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The Wind is Blowing Like an Outlaw November 17, 2009

Posted by monty in news.
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A couple days ago I wrote briefly about being an optimist at heart.  Despite the pessimism that occasionally (often?) comes across in my writing, I genuinely believe in the good people can do.  I do believe that.  But sometimes I get a reality check.

There’s a story currently making the rounds about a 10-year-old boy in Arkansas who refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in school until gays and lesbians have equal rights.  My reaction to this is twofold.  First off, I think it’s a good and honorable thing this kid is doing, and I obviously commend him for taking a principled stand on the issue.  But my second reaction is this: I hope it’s his principled stand, and not his parents’.

I mean, think about it.  How concerned were you with social justice as a 10-year-old?  As for myself, not so much.  At that age, I spent my time daydreaming about Jo from The Facts of Life and flooding my mom’s garden so I could engage in swamp warfare with my G.I. Joe action figures.  Because we know that young children often just regurgitate whatever tenets they hear regularly in the home, my gut tells me this kid can’t be genuine.  Maybe he is.  I hope he is.  But the odds aren’t good.

But that’s all just the background for what I wanted to share here.  As I’m sure you can imagine, the right-wingers and homophobes are having a field day with this story, viewing it as just more evidence of how the commie pinko faggots have brainwashed America’s youth.  The Free Republic – a right-wing website that parrots all the predictable GOP talking points – ran a quick little story yesterday on the boy who refuses to say the pledge.  That’s all fine and good.  The troubling thing is the reader comments that followed.  Here’s a brief sample – and remember that they’re writing about a 10-year-old kid.

Wait till the kid undergoes his first prostate exam, that should change his opinion of gay sex! (AxelPaulsenJr)

Update: He’s now standing for the Pledge.  Some admiring gay men came to his town and had a party for him. Now, he can’t sit down. (Mac from Cleveland)
I think he should carry the protest even further, he should wear a plastic bag over his head until he gets his way! (SwampSniper)

Their tone might change when one of those “friends of the family” get the kid alone for a while. Then again, maybe they’ll be happy for him. (Republic of Texas)

Pledging allegiance to the Fag. (SpaceJunkie2001)

I’m just from the “old” school. In my day, this guy would have met up with his peers on his way home and had his mind changed. There have always been people that didn’t want to “get along”. They were kept in the minority or had missing teeth. (Chuckles)

Get the picture yet?  And these are just the comments that address the kid directly.  The rest of the comments are just as offensive – the usual stuff about gays already having equal rights, Obama indoctrinating America’s youth, etc.  It must be a bummer to be so full of hatred.

And, just as I wondered yesterday about the popularity of Sarah Palin’s particular brand of demagoguery, I can’t help but speculate how reflective these reader comments are of Republicans as a whole.  My optimistic streak urges me to believe that it’s just a tiny sliver of the party.  But then I remember California’s Prop 8, the recent overturning of gay marriage legislation in Maine, and all the other anti-gay laws on the books and I can’t help but feel that sometimes – and this is assuredly one of those times – my optimism is just a defense mechanism that prevents me from acknowledging the ugly reality of the situation.

*****

Current listening:

Stereolab – Transient Random Noise Bursts With Announcements

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Comments»

1. Katie Reed - November 17, 2009

That kid rules. Any time someone makes a pedophile joke like that, it just makes me think they are the pedophile.

2. Katie Reed - November 17, 2009

P.S. What wine should I pair with turkey, RCM?

rcm - November 17, 2009

Without knowing your (or your guests’) tastes, a solid default choice for turkey is a white zinfandel. It’s light and sweet and pretty accessible, even for people who don’t normally drink wine. I pair pinot noir with just about anything, but it works with turkey. It’s definitely heavier and fuller, though, and might not be for everyone. On the white wine side, you could go for a dry chardonnay or a sweeter riesling. I’m a fan of everything here except chardonnay. Not a fan of dry wines.

If all else fails, just buy a jug of Thunderbird.

3. thoreauly77 - November 17, 2009

pinot noir will go well with dark meat turkey because of its fattiness and oily texture. reisling, or even better, Gewurztraminer, would suit the white meat (its sweet, but more dry than the reisling). do both!

sorry, i know she didnt ask me rob!

also, you say jo, i say tootie, thought those are two of my early crushes before i even knew what a crush was.

now, as for the subject at hand…. comments sections, aside from this one, are the frickin dregs, but they are the most honest dregs, and the best (and perhaps only good) thing i can say about them is that they are an open forum, and 9/10 times, reason prevails. i just wish that the same average was applied to reality….

4. Katie Reed - November 17, 2009

I love pinot noir, thanks to the two of you. You both are awesome (even though I don’t know who thoreauly77 is).


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