For years I've been saying that Garrison Keillor sucks and we shouldn't listen to him. I now expand that to say we shouldn't read him either.
The factual issues in his recent piece Don't Mess with Christmas speak for themselves. I'm sure plenty of other UU bloggers with better religious educations will cover them better that I could. And there are bloggers far more suited than I am to deconstruct Keillor's comments about Jewish guys and how their music makes the shopping mall impure. (What the fuck?)
When he misunderstands Emerson's comment "To be great is to be misunderstood," it's hard to take it as a compliment to Emerson. Mostly, it just makes me think that Keillor's a dumbass.
Let's review the usual UU excuses for listening to this clown:
He likes us! He says UU women are sexy
I'm pretty sure he means "UUs will do the freaky stuff the Lutheran girls won't."
But he's FUNNY
You mean when he parodies songs? Because he sure can't take it when people parody him, or change the words to Christmas carols he likes.
The piece in Salon was satirical. He doesn't MEAN it...
Have you read the piece? It was not satirical in tone at all and pretty much no one has taken it that way.
He uses gentle satire to make fun of self-important people.
Not really. He trades on his ignorant hominess the way Ann Coulter trades on her sharp-tongued conservatism, and I don't think the effects are any better. You may smile and laugh along, but keep in mind when Garrison says bigoted things like:"I favor marriage between people whose body parts are not similar. I’m sorry, but same-sex marriage seems timid, an attempt to save on wardrobe and accessories," or "The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men—sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control," everyone else is still laughing.
And that's not funny. Even if he apologizes and claims that all his friends are Unitarians and Jews and he didn't realize that outside of Hollywood, Unitarians and Jews are given a rough time (which is what he said about gay people), I won't believe it and you shouldn't either.
At heart he's a liberal...he's just being funny.
No, he's a man who writes "I grew up the child of a mixed-gender marriage that lasted until death parted them, and I could tell you about how good that is for children, and you could pay me whatever you think it's worth." in a column that trashes "serial monogamy"
Meanwhile, he's had three wives himself. He's just a plain old hypocrite in the exact mold of conservatives who blather on about defending marriage without addressing which of their multiple marriages they wish to defend. And I don't mind hypocrites when they actally have something to say. He doesn't.
I've heard much more bigoted humor. Keillor's is pretty mild.
I got this excuse multiple times last time I wrote about him and I don't understand it in light of having examined Keillor's actual words. Ignore the folksy "I'm kidding" tone and look at what Keillor actually says. It is NOT Wanda-Sykes-style "Black people drive like this, white people drive like that" cultural observation. He is straight up saying gay people shouldn't be parents because the sort of monogamy he can't handle himself is better for kids and that UUs shouldn't be allowed to celebrate Christmas our own way becase his way is better. That is not funny. Don't let the homey tone fool you. The underlying messages are nasty stuff and a LOT of people are nodding along.