As you can see if you go back one entry, I pledged all my book royalties from July 8th through the 15th for True Porn Clerk Stories, a mostly funny account of my time as a clerk in a store that dealt primarily in adult videos, to the Obama 2012 campaign.
I did it in reaction to Michele Bachmann’s signing the FAMiLY LEADER pledge to protect and defend all sorts of vague buzzwordy concepts. They seem to be for smiling families and “God’s truth” and against people who live their lives outside of narrow religious guidelines. They are also, obviously, against capitalizing things in non-stupid ways.
I would dearly love to help primary her out of the race and stop the awful, slow-drip media mainstreaming of her radical theocratic views, but there is not one single Republican candidate that I can stomach giving money to. I will only give them scorn and guff. I will try, out of decorum, to resist giving them the finger, but I can’t make any solid promises.
The porn section of the pledge is what inspired Books Against Bachmann because it’s what’s relevant to the issues I deal with in my book. And because, as a fan of the First Amendment, I find it really freaking infuriating that Bachmann, who has claimed ad nauseum that she is a strict Constitutionalist, that she loves the Constitution so much that she wants to marry it (as long as that wouldn’t be gay), is so willing to toss it so lightly out the window.
What, Representative Bachmann, did you and the Constitution have a spat?
It seemed appropriate to donate my royalties against her because my book is (I hope) antithetical to the dumb-ass black-and-white thinking that the monumentally stupid pledge involves. Several big chunks of the book involve me learning, more times than I care to admit, the hard lesson that just because someone likes different things than I do or processes the world differently doesn’t make him wrong or a bad person.
Go on and try imagining Bachmann or her fellow signer Rick Santorum or the FAMiLY folks ever saying something like that. Sorry about what that just did to your brain.
(I know Santorum signed soon after Bachmann did, but for some reason that hasn’t made me as angry. For one thing, we all know he’ll never get elected thanks to the fact that he won’t even be able to carry his home state and his wee Google problem. For another, he’s widely seen as one of the dumbest creatures to hit Congress in living memory and my grandfather always told me that idiots didn’t ask to be that way and we have to show compassion.
I’m also not in any way surprised that Santorum signed the pledge. I don’t believe he’s capable of doing anything else. My year and a half of selling porn gave me some pretty good instincts, and if I ever had to pick someone I haven’t met who has a porn-and-then-self-loathing-and-then-a-pledge-to-stop-and-then-more-porn-while-crying cycle, I’d put money on that guy. A further educated guess? He’d spend a lot of time in what my store used to sensitively call the “She-Male” section.)
That sort of pledge is easy for a far right-winger to sign because a) it sounds Jesusy and b) we all know that actually carrying out the ban is pretty much impossible, so one can shout and hand-wring with very little risk.
But it does perpetuate the notions that there are books and movies and images that are inherently good or inherently bad and that it’s appropriate for one group to determine what they are, that women and children are similar classes of helpless beings that need to be “protected” from things, and that one could solve the complex and often troubling issues that porn brings up by simply banning it.
And all of those notions are bunk, and, to different degrees, offensive. And, yes, I’ll say it: They’re Un-American.
But there is lots more to infuriate and offend in the pledge. It’s a festival of self-righteous sociopathy.
There was the assertion that American blacks were better off – and had more stable families – under slavery than they are now. After people pointed out that being raped and beaten and routinely having one’s family members sold states away was perhaps not as neato as the pledge implied, the Family Leader (I am DONE with that stupid capitalization) creeps withdrew the language and said that it isn’t that they said anything wrong, it’s just that we weren’t deep enough to get them and “misconstrued” their statements.
(Bachmann now says that she never agreed with the slavery stuff. But she signed the pledge anyway. Could someone explain to her how pledges work?)
There was the usual bigoted anti-Muslim fear-trolling, almost a given nowadays, and then a cornucopia of vicious anti-LGBT language, calling homosexuality a choice, wrong, and a public health risk, among other charming tidbits, and of course one shouldn’t allow gays to threaten the institution of marriage by wholeheartedly participating in it.
And that insidious bigotry, along with Marcus Bachmann’s antigay “therapy” practice, suggested that there might be a more appropriate organization at which to fling the literally tens of dollars I make in royalties each month.
I’m going to go ahead and donate the week I’ve already pledged to Obama 2012 because that’s what I said I’d do – See how that works? – but the final two weeks in July are going to an organization that offers a more direct response to the Bachmann’s unsafe emissions.
Thanks to an excellent suggestion by @ruralhybrid, I’ll be donating the rest of my month’s royalties, the 16th through the 31st, to Truth Wins Out, an organization that fights homophobia and damaging ex-gay “therapy.”
Just to be clear, I’m donating my royalties – what I make – rather than the full cost of the book, though I plan to kick in a bit for each donation to make a nice, round number. So your $10 for the paperback edition or $5 for the Kindle edition doesn’t all go to to the organization. (But hey! You do get a thinky-yet-hilarious book out of the deal, so it’s not all bad.)
I’m all for exposing and thwarting (or at least irritating) the Bachmanns whether my book is involved or not, so if you’d prefer to just donate your money directly to Truth Wins Out or the Obama 2012 campaign or any other worthy Bachmannoying organization, please do.
Yes, I realize that the above paragraphs suggest that I am maybe not a whiz at promoting my own book. It has been mentioned before.
Anyway, please read books, mine or not, and please help make the press understand that theocratic bigots cannot and must not be taken seriously as candidates for national office.
And if you have a moment or a buck or two, please do what you can to let FAMiLY LEADER and Santorum and the Bachmanns know that they don’t get to tell the rest of us what to read, how to think, or who to love.
Or just annoy them. That’s fine too.