Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shockingly devolution

I was never a huge Michelle Shocked fan. Back in the late 80s when she had arguably her most mainstream success, I was still busy listening to The Bangles and Debbie Gibson – please (like we all don’t have embarrassing pop skeletons in our close). But over the years the mention of Michelle’s name always mustered warm, folky feelings of a smiling short-haired lady who was most definitely on our side. But now it seems she really, really isn’t.News earlier this week that Michelle Shocked said something, well, shockingly anti-gay it felt like an added betrayal. To say gay marriage will cause the end of the world and utter that most base boilerplate for bigotry “God hates fags” to a stunned audience is just terrible enough. But from someone we thought was with us, it’s even more horrible.

The reason is simple. People are supposed to evolve, not devolve. Our human trajectory, as told by Darwin, is one of constant adaptation and improvement. And our beliefs have evolved along with our abilities. The long arc of history has bent toward justice. So when we see it bend backwards, it’s against everything we think we know about ourselves. Sure, some may stay suck in the past, unwilling to change. But once we’ve finally crawled out of the primordial ooze, why would we want to submerge ourselves in the muck again?

The only good news from this whole, sad situation is that so many others seem as appalled as we are by this turnaround. To go from a woman who in 1990 told the gay press she had female lovers to a woman today who has been born again and spouts homophobic hogwash is beyond jarring. It’s the same sadly ironic twist that gives us an anti-choice champion Jane Roe. But luckily, we have more and more examples of the normal progression of evolution everyday. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rob Portman and two even two Westboro Baptist “God Hates Fags” Church daughters have seen the light. And, today, more Americans than ever – 58 percent – support gay marriage. Less than decade years ago only 32 percent supported it.

Sure, we’ll still have a shock or two pop up, to remind us where we’ve been. But they will be the exception. And as they sink back into the slime, we’ll be on higher ground looking toward a brighter future.

EDIT: So Shocked has finally publicaly responded to her homophobic rant, claiming it's all some sort of colossal communications breakdown and God doesn't hate gays and neither does she. I think. She instead wants to offer mercy to those who believe in a God who hates instead of one who loves. Yeah, OK, whatever lady. What I do know is she sounds deeply conflicted about many things, probably including herself.

EDIT 2: Here is actual audio from the show, which is also confusing. And in desperate need of Spanish translation.



EDIT 3: Got the Spanish translation. It's the Bible verse John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Well that doesn't help. Sigh.

14 comments:

FASTTCR said...

Graffiti Limbo and The L&N Don't Stop Here are 2 of my favorite songs ever - seriously. I feel like I should delete them from my computer and throw out the CD.

Having a moral crisis. Who am I making that statement for and what does it mean if I don't at least make a silent protest against this kind of hatred (which I think is internalized homophobia at its worst)?

MJNuts said...

Hey, Dorothy, I don't mean to be picky or disrespectful, but could you please call it "same-sex marriage" instead of "gay marriage"? I'm pretty sure most people married to a person of the same sex/gender are as gay as can be, but it so happens that sometimes bisexuals marry the same sex too, not to mention other, less "common", sexual orientations.

emotionsovrflow said...

I know this is barely on topic, but there is absolutely no reason to be embarrassed about The Bangles or Debbie Gibson. None whatsoever.

TheWeyrd1 said...

I was quite dismayed when I first heard, a few years ago, mutterings about her "conversion." But to say I was "shocked" that she spewed such hatred in front her audience, in San Francisco no less, is an understatement. I only have an ill gotten cassette tape copy of one of her earlier albums, so I may keep it as a token of a more lucid and thoughtful period of her life. But I'm unlikely to play it again...

DJ Shiva said...

Sadly, I have known quite a few stories of gayish people who went alllll the way to the gay hater end of the spectrum once they "found" religion. And I've known a few people with mental illness who work religion into their delusional system as well.

Oh well. She made the mistake of saying that BS in San Fran, and the queer grapevine is EFFICIENT. She has lost all but 2 gigs on her tour at last count.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Michele.

Anonymous said...

@MJNuts, I'm a bisexual woman getting married to a woman and I'm fine with it being called gay marriage. I may not be gay but I'm in a gay relationship.

e said...

I was so sad and disappointed about Michelle. Short Sharp Shocked was one of my all time favorite albums.

I'm choosing to feel sorry for her and hold out hope for the future -- when she truly 'sees the light'.

Poor, confunded, brainwashed baby dyke!

DJ Shiva said...

Here's the actual audio from the show, for anyone who wants it in context instead of hearsay.

I have no reason to defend the woman (I'm an atheist who has a low opinion of religion), but I sincerely think her comments were taken out of context.

http://snd.sc/Ypj9es

Interesting stuff starts at around 4 minutes.

Anonymous said...

I'm hopeful her spewed & rambling crap is wrapped up in mental illness, rather than new-found hate. Because it's ugly. And I'd like to think she didn't make such a choice.

Casey said...

If you aren't aware, she has a history of mental illness - she's diagnosed w/ paranoid schizophrenia, and has a history of institutionalization. And people who know her/have worked with her recently have said that she seems to be not well right now.

So I have nothing but compassion for her, because this seems less like a hate filled tirade, and more like somebody having a mental health crisis.

I hope she gets the help and care she needs.

Anonymous said...

Casey, thanks. I hope she gets the help she needs.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading her twitter feed. It doesn't sound all together coherent. Mental health crisis seems likely. Also, it does seem like the comments were taken out of context and kind of lost in the crowd backlash. I hope Shocked is not judged too harshly for this. I'm still a fan of her music.

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Sapphist Gazetteer said...

I'm saddened to hear this news. Also sad about her possible mental health issues. I love her music.