Panti Bliss Abbey Theatre Speech.
February 5, 2014 1:48 AM   Subscribe

Drag Queen Panti Bliss, aka Rory O'Neill, received a standing ovation after speaking at Dublin's Abbey Theatre on homophobia, and oppression.

Some background to recent events in The Journal.
posted by Catch (36 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

Brava, Panti. Well said.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:50 AM on February 5

posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:59 AM on February 5

It was indeed a neat Orwellian trick, but one that indicates even Ireland is hopefully passing the point where it's acceptable to be an open and explicit homophobe in polite company.
posted by jaduncan at 3:03 AM on February 5

And this same week, Senator David Norris spoke up in the Seanad: "The homophobes have had 2000 years, I think we are entitled to a few words now and again".
posted by prolific at 4:37 AM on February 5 [4 favorites]

Note: will take iOS users to The App Store.
posted by ardgedee at 5:05 AM on February 5

Wait, this is the supposed defamation for which RTE paid out €85,000?
Rory O'Neill: The only place that you see it’s okay to be really horrible and mean about gays is you know on the internet in the comments and you know people who make a living writing opinion pieces for newspapers. You know there’s a couple of them that really cheese..”

Brenden O’Connor: “Who are they?”

RO’N: “Oh well the obvious ones. You know Breda O’Brien [Irish Times Columnist] today, oh my God you know banging on about gay priests and all. The usual suspects, the John Waters and all of those people, the Iona Institute crowd. I mean I know just…Feck Off! Get the hell out of my life. Get out of my life. I mean..[applause from audience] why…it astounds me…astounds me that there are people out there in the world who devote quite a large amount of their time and energies to trying to stop people you know, achieving happiness because that is what the people like the Iona Institute are at.”
I'd better never go back to Ireland, because according to their rules, I commit defamation pretty much every time I open my mouth.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:25 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]

I'm continually amazed at the contortions John Waters uses to portray himself as a brave, put-upon minority voice, when every view he expresses is a bog-standard defence of the long-established status quo. (David Quinn and Breda O'Brien pull similar tricks -- they have weekly full-page op-eds in the nation's two bestselling broadsheets, but to read them you'd swear Catholicism was a minority religion, or that the eighth amendment had never been passed).
posted by rollick at 5:44 AM on February 5 [4 favorites]

They're losing. They've already lost, really. That's got to sting.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:52 AM on February 5

The fact that people keep giving John Waters a platform for his misogynistic and homophobic tripe depresses me. The Irish Times online has this frustrating thing where they quote something innocuous from his column without telling you who wrote it, so you sometimes click on it and then realise you've given the wanker pages views.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 6:05 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]

Never occurred to me to post this here, thank you for doing so. Stephen Fry tweeted it, and Madonna has sent a message, so Panti's having quite a week. Here's Norris at the LGBT Noise protest at the weekend. And sure here's a link to the youth organization BeLongto who do some of the most incredible work not only for Irish lgbtq youth, but also in outreach and education to the hetro community.
posted by Iteki at 6:17 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]

We should send our John Waters over. He's MUCH better.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:18 AM on February 5 [13 favorites]

The finest John Waters in the world, in fact.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:19 AM on February 5

The only John Waters in the world. The rest are pale imitations.

I like what he says about reading: Let's make reading sexy again. If you go over to someone's house and they don't have any books, don't fuck them.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:48 AM on February 5

i had a very confused set of tweets with someone the other day about john waters - she was all "stupid shitting homophobic john waters" and i was all "...uh....are there more than one or did you really misunderstand some of his films or did i miss something major???" she had apparently not heard of the fabulous john waters and i hadn't heard of the shitheel one.
posted by nadawi at 6:52 AM on February 5 [5 favorites]

It may be worth noting--as it is mentioned in the YouTube video's title--that Panti's comments were delivered at a set point at the end of the show (the noble call) that producers have reserved for, essentially, surprise guest speeches about anything that springs to mind in response to the play.

"Fiach MacConghail, Director of the Abbey Theatre, explains the idea behind the Noble Call.

Each performance of The Risen People will feature a Noble Call from a guest performer. Invited artists, journalists, historians and actors will offer their personal response to the show through spoken word, song or poetry."

The terminology was new to me. Would that all art reached into the world in this manner.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:06 AM on February 5 [4 favorites]

I was all like "What the hell happened to John Waters, god" before I realized there was an entirely different one.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:50 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]

If you go over to someone's house and they don't have any books, don't fuck them.

I won't even fuck 'em if they do have books, but I don't approve of the author or content.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:02 AM on February 5

Needless to say, there is a vast gulf between the wonderful John Waters (American) and the odious self-appointed martyr John Waters (Irish). The latter is a greasy smudge on my positive associations with the former.

The whole situation is ridiculous and a concrete example of how it's considered a more serious offence to call someone's actions homophobic (or racist, even more commonly) than to publicly express how much you hate queer people on a regular basis.
Panti is an incredible speaker and if this gets attention to the sheer hypocrisy exhibited by the Iona Institute and their occasional Irish Times cheerleaders, that's one positive effect.

Here's a particularly good letter about the whole affair written to Dan Savage on Monday. Folks who aren't a fan of Dan Savage, don't worry, it's just the Irish letter-writer's personal reaction to the situation and Panti's speech. It's worth a read.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 10:38 AM on February 5

> We should send our John Waters over. He's MUCH better.

100% correct, in a myriad of ways.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 11:46 AM on February 5

I have a snow day, so I've spent the last hour or so watching Panti videos and becoming a fan. Leaving aside that she's talented and gorgeous and smart and well-spoken, I love that a queen d'un certain age isn't trying to dress like a twenty-year-old.

I loved the EastEnders lip-synchs, and this brilliant Queen of the Night.

She was a great pick for the noble call. I thought it was particularly gracious of her to acknowledge how far supporters have come, given the environment in which they were raised. I've always considered myself a straight ally, and yet... I was brought up in small towns where bigotry was the order of the day. Some of my relatives are real pieces of work to this day. I shudder to think at the casual comments I'm sure I must have either made or not objected to in front of my closeted peers (absolutely NOBODY was out, and I can't blame them) when I didn't know better and my elders neglected to correct me.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:07 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

Maith thú, Panti. Eloquent and brave.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:32 PM on February 5

I think we'd better keep our John Waters right here for the time being, and maybe send him on a world tour once we've got our own shit sorted.

I mean yes, we seem to be making progress, but I wouldn't say we're at a point where we could dispense with him just yet.
posted by Naberius at 12:43 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

Jeez, that was heart-breaking. Thanks for posting that.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:06 PM on February 5

If you go over to someone's house and they don't have any books, don't fuck them.

I won't even fuck 'em if they do have books, but I don't approve of the author or content.

Ah, the Dan Brown exemption clause.
posted by jaduncan at 2:19 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]

I want Panti to be the next Pope. He already wears the dresses and maybe he can clean the fucking place up.
posted by anothermug at 3:06 PM on February 5

"...she had apparently not heard of the fabulous john waters and i hadn't heard of the shitheel one."

There's a joke to be made about finding a turd in here somewhere...
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:37 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

My queer friends are all over this, but I haven't seen anything from other Irish folks in my feed. I would have expected most of them at least to react to the issue of 85k (pre-court payoff to the "libled") being taken out of their license fees! I guess the Iona Institute have taken a leaf from the Westbro financial playbook (also).
posted by Iteki at 5:23 PM on February 5

I have a snow day, so I've spent the last hour or so watching Panti videos and becoming a fan.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:07 PM on February 5

Eponysterical? (am I doing that right?)
posted by gusandrews at 7:57 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]

Broadsheet have posted a reply from Breda O'Brian about the whole pantigate issue. It is so disingenuous and full of homophobia couched in terms trying to make light of it. God it makes me so angry.
(Iteki my Irish twitter & facebook feeds have been full of outrage, IRL peoples have been less vocal but still not impressed with the whole situation)
posted by Fence at 10:29 AM on February 8

Fence: That 404s for me. Typo or takedown?
posted by jaduncan at 12:02 PM on February 8

Looks like a takedown. Cached version is here.
posted by jaduncan at 12:03 PM on February 8

...and having read it, she still remains a disingenuous homophobe in my eyes.
posted by jaduncan at 12:06 PM on February 8

It looks like they took it down and replaced it with this version which includes a link to the Irish Times article in question. Although whether we should be giving her the traffic I don't know.
posted by Fence at 5:39 AM on February 9

The Other John Waters
posted by rollick at 11:36 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

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