Tuesday, July 21, 2009
A Pie in the Face
It's funny when the Three Stooges throw pies, and it was a laugh riot growing up watching Bozo the Clown take a pie in the face, but on the evening news? Could it happen today? It did in 1977. Most people today don't remember Anita Bryant, but I remember the buttons people wore: Anita Bryant Sucks Oranges (and worse). She was the beauty queen turned singer who made it her mission to repeal gay rights. I hadn't thought much about her. Why would I? She was a thirty five year has been at least. But recently I watched Milk, starring Sean Penn. Harvey Milk was assassinated along with the Mayor of San Francisco in 1978. Milk had been the first openly gay politician. This was while Bryant was touring the country saying gay people, because they didn't reproduce were busy recruiting your children to join them. In other words, abbracaddabra and a kid with no such inclination ever becomes homosexual because of gay pixie dust. Thus spake Anita, and people took it seriously. More frighteningly, people still do. Google Anita and you'll find a lot of vitriol and a fair amount of recent admiration. I had forgotten how vicious she was, and how ignorant. It was frightening that such nonsense got such play.
Anita was "pied" at an airport in 1978. By this time her credibility, both as a well compensated spokesperson for the Florida Citrus Association and, as a singer and as an activist was waning. She became ridiculous. It's one thing to be opinionated and passionate, it's another thing to be stupid. Even your friends lose patience.
I never like to see anyone vilified for their views, much less assaulted. But go ahead, ask me to feel sorry for her. Just ask me.