These Americans are crazy

You  know, seriously, I just don’t think we have ANY idea, here in South Africa, how demented  conservative Americans really are.  I am not saying that we do not have very interesting groups of our own, like Cosatu, who went marching on Tito  this week demanding a 200 to 300-point rate cut, for example, but still. If Cosatu ran seminars on how dangerous it is to get into debt in the first place, and had weekly workshops (on Saturdays, cutting into shopping time, perhaps) on how to avoid those ubiquitous lay-bye offers flashing in the display windows of furniture salesrooms everywhere, then we could talk. But no, the quick fix is what they are after. Add to this the time they plan to spend marching on Helen Zille… they are ALREADY never at fucking work and they haven’t even started striking yet. At this rate, who is going to notice when they do?

But I digress.

Even here,  gay people can happily get married, despite lengthy consultation with the religious leaders of various religions and denominations (ASIDE: is anybody else also amused by the fact that “denomination” is a term mainly associated with religion and money?)  during the Civil Union Bill hearings, who all argued furiously against the constitutional rights of gay people, I am sure. To this day I do not understand the reason for this consultation, and I get very angry when I think about that, so I am moving along right away.

President JZ has made his feelings on gays quite clear… same-sex marriages are a disgrace to the nation and to God, he said, and homosexuals inspired such revulsion in him that if they merely stood in front him, he would be forced to knock them out. His feelings might have changed since he became president, just like the fact that he is no longer guilty enough of corruption to be charged.

Most South Africans think that gay people are not human, or at least not human enough to enjoy the human rights enshrined in our constitution. (I base this fantastic generalisation on the fact that an alarming proportion of South Africans attend one church or another and that church goers are famously outraged at homosexuals being openly homosexual. It’s okay if they are around, but they should not impress their same-sex desires on anybody else in the congregation and they should definitely not become priests. If you add to this number all the white people in, say, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Vryheid. Ermelo, Wolmeranstad, Rustenburg and Potchefstroom who sleep in on a Sunday, it would probably give you a convincing majority). Nonetheless, in South Africa gay people enjoy the same rights that badly dressed and flabby heterosexuals do. There are out-of-the-closet homosexuals in important positions in government and in the judiciary. They can get married and adopt children.

But not in California. In spite of Alec Baldwin’s wonderfully complex and convincing blog[1] for the Huffington Post, homosexuals cannot get married. They could get married last year. And those marriages are legal, still. But new ones are not.

Does this make sense to anybody? At all? The Onion’s take on it is so radical I am not sure it is funny. Because the senselessness of  it is so close to the bone. CONSERVATIVES WARN QUICK SEX CHANGE ONLY BARRIER BETWEEN GAYS, MARRIAGE, the headline says. In its classic CNN style, the report interviews the “Missouri congressman” who co-authored legislation to close the so-called “gay marriage loop-hole”. The legislation deals with the possibility that homosexuals could simply have “gender reassignment surgery” in order to  make it legal for them to get married. Really. Go see it. It’s not much more absurd than the actual events. If Goscinny and Uderzo had Asterix and Obelix in America, Obelix would have said… “these Americans  are crazy!”

But then I guess they did vote Dubya into office… twice. What does one expect?


[1] I am just kidding. But I am pleased with Alec’s piece, it shows that his heart is in the right place. And I completely understand and forgive the gaffe about the Filipino mail-order bride. He was clearly trying not to offend the Russians, and put his right foot in it, instead.


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