A Culture War Moment

The Breitbart-Ehrenstein dust-up is a classic of the genre, except that Andrew is a real blue-stater, and can rebut some left-liberal cliches with lines like this:

I know your biracial homosexual bio perfecta trumps my humble multiculti checklist, but I did have a bitchin' Bar Mitzvah.

And he's right about the Matthew Shepard case, which, even now, is being misleadingly exploited by interest group politics to enact a completely symbolic and utterly irrelevant "hate crimes bill." (I should add it's just as symbolic and irrelevant as all hate crimes laws, despite the rancid double standards of the GOP.) Money quote:

I think you represent the majority in Hollywood. The type that green-lighted a troika of Matthew Shepherd movies after he was senselessly killed because it affirmed their gut feeling that a gay young man living in backward America is destined for death at the hands of hateful ultraconservatives. A street in West Hollywood still stands in his name despite ABC News reporting the story false: He was killed by crazed meth addicts for drugs and money -- not because he was gay. Isn't that tragic enough?

Yet Shepherd is still the icon of gay victims' rights, and the mistaken story of his "fate" soon thereafter befell Jake Gyllenhaal's character in "Brokeback Mountain." The Oscar statuette stands as the exclamation point. Victimhood wears like a cashmere sweater in Hollywood, and the mistaken story line of red-state Americans as murderous homophobes is now a timeless artistic truth.

And yet Andrew must also know that the Shepard case was not devoid of homophobia, even if it was grotesquely distorted as a pure hate crime by the usual suspects. And he also knows that the situation of many young gay men in red state America is still dire. Larry Craig isn't reduced to restrooms because it's easy to be openly gay in Idaho. I know many red-staters have a justified objection to thinking of themselves as murderous homophobes. Many aren't. But in many red states, gay couples have been told recently by large majorities that their relationships are not only meaningless, but a threat to people they know and love. Andrew has never experienced growing up in that kind of climate, let alone living a life in it. If he did, his well-deserved skepticism of Hollywood liberals would not descend to prettifying what remains ugly.