Sunday, October 10, 2010
The New York Times has an article in the Style section this morning about Ann Coulter. The story itself, which focuses on Ann's friendship and common cause with gay conservatives, is not bad, or not as bad as might be expected under the circumstances, but the headline -- "Outflanked on Right, Coulter Seeks New Image" -- is making news out of nothing. I've known Ann since law school, and I have never known her to be anything other than genuinely friendly with and supportive of gays. Now, Ann does not support marriage for gays, which some might say is an acid test of genuine friendship, but for those who can distinguish actual casual friendship and respect from a disagreement over public policy, there has always been a big difference between Ann Coulter and the many homophobes on both the right and the left.
CWCID: "Bomber Girl."
I wish people wouldn't use homophobes to describe people who dislike being around gay people.
I am not scare of homosexuals, I just don't enjoy being around them. I don't enjoy watching soccer or playing basketball, but I am not scared of those two activities. I just don't enjoy them.
The "phobia" part was very cleverly chosen to convey a connection to the range of irrational fears, e.g. arachnophobia (see TH post from Austin below) rather than reflecting Mike's preferences of association. Whoever thought of the term made a quite brilliant first strike. It's not just "those who are not with us are against us" but rather "those who are not with us are afraid of us." Very powerful.
Mike, it is hard to imagine how somebody could "dislike being around gay people" without some measure of irrational discomfort or fear. The soccer you dislike watching is in your presence, but I suspect you do not dislike soccer players when they are in your presence as long as they are, say, drinking a beer or shooting pool or working on a spreadsheet. Yet you dislike being around gay people because of their conduct when they are not in your presence. No, it would not be homophobia to say you dislike watching gay sex, but to dislike being around gay people because they might have gay sex when you are not around... well, surely that is something different than a mere preference.
The explanation is simple. I guess it was to me, at least.
Rather than simply tolerate mainstream gays and Muslims in a neutral fashion (which, I truly believe the majority of people are happy to do), those infected with Political Correctness feel obliged to trump that with "special" status for the (allegedly) aggrieved minority.
Thus we have such foolishness as:
* "Hate Crimes" - If somebody kills my heterosexual family member, why is it less of a crime than if they kill my neighbor's homosexual son?
* Forcing employers to tolerate all kinds of unusual religious garb and social behavior that could inherently damage their business. If you wan't to wear a burqa at a Disney character breakfast and refuse to accept an alternative position, I reserve the right to fire you!
* "Tolerance" of Man-Boy Love groups - this issue has been beaten to death.
* Calling New York residents bigots because they don't want an Islamic monument built upon the splattered body parts of 300 fellow citizens.
Thank you, JPMcT, for explaining, I think, that you are against political correctness which sometimes can be non-thinking in its application. Which is not to say, in my opinion, that prejudice is not the source of a lot of unacceptable treatment of many aggrieved minorities. ("allegedly"? not so much...).
(although I have no idea what Man-Boy love groups you are talking about, but just as well).
New Yorkers have been called many things. We survive.
"If somebody kills my heterosexual family member, why is it less of a crime than if they kill my neighbor's homosexual son?"
That's not a hate crime. If however, a gay man killed your straight family member because he hated heterosexuals, he would have committed a hate crime under many state laws.
And it is intolerant for to discriminate against the Muslim victims of 9-11 as well as against the Muslim first responders who died there.
BG, I'm not going to write a treatise in favor of Prejudice (with a capital "P"), but I would propose to you that we adapt and live our lives using prejudice (small "p").
I don't think that there is anything wrong with men who find blatantly gay behaviour in other men annoying to watch...or people who think Muslims have a problem calling their religion peaceful when it is productive of so much death and destruction (they don't have the sole rights to that, by the way).
If you are walking down a dark street and a suspicious looking group of young men is coming along, a lot of people would be afraid, or cross the street.
Prejudice? Sure it is. It is also adaptive behaviour based on one's experience with certain people and situations.
The point is that we live according to the rules of experience. We "profile" the hell out of other people. Sometimes it is deserved and sometimes maybe not...but I fail to see how adaptive behaviour can be eliminated by political intervention. It is very foolish to try, and against "common sense".
I think that is why I find PC behaviour essentially foolish.
JPMcT - there is a difference between threatening behavior and our reaction to it (avoiding groups on dark streets at night, trying to prevent and punish destructive activities in the name of religion or whatever, etc.) and our reaction to non-threatening behavior which makes some people uncomfortable.
"Can't we all just get along?"
- Famous 20th Century Philosopher
What's confusing is that the spectrum of "bigotry / discrimination / tolerance / acceptance" is getting jumbled. Some folks want it so.
What's also getting confused is the role of "state action" in all this. Government shouldn't pick on minorities. But minorities shouldn't be able to manipulate government to gain particular advantage.
It was only in 2003 that the Supreme Court overruled its prior 1986 decision on the legality of anti-sodomy laws. At the time Scalia said it would open the door to same sex marriage and other horrors -- other justices at the time thought he was being a Scare-meister. But now the next step in the progression is mandated acceptance in the military.
Note that the hang-up over the distinction between "civil unions" and "marriage" is that the former only gets gays to "discrimination/tolerance" on the spectrum, the latter pushes out toward "acceptance."
In a little l libertarian dream world, gays can do what they want ... but an evangelical couple can run a bed and breakfast without having to let in Bruce & David lest they get sued. Tolerance works both ways.
As someone else said here so elequently, our military is about killing our enemies and blowing up shit. Nothing else should creep into its mission statement. But organized advocacy groups won't stop until we're at mandated "acceptance" in the military.
Ann Coulter has a talent. I couldn't get on a stage and try to do what she does.
But I've called her "Don Rickles for the Dick Cheney set." Glad to see that she's retooling her public persona.
Interesting that she's saying that our sending more troops to Afghanistan is "insane." I've been called a dumbass here for saying the same thing.
I'd recommend she revisit her views on drug laws too.
ps to Ann The future is with the young. Any spot on Comedy Central is a better gig than CNN.
"My influence is vast and insidious..." Maybe not enough.
Last month a federal judge in California ruled that Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) was unconstitutional. Opinion here
Today she issued a worldwide injunction to implement her opinion, effective immediately.
This could turn into a Holy Shit Issue, going into November 2. Obama will have to tell Holder whether to appeal or not. Does Obama defend in court a military policy that he says he wants Congress to change? If there's no appeal, and no Ninth Circuit stay -- DADT is dead. Who's in charge on this ... the President? Congress? A judge in Los Angeles?
I'm interested in what current and former military people think about this. The opinion is actually comical as it relies in part on a survey of military bases -- the judge thinks that because many of them have solo showers that should answer.
Direct link to DF82's prior post
There's an ironic contrast between his description of the realities of the daily life of soldiers and the judge's opinion that there's already sufficient solo showers.