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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fuck Garrison Keillor

posted by on March 14 at 10:02 AM

Oh. My. God. I’m sitting here writing a silly little blog post about General Peter Pace when I get an email from a friend telling to go read Garrison Keillor’s piece on marriage and family over at Salon.

Keillor, concerned about the emotional well-being of children, comes to praise heterosexual marriage, monogamy, and life-long commitment:

I grew up the child of a mixed-gender marriage that lasted until death parted them…. Back in the day, that was the standard arrangement. Everyone had a yard, a garage, a female mom, a male dad, and a refrigerator with leftover boiled potatoes in plastic dishes with snap-on lids….

Under the old monogamous system, we didn’t have the problem of apportioning Thanksgiving and Christmas among your mother and stepdad, your dad and his third wife, your mother-in-law and her boyfriend Hal, and your father-in-law and his boyfriend Chuck. Today, serial monogamy has stretched the extended family to the breaking point. A child can now grow up with eight or nine or 10 grandparents—Gampa, Gammy, Goopa, Gumby, Papa, Poopsy, Goofy, Gaga and Chuck—and need a program to keep track of the actors.

Keillor has been married THREE TIMES. He has children from two of his marriages, children who presumably need a computer program to keep track of their step-siblings, half-siblings, and sprawling extended families, children that have to be “apportioned out on Thanksgiving and Christmas.” Okay, fine, whatever. Keillor can recognize marriage, life-long commitment, and less complicated family structures as the ideal, even if he himself has failed—failed spectacularly—to live up to that ideal himself. It might have been nice, however, if the withered old hypocrite had admitted to Salon readers that he has failed to live up to the ideals he’s espousing. How about a little full disclosure, Garrison?

From Keillor’s wiki entry:

Keillor has been married three times:

To Mary Guntzel, from 1965 to 1976. The couple has one son, Jason, born in 1969.

To Ulla Skaerved (a former exchange student from Denmark whom he famously re-encountered at a high school reunion), from 1985 to 1990. Keillor is mildly notorious for having dumped his long-time lover and PHC producer Margaret Moos to marry Ulla. The marriage failed when Keillor had an affair with his Danish language teacher.

His current wife, violinist Jenny Lind Nilsson (b. 1958), from his hometown of Anoka,whom he married in 1995. They have one daughter, Maia, born in 1998.

Oh, tell me more about the old monogamous system, Uncle Garrison, you old serial adulterer you. (Note to Salon’s editors: I know the Internets can be confusing, but surely you had access to this information. It didn’t occur to you to make Keillor admit that he hasn’t exactly lived up to his own standards?)

But Keillor really didn’t come to praise heterosexual marriage and monogamy. He came to bury gay couples—particularly gay couples with children.

And now gay marriage will produce a whole new string of hyphenated relatives. In addition to the ex-stepson and ex-in-laws and your wife’s first husband’s second wife, there now will be Bruce and Kevin’s in-laws and Bruce’s ex, Mark, and Mark’s current partner, and I suppose we’ll get used to it.

The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men—sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control. Parents are supposed to stand in back and not wear chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. That’s for the kids. It’s their show.

Oh. My. God.

Where to start? How about that one sentence that somehow manages to pack in six flaming stereotypes about gay men—fussy hair, small dogs, over-decorated apartments, and on and on. Yes, Garrison, all of us gay men—particularly us gay parents!—are decadent, flamboyant creatures. Sure, having kids means puke on your chartreuse trousers and candy ground into your expensive sofa—but, hey, those are small prices to pay if it means getting to show off your chartreuse pants at PTA meetings!

What an asshole. Asshole, asshole, asshole. What Keillor wrote today on Salon is every bit as offensive as Ann Coulter’s “faggot” joke about John Edwards and relies on the same set of cultural prejudices.

I know a lot of gay couples with children—some of which, as I type these words, are losing their health insurance in Michigan because of an anti-gay marriage amendment passed in that state by hateful motherfuckers who, like Keillor, hate, fear and know nothing about gay couples. None of the gay couples with kids I know go in for chartreuse pants and polka-dot shirts or striped (?) sofas.

Most of the gay male parents I know adopted children that men and women in “opposite-sex marriages” weren’t interested in—children with HIV, older children, mixed-race children, children with developmental disabilities, children abused, neglected and abandoned by their heterosexual parents. Every year I go to Michigan for Gay Family Week in Saugatuck and I’m staggered by the love, patience, and compassion demonstrated by these men. These couples deserve our gratitude and support. What they don’t deserve is a rich, old hypocrite insinuating that they’re more interested in their fussy hairdos and over-decorated apartments than they are in raising their kids.

And Garrison? Ultimately gay parents aren’t interested in being “accepted as couples and daddies” by withered old adulterers. We exist irrespective of your “acceptance.” And if I seem angry, you fucking motherfucker, it’s because I am. Angered and shocked. I’m used to being attacked by right-wingers obsessed with gay sex and fixated on anti-gay stereotypes. It’s a new and different sensation to be attacked so crudely by a man of the left—particularly when that man’s fat ass squats in a large glass house.

Oh, and in the spirit of full disclosure/self-obsession…

Last week the This American Life tour stopped in Minneapolis and Keillor attended the performance. I read a piece about… being a gay parent and having a “small weird dog.” I used, in jest, the phrase “opposite-sex parents” to describe a straight couple with kids, which sounds a lot like “mixed-gender marriage.” David Rakoff, also on the tour, read a piece that touched on his homosexuality and mentioned, in passing, his love for All About Eve, which could be interpreted, I suppose, as Rakoff “worship[ing] campy performers.” Is there some sort of connection, Garrison?

Oh, and what was i wearing when I read in front of Keillor? Chartreuse pants and a black polka-dot shirt? No. Try blue jeans, a t-shirt, and a green hoodie.

UPDATE: And what if some gay parents are flamboyant? Flamers, even? So what? What if some gay parents have striped sofas and over-decorated apartments and wear chartreuse pants and make their kids write book reports on All About Eve? The idea that effeminate gay men can’t or shouldn’t be parents is bullshit, just another iteration of the same old anti-gay double standard the right trots out.

People opposed to same-sex marriage are just fucking addicted to double standards. Marriage is about children—unless you’re straight, in which case you can get married without having children. Marriage is about monogamy—unless you’re straight, in which case you can get married and swing and cheat or have threeways. Marriage is about a life-long commitment—unless you’re straight, in which case you can marry multiple times, like Keillor.

Now marriage is about gender-appropriate behavior. So you shouldn’t get married and have kids if you’re not a manly man and a womanly woman—unless, of course, you’re straight. Straight female tomboys marry and have kids without attracting Keillor’s ire, as do effeminate straight men. (How many NPR listeners have over-decorated apartments, I wonder?) And straights can obsess about their hair (they’re not selling all that RoGain to gay men) and wear appalling clothes (they’re not selling all those low-rise jeans to lesbians)—it’s only when gay men have children that it becomes a problem.

Also, Keillor’s piece rests on the assumption that gay marriage is leading to the creation of gay families. It’s not. Same-sex couples are having children in all 50 states, not just the one state where it’s legal. One of the reasons the need for same-sex marriage is so pressing is because there are real children out there being raised by same-sex couples and our kids need the rights and protections that marriage provides for children. To see friends losing their health insurance—including a couple whose son has leukemia!—characterized as selfish attention-seekers by an attention-seeking star… it makes my freaking blood boil.

I mean obviously, right?

RSS icon Comments

1

it really sucks when someone you like turns out to be a schmuck....

the Lake Woebegone books are a little gluey, but "WLT: A Radio Romance" is a funny and raunchy book I re-read at least once a year...

and as a radio performer, Keillor IS amazingly talented....

as a recent film actor, he is not...

Posted by michael strangeways | March 14, 2007 10:10 AM
2

Dan, fix your blockquotes so it's clear which are Keillor's words and which are yours.

Posted by Christian | March 14, 2007 10:14 AM
3

Also in regards to parenting, Keillor always talks about his discoveries in his 60s(70s?) as the father of a very young child(kindergarten?). I'm sure that makes his older kids feel real good.

Posted by ayenenee | March 14, 2007 10:16 AM
4

Keillor is the worst thing on KUOW. Does anyone under 60 listen to him?

Posted by DOUG. | March 14, 2007 10:18 AM
5

Very disappointing. I've enjoyed Prairie Home Companion now and then, and loved the pieces he did castigating the modern-day GOP.

Since he generally does not seem to be a right-wing hack, perhaps the shitstorm that will arrive in his inbox over this will encourage him to reconsider.

Posted by tsm | March 14, 2007 10:19 AM
6

I always hate prairie home companion, but somehow it always ends up on the radio the few times a year i drive a car. curse you keillor.

Posted by dave | March 14, 2007 10:21 AM
7

Why do the elderly always remember the past as some kind of perfect time... happy mommies, working daddies, full dinners, and warm chestnuts while listening to the ol' Radi-ola?

You know what? Fuck that. The halcyon days of youth sucked then, they suck now, and they'll suck in the future. That’s why we start drinking when we get older.

Posted by The_Pope_Of_Chili_Town | March 14, 2007 10:22 AM
8

As if I needed another reason to hate Garrison Keillor.

What a dick.

Posted by David Schmader | March 14, 2007 10:24 AM
9

Dan, you're being too kind -- not only has he been married three times, but it appears that since having kids, he's also had a couple extramarital affairs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garrison_Keillor

Also, am I the only one creeped out by him having a kid at age 56?

Posted by Nandor | March 14, 2007 10:25 AM
10

Don't worry Dan, his fucked up hypocritical generation will be dying off soon. One by one, those asshat bigots of the Boomer Gen will either die of obesity related death, or become mentally incapable of rendering any more harm on society.

The Gen X, Gen Next, and Gen Y group seem to be much more open, accepting, and unconcerned about how people want to live their lives. Even my friends from the South and Midwest are more of the “live and let live” type, even if they disagree. Just a few more years of this bullshit….I can’t fucking wait for it to be over.

Posted by Monique | March 14, 2007 10:25 AM
11

Wow. That swooshing sound you hear is my fondness for Garrison Keillor going right down the toilet. Guess I won't be moving my family to Lake Woebegon any time soon.

Posted by Lala | March 14, 2007 10:26 AM
12

It's a very weird piece in general. He seems to be saying that back in the day parents were always in the background and that's the way it should be, and that gay marriage and gay parenting puts parents in the foreground, with their well-being before the child's. Because gays wear loud clothes?? That's where I get lost.

Posted by Gabriel | March 14, 2007 10:28 AM
13

I've always hated Prarie Home Companion, both because it's boring and because it traffics in ugly sterotypes -- about heterosexuals. Now that he's on to talking about "the gays" (a subject he never broaches on his radio show, I would guess), he really comes off as an intolerant force of evil. Fuck him. As you say, Dan, he's a total hypocrite -- a warm and fuzzy Gingrich with coke-bottle glasses.

Posted by Jim Demetre | March 14, 2007 10:29 AM
14

David @ 8,

Just curious, what are your other reasons for hating him? He always seemed like a witty, entertaining guy with good politics, though I confess I didn't know anything about his personal life till now. Is it in any way related to The Stranger's unexplained hatred for Daniel Schorr? Did NPR wrong you guys?

Posted by Gabriel | March 14, 2007 10:31 AM
15

This is incredibly depressing. And is it just me, or is this whole piece just a weird series of non sequiturs? What's up with the thing about singing a cowboy song to a classroom of children of different ethnicities? Totally confusing.

I grew up with Garrison Keillor and PHC, and up until now had maintained a certain fondness for the man. No more.

Posted by Levislade | March 14, 2007 10:34 AM
16

I think Keillor is possibly being satirical in this piece.

Posted by Prospero | March 14, 2007 10:35 AM
17

In the interest of fairness, I think his piece is attempting to promote monogamy (hypocritical, yes, but one could also read it as regretful) and not to denigrate homosexual parents. He does use some hackneyed stereotypes, but that's sort of his stock-in-trade. I don't read this article as gay-bashing. Or at least I don't think that's the intent.

When he says "I supposed we'll get used to it" in reference to gay marriage, I read that as more of a resigned shrug than a call to arms.

Posted by flamingbanjo | March 14, 2007 10:36 AM
18

Gabriel: Daniel Schorr is on the Strangers' List because he was on Nixon's Hate List....

I get pissed off when people don't actually listen to/or view things they castigate...yes, PHC is nostalgic but everything is not sunshine and roses in Lake Woebegone...and 'WLT'is a filthy, funny book...PHC gets labeled corny like Frank Capra movies but most of Frank Capra's movies are about men teetering at the edge of suicide or self-destruction...but I digress...

oh, and the movie last summer, kinda sucked, except for meryl streep and lily tomlin...

Posted by michael strangeways | March 14, 2007 10:38 AM
19

His whole shtick is based on his deluded belief that everyone had the same upbringing, so I'm not too surprised.

"Everyone had a yard, a garage, a female mom, a male dad, and a refrigerator with leftover boiled potatoes in plastic dishes with snap-on lids…."

Take that, add in a couple jokes about how weird Californians are, some banjo music, and an anecdote about how Lars the Norwegian pastor stubbed his toe ice fishing and you got yourself a show!

Posted by Ebenezer | March 14, 2007 10:38 AM
20

i am a huge prairie home companion fan who has considered visiting the museum of television and radio in my native nyc to hear old episodes. but, this news makes me forget about my love for phc. what a moronic article from keillor.

Posted by josh | March 14, 2007 10:40 AM
21


I'm pretty sure #16 is right. I know that GH's whole career is based on promoting what "normal" people should be like by glorifying a fanciful midwest lifestyle that, of course, is wholly fictional.

My guess is that he's trying to be funny and failing miserably. This guy actively campaigned against Bush; could he really be so unbelievably narrow-minded? I've heard from many that he's a real jerk, but a bigot?

Maybe I'm living in a fictional universe and forgetting that seemingly normal people go bonkers when it comes to anything gay-related.

Posted by um | March 14, 2007 10:45 AM
22

PHC drives me to tears every time I'm unfortuante enough to catch it on NPR. SO BORING. I enjoyed his book 'Homegrown Democrat', but that small plus does nothing to outweigh the minuses of PHC (both the radio show and the godawful film) and this. It seems to just be "I'm gosh darn consternated at all this new-fangled family-mixin' that I'm just not used to" wrapped up in stupid stereotypes. Of course, non-"tradtional" family structures are only ok when they're related to him and his adulterous self. Does he ever acknowledge them in public or has he ever addressed them? What a fucking self-righteous ass.

Posted by Jessica | March 14, 2007 10:49 AM
23

"Under the old monogamous system, we didn’t have the problem of apportioning Thanksgiving and Christmas"

Funny how people forget the group homes, street kids, foster care, and street life that many who grew(grow) up in the "monogamous system" live through.

For many children there were was no system, other than pack your motherfucking bags, you're going to a new place.

Many of those kids were (are) probably raised in homes where douchebag dads like Keillor abandon their kids and went and made a new family and forgot the old one. And he has the pair to talk mess about people who want to be parents to those nobody wants.

You want to see Keillor's system at work?

Trust me, it has not changed. call DSHS and find out how many children are never adopted and are thrown away, talk to a kid who suddenly turns 18 and is out on the world on his own after living all his life in foster care, go to the courts and sit through a hearing where a kid is given over to the state, volunteer for CASA and other children advocate organizations and watch the thousands of kids with burns on their arms, volunteer at Safe Haven, there is no system, thousands of children are thrown away each year and most people dont give a f^&*(. Anybody who adopts and wants to give love to children gets props from me and they should get props from all of us.

Posted by SeMe | March 14, 2007 10:49 AM
24

Dan, didn't your kid pick out your "weird, little dog?"

Posted by Gitai | March 14, 2007 10:50 AM
25

#17, I don't think he's saying much in favor of monogamy. As far as I can see, he's satirizing the old fogey viewpoint -- how great everything used to be -- making the point that the world changes as you get older and you just have to suck it up and get used to it. He underscores the fictional nature of those reminiscences here: "So I told them a story about how, back in the day, we were cowboys and rode horses across those flat spaces, rounding up our cattle, even in blizzards. For proof, I sang a cowboy song with a big whoopi-ti-yi-yo at the end of each verse and I got them all to do clip-clops and whinnies."

Without Dan's backstory about his appearance in Keillor-ville, I'd have thought the riff on the country accepting stereotypical gay men referred to pop culture.

Posted by MvB | March 14, 2007 10:51 AM
26

It's too bad that Keillor appears to be gay unfriendly. I've always admired his open hostility for the current administration, especially since his older midwest audience base has to be hugely Republican. (But I don't understand all the "God, I hate Prairie Home Companion! Fuck you!" comments above. You don't like the show? Turn the dial! Problem solved!)

Posted by Sandra | March 14, 2007 10:51 AM
27

Oh. My. God.

What a dickshit motherfucker. I haven't heard anything that ignorant and hateful from the "left" in a looong time.

Posted by Carollani | March 14, 2007 10:52 AM
28

I suspect that Prospero and Um are right, that this was meant to be funny and to paint this picture of heartland America that he knows to be false, gently satirizing it, but it's a muddle that ends up sounding bigoted and reactionary.

Posted by Gabriel | March 14, 2007 10:52 AM
29

It's a guilty pleasure, observing the cognitive dissonance of the commenters here: anti-Bush AND anti-gay?? Does not compute, does not compute!

Examine your assumptions.

Posted by Cognitive Dissonance | March 14, 2007 10:55 AM
30

"It's Sat-tor-doy, the band is ploy-in..."

Fuck that dufus. He's gotten a little too carried away playing the fictional and folkloric sherrif, waving his arms importantly to his audience against the hard plastic backdrop inside the PHC snow globe.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | March 14, 2007 10:55 AM
31

I dunno. Having been raised by a single gay male parent I can say that it was extremely alienating in the '70s and '80s not to have at least some elements of my childhood be like those of my peers. The families on TV were utterly foreign to my experience. The ones down the block often seemed like quaint re-enactment groups compared to what was going on in my house. And of course there was the constant worry that the neighbors might find out who dad was sleeping with and show up with torches and pitchforks-- or call CPS. So yeah, that kind of sucked.

Of course, at the end of the day, the reason it kind of sucked was because of people just like GK and their unexamined nostalgia for a social and economic model of the family that A, never existed outside a very narrow demographic and B, necessarily left a lot of people out in the cold, and C, produced plenty of deeply fucked up people in its own right. My dad was actually the product of exactly that kind of household and the emotional and economic fallout of his coming out and being cut off from his family had a huge effect on how we lived-- and, ultimately, on how he died.

I'm honestly not all that surprised by Keillor's comments. That myth of the American family is a staple of NPR-type fiction. That Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten guy, for example. Sarah Vowell often evokes the same nostalgic imagery-- her mom and dad and playing Abraham Lincoln in the school play. As a writer I'm sometimes a little jealous that she has such a stock childhood to draw from. When I reference the lessons I learned as a kid I have to talk about welfare and viral dementia and somehow by the time I get to the part where I learned the importance of fair play or whatever the story's been completely sidetracked.

Posted by Joshua | March 14, 2007 11:02 AM
32

I'm a little stunned at how few people seem to have a clue about what Keillor does. He's a satirist, people. Gentle and folksy, yes, but he's not idealizing the past, he's making fun of the idealized past. I think too much hip and edgy comedy has rotted your brains.

This last bit is a bad failure, though.

Posted by Fnarf | March 14, 2007 11:02 AM
33

I think Keillor is possibly being satirical in this piece.

I think that may be right. It's admittedly very difficult to tell from this piece, so difficult in fact that I wouldn't suspect satire at all had I not read other pieces by him previously that were clearly intended to be satirical and were decidedly pro-gay. Here for example. Unless you think he genuinely believes "The rise in homosexuality coincided with global warming."

And I don't point that out because I have any particular interest in defending Garrison Keillor, but because I don't want you, Dan, or anyone else to feel hated on unnecessarily.

Posted by Shakespeare's Sister | March 14, 2007 11:03 AM
34

I don't see what the problem is. These stereotypes are PROMOTED by the gay establishment. They are the people claiming to represent gay people. Go on a gay forum somewhere and try to challenge them that they're hurting gays by doing this (you know, the same thing you're doing to Garrison here) and they'll rip you to shreds for being a bigot.

Posted by torsten | March 14, 2007 11:03 AM
35

I'm no fan of Keillor, I find him boring. Yet it seems pretty clear he is being ironic in this article. That is his schtick, really. He is attempting satire, but failing at it.

Posted by Blacksheep | March 14, 2007 11:09 AM
36

I live in Minneapolis. Garrison Keillor is part of my heritage. And eery good Twin Cities resident knows that, underneath the heartwarming schmalz and dulcet tones, Garrison Keillor is big jerk.

Posted by Ariel | March 14, 2007 11:10 AM
37

Sure. He's a satirist. I'm glad I'm not a bigot that didn't get it. Whew.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | March 14, 2007 11:11 AM
38

I think Mr. Keillor may be being satirical in the way John Kerry was fairly recently. I could be wrong though.

If he's being straight up (no pun intended), then he's also a hypocrite. Hopefully a shitload of angry emails sent to him will shine some light fairly soon.

As far as stereotypes go...

Jesus Christ! Gay men can be such hypocrites. We get all "empowered-feeling" from the sterotypes portrayed on "Queer Eye" as Carson's flamboyance somehow "validates" us (as does the idea that straight guys are such dopes when it comes to bathing, cooking and living in a decent apartment). Then we get whipped up into a rabid fury when somebody non-gay mentions those same stereotypes. Can't have it both ways, guys.

Posted by BD | March 14, 2007 11:18 AM
39

Looking back through his Salon archives, they seem to be not satirical but genuine "the way I see it" pieces, some with occasional smidgens of satire thrown in (the nat'l guard protecting us from the rapacious Canadians, etc.). As much as I'd like to, I'm not buying that this whole article is a clever bit of satire - I think he really thinks life was better back when no one would have considered the idea of gay marriage, or gays having children.

Posted by Levislade | March 14, 2007 11:24 AM
40

I was SO disappointed to read those words from a guy I had so much respect for. I didn't care much about Coulter or Hardiway or Washington because I don't really know them or care about their opinions, but GARRISON KEILLOR? Wow, what a sad shock.

Posted by condoblogger | March 14, 2007 11:24 AM
41

here is what my friend brandon says about the matter (and i couldn't say it better):

i certainly think it's satirical in the sense that he doesn't mean what he says about gay people. he's cherishing old memories of old nice perfect families because that's what he does, he makes you warm and fuzzy and nostalgic for the thirties. i'm not mad about it although i do think its stupid, but then keillor is stupid whenever he writes about anything that isnt old memories of things that make you warm and fuzzy and nostalgic for the thirties. he's the best ever when he does what he does best, and positively insufferable in everything else, where he sticks out like michael jordan playing baseball.

i still want to know how he got laid. hes so ugly.

Posted by kim | March 14, 2007 11:29 AM
42

Dan you're right most of the time, but not this time. Garrison's article is about (a) how much the world has changed and that gay marriage is
part of that change and we've all got to accept that and (b) about how marriage is about children and how gay couples will have to learn to make all the same compromises as hetero couples. It is a pro-gay, pro-gay marriage, and pro-gay parenting article.

ps- I'm a 38-year old gen whatever. This isn't about a generation war.

Posted by Big Sven | March 14, 2007 11:29 AM
43

This really does seem contrary to what I've read from him in the past. He used to write the advice column for Salon till a few years ago and he was always on the side of GLBT rights. I think this must be a satirical piece that just missed its mark. I don't want to believe he really feels this way.

Posted by Jersey | March 14, 2007 11:31 AM
44

Keillor is a good writer, and when he is doing satire it is unmistakable if one reads all the way to the end of the piece. If this is satire, then both he and Salon's editors were having an extremely bad day.

Here is the comment I posted on Salon:

Keillor, I can't tell exactly what this piece was supposed to be about, but if it is some sort of plug for the benefits to children of traditional two-parent, mom-and-dad marriage, then I assume your next piece is going to be about the bad thing you have done by having a child with your third wife so late in life. Each of your three marriages has been shorter than the standard span of childhood, and yet you have written, bragged even, about having a young child, even though you have given her an old hypocrite with a bad ticker for a father. Maybe that's why you included in this piece that paragraph about homosexual couples and toning down the queer eye for the sake of the kids--you can say, it's true, that at least you're not some kind of flamer. What you are, Keillor, is an old fart who is starting to sound like the William Bennett of the left.

Posted by moose@belltown | March 14, 2007 11:31 AM
45

I find this really shocking. I love PHC, and I can only hope that this is a failed attempt at satire. It's funny though that he would bring up the "weird dog" thing since I just saw Dan talking about exactly the same stereotype at Royce Hall on Monday. Thanks for the show by the way, it was great!

Posted by spence | March 14, 2007 11:32 AM
46

Sven -- Garrison should give your clarity a crack in his follow-up.

Just for fun, I read your comment in Guy Noir's voice. Cheapened it.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | March 14, 2007 11:34 AM
47

Hey y'all, turn down your sensitivity meters. This is not an anti gay rant. He's joking about how parents should be boring. This article is boring, not really that entertaining, and totally harmless.

GK has been an out liberal for a long time, and it's foolish to treat our friends as enemies. He's pro-gay. It's even in his book "Homegrown Democrat."

Dan, you're usually the guy with the sense to tell people to relax. You're going to have to take this back. It's totally not cool to smear people in this way.

Posted by chris | March 14, 2007 11:42 AM
48

I will wait to see Garrison's reaction to the shit storm he just caused. If he was serious, he can always go into rehab and be forgiven.

Posted by elswinger | March 14, 2007 11:44 AM
49

The whole piece seems to be based on the premise that there were no selfish parents before 1970.

That doesn't make much sense as satire, but it makes even less sense as a real assertion.

Posted by Cate | March 14, 2007 11:51 AM
50

listen all of you:

I don't care how long this Keebler guy has been a "humorist," if Dan says that this isn't a satire but an anti-gay rant, then it's so. Dan is a humor professional and never says anything in jest that is meant to be taken seriously. He knows the difference between satire and reality you guys. So just shut up and do what Dan says. Boycott the show. Sell your radios. And yes Daniel "Snore" probably is a pinko too and not the good kind.

Dan is personally under attack here you guys. So cultural icon or no, Garrison Keillor must pay.

I Heart Dan.

Posted by Sam Chanderson | March 14, 2007 11:52 AM
51

Now that is satire!

Posted by elswinger | March 14, 2007 11:53 AM
52

are there really gay people out there who like/respect 'queer eye'?

me and every other queer i know looks at 'queer eye' like african americans look at 'amos and andy'....

and the designs are lame and ugly...

Posted by michael strangeways | March 14, 2007 11:55 AM
53

I got stoned with Jason once.

True story.

Posted by poor richard | March 14, 2007 11:59 AM
54

MS,
"queer eye" is just one example.

I've seen this hypocrisy amongst gay men my whole gay life.

We feel empowered when we "own" the stereotypes, but get incredibly bent when somebody non-gay mentions the same stereotypes. I'll point out an example at the next opportunity provided by Savage or Schmader.

Posted by BD | March 14, 2007 12:01 PM
55

Satire, Dan. Loosen up, you of all people should live and let live. This big ol fag agrees that it was easier for everyone (esp. the uninitiated like Keillor) when gender roles were simpler and there were names without hyphens! Stereotypes don't bother me, it's just silly to give fashion and dog observations any weight.

Posted by calvin | March 14, 2007 12:08 PM
56

@51. No. It isn't. Chanderson is about as far from satire as one can get. It's tiresome, insipid, boring as all hell, but it sure ain't satire. He's just a troll with a dictionary.

Posted by ugh | March 14, 2007 12:14 PM
57

Big Keillor fan. I'll admit this essay made an eyebrow rise. But last week's Keillor column about Renee Fleming gave me an opera hard on - no one can ever take that away from me.

Posted by Dr Chim Richalds | March 14, 2007 12:34 PM
58

I don't think this was meant to be satirical or funny, and I'm surprised that this is the first Dan has heard of Keillor's gay-hatin' ways.

I did occasionally listen to his show, but not so much after I heard about a rant he gave regarding gay marriage. Basically, it just offends his Lutheran sensibilities (though I'm shocked to hear that serial adultery is apparently not so offensive to him).

That's fine, he can believe whatever he likes, but being a 'celebrity' does NOT entitle him to sit in judgment over anybody else's path in life. He really ought to just STFU.

Posted by Tlazolteotl | March 14, 2007 12:38 PM
59

Again, a bunch of humorless pinheads have your knickers in a twist over someone you have no clue about.

Garrison Keillor, whether you like him or not, is not a fuddy-duddy old nostalgist. He doesn't think "life was better in the thirties", and if you think that after hearing him you're an idiot. You're certainly incapable of grasping the humor in what he does.

But no: you lot assume that everything is or should be a serious opinion piece, as strident as possible, and if someone makes a joke he or she should be dragged off to rehabilitation camp. Such is life in Stalinist America.

Garrison Keillor is a humorist. You may not think he's funny, which is fine. But you should at least make an effort to understand what you think you're attacking.

"Lake Wobegon" is where every one of those stereotypes and soft-focus idealized visions of the imaginary past live. The entire show is an exploration of that. Keillor is not retailing these stereotypes, he is responding to them.

I suppose the tag line "where all the children are above average" makes you scream at your radio in rage, "HOW CAN THEY ALL BE ABOVE AVERAGE, YOU FUCKING SHITHEAD?????"

Garrison Keillor's approach is going to win a lot more converts to the cause of gay marriage than anything Dan Savage says or does anywhere. Grandma doesn't read Dan Savage; he mostly preaches to the converted. Keillor is telling Grandma, very gently, that's it's OK, I know Uncle Albert wears those chartreuse trousers that upset you, and you're afraid because some of The Gays don't even go to Sunday Service, but they're not going to burst into your living room and make you look at their cock rings. It'll be fine; we'll get used to Bruce and Albert the same way we got used to Sally's third husband.

Keillor is a supporter of gay marriage, you understand that, right? He's been a good friend to gays, you were aware of that, right? He's probably more comfortable with all the varieties of the modern extended family than you are, that's for sure.

Posted by Fnarf | March 14, 2007 12:39 PM
60

We feel empowered when we "own" the stereotypes, but get incredibly bent when somebody non-gay mentions the same stereotypes.

Reminds me of a video of comedian Louis CK I saw on YouTube. He was talking about seeing a guy in NY really tarted up for the St. Patty's parade or something, lispy, etc., and laughing at him. His friend says "you shouldn't laugh at people because they're gay!" He says "I'm not laughing at him because he's gay, I'm laughing at him because he's freakin' hilarious!"

Posted by Tlazolteotl | March 14, 2007 12:43 PM
61

It's called Freedom of Speech for a reason, folks. Just like Dan Savage is able to curse and complain and be horribly obnoxious in giving his opinion, Keiller can do the same.

Posted by sciencekicksass | March 14, 2007 12:46 PM
62

Fnarf, you (among the other's who think this was a satire/humor piece) are probably right. But for me there is still something off - why Salon? How many grannies read Salon? I think of Salon as just the audience that will misunderstand. Just curious. Oh, and do you think this was a good piece? Seems that if the satire was lost on so many (including me, when I read it, as I know nothing much about GK) that the blame still goes to the writer and the editor.

Oh yeah, and a question: he does those daily poetry readings on NPR, right? Is that humor? seems pretty sincere to me, so for what its worth there is an example of him being serious.

Anyway, I have a feeling Dan will be recanting (or qualifying/back peddling) his knee-jerk reaction soon. Not sure about Garry.

Posted by Jude Fawley | March 14, 2007 12:54 PM
63

Right now, Dan looks to have ADHD as he's started another post...seemingly forgetting about his Garrison Keillor bloodlust.

Posted by BD | March 14, 2007 12:56 PM
64

Yes, Garrison Keillor has the freedom of speech to say something stupid; just like we have the freedom of speech to pummel him verbally for being an idiot.

I don't think he needs to attend sensitivity training - he just needs to know that he's being a schmuck, retreading tired cliches to get some lame laughs.

I had actually come to sort of like Garrison Keillor in my later years, but I think it's time to separate the artist from the art. You can still like PHC, but still think he's being pretty dickless to trot out this crap.

Posted by Steve | March 14, 2007 1:34 PM
65

It's been a quiet week in Lake Wo.....

Posted by Patrick | March 14, 2007 1:41 PM
66

Actually it could be satirical. On another note, all the outrage re Coulter and now Keillor's piece, but Will & Grace got a GLAAD award with characters who epitomized the effeminate gay man with his over-decorated apartment occupied by Karen and Grace calling them big fags. I seem to remember applause and much laugther then, not condemnation. We make ourselves the recipients of derision when we fail to condemn the Will and Graces and when we snuggle in to watch 'Queer Eye' and queer this and queer that. Is it any wonder they think we're a bunch of queers? Really, let's move on.

Posted by snark | March 14, 2007 1:45 PM
67

If you are unable to tell the difference between APHC, his Salon pieces, and his Writer's Almanac spots, I can't help you. All I can suggest is to try to find a sense of humor somewhere, anywhere. Read some S. J. Perelman or something.

By the way, the only reason I'm not wearing chartreuse trousers right now is because it's not quite spring yet. I've got some, and I'll be wearing them soon, I promise.

Posted by Fnarf | March 14, 2007 1:49 PM
68

i hate radio in general. being English and living in the mid-west (well, sort of living....) - the only radio i can remotely stand is NPR but when i would wake up to his tedious fucking voice i would have to turn the radio off before i killed myself. what a fucking twat.

(spoken as a proud hetero parent who believes parenting is either good or bad)

Posted by Ricc | March 14, 2007 1:50 PM
69

I suppose we can overlook Dan's Emily Latella moment, but Monique's comment (#10) is an disgusting expression of unalloyed bigotry.

Posted by Bob GRAHAM | March 14, 2007 1:50 PM
70

I suppose we can overlook Dan's Emily Latella moment, but Monique's comment (#10) is a disgusting expression of unalloyed bigotry.

Posted by Bob GRAHAM | March 14, 2007 1:51 PM
71

Welcome to Lake WhatTheFingStereoType, where all the lesbians are butch, all the gay men are wusses, and all their gay children are freaks.

FUGK!

Posted by Robert | March 14, 2007 1:51 PM
72

I suppose we can overlook Dan's Emily Latella moment, but Monique's comment (#10) is a disgusting expression of unalloyed bigotry.

Posted by Bob | March 14, 2007 1:51 PM
73

Monique, at 10:25, do you appreciate the irony of your post? Lumping all Boomers together as asshat bigots, while asserting that Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Next (are you in marketing by the way?) are more open and live-and-let-live, even those from the Midwest and South! Nice to know you're so accepting you actually have friends from flyover country!

Posted by Gus | March 14, 2007 1:52 PM
74

Oh, and Monique, you should probably know that by some measures, Dan Savage is a Boomer.

Posted by Gus | March 14, 2007 1:58 PM
75

Garrison Keillor for President!

Posted by isyou | March 14, 2007 1:59 PM
76

It's possible to be satirical and still be in bad taste. But having read Kiellor's previous articles at Salon over the years, I don't think he is being satirical. He has a Lileksesque fondness for an America that never existed except in a popular daydream.

Posted by Chris Wren | March 14, 2007 2:00 PM
77

Silly me, I thought Keillor was being satirical. Honestly, he's probably the most liberal/progressive host on NPR. If you read his other columns at Salon, you would realize that.

Posted by Thomas | March 14, 2007 2:01 PM
78

Wow. I'm at a loss for words.

I always found GK's show to be if not outright hilarious, at least mildly amusing in a thoughtful sort of way. I've been listening to the show for years and nothing remotely like this has ever reared its ugly head before.

Maybe he just meant well but screwed up in a tasteless and horrible way. We've all done that.

I'm reserving judgment for now. I hope he comes up with a reasonable response to this.

Posted by Mark | March 14, 2007 2:05 PM
79

I really hope Mr. Savage sends this to Salon.

I love you, Dan.

GK can rot in hell.

Posted by anon | March 14, 2007 2:21 PM
80

I don't know what's funnier -- the fevered insistence that a liberal couldn't be a homophobe, or that people annoyed by his crap "don't understand irony."

How many of Keillor's apologists would accept similar commentary from a Republican?

Heck, even Coulter tried to get out of the criticism over her "faggot" remark by just saying "it's a joke, people."

And the other interesting thing is. . . there's a little truth in every joke.

Posted by Brian Miller | March 14, 2007 2:22 PM
81

I can't think of any reason why he would want or need to "respond to this".

Posted by Fnarf | March 14, 2007 2:22 PM
82

That was beautiful. There's nothing better then justified anger put into writing.

Posted by Simon Tuchman | March 14, 2007 2:27 PM
83

Dan (and others) I honestly think you're taking way too much offense at Kieler's column. As others have said, he's a satirist. He isn't idealizing his upbringing, he's poking fun at it. He isn't stereotyping gays, he's poking fun at the stereotype. Call the piece unfunny, misguided, or whatever, but it's not homophobic, and I seriously doubt GK is homophobic. A more bleeding heart liberal you're unlikely to find. You may not care for his style, but lose the chip. There are plenty of other *real* targets to go after without inventing one.

Posted by Amber | March 14, 2007 2:28 PM
84

And to think, I was really excited about XM and Sirius merging so I could finally get PHC. Not anymore!

P.S. The PHC movie blew.

Posted by anon | March 14, 2007 2:28 PM
85

the "humor" here is based on the idea that gay men are silly creatures who aren't equipped for the drudgery of parenting. he's, unwittingly, revealing the ancient, insulting stereotypes held dear even by (gasp!) liberals. none of the democratic presidential candidates support equal marriage rights because when they think "gay" this is the mental image they have:limp-wristed, bouffant-haired queens in chartreuse pants chasing a tiny dog around their overly-decorated apartments... not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. with 'friends' like these...

Posted by el polacko | March 14, 2007 2:29 PM
86

A few factual points:

Garrison Keillor is not on NPR, or a NPR host. He produces his own show, and it is distributed by American Public Media. Not everything on "public radio" is an NPR show. See: This American Life, distributed by PRI.

His column is syndicated not by Salon, but by the Chicago Tribune. Salon, I assume, reprints it.

My opinion: GK is a very talented writer, but an awfully lazy columnist. His columns always meander from point to point, with no real angle or argument. I doubt he re-read it once before hitting the send button. I, personally, put this down not to bigotry, but just sheer lack of care. It's hard to imagine GK is an anti-gay bigot.

Posted by Yagur | March 14, 2007 2:40 PM
87

If you would like to leave your thoughts on this issue for Minnesota Public Radio, producers of Mr. Keillor's program, a link to do so may be found here:
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/about/contact/

This is what I had to say:

"To say that I am mortified by Garrison Keillor's recent comments about gay (male) parents in his recent Salon.com opinion piece does not even begin to come close to underscoring my feelings about this issue.

23 years ago, I trekked to St. Paul with my family to make a special trip to A Prairie Home Companion - this was before Garrison's hiaitus to move to Denmark with his second wife, upon whom he later cheated. It would have been good to know then what I know now: that Mr. Keillor values certain familes- including, presumably, his own, despite the multiple marriages, children and so on - over others, and views some adults, by dint of nothing more than their sexual orientation, inherently more fit than others to parent.

Now armed with this knowledge, and in full command of my undertanding of Mr. Keillor's feelings on the topic, I will feel all the better in my choice to turn my local affiliate, WHA, to another station when A Prairie Home Companion airs several times weekly. It is one thing to invoke the Ward and June Cleaver-faux-folksy nostalgia of Lake Wobegon and Buttermilk Biscuits for the sake of humor and storytelling, and quite another still to actually believe its fiction superior to others' realities - the realities, for example, of many gay couples (among whom I am sure you can count a statstically improbable number of public radio supporters) and their happy, healthy and well-adjusted children.

So, thanks but no thanks. You may save your Lake Wobegon, Mr. Keillor: a town in which there are presumably no gay parents, and probably no gay people at all, unless they are...oh, what was it?

Hairdressers."

Posted by Sarah R. | March 14, 2007 2:46 PM
88

I knew there was I reason I called the show "Prairie Dog Companion"

Posted by Michael | March 14, 2007 2:46 PM
89

Everyone had a yard? Leftovers in the fridge? What? This man was born in 1942! That's just about 13 years after the Great Depression began, six years before Truman integrated the U.S. armed forces, and 22 years before the Civil Rights act of 1964.

"You could put me in a glass case at the history center and schoolchildren could press a button and ask me questions," writes Keillor. Oh can we? Please tell us Uncle Garrison! Maybe we can ask about the twelve years of his life lived before Brown v. Board of Education? Wasn't life in America so much better then? You know, with the whole separate drinking fountains, racial unrest, and institutionalized discrimination? Where did Garrison Keillor grow up? Disneyland?

Posted by d | March 14, 2007 2:47 PM
90

I'm with Amber.

I mean life is so funny, who on earth would have thought when I woke up this morning that I would go to bed with another new persona: Keillor apologist. Wow. Love it.

Dan, as a master of your craft, specifically humor columinst/sex advice columnist (6 of one)...not to mention someone I admire and respect -- I would have expected a bit more from you, frankly.

Ah well. Rage away!

Posted by Ahh sweeeet disappointment | March 14, 2007 2:50 PM
91

Squeal like little piggies, homos!

The truth hurts, doesn't it?

You are all objectively disordered but can't understand your defect precisely because you are affected by it.

Fudgepackers be gone!

Posted by isyou | March 14, 2007 2:53 PM
92

Dan et al...It's all about irony and satire.

I can't imagine where you all get your animus for Keillor. Pretty silly.

Posted by don | March 14, 2007 2:54 PM
93

I think all the evidence weighed, here is the result:

GK is very probably a big jerk and womanizer (how I don't understand because he is hideously disfigured), but very likely not unfriendly to gays. Probably his writing comes off differently than his voice, and he just swung and missed with this little bit of "satire."

It's probably good that someone gets all worked up about it though. And GK is not a good spokesman for the left. He really is kind of an immoral and mean bastard hiding behind a silk-voiced, dopey exterior. So it's probably good to skewer him.

Posted by barney | March 14, 2007 2:55 PM
94

The irony is that the Keillor defenders would be howling with rage if the article had been written by Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter, and wouldn't accept the "you don't get irony, do you?" non-argument.

Posted by Brian Miller | March 14, 2007 2:59 PM
95

http://www.nathancallahan.com/garrison.html

Go read, all you apologists for Keillor, and tell me again he was just being satirical.


He doesn't think gay people deserve full civil rights. That is the bottom line. Now quite apologizing for his lame, bigoted ass!

Posted by Tlazolteotl | March 14, 2007 3:03 PM
96

A few years ago when performing in San Francisco, GK tried to do a "gay-friendly" Lake Wobegon piece. It was about a lesbian from Lake Wobegon who moves away and comes back for a family reunion with her partner.

Keillor was awful! Flat, abstract, and in the end wrapping up a lot of blather by saying: it was no big deal, there hadn't been any reason to get worked up about this, no one seemed to mind.

You could just feel his uncomfortableness with the whole subject. The audience responded with the most tepid applause I've ever heard in any of his performances.

Personally, I'd rather deal with a direct homophobe than one of these contemptuous "allies." They make my skin crawl.

Posted by Barbara | March 14, 2007 3:14 PM
97

This isn't new territory for Keillor. He's also written

"I favor marriage between people whose body parts are not similar. I'm sorry, but same-sex marriage seems timid, an attempt to save on wardrobe and accessories. Marrying somebody from your team. Still, it's probably good for them to have to fight for the right to marry. "

Full article is at

http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/features/deskofgk/2005/old_scout/07/05.shtml

Posted by Tracy C | March 14, 2007 3:14 PM
98

Oh, Tlazolteotl, you don't understand irony! You're attacking our undying liberal allies! How dare you!

(Let's just ignore the fact that Keillor's lame-assed "leave marriage to cities and states" thing not only glosses over the fact that the federal DOMA does exactly the opposite. . . but it's also the position that Mr. Pro-Gay himself, Dick Cheney, took during the VP debates against Joe Lieberman waaaaay back in 2000, years before Keillor's "insights" on the matter.)

I guess some of us jsut don't understand irony. Next time Keillor starts performing in blackface, I'm sure the same folks will rush up to congratulate his mockery of racism too.

Great.

Posted by Brian Miller | March 14, 2007 3:14 PM
99
The irony is that the Keillor defenders would be howling with rage if the article had been written by Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter, and wouldn't accept the "you don't get irony, do you?" non-argument.

Not true. I'd be howling with rage that someone had taught them to write.

TracyC and Tlazolteotl: you'd be surprised at how many liberals buy into the "marriage is between a man and a woman" conceit. That doesn't make them homophobes, it just makes their ideas misguided relics of the past. And for god's sake, the man is 65 years old. He's bound to have some "outdated" notions.

Again, there is much legitimate vitriol and hate. Direct your anger that way. This story is a red herring.

Posted by Amber | March 14, 2007 3:26 PM
100

Big fan of Mr. Savage here. Not a huge fan of Mr. Keillor, but I've been listening to him since I was a kid.

Put me on the side of: Dan's overreacting, because the piece is satire. EVERYTHING Garrison writes is satire. Most all of it is self-satire.

One quote from the Salon piece that Dan managed to ignore: "I suppose we'll get used to it." That's Keillor in a nutshell. "Things sure are getting strange. They sure aren't the way I remember them. But that's OK, we'll get used to it." No matter how weird and wacky things are, we'll learn to tolerate them.

Keillor's audience is middle America. It's an aging audience that did not grow up with gays. The net effect of pieces like this is to help them get comfortable with gays, even despite themselves.

And in the linked piece (posted by Tlazolteotl) that's supposed to make Keillor look so awful, he says ... we should jettison gay marriage as a national issue. It should be a state and city issue.

Here's the key quote from Garrison: "I think that gay marriage/union/benefits must be a state and city matter. Gays have tended to migrate from hostile places to friendlier places — San Francisco, New York, New Orleans — and this migration has been a boon to the friendlier places. Gay-friendly areas are the richer for it, in all sorts of ways. Tolerance has economic and cultural benefits. And so we can allow Missouri or South Carolina or South Dakota to be hostile to gay marriage and suffer the consequences."

He concludes: if you don't accept gays, you'll be suffering bad consequences. But people should be free to make that choice, and it should be done on a state by state and city by city basis.

Reminds me a lot of Andrew Sullivan's take on the issue. Is Sully now on the "homophobe" team too? Come on, Dan, and the rest of you too. Read with some context.

Posted by Kent | March 14, 2007 3:28 PM
101

The only type of person that I can imagine wearing chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts are older women. You know, the kind who listen to PHC and find it entertaining for some reason.

I can't help but find it ironic that someone who wears red sneakers everywhere would have the nerve to criticize anyone else's taste in clothing.

Posted by Erich | March 14, 2007 3:33 PM
102

To Monica, comment #10, I just have to say that not all of us baby boomers fit the category that you describe. And as to them dying off, well...my 52 years have shown me that the older some people get, the more they feel a need to protect what they think, yes think, that they have. Remember, today's baby boomers were the peace an love's of the 60's. For Dan, I just need to say thank you. I get so tired of people not denouncing this shit, the Irag shit, the Bush shit, the GOP shit, the Democrat shit, the HRC shit for what it is: a big pile of steaming, stinking, shit that is so far from being intellectually honest that it should not even be considered by real human beings with a mind. You remind me that not everyone in this country is a total idiot and give me hope that there are still people with a tribune who are using it honestly. Keep on calling it like you see it.

Posted by Ken | March 14, 2007 3:36 PM
103

Well, he did mention it was a stereotype. Maybe GK's biggest sin is assuming that "gay america" needs to tone down the queerness and faggotry before they will be ever be accepted by mainstream mom and pop America, the rural 1950's retro America that GK constantly mourns and replows over and over again. Then again it doesn't really matter, the change is happening as we speak, as mom and pop die off and kids who live even in rural bumblefuck America grow up with gay friends and relatives.

I think the point GK was very clumsily trying to make is the same as that old Onion article, "Gay Pride Parade Sets Mainstream Acceptance of Gays Back 50 Years." The perception of sexual deviance is still there in mainstream America, so when anyone 'obviously' fits the queer stereotype and uh oh, has a kid, it seems like it's 1+1 to assume he's homeschooling his children on a hearty diet of 'teh gay' and 'Breeders are boring!'

Posted by Lit3Bolt | March 14, 2007 3:46 PM
104

you'd be surprised at how many liberals buy into the "marriage is between a man and a woman" conceit. That doesn't make them homophobes

Of course it does, just like it makes precursors who cringed at the idea of interracial marriage or black people hanging out in their high-society clubs racists.

Democrats cannot have it both ways -- slamming their opponents for homophobia when Republicans talk about their "deep moral convictions" against gays, but citing "conceit" and "quaint ideals" when they themselves come to the same conclusion as the right wing.

Once again -- every single person who is opposed to equal treatment under the law for every gay American -- for *whatever* reason -- is a homophobe. Just like every single person who is opposed to equal treatment under the law for every black American -- for *whatever* reason -- is a racist.

Liberals seem to think they're immune to being criticized, or have a right to bigoted writing, perspectives and views, because they're "compassionate and understanding." The reality is, they're not only nowhere near as compassionate and understanding as they make themselves out to be, but their bigotry (and the soft hatred that underlies it) is no different in its basic essence than the bigotry of the Mitt Romneys and Jerry Falwells of the world.

Unfortunately for the Democratic establishment, gay people are approaching this issue with eyes wide open now. We're not going to support Republicans, but we're also not going to waste our time and money on "liberals" who insist that they're just being funny and ironic in their utter patronizing contempt for LGBT families of all types.

Posted by Brian Miller | March 14, 2007 3:46 PM
105

I always thought he was incredibly unfunny -- I have to fly across the room to turn the radio off when he comes on -- but he is clearly hateful and ignorant as well.

Posted by Bob | March 14, 2007 3:48 PM
106

I bet writing that super-witty piece made Garrison super-self-assured thathe was way better than one of those same-sex dudes. Why doesn't he shut up and make biscuits instead.

Posted by homer | March 14, 2007 3:59 PM
107

Way to go, Dan! This is one of the best pieces you've written in a long, long time.

You really broke down this lousy and hurtful piece in spectacular form.

I think it's time for Garrison (the cranky ol'cowboy he is) to saddle up and head out of town. We can protest the war and promote arts education without him.

Posted by Abby | March 14, 2007 4:02 PM
108

Way to go, Dan! This is one of the best pieces you've written in a long, long time.

You really broke down this lousy and hurtful piece in spectacular form.

I think it's time for Garrison (the cranky ol'cowboy he is) to saddle up and head out of town. We can protest the war and promote arts education without him.

Posted by Abby | March 14, 2007 4:04 PM
109

Brian Miller -- bringing it!

I'm not a GK hater -- grew up on the fucker -- but this here piece is a big, dumb dud. Not so much satire as semi-seriousness.

The only way to clean this piece 'o crap up into proper satire would be to bring the sound effects guy in while Garrison is reading it.

THAT'S what the word flamboyant sounds like!

ps -- I also don't buy the idea that GK is the lefty shepherd of gays into Evacuated America that gays are waiting around to count on.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | March 14, 2007 4:04 PM
110

Can I just say you, Dan, have me in Awe over your use of the word Fuck. Some use oils, some use water colors, you sir are master in the art that is profanity (I mean that as a serious compliment, when ever I use Fuck people look at me funny like i'm some choir boy who would never curse lest he make baby jesus cry).

Posted by Brandon H | March 14, 2007 4:05 PM
111

Read his 'Mr Blue' crap on Salon too (pre-9/11). Toe-curling. Half of the letters were fake, surely.

Posted by SethK | March 14, 2007 4:22 PM
112

#54 reminds me of the Onion article, "Gay Pride Parade Sets Back Acceptance Of Gay Rights By 30 Years."

Posted by Onion Reader | March 14, 2007 4:24 PM
113

OMG, Dan. Lighten up. A year from now, Garrison Keilor's post will be considered a classic. Don't tarnish your reputation for fairness, insight, humor and intelligence. Do the right thing; delete your post.

Posted by Ronald | March 14, 2007 4:46 PM
114

dan i'm a big fan and consistently read blog posts of yours when i can find them, i posted on the portland mercury blog in response to a post of your about uneven standards of sexism once.

i'm really disappointed you're so clueless on this one. keillor writes in a variety of personas, most of them satirical, and always refuses to dumb down his language enough to delude the subtlety of his point, if there even is one. a lot of his articles are simply musings.

do you really think garrison keillor is not aware of his own marriage history? the article in question is a perspective on the current state of the american family. for you to misconstrue this as homophobic is really depressing to me.

in the future satire won't exist if we respond so dumbly to our most intelligent writers.

i hope you read this post and reconsider. i'm 100% certain that keillor is not homophobic and this piece was not intended to be.

Posted by coolidge | March 14, 2007 4:49 PM
115

Dan:

Stop talking out of both sides of your mouth. First, you denounce Keillor for trading in stereotypes about gay men--presumably because they're false. Then, in your update, you concede that they are sometimes true: "What if some gay parents are flamboyant? Flamers, even? So what?" You excoriate Keillor for his hypocrisy but, typically, refuse to acknowledge your own.

By the way, is your incessant name calling really necessary? What are you, eight years old?

Posted by Timothy Carter | March 14, 2007 4:52 PM
116

How I adore Sarah R. | March 14, 2007 02:46 PM.

Posted by anon | March 14, 2007 5:08 PM
117

I've never cared for the Prairie Home shtick, but every once in a while I'd have a little flicker of a feeling that maybe I had been missing out on something good.

Now I'm free of ever having that feeling ever again! I'm totally wearing chartreuse pants to work tomorrow to celebrate.

Posted by Princess Sparkle Pony | March 14, 2007 5:20 PM
118

I have a hard time thinking that Keillor was being entirely serious--although some of it might be him trying to work out his own thoughts on homosexuality. Admittedly, this might be because I'm probably the only 28 year old listener that PHC has.

On a side note, I love all of the "I never thought I would read Garrison Keillor using such stereotypes. He's no better than a Republican" posts. Yes, I too hate the use of stereotypes. Anyone who would use them is, no doubt a Republican. And a Jew.

Posted by Dennis | March 14, 2007 5:22 PM
119

Please Monique (and anyone else), for God's sake don't believe that all Boomers are like this maroon - for one thing, if it weren't for us gay Boomers getting called worse things than even that Coulter person knows, spit on, shot at, defying and fighting back at the police, getting arrested, and more, some of y'all maybe might not be at liberty to protest this Woebegon son of a bitch today!

Posted by 11x | March 14, 2007 5:23 PM
120

Actually I think Keillor was trying to use humor to package a pro-gay meme for a conservative audience.

The hidden message was that you don't need to protect your children from their relatives' gay relationships. That, at worst, they will get confused trying to keep track of what to call people, but that they already have that problem because of divorce.

I know that subtlety is a dying art, but you know, sometimes people don't say things directly. Being indirect can work better. That's what Keillor was doing.

I don't thing you know Mr. Keillor very well.

Posted by Josh Scholar | March 14, 2007 5:31 PM
121

Brian Miller, I agree with you. (For the record, I am straight, married, not a homophobe, and actively working for equal marriage rights here in Washington state.)

Dan Savage, I agree with you.

Garrison Keillor, I disagree with you vehemently. Gay couples have every bit as much right to marry and raise children without being mocked as heterosexual couples do!

Posted by River | March 14, 2007 5:31 PM
122

What would Lily Tomlin say?

Posted by Alison | March 14, 2007 5:36 PM
123

Garrison Keilor...where to begin?
- Who told this asshole he could sing? So painful.
- He gives arrogant and conceited people a bad name.
- Made the mistake of seeing the show live...incredibly boring.
- He seems to live in this so called "bygone era" that never even existed. It's like the revisionists who talk about what an innocent time the 50's were. Bullshit!

Posted by M. Duncan | March 14, 2007 5:46 PM
124

This is what I sent Garrison.

Mr. Keillor,


Your rather outdated comments on the "good old days" regarding families came off as ironic considering your personal lack of monogamy.

The tired stereotypes you tread out as "typical gay men" show me that your actual knowledge about gay people is as remote as your sense of style, wit and humor.

What bothers you about gay folks, Mr. Keiller? Your personal misconception that we get more and better sex then you? That we all have far better hair cuts then you? (That's of course, true.) We do have better hair styles. But as long as you peddle such 1950's style horseshit about gay people, I don't think you'll ever get a decent hair cut. All hair cutters are gay, right?

-- Zak

Posted by Zak A Roni | March 14, 2007 5:47 PM
125

Oh my god my heart broke reading that. I've been enjoying his work for decades. What an offensive, mean-spririted asshole!

Posted by karen m | March 14, 2007 6:37 PM
126

Dan...

As a fellow parent and queer I was raging after reading Keillor's editorial. Thankfully I came across your response minutes later. Man, I couldn't have said it better myself! Thank you so much for expressing my outRAGE!!!!

-Danny in TX

Posted by Danny | March 14, 2007 6:49 PM
127

Oh. This is more of that "Back in the good old dayz" bullshit.

You know what Garrison? There WERE no good old days. Well. Unless you were a major non-human mammalian land predator in pre-sapien times.. that was pretty sweet. But I digress.

Jesus. People have been talking about a "simpler time" and a return to "traditional values" since BEFORE Roman times.

Garrison, you know WHY things seemed simpler back in days when you were a kid? Because somebody ELSE was wiping your ass, making your dinner, and earning money to cloth your ungrateful little ass. And THOSE people fucked up occasionally. Occasionally they messed the world up. BUT they had the good sense to hide this fact from your tiny kid brain. They HOPED you would grow up and recognize how complicated the world is and always has been.

Posted by Todd | March 14, 2007 6:52 PM
128

"Right before GK lists all those stereotypes you complain about, he writes "The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men". GEt it?

Posted by you missed the point | March 14, 2007 6:54 PM
129

Democrats are rarely united by values. There is a large swath of values that most Democrats generally agree on, but most central to their thinking is that it's dangerous to believe in your values too much, to get to a point where you might not be able to question them. For the last 7 years Democrats have mostly united in opposition to someone, but rarely because they all believe so strongly in the same ideals. Because of this, Democrats are always on the verge of disappointment, especially when we find out that someone we like, someone we want to believe in, doesn't agree completely with us. It always hurts more when it's someone we're supposed to be like.
I don't think any of us should be surprised if someone we know doesn't see things, or frame things, exactly like we would want them to. It's the cost of thinking for yourself, weighing your thoughts against your experiences, and projecting your thoughts against your hopes. If we're truly the educated people we want ourselves to be, we need to examine people, like Keillor, for their complexities and their totality. How frightening to judge someone's complete worth on one article that is, at best, poorly written (poorly enough to generate over a hundred posts where no one can definitively prove what he meant in the first place!).

Posted by larry | March 14, 2007 6:55 PM
130

Wrong, Dan. Sorry. Read the last paragraph of GK's piece. Talk about selective editing -- by not acknowledging that GK's piece is anti-ADULT, not anti-Gay, you set him up as a straw man. You're smarter than that, and getting a bee in your bonnet about nothing much at all gives the right-wingers red meat to call all of us (liberals, gays, whoever else) a bunch of un-serious screaming mimis. Yeah, GK's comments about funny shirts and tiny dogs fell flat -- but given more room, he may have clarified it a bit, saying that the American public have gotten these stereotypes from TV, not real life.

Much ado about nothing. There's real bad shit going on in this world, and this ain't it.

Posted by davey | March 14, 2007 7:02 PM
131

Davey -- tell that to Garrison. He's the guy that wanted to walk the tightrope.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | March 14, 2007 7:20 PM
132

I'm not even going to bother reading through the enormous reeking pile of knee-jerks here so if someone else has already made these same statements, mea fucking culpa.

1. Take a deep breath.
2. Criminy children, get a grip on something besides your own etched-in-stone prejudice. So quick to condemn,so quick to judge. Sound likje something you've compalined about your own self?
3. It's not satire; it is sardonicism. You may look it up, you silly boi.

Posted by Faaaaabulous Cynic | March 14, 2007 7:27 PM
133

I read the article and, frankly, I can't quite figure it out. As satire, it's clumsy and not funny. As a straight "think piece," it's clumsy and not comprehensible. Because I've mostly enjoyed his work over the years and perceive him to be a person who tries to treat others as he would like to be treated (OK, his checkered romantic history is a bit hard to explain), I'm not quite ready to label him a homophobe. I'll be keeping an eye on him, however.

Posted by Annby | March 14, 2007 7:28 PM
134

I read the article and, frankly, I can't quite figure it out. As satire, it's clumsy and not funny. As a straight "think piece," it's clumsy and not comprehensible. Because I've mostly enjoyed Mr. Keillor's work over the years and perceive him to be a person who tries to treat others as he would like to be treated (OK, his checkered romantic history is a bit hard to explain), I'm not quite ready to label him a homophobe. I'll be keeping an eye on him, however.

Posted by Annby | March 14, 2007 7:29 PM
135

From Prairie Home's website:

Send your post to the host!
Here's your chance to ask GK your most pressing questions about the writing life, the radio life, Lake Wobegon, Guy Noir, whatever you like. Also, feel free to send feedback about the show. Honest comments and criticism are always welcome!
http://www.publicradio.org/applications/formbuilder/user/form_display.php?form_code=0512cbfda6df

I sent him an earful:

Mr. Keillor,

I read your incredibly homophobic, bigoted screed at Salon today. I'm glad you revealed your true self. I can never listen to your program again as you've ruined my image of you as a progressive person. Now you'll be known throughout the land by liberals and conservatives alike as a flaming hypocrite.

"Monogamy put the parents in the background where they belong and we children were able to hold center stage" - you have the chutzpah to write this when "Keillor is mildly notorious for having dumped his long-time lover and PHC producer Margaret Moos to marry Ulla. The marriage failed when Keillor had an affair with his Danish language teacher."

"Under the old monogamous system, we didn't have the problem of apportioning Thanksgiving and Christmas among your mother and stepdad, your dad and his third wife, your mother-in-law and her boyfriend Hal, and your father-in-law and his boyfriend Chuck. Today, serial monogamy has stretched the extended family to the breaking point. A child can now grow up with eight or nine or 10 grandparents -- Gampa, Gammy, Goopa, Gumby, Papa, Poopsy, Goofy, Gaga and Chuck -- and need a program to keep track of the actors."

Tell us how you handle the holidays amongst your three marriages and permutations of extended family created by divorce, remarriage and (only God knows) affairs.

"And now gay marriage will produce a whole new string of hyphenated relatives. In addition to the ex-stepson and ex-in-laws and your wife's first husband's second wife, there now will be Bruce and Kevin's in-laws and Bruce's ex, Mark, and Mark's current partner, and I suppose we'll get used to it.

The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men -- sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control. Parents are supposed to stand in back and not wear chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. That's for the kids. It's their show."

How many gay couples with children do you know? Obviously none. Did you form your impression of gay men with children simply from the film "The Bird Cage?" Do you have ANY IDEA how offensive your stereotyped musings are to your (former) legions of listeners who are themselves gay or simply not homophobic as you obviously are?

If you haven't yet, you will soon hear from many more stunned listeners who will probably desert you.

I have.

Posted by Nancy in STL | March 14, 2007 7:42 PM
136

Dan, really! keep on. You are one of the few people, if not the only person, that can translate into words my daily feelings of hatred and anger for these fucked-up-sonufabitch fuckers.

For example, "And if I seem angry, you fucking motherfucker, it’s because I am," is just fucking beautiful. Amen.

Posted by Jeaux Bleaux | March 14, 2007 7:47 PM
137


Oh. My. God.

Dan Savage, too vapid to understand Keillor's subtle wit, demonstrates that he's the most anal asshole on the West Coast.

Garrison Keillor commits adultery. Someone get the 'A'!

Posted by Carlos | March 14, 2007 8:27 PM
138

Oh my god don't you understand what humor and sarcasm are? Hyperbole? Have you ever heard this phrase endlessly repeated? Lake Wobegone -- where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

Of course it can't really be true. It's not. That's what makes it funny. I think Keillor thinks its funny sad that relatives are such a hodge podge jumble due to divorce, et al, but I don't think he even necessarily thinks its wrong.

I think he thinks plenty was wrong in the monogamous world too, but that's just because I am familiar with a lot of his work and with his customary tone of voice and turn of phrase...

I don't think he was attacking gay marriage, i think he was trying to point out some slightly humorous aspect to it.

He was talking about gay marriage in the tense it should be talked about, as something that does, should and will exist. I think he was just pointing out that it's another variable in the marriage game. He was also talking about immigration, and that the world has changed since he was a kid, but not as a way of passing judgment, just a way of seeing the humor and change and most of all the importance of children.

And trying to make the point that the importance of children is paramount. He never once tries to say that most gay parents don't get that. He plays off (and I agree he goes onto inappropriate ground to do it) what he thought was humorous stereotyping (he even says "stereotypically flamboyant" not "every gay man" "most gay men" or even "some gay men".

Some women are strong, and some men are good looking, but it is not generally what women and men are stereotypically known for. Not all the children can possibly be above average. It's irony. That's what makes it funny.

Yikes.

Posted by laura | March 14, 2007 8:35 PM
139

Dan, you're one of my favorite writers, but your personal feelings are clouding your view of this. Read what he wrote, and think about what it means. He comments on "back in the day" of death until we part, but does not say it was better, just that it was. (DISCLOSURE: I am a child of divorce and re-marriage, and yes, I needed a map for family gatherings. And I'm gay. And would like to be married.) Keillor talks about the "stereotypical" gay that has been accepted in America...also true, America is (perhaps) OK with stereotypes (think Sean Hayes on Will and Grace, Nathan Lane in Birdcage, or for that matter designers on Project Runway), but most of the country not ready for the reality of gay dads next door "just like us," the non chartreuse wearing "straight acting" guy that feels entitled to all of the perks of middle-class heterosexual domestic bliss. You know, Dan, it's much easier for many people to co-exist with a caricature of reality (the funny campy gay friend or neighbor) rather than the reality of who most of us are (the guy that we might not even recongize as gay unless we are hit over the head with that fact.) Keillor is writing social satire here, not moralizing or preaching for hetero monogamous supremacy... I've lived in "Lake Woebegone" in Ohio and Oklahoma, and I am pretty sure Keillor is gently mocking provincial attitudes, not endorsing prejudice. So while it's easy to be outraged (as you and many posters obviously are), likening Keillor to Coulter is way way off base.

Posted by Will | March 14, 2007 8:52 PM
140

Keillor has been a self-parody for years. Does anyone think he's still funny and not just a tired old bore?

Posted by TomTallis | March 14, 2007 9:03 PM
141

Good God what an over-reaction. Keillor's whole schtick is being an old fashioned guy who is befuddled by a world that has passed him by. You clowns are so conditioned by your blog vs. blog mentality that everything looks like a diatribe to you. Relax, gentle snowflakes. Not everyone has an axe to grind.

Posted by Woe B. Gone | March 14, 2007 9:04 PM
142

i have one more thing to say.

dan savage, if garrison keillor had read something he disagreed with that you wrote and on his own blog objected to it by hurling the f-bomb at you rapid-fire, would that be okay?

why are you applying a double-standard of hypersensitivity of implication and nuance to what he writes while permitting yourself to write with disgraceful, cruel and abusive illiteracy?

why is it OKAY to tear apart the precise and subtle meanings in a satirical piece, however successful or unsuccessful, however appropriate or inappropriate and respond to them with the blunt, brutual, unmitigatedly nasty language and outright character assassination that you choce?

why must "GK" watch exactly how he uses the word "stereotype" in conjunction with actual stereotypes, but you (and a lot of your commenters) can slander GK, baby-boomers, in fact an entire generation in broad brush nastiness at will, and that's okay?

oh please. grow up.

Posted by laura (again) | March 14, 2007 9:09 PM
143

Yes, Garrison Keillor most certainly IS a homophobe. Watch him and you will see for yourself if you pay attention.

FUCK Garrison Keillor. FUCK Garrison Keillor.

There are so many lies in his comments that it has paralyzed half of my brain. His serial adultering self needs to come to my church and meet the many gay & lesbian parents there. He will see the best-adjusted kids on EARTH, with loving families FAR better than what Keillor's kids had.

FUCK Garrison Keillor. FUCK Garrison Keillor.

Does he not realize that until now HALF his audience was gay folks and our families? He just blew his whole fucking career. He will soon shut down completely for lack of public interest.

Posted by Hephaestion | March 14, 2007 9:12 PM
144

Note that in his NPR Writer's Almanac he has commented on a thousand gay writers and musicians and not ONCE has he ever indicated in the commentary that the writer is gay, no matter how crucial to understanding that person that information is.

Keillor constantly ridicules the Unitarian church, which was the first to perform gay marriages. He CONSTANTLY ridicules them, and DOES NOT ridicule any other church in any manner remotely similar to it. His Lutheran humor is always aw-shucks humor, but the Unitarian jokes always strike at the very heart of what it means to be a Unitarian and attempts to demean it.

Keillor also NEVER recognizes any gay artists on his PHC show. Never has. And considering how many gay listeners he has had, you'd think he would make SOME freaking effort to do so.

Were his bachelor farmers in Lake Wobegon wearing charteuse pants with black polka dots?

Posted by Hephaestion | March 14, 2007 9:43 PM
145

Hmm. Was this written by Savage or Maryscott O'Connor?

Posted by Puma | March 14, 2007 9:48 PM
146

Keillor mentioned many different groups in his Salon piece... Somalis, Croats, Ethiopians, etc. but he chose to only ridicule gays.

I don't think the pro-Keillor posters here understand the ANGER that people like me have for having to deal with insane hatred and prejudice MANY times EVERY day for NO damn logical reason... the impact of which is to damn near destroy my life and that of my family.

Maybe some rich gay folks don't have to deal with a lot of problems because money saves the day, but for me it is a struggle to survive and being gay sets me back about 5,000 paces behind my straight brothers no matter if I work 80 times harder and better than them. Being a gay parent is at least 7000 times harder than being a straight parent, yet at my church I see dozens of gay parents who are doing godly and glorious work raising the most well-adjusted kids you ever saw. My blood BOILS to hear them being condescended to, even if Keillor doesn't attack in the same outrageous manner as Ann Coulter. If Keillor sat thru seeing a parent denied access to his child in a hospital because the bureaucrats don't consider the dad married, he'd never make another lame joke about gay dads again.

Posted by Hephaestion | March 14, 2007 9:52 PM
147

I love Garrison Keillor and Prairie Home Companion. After reading all these posts I read the Salon article. Most of the negative comments are much ado about nothing, I'd say. He's definitely just making a comment about how times are a-changin', and we all should get used to it, but evidently some people are too sensitive to get it.

His point seems to me that when anybody becomes a parent they need to defer their own interests to the interests of their children. While he may use the stereotype of the flamboyant gay man to make this point, he also basically says that all people need to get over themselves in order to be good parents. Apparently getting over themselves is too tall of an order for some.

Posted by melicert | March 14, 2007 9:54 PM
148

http://www.thestranger.com/blog/2007/03/fuck_garrison_keillor#c668913

Monique (comment #10), your age bigotry is totally uncalled for. Where did you get the idea that everyone in the "boomer gen" shares the same beliefs and attitudes?

Posted by Duane Williams | March 14, 2007 10:30 PM
149
One by one, those asshat bigots of the Boomer Gen will either die of obesity related death, or become mentally incapable of rendering any more harm on society.
#10, we used to say the exact same thing about old people back in the 60s. Blows my mind to see it again. Unfortunately for the world, the asshats never die off.
Posted by Superfrankenstein | March 14, 2007 10:46 PM
150

God, you folks need to chill. Your overreaction to Keillor's comments make you all sound like a bunch of right wing fundamentalists. So what if the gay community takes a poke in the eye every now and then. I'm pro-gay marriage, but I'm equally pro first amendment. I do not believe it is time for Mr. Keillor to go to rehab.

Posted by G Wilson | March 14, 2007 10:47 PM
151

I'm sorry, but any way you look at this column it's a piece of shit. Seriously, it's either an extremely lame attempt at sarcasm (par for the course for Keillor) or it's bigoted nonsense. And seriously, does a man who's been married three times have *any* business whatsover writing


...Today, serial monogamy has stretched the extended family to the breaking point. A child can now grow up with eight or nine or 10 grandparents -- Gampa, Gammy, Goopa, Gumby, Papa, Poopsy, Goofy, Gaga and Chuck -- and need a program to keep track of the actors...


even if it is meant to be satirical? That's about as funny as George W. Bush making a joke about amputee vets. Keillor also wrote:


...You could put me in a glass case at the history center and schoolchildren could press a button and ask me questions...


Could we really Garrison? I'm all in favor of that, especially if we leave out the air holes.

Posted by wile_e_quixote | March 14, 2007 10:53 PM
152

I'm glad that Keillor has exposed himself. I've always hated him. He represents what's worst in American civic dialogue. Normally, it's his unsubstantiated swings at the Right. He'll be writing a piece on his dog and then throw in a swing at the President. Now, I disagree with a lot that Bush has done, but this visceral hatred reminds me of the problems Clinton had (by no means free of blame). Normally, he's unapologetically left (the bad left according to my libertarian leanings). I'm glad you're calling him out as a douge bag.

I hope though, that we can get past this intrinsic hatred of Republicans and Democrats. I almost always vote Republican, but I am pro-choice and I am very pro-gay marriage. I'm against affirmative action (racial discrimination is racial discrimination) and pro tax cuts. I'm a liberal in the traditional sense.

I've got a child, through the old-fashioned method, and I clearly think that's the optimum way. But if a loving gay couple wants to adopt a needy child, I would never stay in their way. I'd prefer it if all children were raised in loving mix-sexed couples, but I know that's not possible. Coupled gay men tend to have a higher income than the average, and unfortunately, that's a better gauge for parental success than almost anything.

Posted by real liberal | March 14, 2007 11:03 PM
153

I cannot remember the last time I saw such an amazing display of over the top bloviation and hot air assembled in one place.

This is like one of the old usenet flame wars taken to a new level. Mob psychology and jump on the bandwagon in full.

I'm not even gonna try and defend GK in this context, but wow some of you folks are seriously humor impaired (all too common in the internet world) and really lack critical thinking/reading/listening ability.

Posted by gnossos | March 14, 2007 11:22 PM
154

Thanks, Dan, for calling our attention to this.

I say respond in ways that hurts: call or email KUOW (or whatever station you might hear Keillor on) and tell them no more pledges or memberships from you until Keillor apologizes. Same for PRI (who sponsors his show).

Money talks, use the voice, say it loud.

Posted by Andy Niable | March 14, 2007 11:25 PM
155

It's a witch hunt!

Dan, you've misread Mr. Keillor's text. Shame on you. He teases and satirizes his honest midwest characters who hold the values described above, but in a respectful way that draws those same people to him and over to his very liberal message. His firm stance against the Iraq war puts him somewhere left of you and your precious Andy Sullivan. Very disappointing and sad.

Posted by Sean | March 15, 2007 12:18 AM
156

What's wrong, Dan? Hate being discriminated against for something you can't control? Now you know how all us male bisexuals feel whenever you open your trashy mouth and say we don't even exist.

Fuck you, and your weird little dog, too!

Posted by Lorenzo | March 15, 2007 12:54 AM
157

Dan, if you had any familiarity with Garrison Keillor's stories you'd know that he was pro-gay and pro-lesbian long before it was fashionable. He's also a humorist, though perhaps the subtlety of his Midwestern humor escapes your black-and-white sensibilities. Next time consider context before you publicly judge and condemn someone with such vicious savagery. Bring some civility into the world instead of spewing poison.

Posted by Mike B. | March 15, 2007 1:01 AM
158

The column struck me as really sub-par Keillor, very rambling and strained and weird. I suspect it was clumsy wording that did him in here, and what he said probably doesn't reflect his true intention. He meant to write something about how people should pay more attention to their kids, and he wandered off into this weird thing about fussy gay parents. Once word gets back to him that he's caused so much offense with this column, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he steps forward to apologize and clarify his thoughts. While I think he probably does have a touch of the homophobia that is so sadly common in his generation, I strongly doubt he intended to slight gays with these remarks. Coulter is a disgusting she-beast who MEANS to hurt people, but Keillor is a different breed. Wait and see how he responds to criticism of this column; he might surprise you.

Posted by Ursula | March 15, 2007 1:15 AM
159

"even if it is meant to be satirical? That's about as funny as George W. Bush making a joke about amputee vets. Keillor also wrote"

Man, fuck off, not even close to the same.

Posted by George | March 15, 2007 2:03 AM
160

what a pretentious fucking ass you are. you bemoan the stereotype and just as quickly become a caricature yourself. ok, deep breaths. i am amazed that every queer with a keyboard is a self-appointed bellwether. if you choose to do that, fine, but dont further those who have taken the time to become knowledgeable about more than queerfashion. please, find a mentor. dont fuck him. find a protege. dont fuck him.

now, take of those panties, they shall be wadded: the grossly inproportionate influence of gays on the national level is already being subjected to the cut-and-burn independence of the nets in their infancy. sure, i anticipate the medium to be hijacked sooner rather than later, but no longer will there be a relatively captive audience subjected to progay fare at a level that the majority of americans simply find offensive. i imagine most dont care what you choose to rub with your genitals (or reciprocate), but i doubt there will be another series to capture as large an audience as will and grace.

certainly, i do not condone bias and injurious behavior toward most people, but the shrill demands for insulting straight americans and then arrogantly stating that we rubes simply need to be "education" is so preposterously patronizing that you fail to even consider that perhaps keillor is correct. leave the swish at the house, as do most str8 couples.

"education," acutally conversion, should not be employed as a weapon against your perceived enemies, but is a powerful element and i predict that you would become more enamored of it if you "could only use your powers for good."

Posted by badstr8guy | March 15, 2007 3:38 AM
161

A storm erupts in a blog-shaped teacup: a froth of knee-jerk hatred, uncontrolled anger, curses, crass expletives, unexamined prejudices, death to anyone over 55!, a hyena-like rush to disrupt, defame and destroy careers based purely on a rant whose author later admits… he was just overreacting.

It's simply ripe for deft satire of the kind GK does best.

Posted by Jonathan | March 15, 2007 4:36 AM
162

I've read the Garrison piece 3 times. I'm pretty sure he's not bashing gays at all, but rather being overly satirical...perhaps too much so (or maybe not enoough).

The message he seems to be saying is that times change, and we've all survived, and kids are still kids. In otherwords, he's saying that whether parents are gay or not is irrelevant...what matters is the kids.

At leat that's what I THINK he's saying. If you read the comments on the Salon site you can see that his own fans are reather confused as to what his actual message is.

Anyways, I think you may have jumped to conclusions a bit too quickly. That said, Garrison is to blame...if anyone should know, he should that being overly intellectual in America can backfire.

Posted by Darrel | March 15, 2007 5:55 AM
163

Wow, take two of my least favorite non-rightwing media blowhards. Now make them fight.

Life is awesome.

Posted by Lazlo Toth | March 15, 2007 5:58 AM
164

I'm still a fan of Garrison Keillor's.

GK frequently writes about his reaction to how the world has changed. His attempts to adapt are (for his fans) enjoyable to read. The fun in his columns is how he pokes fun at the world and at himself at the same time. It might have been nice if he had explicitly endorsed gay parents, but I fail to see any implication that he condemns them. They are different from his experience, but he can "get used to it." I wish more Americans felt that way.

The world changes in bewildering ways for an older man raised in small town middle America. GK's columns provide a guide for responding with compassion and a sense of humor.

Posted by Joe | March 15, 2007 6:16 AM
165

Give poor Garrason a break, he's only trying to get a joke on, learn to laugh at yourself a little. You sing like Garrison's nose hairs. HA HA HA

Posted by TOM HAYDEN | March 15, 2007 7:05 AM
166

Re gay people adopting unwanted children: the website gaynz.com reports that there is now a clinic in Los Angeles catering to the needs of gay men who wish to become biological parents via surrogacy. For an additional $60,000 you can select the sex of the child as well (60% choose boys).

So now gay men too can destroy female children - excuse me, fetuses - to satisfy their desire to reproduce themselves. Just like any straight couple.

Posted by Grande Dame | March 15, 2007 7:33 AM
167

It was intended as satire, sure....but Dan deconstructed a political message out of it.

Perfectly valid.

When you're on a political and social margin, you need to speak out! And that's what he does.

I like them both, and will continue to like them both.

Keep up the good work!

Posted by Tyrone Slothrop | March 15, 2007 8:10 AM
168

I am a gay man myself, and a fan of Garrison Keillor, and in his defense, I don't think he's being entirely bigotted here. He's making a reasoned argument about how the "traditional" nuclear family, which up until very very recently was heterosexual, has been blasted apart. He's not saying that gay marriage did this, but that gay marriage will reproduce this - in other words, gay families will be just as fickle and easily combustible as straight ones. I think he's right there.

As for his past marriages, he doesn't make any sort of judgement in his text about broken families. In fact, he just says "We'll have to get used to it." So he's not in any way being hypocritical, he's just stating the current state of things.

And when he mentioned the gay stereotype, is it now a crime to even *mention* it? I mean, he's right - that IS the gay stereotype, and a lot of gay guys fall right in along with it. What he's saying in that if homosexuals want to start creating successful families, they will have to retreat back from that stereotype a little, and reorient their lives on their children. And I think that's an admirable message.

Posted by Joe | March 15, 2007 8:38 AM
169

Apparently, satire is dead in Seattle. Or at least the small slice of that place located between the ears of Dan Savage.

You have produced a silly, vituperative screed. I'm changing the channel.

Posted by Earl Scheib | March 15, 2007 8:43 AM
170

Uh, guys?

Much as I love Dan, you really need to read the WHOLE PIECE, not just the snippets he quoted.

Keillor is making fun of parents with potatoes in the fridge, and multi-hyphen families, and yes, he is making fun of gay guys in chartreuse pants. He is pointing out that times change and families change but kids are the same.

And as Joe says, he is pointing out that (for self-absorbed gays OR straights) it really needs to be about the kids.

HONESTLY don't go all PC-police on this.

Please, listen to this lesbian feminist. We have enough challenges as a GLBT community with fighting real hatred. We don't need to go all prickly at EVERYTHING.

You know the old lightbulb joke?
Q; how many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb
A: that's not funny.

I'd hate for that to be true for GLBT as well.

Posted by IT | March 15, 2007 8:50 AM
171

Dan,

Did you really miss the point of Keilor's satire by that many miles or are you trying to create your own and none of us get it?

As a previous commentor pointed out, Keilor is satirizing the idealized past, the "good old days". As for use/misuse of gay stereotypes, how can you criticize Keilor after "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Will and Grace". I'm sure Keillor's intent was to satirize those who actually think that gay's all look and act like that. And we all know that some of them do!

I suggest you go back and read Keillor again with some help from someone familiar with bedrock, midwest, liberal humor.

Posted by Steve | March 15, 2007 8:59 AM
172

Dan, calm down.

My dad is of the same generation as Keillor. He raised a liberal family in San Francisco during the Civil Rights Movement, Women's Lib, and he marched in vehement oppostion of the Vietnam War. Gays were never even mentioned in our household because their liberation movement didn't come along until much later. There was no focus on gays by the media (good or bad) so while very liberal, my father remains somewhat "clueless" on matters of gay rights although his liberal sensibilities remain. I suspect he would agree with Keillor and yet still defend the rights of gays to do whatever they want.

Posted by bujeeboo | March 15, 2007 9:18 AM
173

His radio show is clearly aimed only at white christians. This does not surprise me at all.

Posted by justin | March 15, 2007 9:19 AM
174

"Nostalgia for an Age that Never Existed"

The equating of flamboyance with gay parenthood is just a lie. My father is as straight as can be he's also the life of the party where ever he goes. That's a kind of "flamboyance" albeit masculine. He upstages me (his fabulous gay son) wherever we go. And I adore him for it. It didn't damage me to not be the center of attention it just taught me that you have to fight for the spotlight!!

Posted by David | March 15, 2007 9:21 AM
175

I never thought Keillor was funny and now I know he's just another asshole.

Posted by dionys1 | March 15, 2007 9:32 AM
176

Um - anyone here familiar with parody? The use of humor to illustrate the complicated cruelties and subtleties of a situation?

Posted by T. | March 15, 2007 9:35 AM
177

Before you have a fit (Dan, and John Aravosis), why don't you go ask Walter Bobbie, who has appeared regularly on Keillor's show, whether he's homophobic? He'd probably have noticed, if he is.

Posted by David in NY | March 15, 2007 9:35 AM
178

Grief, Dan, could you have mis-read this column any more egregiously?

I'm gay & liberal & in my 30s, and I didn't think this column was particularly funny, but in the same league - or the same planet - as Coulter? Ridiculous. You'd have been better off writing about General Pace, somebody with both power and an agenda that should worry us.

Keillor's whole schtick is spoofing nostalgia - he knows that the golden age exists only in the mind. He's certainly not calling for a return to the 50s or whatever.

Of gay in-laws he says "I suppose we'll get used to it." Zero opprobrium there. He says that America is only comfortable with gay stereotypes - which is undeniably true. He's not saying "this is what gays are" he's saying "this is the stereotype." Keillor says that a certain amount of decorum might behoove gay parents who wish to be taken seriously - is that hate speech? You should hear how he talks about Norwegian bachelor farmers.

As for your not needing the approval of "withered old adulterers," well who makes the laws in this country? And why react so harshly if you don't care what he thinks?

While we're at it, Dan, enough with the fucking language already. Any 8th Grader can call somebody an "asshole," but if you want your political opinions taken seriously, then you need to bust out the thesaurus.

Posted by Martin | March 15, 2007 9:41 AM
179

I guess I'm totally stupid but I read the entire article in the spirit of Garrison's stories about the Lutheran Church or the Church of the Misbegotten Brehren and I got an entirely different feeling for what he was doing. I think most of the comments are bubbling from the teapot unnecessarily.
It wasn't one of Garrison's best columns but I don't think you can call Garrison anti-gay. Has anyone listened to "The Lives of the Cowboys" with Dusty and Lefty. If those stories don't verge on queer, then I've never been to a gay bath house.

Posted by owen east | March 15, 2007 9:43 AM
180

I do understand part of the confusion for children. I DO NOT condone any bigotry against homosexual couples or unmarried couples.
I was a school nurse. I have seen the best and the WORST of heterosexual couples married or unmarried raising children.
But I especially rememebr a boy in K and 1 st grade who would come in every few weeks or months and announce "I have a new daddy".
Any man that stayed a few days in the trailer was his "daddy". It was very sad.
I really hate when people write or say
"DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO"!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Diane | March 15, 2007 9:53 AM
181

Oh, for the luvvagod, Keillor is a HUMORIST. Dan, I love you, but you need to unscrew your knickers and relax—the column was meant as a humorous comment on contemporary families, and I found it amusing. If you want to see what happens when Garrison turns SERIOUS, read his IMPEACH BUSH column from March of ’06: http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/03/01/keillor/index.html

Posted by diane | March 15, 2007 9:53 AM
182

Yeesh! "fussy hair"? "small weird dog"? "overdecorated apartment", "worship campy performers" & "striped sofa"? Which movies and or TV shows has he been watching? Me & my partner don't have a "sofa" our small weird dog is an Akita, the apartment is a house, currently under renovation - not under "over decoration", and the current "campy performer worshiping" would be Green Day, most likely.... Oh yeah - we both have too little hair to be "fussy" with it.

Geez Garrison, grow up already!

Posted by Russ | March 15, 2007 9:55 AM
183

What about all those straight suburban moms who try to look as young as their daughters? Talk about embarassing!

Posted by powkat | March 15, 2007 9:56 AM
184

okay, I read the article in the ChiTrib yesterday and my first thought wasn't about the gay-issue, it was about the Drama Parents, who parent like they have their jobs, its all about them and not about the kids. The Over-achieving parents who live through their kids, because forbid they should hand in a glued together "masterpiece" when mommy or daddy (or any combination therein) can produce for them or have produced for them. I thought it was aimed at parents, both gay and straight who don't let their kids fail on their own, who do the work for them, because THEY (the parents) don't want to look bad. Did I miss the joke on that or what?

Maybe it's how I grew up that I don't see the slam on gays, I figured he was lumping gays in with straight overachieving parents, not bashing them separately, I thought he was pointing out that gay parents are now falling into the same place as straight parents, but then again, I could be wrong on that.... after all, it is satire.

Posted by ruchild | March 15, 2007 10:00 AM
185

This is obviously satire. I am a longtime gay male fan of his. And, IMHO, WLT is a brilliant (and poignant) American classic that every high school student should have to read.

I think that if we could HEAR him speaking the words instead of READING them, the satire and irony would clearly stand out.

If, for some bizarre reason this is not irony, it represents a complete reversal of Keillor's previously and often stated opinions of the right wing. To wit: the song he composed in 1995 in response to Newt Gingrich infamously suggesting that orphanages should make a big comeback.

Posted by Frank AusTX | March 15, 2007 10:02 AM
186

I had to read Keillor's original piece before commenting here, partly because I couldn't believe he'd be a bigot and partly to know just what I was commenting about. Dan Savage has missed Keillor's point; the Salon piece wasn't meant to be mean and can only be interpreted as bigoted when quoted out of context. We liberals ought to realize that context is important when digesting statements; we are the one's who can think and communicate in paragraphs and not just sound bites. If you want some good examples of how to completely misrepresent any liberal's or Democrat's position just catch the chopped up, chewed up, hyper-spun quotes and video clips presented on Fox News; we don't have give the same treatment to ourselves on the interwebs.

Posted by Nittany | March 15, 2007 10:05 AM
187

Damn, and here I was a GK fan too. He sounds like the same people who mouth off stereotypes about gay parents and couples...without really knowing any.
I mean REALLY knowing any AND caring about them and their children.
Sometimes the only alternative, since some states don't allow gay couples to foster OR adopt kids...is to adopt dogs or cats.
The nurturing gene isn't exactly wasted on animals that could use the help, but at least such behavior from gay folks proves how giving and compassionate gay folks will be...given the chance.

I DO know gay couples. Some are mixed religions, mixed ethnicity...are a different color from their adopted children.
What amazing structure there is...to be among a family untroubled within their own homes by sexism, racism, hompphobia and lack of understanding of people with handicaps or chronic illnes.
Wow, it's the gay couples raising children who aren't sexist, racist, homophobic, religious bigoted...or un gentle towards those who are different.
Traditional homes aren't all their cracked up to be...they run the risk of being imploded BECAUSE their traditions might also mean 'prejudiced', and who needs that?

I don't have any children, and they DON'T ask you about that when you apply for a marriage license. The licensing board doesn't concern itself with whether you are fit to raise a houseplant, let alone a child...or any other living thing.
They only have four requisites...ALL Of which gay couples meet as only human beings can.
I'm sick of the so called, 'family' advocates moving the goal posts and changing up the rules that heterosexuals aren't and never were required to meet.
What bullshit. Trying to say NOW what marriage is...and ONLY saying it to gay couples and nobody else.

Dan, brother...I am in no place to ARGUE with you.
NO straight person is now, or ever been in any position to debate what a gay person is, does or what their place is.
I'm not one of those straight people that's going to say one thing to your face, but change up in the anonymity of the voting booth to destroy any option you have of taking care of your family.
That's gutless on the part of straight people I know that dare to say they have gay friends, but don't feel they are worthy of sharing in the legal joys and resposibility of marriage.
To people like that I say...'you have no gay friends. If you can treat your gay friends, or gay family like that...there is no authenticity in compassion for them, just some need to rationalize what can't be rationalized.
But reveals to all the world what prejudice really means.
Sure, bigots don't like being called bigots and the prejudiced don't like being called prejudiced.

Well I don't like straight people trying to convince you and me that heterosexuality is a virtue that requires no judgement and marriage is and has always been something NOW that it never was.
Nope, I have no trouble at all telling a straight person like that when they are full of shit.
This you heard from a big mouthed, straight black woman all over this crap about who is fit to parent and marry or have domain and decision over a fellow human being.

Posted by Regan DuCasse | March 15, 2007 10:11 AM
188

Agree with comment #185!

As a 36 yr old gay male who has listened to GK's radio show for 15 years and seen it performed live twice (once in Los Angeles, once in San Francisco), I know that his subtle and dry satire is better *heard* than *read* and what's more, heard in context. Reading the passage in question, I was able to imagine it being read aloud by GK and I laughed. I did not find in the least offensive. In fact, I thought it was pretty funny.

Providing GK's personal peccadillos isn't a substitute for providing the appropriate context -- the appropriate context is GK's body of work. Ann Coulter's body of work tells one story; GK's tells a far different one.

I have been reading Dan for almost as long as I've listened to GK -- and I'm sorry to say that this is the first time I think his reaction is off-key.

Posted by JC | March 15, 2007 10:13 AM
189

A point that Keillor also misses is the days of the "standard arrangement", there were people in the closet - only they were closeted alcoholics, adulterers, and pedophiles. Give me a pair of gay parents next to me at the PTA meeting, chartreuse pants or not, rather than the guy who is there to check out the elementary school girls so he can report about it on his website!

Posted by Nikki B | March 15, 2007 10:19 AM
190

I think you're being a bit too sensitive. He makes fun of everyone in a very gentle way. It's irony.

All he was doing was riffing on the many shapes and sizes and colors families take on now. More power to him if his target audience IS over 60. He's discussing in a way they can chuckle over, that we do in fact exist - in his eyes we are not invisible.

Come on, would you rather be invisible or taken note of?

I know my kid said last week that she just wanted to be ordinary, and her teacher, bless her heart asked her why she'd want to be just ordinary when she has so many things that set her apart and make her special.

If you are going to stand out then you have to accept people pointing it out. He's not advocating gay families go away, or not exist - he just said they do and this is what our kids have to put up with, in a light-hearted way.

Please relax. Breathe.

Posted by trent | March 15, 2007 10:29 AM
191

It's not a satire at heart. Keillor begins the piece by commenting on the folly of expensive government studies that show us what we already know to be true- obvious "liberal" things like "taking kids to museums are good for them." We probably all agree. But- the rest of his offerings of "obvious" truth are false, myopic, confusing and offensive. Dragging gay parents into a lamentation of infidelity. divorce and multiple families makes no sense, unless he's talking about birth mothers and sperm donors- in which case why not lump straight parents who adopt in that category? He notes a stereotype of gays held by many people, then adds his own stereotype. This Mid-Westerner isn't laughing.

Posted by Katharine | March 15, 2007 10:29 AM
192

I'm glad you pointed this out Dan, and I'd like to bring another injustice to your attention: Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" where the fascist pig tries to get us to eat Irish babies!

Posted by elpedro | March 15, 2007 10:30 AM
193

re #187:

regan: in one post you made me feel like it is all worth f0ighting for. you blew me away. and you gave me hope. where ever you are ms. duCasse, may you be with god's blessing and may you be with that blessing for a long, long, long time.

Posted by dadanation | March 15, 2007 10:33 AM
194

Dan wrote a good response, but missed the central insult that Keillor says gays have to be taught to be parents, when in truth gays have exactly the same training as straights in parenting -- that is to say nothing formal -- except that they usually take more care to read up on it than entitled straights who are only doing what was expected.

Posted by Jethro | March 15, 2007 10:34 AM
195

"All the women are strong, all the men good looking, and all the children from broken or dysfunctional heterosexual homes."

Posted by beajerry | March 15, 2007 10:37 AM
196

It's clear that GK is showing how Pirate Annie should have talked about Edwards.

Posted by Fred | March 15, 2007 10:38 AM
197

I have read/listened to Keillor for decades now. He has a certain dry, sardonic wit and, unfortunately, I think you missed his subtle baiting and sarcasm directed toward the intolerent bigots.

He's written other pieces that have mocked the situation as well. One is titled "The Old Scout" where he ties global warming with the increase in "gay." And takes a back-hand swipe at Bush and the Red states for gayness:

"The rise in homosexuality coincided with global warming. Look it up. Back when winter was winter, gay guys lived in Key West and New Orleans and Santa Monica. They like to show off their legs and keep tan, that's why. It's a proven fact. Warming trends enabled the tribe to move into Massachusetts. The way to fend off gay marriage is to reduce carbon emissions. And also to reverse the flow of people to the Southwest.

Retirees head for the Arizona desert, and before you know it, you've got old coots in love relationships who, had they remained in Minnesota, would've sat in the Legion club drinking bourbon and Seven and griped about the cold and kept their hands off each other.

Northern blue states get less government spending than Southern reds. The more people receive from the government, the more anti-government they become. You have to wonder if some of that Southern Republican crankiness isn't the result of confusion about sexual orientation. Why so fixated on gays and gay marriage, if not because you're spending a lot of time on personal grooming and shopping for throw rugs and accent pieces, and you need to fend off the suspicions of your supporters?

And what is one to think of the Current Occupant spending his August break in Texas? Does his speech sound more sibilant these days? I am only asking a question. This is not meant to be negative in any way.

It's not enough to outlaw gay marriage. We need to beat back the lavender tide by paying Americans to live in the Northern low-gay tier of states, a frost subsidy of, say, $10,000 per year. Plus generous disaster benefits for blizzards and cold snaps. If we give blizzards names (Astrid, Bjorn, Christina, Dagmar) and plump up the casualty list with the week's coronaries and get good TV coverage (sideways-blowing snow, people hunkered down at bus stops, raggedy girls selling matches on street corners), we could get FEMA to slip us a few billion. Grow North Dakota and gay rates go down. It's a fact."

Posted by Moses | March 15, 2007 10:41 AM
198

Hey Garrison! Why not retitle your radio show "A Prairie Homophobe companion"?

Posted by Mark Snark | March 15, 2007 10:45 AM
199

Poor Moses, all these years he thought Garrison Keillor was being ironic and sarcastic when he wasn't. It's sad when you think about it.

Yes, Keillor puts some gentle irony in his texts. But not half as much as Moses sees.

Posted by Jethro | March 15, 2007 10:57 AM
200

From my post at Americablog.com (where John Avarosis has picked up your post here):

Regrettably, you and Dan Savage are probably going to have to seriously reconsider (and apologize for) your vile characterizations of Garrison at some point - once the dust settles on his column and everyone steps back and does some serious inquiry into both his prior (for many years) writings on GLBT issues and his authorship style in general.

Garrison has always - always - been a strong supporter of our community. All it takes is a search on many prior SALON columns when he was doing a sex-advice type weekly.

Garrison is consistently self-deprecating about himself and about the "good old times" (anyone who fails to recognize this as one of the many foundations for all of his writing is either just plain ignorant, either culpably or unintentionally) and much of this present column is very probably in the same vein. For this, we will await what is assured to be his further reply over the shit storm that is now raging around him for this penning.

Does the thought "precipitously fly off the handle much" come to mind for the Messrs. Avarosis and Savage here?

Moreover, does the thought "take ourselves much too seriously" come to mind for all of us?

I have for many years been - and will continue to be - a strong supporter of both you, John, and Dan. But my suspicion is that you both will regret taking on such a demonstrated and critical progressive - and such an eloquent and creative proponent of all matters liberal - in such a hurtful and brutal manner as you both have done here and not, at least at first blush until he clarifies, given him the benefit of the doubt he deserves.

.

Posted by MiamiDude | March 15, 2007 11:01 AM
201

It is typical of a supposedly liberal person to approve only the TYPES of Gay and Lesbians and the stereotypical areas they approve of us in.

However, when we move outside of their bias comfort zones, WE are the ones who become suspect.

It's funny, because I used to like PHC because it was kitschy and campy.

And Dan is right as usual.

AHole, AHole, AHole.
same same same.
-

Posted by chandler in hollywood | March 15, 2007 11:16 AM
202

I haven't heard anything that ignorant and hateful from the "left" in a looong time.

You haven't been listening.

Whether or not he was being satirical, the point is correct. Today, gay marriage and two daddies is the norm; tomorrow, sickos married to ten year olds.

Also, just because the person telling you something is wrong has done it, makes it no less wrong...

Posted by Jeff | March 15, 2007 11:30 AM
203

I wonder if he's been talking about Lake Wobegon for so long that he believes it's a real place. This longing for the good old days is delusional. Billy Joel said it well: "The good old days weren't always good, and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems."

Posted by Eric | March 15, 2007 11:33 AM
204

I once worked with someone who defected from the theatre where Keillor works. She told me he was such a cantankerous, antisocial asshole that they could never have him at special events because he turned off all the donors so much.

Posted by DWF | March 15, 2007 11:36 AM
205

So many libs can't recognize GK's satire and see how it differs from Ann Coulter's vicious rhetoric? If only Rove and Co were as clueless...

Posted by Sandy | March 15, 2007 11:41 AM
206

Keillor is known for a sardonic sense of humor and a satirical wit.This strikes me as such.I think people are reading this literally when it is meant as satire.

Posted by Tom | March 15, 2007 11:50 AM
207

Hey Monique

Those bastard baby boomers - especially the ones that marched with Martin Luther King, died in Viet Nam, etc. Yeah, they're really bad. By the way, can you explain the College Republicans to me?

Posted by Barbara | March 15, 2007 11:56 AM
208

Oh. My. God. Dan... what are you doing? Are you so blinded by all the hate flung at us gays and from us gays that you've lost your ability to read critically (it happens to the best of us from time to time, so I, a fan forever, will forgive you)? Keillor's article begins and ends by stating that the government doesn't know shit about what's best for children and how best to raise them. The entire article is one big indictment against the very thinking the government poses that fags are prancing, flaming queens and should be kept in the back of the room at PTA meetings... as well as governmental positions that families are these happy little monogamous units where parents stay true to each other and children grow up happy and apple cheeked. Garrison Keillor's on our side on this... this article's clearly mocking the thought process that paints American families as pretty cardboard cutouts printed in the 1950's! It's clearly saying that the government is trying to tell us how to raise children, but that we know better, because we're the ones raising our kids in the real world, the world that is multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-gendered and multi-sexed!

Posted by Joe | March 15, 2007 11:57 AM
209

This is total satire - can't believe people are taking this literally.

Posted by Tony Booth | March 15, 2007 12:10 PM
210

I think Keillor is insensitive to gay concerns, but tries to be supportive.

I think the gay blogosphere is feeling its oats and flexing its muscles after Washington, Hardigay, Coulter and Pace.

I'm saddened that Keillor is bearing the brunt of such anger after writing an article that is both mildly amusing and harmless in intent, if not in reality.

Posted by adamblast | March 15, 2007 12:11 PM
211

Garrison Keillor is obnoxious and a philandering pig, no doubt about it. You, Dan Savage, are merely obnoxious. Neither should have the kind of access to the media you have - you're both dull as dishwater.

Posted by Tony | March 15, 2007 12:19 PM
212

Dan: Me thinks thou dost protest too much. While I agree with many of the points you made, your 'savaging' of Keillor (who I don't much care for) speaks to a fundamental insecurity that gay marriage has to be defended at all costs. I think he raises some good points, albeit oddly phrased, and certainly uses some boring stereotypes to make his point. It's unfortuntate. However, the ferocity of your response is more in keeping with a suggestion that gays be put in camps than a suggestion that there is a commentary on society here which is worthy critique. I didn't hear much of what you accuse him of saying in his piece. As a psychotherapist to gay men, many of whom are or are becoming parents, learning to put a child first (and some never really do so) is a struggle. I get your anger but save it for the real bigots.

Posted by Dr. Vaughan | March 15, 2007 12:21 PM
213

After reading the article, I don't find it to be homophobic at all. I'm thinking Mr. Savage is not well-versed enough in Keillor's bone-dry Scandinavian humor to understand that he wasn't slamming gays.

BUT! After reading what Mr. Savage said in Mpls. and some choice words in Keillor's article, I have to wonder about this 'coincidence'.

I think there's a good chance Mr. Keillor may be taking a gentle side-swipe at Savage. Perhaps Keillor sees Savage as the egomaniacal, self-appointed spokesmodel of a not-so-willing gay community that others do, and took a little jab at him in his article. Not too far-fetched.

Posted by BD | March 15, 2007 12:27 PM
214

I don't like the use of barnyard language in this piece.
Keillor and Trump have much in common with respect to their public personas and the sharp contrast with their private lives.
Keillor's humor runs on a track of familiarity - his audience feels an implied kinship, a common viewpoint. They don't have residences in Manhattan and elsewhere, and travel xtensively, with multiple past wives, some with children.

Trump's audience feels the same way - that he is smart (just like them) and knows what's good for America (just like them). I don't think things have changed much.
Keillor isn't going to reverse the miserable failure rate for marriages - he's going to make fun of it, and much of his audience is going to laugh.
Jay Leno, who also uses crude humor in much of his dialogues, had a superb joke when he was subbing for Carson years ago. He was wondering aloud why, in the then unfolding saga of Jim Bakker's melt down as a leading televangelist, so many people have come forward as admitting to having had sex with Jim, but none with Tammy Faye (his wife noted for excessive makeup). Jay 's remark was "Call me what you will, I've seen pictures of both, and if I had to choose one to have sex with......I'd choose Jim."
The nice part of this joke, crude as it was, was it's even-handedness as to the issue of sexual orientation.
Keillor runs the risk, in playing to "Middle America" as he sees it, that he endorses some serious character flaws in the national psyche when he trades on rude sterotypes. I think he could have covered the same ground without the stereotypes, and instead of playing back the past as "perfect" he could try to be closer to the truth, when at least in the days when the public perception of married life was framed by "My Three Sons" and other utter rubbish, there were many people led to believe that in not fitting the popular mold they had much to be ashamed for.

Posted by slow down | March 15, 2007 12:29 PM
215

I agree with Sven at 42 in how Keillor's piece is about parenting and the compromises it entails, gay or straight. Granted, as satire it leaves something to be desired, but let's not forget where it is coming from: Keillor has consistently and publicly advocated progressive ideals in his articles and on his show, and further he has consistently slammed the incumbent neo-con administration and all its corruption and cronyism. He may be a horny old goat with a slightly off-key understanding of the sensitivities of the gay community, but this guy is on our side!

Posted by Ray | March 15, 2007 12:30 PM
216

Keillor is mildly notorious for having dumped his long-time lover and PHC producer Margaret Moos to marry Ulla. The marriage failed when Keillor had an affair with his Danish language teacher.

That's just fucked up. Has anyone ever seen Garrison Keillor?!! Guy gets more play than Loverboy on a Canadian radio station. Geez.

Posted by Paul | March 15, 2007 12:38 PM
217

Keillor's article begins and ends by stating that the government doesn't know shit about what's best for children and how best to raise them.

So when progressives start telling us how to raise our children-- through legislative fiat--can we tell the to go shut the fuck up?

Posted by Paul | March 15, 2007 12:42 PM
218

RE: Monique @ 10 The day will come when you will hear some younger person describe the GenX GenY and GenNext age cohorts as a "fucked-up hypocritical generation that will be dying off soon." It's just how life goes. How is ageism any less reprehensible than the ugly homophobia driving Keillor's hit-piece in Salon?

Bigots are usually incapable of recognizing their bigotry, so I don't expect either Monique or Keillor to acknowledge theirs, or to even understand that they are bigots.

And as for Keillor, I've heard him make some scathing comments about Republicans and extreme right-wingism. So his little hit-piece is beyond galling to me, and there is nothing humorous, quaint, or cute about it. I hope he hears from a lot of people who were equally disgusted and I hope a sudden drop in his listenership gets his attention.

Posted by Linda | March 15, 2007 12:44 PM
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Tactics:

When you're behind in a two boat sailing race, you try to break away from the leader, hoping you'll find better air. BUT, when you're the LEADER, you stick with the other boat like glue. You "cover" the other boat's moves, even if you think the s/he's going somewhere stupid. Just don't hit the rocks while covering, and you'll win.

Posted by ferd | March 15, 2007 12:56 PM
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I went on the first Prairie Home Companion Cruise (to Maine, Nova Scotia, and PEI) in 2005.
Garrison is an odd guy. I think he dislikes men, generally. I tried to talk to him (I'm a 45 year old regular gay guy) and he couldn't have been more dismissive. It was odd, because he had been talking to a number of women in the hallway, and when they had left, I said something about his terrific articles against Bush in "The Nation"... and he practically waved me off saying "on NPR"... "on NPR"... what was that all about? Maybe he's hard of hearing and didn't hear what I said. Very weird.

Garrison Keillor became the topic of conversation at a gay group I meet with from time to time, and I shared my rather disappointing experience with him. Most of the members of the group were really surprised to hear that I got a definitive anti-gay bias from the man . . . it was a vibe... but sometimes it's just an unmistakeable feel.

Now this. I'm not sure Keillor is hateful towards gays, but it's clear that we're just too distasteful for him. . . and we're inconvenient in the landscape of American culture, as far as he's concerned.

After my personal experience with him, I was not at all surprised to read this article. I've really soured on him since my personal experience... his article just validates that point.

Posted by Dan Cobb | March 15, 2007 1:03 PM
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As a gay man who just turned 64 and is not a parent and who formerly listened to PHC on the local PBS station I dont know who offends me more Garrison Keillor or the people commenting on Keillor's Salon article. I dont like to be referred to as elderly, I am not. I don't like being told my people commenting on that idiot article soon the boomers will die off...I am not a boomer...although my sister is. I have no plans to die soon but my physician keeps looking for things that might kill me and she keeps telling she cant find anything but will continue looking. A bit more logic and attacks on Keillor's content would be welcome. Ad hominem attacks are practiced by the rancid right wing in american polictics. I thought "we" were above that bullshit. I guess not. My next visit is to the PHC website to tell Keillor to piss up a rope.

Posted by Eamon O'Connor | March 15, 2007 1:07 PM
222

Why is this a surprise? Keillor has made a particularly conservative and nostalgic brand of humor the centerpiece of his radio show. I stopped listening to it when I realized I could not relate. And how could I when the show caters to and lampoons straight-acting, white-looking, megachurch-going, fried-candy-bar-eating, bimbo-humping, jock-adoring small town people?

Posted by gil martinez | March 15, 2007 1:07 PM
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Phhht. Not that I ever could stand his sanctimonious brand of whatever anyway, but this really is obnoxious.

Sure, parents aren't supposed to wear flaming gay clothes or whatever, but there's lots of things they aren't supposed to do - and they do anyway, and you put up with it because they are your parents.

Say, wear their pants pulled up to their neck. Wear black socks and sandals. Sing badly in public. Fail to recognize anyone in public life in the last 40 years. Wave at you while you are on stage.

Can we call such people unfit parents, too? Because I don't see any difference. And if there is a difference, your average embarrassed teenager is unlikely to be able to tell you what it is. That includes GK....

Posted by JT | March 15, 2007 1:10 PM
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Dan Savage, you are a God! Thank you for being real and intelligent at the same time. You remind me of a Lauryn Hill rap: "Through all the logic and the theory, I add a muthafucker so you ignorant n*ggas hear me."

Keillor, can you hear him now?

Posted by Tina | March 15, 2007 1:22 PM
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funny: all this chat and no one's mentioned the one gay character in a Keillor novel. In "Lake Wobegon Boy," the protagonist's sister Diana is a lesbian. (Her partner's name is April; she doesn't say much.) She's kind of weepy and self-indulgent and tiresome; it's not a very complimentary portrayal, and could easily be read as stereotypical. Pretty much every character in the novel is an object of satire, though, and Keillor didn't feel the need to spare gay people. (The fictional NPR personality, "Jonah Hadley," gets skewered worst of all.)

Posted by gkb | March 15, 2007 1:31 PM
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I would bet good money that the majority of those who think GK's piece is homophobic are not from the Midwest. Sorta funny that the cultural elite on the coasts can't seem to understand the humor of us rubes in the fly-over states. ;)

Posted by Alan | March 15, 2007 1:36 PM
227

The only writer less relevant than Garrison Keillor is Dan Savage.

Posted by fontanelle | March 15, 2007 1:47 PM
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He's dead to me, forever.

Posted by Mystery_Caller | March 15, 2007 1:47 PM
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Perhaps the homophobia needle registers a little too much on GK's piece, but lumping with Ann Coulter?

Are you -trying- to lose people here?

Posted by cindy | March 15, 2007 1:48 PM
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Great column by Keillor. I laughed my ass off.

All he is saying is that parents are more selfish today. Parents don't stand in the back like the old days. This is TRUE.

Parents are out front, getting theirs, indulging. And yes, sometimes at the expense of focus and attention on the kids they bring into the world or adopt. And, yes, he's saying gay parents fall into this, too.

One then can posit that he's saying that being gay is an example of such behavior. This is TRUE.

How many men or women dumped their marriage partners in the old days to pursue a gay lifestyle? Very few. They suffered in silence. It's more common these days. It's an example of parents bringing their desires to the forefront. There's no judgment here about whether that's good or bad. But it sure as hell is different.

I did find it sort of odd, though, that Keillor would give all of these observations and then slip into finger-waving mode, telling gays that if they want acceptance to stop the flamboyance. I think that was a departure from the rest of the article. I'm rolling it around in my brain. I think I agree but I don't know many gay couples. Of the female ones, it's not true. Of the male ones ...

As for Keillor being divorced, whatever. Who cares. He referenced his upbringing as an example of the old days and how things worked. He never said that in his adult/married life that he was still living the old values.

Turns out he's not. And, in fact, he's a good example for what he's describing -- the selfishness of today's parents.

Posted by Mark | March 15, 2007 1:57 PM
231

Mr. Keeler is a well-known HUMORIST. I don't find his writings nearly as offensive as General Pace's ad libs. What is wrong with me that I see mostly ironic humor in the writings?

Ease up and enjoy life, for heaven's sake. Save your ammo for attacking evil, not the wry.

Posted by James | March 15, 2007 2:43 PM
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Keillor is a grumpy, rude man. I once helped him in a bookstore, and when the clerk gave him the wrong change (she is in her 80's) he let off a tirade. It is freeing to say "I don't like Garrison Keillor".

Posted by amy | March 15, 2007 2:52 PM
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Wow, you completely missed the point and tone of GK's entire piece didn't you? I suppose you've never heard the terms "tongue-in-cheek", "satire" or "sarcasm"?

Geez, and thought only the Fundamentalists were complete literalists...

Posted by Mike C | March 15, 2007 2:57 PM
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Having just met Garrison Keillor, I believe this article is being taken out of context. I whole-heartedly believe the man is being 100% satirical in this writing. My question to you all is whether or not you have heard the man's radio show. If indeed you have, you would know that the man is as quick to poke fun at himself as he is the next person...whether he be George Bush or a flamboyant fashionisto named Bruce...with track lighting. Moreover, his radio program is grounded almost completely on the stereotype of simple, provincial living...do you find that stereotype as offensive. (Personally, I thought his article was funny, as the daughter of divorced parents...and a gay man, I might add.) While you are certainly entitled to your opinion of Mr. Keillor, it saddens me to see so many people quickly swayed by your comments. One would think that the decades Mr. Keillor has dedicated to entertaining us with his unassuming humor would earn a bit more loyalty...and perhaps a closer, more critical reading of his work. A week or so ago, I stood by (coordinating a book signing following his talk)and watched him cordially greet over 150 people. Mr. Keillor was provided with a table and a chair, as well as a troupe of people in charge of expediting the process. Did he take advantage of these things? No, he did not. Instead, he stood at the front of the line, chatted with his fans, took pictures with them, and personalized the inscriptions on each and every book that was handed to him...for over 2 hours. Of course, this is no testament to his views on politics or familial order. However, it is surely enough that I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by JR | March 15, 2007 3:11 PM
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This is a Keillor tradition. He's also bashed atheists along with gays, and in a memorable Strib piece a few years ago, claimed that gay marriage was a triviality, a convenience that gay men did to simplify sharing clothes.

Posted by PZ Myers | March 15, 2007 3:13 PM
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>Don't worry Dan, his fucked up hypocritical generation will be dying off soon.

Um, how ironic that the post decries his sweeping generalizations and sterotypes and your comment is one big sweeping, sanguine generalization?

Posted by Christian | March 15, 2007 3:15 PM
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Fuck off you dick sucking homos, Garrison Keillor goddamn rocks.

Here's another thing to suck on, besides dick, you faggots want everyone to appreciate you for your talents and not simply label you as cocksucking faggots, and for the most part most of us do, yet when you disagree with an artist's opinion yesterday's hateful jizz spews out your fat faggy asses.

Just as buttsucking Gore Vidal is entitled to his opinion, Keillor has a right express his - now fuck off, hypocrites.

Posted by R. U. Asspolyps | March 15, 2007 3:21 PM
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Have to disagree w/you Dan. I didn't read anything close to Coulter's savagery in Garrison's piece. His show always takes swipes at sanctimonious righties (and lefties). I like Garrison and will continue to do so, though I appreciate your bringing this to light. Garrison could have been a tad more progressive in his views, but for 60+ he's a lot more progressive than some 20-something pastors of churches in Ballard I can think of.

Posted by lauram | March 15, 2007 3:26 PM
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What happened to freedom of speech? Oh, that's right...it only applies to anyone who's not white and not straight. How silly of me. Carry on, girls.

Posted by Max Peanut | March 15, 2007 3:34 PM
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It's surprising to see someone as seemingly intelligent as Garrison Keillor rely on outdated stereotypes to form an argument. I'm all for freedom of speech, even if it is just people making comments that reveal their own shallow-minded prick nature.

Posted by subwayslasher | March 15, 2007 3:51 PM
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After reading the comments made here in regards to what Keillor said, I do have to think what he said about gays was appalling. After ready what Keillor wrote in its entirety, I think the man needs a good smack up one side of his head and one down the other for good measure. Not only does he talk about how gays are too flamboyant, but at the end of his article he seems to be tacking on an "oh my god, there are these people from other countries who look nothing like me and don't speak the language. What is this country coming to?" He has confirmed himself as a homophobic xenophobic asshole now and forevermore.

Posted by DD | March 15, 2007 3:54 PM
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"Most of the gay male parents I know adopted children ...."

Adopt no more! Soon gay men will be able to breed their own (selected boy) babies:

http://www.slate.com/id/2161616/

You guys are hysterical maniacs. Like your fuhrer, the aptly named Mr. Savage. I wouldn't wanna be one of his kids when he's on a bender.

Hysterical ninny.

Posted by Aretha | March 15, 2007 3:57 PM
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Daddy Keillor's remarks weren't nice at all, but they wasn't nearly as nasty as Dan's description of lesbians in his Savage Love column "Chocolate City." I think the stereotype of sexless, pizza-eating lards trumps flamboyant furniture connoisseurs, no?

Posted by JR | March 15, 2007 4:04 PM
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I'm really not impressed. Keilor is just another artifact from The Heterosexual Museum: the straight, white, peace lovin', liberal, bourgeois, pretender from hell. Ignorance and hostility is the preserve of hegemony.

Mediocre fucktard indeed.

Posted by Ben | March 15, 2007 4:16 PM
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Well, I read (most of) the blog reactions & Dan's article. Then I went and read the original Garrison Keillor article on Salon.com. I read Lake Woebegone Days (get it: woe be gone days?) many, many years ago. I saw the movie version of A Prairie Home Companion but to the best of my recollection I've never heard a radio broadcast of the same. But I certainly know who Garrison Keillor is and what style of humor he is famous for. I gotta say that I think Dan is waaaay off on this one. It was meant as humor, gently making fun of the values of those woe-be-gone-days and their perpetuation into contemporary times. I too have heard that Mr. Keillor is kind of an asshole. That may or may not be. But I think Mr. Savage is guilty of what makes me crazy about the Ann Coulters, Rush Limbaughs & Bill O'Reillys of the world: taking things out of context and interpreting them through their own insecurities, biases, or outraged perspective about what is "wrong" with the world. And Dan's quoting, not just some of the words but also Mr. Keillor's style, totally out of context puts him, in this case, in the same league as those right wing bigots who spin the words and sentiments of those such as Al Gore, John Kerry, Hilary Clinton, Al Franken and other "liberals" into meanings totally at odds with what was actually said or inferred. At first glance I too was outraged by what Garrison Keillor had "said." But then as experience has taught me, I went to the source and read the thing for myself. Dan Savage is, of course, free to interpret whatever he reads or hears through his own world view. I'll still read whatever book he publishes next, and I expect I'll be tickled by them as much as I have been by his previous tomes. But then those have not been published straight from his fingers tips immediately into cyber space. Time and editorial advice will hopefully cause him to think about what he says before going public with it. His outrageousness and his outrage make him a writer that I truly admire. But in this particular case I believe case I believe, he is seeing a boogie man where none actually exists.

Posted by UK | March 15, 2007 4:26 PM
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I don't think he was attacking gay marriage, i think he was trying to point out some slightly humorous aspect to it.

Suppose Keillor wrote, of interracial marriage, that white women would "have to get used to a diet of fried chicken and orange drink now that some black men will be in the family."

Would the white straight "learn irony" liberals be out in force on black web sites, explaining to the "oversensitive irony impaired" black people that Keillor wasn't a racist and that "they're being idiots?"

Nope.

Why?

Because black Americans take racism seriously and don't allow the legendary contempt of the storied liberal elite to extend into a "right to be racist." The few times they've tried to be "ironically racist," they were burnt quite badly.

The gay community, however, bends over backwards for people who don't respect us and have no intention of supporting or helping us. . . people who dish out absolute contempt. So why are we so surprised when we get insulted, and told that our annoyance is "oversensitivity" and a "lack of sophistication" by the same people who bristled with indignation when Ann Coulter referred to one of them as a "faggot?"

Posted by Brian Miller | March 15, 2007 4:43 PM
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To those who say GK composed an 'unsuccessful satire': 'Naïve' is the kindest epithet I can throw your way; but PLEASE inhale deeply and smell the coffee!

Posted by jerry | March 15, 2007 4:45 PM
248

So much for joining the reindeer games, eh Dan?

Posted by Gerg | March 15, 2007 5:07 PM
249

Email him here:

phc@mpr.org

Posted by Michael | March 15, 2007 5:12 PM
250

I do think Keillor was trying to be tongue-burrowed-in-cheek, like everything he does, and that he doesn't really believe that shite. Of course, Keillor's never really been talented enough to really communicate irony.

Posted by JMM | March 15, 2007 5:30 PM
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I'm not fan of GK. He seems a little too self-inflated for my taste. However, I just didn't get the same read that Savage did. OK it's not quite politically correct, but remember his audience: mostly middle-of-the-country over-50 and mostly white-toast somewhat left-leaning Americans. In that crowd this would come across as cute or even heart-warming. As a matter of fact I think that - given who he's speaking to - he provides a way for people who might otherwise be terrified of the "gay thing" to feel more connected to that experience. It lets people remember others who they feel warmly about, and relates the gayness to that feeling. Not quite hate speech I think.

I do NOT support expression that's demeaning to any group, and understand that in some venues this would be exactly that. I'm just saying that in a certain contexts you need to reach people on their terms, and that he does that here.

Posted by stefan | March 15, 2007 5:42 PM
252

I was alerted to the slog by a friend who said "protest Garrison Keillor's homophobia." I've read and re-read the article (suggest you do the same before reading the rest of this lengthy comment) and found Mr. Keillor neither particularly homophobic nor particularly offensive...or interesting or insightful...in this case, I think Keillor is guilty of indulgent writing; he's made himself the subject of his piece and instead of being witty, he seems (at best) cantankerous. A previous comment noted his fanciful look back at an idyllic Mid-Western existence that is precisely that - idyllic and fanciful. His perception is that all "mixed gender marriages" were monogamous and committed and child-centric and "tra-la-la" and we're all smart enough to know that this wasn't always the case. I found most objectionable his depiction of re-married/divorced/single parents as "troubled, angry parents demanding that life be richer..." Is he thereby determining that single moms and dads should forever lock up their libidos content to be androgynous, sexless child-rearers until their (the parent's) death or emancipation upon the child's 18th birthday gleefully releases them from parental responsibilties? That's not a very well-researched, politically correct, or demographically reflective position. Regarding his assertion that gay marriage will produce a whole new string of hyphenated relatives, he's right! It will! He's also correct in assuming that we'll get used to it - he's stating the obvious; recall the title of his article. What he fails to note is that we'll thrive in it like so many "non-traditional families" (step-mom, half-brother, adpoted daughter, mother's girlfriend) have done since the dawn of "non-traditional families." He's also correct when he implies that stereotypical gay men are "...sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog..." It's a stereotype. His error is in perpetuating it and at worst, again, he's reflecting his poorly-researched, politically incorrect, non-demographically reflective position. What we fail to recognize, as readers and reactionaries, is that try as we may, people we come to enjoy as entertainers sometimes hold positions that aren't well-researched, politically correct, and demographically reflective. Would it better to disagree, debate, and discuss rather than immediately shutting down a dialogue by labeling something "homophobic?" Wouldn't a better response (to material/labels you find objectionable) be living well under precisely the conditions Keillor (or any other "poo-poo" er) finds so troubling? I'd say kick it off! Send pictures and your own "stating the obvious" missives to Mr. Keillor's website. Bombard his office with pictures of your non-traditional family - complete with "...Gampa, Gammy, Goopa, Gumby, Papa, Poopsy, Goofy, Gaga and Chuck..." Tell him what it's like for you to meet people like him at the school play each winter! Express your devotion, your love and your admiration for your children. Invite him over for dinner. Then you can direct him to exactly where it is he can shove his leftover boiled potatoes.

Posted by Angry single parents? | March 15, 2007 5:49 PM
253

Laughing at the comments that Garrison is so ugly, how can he get laid? People who think ugly people are sexually unattractive are really lacking in understanding of sexual attraction. I suppose some people are bigotted about "attractiveness" and "ugliness." And Garrison keeps writing in sterotypes in hope that repeated often enough, people will finally recognize how ludicrous they are. I'm almost 64 and I've thought since I was 20 that the best thing that could happen in this country is that gay marriage be recognized. Gay couples, allowed to marry, might have kept my friend from contracting HIV and dying when he and I were 30. He was so talented and so driven to dispair because of the lack of acceptance of his homosexuality. The world is less rich because he died too soon and for the wrong reason.

Posted by dieselrain | March 15, 2007 6:15 PM
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Keilor's new "family values" notably comes to us with his increased use of some pathetic toilet-humor over the last year+, presumably to bolster his waning ratings, in lieu of something newer than the pathetic stale Catchup Advisory board skits and his pointless Guy Noir ramblings. You failed at life Garrison, not us.

Posted by Chris Peeters | March 15, 2007 6:27 PM
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homosexuality drives some people crazy.

personally, i am neutral in the war between sexes. i don't like anyone very much.

but, the hatred[fear] of homosexuality has always mystified me.

i find it most discouraging that an "artist" says these things.

if ever there was a milieu that supported the idea of live and let live, it has been the artist sector of society. for a member of that sector to renounce that pov, a significant betrayal has occurred.

perhaps keillor, like limbo, like coulter, has some problems with his sexual personna.

and that the temptation to cross the line causes him to desire the erasure of those on the other side of that line[i.e., no more temptation].

Posted by albertchampion | March 15, 2007 7:41 PM
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I also just think this is Keilor's "John Kerry" moment...trying to be funny, but not. He's a big dem so, as many have stated, I think he's just trying to be funny.

unoffended gay man

Posted by WKT | March 15, 2007 7:43 PM
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Dan, Relax. It's called satire. Old Garr is as stale as the coffeecake at Starbuck's. This is consistent with his usual lame attempt at funny.

Posted by zack | March 15, 2007 7:46 PM
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Several years ago the Stranger had a little blurb on the evils of drug users and how they should basically get AIDS and die. I think it was in one of the back to school specials...I don't remember the comment exactly. In context, it was pretty damn funny. Out of context it was over the top.

Unfortunately, someone with no grasp of satire and no familiarity with the Stranger saw the comment and posted it to one of the drug policy reform listserves.

Within days there were hundreds of comments from all over the place basically calling for burning the Stranger editors at the stake.

As a local I tried to explain this....saying things like "no this was a bad attempt at humor" and "no really, they're on our side" and "many of the staff are public about drug use."

But once some folks latch onto something no amount of counter argument will sway them. So even a couple of years after that event I would get asked if that hateful right wing newspaper in Seattle was still in business.

Posted by gnossos | March 15, 2007 8:22 PM
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Keillor is a complete and utter asshole. The only thing worse I could think of was if he and Anne Coulter had a baby together. And ummm, Monique? As a "fucked up hypocritical generation...asshat bigots of the Boomer Gen" member, I resent that. When you're screaming about other people's predjudices, it really helps to not have your own waving around out there.

Posted by Bryn | March 15, 2007 8:38 PM
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Yeah, he's been sick a long time.

BUT BUT back in 1970 he had a radio show on Mpls Public Radio, and he invented this lunchbox that played "Help Me Rhonda" continuously, and demo'd the idea by airing 4 or 5 copies of HMR he cut together.

Like many Scand's, the shy outer demeanor now masks an egoistic certainty the size of ... Denmark. Yes, kids: radio killed the radio star.

Posted by Limabean | March 15, 2007 10:18 PM
261

Dan, seriously, you didn't understand this piece. It is subtle satire, and is probably actually aiming to get its target audience to be more accepting of gays, in the ways others have suggested. And honestly, I wasn't even offended by anything he said. Anyone who knows Garrison Keillor's style knows what he means. And while this may not have been his finest or funniest piece, it was FAR from offensive.

All he's doing is incorporating gay people and gay marriage into his longtime schtick of ironic longing for the "good old days." It's really childish of you to just see any little thing about gay stereotypes and be all "fuck Garrison Keillor." Geez.

Posted by Adam K. | March 15, 2007 10:29 PM
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I hope this controversy brings more attention to Dan Savage and Garrison Keillor, both of whom must be misunderstood on a daily basis.

But it'll be sad if Keillor's out-of-context quote is quoted further out of context, and he becomes stupidly tarred. People who are quick to snipe and smear complex satirists like Garrison Keillor and Stephin Merrit with a few out-of-context quotes are no better than their right-wing counterparts.

Get smarter.

Posted by John G. | March 15, 2007 10:46 PM
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Reading this piece as if Andy Rooney were saying it, yes, it's kind of reactionary.

Reading it as if it were Bill Maher, suddenly it seems much less serious.

Posted by Zack | March 15, 2007 11:05 PM
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have none of these folks who are so uptight about keillor's column ever read any sinclair lewis?

Posted by BobVance | March 16, 2007 12:23 AM
265

seriously, keillor's only sin is writing over his audience's heads.

Posted by Kevin Erickson | March 16, 2007 12:30 AM
266

Sing out sister!

Posted by JohnnyG | March 16, 2007 12:46 AM
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Until today I didn't think it possible that people could be confrontational while talking past each other.

When creating satire you need to keep two things firmly in mind. These are; keep a straight face, and exagerate outrageously. GK gets the first down pat, but flubs the second. He has no eye for the human condition, or ear for the English language. He is patronizing, obtuse, and has the timing of an infant just home from the hospital. Garrison Keillor is, in a word, a self-important prat with the wit of a tasmanian devil and none of the general anxiety disorder charm.

Not only that, but PHC is an insult put on by a poser for big city bigots, so they can feel superior to the Homo erecti living in fly-over country.

Last, but not least, I say homosexuals should be allowed to get married. Why should fudgepackers and muff divers be able to avoid divorce lawyers when partnerships go bad?

Posted by Alan Kellogg | March 16, 2007 2:00 AM
268

Oh, I know Garrison was trying to be funny, but he, well, failed. Does he actually believe having stereotypically flamboyant taste precludes the ability to care about your children or put them first?

I don't know, but the mere *fact* that I (and so many of you) can reread that piece several time and not know for sure how much he means it, indicates that at the very least, the joke failed. I have to say, while I think he was going for humor, I suspect he was more going for the "folksy chat" kind of humor and not the "I am portraying a character who believes the opposite of myself" variety.

Dan's personal note about the performances Garrison was present for is particularly unflattering to Keillor. At the very least, his choice of detail and characterization of same was in rather poor taste.

What I took away from this and the other linked articles of Keillor's is not so much that he hates gay people, but that he has that queasy well meaning acceptance so common in people of a certain age and background. You know the sort: Oh, why do gay people have to be so... gay? Can't they just try to tone it down? Well, they're nice and all, but I wouldn't hire one to be my doctor or lawyer - not if he was flaming. Life was so much simpler before there were gay people, there was only the florist and the hairdresser when I was growing up. Etc, etc, etc.

It isn't hatred, it's just disappointing and stupid. Frankly, it's an attitude vastly more common in people a decade or two older than Keillor, and while it isn't very flattering, it isn't surprising. He's always been a man old before his time, prematurely aged by the ceaseless flow of nostalgia.

Posted by Kate | March 16, 2007 3:40 AM
269

I've noticed an anti-gay subtext before in his writing. Most recently in his "Old Scout" editorial column.

Posted by Dan | March 16, 2007 6:20 AM
270

I've read through most of this thread, and I've got one question--just one simple question--for everyone making apologies for Keillor.

If those of us troubled by Keillor's column don't understand what he was really saying, or what he really intended...TELL US. Go ahead, please tell us simpletons what, precisely, he intended when he wrote of a clear discomfort with "flamboyant" gay Americans (much less, what he possibly could have meant by his patronizing advice as to how they should act to deserve respect as parents and coupled citizens).

I really haven't seen a single apologist on here follow up their claims that we don't "get" Keillor to, well, tell us what the F he was thinking. 'Cause I sure can't figure out what the F he was thinking.

I sense HUGE BLIND SPOTS in Keillor, and his apologists here, about homophobia. I'm not Keillor's retrograde stereotype of a gay man, so I've been in many supposedly liberal/enlightened circles where homophobia was present.

What none of you apologists seem to get is this: you wouldn't defend the stereotype of a "pushy Jew" so don't peddle the "flamboyant gays" crap.

Posted by JoelDC | March 16, 2007 7:49 AM
271

The comments section of this article does more to promote unpleasant stereotypes than anything Keillor has ever written in his life.

Posted by ab irata | March 16, 2007 8:02 AM
272

I always imagined Lake Wobegon as a place filled with gay men and women, albeit closeted. After all, "all the women were strong and the men were good looking." Sounds like gay stereotypes to me.

Posted by phil | March 16, 2007 8:32 AM
273

Good lord, people are still commenting. Stop already, no one has said anything in post 51 and beyond that wasn't already covered in the first 50 posts.

Posted by Matt from Denver | March 16, 2007 8:48 AM
274

matt from denver is wrong.

there, matt-- nobody said that in the first 50 posts. ;-)

Posted by BobVance | March 16, 2007 9:48 AM
275

It seems most missed the "obvious" point of the piece. The article starts and concludes with reference to governments penchant for commissioning wasteful studies that affirm obvious conclusions. A careful reading of the story does not produce a moralistic blueprint for the reader or a condemnation of homosexuality, rather his examples of marriages and family illustrate the majorities acceptance and adaption to family life in America today.

Posted by Rick | March 16, 2007 10:36 AM
276

Well, Dan, this swishy faggot really appreciates your calling this asshole on the carpet. I am so fucking tired of the gay community feeling some need to "act straight" for the rest of the world. Fuck that shit. Yes, there are "normal" gay people. But you know what? There ARE swishy faggots in the world! And we are fucking tired of being told to act differently. We have just as much right to raise a fucking kid as anybody else does. Exactly who do you "normal" faggots think started the fucking revolution in the first place? Hello?

Rock on, Dan!

Posted by A Very Swishy Faggot | March 16, 2007 10:59 AM
277

This makes me so so sad. I was a big Keillor fan - mostly for the whole poem of the day thing and the Lake Wobegone tales. And now - he can just fuck right the hell off.

Thanks for the posting Dan.

Posted by emchy | March 16, 2007 11:29 AM
278

You tell 'em, Dan.

How about Keillor talking about the good old days when mommy was daddy's servant and daddy beat Timmy with his non-flamboyant belt? It was all nice and stodgy and stable, other than the drinkin'.

Yeah, and swish on, gay dads, and butch out, lesbian mom's! Can we just agree to love our kids and teach them to be good people and let the rest of it take care of itself?

Posted by cm | March 16, 2007 12:22 PM
279

wow....

there's some serious point-missing going on here.

Posted by a very jewy gentile | March 16, 2007 1:00 PM
280

Well said, Dan! It's sad that in the 21st century we're having this debate about homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

Posted by Leon | March 16, 2007 1:00 PM
281

Thank god we don't all have yards and garages today.

Posted by kevin bracken | March 16, 2007 1:15 PM
282

Thank you. Now I have a better reason to dislike the bastard than his entire schtick being about as entertaining as an oatmeal commercial.

Posted by Burt Felk | March 16, 2007 2:46 PM
283

Keillor isn't "representative" of my generation anymore than Britney Spears is of hers.
So give me a break there. (or grow up).

I never liked him, and this only emphasizes WHY.

The reverence for an imaginary warm, fuzzy Americana life on which his career is based was ALWAYS both distasteful and silly.

Posted by weedy | March 16, 2007 3:03 PM
284

Whether or not this was completely satirical or not, I've lost my taste for this particular brand of humor. I used to be a huge GK/PHC fan and my ex and I even went to see him twice in LA when he was recording PHC here. We were two of very few minorities in the overwhelmingly white audience, and GK made TWO "gently satirical" remarks about Latinos during the show. It changed our opinion of him, and we didn't bother to go see the PHC movie or tune into the show after that.

Posted by City Elf | March 16, 2007 3:16 PM
285

This post is just stupid. Either you don't understand satire or you just become offended at anything.

Posted by Tommy | March 16, 2007 3:25 PM
286

The only thing more pathetic than Dan's piece is the rabid, mindless pile on that its inspired.

Get clue folks. Keillor doesn't condemn Gay Marriage, Gay families or Gay relationships in this article whatever you think of his writing, his personal life, etc. By making an explicit comparison between serial monogamy and Gay families he's saying that society, having coped with one, can certainly cope with the other.

Dan's hardly in any position to criticize Keillor, considering that he has to misrepresent what Keillor says:

Where to start? How about that one sentence that somehow manages to pack in six flaming stereotypes about gay men—fussy hair, small dogs, over-decorated apartments, and on and on. Yes, Garrison, all of us gay men—particularly us gay parents!—are decadent, flamboyant creatures. Sure, having kids means puke on your chartreuse trousers and candy ground into your expensive sofa—but, hey, those are small prices to pay if it means getting to show off your chartreuse pants at PTA meetings!

Well Gee. I suppose Dan missed the part where Keillor specified that he was describing the stereotype of Gay men that straight society has embraced. Nowhere does Keillor claim that that the stereotype is true much less extend it to Gay parents.

What Keillor does indicate is that the self indulgent, narcistic stereotype of gay men being marketed is not one that straight society equates with parenting. Does Dan deny the accuracy of that observation? If you don't care about the attitudes of straight society towards Gay parenting that won't matter to you. On the other hand, if you think straight attitudes do matter, then it's difficult ignore Keillor's contention that this image could use some work.

What Dan has done here, intentionally or not, is no different from the sort of crap the Right Wing pulls all the time. Take some statement, impose a negative frame on it, attack the frame, spread the attack far and wide while advocating that everyone pile on. Pretty soon the frame is accepted as fact and the target is smeared beyond recall. Its a very effective tactic. Dishonest but effective.

Posted by W.B. Reeves | March 16, 2007 3:41 PM
287

The article is a joke, guys. Do you really think he meant the term "mixed-gender marriage" seriously?

Posted by five dollars | March 16, 2007 4:22 PM
288

To all commentators: please do not form a new opinion of Keillor from a single, solitary blog.

I, a 28 y/o gay man, did not get a homophobic vibe from the salon excerpts in Dan's blog. I first heard of this tidbit through Bruce Bawer's blog.
(note: you must read "while Europe slept" by Bawer, frightening read)

Yes, he did mention the stereotypes, but if you remember, he labelled them so. he spoke of the the discombobulated nature of today's family unit. This wasn't some indictment of homosexual marriage, that was a complete and utter over analysis.

The article is a look at the changing familial structure, it is not an attack on any one, you paranoid pundit.....

OK, I just read the actual article, whatever!
Provided that this is the only existing Keillor literature out there that somehow exudes homophobia, then it is absolutely ludicrous to think he is. period.

Posted by Chris in NH | March 16, 2007 4:44 PM
289

I remember seeing a parody of Garrison Keillor, years ago, that turned him into a white separatist a la Randy Weaver. I've never quite been able to take the melancholy stories of small town Minnesota quite the same way since.

Here's a trick, though: can you name five famous radio personalities who aren't assholes? (And 'famous on NPR' doesn't count.) Rush Limbaugh, Al Franken, Dan's retarded brother Michael, even poor Casey Kasem... I think radio a place where you have to have an unjustifiable level of self-confidence to survive.

Posted by Jeremy Hornik | March 16, 2007 6:51 PM
290

You guys need to lighten up.

Posted by Bob | March 16, 2007 7:02 PM
291

w.b. reeves @ 286 wrote:

Amen. Hate the man, if you want, but hate him for the right reasons.

Hate him if you hate poetry. Hate him if you hate small-town America. Hate him if you resent Boomers (And where did your sorry ass come from? A petri dish?). Hate him if you hate red sox with black high-tops. Hate him if you hate successful people while no one recognizes your obvious genius.

But if you can't spot satire because your very much too thin skin has overgrown your eyes, the only person you're really hating is yourself (as well as what you've made of yourself).

It's. A. Satire.

Posted by Tom Barclay | March 16, 2007 7:12 PM
292

Dan:

I think the key lines in Keillor's piece are:

Nature is about continuation of the species -- in other words, children. Nature does not care about the emotional well-being of older people.

Both are inarguable (and irrelevant to the issue of gay marriage), and the second one is deeply revealing of Keillor's emotional state. He sounds deeply depressed about his own life. You've listed a lot of the things that likely trouble him.

A better riposte than yours would have taken this as the starting point, and gone on to point out that one of the concerns of social institutions is the emotional well being of, among others, older people. At some point, it would be worth mentioning the well being of children of gay parents and how gay marriage, in one swoop, contributes to achieving both goals.

Your batting average is a lot higher than mine would be if I were writing regularly for public consumption, but I think that here, you took a mighty swing, and topped the ball. You may make it to first, because everyone is playing so deep, but you may have thrown your back out in the process.

Posted by marcel | March 16, 2007 7:52 PM
293

Garrison Keillor sounds like Miss Hathaway on the Beverly Hillbillies. He makes writing sound like a chore. This Ye-Olde stuff drives me nuts!

Posted by punsterdo | March 16, 2007 8:08 PM
294

Excellent piece, Dan.

Except for one sentence, which I ask you to consider:

"It’s a new and different sensation to be attacked so crudely by a man of the left—particularly when that man’s fat ass squats in a large glass house."

By using FAT as an insult like that, you're insulting an entire demographic group of people who don't deserve it. Fat shouldn't be shorthand for moral negativity. Fat hatred is a sweeping oppression. You're smart enough to know what I mean. Please reconsider.

Posted by rebecca rabinowitz | March 16, 2007 8:20 PM
295

i think it was a typo. he probably meant to write about keillor's "phat" ass.

Posted by a very jewy gentile | March 16, 2007 8:29 PM
296

Jolly-ho. Ever since Savage got mopped up by O'Reilly a couple of years ago he consistently avoids the real threats to gay America. GK should be boycotted? Oh My. Savage is the classic bully who was overpowered on the playground so he goes home and beats up his own family.

Posted by Steve | March 16, 2007 8:34 PM
297

Bless you if you've managed to read all the responses to get to mine!
I'm a Minnesota Boomer who grew up listening to G.K. when he started with "The Morning Show" on KSJN. I'm also a gay parent. (BTW Victoria, you who can't wait for the Boomer Gen to die off, uh, how about cutting us a little slack? Do you really hate your Mom and Dad that much?) Keillor's creative work has delighted me many times, but not always. I also have friends of friends (which at one time included his first wife) so perhaps I have known too much about the feet-of-clay artist to be objective. Plus it's never been much of a secret here in Minnesota that the guy has an ego the size of North Dakota. So what's my point? Thank you for asking ...
He's on the left. He's often on the mark, but he isn't this time. Some subjects just do not lend themselves to irony. Hey G.K., how about a comic piece on Iraqi amputees? I imagine he will be surprised at the firestorm he created, unlike someone such as Ann Coulter who leers as she blows out the match.

Posted by owlathome | March 16, 2007 8:59 PM
298

From above:

What Dan has done here, intentionally or not, is no different from the sort of crap the Right Wing pulls all the time. Take some statement, impose a negative frame on it, attack the frame, spread the attack far and wide while advocating that everyone pile on. Pretty soon the frame is accepted as fact and the target is smeared beyond recall. Its a very effective tactic. Dishonest but effective.

If Keillor gets heckled tomorrow, we'll see the ramifications of this Drudge-like smear.

Posted by John G. | March 16, 2007 10:14 PM
299

Writers say stupid shit all the time. That doesn't make them a bad person or evil. It means that they wrote some stupid shit. Let's take an example from a different ballgame, like this bit of dumbshit writing from 2002.

"... invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists."
-Dan Savage (October 2002)

Now, let's take it back to Garrison Keilor. In the piece, an old man says some ridiculous shit that, unless you have the brain of a dead fetus, is obviously false. Unfortunately, as with all things satiric, there are people with pitchforks convinced that the rubes won't understand the irony and suddenly think that all gay men run around in pink tutus and don't deserve gay marriage. I know that after reading it, my stance on gay marriage didn't change a lick. I'm for gay marriage and believe it's a moral and civil rights issue. I didn't suddenly read the piece and think, holy crap, old people WERE all cowboys and the 50s were just peaches. In fact, anyone with a brain knows that it just ain't so. The old people who lived then know it just ain't so. And the ones who know that the old time Keilor describes just ain't so, and read the piece and still think gays being married is a big deal--maybe they'll think it just ain't so after reading the piece. Because that's all it says, ultimately, that gay marriage isn't a big deal.

Because guess what folks--the message that gay marriage isn't a big deal isn't reaching the old people who need to hear it. The audience that needs to be reached is some old person who's still freaked out by gay marriage. None of you fuckers ranting about Keilor know how to talk to someone's grandma about this stuff--and here's a fact based on voting patterns--someone's grandma is going to be deciding this issue for the next twenty years.

But that's all beside the point. Here's a reality check or two. Dan is a human being, and as such he sometimes shows bad judgement and throws fits. Maybe, just maybe, if he would focus his energy on getting his knickers twisted up more about shit that matters then we'd work on the shit that matters. And maybe some of his readers would follow. Who gives a fuck if some writer says something stupid? If Dan doesn't deserve a bazooka-to-the-head for stupid shit he's written in the past (and he doesn't, nobody does) neither does old man Keillor.

Instead, how about some energy devoted to, oh I don't know, actual gay rights legislation or, y'know, figuring out a new goddamn strategy for getting gay marriage in place or, oh, I don't know, stopping the goddamn war in Iraq sooner rather than later?!?

I am officially a hypocrite now, too, because I'm ultimately ranting about shit that doesn't matter. The only vague hope is that someone here pops open their eyes and says, "fuck, let's do something real about the real problems instead of finding phoney outrage in the culture industry."

Anyway, end of rant.

Posted by f. chong rutherford | March 16, 2007 11:19 PM
300

It's not the first time GK has made anti-gay statements.

"I favor marriage between people whose body parts are not similar. I’m sorry, but same-sex marriage seems timid, an attempt to save on wardrobe and accessories. Marrying somebody from your team. Still, it’s probably good for them to have to fight for the right to marry. My parents eloped against strong opposition from both families and they were in love for the rest of their lives and held hands and were tender on into their 80s. Of course they always had fresh strawberries."

Posted by pablo | March 16, 2007 11:48 PM
301

I live in the same region as Keillor, and his attitude, though misguided and sad, is definitely not unusual.

This was always supposed to be the land of progressiveness and open-mindedness, but in Keillor's antiquated world, being gay friendly means not killing us.

For someone who's recently made a movie, he has some awfully outdated ideas about what gay people are like.

Posted by Patrick | March 17, 2007 4:14 AM
302

I'm voting for the satire angle too, for what it's worth. Thing is, I've heard Garrison Keillor speak eloquently and sincerely on the issue of gay rights and I don't for a moment believe he's a homophobe or against gay marriage. I love Dan Savage too and I'm 100% behind him taking on hypocrisy and bigotry but in this instance -- the dumb Keillor piece notwithstanding -- I'd humbly, gently and respectfully suggest that Savage is overreacting. Still, I'm curious to see what -- if anything -- Mr. Keillor will say.

Posted by Dave Hernandez | March 17, 2007 4:38 AM
303

It's obvious that the "old" guy's humor is nuanced to a degree that it is undetectable by the "young" guy. Or perhaps, the "young" guy's paranoia(?), anger(?), insecurity(?), myopia(?), or just simple self absorption make him unwilling to see any humor other than his own, assuming he has any.

Posted by RDell Johnson & Bill Lubing (Young Guy/Old Guy) | March 17, 2007 6:54 AM
304

Re gk whipping- mr. savage boy am i glad you didn't reproduce

Posted by parnell hemlock | March 17, 2007 7:06 AM
305

being a writer does not make him an expert.

Posted by Rochelle | March 17, 2007 7:16 AM
306

Good grief. The Keillor piece is satire. And who does satire catch in its net? The prissily indignant and the perpetually aggrieved.

Butch it up, guys. Breaking into Oh. My. God. hysterics over this harmless little article does nothing but reinforce some of the worst gay stereotypes.

Posted by countryscribe | March 17, 2007 7:49 AM
307

If Keillor's piece was intended as satire, it should still be the subject of derision and dismissal--because it is startlingly un-fucking-funny. And it is un-fucking-funny because it is based in ignorance and cliche. It's smug, unquestioning, middle-brow prejudice tricked up as ironic commentary. Please, "Bruce"? I'm surprised he didn't style it "Bruth." This is bad 70s sit-com humor.

And by the way, I'm a straight guy with a striped couch, trendy--if not fussy--hair, and at least one shirt with polka dots. I'm a bit flamboyant, and I can be pretty dramatic. I'm also a pretty good dad, if I do say so myself.

What has the color of my pants got to do with my parenting?

Posted by flamin' hetero | March 17, 2007 8:39 AM
308

If Keillor's piece was intended as satire, it should still be the subject of derision and dismissal--because it is startlingly un-fucking-funny. And it is un-fucking-funny because it is based in ignorance and cliche. It's smug, unquestioning, middle-brow prejudice tricked up as ironic commentary. Please, "Bruce"? I'm surprised he didn't style it "Bruth." This is bad 70s sit-com humor.

And by the way, I'm a straight guy with a striped couch, trendy--if not fussy--hair, and at least one shirt with polka dots. I'm a bit flamboyant, and I can be pretty dramatic. I'm also a pretty good dad, if I do say so myself.

What has the color of my pants got to do with my parenting?

Posted by flamin' hetero | March 17, 2007 8:40 AM
309

I fear for our country reading these comments - not because they're in support of gay marriage but because they're clearly written by a bunch of clueless and humorless idiots. Keillor's column didn't even seem like an criticism of gay marriage as an observation that gay relationships and lifestyles may change as a result of the need to accommodate the child-centric nature of marriage.

And although Keillor's marital history is nothing to brag about, it hardly seems so immoral as to disqualify him from making observations about what works and what doesn't.

To risk skirting too close to another stereotype, Savage's response to Keillor smacks of hypersensitivity.

Posted by sj | March 17, 2007 9:40 AM
310

I'm astonished at the way this column, and Keillor's work in general, has been portrayed on the blogs I frequent. His monologues and his column aren't delivered in his own voice. He's playing a part. Good god, I feel like I'm talking to a bunch of religious fundamentalists and trying to explain that Moses didn't really part the Red Sea. You see, its a S-T-O-R-Y. Keillor's literary persona, as opposed to his real feelings... see sometimes people will write or say things and pretend they're someone else, these things are called L-I-T-E-R-A-T-U-R-E, and D-R-A-M-A. Anyway, his persona is that of a Midwestern E-V-E-R-Y-M-A-N, that means someone who represents a common type of personality, it's a S-Y-M-B-O-L, if you will. Much as I love his work, I can understand that it's not for everyone. But I'm utterly amazed that so many literate people can completely miss the point.

Posted by dgen | March 17, 2007 10:00 AM
311

Um, Dan, calm down, Big Boy. It was satire.

Have we all become so trigger-shy that we cannot recognize irony and satire, two of the most important strategies a writer may use to make a point?

Posted by Steve in DC | March 17, 2007 10:12 AM
312

It wasn't satire. I direct you to the June 28, 2005 op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in which he says "I favor marriage between people whose body parts are not similar. I’m sorry, but same-sex marriage seems timid, an attempt to save on wardrobe and accessories. Marrying somebody from your team. Still, it’s probably good for them to have to fight for the right to marry. My parents eloped against strong opposition from both families and they were in love for the rest of their lives and held hands and were tender on into their 80s. Of course they always had fresh strawberries "
This is the letter I've just sent Salon:

Garrison Keillor

I've been a Garrison Keillor fan for over 24 years. I know this because my daughter is 24 and when she was a baby I danced her around the room during his show. When she was five she would bow at the end of each song. Now, my 10 year old son says that he wants to hear the show "we always listen to in the car."

He says that from the back seat to his two moms in the front seat. Yes, two people with similar body parts who love each other and love him are his parents. The kind of parents who go to his school award shows and frame his certificate for reading. The kind who spend an hour on Saturday afternoon having "silly time", a recognized family holiday. The kind of family where he is, as I write this, gathering the ingredients for a wisdom potion while my parter, oh she of the similar body parts, feeds the rabbits and ponders tonights dinner (I don't think it will include the rabbits).

I was confused when I read Mr. Keilor's article this week. Was it intended as satire that just failed miserably? Could he really not understand the hurt and the harm in what he wrote? Did Salon not get it? Then, I read his column from June, 2005 and realized that no, this is not satire, this is bigotry pure and simple. Stereotypes, generalizations, belittlement, these are the tools of the intellectual bigot and Mr. Keillor has employed them against my family, in the name of his concern for children.

Gays and lesbians have children from choice not from some midnight boozy forgetfulness or the failure of birth control as some few heterosexuals do. Every child of a gay or lesbian household is carried in the knowledge that he or she was sought out or created out of love and concern for the future. How many children of heterosexuals, including Mr. Keillor's can clearly say that?

I am appalled at Mr. Keillor and his bigotry. I am terrifically concerned about the magazine that I have suppoorted for two years-with my money and with proselytizing to nonsubcribers. And now, I find in the pages of this magazine the very bigotry that threatens my family.

I've never written to Salon before. Sometimes I agree with your writers, sometimes I deeply disagree. I like that, growth is in the disagreement. But not in the bigotry.

After years of listening and caring about Mr. Keillor I intend to sever my ties to him, his writing and his program.I now understand that Lake Wobegon contains no gay people or only those gay people who fit the nastiest of bigoted stereotypes.

However, even those stereotypes fail to recognize the great strength of a flaming gay man. They brought us to Stonewall, they have spoken the truth when many of us were too frightened to do so. Their very nature has always placed them on the battlelines of gay independence and Mr. Keillor has placed them there again.

Posted by Jackie Griffin | March 17, 2007 10:51 AM
313

i love you dan. you are spot on, as usual, and calling a spade a spade. thank you,

single mom of special needs child

Posted by Laura | March 17, 2007 10:57 AM
314

i love you dan. you are spot on, as usual, and calling a spade a spade. thank you,

from a single mom of special needs child

Posted by Laura | March 17, 2007 10:58 AM
315

Well. I was about to say, "calm down, it's satire." At least, that's the way I heard it, and I laughed, long and hard at the people whom I was certain that GK was poking fun at.

Maybe you're accurate, Jackie, maybe GK really is a snarky bigot who can't get over--or at least, hasn't yet gotten over a worn-out and useless prejudice that he learned somewhere.

Is attack all that we have, though? Couldn't we write to him and point out that what he said really hurt someone, several someones, maybe hundreds or thousands of someones?

Is rejection the only response we have? Make him so bad and wrong in our minds that the Only Viable Option is to demand that Salon drop him and sever all ties to him?

Surely there's someone--maybe more than one--in each of our own lives who gave us another chance in their lives. That's the expression of love.

It's the knee-jerk, reactive, survival-instinct-driven acts that kill us, a little at a time. You may be accurate, Jackie, but must you be so right about it?

Maybe GK doesn't think he has anything more to learn. It's obvious that he does, though, and attacking him isn't going to teach him anything more than that we are a fickle and hateful group. None dast offend us, for we shall rise up and smite thee.

Could it be that forgiveness and hope are the more powerful weapons, in the long run? Would that we could be remembered as Those Who Care, rather than Those Who Will Smack You Down If So Much As Suspect That You're Attacking Us.

Just because the people running the Executive Branch of these United States are a bunch of hateful reactionaries doesn't mean that we all have to be that way.

Posted by Brad Eleven | March 17, 2007 11:20 AM
316

I understand what you are saying, Brad.

Let me state the assumptions that I made in writing this letter. I made the assumption that Garrison Keillor, working in the world that he is in, knows many gays and lesbians (yes, its a stereotype that the arts world is full of gays. I'll risk it). He has lived in Minneapolis and New York City, two very liberal cities, as well as in Europe. He is thoughtful and careful in his writing on the political issues that he is concerned about.
He writes of love, of God's love and trust and longevity and then he denies all of these things to a single group of people because he thinks that marriage should be for those of "similar body parts" (yes, I know I'm simplifying.)
I think, Brad, that what I am saying is that I have faith that Mr. Keillor is a thoughtful, intelligent, funny man who has been exposed to a wide range of ideas and beliefs. I am saying that I respect him enough to believe that he did not come to a place where he is comfortable saying these things in public without some thought and care.
I believe that what I am saying is that I respect Mr. Keillor enough to believe that he is saying what he deeply believes and that I believe that he has the influence and fan base to have his beliefs be easily absorbed. Look how many of us struggled to swallow that large object he placed in front of us. I worked and worked to make that column seem funny. Then I worked to make it be a uncommonly unfunny column from a liberal and good man. Finally, the lump seemed to big.
Brad, I am giving Mr. Keillor enough respect to believe that he knew exactly what he was saying and felt strongly enough to say it publicly.
And, it is on an issue that I cannot afford to take lightly.
One of my sons is growing up a young gay man. The risk in Mr. Keillor's remarks is that he makes it ok to stereotype, to dislike, to disdain my son, myself, my family. He says that as a liberal you two can be a bigot and its ok.
Jackie

Posted by Jackie Griffin | March 17, 2007 11:45 AM
317

My goodness!

Does all this really matter--probably not. Everyone has become so sensitive about stereotypes, possible innuendos, etc. that they fail to comprehend satire. It seems to me as another poster stated it, the vituperative vitriol that Dan is spewing is no better than what he is accusing GK of. It seems that we're all for the first amendment until someone says something that offends us, and then the first amendment right goes out the window. Just because a number of folks could not understand the dry humor in GK's piece does not mean that he was not unsuccessful. Again, as another poster put it, we can not have it both ways. We criticize the stereotypes but often embrace them as well (or at least enjoy them). In other cases, we also talk down to those who display the stereotype ("they're so faggy . . .!"), which in itself creates a first and second class system in the gay world.

Just a few rumblings of thought . . .

Posted by chrispierre | March 17, 2007 12:13 PM
318

Dan, GK has offered his explanation on this whole mess (link). I am, and have been for years, a loyal fan of both Savage Love and A Prairie Home Companion. I never doubted Mr. Keillor.

Posted by wmg | March 17, 2007 12:38 PM
319

Keillor's response (linked above):

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 besieged 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.

Posted by John G. | March 17, 2007 1:01 PM
320

Both of those paragraph's are Keillor's--I meant to italicize the whole passage.

Posted by John G. | March 17, 2007 1:05 PM
321

Chill Dan... Garrison is just jealous because you're younger than he is.
I'm a straight 31 year old man... Roman Catholic... celibate for nearly 10 years...
no children...

You have my full support on this one, sir.

Posted by M | March 17, 2007 1:40 PM
322

Speaking of being made to feel like Types, hey Garrison how about a little apology to us trans folks for the crossdresser-bashing you did in an op-ed piece last month?

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.keillor15feb15,0,225626.story?coll=bal-oped-headlines

By some estimates as many as 1 in 20 American men, mostly hetro, engage in some form of crossdressing. So in all likelihood you have had crossdressers who have been friends, associates, heroes, adversaries -- even if you don't know it. It's casual bigotry like your's that's one reason we remain the most closeted group of all.

Posted by Marlena Dahlstrom | March 17, 2007 2:15 PM
323

From prairiehome.publicradio.org:

"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. "

So, calm down. The sort of things Keillor had said are the same types of jokes I can make in the company of my own gay friends. We all can poke fun at heterosexual AND homosexual stereotypes, we all know that it isn't in bad blood, and we move on. In fact, most people that I know in the gay community usually have a far-better sense of humor about themselves than most people of heterosexual orientation.

Posted by Kyle | March 17, 2007 3:07 PM
324

thank you dan savage!!!!

now to all of us concerned about GLBT folks being an easy and acceptable target for hate in mainstram american culture...

log on to www.npr.org and eloquently ask their ombudsman why they sponsor someone who freely hates. i linked dan savage's piece to my response.

i hope it gets their attention.

thank you!

Posted by sean fabich | March 17, 2007 3:25 PM
325

i'm listening to prairie home companion right now.

just sayin', is all.™

Posted by a very jewy gentile | March 17, 2007 3:50 PM
326

Dan, I love you, but you really owe Keillor an apology for your not "getting it." Before I even read his piece, but after reading yours, I thought that something was very wrong, for the very reasons Keillor states in his response at his PHC site.

And as for skewering him for having been an unfaithful spouse or SO, that's a tendency he shares with the majority of the men on this planet, gay or straight.

Posted by monabona | March 17, 2007 4:06 PM
327

"log on to www.npr.org and eloquently ask their ombudsman why they sponsor someone who freely hates."

As has already been pointed out several times, Keillor's program isn't part of NPR. Idiot.

Posted by sj | March 17, 2007 5:10 PM
328

OMG Dan, I fricking love you so much, not the least for FINALLY giving me an actual reason to hate Garrison Keillor.

If this is satire, it's very crappy satire. And I don't think it is.

And Monabona, jeez, read the column: the point is not "GK had affairs," it's "GK is bitching about the fragmentation of the American family by other people, a fragmentation he hasn't managed to avoid." Nnndurr.

Posted by Amy K. | March 17, 2007 5:14 PM
329

Oh. My. God.

A satarist wasn't funny, strayed a bit over the line. Shock. Horr - or.

Get a grip, and a sense of humor. There are bigger fish to fry. So GK was off one article? Pfft. Judge the record, not the article. He posted an an apology. Can the world start turning again now?

Posted by Lugs Brannigan | March 17, 2007 7:39 PM
330

Dan, Love you, but your wrong here. I read the piece too. "Serial monogamy" refers is his satirical name for marriage -a system that no longer fits our expanding notions of couples. Marriage is lampooned. THAT is the point of the piece. The result is silly sounding hyphenated and anti-hyphenated titles. Sure he chides stereotypical gay men, but do his stereotypical parents go un-chided? Most importantly, he doesn't ever suggest anybody is wrong or right here. Just that we are in sum a funny species.

Posted by bs | March 17, 2007 8:14 PM
331
Posted by Dave Hernandez | March 17, 2007 9:29 PM
332

Jackie, in #312, quotes a 2005 column of GK's, claiming it was serious:

"I favor marriage between people whose body parts are not similar. I’m sorry, but same-sex marriage seems timid, an attempt to save on wardrobe and accessories. Marrying somebody from your team."

He's opposing same-sex marriage because it's timid, because couples could share clothes and such? That seems rather like satire to me...

Posted by Damien | March 17, 2007 10:40 PM
333

I love Dan's columns and have for years, but I think his anger is misdirected here. I think what Keillor was trying to say is that gay marriage isn’t a big deal and people are going to get used to it the way they have gotten used to the idea of divorce and remarriage, and that the one thing that will stay the same is that children’s needs are going to always come first. All this is couched in satire, he is *sending up* stereotypical conservative attitudes. I don’t believe that Keillor is a homophobe any more than I believe Stephen Colbert actually thinks good looking men are trying to get him to “turn gay.”

Posted by ab irata | March 18, 2007 12:13 AM
334

The Keillor piece is rather strange and aimless. The bit about chartreuse pants etc... ok that's sort of stupid. But otherwise, Jesus H. Christ, Mary... let's unbunch your proverbial panties. All gay men wear panties, don't they?

Posted by mike H. | March 18, 2007 3:26 AM
335

I followed the link in Making Light to this article because a) I'm gay, and b) I enjoyed hearing Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon Days on BBC radio some time ago. After reading your comments, I don't think I've changed my opinion of Mr K, other than to note that he can be grumpy, and has made mistakes in his love-life. So can I, and so have I. (I'm in a happy relationship now, if you're interested. No kids.) As a Brit, it seems to me that most of your comments perpetuate one stereotype: that Americans don't get irony.

Posted by Stephen | March 18, 2007 5:51 AM
336

Get over it Dan. Did you actually read the whole piece? Are you really that dense? I suppose hyper-sensitivity and hysterical reaction to imagined slights provides you with a certain cathartic self-righteousness, but in the end you come off as a whigning baby. It's SATIRE you moron. And you need to spend some time learning to read more critically.

Posted by chris | March 18, 2007 7:01 AM
337

I recieved this link from a friend and read your article and some of the commentary below. I, too, was raised listening to Keilor and have voluntarily done so since moving out on my own. I couldn't believe he would write what you've accused him of and so I read the original article. He didn't. I'm relieved to say: you've misinterpreted him. It's not the best he's written and his satire borders so closely to earnesty that interpretations like yours carry some initial merit of truth - until you take a closer look:
The cowboy story at the end has everything to do with the article and his meaning. Talking about back in the day and how much better things were, how everyone had this and all families did that, and then he tells a group of school children that "back in the day, we were cowboys"..."for proof" he sings them a song. He wasn't a cowboy and very few people were/are...and a song as proof? obvious no. By bringing this ridiculous cowboy stereotype forward, he is discrediting his earlier use of stereotypes. Not everyone, despite the belief of children, was a cowboy back in the day. Not everyone, despite the belief of the ignorant, had families exactly like he describes, or, if gay, conforms to his rather specific description. Even further, cowboys are not what childrens' songs depict them to be. Keilor chose a stereotype that has become so accepted that, though it reflects no truth, it has replaced the truth in defining a group of people. In respect to the entire population, cowboys were and are a rarity and not a true depiction of "most people" though he says "we" as though everyone was a cowboy. Childrens' stories that adults should see through. Keilor is saying that his story preceding the cowboy ending should be just as transparent.
As for the class: the students are from a dozen ethnicities and together can speak a dozen languages. Classrooms like that did not exist back in the day and very few people would come out today and say that those "back in the day" classrooms were better. He's drawing a parallel to gay marraige and parents, nonexistent years ago and, I think, referring to them as just another side of diversity. He's on your side. I can understand your anger at the article - were he in earnest I would be very disappointed in a man whom I have respected since childhood, for putting such ignorance into writing and not recognizing it as such. Please read it closer and see if you can understand: though not his best work, it is a satire.

Posted by Beth | March 18, 2007 7:20 AM
338

I agree with the last few posters. The piece is a satire about stereotyping. Don't be so defensive that you stop thinking and rush to proclaim Keillor a moron.

Posted by Rochelle | March 18, 2007 10:51 AM
339

I agree with the last few posters. The piece is a satire about stereotyping. Don't be so defensive that you stop thinking and rush to proclaim Keillor a moron.

Posted by Rochelle | March 18, 2007 10:52 AM
340

I agree with the last few posters. The piece is a satire about stereotyping. Don't be so defensive that you stop thinking and rush to proclaim Keillor a moron.

Posted by Rochelle | March 18, 2007 10:52 AM
341

You all have it wrong, Keillor isn't a biggot, he's a really bad writer. If you read his editorials in the Star and Tribune they are rambling, disjointed, they make no point, they have a fakey-curmudgen tone that is obnoxious in the extreme.

I can listen to GK read or speak on the radio all day, he has a great speaking voice, but he seems to believe that he is clever, and also a singer, and it just aint so.

Posted by Bekky | March 18, 2007 12:04 PM
342

I hope you did follow up by reading the Prairie Home website, prairiehome.org - he leads the page with an apology (and not one of those "I'm sorry but I'm not really sorry" types). After years of listening to his shows, I can attest that his humor sometimes misses the mark (sometimes widely), but he's definitely not a hater.

Posted by siobhan (sf ca) | March 18, 2007 12:11 PM
343

The nice thing about having slavering fans who will forgive anything you say is that you can "kid on the square", and then when you're called on it, act shocked, SHOCKED! that anyone took what you said as something other than satire.

I wonder what it would take for the apologists her to abandon their hero.

Posted by mythago | March 18, 2007 1:20 PM
344

From the website prairehome.org:

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.

Posted by Finebyme | March 18, 2007 1:21 PM
345

Went for the ad hominem right away Dan? Dear, oh dear. Someone needs to go back to school and take a rhetoric class.

Granted, GK's article is filled with offensive stereotypes and generalizations. But as others have already stated, he's being satirical. Duh.

And Dan, rebutting your opponent by calling him a "fucking motherfucker," among other things, makes you look like a complete ass. Grow up.

Posted by metamelomai | March 18, 2007 7:16 PM
346

I always thought "This American Life" travelled the same territory as "PHC" and did so with fresh eyes and ears and, let's face it, sometimes better writing. Jealousy and satire are a horrible mix. We see the result. Honestly, I'm so sick of my generation sometimes. We have fallen well short of the mark. It's time for boomers to take off the purple pants and stand quietly in the back. With no pants on.

Posted by thatlldopig | March 18, 2007 8:38 PM
347

Doesn't anyone recognize satire and humor anymore?

Posted by Dwain | March 18, 2007 9:03 PM
348

Gentlemen (and Ladies, if present):

First a bit of disclosure of my own. I'm a lefty boomer myself. I was marching and advocating and organising for gay rights before many of you were born. And listening to PHC for a long time too, and if you don't like PHC feel free to change the station. I've worn some atrocious clothes in my own time. Maybe I still do. Oh, I'm hetero, and no saint.

The stereotype of gay men as flamboyant dressers is ingrained in our culture and often accepted and encouraged by gay people; perhaps argumento Mr. Savage now wants us to reject this stereotype but that is beyond the scope of Mr. Keillor's essay, and will remain so regardless of how many ad homini Mr. Savage wishes to throw his way.

The key phrase, and this was a clarion call to Mr. K's fellow straight geezers, was: "we'll get used to it". This sentence apparently was skipped in Mr. Savage's reading of the piece.

The suggestion by the satirist in question is that despite all the stereotypes, and despite the chaos of the *gay-friendly* extended family, the worst real threat of gay marriage and gay parenthood is that flamboyant men might compete with their own children for the title of most-outlandish-wardrobe-in-the-house, and that that in turn is slim threat to our society.

Must you react like a Geico caveman to that?

For my own self, my girlfriend and I choose to live together, without sanction of church or state. I see no reason why any person should have to get permission from the aristocracy to make an emotional and spiritual commitiment to another human being. However, I am proud to live in a Commonwealth which at least recognises that one cannot Constitutionaly create a second-class category of marriage, and that cultural diversity (including sexual preference)is never cause for such.

Which seems to be precisely what Mr. Keillor has said to me.

I do hope that having defended Mr. Keillor's essay and indeed perhaps by inference Mr. Keillor himself I am not now myself the target of slander and slur. I would remind one writer that the term "asshole" is itself an anti-gay slur.

Thank you.
P.g. Mulvaney

Posted by P.g. Mulvaney | March 18, 2007 10:54 PM
349

I am under 60 (by a fair spell), and I listen to PHC. Actually just listened on my way back to school today. It's a great show, with a usually charming sense of humor, especially to a small-town boy such as myself. I'm also a gay conservative, who looks forward to nothing more than I do to a long, healthy, and loving relationship with another man with whom I can raise children.

Coming from this position, I wasn't offended. I saw the sly sort of satire it was, and only folks not acquainted with his material and tone or with skin too thin for their own good, out looking for reasons to act hurt, vicitmized, and pissed-off, would see it otherwise. He's not on the warpath against us, he's just putting up his little reminders about raising children (reminders that straight people need just as much) and the added responsiblility that goes along with our gaining accesss to more (rightly deserved) freedoms and rights.

Just on a parting note: Don't work yourself up into a froth over every little thing; it's not healthy for you. Calm down; a rational argument will do more good than a raging, profanity filled "argument".

Posted by Eric K | March 18, 2007 11:46 PM
350

What's apparent to me at this point is that those attacking Keillor are following the same "logic" that would have us ban Huckleberry Finn for being racist.

Posted by W.B. Reeves | March 18, 2007 11:50 PM
351

it would be better not to call him a "fucking motherfucker" but to use a series of facts to show how he isn't being factual and is causing more pain and suffering in the world because of it.

Posted by tao | March 19, 2007 5:15 AM
352

I couldn't quite bring myself to read all 351 comments. I managed about 110. So, I'm sorry if I am being repetitive. Here are my thoughts:

I love both Garrison Keillor and Dan Savage. They are responsible for my two most favorite advise columns of all times. Both men, while writing in different styles, place great stock in being honest about what they really think of things. They like the messiness of life. They have each pissed me off at times.

Mr. Savage has says some pretty insulting things about the female body, for instance, in the context of his feelings about it... he can also be pretty harsh with people who have an aversion to performing various sex acts. He is sharp as hell, and so great though. Boy is he good at cutting through bullshit. I really loved what he said recently on a Public Radio show (gasp!) about the word faggot. His appearance at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in 2003 was truly awesome and inspiring and offended the hell out of several gay folks in the audience.

Mr. Keillor writes occasional pieces about things that "men" like to do which can make me feel excluded. There are times that he says things like my father says at family dinners that make everyone go a little quiet and feel awkward. He is a man in his mid-60's who grew up in a conservative Lutheran home in the MidWest. Of course he harbors some homophobia that crops up now and then. But, in his defense, he calls himself on it most of the time, and recognizes his fallibilty as a human. He recognizes that in everyone, it seems to me. Maybe he's a jerk in person. Maybe Dan Savage is a jerk in person. Maybe I'm a jerk in person. I probably am. Not many people talk about that online, though, because I am in no way famous.

The Garrison Keillor piece was dumb and poorly written and Dan Savage is totally right to be mad. But to put it alongside Coulter. Ann Coulter's comment that got her in so much trouble was hardly the worse thing she had ever said. It was just a last straw after years of nasty and offense comments with no palatable context of understanding and help for the world.

I have to go eat lunch now. I am fairly sure that no one will actually get around to reading this, the 352nd comment, so I won't put much more time into it. I'm hungry.

Posted by Jenny Wise | March 19, 2007 9:53 AM
353

Overreact much?

We all, no doubt, have enjoyed Keillor when he is adroitly pointing out observations about sweaty, dim-witted rednecks and short-sighted, reactionary conservatives. Now that he has penned a few tongue-in-cheek observations about marriage and gay men, are we to boil over and brutally savage him? It seems so Hannity-esqu of us.

Relax. Read the article again. Watch a few re-runs of Will and Grace. It's ok to stereotype gay men if you are stereotyping EVERYBODY else, including straigh men, GOP dimwits, Norwegians, and midwestern housewives.

And Keillor is on our side, for crying out loud. The point is that if you're going to be a parent, be a good one, whether you're gay, straight, divorced, married, whatever.

Posted by Matt | March 19, 2007 10:08 AM
354

Dan, I love you! You say oh-so-eloquently exactly what I am thinking.

Posted by Daniel | March 19, 2007 10:17 AM
355

Keillor wrote in his column last year that he disagrees with gay marriage, so I'm sure this latest blab is NOT satire, but rather the bigoted and asanine opinion it obviously is.

Posted by mike will | March 19, 2007 10:33 AM
356

I would like to comment on one part of Keillor's statement that others seem to have accepted. He inferred that what made the good old days good, was that parents stayed in the background and that in a family, it was the kid's show. I don't agree. Perhaps, if that were true in Garrison's home as a child, that might be part of his problem. Children learn empathy and caring by realizing that they are part of a unit growing up, that every member in the family is unique and important. Every member has strengths and weaknesses, every member has needs, and every member contributes,in whatever way they can, to the wellbeing of the family.
I think that this was the heart of his message. That the family is made to look after children and that the parents become irrelevant to the survival of the species once the kids are established. However, my contention is that children have to learn to see parents and other people in their lives as separate people who have their own feelings. This is an important piece in the developement of children. So, whether parents like show tunes or heavy metal is not important, but that the children realize that parents do have their own likes and dislikes and that's okay too, that is important.

Posted by Beth L | March 19, 2007 10:47 AM
357

How would people react to Garrison Keillor doing a piece about black folk moving in to Lake Wherever, frying up lots of chicken, driving big, oversized cars, and being loud and gesticulating aggressively in public conversations?

Would it be considered satire if he ended it with "I guess we'll all get used to it"?

I suspect not.

I'm with Dan on this one.

Posted by Pirate | March 19, 2007 11:49 AM
358

"Withered old hypocrite" is right-on! Now I know why I can't stand Keillor's innocuous, boring, and insipid show, but to use PUBLIC FUNDS to denigrate one particular group of Americans goes too far. If he made derogatory remarks about any other group he would be forced off the air, but it's O.K. to take shots at us. NOT. That doesn't make it right, it just makes Keillor a bigger ASSHOLE. He needs to go. BOO-HISS. Get him offa there.

Posted by John Vermeer | March 19, 2007 12:56 PM
359

This is a case of taking a small fraction of an article and blowing it out of proportion. No where in his article does Keillor profess to be the savoir of society or state that his life is a living example of how to live. And frankly focusing in on the few comments made about same sex relationships stinks of the same closed minded filth the author accuses Keillor of.

Keillor said that if they wanted to be accepted that homosexual parents will have to tone down the flamboyancy. Like it or not this is true, and complaining all day about how it isn't fair isn't going to change that fact. When I went into my profession I had to change my appearance to conform with social normas or risk not being taken as seriously. This is called being an adult and deciding what you value more, societal acceptence or certain personality traits and or stylistic choices.

Secondly with regard to the sterotype of a gay man that Keillor described he labeled it as a sterotype for crying out loud. And it was a common sterotype as portrayed in countless movies, television shows, and magazines. If he had said that all gay men have funny dogs and a wardrobe that makes Elton John blush then maybe Mr. Savage would have a leg to stand on, but he doesn't.

Ironically in his article Mr. Savage evoked another sterotypical image in my mind that was placed there by someone I knew in college. And that is the one of the screamingly angry gay man who feels everyone is out to get him and that everything anyone has against him is not about his personality but about his sexuality. So I will say now what I told him.

No, Mr. Savage, I do not disklike you because you are gay. I dislike you because you are an idiot.

Posted by N. Mercier | March 19, 2007 1:01 PM
360

Dan Savage, I love ya baby, but have just gotta say on this one (echoing your shrill tone): Shut the fuck, fuck, fuck UP! You're way, way off base this time. Sorry.

Posted by kusala | March 19, 2007 1:28 PM
361

Has anyone here heard of "Irony?" One can almost here him chuckling as he pronounces flamboyance a moral flaw.

Posted by steve | March 19, 2007 1:32 PM
362

"Shut the fuck, fuck, fuck UP!", Dan. That about captures the proper response to this stupid post by Dan.

Posted by Tommy | March 19, 2007 2:04 PM
363

Dan Savage is a worthless piece of shit, not worth the air the rest of us humans breath.

Posted by Kevin McKenna | March 19, 2007 2:12 PM
364
Posted by Andrew | March 19, 2007 2:23 PM
365

Dan compares Keillor's article in Salon to Ann Coulter's remarks at CPAC, but on further review, Coulter made one bad remark about one person (who is not now, nor ever has been, gay, as far as I know), while Keillor painted a vivid caricature of a stereotype.

The conservative blogosphere in my beloved Minnesota generally condemned Coulter's remarks. They haven't seemed to pick up on this yet.

Posted by Douglas | March 19, 2007 2:43 PM
366

I haven't read through the 300+ comments, so maybe somebody has already said this. But I personally know of one man that hooked up with Mr. K and understand it's common knowledge that he frequents the gay chatrooms ... so it's difficult to listen to his "humor" when he is hiding in the closet himself. Yes ... I said I personally know someone who hooked up with him ... not just spreading rumors.

Posted by MJL | March 19, 2007 3:13 PM
367

So many comments, too many to read. But put me in the camp of "relax."

"Oh. My. God."

I get it, you're playing along with Keillor's satire. Nice work.

sheesh.

Posted by John Toronto | March 19, 2007 3:40 PM
368

I recently had the displeasure of working on a gay rights political campaign in Colorado. It was my job to piece together some semblance of a coalition to help meet our objectives at the polls. Our opponent was James Dobson and company, and as I researched the rhetoric the anti-gay activists used in their campaigns over the last forty years, I noticed striking similarities between their words and the words of a famously evil German dictator. The campaign progressed and except for paid staffers, support from gays was unreliable at best. We went on to lose decidedly at the polls. In the weeks following the campaign ineffective gay activists proceed to bitch and moan about what went wrong, and they lashed out at liberal politicians who were unwilling to touch the issue so soon after voters had weighed in. Nobody bitched or moaned about the apathetic, uninvolved gay community except for campaign workers and straight clergy. I'll have you know, this is not unique to Colorado. Campaigns all across the nation have had the same difficulties. Now it seems as if gay communities all over the country are in an uproar about the comments of Mr. Keillor. His article was not intended to offend and he poked fun at himself more than anyone else; it was admittedly poorly executed satire, but it was satire nonetheless. He has been a voice for common sense and true family values of inlusion and tolerance, and he has done so with much more skill than most liberals in this nation. He made a mistake as all humans do, and he promptly apologized unlike most. Meanwhile, James Dobson is pursuing more "pro-family" anti-gay legislation and his Hitlerian rhetoric continues unabated. Gay bloggers insist on lambasting the liberal satirist who has the ear of 60 year olds, while they continue to ignore the bigotted fundamentalist who has the ear of the President. And we wonder why gay rights can't make political headway.

Posted by Fed Up! | March 19, 2007 4:10 PM
369

To 357: Really? You actually want people to react to this in the way that we react to racial things? Because it seems to me that our way of discussing race is pretty crappy. I don't think we should start emulating the usual dialogue across the board. Do you?

Posted by Jenny Wise | March 19, 2007 4:27 PM
370

GK writes in the persona of a typical Minnesota bigot (i.e. Average American)in order to make fun of that person and point out his flaws and mis-perceptions. It is a way to gently coax those same people into a little self-realization. As several others have pointed out, it's called satire. He is really trying to help us, not hinder us in our struggle to gain acceptance.
I enjoy Dan Savage's writing, too, but he didn't understand the piece.
It is not GK's best work by any means, but being less than hilarious is no crime.

Posted by Dan you blew it. | March 20, 2007 12:42 AM
371

LGBT people in many countries are arrested, tortured, and executed simply for being suspected of who they are. Yet, in America, Dan Savage throws a tantrum when someone says he has fussy hair.

Dan, have our LGBT brothers and sisters in Darfur crossed your mind even for a second during this latest tirade?

Didn't think so.

Posted by Rick | March 20, 2007 12:29 PM
372

I have to agree with the contention that he's being satirical.

I think the problems is that, like the trouble it's easy to get into with email, his typed words aren't diffused by vocal inflection and a live audience.

But I stil can't help remembering Bart Simpson pounding on the radio saying, "Be funny!"

Posted by Sean | March 20, 2007 1:59 PM
373

I have to agree with the contention that he's being satirical.

I think the problem is that, like the trouble it's easy to get into with email, his typed words aren't diffused by vocal inflection and a live audience.

But I still can't help thinking of Bart Simpson pounding on the radio saying, "Be funny!"

Posted by Sean | March 20, 2007 2:00 PM
374

You swatted a fly with a sledgehammer, Dan. The most Keillor was guilty of was some clumsiness. Lighten up, and save your outrage for a more deserving target.

Posted by Seattleite | March 20, 2007 3:23 PM
375

Hello Dan - Five words for you: "Jonathan Swift advocated eating children." Sadly, you didn't get the joke. I believe Keillor would freely admit that he's one of today's self-indulgent parents. The good old days for which he expresses cheap and clearly hopeless nostalgia are over and he knows it. I suppose the argument could be made that Keillor should be more sensitive to the possibility that his words could be exploited by gay-haters; but let's face it, his audience overlap with Rush Limbaugh's is statistically insignificant. I should mention that on a recent episode of "This American Life," you made comments that could be construed as your personal satisfaction that you didn't turn out to be a "swishy" fag. I know, I know, you ended up walking a poodle because you're such a great Daddy. But some people might not get it.

I think Keillor is one of the smarter liberal voices out there, someone who consistently and unashamedly slams Bush against the wall with great cleverness. You and Garrison are both famous and both on Public Radio. Why don't you ring him up?

Posted by Phil | March 20, 2007 4:34 PM
376

He's on your side, kiddies. Think about the attitude of society 10 or 20 years ago. You expect everyone to be as open and accepting as people who are under 20 or 30? The man holds sway over thousands, if not millions of regular people in the midwest and midwest-wannabes in the rest of the country. He's also a Democrat, as firm as the ground he stands on. Let him shift his people in his own way. I honestly can say I wouldn't have said this until I moved to Minnesota from Los Angeles 5 years ago and have "lived among the people and their culture."

Posted by Bobak | March 20, 2007 6:40 PM
377

Garrisons apology and the apologists above smack of "I'm sorry you were too stupid to appreciate my brilliance. Unfortuately, you are not as smart and enlightened as I am. I apologize for your stupidity." Feh. I gave up on GK, NPR, the BBC and their ilk years ago. Give it a try. It's feels great...

Posted by zipity | March 20, 2007 6:53 PM
378

Dan, love your work.

But.

Regarding this.

You're a kneejerk idiot.

Sorry.

RogDur.

Posted by Roger Durwood | March 20, 2007 10:44 PM
379

What Roger said.

Posted by George from Champaign | March 21, 2007 2:40 AM
380

I agree with those who are saying that this Keillor piece was obviously one of his gently tongue-in-cheek bits that has satirical parts (check out the list of grandparent names for a hint.) But it hit some of your "hot buttons," and that's why it was upsetting. I really do think that if you had some distance and re-read it, you'd see that it was intended as humor--even if you don't like that kind of humor. (Keillor's wit can be a little lame at times.)

Posted by Shalanna Collins | March 21, 2007 7:57 AM
381

My modest proposal is that those who mistake "A Modest Proposal" and "A Prairie Home Companion" be dragged out into the streets and shot for rank stupidity.

Yes, GK is writing satire. But he's writing satire of a very particular kind. Unlike most satires, he's not out to denigrate the "Lake Woebegone" world he has created. In fact, he's creating a mystical heart-place many of us are drawn to even if we are not minnesotans because it seems so much less complicated than the world we now inhabit. It's a gentle place. It's an innocent place. An from the various writings of Mr. Keillor it would seem it is also a place where gays and atheists are "fair game" just for being gays and atheists. Of course, Keillor might not believe that in his own life. But somehow he thinks crude gay stereotypes used to illustrate why gays shouldn't be parents fit right in alongside with powdermilk biscuits and Ralph's pretty-good grocery.

In a way, this reminds me a lot of Democrats who are very liberal in their own lives but still think defer to "heartland" values as being somehow more authentic than their own.

Posted by Battlepanda | March 21, 2007 9:41 AM
382

Curious what Dan's and/or everybody else's reactions to Keillor's response to the uproar about last week's column is. Specifically, here's what he had to say this week:


Garrison Keillor responds to his readers: The readership gave me a good whack upside the head over last week's column, hundreds of them in fact. The column was meant to be witty, but two sentences about gay people aroused some readers to a high pitch of indignation, and I now know the meaning of the word "scorched." Oh well. You shouldn't write a column if you're afraid to be compared to weasels, sociopaths, Ann Coulter or Vlad the Impaler.

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, bosses, associates, heroes, adversaries, and in that small world, we talk openly and we kid each other a lot. 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 and so gay people feel besieged to some degree and rightly so. In the small world I live in, they are accepted and cherished as individuals. 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.

A man stood outside the theater where I did a show Saturday night and handed out angry pamphlets calling on the audience to protest my homophobia. A gay writer friend was at the show and got a big kick out of the pamphlets and had me autograph some for his partner and his partner's mother. I asked him what I had done wrong and he said, "You mentioned us." I looked at him quizzically. He said, "I'll handle gay parenting and you stick to the Norwegians." It's a deal.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/03/21/keillor/

Posted by Graham | March 21, 2007 10:11 AM
383

Damn, well said. Thanks for giving my some
substantive arguments for my my waffling
conversative relatives. The passion in your
writing is quite moving...

Posted by Gen Fernandez | March 21, 2007 12:33 PM
384

I'm entering this fray late, but I've got to say this is a string of knee-jerk overreactions. Especially from you, Dan, who should have a more finely honed ear for satire, given your own talents. I liked you better when sanctimony didn't smother your irreverence. Living in the same town as Keillor, I can say I've heard plenty of dirt on him, but not once about any sort of anti-gay leanings. I read his comments and laughed -- not at gay parents, but at our culture -- which, as his unnecessary apology indicates, was his intention. Do they ring a bit fogey-ish? Sure, it's GK. But biased? I don't believe it for a St. Paul second.

Posted by Kristin Tillotson | March 21, 2007 12:37 PM
385

what a lame apology... just two sentences that offended, really? is that what he really thinks?

btw: there's a great translation of his other 30 sentences here... http://tresbitey.blogspot.com/2007/03/woebegone-indeed.html tha

Posted by maria | March 21, 2007 1:28 PM
386

I like Dan and I like Keillor. Maybe it's because I like him, but this isn't like Coulter's stupidity. I think I got what he was trying to say and I think if I didn't know his humor, I'd be offended. Again, I'm a fan, so I generally know him as a hater of haters and someone who's willing to take on the right. His talk about the old days and their clashes with the current days are sometimes silly observations. It's the kind of thing English majors on their third marriages do.

Posted by Well | March 21, 2007 2:24 PM
387

well..i kinda like ole G. K. He's old fashioned, and he speaks in that kind of 'he means well, but don't know well' kinda voice. Kind of like your S.O.'s uncle who doesn't quite know how to relate, and somehow always manages to offend slightly, with even the warmest of smiles on his face. I'd just say he's particularly clueless about gay culture, not particularly against it. Just kind of not having any desire at all to embrace it.

He might not be your cup of tea, but there are others who are silently malignant and far more dangerous and influential than this doddering old radio show host. Just don't waste all your energy slam dunking the latest fellow to stick his foot in his mouth.

Still love PHC..so maybe i'm a teensie bit biased.

Posted by sam the sham | March 21, 2007 3:09 PM
388

Oh, Dan, grow up.

It's not critical at all toward anyone but society. He's stating that society has decided it's OK to be gay, as long as gay men conform to the stereotypes that challenge it the least, we're OK.

The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men—sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control.

I would think you, of all people, would be able to handle sarcasm.

Cripes.

Posted by Taint | March 21, 2007 3:42 PM
389

Oh, Dan, grow up.

It's not critical at all toward anyone but society. He's stating that society has decided it's OK to be gay, as long as gay men conform to the stereotypes that challenge it the least.

The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men—sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control.

I would think you, of all people, would be able to handle sarcasm.

Cripes.

Posted by Taint | March 21, 2007 3:43 PM
390

Wow, the intolerant hate emanating from the critics of GK is simply off the charts. It is interesting to see the carnage when a leftists wanders off the reservation. Going bezerk and screaming streams of obscenities on behalf of "tolerance" really doesn't advance the causes of civility and tolerance. It does make for interesting political theater though.

I must be missing something, I thought it was only those dastardly "rightwing extremists" who behaved the way the majority behave here. Huh, too bad you all cannot see the irony and humor inherent in that.

I loved this nonsense:

"I'd rather deal with a direct homophobe than one of these contemptuous "allies." They make my skin crawl."

I doubt there is any such thing as a "homophobe". There are people who believe homosexual bedroom practices are repugnant. I'm sure of that, but since when does "Yuck" translate into the nastiness folks here ascribe to the fabricated concept of "homophobia"?

As for the skin crawling, I'd see a doctor, there is probably an ointment and antibiotic to control that.

Posted by John | March 21, 2007 4:11 PM
391

Garrison was right on! As a gay man I am embarrassed by those who march in underwear in parades and by columists like savage who make us all look like freaks.
I love prarie home companion and garrison keillor-his work will live on for generations -cannot say the same for two bit pornographers who somehow hit the big time for a short time,

Posted by dave | March 21, 2007 4:45 PM
392

Dan Savage (any relation to Michael?) -
The line:
"If you can't take a joke.....Fuck YUUUU!"
was never more applicable.

To put it another way:
"Fuck Garrison Keilor"???
NuOOOO, Fuck YOU!!!

Posted by Mike | March 21, 2007 6:40 PM
393

Good Lord - an historically thoughtful, funny, nice man writes a piece that is, at worst, ambiguous and strange, and all the cyber-world rushes to come crashing down on him in some bizarre, poorly-thought-out expression of indignation.

Suddenly he's evil/hateful/a lapdog for RELIGIOUS CONSERVATISM!! So much for his life-long history of being a reasonable, liberally-minded character. Ridiculous - one of the weirdest displays of weak-minded computer nerds looking for a fight where there almost certainly is none. Grow up.

Posted by Matt Brough | March 21, 2007 6:58 PM
394

Awwww...... Sounds like Garrison really pissed of this silly little faggott!! You know what I think? All you tinkerbell's are a little panicky because some high profile people have had the audacity to speak publicly about Sexual deviancy lately. Say..... I have an idea..... why don't all of the cocksucker's move to Poland. Poland is a nice place! No, wait a minute, you dont want to go there.... thats the one place on earth that has figured out what is most important to all of you fag's..... teaching the children that it's OK to be a cocksucker is what your all really about. In Poland it will mean jail time.... but thats not necessarily a bad thing huh? All the cock you can handle !!!!

Posted by Cameron Baird | March 21, 2007 7:32 PM
395

Peter Pace's comments don't really sting, because he's not regarded as an ally. When the dagger comes from the back, though, it's pretty easy to foam at the mouth. What interests me most about Mr. Savage's comments, however, is the remark that somehow having been married three times invalidates anything Garrison Keillor might have to say on the subject. Because I have never been an astronaut, I therefore can have nothing to say about NASA that anyone might wish to read. Very well, no shuttle commentary today. I'll just pout...

Posted by rico567 | March 22, 2007 3:38 AM
396

You would think one of the first guidelines in commenting on the written word would be an adeptness at reading comprehension. Apparently the writer of this piece suffers from the lack of reading comprehension and can't denote the nature of the tone of Keillor's piece. If so, then the writer of the article above deserves to have gotten his panties in a bunch over nothing.

Posted by Steve | March 22, 2007 5:45 AM
397

I find this VERY hard to believe:

""Most of the gay male parents I know adopted children that men and women in “opposite-sex marriages” weren’t interested in—children with HIV, older children, mixed-race children, children with developmental disabilities, children abused, neglected and abandoned by their heterosexual parents.""

The VAST MAJORITY of any adoptive group - gay or straight - wants a healthy child, yes there are those that care for sick children - and bless them - but if the MOST of your friends have sick children that meet the criteria of "HIV, older children, mixed-race children, children with developmental disabilities, children abused, neglected and abandoned " then you should play the lottery cause the odds of that happening are about the same as you winning.

Posted by Xian | March 22, 2007 5:58 AM
398

Relax. Keiller is a satirist and his column was satire. Heard of it. It was misunderstood. His apology, rather than going into rehab, was heartfelt and genuine. Accept it as that. He made it clear that he thinks gay parents are fine parents.

Use the anger to go after true bigots like JCS General Pace. Now, HE'S A BIGOT>

Posted by emilio | March 22, 2007 6:24 AM
399

Many years ago, there was an interview with Harvey Fierstein, in which he was discussing adoption by gay parents. This was either before gay men and women could adopt or when it was almost unheard of. Anyway, Harvey said, basically, Hey, let us have the kids who no one wants... It was much better, but basically it was one of the points Dan was making that many gay parents are adopting kids who are older, disabled, etc.,

How dare anyone mock the sacrifices that gay parents make for their kids, and how dare anyone disparage their love and commitment to their families.

Best wishes to Dan's friends. I'm sorry about their child, and sorrier still that they are losing their insurance because of absurd, so-called "moral" judgments.

Posted by Trish | March 22, 2007 7:13 AM
400

Just a side note:
Don't assume that anyone who hates the right is open minded and without prejudice.
For a lot of people, their hate of the right is based on stereotypes combined with a desire to be one of the enlightened in the eyes of their peers.

Teeing off on W (or Newt, or Cheney or whoever) is the easy way to do that and needs no rationale. One is assumed to be right based on the common knowledge that W is a (fill in the blank)When was the last time you heard someone speak up for W, no matter what the charge?

Keillor likes to act edgy from time to time, but try to remember the last time he did something that might have gotten him in wrong with his peers. Never happened. Rely on his desire to be seen rightly by the right people...and understand that you ain't them. You are a tangent to his social circle.

While we are at it, maybe examine the assumption that everyone who believes in less government and has a profound distaste for socialism sees gays as evil. There are quite a few of us, especially in the new generations, that see homophobia as defective thinking,a sign of some personal defect in the 'phobe. We (especially on the West Coast) have grown up around gays and just can't get the hate-on like those who grew up pretending there were no gays. We grew up aware of the grave failings of the nanny state foster system, and the defunct family system that poured so many kids into it.
We see gay moms and dads as grown ups doing what grown ups are supposed to do- take care of the next generation. If it's a same sex couple who have to adopt, even better.
Look at the record of the parties. Neither one is pro-gay. By making one anti-gay by decree you prevent an avenue forward for progress. The libertarian leaning right has a better rationale than the left for equal marriage rights. Make this a left right issue and you give all your leverage to one side for exactly nothing.
ps-Sorry, I got a bit long-winded. I just hate it when folks call me a biggot, even if only in stereotype.
Dennymack

Posted by dennymack | March 22, 2007 9:04 AM
401

Gay people are so funny when they get mad!

BTW, Gen. Pace is entitled to his opinion, just as Garrison Keillor is, fancypants.

Posted by RightWingConspiracy | March 22, 2007 1:15 PM
402

Face it, nobody likes queers. And there are more of us than you. And we don't like you doing an end run on normal families and making your stealth faux families.

When the focus of someone's entire existence is their own sexuality, the last thing they should be allowed is the custody of a child. Telling, that all you can get is the crippled and sick ones. Predators tend to prey on the weak.

Posted by Bane | March 22, 2007 1:49 PM
403

Really, you flamers can get so riled up. I despise the old fart, but he wasn't crapping in your rice bowls.

Still, there is a good point to be made. It's about the children. Not the self-absorbed, sex-centered homos out there. That's all we need is to put young children in the hands of gay men.

All those Catholic priests out there were didling little boys using their position of power and influence over innocents. I wouldn't be any too quick to put a young boy in the hands of priest or any other sexually confused male.

Posted by Tym | March 22, 2007 5:06 PM
404

Garrison Keillor says that in the old days, grown-ups faded into the background to give the kids the spotlight. He worries that today the parents insist on taking center stage with their issues and lose sight of what's most important. What follows?

A bunch of grown-ups taking center stage with their issues.

Garrison's critique is not with gays. It's with parents who refuse to grow up and therefore deny their kids a good social space in which to do so. He doesn't want gays to tone it down for him. He wants them to tone it down for their kids, the same way that the town's randiest bachelor ought to settle down and be a good family man once he is half of the team raising a child.

As for the hypocrisy bit, the Garrison we know is not a person, but a roving band of personae in search of set pieces to perform. Whatever his normal tone in Salon, this is plainly the Lake Woebegon narrator, a guy more sophisticated than the people he describes, but not sure how he feels about it. I'm sure the Lake Woebegon guy would look at Garrison Keillor and have a long story about the guy who went to the big city to be a writer and made it big, but who lost something in the process and maybe hurt those he left behind as well. Which is why he is eminently qualified to pen a piece on the dangers of grown-ups getting too caught up in their own stuff and not paying attention to what's most important.

Posted by GeoffB | March 22, 2007 5:36 PM
405

Waaah! WAAAAAAAHHHH! The mean ol' Minnesotan made stereotypical comments about the Purple Mafia!

*drum heels, hold breath, screech obscenities*

So, Dan, do you kiss your kids with that mouth?

Posted by KaraTennyson | March 22, 2007 10:30 PM
406

I assume that every one in the world is a Nazi/Racist/Sexist/Homophobe and I can't wait to until they slip up and reveal it. Then I can spit and dance all over them. No one gets the benefit of the doubt from me ever. 50 years of progressive politics is obviously just a charade to hide his black little heart. Savage is a closeted conservative Christian which he'll slip up and reveal someday and I'll crow until the teacup chihuahuas come home. Harvey Milk, Desmond Tutu, Mandela, Ani Difranco, Ghandi all of them, I can't wait to get the dirt so that I can pile on and prove once and for all that only I have pure politics and a wholly decent heart.

Congratulations to all of us on this discussion thread!!! Hooray for us!!! We're good!!! Garrison Keilor is bad!!! Three cheers!!! Shiny pennies for everyone!!!

Posted by Santa H. Claus | March 23, 2007 1:04 AM
407

Keillor has demonstrated he should keep the issue of sexual preference out of his observations about families.
Savage has demonstrated he should keep the issue of aging out of his observations about anything.
Dan:
"withered old hypocrite"
"you old serial adulterer you."
"withered old adulterers"
This begets in the comment section:
"his fucked up hypocritical generation will be dying off soon. One by one, those asshat bigots of the Boomer Gen will either die of obesity related death, or become mentally incapable of rendering any more harm on society."

Keillor discredits activities he disapproves of and associates with homosexuality.
Savage tries to discredit opinions he disagrees with by associating them with old age.
And he does this in an essay premised on the idea that someone else is throwing stones in a glass house. That's bold.

As for the death-to-the-aging commentor: I remember when hateful bigots were relishing the prospect of homosexuals dying off because of AIDS.

Some of us are both becoming old, and believe Keiller was way off base with his anti gay remarks.
Does that make us withered old fag lovers deserving of death?

Posted by M. Martin Smith | March 23, 2007 12:30 PM
408

I've read Keilor's article again and don't see what the fuss is about. I know you could easily find anti-gay people in the public sphere, I don't think Keilor is one of them. Read the artice again with Keilor's cadence, with your tongue-in-your-cheek.

Posted by Lary Turner | March 23, 2007 12:56 PM
409

Among thedocuments supporting the contention that Keillor is a homophobe is found in his "oLd Scout" colum of 2/13/07 where he says about Giuliani:
"Say what you will about the Current Occupant, there is no video out there of him waltzing around in a long lavender gown and a brassiere, and blond wig, while an aging tycoon nuzzles his chest. He may have sunk low back in his drinking days, but he managed to keep his adventures private. I doubt that former Governor Romney or Senator McCain ever donned women's apparel for the cameras."

I was surprised that he was not taken to task for this colum. Say what you will about Giuliani, Keillor's obsession with his dressing in drag was just more of Keillor's homophobic venom in drag as political commentary. No wonder no gay people live in Lake Woebegone.

Posted by B.J. Case | March 23, 2007 3:32 PM
410

I am a native Minnesotan who was in high school when PHC first muscled its way onto the (at the time) lowly Mimmesota Public Radio. Garrison Keillor came to our high school to read a piece on baseball he had gotten published in the New Yorker.

My art teacher refused to attend and urged many of us not to. He was mad as hell about this: his brother and Keillor were members of the same writers' group and there was supposed to be a work-in-progress reading somewhere. Keillor was in charge of telling the other writers the date and time and just "forgot", so he was the only one who showed up and read his stuff all night alone.

I feel that history pretty well demonstates over and over that many talented people and particularly geniuses are shitty people day-to-day. Not that I'd ever call Keillor a genius. But I'm able to look at the art separate from the person. Otherwise I could never listen to Paul Simon's or John Lennon's or Bob Dylan's music, just for three examples among hundreds.

Anyway, I don't think Keillor will learn his lesson at a personal level, but he sure has had plenty of time to regret having it PRINTED!

Posted by Tom | March 23, 2007 5:26 PM
411

I am a native Minnesotan who was in high school when PHC first muscled its way onto the (at the time) lowly Minnesota Public Radio. Garrison Keillor came to our high school to read a piece on baseball he had gotten published in the New Yorker.

My art teacher refused to attend and urged many of us not to. He was mad as hell about this: his brother and Keillor were members of the same writers' group and there was supposed to be a work-in-progress reading somewhere. Keillor was in charge of telling the other writers the date and time and just "forgot", so he was the only one who showed up and read his stuff all night alone.

I feel that history pretty well demonstates over and over that many talented people and particularly geniuses are shitty people day-to-day. Not that I'd ever call Keillor a genius. But I'm able to look at the art separate from the person. Otherwise I could never listen to Paul Simon's or John Lennon's or Bob Dylan's music, just for three examples among hundreds.

Anyway, I don't think Keillor will learn his lesson at a personal level, but he sure has had plenty of time to regret having it PRINTED!

Posted by Tom | March 23, 2007 5:28 PM
412

hey #34, eat a dick.

Posted by chance | March 23, 2007 11:11 PM
413

Ok, ok, ok.... cool down folks. Yes, GK's comments were insensitive, but cut him a little slack. Look at his entire body of work before condeming him to heck.

First of all, he has frequently made fun of right-winger's ridiculous homophobia on his show. Also, he has had gay & lesbian characters in his Lake Wobegone monologues (a guy named Bob Anderson who grew up in Lake Wobegone and then moved to NYC to become a dancer, and GK's cousin, Rose of whom he speaks very fondly). So, I suggest that when we have a public figure who is generally open and supportive, we GENTLY correct him or her when they need a little guidance. Save the vitriol for the real hatemongerers like Rick Santorum, Ann Coulter, et al.

Secondly, GK already knows he's weird. He comments on it regularly.

He apologized. Let's forgive him and move on to more deserving targets of our ire.

Posted by Reynold926 | March 24, 2007 12:22 AM
414

Wow, what a ton of comments about a man who has run out of anything to say. I'm wanting to email him about this week's column, regarding the creation of the Internet. Doesn't everyone know by now that Al Gore invented that? Anyone have his email address?

Posted by Maxwell | March 25, 2007 5:19 PM
415

Thank you for speaking your mind and putting that asshole Keillor in his place. I wonder how his very gay stars such as Lily Tomlin of Prairie Home Companion would feel if they knew that he was such a bigoted jerk?!?

Posted by Jackie | March 27, 2007 9:37 AM
416

Thank you for speaking your mind and putting that asshole Keillor in his place. I wonder how his very gay stars such as Lily Tomlin of Prairie Home Companion would feel if they knew that he was such a bigoted jerk?!?

Posted by Jackie | March 27, 2007 9:37 AM
417

Thank you for speaking your mind and putting that asshole Keillor in his place. I wonder how his very gay stars such as Lily Tomlin of Prairie Home Companion would feel if they knew that he was such a bigoted jerk?!?

Posted by Jackie | March 27, 2007 9:37 AM
418

Reading these comments (after 25 or so, they became impossibly redundant) would lead one to formulate a new stereotype... That gays are humorless. It took Savage and 15 more commentators before one tentatively ventured the obvious, "I think Keillor is possibly being satirical in this piece."

"Possibly?!" Keillor is ALWAYS satirical.

I came to this blog after wondering who the hell Savage was (Michael's "brother?"). But first I read a piece in the Voice where Savage responds to a "heterosexual" guy who enjoys getting his "normal sized 10-incher" sucked by a guy. I had to wonder if that was satire. Savage spend half his column on a discourse about it.

Here's what you could have written, Dan: "You're not 'heterosexual' and you don't have a '10-inch' dick." Period.

Randy Shilts reported that the joke on Castro street was that AIDS was caused by "track lighting and industrial-gray carpets." How dare he repeat that remark! Let's declare him posthumously un-P.C. Oh, wait a minute. It was done while he was still alive.

Get a life Savage. Get a life Savage readers.

(s) Norwegian batchelor farmer
Lake Woebegone, MN

P.S. I liked the movie. Tomlin and Streep WERE great.

Posted by Smith | March 28, 2007 9:43 AM

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