Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stupid Is As Stupid Does


"I decided talking to a conservative is like talking to your refrigerator. You know, the light goes on the light goes off; it's not going to do anything that isn't built in to it. And I'm not going to talk to a conservative anymore than I talk to my damn refrigerator." ---Utah Phillips (1935-2008)


Pick up my New York Times from the hallway outside our apartment door this morning and start perusing the headlines before my daughter would wake up. First one I notice is an article titled, Climate Change Doubt Is Tea Party Article of Faith. I start reading the article and it opens with a scene of an incumbent Indiana Democratic congressman defending his climate bill vote in front of a hostile crowd full of people self-identified as part of the "tea party" movement. He calls global warming real and indisputable, just like the vast majority of scientists who know anything about climate.

He is showered with boos. This is the next bit of the article:

...including a hearty growl from Norman Dennison, a 50-year-old electrician and founder of the Corydon Tea Party.

“It’s a flat-out lie,” Mr. Dennison said in an interview after the debate, adding that he had based his view on the preaching of Rush Limbaugh and the teaching of Scripture. “I read my Bible,” Mr. Dennison said. “He made this earth for us to utilize.”


And here we have the fundamental problem with trying to talk sense to conservative Christians. Put the facts in front of their face, shower them with reason, use real data to make your argument and you will be wasting your time.

The liars that are Glenn, Rush, Sean, Sarah, et al; a 2,000-year-old piece of poorly written fiction. This is who they will choose to believe, this is where they get their "truth." These sources give them the narrative as they want it to be and that's good enough for them, no matter that it flies in the face of all common sense or what the actual truth might be.

This is how it is possible for Obama to be simultaneously a Socialist and a Nazi. How he is trying to make you enroll is big, bad, government-run socialized health-care and also take away your Medicare. How he wants to redistribute the wealth and is also the puppet of Wall Street bankers. they believe every one of these things about him, never mind that they are all contradictory of each other. I suppose that makes it just like believing in their bible.

They are stupid and they are very proud of it.

This country is fucked.

(Originally posted at Out Of Tune)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Screw Tolerance


Things are heating up for gay rights issues in this country. "Don't ask, don't tell" is gasping at its final breaths and the issue of gay marriage is winding its way through the court system on its way to an inevitable showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court, and even if it loses there the next generation of Americans - the ones who are now in their teens and twenties - will legalize same-sex marriage anyway.

This is all great news, as the bigots - though it has taken way too long - are losing again. That is always a good thing. It has been, and still is, a long hard-fought battle for equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in America. We're winning the argument, us progressives, because, well, the argument on the other side is stupid.

There is one aspect to the argument that comes from the liberal side that I do have an issue with. It seems that since the 90s we have been urging people to be "tolerant" of the queers.

I say, fuck tolerance.

Gay is not something to tolerate and it sends the wrong message to the bigots and hate-mongers of the world.

I tolerate the asshole walking down the street texting who bumps in to me, instead of elbowing him in the face like I really want to do. Because in a civil society I need to resist those urges, even if someone deserves it.

I tolerate the moron on the subway listening to his headphones so loud that everyone can hear his music, instead of ripping his iPod out of his hands and crushing it with my foot. See above reason.

I tolerate conservative bible-thumpers, instead of stabbing them in the throat. Because there are too many too kill them all and it would be very messy and tiring.

The point is, you don't tolerate something that's not bad because there is nothing to tolerate. By using this word you are giving credibility to the bigotry. You are saying it is OK to think of homosexuals as sinners who are going to hell, but just be hush-hush about it.

Look, if two people enter a committed relationship with the intention of spending their lives together, regardless of their gender, it is either a) something to be celebrated and honored, or b) something to not give a shit about at all. Period. There are no other options. And you can switch back and forth between the two. I have friends and family that are answer "a" and others that are answer "b."

I'm not sure who decided on this "tolerance" mantra many years ago, and I wish I could find out what they were thinking. I suspect that comes from the left's own faulty tolerance. Specifically tolerance of fucked-up religious beliefs. Too many people on the left try to cling to their own religion that they go too much out of their way to respect the religion of others. So we ended up tip-toeing around their religion and the result is asking them for their tolerance. But in that process we give credibility to their dumb religious beliefs and we head down the road of respecting all sorts of asinine things, from polygamy to female genital mutilation. Where will it stop?

What we are supposed to say to these people is, "fuck your religion."

And there are only two real reason we have to make in our argument of why their religion should be fucked:

One is, your religion has nothing to do with what should or shouldn't be against the law in a secular nation. If you want to live in a theocracy go ahead and move to Saudi Arabia or the Vatican.

Second, I call bullshit that this is really about your religion, anyway. There are tons of things in the bible that you choose to ignore (like slavery or selling your daughter being just fine and dandy with your god) so why are you so hung up on this one? I know why, and it has nothing to do with your religion. It's because the thought of two dudes doing it grosses you out. (And let's face it, if only women were queer they would have been allowed to get married years ago, because even your most conservative born-again guy thinks two chicks getting it on is hot.) OK, maybe not all of you are grossed out by it. As we've learned from several militant "anti-gay" preacher-crusaders, some of you are turned on by it and it scares you.

But you know what? Just because gay guys can get married doesn't mean you have to have sex with guys. Or watch those guys have sex.

Hey, truth be told - and I'm sorry my gay friends - a couple of guys going at it kind of grosses me out, too. I thought maybe I was hipster enough in college and my years in Seattle in the 90s that maybe I could go gay or bi, but I just don't dig the fellas.

One night out at a bar in Seattle one of my gay pals planted a big old kiss on me, wet and sloppy with a tongue in my mouth. I acted all cool about it, but in the back of my head I was thinking, "Yuck! Gross! Ewww!" Just wasn't my thing, you know? It certainly affirmed that I'm straight, no question. (I later told said friend that I didn't enjoy it and he never tried to do it again, and we stayed friends. Just like I would do with a girl I was friends with but not attracted to.)

But just because I didn't dig it why would I try to stop him from sticking his tongue (or dick for that matter) down the throat of some guy who does? Why would I care? I was never in to black girls either - just never had any attraction to any - but that doesn't mean I should want to stop other white guys from hooking up with black women.

People have incredibly varied sexual and relationship preferences - an infinite amount, really - gay, straight and bi. They don't have to be in to the same thing as me for me to be OK for them to exists, or even be friends with them.

People are attracted to who they are attracted to, for reasons they only have to explain to themselves, and that's a beautiful thing. To try to keep them apart is such an asshole thing to do. It's as stupid as hating people for being left handed.

So fuck tolerance. As the bumper sticker I saw years ago said, "I don't tolerate differences, I celebrate them."

I think we need less tolerance in the world. Specifically, we need to stop tolerating people who use an over 2,000-year-old piece of fiction as an excuse for a pass on their fucked up bigotry.

I will never, not ever, tolerate them.

(Originally posted at Out Of Tune)