Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The video above is Klaus Nomi's pretty fantastic cover of Leslie Gore's "You Don't Own Me" . It's charming, offbeat, and a crazy lot of fun to watch. It's also a pretty good representation of the character of Nomi's artistic output during his all too brief life and career.
You know what else it is? It's the song Rush Limbaugh often uses to begin his "Gay Update."
Now, we all know that Rush Limbaugh is a fucking idiot. If, in fact, you do not know this, please, I beg of you, just google him and choose, at random, any of his quotes to read or radio shows to listen to. That ought to clear up any confusion nicely.
We also all know that Rush Limbaugh is a homophobe and a bigot of many colors. Here are a couple of Rush's warm and fuzzy quotes about gays.
“The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit.”
“When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it's an invitation”
So, knowing what I know, I shouldn't have found it surprising that Rush uses Nomi's cover of the song as his theme song for the Gay Update.
But somehow, I did find myself surprised. I will never get used to seeing people do blatantly hateful things for no apparent reason. I will never be immunized and desensitized to it. Whether Rush Limbaugh approves of the lifestyle Klaus Nomi lived or not, I can't understand how he would fail to understand that playing that song while reporting on what he considers to be immoral and unethical acts by immoral and unethical people is sick. It's sick. Klaus Nomi died, at age 39, of AIDS. He was a great performer, a brilliant man, and he died far too young, one of the first casualties of an illness we didn't yet, and still to some degree don't, understand.
Even if Limbaugh believes the man's lifestyle to have been disgusting, how can he not see that this man was a human being, someone's son, someone's friend, someone's lover, someone's brother? How can a person sleep well at night while essentially saying, every time they play this song over hateful words about a part of the singer's life, a part of who he was, that they are glad he's dead? That they believe he got what he deserved?
One does have to wonder what Rush would think if someone started playing a recording of one of his shows every time they started denouncing drug addicts? Especially if they took up that practice only after he had passed away from drug related issues? I'm not saying, at all, that I'd be glad to see Rush Limbaugh die of a drug overdose, or that I'd say he deserved what he go...well, hold on a second.
There's a pretty big difference between Limbaugh's publicized struggles with prescription drugs, and Klaus Nomi's homosexuality. What's the difference, you ask?
Personal responsibility and choice. Anyone with half a brain in their head knows that being gay is not a choice, whereas being an over privileged, middle aged, fat headed bigot of a junkie? Is. In fact. A choice.
It's amazing to me how blind people like Limbaugh are to the fact that all of their misdirected hatred and nastiness is obviously going to come back on them, owing largely to the fact that they, like everyone else on the planet, are not perfect. They are human beings, and thus they are flawed, and as they put themselves in positions of high visibility while spewing viciousness and cruelty, they are much more likely to have those flaws spilled onto the public canvas for all to see. Rightly so. Keep on popping those vicodin, Rush. Maybe next time the entire world gets treated to a peek at how very, very flawed you are, you'll reconsider your policy of being a heartless, spineless, conscience-less bully.
Before I go, I'd like to add a few more adjectives to the ones I've directed at Rush Limbaugh. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
- Foul, fuckwit, toadlike, hammerhead archetype, coathanger bait, idiotic, moron, fucktard, wackaloon, jackass, worthless, asshat, assclown, dickhead, prick, turd, bigot, accidentally unaborted fetus of a man. - Again, please feel free to add your own, as my list is extremely limited and in no way goes far enough to describe the skidmark that is this man accurately.
I'll end with a final treat from the singularly talented Mr. Nomi.