Friday, October 18, 2013
A Message To Conservatives From A Civil War Reenactor
Here's what I realized at 3 am while I was dipping my buttons in urine:
"What's okay in one time period is absolutely crazy in another."
I mean, right now I'm shaking, my body is producing a strange smell like bad cheese, and the fever's giving me hallucinations of Shelby Foote dancing in a Rockettes outfit. If I were suffering like this while serving in the Army of the Potomac more than a hundred years ago, folks would say it couldn't be helped. I was just doing my duty. But I'm a real estate broker with a solid health plan, and I am less than five miles away from my Volvo. There's even a Rite-Aid close to the parking lot.
There is no excuse for what I'm doing. None. My wife said that when she took the kids to her sister's. I am surrounded by the 21st century, and I just don't want to live in it. That's nuts. Completely insane. Which brings me to you guys.
You like to argue that change is not necessarily progress. And sometimes it's useful to fight for what you call "traditional values." It's a fair point. People understand that. But sometimes... and I want you to follow me here, because this is hard to hear... sometimes progress really is progress. We know things about human psychology that were unfathomable a few decades ago. And as more people come out of the closet and share their stories, it's becoming obvious to everyone in the country - everyone who isn't living in a hole in the ground or some isolated seat on the US Supreme Court - that gay people are pretty freakin' normal. They're just. Plain old. People.
Sometimes we shortchange our ancestors. Sometimes we don't give them credit for their insight. This is not one of those times, okay? I've been wearing a wool outfit soaked in my own sweat for a month now, and I can honestly tell you the modern world's got a lot going for it. They were wrong back then. Wrong about a lot of things. You look like idiots if you listen to them.
Some of you are going to trot out the Bible. You're going to say that because of your religious beliefs, you just can't compromise. There's no progress from eternal, big-T truth. I understand that too. A lot of people are like this, people who will never fit in with the outside world. Like the Amish, for example. Or people who live in compounds and take multiple wives. Or folks who hide in caves and wait for the Rapture. You see where I'm going?
The point is, like it or not, society changes the rules, many of these changes are because we really do improve ourselves, and folks who choose to stay behind become part of an oddball subculture or a tiny religious splinter group. Gay people are not living an alternative lifestyle. You are. Believe me, I know the difference.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some vomiting to attend to.