I’m sad and mad: I’m savage. Dan Savage, one of my no-kidding favorite writers, just joined RaceFail 2009. (Debunk Tank, March 12th).
Apparently, Dan says, 3.89% of voters who voted for Yes on 8 is a landslide… because that 3.89% (58% of the 6.7% of the Californian population) are black.
Why does Dan Savage care so much about kicking that 3.89%? Who contributed the millions? Who made the lying ads and web campaigns? Who’s got the power, the political voice, and the funding? Who’s paying Ken Starr? It’s not that 3.89%. Why does Dan want to focus on that small group and call them a “landslide”?
From The Advocate:
The night before Election Day, a black woman walked into the San Francisco headquarters of the No on Proposition 8 campaign. Someone had ripped down the No on 8 sign she’d posted in her yard and she wanted a replacement. She was old, limping, and carrying a cane. Walking up and down the stairs to this office was hard for her.
[Michael Joseph Gross] asked why coming to get the sign was worth the trouble, and she answered, “All of us are equal, and all of us have to fight to make sure the law says that.” She said that she was straight, and she told me about one of the first times she ever hung out with gay people, in New Orleans in the 1970s. “I thought I was so cool for being there, and I said, ‘You faggots are a lot of fun!’ Well, that day I learned my lesson. A gay man turned on me and said, ‘A faggot is not a person. A faggot is a bunch of sticks you use to light a fire.’ ”
She puts Dan Savage to shame: I’m ashamed of him, if he’s not ashamed of himself.
[Update: and with this, 3 days later, Savage Love goes off my blog roll. I’m sadder yet about that: but there is a limit to the amount of racist crap I’m going to read, and Dan Savage just used it all up.]
from this week’s Savage Love
And now… without further delay… the winning definition of “saddleback“… by a gaping margin… definition number 5: “Saddlebacking: the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities.” After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she’s saving herself for marriage.
Here’s why this definition is perfect: Saddlebacking, like barebacking, involves one person riding up on another’s backside. But in this case, it’s not the bare-naked cock-in-ass that’s the most important feature of the ride, but the fact that the person being ridden has been saddled—thanks to the efforts of the Rick Warrens of this world—with religious hang-ups and serious misconceptions about sex. Like the barebacker who casually tosses away his health—or his partner’s health—because he believes, quite erroneously, that “risky = sexy,” the saddlebacker offers up her ass because she believes, quite erroneously, that she can get fucked in the ass—vigorously, religiously—and still be considered a virgin on her wedding night.
I’ve set up a website—www.saddlebacking.com—to popularize the new definition. (Get to work, Google bombers!) Now let’s get this term into common usage as quickly as possible.
Mocking Rick Warren:
My life’s purpose over the last week was reading thousands of proposed new definitions for “saddlebacking” sent in by my readers. As with the new definition of santorum crafted by Savage Love readers (“the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes a byproduct of anal sex”), the new definition of “saddlebacking” has to be some act that (1) needs a name but doesn’t already have one (we can’t just rename “reverse cowgirl,” people) and (2) is naughty enough to discomfort, say, a Reverend Warren, but something that actual people might actually do because that’s the only way the actual word will actually get used.
If you click on the link, you can find what definitions 2 to 7 are, but for my money, the best definition is number one:
Saddleback: “Logically, if ‘barebacking’ means having butt sex with no condom, then ‘saddlebacking’ should mean having butt sex with a condom.” Dan Savage notes: (1) I like the idea that “sex” is understood to include condoms and that sex without condoms—bareback sex—needs a special term. But tons of people suggested that “saddlebacking” should be the opposite of “barebacking,” so here it is.
I like this especially for mocking Rick Warren, because Warren’s much touted global AIDS work is on evangelical Christian lines. Warren doesn’t promote saddlebacking, so his church should be made to – by name, if not by tithing.
It is worth noting that during the 2000 campaign, Bush, a born-again Christian, promised to provide more federal funding to faith-based groups working on various social problems. Thus it may be no coincidence that some of the same people who once treated the issue of AIDS with indifference suddenly seemed so concerned about it. Do evangelical Christian groups have a role to play in fighting the AIDS epidemic? Maybe they do, but at the moment they are engaged in an unseemly battle with secular AIDS organizations over US government contracts that could derail what little progress there has been in combating the epidemic.
Most of the $15 billion in the AIDS plan is to be spent on treatment and care for people with AIDS, but $1 billion is earmarked for HIV prevention through abstinence-only-until-marriage education. Since 1996, the US government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on similar programs in American schools. These programs teach children that heterosexual intercourse within marriage is the only safe and acceptable form of sexual behavior. Teachers in those programs are barred from mentioning condoms and birth control—except their failure rates. (God and the Fight Against AIDS, Helen Epstein)
Some of the other definitions are highly ingenious, but none have the poetic appropriateness of definition 1, so I would like you to vote for that definition from the list of nominees by sending an e-mail to email@example.com, including “saddleback: 1” in your subject line. Or, if you must, vote for another definition, one you like better (put the number of your preferred definition in the subject line to have your vote count – “saddleback: 1,” “saddleback: 2,” etc.) But vote now!
Dan Savage writes:
A NOTE TO MY READERS: I get more letters at Savage Love than I could ever hope to respond to personally, and infinitely more letters than I could ever hope to fit in this space. Now there’s really no secret to getting your letter into the column: I just have to find your problem somewhat interesting, basically. (You are, however, better off e-mailing me on Tuesdays, when I actually sit down to write, than you are on, say, Fridays, when I’m sitting down to drink.) The fact that I can’t respond to every letter leads to a lot of hurt feelings. Every day I get complaints from readers who can’t believe I replied to the dude with shit on his dick and not to them.
Well, dear readers, for two weeks—and two weeks only—you can get a guaranteed response from me. Just go to noonprop8.com, click “Donate Now,” and do your part to help preserve marriage equality in California. On the left-hand side of the donation page, there’s a spot where you can indicate that you’re making your donation in someone’s honor. Type in “Savage Love,” put my e-mail address—firstname.lastname@example.org—in the space provided, and then send me your question in another e-mail along with the e-mail confirmation that No On Prop 8 sent you after your donation cleared. The three biggest Savage Love donors over the next two weeks get their letters in the column; everyone who makes a donation of $25 or more gets a personal reply to their question from yours truly. The cutoff dates for donations that qualify for a letter in the column are October 9 for the October 16 column, and October 16 for the October 23 column.
So, Cake Fart Fetishist, you’ve been badgering me with inane e-mails for three years now. This is your chance to finally get your stupid letter in the column. You too, David in Brooklyn. It’s time to put up or shut up. But, hey, you don’t have to be an annoying stalker to participate. Got a good question and want to help fight the good fight? Make a donation at noonprop8.com, send me your letter along with your receipt, and you’ll be hearing from me in print or privately.
This is such a great idea.
Forgive the cliché: My mom gave me so much. She gave me life, of course, and some other stuff besides: her sense of humor, her bionic bullshit detectors, her colossal sweet tooth. She also gave me—she gave all four of her children (Bill, Ed, Dan, Laura)—her unconditional love. Long after I came out, she told me she always suspected that I might be gay; I was the quiet one, the boy who liked Broadway musicals and baking cakes and shared her passion for Strauss waltzes. When I asked my parents to take me to the national tour of A Chorus Line for my 13th birthday, that should have settled the matter. Your third son? Total fag, lady. But my parents were Catholic and religious and it somehow still came as a shock when I told them. My mother came around fast and she came out swinging—rainbow stickers on her car, a PFLAG membership card in her wallet, and an ultimatum delivered to the whole family: Anyone who had a problem with me had a problem with her.
Go read the whole column. If you’ve ever lost anyone you loved, go, read.
But bear this in mind:
Anyway, my mom is dead, and I am not in the mood, as she used to say. (“You are so,” one of us kids would usually respond. “You’re in a bad mood.”) So I’m going to take a week or two off, from the column and the podcast, hang out with the boyfriend and the kid, and burst into tears in coffee shops and grocery stores. I’ll run some greatest hits in this space while I’m away—I’ll find a column or two featuring Mom—and then I’ll be back, just as filthy minded as ever. In lieu of flowers, please send pictures of your boyfriends’ rear ends. (Lesbians may send flowers.) If you’re the donation-making type and you’re so inclined, my mother would be pleased to see some of your money flow to PFLAG (www.pflag.org) or the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org).