Friday, May 03, 2013

Gay Pride and the "criminal corporate" United States


Odd reading the rhetoric in the Bay Guardian on the Gay Pride Grand Marshall kerfuffle. Is this 1968 or 2013? Turns out that Bradley Manning is a hero to left-wing gays and withdrawing the invitation to make him a Grand Marshall made lefties like Marke mad: "Facebook is aflame with locals up in arms over Pride's cowardice in the face of its criminal corporate sponsors, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, and its gross media partners like Clear Channel."

Marke notes that Glenn Greenwald also posted an indignant protest against the Manning episode:

Glenn Greenwald is an extremely eloquent critic of state tyranny, using his training as a lawyer to relentlessly disassemble the hypocritical claims of corporate governmental powerbrokers (even though he seemed to be supporting Obama when I saw him speak shortly before the "election").

Oh yes, all those well-trained lawyers are so good at fighting corporate powerbrokers, when they aren't actually in their employ, that is. Greenwald supported Obama? The imperialist lackey! Putting "election" in quotes is a nice touch. Did we actually have an election? Or just an "election," some kind of "criminal corporate" charade? (Greenwald may be "an eloquent critic of state tyranny," whatever that means, but he made an ass of himself in his recent exchange with Sam Harris on radical Islam.)

More Marke on Greenwald:

But, at the same time, Greenwald is almost dogmatic in his support for the gay marriage agenda---this seems an unfortunate example of allowing self-interest (he is in a spousal relationship with a Brazilian man) to block self-awareness. In other words, he never makes the obvious connections between his critique of institutional power and the gay establishment’s obsession with accessing that same power through a never-ending obsession with marriage and military inclusion, hate crimes legislation, etc. But, here in this brilliant and scathing piece, he finally seems to be making those connections. Could he become an anti-assimilationist critic, after all?

Left-wing gays oppose gay marriage, lifting Don't Ask Don't Tell, and hate crimes legislation because these advances are supposedly "assimilationist"? Gays are supposed to do what, exactly? Scorn and reject US society because it's a corporate tyranny until...what? The Revolution? 

This is like a parody of the 20th Century struggle in the labor movement: should the working class go for more pay and benefits or for a revolution? And the Civil Rights movement. James Baldwin used to muse about why black people should want to integrate into a burning house, but he surely understood that was nothing but rhetoric, not a rejection of real integration and real equality for black people in the United States.

Greenwald himself seems to be coming unglued, though I haven't read much of his stuff. Maybe unglued is his default mode:

What we see here is how even many of the most liberal precincts in America are now the leading spokespeople for and loyalists to state power as a result of their loyalty to President Obama. Thus do we have the President of the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade sounding exactly like the Chairman of the Joints Chief, or Sarah Palin, or gay war-loving neocons, in depicting any meaningful opposition to the National Security State as the supreme sin...

And Greenwald on gay marriage:

When I wrote several weeks ago about the remarkable shift in public opinion on gay equality, I noted that this development is less significant than it seems because the cause of gay equality poses no real threat to elite factions or to how political and economic power in the US are distributed. If anything, it bolsters those power structures because it completely and harmlessly assimilates a previously excluded group into existing institutions and thus incentivizes them to accommodate those institutions and adopt their mindset. This event illustrates exactly what I meant.

Before they assimilate into American society, gays are supposed to somehow threaten "how political and economic power in the US are distributed"? Even if gays were this far to the left, such an approach by a minority seems unlikely to be successful, to put it mildly. Did black people in the US sell out by settling for voting rights, public accommodation, and improved living conditions?

Marke and Greenwald live in some left-wing Never Never Land completely invisible to the rest of us, gay and straight.

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