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Author Topic: 2013-2014  (Read 828 times)

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Sage

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Feral

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Re: 2013-2014
« Reply #2 on: Sun, Jan 19, 2014, 07:39 »

I have a few thoughts, and I offer them for consideration rather than as a rebuttal. In the end, I think we may well be in complete agreement, even though on the surface it might appear otherwise. I’ve been unable to arrange these few thoughts I have in a more useful way, so I’ll just address your points in reverse order.

Token Representation in the U.N.

I agree that it does not appear to be helping. I had not expected it to, nor do I expect it to in the future. This is, I think, a reason to dig through periodical archives on a boring, snowbound, or rainy day to discover those very wise and serious people who said that it would help. Having learned those identities, stop paying attention to them, because they are wrong.

Alternatively, one might investigate the matter more thoroughly. Representation in the United Nations is, after all, one of the very frequently touted perquisites of states, and a reason for founding of a Gay State. We would, if successful, be able to count ourselves among those ‘united nations.’ Ambassadorial credentials are not magical. I am extremely skeptical of any benefit that could ever accrue from having an ambassador at the U.N.

My views on this point are founded on a deep ignorance, however. I freely admit that I may be completely wrong on that score. Still, I confess that I thought this whole U.N. fandango would be completely pointless from the beginning, and I have not been disappointed in my expectations. I hope this token representation doesn’t cost the Gay People any money, because we can sorely use even minimal funds elsewhere.

West Hollywood

I knew California was a peculiar place. I did. I knew that there were remarkable Gay enclaves there that are only rarely matched anywhere else in the world. I was still somewhat surprised to read that the population of West Hollywood, California is some 40% Gay.

Anyway, were the populace to fight it out at the ballot box, I think that city has a 50-50 shot of replacing the design of the municipal flag with the six-stripe Gay flag. They can make their municipal flag whatever they want, after all. Those things are not imposed from outside. As a city in California, however, there are rules which ARE imposed from outside governing the flying of flags at municipal buildings. I must agree that the past flag-flying activities have been contrary to the laws and regulations governing such activities. The extraordinary practice was best stopped.

Rule of law is of some importance. With considerable effort, the rules can be changed. With considerably less effort, the municipal flag can be changed. If some business consortium or faction of the citizenry cared about this issue, they could devise a scheme to import additional, like-minded Gay people. Forty per cent is a lot... it isn’t hard to see, even for an extreme pessimist, how that so-called minority can become hegemonic rulers.

Counties have much more power than simple municipalities though. I would cheer a true ‘Gay city,’ but I would prefer to support a Gay county instead of a city.

We Are Losing Abroad

I don’t think we are. Certainly I can’t agree with a comparison to the fate of Capitalism in the 40s. Please understand: I do not think the international situation is good. I just don’t think ‘losing’ is the proper word, and I do not think the last year was extraordinary.

That contemptible anti-Gay law in Russia... if memory serves, that passed unanimously. If memory serves, it would pass overwhelmingly if put to a plebiscite. Russia seems to me a very vile and afflicted land. One would have to inquire of someone with more than a passing acquaintance with Russia to learn whether the situation there has actually worsened, and to what extent. I recall Russia as being a vile and afflicted place a decade ago. I have little reason to believe that the atrocities that have been committed there recently are novel occurrences. Instead, I am inclined to suspect that similar atrocities have been going on there for years.

Nigeria and Uganda... these countries have been of deep concern for a long time. With the questionable exception of South Africa, the entire continent is concerning. The country of South Africa has a lovely constitution that is suitable for framing, and it has some decorative laws that would ornament a wall nicely if arranged tastefully, but the realities in that country do not inspire me. The laws in Nigeria and Uganda (the one in Uganda has not yet taken effect) have been matters of discussion for some time... even here in this forum.

Australia... it is unreasonable to say ‘marriage went down’ in the last year. It was never properly ‘up’ to go down. It was the issue of marriage in Australia that set the entire Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands project (and, ultimately, the creation of the Gay Homeland Foundation) in motion. That was years ago. The unsuccessful actions of the Australian Capital Territory were, I believe, not much more than a publicity stunt. There are people there who will deny it, just as there are people who deny that the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom was a publicity stunt. I suspect it is a difficulty with dialectical differences. Perhaps the phrase ‘publicity stunt’ means something different in Australia than it does in North America.

India was, I would grant you, disappointing. I have not processed the recent developments in India. It is, however, a juridical matter. Such things develop slowly in the U.S. It has been my observation that such things develop at the speed of fossilization in the countries formed from the corpse of the British Empire.

My point here is not to dismiss your observations. I wish merely to offer some mitigation. No, we have not won. We haven’t won at all. We have made no progress to speak of in any of the places you mentioned, and one might add several other countries to the list. We have not won, but that is not the same thing as ‘losing.’ Normally I am very fond of the much-derided practice of dichotomous thinking, but here I would suggest not casting the situation as a win-lose zero-sum game. This last year and this last decade are lovely sources for inspiration. Things have been done that do not work. These things should be identified, and they should not be repeated with the expectation that they will work the next time.

People should feel free to write their sternly worded letters to their governments as they have in the past. Boycott Sochi, call for an end to foreign aid to Nigeria and Uganda (don’t forget any of the other countries that merit our attention), make up some signs and annoy the staff at the embassies and consulates of India and Australia. Just don’t do so expecting that it will accomplish anything this time.

International Strategy

Now there’s an idea. It’s not a new one. People have suggested it before. It’s just that no one has come up with this strategy. The first half of the phrase is simple; ‘international’ means ‘lots of countries,’ preferably most of them, if not all. That ‘strategy’ word though.... That has proven difficult.

Gaystream Establishment

Here, I think, is the very core of the problem. They don’t possess the physical existence that you’re willing to give them. Because they don’t exist, they can’t ‘rethink’ anything, and they certainly can’t rethink an international strategy they never had. Because they don’t exist.

There are organizations. Of course there are. There’s a whole alphabet soup of organizations. Joe.My.God is a good place to get a list of the usual suspects. When something noteworthy happens, especially something positive, they all queue up with their press releases. The more noteworthy the event, the more ‘soupies’ are on hand. I don’t fault Joe.My.God for publishing the statements, but I also don’t read them.

I have said in the past that Gay advocacy is a lot like a game of pick-up basketball. It’s a game of Shirts and Skins, and it’s played by those who show up. A person can, of course, show up and demand that everyone stop playing basketball and start playing street hockey. Street hockey is also a game that is played by those who show up.

Take the Human Rights Campaign. I love to hate them. I’ve hated them since the group’s foundation (it’s true). Some folks got together and said to themselves, “We should have our own group of lobbyists. Our enemies have lobbyists. We should have lobbyists. We should lobby the Congress.”

Yeah. They are lobbyists. They have never been very much more than lobbyists. You could say that their track record isn’t very good. You could say that they just aren’t skilled lobbyists. You could say that we should fire them and secure the services of a good group of lobbyists, except you can’t fire them. We never hired them in the first place. They just decided that this is what they will do. That, and ask for money… they ask for money a lot. I don’t think anyone should give them any, but I also don’t think anyone should pretend HRC is something that they are not. They don’t have an international strategy because you really don’t need an international strategy to lobby the U.S. Congress.

They’re just one group. There are others. They have several things in common.

None of them credibly claim to have an international strategy to better the situation of Gay people. Sometimes their rhetoric gets in the way, but they have much more limited aims than that.

I do believe all of them have paid staff. They have budgets, and in the millions. They have become what I call ‘professional homos.’ They like what they’re doing and they get paid for it. Sounds like the American dream. I suspect there is a financial disincentive to actually succeed built into the system. They aren’t at fault for that. Surely, they deserve to be paid for their full-time efforts. Surely, were they to succeed in their goals, their jobs would come to an end. Despite their limited goals, when was the last time you heard of one of these acronym-named groups closing up shop? “We’re done. Thanks for helping it happen.”

They’ve become fattening pens for resumes. The good old curriculum vitae sure is spiffed up by a stint at one of these bowls of alphabet soup. You can get a ‘real’ job with some other institution with the experience gained in Gay advocacy.

The larger the group, the larger the effect. Smaller groups are not useless; they can be stepping-stones to the larger groups, which are, in turn, stepping stones to institutions that are even more prominent. There are cabinet positions in the White House in the offing, after all.

They deserve as much contempt as you wish to heap upon them, or as little. They are not, however, in charge of conjuring up an international strategy. They are not culpable for the lack of progress on the world stage. They aren’t even responsible for evident progress.

The recent victory at the Supreme Court was orchestrated by a quaint start-up called AFER, not one of the members of the traditional ‘Gaystream Establishment’ old boys network. That move was vigorously opposed by every alphabet soupy who could take a potshot at them. Having won, the founder was suddenly embraced by HRC and is now their president. Mr. Griffin already had a fine resume in working for the White House, and I doubt his stint at HRC will tarnish his future job prospects.

The established groups, such as they are, do not merit the august position you assign them. If any of them WERE in charge of an international strategy, I would fear for the future. They are not our leaders, and we should not pretend that they are. They’re a pack of hooligans who are having a fine time playing a game of pick-up basketball. They dream of being spotted by a scout from the National Basketball Association. That this is a plausible outcome does not better the situation.

An international strategy would be nice. Some bona fide leaders to enact it would be nice. Since all of life really is a game of Shirts and Skins, and the game really is played by those who show up, someone who knows how to do that should just start playing. It would be a grand thing to see the old myth of the HOMINTERN made into reality.

Moving Forward

I think that what is required is a movement. For it to have international scope, it would have to be an international movement. I do not think that such a thing can be cobbled together out of the patchwork of existing organizations. I especially don’t think the existing organizations would approve of being conscripted for this purpose. Such a movement would have to arise fresh from the populace. I cannot imagine how such a movement could be inspired, encouraged, or called into being. I’m not saying that the time is not ripe for such a thing. I’m saying I don’t know how it could happen. The list of things I don’t know is very long. If someone else does know, I would applaud.

« Last Edit: Sun, Jan 19, 2014, 08:03 by Feral »
Stonewall was a riot.

Sage

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2013-2014
« Reply #1 on: Thu, Jan 16, 2014, 17:15 »

I am thinking that it is time for the Gaystream establishment to rethink its international strategy because it is not working. We are losing abroad. BADLY!!! Within the past year alone Russia mobilized against us, marriage went down in Australia, India outlawed us by upholding sodomy laws, Nigeria and Uganda fell. I don't think we've seen a domino run like that since half the world fell to communism during the 1940s. Adding insult to injury during all of this Uncle Mary and Auntie Tom types in the U.S. support the un-hoisting of the rainbow flag from West Hollywood City Council and call it progress. Token representation in the U.N. does not seem to be helping.
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