Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Removing a Gay Joke Isn’t Censorship

Ron Howard says he won’t cut a derisive joke from his new film, The Dilemma, just because protesters want him to. Last month more than 2,700 people signed a petition seeking to cut the gay joke from the film’s trailer.

Lead actor Vince Vaughn has also defended the joke:

Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together.

“Electric cars are gay,” says Vaughn’s character in the film.

I wonder if the gay kid and the school bully watching the film in Idaho realize that the joke’s meant to break any tension and bring them happily together.

How do we measure the impact of a careless quip like “That’s gay”? Dan Savage and Margaret Cho put in their two cents on gay jokes in The Daily Beast.

 

 

Filed under: censorship, film, gay rights, , , , , , , , , , ,

Maddow to Scott Brown: Stop Lying. Stop It. Stop Lying.

By now, we’ve all read the full-page ad by Rachel Maddow in The Boston Globe this past week. We know that Senator Scott Brown created the rumor that Maddow was planning to run against him. We know that Brown has stirred the pot, repeating the fictional story to conservative talk shows, campaign stops, newspapers like The Boston Herald, and his most important audience: potential donors.

He’s lying. He continues to lie.

“You dragged me into this,” Maddow reports. “You made up something that’s not true. You have such a lack of respect for your conservative donor base around the country that you don’t care if what you say is true or not.”

It’s troubling to witness this news story (can it even be called news? perhaps just a rumor turned into publicity–and sensationalist publicity at that?). Even more troubling is the perpetuation by Senator Brown and his staff of the rumor, after Maddow has told the truth over and over (and over) again.

For seven minutes, Maddow adeptly calls out Brown’s falsehood:

  • “You shouldn’t get to flat out lie in the conduct of your business as U.S. Senator and get away with it.”
  • “Politics is more than just about politicians. Politics is about our country.”
  • “I don’t concede that the only thing we can expect from politics is for them to lie to us, and for us to not care, because we don’t expect anything better.”

What’s admirable in Maddow’s report is her rhetorical skills. Her words may fall on the deaf ears of the Brown campaign, but the acute journalist repeats the words “lie,” “lying,” “liar,” dozens of time in this clip to hit home her critique of the senator. Calls to mind the great speeches of MLK and President Obama, persuasive orators who utilize carefully-chosen rhetoric to convey meaning.

Filed under: media, politics, , , , , , ,

Writing

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
April 2017
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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