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08/10/2011

Burt Prelutsky, I live for this kind of thing. *Bring. It.*

by Jeremy Hooper

At this point, saying a WorldNetDaily writer is being less than honest about LGBT people is about as redundant as saying the "Jersey Shore" cast enjoys orange-ish skin and hair gel. But considering this latest one involves outright lies about an LGBT person and a site that I happen to know very well, I need to take a second and address that which I'd normally ignore as course-par.

First the backstory: Back on 7/6/11, I noted a silly column penned by someone named Burt Prelutsky. Specifically, I focused on this portion of Mr. Prelutsky's WND column:

I don't happen to think that homosexuals are bad people, although I do wish they hadn't managed to confiscate a perfectly fine word, gay, which strikes me as an inappropriate moniker for a group that includes so many drama queens. I've never suggested they're evil. Feeling as I do about having an appointment with a proctologist – trepidation bordering on stupefaction – I confess that I find their sex lives extremely bizarre. But, I hasten to add, I know that some people, including my wife, regard my love of baseball as a sure sign of derangement.

What I do find annoying about a great many homosexuals is their insistence on identifying themselves solely on the basis of their sexual activities. To be fair, I have an equal intolerance with heterosexual men whose identity seems to be totally wrapped up in their sexual activities and whose conversation consists of bragging about their conquests. It just strikes me as adolescent.
Gays and grays [WorldNetDaily]

Then I spent four paragraphs commenting on the ridiculousness of "gays are obsessed with sex" claims, particularly when they come from a media outlet that has spilled almost as must digital ink on LGBT issues as the entire gay blogging community combined. I'm not going to rehash what I said -- you can go back and read it here, if you care.

Well now, fast forward to yesterday. Mr. Prelutsky publicly replied to what I wrote with a response column that is filled with fallacy, misdirected in terms of what I actually said, and reliably designed to Screen Shot 2011-08-10 At 9.09.00 Amturn the poor social conservative who lobbied the challenge into the supposed victim, while turning the gay who pushed back into the big, bad meanie. As per usual.

So let's now look at Mr. Prelustsky's column, little by little. First two graphs:

There are certain topics about which I write that inevitably trigger predictable responses. If I write, say, a defense of Israel, I know I will be called one of three or four obscenities by anti-Semites. If I write a piece bemoaning the fact that 80 percent of Jewish Americans invariably vote for left-wingers, I can expect to be vilified, not as a conservative, but as a self-hating Jew. If I write disparagingly about Obama, a certain number of readers, taking their lead from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, will condemn me as a racist, and if I write anything in opposition to same-sex marriages, I'm pilloried as a homophobe.

So, naturally, when I wrote and posted "Gays and grays," it stood to reason that I'd receive some angry email. What I hadn't anticipated was that I'd receive a piece of snail mail that would contain a couple of pro-gay propaganda pieces and a third article downloaded from a gay website called "Good As You," written by someone named Jeremy Hooper, taking me to task.

Okay, so the first claim: Nowhere in my article did I use the word "homophobe" or ascribe a motivation to Mr. Prelutsky's LGBT-centric musings. Regular readers know I never use the "homophobe" label, as (a) I find that's it's often limiting and lacking in terms of pinpointing the true impetus at play, and (b) find that it gives an easy out that allows the person on the receiving end to sidestep the merited conversation with convenient justifications (e.g. "I'm not a homophobe, I'm not scared of gay people"). Plus regular readers also know that I almost never seek out the driving desire behind an opposition voice's work, preferring to instead address the words and actions themselves. But regular readers, perhaps more than anything, know that anti-equality voices love to cast themselves in the "attacked" role, so it's to no "culture war" follower's surprise that this WorldNetDaily columnist sets up his piece in this way.

Moving on:

The envelope had no return name or address on it, so I couldn't respond to the anonymous sender. And as the website didn't entertain comments, I will have to take this opportunity to address Mr. Hooper.

This last part is a complete and utter lie. This site has a fully functioning and active comments system. The post in question has a fully active comments section with quite a comments on it. Plus my email, AIM handle, Facebook page, Twitter name, mailing address, and just about any means of contact short of a smoke signal are all available on the very front of page of G-A-Y, above the fold. So this claim of only being able to respond to me by way of a column is both ludicrous and obviously meant to disparage my lack of commitment to discourse. Meant to, but badly fails.

Pressing on:

In the article, portions of my original piece were re-printed so that Hooper's gay readership would understand that I was a bad guy, even though in my article I had written, "I don't happen to think that homosexuals are bad people."

Apparently, the part that most upset Mr. Hooper was the sentence that read: "What I do find annoying about a great many homosexuals is their insistence on identifying themselves solely on the basis of their sexual activities," even though the paragraph continued, "To be fair, I have an equal intolerance with heterosexual men whose identity seems to be totally wrapped up in their sexual activities and whose conversation consists of bragging about their conquests. It just strikes me as adolescent."

My critic also quoted the following three sentences: "As for Gay Pride parades, I can hardly imagine anything goofier. What is it that they're so proud of? Is it that their sexual activity will never lead to the birth of a baby, but only, tragically, on occasion, to a dreadful disease?"

To tell you the truth, I thought my article was temperate and even sympathetic. But inasmuch as Mr. Hooper and his secret admirer wish to take me on, so be it.

Again with the self-victimization, this time coupled with a self-centered insistence that I was trying to make Mr. Prelutsky seem like a "bad guy." This is the sort of response I'm used to from opposition voices, who are confused into believing that I care about the personal rather than the professional/political. So let me again stress: I really don't! Unless you are in my life in a real way and I have had a chance to know your heart and character, then I am basically agnostic when it comes to likability, motivation, or sexuality (i.e. I don't tend to speculate about someone's closet motivating the work). I care about the work. Period. And I am always fair in noting when I do have a frank, genial relationship with an opposition voice, something even my harshest socio-political challengers will admit. had Mr. Prelustky cared to utilize any of the countless means of contact that I have made available, he would've learned as much.

As for the snippets that I quoted and why: Well a few things here. (1) I've already shown you what I quoted, so there's no need to rehash.

(2) My reason for snipping this (and every) article is because I have to hone in on one theme in any post, as [a] I need to make a focused, cogent argument and [b] copyright restraints take the option of reposting full articles out of my ethical purview (*though in this post I basically am breaking down the full column, since the pointed nature forces me to respond point by point).

(3) If Mr. Preltusky wanted to show his readers what I snipped, then he would have linked back to the article so folks could see what I actually said. But egregiously, there is NO LINK BACK to my piece in Mr. Prelutsky's entire 704 word column. Which probably makes sense from his perspective, as then his readers would've not only had the ability to make up their own minds about what I wrote, but would've also seen that the site does in fact allow unmoderated comments for anyone, anti- or pro-, to say whatever the hell they want, with very few exceptions.

(4) My readerships is not a "gay readership" -- my readership is as diverse as the human population. The opposition loves to believe that LGBT bloggers speak only to the choir. I love them to believe this, as i will gladly use the myopia to my advantage.

Let's move on:

If I am to be taken to task for suggesting that what unites gays is solely their sex lives, they will have to come up with a logical alternative. What else are we to make of their silly parades? In what else are they displaying their pride? It's certainly not their nation, their religion, not even their personal accomplishments. It's not like the Irish showing the green on St. Patrick's Day or a VFW company offering a tribute to their fallen comrades on Memorial Day. The only unifying aspect of a Gay Pride parade is based on the sexual acts they perform together.

Well again, I essentially said everything I wanted to say about supposed "sex obsession" in the original post that Mr Prelutsky saw no reason to actually address on its merits. So while I won't repeat myself, I will add: LGBT people and the straight equality allies who turn out in droves at pride parade) are not most fully bound by sex, which runs an extremely large gamut on our "side." What much more full binds and motivates what Mr. Prelutsky calls a "silly parade" is the forced differentiation, condemnation, constitutional denial, exacerbated depression, heightened struggle, and every other purposeless burden that still falls on LGBT people by virtue of birth and/or truthful existence. You know: The very thing that outlets like Mr. Preltusky's cherished WorldNetDaily cultivate for sport.

Let's wrap this mother up:

Finally, how is it that they ever came up with that childish insult, "homophobe"? It's bad enough that they are so arrogant that they can seriously insist that anyone who opposes same-sex marriages is suffering from an irrational fear, which is the definition of a phobia, but what are we to make of the first part of the word? After all, for years we have been lectured that the "H" word is an obscenity, every bit as offensive as the "N" word, and yet here they are tossing it around like a beach ball at Dodger Stadium.

Frankly, I'm a little surprised they didn't go all the way and come up with "queerophobe" or "fagophobe."

That way, even in denouncing the label as a lie, they could claim we were using vile language to insult them.

I guess the nice thing about being a member of a minority in America is that you can assume the moral high ground even when you're wading in a swamp.

And there you have it: The very flawed justification that I addressed in the first point of this post. As expected, Mr. Preltusky makes this all about people who have "attacked" him with "insults" like "homophobe," using that tired "I'm not fearful of gays" rationale. But again: I never used that word. I don't use that word! The problem here is that Mr. Prelutsky has zero concern for what I actually wrote, only that it be used as a springboard for his own pre-concocted narrative. So he not only makes the baseless "homophobe" claim (and couples it with an anti-intellectual look at the prefix "homo"), but also feigns shock that I and my fellows didn't go further with other "insults." So, so typical.

I guess the nice thing about being a WorldNetDaily columnist is that you can assume the moral high ground even when you're muddying the waters of discourse.

***

**Mr. Prelustksy's full column: Why not call me a 'fagophobe'? [WND]

*My original post: Geni-tall tales: Columnist from gay-obsessed outlet says gays are too sex-identified [G-A-Y]

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*UPDATE: 'Stopped -- dead': Free Republic reader's response to me / Burt Prelutsky's unfair reduction of my words [G-A-Y]

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