Every time I do this, I get dicks dullards falsely accusing me of being a “bigot,” or being “intolerant,” or trying to “censor” them, or trying to abrogate their right to free speech. Or in this case, likely accusing me of being a “homophobe.” (They’ve got “racist” and “war on women” loaded in their chamber). This kind of intellectual dishonesty is what we in the sensible set call manufactured bullshit. They come off sounding like little fascists. More interestingly, they know that. But they do it anyway.
So bollocks to them. When, as the News Editor for Canada.com (Postmedia’s web site), you publish an article like this…
…”sorry,” but that is crap. Journalistic crap.
I can say all that. I have a problem with anyone who has the job as a “News Editor” for a major news organization, and who, instead of maintaining an objective view of events and simply reporting them, just can’t keep their very contentious opinions about the social politics of the world to herself. It is their job to do that.
News Editor Lauren Strapagiel published her own opinion (as a News Editor could), right in the regular non-opinion “Life” section of a major Canadian newspaper’s online site (Postmedia’s The Province), and on their Canada.com website as “NEWS”, and on their Facebook page. And on her Twitter account, where her profile indicates her position, first, as “News Editor for Canadadotcom.” I’m not BSing you. And she knows BS! Look!:
ICYMI: Why the TDSB hand-wringing over nudity at Pride is a bunch of BS http://t.co/GKe1Q9c3WM
— Lauren Strapagiel (@laurenstrapa) March 6, 2014
ICYMI, one of her Twitter followers, “Naked Toronto,” was emboldened by the News Editor, and responded in this tolerant, diversity-loving manner:
— Naked Toronto (@NakedToronto) March 6, 2014
So a jerk was emboldened by the news media to call people “bigots” and make the claim that they are “spreading their hate.” Thanks news media!
It’s clear News Editor Lauren Strapagiel is angry about someone complaining about nudity at the Pride parade. Angry that someone would dare voice their concerns about the nudity that happens at a public parade. She’s sorry though. Note her passive-aggressive sneer in the sub-headline, in which she reports “Sorry, but Pride was never trying to be “family friendly'”. As if “families” are the only ones offended.
Pride has welcomed the participation of the Toronto public schools. (Hey are schools still “family friendly?” Or has that also been deemed uncool?) The school board is considering participating in the parade this year. They have before. The parade is in the streets of a major city, on a weekend. The parade has gotten taxpayer support in the past, and gets lots of community and corporate support now. “Sorry,” but that literally means it is a family event. With school children all around.
Strapagiel really, really wants there to be full-frontal nudity at that parade. And she’s suspicious of anybody who doesn’t. “There’s more at play here…”, as she launches into a personal attack on one of the, what, “deniers”?
Turns out that the “manufacturer” of the “nonsense” is none other than members of the Toronto District School Board, simply doing their due diligence. It’s them who are advancing their concern about nudity at the parade, in light of their possible participation in it, at (even more) taxpayer expense. It’s them doing their job, that has her so riled.
How dare they ask a question firmly based on common sense as guardians of the public school system and working in the interests of families, parents, children at taxpayer expense! How 1950s!
In years gone by, when I’ve featured the outrage from the general public about the public displays of nudity and the smut that goes on at that parade and others like it, the defenders like Strapagiel would cry “baloney!” But now they seems to admit it goes on, and have instead chosen to defend it. From her “news” article:
Although it’s true that a small number of Pride attendees will choose to strip down, this “won’t someone think of the children” hand-wringing plain stinks.
Yeah. Screw children. Screw families. It’s painted dongs that are important, bigot! (“Dongs” is her word, as a news editor. Oh and also “sun-kissed junk.”)
Anyone who’s attended Pride knows that, although dong-sightings are a possibility, the vast majority of the million plus people in attendance have their clothes on.
Oh OK, phew. Most have their clothes on. I feel so silly.
Again reviewing the years gone by, advocates of the gratuitous display of “dongs” right at the eye-level view of little girls and boys, defended it as not being “in your face.” Like chill, dude, it’s not like it’s in your face. Of course it was exactly that. A “dong,” right in your face.
And so they’ve come to grips with that too, now (and actual physical grips is surely next). Through their pseudo-PR agent Strapagiel:
…others who moan over whether Pride is “family friendly” fail to appreciate is that in-your-face sexuality is the point of the damn thing.
Well then. In your face “dongs” and sexuality is the point of the “damn thing,” says the News Editor of Canada.com. You “fail to appreciate that.” Get a grip.
But don’t worry, it’s not meant to be palatable.
Pride did not begin, and does not exist, to make queer sexuality more palatable. It is not a PR campaign for your friendly neighbourhood gay person.
They did that “not palatable” part right.
And there’s more. If you don’t like it, you’re suspect.
The fuss about nudity is a manufactured controversy and one that Toronto should keep a wary eye on. … there’s more at play here than whether police are enforcing the law.
She then puts it all in perspective for us bigots and homophobes. Alas it brings up today’s lunch.
Ultimately, there are worse things than seeing a penis flopping down Yonge Street, especially considering what Pride means for the kids the trustees are so concerned about.
What I said:
. @theprovince paper re "Pride" parade: "there are worse things than seeing a penis flopping down Yonge Street…"
*No there isn't.*
— Joel Johannesen (@JoelJohannesen) March 5, 2014
It’s not just the journalistic impropriety of a News Editor writing a contentious opinion piece, as news, and taking a position which is clearly dismissive of families, parents, and their children, that I find unpalatable. It’s the gross intolerance on display here. The shaming of people for taking a diverse point of view, and moreover, shaming a school board member who is actually only doing their job as a school board trustee: looking out for children, asking the right questions.
Here’s a quote from the Pride web page:
Mission + Vision + Values
Value Diversity – by accepting and respecting differences and working to understand the diverse cultural complexities that influence identity, assumptions, behaviours, expectations, and beliefs.
Accepting and respecting is a one-way street for some people.
It’s a shame the news media has lost all pretense of objectivity, and now let it all hang out like so many bare dongs (or bare vaginas, or maybe the News Editor would call them “pussies” or “beavers”). They should get a grip on reality.
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