Thursday, October 28, 2010

Question of the Week

Do you think "lesbian bed death" is real or a myth?

School Board Member Gets Crazy Homophobic

The rash of teen suicides around the country has made schools examine how they handle the bullying of gay students.

An Arkansas school board member gave the matter appropriate thought and announced his solution: All gays should commit suicide.

Clint McCance, who sits on the board of the Midland school district in northern Arkansas, used his Facebook page, The Advocate reported, to get some things off his chest:

"Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE."

Given the current political climate, I wouldn't be surprised if this guy gains a following. Joe the Plumber, meet Clint the Imbecile.

One person responded to McCance, "Because hatred is always right," which prompted the school board member to share some more:

"No because being a fag doesn't give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it."

It's one of nature's jokes that a specimen this underdeveloped can procreate.

A commenter told McCance to hush up and think for a second, "you big Christian man." If McCance doesn't want people talking about his family, he shouldn't talk about other folks.

McCance answered, "I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone."

I don't know if these kids are even born yet, and he's already planning to run them off.

I feel the deepest pity for them, whether they're gay or straight. And this creature is responsible for the welfare of the children in the school district!

Is it too late for his parents to rethink that procreation thing?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This Week's Quote

A politician should have three hats: one for throwing in the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected.

Carl Sandburg

Source: Quotationary

Monday, October 25, 2010

Finding Your Festival Pace

I looked in my partner's eyes. "Go on without me," I breathed. "Leave me behind. I don't have the strength. Promise me you'll keep going."

Tenderly she said, "Leslie, it's just a damn movie."

It wasn't just one movie. It was umpteen movies. The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival had worn me out. Anne turns into a cinema Energizer Bunny over those 10 days, hopping from theater to theater. By Day 7, I was hanging on to her bunny tail.

As a result, I now know how to attack the festival more pragmatically. Here's my advice on pacing yourself so you can get the most out of any major gay film festival without turning into something on the cutting room floor.

The first thing you do is get hold of the festival program. Such choices! Such variety! Such a pain to get to the early movies from work! You might consider quitting your job. That would certainly be a form of pacing yourself. But don't do it, or you won't be able to pay for any of this.

That brings us to tickets. Should you buy a pass for the whole festival, or pay for movies individually? For now, figure out the rough number of movies you want to see. Then do the math. Which route is cheaper? If it's reasonably close, buy the pass. You'll be helping the festival and guaranteeing I can't call you a tightwad.

You'll also make things a little easier on yourself. One of the perks of the festival pass here in Seattle is the pass-holders' line. People in that line are admitted early. They get their choice of seats, and don't have to worry about a film being sold out. Anybody in that line can lay off Xanax for a week.

Since I'm trying to make the festival experience comfy, know that if you have a pass to the whole shebang, you can attend all the receptions that are held after the bigger movies. That way, if you missed dinner in your hurry to get to the movie, you can eat. And drink. Comfy yet?

Now it's time for the nitty-gritty, which movies you see. Scan the catalog and mark in a bold color the ones you really want to see. Mark in a less bold color the ones you sort of want to see. Remember, you're aiming not to overdo and exhaust yourself, so choose judiciously.

If you plan to attend the films with someone else, forget everything I just said.

Only when you're attending the festival alone can you choose the perfect schedule. If you're going with a partner or friends, compromise is required. Along with the occasional game of rock, paper, scissors.

Don't assume you and your other half are in sync on the film festival, no matter how long you've been together. On the festival's second day, it unfolded that I thought we'd see three films, but Anne had figured on four. She was aghast at missing a movie; I was aghast at never seeing daylight.

If you agree on your schedule before the festival starts, you improve your chances of achieving a civilized pace. And a civilized relationship.

The bottom line is everyone's taste and stamina differ. In one evening Anne will happily see a Danish lesbian documentary, transgender shorts and a gay male Peruvian feature. After such an evening I might not know where I am. Or who.

Come to think of it, our different movie-going appetites might make a good short film. Anne and I should make one. If we can agree on the pace.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Question of the Week

Do you own anything rainbow-colored?

The Luck of the Gay Irish

Here's a shocker. Ireland might get a gay president.

Not long ago a leprechaun would've had a better chance, so something has shifted in this conservative Catholic nation.

Sen. David Norris, a James Joyce scholar, told the Guardian his candidacy resulted from a Facebook campaign urging him to run. Opinion polls have him leading in next year's race for president.

It's a mostly symbolic position, which would be appropriate, since his election would be one helluva symbol to the whole world.

Norris knows that: "Anybody else elected as president of Ireland I don't think is going to get the same kind of sensational news coverage. And I think that's splendid, because if I went to Washington as president every single news channel will be there hungry for a story. I have been around long enough to deal with that story with dignity and then move on to talk about Ireland, to sell our country."

If he's selling, I'm buying.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This Week's Quote

I went to a convent in New York and was fired finally for my insistence that the Immaculate Conception was a spontaneous combustion.

Dorothy Parker

Source: An Uncommon Scold

God on Our Minds

Over the weekend I went to see "Mississippi Queen," a documentary about an out lesbian returning home to Mississippi to make sense of the fact that her parents run an ex-gay ministry.

PFLAG parents these were not.

In addition to her parents, Paige Williams interviewed other Christian folks. I'm still ruminating over the two female ex-gays. Both gals had given up women and weren't involved with men. When asked about missing intimacy, one said she had an intimacy with God.

My snort was heard 'round the theater.

Right, I thought, that's satisfying. Girl, you've cut yourself off from human contact. That's a gigantic void God can't fill. All to satisfy a small-minded interpretation of the Bible. The other woman said something like she was in relationship with God, so both ex-lesbians were looking at a future with God as their significant other. I trust he'll at least pay for dinner.

But later I got to thinking. Gurus, nuns, priests, monks, mystics—there are people for whom God is enough. They actually are in relationship with him or her, and that relationship supersedes all others.

My partner Anne, who long ago journeyed out of Christian fundamentalism, summed it up, "The ex-gay movement shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, but it certainly has its roots in grotesque religious homophobia."

If God really is enough for these two women, then may they be happy. But I don't think most ex-gays hear a call that divine. I think they hear a bellow of condemnation here on earth.

It makes me want to hand out earmuffs. God's call will pass through them; the bellow of the hypocrites who cherry-pick the Bible will not.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Question of the Week

What do you want to say to people who won't vote in next month's election?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This Week's Quote

I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.’ In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.

Bertrand Russell


Monday, October 11, 2010

All Aboard the Crazy Train

Lately the crazy train has picked up speed.

I don't know if it's the upcoming midterm elections or people are scared by gay court victories or what, but we're in a period of nutty.

Take David Barton. Please.

An evangelical minister, teacher at (Glenn) Beck University and former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party, Barton, a self-styled historian, is the founder of WallBuilders, a group devoted to the idea that America was founded as a Christian nation.

On his WallBuilders radio show recently, Barton discussed with Rick Green how health-conscious America is, regulating cigarettes and trans fats and salt, yet allowing something to slip through that is such an obvious threat to the health of Americans: "Jersey Shore."

Okay, he didn't say that. Instead, Barton reeled off fanciful statistics, like, "Homosexuals die decades earlier than heterosexuals," and "nearly one-third (of homosexuals) admit to a thousand or more sex partners in a lifetime."

Barton said, "I mean, you go through all this stuff, sounds to me like that's not very healthy. Why don't we regulate homosexuality?"

That's the moment he boarded the crazy train.

Barton, the quack historian, cited a 1920s study that found nations that "rejected sexual regulation like with homosexuality" didn't last "past the third generation from the time that they embraced it."

Have gays been embraced? When will the third generation appear? It's important to know when we're supposed to make this country collapse. We have a schedule to keep.

Rick Green's role in this production was to be properly aghast that the breathtakingly unhealthy gay lifestyle is promoted and protected. That makes Green—recently a candidate for the Texas Supreme Court--the porter on the crazy train.

If David Barton wants the government to regulate gay sex, Andrew Shirvell's goal is much more modest. But Shirvell is the conductor on the crazy train.

For almost six months Shirvell has railed in a blog against Chris Armstrong, the openly gay University of Michigan student assembly president. Shirvell, a Michigan grad, accused Armstrong of so many things, including being anti-Christian, hosting a gay orgy, trying to recruit freshmen to be gay, and my favorite, sexually seducing a conservative student and influencing him to the point that he "morphed into a proponent of the radical homosexual agenda."

Good strategy, that seduction. Armstrong should be able to convert everybody on campus by the time he's 106.

During his anti-Armstrong crusade, Shirvell protested outside Armstrong's house, and called him "Satan's representative on the student assembly."

Paranoid much?

All this would be plenty bad enough, but the fact that Shirvell is a Michigan assistant attorney general launches the affair into the realm of the bizarre. Rod Serling couldn't have made this up.

Shirvell's boss, Attorney General Mike Cox, cited the guy's right to free speech, while also telling CNN he's a "bully." Cox said that Shirvell's "immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office are clear."

This is more than a case of bad judgment. Shirvell is obsessed with Armstrong's homosexuality. I have to wonder if Shirvell—now on a voluntary leave of absence--is an immense closet case, or a few ties short of a railroad track.

Either explanation or both might apply to Fred Phelps, leader of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, but it's his daughters who recently clambered on the crazy train. Margie Phelps represented Westboro at the Supreme Court in the dispute over protests at military funerals, and after, while addressing the press, she and sister Shirley Phelps-Roper broke into song.

They warbled a few lines of a variation on Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train." Osbourne declared his displeasure that they used his music to advance "despicable beliefs."

When the Prince of Darkness looks civilized compared to you, your caboose is loose.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Question of the Week

Were you ever bullied in school, for being gay or for anything else?

Exodus Exits

You've heard of Exodus International. It's that infamous ex-gay group that pushes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ." Exodus wants you to give up gay for God.


Out of this fiery pit comes a surprising announcement. Exodus will cease sponsoring the Day of Truth, the conservative Christian response to the annual Day of Silence, when students vow to be silent to call attention to anti-gay bullying in schools.

Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, told CNN, "All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not."

This is going to make some of their allies as mad as Moses when he clapped eyes on that golden calf.

Mind you, Exodus' position on homosexuality hasn't changed. But the Exodus folks have made a significant statement against anti-gay bullying. We'll see if they get bullied for it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Evangelicals and Divorce

Calling divorce "the scandal of the evangelical conscience," a leading Christian conservative is calling upon his brethren to wake up and smell the hypocrisy.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, decries that evangelicals are more likely to get agitated over a badly printed hymnal than divorce in their ranks.

He writes on his Web site
that "evangelical Protestants divorce at rates at least as high as the rest of the public. Needless to say, this creates a significant credibility crisis when evangelicals then rise to speak in defense of marriage."

Needless to say. But I'm glad he's the one saying it.

Mohler also writes that "divorce harms many more lives than will be touched by homosexual marriage."

A real sense of perspective from a powerful conservative Christian? The Lord works in mysterious ways.