September 12, 2007

Suck It, Bill Donohue

There are a lot of things I think about on any given day, only a tiny fraction of which ever make it to this blog. One of the things I never think about is award shows. I don't care about Emmys, Oscars, or Tonys. Normally, such things are right up there with football and shoe styles on my "stuff not to care about today" list.

It's a bit strange to be writing an entry about something that happened at the Emmy Awards, then, but here I am. It has to do with Kathy Griffin, a comedienne with a reality show that won an Emmy. In her acceptance speech, Griffin said:

A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus... Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now.


This upset a whole bunch of people who believe that it's their responsibility to protect the dignity of a particular resident of Bronze Age Palestine. By doing so, they provided evidence that Jesus does suck, at least in their minds. After all, what sort of divine power needs protecting from a few words uttered by a rather insignificant mortal whose opinions sway nobody in the first place (when was the last time you changed anything about your life based on the word of Kathy Griffin?) Leading the crusade to protect the messiah-who-wasn't-there was everybody's favorite leathern bag of decay-scented effluvia, Bill Donohue, Il Duce of the Catholic Defense League. You might remember ol' Bill from back in April when he successfully led the charge against a chocolate Easter-Jesus hung on private property in a New York art gallery.
In an interview with Houston’s gay magazine, OutSmart, Griffin described herself as a ‘complete militant atheist.’ Unfortunately, her kind of vulgar in-your-face brand of hate speech found a receptive audience on Saturday: The Hollywood Reporter says her foul remark ‘drew laughs.’...

It is sure bet that if Griffin had said, ‘Suck it, Muhammad,’ there would have been a very different reaction from the crowd and from the media who covered this event. To say nothing of the Muslim reaction.


Hate speech, Bill? As far as I'm aware, hate speech is public statements meant to incite violence of some form against one or more persons based upon some particular characteristic shared with a targeted group. Griffin's statements have nothing to do with violence nor any living person (and quite possibly no dead one, either). The only thing "hateful" about it is that Bill Donohue and a lot of other people who worry about their invisible best buddy's feelings.

The award show will be broadcast on Saturday night by E!, and Griffin's remarks will be edited out according to a story on their website. As a private entity, E! has every right to edit their awards show however they want. I won't be watching the show, just like I have never, ever watched the Emmy Awards show. I might have just to see someone stand up and say something as rational as "Jesus had nothing to do with me winning this award" after seeing years of steroid-soaked athletes pointing their fingers at the sky every time they successfully hit a ball with a stick. I might have watched just to know that I was seeing something that would make William Donohue turn twelve shades of purple with rage because some two-bit comedienne wasn't getting smited (smote? smitten?) by Gawd Awmighty like Ol' Stinky Bill demanded.

Instead, I will perform an experiment just after I finish writing this entry. I'm going to write another one in which I will commit the same "blasphemy" that Griffin committed, except I'll do it in writing here on my blog. I'm going to make a prediction about the outcome of this experiment right now, before I get started.

I predict that if I write the sentences "suck it, Jesus" and "suck it, Mohammed" alternatively 100 times, I will not be struck by lightning, meteors, or venomous serpents today. In fact, as I'm going to do some field work this morning, it would be a perfect time for Da Lawd to have at me if he/she/it/they want. I further predict that the reaction to this experiment will be no different between Muslims and Christians who see my "blasphemous" entry. Fundamentalists from both religions will hope that I die a horrible death, non-Fundamentalist believers will think I'm a big, fat jerk, and the irreligious will have the most varying reactions, ranging from "who cares?" to "he shouldn't be so offensive" to "wow, that was annoying."

In just a few minutes, then, the experiment begins. I'll report on the results tonight.

Sphere: Related Content