Friday, May 15, 2009

Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil

Last Saturday, I posted a classic episode of The Jeffersons that presented what I thought to be a positive look at the transgender community.

I received such a positive response from it that I've decided that, from time to time, I will post clips of past movies and television episodes to give a feel as to how lgbts were and are represented in the media.

Today, I am posting something less positive.

In the 1970s, actress Angie Dickinson starred in the successful Police Woman television series. This particular episode, Flowers of Evil, was so controversial that it was only shown once due to protests by the lgbt community.

It dealt with Dickinson getting to the bottom of a case in which three lesbians running a retirement home were stealing money from their residents, drugging them, and then gruesomely murdering them.

As this minisode (an abridged version of a television episode)shows, there is a lot to be desired from this particular episode:

Trust me when I say that the full episode is much worse, specifically the stereotypical portrayals of the three villains:

The Bitch (Gladys) - The ringleader of the trio. Beautiful and sleek enough to supposedly "fool" men about her sexual orientation. She is the one who commits the only murder shown in the episode and it's not a nice scene. Her sadism is matched only by her lust; a quality that leads Dickinson to successfully go undercover at the retirement home.

The Butch (Mame) - Coarse, crude, and detached to a fault. She enjoys watching Gladys commit the murder.

The Femme (Janet) - The supposed "true woman" of the trio and as such, the one with a conscience and the "weak link." While Gladys strangles the victim and Mame watches, Janet stands outside in the rain crying in guilt. She can be prodded with kind words or a hard slap by Gladys.

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Friday midday news briefs

We are going to fight against that bill here in South Carolina. But in the meantime, all is not doom and gloom for the lgbt community at large:

Gov. Lynch Statement Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Legislation - The New Hampshire governor will sign the bill if certain provisions are included giving added protections to religious communities. These are the same protections included in Vermont and Connecticut bills. I have no problems with them. The bill is as good as signed.

Breaking News: Pa. grants domestic-partner benefits - Hot damn! We win one in Pennsylvania

Good News: Liberty Counsel Loses - And another nail is put in the coffin of Florida's anti-gay adoption law.

Watergate jailbird Chuck Colson's hysteria over 'saving marriage' from 'radical gays' - Chuck, baby, sweetheart, the Federal Marriage Amendment ain't gonna happen.

'Hate crimes' bill targets ex-'gay' community - This One News Now article reminds me of an episode of Family Guy when one of the main characters was running for Mayor. She decided to hell with the facts and started using buzzwords like "the terrorists" and "9/11." I think Regina Griggs of PFOX saw the same episode because she does not go into detail just how the bill will target "ex-gays" (probably because it doesn't). She just repeats talking points and buzzwords.

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James Dobson surrenders the fort - whoop te do

While we fight the SC Legislature over that mean spirited bill, it's difficult to remember that things aren't totally bad for lgbts.

After all, James Dobson has given up the fight, so to speak:

Politically, James Dobson has surrendered. At least for the time being. Today, the Focus on the Family founder devotes his typically family-focused radio show to what he calls "the utter evil that's coming out of the United States Congress." He's referring to the hate crimes bill that recently passed the House.

That's not so unusual.

What's surprising is that Dobson tells his listeners that they're politically helpless:

I want to tell you up front that we're not going to ask you to do anything, to make a phone call or to write a letter or anything.

There is nothing you can do at this time about what is taking place because there is simply no limit to what the left can do at this time. Anything they want, they get and so we can't stop them.

We tried with [Health and Human Services Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius and sent thousands of phone calls and emails to the Senate and they didn't pay any attention to it because they don't have to. And so what you can do is pray, pray for this great nation... As I see it, there is no other answer. There's no other answer, short term.

So much for Christianity being the religion of hope. In reality, I think Dobson is being overly dramatic. I don't buy his phony surrender.

And apparently neither do many of the commentators:

Dobson speaks of conservative Christians as entering "their most discouraging" period, but he needs to return to the bible to see the political environment that birthed his religion, Jesus; entire ministry, indeed hes life, was spent under Roman occupation, but this didn't make an iota of difference in his mission. In fact, the church began awash with the blood and suffering of its martyrs. And this brand of Christianity becomes "discouraged" in the face of a Liberal Congress and Democrats in power? Tsk, tsk, Mr. Dobson...

Did I miss James Dobson's complaints when Republicans under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush controlled all three branches of government? Dobson takes the position of a spoiled, cowardly, cry-baby. Hypocrisy is his religion.

Dobson is just stoking the victim mentality his ilk feed off of. Underlying his taunt is "I say we're helpless but I'm just waiting for one of you brave souls to step up and prove me wrong". This kind of nonsense has nothing to do with religion. Clowns like Dobson are to Christianity what Bin Laden is to Islam - cunning manipulators of people too ignorant or intellectually lazy to know better. Turn of the TV and radio if you've got any guts and educate yourself. You don't need people like Dobson telling you what to do and think.

The hard right has led the utter decimation of the Republican party with their middle-ages mentality. Mr. Dobson, please don't give up hope and keep fighting, we need you to keep the Republicans out of step with majority of Americans.

Yes - repentance and prayer. That worked well during the Bush administration. It'll work just as well now. Get a grip people! The country is changing and doesn't want these old fashioned views anymore.

Having a spirited debate about the morality of government policy and initiatives is one thing. Characterizing anyone who doesn't believe as you do as a Godless immoral heathen is quite another. Dobson's decline was brought on by his own prejudices. He always did shill for the right wing of the Republican Party and so it is fitting that any pretense of being above the political aspirations of the GOP has been dropped. Reverend Doson, please retire to a life of prayer and reflection...and I will pray you come to realize how much you contributed to a divided United States of America.

I'm sick and tired of the evil, controlling Christian Right acting as if people that support Democrats are Godless and non-Christians. I am a Christian, raised in the Lutheran church, and I refuse to associate with any organized religion bc I don't need a church or a man telling me how to worship and how to vote. The Christian Right exhibit the most unChristian behaviors I can imagine. I would never associate myself with their version of Christianity. WWJD? He would not condone hatred, bigotry, and worship of a greedy pastor of a mega-church.

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