise. I will give the man credit though, since loads of people have done lots worse and never apologised at all.

The comment likewise took umbrage (albeit the gentlest kind) with my opinion of Mr. Newsom's character. I stand by my opinion of him, as well as my original assessment of the unlawful and heavy-handed way he approached the issue of same-sex marriage. Besides having to essentially declare San Francisco a city-state to do it, I believe his methods hurt the cause more than helped it. Given how touchy (and powerful) its opponents are, poking them with a stick won't win us any allies.

I also felt that he was using us - the gay male community - as a diversion for his real agenda of grabbing more autonomy for the city. That's fine, do that, I wish the entire world would devolve into city-states overnight. But I am sick of being made the villain - yet again! - because it happens to be both politically expedient and easily spun to satisfy liberal consciences.

Factual inaccuracy, enough tinder to start a raging debate on the nature of cheating, the rearing ugly head of a second even more politically charged issue, and a flamboyant character assassination; not bad for six sentences. In no time flat I'll be appearing before the Grand Jury having to explain why Renee Zellweger wants me dead.

Also, as much as I love receiving comments, I never publish them if they're anonymous. Nothing personal.

(As an aside to you, whoever you are: can I thank you for your manners, or should I thank your mother? It's such a terrible time now, with most discourse being reduced to so much ugliness. Your comment gave my post more honour than it deserved, since I will agree that, in the name of humour I may have been a tiny bit more outrageous than I needed to be. Probably if you'd been negative I would have gotten that way too, and that's where the problem arises, both personally and societally. I'd like to thank you, a total stranger, for helping me earn another little something towards my own self-actualisation. - MSM)
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werdna said...

Well you can call it cheating if you want, but you're abusing English. Words have commonly accepted meanings, definitions even. Sometimes you can cleverly mis-use words to make a point or amuse, but in this case you just seem wrong and obstinate about it.

Anyway, two more substantive things:

I'm curious why you single out the "gay male community" as especially abused by Newsom's marriage action. How were gay men more injured than lesbians? I'm just not clear what you're getting at with that comment.

How would you compare the impact of Newsom's action to the impact of the Massachusetts court decision to legalize gay marriage in terms of inflaming anti-gay marriage sentiment?

michael sean morris said...

It seems to me that gay men are more a target for hatred and contempt than lesbians in the current climate. Probably a lesbian would feel differently, but it's also not my place to speak for them.

What the situation in Massachusetts proves is that even when gone about in a legal manner the issue is a hard sell. Now, in California, there's a precedent against us there wouldn't have been. Not to mention that all the marriages performed have been rendered null, which is a hateful thing in itself.

As to what constitutes cheating, I could easily do an entire post on that one and still not cover the whole issue. I mean, entire books have been written about it.