Monday, March 19, 2007

Where All the Women Are Strong, All the Men Are Good-Looking, and No One is Queer

Imagine my deep disappointment to read this op-ed piece by Garrison Keillor.

Not only is Keillor's premise offensive and unfunny, but I'm sure I'm not the only reader bemused to have the morality and quality of my relationship critiqued by a thrice-married individual who left one wife in the midst of an extramarital affair.

And I'm sure financially strapped public radio stations all over the country are less than thrilled to have the creator/emcee of one of their dependable Pledge Week cash cows trash-talking a segment of their listenership. Nice.

Keillor once noted that the worst invective that one could utter in a self-effacing community such as Lake Wobegon was, Who do you think you are? I guess that's my question for you, Mr. Keillor: Who do you think you are?

UPDATE: This is from the Prairie Home Companion website:

"Ordinarily I don't like to use this space to talk about my newspaper column but the most recent column aroused such angry reactions that I thought I should reply. The column was done tongue-in-cheek, always a risky thing, and was meant to be funny, another risky thing these days, and two sentences about gay people lit a fire in some readers and sent them racing to their computers to fire off some jagged e-mails. That's okay. But the underlying cause of the trouble is rather simple.

I live in a small world — the world of entertainment, musicians, writers — in which gayness is as common as having brown eyes. Ever since I was in college, gay men and women have been friends, associates, heroes, adversaries, and in that small world, we talk openly and we kid each other and think nothing of it. But in the larger world, gayness is controversial. In almost every state, gay marriage would be voted down if put on a ballot. Gay men and women have been targeted by the right wing as a hot-button issue. And so gay people out in the larger world feel beseiged to some degree. In the small world I live in, they feel accepted and cherished as individuals, but in the larger world they may feel like Types. My column spoke as we would speak in my small world and it was read by people in the larger world and thus the misunderstanding. And for that, I am sorry. Gay people who set out to be parents can be just as good parents as anybody else, and they know that, and so do I. "

Okay. Apology accepted. But I would think that someone who's made a name for himself representing the sensibilities and foibles of the "larger world" between the coasts would have the insight to realize that his words would travel far beyond the insular world of arts and entertainment.


Sheryl said...

Dan Savage's response is pretty interesting - as are the comments to his response.

Reverend Dona Quixote said...

I had seen GK's apology on the PHC website, but had no clue what he had originally said --thanks for posting the link.

It's kind of refreshing to see someone apologize and take responsibility for something s/he said, unlike the standard sort of non-apology we often hear these days, e.g. "mistakes were made."

Verdugo said...

Your mild and gracious response in the final paragraph confirms the observation Brian McLaren makes in "Adventures in Missing the Point"-- that often those who have been most hurt by the church's stance on homosexuality are far more gracious and forgiving than those who so piously claim to "hate the sin, love the sinner".