Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Kathleen Parker? More like Hackleen -uh - Parker
Posted by Raznor

Saw this article "The Virtuous Vs Sponge Bob" via Pandagon and it just begged me to be fisked. So here we go:

Among the many blessings I have failed to fully appreciate is my exemption - thanks to my children's advanced years - from having to know much about SpongeBob SquarePants.

What a coincidence. Among the many blessings I've failed to fully appreciate is my exemption from having to know much about Kathleen Parker. But such an innocence cannot last forever.

Until recently, I've been only blandly aware of the cartoon character and his underwater cohorts, but now learn that SpongeBob - an otherwise blithering sea sponge - is really a covert operative for The Homosexual Agenda.

Holy crap. Them crazy gays be gettin' their stuff all over the place. They must be really desperate if they're recruiting cartoon sponges.

I mean seriously, when was the last time you've heard about "The Homosexual Agenda". It must be really important if it's capitalized. It sort of reminds me of how we always capitalize things like Hogwart's Castle, you know, their official titles of things, but exist entirely in the realm of fantasy.

For those otherwise distracted, SpongeBob is the protagonist in both a movie and a television series. Hugely popular among the kindergartner-second grade set, he sometimes holds hands with his starfish friend Patrick, which supposedly accounts for SpongeBob's reputed popularity among gays.

He holds occasionally holds hands with Patrick? Well, clolor me convinced. Thank God it got cancelled when it did, we were probably one season away from an all-male-sea creature orgy featuring SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidwerth and Mr. Krab. Think of the children.

And hence the notion that his appearance in a new video, "We Are Family" - aimed at teaching schoolchildren about diversity and tolerance - is really a subterfuge for the pro-homosexual agenda.

Wait, make up your mind. Is it "The Homosexual Agenda" or the much less official sounding "pro-homosexual agenda"? I want to know to what degree I need to fear this oppressed minority.

The SpongeBob saga has gained plenty of attention - what with gay activists on one side and Heaven's gatekeepers on the other. Focus on the Family's James Dobson has said the video promotes a pro-homosexual agenda. The American Family Association's Ed Vitagliano wrote in the organization's journal that the project's subtext is celebrating homosexuality.

So celebrating diversity is fine, as long as we don't include them damn homos in on it? And come on, "Heaven's gatekeepers"? Remember what Jesus said about vanity?

The video, which is scheduled to be aired next month on networks and distributed to some 61,000 schools, was conceived shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as a way of teaching tolerance in a hate-filled world, say its creators. The idea was that teaching children in their tender years to respect differences would pay off in the long run, leading to a cheerier world in which, presumably, Middle Eastern religious nuts wouldn't fly planes into buildings.

Somehow, I think they've missed their target audience, but never mind. Making the video doubtless made many grownups feel better about their own sorrows and helped move them toward that utopian finale so favored by the bracelet-and ribbon-wearing population - Healing 'n' Closure.

Ha ha. Man, that's clever. 'Cos it's only the Middle Eastern nuts who need to be taught about tolerance. And not idiot Town Hall columnists who spend five hundred words talking about how much they hate gays. Those are fine.

There's now a We Are Family Foundation, a Web site (wearefamilyfoundation.org), a letter-writing campaign urging that March 11 be declared national "We Are Family Day," and, of course, ways to contribute money.

In fact, SpongeBob plays a minor role in the video and seems to have been unfairly impugned. While I vigorously favor protecting children from phase-inappropriate discussions of sexuality, I don't see it here. That said, there's still plenty to cringe about if you're more sympathetically inclined toward Randle Patrick McMurphy than Nurse Mildred Ratched.

WHAT? Nurse Ratched? My God, I have got to get some of those drugs she's taking.

What Dobson, Vitagliano and others really are objecting to is that kids viewing the video might be inspired to visit the "We Are Family" Web site and happen upon the Tolerance Pledge, by which one promises to respect all people, even those whose "abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own."

Ah crap, we gotta like dem cripples, heathens, foreigners, blacks, and homos? How utterly non-Christian.

Respecting all people is hardly a radical idea for Christians, but Dobson says on his Web site that inclusion of sexual identity in the pledge "crosses a moral line." Personally, I'm still puzzling over "other characteristics." In any case, the pledge seems unlikely to traumatize children, who probably won't find it interesting, if they find it at all. It isn't mentioned in the video and is available only on the Foundation's Web site.

If teachers decide to incorporate the Tolerance Pledge into their class curriculum, then that's a matter for closer scrutiny and Dobson is right. In the meantime, there's no coercion here. We're unlikely to witness droves of brainwashed tykes reciting diversity pledges to the annoyance of their beer-swilling parents.

And it would be annoying, let's be clear.

Wait, who is Parker trying to mock here? But on the other hand, the fact that she's pullin this article out of her ass makes me feel better out of fisking her off the top of my head.

What the SpongeBob controversy has revealed is that pledging allegiance to diversity and tolerance is religion by any other name - just as irksome to the devout as Dobson and Vitagliano are to the secular. The purveyors of Feel Good Vibes can be just as dogmatic and unyielding as those who condemn from the pulpit. Whether defending literal scripture or advancing bumper-sticker virtue, the self-anointed protectorate are essentially cut from the same cloth.

And Kathleen Parker pulls out of her playbook - yes that's right - libruls are intolerant for not tolerating intolerant people!! But what I love (besides the fact that tolerance is a religion apparently) is the fact that she seems to imply that it's impossible for people of one religion to tolerate another a mere three paragraphs after writing, "Respecting all people is hardly a radical idea for Christians". I guess if you define "people" as "heterosexual Christians," right? Nothing wrong with that.

And they're likely bound for similar rewards. For what we know about human beings is that people tend to resist that which is imposed from on high. By some natural law that we might call "SpongeBob's Ironic Rule of Reverse Effects," channelers of piety usually exact the opposite of what they intend.

There's nothing like a preacher railing against sin to whet one's appetite for iniquity. And there's nothing like force-feeding children a diet of dogma to turn the little darlings into intolerant totalitarian tyrants. Or angry renegades who will seek an outlet for their rage.

Excellent, she finishes off with a little o' that good ol' fashioned moral relativism. "Be kind and tolerant" is so totally the same thing as saying "hate all fags." Yeesh.

Still, at the end of the day, there's nothing like a little hackery to get you going. I swear, I pity anyone who cares about SpongeBob's sexual orientation. I mean really, some people are so pathetic.


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