Tag Archives: Miss California.

Bigotry Lite

I know, before you say it – Carrie Prejean is a stupid, vacuous, delusional young woman. I was going to say bitch, but Perez Hilton beat me to it.

More than that:  a stupid, delusional, vacuous young woman whose show of outrage and cynical tears at a press conference yesterday was so preposterous that it made David Shuster on MSNBC want to vomit, and he said so.

Prejean has been brainwashed by the upbringing she keeps mentioning (and actually, with no trace of irony, seems quite proud of) into believing that God and the Devil are fighting inside her head. Inside her head, though. That’s what she told Focus on the Family’s religious nutjob leader Frank Dobson on his radio show, and she honestly believes it. God and the Devil chose the head of a glamorous, over-preened dimwit as their battle-ground to wage this particular stage of their eternal struggle.

And while they’re duking it out, fighting for supremacy – Satan’s using hateful gay people like Perez Hilton to get his message out there; God’s using Carrie herself –  God and the Devil are telling her things. Things only Carrie can hear, of course, but which she’s happy to interpret and relay to the rest of us who have the misfortune of not being completely bonkers.

God, for instance, is saying things like, “You – you of all people, Carrie – on April 19th, the day of the Miss USA Pageant, were chosen to be a role model for discrimination and division, and you need to get out there right now, little lady, and use your title as Miss California to spread as much unrest and  misinformation as you can and let the world know that “opposite marriage” is Satan’s work.”

Or something like that. I was too busy laughing to catch every word.

And to help her along, God got Sarah Palin to rush in and endorse Prejean’s brand of Bigotry Lite, as well as inspiring thousands of equally narrow-minded dimwits around the country to send her emails of comfort and support, convincing her she’d done the right thing.

And I have no doubt that, if this were the late 1800s, they’d be writing in to support her decision to back slavery as well.  

That’s why I believe that yesterday’s announcement by Donald Trump, the guy who owns the pageant, to let this twit keep her crown, despite a bunch of tits-and-ass-related lies and deceptions and rule-breaking that TMZ.com and others are claiming went into winning it, is a PR masterstroke.

Trump truly is a genius. I’ve never admitted that before. But after he managed to bring the tired old Apprentice franchise back from the dead and turn it into a smash hit again, and now this – well, I take my hat off to him. And I don’t even own a hat. So you can tell how much I admire the guy.

He’s such a total shrewdie. 

Having seen, I assume, that Prejean was heading for trouble. That she was destined to be a victim of her own dumb mouth and a national hate-figure. And possibly suspecting that her pre-packaged, all-American, natural blonde beauty hid within it a dark core of fear, ignorance, and prejudice that would appeal to millions of similarly misinformed Christians across the country, he leapt at the chance of having her as a figurehead within his organization.

His reasoning in a nutshell: “Hey, she’s cute. It’s the 21st Century. These things happen. Get over it.”

But that’s not, I believe. the real reason.

Why did he really bend over backwards to keep her in the game?

Because, like Sarah Palin, everywhere this girl goes from now on she’s going to be dogged by controversy. And any kind of controversy, as we know, is excellent for business. Donald’s business.

Starting yesterday, Prejean became an even bigger target. At every public appearance, she’ll no doubt be cheered by a few similar dimwits who share her views, while being jeered and despised for her ignorance by everyone else. David Shuster isn’t the only one who feels like vomiting when he hears this woman speak. Hell, I’ve never been an activist, but even I would turn up to an event to heckle Miss California.

Possibly foreseeing how this despicable drama might scotch the reputation of what has been, up to now, a fairly clean competition, Shanna Moakler, the pageant director, today resigned her post and walked off the stage. Good for her. At least someone has principles we can believe in. 

But the best thing of all – at least potentially – and here’s where Donald Trump really has himself a coup – maybe – is that the issue of gay marriage is currently rolling through the California Supreme Court. By June 3rd, we’ll know whether the judges have decided to overturn the cataclysmic Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage, pro-hate move sponsored by the despicable Mormon Church, and allow equality for all.

Five states have already seen reason; California could be the next to go.

And if it does, we will witness the most deliciously ludicrous situation develop: one in which Miss California, prominent fool and vocal proponent of division and inequality, finds herself playing the representative of a state that completely undermines everything she stands for.

Oh dear almighty God – now she’s got me talking to him too – please, please, please make this happen, I beg of thee. 

To sum, up: the current state of play is this: Miss California has won the right to keep her crown, despite a whole bunch of tits-and-ass-related shenaningans. By June 3rd, gays in California may well win the legal right to get married finally. But…

The overall winner, whichever way the Supreme Court dice fall, is Donald Trump and his crummy Miss USA Pageant, another faded, forgotten hack tradition that he’s managed to turn around and make current and exciting all over again.

As I say, that man’s a genius.    

UPDATE: June 10th 2009. Carrie Prejean has finally been booted from her title of Miss California. 

This from the TMZ website:

Donald TrumpDonald Trump just told TMZ he gave the green light to fire “biblically correct” Carrie Prejean‘s award-winning butt because she just wouldn’t do the job and treated people badly.

Trump told us Carrie refused to appear at around 30 events on behalf of Miss California USA. He says Prejean was contractually bound to appear and she just wouldn’t do it. He doesn’t think her attitude has anything to do with her politics.

Trump said: “To me she was the sweetest thing. Everyone else — she treated like s**t.”

 

The Miss USA Pageant gets four magic carpets out of five. Carrie Prejean gets zero.

TV Swami – he say NO to bigotry.

www.cashpeters.com

There’s a great parody of Carrie’s ridiculous, two-faced speech on YouTube.

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Celebrity hating: some quick do’s and don’ts.

After Friday’s post about Miss California and the whole gay marriage thing, someone sent me my first piece of real blog hate mail.

Now, working in radio and TV, you grow used to receiving horrible letters. So much so that you can start to lose faith in the goodness of your fellow man, it’s that ghastly.

In fact, I believe I still hold the record for the number of death threats received by any personality on American public radio, following an inappropriately upbeat report I did from Dublin some years ago about an ancient abandoned Irish jail.

For some reason, many irate listeners in the Irish community in Boston, Mass., thought my suggestions for brightening the place up with flower-beds and wallpaper insulted their history, and felt that the only reasonable response to such comments was to give me a good knee-capping, then leave me to bleed to death. Which is fair enough. As we know, and as history shows time and again, especially Irish history, violence solves everything.

Plus, of course, while my TV show was on the air, the network’s message-boards were filled with hateful comments. Luckily, these were countered by copious praise from viewers bright enough to understand the series, who not only loved it but engaged in a running ground battle with the haters, in the hope that the executives at the network were also bright enough to ignore the negative tirades of the minority and keep the show alive. Alas, as we know, the haters won. 

Plus, my books always receive their fair share of detractors.  If you look on Amazon right now, some creep from an obscure magazine I’ve never even heard of, called Booklist, has written a truly unjustified and quite mean-spirited editorial appraisal of my latest, Naked in Dangerous Places.

Only, here’s the thing. You can tell – or at least I as the author can – that it’s based on nothing. He’s barely read beyond the first chapter.

Quite bizarrely, the review appears to be a critique, not of the book  per se, but of my radio style, which he despises. Powerless, however, to get me taken off the air, he’s instead turned his ire on my literary work, hoping that this will teach me a lesson or two, and possibly curb sales. And hey, maybe it will, who knows? Why doesn’t he just go the whole way and suggest a sound knee-capping for my efforts? That would be just as rational.

As it is, every review of the book from people who’ve actually read it has been resoundingly positive, drowning out the reviewer’s voice of hate. 

Which brings me back to Friday and the  comment I received about the gay marriage piece. It came from a guy called Clint. Here’s what he wrote. It’s not pleasant.

“Ok go shoot yourself in the fucking head. That shit was way to long. You need to take yourself to church become a priest and touch little children you fuckin homo. Another thing whats up with the artsy gay ass abstract modern art pic of yourself at the top. I would wipe my ass with that pic and actually talk about gay from an angle that interests people cause your opinion is not doing it.”

Wow! In one short paragraph, and without meaning to, he managed to illustrate the very point I was making in ways I never could. As it happens, the piece probably was too long. And I honestly can’t justify or excuse my artsy gay ass abstract modern art pic. So maybe he’s right about that too. But the abuse about becoming a priest and touching little children? My God, that’s indefensible. Like something my own father might say.  Please, though, not a complete stranger.

Anyway, I have a way of dealing with this, which I’d like to pass on to you.

Long ago, I used to work for the British government. Every day for several hours I sat on a public desk, dealing with complaints from angry strangers with an axe to grind, who wanted someone’s head to grind it on. And I was that guy. The guy they ground their axes on. It was quite a horrendous time, but very character-building, and it taught me two important lessons about how to deal with angry, hate-filled people.

Lesson 1) When  they shout, don’t shout back. Rather, speak quietly.  They will soon realize they’re shouting and begin talking quietly too.

Lesson 2) Stay calm and agree with them. Agree there’s been an injustice. Agree they have a valid point. Agree that you may have made a mistake, and will do everything to correct it.

Follow these two lessons, and all anger magically dissipates, like angel dust in the opening sequence of Xanadu. The result is usually miraculous.

Most people just feel they’re not being heard, that’s all. That their opinion doesn’t matter, that they don’t have a voice. So listen to them, behave like they matter and that you’re interested, and most times they will immediately calm down.

That’s my trick.

Nowadays, based on that experience, when I receive genuine hate mail from people, I do the opposite of what’s expected. I don’t argue or take offense, I write back agreeing with them. More than that, I discuss their issues in a calm, rational way, hoping to learn something from their points, then make my point in return. Simple. And almost without fail I end up with a positive, harmonious result.

Which is what happened with Clint. 

I have no idea how old Clint is; he could be 15, he could be 85. But he’s angry and wants to be heard. So my reply to his hateful comment was placatory, kind, open, and non-aggressive.

Result: within a couple of hours, here’s what he wrote back:

“Wait who are you and what are you talking about and yes I mess with people. Its nothing to be taken seriously….why do you blog if you dont expect to catch some shit from people. Be truely astonished omg. Get a clue and if you can in any way learn from this experience take it to the head and realize thats life and how it truely works.”

Still aggressive, right? Barely comprehensible, actually. Written English is not Clint’s strong point. The gist seems to be, though – if you’d allow me to translate – that he’s tough and likes to screw with strangers, and if I’m going to post an opinion on the web, well, I should expect to be attacked for it by angry people like Clint.

Disagreeing somewhat with this premise, I wrote back.

“You have every right to say what you think about a blog or anything else. You happen to be on the money about it being too long. You may even be right about my gay-assed picture. But imagine how much more seriously your views would be taken if you aired them with respect and kindness, rather than abuse. It’s so easy to tear something down – it takes almost no effort at all. Making constructive comments is harder. But it gets you a lot more respect.  

“Next time you feel the urge to write an abusive comment, imagine that the person you’re writing to, instead of being a stranger, is your best friend. Someone you value and wouldn’t want to lose. I guarantee your approach will mellow.”

That was my two-penneth. Very fair, very balanced. But in the real meaning of the words, not the Fox News  “saying that, but doing something else” way.

And lo and behold, guess what happened! Almost immediately, Clint, having made a human connection now, and feeling appreciated and understood, wrote back, this time with an entirely different approach.

“Yeah you are right….I owe you an apology. Maybe your opinion do matter to some just not to me at the present moment. That is the way I am though I am rude crude and I wreck stuff. You can think I am an ass thats ok it doesnt bug me one bit. Im sure some one will eventually bag on my blog and I will simpally call it karma. Anyways happy trails and may God be with you.”

Obviously, his use of English isn’t any better when he’s calm, but his approach is entirely positive and kind, even, dare I say, loving in tone.

From hate to love in three moves. Not bad, eh?

And it works almost all the time.

I honestly recommend you all try this. From now on, try dealing with anger in a reasonable, quiet, calm way instead of rising to it and becoming angry too, and see what happens. Well, actually, you can already see what happens. Magic happens. Like the opening sequence of Xanadu.

Now, I have to stop. Once again, this is way too long.  Also, I have to see if I can change that  artsy gay ass modern art pic of mine before Clint sees it and writes to me again. I can only take so much.

TV Swami – he say YES to love, kindness, understanding, and being nice to people.

www.cashpeters.com

 

 

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“Damned homos! Why can’t they be miserable like the rest of us?”

Over the many years I’ve been staking out American television, and one corner of it especially – the lame hodgepodge of scares,  misinformation, and manipulation referred to as “the nightly news” – there’s a part of their coverage that’s given me cause to laugh like no other: same-sex marriage. 

And not for the reason you might think.

Nothing seems to get your average American all riled up, or to fuel divides, or create animosity and tension like the hot potato topic of gay marriage. Or gay anything,  for that matter, but mostly the marriage part. And TV producers know that.

Look at Miss California and what happened there. Having disgraced herself on the Miss USA Pageant by standing up and declaring openly that she’s a devout Christian and therefore, almost by definition, homophobic, supporting discrimination, division, hate and unkindness, a move that cost her the title, she’s evidently so dumb that she took away nothing at all from the brouhaha that followed, and is now out there making news again, by actively campaigning against gay marriage, because: “it’s what God wants, I know it in my heart.”

Oh yeah, really?

Within days, guess who called Miss California to lend her support? Another devout Christian – Sarah Palin. Of course. 

In truth, I’ve yet to meet an average American that cares if I’m gay or not. Indeed, outside of my bizarrely angry family members back home in England, I’ve yet to meet an average anyone at all in the entire world who has met me and cares if I’m gay or not. That’s just the way the world is: in my experience people have more pressing matters on their mind.

The ones who really do care, though, and care very, very deeply are fear-filled right-wing religious groups. Which is another oddity.

The more faith someone says they have in God, the more afraid they seem to be about life, I’ve noticed. When actually the reverse should be true.  And right now what religious people are really afraid of more than anything is those ghastly gays getting married.  

Afraid for the welfare and safety of children – because all gay people are sexual predators, of course. That’s not even up for debate. They just are.  

Afraid that gay marriage is a threat to the stability of all straight marriages – and one thing we know for sure is that straight marriages are incredibly stable. Otherwise there’d be separations and divorces, and there aren’t.

Afraid that gay marriage breaks God’s law. God loves families and intends marriage to be between a man and woman for the purposes of procreating children.  A valid point and one I must concede. Nothing else makes sense. And the kids born out of wedlock, or who hail from broken homes; the kids and wives that find themselves routinely abused by violent heterosexual dads; the dads who take a shotgun and kill their kids, their wife, and then themselves – well, how did they get into that mess? That’s not God’s doing. They must have turned their back on him and listened to the Devil instead. That’s what they did.    

Afraid that God will be offended. After all, he did NOT make Adam and Steve. Got that yet? God focuses on making only certain kinds of people, the ones he likes and approves of, much the same way Santa might choose to turn out only red toy trains one year, then Barbies the next. Lucifer takes care of everybody else. 

Afraid that, if you allow a man to marry a man, it won’t be long before  a man will be marrying his dog.  Again, very valid and I agree. Because in the part of the ceremony where  the dog has to give its legal consent to marriage and say “I do”, and later when the dog comes to sign the papers, and…oh hang on. I may have spotted a flaw in that one.

Bottom line: it’s all thoroughly laughable.

In the week that yet another domino fell, when Maine did the right thing by putting centuries of hate and fear behind it and making gay marriage legal – how many states is that now? I forget – the Rachel Maddow Show last night showed a clip from the 700 Club, Christian TV’s daily infusion of shameless moralizing bullshit dressed up as intelligent comment – in which a very straight, very frightened-looking, very offended – oh boy, was she offended! – woman urged President Barack Obama also to do the right thing and celebrate the National Day of Prayer at the White House by allowing Christian groups to hold a big party there, the way her hero George W. Bush did for the past eight years.

Luckily Obama didn’t agree with her. Instead, he honored the day in his own special way: he turned his back on the 700 Club  and got on with solving the country’s problems, which is what the rest of us non-fanatics and non-creepy, non-obsessed people would prefer him to do.  

Juxtaposed with this item was an interview with a soldier from the US military who’d just received his marching orders: a letter booting him out of the army under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, for announcing on TV a few months ago that he was gay. Not just on TV, though, he announced it on the Rachel Maddow Show. Making the host not only the reporter of the problem, but the actual cause of it. That doesn’t happen very often.

But Maddow, who’s a lesbian herself, excels at highlighting the nonsensical nature of sexual discrimination, and I love her for that. She leaves you feeling even more astonished than before at how ludicrous all of this is, how laughable.

That a guy who’s a brilliant soldier – more than that, he’s a precious gem: fluent in Arabic and willing to risk his life for his country in Iraq – is discharged simply because he prefers men to women.

That two people who love and care for each other can’t have that love validated by marriage like their heterosexual counterparts.

But most of all that we pay even a millisecond’s attention to the 700 Club and all those other religious nuts who would infuse our minds with the same muddle-headed Biblical claptrap that keeps them chained to lives of quiet, fear-filled despair – well, it’s beyond laughable, it borders on insane.

No wonder young people are shunning religion by the tens of millions. They’re suddenly realizing something the rest of us have known for a while: it’s all made up. Spirituality is real, but religion is an entirely human construct aimed at keeping the masses duped and in check, in order to rake in huge amounts of money for church leaders. That’s it. It’s very uncomplicated.

As it is – back to the topic – I have my own, less contentious theory of why right-wing straight people don’t want gays spoiling everything by getting married.

It’s because they’re jealous.

They’re secretly very jealous of our lifestyle, our taste in home furnishings, our open-mindedness, our ability to relate to men and women equally without barriers, our ability to whip up a musical in minutes, but most of all they’re jealous of the loose gypsy nature of gay sex and its preferences, and only wish they had it so good.  “They have all that, and now they want equal rights as well? Oh my gosh, then their lives would be perfect. And we can’t have that!” Irrational, of course, but that’s what it’s about. And why it’s such a huge topic.

And yet it’s not. It’s not huge at all. It’s the obsession of a blinkered, narrow-minded few, and we shouldn’t forget that. Enough people to make politicians think twice before committing positively to the issue, but still a few.

In fact, it’s my theory that most rational Americans, if you were to ask them, are privately on our side. Maybe for the wrong reason, but they are. Because what they really want to say is,  “Yeah, sure,  bring it on. Get married, you homos. Go for it. It’s about time you suffered like the rest of us.” 

Now, that’s an argument I can relate to!

 

TV Swami – he say NO to religious fervor, mindless prejudice, and hate. Natch.

www.cashpeters.com

While you’re here, why not watch the video for Cash’s new book, Naked in Dangerous Places?

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