I don’t literally have a dick, but today I’ll stick my figurative one in the hornets’ nest. Come along with me, won’t you?
Welcome to Friday Feedback, our formerly-weekely, now occasionally-as-circumstances-demand excising of the blog’s milia using the sharp instruments wielded by readers of criticism, scorn, and condemnation.
I was discarding some old blog drafts this morning when I came across this one. Given my “issues” lately, I thought it would be a good time to finish what I began last year.
Back when I started this piece (unfinished until now) on April 28, 2015, all the world was abuzz discussing Bruce Jenner’s transition announcement. Caitlyn came out in spectacular fashion, landing a cover story in Vanity Fair magazine and a very nice photo spread shot by Annie Leibowitz.
I’m still waiting for my Vanity Fair Cover. Graydon? Annie? Are you reading? Please contact me soon because People is considering me for their “Most OK-Looking Person” issue and I really don’t want to over-expose myself.
Last April I was considering Caitlyn’s announcement, fascinating not only for obvious reasons but also because she clearly chose to spell her name with a “C” instead of a “K” to poke Kris Jenner in the eye.
Fascinating or not, the repeated use of the word “hero” to describe Jenner did not sit well with me. I am a big believer in the power of words and I do not appreciate it when impactful words like “hero” have their meaning diluted through overuse and misapplication.
Like, “literally.” Get it?
Please keep in mind that when this was written, Jenner was still using the male pronouns.
I made the following post on Facebook:
Can we please tone down the “hero” rhetoric for Bruce Jenner? I don’t give two shits, no, I don’t even give ONE shit about his transition. Good on him; nice he can afford it.
But he’s no hero. He is a man who abandoned his children from his first two marriages for YEARS, all the while playing the perfect dad and stepdad to his third family. YEARS. Years went by and he didn’t call, write, send birthday cards, etc.
Let’s save the word “hero” for people who deserve it. I’ll name a few:
1. MLK Jr.
2. Edward Snowden
3. Margaret Sanger
4. Winston Churchill
5. Malala Yousafzai
6. Nelson Mandela
7. Elizabeth A. Birch
8. Nikolai Girenko
9. Mr. Patience and Understanding, and
10. Margot, for putting up with Archie.
My post was very popular, generating 66 comments.
My usual right-wing nemesis and good friend John chimed in and scolded me for labeling Edward Snowden a “hero.” He’s always messing with me, that little rascal. We manage to remain friends despite his constant politically-based criticisms of me because deep down he knows I am always right.
I also received very negative feedback from a woman who chided me over and over again for opining that Jenner was not, at least by my definition, a “hero.” If you are bored and have time on your hands, click on the following link and expand all the comments.
It got pretty heated!
What Makes a Hero?
Sorry, I don’t think so. Let’s look at the definitions above and apply them to Jenner.
Definition Number One:
A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities
She lives in the public eye, therefore to “come out” there is hardly courageous or outstanding – it’s factually necessary. She filmed a television series around her transition to make money for herself. Is that especially noble?
She has long supported politicians who hate her and who fight strenuously against LGBTQ rights. She now seems to be “coming out” for Trump – a man whose followers would likely rip her and everyone like her to shreds with their bare hands if given half a chance, to say nothing of how they would be treated from a legal perspective.
Definition Number Two:
The chief male character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.
Not applicable, unless someone is writing a book about her in which they ignore both her gender and her character flaws. I’ll admit having sympathy for Caitlyn Jenner, but that sympathy is for being subjected to Kanye West on a regular basis.
Then again, Jenner is largely to blame for the emergence of the Kardashians as a media force, so fuck her.
Definition Number Three:
Another term for submarine sandwich
Caitlyn is not a sandwich, although her driving skills have notably created a metal sandwich of death.
You know who is a hero but doesn’t get anywhere near the press Caitlyn Jenner does?
Ex-Navy Seal Kristin Beck. You can read about her here:
The reason I am poking an angry bear today is because I continue to remain frustrated that if you criticize someone for behavior completely unrelated to their status as LGBTQ (or any other), you will be immediately labeled a bigot.
The uneducated and unwashed masses who support Donald Trump constantly echo his damnation of “political correctness.”
PC or not PC?: That is the Question
To Trumpians, “politically correct” means deprivation of the right to openly call for the lynching of President Obama while labeling his beautiful family with a word that rhymes with the plural of “jigger.”
“Jigger,” by the way, should also be labeled “offensive speech.” Who needs one of those when you can just pour with abandon in amounts of your choosing? Why doth the jigger seek to control me?
These folks don’t understand the difference between hate speech that encourages violence and valid criticism of President Obama’s policies. They decry “political correctness” because they have no understanding of what that term means.
“Politically correct” means you can never offer any negative opinion or observation about someone’s behavior if they are a member of a protected class, even when that criticism is based upon actions wholly unrelated to the status of the individual being considered.
If you do so, you proceed at your own peril. Take it from me, being labeled a bigot is a very serious matter, especially when you are trying to achieve the goals I am working so hard to achieve.
Especially galling is that the people doing the labeling are ignoring years of my writing and stated beliefs simply because I opined on the behavior of someone of a certain status. Not upon the status itself, mind you, but the behavior.
So that, my friends, is why we have people holding signs at Trump rallies like this one: