Day by Day

Saturday, January 17, 2009

One man's journey

Blogrolling is still down. They got hacked last year around October, and they've been rebuilding things from the ground up while keeping their service going. But they should be back up soon, and when they are, there are some serious additions I need to make to the blogroll.

One of them is Big Hollywood. Because this post alone justifies reading it daily.

I have since met real people who identify as Republicans and even Christians – the religion we are constantly warned (despite plenty of evidence to the contrary) is the worst, most dangerous in the world. I have been in the dreary Catholic church of my partner’s parents. And guess what. I’ve never felt more welcome, even as an openly gay man there with my partner. I have no interest in Catholicism or going to church. And I’m sure underneath, the church folk do not fully approve of how we live. Maybe some do. But newsflash: I don’t have to approve of how they live either. And none of us is killing the other. They are not the enemy.

I have over the past eight years also observed – and experienced the lash of –
an increasing unwillingness by otherwise decent, intelligent people to tolerate points of view that do not adhere to “politically correct” guidelines. In other words, the “talking stick” schtick no longer asks that you merely listen, it demands that you shut up. And you must conform. Just days after Sarah Palin’s powerhouse speech at the Republican National Convention – before Tina Fey had even unleashed her incredible spoof – I attended a business lunch where withering remarks about the newbie candidate went down around the table like well-lined-up dominoes. Palin was already being labeled a “self-parody”; it wasn’t Tina Fey’s fault. When it came my turn to pipe in, I decided to try chivalry, and simply said I liked the lady.

Silence. Whoops. Party over. Lesson learned: don’t defend the white trash.

Everyone in LA – or NY or SF - should try saying something un-PC in “polite” company. Just to experience the sting. Talk about change: in an instant, you begin to understand how single women in Salem must have felt. Suddenly, you feel naked, exposed, wishing you had Tourette syndrome instead of common sense. After a few such experiences - and they usually involve some degree of verbal abuse - you start thinking twice about speaking your mind. Funny, I thought that was what we were all supposed to be fighting for.

You have got to read the whole thing.

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