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Tom Malin, Media Culture & Redemption

After a pretty intense three weeks of blogging, I found myself slowing down a bit this week. It seems I’ve been more in a thinking than a writing mood, some thoughts for future posts, others related to ideas for my dissertation (ideas which I have finally been putting down on paper) and yet others for screenplays and this fantasy epic that has been kicking around in my head.

And some stories in the news (and on this blog) have given me pause.

As I follow the news about vile terrorists blowing up a shrine sacred to one sect of Islam, I see some similarity between the sectarian violence those terrorists hope to foment and that which took place Great Britain for the better part of two centuries (the 16th and 17th).

When I read that Senate Majority Bill Frist has scheduled a vote on the “Marriage Protection Amendment” for June 5, 2006 (as part of his already-doomed bid for the White House in 2008), I wonder if advocates of gay marriage would use this an occasion to have a serious debate on the topic or return to the juvenile rhetoric which has dominated the debate in the past. (The initial signs are not good.) But, there’s more than three months until the vote.

Let us hope that gay leaders come to their senses and make arguments for gay marriage like Jonathan Rauch (especially in the chapter “What is Marriage for” in his book Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America) and Dale Carpenter (in his columns) have made. Instead of having angry adolescents, ever eager to repeat mantras from Poli Sci 101, dominate the debate, it would be nice if such grownups would lead the way, encouraging all gay marriage advocates to engage their opponents with serious arguments rather than ideological attacks. (Yes, I have been accused of being a “cockeyed optimist.”)

One subject which has occupied my attention has been the case of Tom Malin, not so much because I particularly care whether or not this man wins a seat in the Texas legislature but because of what his case says about gay culture and American politics today. First, it shows the hypocrisy of many gay left bloggers, eager to expose the hustling past of a Republican journalist, yet indifferent to a Democratic candidate’s similar past. (And it seems those very bloggers believe “hypocrisy is quite possibly the greatest crime one can ever possibly commit.“)