Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Get Some of My News from Facebook

Ashamedly, I must confess I get some of my news from facebook, including some of the unlovely kind:

"Utah State Senator Chris Buttars recently called the LGBT community 'probably the greatest threat to America...I know of' He went on to spew a series of vile insults including:

* Lesbian and gay relationships are 'abominations.
* LGBT people are moving America toward a society that has no morals.
* LGBT people will 'destroy the foundation of American society.'

Comments like this spread ignorance and fear – promoting an atmosphere of violence against LGBT Americans. They have no place in the discourse of our elected officials."

The last two lines are commentary from someone on facebook, of course, not news, per se. The same goes for "spew vile insults": that phrase is a bit of commentary, granted.

--Not sure what do about Senator Buttars' opinions and remarks, aside from instinctively to recoil from them. Not only do I not think of "the" (sic) LGBT community (I don't think there's just the one monolithic community, but what do I know?) as a threat, I think of LGBT individuals, families, friends, and communities (etc.) as a net gain, to say almost the least.

As to the rest of Butterfingers' argument, well, I'd have to know what he thinks "the foundation of American society" is. Is it tectonic plates, or am I being too literal? Is it republican (small r) democracy, petite bourgeoisie capitalism, corporate capitalism, a theocracy, or what? I'd need to know that first. Define terms and all that boring English-major stuff.

All LGBT persons have "no morals"? This can't possibly be true. This is not borne out by my experience.

When I hear "abominaton," I always think of the abominable snowman, and I get distracted, so Butterfingrs has lost me there, too. I think of Bigfoot, with a white fur-coat on, walking in the snow.

Okay, strictly for the sake of argument, trying mightily to play along with Butterfingers, I will assume for 90 seconds that "the" LGBT community poses some kind of threat. We'll call it a "threat to be named later," for the simple reason that I don't know what the threat is. For instance, let us assume that a gay couple moves into a house next door to a married (or not) straight couple. Both couples go to work, take the garbage-cans out on garbage day, mow the lawn, walk the dog, yadda yadda. So far so good? Okay. Now, in what sense is couple A a threat to couple B, let alone a threat to all straight marriages or relationships? If couple B is running a meth-house, then couple B is a greater threat to couple A, I submit to you, your honor. I've never been able to follow this "threat" argument. But I digress. I was supposed to be playing along with Butterfingers. Playing along, I will cite the following as greater "threats," in no particular order:

1. Bunions.
2. Global warming.
3. Complete financial de-regulation.
4. Insomnia.
5. Really bad reality TV shows that are really awful. Really.
6. The designated-hitter rule in baseball.
7. Anti-biotic-resistant strains of the Staph infection
8. A mis-understanding of how the semicolon is supposed to be used.
9. The Swine Flu.
10. Chronic homelessness.
11. A widening gap between rich and poor worldwide.
12. Where to store nuclear waste.
13. Chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
14. The use of the term "back order." When shops run out of something, a clerk says, "It's on back order." I'd prefer the clerk to say, "We don't have any of that stuff. Go away." The use of the term "back order" is a threat to morale.
15. Two wars.
16. Rumsfeld's religious covers to his briefing memos; they may serve to help recruit more Al Queada members than anything.
17. Dick Cheney's shotgun, espeically when he's liquored up. To be fair, anybody liquored up shoudn't wield a shotgun; this isn't personal. Johnny Walker Red and shotguns shouldn't marry. :-)
18. High cholesterol.
19. Too much salt in prepared foods.
20. A lack of appreciation for the films of Preston Sturgess.

There! I wasn't really even trying, and I came up with 20 threats that are greater than Butterfingers' (phantom, arguably) threat.! And I'm not even an expert on threats!

Senator Butterfingers, I urge you to sit down and to rearrange your priorities. Then please read Michel Foucault's The History of Sexuality, Part One and a nice readable popular history called Out of the Past. Take two aspirin, and call Stephen Fry (not Hugh Laurie!) in the morning. Also, I apologize for calling you Butterfingers. It was high-schoolish of me, Senator Buttars.
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