Thursday, October 28, 2010

Will the acceptance of homosexuals be the downfall of this society?

So I'm watching this video clip where a Texas television station aired a segment speaking to the fact that President Obama has appointed more openly gay individuals to positions than both of the last two presidents combined.  After the news anchors introduce the story they bring in a radio talk show host to run with it. 
He criticizes that Obama supports gay marriage and runs down the fact that christian conservatives are against Mr. Obama's stance on accepting Gay people.  Yes, there still are parts of a christian world that thinks that simply because you are gay you should not be able to work in important, president appointed jobs. 
Then they go to the recorded calls from the radio talk show's listeners while the video keeps showing images of men putting wedding rings on other men. 
"Homophobia is the new racism."
"It will be the fall of the United States."
"Goes back to the bible, it's (gay) why god destroyed the earth.  If Obama was a christian he wouldn't even be doing this."
After several callers, some were pro gay that I haven't quoted here the talk show host returns and here's where he delivers the line that inspired me to write about this clip. Will the acceptance of homosexuality, in this society be the downfall of America. 
The usual claim that "hollywood caters to the gays" comes from the TV news anchor.  The radio anchor then speaks to the fact that Obama has placed twice the gays than his previous administration has.
I think it speaks well of our society that, it would seem, a greater percentage of gay people have come out in recent years.  I believe that this means that, while there are many bigots still, a greater percentage of us are able to see a gay person as a person, just like ourselves, who happens to be gay.  I actually enjoyed this clip, I really like seeing these closed minded people uncomfortable that gay people are getting ahead.  More interesting is that this radio host after all that he says claims to "accept the gay lifestyle". 
The truest statement here is "Homophobia is the new racism".  We white folk are now getting a peak into what being a black person felt like 40 years ago.  I cringe as I watch these television personalities (radio too) speak of gays.  It strikes me that it must have felt the same way to be a black person 45 years ago to hear the word "Negro" and even worse said on television describing your race. Also the condescension in the tone of these people, as if their amazed that a gay person is really a person at all. 
While many are urging more traditional people to be accepting of this foreign lifestyle what is heartening to me is that a greater number of people view this piece of video from Texas and believe that this is what is abhorrent in our society, not homosexuality.  I'm glad that many of us are realizing that fear of homosexuals is merely a tool that the religious right uses to polarize all of us.  If we keep an "us versus them" mentality we can remain important.  Because the religious right needs to keep their followers fearful of something different.  Without that they would lose their following. 
I am glad that I live in a time where bigots and homophobes have to whisper their opinions.  While I sometimes am uncomfortable with the ways of the homosexual culture, I'd rather feel that queasiness than know that people have to hide who they really are for their whole life.  How horrible would it be if I had to hide my love of women from the rest of the world? That I couldn't bring my girlfriend home to meet my mother for fear that my father might turn his back on me forever.  What a horrible thing that would be?
This is why it’s important for media to show homosexuals.  It’s important for straight people, especially parents to see gay people.  I know, myself, that recently I watched an episode of Glee where the gay boys father confronted a friend of his son.  He defended his son even though he struggles with his son’s sexuality.  In viewing that scene I “felt” all three sides of the scene.  The father, the son, and the friend.  The friend was uncomfortable and just wanted the gay friend to be more normal.  What our society has done to this point is we’ve expected the gays to make our lives comfortable at the expense of their freedom, their happiness.  Now, we straight people are experiencing some discomfort as we learn to incorporate our neighbors lifestyles into our shared society. As we become more of an open, accepting society, we’ll be better for it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lebron James, Damaged Legacy, and he doesn’t even know it.

Lebron James first game with the Miami Heat comes to us tonight. Have you seen his new Nike commercial?  Taken lightly it’s a painfully funny attempt at boosting Lebron into stardom in the general sense, not just the basketball world.  I believe that this commercial is one of the most over-produced sports ad I’ve ever seen.  Lot’s of different sets, and different costume changes for Lebron.  There’s even a guest spot for Don Johnson and even some great special effects.  (there’s a shot where he’s having his Chosen 1 tattoo removed from his back).  With all of this rambling by Lebron, there is no sign of humility.  Humility from a superstar is something that we all want. Michael Jordan completed an entire career without ever being filmed “bathing” in his greatness.  There’s a scene in this video
Where Lebron rides his SUV by a huge banner in Cleveland “We Are All Witness”.  We have Don Johnson in his Miami Vice role advising Lebron “Be patient, after a while the temperature drops and everything is free and easy”.  Even this simple advice is shown contempt by this wayward superstar.  In the commercial lebron replies “Should I be writing this down”.  Can you write Lebron?  You certainly can’t reason! This commercial, just like everything that has come out of Lebron’s mouth and all that we see from his behavior shows nothing but contempt from this golden spoon biting athelete.

From the time Lebron entered the NBA up until this free agency move I have been “on the fence” where Lebron is concerned.  I’ve given him credit as being one of the most talented players to come into the NBA.  I’ve watched his accomplishments with a degree of awe and have been excited about what he offers the game.  If you remember, it was he that was excited to play for “his” Cavs.  He led us all to believe that Cleveland is where he wanted to be as a professional.  Cleveland has done a great deal to put a championship supporting cast around him. Obviously, all of their efforts fell short of King Lebron’s expectations.  He’s decided to team up with some superstars in Miami, turning it into the Justice League building the superfriends used, and wage a full frontal assault on the doors of Basketball Superteam status.  Well this is where my support ends.  I find myself secretly hoping for a season ending and career shortening injury for the King. 
As I viewed this commercial I had the Dan Patrick Show on television in the background.  He had sports commentators calling in giving their opinion.  Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports says "He (Lebron) has Harvard problems and he has community college friends (advising him)".  This is true, but, even more telling is the fact that Lebron James is a young man with a history of taking the easy road.  He went straight from High School to the NBA. Avoiding the difficulties of NCAA and satisfying the requirements of living that life.  In Cleveland, he had a team looking to build a winner around James.  Now, he's found a new shortcut.  If he and two other league superstars join up an a single team we can win several rings.  Oh boy, another shortcut, Lebron jumps at that.  I don't have a problem with Lebron making the choices he has, what I do have a problem with is that Lebron thinks that he is entitled to be handled with kids gloves. 
This commercial, meant to repair Lebron's image, serves exactly the opposite purpose.  He asks questions that all have answers that are negative to Lebron's image.  At one point he says "I am not a role model", then shows lebron eating a donut. then he winks and says "Hi Chuck".  Who is this kid to try to show up Charles Barkeley?  Simply because you're not happy that the likes of Barkeley and Jordan have  spoken out against this coordinated free agency move to Miami doesn't mean they are wrong. Again, it leads back to humility.  Something seriously lacking with Lebron James. 
In the end, here’s what I can say, before decision 2010, when James took up 60 minutes of ESPN air time to announce he’s going to Miami, I had a mostly positive image of Lebron James, since then I’ve had a decisively negative impression of the Basketball Superstar.  After this commercial, my view of Lebron is even more negative. 
There’s nothing more disappointing than wasted talent.