R Conrad

Bill Hicks on Gays in the Military

Filed By R Conrad | September 22, 2011 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Bill Hicks, comedy, Don't Ask Don't Tell, gays in the military

A little comedic antidote from years ago to offset all the pro-war, pro-military shenanigans that have taken over the headlines of LGBT news outlets. I only wonder what Bill Hicks would have to say today about our current political landscape...


Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


might you have meant an "anecdote" rather than an antidote?

An antidote is a corrective of some sort, literally something used to counteract a poison - so I believe Ryan meant exactly that. The clip is not an anecdote, anyway.

Paige Listerud | September 22, 2011 9:51 PM

"Anyone dumb enough to join, should join . . ." Unfortunately, more often that not it's anybody poor enough to join . . .

Aubrey Haltom | September 23, 2011 9:38 AM

I've always enjoyed Bill Hicks' comedy/social critique.

But I just have to note that it's not just a matter of being dumb, or being poor, that leads people to join the military.

It's probably best to refrain from arrogant and/or condescending remarks when talking about people's reasons for joining the military.

I'm not pro-military by any means. (not that it matters, but I'm old enough to have registered as a C.O. in the 70s; to be spared the process as the draft was ended.)

And I'm a little puzzled by the tact taken by Conrad (and Nair).

Perhaps it's nothing more than a little provocative marketing ("anti-equality" is a good headline grabber, eh?), but would Conrad rather see gays banned from the military?

Should gays be banned from civil marriage? Does the 'anti-equality' collective celebrate every state constitutional amendment denying equality? (that's pretty 'anti-equality', isn't it?)

I think there are some very valid arguments made by Conrad, Nair, etc... re: the manner benefits are distributed in this country, and re: the military and its role.

But "pro-war, pro-military shenanigans" because "lgbt news outlets" are celebrating the end of a discriminatory policy?

Sometimes the valid arguments get lost in the rigid fundamentalism of the left. (How eerily similar Conrad and Nair's pejorative use of the word 'conservative' is to, say, a Republican's disparaging use of the word 'liberal'.)

I would challenge you or anyone else to find anything in what we've ever written that substantiates the claim that we are *for* discrimination. Seriously. Find one sentence that says something to this effect, "We love the discrimination inherent in DADT/marriage bans," and I will personally fly you out to Chicago (if you're not here already), and treat you to lunch. I will pay for your marriage. I will fund your children's entrance into college. Whatever. (Given my current economic state, it might take some years before I can make good on my promise, but you get the point).

Instead, I don't have to go far to find hundreds of pro-war, pro-military pieces, both on TBP and elsewhere. They don't merely celebrate the end of discrimination, but they go on to list the ways that queers can now begin to fight for the freedom that the US represents and the rest. You want proof? Take a look at Dan Choi's rhetoric - he thinks war is a beautiful thing.

I have critiqued him and other yes, pro-war gays for this.
http://www.bilerico.com/2011/09/dan_choi_is_no_hero_or_rage_or_the_lack_thereof.php


I would start listing the numerous other bits of evidence everywhere, but really, you and others know exactly what I mean.

Which is to say: I'm tired of this red herring argument being thrown up every time someone critiques the mainstream gay rhetoric around DADT. Stop making things up, and get to the heart of the matter. Do you have an issue with our anti-war, anti-military agenda? Great. Tell us what you think. But don't show up here blatantly lying about what we've really said.

And, please, liberals are the problem - don't look here for any support for liberals.

I also suggest you take a look at the many very nuanced and solid pieces about DADT and the military on the Against Equality website.

It's a classic example of, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

If you don't support the repeal of laws specifically designed to discriminate against GLBT people, then that's tantamount to supporting discrimination, regardless of what you state publicly. I'm no more pro-war than you are, but I also steadfastly oppose GLBT people being denied legal rights based on who they are.

Ryan's "We

The same is true of your stance on marriage. "We oppose marriage on principle, so if GLBT people are barred from marrying, we don't lose any sleep over it."

Some of what I wrote isn't appearing in the post, so here it is again:

It's a classic example of, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

If you don't support the repeal of laws specifically designed to discriminate against GLBT people, then that's tantamount to supporting discrimination, regardless of what you state publicly. I'm no more pro-war than you are, but I also steadfastly oppose GLBT people being denied legal rights based on who they are.

Ryan's "We love D.A.D.T." post back in November says it all. Basically what that meant was, "We're against the military, and we think all GLBT people should be too, so we countenance discrimination against GLBT people in the form of DADT."

The same is true of your stance on marriage, which basically says, "We oppose marriage on principle, so if GLBT people are barred from marrying, we don't lose any sleep over it."

And, seriously, I ask you to find a sentence and you show up with the same, "Basically, this is what you're saying?" "Basically?" Read my original comment. Respond accordingly. If you can't --- well...

Pass the salt!

You gotta work for that free lunch, brother!

And, of course, in the usual brilliance of TBP comment threads, this will become yet another red herring: "Let's keep Yasmin occupied with arguing about irrelevant details and never, like, ever have a real discussion as to why queers in the army should actually be held accountable for joining. And let's not criticise the strucural problems with a society where the military has become an economic option for the poorest amongst us, and the fact that the poorest amongst us include queers. And, you know the rest."

The red herring returns, with butter.

We don't sleep over it still does not mean we support discrimination. It means we don't make it a priority. It means we're not going out there to fight against marrige amendments - mostly because we're desperately fighting to keep schools and shelters open. Marriage is not a priority.

Just as, you know, HRC and others don't lose any sleep over the real economic issues facing queers everywhere.

That's also movement politics - which, as so many of AE's critics here have reminded us, is about priorities. Wait, how do they put it? Oh, yes, that's right: "If you don't like it, just don't get married and start your OWN organisations/groups." Well, we did.

Any one of our posts here will demonstrate how often that argument has been used.