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Aids 1: Guardian 0

29/04/2013 17:33 BST | Updated 29/06/2013 10:12 BST
AP

In the Guardian's most recent pompous coverage of anything marginal, I stumbled upon a tirade written by Glenn Greenwald chastising the San Francisco Gay Pride Committee for de-nominating Bradley Manning as a Grand Marshall for this year's parade in June. If you don't know who Bradley Manning is, well, he's the guy who leaked Wikileaks info to that Aussie in limbo at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, consequently igniting, presumably, the Arab Spring. Or so Glenn writes. Obviously Arabs were lacking inspiration until Manning, The White Gay Crusader, took up arms and sacrificed military secrets. Thank Buddha for bored nerdy killers, homos or otherwise.

Glenn really trashes Lisa Williams, the president of the Board of SF Gay Pride, for un-inviting Manning and strong-arming her own committee. Powerful women are incredibly treacherous, especially when they have the law on their side! Then Glenn spends way too many paragraphs bemoaning the lack of true liberalism within the gay event, as he joyously lists, one after another, corporate sponsors with whom the SF Gay Pride Committee are in bed. Mean corporate sponsors, who arguably should be sent to live and work in Cyprus where money laundering is a less noble art than it is in, say, the UK.

I don't necessarily disagree with Glenn about the lack of substantial innovation within Gay Pride SF. Williams sounds like a nasty piece of groomed work, and Wells Fargo has been slipping ridiculous fees into my checking account for decades. But that's the point. Has Glenn been living in a hippie commune in Brighton for the last 15 years? Sorry, has he been blindfolded and huddling under a large, non-porous rock? For chrissake, Gay Pride has belted "LOVE ME AMERICA" since the AIDS crisis became a musical.

The fascist stepchild known as SF Gay Pride became a mainstream family event in the early 1990's. Gays either died or stayed home as we let the lesbians take charge, waiting to see if the ladies with their normal T-cell counts could do a better, more energetic job organizing a previously anarchic phenomenon now drowning in smugness and reverence.

Certainly Williams is earnest, and has magnified the faction of homos who crave public acceptance. The truth is, some gay people are Republicans, or bigots, or married, or swathed in American nostalgia as they march to the creaky repeat of the Ol' Red White and Blue. I suppose that's the chilling truth of fabled Democracy - even minority groups can be selfish, myopic race baiters.

These days, during the march, or, really, middle class shopping spree known as SF Gay Pride Sunday, thinking gays in San Francisco go to brunch and get high, letting those younger, wealthier, more anxious men and women dressed in something sparkly, revealing and frankly out of date amuse and entertain Bob and Sally from Oregon, who've driven all this way with the little ones, Timmy and Agnes, to see how the other half live for two hours. Weirdly, thinks Sally, as Bob disappears for far too long to relieve himself, the gays are in respectable family units as well. Obviously, she says aloud, a bit tipsy on overpriced Budweiser, we're all the SAME. Ain't America grand when white lesbians ruin the fun?

Sure, queers are clamoring for mainstream acceptance in the US. Fighting for sexual freedom became exhausting, diminishing our erotic buzz. Something had to give, and that, ouch, was Glenn Greenwald's dream of afternoon orgies on a rickety float, the Golden Gate Bridge shimmering in the distance. Why would gays wanna get married, Glenn, greased up in tiny short shorts might ponder, when they have the freedom to NOT? Because freedom is choice Glenn, and when unspoiled Democracy offers choice, citizens might not agree with the Guardian. Can Glenn, or anyone in a pressed shirt, imagine a gay world without the Guardian? I can, and there's laughter everywhere, especially because we didn't meet through Guardian Soulmates. Talk about a lack of imagination and sensuality. Who, in 2013, wears a cardigan or a royal blue tie and expects to get laid?

Maybe Glenn can stop blaming gay people for the merchandising of America's Left, and find his own progressives who don't mind being ostracized or murdered. Short of that, a radical makeover of SF Gay Pride is necessary, if only so Glenn has something to strum about when he's musing on his acoustic Gibson after one too many Starbucks cappuccinos from his Notting Hill local.

Or, instead of Glenn unplugged, perhaps the Guardian could drop its price so activists and the unemployed have a greater chance of finding out whatever else they've done wrong to ruin Glenn's childhood dreams of Utopia.