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You can have Garrison Keillor when you pry him…

I guess I have to be the contrarian here. You see, I generally agree with CC’s complaints against GK, and the similar sentiments expressed at Chalice Spark. Well… I can’t say that without the caveat that I haven’t investigated all of it very deeply and did not even click through to read the recently objectionable piece. But I trust those two to characterize it correctly and it more or less sounds like the kind of thing I’m beginning to expect from GK.

My biggest beef with him is over his position on gay marriage and the raising of children. This is a reprehensible example of ignorance and bigotry for which a well-educated, wealthy media personality has little excuse. He should have educated himself on the issue and he should have employed a little humanity in thinking out his position. His failure to do so is reprehensible.

On the Christmas song front… that’s not quite as bad. I think the tenor of this wonderful quote from that second link hits it about right. “He can have his pompous attitude and go find himself some snobbish Jesus who cares about the words in a hymn.” I mean – he isn’t saying that UU’s are bad parents or anything like that… Just being a snob. Dumb and useless, maybe… but not a cardinal sin in my book.

So, any way. I won’t take CC’s advice and quit listening. And I won’t quit laughing at his jokes just because she informs me that he isn’t funny. Maybe he’s not, but I and a number of others listen and chuckle quietly for some reason. It’s not just to laugh. It’s to hear talent that you miss in the mass media. It’s to hear the comforting tones of someone who makes you feel that whatever may be wrong with the world, things are ok and they’re going to be ok. It’s to indulge in the ritual of the same thing week after week. It’s to reminisce about youth and sitting on the back porch with Dad while he drinks ice tea and listens to a Prairie Home Companion. It’s to be glad that – for all his faults and even ignorant bigotry – the man is alive and sharing his talents with us.

And that’s it. I have a number of relationships with people who are assholes on some point or another. Work, family, friends, entertainers (no, really!), preachers. I oppose what any of those folks do that is assholish. And then I work with them, love them, play with them, listen to them, watch them, read them, and go to their churches. I see no reason to end this policy.

So, anyway – Paul Oakley has made a special link for the UUpdates aggregator so you can get all the UU handwringing over the subject. It’s your time…

3 comments to You can have Garrison Keillor when you pry him…

  • If you want to listen to Garrison Keillor and laugh at his jokes while fully aware that he’s a bigot or at least an asshole, that doesn’t bother me. You’re not pretending that there’s nothing wrong with what he’s saying.

    My concern is people who read “And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write “Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we’ll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah”? No, we didn’t.” and seemingly think that it’s a perfectly reasonable way to talk about members of another faith.

    Now, that doesn’t exactly make me chuckle, I’ll confess. But you like him for your own reasons and you’re not trying to tell me that he doesn’t REALLY mean it and is actually a great guy, so listen away.

    CC
    who likes Joss Whedon a whole lot and likes his musical “Dr. Horrible” and its villian Bad Horse. But she never listens to the line “so make the Bad Horse gleeful, or he’ll make you his mare” without being aware that she’s hearing a rape joke.

  • I will say that I did finally click through to check the original source – especially after reflecting on the “…Jewish guys…” comment. I will have to say that I don’t agree that this was a characterization of people of another faith. All he said about them was that they were Jewish and they wrote “dreck” to play at Christmas time. It isn’t a valid complaint. As others point out it is historically ignorant. And it takes a little bit of religion-snobbery to make it. But it isn’t in the Big B category of bigoted. There’s no animus toward Jews (that would be out of character for him)…

    So, that’s the only clarification I feel I should make.

    I guess somewhere on this page I should clarify that I am maybe a bit of a hypocrite for taking this stand with GK while I have taken a stronger one with a local radio host that said some truly – Big B – bigoted things on the radio (and continues to do so)… But there is a line between assholes with some stupid bigotry, and actual hatemongers. And of course Keillor has quite a bit more in the way of redeeming qualities than this particular radio personality.

  • I agree. This Unitarian Universalist nonsense makes me extremely frustrated, but it’s not the same as his “satire” about many of the families in my church. Same sex marriage is a basic human right, and it’s time has come. The year my husband and I were born it was illegal for us to be married in a number of states. Thankfully, that law was overturned in the Loving decision. Next up? Same sex marriage.

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