Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Heroes and villains

A friend pointed out to me today that, just lately, p0pvulture has taken on a more serious tone. It's nothing intentional, I can assure you. But I guess there are only so many ways you can write about Gillian McKeith having a case of the vapours every time she sees a spider.

And with the X-Factor still a long, painful month away from its depressingly inevitable conclusion, it's important to take a look around and remember everything else that's going on in the world. So if you visit p0pvulture for a daily dose of mindless ephemera, I can only apologise if this all seems a little tub-thumpy.

Sadly, we're in the midst of a culture war, and it's affecting people's lives on both sides of the Atlantic. So today, I thought I'd give the Daily Mail a day off and take a look at what's going on across the pond, to see how the two different sides are aligning themselves now that the post-election dust has settled.

Although immigration and the ongoing economic crisis continue to be politically-charged topics of contention in the States, the most incendiary subject still seems to be gay bullying and its ramifications. Now, I don't expect everyone to agree with my perspective on the issue, and it would be a very dull world if you did (although, if you're a regular reader of this blog my angle will probably come as no surprise). However, I defy anyone not to be equal parts disgusted and inspired by the following two video clips.

In one corner, we have the staunchly right wing lobbying group, the American Family Association. They're up in arms about the gay agenda exercising its political muscle, in order to dictate hospital policy across the U.S. Despite the fact that these bigoted blowhards continually profess to have no ill-will towards gay people themselves ('love the sinner, hate the sin' and all that), it's hard to view their reaction to this change in the law as anything other than reprehensible.

You might not realise this, but currently, gay patients in intensive care can only be visited by next-of-kin. And since the law doesn't recognise same-sex life-partners as NOK, hospital staff are allowed to bar long-term partners from visiting their loved ones. And that's the way the AFA would like it to stay.

It all sounds perfectly Christian to me - demanding that critically ill patients breathe their last breath in an empty hospital room, whilst their grief-stricken significant others sit sobbing in a waiting room. They must know how intollerably heartless that sounds, so they've issued carefully planned talking points to make it clear that this isn't about hate. It's about unnecessary 'dictats' from the Government.

The talking heads in this video claim that they've never been barred from visiting a patient (although they carefully gloss over the restricted access to the ICU). But then, they've never tried to visit their same-sex partner in a religiously-affiliated hospital either. It's much easier to reject the concept of discrimination if you've never experienced it first-hand.  

Thankfully, there's a glimmer of hope out there. And it comes in the form of a preternaturally mature fourteen year-old called Graeme Taylor. This frighteningly articulate child hit the news recently, when he attended a school board hearing to speak out in defence of his teacher. The educator in question had been suspended for removing two students from his class, after an outburst of homophobic abuse.

Despite the widespread bullying and discriminatory rhetoric currently tainting American political discourse, this kid had the courage to not only come out at thirteen, but eloquently defend Jay McDowell and demand that he be reinstated. It's no wonder then that Ellen deGeneres wanted him on her show to tell his side of the story.

Hopefully, this video will be seen by as many people as the ongoing 'It Gets Better' campaign - it certainly can't hurt. This is the best three minutes you'll spend all day...

The battle lines are clearly drawn. And I know which side I'm proud to be on...
Tomorrow - probably some cheap cock jokes and Katie Price. 

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