The Olympics may be over, but this video will be with us forever:
I’m calling bullshit on the ‘gay Porgs’ in Star Wars. The fact that this is a multibillion dollar franchise so embedded into our culture and we get gay background animals if we squint and know some obscure fact, instead of actual representation is humiliating. LucasFilm and Disney can do better.
A California court has sided with an anti-gay baker. I will remind you that this is not really about cake. It’s about basic human dignity. And the fact that I have to worry about what hospital and doctors I see, because they can turn me away. It’s about the fact that funeral homes can turn loved ones away all by citing religious freedom. It’s about bigotry.
Half a world apart, two interconnected stories have emerged. The treatment of LGBT individuals in sport, and in the broader world, is one being examined with the coming out of Michael Sam and the games of the Sochi Olympics.
Even spaces created to be safe havens for the LGBT community, both physical 2 and online 3, are now being targeted. A ninth grade girl was found guilty of violating the ban on progpganda and was placed on an offender list and was subsequently beaten by her father, landing her in the hospital with head wounds 4, just for coming out to her classmates.
Recent documentaries about the subject show hope for the Russian people, even from the Russian LGBT community. In the face of such adversity, they wish to stay to fight for their cause, knowing that changing hearts and minds comes about from knowing out gay people.
But sadly, that won’t heal that ninth-grade girls head. It won’t heal those targeted by “morality patrols,” or other vigilantes. It won’t heal those who trusted in the basic decency of humanity and were instead met with hatred and broken bones.
The day of the opening ceremony brought more than 60 arrests across Russia of LGBT activists. The IOC defended the arrests and beatings 5 and Rachel Maddow gives a great and concise report here. Few other protests were held, but the arrests (and then dumping in the wilderness) were defended by the IOC 6.
The Google Doodle that is referenced was in place for two days and mentions both Principle 4 and Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter. Principle 6 7 reads:
Sport does not discriminate on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.
In response to the Russian law, as well as the IOC’s utter refusal to stand up for basic human dignity, a few athletes have taken matters, literally, into their hands with protests on mittens 8. The Canaidan Institute of Diversity and Inclusion produced this tongue-in-cheek video and the US State Department’s clip promoting the games and the athletes made sure to include sexual diversity 9.
And back here in the United States, we are now looking at the distinct possibility of the first openly gay NFL player.
Sports has always had a place in culture as one of the last bastions of homophobia, at least male professional sports. Since women are already “subverting their traditional roles” by being athletes, lesbian professionals in sports seemingly make sense. In at least some sort of backwards psychosis type of way.
So a gay male player, in the most popular of the “big four” sports, is a huge deal. And that player may be Michael Sam. While Jason Collins came out last year, he is at (or near, although he was practicing with the Nets recently) the end of his career, so seemingly what progress was made with him, came to a sudden stop. Well that escalated quickly. Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the New York Nets, and on Sunday became the first openly gay man to play in one of the big four sports. And as we’re finding out, the owner of the Nets is Russian, and a political opponent of Putin 10, so the contract may have been partially a political move.
Michael Sam on the other hand, is well respected by press, his teammates, coaches and his entire school. He was out to his team this entire year, leading them as a captain to a season with only one loss and capped by a victory in the Cotton Bowl. And he’s about to enter the NFL draft process.
A few collegiate athletes voiced their concerns 13, some were punished, others were not, but I have a feeling that in the long run, those that judge Sam on his sexuality instead of his athletic proess will be left behind in the dust of history.But this seemingly upending of the heteronormativity of the NFL has brought the bigots out of the woodwork. Both Jon Stewart 11 and an eloquent Texan sportscaster12 have pointed out the hyprociticy of a league and a public that would rather have murders, assailants, dog fighters and a parade of other criminals instead of a well-behaved gay man.
Sam’s own father, who, admitedly, was not involved in his life, came out with a confusing and hatefilled statement, claiming that he does not think the NFL should have any gay players, but he still wants his son to be able to play professionally 14. Honestly, I can’t wrap my mind around that, and thinking about the mental gymnastics he is putting himself through hurts.
But for the majority of us, we will never compete in an NFL stadium. We will never have a chance to win gold for our home country. But this is a situation that affects us all:
A news flash for every straight man out there: You’ve been naked in front of a gay man.
This is not the end of the world, some sort of chemical imbalance being brought into your sacred locker room space or even open “hunting season” for straight men. As Frank Bruni of the New York Times continues, if a gay man happens to be next to you after the showers, a squeal is probably not the correct reaction 15
What I think has been the most interesting aspect of this, and the Jason Collins story, is the resistance set up by some corners of society. And here’s the big secret: straight people don’t get to tell the gay community what’s news to us.
Of the 3,000 (give or take) professional male athletes on the rosters of the big four, we have yet to have an openly gay one 16. So yes, this is news. This is progress. Announcing he is gay is not shoving it down anyone’s throat any more than every single act of sexual declaration heterosexuals unknowing commit each day: talking about their spouses, dates, children, hand holding, kisses on the cheek, photos of loved ones on their desks. Yes, there is much more to Michael Sam than his sexuality, as being gay is more than who we sleep with.
This is about love and equality. The very principles sport is supposed to embody.
The views and opinions expressed in posts, articles, or comments published here are those of their respective authors, and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Global Entropy as a whole, or that of institutions for which Global Entropy or the respective authors are affiliated.
Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, seriously, it’s not hard. With very few exceptions, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that your brand can add to the 9/11 conversation. Every marketer should memorize this immediately:
Hello everybody! Big ole update for you today, enjoy the links and all the fun things!
I saw Alice in Wonderland last week, and I enjoyed it, although the 3D was totally unnecessary, and I would suggest you save the money and see it in normal 2D. One entire section of the movie is the classic orange/blue contrast (Alice’s dress and the Mad Hatter’s hair), which was cool, but kind of overdone. And strangely enough, every singe preview before the movie was for a Disney movie. My brother and I both noticed it, I hope that does not become a trend. Disney however, did do a cool thing and pull the original Alice out of the vault for an ‘unanniversary’ release. And finally on the subject of Alice, check out what Disney did with $700,000 dollars:
The Wrap discusses the blurring of the line between news and advertising and the journalistic integrity/ad revenue debate that always rages on. Do I like te ad? Not really, I don’t think it made much use of the medium. Do I think readers realized it was an ad and knew to turn the page? Yes. Do I think it probably annoyed them? Yes. But then again, those are just my thoughts.
I’ve been dating someone really great for a few months, but he’s never referred to me as his girlfriend. How do I take it to another Level?
While the obvious answer is “Accomplish a story task in the boyfriend track for XP equal or greater to your next level threshold,” I get the feeling you might be hinting that you want to descend into the fetid labyrinth that festers beneath his ancient wizard’s tower. In that case the stairs are in quadrant M23, behind the Throne of the Kobold Hetman.
I know it’s been over for a while, but this is one of the coolest things to come out of the Olympics: Water usage (specifically dealing with toilet flushes) during the gold medal hockey game. Pretty awesome!
Here’s a cool video made entirely from a flatbed scanner:
I missed it (due to date and the fact it was in Washington State), but even though I’m horribly afraid of any kind of public protest, I might have gone to a protest for Pluto:
ATTENTION ALL CONCERNED CITIZENS!
A horrible injustice has occurred! Aghast astronomers, intrepid interstellar adventurers, and many others have joined forces to protest one of the darkest days in recent solar system history. Pluto—the smallest and most distant planet—has been removed from the planetary pantheon.
We refuse to bow to this outrageous decree and declare: PLUTO IS A PLANET.
It’s been stirring for a while, but here are some of the letters that have been send to the Itawamba County School Board, in response to their cancellation of prom and then trying to blame it on one of their students.
And speaking of, here is a great, great editorial piece written in response to it, here is one of my favorite paragraphs, which is a little out of context, so I would encourage you to read the whole thing:
What happens is that some Protestants cherry-pick edicts out of the Bible that support their prejudices and then, in a neat bit of mental judo, spread their arms wide and claim their religion is under attack if anyone contradicts them. “What about tolerance for ME?” they cry. It’s as if I seized a copy of the Bible and began beating someone over the head with it and, when you try to stop me, I accuse you of failing to respect my faith.
And some more old news, check out Jon Stewart discuss the Massa/Beck interview:
Cool video showcasing monsters/aliens taking profile pictures:
Here’s an interesting article about how to put together a useful online news room, some great ideas, although I would probably pick and choose a couple of things, depending on the situation of course. And Nathan discusses some of his favorite online tools.
And in scout news, the Girl Scouts (who are surprisingly more and more progressive, even if their paperwork or organization doesn’t really work or make any sense), even (denying and then admitting) to putting out a sex-positive, realistic pamphlet. The PR is kind of a nightmare (denying it, then making up lies, then saying that it was yours all along). And the story is at a conservative site that uses a boy scout merit badge sash by the way. And over on the other side of the gender gap, an Eagle project had to be changed from a volleyball court to bocce due to noise concerns. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all, but that is part of the process, working with the community. I will add though, that when we play bocce at camp, we are generally pretty loud, it’s because we’re having fun!
The Kill The Gays bill in Uganda debate rages on, Andrew Sullivan covers it, here’s a quote:
The anti-homosexuality bill, simply put, is a backlash. A backlash from a group that, in the long run, is losing the battle of ideas.
Even though we have been together for six years, shared a household for five and a half years, pooled our finances for five and a half years and will be celebrating our third wedding anniversary this summer, we are total strangers as far as the federal government is concerned. And if the federal government recognized our marriage, I would have been an American citizen three years ago. In fact, if I had married a longtime female friend 20 years ago, I would be a long-standing citizen right now. (Yes, a heterosexual marriage would have voided the HIV ban automatically for the past 22 years.)
What does the federal government call a legally married man who has paid taxes for twenty-two years and has a PhD, and a job? A faggot.