The clipping service.

I gotta tell you, whenever your down-at-the-heels hometown makes Page One of the Wall Street Journal, it’s news. On the other hand, this piece is a fanciful pile o’ crap, yet another effort to smell a trend in the hinterlands and deliver the news to a readership who wouldn’t go there on a bet.

That said, I met the reporter years ago at the Miss America pageant, and he was swell then and surely still swell today. We all have to write crap stories sometimes.

In other news at this hour, I think Neil Steinberg, a conservative columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, sums up the evolving attitudes toward gays and gay marriage pretty neatly.

Posted at 9:29 am in Uncategorized |

22 responses to “The clipping service.”

  1. alex said on February 6, 2004 at 10:58 am

    Zaslow wrote crap when he was on staff at the Sun-Times, so I wasn’t surprised to see his byline at the end of that thing. He’s not having an off day. He’s being Zaslow.

    As for Steinberg, he’s having one of his best days ever, I’d say.

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  2. Dan McAfee said on February 6, 2004 at 12:04 pm

    “Ever since black people joined white society in America, the Bible-thumping haters have looked for another class to feel superior to, and gays, as they have for thousands of years, serve nicely. Though I can’t help wondering how a Christian and a pagan — and, for that matter, the Nazis — could find themselves all on the same page about the same people.”

    And this, you say, sums up the attitude toward gays in America. And this, you say, is a good bit of thinking. Steinberg lumps all of the Bible-thumping abolitionists into the that same Bible-thumping, black-hating category. Great thought. Oh, and because Nazi’s didn’t think gays were good for society then everyone who agrees is a Nazi. An excellent example of clear thinking. Let’s see, NABLA members vote Democrat, therefore the Democrat Party believe Man-Boy love is just fine.

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  3. Nance said on February 6, 2004 at 12:29 pm

    When I said “sums up the thinking,” I didn’t mean, “word for word.” My point is: People like Steinberg — conservative yuppies, for lack of a better phrase — are rapidly getting over their problems with homosexuality, and when conservative yuppies start falling in line, it says something. Those who are still railing about ONE man and ONE woman, or “reparative therapy” or opining on God’s intention for the sexes, are going to start looking like those who objected to interracial marriage on Biblical grounds. Sooner or later, anyway.

    Just my $.02.

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  4. Dan McAfee said on February 6, 2004 at 1:01 pm

    Here’s my problem, Nance, and it has little to do with homosexuality. Societal things that were nearly impossible to conceive of twenty years ago and now becoming accepted. Did you see any of the Frontline special on Porn in America? One time the Frontline camera left because THEY were so disturbed by what they were seeing, in this case a woman who was allowing herself to be brutally beaten and raped on camera by three men. Actually beaten. Then a simulated death after the men were done. Homosexual marriage is conceivable today only because of the strength of our society. It’s like the coyote building his planked path off a cliff, the further out it goes, the less stable it becomes. Eventually, things that only a very few sick people want will be allowed/be unable to be stopped, and the planks will start sagging. What does the coyote do? He runs back toward the cliff. Homosexual marriage is a bad idea because a lot of those gay people who get married are going to end up hurt when America runs them over on the way back to the cliff. I am NOT comparing loving homosexual relationships with disgusting porn. I’m saying that homosexual marriage is off the cliff, like the halftime show was off the cliff — and even further off are worse things, already allowed, and the planks are sagging.

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  5. alex said on February 6, 2004 at 3:21 pm


    As always, your reasoning stumps me. And I doubt you’re concerned in the least whether homosexuals end up getting hurt.

    I don’t see society’s growing enlightenment about homosexuality as having anything to do with the decline of civilization; rather it’s a bright spot in the muck you so decry. It’s about fucking time people got a clue, just as they did with regard to southpaws about a century ago, or the fact that the world ain’t flat.

    All this demagoguing is to be expected. The arguments are exactly the same sort as those that were put forth when women demanded their rights, when blacks demanded theirs. And you join the chorus rather than thinking it through, in my humble opinion.

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  6. Dan McAfee said on February 6, 2004 at 5:38 pm

    Do you believe, Alex, that anyone who makes distinctions between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is a hateful person (that I don’t care if gays are hurt)? Aren’t you making a distinction in saying conservatives are ‘wrong’ for their behavior? If morals are relative, how can mine be wrong and yours be right?

    Since we both believe it’s possible for people to be wrong, I imagine that we have common ground somewhere. I’m sure there are things we both believe are hurtful and should not be allowed in America. Neither of us, I’m sure, would want to raise a daughter in Saudi Arabia. Neither of us would want to our children to be lured into the porn industry. Our disagreement is in where to draw the line.

    I disagree that homosexual marriage is like women’s rights because many societies have existed throughout time with women as equals and with women in power. I disagree that homosexual marriage is like interracial marriage because throughout time many cultures have intermarried. Homosexual marriage can only be a reality in a culture where it is protected and I don’t think that can happen anywhere for extended periods of time.

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  7. Nance said on February 6, 2004 at 8:25 pm

    I’m trying hard to follow your argument, Dan, but it seems to me to boil down to:

    Be happy with scraps. Don’t ask for a seat at the table, because sooner or later it will be taken from you, and then you’ll miss it terribly, plus everyone will know you’re queer.

    I mean, am I missing something? Isn’t the point of making forward progress…making forward progress?

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  8. Dan McAfee said on February 6, 2004 at 10:45 pm

    Gay marriage is movement, but saying it’s movement “forward” and “progress” is what causes so people to complain about media bias. Perhaps you can’t follow the argument because you won’t allow the other POV to exist without it being considered wrong and mean.

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  9. Michael G said on February 7, 2004 at 12:34 am

    I sort of made a promise to Nancy a year or more ago that I wouldn’t write serious stuff in responding to her blog. I confess that I’ve violated that promise several times and I’m going to violate it again here. But nicely. There are those who feel that homosexual couples should not be allowed to formalize long term relationships and enjoy the associated legal benefits. It’s interesting that some people speak favorably about long term stability in heterosexual relationships but apparently want to discourage stability in gay relationships. Why is that? More to the point, whose business is it if same sex people elect to cohabit? I hear conservatives saying all the time that the govt should get out of peoples’ business. Point taken. If there is a religion that disapproves of homosexual relationships then that religion and its adherents need to address that question among themselves exclusively. The govt shouldn’t have any concern about who gets hitched. The govt shouldn’t promote any particular religious agenda. Some people say they want to protect traditional marriage against . . . against what? My marriage — a marriage to a beautiful woman which has endured for over twenty years — will continue or fail based upon my relationship with my wife. Period. Whether some gay men or some gay women get legally entangled means nothing to me and will have no effect on my marriage. What in the world are people worried about? Why the hand wringing? What sort of threat does gay marriage represent? If your marriage is secure, it’s secure. If it’s not, that’s your problem. Gay folks getting together won’t effect your relationships one whit. Same sex couples uniting means a great deal to them for the same legal and human reasons that are meaningful to straights. Anything that promotes love and stability between people is a plus for all. Why would anybone want to interfere with other peoples’ happiness and discourage stable relationships? Forget about promoting conflict and discord. Let’s all drink a toast to love and live with a smile.

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  10. ashley said on February 7, 2004 at 7:37 am


    We’re doing just what the GOP wants us to do.

    The GOP is determined to make gay marriage their #1 issue for the presidency. Just when its about the least important thing for the head of the executive branch to worry about. Since its a controversial, deeply personal issue, it may actually change the way people vote.

    Rather than the candidates stand on real issues.


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  11. Nance said on February 7, 2004 at 7:59 am

    Ashley is exactly right. Ironic, since I posted the link in part to point out that, for a growing number of people, this is simply no longer something worth arguing.

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  12. Nance said on February 7, 2004 at 8:12 am

    Oh, and Dan — I do allow the other point of view to exist. I just believe that it’s being revealed for what it is: Bigotry.

    I love the way so many conservatives fight like hell against social movements of one sort or another, then, when the dust has cleared, pretend they supported it all along. “Civil rights? We’ve always supported civil rights! Those politicians down south were DEMOCRATS!” There are still right-wingers who will argue the south should have been allowed to “naturally” discard slavery, rather than going to war over it. (Although I give them credit for honesty, like the pro-lifers who think raped women who become pregnant should have to carry their pregnancies to term. They, at least, are consistent.)

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  13. Connie said on February 7, 2004 at 9:44 am

    When you were at the Miss America pageant? Doing what might I ask. Connie

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  14. Nance said on February 7, 2004 at 9:52 am

    Oh, you know, my usual thing: Giving makeup tips, applying double-stick tape to the evening gowns, doing the adhesive-spray thing on the fannies, coaching the tap dancers. Just being the warm ray of Miss America sunshine I always am.

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  15. Michael G said on February 7, 2004 at 12:36 pm

    OK, I give up. What’s the “adhesive spray thing on the fannies”? Sounds delightfully kincky.

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  16. Nance said on February 7, 2004 at 2:05 pm

    The Misses wear this stuff on their butts to keep their swimsuits from riding up. I think it’s called Sure Grip. It’s a mild adhesive, somewhere between duct tape and Post-it Note glue. Athletes use it when they tape their knees — keeps the Ace bandage from slipping.

    Delightfully kinky? Only if you enjoy seeing sausage made.

    My favorite story from the Miss A pageant, the year I covered it, was Miss Missouri, whose fingernails were so long her chaperone had to put her pantyhose on for her, like a baby. That said something, although I’m not sure what.

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  17. ashley said on February 7, 2004 at 7:15 pm

    I think sure grip is generic, the name for Cramer’s is Firm Grip.

    I love the smell of that stuff. Actually, I never used it for taping, but then I didn’t tape my knees: just braces.

    Fred Biletnikoff used to use gallons of the paste stuff until they outlawed it in the NFL. They still allow the use of the aerosol.

    Heard that the duct tape they use on the gowns could give cleavage to anybody. False Advertising, I say.

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  18. Dan McAfee said on February 7, 2004 at 10:19 pm

    Bigotry. Isn’t the definition of a bigot one who does not accept that anyone else’s arguments have merit? So can we both be bigots together? We can have bigot picnics! Nope, can’t do that because picnics is a racial slur, isn’t it.

    Is there anything any of you believe is just plain wrong? How about suicide? That’s a personal choice, yes? And many are born with a tendancy toward depression. And there’s too many people in the world anyway… so suicide should be a legal and proper thing to allow.

    I’m ready for the first suicide reality show. It should be held at a middle school, I think, because lord knows middle schoolers are all very sure of their paths in life, not confused about life at all, and they can’t be influenced at all. What to give the winner, though.

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  19. beth said on February 8, 2004 at 4:02 am

    Dan, I think that you believe yourself to be Rush Limbaugh or other such creature in sheep’s clothing. There is no rational way to relate gay marriage and middle school suicide. But of course, I don’t happen to live in your world. thank goodness. In the words of my (late) grandmother… get a frickin’ grip!

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  20. Nance said on February 8, 2004 at 8:10 am

    Jeez, you’re really off the cliff here, aren’t you?

    Yes, I believe some things are plain wrong.

    No, I don’t believe two people who love one another and want to make a legal commitment to honor that commitment are wrong.

    Yes, yes, even though I KNOW this will lead to MAN ON DOG marriage, DAD ON DAUGHTER marriage and THREE KINKY SICKOS marriage. That’s because I’m EEEEEEEeeeeviilllllll!!! Mwah ha ha ha ha ha! And soon the whole country will follow me and my eeeeeevvviiilll minions!

    Oh. Sorry.

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  21. Nance said on February 8, 2004 at 11:57 am

    OK, Dan, now you’re making no sense at all.

    You make a muddy argument about gay marriage — something about not being able to protect queers when the tide changes. Then you say “some things are wrong,” which I assume includes gay marriage.

    I say this is bigotry.

    Where is the censorship? I’m not making the connection.

    Is it because I must respect your beliefs as a Christian, and therefore not call it bigotry? I don’t really care how you justify it; I still think it’s bigotry. I’ve heard sensible arguments against gay marriage from a variety of sources, but when someone says, “My religion says it’s wrong, therefore it is wrong,” the argument ends.

    By the way, I’ve never heard such restraint from the other side. Say you think gay people should have some version of a government-approvved civil union, if only to protect their property/estates/guardianship, and the religious right calls you evil. The war in Iraq is wrong? Unpatriotic. A 16-cell zygote isn’t a human being with full constitutional rights? Murderer.

    In any event, this argument is tiresome. But I appreciate your efforts to keep it going. It appears you’re following the road map just fine.

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  22. Dan said on February 9, 2004 at 9:08 am

    Self-censorship was what I was talking about. I was just making a comparison that Tim Robbins worries that being afraid of being labeled unpatriotic leads people to not speak out against the war (a point you made, too). Those against gay marriage are afraid to speak out in the same manner, afraid of being called a Nazi, a homophobe, against civil rights, etc. I don’t believe our society can handle the redefinition of marriage without violence. Is that fuzzy? I still think bigotry is a two way street, bigotry is being intolerant other viewpoints.

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