Playwright Tony Kushner, of Angels in America and that gay capitalism play fame, has more patience than you about the president’s gay rights agenda. Maybe he should be offering some tips to Obama for his State of the Union address!
T-Kush’s frustration isn’t with the president and his seemingly post-inauguration absence of fierce advocacy, but with the LGBT community. That’s you, jerks! The administration’s challenges are “so overwhelming” that Kush “has no problem whatsoever extending a tremendous amount of good faith in [Obama’s] direction.”
Pointing to the hate crimes legislation as Obama’s brownie points, Kushner also believes the president will repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell — “at some point, if he has two terms, at least.” Oh, that just makes us giggle.
“It would be a great mistake for the left to turn on him at this point,” Kushner says. “What he seems to be doing is trying to move the country in a progressive direction.” Really?
Well, Tony’s still a genius. He’s idiotic here. Anyone who claims that Obama is “not inclined to move to the right” is not using his brain, his eyes, his ears, or his memory.
And nothing Kushner says here excuses the lack of LGBT appointments in policy-making positions. Tony Kushner should not be excusing a president who put no open gay or lesbian people in his Cabinet. He should not be fine with a president who installed a man who has serious reservations about gays being allowed to adopt as head of the DNC.
Kushner makes his utter cluelessness clear with his apparent belief that gay rights have any chance with today’s Supreme Court. Six Catholics. Two confirmed haters of gay people. I think the current court would (and might) reverse Lawrence v. Texas.
Even Melissa Etheridge sold her soul for Obama. They’re famous people “ON the Mount” proselytizing to Gays as if we are a monolithic think-tank. As a progressive, I am profoundly disappointed in this administration. These celebrities who pitch their reputations on the line will bow their heads in shame when they realize that they did not hold Obama’s feet to the flame with their celebrity influence on politics. We are just the public, we only have Free Speech!
BTW – Never such a big fan of Tony Kushner, he reads too fast like in an inarticulate way (is he on speed?) and Angels in America is so dated now that it doesn’t even speak to a current generation rather being a historical narrative, gone from social consciousness.
One step forward, two steps back!
Am I the only person who found Angels in America to be pretentious, self-indulgent academic prattle?
@hardmannyc: TOTALLY. But you will get lynched for saying it too loudly.
For fuck’s sake, Queerty, would it kill you to take 30 seconds to proofread the stuff you post? “Tony Kusher”? Really?
I hated “Angels in America”, thought it was totally pretentious nonsense and have long thought that KushNer was an intellectually lightweight gasbag. Has he forgotten the despicable court brief that Obama’s administration, through the Department of Justice, filed in a DOMA case? OMG! OMFG! Obama has a lot on his plate, you silly gays should wait your turn until sparkly ponies appear and the right wing AREN’T crazy assholes!! Well, OK, except he has the time to sic the DOJ on us all, appear with shithead homophobes like Donnie McLurkin and so on and so forth. That “wait for our turn” nonsense is a non-starter.
The most eye-rolling moment is at ca. 2:40 when he says that Obama is in favor of same-sex marriage, just that he’s not because of politics. What utter rubbish, Obama is NOT in favor of gay marriage, he’s in favor of civil unions, something different and something not even close to marriage. Obama may not be a scumbag Bible thumper like Rick Warren, but he’s a Bible thumper nonetheless.
Wow! Obama gave a speech! He said nice things about GLBT’s! WOW! That ends the argument then, doesn’t it? Hahahahaha. I’m sick of Obama’s voice, I’m sick of his speeches, I don’t want pretty words, I want concrete ACTION. Gawd, Kushner’s mancrush is disgusting.
I’ve voted Democrat since 1977, largely because I would never ever vote for a Republican. I’m tired of it, I’m tired of not having more choices than “extreme right wing” and “center-right”, but most of all I’m really, really, REALLY tired of the Democrats craven cynicism in using us to get votes and $$$$$, knowing full well they don’t have to really do anything because most of us won’t vote (R).
Tony can have a sword fight with his darling Obama.
Afterwards they can shine their Pulitzer and Nobel prizes and praise themselves about how they made the world a better place.
Hmmm…could it be that Tony Kushner is actually Dirty Old Man posting under a pseudonym?
Or, is it the other way around? lol
Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"
Well as someone who most likely contracted HIV in 1980-81 (big slut at Bay Area bathhouses starting in 1978, tested Hep B then, T-cell under 600 in 1987, started losing f-buddies in 1985), Angels in America was/is an amazing tale with far reaches into the period: the disease, the politics, the fear, the unknowing, the death.
To those who are detractors to Angels in America, you miss a very significant point, with Angels came a new recognition from outside the gay community that the stigma of AIDS (8 years and Reagan not once said the word publicly; GHW Bush hardly better) was irrational and detrimental to the efforts of controlling and treating the disease. Angels played an important role in changing public opinion about funding and research; and I and so many others, are alive today because of this shift in public awareness (I am not saying Angels is the sole reason, ACT-UP and others played their parts too, but Angels hit an important segment of society that had a long reach into government funding).
Then again, I saw Angels during previews on Broadway; but I couldn’t get into the HBO combo of Angels I & II. Kushner is a true dramatic talent.
But here, he is simply wrong. Of course the previous 8 years of Bush were a disaster for the LGBT community and we, LGBT community WANT President Obama to fulfill the “Hope”, the “Promise”, the “Change You Can Believe In”, that Candidate Obama told us he would bring.
TK, appointing a liberal civil libertarian to replace a retiring liberal civil libertarian is hardly fulfilling anything Candidate Obama said about LGBT issues. Pointing to the SC appointment is disingenuous.
I’ve posted this before as I believe it sums up the feelings of so many who jumped on the Candidate Obama bandwagon: We endured 8 fucking years of a Bush Administration that did everything WRONG; now it seems we are stuck with 4 years of an Obama Administration that is not doing anything right.
We are still screwed and not in the fun way.
[PS: Schlukitz: Yes Tony is off base being an Obama apologist. But to slander him with the ramblings of that insane dolt Dirty Ole Man is a bit far isn’t it?]
Really Kusher? We are impatient? Try living the life of a binational couple. Everyday thinking about the possibility of being separated because of discriminatory policies. Marriage would only lead to separation for these people. Or try living in the shoes of a gay person whose partner is ill and dying. And while you are at it, imagine not being able to visit your dying partner because a bunch of his family is ultra conservative and that there’s no specific rights to protect you from such travesty . Impatient you say? Meanwhile politicians is flip flopping around caring more about their seats in the government. Sure lip services is always great, but that’s not what we need. We have an ally that lacks action. It’s getting old!
So Mr Kusher, I think you should shut the hell up about LGBTs being impatient until you discover the reality and the sufferings LGBTs endured on a regular basis. I think you had too much celebratory caviar!
No. 9 · Mike in Asheville, nee “in Brooklyn”
[PS: Schlukitz: Yes Tony is off base being an Obama apologist. But to slander him with the ramblings of that insane dolt Dirty Ole Man is a bit far isn’t it?]
I agree and I retract my comparison of Tony to Dirty Ole Man with apologies. I allowed my emotions to trump my sense of fairness and reason.
The Administration put us at the bottom of the list for political reasons. So the veteran heroes have now have to take a back seat to civil rights for illegals.
If putting your ass in the air so everyone else can get ahead in line of you is the “progressive direction” you like Tony, then fuck you.
Tony Kushner wants what we want. He lived through the 80’s and understands nuance. Younger people don’t understand why Mr. Kushner shows such reserve. The don’t know what it’s like to have thousands dying all around us. The deafening silence of Reagan’s Administration has to have damaged this community in ways we have yet to understand. Fistfuls of AZT caused anemia in the late 80’s. Fistfuls of wispy promises cause apathy in 2010. Both are problems that need innovative treatment. How do we get there when our numbers are so miniscule to the population voting against us? The Supreme Court is where disenfranchised Americans look for Constitutional protection. All gay eyes should be fixed on those nine justices. How do we come to some middle ground here? How do we incorporate the patience of a man who has lived through the 80’s and all of that decade’s drama with the young warriors beating equality drums with the regularity of a metronome? Brian NJ, saying to anyone what you said to Tony Kushner in post #12 stops the conversation. We need everyone to speak in order to compare where we stand. This is like a very new, young, book-learned nurse telling a 30 year nurse to shut up. The old nurse has depth of character and experience to make decisions that bring about less harm, even if it’s instinctual. Mr. Kushner has shown evidence of good instinct. The least we could do is respectfully hear him out.
Really, the mistake would be for Obama to lose his base, and he certainly appears to be rapidly doing so with his tepid term.
But there’s no reason to attack his plays–they’re some of the finest gay fiction we’ve ever produced. But now he’s rich and content, and has clearly lost some of the urgency around issues specific to his gay-lesbian brothers and sisters. So, it’s our job to ignore these cantankerous ramblings.
The discussion does not stop when gay people get angry, the conversation stops when morons like Tony Kushner say he is just so happy to see gay veterans dumped on the street for the next eight years. It should not happen for one more minute. The fact that New York elitists wax dreamily about giving their soul mates a nice break from action — in the face of that kind of discriminatory and un-American boot in the ass for vets — is appalling.
Holding Obama to the sickeningly low standard that because he says the right things he can have two terms in office, is the very reason we went to the bottom of the to do list. Obama does not, in fact, have two luxurious terms to give us two simple fucking repeals — he may only have until the midterm elections when the Republicans take back one of the houses.
NOW is the time to protect minorities. In Novemeber of 2010 the repeals may be lost FOREVER.
The dilatory dreamland of floating angels has to start experiencing the light of reality. The insulated love bubble these people live in is frightening.
Sometimes cabernet is mixed with merlot. It may not be pure to a single vineyard, but the end product is enhanced. I’m willing to at least hear what the man has to say, based on his life experiences, even if he is wealthy. The drum beat can be heard outside of the Casa Blanca and people are coming forward now to ask for patience. Somebody from this administration is asking them to come forward and request patience. Politics is creepy. Out-of-the-closet-gays are so far removed from living any secrets or lies, understandably, that nuance can be lost. The language of politics is soft, less abrupt. Gays are truthful and growing more impatient with the lack of progress. The two couldn’t be more different. DADT needs to go away very soon. Democrats need to bleed for their lack of courage. But the real battle will be fought legally, not politically. For that, we need a constitutional scholar, a nuanced progressive to appoint justices that will see equality for all Americans.
Obama has the chance to be the first black president who was also the Abraham Lincoln of the gays.
But gay elite is letting that opportunity slip away because they refuse to bark and make the president understand THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW.
He may not have majorities in Congress for eternity — the party may end in months, not years. So every time you hear a gay member of the elite release the pressure valve, tell them to get their hands off, and start stoking the flames instead.
The President presides for a term or two, justices preside for life.
I don’t think some people understand that there is a relationship between the lack of marriage rights and MANY of the woes our community faces. I argue that even the disregard for serostatus, the increased frequency of suicidal behavior, substance dependence, “gift seekers”, etc… it’s all related to me in how little gay boys grow up feeling that they are less-than. Our president can not do much alone EXCEPT he can be very vocal and issue some very meaningful executive orders. NOT doing so also sends a message. So, I am not really worried about my old-ass marriage. We’ve been together since the Earth cooled, and we have (frankly) a little nest egg and we have taken legal precautions.. but I am worried for the kids. I am a statistical freak. I want gay young men becoming successful and stable to be the norm.
Fitz, Art, music, gay literature, and all that our community contributes does more for self-esteem than political nods. We’ve just never asked for equality before. Don’t forget that gays use both sides of their brains, as artists, that gives us advantages. It’s not a matter of if, but when. I feel more at ease now. 2010 feels as though we’ve turned a corner.
@1EqualityUSA: Agreed. And Kushner and others his age or older can easily recall just how indifferent previous administrations have been to LGBT people. Even Clinton, the first president to make any genuine overtures in our direction, sold us out on DOMA and DADT.
When will the majority of marriage equality advocates (I myself am one, too) realize that the time isn’t yet right for pushing it at the national level — and in most states. It’s the kind of issue that could generate a backlash against what progress has already been made against LGBT discrimination.
It took literally centuries for African Americans and women to assert their rights, and the situation, sadly, is no different for LGBT people.
Dirty Ole Man
Tony Kushner thank you for saying what needs to
be said! Too bad the militant homosexuals among us
can’t see what some rational thinking gays already see.
If Mr Kushner spent nearly as much time reading the political analysts e.g, Glen Greenwald, and other knowledgeble people about the democratic partys and Obamas lack of any progressive sentiment relative to the interests of American people -as opposed to big bussiness and military might, he might get it right. The country is on the road to right wing audacity as much as it ever has been.
He needs to give Obama the amount of slack he deserves -none.
Guess someone’s gonna get an invitation to a White House dinner.
Memo to Tony Kushner: God Doesn’t exist! Your angels were like a decorator running around with drapes on each arm screeching “I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive!!” But, your were exclusively invited to the White House so you are programmed by Gay Inc.
Dirty Ole Man is a creepy sex tourist with frequent flier miles to Thailand, or Pegasas bar for an oily lap-dance while your teeth move in and out of your cock-slurping, wrinkled mouth. Ewwww!
I just disagree so fully with the idea that things are better for gay rights and prospects now. The big difference is that Obama makes it ok with the progressive crowd to be indifferent about the annoying, loud gays. Even when we had “w” in the white house, we had allies. We had sworn friends who would stand by our side against the ignorant bastards. Now those friends, (including the Kappas and Uncle Toms around us), want us to play nice while we are flippantly dismissed. The art crowd? No… they want the non-white Man to be popular so badly, and between that and their anger at Bush, they are totally willing to forget about the fagots. ART does not contribute more for self esteem than politics. We are not segmented beings. We live everywhere. Seeing a gay teen on a vampire movie does NOT do more for self esteem than knowing that your world sees you as an equal player. How can you be so deluded? You seriously think that a few public pop characters are more impacting of self esteem? You underestimate people. Maybe you are gullible enough to get appeased that easily, but do you know any teens? Do you have any actual living, breathing queer teens in your life? Just absurd.
When they speak of Michelangelo, politics is a side note. Politics is a hot topic that is soon forgotten. Art is talked about for centuries.
Fitz, I’m angry too. Shutting out individuals from the conversation is unwise because we need to bounce ideas back and forth amid each other. It doesn’t mean we all agree, but some just take approaches that are more methodical. Brian so wanted Obama to be the Lincoln of the gays. If we were around in Lincoln’s time we’d have stomach ulcers for the near misses and squeak-by politics. We are embroiled in a fight that will inevitably go in our favor due to our 14th amendment. Enjoy the ride and write your story down for future generations. Your frustration is palpable and that is completely understandable. Everything is rolling along. Enjoy the process. This is a young country.
@1EqualityUSA: Yes, very few talk of the Civil War or the fall or Rome. I think you have “V” for victim tattooed on your frontal cortex.
Fitz, We will both end up with equal rights at the end of the day. If I didn’t believe it, that would be torture.
@1EqualityUSA: No… I will be long-dead before things go where they need to go. I am fine with that on a personal level, but not when I think of how much more suffering my people experience. Someone like Kushner getting mad at the disenfranchized for speaking out is very depressing. I think he is just trying to secure a spot in the Lincoln Center or something.. or he took a bad fall. But he ain’t who he used to be. Maybe success killed him.
Because his eyes gravitate to the left when he speaks, this indicates that he is using his right brain to complete his thoughts. Right brain thinking is where truth and belief arise. Eyes gravitate left when thoughts come from this area of the brain. If he were looking to the right, I would be more suspect. When one is using left brain, the area for calculating, eyes gravitate to the right. Take into account his words and his body language. Success might have killed a part of him, but it feels as though he’s weathered the loss.
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