I’m watching the Super Bowl as I write this. For years, I’ve had to watch most of my TV on my computer, but every time I move back in with my father, I get to watch TV on an actual TV. Which is nice. Game of Thrones starts up again in April, and with any luck, I might get to actually watch each episode as it airs. That would be a first for me. I’m watching Looking right now, and the feeling of going, “Great episode! I can’t wait for the next one!” is something that I had all but forgotten. It’s funny. I love Mad Men, but I have seen only the first four seasons. There’s a metaphor in here somewhere. I get around to doing things eventually, but usually a little bit after everyone else does.
It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that I should move out again. My parents don’t trust me. They keep bugging me about healthcare, but since it was my dad’s decision to drop me from his plan, I fail to see how this is any of their business. I still have paperwork to complete so that I can have coverage from Medi-Cal. I have little experience filling out paperwork. There are most likely complications. The Medi-Cal people left me a message last week asking me to call them. So there might be a minor complication. I don’t know. I’m not asking for help here. I never ask my parents how their healthcare plan is treating them. And at a certain point, it really isn’t their responsibility to look after me anymore. To top it off, my father is dropping hints that he might move this spring. I guess he’s getting bored with his job. There is no way I’m moving just to stay with him, so I guess I’d better double down on that second job search.
If you have a couple minutes, please watch this unintentionally hilarious video. Basically, some Mormon nutjob claims that men who masturbate are wounded soldiers in God’s army. Apparently, the way to rescue a wounded soldier is to tell the bishop he’s choking his bishop, then gaze longingly into his eyes like it’s the opening scene of a porno. Seriously, tell me you wouldn’t want to see the ginger bone the brunette twink. After all, he has just caught him masturbating…with the door open and his pants on. I am not making this up. It’s sex negativity on a level that is simply jaw-dropping.
Now that you’ve made it through that, watch this. It’s not sex negative—in fact, just the opposite.
I hope you feel better now.
I think it’s time for a bit of a gear shift. A lot has changed in this country over the past year. The biggest shift, at a glance, is the one surrounding gay marriage. How many states made it legal in 2013? I lost count. (Okay, it’s eight. I Googled it. And before you ask, I did include Utah. Yes, it was caused by a clerical error and they reversed it after two weeks, but fuck it. It still counts.) By every measurable standard, the country wants it to be a reality. Even in Utah, the reddest of the red states, the opinion polls are split 50-50. What does this mean? It means that we’re due for a backlash. Actually, that’s happening already. India criminalized homosexuality, Nigeria banned gay marriage and even large gatherings of gay people, and then, of course, there’s Russia. It’s as if the best and the worst is happening at the same time. A few years ago, I was afraid that America was going to fall behind in the march towards equality, but at the moment, we’re leading. I wonder if that might be about to change.
There is no denying that we are progressing far faster on this one than we did on women’s suffrage or abolition. And thankfully, it is quickly revealing itself to be not entirely partisan. Almost all Democrats support gay marriage, and while a lot of young conservatives support it, too, it’s more important to note that even some amongst the older generation seem amenable to the idea as well. Fantasy author Brandon Sanderson wrote a fascinating blog post after J.K. Rowling outed Albus Dumbledore. He starts with a condescending point about gay marriage supporters not being tolerant of the views of the bigots who disagree with them, but then goes on to make some truly salient points about the importance of fair representation in fiction. Essentially, he says that the “controversy” over the revelation about Dumbledore’s character is pointless, since Dumbledore’s sexuality was not relevant to the story anyway, and since gay people exist, they should be present in our fiction whether or not we agree with their “lifestyle”.
Brandon Sanderson is a Mormon. He lives in Utah. Something tells me he’s not a liberal. I don’t know if his views on the issue of gay marriage have changed since he wrote that post, but I do know that, all things considered, what he said there was really not that bad, certainly not when compared to the shit that comes out of Orson Scott Card’s mouth. If the people who talk about family values and small government can recognize that they have no business telling other people how to live and who to love, then clearly, we can find some common ground. Of course, they’ll continue to vote for bigoted sociopaths, but what can you do?
In conclusion, the best way to deal with fanaticism is to mock it, because if there’s one thing bigots lack, it’s a sense of humor. I have yet to hear Vladimir Putin or any African dictator make a joke about themselves. So keep mocking them. Because they’re not that different. From each other, that is, not from us.