Zack Rosen takes exception to Bil's post on him from last week, but doesn't really seem to know how to respond. So instead of addressing Bil's issues (I don't agree with Bil either - my response to him is in the comment thread of that post), Rosen takes to The Advocate and makes my all-time favorite, self-contradictory and -pitying, STFU arguments ever: Queer people should stop the in-fighting and just agree with me!
I say it's my all-time favorite for a reason. I've been in this business for a while, and, when someone doesn't know why they believe something, it's easier to tell people to shut up than to defend their view or at least admit that their view isn't for everyone. Add in a heaping spoonful of self-pity, and suddenly it's those who cannot defend their views or actions who are victimized by the fact that they even have to explain themselves, ever, to anyone who isn't a cartoonish homophobe like Peter Labarbera.
Go and read the whole column, which was bizarrely entitled "The Case Against Activism," Rosen doesn't have any reason to disagree with Bil other than that people should just give him (Rosen) a break. Rosen goes on to include other organizations, like GetEqual, in his call to just stop trying to argue with queer activists (forgetting a certain GetEqual's leader's not-too-distant history with calling out other queer activists), but then tells other queer activists that their work is annoying and needs to stop.
There's no explanation as to why some people are hardworking activists who should be allowed to blossom free from all criticism and others need to be stomped out lest they demoralize the Real Activists. Feel free to read between Rosen's lines; the answer isn't explicit and I'm not sure he knows it either.
I'm pointing this out not because Rosen attacked Bil on something I already didn't agree with Bil on (more accurately: I agree vaguely with his original thesis but thought he was applying it to an example that didn't make his case), but because this person published his pointless, self-contradictory, poorly-written column in the LGBT paper of record. Rosen wasn't able to point to any reason why Bil's argument wasn't cogent. Not a one! It's a shocking failure - Bil's argument, as all arguments do, had its weaknesses.
This comes a little after Rosen's column whining about how non-cissexual, non-white, non-male queer people sometimes complain about other forms of oppression. I suppose this is Part 2: There are cissexual, white males I want to see shut up too!
What does that say about the queers that this is the sort of drivel that gets published in what's supposed to be the voice of the community?
I've taken to responding to Michael Lucas columns in The Advocate, mainly because I believe that there should be a journal like it and that it should be good enough to find a decent queer conservative to make honest, intelligent arguments, and good enough to have several queer liberals and leftists to accompany the conservative's column, all part of a diverse and rigorous intra-community discussion. Right now they have a few centrists and one Beck-esque right-winger, and they lost their best non-ideological columnist, Kerry Eleveld.
Perhaps the reason they keep on publishing Michael Lucas and other substandard columnists (not to say that they don't get good occasional contributors) is because they don't pay:
In the last couple of days, we've gotten several notes from various freelance writers complaining about problems getting paid by Regent. Among the complaints:
- One writer says that The Advocate ran several of his stories in three consecutive months last fall. Despite having "pay on publication" contracts, he hasn't gotten paid yet. He also says that despite some "sympathetic correspondence from some of the editorial staff," the publisher is neither showing any urgency to pay, nor communicating with him.
- Another freelancer says he is close to taking Regent to small claims court--he has invoices dating back seven months, and the company has not volunteered any timeline for when it might pay up.
- Another freelancer says he filed a story for Out last May, which was published last October. He still hasn't been paid for it, and the assigning editor is not returning his emails.
- "Out owes me money too!" complains another writer. And another says: "I am owed $ from the Advocate. I would attach my name but Gawker scares the shit out of me for obvious reasons." We're not that bad, much of the time!
But don't assume that they're too poor to pay the $300 a friend of mine says they didn't pay for almost a year:
Paul Colichman, the chief executive of Regent/Here Media, is the nice guy who on Sunday opened his home to raise money for the AIDS Project Los Angeles (whose annual AIDS walk just raised $3.1 million). For $150, cocktail-attired guests were invited to schmooze with elite LA A-Gays and Tony-winner John Lloyd Young. But "home" is too delicate a word to describe the new Bel Air mansion Colichman just moved in to with partner David Millbern, the Ice Spiders (?) actor.
You're welcome to send your housewarming gift to 290 Strada Corta Road (a publicly available address), because this fall the duo abandoned their four-bedroom/six-bath 4,550-square foot squatters camp at 10450 Revuelta Way in Los Angeles, which they rented for an estimated $10,000/month, to their new 26-room (nine beds! eight baths!), 6,879-square-footer that overlooks the tony Bel Air Country club. Oh, and there's a (brand new) Maserati parked in the drive. (The new home was assessed this year at $3.5 million, though its "Zestimated" at $9.1 million.)
Because that is how gay media moguls roll!
[These folks are being sued by some huge banks for $90 million saying they committed fraud to get loans and never invested the loan money properly, instead keeping it for themselves.--Ed.]
I'll go out on a limb and guess that management at The Advocate leans to the right.
Maybe it's a sign of the times. With so much media being owned by uber-wealthy people who then use their power to get a right-ward, pro-stupid bend on coverage, perhaps it would be more surprising if the biggest LGBT paper didn't go down that path as well.