Gay Bashing/Larry Harvey Bashing

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Postby Simply Joel » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:25 am

KellY wrote:The cops in question were back-country homophobic rednecks with guns and badges, and that was the problem.


I consider the statement above to be a grand generalization... I might be incorrect... yet...
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Postby Badger » Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:58 pm

2.) The art being discussed here wasn't confiscated or covered, it was just moved to a less casual-passer-by area of Jiffy Lube. Given the number of children at the event, this isn't an unreasonable suggestion. If you don't like it, get rid of the kids (something that I'd be happy to advocate). As long as there are children present, we will experience these issues with law enforcement.


As one of the agitators of the Jiffy Lube incident and one of the embarrassed queers that had to listen to the Jeffrey (the rabid little guy with the bullhorn and the unhealed chip on his shoulder) I take profound exception with this statement. The whole idea of the "...given the children" statement is bullshit. Disgusting, stereotypical, reprehensible fucking bullshit. It also happens the be the very SAME basis upon which Ron Skinner decided to be the arbiter of art at Burning Man that year. Namely, he used the VERY SAME fucking RATIONAL which, if you stop to think about it, defaults back to the idea that queers = predators = child molesters. There was similarly 'offensive' art on the playa but Skinner target Jiffy Lube specifically.

The other point that I take exception to is that by placing it on back of the Jiffy Lube tent and therefore out of the way what was again being reinforced was that "I'm cool with you being gay as long as you don't do it in public."

Yeah, well, fuck that too. JD (one of the main proprietors fo Jiffy Lube) had his arms twisted behind his back because Skinner was so vociferous in his objections to the sign. And though I personally don't believe that JD did the best thing - especially given the specific targeting of queers by Ron Skinner - I do understand the duress and pressure he was put under and the decision was his and not mine. I stand by JD's decision.

Hindsight being what it is I re-read the posts from the various newspapers and realize that Larry's response was one that had little time to prepare for. He was visibly agitated because this all came out of left field and pretty much blindsided him right in the middle of the event. But in fairness to him I still hold the belief that what he said that day would have been somewhat different if he'd had the opportunity to sit with us prior to Jeffrey agitating with his bullhorn to find out what the issues behind the action were ACTUALLY about. Unfortunately, those issues were completely drowned out by the nut job with the bullhorn. FWI, I was the person who upon finding out the situation with the sign approached JD and asked him for permission to drive around Black Rock City with the Jiffy Lube sign in the back of my Toyota pickup. JD agreed. I told him it was my intention to take Ron Skinner - not Larry, and not Burning Man to the mat as far as challenging Skinner and his belief that the sign in question constitued pornography/lewdness/etc. In short, I went looking to be arrested, was willing to go to jail, and willing to sue yet another law enforcement group for abrogation of Constitutional liberties as a group of us had successfully done in early 1990 to the tune of $250,000.

As was suggested/predicted by a group of us after the incident, Ron Skinner's actions did indeed represent the nose of the camel poking too far into the tent as he continues to assert his right to determine community standards in so far as art and artistic merit of several of the participants who've come to the event in the years after the Jiffy Lube incident. I'll comment no further on that here.

I'll also state categorically that the call-in diatribe to KQED by Jeffery was an exercise in selective memory as far as his conveyence of the events that transpired that day and that truth was the real victim as far as his 'recall' of Larry's comments. I was there. I remember. The suggestion that Larry Harvey is homophobic in any way or in any measure is a cruel slander that I as as an out queer will not go left unchallenged.

Ooops. back to work...
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Postby Badger » Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:05 pm

Sounds to me like both parties were in the wrong in some respects.


Oh, yeah, unfortunately Xevioso, commenting on such things upon which one has little or no knowledge makes you sound as off the mark as any nutcase with a bullhorn. Its great to ask for background and/or specifics of an event and quite another to take such a small, fragmented telling of the situation and then make a blanket determination as you did in the above.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:27 pm

A big ol' hug to Badger from an odd little fishy for nailing the usual suspects hidden in the old woodpile. I wasn't at the event that the Jiffy Lube incident went down and I haven't ever had a full accounting of it, but I recognise some of the old canards when they rear their ugly heads. Sad but true, some people simply don't recognize when they are talking in cliche.
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Postby Sensei » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:05 pm

And another big ol' hug from an odd little Sensei for nailing the usual suspects hidden in the woodpile. I was there at the protest and I still don't understand exactly what the hell happened, or more correctly, why it happened. I'm starting to get the picture though...

A side note: I camp a couple of doors down from the "Our Lady of Schlongs Meat Inspectors" - arguably one of the 'gayer' camps at BM (you show them your "meat"', you get an ice cold beer - and don't forget to get stamped with the blue USDA thingie on your butt). You wouldn't believe the interest these guys get from LEO's. And not in a 'let's bust 'em' kinda way, but rather, 'I wish I didn't have to work right now' kinda way. Seriously. They cruise by s-l-o-w-l-y and turn their heads to look back longingly after they've passed. Often, they'll stop and chat with the boys in a most friendly way. I bet ol' Skinner would be surprised by his own troops honest opinions...
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:15 pm

Okay, Sensei, you have achieved post count perfection. Go and post no more.
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Postby xevioso » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:40 pm

Oh, yeah, unfortunately Xevioso, commenting on such things upon which one has little or no knowledge makes you sound as off the mark as any nutcase with a bullhorn. Its great to ask for background and/or specifics of an event and quite another to take such a small, fragmented telling of the situation and then make a blanket determination as you did in the above.

No it doesn't. I'm allowed to have opinions and in fact even opine based upon what I read. I can even make a blanket determination based off of what I read. If I refuse to change that opinion after I get further information, then I'm hard-headed. But I made that response after a bunch of explanations of what happened. And by the way, most people here who commented on JD's "diatribe" on KQED actually commented on my perception of his call, since probably no one else here heard it. Are they making blanket determinations?
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Postby arthur » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:54 pm

What concerns me is that there might have been double standards applied to the gay male display, not just by the cops but also by Larry Harvey. If we cave in to these double standards then we may as well just pack our bags and go home. Sure the Jiffy Lube structure was explicit. But it was only a structure and I suspect there have been more in-your-face structures before and since.
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Postby Badger » Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:59 pm

I'm allowed to have opinions and in fact even opine based upon what I read. I can even make a blanket determination based off of what I read. If I refuse to change that opinion after I get further information, then I'm hard-headed. But I made that response after a bunch of explanations of what happened.


No. No you didn't. You formulated your opinion based on the opinions of others of which only one stated that s/he had actually been witness to the event in question and even then offered only their view on what and why things went they way they did that day. No actual explanation of the events ensued up until you made your statement. Basing your determination ('Sounds to me like both parties were in the wrong in some respects...') on opinions rather than actual descriptions of the event and the issues associated with them is weak and serves no real purpose in continuing the dialogue which you initiated. If anything it biases it albeit subtilely. Of course it is your right to assign an opinion based on what's been written thus far and I'm not arguing that point. In fact, the world is full of fools willing to arrive at conclusions based on opinions or interpretations rather than information. Happens every day. What I'm calling you on is that if you start a topic in which you seek the facts behind a story you might consider holding back on your judgement(s) until such a time as the info you solicite can percolate up through the haze of perception, interpretaion and innuendo.
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