Friday, July 12, 2013

The Stupids

This blog has aimed to promote my books, and offer enlightening insight into goodhearted people, fictional or otherwise, that relate to my novels' themes.

But today I find myself overwhelmed by a veritable smorgasbord of The Stupids.

The biggest recent act of stupidity (allegedly) is that of the pilot of the Korean Asiana, who crashed the airplane on a runway at San Francisco International Airport. While bold acts of heroism have been documented in saving nearly all the crew and passengers, one passenger, alleged covered in the fire-preventing foam, was not seen by a rescue truck and run over.

Compounding that act of stupidity was the media releasing information about that girl's horrible death before her parents were informed. And the novice pilot, in a desperate attempt to divert blame, said that he was "blinded" by a light, perhaps a laser.

But the media didn't stop there in its stupid coverage of the crash.

The Chicago Sun-Times headline "FRIGHT 214" was assailed for its (deliberate or inadvertent) racist pun poking fun at Asian mispronunciation of the letter L. The Asian American Journalists Association addressed the issue, gave the Sun-Times a pass, but admonished the paper for its probable lack of staff diversity.

But the AAJA must assuredly not forgive the absolutely idiotic graphic broadcast by San Francisco Fox station KTVU. Inane puns on the level of a Family Guy episode were shown on-screen by a harried anchor with, apparently, no proofreading skills.

Ironically, below the linked article is an ad reading "Launch Your Copy Editing Career." No doubt there will be an opening at the Fox affiliate very soon!

Because I'm working on another novel about a gay couple in the 1980s, one of them a paraplegic, it's interesting to compare stupidity about gay people with stupidity about disabled people. 

The Facebook page Representing Disability in Media provides a thorough daily account of worldwide articles on the good and bad events involving people with diverse disabilities. While it's heartwarming to read about improvements in accessibility and peoples' accomplishments, it remains astounding to see continued obstinate stupidity from able-bodied people.

In Savannah, Georgia, an 11-year-old girl was denied entry to a museum with her mother because an employee said "her wheels would get the carpet dirty." The museum later apologized, and probably scolded the stupid employee. However, the museum still lacks an elevator or lift for entry, which is very stupid, and illegal.

Among the other stupids: Starbucks employees.

In a shocking case of ongoing and repeated discrimination, New York City Starbucks' employees harassed a dozen deaf customers, refused them service, and kicked them out of the coffee shop. 

After sending a complaint email, the victims were offered a gift card.
They are suing. I hope they get a huge settlement.

And speaking of coffee, Hollywood celebrity publicists concocted an allegedly staged series of public appearances with actress Kaley Cuoco purchasing two cups of (probably the awful Starbucks) java, allegedly for her new companion, actor Henry Cavill. The pair were also photographed shopping for groceries, and wearing a set of spanking new casual clothes, which conveniently wound up in a fashion spread for People magazine's website (or magazine; who cares?).

Apparently, in order to be a successful star, a handsome and perpetually single actor like the handsome Cavill still needs to have a series of alleged "showmances" to prove his virility.

That's because Hollywood publicists think we're stupid. Even before the days of Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter, actors have often posed for staged photo shoots with women whom they "dated." Poor Cavill could barely raise a grin throughout the proceedings.
Unfortunately, after a mere two weeks, the "couple" are no longer "dating."

Moving to international gay news, what of Russia, the empire of tyranny? [stupid segue, I know]

The mere possibility of being, acting or supporting anything gay is now punishable by jail.
Gay or "gay-acting" tourists can face jail time and deportation. Of course anyone stupid enough to visit the draconian country probably deserves such punishment, excepting the bold and beautiful actress Tilda Swinton, who dared to wave a rainbow flag in Moscow.

The rainbow-phobic stupidity is not limited to that country, certainly. A very, very stupid Louisiana city council Republican has concocted a bill to ban all government waving of rainbow flags. Perhaps he should move to Russia.

And anyone who doesn't understand the close relationship between gay rights and women's reproductive rights is...well, stupid.

In Texas, the controversy over abortion legislation continues at a preposterous pace, as people entering the state capitol, women, of course, are having any tampons and sanitary napkins confiscated. Apparently, the men in power fear for their lives from "projectiles."

But guns are allowed in the state house. It is Texas, after all.

And in a completely unrelated example of idiocy, a Nashville "lawyer" is suing computer conglomerate Apple for not preventing him from becoming addicted to porn.

It's one thing for people to act stupid accidentally or through ignorance. It's another thing to pronounce it to the world.

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