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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Whom Are They Kidding

This story is insane. Apparently Moscow authorities thought it would be a good idea to put a full clampdown on a bunch of gay protesters while the Eurovision Song Contest was in town. I guess it would be a good idea if their intent was to make Russia look like a REPRESSIVE BACKWATER in front of ALL OF EUROPE. Jesus. I know this isn't the first time Moscow has put the boot in some gay pride protests, but did it not occur to the homophobes-that-be, gee, maybe an international media event is not the best occasion for throwing people into police vans so hard that you literally TEAR THEIR CLOTHES OFF? And I hope I don't need to point out the irony of Moscow's arresting protesters for being visibly, publicly gay in the leadup to the fucking Eurovision Song Contest, a globally televised event so gay that the sparkle of sequins is visible from the surface of the moon. JESUS, people. (Via Pinko.)

4 comments:

pigsnarl said...

Things don't look so uncomplicated on the other side of the Atlantic. In England, for instance, a minority of homosexuals have adopted the 'gay' identity and have gone along with the so-called global gay thing. But it's produced a kind of ghetto effect, where gay people voluntarily mark themselves off as gay by their clothing and demeanour just as Jews used to do with a yellow star. Liberals are reasonably blind to sexuality, but the vast majority of people are unmoved, and indeed hostile to overt acknowlegements of gayness. I think the liberal consensus is dangerously fragile. As a gay man myself, I'm alarmed that 'gay interest' in a bookshop is always going to mean soft porn: how can we expect not to antagonise heterosexuals and the old-fashioned discreeter kind of gay man who doesn't want to have to spend his life fighting, who prefers to be seen as leading a clam and decent life? All these problems are going to be vastly magnified in a religious and conservative country like Russia, where they haven't even come to terms with the quiet kind of thing that was happening in the late 50s, leave alone the razzamatazz of sequins and mascara that a gay parade seems to involve. No-one but no-one in Russia is going to be please to see men in public wearing mascara. Why would they, for heaven's sake?

m. croche said...

"No-one but no-one in Russia is going to be please to see men in public wearing mascara. Why would they, for heaven's sake?"

Given the monstrous things Russian women have done with mascara, I really don't see how the men could fare much worse.

Pigsnarl seems to be under the impression that Jews voluntarily attached yellow stars to their clothing. He should learn a little history, the meaning of the word "consent", and, most importantly, he should learn not to make offensive and gratuitous comparisons with Holocaust victims.

As to things being more complicated in Europe: European nations tend to be tightly organized around concepts of ethnic homogeneity and cultural uniformity. They have traditionally had troubles dealing equitably with ethnic and religious minorities. This is not to their credit. That said, many European governments are actually more tolerant of gays than the US government is - which pretty much punctures pigsnarl's thesis of a Europe terrified by sequins.

I do think Dan chooses an odd moment to be outraged at the Russian government. Between Chechnya and the murder of political opponents and journalists, the shutting down of a gay parade seems like small beer. Still, it is refreshing to see civic courage in Russia - this is something Pigsnarl should welcome.

Pigsnarl said...

errm, sorry, croche, perhaps I should make it a little easier.

Not sure what your point is about Soviet women and mascara. Are you saying that they overdo it and so no one is going to object if the men do the same? Hmmm.

The Jews were compelled to wear a yellow star to identify themselves as people to be shunned; if gay men in Russia voluntarily wear mascara in a culture that has never seen such a thing they are voluntarily identifying themselves as people who, whether they like it or not, will be shunned. Voluntarily creating a ghetto for yourself is not a smart move. Not sure the knee-jerk leap to mentioning the holocaust was helpful. Let's stick with the image of the ghetto.

Yes indeed Europeans are OK with gays in sequins - because they know they are ruling themselves out of serious consideration by acting like clowns. It's OK for your leisure time perhaps but hardly on a Monday morning. When dressing in sequins aspires to cross over into the mainstream then we'll see how tolerant Europe is.

Granted we could do better with minorities. Now that you've got a black president and you all speak Spanish as well as English we'll learn a lot from your easy coexistence with Mexicans.

Dan Johnson said...

It takes a special kind of man to wear mascara successfully, but I have no absolute objection to it in principle. What's more, I think gays should have the right to express our sexuality in a spectacularly outrageous fashion—though I believe one must also choose one's battles, and deploy one's faggotry strategically.

Pig, one of the striking things about the footage from this demonstration is how very demure these protesters appear. Maybe I'm watching the wrong tape, I don't see any drag queens in Carmen Miranda costumes or topless biker lezzies or g-leather daddies in g-strings and chaps. (Which, let me say again, I fully support, in the right context.) It just looks to me like a bunch of people waving sad little rainbow flags and getting hauled off by the police for daring to show their faces in public and call themselves gay.

And I think you're missing Croche's point, regarding European tolerance.

Croche, LOL w/r/t the cosmetological crimes of Slavic ladies. Re: "outrage," I agree that this is not such a great horror compared to other recent abuses in Russia—in fact, I believe there have been other gay rights marches in Russia have ended far worse than this! I was more struck by the irony of timing this crackdown to coincide with the Eurovision Song Contest, which is the gayest shit you ever saw. Anyhow, murdered journalists are a bit O/T for this blog, until one of them gets whacked whilst covering Eurovision.