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Discover PS.org's Framing and Tactical Assault Projects!
The Unbearable Gayness of Children's Television
01/21/05

Let me see if I understand this: the President, a conservative, “born-again” Republican is reelected by (what people tell me was) a landslide. This “mandate”, the CW continues, was caused by the so-called “values voters” going to the polling places to vote against those dirty homos and sticking around to prop up the Emperor. In short, the religious/moral community now controls the seat of power. More than any time, this group has the potential to reshape this country.

So what do these groups do with this newfound power? Go after Roe v. Wade? Push the FMA? Petition the increasingly values-friendly FCC to tighten up regulations on mass media productions? Nope, they do something even better - they go after a popular cartoon character who they believe is gay.

I know, I can’t believe it either.

Actually, I can. I can believe it because the Religious Right has a history of directing their outrage over the Gaying of America by getting into a froth over fictional characters they perceive as gay (or gay-friendly). Here, for your enjoyment, is an unavoidably humorous guide to the gaying of children’s entertainment. If I’ve left anything out, feel free to tell me - I have a feeling that I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg.

Peanuts - One of the earliest complaints was over the late Charles Schultz’s comic strip. Somewhere down the line, some sick bastard with more clout than brainpower got it into his head that Peppermint Patty was a lesbian. I honestly don’t know how or why this story started, but the fact that anyone knows about it is pretty sad. These days, if someone wants to spread a ridiculous story like that, he gets some bandwidth and an arseload of animated .gifs and MP3s.

Sesame Street - Maybe it’s because it appears on the ultra-”liberal” PBS, or maybe it’s because someone smoked too much reefer while sitting with the kids, but the Street has picked up a bad rep over the years. The most persistent rumor is the tale that Bert and Ernie are gay live-in lovers. This was compounded in the 1990’s by a rumor that the Henson crew was going to kill off Ernie, and in 2002 by a story that they were adding a HIV-positive muppet to the show (which they were. . .in the South African version of the show).

DC Comics - I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the long-standing rumors about Batman and Robin, the Dynamic Duo. Although not specifically a Religious Right issue, I have an inkling that at least one parent kept a close eye on his/her child’s comic books (you know, to make sure). It seems odd to me that this rumor never got attached to anyone else. After all, during the early days of comics, quite a few superheroes (such as the Flash and Aquaman) had sidekicks who were teenagers wearing pants-less costumes. And then there was the infamous Superfriends cartoon, which not only featured all the half-naked sidekicks but also introduced Kairo, Green Lantern’s pal who had no powers and literally rode GL’s ass across the universe, and featured a reference to ‘Bat-Lube’ (Yes, you read that right).

Teletubbies - But none of that holds a candle to this beauty from Jerry Falwell, the man who’s done more to make the Religious Right look like asses than anyone else. Falwell, apparently attempting to regain some degree of relevance, decided one day to announce that Tinky-Winky, a character on the inexplicable British children’s show the Teletubbies, was a homosexual. It’s worth noting that a few months before Jerry’s paean to late show hosts, there was an equally ridiculous claim that Po was muttering the word “faggot” through the gibberish he spoke. I’m sure that’s what gave Falwell the idea. It’s either that, or he has a supply of Jack Daniels and LSD hidden in his house, which is what I’ve secretly believed for many years now.

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Comments

I think a direct link to 10% more Republican Hispanic voters (aproximately 3% of the total vote) answer's the question of "new found power." Of course they have values too.

Sorry, didn't mean to upset your straight bashing but I can't help expressing a diverse opinion. Left-wing Administration... you have my permission to lock my IP again. Carry on in your love and tolerance fellow Americans :-)

Posted by: Steve: Hammer's friend at January 21, 2005 02:10 AM

Hi again, this is Jesus. Just wanted to thank Steve for his insightful analysis of the usefulness of "hating faggots". Good job Steve!

As anyone who has read the New Testament knows, I've made numerous pronouncements of my abhorrence for gays. You can find it right after my barrage of epithets targeted toward 'negroes', women, the poor, children, old people, and those pain-in-the-ass cripples who insist on suckling of the public teat.

You will also see that I am for a 'flat tax', 'tort reform', and an obliterating military force thrown upon any country with a cache of oil!

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Okay… You got me. Of course I never uttered such nonsensical bullshit. All this is actually a product of those people who hide their evil deeds behind a veil of religiosity. I call them....Conservatives.

The antiChrist will be such a person -- devoid of any moral fiber, yet rise to power under the veil of faith.

Don’t worry though, they will all burn in Hell for usurping my name as a front for their evil...at least that's what my father told me...but what does he know? Oh yeah! Everything.

Posted by: Jesus at January 21, 2005 02:06 PM

Just for the record, it was the pansyish TV show and not the comics that wrought the accusations of homosexual behavior. That is why the other superheroes with sidekicks escaped such ridicule.

Also, in real life, word is that the actors who played Batman and Robin in the campy 60s show got more Poo-Tay than any miserable, sex-deprived republican could ever dream of.

Posted by: Talbot at January 21, 2005 02:09 PM

Actually, I think they are attempting to usurp Roe vs. Wade as well. In fact, you guys had the link in you 'headlines' section to the story that the Woman (Roe) at the center of the Roe v. Wade case ahd recently petitioned the supreme court to review the case. It is no secret that she has been an advocate of overturning the case.

It is yet another case of let me benefit from a given right and then repeal it to fuck everyone who follows me. (think affirmative action and Clarence Thomas)

Posted by: Freakin Out at January 21, 2005 02:16 PM

Frankly, I'm surprised that they didn't target Squidward, SpongeBob's neighbor who was once caught fawning over a naked statue of David.

I remember the next day a person that I worked with said he forbid his son from watching the show becasue of it.

How pitiful are these people?

Posted by: Squidward Protector at January 21, 2005 02:21 PM

Drew, did I ever tell you that you are my favorite writer in the whole wide world?

Posted by: Bee at January 21, 2005 02:26 PM

Sorry Talbot, but they were casting aspersions on the Dynamic Duo a good decade or so before Adam West and Burt Ward were cast. It was part of the attack on comics in the 50's. That's why "Aunt Harriet" was introduced and Alfred was eliminated for a while... The boys needed a proper matronly chaperone...

Posted by: Kalan at January 21, 2005 03:54 PM

Actually Falwell was not the first to make the claim for Tinky Winky the Teletubby to be gay. It was first widely announced in The Washington Post of all places. That is where Falwell saw it and decided to give it more exposure. It was in the 1999 New Year's edition of "What's In and What's Out." The Post said "Tinky Winky the gay Teletubby" was "in." I don't recall who the "out" counterpart was. But don't blame Falwell for claiming Tinky Winky is gay. All he did was to publicize what was already being reported on by other media. You can condemn him for thinking he needed to "warn" parents about the revelation, but to claim he was the first to claim Tinky Winky is gay is to be totally disingenuous.

More here: http://www.rightgrrl.com/carolyn/teletubbies.html

Posted by: Harold Pincus at January 21, 2005 04:26 PM

Touche, Kalan. You are correct. Indeed, the assault on comics were akin to the general upending of conservatism with the whole 'Rock n' Roll' thing...inextricably tied to Elvis's Pelvis.

Good job!

Posted by: Talbot at January 21, 2005 04:33 PM

I just read Mark Morford's SFGate Morning Fix article
"Do You Suffer News Fatigue?" http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2005/01/21/notes012105.DTL&nl=fix
in which is a link to a very smart and practical progressive-thinking paradigm shifting article:
"Urban Archipelago" at:
http://www.urbanarchipelago.com/. This new way of seeing the Red state insanity and the Blue state wisdom/humanity impowers us with a way of seeing the stupidity of the neocon/faithfreaks in a way that no longer demoralizes us, and inspires us to keep the vision of a vibrant democracy alive in the face of so much utter stupidity.

Enjoy!

Posted by: wangmo at January 21, 2005 05:32 PM
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