Friday, July 11, 2008

RightWing Roundup: Lindsay, "Wrestling," and DADT

Sometimes, you have to take step back from the immersion into RightWing Asininity. That's sorta the theme of today's Roundup.

1. I Was Hoping For Natalie Portman But I Guess This Will Do

Okay, I don't know that the stories about Lindsay Lohan's recent birthday speech actually confirm her lesbian status or her alleged romance with another lady (wait, does anyone even care about this?) but if the rumors are true, I'd like to take a non-RightWing moment to congratulate the happy couple.


Too gay to function?

2. It's All About Channeling Our Urges Into Acceptable Behavior

Professional "wrestling" has always been bizarre to me. Back where I'm from, a lot of guys love watching ripped, pretty men in tights and make-up pretend to fight. They seriously get really into it. That's why I like to think of pro wrestling as soap operas for men: Drama, suspense, and action all wrapped up in macho blue-colored wrapping paper to make it acceptable for men to like.

Humorously, like the idolization of male athletes in general, pro wrestling is also especially homo-erotic. Small contingents of grown men and adolescent boys are absolutely and inexplicably enthralled by the "sport" to the point where you sort of think they have unknowingly have crushes on their favorites wrestlers. With all this in mind, I could only laugh at one recent Arkansas "cage fight." If the audience members weren't already standing at attention, one utterly hilarious homo prank certainly got a rise out of them:

"The day after the June 5 Texarkana bout, Fort Smith's convention center hosted 'Blue Collar Brawlin.' Fort Smith police Sgt. Adam Holland said organizers told him a character named 'Straight Dave' would goad a planted audience member into the ring for a fight.

The two men would then wrestle, rip away some of their clothes and share a brief kiss reminiscent of one between Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell in the film "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby....

The audience, as well as local fighters drawn to take part in the show, became enraged. 'It set the crowd off lobbing beers,' Holland said. 'They had beers in plastic cups. Those things can get some distance on them actually.'

Holland said it took officers about 45 minutes to clear the convention center, as the two actors sprinted away through a specially set-aside tunnel."

Apparently, two sweaty men rolling around together in a cage is for fightin' purposes only!

3. Don't Ask Don't Tell Update

A nonpartisan group of four retired officers from different branches of the military studied the effectiveness of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) and recently issued a public report (PDF). Based on its findings (below), the group made several recommendations, including the repeal of DADT.

"Finding one: The law locks the military's position into stasis and does not accord any trust to the Pentagon to adapt policy to changing circumstances

Finding two: Existing military laws and regulations provide commanders with sufficient means to discipline inappropriate conduct

Finding three: "Don't ask, don't tell" has forced some commanders to choose between breaking the law and undermining the cohesion of their units

Finding four: "Don't ask, don't tell" has prevented some gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members from obtaining psychological and medical care as well as religious counseling

Finding five: "Don't ask, don't tell" has caused the military to lose some talented service members

Finding six: "Don't ask, don't tell" has compelled some gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members to lie about their identity

Finding seven: Many gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are serving openly."

Interestingly, "not a single expert who opposes gays in the military was willing to meet" with the study group. I wonder if this unwillingness to participate in a non-partisan study had to do with these experts' unwillingness to go on the record, and down in history, as continuing to support DADT as late as 2008. Or, perhaps, these experts had a hunch that attitudes about gays in the military had shifted since 1993 and didn't want to put their name on some sort of faulty "unit cohesion" argument and go down in history as being on the wrong side of history.

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