Writing and performing a Christmas carol about coming out of the closet, as Crystal Bowersox has done, is “vulgar,”
but writing a book about your dead sister, for your profit only, practically before she is cold in the ground, as Rod has done, is A OK.
Indeed in the past Rod has written that a gay man who writes (in a cake magazine!) about his problems with his mother is doing wrong for airing the family dirt. But, besides airing his own family dirt, Rod thought the Southern guy who made a You Tube video abusing his daughter, and then shooting (literally) her computer, because she said things about him on Facebook that he didn’t like was also just A OK
Takeaway: Right wing asshole Christian males, like Rod and his gun toting hero, can do or say anything viz a viz their family, and you better damn well believe that is just fine. Gays and lesbians? Not so much.
If Rod was just the typical right wing clown, I wouldn’t even bother. But this is a guy with pretensions, despite the limit of his education being a BA in journalism from LSU, a guy who claims to have opinions about theology, a “post Christian” future, “perennialism,” and so forth. And yet, in reality, he is as much of a gay hating moron as the rest of the bunch. Oh well….
UPDATE: Nice to see even the commenters whom Rod can tolerate (he threw me off the board for daring to point out his hypocritical obsession with Miley Cyrus) are hammering him on the “vulgar” thing. Songs like “Santa Baby” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” have long since broken the firewall between XMas and sexiness, “vulgarity,” and so on. They are pointing to materialism gone haywire, such as JC Penny ads with “Shop, shop, shop” being sung to “Jingle Bells,” and reminding Rod that the whole Santa, Frosty, reindeer, Rudolph, elves, etc, etc complex has long since taken precedence over Jesus and Mary and Joseph when it comes to Xmas in America. The whole creation of the American secular Xmas “Tradition” goes counter to what Rod now claims is the norm. If all of that is OK, and either not vulgar or not worth denouncing as vulgar, then why this? Um, can you say homophobia? Sure you can!
Also nice to see little Rod twist and turn, as his mostly reactionary commenters point out that he had to go well, well out of his way to find this song by a bisexual woman. That, despite his claims about merely objecting to having everything turned into a gay and lesbian hoo ha, the truth is this song is hardly being played at the mall in East Butthole, Louisiana, where Rod shops, nor performed by the chorus at the school which his kids would attend, if Mrs. Dreher wasn’t indoctrinating them with “home schooling,” and so on. That far from gays and lesbians overriding XMas with their coming out parties, the truth is that Rod simply hates gays and lesbians, and wants them to go back to the closet and stay there. And this song provided him with a nice, convenient holiday-time vehicle.
No time is ever “a swell time” for gays, not “jingle bell time” and no other time either. Rod NEVER wants to hear about them, EVER. He finds it either infuriating or amusing (depending on his mood, I guess), that the New York Times, a newspaper aimed primarily at a metro area with lots and lots of openly gay and lesbian folks, occasionally runs, ya’ know, actual articles and stuff by and about gay people! Why would it do that, and not cater to newly minted minority sect Greek Orthodox (Rod is on his third or fourth religion, depending on how you count…apparently, he thinks that the more religions you join and quit, the more religious you are, the more “receptive” to religious “experience” you are, and just generally more “sensitive” your are) dunderheads in Louisiana, like himself? It must be a vast lavender conspiracy!
But Rod doesn’t stop there. Oh no, far from it. He just knows the gays and lesbians are moving out of their coastal beachheads, and infiltrating God fearing middle America. Next stop? World Domination! And, to prove it, Rod digs and sniffs, like a dog looking for a buried bone, through media high and low, until, as here, he finds something (I can just see him, furiously googling “gay” and “Christmas” until this ditty popped up!) either about or by gays, or both. And then he howls at the moon! “Teh Gaysszzss!!!!111!!!!!!, teh Gayhsssszzst!!111!11, why don’t they ever leave me alone!!???///?!!!!Tey gayssasszzsss are coming to get me, and my holiday, and my little Rods!!!!11!!!111, Owwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooh!!!!!11111!!!1111!1”
More BS from Rod:
“Hey, I’m a Christian, and I believe in selling the message of Christian conversion. But in the end, bending art around a message gets tiresome. When an artist releases a pop song celebrating coming out for the Fourth Of July — they’ll make it about independence and freedom — if anybody rolls his or her eyes, they’ll be condemned as a hater.”
Rod probably doesn’t know it, but Elton John and Bernie Taupin more or less wrote that song forty years ago! “Philadelphia Freedom” is about the Fourth of July (it was written one year before the Bicentennial), and it is about the political freedom and national independence common to all Americans which was proclaimed that day. But it is also about the tennis team the Philadelphia Freedom, of which Billie Jean King, to whom the song is dedicated, was the star. And, of course, the song, at the deepest and most important level, is also about the freedom to come out, which BJK and EJ helped pioneer. The lyrics are fairly explicit, saying that one can choose to live in the city, alone, free and “easy without family ties.” The connection between general, universal notions of freedom, and the freedom to come out, only occurs to Rod as something to mock. Never mind the greater historical truth that the freedom proclaimed in Philadelphia so long ago has led to deeper and more comprehensive and more widely shared freedom, such that it now includes women, racial minorities, atheists, and gays and lesbians.
The other point that Rod, in his inimitable way, has missed is that no one actually cares if you roll your eyes at
“Philadelphia Freedom,” the hypothetical song he posits, or the XMas carol written by Bowersox. What marks you as a hater is claiming, in a public way, that the impulse to write the song is tiresome and vulgar and so on. Any song, no matter how noble its subject matter, might suck. It might suck musically or lyrically or both. But if the subject matter of a song, and not how it is done, causes you to write a column against the song, well then, folks are probably not far off if they suspect you hate the subject matter. “It is tiresome and vulgar to write about X” pretty much does break down into “I don’t like X.” Roll your eyes to your heart’s content, but don’t come out in the agora and tell us you hate hearing about something, but, somehow, don’t hate the something you don’t want to hear about.
Comical to see Rod trying to pretend that this song was all in his face…”You’re kidding, right? I found it on my Facebook feed, and found lots of coverage of it on Google news. You don’t object to my paying attention to it. You object to the kind of attention I pay to it.” No Rod, they aren’t kidding! I’m no FB expert, but my understanding is that you get on your “feed” what you ask for. So, that’s that. Rod has his FB radar set for gay stuff, and then thinks it noteworthy that his radar, um, picks up gay stuff! And “Google news?” What the F is that? And being on it is now the sign of prominence? Not on TV news? Or in a newspaper? Or all over the internet? But on the must read “Google news?” I guess it would be too much to expect Rod to ignore something that has “lots of coverage” on the august, bullshit website of record “Google news!”
Nice comeback by poster Alex:
“NFR: Yes, obviously if one doesn’t want to talk about homosexuality at every possible opportunity, including Christmastime, one wants gays to be stuffed back into the closet. That couldn’t be more clear. — RD]”
“Who is forcing you to talk about homosexuality at every possible opportunity? This is one (1) song among the dozens and dozens that get released every single week. The reason people are accusing you of demanding complete silence from gays is that you seem to be upset that one (1) song among those dozens and dozens deals with gay themes, so upset that you’ve plucked it from relative obscurity (it has only 85,000 views – that’s 75% as many hits as the feminists-attacking-the-Argentine-cathedral video you posted earlier this week and 1.2% the number of hits as a video showing shoppers trampling each other at WalMart on Black Friday) and promoted it here. Is one obscure song really too many for you?”
Yeah, and even if the issue really was “talk[ing] about homosexuality,” I’m pretty sure, going out on a limb here, that most gays and lesbians would be quite happy if Mr. Rod Dreher never “talked” about it, or them, at all, again, ever, in any fora, including written ones.
UPDATE III: Rod thinks “Santa Baby” is a “parody!” Because he does not say what work it is a parody of, I have to assume that Rod simply does not know what the word “parody” means. Again, it is funny how a guy with such a limited education and so little intelligence generally tries to pass himself off as a serious social critic, student of the arts, religious thinker, and so on. What Rod really means, I guess, is that the song is a “satire,” which, I suppose, it is, at some level. Of course that does not insulate, much less immunize, it from the charge of being vulgar (because it mixes XMas with sexiness, materialism, etc). At least, it wouldn’t if it was being discussed by someone with an ounce of understanding and at least some ability to recognize nuance and ambiguity, but, with Rod doing the discussing, unfortunately, it isn’t.
UPDATE IV: Rod’s latest attempt to wiggle out of his homophobia, pursued in the comments and also on his follow up post about, you guessed it, polygamous analogies (!) to coming out of the gay closet for XMas, is a combo play. On the one hand, Rod has discovered that Bowersox’ career has not been going so well. So, of course, that “explains” why she would make such an in your face “gay” XMas song. The jump the sales chart through controversy angle. On the other hand, Rod has also discovered that Bowersox has expressed hope that the song will become a “gay anthem.” One might think, perhaps, that Rod, who claims he doesn’t want to hear and talk about all this gay stuff, would have taken these facts, if such they be, as reasons for NOT granting the song and its singer free publicity. After all, if she wants to jump start her career by being controversial, wouldn’t the best thing to do, for someone who doesn’t seem all that inclined to want to help her career, be to simply ignore her? Same with the “anthem” thing. OK, superficially, that backs up Rod’s case that this is not “just” a song, and so worth his time. On the other hand, and more to the point, once again, if you don’t want to talk and hear about tey gayz, then maybe when one of them produces a song purporting to be an “anthem” for them, you would just ignore it. You would do what you say you want to do, and, um, refrain from talking about it, and them, no? And, anyway, gays wanting an anthem, or a gay singer wanting her song to be a gay anthem, necessarily impacts Rod how? Wasn’t he perfectly free, despite that expressed hope, to ignore it? Couldn’t, when the song turned up so malevolently on his Facebook feed, Rod just have rolled his eyes in private and hoped it died on the vine? Why would he feel the need to comment on it, and give it more publicity, which is the oxygen of sales?
We know why, don’t we? Rod is obsessed with gays. With gays and lesbians and sexually liberated women (like Miley Cyrus) and with Black people (who he is now featuring in another all too predictable column about “knockouts” and DiBlasio and so on). Rod is, in reality, nothing more than your typical ignorant, Southern white male, redneck racist, sexist, homophobe, Republican, conservative Christian asshole. Sure, he likes his gourmet food and fancy wine and trips to France, but that hardly matters. After all, the old planter aristocracy liked those things too. Having champagne tastes doesn’t mean that you aren’t an ignorant bigot. In Rod’s case, it just means he is an ignorant bigot with champagne tastes.