Elton John

A Deplorable Nexus

#deplorable | #WhatTheyVotedFor

"Shame on The Daily Beast for stealing this joke headline from our draft folder, we [puts finger to ear] ah, I see" [@pointclickbait, via Twitter, 29 August 2017]

The tweet is not a joke. Or, as Brian Patrick Byrne really does explain for the Daily Beast:

On Friday, Persson, who sold Minecraft to Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014, tweeted “(pizzagate is real),” to his almost 3.9 million followers. The tweet immediately caught the attention of a vocal crowd of supporters that continues to believe a debunked conspiracy theory that Democrats led a pedophile ring out of a pizzeria in Washington, D.C.

When The Daily Beast asked Persson to clarify his beliefs on Friday, the 38-year-old responded: “I feel more like people are picking one of two sides emotionally in this incredibly insanely huge binary split, much like politics.”

However, shortly afterward, Persson embarked on a verbose defense of Pizzagate. The man who publicly called Zoe Quinn, the initial victim of Gamergate, a “cunt” in June, rallied up even more support among ardent believers, writing: “People are saying there’s a lot of suspect codewords including the word ‘pizza’. That place has very disturbing art and social media.”

Persson was referring to Comet Ping Pong, the name of the pizzeria from where conspiracy theorists falsely believe Clinton, and her former campaign chairman John Podesta, operated a child sex trafficking ring in its basement, despite the shop having no basement. The theory was born out of what believers say are coded messages in Podesta’s emails, like “pizza” for “little boy,” made public by Wikileaks during the 2016 presidential election.

And, you know, while it is easy enough to appeal to any excuse to recall Elton John, but sometimes the answer is simply no. We already know this story and its sickness, and while it is easy enough to say this is all about supremacism and lulz, at some point these facts are supposed to mean something. We might suggest this is an astonishing nexus of deplorability, but would be overstating the circumstance. Predictable is hardly astonishing, and a steaming heap of blended whatnot does not a nexus make.

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@pointclickbait. “Shame on The Daily Beast for stealing this joke headline from our draft folder, we [puts finger to ear] ah, I see”. Twitter. 29 August 2017.

Byrne, Brian Patrick. “Minecraft Creator Alleges Global Conspiracy Involving Pizzagate, a ‘Manufactured Race War,’ a Missing Tabloid Toddler, and Holistic Medicine”. The Daily Beast. 29 August 2017.

(h/t to Barry Deutsch.)

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Another Puti-Toots Adventure

In the Kremlin, John’s proposal could be taken literally. The Russian leadership believes in a worldwide gay conspiracy, even a backroom global gay government that is trying to take over the world. Back in December 2013, when the Russian parliament was discussing the protests in Ukraine, the chairman of the foreign relations committee, Alexei Pushkov (who will be accompanying Putin to the UN), warned that if Ukraine moves toward the West, it will become part of 'the sphere of influence of gay culture' — as directly opposed to the Russian sphere of influence. Reporting on John’s speech in Kiev last week, Russia’s highest-circulation daily stated that John 'invited Ukraine to join the gay community.' So the same newspaper could imagine that if Putin had, indeed, picked up the phone to call John, he would have secured a direct line to the gay rulers of the world — and he could communicate to them that he was a reasonable man who shouldn’t be criticized quite so harshly. (Marsha Gessen, Reuters, 17 September 2015)

To the one, no, I did not pay attention to that bit with Elton John, because … er … ah … well, you know? It’s Elton freakin’ John and Vladimir freakin’ Putin, why would I?

This is my comeuppance:

Enter Elton John. The singer attended a political conference in Kiev last week, met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and talked LGBT rights with him. He seemed to be positioning himself as a sort of global LGBT ambassador. Vladimir Putin wants his seat back at the world's table. How far will he go to get it? (Masha Gessen, detail of Reuters.com 22 September 2015)Over the weekend, John told the BBC that he would like to meet with the Russian president and discuss the issue with him as well.

In the Kremlin, John’s proposal could be taken literally. The Russian leadership believes in a worldwide gay conspiracy, even a backroom global gay government that is trying to take over the world. Back in December 2013, when the Russian parliament was discussing the protests in Ukraine, the chairman of the foreign relations committee, Alexei Pushkov (who will be accompanying Putin to the UN), warned that if Ukraine moves toward the West, it will become part of “the sphere of influence of gay culture” — as directly opposed to the Russian sphere of influence. Reporting on John’s speech in Kiev last week, Russia’s highest-circulation daily stated that John “invited Ukraine to join the gay community.” So the same newspaper could imagine that if Putin had, indeed, picked up the phone to call John, he would have secured a direct line to the gay rulers of the world — and he could communicate to them that he was a reasonable man who shouldn’t be criticized quite so harshly.

(Gessen)

Well, you know … this is Puti-Toots, after all. And what part of the Puti-Toots Adventure actually makes any sense?

(more…)

Hope

Avery Jackson, 7, confidently explains the world in her own unique way. (YouTube, 6 May 2015)

Hello, Avery!

With her first “Avery Chat” video, Avery Jackson shared the story of her transition. In the video, she explains how she knew that she was a girl, the fear she had about telling her parents about her transgender identity, and then how she eventually shared her identity with her parents. In a four-minute video, Avery shares a personal story that echoes the pride she has in who she is. Viewers will be swept away by the bravery and wisdom that this little girl displays.

† † †

Despite the fact that Debi Jackson, Avery’s mother, had never heard of the term “transgender” before a Google search, she and her husband, Tom, have supported their daughter throughout her transition. They took Avery to a child psychologist when Avery announced her gender identity and then took the psychologist’s advice: Let her be a girl.

Their love and support has been unwavering toward their daughter and because of it they’ve lost friends and family members, but have made lasting friendships with people across six continents and have done so much for other trans children by just supporting and loving their own.

(Temblador)

There is that part of us that looks across at Texas with a smirk of satisfaction: Oh, the generation that rises!

Those who disapprove have no idea who they’re dealing with.

But that is for another day, and maybe we can put it to rest for Avery and all her young brothers and sisters. You know, we can’t pin all our hopes on future generations.

But for now, yes: And we are so amazed.

Thank you, Avery! The world needs a bit of your sunshine right now.

And a note to Tom and Debi Jackson: Thank you. Thankyouthankyouthankyou. Really, words fail. But thank you for standing by Avery, and thank you so much for sharing your experience with the rest of us.

#StandSpeakWinLove

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Image note: Avery Jackson, 7, confidently explains the world in her own unique way. (YouTube, 6 May 2015).

Temblador, Alex. “Why We Love 7-Year-Old Transgender Activist, Avery Jackson, And Her Incredible Family”. The Huffington Post. 21 May 2015.

Just One of Those Things

There is little in the way of preface that could adequately frame the spectacle. Though for some, Debbie Harry’s “self sacrifice” apparently seemed a horrifying endorsement of sexual violence. As J. J. Anisiobi explains:

Debby Harry's Self SacrificceDressed in a floor-length red dress and with her trademark blonde hair Debbie took centre stage at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Gala and both shocked and disgusted attendees.

As the 66-year-old singer stood with all eyes on her, two life-size nude statues of herself and co-curator Marina Abramovic were rolled onto the stage.

With almost magician-like precision Harry produced a large machete and as the crowd of celebrities began to cheer she plunged the knife straight into the heart of her naked double.

Some members of the MoCA audience chanted, “Violence against women!” in protest of the the faux brutality. One person in attendance described the show as “appalling”. Perhaps most damning, Dita von Teese, who has made a career out of exploiting female sexuality, invoked the famous comic strip Pogo, tweeting that, “This must be art, because it sure ain’t entertainment”.

(more…)