Carrie Prejean, You’re No Anita Bryant

BP

Same as it ever was?

I’m old: I have several silver hairs sprouting up around my temples just like Earth-2 Superman, pop music makes me angry, and if I don’t get to bed before 11 PM, I tend to be forgetful at work the next day and wander away from my cubicle.  And, like most old people, I am of the firm conviction that everything was way better when I was younger.  The rock stars wore more makeup, the movies had more space ships, and the tv shows had more hair.  Hell, even the bad things were somehow cut from a finer cloth than the bad things we’re stuck with today.  When I was younger, bad things were bad in a way that had meaning and gravitas.  These bad things–like the nuclear threat presented by the Soviet Bloc, and the belligerent wholesomeness of The Lawrence Welk Show– represented the culmination of a generation’s worth of massive-scale ideological brinksmanship from which there could be no turning back.   I’m talking about a time when the “zealot” pigeonhole was big enough to house more than just a contingent of Middle Eastern malcontents; back in the day, bad things and their respective attendants truly believed in their causes.  And they meant business.  With this historical perspective in mind, I really have a hard time taking Carrie Prejean seriously.  After all, I remember Anita Bryant.

Anita Bryant: now there’s a bitch to contend with.  I stumbled upon Bryant in an article in Time about her campaign to “Save Our Children From Homosexuality” when I was 8 years old.  I didn’t know what homosexuality was.  I did know I liked Nova from Planet of the Apes a whole bunch.   And Sabrina from Charlie’s Angels.  And that one girl in my class who was really good at dodgeball.  I wasn’t able to make the connection between myself and the people Anita Bryant sought to oppress, but nonetheless, I came away from that Time article feeling a mixture of anger and indignation.  I didn’t know much about hatred or intolerance back then, either, but thanks to Anita Bryant, I found myself on the fast track to learning.  Who the hell did she think she was, taking rights away from people and telling them how to live, I smoldered.  And right there, on the spot, I made that most sacred of grade school vows: “Anita Bryant is not the boss of me!”

Anita Bryant was hard-core.  She didn’t just want to “protect marriage” from the “gay menace”; she wanted to legalize discrimination against gay people in regards to housing, employment, and public accommodation.  In other words, Anita Bryant wanted a world in which the difference between hobo and homo amounted to a handful of tattered accessories and a certain way of walking.  And she wanted that world badly enough to found and head up an organization (hysterically named Save Our Children) to create that world.  Bryant was a Disney villainess of a sort:  a larger than life persona with arched eyebrows, cold eyes, and a strangely wolfish smile who carried within her cloaks the threat Your Children Are Not Safe.  And as such, her tactics played to the darkest fears of middle America: “As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children.”

Anita Bryant got results.  She was able to rally up enough hatred and terror to not only make legal gay oppression in her home of Dade County, Florida, but to create an environment in which homophobia maintained a 31-year stranglehold on the rights of gay people to adopt children in that state.  Because of Anita Bryant and her efforts with Save Our Children people lost jobs, they were prohibited housing, and thousands of children were denied safe and loving homes.  That bitch was no joke.

Which brings me to Carrie Prejean.  Granted, the cultural landscape has changed significantly since I was a kid, and despite my geriatric gripes, it has changed for the better.  While things are far from perfect, at least the trumped-up allegations that Bryant used to trumpet in the mainstream media have toned down to hissed innuendoes from the fringe.  The battle field is no longer one upon which we are forced to struggle for our basic rights to work for a living or maintain a roof over our heads, but to obtain the same protections and rights for our committed relationships and families that are enjoyed and sometimes taken for granted by straight people.  So a new age brings forth a new beauty queen to try to be the boss of us.  But Carrie Prejean is no Anita Bryant.

Carrie Prejean is an opportunist.  She became famous because she made the statement “…I think that I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there.”  (I can almost envision Anita Bryant looking up from the green glow emanating from her enormous caldron, snarling “‘No offense?!?'”)  Carrie Prejean did not found the National Organization for Marriage.  She doesn’t lead it.  She is employed by it.   In essence, anyone who focuses their frustration on Carrie Prejean is as misguided as those dorks who confused Joe Camel with the tobacco industry.

Carrie Prejean has no strength in her alleged convictions.   Witness her pathetic display of ignorance and immaturity on The Larry King Show this week when asked why she had settled her “religious discrimination” lawsuit against the Miss USA pageant.  As if it wasn’t lame enough to back down from the question “Why settle since you had a fight to carry on?”, Prejean had to take it one step further into Wussy Wonderland by pussing out and pouting instead of taking a call from a gay viewer.  She is not a crusader.  She is a paid spokesmodel who couldn’t hold up her side of a debate if it came equipped with E-Z grip handles.  Based on this week’s performance on King, I’d say the powers that be over at NOM are probably regretting their investment even more than the Miss USA pageant regrets buying Prejean’s breast implants.  At least the implants are doing their job.

Carrie Prejean has allegedly written a book.  The volume is a testament to Prejean’s mastery of the literary arts in that it clearly has a front cover, a back cover, a dust jacket, and pages that are made of paper.  Furthermore, it demonstrates Prejean’s level of commitment as a gay rights opponent as its title, Still Standing,  bears more than a passing resemblance to “I’m Still Standing”, the 1983 hit song by gay marriage activist Elton John.  I can’t wait until Prejean’s Still Standing hits the cutout bin so I can buy it; my copy of Chastity Bono’s Family Outing is lonely and hasn’t had anyone call it “Daddy” since my copy of The Total Woman was consumed by feminist termites.

I could go on.  And on.  The point is, Carrie Prejean is a joke that practically writes itself.  If she’s the worst that the opposition has for us, the future of Gay Marriage in America is far brighter than she is.

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5 Responses to “Carrie Prejean, You’re No Anita Bryant”

  1. Abba Kafka Says:

    You are so amazing. This reads like a finely composed classical piece mashed up with an operatic Kiss concert. Efficient in your points, yet playful in your imagery, your writing is a brilliant smack across the face of apathy.

  2. Sharonicus Says:

    Bravo, Melinda. I stumbled across Anita’s pie-in-the face incident on YouTube several months ago. A nicely satisfying moment. She’s still got a ministry website from somewhere in Florida.

    Prejean’s vapid finger-wagging to Larry King was rehearsed and shallow. She should take a hint from Sarah Palin and at least own UP to her stupidity. Put it out there, bitch!

  3. Sophie Says:

    Great post. Carrie Prejean is nothing more than an opportunist waving God’s Name around to get away with whatever we allow her. When is she going away?

  4. Lars Says:

    Right on, Sistah!

  5. Meade Skelton Says:

    God Bless Anita Bryant for speaking the truth. She was not a hateful person. She wanted gays to be delivered from their lifestyle. The hateful homosexuals are the real bigots at work. They ruined her career. She was a nice Christian lady. And she had a great voice like Patsy Cline.

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