Geeks and Gaga: A gay romp

21 November 2009

First things first: I was incredibly pleased to see that one of the five hits I had today was from a Google search for Reginald VelJohnson. Does he have a fan club? I might start one.

But this is not about that. Instead it is about a little liberal boy in Arkansas. This little liberal boy decided to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance because of the failure of the Several States to grant gay marriage. In his own words:

I looked at the end, and it said ‘with liberty and justice for all,’ and there really isn’t… gays and lesbians can’t marry, there’s still a lot of racism and sexism in the world.”

[…]

I eventually, very solemnly, with a little bit of malice in my voice, said, ‘Ma’am, with all due respect, you can go jump off a bridge.’

Now I’m not going to fisk a ten year-old boy. I’d be lying if I said part of me didn’t want to, since he’s clearly very confused about the role of ideals in public life and needs to read Paul Ricoeur. But the risk that he might find this and engage in a public and humiliating internets debate with someone more than twice his age, and that I’d lose, is just too great.

However. There is something I’d like to say to him. Do you know what I’d like to say to him?

Hey, kid. You’re ten. Chill the fuck out.

I say this, you see, because I was exactly like this kid. When I was ten, and he a mere glint in his father’s eye, I read Time and was desperately concerned about the Embassy bombings and the Lewinsky scandal. I spared no effort in ruthlessly boring my conservative Catholic school peers with these views, turning every carpool home into a valiant rear-guard action for the forces of the International Left. I even wanted to be a lawyer.

In keeping with the era – gag me with a spoon.

I’m glad this kid feels passionately about the issues of the day, I guess. But for his sake I’d prefer he felt passionately about Taylor Swift. Or Taylor Lautner, if those be his druthers. Caring about politics so deeply at such a young age presages the development of a very boring character animated only by some kind of deep-seated sexual perversion featuring choke play or airport restrooms. I think I’m living proof that the cost of a little bit of ignorance at ten is the avoidance of thousands of man-hours worth of therapy, a diffident attitude towards human suffering and an unhealthy relationship with Dr. Pepper.

But of course I don’t get therapy. That’s why I have you, dear reader(s?… oops, no, never mind).

Pain me as it might to say it, there’s a reason that the kids in his class call him a gaywad. It’s because it’s true. It’s not because he’s standing up for gays. It’s because he won’t shut up about gay marriage and had to go give the backwards substitute teacher a red ass when she otherwise would’ve left them alone to play DS and talk about Hannah Montana. Now he’s on TV being annoying on a grand scale. (And as usual thanks for being so hard-hitting, CNN.) They might think he’s cooler for it, but I’m doubtful. Very few ten year-olds want to be at the center of a political scandal. But there’s always one. And that one is a gaywad.

Now my radiclib friends (who are nevertheless less radical than I, as they’ve failed to embrace the importance of tyranny) will object to this. He’s taking a stand, which is noble and part of the great struggle for equality under the law.

Perhaps. But if one does not deconstruct a ten year old’s argument, because he’s ten and it’d be ridiculous and unsporting, why would we hold him up as a paragon of democratic virtue either? Especially given what it says about people of, uh, voting age, that we require a midwestern pre-teen to fight our battles for us. Doing one better we’ve taken this poor kid and now pretentious sacks of anus pus all over the country are writing blog posts about him.

(Hi.)

So I’m going to stop. Right…

after this really creepy new Lady Gaga video. Which could be construed as either an argument for or against gay rights. I’ll let you decide. I’ve got to return a $5 bill to the bank in protest at our failure to realize the ideals of the Gettysburg Address.

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Sing it with me:

Incidentally, that strapping young black man is apparently Jaleel White, who would grow up to be both horribly typecast on Family Matters (which the kids starting college now probably don’t remember at all because they were 5) and ironically good-looking. He starred with Reginald VelJohnson, whose name is actually VelJohnson. My friend Amy would tell you that that’s nothing in terms of ridiculous names. But people don’t often get goofy with the surname.

Really I just wanted an excuse to post a picture of Reginald VelJohnson.

This post (I was trying to write something vaguely coherent?) has been brought to you by Charlie Brooker, who feels precisely the way I do about aging.  Of course he has it slightly worse: he’s old.

P.S. Though he’s totally right about old people and Lady Gaga.