Monday, September 19, 2005

you want to talk betrayal?

I get exhausted at times and get tired of all the outrage and sometimes just want to not pay any attention and let things go. Not email rebuttals of the fake-ass crap relatives send to support their narrow world view, not rage about the stupid things happening in our government, not pick at the idiocy of being gay and throwing your support behind people who want you dead. So, it would probably be best if I just ignored
the prism warden and then I wouldn't read about him comparing himself to a noble modern day Odysseus (I kid you not) and lamenting the treachery that the minions of liberal land had enacted on his beloved home in his European hiatus:

"When I returned home, I could scarcely recognize the rooms. Who were these imposters apologizing for Saddam Hussein's regime, praising Iraq as a kite-flying paradise before the wicked American invaders arrived?

"Who were these suitors with silver-tongues whispering that the American Republic was dead and gone, and now we must remove the president from his rightful office so that they might impress their vision on our country?

"Who were these gargoyles pressing their fetid claws against our cheeks, that they might turn our faces away from the suffering and oppression in the Middle East?

"Who were these bureaucratic beggars in golden robes urging us to leave the poor to their fates as they smuggle sacks of coin from their international castle in the dead of night?

"Who were these homosexual charlatans protecting rulers who treat them no differently than the enemies they abhor so much?""

Blah blah blah, all of this is too stupid to really address.

and I wouldn't, but...

I should have just left well enough alone and been done with it. I don't have time to go and refute each of his claims and call him on his shit. But before I washed my hands of all of this I read this post, which included this statement: "Gay conservatives are the parents, and gay liberals are the teenagers."


You can take you condescending crap and shove it. You approach politics from this wounded, "wah wah wah, liberals weren't perfect" angle and try paint pictures in broad absolutes and suddenly the people that demand a more nuanced view of things and who refuse to entertain your fairytale version of the world and you are the adult and we are children? Whoa back!

You want to know why gay people find it idiocy for other gay people to pronounce themselves 'conservative'? By definition, a conservative is someone who is resistant to change, who wants to preserve the status quo, who wants preserve the present order of things. I have said it before and will say it again that for a gay person to take this stance on thing, they have to be a special kind of selfish. Maybe you were one of the few gay people for whom being gay was easy when you were growing up or you passed well enough that you didn't have to deal with it very publically until you were in a supportive environment and had enough resources that other folks bigotries couldn't seriously shake up your life, but even so, surely you are have met other gay people and have atleast some sense of how gay people in general are often treated and there was no way to miss how they felt about us in the last election.

When throw your lot in with the politically conservative, you are saying you support the people who think sex between two men should still be criminal. That is conservative, preserving the way things were. You are saying that you think gay people shouldn't be able to adopt kids or work with kids. You are throwing your lot in with people who think we shouldn't have equal protection under the law. It would be conservative to think that we should still be considered mentally ill just for being attracted to other men.

These are the same people who spent the eighties and early nineties (I was young enough then but I got their message loud and clear) saying in unambiguous terms that AIDS was God's judgement on gay people. That we would contract HIV and die from it and that WE DESERVED TO. They weren't subtle in this message and they have never dropped it. And if you want to talk about one thing which bush and co. has done which directly affects the gay population it is their assault on sex ed. You and I are old enough to remember the eighties and gay people dying right and left, but also young enough that most of those people were in the generations above us. We didn't spend ten years watching our friends waste away and going to funerals, but it was close enough that I certainly know people who did. As much as meds have increased people's life spans after infection, the reduced rate of infection in the nineties was largely due to an aggressive and honest sex ed program. In schools, in bars, everywhere you got the message that if you had sex, you needed to wear a condom. Where is that message now?

60 Minutes recently did a story on the push for abstinence only sex ed. I found this quote telling (go read the whole thing, it is mind boggling):

"The federal government is spending $167 million this year to spread that abstinence-only message. And there’s a law that says that for a program like Silver Ring Thing to receive government funding, it must not talk about the health benefits of using condoms -- only about how they fail."

and this:

"At Union Grove High School in McDonough, Ga., kids get the abstinence message from a curriculum called Choosing The Best, whose publisher has been awarded $4 million in federal assistance. Today’s lesson: Condoms often fail.

"What teachers like Laurie Sponsler can’t do, if they follow the curricula, is tell students that when condoms are used correctly, they are nearly always effective. And if a student asks how to use a condom, Sponsler's not supposed to tell."

Are you serious? "Not supposed to tell"? That is criminal.

Teenagers are going to have sex. Always have, always will, but you put out information specifically targetted at discouraging use of the most effective weapon they have to keep themselves healthy and you might as well being pointing a gun at them. Whether this is based on ignorance or malice, the effect is the same: kids will get infected (with all manner of venereal disease) at higher rates. It is an attempt to reintroduce dire consequences to behaviours which trouble these compassionate conservative minds. These naughty little whores and faggots shouldn't be able to have their filthy, immoral sex without God's infectious punishment. The message isn't subtle.

"'My own daughter, my 16-year-old daughter, tells me she’s going to be sexually active. I would not tell her to use a condom," says Pattyn. "I don't think it'll protect her. It won’t protect her heart. It won’t protect her emotional life. And it’s not going to protect her. I don’t want her to get out there and think that she’s going to be protected using a condom.'

"But wouldn't his daughter be more protected with a condom than without? 'Not long term,' says Pattyn."

What a fucking monster! If she is going to have sex and leave her pure heart open to the emotional trauma of premarital sex, she should also leave her body open to the health risks associated with unprotected sex. Maybe this fellow they interviewed is just really dumb and doesn't actually know real statistics about condoms efficacy, but you would still have to be some kind of an outrageous asshole to say that crap.

And HIV is the least treatable and most life threatening of venereal diseases and in this country, it disproportionately affects gay men and black women (we can get into all kinds of discussions about why this is, but later). You can't prohibit the teaching of information that can help curb this and expect people not to draw the conclusion that you want people to die. "Well, they shouldn't be having sex anyway!" says the prissy matrons of the land with the unspoken subtext being, "They deserve to die." And the rates of STD infection and number of unwanted pregnancies slowly tick higher and higher.

Now before you get into telling me, "No, I don't support THAT part of the conservative stuff, I want good sex ed, I don't want my behavior criminalized...", step back and take a good long look at what bush's presidency has been all about. He is nothing but a weird male model strutted around to put a jovial face on some pretty atrocious policy. They have been trying to pass this stuff for years and years. cheney and rumsfeld come straight out of the nixon administration.

Honestly, I think most of their bigotry can be summed up best as just pure greed. They want to protect their profits and increase them, they want to decrease the governments capacity for regulating big business and cripple citizens channels for recourse and challenging corporations and they want to increase the military as an industry and further the privitization of public functions (including military ones). Maybe the aren't racist pricks who hate black people in general, just wanting to preserve the status quo is naturally going to come across that way because the status quo has more black people at the bottom. Same with the whole gaybashing shit. Maybe they really could care less about gay folks as far as ideology goes, but it brings out the hilbillies to vote when they pound the podium and talk about how we are destroying marriages and undermining the moral fabric of this great country, so they do their gay bashing song and dance. There main distraction game used to be "Keep this nigger running" and in someways it still is, but they have added the currently more acceptable updated model, "Keep this faggot running."

It isn't because we think all gay people have to be alike that most gay people recoil at hearing a gay person is conservative or a republican, it is because pointing to gays as a destructive element in society has been their main interaction with gay people for the last twenty years. A party can not spend enormous energy in the last presidential campaign saying gays are destroying the country, undermining our values and ruining our neighborhoods, and then suddenly tack on a sort of "not that there's anything wrong with that! I have gay friends!" consession on the end and think any sentient gay person is going to take them seriously. They refered to us in terms not too differently from how they refered to terrorist.

Are democrats perfect? No way, but they haven't made gay bashing central to their rhetoric and have gone out of their way to speak inclusively of all manner of minorities. I get pissed off at plenty of Democratic policy and what they say too, but their is a distinct difference in the focus of the two parties and their messages. The democrats speak of everyone being valuable and working to make this country a place where we all can live and where what happens to the least of us should matter to the people at the top. This is reflected in the policy they propose as well. The republican message is "I like what I got, so stay in your place boy or I'll put you back there," with of course their soothing coorolary for the less well off but bigoted masses, "shame you ain't got more there; must be all those faggots/niggers/feminists/immigrants ruining your community." And their message is reflected in their policy too.

Call me a child all you want. I don't doubt you are an adult, but who you ally yourself with says what kind of adult you are.

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