Monday, December 14, 2009

Uncle Ben and Gay Pride

Yeah, I never saw Uncle Ben with a lady. 'Confirmed bachelor'? Come on Uncle Ben, you don't have to hide anymore. It's okay!

No wait.. that's not what I was going to talk about. The title is 2 different topics.

From the Food Banks Canada's site, partner program page:
Over the course of the curling season, Uncle Ben’s is pairing up with Team Kevin Martin to support Food Banks Canada. Every time the team wins a curling match, Uncle Ben’s will donate funds to Food Banks Canada. The goal is to raise funds to assist those in need across the country.

Huh? Wait a second. Uncle Ben only cares about those in need when some shmuck wins a game of curling? What kind of douche-baggery is that? What's the point? To hype up CURLING? To get the curling team and Uncle Ben a photo op?

Next year maybe they'll bet a million dollars on the Canucks winning the Stanley cup, with the promise that if they win, the money goes to the United way. Maybe they'll hold a knife to a puppy's throat, and promise to release it if you can win a round-robin tournament of paper-rock-scissors.

Every time a curler loses, this puppy kills a needy person.

In a related story, (related to food banks, not the homicidal nature of puppies) my wife is working with her church to set up a program called 'Open Hands'. It's kind of a foodbank on wheels that plans to focus on a batch of families in need with regular supplies as well as consultation about fixing whatever got them into the tight spot they're in. My wife's a counselor in an outfit that deals with families in trouble all the time, so she has the experience, know how and contacts to get some good stuff moving!

And now for something completely different.

A man with three buttocks. Sorry, couldn't resist. No, I have to be a little serious here. As most people could tell you, I'm all for gay rights. I'll spare you the rant on that, we've all either heard or given it, I think. (although my version of it as delivered by William Shatner is.. Whoops! I was supposed to be being serious, wasn't I?)

Okay. Here it is. Gay pride parades. I have a few friends who go to the one in Vancouver regularly, and when I told one of them that I didn't approve of the parade, I made her jaw drop in shock. "JOE! What?! You? Of all people?!" To be fair, it would have shocked her more if I were gay, but my novels speak quite plainly on my stance on gay people, and how they're... you know... people.

What's my problem then? You've likely at least seen clips on the news of these parades. There's almost always a guy in a tiny g-string running around on roller skates, and other 'shocking' things that aren't so shocking after the bajillionth year. Am I offended? Not really. Would I want my two year old seeing that? Well... she'd be more amused by the roller skating factor than anything.

Why is it that being in a gay pride parade makes it acceptable to run around exposed like that? (The news rarely shows clips of the opening volley of topless lesbian cyclists) If it was any other parade, this kind of display would not go unchallenged. But that's not even really my problem. If 300 straight guys wanna walk down Hastings once a year. Whatever. (on a side note, I attribute much (not all) of the exhibitionism on being young, overly enthusiastic, and having an excuse)

It is BECAUSE I'm rooting for gay rights that I can't stand the pride parades! How does this help gay rights? It gets on the news, and we see 'leather queen' #244572, and it paints the image to some people, (such politicians, my dad, and many many others) that this is what all gay people are really like, and would like to be all the time. The vast majority of gay people are SHOCKINGLY un-shocking! And would like people to know THAT.

I thought that I was thinking innovative thoughts with all that. I really did, and then I find out that it's not new at all. Well of course it isn't new. It's logic. Even last night I saw an episode of "Rick & Steve: The happiest gay couple in the world." A cartoon that has fun with gay society, balancing social commentary with tasteless jokes. Whether it's good or bad for entertainment or gay image is up for debate, I suppose. In this particular episode, the gang went down to San Fran for the BIG pride parade. The following quote is from memory, but anyway:

"Know what I like most about the pride parade?"
"The way it sets back the gay right movement ten years?"

If even a cartoon is summarizing what I thought was an original insight... I guess I should be watching more cartoons.

"Free Tibet!" Tom and Jerry

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