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And we all know that adultery is as bad as homosexuality.
posted by Plutor at 6:36 PM on March 14, 2007


I knew there had to be a reason Garrison Keillor annoyed the shit out of me.

VINDICATION IS MINE.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:38 PM on March 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


Old dude says something dumb and insensitive about gays? Let the flamer war commence!
posted by peeedro at 6:40 PM on March 14, 2007


Yeah, geez, post it on alt.essays.salon and you've got a circa 1992 flame war here. Go boys, go!
posted by GuyZero at 6:42 PM on March 14, 2007


I'm confused...does he not like immigrants, or is he just confused by all the new colors people come in?
posted by Roman Graves at 6:42 PM on March 14, 2007


This is a startlingly bad piece of crap from Keillor. I admit to being surprised.
posted by argybarg at 6:43 PM on March 14, 2007


Take THAT, librul media!
posted by DU at 6:46 PM on March 14, 2007


huh. this is supposed to be offensive? seems like tongue-in-cheek to me but if you want me to be offended I guess I can muster up some venom towards grandpa Keillor.

or, I can do something a little more meaningful with the next 30 sec's.
posted by photoslob at 6:48 PM on March 14, 2007


I don't think it's offensive as much as it's blatantly hypocritical. Then again, blatant hypocrisy is kind of offensive, but more just pathetic and sad.
posted by bardic at 6:50 PM on March 14, 2007


Keillor stepped in it with about exactly one paragraph and Good God did it set ol Dan off, and not particularly well. Keillor's whole schtick is about How Simple It Was In The Old Days -- which is about as much stereotypical bullshit as anything else in the piece. I was kind of dissapointed by the venom this seemed to uncork in Savage. I mean, set the dude on fire why dontcha?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 6:54 PM on March 14, 2007


I suspect that he thought he was trying to be funny, but jeeez.

I remember a joke from Prairie Home Companion back during the last US presidental election, when gay marrige was the big issue ... it went something like...

Wife: Oh, look honey, gay folks want to get married...

Husband: Gosh, haven't they suffered enough ????

(laughter from audience)

posted by R. Mutt at 6:57 PM on March 14, 2007


The sound of Garrison Keillor's voice makes me want to stab random strangers in the neck.
posted by The Straightener at 6:58 PM on March 14, 2007 [6 favorites]


Is this guy some kind of performance artist, whose act I'm not getting because it's too subtle? Or is he just a bit of a dick and old crank?
posted by CKmtl at 6:59 PM on March 14, 2007


what an asshole
posted by matteo at 7:01 PM on March 14, 2007


With all of the genuine venom and stupidity in the world, is it really worth calling Garrison Keilor out for saying something mildly unenlightened?
posted by brain_drain at 7:02 PM on March 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


CKmtl: "Is this guy some kind of performance artist, whose act I'm not getting because it's too subtle?"

That's the best description of Garrison Keillor I've ever heard. Bravo.
posted by Plutor at 7:03 PM on March 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


He's a guy with a radio show that approximates a never ending dinner with your girlfriend's insufferable, conversation dominating father, except there's no pussy in it for you at the end of the night. Or cake for dessert.
posted by The Straightener at 7:04 PM on March 14, 2007 [36 favorites]


I wonder if Keillor liked 300.
posted by homunculus at 7:07 PM on March 14, 2007


Keillor says something a little insensitive, but for a good reason. Dan Savage explodes, calling Keillor a hypocrite because he's had failed marriages, ignoring that people's opinions can change.

Both sides are a little crazy here, but somehow I get the feeling the Forces Of Evil will take hold of this and spin it into some big liberal turf war. Because the right thinks in terms of anecdotes, when you get down to it.
posted by JHarris at 7:08 PM on March 14, 2007


I like Straightener's description, m'self.
posted by everichon at 7:09 PM on March 14, 2007


I think that Mr. Keillor, if this is supposed to be humorous, is clearly a verbal humorist, and not a written one.

I do love me some PHC.
posted by TypographicalError at 7:09 PM on March 14, 2007


you snarfed this right out of the mennonite prayer request thread, no?
posted by quonsar at 7:09 PM on March 14, 2007


Keillor says something a little insensitive, but for a good reason.

"Hitler was good in the beginning, but he went too far." - M. Schott.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:10 PM on March 14, 2007


I read Keillor's statement as "pro-child" and not so much as "anti-nelly." But I guess people see what they want to.
posted by ColdChef at 7:12 PM on March 14, 2007


Next thing you know, Keillor will stump for McCain. And Ben Stein will stump for Obama! White is black! Up is down! Cats and dogs living together!
posted by fungible at 7:12 PM on March 14, 2007


Be well, do good work, and keep in touch go fuck yourself.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 7:13 PM on March 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


Straightener FTW.
posted by lekvar at 7:14 PM on March 14, 2007


That's the best description of Garrison Keillor I've ever heard. Bravo.

And I've never even heard him or of him before. Awesome. Judging by the description, I'm kind of glad about that.

I could probably muster up some venom about it, but too tired and Dan Savage has done a pretty good job of it. Those stereotypes are assinine, especially if he's using them to say that gays/lesbians can't be decent parents and raise decent kids. If it's all tongue-in-cheek, he needs a humour subcontractor.
posted by CKmtl at 7:15 PM on March 14, 2007


I used to read Keillor's advice column in Salon years ago. He generally gave pretty good advice, but every once in a while his inner intolerant fundie would peek out e.g. he told an atheist not to make waves and attend church with his wife every week. So this doesn't surprise me much, although I do agree with others who've said he may have been (at least half) joking.
posted by Devils Slide at 7:18 PM on March 14, 2007


Dan Savage needs to work his Roladex harder, Al Sharpton would have been on Larry King and by now.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:18 PM on March 14, 2007


For God's sake, folks: if you haven't listened to him, Keillor is all about self-mocking subtle irony. He's making fun of midwestern deeply conservative attitudes. Savage did a dumbass reading, as did the pileon in this thread.

In other news: OMG English professors are using Jonathan Swift to promote cannibalist bigotry against the Irish! FUCK TEH ENG PROFS!!!1!!1!!
posted by vitia at 7:19 PM on March 14, 2007 [11 favorites]


Salon writers come from a town where are the children are slightly below average.
posted by Falconetti at 7:21 PM on March 14, 2007 [5 favorites]


The one thing I find more disturbing than Keillor's article, more disturbing than Savage's response...

The fact that Keillor has sex.

That is SO "ewwwwwwwwwwww" that a...more than...errrr...I can't even come up with a trite phrase of how "ewwwwwwwww" that is...
posted by Samizdata at 7:24 PM on March 14, 2007


posted by Ogre Lawless Keillor's whole schtick is about How Simple It Was In The Old Days

That's exactly why I can't stand Garrison Keillor and Paul Harvey. "It was so simple back in the old days," they lament, as if expecting us to chuckle and nod knowingly. But when you really listen to them, the translation is clear: "I preferred when womenfolk, the coloreds, and the sodomites all knew their places."

Fuck you, Garrison Keillor. You too, Paul Harvey.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:27 PM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


That piece is a huge mockery of the thing he is supposed to be supporting. Garrison Keillor can be an ass about lots of things, but he's not being an ass in that one.
posted by winna at 7:29 PM on March 14, 2007


The statement is taken out of context. Keillor was saying that Dads shouldn't wear chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. Takes attention away from the kids. Kids should be wearing chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. If that's what the kids wanna do.

It's their show. Daddies are best seen and not heard - and certainly not embarrassing the kids. There's a lotta straight guys who should take that advice seriously too. Also - farting's not funny after the first time. Pull my finger? Not funny straight guys.

Speaking as a fan of Garrison Keillor, and an adulteror, I gotta stand by the Prairie Home Companion guy. Obviously though, Keillor and I share something else in common - we're homophobic. Don't hold it against us. We can't help ourselves.

I tell ya whut. We homophobes will try to tone down our tendency to be assholes, if you homosexuals tone down the flaming just a little bit. Can't do that huh? Neither can we. kthxby.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:30 PM on March 14, 2007


Monogamy put the parents in the background where they belong and we children were able to hold center stage. We didn't have to contend with troubled, angry parents demanding that life be richer and more rewarding for them.

I actually find this more offensive than the gay thing, which I found innocuous and mildly humorous. He breezes by the fact that those children who held center stage grew up to be those parents he complains about--and they became those parents because they held center stage as children. They grew up thinking they were the center of the universe and didn't grow out of it, and what that has done to our culture and our politics bodes ill for the future of today's kids.
posted by troybob at 7:31 PM on March 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


God you guys are a bunch of hateful assholes.

(And yes, this is coming from me.)
posted by keswick at 7:34 PM on March 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


he's a sad old man--let him stick to his imaginary town and leave the rest of us alone in the real world.

related: South Park tonight was about those "ex-gay" camps for kids like Love Won Out.
posted by amberglow at 7:34 PM on March 14, 2007


oh, also related, and just as absurd: CNN put Denise's husband from Cosby Show on to talk against gays in the military.
posted by amberglow at 7:38 PM on March 14, 2007


& that's the news from Lake Foot-in-Mouth...
posted by taosbat at 7:40 PM on March 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Are you people fucking me? Dan Savage can't even write a blog entry without sounding like a hyperventilating, steretypical queer-eye-er entering a kitchen and seeing a couch from the 70's propped up on bricks next to the stove.
It starts off with "Oh. My. God." for christ's sake.

Here's the offending paragraph:
And now gay marriage will produce a whole new string of hyphenated relatives. In addition to the ex-stepson and ex-in-laws and your wife's first husband's second wife, there now will be Bruce and Kevin's in-laws and Bruce's ex, Mark, and Mark's current partner, and I suppose we'll get used to it.
Savage was quick with the scare bolds all over that, he must have missed "I suppose we'll get used to it". Here, I'll bold it for the outraged skimmers: Garrison Keillor on gay marriage: "I suppose we'll get used to it". Did you get that?

This is as fucking eye-roll-tastic as Garrison getting attacked by Ann Coulter for not supporting the war.
posted by boo_radley at 7:41 PM on March 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


boo, he's obviously not used to it and doesn't want to get used to it, if the rest of the piece is any indication of his attitudes towards gay men. It's crystal-clear how he sees us--and it isn't as parents, or even as adults.
posted by amberglow at 7:43 PM on March 14, 2007


Where was Keillor a hypocrite? I missed it.
posted by Brian B. at 7:47 PM on March 14, 2007


Oknosobutwait -- are people still doing straight readings of Keillor's authorial persona?

Did Matt at some point ban irony and I just didn't get the message?

Do folks simply not understand Keillor's 30-year career as an ironist?

Huh. Maybe irony's dead. That would explain the emerging prevalence of dumbass literalism in various provinces.
posted by vitia at 7:51 PM on March 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


I like PHC. I've seen it live. I know that he's capable of irony, but I really didn't read his piece that way. He's offering up some folksy wisdom about how gay marriage is another straw on the back of the supposedly "embattled" marriage of today. It's hypocritical for a lot of reasons, and ultimately I'm dissapointed in him. And as others have pointed out, the whole "back in my day" schtick is just annoying. Sure, it makes for decent radio comedy, but it's bullshit for offering up opinions on public policy.

The point is, what are Keillor's credentials for marriage counseling? That's what he's offering up, even he softens the blow with his "humor." He's been divorced twice. He's an adulterer. Frankly, he should stfu about how other people should live their personal lives.
posted by bardic at 7:55 PM on March 14, 2007


I disagree, amberglow...it's just the brand of mild observational humor thing he does...it's really benign...it's kind of designed for old people to laugh, but it's mild so they don't laugh so hard that they rip open the stitches in their fresh hip replacements, or pee.

As vatia said, the stuff he does mocks himself and his generation's values as much as it does anyone else--to the degree that it could be considered mocking.
posted by troybob at 7:55 PM on March 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Even if I accept the premise that Keilor's piece was 100% tongue-in-cheek, I have to fault it for poor construction, even for comic logic. Instead, he (maybe unintentionally) parrots the arguments he fails to lampoon.

It comes off like that one friend-of-a-friend who likes to refer to himself as an "anglo-saxon-american" because he feels it so wittily hoists PC nomenclature on its own petard, never realizing that even if it needs hoisting his fatuous straw-man is too simple a machine for the purpose and goes simply to demonstrate his own willful ignorance.

So, while Savage is definitely coming off a little too hot (and quoting selectively - he did omit Keilor's premise about family-as-production starring-the-kids before quoting the flamboyance criticisim which makes a Keiloresque sort of sense), I don't think he's wrong to take Keilor down.

That, and Keilor makes a career out of idealizing the past in such a way that we can all pretend we're in on the joke while secretly wishing it were "that simple" again. It's a toxic lullaby that ellides the smug ignorance and quiet bigotry woven into that very past, and I've always sort of resented him for it. Until this piece though it seemed, if not harmless, at least avoidable.

(On preview, what bardic said, but longer.)
posted by abulafa at 7:56 PM on March 14, 2007


Humm. I don't find what he's saying to be terribly offensive. To me, he's obviously not trying to offend homosexuals, and if he has any anti-gay message, it just seems to be that he doesn't like the current stereotypical lifestyle of gays.

I mean, I've said some stupid shit on metafilter, far worse than anything he's saying now. Somebody should fuck me, too, cuz I guess I must be a bad person.
posted by Citizen Premier at 7:59 PM on March 14, 2007


Also, seems damn silly that we have to lambaste anyone who remembers the past fondly. There may have been more bigotry in America back then, but there was also less media and more environment.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:02 PM on March 14, 2007


On preview, what vitia and others said.

There are some smart folks here at MeFi, but apparently at this post few folk understand satire and irony. You all do realize that its pretty much all Keillor does, right? All that "nostalgia stuff" is pure satire.

Yeah, Keillor probably is making jibes (and expressing a bit of frustration) at the media-driven "homosexual lifestyle" but if one is at all interested in true equal rights, you should be too.

I quite like Mr. Keillor and Mr. Savage, but Dan completely missed the point, or else he saw an opportunity for a quick flame to boost his readership.
posted by elendil71 at 8:06 PM on March 14, 2007


Also, I wonder -- is this essay worse or better than the images of gays in, say, the Birdcage or the Producers? Or even But I'm a Cheerleader?

As far as I have experienced, the Gay Agenda is about as close to a Straight Agenda as can be told: get through the day and not get fired, then come home and get some dinner.

On preview: Amberglow, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree -- Keillor's essay is mostly "Here is some stuff I have noticed." to me.
posted by boo_radley at 8:08 PM on March 14, 2007


I agree that Savage over-reacted in some ways, but that's also his "schtick," if we're going to defend writers based on their public personas.

Again, I didn't get angry reading Keillor as much as I wanted to slap my forehead. Yet another dude telling people the "true meaning" of marriage and parenthood who has a) been divorced multiple times and b) is known to have been an adulterer.

IMO, he brings up the gay thing as a hanger on which to foist his folksy notions and thereby obscure the glaring fact that he has no business telling anyone else how to raise their kid and/or conduct their love life. And if I'm being too ungenerous in my reading of his piece, and not realizing that he's gently chiding those fuddy-duddy moralists of the right, he'd be better off not trucking in the lamest of stereotypes ("All gays are fabulous dressers!").
posted by bardic at 8:10 PM on March 14, 2007


What offends me is that Garrison Keillor is writing for Salon now. WTF??
posted by ZachsMind at 8:13 PM on March 14, 2007


boo_radley writes "Here's the offending paragraph:
And now gay marriage will produce a whole new string of hyphenated relatives. In addition to the ex-stepson and ex-in-laws and your wife's first husband's second wife, there now will be Bruce and Kevin's in-laws and Bruce's ex, Mark, and Mark's current partner, and I suppose we'll get used to it.
"


That's not the offending paragraph. I realize Savage was a little bit breathless, but you need to read everything involved here more carefully. Keiller's piece contained an extensive riff on some pretty offensive stereotypes. He may have been trying for irony, but I can understand how someone would perceive the deployment of those stereotypes as rather vicious.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:13 PM on March 14, 2007


While The Straightener was pretty much right on, the outrage here is pretty surprising.
Perhaps it's because no one had the patience to actually read Keiller's piece, a meander through the old days, when boredom could club a man to death and none of the townsfolk would notice.
We do accept the stereotypical gay men, us liberals. We don't care if he's dressed like a hallucinogenic Desi Arnez, speaking only in Judy Garland quotes while he sodomizes a cabana boy. We don't care about his small shitzu or (out here in the burbs) Afghan hound. We don't care about lesbians in flannels and birkenstocks. We don't care about even the most stereotypical flamer imaginable. They're just part of the modern landscape, like cell phone towers.
But that's been a relatively recent thing, and it's certainly not a majority opinion. Old liberals have come to realize that not all homos are as literary as Allen Ginsburg or William Burroughs, just like they've had to accept straight people banging their Danish tutors or whatever.
So, the rambling continues, since they've had to accept the vagaries of the cell phone, they'll eventually accept the gay parents in hot pink sailor suits walking down the street with their children. It's the inexorable march of social liberalism, even if it's confusing to the doddering and well-meaning elderly still trying to figure out how to forward their emails.
That, with a bit of filler about how kids these days speak all sorts of crazy languages, was the gist of the essay, and to get outraged about it is like getting outraged that old people don't like that rap music (or rock or jazz or whatever the fuck has been too loud and fast for eternity) or that they wear the hideous sparkly purple jumpsuits or that they're generally clueless about a vast majority of the world.
And yeah, that's an unfair stereotype about old people, which Keiller has made his ENTIRE CAREER out of slowly explicating with all the bite and spice of instant mashed potatoes.
posted by klangklangston at 8:15 PM on March 14, 2007 [5 favorites]




Ehh.. if you people who have actually heard him say it's irony, I'll go along with that. Benefit of the doubt, etc. The "Good Ole Days" vibe is a bit nauseating to me though.

I don't think Dan's or anyone else's anger is anything to be shocked by... I mean, if someone had done an 'ironic' "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen" bit during all the bra-burning protests, or an 'ironic' "fetch me my pipe, Boy" bit during desegregation, would righteous female or black anger be surprising? Coming off like you're marginalizing a position, while you're trying to ironically support it, isn't going to be a recipe for fun times.

ZachsMind: We homophobes will try to tone down our tendency to be assholes, if you homosexuals tone down the flaming just a little bit. Can't do that huh? Neither can we. kthxby.

Them blacks wouldn't have gotten lynched if they'd sucked it up and tried to whiten up? Women wouldn't have to worry about sexism if they'd just stop being such girls about it? Got it.
posted by CKmtl at 8:20 PM on March 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wow, weren't you allowed to watch "All in the Family" growing up?
posted by troybob at 8:23 PM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


boo_radley: I don't think The Birdcage ever connected the flamboyant behavior depicted with advice on proper parenting, and I believe that's the crux here.

I frankly don't care if he's an adulterer; you learn a lot of things being married once or several times, and they can be valuable regardless of your biographical details. What I find unsettling is that his stereotypes are the evidence he provides for why gays will have to "tone down" the flamboyance (to let the kids be the stars).

Have to? Or what? He won't let them have kids? We won't let them have kids?

Armitage Shanks: Oh. Nevermind. He's just a douchebag. Pragmatic, but a douchebag. Sort of my problem with his style - pragmatism always favors the tacit fascism of majority rule, even among libruls.
posted by abulafa at 8:25 PM on March 14, 2007


This has been Keillor's act for as long as I've listened to and read him. It is very subtle. Had I not heard him for all these years and had some sense of his humor, I would be reacting in a similar fashion. It is a piece of satire that, unfortunately, misses the mark in terms of timeliness and tone. I don't expect people to get Keillor unless they're from Minnesota and over forty so some of this vitriol I understand.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:25 PM on March 14, 2007


I'm under 40 and like Keillor. I still don't buy the "you're missing his irony" argument. Within the context of an opinion piece for Salon, he's advancing an argument as to how marriage should be and how children should be raised. I mean, he's no Ann Coulter or anything like that, but the hypocrisy is truly staggering. He should stick to his (IMO, quite funny) radio show. He should leave marriage counseling to someone else.
posted by bardic at 8:30 PM on March 14, 2007


Hmmm. I like Dan Savage a lot, but he lost me at "fucking motherfucker."

I like gay people about as much as I like anybody else. I'd go to the wall for them to have marriage, joint health insurance, kids, the right not to be beaten by assholes, and everything else that the rest of us take for granted. But come on...if you have to call Garrison Keillor a "motherfucker", your revolution has seriously gone off the rails. The guy's career is built on benign humor, gentle irony and unpretentious compassion. This column was obviously not his best work. When Keillor is on his game, he channels the quiet struggle between dignity and the banal that writhes at the core of the midwestern soul. When he's off...he sounds like somebody's cranky uncle.

So, he had a bad day. And he exposed some prejudice. For this Dan Savage treats us to scare quotes, boldface, invective and a heap of profanity? What ever happened to explaining to someone why they'd offended you? When did we stop assuming the best intentions of folks, even when they make us mad? Times were, a fellow would just sit down with another fellow and they'd drink a beer and talk out their differences. And then they'd eat jello salad. With CoolWhip.
posted by felix betachat at 8:33 PM on March 14, 2007 [12 favorites]


CKmtl? I am SO much better at putting insensitive and offensive bullcrap in my own mouth. I don't need your help, mkay?

And All In The Family ruled, man! Archie Bunker spoke on behalf of an entire generation. Granted, most of them are dead now...
posted by ZachsMind at 8:36 PM on March 14, 2007


mr_roboto: that's possible. I'll go back and reread Savage's entry a time or two more. Thanks for the advice.

abulafa: no, none of the movies I mentioned linked flamboyancy to parenting advice. They do a lot to perpetuate a stereotype. Do you thing that stereotype is harmful?
posted by boo_radley at 8:38 PM on March 14, 2007


Garrison Keillor needs to eat a bowl of dick.
posted by oncogenesis at 8:39 PM on March 14, 2007


Lighten up folks - you're talking about a man who tells stories about a place that never was, in an era which never really existed with people (who never were) saying things that nobody really said. That's how he makes his living as a humorist.
Like him or dislike him as you please - but his stock-in-trade is make-believe - so please stop taking him seriously.

He's America's P.G.Wodehouse - live with it...
posted by speug at 8:42 PM on March 14, 2007


Garrison Keillor is about as far from a douchebag as you're ever likely to meet (being one of my most Absolutely Most Favourite Writers!). I am a "gay friendly" heterosexual, living in the gay neighbourhood of Vancouver and having numerous bar friends of that persuasion, and I doubt any of them would argue with the sentiment that if you're raising children "some of the flamboyance has to go" (sorry, I'm paraphrasing). It's just common sense.

No matter how liberated you are would you really like, as a child, to have had a dad walking around the house in assless chaps?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:43 PM on March 14, 2007


No matter how liberated you are would you really like, as a child, to have had a dad walking around the house in assless chaps?

Wait. You mean my dad was gay?!
posted by felix betachat at 8:45 PM on March 14, 2007 [7 favorites]


Lighten up folks - you're talking about a man who tells stories about a place that never was

I disagree with this: if you've ever read his stories you'll realize that, as with any great writer, the subject may be the past; the meaning, on the other hand is timeless. Read W.L.T. or, what the hell, any of the Lake Wobegon stories. To interpret Keillor as presenting some petrified, yearned for, view of the past is to willfully miss the entire point of his luminous prose.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:48 PM on March 14, 2007


I guess this is where I'm supposed to let everyone know I'm a straight guy with gay friends as well. I don't know any who have kids though, but here's the thing -- the assless-polka-dotted chaps stuff? That's a stereotype that needs to be skinned, gutted, and burned. At worst, people that spout that type of stuff are bigots. At best, they need to have their gaydar updated from 1975.

Keillor is obviously a big-hearted guy. This piece, however, demonstrates that his brain could use some work.
posted by bardic at 8:52 PM on March 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


No matter how liberated you are would you really like, as a child, to have had a dad walking around the house in assless chaps?

Oh good grief. What leads you to believe that gay parents are more likely to behave inappropriately around their children than straight parents?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:52 PM on March 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh, and felix? Don't worry, your dad was totally Not Gay. He was just a cowboy? Who was, like, washing his underwear at the time? And needed to walk around to 'air the chaps'? With his friend?

No, sorry, your dad was gay.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:53 PM on March 14, 2007


No matter how liberated you are would you really like, as a child, to have had a dad walking around the house in assless chaps?

My straight dad walked around the AC-less house in the summer in only underwear. I turned out gay.

Coincidence? I THINK NOT, SAVAGE.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:55 PM on March 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Armitage and bardic: Fair enough. But I read his comment as that of someone who's perhaps unaware that the image of gay men portrayed by the gay pride parades is not representative of the sort of men who adopt children. But look: he said one thing about that--that gay parents shouldn't be flamboyantly gay. Or, more precisely, should tone it down. So it's like something your very liberal dad would say, no?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:57 PM on March 14, 2007


For what it's worth, Dan toned down the fury later on.
posted by O9scar at 8:58 PM on March 14, 2007


screw you straight guys, I am a knob jockey sans pareil, and I'll tell you that if you're looking at this Keillor piece and finding something to get offended about, it's because you're trying really hard to do so.

and yeah, a lot of those gay stereotypes are true, and a lot of them are funny. but a lot of them are meant to be funny...a man who wears polka-dotted assless chaps is a man who has learned how to laugh at himself--he's just sharing the fun with everybody else...
posted by troybob at 9:00 PM on March 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


blazecock: I thing sweaty fiftyish overweight dads walking around the house regardless of what they're wearing will give you teh ghey. Truce?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:02 PM on March 14, 2007


Let me try that again (I was laughing too hard):

blazecock: I think watching sweaty fiftyish overweight dads walking around the house in an abbreviated costume regardless of its nature will give you teh ghey. Truce?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:05 PM on March 14, 2007


Turtles:
I've read plenty of GK, seen the movie, heard the radio show and I interpret them much as you do. I do not: interpret Keillor as presenting some petrified, yearned for, view of the past.em>
But it's fiction - not unlike the fiction of Wodehouse. It's good fiction (perhaps even great fiction as you state) but not, I submit, something to get one's knickers in a twist...

posted by speug at 9:09 PM on March 14, 2007


STOP EVERYTHING!

Chaps are, by definition, assless.

Carry on...
posted by scottreynen at 9:17 PM on March 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


speug: If I can reinterpret the formatting that arose from your including a snippet of a tag at the end of the quote it would seem you agree with me. And I agree with you.

To everyone: get mad at jingoistic narrow-minded bastards like those you see on Fox News. Don't waste your time arguing with sensitive observers of the human condition who present our foibles, all of our foibles, in a sympathetic light. Show GK a loving family in which two adopted children were raised by two loving gay men and I'll bet he'll write something that will make you feel something good about the human condition.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:21 PM on March 14, 2007


But I read his comment as that of someone who's perhaps unaware that the image of gay men portrayed by the gay pride parades is not representative of the sort of men who adopt children.

Come on, he's not that much of a rube.

I'm sure it's just a lame comment without any particularly malicious intent. But in the interview I quoted above, he's basically saying gay marriage is such a toxic issue nationally that the Democratic Party needs to walk away from it in order to win elections. In that kind of atmosphere, he might want to reconsider perpetuating dumb stereotypes that serve the purposes of the kind of people who benefit from it being a toxic issue.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:22 PM on March 14, 2007


...minus, he would advise, the duplicate "something"'s. Night-night, all.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:23 PM on March 14, 2007



But I read his comment as that of someone who's perhaps unaware that the image of gay men portrayed by the gay pride parades is not representative of the sort of men who adopt children.


He shouldn't be that much of a rube, no. The Twin Cities Gay Pride festival is one of the largest and best-attended in the US.
posted by padraigin at 9:25 PM on March 14, 2007


Whelp me, Wobegon Kenobi!
posted by rob511 at 9:29 PM on March 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


Huh. Dan Savage does not comprehend satire, and apparently neither do a whole lot of y'all. Keillor was writing essays and short stories for the New Yorker from the seventies on, he did his show for a number of years from New York (where he certainly moved in very tony liberal social circles) and continues to maintain a home there, he's been a huge figure in public radio in the Twin Cities for decades and believe me, this is a demographic which intersects with the local gay community, which is very active in our towns. He's also a famous, I could say notorious, liberal. The small town homily bit is and has always been a shtick, and has always carried a significant element of satire.

The idea that he's trying to communicate in this essay is that the old ways are really the best ways, that he's genuinely concerned that those nice gay fellas are a little too la-ti-da for child rearin', or that duffy old grampaw just don't get that that's just a gay stereotype, well goh-lee he has been living in that there Lake Wobegon all these years... It's just dumb. I am not a huge Keillor fan. I don't think his writing has ever lived up to the promise of some of his early short story work and to me the radio shtick has grown wearyingly tired (though it still has moments), and I've heard many the rumor that as a person and a boss he can be a genuine dick. But the way some people take his stuff literally in this just tone deaf manner always baffles me.

I am a knob jockey sans pareil... You fucking rock, troybob.
posted by nanojath at 9:29 PM on March 14, 2007


In which Dan Savage jumps the shark.

There may have been more bigotry in America back then, but there was also less media and more environment.

And more people writing checks in the express lane.
posted by oaf at 9:33 PM on March 14, 2007


yeah... gotta say nothing good came of this exchange, my opinion of GK diminished slightly for bad writing, opinion of Savage took a big hit for batshitinsane overreacting, and my opinion of a few fellow mefis dropped a point or two because of over dramatic self-importance issues.

I think troybob's response was the sanest. I've spent a moderate amount of time in gay bars, and yeah plenty of ass-less chaps abound, bfd. Also have spent plenty of time around committed couples who happen to be gay and would be horrified around ass-less chaps. Stereotypes are all around us and I'd bet my next paycheck not a single fucking one of us hasn't said, written, or acted on thoughts based in stereotype within the last week. I don't care if it is gay, breeder, white, black, neo-con, liberal whatever we are all guilty of this type of bullshit, so save the outrage and bile for the battles that matter, including the internal one. Because in the great list of reasons to be outraged this hardly registers as a pimple on the ass of the universe.
posted by edgeways at 9:42 PM on March 14, 2007


nanojath, this wasn't a "bit" of his from PHC. It's an essay in an opinion journal. I think the context is important.
posted by bardic at 9:46 PM on March 14, 2007


The post was worth the beautiful job Savage did ripping Keillor a new asshole--Regardless of whether Keillor had it coming, or going.

I've listened to PHC once, partly, many years ago. I still laugh about it, especially because I did not realize I was hearing humor until the end. I like Keillor's voice, a lot. But his stuff just doesn't move fast enough for me, oh well.

Maybe it was irony. Difficult to be sure! Perhaps we'd be better off if he hadn't written it at all (although then we'd be deprived of Savage's beautiful hatchet job).

But I admit, I grew up in a Lake Woebegon analog, and was one of those above-average kids. Life was quite perfect back then. The news wasn't full of stories about priests mollesting boys, because, back then, you knew perfectly well if you told your mom, you'd get a hard slap across the face for daring speak of such things. Life was good!
posted by Goofyy at 9:55 PM on March 14, 2007


I think you are missing what I intended to be my point, bardic, but I find I am too weary to argue it. I think Keillor was aiming for a point totally contrary to what is being read into this essay... but I also think edgeways is essentially correct, it's poorly written, it's literal premise (the attitude, which I take to be tongue-in-cheek, of aw shucks, things sure were simpler back when) overshadows whatever subtler and saner point I think I intuit in it, and it is basically incoherent and pointless. Even if I'm right its obvious he missed the mark to a catastrophic extent given the reaction.
posted by nanojath at 10:00 PM on March 14, 2007


Back in the day, that was the standard arrangement. Everyone had a yard, a garage, a female mom, a male dad, and a refrigerator with leftover boiled potatoes in plastic dishes with snap-on lids.

[...]

back in the day, we were cowboys and rode horses across those flat spaces, rounding up our cattle, even in blizzards. For proof, I sang a cowboy song with a big whoopi-ti-yi-yo at the end of each verse and I got them all to do clip-clops and whinnies.

I don't much care and don't want to come across as some apologist for the guy - but it seems pretty clear to me he's making a point about mythic pasts that never existed as such. I don't think he was ever actually a singing cowboy, and I'm pretty sure he knows families didn't used to be universally perfect.
posted by freebird at 10:02 PM on March 14, 2007


I like PHC. I've seen it live. I know that he's capable of irony, but I really didn't read his piece that way.

I am speechless that anyone would imagine this piece was anything but satire.

Back in the day, that was the standard arrangement. Everyone had a yard, a garage, a female mom, a male dad, and a refrigerator with leftover boiled potatoes in plastic dishes with snap-on lids. This was before caller ID, before credit cards, before pizza, for crying out loud...
Monogamy put the parents in the background where they belong and we children were able to hold center stage....
Mom and Dad stood like smiling, helpless mannequins in the background.
Nature is about continuation of the species -- in other words, children. Nature does not care about the emotional well-being of older people.


You really think he is advocating that human beings should live on leftover boiled potatoes and repressed desires? He is making fun of the ridiculous rules we impose on ourselves for "the sake of the children" as if we even know what that is supposed to mean (because the children are just more people who will grow up to suffer the same helpless mannequin lives). I cannot possibly see another angle to read this from.
posted by mdn at 10:19 PM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Okay. So - Garrison Keillor despises George W. Bush. He loathes, absolutely loathes Minnesota's Republican Senator Norm Coleman. He hates this ill-considered Iraq war.

But he was insufficiently in favor of gay marriage. (Or possibly even, like most spineless liberal politicians, vaguely against gay marriage, for now.)

Clearly Mr. Keillor must be sent to the re-education camps for the Ideologically Impure. The perfect, after all, is, as we all know, truly the enemy of the good.
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:43 PM on March 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


I hope to be at least half as wistful, tedious, cranky, and out-of-touch-with-current definitions-of-irony when I’m that age. Garrison Age, that is. GA.

My grandchildren can be as hyphenated as they want to be as long as they’re willing to put up with my boring stories. Like the time I abbreviated "Garrison Age".
posted by gordie at 10:47 PM on March 14, 2007


Waaaay late on this thread, but GK was trying out some dry wit. Get over it. At least read some of his other shit to see if you get the flow of his admittedly offbeat humor. I laughed through his essay, and yass, some of my best friends (and excellent former bosses) are and have been gay.
posted by telstar at 10:49 PM on March 14, 2007


Metafilter: I am a knob jockey sans pareil.

Nothing else to add that hasn't been said, except: there's a 'gay neighbourhood' in Vancouver now?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:18 PM on March 14, 2007


MetaFilter: A re-education camp for the Ideologically Impure.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:51 PM on March 14, 2007


I enjoy him, but I'd go along with 'bit of a socially conservative bias, bit tone deaf on activism'. Here's some droll mockery of those wacky newfangled "write your own vows" marriage ceremonies from a collection of his early New Yorker stuff. From "Your Wedding and You":

"Al and Tammy, sharing a commitment to challenge and excitement, were married in 6.12 seconds in Al's Supercharged Funny Car, with a minister on her lap and four bridesmaids on the floor (a new track record).

Bud and Karen chose a simple ceremony in their own apartment, with Karen fixing pizza in the kitchen, Bud asleep on the sofa, and their two children watching television in the bedroom.

Charles and Frank, however, selected the Early Traditional style, complete with morning coats, Wagner and Mendelssohn, and crustless sandwiches."

See, it's funny, 'cause the gay guys are getting married right. Get it?
posted by ormondsacker at 12:16 AM on March 15, 2007


I dunno. Keillor's show has always seemed a little slow on the jokes and a little heavy on the wistful, "remember the days" kind of crap. I do get a laugh here or there, but usually when he comes on I just turn off the radio.

Maybe it's because I'm from the Southeast instead of the Midwest. Who knows. But I can't help wishing that This American Life would get the same airtime that his show always does.

(Why is it that I'm never listening to the radio when This American Life is on, but Prairie Home Companion always seems to be on? My weekends do not have enough NPR because of this.)
posted by mazatec at 12:16 AM on March 15, 2007


Maybe ol' Garrison just needs to occasionally use the phrase "not that there's anything wrong with that".
posted by JT at 12:45 AM on March 15, 2007


My grandfather is basically a liberal, whatever the hell that means. He's a retired Navy officer, but during the Vietnam war, he told his sons that if they were drafted he'd pay for their tickets to Canada because he thought it was an immoral war. He feels the same about the current situation. He voted against Bush both times. He's an atheist, so he certainly doesn't think homosexuality is a "sin." Hate to use the old "But I have plenty of [insert minority here] friends" thing, but he has closely worked/socialized with openly gay people since before I was born. He was a real-estate agent, and one of our closest family friends in my childhood was an openly gay exterior decorator*, and he came to holiday gatherings at my grandparents' house constantly.

However, I had this conversation with my grandfather not too long ago:


MY GRANDFATHER: The other day Eve [his girlfriend] and I went to see this movie. Brokeback Mountain?

ME: *chokes on cookie* Yeah?

MY GRANDATHER: Yeah. *pause* It was about a couple of queers.

ME: Well... Yeah. Didn't you know?

MY GRANDFATHER: Nope. Looked like a normal Western from the commercials. *pause* We would have walked out, but we didn't want to offend anyone.


Keillor's essay struck me the same way as that conversation: head-shakingly befuddled by how the world has changed around him. The mind-set is archaic, but there's no hatred there. There are much more important and worthy things to be offended by.

*Not an INTERIOR designer, thus defying the stereotype.
posted by brundlefly at 12:56 AM on March 15, 2007


Nothing else to add that hasn't been said, except: there's a 'gay neighbourhood' in Vancouver now?

Yeah, it's everything except Surrey.
posted by mek at 1:29 AM on March 15, 2007


Gawd, someone finally calls out that no-talent bullshit artist with a voice like curdled milk . . love the series of Danish babes, Garrison. Nice work being an icon of Volvo-driving America yearning for the small town life NONE of GK's listeners actually ever knew. LOL. Idiot.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:20 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Keillor then signs off: "Be well, do good work, keep in touch." You bet, Garrison, I'm right on it.
posted by slow, man at 2:22 AM on March 15, 2007


>Nothing else to add that hasn't been said, except: there's a 'gay neighbourhood' in Vancouver now?
>Yeah, it's everything except Surrey.


Well, I was referring more specifically to the West End.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 2:47 AM on March 15, 2007


you people aren't outraged, you *are* outrage just waiting to happen.
posted by quonsar at 4:07 AM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Quonsar, I'm much, much less "outraged" by Keillor's admittedly milquetoast bigoted display than I am struck about the Marge Schotts and other Good Germans in this thread falling over each other to rationalize and apologize for it. Maybe it's not wrong to admit that Hitler wasn't a good guy from the start.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:46 AM on March 15, 2007


while, we, quonsar, have been revealed to be disturbingly fictional people from a mythological place called the midwest that never had the rumored past that professional liars like keillor go on about ... it's time we told the truth, isn't it?

all we ever do is to watch as our social betters fly over us and point sticks at the planes, going rat-at-at-at-at-at all day long ... then we barbecue live rats and go to work at the bible factory for 16 long hours a day before going home to our 1957 airstreams and collapsing in a pile of confederate throw pillows and bud light cans on the couch

on our days off, we post to metafilter and pretend to be intelligent

come on, quonsar, it's time to fess up
posted by pyramid termite at 5:09 AM on March 15, 2007


100 comments about this, really?

He's an old man, let him be old.
posted by empath at 6:02 AM on March 15, 2007


Yes, but are all the gays above average?
posted by jonmc at 7:34 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


bardic: "I'm under 40 and like Keillor. I still don't buy the "you're missing his irony" argument. Within the context of an opinion piece for Salon, he's advancing an argument as to how marriage should be and how children should be raised. I mean, he's no Ann Coulter or anything like that, but the hypocrisy is truly staggering. He should stick to his (IMO, quite funny) radio show. He should leave marriage counseling to someone else."

Well you may like him but you obviously do not "get" him. I really do think that maybe you and/or a few people are reading way too much into this. As I stated in my original comment, this is his forte (granted, not everyone's cup of tea). I will admit that his humor is definitely out of place in a Salon piece and in most of the other things he's written. If his writing was delivered in a monologue I think it would come off better.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:39 AM on March 15, 2007


And next week we'll get all outraged by something Stephen Colbert says on his show.

You think gays are too flamboyant Colbert??!! Well fuck you!!!!

Maybe after that we can tear Paul Harvey a new asshole. Is "Hee Haw" still in syndication? We totally need a call out for the anti-gay agenda on that show.

But seriously....... Garrison Keillor......... If gay bloggers need to dig this deep to find something to be outraged by, I'd say they're much better off than I thought they were.
posted by Devidicus at 8:00 AM on March 15, 2007


all we ever do is to watch as our social betters fly over us and point sticks at the planes, going rat-at-at-at-at-at all day long ... then we barbecue live rats and go to work at the bible factory for 16 long hours a day before going home to our 1957 airstreams and collapsing in a pile of confederate throw pillows and bud light cans on the couch

Yup. I'm here in the midwest feeling like the Geico caveman.

Can't we go back to some really meaningful fights like Trump v. O'Donnell?
posted by beelzbubba at 8:11 AM on March 15, 2007


"Maybe it's not wrong to admit that Hitler wasn't a good guy from the start."

I think you phrased that wrong, but I like Volkswagons OK.
posted by klangklangston at 8:18 AM on March 15, 2007


come on, quonsar, it's time to fess up

i'm tired of dragging this gay dude behind my pickup. i'm off to build a fence to hang him on.
posted by quonsar at 8:44 AM on March 15, 2007


Should I be surprised that no one in this thread seems to have noticed that GK is actually writing about children, and not homos? What are we, in the sixth grade?

He is talking about parenting and children, not homos. His only point about homos is that if they want to be parents then they should strive for the same unachieved ideal of parenting (from back in the day, when it was an unachieved ideal), namely that parents have to be parents FIRST, and homos or liberals or astronauts or whatever SECOND.

I’m a huge fan of both GK and DS, but obviously DS missed it. Obviously, right? Because there is no point to writing a campy piece about how homos can’t be dads because they wear funny outfits.

The most interesting question raised in this thread is whether the dems should embrace gay marriage as a political issue… clearly they shouldn’t. When minority groups are more sensitive to slights, real or imagined, then they are to the outcomes they hope to achieve, then its a lost cause. See also the Obama debate in the black community.

Dan Savage wrote this great book called The Commitment. Too bad, but it looks like it’s time for him to think about rounding out his character. Maybe he could take a page from another interesting book by a homo, one who isn’t afraid to see both irony and the world from another point of view: Norah Vincent.

Dan can keep writing about toys and have flame fits, but to redeem himself now he’s going to have to write a book about how homos are just like everyone else, without disrespecting everyone else.
posted by ewkpates at 8:59 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thank you, ewkpates.
posted by boo_radley at 9:01 AM on March 15, 2007


"Keillor's essay struck me the same way as that conversation: head-shakingly befuddled by how the world has changed around him. The mind-set is archaic, but there's no hatred there. There are much more important and worthy things to be offended by."
posted by brundlefly

Read every one of the comments.
I love Keillor and Wodehouse and E.F. Benson, Michael Frayn and Dorothy Parker etc etc.

Yet I was awfully disappointed by GK's column piece.

I think I'm familiar with GK's gallery of voices and poses and gentle doubling-back-on-itself satire and still this doesn't work for me.

Maybe brundlefly is right. Maybe GK is signalling that some adorable old liberals can't keep up with the times, try as they might.

It makes me feel mournful.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 9:09 AM on March 15, 2007


Well, maybe Garrison was being ironic/satirical, maybe not. But in an interview here, he said this:
“I think that gay marriage/union/benefits must be a state and city matter. Gays have tended to migrate from hostile places to friendlier places — San Francisco, New York, New Orleans — and this migration has been a boon to the friendlier places. Gay-friendly areas are the richer for it, in all sorts of ways. Tolerance has economic and cultural benefits. And so we can allow Missouri or South Carolina or South Dakota to be hostile to gay marriage and suffer the consequences.”
Which is just...odd. And wrongheaded in so very many ways. I think Dan Savage was a little over-the-top in his response, but I understand why he said it - I just might have waited a little while before I hit "post."
posted by rtha at 9:11 AM on March 15, 2007


It’s a mid-June Saturday afternoon in St. Paul. Last week’s... frosts have given way to milder days. By next week the mosquitoes [mosquito noises] will be on you three deep... not only to drink your blood but just trying to rest after the effort of flying through all the... humidity. [panting and mosquito noises] But for now... the air is clean and... not all that bad. So you want to make the best of it. You’re out... at an open-air bar... an umbrella at your table shields your pasty... Swedish-American skin from the heat [sound of bacon frying]. Your friend leans over to you and says, [“Hey, let’s ditch this square joint.”] so you get up and stretch [stretch and yawning noises] and walk down the boulevard. You’re a little foggy from the half-dozen Leinenkugel’s [buzzing noise], but still find a way to simultaneously stroll and... gaze at the beauties lingering outside, sporting their barenaked... hands and wrists [wolf whistle]. Suddenly, shots ring out [pow! pow! noises]. Your friend darts one way, but you sprint into the nearest bar [bar door swinging noises].

Safely inside, you assay your surroundings. It’s a little flashier than you’d expected, and the jukebox has quite a bit of disco [“...feel the beat from the tambourine...”]. Not wanting to go back outside, though, you sidle up to the bar [scraping noises] and order a Leinie. The bartender lisps that they don’t serve that. Uneasy, you order a scotch. The bartender gives you a look and turns away [“Hmph!”]. A nice-looking young lady you saw as you entered the bar sits down next to you and strikes up a conversation [chattering noises]. She’s remarkably knowledgeable about the Twins and the bartender brings you your drink [clink] but it’s not scotch but by then you really don’t care so much. Gena, that’s her name, is so intriguing that you’re hanging on her every word. She was in the Navy, she knows tons about the Twins, and she wants to dance [fast wockachicka wockachicka noises]. So you dance and dance and dance, and the disco is really better than you’d expected. And you sit down and have another drink [“ssssiiiiip... ah!”]. And finally a slow song comes on, and you feel that... after the Leinies and the shooting outside and no more Leinies inside and the weird drinks – what’s in a Manhattan, anyway? – that things are really starting to look up. And you take Gena’s hand... and lead her... to the dance floor [clicking heels on floor noises] and squeeze her tightly... to you... and feel her breath on your face... and look her in the eyes and at her ample bosom... and think that, maybe, this could be a really great evening.

And only then, as you bring your eyes up from her cleavage, do you notice her adam’s apple [“I met her in a club down in old soho...”].

Now’d be a nice time a slice of rhubarb pie, don’t you think? [Audience laughter.] A Prairie Home Companion is brought to you by Youfopanmefop Rhubarb Pie.

One little thing can really scare a guy,
And that is a homo givin’ me the eye.
On second thought, it kinda makes me hot.
Maybe I’m not as straitlaced as I thought.
I’m a-gonna be happy as a pig in a sty
With my new gay friends and some rhubarb pie!

posted by cog_nate at 9:17 AM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


In the late 70's, early 80s I was a big fan, but like P.G.Wodehouse, Keillor's fiction eventually grew tiresome and formulaic to me. Still, these days his short story "End of the Trail" about the last cigarette smokers in America being hunted down pops into my head all the time as I hear about one environment after another being declared "smoke free."

All the books and stories that I read never left me with an impression that he was in love with "the good old days." On the contrary, he portrays Lake Woebegon as a place of stultfying dullness, of men trying to out-humble each other, of women supressing their desire for "more," of youths yearning to escape, of gatherings where yawning is more likely to occur than laughing. Life is simpler, but simpler does not mean better.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:26 AM on March 15, 2007


ZachsMind: I wasn't calling you a klansman or chauvinist pig, it was satire (seriously, it was). That thing that us breathless foppish flouncing fags and deck-building bulldykes seem incapable of detecting when it pertains to us.
posted by CKmtl at 9:51 AM on March 15, 2007


US Still On Top, Says Rest of World

Declines seen in gentle fun-poking, curmudgeonly essays; chartreuse, polka-dot textiles up.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:52 AM on March 15, 2007


I used to mildly like Keillor, then I got tired of his shtick, now I'm happy to see it bite him in the ass. Of course he's not an evil upside-down-with-a-pitchfork homophobe, of course it's just another dose of his "gentle" "irony," but boy, did I enjoy seeing Dan Savage rip him a new one. Wake up and smell the 21st century, Garrison, before you turn into Bob Hope and Art Buchwald rolled into one befuddled ex-humorist whose sell-by date was so long ago it's worn right off the package.

Keillor says something a little insensitive, but for a good reason.

Excuse me? What exactly was the "good reason"?
posted by languagehat at 10:20 AM on March 15, 2007


Remember the Simpsons episode where the one teenager says, "Are you being sarcastic?" and the other responds with "I don't even know anymore"? Garrison Keillor is like that in that he spposedly sometimes writes in character while other times it's just his views. I really don't think he can readily tell the difference any more, nor can a majority of people, including his listeners. He might be using humor so subtle it's nearly indistinguishable, but that only works on an audience that's clued in and actually opposes the "ironic" views being sold.
posted by mikeh at 11:31 AM on March 15, 2007



"Maybe it's not wrong to admit that Hitler wasn't a good guy from the start."

I think you phrased that wrong, but I like Volkswagons OK.


That's spelled Volkswagen (and pronounced Fohks vahgenz, if you want to be pedantic). It's German, remember? I'm gonna invoke the "don't nitpick peoples' language if your own isn't right" card here.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 11:44 AM on March 15, 2007


Nicht wahr?
The phrasing "Maybe it's not wrong to admit that Hitler wasn't a good guy from the start" is obviously at odds with the ironic sense that Alex wanted. He wanted, in reference to Schott, to imply that Hitler WAS a bad guy from the start.
And it's not pronounced "Folksvagen" here in the US, my petite pedant. Try to be right when you're attempting to over-correct.
posted by klangklangston at 12:14 PM on March 15, 2007


And to think that one fundie I once worked with used to harrumph at APHC because it seemed at times like a family-oriented show but wasn't "values-oriented" enough. Gee, I guess he'd feel more at home after seeing this FPP.
posted by pax digita at 12:45 PM on March 15, 2007


my petite pedant

Petit would be correct, since pédant is a masculine noun... ceci n'est pas une pédanterie.

posted by CKmtl at 12:58 PM on March 15, 2007


Je suis tres désolé pour Monsieur Klangston.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:33 PM on March 15, 2007


I don't think The Birdcage ever connected the flamboyant behavior depicted with advice on proper parenting

I've not seen the Robin Williams remake, but as far as the original La Cage Au Folles goes, that's exactly what it's about. The conservative establishment is depicted as hypocritical and emotionally cold, while the gay community is seen as warm and open. The son of the gay couple is shown to be at least as well-adjusted as the daughter of the straight family (and it's her sanity which is the miracle). The implication is that proper parenting involves love and acceptance, which Renato and Albin have in abundance.

As for the subject of the thread: Keillor does his schtick, Savage does his schtick, Metafilter does its schtick. Everybody's happy.
posted by Grangousier at 1:36 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I've not seen the Robin Williams remake, but as far as the original La Cage Au Folles goes, that's exactly what it's about"

What a brilliantly nifty catch, Grangousier.

I read right past that comment without thinking.

The Mike Nichols/Robin Williams version almost seemed like a line by line English language remake of the original, so your point holds perfectly for both.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 2:49 PM on March 15, 2007


"Petit would be correct, since pédant is a masculine noun... ceci n'est pas une pédanterie."

SPEAK ENGLISH OR DIE.

(Honestly, took German in school about 10 years ago, and French more than 14 years ago. I can order booze and procure prostitutes, but that's the real extent of my memory in foreign languages).
posted by klangklangston at 3:09 PM on March 15, 2007


I can order booze and procure prostitutes, but that's the real extent of my memory in foreign languages

Grammatical gender agreement would be a bit important in procuring a french whore... unless you want an Eddie Murphy Surprise.
posted by CKmtl at 3:19 PM on March 15, 2007


Yeah, but petite and pedant are both English words now, and don't have a gender as such.

(J'aimerais une prostituée)
posted by klangklangston at 3:47 PM on March 15, 2007


“If the government is paying large sums of money to have the obvious pointed out, then I am your man. Ask me about this war and I'll tell you for free.”

In that vein I’d point out to Mr.Keillor that many people have obviously mistaken him for Oedipus.

Doesn’t really get my goat tho. Keillor has always been like oatmeal to me. Fine, but nothing to get really passionate about.

Not all gay folks are flamboyant, sure. Some are, ok.
Lots of focus on teh gay, nearly none on the parents.
You see, I don’t know that the class of ‘parents’ would deny anyone the right to be parents based on the fact that they’re percieved as selfish or wish to draw attention to themselves with some flamboyance.

Particularly when there are plenty of parents like that.
Keillor seems to think of parenting as some hallowed art shared amongst knowing, self-sacrificial practitioners who’d exclude others not meeting those standards. Ideally...yeah.
I’d have to say I’d support any set of parents who can provide a child with a loving nurturing environment. But hey, they happen to wear chaps-sans-slacks, fine by me. Parents are supposed to stand in the back, yeah. But many don’t. Doesn’t make them bad parents.
But hell, I don’t think that’s what Keillor was on about. Just seemed like a cheezy quip to me.

Still, if we’re going to be offended, I’m offended on behalf of the parents.
We’re not going to discriminate against gays just because of flamboyance. Indeed, some folks might disapprove. But then some folks might disapprove of how I raise my kid. Fuck ‘em. None of their business. And it’s none of mine either.

Reminds me of a time I saw a mixed ethnicity couple walking hand in hand toward me. Nice. Then the black guy saw me and let go of the white girls hand. And opened distance up a bit. Now - oh, I get it. I understand the environment and his reasoning, etc., but hey, it pissed me off.
Passing by I said “We’re not all fucking crackers, pal.”

Same thing here.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:29 PM on March 16, 2007



Doesn’t really get my goat tho. Keillor has always been like oatmeal to me. Fine, but nothing to get really passionate about.


Because he's oatmeal it's even more insidious and easy to perpetuate these negative stereotypes--this is not a blowhard like Coulter or Limbaugh doing it but a "nice guy". Would people be bothered if it was about "lazy Mexicans" or "greedy Jews"? I think so. But this kind of casually thrown off as if everyone agrees stereotyping is ok?
posted by amberglow at 3:59 PM on March 16, 2007


"it's even more insidious and easy to perpetuate these negative stereotypes"

I'm not going to argue in favor of what he said. I simply don't think he meant it that way given other statements he's made.

But I'd agree that certainly that favors your assertion on the insidiousness of the stereotype.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:30 PM on March 16, 2007


I think given the context (which he's well-aware of) -- the shouting from the right, and the legislation all over to forbid us from adopting and even fostering, and all the uproar over schools that have books and programs and policies showing family diversity, etc, I don't see how it could be meant in any other way but to disparage us as a group using these persistent stereotypes and reinforce the idea that we're not fit to parent.
posted by amberglow at 4:41 PM on March 16, 2007


Also: ...I favor marriage between people whose body parts are not similar. I'm sorry, but same-sex marriage seems timid, an attempt to save on wardrobe and accessories. Marrying somebody from your team. Still, it's probably good for them to have to fight for the right to marry. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:52 PM on March 16, 2007


It's timid and about wardrobe and accessories, yet it's good that we have to fight for the right to do it (unlike those whose body parts are not similar)?
posted by amberglow at 4:54 PM on March 16, 2007


"I don't see how it could be meant in any other way but to disparage us as a group using these persistent stereotypes and reinforce the idea that we're not fit to parent."

*reads link*
Hmmmm, fair enough. I'm not that familiar with his work. Or at least not as familiar as I'd thought. Seems to be saying there though that gay marriage would last longer and be warmer because of social opposition. But it is - again - at the expense of homosexuals...

Yeah, ok, fuck 'em.

And on top of that, double for the assumption that all parents oppose gay marriage. I'd back any augmentation of the network of social support my child enjoys. I want to see people having what I have with my wife and children. The more people who have that - the better it is for me. Gonad parity and accouterments are irrelevant.
'Course I'm a bit of a mercenary when it comes to my kids.

There's no dividing line on any terms so long as those conventions are supported. So there are only bad parents and good parents. Identifiable only by their acts, not chaps.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:21 PM on March 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Larry Kramer(!) responds to Dan Savage about this, and maybe plans a demonstration too.
... i will get copies made [of keillor’s piece] to distribute at our act up meeting tomorrow night. i gather keillor broadcasts on saturday at some time so maybe some of the members might be intrigued about doing a demo—maybe big butch guys wearing dresses or some such. “you want to know what tough is? we are tough and you are stupid.” anyway we can discuss it and see if it flies. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:04 PM on March 17, 2007


The more people who have that - the better it is for me.

That's exactly it--it benefits all of us to make sure all families are protected. No one loses, and everyone gains.
posted by amberglow at 9:06 PM on March 17, 2007


Keilor apologizes badly, and insults all his gay friends in his "small world" whom he says he was only speaking for--ugh.

...My column spoke as we would speak in my small world and it was read by people in the larger world and thus the misunderstanding. And for that, I am sorry. ...
posted by amberglow at 10:58 AM on March 18, 2007


The comments there are right--it's saying "What? Some of my best friends are gay"
posted by amberglow at 11:01 AM on March 18, 2007


Oh, Amberglow, part of being in an outrage marathon is knowing when to pass the baton.
posted by klangklangston at 11:18 AM on March 18, 2007


i love that Larry Kramer picked up that baton too. : >

Do you really think there'd be any apology if people hadn't spoken out all over? Don't you think now he'll think twice before so blatantly tarring and slurring us with unfair and dated stereotypes?
posted by amberglow at 11:42 AM on March 18, 2007


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