aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, November 27, 2006
Stop looking South! III
A homeowners association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan.
Some residents who have complained have children serving in Iraq, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. He said some residents have also believed it was a symbol of Satan. Three or four residents complained, he said.
Via Will Wheaton, “nothing divides people quite like peace, you know.”
LATER: The Times reports on the wreath.
The other day, moments after I posted about the AFA’s effort to sign up 1,000,000 families to boycott Wal-Mart because they automatically donate 5 percent of online sales directly to the Washington, D.C., community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people!, they called off the boycott.
The relationship with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce continued on course according to their joint statement but still the American Family Association started sending out thank yous because Wal-Mart issued a statement saying it has no position on same sex marriage and doesn’t give preference to gay and lesbian suppliers.
Too bad for the AFA. Had they waited until this week they could have gotten the statement and claimed credit for a November sales drop that may well end up being the first month-to-month decline for Wal-Mart in more than a decade.
KAI RYSSDAL: Gas prices are relatively low. Consumer confidence is steady. So it all adds up to a worrying sign for the world’s largest retailer. The company points to poor sales of its trendy new fashion line. Disruptive store remodelings too. But retail analyst Howard Davidowitz says Wal-Mart’s strategy is at stake.
HOWARD DAVIDOWITZ: If you’re selling to the half of Americans who have record debt, sub-prime mortgages, optional adjustable-rate mortgages, 20 percent of Wal-Mart customers have no savings whatsoever. If you’re focused on that customer mix, which are the most vulnerable in our society, I think you have a problem because those folks are under water.
Gosh, tell us what you really think Howard:
DAVIDOWITZ: “If you upgrade merchandise in organic food, you’re OK - which they’re doing. If you do it in electronics and home, you’re OK. I think you have to be real careful with apparel - that’s an image issue, and Wal-Mart doesn’t fit a fashion image.
I have to agree you’re not likely to find Chelsea queens or West Hollywood hunks donning Wal-Mart’s gay apparel. Still, Howard closes on an up note:
The name of the game for them is to sell those customers more. Can they do it? I think they can. Will they do it? I think they will.
The one thing Roll Call added was that “Chambliss’ biggest re-election threat would appear to be Rep. Jim Marshall (D), who has indicated an interest in running against the first-term Senator.”
Via Steve Benen, who chimes in that rumor has it “former Sen. Max Cleland, whom Chambliss defeated in 2002, has been approached about considering a rematch.”
My question is how much support any of them will get from national Dems, the preponderance of whom appear to be in a write off the South mood.
You’re bad for America. Just go away!
Nothing good is coming of this baloney:
Richards appeared on the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s nationally syndicated radio program, “Keep Hope Alive,” as a part of a series of apologies for the incident. He said he knew his comments hurt the black community, and hoped to meet with the two men.
He told Jackson that he had not used the language before.
The two men who were directly insulted by Michael Richards’ racist burst last week have reportedly asked for money as a compensation for the offenses he brought them, according to their lawyer.
Frank McBride and Kyle Doss, the two men who were part of a larger group attending Michael Richards’ stand-up comedy number last week at West Hollywood’s Laugh Factory, insist for a personal apology and even some money, Gloria Allred, their attorney said.
Everyone’s playing out their role in this despicable drama and we sure as hell aren’t moving forward. Comments Joe, a comedic performer who’s no fan of Allred:
I can just see the day when some 2nd grader sues me at a school because my dummy stuck his tongue out at them during my famous “hypnosis” routine. My elephant puppet squirts water into fair audiences. How many millions will a 10 year old with a lawyer beside him seek for that?
Robin Roberts just said on GMA that “there’s no excuse for what [Richards] said but hopefully this can open a way to have a dialog about race.” Diane Sawyer agreed.
This is yet another performance. A far better one than at the Laugh Factory but the guy is sincere only in trying to rehab his career. He’s playing by the new rules of the media game but it’s a game we should all wish the cellphone video camera has brought to an end.
The faux-apology in the three-ring-media-circus is a sham that works for the media industry and works for the celebrity (and for the lawyers and the activists) but, in Jon Stewart’s immortal words from his infamous Crossfire appearance, this game is “hurting America...Stop!” Crossfire was stopped; it was canceled. I’d like to see the ritual media apology stop. I’m not holding my breath.
There’s no question that we need a dialog about race in this country but it’s not going to come from a washed-up comic trying to rehab his career. Richards should have put out a statement of apology then disappeared from public view; and used that time away to listen and learn and work to address the real issues of race in America.
Then, a year or more from now, he could have come back into public view with an apology and maybe had some legitimacy. As it is the man has compounded his crime. He should just go away. And stay away.