Thursday, April 28, 2005

Dixie Crass

Yes, the southern United States has its mind-numbing simulacra of “old-fashioned” this and that and endless housing editions now full of vinyl domestic barns too big for the people buying them to afford to decorate (all of which can all be found north of the Mason-Dixon Line, too, by the way). But the South is a still a place full of crumbling romanticism, hard-won lyrical soul, and in the Ozarks where I come from, a smiling mysticism. I love it. Despite the fact that a good 60 to 70 percent of the folks in Dixie would rather John and I not live there, I love it. The way a child sometimes has to separate itself from an abusive parent until they get their act together; I love it. I'm not saying my attachment is healthy, but my cultural DNA is not likely to allow my feelings to change.

However, my blinders to the South's dark side have been off for a while now. Obviously this side has always been there, but it has shown up in a special way with the Religious Right's recent (last 25 years or so) takeover of the GOP. In addition to the sinister “love-based” constitutional amendments that have swept the area like F5 tornadoes sucking the wind out of Southern gay and lesbian families, now there is an attempt to remove any hint of gay people from the region.

In Arkansas, a book ban that would have disallowed any mention of families other than those headed by one woman and one man fortunately died in committee. The bill was focused on text books. My friends Duane and Todd gave me a heads up about a more recent book ban attempt in Alabama that seems more like a would-be book burning to me.

The CBS story is here.
"I don't look at it as censorship," says State Representative Gerald Allen. "I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."

Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" has lesbian characters.

Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can't define what a classic is. Also exempted now Alabama's public and college libraries.

Let's erase gay people and some Shakespeare from cultural (I use that term loosely when speaking about Representative Allen) consciousness. I don't know what a classic is, but I know gay folks ain't one. If people like Allen have it their way, this would be just one more step on the road to the “final solution."

He shouldn't undersestimate gay folks' ability to fight back though. Ever been to a gym where gay men are working out? These guys are huge! And I know quite a few lesbians I wouldn't want to tangle with in a dark alley (and that's evidently where people like Allen think we skulk around). Add a dash of oppression to size and strength and you have a classic recipe for "whoop ass." Open carefully.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Troy, you big silly...Bulging muscles on a gym queen is like 4 wheel drive on a suburban housewife's SUV -- more for visual effect than actual use ;)

12:56 PM  
Blogger Troy said...

I think size rather than accessories are the more apt analogy in this case.

Even a suburban housewife can be dangerous in an SUV if the cel phone number she's dialing is long enough.

3:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home