Daily Archives: March 29, 2010

Ricky Martin answers Barbara Walters’ homosexuality question a decade later

Singer Ricky Martin peeks out from a curtain in the photo room ...

Reuters photo

Is it safe to come out now? “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man,” the gorgeous Ricky Martin (shown above in 2007) announced today. “I am very blessed to be who I am.”

I knew that pop star Ricky Martin, who now is 38, was gay when Barbara Walters, interviewing him years ago when he was hot property, asked him if the circulating rumors that he is gay are true, and he refused to answer.

To Ricky’s credit (Ricky, may I call you Ricky?), he didn’t lie and state that he is heterosexual. (And, thank Goddess, he didn’t come out under skanky circumstances, like George Michael did, if memory serves…) But virtually no straight man answers the question of his sexual orientation with a refusal to answer the question.

Reportedly, Barbara Walters recently stated that she regrets having pressed Ricky on his sexual orientation those years ago: “In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was. A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now, I feel it was an inappropriate question,” she reportedly stated.

No, it wasn’t an inappropriate question. It was a legitimate question. One’s sexual orientation is central to his or her life, having a huge impact on his or her close relations (or lack thereof). Ricky had twin sons born to him by a surrogate mother, another fact (when I heard it) that made it clear to me that he’s gay, as straight men very rarely do that when they want to become fathers. You just can’t say that Ricky’s sexual orientation hasn’t had a huge bearing on the kind of family that he has built for himself; it is an integral part of him.

I don’t blame Walters for Ricky’s career having fizzled out, at least here in the United States. Lots of young men and women burst onto the American music scene, have a successful album or two, and then fizzle. It happens.

In Ricky’s case it may or may not have been due, in small or in large part, to his widely (and correctly) perceived homosexuality. Hell, his career might even have done better if he had just boldly come out of the closet instead of dodged the question; his evasiveness may have hurt him more than did his non-heterosexuality. Who knows?

In any event, it’s always better late than never to come out of the closet, and I am happy that Ricky has come out of the closet.

I always hope that a celebrity would come out sooner rather than later, not when he or she perceives that it is “safe” for his or career to do so — this sort of thinking only perpetuates homophobia, from what I can tell (and come on, it’s not like any of us gay men or straight women who might have fantasized about getting with Ricky actually were going to do so) — but every out and proud celebrity to whom closeted non-heterosexuals can look to for inspiration helps, even if he or she comes out later in his or her career.

Thank you, Ricky, for doing the right thing. (You go, girl!)

Maybe your next album will be a surprising success — because you have embraced who and what you are.

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Book says ‘zombies’ follow voodoo prez

If regular zombies want braaaains!braaaaaains! — then what do “Obama zombies” want?

“Chaaaaange! — chaaaaaaaange!”?*

Today I noted for the first time on amazon.com’s top-100-selling books list this wonderful little title:

Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation

Hey, at least the wingnuts are starting to get a little creative! All of these wingnut books that make references to the Founding fucking Fathers — who surely intended that we be the right-wing, white supremacist, fascist nation that the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin-Quayle want us to be — have grown beyond stale. So now, albeit a little late, the wingnuts have hopped upon the zombie bandwagon.

I love the subtitle of the new wingnut book: “How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation.” (The book, by the way, is endorsed by luminaries Ann Cunter and Michelle Malkin, so I think that you can consider the source…) 

Hmmm. Let’s see. Apparently the “liberal machine” isn’t all that efficient if this member of Generation Y (the author, I mean) somehow wasn’t successfully brainwashed. (I mean, presumably, if his brainwashing were successful, he wouldn’t have written this book. [Presuming that he even actually wrote it…])

Further, I live in California, one of the bluest of the blue states, and I just haven’t seen any “Obama zombies.” I never saw any “Obama zombies.” Of course, I wasn’t looking for any, that’s true; after I put so much time, money and energy into trying to get John Kerry elected in 2004, only to watch Kerry concede even while Ohio was still looking awfully fishy, I decided that I wasn’t going to work nearly as hard for the Democratic Party in 2008.

(And I didn’t — my main goal for 2008 was to make sure that Barack Obama and not Billary Clinton got the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, calculating that Obama is the more liberal of the two and that he had a better shot at beating the Repugnican candidate. Once Obama got his party’s nomination, my donations to him dwindled.)

But if “Obama zombies” were so pervasive as to justify an entire book on the topic, wouldn’t I have spotted at least a few of them? (The person I recall being the most jazzed up about Obama actually is a baby boomer, not a member of Generation Y, the presumed “brainwashed” and “zombified” generation that this book discusses.)

Look, if you want to talk about zombies, the “Deaniacs” — the supporters of Howard Dean’s bid for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination — were fucking zombies. They even called themselves “Deaniacs.” Proudly.

And I saw them. Everywhere. While attendance at my monthly John Kerry Meetups was low — oh, maybe around a dozen or so people, before he finally won the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination — hundreds of people would attend the local Howard Dean Meetups, I heard. And when Dean lost the nomination, the Deaniacs still wouldn’t let it go, but morphed their organization, Dean for America, into Democracy for America (whose meetings I’ve attended in the past, after Kerry lost the 2004 presidential election).

Now, these were fanatics. If memory serves, thousands of the Deaniacs descended upon the poor state of Iowa, at their own expense, to campaign on Dean’s behalf in that state’s caucuses, the first event of the 2004 Democratic Party presidential primary season, all of them wearing bright orange knit caps.

My guess is that Iowans were not impressed by, but were quite put off by, the sea of orange-headed zombies for Dean, and that that largely if not primarily accounts for why Dean came in at No. 3 in the caucuses, dealing a crushing blow to his campaign, which had wanted all of us to just coronate him already. (Kerry’s campaign had been on life support before he won the Iowa caucuses; in the few months right before he won the Iowa caucuses, I couldn’t even get 10 people to a Kerry Meeup. I tell you, Lazarus had nothing on Kerry.)

I’m sure that there were some fanatics for Obama, but they weren’t nearly as fanatical or as numerous as were the Dean lemmings. And I’m sure that they’re not that fanatic now, now that things haven’t been, as Sarah Palin-Quayle might put it, all that hope-y and change-y.

So this book by this Jason Mattera guy, whoever he is, about left-wing “zombies” is hardly timely. The true zombies were around for Howard Dean, not for Obama, and whatever little bit of zombiism might have existed for Obama faded months ago.

So it’s bullshit to assert that there is this entire “generation” that has been “brainwashed” by Team Obama.

There is a generation of young people for whom (in no certain order) racism, white supremacism, “Christo”fascism, xenophobia, sexism, misogyny, patriarchy, homophobia, militarism, jingoism, American exceptionalism, etc. — the platform of the Repugnican Party, whether it’s spoken or just understood — don’t appeal.

Call them “brainwashed” “zombies” if you like; I call them “enlightened” and “evolved.” They are the nation’s future, while the Repugnican Party now represents only the old dead hand of the past, the stupid white man’s death throes. (Really, a black man in the White House pretty much is the stake in the heart of the racist and white supremacist Repugnican Party and its “tea-partying” allies, is it not?)

As far as goes some national march into the abyss, which the Repugnicans and the “tea party” dipshits keep talking about, I just don’t see that, either.

Socialism? It took Obama more than a year to get health-care reform passed. And what finally got passed needs a lot more improvement.

Our stormtroopers remain in the Middle East, and speaking of our stormtroopers, we are told that letting the gay ones serve without discrimination still needs some “study.”

The economy remains in the shitter more than a year after “socialist” Obama took the reins. It might be status quo lite these days, but it’s still the status quo.

Socialism? If so, it’s creeping at narcoleptic snail’s pace.

The nation was much closer to the abyss when the members of the BushCheneyCorp stole office in 2000, allowed 9/11 to happen, and then, using 9/11 as their Reichstag fire, launched their Vietraq War and went about shitting and pissing all over the Constitution, using their “war on terror” as an excuse for doing what they’d wanted to do all along anyway. Um, we won’t be seeing another Abu Ghraib House of Horrors under Obama, yet it’s Obama whom the wingnuts call dangerous to human rights.

And if we do have zombies among us today, um, they would be members of the “tea party,” not Obama supporters. I don’t see Obama supporters all frenzied up and spewing forth spittle and epithets at Repugnican lawmakers. No, that would be the “tea party” dipshits doing so to Democratic lawmakers.

Indeed, the recent convergence of the “tea party” fucktards on Capitol Hill in an apparent attempt to intimidate lawmakers from voting for health-care reform: That was right out of a zombie movie, with the zombies attacking Capitol Hill.

Liberals are almost never that organized. Getting the “tea party” fascists whipped up and marching in lockstep is about as hard as getting a Repugnican to support a tax cut, but getting liberals to protest is like herding retarded, blind and deaf cats on crack.

If the wingnuts want to view their detractors as “brainwashed” “zombies,” I suppose that’s fine. We progressives see the wingnuts, perhaps especially the “tea party” dipshits, as even more so brainwashed and zombified. Because they are.

What else can you call it when someone fights against what actually would help him or her — like health care taken out of the greedy grubbies of the corporatocrats? Or combatting global warming? Or relative peace instead of perpetual war?

You have to be pretty fucking brainwashed to vote against your own best interests.

And when you start spitting on lawmakers, calling them offensive names and throwing bricks through their office windows, and doing so in mindless unison, you’re acting an awful lot like a zombie.  

Hey, I feel a book coming on…

*Actually, that’s the little joke that I tell about the panhandlers in my neighborhood in Sacramento, whose numbers increased dramatically each year that the unelected, plutocratic BushCheneyCorp was in office, further enriching the already filthy rich and further impoverishing the already impoverished: I likened the panhandlers to zombies, demanding not “braaaaains!” but “chaaaange!”

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