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Garrison Keillor
Black eye

Here's my open letter to Garrison Keillor about his recent anti-gay Salon piece:

I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1969. To copy the Dixie Chicks, I am embarrassed that Garrison Keillor is from Minnesota. I am surprised that someone from such a beautiful state would denigrate gay people and families with gay parents.

Garrison Keillor wrote in Salon, “The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men…”

Good so far. As a thirty-seven year old gay man, I’ve been in a monogamous relationship for the last thirteen years. In a country filled with gay bashing and job discrimination, I’d like to see more acceptance. I’d like to see legal recognition of my relationship, since the death of either me or my partner would sink the survivor financially.

But Garrison continues, “…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.”

His main point in the article is that gay marriage should be outlawed because it causes too much confusion... too many male in-laws. Garrison says what's best for all children is a mongamous "mixed-gender marriage", even though he himself has been married three times, cheating on his first two wives. Gay people should not be parents, unless they act straight.

Wow. I’m stunned. Such amazing hatred from someone I really liked. I thought Keillor was a liberal – someone trying to make the world a better place. I’m not sure if it’s ignorance or bad comedy, but it’s disappointing. I won’t be reading his books or supporting him in any way in the future.

Goodbye. I’ve got to go play a rugby game tomorrow. Yeah rugby… Garrison you ignorant fuck.

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His main point of the story is how rediculous the size of the extended faimily has gotten, and how the children are getting lost in the extensive list of relatives.

"Monogamy put the parents in the background where they belong and we children were able to hold center stage. "

"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. "

And yes gay marrige can add to that list.

I guess i am just another ignorant fuck for agreeing with him, but i also understand his social commentary and the point he is trying to make.

People see what they want to see in something, and all you saw is what affected you, not the entire theme of the peice.

I guess im just another ignorant fuck.

Nah... I'd still fuck you even if you are ignorant.

nipper_dawg said:

"I see it differntly, and i see his point. And i happen to agree that the
extended faimily has gotten out of hand."

You go to war with the familiy you have. That is, as a gay man, I can't choose to marry a woman and raise a child. I wouldn't survive in that set-up. But what I *can* do is create a stable loving family from the pieces I have: a gay partner, an extended network of friends and family. And for Garrison so say that my orientation automatically makes me a less fit parent than any two random straight people is extremely offensive.

"Now you can call me an ignorant fuck too, but if your going to post
something post the entire commentary."

Read it for yourself at Salon - I gave you the link. Are you claiming I took the sterotypical anti-gay comments out of context?

"Garrison has been highly supportive of the community when in NYC or San fran, poking fun at it and enjoying it."

{cough} No, Garrison has been very consistent at his distaste for gay people. He is on the record against gay marriage in many places. Here's a snide comment:

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

"As for me, im undecided on Gay marrige. Marrige has been too much of an
excuse to party then to actually build a realtionship and weather the

I'm sorry your previous gay relationships have not gone well. However, don't let your wishy-washy opinions affect my ability to have legal rights with my partner.

Open apology to nipper dawg

I apologize. My comments to you about your previous relationships was uncalled for. I'm angry at Garrison Keillor and I didn't mean to take it out on you. I don't know your previous relationships.

But I think I'd like you if we met. I like your doggy side - that seems fun and interesting. I like the fact that you seem to be a "Colorado" person that's not from Colorado, if that makes sense. And I admire the fact that you're an S & M bottom - sometimes and emotionally difficult path to tread.

So, anyway, I hope you fall in love someday with a good Sir. I hope he's everything you need and desire. And I hope by then that you two will be able to get legally married, 'cause trust me - having no financial protection is a bitch. I just hope that you can understand that.

Hugs, and a rub behind the ears...

I once heard someone say that whoever sits around, wanting to bring back the "good ol' days" never had to sit in the back of the bus.

I totally agree with you.

i've always been a big GK fan, so i was disturbed to read your post and i immediately went to look at the article.

my initial reaction was one of disappointment and anger, and i started thinking about how much money i'd get by selling back all my GK cds.

then i went and read the "editor's choice" replies to the article, and was a bit surprised to find that, among the anger and outrage, a number of folks took a very different view of the article and saw it as more satirical and tongue-in-cheek.

reading through the article again, i'm still not sure about the intent, but i'm interested to see if there's any kind of follow-up from the author, and i'll hold onto those cds at least for a little bit...

The "it's just a joke folks" defense is a little tired... since it was coming from Ann Coulter last week. What's odd is that the article has a good point - there's a nice sentimental statement about children and the role of the "self" as a parent. Veering off into the odd anti-gay comments is indeed shocking. It wasn't needed to make his point, and it wasn't funny. It's like breaking into an economic report with a comment about Asian people not able to drive cars well. I really think it says something about Garrison's inner feelings against gay people.

between that and the return of camille paglia, I'm done.

I urge you to jettison Salon and write them a letter explaining why.

i don't care for what he said. However, I think hatred is not the correct term. Are you suggesting that anyone who disagrees with you has hatred towards you? That's not right.

Maybe I shouldn't have said "hatred". I guess I could have said "scornful disdain", though that phrase doesn't sound much better.

Last year, Bridgette Bardot wrote about homosexuals, "They jiggle their bottoms, put their little fingers in the air and with their little castrato voices moan about what those ghastly heteros put them through." Like Keillor, I could put this down to a failed attempt at comedy. After all, Bardot is known solely for her looks, not her sense of humor.

But can't you hear more in her writing? A deep dislike for gay men? As if you and her were at a party and a gay man left the room, she couldn't wait to make a comment?

I tried to give Garrison the benefit of the doubt, so I searched the Prarie Home Companion website for a sympathetic portrayal of gay people. Instead, all I found was another snotty joke:

"The rise in homosexuality coincided with global warming. Look it up... They like to show off their legs and keep tan, that's why. It's a proven fact."

Keillor seems tone-deaf to gay humor. One person wrote on www.thestranger.com:

"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."

No, you're being unfair to say I belittle people who disagree with me. I love a good argument, if the other person is polite and *tries* to form a coherent argument. But when people spend money to actively try to deprive me of my ability to afford a house or hold a job, well that's fucking with my life, and I will fight those people. It's just a shame Garrison is on the side of the dickheads.

Right with ya on this one. Have a great game tomorrow!

I got the impression he thought he was being funny and satirical but completely missed the mark

oh.. and I am a little confused by how you toss around the word monogamous.

you have sex with other people.

Not really getting that.

I don't know who Miss Keillor's parents are (yes, I know he's a man) or were, but mine don't seem to bear any resemblance to the 'restrain self for children' people HE'S talking about.

The simple solution to this confusion thing is, of course, just to select who you will acknowledge and who you won't. I'm always surprised when I meet people who seem to have knitted samplers in their heads and who say fatuous things like: 'You can't pick your family'. Sure you can...it's easy...for me, anyway. I don't think an accident of DNA means I have to hang out with people who make me feel wretched.

Late to the party here, I know, but I'm totally lost by something.

People keep pointing to things that Keillor wrote about gays that they perceive are negative, but every one of them is utterly absurd.

"Gay people shouldn't marry because it makes the extended family too confusing."

"Gay people only want to get married because they can save on clothing and accessories."

"Gay people cause global warming [or possibly global warming creates gay people] because they like to be tanned."

How on Earth do you interpret these statements as anything but a loopy send-up of moral disapprobation?

Heck, that last one sounds exactly like the Pastafarian teaching that global warming is caused by the decrease in the pirate population.

I just feel like sometimes "It's just a joke." is actually a viable defense.

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