aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, September 24, 2006
I have two fathers
An email from my friend John: “Have you seen this? stick with it until last verse. can you imagine this here in this country?”
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Profiled in the Times today, gay Berlin Mayor, Symbol of Openness, Has National Appeal:
Charming, sociable and openly gay, Klaus Wowereit (pronounced vo-vuh-rite) is the newest star in the German political firmament. It is a firmament short on stars. After his victory, the mass-market newspaper Bild ran a front-page headline asking, “Will Wowi Be the First Gay Chancellor?”
“Why not?” Mr. Wowereit said in an interview this week, when asked whether Germans were ready for a homosexual leader.
Clinton & Wallace & Presidential Courage
I was bored by Clinton on The Daily Show; God knows I won’t be bored tomorrow. I really dislike Chris Wallace so I hope Clinton gets him good. And I won’t resist taking this opportunity to recall my favorite Chris Wallace quote.
During a February 2005 Booknotes appearance it became crystal clear that Wallace hadn’t written his book (ironically titled, given tomorrow’s show, Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage, I assume it was ghostwritten). He could hardly bring himself to talk about it. When asked how long ago he had the idea for the book, this was the answer:
[I]t was a kind of collaborative effort. My—a fellow, an agent, Bill Adler (ph), came up—called me up and said, Have you ever thought of writing a book? And I said, yes, but I never have had an idea.
He got that right!
AFTERWARD: “I thought it was a fair, balanced and not especially inflammatory question,” Wallace said yesterday in recounting his “Fox News Sunday” sit-down with Clinton. “I even said, ‘I know hindsight is 20/20.’ But he went off. And once he went off, there was no bringing him back. He wanted to talk about it in detail. He wanted to conjure up right-wingers and conservative hit jobs and a theory involving Rupert Murdoch that I still don’t understand.”
Friday, September 22, 2006
On PDA (Public Displays of Affection)
I decided to further clarify my position on the air kissers, lest you think me in favor of wild public displays of affection.
Years ago I interviewed the father of a man who died of AIDS. That father was then very active in Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). He told me of his struggle coming to terms with his son being gay; and in that discussion with the camera rolling he very frankly told me, “I just couldn’t get past thinking about what they do in bed.” I didn’t use that clip but I have always remembered his words.
I have to tell you that I don’t like thinking about what you do in bed either. And you probably don’t like thinking about what your neighbors do. Or what your boss does or what your friends do or your family or… So we don’t think about it because we don’t have to. When a heterosexual couple goes too far at the beach or at the movies or in any public place, we are scornful and disapprove because, as is natural and fine by me, we don’t want to see them doing that.
The trouble is that with gay people the threshold is lowered so low as to include my calling my partner “dear” at the breakfast buffet in a family hotel. Heaven forbid I should walk down the Jekyll Island beach holding his hand with our dogs scampering around at our feet. Because we didn’t do that we had all kinds of people approaching us with warmth and friendly camaraderie. Why is it that all of that should go away if I dare hold his hand or call him dear?
Now I think gay people feed into this syndrome too. What too many of us do is assume that its true that the only thing that we gay people have in common is our sexual orientation; we deny and debate if there is any such thing as a distinctive gay culture. I’ve argued again and again over many years that there is a distinction between homosexual acts and a gay identity.
I believe being gay - coming out, accepting and openly embracing that orientation - is a choice, the healthy choice. It’s a choice that forms the basis of the shared history and experience at the root of our gay culture. And that experience - as with women or African Americans or any ethnic identity - has little or nothing to do with any sexual act. I’ve certainly known people who have come out as gay before ever having had any homosexual relations.
One impact of all of this is that all too often, gay people have tended to wind up in gay ghettos, unusual ghettos to be sure in that the fact of gays living there tends to increase property values and those areas prosper economically (whereas I live in the less tolerant and economically depressed heart of the Bible Belt right next to one of the poorest counties in the state.)
That’s my problem with the anti-gay marriage crowd. They’re fine with (or claim to be) this or that particular right but draw the line at marriage. I’m reminded how I felt as a young boy when my mother told me that babies who died before baptism could not go to Heaven but were not sent to Hell. They went to Limbo. I had a hard time accepting that then and I have an even harder time accepting that as my legal adult status right here right now.
SOME TIME LATER: Good heavens! They’ve abolished Limbo!
No air kissing allowed
On a redeye from San Francisco to New York the heterosexual couple in the seat directly in front of me had sexual relations. To completion. Traveling coach, they were too close for comfort. The flight attendants watched and giggled. They found it funny. I didn’t. I didn’t make a scene but I was darned angry.
It wasn’t American Airlines:
Shortly after takeoff, Varnier nodded off, leaning his head on Tsikhiseli. A stewardess came over to their row. “The purser wants you to stop that,” she said.
“I opened my eyes and was, like, ‘Stop what?’ “ Varnier recalled the other day.
“The touching and the kissing,” the stewardess said, before walking away.
Tsikhiseli and Varnier were taken aback. “He would rest his head on my shoulder or the other way around. We’d kiss-not kiss kiss, just mwah,Ã¢â‚¬Â� Tsikhiseli recalled, making a smacking sound.
In the row behind them were Leisner and Jackson. “They were like two lovebirds,” said Leisner, who is a classical guitarist. Frobes-Cross, a Columbia grad student who was sitting across the aisle, had overheard the stewardess’s decree, too. “First thing I catch is ‘You have to stop touching each other,’ “ he said. “And I’m, like, Whoa, that’s really weird.”
Leisner and Jackson, who were “astounded,” leaned forward to ask if they’d heard correctly.
Via Andrew Sullivan.
Green Screen Challenge finalist
Colbert had this one open his show the other night:
More on the challenge and Colbert’s embrace of fans here.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Don’t bemoan how the sausage is made, improve the recipe!
If, as Tip O’Neill famously observed, all politics is local, then all campaigns are retail. But, as the title of the movie “Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?” implies, can retail compete these days against the wholesale muscle of money, incumbency and dynasty?
In 2004, a 29-year-old squeaky-voiced college instructor named Jeff Smith decided to run for Richard Gephardt’s seat in Congress, entering a 10-candidate primary fight against older and better-connected competitors, including Russ Carnahan, son of Mel Carnahan, the late governor of Missouri, and former senator Jean Carnahan.
Smith mounts a tireless, creative and principled campaign that brings to mind the late senator Paul Wellstone. He assembles a gaggle of bright, young people and makes a serious run that surprises the local pundits as well as his own slightly cynical parents. Director Frank Popper has made a lively, engaging nail-biter of a film that recalls “The War Room” in its candor, intimacy and breathless pace.
At once a celebration of and elegy to democracy, “Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?” is sure to infuriate and inspire viewers, who, with luck, won’t just bemoan how the sausage is made but vow to improve the recipe.
A 3.3 million year old girl
Don Johanson was back in town tonight. He spoke of Lucy to a standing room only crowd and of the news of the fossils found of the oldest known child hominid in Ethiopia ‘in mint condition’:
The discovery delighted Donald C. Johanson, the paleoanthropologist who stunned the world when he found the 3.2 million-year-old Lucy fossil at Hadar, Ethiopia, a few miles from the Dikika site. “I don’t think there’s any question that (the child is) the same species as Lucy,” because its features “are identical to what we see in all of the Hadar hominids,” Johanson said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Scientists have previously found fragments of a few other Australopithecus afarensis children, “but nothing as significant as this,” Johanson said. The new find is “much more complete,” with a skull containing “a virtually complete set of teeth,” plus “parts of legs and arms and thorax, and two very thin shoulder blades.”
Don’s a terrific guy. I fondly recall the time we had on a house tour here in the spring of last year. He did too and I was glad of it. We didn’t make it out to Phoenix last December but maybe one day still. John?
The Economic Freedom Fund in GA
I got a robo-call from the Economic Freedom Forum. In the form of a poll, it asked me about gay marriage and immigration in a way obviously intended to inflame passions. I did a cursory search on EFF and found little. TPM Muckraker found more:
The Economic Freedom Fund has moved on its fifth target: Rep. John Barrow (D-GA).
Starting this past Saturday, the group, which is backed with $5 million from Swift Boat Vets funder Bob Perry, started airing an attack ad against Barrow, hitting him for “[helping] trial lawyers” and “[hurting] small businesses.”
You can see the group’s TV ad here:
The group dropped $120,968 for nine days of the ad, which brings their known expenditures to about $1.07 million nationwide. A recent poll conducted by a Republican firm showed Barrow narrowly leading his challenger, former Rep. Max Burns.
But that ad isn’t the only weapon the group is wielding against Barrow. Like the group’s other ambushes, their tactics in GA-12 have also included negative fliers and misleading robo calls. Barrow spokesman Harper Lawson said that the calls, which hit the candidate on hot issues like immigration and gay marriage, campaign have prompted calls from supporters. “They’re short and nasty,” Lawson said of the calls, which were first reported the day after Labor Day.
Barrow is the second Dem target attacked by EFF in Georgia. Jim Marshall, in the state’s 3rd district, has been hit with negative ads, flyers and robo calls in the past couple weeks. Both conservative Dems were affected by a 2004 redistricting by the state’s Republican legislature—Barrow lost his hometown, the Dem stronghold of Athens. CQ Politics rates both races as “Leans Democratic.”
The new album by Justin Timberlake isn’t particularly sexy. This should be a problem. When you call your record FutureSex/LoveSounds, brag in your lead single about ”bringing sexy back,” and give your other songs titles like “Sexy Ladies” and “Love Stoned,” certain expectations are raised. The term “FutureSex” holds the promise of freaky, science fiction-style erotica-something involving cyborgs, maybe, or the Orgasmatron from Woody Allen’s Sleeper. But Timberlake’s vision of sex and seduction is thoroughly grounded in 2006-in thuggish pickup lines and hip-hop clichÃƒÂ©s about hookups in nightclub VIP rooms. ("Let me make an indecent proposal/ Let me take you to the back and do what we’re supposed to.") It’s not an act that Timberlake is well-equipped to pull off. He’s a fine singer, but his feathery falsetto is hardly the world’s most macho instrument. Even on “SexyBack,” with his voice distorted into a crackly roar, he still sounds like a pipsqueak.
None of which really matters, because FutureSex/LoveSounds is one of the more exciting pop records in a long time. The sex theme is just window dressing-this album is all about sonic surprise. On Justified (2002), Timberlake graduated from ‘N Sync to adult megastardom, channeling the genial disco-funk of Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson. Timberlake could have chosen to solidify his status as the new King of Pop, but with FutureSex/LoveSounds he’s gone wildly experimental, drenching his songs in a hallucinatory swirl of hip-hop beats and ambient electronica. It’s by far the most avant-garde record ever issued under the name of a platinum-selling former boy-band star-a category that includes Michael Jackson. READ ON
BONUS VIDEO: Timberlake with Jimmy Fallon on SNL’s The Barry Gibb Show.
I’m just too white and nerdy
No right to vote
Throughout our history, Americans have been profoundly ambivalent about the vote. The Constitution of 1787 left the issue of federal voting rights entirely to the states, which could disenfranchise their voters more or less as they chose. Today, even though “the right to vote” is by now mentioned five times in the amended Constitution, the federal courts continue to insist that voting is mostly a state matter. The Supreme Court restated the point in 2000, in Bush v. Gore. “The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States,” said the Court, rather breezily, “unless and until the state legislature chooses a statewide election as the means to implement its power to appoint members of the Electoral College.”
Meanwhile, virtually every other advanced democracy already has an explicit guarantee of the right to vote. Ironically, whenever the United States imposes a constitution on another (conquered) nation, we tend to insist that they include in those documents a right we do not ourselves possess. Afghans have “the right to elect and be elected,” Iraqis have “the right ... to vote, to elect, and to nominate,” and the Japanese enjoy “universal adult suffrage.”
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
An outed liar is fired
Speaking of Jeff Gannon and people who gain fame, fortune and acceptance for despicable, craven, cowardly and profoundly immoral behavior, I was happy to see Gannon was canned by Kevin Naff:
I made the decision...Basically, my concern is that he has a huge credibility problem, for obvious reasons, and if a member of my staff lied about their identity, lied about their name, lied to their editors, lied to their sources, I would fire them. I wouldn’t publish them.
Parental anxiety should be treated with counseling, not surgery
The Times Magazine this weekend will feature a profile of Intersex activist Cheryl Chase. Still locked up behind the TimesSelect wall, here’s an excerpt:
Chase’s position - that cosmetic genital operations on intersex children should be stopped and that children should be made to feel loved and accepted in their unusual bodies - is still considered radical. Most people believe, reflexively, that irregular-looking genitals would be extremely difficult to live with - for a child on a sports team, for an adult seeking love and sex - so why not try to make them look more normal? Katrina Karkazis, a medical anthropologist at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford, interviewed 19 clinicians and researchers of various specialties who treat intersex individuals, 15 intersex adults and 15 parents of intersex children, and she found that a majority of the doctors and parents felt surgery was a good idea. “We chose surgery for my daughter mainly because we did not want her to grow up questioning her sexual identity,” one mother explained about her baby, who was born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a genetic defect of the adrenal glands that causes girls’ genitals to appear masculinized at birth. “We felt that she should look like a female, so we chose the clitoroplasty and the vaginoplasty. We felt that she would have a better self-image if she did not have a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœphallic structure’ and ‘scrotum.’ “
Within the medical community, Chase has been successful in tempering the explicitness with which people publicly make this argument. As Chase has explained innumerable times, intersex babies are not having difficulty with sexual identity or self-image. The parents are, and parental anxiety about the appearance of a child’s genitals should be treated with counseling, not with surgery to the child. When I met Melvin Grumbach, one of the doctors who cared for Chase as an infant and who went on to become one of the most respected pediatric endocrinologists in the country, he’d clearly heard Chase’s line of reasoning many times. He participated in forming the consensus, and he also signed it. He knew what he was supposed to say. “We say, ‘Don’t do surgery unless it’s necessary, unless it’s important,’ “ he told me in early summer in his office at the University of California in San Francisco, where he’s now an emeritus professor. “But I think if the external genitals are really masculinized, you work it out with the family. I mean, good grief. What about the parents? The parents are raising the child. Don’t they have some say?”
Georgia Republicans are sometimes brutally honest. Sonny’s had a couple of doozies recently - ”I like land” and ”Get elected Governor” - but Congressman ”I-can’t-name-the-comandments-but-we-should-post-them” Lynn Westmoreland (he claims to have named seven) has gone and done Sonny one better. Said he, ”I voted for torture:”
The vote he referred to came last year on an amendment reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the U.N. Convention Against Torture. The measure passed the House 415-8, with Westmoreland among those opposing it. The U.N. convention defines torture as intentionally inflicting “severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental,” to obtain information or a confession.
Westmoreland said that definition is too vague and that he believes intelligence professionals deserve more flexibility.
“I think they should use the methods necessary to get the information from the people who know the information,” he said. “We’re fighting people that don’t wear a uniform. They’re not from a country. They’re not a recognized military. So I don’t know that the Geneva Convention even covers them.”
Pressed on whether that means he supports torture, he said, “What’s torture? Torture is many things to many people ... people have different breaking points.”
Asked whether he would support using electric shocks, he said, “Electric shocks are given to people during initiations to different clubs ... Is that torture? I don’t know.”
It’s good to see that the Atlanta Journal Constitution knows:
Somehow, we managed to defeat Nazi Germany, a regime of immense cruelty, without stooping to torture as a weapon. In that same war we also defeated Imperial Japan, perpetrator of the infamous Bataan Death March and medical experiments and other atrocities on wartime captives, again without sacrificing our own standards of conduct.
A few years later, in the Cold War, we faced off against the Soviet Union, ruled by cold-blooded killers seeking world domination and armed with thousands of nuclear warheads pointed in our direction. Our citizens built bomb shelters in their backyards; our schoolchildren practiced hiding under their desks. But despite the threat, our leaders nonetheless insisted on adhering to the Geneva Conventions, to our own laws against torture, to our own basic beliefs in the inherent dignity of mankind.
FCC boobs and Eyes on the Prize
With the FCC’s maximum fines for “bad” language having increased to $325,000 for each infraction, PBS is flagging member stations about possible offensive words in scheduled repeats of broadcasts that didn’t cause a ripple in previous airings.
PBS has reason to be cautious. In March, KCSM in San Mateo, Calif., became the first - and only - public TV station to receive notice of a possible FCC fine since Jackson’s Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction in 2004, according to a PBS spokeswoman.
KCSM faces a $15,000 penalty for airing a repeat episode of Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed ‘03 documentary, The Blues, which included profanity. The station is appealing the decision, and PBS filed comments in its support.
Looking to avoid a repeat, PBS is being exceedingly cautious with the critically lauded Eyes on the Prize, a seminal 14-hour documentary series on the U.S. civil rights movement that debuted in 1987. (It was repeated once, in ‘93.)
Three two-hour episodes are set for Oct. 2, 9 and 16, from 9 to 11 (Eastern time) each night. The other eight hours will air at a later date.
PBS’s warning to stations concerns a single utterance of the F-word in archival footage in episode six, “Bridge to Freedom.” The Oscar-nominated “Freedom” chronicles the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965. The segment’s first broadcast will be at 10 p.m. Oct. 16 on WHYY.
Though the FCC allows “indecent and/or profane material” to air in the so-called safe harbor between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., PBS is concerned about the time slots in which its 348 member stations will schedule their remaining three “plays” of the six episodes.
WHYY, for example, will run back-to-back episodes at 2 p.m. Sundays on Oct. 8, 15 and 22.
[D]id Lance’s mom really learn he was gay from reading Page Six?
“Yeah, basically, yeah. It was just a question she had to my sister, actually, was the one who had to tell her,” Lance revealed/
Lance also opened up about how his People Magazine outing came to be.
“They contacted me,” he explained.
And as for the cover with the headline “I’m Gay,” Lance replied that he had no control over that.
“I thought they did a great job with it and they did. It was great. I feel, you know, there’s a great weight lifted off,” Lance added.
Long removed from the days of *NSYNC, Lance is currently working on a book.
“Experience is everything with *NSYNC, all my experience with space travel and Russia and the whole coming out thing. I have a lot to say so I decided to go ahead and start writing it down.”
Block the Vote update
For the third time a judge has blocked a Republican-sponsored effort to require Georgia voters to present government-issued photo identification cards before they can vote. Washington’s watching:
State officials vowed to appeal Bedford’s ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court before the Nov. 7 general election.
The timing of the judge’s decision could have political ramifications in Washington. The House is set today to vote on legislation that would require voters in 2008 to present a valid photo identification that “could not have been obtained without proof of citizenship.” [...]
Like the Georgia law, the federal legislation would almost certainly be challenged in court. A coalition of interest and civil rights groups, including the NAACP, AARP, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, denounced the bill yesterday, saying it would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of minority and elderly voters.
Georgia’s law was challenged by Rosalind Lake, an elderly black woman who was left partially blind after being nearly electrocuted in her home, is unable to drive and could not easily obtain a voter ID, her attorney said.
Recall that the area of proven fraud is absentee balloting, which trends Republican. The Bill does nothing about absentee balloting.
BTW, where does it describe the state-issued ID process in the Constitution?
Will Tom Sue?
Tomorrow at 10 Comedey Central will be replaying the Trapped in the Closet episode of South Park. To mark the occasion I’m reposting Will Tom Sue?
Could Cruise successfully sue “South Park”? And more broadly, should he continue his campaign of directly combating the claim that he’s homosexual, or rethink the ethics of bringing such lawsuits?
The relevant “South Park” episode—entitled “Trapped in the Closet”—self-consciously skirts the outermost edges of the First Amendment’s protection for parody. A court would probably deem it constitutionally protected, but only barely.
Defamation requires a “statement of fact”—and for this reason, most parody, because of its fictional nature, falls outside defamation law by definition. But this is the rare parody that, fairly read, does make a statement of fact.
In the episode, the animated version of Cruise literally goes into a closet, and won’t come out. Other characters beg him to “come out of the closet,” including the animated version of his ex-wife, Nicole Kidman. The Kidman character promises Cruise that if he comes out of the closet, neither she nor “Katie” will judge him. But the Cruise character claims he isn’t “in the closet,” even though he plainly is.
Should it even be considered defamation to call someone gay?
Imagine a white person in the Jim Crow South suing to counter rumors that he was hiding African-American ancestry, and the problem with such a claim becomes plain: The purpose of the claim is to restore the plaintiff to a prior, undeserved position of societal privilege, so he can avoid the maltreatment, racism—and if he is a racist himself, the shame—that he would otherwise suffer. The claim itself, then, rests on a malicious societal hierarchy.
The same is arguably true of a claim by a straight person that he has been falsely labeled as gay: Such a claim takes advantage of the courts so that one person can escape bias that others unfairly suffer.
It also caters to societal bias by saying, in effect, “Stop thinking less of me; I’m not really gay.” But imagine, again, the parallel claim: “Stop thinking less of me, I’m not really African-American.”
For the record, I’m not one of those who has ever believed the Cruise is gay rumor.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Tangled Up in Bleu
The best argument for outing
Once publicly opposed to gay marriage, former New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey now says he spoke out against the idea as a way to keep his homosexuality hidden.
“I did not want to be identified as being gay, and it was the safe place to be,” McGreevey said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “I wanted to embrace the antagonist. I wanted to be against it. That’s the absurdity.”
No, the absurdity is the fame, fortune and acceptance he’s getting for his despicable, craven, cowardly and profoundly immoral behavior.
My lengthier argument in favor outing was one of my early blog posts.
Mark Taylor lost my vote today
If you read me at all you know I strongly oppose Georgia’s new sex offender law - see here, here, here, here, here, here and here - widely considered to be one of the strictest in the nation. I object to the law for its emphasis on retributive rather than restorative justice, but even more I object to it because I believe it is counter-productive.
It will drive the real offenders further underground and away from treatment. It will draw resources, money and manpower away from those real offenders. It will give the community a false sense of security. And at the same time a false sense of insecurity.
But apparently here in Georgia gubernatorial candidates believe the way to get elected is to play oneupmanship with child sexual abuse penalties. Yesterday Sonny Perdue said he would ask for a million bucks in the state budget to hire investigators and computer forensic experts to crack down on Internet sex predators.
I’m unpersuaded by Mark Cuban’s YouTube prognostications. I expected something more and have been watching for some interesting commentary around it.
But I have to say I do read this as refutation:
Microsoft’s much awaited YouTube competitor is all set to get out of the gates, perhaps as early as tomorrow. A Microsoft employee has blogged about the pending release of the video sharing service, code named “Warhol,” that will be renamed as SoapBox. The word of the new service had leaked earlier this month, and caused a lot of chatter.
Kurt Shintaku says that the new service will come with 100 megabytes of storage and will will use Windows Media technology to playback video, instead of more popular Adobe Flash technology. I guess Mac users could play back the videos if they have Flip4Mac. (Rob who works on the SoapBox team says that “Soapbox autodetects your browser + platform and streams WM for IE/Windows users, but Flash for Firefox/Windows and Firefox+Safari on Mac.”)
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sports holds boys back
There’s no football at our school. When pressure builds for it, this is the argument I’ll make against it:
This fall, 58 percent of the U.S. college population will be female, and more women stay in college and more apply all the time. When this freshman class graduates in 2010, the Department of Education estimates that as many as three out of every five diplomas may very well go to women.
Now there are a lot of reasons which may account for this, including the dread possibility that the weaker sex, so-called, may be, well, simply smarter than we dim brutes. But I certainly think that at least some of this scholastic imbalance may be accounted for by the fact that from an early age, boys are directed towards sports and rewarded more for their athletic prowess than for their classroom work.
For boys, readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic have been replaced by a new set of three R’s: runnin’, reboundin’ and let’s go to the replay.
It isn’t either just that classic inner city delusion where little boys bet their future on becoming a great multi-millionaire sports superstar. No, in our middle classes all too many parents push children to excel in sport so that their child might win a college athletic scholarship.
This is the cockeyed system we’ve developed in the United States wherein the free road to a college education is through a tennis court or a soccer field, while someone more accomplished in the school classroom has a harder time getting to the college classroom.
The argument is from Frank Deford who has been writing for Sports Illustrated since the 60s.