It Gets Louder…

Posted: October 10, 2010 in Identity, Uncategorized

Amidst my crazy ranting about why Dan Savage is a COCK, I managed to find time to calm down and look beyond my own tiny section of the earth, at the arguments going on out in the world, about the It Gets Better Project. I am relieved to say there has been a lot of intelligent and thought-out critique of the campaign, its aims and objectives, and its approach to the suffering of young people, whatever their sexual orientation. 

This is the post I featured before, which has had over 40,000 hits in the last week, and which is being used to spark discussion all over the net and in people’s bedrooms and hallways and lives:

Two people have taken my words and made them sound more intelligent than they were, so I recommend reading their take on the issue:

And some other folk have critiqued not only It Gets Better, but also Dan Savage’s whole approach to talking about sex, identity and relationships.

Oh and someone has linked to my last post on this subject, in a discussion on a blog that I think is German! I can’t speak or read German but hello! … It must be getting louder…

I leave these links to show that dissent and discussion is possible although sometimes the critical voices that go against the grain of liberal consensus, can get marginalised and go unheard. But in this case dissent has got louder and that heartens me.

Here’s another classic from Dan Savage:

‘Dying is easy. Coming out is hard’*.

*Turns out this is a paraphrased quote from actor Henry Irving: ‘Dying is easy. Comedy is hard’. You decide if it is funny or not.  Especially in the light of Savage’s current crusades…

 Oh really Dan? I can’t be sure as I have never done either. But I am going to take a wild guess that when the time comes  for you to meet your maker, you are going to wish to goodness that you were just standing in front of your ma and your pa, telling them that you like it up the ass (I doubt they see the subtle difference between a fucker and a sucker Dan, so it doesn’t really matter if that is not technically the case).  Have a nice day.

  1. Fuck me, what was the context of his ‘Dying is easy. Coming out is hard’ quote?

    Now, I’m annoyed.

    Dying isn’t easy. It’s hard. It’s really fucking hard.

    If dying was at all easy, I would have offed myself a long time ago.

    Argh, what a horrible, horrible thing to say.


  2. I think it’s like a general ‘strapline’ of his… (click on ‘read more’ on his blurb)

  3. Alex says:

    The nice German lady said:
    “p.s. on the subject of “it gets better” – What if it just DOESN’T get better?
    And how can “it” get better for those affected?”

    Funnily enough, the blog is called “Girls’ Team”.

  4. Alex says:

    Also, I’ve just noticed how brilliantly “Girls’ Team” translates into German – it alliterates and ‘team’ in German is basically ‘manship’. Nice.

  5. haha thanks alex. So girls’ team is girls’ manship? great. I love translations…

  6. Angelika says:

    hello dear Quiet Riot Girl – I am the one who posted your blog with the (German) blog of Maedchenmannschaft (guilty 😉

    actually I found your blog via sexgenderbody – I have been feeling “queer” about this “it gets better campaign” (Savage on YT etc.) – you and femmephane put IT into words and I wish to thank you !!!

    actually, German is a very (purely) androcentric language and I don’t have an adequate english word to translate “Mann-schaft” (“men-team”).
    funny how a group of alpha-girls (their origin) names their blog. well.

    I’ll be back to read more of your thoughts

    (non-bloggess just a terribly curious woman),
    XO Angelika, Germany

  7. Angelika says:

    p.s. as you say above “crazy ranting” ?!
    plu-ease, not imho – I actually find your posts make a lot of sense to me and I tend to see your blog and posts in the context of sex-positivity, may I ?
    besides, it is YOUR blog. nuff said 😉


    • hI Angelika

      thanks for stopping by!

      I said crazy ranting as I think I did go a bit off on one about Mr Savage, especially about his obsession with cocks!

      But I am very grateful and heartened people are discussing and critiquing ‘It Gets Better’…

  8. hmm says:

    I’ll step on some twigs in the bears cave here, if I’m taken the “wrong” way (NORMATIVITY RULES!), but

    I’ve detested Dan Savage as being nothing but a “respectable” gay who adopts all the repressions and phobias of bourgeois/middleclass/conservativeamerican nuclear family hysteria about pretty much everything except that he adds the footnote that the differentness of being homosexual should be accepted in its own normativity, not as a fluid question but an imprisoning permanent identity. Gay is just another interest group, and he’s a part of it. (To wit: all the PC anti racism/sexism, age of consent hysteria, fear of power and inequality dressed up as meaningless egalitarian respect, reducing not only the bedroom but the life of the erotic mind to a repressed generic reproductivity or anti-reproductivity because it must avoid any dangerous territory where it might be embarrassed or punished or hurt or condemned. Which a lot of ostensibly free thinking sexualists probably share.

    HOWEVER, on a Bill Maher episode of real time in 2009 (may 15 I believe and yes I know Maher sucks), Savage said very vehemently, at the beginning of Obama’s tenure, that he wanted investigations into war crimes, torture and a fraud war to be held and to hold accountable not small patsies but the top of the bush admin. Say what you want about DS (and you’re welcome to pour flaming oil as much as you like, I can’t stand him), but he was one of very few voices who was holding his party’s new president to criticism early on instead of defending or rationalizing every crooked move as “pragmatic” or requiring patience.
    My question is:

    Does Danny have an intolerant view of sex because he’s a strident activist who has a few choice principles and throws away all others in the pursuit of them (in his case, gay marriage).
    Or does it take someone who is basically unimaginative and intolerant of dangerous imaginative fluidity, to demand accountability where some might consider it inconvenient?

    I’m not trying to turn this into a political discussion although the context makes it rather difficult not to. Rather, how principled is Dan in his strident lack of imagination?

    Contrast to a politician (and you can’t avoid mentioning obama, because he’s there now, but this really applies to any pol) who seems to have “imagination” by virtue of having no principles. So if power is achieved by being strident and honest, he’ll be so. If it’s achieved by coddling corruption, he’ll do that.

    And so, how principled (albeit cruelly unimaginative) is it to encourage teenagers to “come out” and box themselves in for the purpose of creating a visible “gay” society that forces acceptance (essentially using teenagers as canon fodder in a social discourse between various phobias, passions, rages and economic and social stigma – strangely treating them as rough and ready social soldiers while he also writes that any adult who thinks sensually of teens is essentially a pedophile because they’re immature and helpless)?
    Conversely, how principled is it to assert privacy and private erotic development in an intolerant society, where the teen gives himself space to think without making his fluid erotic identity something to constantly defend, when this can also reinforce intolerance by silence?

    • hmm says:

      oh, fuck, I wrote a whole fucking column in the comment section. What can I do? That’s how I *think* !

    • well hmm I don’t know much about American Politics with a big ‘P’ but I did read that Danny (I like it!) was in favour of the Iraq war initially and only started speaking out against it when he decided it was going to ‘fail’. I’d suggest that was quite pragmatic and Political myself…

      I agree with your views on how he uses teenagers as ‘canon fodder in a social discourse’=great phrase.

      Very perceptive comments you live up to your name, hmm…

      • hmm says:

        Well that sure dumps the wine out of my theory that only fixated, unimaginative people can find the time and will to focus on a political goal over enjoying life and accommodating power. So I’m back to square one. Because I don’t have it in me and yet as admirable as it can be, I don’t find political activists anything more than mildly tolerable.

        Lately this question preoccupies me. And it makes me think of an interview joni mitchell gave (which is more than once a sewer of bland tree hugging) where she has a moment about the ages of man (and hence all the issue of which character can take what action):

        JM: My first four albums covered the usual youth problems — looking for love in all the wrong places — while the next five are basically about being in your 30s. Things start losing their profundity; in middle-late age, you enter a tragedian period, realizing that the human animal isn’t changing for the better. In a way, I think I entered straight into my tragedian period, as my work is set against the stupid, destructive way we live on this planet.

        –It’s From a piece on a male performance artist (john kelly) going into I guess what I’d call “Joni drag” to perform her in LA this past Spring. There’s something very high schoolish about it and he seems to be having more “fun” than american gay spokesmen seem to think is possible in a gay-hating world. More than is Possible or even permissible, for decent gays.,0,5684541.story?page=1

        • haha hmm I loved Joni M since I was a teenager. ‘I think I entered straight into my tragedian period, as my work is set against the stupid, destructive way we live on this planet.’ rings very true for me!

  9. DanielNothing says:

    Um i hate to point this out, but Savage is paraphrasing a famous quote, attributed to the classical actor Henry Irving: ‘Dying is easy. COMEDY is hard.’

    Maybe he thought that the quote was better known and would come across as the obviously jokey allusion it is.

    • Ha thanks Dan for pointing that out. But in the light of his mass campaign about young people’s suicides, maybe he should have taken down that funny quote from his facebook page? I think it is even more crass if it is a joke. He wants to be respected as funny and also as pious.

  10. […] original post here: It Gets Louder… Tags: another-classic, arguments, case, dan savage is annoying, earth, german, henry-irving, […]

  11. Josh Hunt says:

    You might be interested in this excellent piece in the New Statesman, looking at at the It Gets Better campaign per se, but at the way Katy Perry’s management have tried to cash in on it. It’s suggestion that the campaign’s promotion of personal resilience over real change rings very true…

  12. Josh Hunt says:

    that should have read “NOT looking at the It Gets Better Campaign per se…”

  13. thanks Josh. I am not a massive fan of Penny’s journalism but I agree with her about It Gets Better. Not sure if I agree with her about Katy Perry’s firework tits though!

  14. SG says:

    Yes Savage is still biphobic and transphobic and there’s a discussion about it here.

    There are gay men on that blog who are in full denial about how Savage is transphobic and biphobic.

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