Letter to the Editor(s)
We, the editors (Allen and I) receive a lot of hate mail at Red State Blue State. The majority of said hate mail comes from disgruntled Cub fans who are disturbed by the gospel spread across these pages regarding their hapless team, propensity for drunkeness and overall distorted world view. These expletive-filled rants are, for the most part, unsuitable for a family viewing audience and that is why they remain unposted. Until you can learn to express your thoughts without verbally abusing my mother they will remain that way.
Of course, we also receive hate mail from readers who are tired of seeing so much blog space wasted on the Tigers — a team destined for ultimate failure in what was supposed to be a cakewalk to the championship. For this, I feel your pain, dear readers. Perhaps Mr. Krause should think about starting an NHL or NBA blog for Hockeytown so Detroit suburbanites don’t feel so bad about the city they pretend doesn’t exist. Just a thought.
Despite the influx of hateful emails filling up our inbox, one recent, well-crafted letter caught my attention and I feel it is worthy of being addressed. After my post entitled Don’t Look Right, where I finished by citing a few images of juxtaposition, I received a thoughtful, inspiring letter from an avid RSBS reader:
“Dear Mr. Lung,
As a person who tries every day to expose himself to new and unexplored avenues
of life I do my best to stay up to date on your baseball blog. While not
a baseball fan myself, the witty and comical retorts that I read in your words
every week are enough to keep me coming back for more exposure to a world I
would normally not be a part of. I was especially moved by your last
piece on “Don’t Look Right”. I found your list of oddities very
compelling and I wished that you had expounded on your list of things that,
although are acceptable, just don’t look right. A possessed child, a
basketball player on the wrong team, and boys kissing boys were a few mentions
on your list. Here are a few other ideas that you may want to add to your
list of things that are “ok”, but “just don’t look right”:
1. Black people walking around shackle-free
2. Mexicans on University campuses
3. Women voting
4. Recovering drug addicts not living under bridges
5. Cab drivers who are good people, not just unemployed terrorists
6. Colombians who are not members of a drug cartel
7. People from Quincy [Illinois] with
These are just an assortment of items that once upon time were practically
accepted as fact, yet today they find themselves in the dustbin of obscurity.
And this dustbin of obscurity is exactly where I plan to put your last
I would point out that even though you may find two men, of whatever
relationship, in baseball uniforms kissing on the mouth something that’s
“ok” but “just doesn’t look right” an acceptable thing to
say on a baseball blog, I take issue with it. Even if you dare suggest
that one of the two men kissing is “the most macho stereotypical
dude” in an attempt to qualify your statement, your idea is not made more
palatable. The notion that gay men are mincing fairies who operate at
only the extremes of male femininity is akin to the notion that all black men
are lazy, shiftless products of welfare. Although both descriptions can
be applied to some of the members of each group, it does not apply to the
majority, nor does it define a reasonable understanding of either
minority. Gay men who operate just as straight men do are everywhere
these days, mostly because they have come out of hiding since the once popular
opinion that gay men are all sissies has since become antiquated. It
should be noted that now-a-days gay men play sports. They play baseball,
like Billy Bean. They play basketball, like John Amaechi.
They play football, like Esera Tuaolo and David Kopay. They play
lacrosse, like Andrew Goldstein. Simply put, they are in every sport;
they always have been. And none of them are the sissies and gallivanting
qu**rs that seem to occupy your understanding of what “does look
right” when two men kiss. You can even step outside of the sports
world and still come across gay men who act just like you. Neil Patrick
Harris of Doogie Hauser…..not an effeminate man. T.R. Knight of Greys
Anatomy….also, justa regular guy. They are guys, fellas, buds,
bros, just like every other man in the world. Their lives aren’t defined
by gay stereotypes and ideas that if they kiss another man, especially in a
sports setting, that it “just doesn’t look right.”
It’s 2008 Mr. Lung. What “don’t look right” today is your
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For the record, we the editors at Red State Blue State, have responded to Mr. Meyer with our sincerest apologies. No offense was ever meant by suggesting Ozzie Guillen looks a little off kissing a young boy on the lips. Thanks to this letter, I realize that if I really am the progressive, forward-thinking academic I say I am, this shouldn’t bother me. Perhaps (and it kills me to say it) my view could even be considered ‘wrong’.
For this I am sorry.
Mr. Meyer, for your actions of promoting a more sound, accepting and loving community of baseball fans willing to open up to the ever-changing world around them, we at Red State Blue State will be sending you an “I Hate Bill O’Reilly” t-shirt, free of charge.
Wear it proud.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right… and if you do (Cub fans), learn how to write and formulate your thoughts using cohesive language that wouldn’t be replaced by a series of asterisks by the good people at MLBlogs.