Standards

by The New Republic | May 11, 2009

 Ah, the Weekly Standard parody, quintessence of comedy:

President Barack Obama has announced that June will be officially designated Gay Awareness Month in the White House.... "Our fellow LGBT citizens have traveled a long and difficult road," said President Obama, in a statement, "but let it never be said that the struggle for equality and dignity, in the bedroom as well as the workplace--or in the bathhouse, or both--can ever truly be considered to be over."

Festivities will begin on Monday, June 22, with an inter-faith/intra-species prayer service to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of entertainer Judy Garland. Pastor Ted Haggard and the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, will jointly preside over the service, and there will be performances by k.d. lang and diver Greg Louganis in the White House pool....

These discussions will begin with a selection of readings from [A Separate Peace] by novelist Edmund White, followed by an interpretive dance, created by diet guru Richard Simmons, based on the death of Finny.

What struck me most about this was not that it was offensive, or stupid, or unfunny, though it was all of those things. It was that whoever wrote it--the parodies are anonymous, for obvious reasons--has barely reloaded his (or her) stock of anti-gay stereotypes for well over a decade. Judy Garland? Richard Simmons? C'mon, guys. Culture, like politics, moves on, and a successful bigot has to stay current.

Update: Fixed typo. That was, of course, "bathhouse," not "bathouse."

--Christopher Orr

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/standards