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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This Should Take the Heat Off Kathy Griffin

posted by on September 25 at 10:53 AM

First the gay Jesus porno and now this:

Click image for larger version.

The American Taliban, rumor has it, is already up in arms about the poster for this year’s Folsom Street Fair, San Francisco’s annual, pan-sexual, family-friendly (really) celebration of leather, bondage, fetish, and S&M. The American Taliban will scream and yell about how no one would dare to mock Islam like this because Christians, being Christians, stupidly put up with these sorts of insults. (Well, now they do—a century or two ago the Pope could have anyone he liked burned at the stake.)

The mistake the Christians keep making, of course, is all that turning the other cheek crap. (Where did the hell did they get that retarded idea anway?) Outraged Muslims, on the other hand, famously riot, murder, bomb, kill, etc., when they’re provoked, and this murderousness protects their faith from similar outrages.

Well, not so much—not in USA, anyway, Glenn Greenwald pointed out at Salon. Theo Van Gough might take exception to Greenwald if he hadn’t been butchered on an Amsterdam street corner for insulting Islam. Still, most people that insult Islam—including this paper—seem get away with it.

I’m not sure what the American Taliban is driving at when they insist that a Griffin or a Folsom Street Fair wouldn’t insult Islam the way they insult Christianity. Do they admire the murderousness of radical Muslims? Or do they want to be treated with the deference granted batshit crazy murderers without actually having to go to all the trouble of murdering someone?

Of course Kathy Griffin is Catholic, so she was insulting her own religion, her own savior, and not someone else’s imaginary super friend. And Christian art and artists have created scads of iconic images over the last, oh, thousand or so years—including many overtly homoerotic images. The organizers of Folsom probably couldn’t insult Islam like this if they wanted to—Islam forbids representations of human form in art. What’s Folsom gonna do? Arrange riding crops in abstract geometric patterns?

And as the American Taliban are so fond of pointing out, most people in the United States are Christians; we’re not a Christian nation, but we’re certainly a nation overrun by Christians, steeped in Christian imagery, lousy with Christian metaphors. And it’s Christians in the United States that are aggressively seeking to regulate and control the sex lives of other Americans, Christian or not. When powerless people are attacked by powerful people—when conservative Christians go after gay people and kinky straight people—the powerless will respond the way the powerless always have: with insults, with mockery, and with humor.

And, come on, aren’t you conservative Christians always insisting that your faith is superior to Islam in every possible way? Haven’t conservative Christian leaders argued that Islam is incompatible with democracy and other western values? And isn’t shrugging off piddling little insults—do your worst, cartoonists, comediennes, and kinksters!—one of the ways Christianity proves that it’s a great, big, all-grown-up World Religion with a reformation and everything? Unlike, say, Islam?

So you don’t like Folsom’s posters, American Taliban. What are you going to do about it? I have an idea: Suck it, Jesus freaks.

RSS icon Comments


While we're worrying about whose toes we might step on, has anyone considered how all this leather might piss off the vegans?

Posted by Ziggity | September 25, 2007 10:56 AM

I think it was SFMOMA, actually, where I started counting last supper references. I think I found about 7.

Posted by Laurel | September 25, 2007 10:58 AM

what a banal poster

Posted by -B- | September 25, 2007 11:11 AM

Um ... Grammar check much?

Posted by GW2 | September 25, 2007 11:17 AM

The pope has never had, nor been able to have, an American burned at the stake. Not one or two or even three centuries ago. And even in Europe, nobody's been burned at the stake for heresy in about 400 years.

Posted by twee | September 25, 2007 11:23 AM

at the folsom street fair the jesus freaks can suck it right in the middle of the street! which is great, i just don't think it's really all that family friendly....
there really do tend to be quite a few kids there. what's the deal with that, parents? is it some secret truth that watching people perform sex acts in the middle of the street is actually good for kids?

Posted by sucking it for the kiddies | September 25, 2007 11:23 AM

this isn't comparable to kathy griffin. she was being funny.

this is just faux-edgy and adolescent.

Posted by Kevin Erickson | September 25, 2007 11:51 AM

I love Folsom Street Fair and Folsom Street itself, it welcomed me to the city when I moved here and it's my annual must-attend street fair.
Also, @1: PETA and vegans regularly attend both Folsom and Dore Alley in rubber, pleather, and other non-animal fabrics and carry signs protesting leather. I have not heard any reports of (unwelcome, non-consensual) abuse, verbal or physical, being used against them. In fact, a good friend of mine participated in the PETA protest/participation last year and he is very ... confrontational (read: rude) about his issues and causes and even he didn't get any negativity about his message to the leather-clad crowd.
Interestingly, I find the leather crowd to be the nicest group of men who have sex with men (MSM). I used to recruit MSM for a study with the Dept. of Public Health AIDS Office and would go to at least 4 events a week where the Castro-fags would be terribly rude in response about my asking them to participate in a survey. Even when the Leather/Bear/Harley guys on Folsom and Harrison Street clubs and events would say no to me they would generally be more polite about it.
sorry that the post got so long.

Posted by Dee in SF | September 25, 2007 11:54 AM

I'll take the one on the far left.

Posted by boxofbirds | September 25, 2007 12:06 PM

I wonder what will make them madder, the obviously gay themes or the black Jesus.

Posted by Clint | September 25, 2007 12:09 PM

Griffin is a former Catholic, now atheist.

Posted by Nick | September 25, 2007 12:09 PM
Posted by el Rutherford | September 25, 2007 12:17 PM

Love the slog, Love Dan most of the time but every once in awhile YOU ARE AN ASS DAN... A BIG HUGE IGNORANT ASS!

Posted by mj | September 25, 2007 12:21 PM

I, for one, don't care what Chrisitians, Muslims, Scientologists, Petans or anyone else for that matter thinks of Gay folks. I'm nor gay FOR them. I'm Gay, whether they like it or not is beside the point.

Posted by gay elitist | September 25, 2007 12:28 PM

"Suck it jesus freaks" - Dan Savage

You should make some t-shrits like that for Strangercrombie. =) Maybe a top 10 Dan quotes all on t-shirts of various colors? ;)

Posted by Original Monique | September 25, 2007 12:33 PM

It might be easier for me to get all pissed off at the fundamentalists who (rumor has it) are up in arms about this if the ad weren't a completely transparent attempt to mock and provoke those very people. So they yelp when you poke them with a stick -- what else is new?

Posted by flamingbanjo | September 25, 2007 12:39 PM

@5 The last auto de fe occurred in 1821 in Portugal. The Papal States, in which the Pope held both temporal and ecclesial power ended only in 1870 with Italian Unification. The Holy Office of the Inquisition was changed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith only in 1908. The Index was updated until 1965. James Kirkup was found guilty of blasphemy in 1977 in the UK. Weird ass religious persecution is not that far in the past.

Posted by Gitai | September 25, 2007 12:40 PM

I have to say this "Suck it Jesus and Suck it Mohammed!!"

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | September 25, 2007 12:59 PM

I'm a Christian, and I'm not offended by the leather Last Supper or the black Jesus. I think it's kind of funny.

Posted by Greg | September 25, 2007 1:12 PM

Everybody can suck it.

And that includes me if I'm ever fortunate enough to meet the guy at the left end of the table.

Posted by Original Andrew | September 25, 2007 1:13 PM

I love how the Sister of Perpetual Indulgence is in the position of Judas Iscariot! I actually didn't notice the reference of Da Vinci's The Last supper till I read this blog- just looked like a bunch of queer stereotypes at a dinner party. The black Jesus is passť as is the whole concept. Obviously they wanted to "provoke" something but I think they failed here. Everyone knows Jesus was half Japanese half Australian Aborigine. Just sayin'...

Posted by Lil'Boy Blue | September 25, 2007 1:19 PM

@ 21 That's Sister Roma! (exclamation mark is part of her name, naturally)

Posted by Dee in SF | September 25, 2007 2:12 PM

@5, besides the comments of gitai, i think yr forgetting about the thousands of indigenous Americans south of our border who were tortured by Europeans for religious reasons for hundreds of years.

Posted by Philly | September 25, 2007 2:33 PM

Christianity is a thought system for idiots and morons. This religion should be banned along with Islam.

Judaism on the other hand is based on truth and righteousness. The sooner Christians and Islamofascists accept Judaism as being superior, the sooner peace will come to this world.

Posted by Issur | September 25, 2007 2:42 PM

Actually Dan, to say that Muslims all freaked out over the cartoons isn't fair without proper background:

The cartoons were published at the end of September 2005. Major protests of them did not occur until months later. In fact, when knowledge of the cartoons first came around, people didn't really care until some Danish imams actually physically went to Egypt, Jordan, etc, added some images that were much more offensive and not in context at all (like a picture of a bearded man wearing a pig nose-the winner of an eating contest in France, unrelated to this) as evidence of the hatin'.

Western Muslims were often quite vocal about their support of the cartoons.

Local riots, such as in Nigeria, often reflected local tension rather than as a direct response to the cartoons. (Nigeria has a pretty bumpy, complex religious situation.)

So while the protests were disturbing and all...not everyone responded the same, and not everyone had accurate information regarding what was actually printed.

Posted by Glynn | September 25, 2007 4:04 PM

did you guys notice the jesus isn't lilly-white? Love it. Brilliant.

Posted by aspshortjock | September 25, 2007 4:55 PM

It's funny how religious nuts so easily confuse a piece of art commissioned at the end of 15th century Europe with a piece of their religious text. Besides, the only blasphemy that could be occurring here is there's something inherently wrong with being a leather boy, and that judgment rests on the shoulders of the viewer.

In short, one person's sacrilege is another's homage.

Posted by Dougsf | September 25, 2007 5:08 PM

@21 said: "I love how the Sister of Perpetual Indulgence is in the position of Judas Iscariot!"

Wrong on two points.

1) As noted above, it's Sister Roma! and
2) She's actually in the position of DaVinci's Mary Magdeline or John the Beloved (depending on who you ask), but she definitely isn't in the position of Judas, who DaVinci placed at Christ's left, in the shadows.

Posted by Zeke | September 25, 2007 6:23 PM

Arrrgh! Christians are soooo... stupid! All of them, and they get offended so easily.

I'm so glad I was born Jewish. Somehow God gave Jews thicker skins and a better sense of humor that members of the Christian and IslamoFascist cults!

Posted by Issur | September 25, 2007 6:38 PM

Really, Issur? Thick skin? Great sense of humour? Let's talk holocaust jokes, and see who gets angry. Judaism is not superior to any other religion. If you're anything to go by (and not merely a troll), it's just a more arrogant and elitist religion. You're still worshipping an ancient fiction like all the others. If you want to worship anybody, worship Karl Marx: he actually existed.

Posted by Donovan | September 25, 2007 8:10 PM

I still think it's funny how hot and bothered non-believers get when any conversation about any religion comes up. Who cares. It's the nasty opinions foisted in the supposed name of someone's imaginary god (and let's put Karl Marx and all the other wannabe deities in there too) that shit me. Yr omniscient, silent god is just fine - go sit him/her next to my autopilot universe.

Posted by leon | September 26, 2007 5:55 AM

To # 28

In the Last Supper by Da Vinci- Mary Magdalene is on Jesusí EXACT right. Judas is TWO people from Jesusí EXACT right in a sitting position. Sister Roma Tomato!!! Is EXACTLY TWO people from the nasty looking Ogre representing Jesus- therefore sister Roma-Tomato is IN THE POSITION OF JUDAS ISCARIOT!!! LOL! Go back to school and learn some art history... Sheesh!

Posted by Lil'Boy Blue | September 26, 2007 10:20 AM

@28 :"but she definitely isn't in the position of Judas, who DaVinci placed at Christ's left, in the shadows.

WRONG! Judas Iscariot is the third face counting from the right of Jesus. Judas is in front of John and Peter forming a group of three. The position of the the Sister of PI is in front of the two people to the right of Jesus- therefore she/he is most certainly in the position of Judas- even down to the body expression- If the Sister (?)was in the position of "John the beloved" she/he would be facing full front (towards the viewer) with eys cast down... Cut and Print!

Posted by Clayton | September 26, 2007 10:30 AM

"Suck it, Jesus Freaks" as a t-shirt?! You've got my vote! I LOVE it! LOVE it, LOVE it, LOVE it! Dan, you're my hero, and Original Monique, you're a genius. I'd be the first in line to buy one.

Posted by Beloved1 | September 26, 2007 11:32 AM

The debate over who Sister Roma! represents is very interesting. Who knew I could learn art history and Christian mythology by looking at a Folsom poster.

Posted by homer | September 27, 2007 5:01 AM

Dan- Your sexuality columns are often quite informative and helpful but this ranting just makes me sick. I am a gay Catholic and your gleeful disdain for my religion is beyond poor taste.

Your Islam argument sounds pretty weak. So you are admitting that making fun of Islam instead was avoided for fear of what happened to Theo Van Gogh? Grow some real balls for a change.

Posted by Marc | September 27, 2007 1:54 PM

I think it's beautiful.

Posted by melangell | October 1, 2007 8:21 AM

Folks, Kathy Griffin is Jewish.

Her spiel about going to a catholic school started early in her standup and she kept it because she thought it was cute. She had her bat mitzvah at age 12 in New York. There is no reason to be ashamed of that. Im just not sure why she keeps the joke going.

Her parents were John and Maggie Griffin who changed their name in the late forties or early fifties. Dont believe the silly claims you find on the web. A couple of years ago when she was confronted with the question,are you indeed jewish? She changed the Catholic bit and claimed to be atheist. Its an ongoing joke and she's laughing her butt off.

You can find one of her jewish classmates notes on bravotv. just search (Kathy Griffin - Jewish BravoTV) on Google.

Posted by yourcrazy | October 4, 2007 1:54 AM

I know you think all of this is funny. It isn't. It wasn't funny when my brother was diagnosed with AIDS. It wasn't funny when people treated him like a leper. It wasn't funny when all his blood vessels were breaking. It wasn't funny when he was dying, and he was scared. He was telling me, shortly before he died, that the things he did, weren't funny anymore. He was afraid when he died, and with good reason. Please don't wait until then to figure it out. Jesus would not have treated my brother like a leper. You can mock all you want. Michael knew, in the end, it wasn't funny. I wish that I knew then what I know now. It is possible to be so open minded that your brains fall out. Do the research. Test the waters. You will find the truth. Jesus loves all of you, and was mocked and died a horrible death...for you. I used to laugh too. I found out it wasn't funny.

Posted by Sharon TenHagen | October 8, 2007 7:59 PM

...Ok, it's late...Jesus would've treated my brother AS he treated people in need -- AS he treated those with leprosy who were rejected and mocked. I know you will still have a field day...just know that the laughter ends. Jesus paid the price for all of our self centered, hedonistic lives. And, unfortunately, my brother paid too. He was trying to tell me that. At the time, I was too blind. Let Jesus open your eyes too, while there is still time. I know you think this is crap. I did once too. Not anymore. Read, research...before it's too late.

Posted by Sharon TenHagen | October 8, 2007 8:24 PM

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