Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Roseanne Barr Criticizes "Evangelical" Gays

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Recently, while guest-hosting on a radio show, Roseanne Barr said:

Never once in my 54 years have I ever once heard a gay or lesbian person who’s politically active say one thing about anything that was not about them. They don’t care about minimum wage, they don’t care about any other group other than their own self because you know, some people say being gay and lesbian is a totally narcissistic thing and sometimes I wonder.

I’ve never heard any of them say anything except for “accept me ‘cause I’m gay.”

It’s just, it’s screwed. It’s no different than the evangelicals, it’s the same mindset. They want you to accept Jesus and you guys want us to all believe it’s okay to be gay. And a lot of us, a lot of them, I do, I don’t give a damn who anybody has sex with, as long as they’re not underage and an animal. I don’t give a damn, it’s none of my damn business. I’m just sick of all the divisiveness, it’s not getting any of us anywhere.

Of course, there are times when the ability to see all sides of an issue is a hindrance. In fact, most times it's a hindrance, since the modern fetish is for a certain fascism of opinion, especially when it comes to identity politics. I'd love to be able to stand up and loudly declaim that it's "my way or the highway" for once, but I cannot. Damn my open mind.

Strictly speaking, what Roseanne says is true, albeit specious. I have no doubt that the gays she's met are like that; most of the ones I meet are. Gay men, I mean. Others, myself and my friends included, care deeply about the whole spectrum of social justice, including queer issues (mainly because if we don't include them no one else will). Ghetto gays, not so much - though I also accept that they have their reasons for being so one-note.

As for lesbians, there isn't a charity or worthy cause anywhere that doesn't owe at least some of its membership to them, whether it's rape relief, eradicating poverty, or animal rights. I believe that inside every lesbian is an angel. In fact, I think the world should be run by lesbians over the age of 50. But that's just my opinion - I could be wrong.

Most gays of course will have their thongs in a wad over Roseanne's comments for a variety of reasons, and the ones who shout the loudest will be the ones hit a little too close to home by them. It doesn't bother me because, for my own sake, she's wrong. There's no point at my getting mad at her because she's simply not describing me. She has a point, and what she said has the power to ignite a bit of a debate in the gay male community, provided they can do it and get it over with before the next circuit party hits town.

As for "accept me because I'm gay": fuck that. Accept me because you want to; if you don't want to I couldn't care less. Gays (for example) are pretty well hated in the black community - especially hip-hop. It doesn't weaken my support for their civil rights - or my enjoyment of hip-hop - only makes me sad that the discriminated-against feel the need to pay that bigotry forward.

I've always loved Roseanne, specifically because she runs her mouth, and these comments don't change a thing. I'm not going out and burning my "Roseanne" DVDs and boycotting her or anything. I only hope that, in the fallout from this, she gets a chance to meet the kind of people she says she's never met: passionate, concerned, well-rounded gays. Even in LA.

In the words of her great foe Judy Tenuta: "It could happen."
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Speaking of Witch...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI don't know why I let this story get away from me, since this is another thing I've been waiting ages for... The final book.

I guess I figured I'd let the initial hoo-hah die down before contributing to the swelling momentum leading up to the July 21st publication date. Anything I might have to say could easily get lost in the initial press frenzy; I feel much safer leading the second or third wave. Or at least, that's what I tell myself.

I was a bit of a Johnny-Come-Lately to the series. I never read them until the release of "The Prisoner of Azkaban", when I bought and read the first three books at once. For that reason, I tend to think of the first three as one book, and certainly they do read that way. Lengthwise, the first three books fit neatly into "The Order of the Phoenix" with room left over.

One of the rituals I've developed is to reread the previous books before the new one is released. I think I'll be doing this again, especially now that I have the blog, since the blog has such a voracious appetite for content. This seems like as good a time as any for a retrospective, which I will be offering my readers as I make my way through them.

Another ritual is going down to the bookstore at midnight on the date of release and mingling with all the diehards and weirdos. I do it because it's good to be among my people. I love the idea of being caught up in something with millions of others, whether it's the series finale of "Friends" or even a hockey game. Such is the unifying effect of pop culture.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" hits bookstores at the witching hour, midnight on Saturday 21 July. If this book is anything like the last one, I should close the back cover on the Monday following.
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"The Queen" on DVD April 24th

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBecause I'm that kind of person, I never saw "The Queen" in movie theatres, even though I was dying to. I always say it's because I don't like seeing movies in the cineplex - which is partly true - but mainly it's because I hate going anywhere there are lots of people dating. Having to walk in there alone is more than I can bear; I might as well wear a sign that says "Loser".

So the sad fact is, no one I know wanted to see it with me, so I had to wait nearly 7 months to see it myself. Obviously, there's something character building in delayed gratification, and my patience is about to pay off. "The Queen" hits stores on April 24th, and my DVD player scant minutes after that.

This year is the tenth anniversary of the tragic events depicted in the film, a week which was burned into my cerebral cortex forever. I'm dying to see for myself how they're depicted.
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