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2013/06/04

Sock Puppets with Teeth: FOX NEWS and the Unnatural, Natural Social Order of Things.

The myopic, greedy, insanity-infused world that is FOX NEWS continues to amaze, amuse, and disgust me.  The latest scandal has to do with recent comments made by pundits/sock puppets Lou Dobbs, Erick Erickson, and Juan Williams regarding the rise of female breadwinners in families, complaining that it could ruin society, hurt children, and "undermine our social order."

Huh?

Let’s take a look at that last phrase… “undermine our social order”. 

Now, look at it this way: “undermine OUR social order”.

Whose?

Please note that all three are well-to-do older males whose salaries and lifestyles are provided by an immensely wealthy, immensely older male.  Yes, one of them happens to be black, but still part of that ‘threatened’ oligarchy.  Something tells me that same phrase “undermine our social order” has probably been tossed around the offices of FOX NEWS about a number of things, including gay marriage.  Just what are these men afraid of?  And who ceded ‘the social order’ to them in the first place?

I’ll tell you who.  We did.  A long time ago.  Because we were afraid.

I know I’ve touched on this topic previously, but I think it bears repeating.  I didn’t realize just HOW frightened I was of the world, society, and living my life as an out gay man until recently.  With the passage of the Same-Sex Marriage bill here in Minnesota, I found my shoulders relax a little and I began questioning the motivation behind many of the decisions I have made in my life thus far.  A lot of those decisions were based on a particular type of risk assessment.  There were many situations where I could not be myself or share who I was because it simply was not safe to do so. I was told there would be consequences.  I would be ostracized.  I would not be successful.  I would be run out of town (Iowa Falls).

You see, I didn’t want to become Matthew Shephard.

Matthew Shephard, whose name I invoke in order to bring to mind the chilly reality that many gay people have had to, and continue to, live with every day.  Those who are intimidated, bullied, threatened, hurt, attacked, hit, or, abused because they have been identified by the social order and deemed ‘other’.

I also mention Matthew because it occurred to me: that while I believe gay rights to be a matter of civil rights, I have lacked concrete examples of why I feel our plight as gay people has something in common with the unbelievably wrenching battle faced by black people in this country during their struggle to ensure their civil rights. I struggled with such a comparison, because our fight has been significantly less bloody. 

At first glance.

And then I remembered Matthew. And Matthew’s horror brings to mind the horror experienced by Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith and all the other people who had their lives threatened or paid with their lives because of the color of their skin. Rodney King?  Trayvon Martin?  The list is amazingly, embarrassingly long.

But then so, too, would be the list of gay men and women who have lost their lives or had their lives threatened because of their sexual identity.  That is, if we knew their names - for so many have suffered in silence for so long and it’s only recently that we started keeping our list (gay teen suicides, etc.). 

Not true, of course, of the many names of the gay men who died during the AIDS crisis.  We have a quilt to memorialize many of them; a travelling reminder of the subtle kind of genocide that can take place in these modern times right before of our very eyes.  Those memorialized on that quilt are, sadly, dead.  And many of them?  Our dead.  And yes, it is hard to say, but I believe, and I am not alone in this belief, that many of those deaths could have been prevented and their suffering at least lessened had AIDS not been viewed and termed ‘the gay plague’ as it simmered in a social conspiracy of silence.

In light of that, and those like Matthew, I think we have a right to make some noise.  I think it’s okay that we say ‘enough’.  I think it’s okay that we confront bigotry.  I think that it’s time we stop allowing others to behave in ways and say such things, that we live our lives in fear.

I think we’ve earned the right to live without fear.  Obviously, those that feel our very presence undermines the social order aren’t going to allow us to take a seat at that table without a fight.  So, I also think we’ve earned the right to make a little noise.

You know, I wonder; how much longer before gay folk go from being the squeaky wheels demanding change and acceptance, to the day when gay folk are accused of playing “The Gay Card”?  Because that is the flip side of bigotry, my friends; after a once-silenced, disenfranchised minority finds their voices and their footing, once they become politically viable, and begin to infiltrate the mainstream or, as the folks at FOX would have us believe, begin to undermine the social order… once those who have been victimized for so long refuse to be victims anymore?  Then those same bigots will claim that when we complain we will be playing “The Gay Card”.

I, for one, hope to live to see the day.  I will chuckle every time I hear it.

Okay, I’m going to let this go.  But, before I do, let’s take one more look at that phrase: undermine our social order."

Do you think that by ‘undermine’, they actually mean ‘change’, as in change our social order?  Is that what they really fear?  Yes, deep down I do. And therein lies the happy and eventual, historical inevitability of reality vs. Rupert Murdoch’s sock puppets and people of their ilk.  That change they so fear? 

They are powerless to stop. 

Because even in a world where money can buy you virtually everything, it cannot buy the hearts and minds of the people - the same people who make up the living body of that social order which so many misguided souls are currently bent on protecting and preserving.  Do you know what happens when you preserve something?  It lives in a state of stasis.  Where there is no change.  No immediate decay, but no growth either.  And the sad thing about something that has been preserved is; it is still at the mercy of natural laws, such as gravity.  And eventually, no matter how well preserved, some degree of decay is inevitable.

Living things that are restrained in an unnatural state or manner will eventually die. 

Gay folk are not the ones living life in an unnatural manner.  The only thing ‘unnatural’ about us is the way we have been restrained by the very social order the folks at FOX NEWS are fighting so desperately to preserve.   

But those folks at FOX NEWS?   The clock is ticking.  Gravity is winning.

Well, we know how it’s all going to end, now don’t we?

Never fear - the people will always come to recognize what is truly right and what is truly unnatural. 



3 comments:

O!Daddie now at http://smokeyandme.typepad.com/ said...

Well-said!

The best thing about Media is that we can pick and choose what we want to view (except for those damn ads I keep opting out of and the f*cking phone solicitations I get even with an unlisted #.) I have not and will never expose myself to Fox News.

I guess that I am lucky in that being a very private and somewhat reclusive type, I don't have to go about the business of living while always looking over my shoulder. As a once horribly abused and bullied child, I developed the talent to fly under the radar very early, which has served me well all these years.

Out and proud? Yes, certainly, but I attempt not to expose myself to select situations that could potentially harm me.

Love and peace, brother. I love your blog!!

whkattk said...

By 'undermine' they mean exactly what you say: Change. They fear the change in power. They're rapidly losing theirs because their base is dwindling. Don't misunderstand - they will never completely go away, there will always be bigots: Consider the rash of negative comments General Mills got over the Cheerios ad because they used a mixed-race couple. Bigotry is very much alive and well in this country. The difference, as we move on in the fight, is that WE are getting louder, but remaining calmer. We use verifiable facts and appeal to people's common sense.

Stan said...

My older Brother lives and breathes FOX news. I had to endure it while visiting them a few years ago. I would usually leave or retreat to another room. The lies they spin there are unbelievable.
Needless to say politics never enter the conversion with him.
Great post BTW.