Recent Comments

    Ann Rostow: The Horror

    By Ann Rostow–

    The Horror

    When we last communed, Dear Readers, we thought the worst was over, the new year beckoned, and we had at least a shot at winning the Senate. There was no need for lengthy political or legal discussions between us. It was time instead for our amusing annual news quiz, full of fun facts and absurd reminders of last year’s GLBT pratfalls. On January 5 came the twin Georgia Senate victories, which felt almost miraculous. In our house, the champagne would have flowed once more, if only we had not carelessly allowed ourselves to consume our inventory.

    Then came January 6, an afternoon when even the most cynical and disgusted Trump despisers found themselves watching in disbelief as his fan-mob laid siege to the Capitol interior for hours without serious intervention from law enforcement. And although the backlash against rioters and their leader has given me some grim satisfaction, it seems more violence may await us in the days ahead. I might exhale a month into the Biden administration assuming no further tragedies, but don’t hold me to that. Until then, I hold my breath with the rest of the country.

    Mel and I watched Hillbilly Elegy the other day, the film version of J.D. Vance’s best-selling memoir that was hailed in 2017 as the Ivy Leaguer’s introduction to the world of Trump’s winning coalition. It was important, everyone said at the time, to understand the mindset of these underserved American voters; impoverished, uneducated white men who have wound up on the nation’s scrapheap through no fault of their own. Maybe Democrats should pay more attention to these sad sacks, we were told. Denied the American dream of a lifelong manual job that paid enough to buy a home and send their kids to college, these human castoffs of globalism and technology were ignored in favor of people of color and immigrants.  

    What infuriates me at this moment is that at least some Democrats have bandied this notion around as if it had merit. Women won the 2018 midterms. African Americans won control of the Senate. Democratic coalitions have stood for a diverse society, fighting to level the playing field for those playing catchup to straight white men. And there are multitudes of straight white men fighting for the same thing, by the way. 

    But I’m done with the rest of these jackasses. I’m done with the racist Halloween party we saw on January 6. The guy with horns who lives with his mother and purports to be a freelance voiceover artist. The sleazebag sitting at Nancy Pelosi’s outer office. The little boys dressed up in military garb hanging from the walls, the ones who defecated in the halls or urinated in people’s offices. These are the dregs of America—these mindless yahoos fresh off their video games and, by all means, the crazy women who joined them. As for their notions of stolen elections or child molesters, they have deliberately chosen to live in a fantasy world rather than face the reality of their own failures. Debts, drugs, lost jobs, or whatever their problems, I don’t care.  

    As for Trump, I have assumed that he has been manipulating his “base” in order to keep himself in the spotlight, raise money for his post-presidency, and consolidate his grip on a vital Republican election bloc in order to retain some power. I now think I’ve been wrong, and I think the man is truly deranged. I don’t know about you, but Mel and I listened to the full hour of his call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and it was clear that Trump honestly believed in dozens of separate voter fraud theories, even as Raffensperger explained he was misinformed.

    Trump was condemned for asking Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes. But that wasn’t exactly what he meant. In Trump’s mind, the Georgia election was riddled with fraud. Thousands of dead people voted. False ballots were smuggled into the counting centers. Thousands of Biden ballots were recorded three or more times. The voting machines were hacked to switch votes from Trump to Biden. Trump voters were turned away from the polls, thousands of them, and told they had already voted by mail even though they had not done so. Ballots were shredded. Trump wasn’t asking Raffensperger to find 11,780 votes. He was telling him that there were hundreds of thousands of invalid votes out there, but that Raffensperger only had to confirm a small number of them. 

    Trump wasn’t throwing things at the wall to see what stuck. He actually believed that all these violations were true. He further believed that completely separate shenanigans occurred in the other states he lost by close margins. This man is simply crazy. And I don’t mean crazy like a fox, I mean crazy like a guy in a padded room ranting about aliens.

    From what we’ve read, it seems Trump was initially depressed at losing the election, but gradually devolved into his current state of manic denial. He is indeed as damaged as we’ve always thought. But more so, something that I would have thought not possible. 

    And given this situation, his family and his aides are even more culpable, as are Senators Cruz and Hawley. I’m not sure how to say this, but Trump’s mental capacity is so limited at this point that it was really up to Ivanka or Mark Meadows or Melania or whomever to control him over these last weeks. If necessary, they should have arranged for someone to give him a shot of something. A tranquilizer. 

    Once out of office, I am afraid for what he still might be able to destroy. 

    Ahead to the Past

    I have lost track of the antigay and anti-trans policies installed in various Trump cabinet departments throughout the last four years, although I will note one of the most recent ones. Just a day or two before she resigned, Betsy DeVos sent a lengthy memo to the head of the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights, reiterating that transgender men and women are not protected against discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Thanks for that, Bets.

    There’s also a policy greenlighting GLBT discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act just formalized at Health and Human Services. There’s Mike Pompeo’s new definition of human rights (hint: we’re not included anymore!) and many, many more. I’m not going to dig up the rest of the dirty dozens, because I’m just going to wait a few more days and let the Biden administration get to work.

    I assume that my columns will soon be filled with one headline after another detailing the latest executive order or revised cabinet policy that returns us to the GLBT-friendly language of the Obama administration. Considering that we’ve watched this language gradually deconstructed over the last four years, it’s clear that we need Congressional action in order to avoid a future reversal. The Equality Act will ensure that GLBT rights are embedded in law, and are not dependent on who controls the White House.

    But for now, I’m just going to ignore the whole subject. Listen, everyone. We can now count the duration of the Trump administration in hours. They will be gone. Out of the White House, out of the west wing, out of the executive branch. Gone, gone, gone. We will rebuild.

    Only in Denmark

    Let’s change our frame of mind, okay? My favorite cousin has come through for us again with a story about a children’s TV show out of Denmark featuring a heroic figure, John Dillermand, who is endowed with a giant prehensile penis. (Diller is slang for penis in Danish.) The show first aired on January 3, and although it got some flak from Danish parents, it has been generally well received. 

    “John Dillermand is generally different and it can be both difficult and embarrassing to be. But it turns out to be a gift when you dare to stand by yourself and your mistakes. And that is exactly what John Dillermand does time and time again when he gets into trouble,” explained Niels Lindberg, head of the Ramasjang TV station.

    This sounded a bit surreal, even for Scandinavians, but when you check it out, the penis is not a giant erection, as I had feared. It’s a striped expandable hose-like appendage that looks like a cartoon tiger tail or something. Still, I could only imagine what the gang over at One Million Moms would make of this type of programming, should it appear on American cable. 

    Speaking of the Moms, their latest outrage concerns the Match commercial that shows the devil getting together with the year 2020 through their dating service. The couple enjoys movies, stealing toilet paper, and many other Covid-inspired antics, but despite the good-natured humor of the spot, Million Moms has called it “satanic” and insists that it’s dangerous to show Satan as a figure of fun. 

    Fore!

    Moving right along, some of you may not care that Justin Thomas called himself a “faggot” under his breath after missing a putt the other day. Amazingly, some of you may not even know who Thomas is even though he’s only one of the top five golfers in the world and one of my personal favorites. 

    Thomas was quick to apologize:

    “There’s just no excuse. I’m an adult, I’m a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not who I am. It’s not the kind of person that I am. 

    “I’m speechless. It’s bad. There’s no other way to put it,” Thomas continued. “I need to do better. I need to be better. It’s definitely a learning experience. I deeply apologize to everybody and anybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”

    I told you I liked the guy! But seriously, I thought that apology was pretty good but I thought the episode also revealed the innate, instinctive nature of homophobia, which like racism, embeds itself in many who consider themselves free of such dark instincts. Could I myself, for example, harbor racist malignancies deep within through a lifetime spent in a prejudiced society? 

    Nah!

    Oh, by the way. I read that Trump was “gutted” over the PGA’s excellent decision to strip the 2022 PGA Championship from Trump’s Bedminster golf course. On Monday, January 11, the organizers of the British Open also said Trump’s Scottish golf course was off the list. “We had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future,” they said. You may recall that Trump pressured his U.K. Ambassador, Woody Johnson, to convince Britain’s golf authorities to stage the Championship at Turnberry, to no avail.

    The PGA decision comes as America’s golf organizations are reconsidering their relationship to the President, owner of some 17 courses including some of the finest in the world. Most, if not all, of these courses are managing to lose money under the Trump organization’s management. Not surprised.

    We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re Storming the Capitol

    Lastly, don’t think our community has not been represented in the goon squad that stormed the Capitol. Check out “adorable deplorable,” a gay hairdresser from Huntington Beach, California, who posted numerous belligerent videos about occupying Congress and routing police.

    Kristopher Dreww is singing a different tune now that he’s back home waiting for a knock on the door from the FBI. Um, turns out he now insists he stayed outside the building watching the scene on the lawn with a nurse and a teacher. Now, he regrets that he didn’t “do my research.” 

    “I am proud we took back our house, but I thought we took it back peacefully,” he told the Orange County Register

    Oh, and the guy with the horns, Jake Angeli? He’s refusing the food on offer in his Phoenix jail cell because it’s not organic. “He gets very sick if he doesn’t eat organic food,” his mother told the Arizona Republic. “He needs to eat.”

    arostow@aol.com

    Published on January 14, 2021