Nick Lerman: “I wanted to give you a heads up about the plastic bag mockumentary you linked to yesterday. It’s a ripoff of this real short film. I’ve been interning with its maker, Ramin Bahrani, for almost a year and he isn’t happy about it. Perhaps you could link to his film, too, to show where the mockumentary came from (and to show how much better the narrative film is)?”
☞ I like them both!
So former RNC chair and Bush reelection committee chief Ken Mehlman is now open about being gay, and squarely in favor of marriage equality (along with Laura Bush, Dick Cheney, and Cindy McCain).
There are those who find it hard to forgive Mehlman for his active role in his party’s beating up on gay people – on this very issue – to get cash and votes from the religious right. Some say his actions directly led to teenage suicides and to the increase in gay bashings observed in the 21 states that put “marriage initiatives” on the ballot.
Blogger Mike Rogers writes that “Ken Mehlman’s new-found support is welcome” but suggests that, to make amends, he:
- Record a 60-second YouTube apology for what he has done, including using marriage as a wedge issue and the use of veto threats on ENDA and Hate Crimes bills.
- Spend time with the family of a young person who was murdered or committed suicide after the 2004 election. Spend time with the partner of someone who died while they were denied hospital access because of the lack of recognition of their relationship.
- Sell the $3.77 million condo he bought because of his horrible work and give it to gay organizations fighting the fight against the war he waged on his own people.
Texan Eugene Sepulveda goes a bit easier on him. “Once you have a convert,” he writes, “you don’t make him beg to join you.” Going on to say:
Not only do I remember what it was like being young and struggling, I remember having a suicide plan for when I was outed. I was a banker. By 29, I’d risen to the position of head of lending for a regional set of banks. I always assumed someone would try to blackmail me for a bank loan. I’d planned to gather enough evidence, forward it to the FBI, then commit suicide before facing the loss of love and respect from my family, friends and colleagues. In fact, someone did try blackmailing me. But, instead of asking for a $1,000,000+ loan, they asked for $500. The ridiculousness of it, allowed me to laugh in their face and deal with the perception of demons. Moral of the story, sometimes we create our own stories about the closet, about the enemies we face. I blame society for much of our closeted behavior – less today than yesterday, but still a bunch. I’m not saying that Ken doesn’t owe apologies. But since he’s now come out and is trying to help, I’m welcoming him. I’ll leave it to divine beings to judge him and set the standards of his penance.
Whatever your view, it’s pretty stunning to have George W. Bush’s campaign manager, George W. Bush’s Vice President, and George W. Bush’s wife – not to mention Ted Olsen, the attorney in Bush v. Gore without whom George W. Bush would not have been President in the first place, and Cindy and Meghan McCain, the wife and daughter of the Republican nominated to succeed George W. Bush – now all advocating for marriage equality.
How the world has changed. Let alone since Dr. Bertram Schaffner’s day. To wit:
HE GOT INTO HARVARD AT 15, BUT LEFT FOR SWARTHMORE IN HOPE OF BECOMING HETEROSEXUAL
It didn’t work. But what an interesting perspective on the way life used to be – an interview with a psychiatrist who passed away at 97 earlier this year.
Quote of the Day
History is a vast early warning system.~Norman Cousins
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