This letter to advice columnist Amy Dickinson at the Post is going around:
DEAR AMY: I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual. We are part of a church group and I fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me for having a gay child.
He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years — I have a busy work schedule
That second paragraph pushes it into Onion territory for me, but maybe I’m too cynical. What do you think?
Her response, which is essentially that these parents ought to try choosing not to be heterosexuals for a while, is pretty good whether or not the letter itself is a hoax.
it’s very Oniony, no doubt.
but the reply is just awesome.
It’s gotten to the point where trolling has become much more nuanced than reality, so I can’t tell anymore.
Turn on C-SPAN or MSNBC right now. Harry Reid IS going with the nuclear option on judicial nominees!!
Has anyone seen DougJ this morning?
As a pseudonym, though, “Feeling Betrayed” just doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi as your usual ones, Doug. Points for the effort, though.
I would say she sounds like a single mother who lacks the skills to raise a puppy. My guess it was a slow day and the letter is a hoax. Amy still has columns? I thought she died years ago.
That never stopped WaPo columnists. Look at Richard Cohen.
@BruinKid: I paused the stream cuz I can’t stand McConell. Please let me know when he stops his whining. I for one want the guy whose dog qualified to pay the bill and then try to find treatment for the pet at hospital that treats humans.
also, too.. GA regents university is treating animals, maybe the asshole can volunteer himself not the dog. I’m not even that cruel.
@BruinKid: When the Republicans start whinging about the rights of the minority party who is going to remind them that the Hastert rule is what caused the government shutdown. They’ve structured the house so that the minority doesn’t even get a vote.
@JPL: I hope Reid points out that “qualifying” by attempting to defraud the government isn’t really qualifying. But thanks anyway, Senator, for using a felony as an example.
“Well have you tried not being a Vampire Slayer?”
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
Like I keep saying, satire and parody can’t catch up to the growing absurdities of reality.
TPM says Harry’s goin’ nuculurr.
Letter is a hoax, but the response is still awesome.
Oh yeah, classic DougJ.
@JPL: You don’t like the Senior Senatortoise from Kentucky? Me neither.
@Poopyman: Consult the Law of Poe: Section 1, Paragraph 1. We have largely become a culture of cartoons.
Though my money is on it being a troll – it is ever so slightly over-the-top… but then again… you think you found the bottom of the barrel, only to discover someone’s put in a sub-basement.
@jayboat: I’ll believe it when I see it.
@RSA: Yeah, that was the tell. Shoulda stopped there; the “forgotten birthdays” thing was too much.
DougJ is trolling advice columnists now? Well, at least this one’s reply suggests she was aware of the possibility. Points to her for that.
@Betty Cracker: Phew.. He’s gone and now they are doing a roll call. I’m not sure who is up next.
@Amir Khalid: You know what they say about idle hands.
Boredom. It’s the modern scourge. Along with Republicans and banksters.
Mom should offer the kid two options:
1) semester at Ted Haggards
2) get him a hooker to straighten him out
@Amir Khalid: Alexandra Petri kept busting him, so I guess he just moved on down the roster…
See, I’m pretty sure that it’s a troll because these days if you belong to the kind of “church group” where people might “make fun of you” for having a gay kid, you belong to a church where people will do more than “make fun of you” for having a gay kid. Churches have tended to line up and either be supportive or condemning on the gay issue, and there aren’t a lot of churches that condemn it while accepting it enough for it to be the topic of light comedy or accept it while condemning it enough for it to be the topic of light comedy.
But the bit about birthdays isn’t enough to make me think it’s a troll. I had a friend who outed himself to his mom in the 90s and her first response was apparently “is this to get back at me for not letting you have a car when you were 16”? So, yeah.
@Aji: @Aji: It’s really too bad Abby and Ann Landers bought the farm before Doug turned his arts to agony aunts. Their trollability on topics such as this might have been extraordinary.
Look at Krauthammer. Anybody going to seriously tell me that that guy’s alive?
Put me in the “bogus” camp re the letter, but it has real value in that it presents Amy the opportunity to lay the common-sense smackdown on the zombie lie of homosexuality and choice.
As for Harry going nuclear, good for him. I’m among the commenters here who have been squeamish over such tactics for fear of the same changes being wielded against Dems (and by extension the groups whose interests they generally protect), but the situation has reached the point where it’s more than warranted. It has to be done.
McConnell knows full what he’s doing and what he’s getting: Dem punching bag/fundraising goldmine of vapours-inducing ‘overreach’ followed, if he’s very lucky, by the GOP controlling the Senate and pushing thru the remainder of the nuclear option under the “hey, Reid broke the dam, we’re just cleaning up around here” storyline (which the supine and more and more obviously GOP-aligned press will eat and not even gag on once).
All of which is predicate to my saying, Reid has to do this and ffs I wish he’d done it sooner, though the all-powerful optics may have made sooner more problematic.
All five types? Though contrary to the researcher’s assertion that there are no more than five, I’d posit George Sanders as an example of a sixth.
Two valuable life lessons indelibly etched into the brain by age 5:
1) Gimme never gets.
2) Only bores get bored.
@Ash Can: Also too, it would be foolish to assume that if we don’t use the tactic, they’ll be similarly restrained when they next hold the Senate. I think we have learned these last few years that there is absolutely nothing Congressional Republicans won’t do to get their way.
And if they do? Fine. The filibuster has impeded far more good than it has hindered evil.
And now I see your last paragraph, and I think we’re saying the same thing.
@shortstop: Coulda been epic. I guess we have to settle for watching his talents go to waste on second-rate sob sisters.
Although any time he wants to troll that abomination employed by Slate, I’m all for it. That idiot makes the rest of them look like geniuses.
@Citizen_X: I half-expect Krauthammer to just start saying “Brains! I eat brains!” on Fox one of these days.
“Amy still has columns? I thought she died years ago.”
She’s on that radio show ‘Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” almost every week.
Yeah, the GOP pretty much dared Reid to do this, so I assume they’re ready to gamble on it.
The Obamacare website rollout woes won’t be in the news forever, and the GOP is pretty incompetent, so I hope the Democrats win this in the long run.
GOP is going for broke on everything, aren’t they?
@NotMax: You’re reading too literally. That was my half-assed, under-caffeinated nod toward “Both sides do it!”
I saw on another site that Harry is going for the nuclear option as we speak.
No access to CSPAN or anything of the like at the moment.
What’s the story on that?
Republicans forced this because 1) they didn’t want Obama putting anyone on the circuit courts, especially the DC circuit and 2) they didn’t think Reid had the balls nor the votes to successfully go nuclear.
Also, too, most people don’t even understand the filibuster. I seriously doubt it get people to the polls.
@Cacti: The vote to invoke cloture on the Millett nomination failed, so Reid moved to vote on the nomination anyway. McConnell just moved to postpone consideration to 5pm.
57/40. Turtle squawking now…
@shelly: I think he was thinking of Emily Post. Amy Dickinson => Emily Dickinson => Emily Post in the thought processes. At least, I can see my brain doing that, especially before I’ve had more coffee than I’ve had at the moment.
@Hill Dweller: I just wish Reid had done this at the beginning of the session. It’s just been wasted time.
Amy has obviously learned some snark skillz from Wait Wait. She’s got some ground to cover to catch up with Mo though.
@MikeJ: Did he have the votes to do it at the beginning of the session? Or were there Democratic Senators still clinging to the notion that the Republicans were a reasonable opposition party who could be reasoned with?
I remember back when someone lifted the “Marge & the Bowling Teacher” plot from an early Simpsons episode and sent it in as a letter to Dear Abby (I think it was in the early Jeanne Phillips era).
@MikeJ: I think Reid wanted to make it clear to everyone, even the sociopaths in the Village, that Republicans were trying to nullify the election.
Did he have the votes to do it at the beginning of the session? Or were there Democratic Senators still clinging to the notion that the Republicans were a reasonable opposition party who could be reasoned with?
Feinstein and Boxer have only recently come around on this.
To the actual topic at hand: I can’t decide, if I presume non-trolling here (which I might not), whether this person is shittier for wanting her kid to stop being gay or for missing his b-day three friggin’ years in a row.
If the letter is real, I wonder if she’s subconsciously known her kid’s a kween with a capital Q and has disengaged to the point of ‘forgetting’ his B-days.
But, since this has the smack of medium-grade trolling, I’m probably armchair analyzing Doug J and that’s a pointless thing to do.
You are correct. He didn’t have the votes at the time, as was made clear after he floated the trial balloon.
It may be a spoof. It may not. Over the centuries many, many, MANY Christian parents were convinced to reject or torture their gay children to please their church group peers. Here in MN our local pedophile protection program (Catholic Church) was sending out letters just last year telling parents that they risked going to Hell if they accepted their gay children. So even if this letter is a spoof, it reflects a very real dynamic that occurs daily.
(And before the Catholic apologetics come in and attack me, like every place where the gay marriage fight ended, Minnesota’s had a string of revelations about the Catholic diocese protecting pedophiles, moving them around, paying bonuses, and destroying evidence. The “Look over there! Queers!” tactic has played out. This occurs so frequently, so many places in America and around the world that I refuse to argue about whether or not the Church protects pedophiles. They do. If you don’t like it argue with them, not me.)
apologies to bruinkid. crap- I can’t read today.
The faux-centrist, both-sidesist Village would have had aneurysms if Reid didn’t have evidence such as the three DC Circuit rejections.
With even that, prepare for all sorts of pearl-clutching. Or, don’t – just turn the damn TeeVee off.
No, he won’t stop being gay: any more than “Feeling Betrayed” (the writer of said rubbish) can stop being a (too busy for the kids) parent; I do recall, though, that Good Xtian parents often abdicate parenthood when faced with their offspring’s non-heterosexuality.
Nice to know, though, that being gay isn’t in the same thought as not listening to reason.
This just screams “you’ve been punk’d.” I would say that anyone who’s too busy for the kids but idle enough to read the advice column in the paper can’t possibly be real, but I’ve met my share of priorities-challenged adults so that may not be as true as I’d like. And the “church group” line is a dead giveaway: any “church group” that would be a concern for said parent wouldn’t “make fun” of any parent with LGBT offspring – they’d be immediately shunned/expelled/denounced/stoned/whipped-naked-through-the-streets-at-midday.
Although it’s possible that, after reading enough anti-LGBT smack in her inbox, Amy penned it herself just so she could write a response. The whole “You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your own sexuality to show him how easy it is” approach is just delicious.
From Mr. Pierce: Jonah Goldberg wants an intern
@Gex: My bet is any sort that would pull the fundie / religio card on the wayward son isn’t going to need the affirmation of a Dear Whover. I actuaully rather suspect astroturf more than trolling.
Welp, they’re not adjourning.
Semi-related, but was at the doctor for a routine follow up today. We were chatting and the doctor asked if I followed politics. I gave a wishy washy answer about paying attention some times but it can get too depressing. He then started to give me his opinion. I was cringing a bit as I was expecting to hear some Obamacare nightmare but instead he remarked that the Republicans are destructive and the only question is whether they blow up their party or the entire country. Later in the exam when I mentioned my unsurance was changing come January, he made I understood that the ACA prevents insurance companies from refusing coverage or charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions (which I have). Was nice to hear positive comments about the ACA from someone in the business and more importantly he is spreading those those thoughts to patients who may not share my political beliefs (or awareness)
@MikeJ: Thought that was the case. Guess absorbing the blame for the entire caucus comes with the title of “Majority Leader”.
@Gex: MPR has done a huge service to the community by actually doing deep reporting on the, erm, one true holy and apostolic church and it’s predilection for pederasty.
I’d be furious, but I’m rather numbed to it at this point, though I still feel great compassion for the victims.
What I can’t quite comprehend is how Neinstead and his predecessors and their senior staffs didn’t seem to learn one damn thing from decades of scandals across dozens and dozens of diocese. Multiple countries, even.
Or perhaps chose not to learn one damn thing. Which is even worse.
Best descriptor for what passes for coverage in the US that I’ve yet seen. +1
Don’t know whether the ‘gay son’ letter is a hoax, but the next letter, from the socially anxious dog-walker, is right out of the Onion.
Wrong Thread; deleted.
@boatboy_srq: Wish I could say I meant to do that :)
@Gex: Speaking of the RCC condemning homosexuality, I was amused to see that Springfield (IL) Bishop Thomas Paprocki, who is obsessed with “true,” “natural,” “conventional,” “traditional,” etc. marriage and gives Timmy Dolan a run for his money in the obvious closet case department, performed an exorcism yesterday right around the time Governor Pat Quinn was signing SB10, the marriage equality bill. I can’t be sure, because the signing involved all sorts of happy speeches, singing and other human celebrations of a hard-won battle, but I think Bishop Tom scheduled his exorcism for just after Pat laid down his John Hancock, not just before. That seems odd, but perhaps casting out Satan is more effective in legislative cases when the bill has already been signed. Anyone know?
@RaflW: The word is “chose.”
Nestled in the mountains in the southern part of my state, we have an edifice that is mostly unknown to outsiders. It’s owned by the Catholic Church, and has historically been billed as a “retreat” for priests in need of rest and succor and renewed sustenance for their souls. A few decades ago, it came out that what it mostly was was a rehab/detox center for priests with addictions.
And in even more recent years, it came out that it was ALSO the place where dioceses around the country sent their pedophile priests to get them out of view when it got too hot in their own parishes – and preparatory to transferring them to some unsuspecting new victim parish.
I wish people didn’t gloss over this rather obvious condition.
Villago Delenda Est
The teatards, Birchers, and “Christian” fundies have been busy, busy bees.
Villago Delenda Est
I note the highly competitive wages that Goldberg offers for that internship.
At least the bondsmen of the Confederacy got marginal food and housing for their labor.
I saw the letter the other day and have been sending it to friends. Amy’s response was brilliant. I have wondered if that letter was legit but there are people that dense and self-involved.
Honestly, if the RCC had been smart enough to essentially lock up their pedophile priests by exiling them to child-free monasteries in the middle of nowhere for the rest of their lives, they could have avoided a whole lot of pain for parishioners and a whole lot of lawsuits against themselves. But, no, they had to recycle those guys back into the community after they promised really, really hard not to do it again. Because you can always believe a sociopath when he totally promises not to misbehave again.
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
Amy Dickinson is the best. I love when she’s on “Wait, Wait” and had a chance to meet her in person when she was on a book tour and came to the little independent book store in the upstate NY college town near us.
@Villago Delenda Est: I think the “Total Compensation Package” includes a lifetime World of Warcraft membership and all you can eat cheetos.
@Mnemosyne: Well, also, that would have been admitting to wrongs that they weren’t prepared to acknowledge. Like, ever. Even if only to themselves.
The first rule of conservatism is “Cover it up”; the second is “Deny.” It’s as atavistic and reactionary as it gets. And the church is about as conservative as it gets. Of course, as Penn State and any number of contemporary sexual assault and abuse cases show, that’s hardly confined to the parochial sector.
I’m kind of surprised it doesn’t include “no fat chicks,” but I guess someone reminded Jonah that it would be illegal to include that.
@Citizen_X: Well, alive in the inhuamn sense. After all, how can the deathless truly die?
@Chicagopat: Hey, I’d do it for the Warcraft and sell the cheetos on the libertarian black market.
This is the same advice columnist who a few years ago said that “sexuality is mutable”. I stopped reading her at that time.
Have things gotten better?
Elon James White has a link to a Faux Noose commentator who claims that Obama is the son of Satan, so it’s hard nowadays to distinguish twixt The Onion and real headlines.