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Audio: 'Angels', 'Penthouse'; tomato, tomahto

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 2-135Remember a few days ago when we let you listen to the Concerned Women For America's Matt Barber trivializing Tony Kushner's legendary, acclaimed, literary Angels In America as "racist gay porn"? Well, Matt has now gone on CBN News to further diminish the important work of one America's greatest living playwrights. And while he doesn't play the "racist" card this time around, the "discussion of sex in an AIDS play = porn" logic abounds. Listen in:

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The fact that Angels has awards is irrelevant? Okay Matt, fine. We'll give you that one. But what about the fact that it's a rich, vibrant part of the American canon, which provides both historical insight into the early days of the AIDS crisis, as well as dramaturgical insight into how to craft an epic piece of American theatre? What about the idea that the faith-based, queer-hostile "traditional values" agenda is, due to its patently discriminatory components, a completely inappropriate entrant into the realm of public school management? And what about the fact that you are trying to turn a writer's creation of characters and situations into an unfair attack on that writer's character?

The arguments here, Matt, are not simply that Angels has won awards and is therefore good. The argument is that you and you friends are turning the play into something its not, so that you can continue to paint gays as something they are not. And that you are doing so in a manner so unscrupulous, it should make any critic, parent, conservative, liberal, Christian, or atheist take dramatic pause!

**Audio/video source: CA Gov. to Intervene in Homeschool Case (also discussion of 'Angels') [CBN News]

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Your thoughts

Barber would have flown off the handle if he knew we had to read Black Like Me in high school.

People like him should be put in a barrel and then rolled into a river.

Posted by: Tony P | Mar 13, 2008 10:33:13 PM

Did you notice when CBN interviewer says to Matt: "So what did you find out here, did the educators just think they could slip this one in and the parents wouldn't notice?"

They can't even imagine for a second that the educators' motives were anything other than propogandizing. They can't even give them the benefit of the doubt. The introduction of any materials with which they find objectionable, (no matter how acclaimed the work might be,) is immediately viewed as an intentional attack on their values. Can they not even allow themselves room to believe that the educators here saw, as have many others, that there is something of value in the work, and that having seen that value, they wished to pass it on to students.

Secondly, maybe they do feel that Angels is not suitable for a high school reader. Fine, it's a very mature work and that's a valid opinion. But why trash on the book? Can't they see that this just makes them look like book-banning, anti-free-speech censors instead of concerned parents? A concerned parent says: "I don't think my kid's ready to read that." A bigot says: "No one should be allowed to read this book becuase even though I haven't read it, from what I've heard I wouldn't agree with some of the things in it."

Posted by: GayMormonBoy | Mar 17, 2008 12:22:30 AM

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