April 19th, 2010

Public Frustrations

Bad Advice at Best

split

Let me start off by saying that it has been a real challenge for me to view this situation objectively. David’s staunchest defenders are always counseling to “take David at his word.” Except, of course, when his word so plainly and unequivocally implies prejudice. Then, we are supposed to somehow accept the dubious interpretation that, “oh, he only meant the eroticized nature of the event, not the fact that it was a gay event.” This might be a reasonable spin, except for one critical fact: None of the fuss and drama on the twitters and blog boards — the self-stated reason why David decided to break his Sunday communication rule and address the ruckus in the first place — was about the fact that David was at a club where the performances included scantily-clad dancers.

It was all about the gay.

I find this turn of events troubling on a number of fronts. As evidenced by an accidental public tweet that was later removed, David was obviously in consultation with someone regarding how to respond to the hullabaloo. As RonaldSF reported in the previous thread:

…at 10:09PM Eastern (20 minutes before his “clarifying” tweets) he sent out a public tweet that said: “Should I tweet that or put it in a blog? Twitter is honestly more public. Only fans really read the blogs.”

If the words he tweeted were supplied to him, or of they were vetted by someone advising him on his public relations, it was extremely shoddy work indeed, and only served to make the situation worse with more polarization.

Somehow or other, David is going to have to contend with the fact that, perhaps more than any other artist, he is straddling two very different worlds. On the one hand, he hails from, represents, and appeals to a highly conservative, deeply religious community with canonical discrimination against homosexuals (and please spare me, beloved commentators, your hair-splitting equivocations about “the person” versus “the behavior,” it doesn’t wash). On the other hand, he is championed and loved by an inclusive collection of people who embrace diversity as a virtue.

Any suggestion that David is choosing sides in this culture war has dire consequences. I feel for him, I really do. As someone stated in the previous thread, it is a no-win situation. Perhaps he simply got some very bad advice. But what seems awfully clear to me is that he was leaning far more heavily on justifications demanded by his conservative constituents than on an inclination to defend inclusiveness and diversity.

The forces of darkness are not in that club, David, they are in people’s hearts.

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT

David has evidently responded to the firestorm of reaction to his thinly-veiled anti-gay sentiments with a couple of tweets including comments like, “I have friends who are gay, and they’re great people,” and “I have nothing against anyone, I’m sorry if that’s how it came across. I’m just not into the partying scene lol.”

Don’t even tell me he just said, “some of my best friends are gay.” Oh, David. And what about, “I’m just not into the partying scene”…? That’s what you’re hanging this on? Really?  Exactly what did you expect from a 1:30 a.m performance? Carnagie freaking Hall?

A word of advice, David: When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

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