vanity

arvan's picture

The SuperBowl is over and the non-rapist is going to Disneyland

So, the SuperBowl came and went.  They guy who did not rape two women was chosen as the MVP.  I got a text message from a friend at about 5pm yesterday asking me "Packers or Steelers?" and I replied with "a bullet to my head...my team's arch rivals or a two-time rapist.  ugh."

Given that situation, I did what any rabid fan would do - I took my family to an Italian restaurant and ate carpaccio, gnocchi & gelato until the wheelbarrel was summoned.  While I sipped my beverage and gorged myself on EVOO and fresh baked bread, my spouse asked me about the game and for whom I might be cheering.  She was needling me deliberately, since she knows full well and good that the wounds from my team's exit from the playoffs were still fresh and painful.  She was shocked when I told her about how I could never support a rapist, much less a two time rapist and therefore wished that my team's rival be the victor.  She, a card carrying member of the the-only-real-sport-is-futbol club, had no idea of the assaults by Ben Rapelisberger.  I explained it to her in great detail while her eyes glazed over and she sipped her wine, pretending not to hear a word I said nor even care. 

Sometime after I finished my oratory, I overheard someone at the next table say the word "rapist" and I immediately wondered if I could eat my dinner with her.  In this cozy little trattoria, the bartender had posted a television in front of the bottom-shelf creme-de-menthe for those of us that needed some advertising, hokum and jingoism with our antipasto.  As I excused myself from the table under the pretense of verifying the correct time in Pago Pago via collect call, I made my way to the hoi polloi amassed around the television set.  The game was the spectacle I expected and dreaded, but my sole request for satisfaction was indeed there - the rapist was losing. 

arvan's picture

Terrific PSA exposing bias and vanity

Holy crap!  This is freakin' brilliant!  It is about prejudice and conceit.  The example is in how Africa is viewed, labeled and manipulated to assuage vanities and other self-serving aims.  However, the same process exists around gender, sex and body identities.  The free-for-all clamor for camera time and print publications that Lady Ga-Ga and Caster Semenya have produced are but two more recent and grotesque examples of people foisting their vanities upon someone else...for an allegedly 'good cause'.

When Bono edited the Africa issue of Vanity Fair, it included an essay written by Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina. Through that, he became aware of another piece he'd written for Granta a number of years ago called "How (Not) to Write About Africa."

Director Jesse Dylan and his company FreeForm worked with Binyavanga and the Beninois actor Djimon Hounsou to create this filmed performance of the essay.

 

arvan's picture

Uganda: Come for the wildlife, stay for the gay-bashing.


GLBTQ rights in Uganda have sucked for years, with open persecution by of gay, lesbians and other queers being propagated by hateful and ignorant people in positions of power.  The country has instilled oppressive laws against homosexuality and court cases have challenged these.  The police and mobs have taken to routinely beating, torturing and killing gays, ostensibly to protect the population from immorality.  (Apparently, killing unarmed people who love each other is not immoral in Uganda.  Lucky break, there.)

Recently however, things went from bad to worse with the help of the import of US gay-bashing whack jobs.  According to Casey Sanchez at the Southern Poverty Law Center:

A bizarre trio of American anti-gay leaders arrived in the Ugandan capital of Kampala Thursday to stage a three-day seminar, “Exposing the Truth Behind Homosexuality and the Homosexual Agenda,” in a country where homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. They are:

• Scott Lively, co-founder of the hate group Watchmen on the Walls and author of The Pink Swastika, a pseudo-history book claiming that “militant male homosexuals” helped mastermind the holocaust.

Caleb Lee Brundidge, a “sexual reorientation coach” for the International Healing Foundation, whose signature technique, as demonstrated on CNN, involves patients “beating on chairs with tennis rackets and screaming, “Mom, Mom, why did you do this to me?” Brundidge also counsels men struggling with their sexuality to visit mortuaries with a fringe Charismatic ministry team to “practice raising the dead.”

• Don Schmierer, a board member for Exodus International, an international umbrella group covering hundreds of “ex-gay” ministries. Schmierer warns parents in his guide to preventing homosexuality to watch out for boys who show “extreme macho behavior” are “frail, deformed, deaf” or “avoid fights/physical altercations.”

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