Thursday, September 01, 2005

CLEVELAND SIZZLA DATES CAUSE, WELL, OUTRAGE

Outrage might have decided on behalf of British gay men that they don't have a problem with Sizzla any more, providing he just doesn't do the silly calling for queers to be shot with a gun again. Lesbian and Gay groups in Cleveland, Ohio, though, aren't quite so happy with the terms of the supposed truce, and are fuming that Sizzla's been invited to play the House of Blues, a few weeks after holding a series of PR events designed to promote the venue as gay-friendly:

Earlier this summer the Cleveland House of Blues organized a series of events to position the club as an accepting and tolerant place for LGBT people.

"Sizzla’s appearance not only contradicts those efforts but devalues the local LGBT community," said Doerfer, Executive Director of the Lesbian/Gay Community Center of Greater Cleveland.

"If we were valued enough to be customers, why are we not valued as concerned citizens? Refusing to cancel the Cleveland show is a gesture of intolerance that makes the company’s outreach to our community very patronizing.”


House of Blues seems to be remaining quiet on the subject.


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's just like activists to get all up in arms about this kind of thing. On closer inspection it's very easy to make the argument that all hip hop music is misogynistic. Bitches, hos, that's the essence of women in hip hop isn't it though?

Oddly enough lots of women listen to hip hop music and don't scream and holla that it "devalues them." Freedom of speech, freedom of choice. If you feel devalued just turn it off. Lots of media devalue a lot of different types of people, different ethnic groups, Italians are portrayed as mobsters. Jews as cheap, every stereotype is portrayed in every way possible.

Does it devalue us as humans? Value is in the eye of the beholder. Italians are proud of their portrayal in The Sopranos. Young girls of all colors and ethnicities are proud to be the subject of hip hop songs which devalue them so much, it conversely gives them a sense of how valuable they are.

As always, gay people are not going to change the world by forcing themselves upon it. There will always be people who find homosexuality offensive. There will always be people who find something about someone offensive. The gay community and it's so called leaders feel the way to approach this is to call as much attention and outrage to it as possible.

They are wrong. The world is not a war. Social harmony is not a constant fight. I might add that anyone who wants to fight to create acceptance is going toward their goal in exactly the wrong way. Someone always loses in a war. The only way to value and acceptance is to assimiliate. Gay peeps! Cheer down! It's just bad music, no need to call the United Nations.

P.S. It's the ridiculous overblown response by the gay community that's makes them such an easy target. It's like a constant war over semantics.... anything they can use to pick a fight, they'll do it. It only distances them further from the world community. No one supports them except 40 something I wanna be so PC I love gay people types. It's sickening. Being gay used to be a fun alternative lifestlyle choice. Now it's a joyless civil war to be even worse than ordinary.

It's all so simple, live your life choose your loves, be happy. Who really cares? Not too many people. I guess when it's all you base your life on it seems as exaggerated as this stupid we want our gay rights war is. Just live in peace people. Morons who make a big deal over a pop song are equally as moronic as the idiots song is. I'm sure gay people wouldn't want to see this show anyway. A good question would be why did the gay community promote the show wihout knowing the artisit's music. Doh!

simon h b said...

Anonymous,

judging by your closing remarks, you've misunderstood a little - House of Blues aren't part of the gay community; they merely tried to show their support for the community and then turned round and booked an act who supports violence against gays and lesbians.

But to take your points in order:
===
It's just like activists to get all up in arms about this kind of thing.
===

well, yes... that would be why they call them activists. If they weren't up in arms, they wouldn't be activated. Or activisiting.

===
Oddly enough lots of women listen to hip hop music and don't scream and holla that it "devalues them."
===

Actually, I suspect you might find there's quite a strong feminist critique of some strands of hip-hop - for example the University of Chicago hosted a conference on this very subject:

The first panel, Hip Hop and Feminism on Screen, raised several topics repeated throughout the weekend. “I love hip hop, but I feel at times that hip hop doesn’t love me back,” began Tamika Guishard, a documentary filmmaker and seventh-grade school teacher in New York City. Inspired after noticing the music’s impact on her female students, she made the eight-minute film Hip Hop Gurlz to investigate both the misogyny in videos and their effect on young women.

“It seems like hip-hop videos today only use a beat, a few lyrics, and some objectified women,” Guishard said. She stressed that young girls digest those messages. “How do you as a woman identify with hip hop if you are being talked about in a certain way?” she asked, referring to hip-hop artists commonly calling women “hos, tricks, and bitches.”

“Girls do what they see in videos,” a black, pre-teen girl said in the film. “If I can get skinny, dress, and dance like that, I can be in videos too.”

===
Freedom of speech, freedom of choice. If you feel devalued just turn it off.
===

Well, yes, 'freedom of speech' is a vitally important thing; however, there's a gap between freedom of speech and inciting violence. It's famously said that the freedom of speech doesn't extend to shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre, but it also doesn't extend to shouting "fire" when you see someone pointing a loaded gun.

===
If you feel devalued just turn it off.
===

You probably haven't been following this story very closely. The problem isn't that someone is on stage taking the piss out of gays, the problem is that the hate-filled dancefloor music is part of a culture in Jamiaca where violence against gays is tolerated and ecouraged. You can't "just turn it off" if someone is kicking your door in and punching you.

===
Lots of media devalue a lot of different types of people, different ethnic groups, Italians are portrayed as mobsters. Jews as cheap, every stereotype is portrayed in every way possible.
===

You're not, then, I'm guessing, a member of the anti-defamation league.

And, again, this isn't about The Sopranos suggesting that some Italians are overweight mobsters.

===
Does it devalue us as humans? Value is in the eye of the beholder. Italians are proud of their portrayal in The Sopranos. Young girls of all colors and ethnicities are proud to be the subject of hip hop songs which devalue them so much, it conversely gives them a sense of how valuable they are.
===

Not all young girls are "proud" to be depicted as hos and chattels. And Italian Americans "proud" of their protrayal in the Sopranos?

Not...
actually...
True

===
As always, gay people are not going to change the world by forcing themselves upon it.
===

Eh? Are you suggesting that gay people don't belong in the world?

And what you're saying is, with respect, total bollocks. Ever heard of the Stonewall Riots?

===
There will always be people who find homosexuality offensive.
===

Indeed. The stupid are always with us. But that doesn't mean they should be granted a platform to call for the murder of gays, does it?

===
There will always be people who find something about someone offensive.
===

Erm... yes. People eating fish in a non-seafood restaurant. Strobing suits on TV. Your point being?

===
The gay community and it's so called leaders feel the way to approach this is to call as much attention and outrage to it as possible.
===

Actually, I don't think many gay people give two hoots over what people think about them. If they wish to be disgusted, so be it. It's more about if people attempt to turn their disgust into unfair treatment or violence that worries them. And, yes, that's something to make a fuss about.

===
They are wrong. The world is not a war. Social harmony is not a constant fight. I might add that anyone who wants to fight to create acceptance is going toward their goal in exactly the wrong way. Someone always loses in a war. The only way to value and acceptance is to assimiliate. Gay peeps! Cheer down! It's just bad music, no need to call the United Nations.
===

Has anyone called round at your house to make you aware of the last two hundred years or so? The world is a war - or at least a struggle, and social harmony is a constant fight. Suffragettes, Rosa Parks, Toxteth, the people's charter, the Poll Tax riots - every step towards social justice for all is a struggle. Not always violent, but if you sit down and keep quiet, you know what happens? Nothing.

===
P.S. It's the ridiculous overblown response by the gay community that's makes them such an easy target. It's like a constant war over semantics.... anything they can use to pick a fight, they'll do it. It only distances them further from the world community. No one supports them except 40 something I wanna be so PC I love gay people types. It's sickening. Being gay used to be a fun alternative lifestlyle choice. Now it's a joyless civil war to be even worse than ordinary.

Gays are not "separate" from the world community, any more than flower arrangers, Ugandans or people with pitbulls. The mere fact you see gay people as being "separate" in some way says it all.

Oh, and being gay or bi isn't a "fun lifestyle choice" - it's something you do because of who you find sexually attractive. A fun lifestyle choice might be to wear a cap with some words on it, or drive a car with no choice. Sexuality? It's what you want to shag.

Anonymous said...

thanks for making my point. I don't see gay people as separate, not at all. But like others before them, THEY HAVE CHOSEN TO MAKE THEMSELVES SEPARATE. They speak for their community alone. When a gay teen is homelss, it's of major importance. Call in the troops. They don't give a whit about heterosexual homeless teens though. Gay people have created their own community in order to be separate and then they want to assimilate. Well if assimilation is your goal, don't be separate.

Honestly, it's just about who you find sexually attractive. I don't care who my neighbors have sex with I don't care what kind of sex they have nor my mom or sister or best friend. Well no, my best friend is interesting.

Point being, who cares who you want to have sex with. It's not your entire life. I am gay and it's not my entire life. It's who I find sexually attractive. There certainly a lot more to myself and my lffe that who I find sexually attractive. I'm sorry for all the people who find it to be the most defining element of themselves. Who live for the cause, who fight for the cause and every word uttered about it.

That's not life. That's a pitiful excuse for a life. It's also boring and small. I agree with anon above. Being gay used to be a fun alternative lifestlye. Now it's like joining the military. And it's not fun anymore. It used to be joining a club full of the hippest people in the world. The artists, the elite. Now it's joining a club of chubby little awful people like Elton John and Rosie O'Donnell. Ewwww. I'm going back in the closet.

simon h b said...

Most recent anon...

I can understand what you're saying, and I'm not without sympathy, but I suspect you're writing from a fairly comfortable gay experience.

If a teenager is made homeless because he's gay, isn't that something that is quite important? Isn't campaigning against landlords assigning housing on the basis of sexuality something that should be done?

You're just assuming that people who campaign on gay/bi issues don't also campaign on other issues - but how would you know? Nobody walks down the street protesting the Iraq War chanting "although my sexuality isn't relevant here, I shall mention I'm gay in order to ensure you don't believe that I'm a single-issue gay, oh, and troops out..."

For example, Shelter do some great work on homophobic exclusion from housing - they also manage to help one or two straight people, too.

In a way, it's refreshing that you're able to say something like . I agree with anon above. Being gay used to be a fun alternative lifestlye, but it's also incredibly complacement.

I'd suggest you get a copy of the Wolfenden Report. It's only been through the actions of the brave men and women through the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s - the ones who created a sense of community, the ones who made a noise, who got "up in arms" that it's no longer a crime to have gay sex, that you can say "actually, I'm gay myself" without getting the sack, or evicted. A fun lifestyle choice? Maybe for ten years or so. But that's not been the typical experience.

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