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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

You Know It’s Time to Adjust Your Meds…

posted by on March 14 at 12:46 PM

…when Larry Kramer has a cooler head than you do. This just arrived for me via email…

dear dan,

i love you and admire you but i think maybe you are overreacting to dumb garrison keillor’s dumb and retro remarks, which can be better attacked by a column of yours. he certainly is not on a par, demo wise, with pace…. thank you for mentioning the speech; it sounds as if you did like it, which pleases me very much. its delivery last night was met with huge response and the demo at the recruiting station blossomed fast, like in the old days. i do hope we can get act up up and running again. interestingly most of those who were there were young and not so many of the old members whom i thought would certainly turn up. anyway, like the sondheim song, bit by bit, piece by piece, putting it together. rex tells me that the seattle gay paper is going to run my speech, which is excellent. i have had an offer from the op-ed page of the la times. i have never had so many emails in my life and i fear for my own working schedule to finish my huge tome. i hope you will not be angry at me, or us. i always thought garrison keillor was a big joke and could never understand why he was so popular. bud trillin, my good friend and his friend too, says i just dont get his humor. but then they’re both from the midwest and i am not.

i will get copies made [of keillor’s piece] to distribute at our act up meeting tomorrow night. i gather keillor broadcasts on saturday at some time so maybe some of the members might be intrigued about doing a demo—maybe big butch guys wearing dresses or some such. “you want to know what tough is? we are tough and you are stupid.” anyway we can discuss it and see if it flies. i like the idea of two actions in three days. keep the troops busy.


Wow. Maybe I am overreacting. I mean, if Larry Kramer is the measured voice of reason here then, sheesh, I may need to take the rest of the afternoon off. Where’s 300 playing anyway?

RSS icon Comments


There's this thing called an ellipsis . . .

And 300 is playing at Cinerama, which is where it must be seen. Plenty of eye candy for the gays.

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

dan, seriously, take the afternoon off. go home and enjoy your family. take that crazy gay dog for a walk. eat leftover cupcakes. relax. i think you need it.

and, one more thing: i can't believe The Kid is nine! now i feel even older. nine! jesus.

Posted by kerri harrop | March 14, 2007 1:32 PM

Maybe Larry Kramer is just getting old.

Posted by Gitai | March 14, 2007 2:00 PM

OK, sorry to be slightly off topic, but does anyone have more information about this "storming" of the recruiting office? I can't seem to find anything about it anywhere, and I'd really like to go. I know it's the one in times square at noon, but...anything else? special outfits? signs? meetup somewhere else? should i be prepared to get arrested? I really want to be involved in this! Since I read about it here, I'm hoping Dan has more information...Dan? Help? Confused lesbian here!!

Posted by LizinNY | March 14, 2007 2:11 PM

yes, i guess larry is getting old. too old to press the SHIFT key so that people can read with ease wHAT tHE fUCK hE iS tRYING tO wRITE.

Posted by Chip Chipmunk | March 14, 2007 2:16 PM

@1 - I saw it at the Cinerama at their early morning Saturday matinee with my ex-wife and son - it was sweet! 300 rocks!

Even if I'm not gay (yes, plenty of eye candy for us straight men too ...)

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 14, 2007 2:31 PM

Here'a a link to an interview with Keillor showing just what a fucking rube he is:

Yeah, Garrison, I would love to see you say the same thing about black folks! "Yeah, African Americans should just move to cities that want to give them rights, and let the places that want to LYNCH them be allowed to carry on with their time-honored'll be their loss in the long run."

THAT is the argument he makes on gay civil rights, people.

I just don't think this sounds like much a of a friend to gay people, so could all of you apologists for him just admit you're wrong now?!

Posted by Tlazolteotl | March 14, 2007 2:55 PM

Tlazolteotl, could you explain YOUR strategy to get people in South Dakota to accept gay marriage? I'm sure it's a good one.

Posted by Fnarf | March 14, 2007 3:02 PM

Fnarf, I think you make the argument that people's inalienable rights should not be up for public approval.

But his isn't about me - it's about whether Keillor was being satirical, and 'he really is gay-friendly' as apologists have been stating

He has made repeated comments about gays being undeserving of full and equal rights, as demonstrated in the Salon article and the one I posted the link to. That is the issue, so the question to you is, are you going to stop apologizing for his lame, bigoted ass?

Posted by Tlazolteotl | March 14, 2007 3:09 PM

Hey #4, here is a link to the listserver they have set up. I am guessing information will be forthcoming.

Posted by Bgenot | March 14, 2007 3:23 PM

I thought 300 sucked, the dialogue (or should I say screaming) was cringe inducing, the big gay bad guy was such an overtly homophobic portrayal and since when were the persians black, or asian? It's an incredibly stupid movie, rent some porn if you want to see buff guys.

Posted by Jersey | March 14, 2007 3:51 PM

Tlazoltetol, he's never said gays are underserving. His argument is a pragmatic one, essentially identical to the one voiced in The Stranger ("Urban Archipelago")

Posted by Kevin Erickson | March 14, 2007 4:09 PM
Yeah, Garrison, I would love to see you say the same thing about black folks! "Yeah, African Americans should just move to cities that want to give them rights, and let the places that want to LYNCH them be allowed to carry on with their time-honored'll be their loss in the long run."

No, that's not the argument that Keillor is making. His arguments were made in regards to marriage, not gay bashing or murder. A more apt comparison would be, several decades ago, someone saying that the issue of interracial marriage should be a matter left to the states because the issue is too divisive. Ultimately, the Supreme Court had to overrule the last laws prohibiting interracial marriage, because liberals weren't able, or were too afraid, to make headway on that issue in racist states.

Here's what he actually said:

I think that gay marriage is also an issue that does no good for us and I want to see us divest ourselves of this...The symbolism of gay people marrying is terribly potent, terrible powerful, and we ignore this at our peril in our party.

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.

A recent survey by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a black-oriented research think tank, showed that Bush's African-American support is at 18 percent, up 9 percentage points from the Center's 2000 poll. One of the prime reasons given for that increase in support is our current President’s belief that marriage "is between a man and a woman." Chew on that while you consider the fact that since Bush took office, African American unemployment has risen 28 percent, reversing Clinton-era prosperity, when it declined by nearly 50 percent.

Personally, I’m all for gay marriage. In fact, I’m all for straight marriage, too. Yet, I wouldn’t sacrifice economic justice on either alter.

So, basically, Keillor says that he doesn't think that same-sex marriage trumps other issues that he feels are more important. That hardly makes him a homobigot.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 14, 2007 5:00 PM

Dan, eleven pages of reaction letters on Salon about the Prairie (Anti-)Homo Companion so far and maybe two of those letters aren't angry. A *lot* of people are reacting. Not over.

Posted by 11x | March 14, 2007 5:54 PM

Tell Larry that Keillor will be doing PHC at the Town Hall in NYC for the next three Saturday nights. Starts at 5:45-8:00 pm Eastern Time.

Posted by Karla Marx | March 15, 2007 8:40 AM

No, what Keillor has been saying is that gays should just shut up (= forget about pursuing civil rights) because gay marriage won't play in the midwest, and it'll hurt the party's chances. That is what he has said. The 'shouldn't trump economic fairness' BS? - he's covering his ass, because he knows damned well that what he's saying is bigoted.

He wouldn't dream of saying that any racial group that was protesting against discriminatory laws should just shut up.

Posted by Tlazolteotl | March 15, 2007 11:51 AM

This isn't the first time Keillor has written ugly things about gay marriage.

See this from 2005:

And this interview:

I ask Keillor if there any other positions Democrats should jettison.

“I think that gay marriage is also an issue that does no good for us and I want to see us divest ourselves of this,” Keillor says. “The symbolism of gay people marrying is terribly potent, terrible powerful, and we ignore this at our peril in our party."

Posted by Matt | March 15, 2007 1:43 PM

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 2:17 PM

#15 Except for The Stranger, letters on Salon, and few sites like TMZ, there is absolutely no press on this. Not even The Daily Show weighed in. I think if Keillor is truly evil in the hearts and minds of gays, then there needs to be a huge protest when the Prairie Home Companion comes to NYC. Only 250 people showed up to protest the recruiting center. He will only apologize or "clarify" his remarks when the Cable News Networks and Jon Stewart start talking about it.

And for the record, I stopped listening to the PHC over 25 years ago when it started being simulcast on the Disney Channel.

Posted by elswinger | March 15, 2007 3:59 PM

Actually, I think the article is stranger than that. When you read the article (, you see little sentences that acts as bombs that make you doubt whether to take the article at face value-- stuff like (describing the virtues of 'traditional families)

"...while Mom and Dad stood like smiling, helpless mannequins in the background."

Also: "Nature does not care about the emotional well-being of older people."

These statements are pretty outrageous at closer reading, and suggest that the less controversial statements should be read with care. I don't think he is saying that people are more selfish-- rather that we incorrectly think that people were somehow virtuous back then.

Rather than say that people are selfish now, a better question would be were people really such ineffectual martyrs back then, and is that something that we believe is actually good for individuals and for society as a whole.

Keiller has always been a satirist, and although not everything he rights is satire, his salon article looks to be one of them.

Posted by Dean Chung | March 16, 2007 5:12 AM

Politics in this country are currently controlled by two things: money and embarassment.

HRC is the money end. People donate to that department of bureaucracy (me included) and they walk the halls of congress for 5 minute conversations that allow their politicos to make the connections with the lever pullers. That's our dysfunctional system, but there it is. To us fags, they are the equivalent of AIPAC, The US Chamber of Commerce, etc.

Kramer, Savage, et al are out to embarrass since they can't pony up the millions to make stuff move in DC or elsewhere. Sometimes the people on the other side can handle the embarrassment tossed their way, and sometimes they can't. As the embarrassers of our community, they attempt to keep honesty in the process. Sometimes they embarrass themselves, or the community at large. Sometimes they get tired or move on to new issues. Hence why they come and go.

Both groups work independently of each other yet communicate with each other as well. That's called strategy. It's no different than with any other interest group.

That's called politics. Just as everyone else in the country is doing it.

BTW, Keillor is a fuckwit. I didn't take his story as satire. Salon practiced poor journalism for not doing any background. Boo Hoo. That being said, Keillor's opinion is simply out there because he's famous and a known lefty. Honestly his schtick is pretty boring to me, and I could give a crap about his feelings on the subject. He's not part of "gayworld" nor is he a player in it. No sense dragging Garrison into gayworld through this and giving him a forum to spew discourse about stuff he's not invested in and probably doesn't give a toss about. Dan's points are well taken but sometimes you don't wanna shine a light in your alcoves... it's usually messy.

Posted by Dave Coffman | March 16, 2007 3:15 PM

Just because Larry Kramer wasn't as offended as you were doesn't mean you over-reacted. Keiler's piece may have been meant to be cute, but much of it WAS snide and stupid. You have a right to be offended, just as some gays are offended by the way people -- gays included -- use "gay" and "fag" interchangeably -- a practice that will eventually come to bite us on the behind, and already has.

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