Time is fleeting…madness takes its toll

The Red Scare was mostly over before I was born — Joseph Welch squelched McCarthy with his question, “Have you no decency?” in 1954 — but we still see echoes of that paranoia today. I did survive the great Dungeons & Dragons panic of the 1980s, and I followed the insane McMartin preschool case which destroyed lives over hysterical claims of child sacrifice in tunnels that didn’t exist under a preschool. Then we got the “pizzagate” conspiracy theory in 2016, and all the QAnon craziness. It’s total madness.

Now — right now, today, all around us — Republicans are leading the charge under the banner of homophobia and transphobia. They’re freaking out over drag shows.

Florida Republicans are pushing forward a bill that seeks to ban drag shows from allowing someone under the age of 18 to be in attendance.

But the bill is so vaguely worded, using the term “adult live performance,” that even Republican lawmakers have admitted it would prevent a high school kid from watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show or even the musical Hair.

The puckered sphincters who get elected as Republicans also want to shut down all Pride celebrations.

The bill also explicitly targets Pride parades and celebrations, by preventing a government entity from issuing permits to an organization that may put on such a performance. If a violation occurs, say in a city like St. Petersburg, which hosts the largest Pride celebration in the state, the person who issued the permit could be charged with a misdemeanor.

In addition, any establishment that violates the law would be subject to license suspension or revocation and liable to large fines and a misdemeanor charge. One violation would spur a $5,000 fine; subsequent incidents would spur $10,000 fines.

Remember when these assholes assured everyone that they were only concerned about trans people, they were just dropping the “T” in LGBT, they were still supportive of everyone’s sexual orientation? And everyone else knew what was coming and predicted that they’d be expanding those restrictions until it was criminal to be anything but a straight white man? Those days are here already, and they aren’t shy about saying it.

It’s not just Florida and Texas that are a nexus of Puritanical oppression, Tennessee is definitely joining the crowd. Watch this woman testify against allowing a Pride parade by making up lies.

It started out as Pride coming in and I thought everything would be ok…it ended with a rainbow room where 8-12 y/o kids were given butt plugs and dildos.

You know what else is curious about this phenomenon? In every case, without exception, the justification is rooted in conservative Christianity, America’s curse.


  1. moonslicer says

    “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

    Have you ever heard that one, Ms. Liar?

  2. wzrd1 says

    Well, as they’re attacking in the broadest, most utterly inept manner possible the first amendment right of freedom of assembly and association and will certainly only protect RNC sponsored events, assembly in churches will be prohibited as a side effect. Their followers will then swiftly turn on them and second amendment the GOP and themselves, leaving the sane to inherit the earth.
    OK, it’ll last two microseconds in court and they’ll threaten second amendment remedies, as they’ll be reminded, again, that howitzer vs tinkertoy, it’s howitzer every time. I’ve actually had that conversation with the idiots, they try to assure me that the military will follow them, rather than lawful orders and I present my military ID and they STFU.
    Military follow lawful orders, not pitiful pipedreams.

  3. StevoR says

    @ 1. moonslicer : Wonder if they ever heard of “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12.31) and that Parable of the Samaritan which notes as Isaac Asimov observed in his “Lost in Non–translation” essay* that the Samaritans at that time were seen as the opposite of good and were considered despised heretics and rejected by the Judeans which was the point of the parable – now lost because we now tend to automatically associate the word “Samaritan’ with the word good.

    .* See : https://medium.com/@davidferm/on-lost-in-non-translation-2556b7180a86

    Or Asimov’s anthology ‘Magic’ containing that essay.

  4. wzrd1 says

    StevoR, yeah, their version is, “Love your neighbor, but don’t get caught”. Slightly different context with them, as is everything.

    I’ll qualify my closing correctly above as “pitiful pipsqueak’s pipedream”.
    The pipsqueaks beat off thinking that the military will turn against their sworn duties to their nation to murder-death-kill whoever offends them and are horrified when military and retirees assure them that will never, ever be the case.

  5. StevoR says

    Watch this woman testify against allowing a Pride parade by making up lies.

    “It started out as Pride coming in and I thought everything would be ok…it ended with a rainbow room where 8-12 y/o kids were given butt plugs and dildos.”

    Firstly, was she challenged about such outright lies and contradicted by others at all? Secondly, isn’t that perjury or similar and thirdly and finally aren’t there legal consequences for that? Can she not be if not arrested for perjury then at least sued for libel / defamation and maybe – as would happen in a civilised nation – face hate crime charges too?

  6. F.O. says

    @moonslicer #1: no you silly, that’s not how it works!
    You see, they are Good Christians, therefore what they are doing is automatically Just!
    “I do it therefore it’s right” is how they fly.

    The argument would work on you, because you are used to value and enforce consistency in your thoughts.
    They are not so shackled.

    I think if we want to actually address the spread of this mentality and counter it effectively, we need first to understand how it works.

  7. cartomancer says

    So… what exactly would be wrong with offering sex toys to children? I suspect most wouldn’t want them, but if they did? Where is the harm? What would the problem be?

  8. StevoR says

    @ ^ F.O. : Okay, so now how do you suggest we counter that mentality?

    What techniques do you think might work and get through to them?


    Further to my #3 see from halfway down page 2 here :

    One such approach to Luke, that reflects upon the role of race, is found in the 1972 collection of
    essays, the Tragedy of the Moon, by Isaac Asimov. Asimov, a biochemist and science fiction
    writer, published an essay entitled “Lost in Non-Translation” where he provides commentary on
    the parable of the Good Samaritan read in our gospel lesson for today. He says that most
    discussions of the parable fail to take into account the utter disdain the Jews had for the
    Samaritans and how difficult it would have been to hear that the Samaritan could be a
    compassionate, merciful neighbor. Asimov invites us to hear the story as if set in 1950 Alabama
    and asks us to imagine a white Southern gentleman left on the side of the road for dead, and after
    the mayor and a preacher walk by, a black sharecropper stops to help, to carry to safety, to pay
    for care, and to leave extra support for additional needs as they arise, spending most of what he
    It is difficult for us today to own the extent to which we perpetuate and participate in the racism
    that still exists in our society, but there is no denying this 1950s context and what would have
    happened in a Jim Crow era police lineup that included a white mayor, a white pastor, and a
    black share-cropper if the story were turned, and instead of asking who is the neighbor, the
    crowd were to be asked who would be guilty of whatever crime it was that left the gentleman this
    way. And if we are quick to judge the imagined guilt of a man, then how can we possibly turn
    around and imagine him as our beloved neighbor.

    Source : https://lsbcwaco.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/7.14.2019-Jon-Singletary.pdf

    Christian source but a progressive one as well there.

  9. raven says

    A lot of these anti-Drag Show and anti-Pride parade laws are going to be unconstitutional.
    That First Amendment Freedom of Speech rule.

    Drag shows typically consist of various forms of protected speech, such as telling jokes and introducing performers, and protected expressive conduct, such as lip-syncing and dancing. Thus, drag shows are usually covered by the First Amendment. Mar 10, 2023

    Can the First Amendment Protect Drag Performances?
    YES! Magazine
    https://www.yesmagazine.org › Article

  10. raven says

    Drag Shows Are Free Speech

    “These proposals are needless, excessive, and unconstitutional––so much so that more than one would belong in a Hall of Fame for legislative overreach that is at odds with freedom of speech.”
    Says it all.

    Drag Shows Are Free Speech
    Efforts by GOP legislators to impose absurd and onerous regulations on them violate the Constitution.

    By Conor Friedersdorf
    Three drag queens, one of whom is dressed in a long, red, feathered robe
    Constantine Manos / Magnum
    JANUARY 20, 2023

    Gun homicides and car accidents are the leading causes of youth death. American children confront challenges as varied as bullying, poverty, gangs, sexual abuse, mental illness, and drug addiction. A state legislator hoping to protect kids might reasonably focus on any number of issues. Drag shows, those improbable culture-war flash points, are not among them. Yet Republican legislators in at least seven states are pushing bills to restrict shows where performers may deviate from traditional gender norms.

    The most sweeping and objectionable proposals are not mere efforts to deprive drag shows of taxpayer funding or to keep them out of public primary schools. Rather, they would classify drag shows (as the sponsoring legislators variously define them) as akin to pornography. They would redefine any venue hosting such a show as an adult business, or try to shield even teenagers from drag in a society where almost all of them have regular access to the internet. Should any such proposal pass into law––at this early stage, their prospects are uncertain and may vary from state to state—the free speech and association rights of private venues, performers, artists, and willing audiences will all be infringed upon. And for what?

    These proposals are needless, excessive, and unconstitutional––so much so that more than one would belong in a Hall of Fame for legislative overreach that is at odds with freedom of speech.

    Parents expose young kids to all sorts of things that strike me as age inappropriate, including the most hypersexualized drag shows that circulate via aggregators such as Libs of TikTok, which are outliers. Meanwhile, mountains of inappropriate movies, TV shows, video games, and internet content exceed the relative molehill of inappropriate drag performances (which would be just as inappropriate if cisgender women performed the same actions), whether measured by the ease of accessibility to kids or how many total kids see them.

  11. raven says

    So what is actually going on here.

    Mostly it is just fundie xians and right wingnuts exercising the central principle of their ideology,
    That is hate.

    Hate is an all time best seller used to define in groups and out groups.
    It is a central theme in the xian bible.
    In the Old Testament, the Israelis genocide the Canaanites and steal all their land, stuff, and women. (The best part about the story is that it never happened. The Israelis were and are…a tribe of Canaanites.)

    The related procedure is one we see often.
    The witch hunt.
    The latest witches are Drag performers, I guess.

    I’m underwhelmed. Somehow I just can’t get terrified enough and hide in the basement with the family arsenal of AR-15s.
    In fact, I can’t even really care about Drag performers one way or another.

    At least in the old days we had commies, and people allied with powerful supernatural forces that controled much of the universe.

  12. chrislawson says

    The deeper strategy here is testing boundaries to see how much of the Constitution they can get away with violating.

  13. ardipithecus says

    The constitutional question has been reawakened by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The misbegotten who are championing such bans may be hopeful that the extreme right SCOTUS will support them.

  14. StevoR says

    @ ^ ardipithecus : There really needs to be a way to remove Trump’s Treason SCOTUS Justcies and rule their rulings allnulland void.

    Cannot understand why Biden and the Democratic party haven’t taken much stronger action and words here and reckon they seriously need to do so.

    Taking over SCOTUS was the Repugs successful coup attempt.

  15. billseymour says

    StevoR @8 quotes David Ferm:

    Asimov invites us to hear the story [of the good Samaritan] as if set in 1950 Alabama and asks us to imagine a white Southern gentleman left on the side of the road for dead, and after the mayor and a preacher walk by, a black sharecropper stops to help, …

    Unfortunately, that might be lost on southerners since it could actually get the black sharecropper in trouble:  remember the courtroom scene in To Kill a Mockingbird when the tide turned against the defendant because he “felt sorry for a white woman.”

    You can’t have black folks exhibiting basic human decency precisely because it turns the racists’ whole world view upside down.  I suspect that that’s basically what happened in Tennessee recently:   a couple of black dudes were making rational ethical arguments.

  16. simplicio says

    I have a grandniece and nephew who live in Franklin. I’m sure they’ll want to know where to pick up their butt plugs and dildos. Where, exactly, is this rainbow room? I didn’t know that Franklin had become so progressive.