Politics: October 1999 Archives

Money TV

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So I am watching MTV today while I work. I do that sometimes, more for curiosity's sake than anything else. And they are showing a video from Old Dirty Bastard (ODB), who has weapons and drug charges against him in two states. Fine, whatever. That's life. But as soon as the video is over, they show a half hour special called take a stand against violence, focusing on the incident where a gay youth, Matthew Shepard, was killed because he was gay.

Fine, it was evil that Shepard was killed. But how dare they promote one evil man -- ODB -- while condemning the evils of others?

I could talk for volumes about the specific topic at hand: homosexuals and attitudes and violence toward them. I could say that I do not believe in the existence of homosexuals, but only people, some of which are attracted to the same sex. I could say the show was entirely disingenuous in premise, pretending to be about violence but really being about tolerance. I could say how entirely hypocritical it is to hate those who hate homosexuality. Many of these people are so filled with hate toward people who hate homosexuality, it is nauseating. They have no problem vilifying anti-gay sentiment but championing anti-anti-gay sentiment. "You cannot hate what I do, but I can hate you for hating what I do." That is garbage. You need to love people. You need to love gay people if you hate homosexuality, and you need to love people who hate homosexuality if you are gay. But I am not going to talk about that.

More important is the hypocrisy of these money grubbers at MTV who on the one hand condemn people who attack homosexuals, and on the other promote such misogynistic and violent criminals as ODB. I have no problem with condemning "gay-bashers." And MTV actually did a surprisingly reasonable job of showing the alternate view of those who disagree with homosexuality and separating those out from the criminals who attack gay people. But these people who killed Matthew Shepard are no worse than ODB and his colleagues.

Someone may come back and say, "well, gay-bashers are filled with hate, so that makes it different." No, it doesn't. Hate is not a disease. That is a cop-out, an attempt to explain away the evil behavior of this world. No one needs an excuse to be evil. They just do it, and the excuses are just that: excuses. Whether it is because I was abused or because I hate gays or because I hate myself or because I cut myself while shaving ... it is all the same. I am in control of me. Hate does not control or consume people. People consume themselves. Whether the evil they consume themselves with is related to hate or to lust or to greed or to something else, it is all wrong and equally bad.

So yes, condemn "gay-bashing." And then condemn the horribly rampant violence and misogyny in rap music. It is your duty to do both, MTV. Why not refuse to air videos that glorify violence or intense disrespect of women? We know why not. It is because ethics aren't always financially justifiable. And that's what makes your outpouring of emotion over Matthew Shepard so much more hollow. You pick up the cause and run with it because that is where the money is. Matthew Shepard's death and ODB both sell advertising, so you are more than happy to air them.

But what happens when ODB kills a homosexual? Maybe you could put a disclaimer at the bottom of his videos with the other credits. "Old Dirty Bastard is a very bad man. Our airing of his video (in heavy rotation) is in no way a promotion of him, his views, or his actions (especially if someone in the audience is influenced by him and goes and does what he does)."

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from October 1999.

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