Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A "Let's-Get-Over-Ourselves" Moment...

Uh-oh, Jerry Lewis dropped the F-bomb toward the end of this year's Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. No, not the one Cheney likes so well. The other one--the anti-gay slur. And true to tradition, GLAAD, which has lately seemed to make a habit of giving a pass to the truly objectionable while roundly condemning the non-malicious blunders, has stepped into the fray. Of course they have--it's expected.

GLAAD President Neil Giuliano says that Lewis' use of the word "fag" (as a whole word or a fraction of a word, it wasn't clear from the broadcast) is simply unacceptable, and "could inspire anti-gay violence."

Of course it could inspire anti-gay violence, if any of the telethon watchers weren't of a median age of 75, and actually took the words of a very tired 81-year-old in poor health at all seriously.

Oh, yes, I can see it now: two redneck teenagers sit in the bed of a pickup truck, sipping Busch straight from the can, throwing the empties onto the gravel drive.

"Cletus," says the skinny, toothless blond, "I was watching that thar Nuke-yoo-lar Dis-trophy telephone the other night, and I heard Jerry Lee Lewis say 'fag.' Why, if he's a-makin' of 'em, we jest GOTTA go out and kill every one of 'em."

"I'm with you, Jesse," says the other skinny, toothless blond. "Now let's fuck. We ARE cousins, after all."

Whoops, wrong story. I think I saw it once on the "Dukes of Hazzard." Or maybe it was a nightmare, inspired by God knows what.

In any event, let's get hold of ourselves here. It was JERRY LEWIS, for Christ's sakes--he's hardly Malachi to the Children of the Corn, is he? I don't think he's busily inciting anti-gay violence among the masses. He's busy doing other things, like raising money for Muscular Dystrophy and not dropping over dead. Cut him some slack for crying out loud.

Also, Neil, let's look at your communication style. It just screams "WHINER." Every time you make a mountain out of one of these molehills, you're casting all gay men and women as a bunch of dour crybabies who can't take an offhand comment by an ailing old man with a pinch of salt. It's not like he withheld funding for AIDS research to a generation of people, while declaring ketchup to be a vegetable so that school lunches could meet FDA guidelines more cheaply. (That was the OTHER feeble old man.)

So choose your battles a little more sparingly, OK, Neil? And don't try to speak for me, please--I can make myself look like a moron all by my lonesome with no help from you.


Blogger Stephen Rader said...

Aaron, I love you! I love you, love you, LOVE YOU!!! I thought I was the only one who felt that way. And your post about it is far more insightful and well-written than mine. Mine was full of rage and anger at our community for choosing all the wrong battles these days. Thank you for a lovely, brilliant post!

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Sorry, I can't stand Jerry Lewis he has alwasy been a bigot and a slob. He is old school but that doesn't give him the right to use slurs against our people.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

True, but I don't think we should give his words any more importance than they already have. It was used ignorantly and should be regarded accordingly...

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Touche' Aaron, We have become overly sensitive. But do you think the Black community would let him get away with saying the N word by saying oh he's just ignorant?

1:52 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

No, they wouldn't. There would be a Don Imus-type moment, where he'd be decried, it would be milked for all it was worth, there would be lots of boo-hooing, Al Sharpton would get involved, and in the end, the message would be lost because of the opportunists' involvement.

I don't want that to happen to us...the word is despicable, but we can use it among ourselves (in the same way the N-word can be used within the African-American community, because they "own" it). So "fag" is ours, too. And I'll let Jerry borrow it this time...and no more.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Johnny C said...

In watching that clip you can almost see him know he did the wrong thing as soon as he said it. Like he was searching for a word, that popped out of his mouth and he thought that was the wrong thing to say.

Regardless, the bit wasn't funny to begin with. But Jerry's improv stuff was always bad. I'm sure if tapes from shows from the 70s with him carrying Sammy Davis Jr around like a doll were shown today, there would be just as big a stink.

His age is no excuse, but I think he still is stuck in another time zone. Just like women who won't change their hair styles, Jerry can't change his comic style. Listen to a Don Rickles comedy album from the 60s, it's 'faggot, this and faggot that' but as he always says at the end, I kid with love.

8:47 AM  

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