Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures until it becomes a source of terror to all citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear" -- Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States


In the wake of the South Carolina Primary and an article in Boston's Bay Windows by Marc Segal claiming that Mitt Romney had permanently killed anti-gay rhetoric in the campaign by one of his answers in the preceding debate, The Closet Professor asked these three questions on his gay history, art, literature, politics, and culture blog:
  1. Do you think that Romney's comments in the debate mentioned above really were  "the dying gasps of the anti-equality Republican rhetoric"?
  2. Do you think that winning the Republican Primary in South Carolina will give Gingrich the push to win the nomination?
  3. How can the religious right and family values Republicans support a candidate, i.e. Gingrich, who has had two failed marriages because of infidelity and is currently on his third marriage?
Here are my answers -- if any of you want to contribute your own, post them in my comments and I will forward them, or go to  directly.  If you felt like saying you came to him via Designerblog, I would be grateful and I suspect he would be, too:
1) No, we have not heard the last of anti-LGBT slurs and outright lies; we will not have heard the last until the Republican Party manages to disengage itself from the virulently homophobic Radical Religious Right which they have embraced in their whoring for votes no matter how many lies and how many outrageous illegal anti-gay procedures they have to espouse.

2) Not necessarily.  I think this is still a horse race, largely because of Romney's massive campaign war chest -- as well as the much mooted possibility that the Republican leadership is dissatisfied with the field and may still try to bring in a dynamic dark horse.

3) a) Because their much-vaunted religiosity is matched only by their hypocrisy in pursuit of their thirst for power;
   b) Because -- and this has been demonstrated again and again -- all the great sinner has to do is to say he had renounced his wayward ways and embraced Jesus and all is forgiven.  In the old days the fact that Newt has embraced the Catholic Jesus would be a problem but no more, as the Catholic Church and the Evangelicals became the strangest of bedfellows over their shared homophobia.  They formerly loathed each other but now have a common goal via the old saw, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."


OK, right . . . . not your grandfather's (and most definitely not your grandmother's) typical concert pianist. Meet Lola Astanova from Uzbekistan.  And yes, she can actually play the piano.  Well, apparently. 

Constantly referred to in articles and publicity stressing that she is "young," Ms Astanova came to prominence in this country when Neiman Marcus offered her performing as part of one of their legendary Christmas gifts, a dinner-culture-luxury package with much of the $1.6 million price going to charity, and the buyer getting to keep the piano on which she had played -- and perhaps had reclined, given the photo above   Not to sneer, because charity is actually a goodly part of Ms Astanova's performance life.  She plays at big private dinner/concert combinations for mega-wealthy patrons with the proceeds, often including part of her fee, going to the host's preferred charity.

Her latest extravaganza, again with most of her fee going to charity, was a Carnegie Hall event hosted by Donald Trump as a tribute and fund raiser honoring Julie Andrews' work raising money for cancer research, which was described by the NY Times thus:   "Titled “A Tribute to Horowitz,” the concert featured, at the great master’s beloved Steinway, Lola Astanova, a 26-year-old native of Uzbekistan who wore slinky, shimmery gowns; spike heels; and $850,000 in jewels borrowed from Tiffany, which sponsored the evening."  

Ms. Astanova names Horowitz as her pianistic god.  She prefers to play Eastern European music (ie. Slavic and mostly from the Romantic period).  The Times review of the concert conceded her a good technique, though accompanied by melodramatic gestures at the keyboard such as ending a piece by flinging her arms high and backward over her head or clutching her bosom (perhaps in recognition of what a lot of men and some women in the audience might also like to be doing).  She sometimes launches into or ends virtuosic works by grunting like a tennis play serving the ball.

Interestingly, the Times says that for all of her love of the Romantic piano literature, her playing often lacks feeling.  Their final comment was that in a piano recital, a Chopin etude should shine brighter than the three quarters of a million dollars worth of diamonds the pianist is wearing.

Don't know what to say about the "young" pianist.

I love that Family Values 'inspirational" poster!
1. No. I believe that the homophobia won't die as long as the religious right are calling the shots. Those are basically hateful people by definition, although from their perspective they are not hateful, they are just pointing out sin where they see it. Because they fail to see their own hypocrisy in action, it will be very hard to let go of the homophobia sometime soon. And since hate is learned, and they continue to pass it on to their children, it won't be dying out of the gene pool soon enough.
2. It might. The Repugs want to win. If they think Newt will be their best chance to win, they will push him forth. Remember that the Repug Primary is always a blood bath. But once the victor emerges, they all get behind their candidate, lock step. And Newt, like Romney, will say and do anything that will please the crowd. He has no values that he personally believes, save getting power and wealth. While I do agree that the Repugs will hope for a dark horse to emerge, they also saw what happened to their first late comer, Dickhead Perry.
3. Yes, definitely. It's all about the repentance for them. They are hypocrites all, remember that. They don't really care about "family values" or anything spiritual at all. They just use that as rhetoric to redirect the focus of their campaigns so their base will understand and follow them. Think about all the wealthy televangelists that have come, fleeced their flocks, gotten into scandalous trouble, cried on TV, and were graciously allowed to continue to fleece their flocks. They have to show "forgiveness", or they will be seen as the cold, callous, greedy people they are. It's all about money for the Repug politicians. Not one of them are truly spiritual people. So they will fully support Newt, if it comes to that. He is an old insider, and knows how to play by the rules. What they don't want is a wild card.

Those are my two cents on the questions.
1) Pardon me, this question is just absurd. For the record, no.

2) No, though the word is that the GOP leadership are panic-stricken over the possibility. Their best hope IS a "last minute" dark horse who will not have been stained with over-scrutiny. But who?

3) Newt Gingrich IS the Jimmy Swaggart of politicians. Fundamentalist Christians cannot get enough of a man redeemed from the clutches of Satan. And who KNOWS how many voters can convince themselves that his transgressions are just fabrications from that Liberal Media?

4) (I know there wasn't a #4) As far as nominations go, I subscribe to the notion that the Republican party threw the last election intentionally by nominating John McCain, so that they could blame the black man for all the ills in America and set up a landslide in 2012. A landslide is not looking good. That said, I wonder if we aren't at the tipping point, where someone even worse than Dubya could be elected President.
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