Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Joe the Plumber" and the Arrogance of this "Average American"

I'm not really sure why Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher is still making the national news, but it greatly annoys me that some people consider him to be "a metaphor for the average American." Calling this straight white conservative dude "a metaphor for the average American" not only perpetuates the fiction that such a thing as "average American" exists, it of course places white guys at the center as the default American person, once again.

Anyway, apparently the guy has written a book and is traveling around the country promoting it. I guess it pays to be a national metaphor! In a recent interview, he explained that he's not, like, a bigot or anything (he even has "homosexual" friends!), he just doesn't think "queer" is a slur. It's okay though, his probably-fictitious homo friends "know where [he] stand[s], and they know that [he] wouldn't have them anywhere near [his] children." Huh. That's really representative of the Average American view on "queers"? Funnily enough, mom-Americans would beg to differ with Mr. Average American on this issue as recently polled moms reported that they would trust their kids with Ellen and Portia moreso than any other celebrity (Even Octo-mom Angelina Jolie).

So, here's the thing about Mr. "Average American." Not only is he not all that representative of Americana, you know those queer kinds of people he claims to be friends with? Well, if he's calling them "homosexuals," "queers," and informing them that he won't let them near his children, I think it's fairly obvious that these "friends" of his are mostly figments of his imagination that exist somewhere in Candyland with unicorns, Big Foot, and faeries.

But what annoys me moreso than the whole If I Claim To Have Gay Friends, People Can't Call Me a Homobigot game is this- calling Joe the Plumber some sort of metaphor for Average American does a real disservice to the concept of Average American. In reality, he represents only that arrogant swath of Americans who mistakenly believe that they hold a monopoly on the genuine, whether it be Real American, Real Family, or Real Religious Person and that there is only one right way to live, believe, and be in this world.

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