Friday, 30 March 2012

Homophobic dog whistles

Yes I own a dog - two, in fact, with possibly a third on the way if it works out. No, I don't own a dog whistle.  In my younger years I could hear dog whistles but age and too many years in rock bands has dulled my hearing and I can't pick them up any more.  That's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about hidden messages in ordinary speech.  If some young lady dressed like she's in the 50's; long skirt, conservative shoes, high-necked blouse, strides up to me while I'm minding my own business and loudly demands "are you a Christian?", she's not asking whether I'm a member of one of the many Churches making up the panoply of Christendom.  She's asking whether I'm a literalist "Bible believing", "born again", Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian.  I'm not.  I'm Anglo-Catholic, a particular practice of the Anglican Church.  She would not consider me "Christian" and would likely start to proselytize and I'd call her a heretic (my priest says I should have been a Jesuit and I've actually taken part in an Inquisition) and it would go downhill from there.

A number of years ago I was sitting in the staff break room and a colleague gestured towards my ankles.  I gave him a blank look.  He gestured a little more firmly.  Bear in mind that I'm considered to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum so I don't necessarily get some of the subtleties of non-verbal speech, so I just said "wha?"  "Don't cross your legs like that."  "Why not? It's comfortable."  I suffer from bursitis and my joints have their good days and bad days, mostly bad.  I've got a bad hip that gives out at the worst possible moment making me scream in pain and fall, my ankles crack and hurt like hell and I've got enlarged joints in my toes and hands either from cracking them, or because they were already swollen and cracking them makes it feel better, at least temporarily.  I'm a piano player so that probably doesn't help any, especially how I pound the keys.  Hence, only certain seating positions are comfortable and leaning back with my ankles crossed low down is one of them.  Another one is half-cross-legged with my left ankle up high.  I can't do the right or I'll start screaming.  "Don't do that either."  "Why not?"  "It looks faggy."  At that point we didn't have a sexual harassment policy in place so I blew it off and ignored him.  When I came out a few years later he wandered around for days looking lost and confused.  He knew me as a "good person" and now this.  He got over it.

Remember how my hands hurt most of the time?  What's with people and their damn "firm handshakes".  I've had people do it to me to the point where I've fallen to the floor crying and haven't been able to type or play keyboards for the rest of the day.  One guy did it to me and I damned near fainted on him. He caught me on the way down then apologized profusely.  When I asked "WTF??" he said "weak handshakes are faggy - businessmen have firm grips".

Then there's the whole "light in the loafers" thing.  In the back of the office we have a metal staircase.  The "real men" stomp their way up it, clanging deafeningly, disrupting the entire office.  You can't hear someone on the phone.  I weigh 183 pounds, but I've always have been a light walker.  If I "stride manfully" it shocks my ankles which then hurt like hell and swell up and I'm in agony for the rest of the day.  Hence, I sort of tiptoe around at the best of times but especially on the stairs.  I don't make much noise walking and I'm constantly scaring people who aren't paying attention (dude, get a hearing aid and learn what peripheral vision is all about) but if I hear mutterings about "light in the loafers" they're really calling me a fag.  That's a dog whistle.

Now Santorum has entered the fray. Santorum tells young man not to use pink bowling ball on camera .  That's right.  A pink bowling ball. 

I like bowling.  Up here in Canada we have 5-pin bowling which is a lot more challenging that 10-pin.  You have to know what you're doing to knock down any pins, never mind all of them.  I also like it because it's easy on my hands - the balls are lighter.  Nevertheless, I like 10-pin for a bit of a change and when I go to the alley, they've got a selection of  balls in the carousel and I usually pick the "ladies" pink one because it's a bit lighter and the holes are a bit closer together.  I've got big hands, but it's still a bit of a stretch to fit a "manly" ball without straining my knuckles.  It doesn't have quite the power of a heavier ball but I'm more accurate with it and I can hit the strike zone easily and do a strike or pick up the spare and get a fairly good score and by the end of the evening I'm not in too much pain.  Santorum is calling me a fag. 

OK, fly me down there and let's go at it "man to man".  I'll use my faggy pink ball and Santorum can use whatever he wants (likely the heaviest ball the carousel).  I'm betting I'll beat the pants of him (not that I'm sure I want to see him without his pants).

Are we on?

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