Friday, June 4, 2010

The Right wants to see more friendly homophobes on Glee

I'm not really sure why I can't ever seem to find *good* news about David H. Koch, whose name adorns the former State Theater and home to New York City Opera. But, here he is again - this time, he is supporting someone who thinks the hit show Glee doesn't have enough friendly homophobes.

That's right - I said it. Friendly homophobes - 'cuz I sure know a lot of people who are both friendly and homophobic. [insert obvious eye roll here]

Lee Fang with ThinkProgress.com writes in part:
L. Brent Bozell III, right-wing scion and president of the conservative “media watchdog” group the Media Research Center, wrote a column today in TownHall to express his absolute outrage at the television show Glee for promoting a “homosexual lifestyle.” Bozell, whose “think-tank” is funded by foundation money from David Koch of the oil conglomerate Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, among other corporate sources, denounced the show for portraying opponents of homosexuality as “vicious school bullies.” Bozell lamented the fact that that Glee’s homophobes were “two brutish football players” who “threatened to pummel the openly gay and riotously effeminate character Kurt for dressing up like a girl”.
Let us not forget, Friendlies, that this is the same David H. Koch of Koch Industries that is on the board of Americans for Prosperity - the group that was behind the "grass roots movement" that lead to the "town hall protests" and "recess rallies". You remember those, right? When participants showed their opposition to health care reform by obnoxiously shouting down members of Congress who were trying to speak about the reform legislation.

I'm sorry - why is his name on New York City Opera's building again?

Back to the issue at hand - we have Koch's money funding another Right Wing gas bag. What will that get you? Oh don't worry, I'll tell you. Here is what that kind of money can buy you ... from Brent Bozell:
This show is wildly popular because of the music. Songs performed on the show sell feverishly on iTunes within hours. It's not a hit because it's a political or social debate forum. But just as it dazzles viewers with musical performances, it's hammered hard against traditional values at every turn. How does Glee creator Ryan Murphy make it tilt into utter intolerance? It isn't through smash-mouth indoctrination. The treatments are subtle but unmistakable.
Uhm... subtle is not really how I would describe the show. And, to be quite honest, after decades of seeing homophobia, racism and degradation right in front of our eyes on TV, I think it is *more* than fair to turn the tables and give those who advocate for some good ol' fashioned homophobia, racism and degradation a taste of their own medicine.

Do you remember the Gaga episode when Finn gets a little overwhelmed by Kurt's decorating and protests by yelling about a lamp - using the word faggot?

Yes, you remember - it's the same episode when Kurt get's bullied by two of the high school's football players. Again, Bozell:
The whole plot is a simplistic political cartoon, with cartoonish villains making cartoonish statements against male heroes in cartoonish drag.
[I'm breathing ... I'm breathing. Shanti ... Shanti. I'm finding my happy place.]

Ok, I've gotta shift gears a little bit here. Stay with me kids, it'll all be over soon.

Listen up, Mr. Bozell - those of us who lived with this crap during their high school years didn't really think of it as a simplistic political cartoon. It was life, jackass.

Here's the thing - when I was in high school, I wasn't a jock. I wasn't a member of 4H (yes, we had 4H). I loved being in choir. I played piano. I sang at church and yes, people ... I even wore Penny-loafers to school. Trust me when I say, I was treated to more than my fair share of bullying. Count yourself as lucky, Mr. Bozell, that you never had do deal with this kind of hatred. Count yourself as lucky that you weren't repeatedly called a faggot, queen, queer, lady-boy or whatever other obnoxiousness that tends to run rampant in high schools these days.

In calling me those things and in forcing me to deny that I was gay in order to put an end to the relentless bullying ... the bi-product became forcing me to say that homosexuality is wrong by the sheer and adamant denial of it. I still regret that to this day. Why don't we teach our children to say, "So, what if I was? What business is it of yours? How would it be effecting *you*?"

Today, as a man who is proud to stand with his wife and daughter as allies of those friends and family members who are part of the LGBT community, I can say in all honesty that your assertion that Glee is promoting a homosexual lifestyle and that your absolute outrage at Glee for lacking enough friendly gay-bashers (hidden under the guise of "compassionate christianity", of course) is as ridiculous as it is baseless.

By the way, Mr. Bozell - here's a snapshot into my life: my beautiful daughter Lyla, who turns 6 next month, has a lesbian couple for her Godparents. That's right ... I sense the smoke coming out of your ears already ... Lyla has two Godmothers! And, they even stood next to her *in church* during the baptism. What'ya think of that? Wait a minute - I don't really care what you think.

As long as we're on that topic of you thinking (or, perhaps not): I suppose you think Vampire Diaries promotes being a vampire ... where's your outrage there? I suppose you think The Good Wife promotes political corruptness ... where's your outrage there? I suppose you think that Mickey Mouse Clubhouse promotes witchcraft ... where's your outrage there? And, I suppose you think (and we would agree on this) that American Idol promotes horrifically bad singing and performing ... where is your outrage there, Mr. Bozell?

This is not about anything other than the fact that the episode in question showed millions of viewers what many of us lived in high school: two over-sized, pin-headed, bigoted, hate-filled football players who were bullying a guy who was expressing himself in a way that didn't fit the mold.

It made you uncomfortable, didn't it Mr. Bozell? You can admit it. I wont judge.

Because it made you uncomfortable, and since you are a proud member of the Right Wing, your first reaction was to blame someone else. God forbid you actually look inward and come to terms with why it made you so uncomfortable... perhaps you were one of the over-sized, pin-headed, bigoted, hate-filled football players?

I like Glee. Yes, I think the musical aspects of it are a little on the campy side. But, for the most part, I think it shows a certain demographic of people that being different is ok. I like a show where you can be in a wheelchair and still be in Glee Club. I like a show where you can be an Asian Goth Chick and kind-of-like the guy in the wheelchair. I like a show where you can be a teen mom who is kicked out of the cheer leading squad and still fit in.

What is the harm in this? How is it affecting *you*, Mr. Bozell?

Let's celebrate the fact that different people really CAN fit in and for once ... for *once* ... let the over-sized, pin-headed, bigoted, hate-filled football players be the outcasts.

In closing, I think now is a very appropriate time to warn you about something. If you follow the link to TownHall, you'll likely see a pop up that made me gasp and almost spit my Diet Pepsi all over the screen.... THIS is what you see:


And, I'll say no more.

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