I’m finding it an especially interesting time in history to be gay and Jewish.
I say interesting because I don’t live in a war zone, my life is not in danger and my general risk of being leveled for either on an average day in Hollywood involves someone making a nasty remark about me or my kind within earshot.
For the latter they’d get an earful from me and this might affect my safety if I get unlucky enough to talk back to a crazy person, as my sister constantly reminds me.
But it’s a calculated risk I’m willing to take (Note: Among so many, these days) since that’s pretty much been my behavior my entire life.
Of course, in a moment my life can radically change.
The Ukrainian people are currently living testimony to that. So is the history of each generation of gays and Jews that came before me.
Ukraine gets slowly reduced to rubble daily by Russian mortar ordered by an anti-Semitic dictator who paradoxically claims to only to want to stop the Nazification of Ukraine by doing this.
But, well, Ukraine’s Pres. Zelenskyy is Jewish and he won in a landslide in a general election so, um…where is the logic in that?
There is none except the logic of disinformation. There is also the idea that in order to achieve the greater goal of safety (nee dictatorship-like domination) we can use whatever means or illogical argument necessary to destroy the lives of those less powerful.
It’s enough to get you thinking, which is the last thing any dictator or politician bent on rolling back the rights of any minority wants.
To whit, the Florida Senate and House last week passed a bill now generally referred to as the Don’t Say Gay Bill even though it’s official title is the Parental Rights In Education Bill. #Tricky.
Essentially what this bill says is that there can be no mention whatsoever about gender identity or sexual orientation in the classroom, which includes the use of the word gay. It also lets any parent sue any teacher or school that allows it.
That methodology didn’t work well for the 1990s relic of a bill about gays in the military, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and will be even worse here.
I say this as both a teacher and a former third-grader.
The minute anyone told me I couldn’t saya word as an 8-year-old boy was the moment I managed to say it. Never mind my behavior as a teacher.
This is why I so appreciate and love the response of Hollywood celebs to the inverted logic of this disinformation campaign/bill. And it probably accounts for why I decades ago relocated to the left coast to begin with.
And to my knowledge, none of the three of them are even GAY!
I will spare you what me and my fellow gays are saying. Though I’m sure if you searched far and wide, or merely called a few names in the membership roster of the Log Cabin Republican Clubs nationwide, you’d find some supporters of that bill.
No minorities are monolithic in their opinions of what to like and/or support.
I, for one, am one of the few gays who never got Sex and the City; wasn’t a fan of Britney Spears or Madonna; and truly dislikes the work and persona of Andy Cohen and every Housewives TV series that he has poisoned the earth with.
However, I am not so threatened that I’d engage in disinformation or twisted logic in order to prove my point to try and stop them.
You might argue that the stakes on that aren’t as high but have you seen the scientific studies on what occurs in the human brain after watching a dozen or more episodes of Watch What Happens Live?
The point is when you try to exterminate words and thoughts and people on the basis of the category they fit into you’ve planted your feet atop a very slippery slope of morality and logic.
Many young people these days recognize this.
Two of them from my Jewish subset – first year Harvard students Avi Schiffmann, 19, and Marco Burstein, 18 – LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AGO started a website to help the now 2.5 million Ukrainian refugees that has quickly garnered worldwide activity and huge attention.
UkraineTakeShelter.com became an instant free Airbnb for Ukrainian refugees, with more than 4000 listings worldwide of rooms, apartments, houses, condos and school dorms for those forced to flee their homes on a moments notice. The boys launched the site in three days and since then numerous other countries and cities are following their lead with similar programs.
Not only that, but they are now expanding into providing transportation to Ukrainians from their hiding spots, as well as offering shelters for animals and providing a means to report bots (nee Russian infiltrators) attempting to lure them into danger.
On the other side, we have a renowned Jewish Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich, 55, a man who has spent the last twenty years lavishly spending in the U.S. and Great Britain huge portions of the $15 billion plus fortune he made in Russian oil under the auspices of the Putin regime and via his close relationship with that dictator..
Despite a white hot hatred for the U.S. and NATO it’s always been the dictator’s plan to infiltrate key Russians in the west in order to slowly and avariciously turn the cultural tables on us and generate pro Russian western propaganda through his affiliates.
To that end, Mr. Abramovich has used his personal means to buy many hundreds of millions of dollars worth of real estate on New York’s upper east side and in London; acquire hundreds of millions of past century and contemporary art work; and buy and reinvigorate UK’s almost defunct Chelsea soccer team with enough expensive players to ensure them an unprecedented array of championships in the early to mid 2000s. This in turn purchased him relationships with some of the top power players in the world, including the Trump and Kushner families.
Then, in 2018, after Russian spies poisoned a couple of people in the UK and things got a little too hot for him, Abramovich bought his way into Israeli society and citizenship through generous donations to hospitals, universities and Holocaust exhibits.
Yet all the money in the world, a disrespectable percentage of which he did once leverage, can now not spare him from the Putin Stink and worldwide sanctions on his financial fortune. Nor will it prevent him from morphing into an international pariah in real time and before our eyes.
When the hospitals, universities and Holocaust museums you once so generously bought into announce one after another they have severed their relationships to both you and your money, it’s hard not to see where his third act is leading.
It also shows you that we Jews, like we gays, and we humans of any type, can either surprise or horrify you.
Resist lumping us together or you risk becoming the new world pariahs.