Saturday, February 22, 2014

Just For Attention

This will probably come across as an inadvertent counterpoint to my previous post, but only if you ignore its respective context.

As anyone with an unhealthy addiction to the internet and/or cable news is now surely aware, members of Pussy Riot are once again making headlines. In their efforts to garner attention to the dire political situation of their homeland, they are being criticized...for garnering attention.

In their most recent "stunt," they were set upon by whip-wielding Cossacks, a scenario I honestly could not have even ever dreamed up. And I dreamed about Pussy Riot last night, seriously. The basic, underlying message that Pussy Riot is conveying to those of us enjoying the comforts of the western world is that Putin is a fascist asshole, please flipping help. Most of you may claim to have already been aware of this fact, Putin's existence as a rectum (a Putin pooter, if you will...or not), but what have you done about it lately? SQUIRREL!

I'm not sure what to do about Putin. However, one very easy thing I can do is denounce him and defend Pussy Riot.

Now, there are those among us who wish to criticize Pussy Riot on the basis that they're "just doing it for attention." To which I respond, YES. That's usually what awareness and activism is all about, homebody. But when their version of getting attention also runs the risk of seeing them (repeatedly) whipped, detained, and sent to prison, I have to seriously question where you get off marginalizing their efforts. EFFORTS. They're DOING SOMETHING. You and I are blogging and bitching. If anyone is just desperately trying to achieve attention, it's the rest of us. You're just jealous.

Something similar happens whenever a celebrity or famous athlete decides to come out of the closet. Multitudes of commentators write off the event as one of shameless self-promotion. Anything to not have to acknowledge a positive societal shift, I suppose. But it's uncommon for a football player to be gay, and it's important for the gay ones to try to help change that. You only see it as someone parading around their sexuality because you live in a bubble (be it self-contained or unintentional) where your life has never been seriously affected by homophobic hate. I've been bullied by homophobes. I've seen other kids bullied by homophobes. Those other kids were better athletes than me. They were also gayer than me. Who knows what on and off field successes we would have witnessed had they not been bullied out of the sport? So to the homophobes and to the indifferent alike, I'd like to proffer forth a long overdue FUCK YOU!

And this brings me to the Cossacks. Whips? Really? For far-right anti-gay Putin supporters, you sure picked a pretty gay weapon. Do you have fuzzy handcuffs as well?