Hal Brown's Blog
This is a blog with my opinions on politics, psychology, and other subjects. My posts are sometimes serious and sometimes snarky. I'm a retired MSW clinical social worker/psychotherapist and mental health center director who was also a cranberry farmer. Scroll archives on bottom of page to see previous blog stories. There are new ones added almost every day, although if I don't have anything original to say I try not to say anything at all.
|If it's a word or if it's in a look you can't get rid of the Babadook. Movie poster above in center.|
|The monster design for the Babadook movie poster was inspired by The Man in the Beaver Hat in|
London After Midnight (1927) above. Public domain
"For some, trans people represent just the latest
Babadook, a complex fear they cannot tolerate." Wash. Post essay
|Glass on right added by Hal Click to read article (subscription|
I knew there was a controversy involving Bud Lite somehow endorsing through their recent advertising the dreaded acceptance of members of the LQBTQ+ community as just being plain regular folks. Bud Lite became a target of the frothing at the mouth rabid woke warriors.
I wasn't following the story until I saw and read the opinion essay by Brian Broone, an author I wasn't familiar with, in this morning's Washington Post about toxic masculinity. The article focuses on men. There are, of course, many women, perhaps just as many as men, who buy into the woke fear mongering.
Here's an excerpt:
Dylan Mulvaney, a trans influencer with more than 10 million followers, documented her transition over the course of a year. To celebrate Day 365 of her journey, Bud Light sent her some personalized cans of beer. She unveiled them on TikTok in a partnership with Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch.
This attempt on Bud Light’s part to be forward-thinking about how its customers live and love has been met with a backlash by one group of people who seem to believe that another group of people should not exist. Kid Rock used his gun to shoot several cases of the beer; another guy destroyed a can of Bud Light with a baseball bat in a typical digital tantrum.
For some, trans people represent just the latest Babadook, a complex fear they cannot tolerate.
A note to those folks who are upset that Anheuser-Busch relied on a trans woman as a quasi-spokesperson: Whether you like it or not, queer people have been drinking “your beer” for decades. In fact, as long as there’s been beer, queer people have been drinking it.
Mulvaney’s celebration for some reason threatened the very existence of a whole bunch of guys who aren’t ready for that reality. This will surprise no one who has ever been a small boy. Every boy knows the sting of being called a sissy. Boys are raised to believe that so-called feminine traits represent a danger they must avoid. Boys learn early that they can expect to be punished if they stray in any way into risky, weakening feminine behaviors. These lessons take root deep in our psyches as youngsters, and they stay there forever.
We can thank one far-right extremist for what has come to be called the culture war and it, perhaps amazingly, isn't Donald Trump.
When you come right down to it, the fact that Ron DeSantis, a deadly dull Florida stocky stick in the mud man, managed to demonize all things LGBTQ+ is dumbfounding.
I also like to depict the governor who thought it would prove how ballsy he was by going after Disney because of their LGBTQ+ supportive position this way:
|I adapted an image posted by someone else.|
Of course his floating the nudnik notion of building a prison next to Disney World or trying to find a corporation willing to invest in opening a competing amusement park when the Orlando Universal Resort is already nearby reeked of hot Floridian flop sweat.
He also has done after everything related to historic American racism as a dire and imminent threat to the very existence to the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of everyone who really matters.
While Donald Trump makes fleeting references to how bad being woke is I doubt all that many of his supporters think he gives 1 ½ shits about this.
Yet across the country there are enough people who used to drink Bud Lite to heed the call to stop doing so and cause a decrease in sales. In fact, calling this a bloodbath as Fox Business News does, isn't far off if the plummeting orders in the bars they surveyed reflect a national trend.
The anti-woke movement has had incredible success in lumping together a group of fears many people have into one Babadock.
In October 2016, a Tumblr user joked that the Babadook is openly gay; in December 2016, another Tumblr user posted a viral screenshot showing the movie classified by Netflix as an LGBT film. Despite the absence of overt references to LGBT culture in the film, fans and journalists generated interpretations of queer subtext in the film (dubbed "Babadiscourse") that were often tongue-in-cheek, but occasionally more serious, highlighting the character's dramatic persona, grotesque costume, and chaotic effect within a traditional family structure. In June 2017, The Babadook trended on Twitter and was displayed as a symbol during that year's Pride Month. The social media response became so strong that theatres in Los Angeles took the opportunity to hold screenings of the film for charity. Michael Bronski said to the Los Angeles Times: "In this moment, who better than the Babadook to represent not only queer desire, but queer antagonism, queer in-your-faceness, queer queerness?", and drew comparisons to historic connections between queerness and horror fiction such as Frankenstein and Dracula.
Jennifer Kent said that she "loved" the meme, saying that "I think it's crazy and [the meme] just kept him alive. I thought ah, you bastard. He doesn't want to die so he's finding ways to become relevant."
Donald Trump legitimized the bigotry of a large swath of white Americans against people of color. He allowed people who kept their racism secret to be open about it.
Trump may or may not be kicking himself for allowing DeSantis for taking advantage of the homophobia in so many people and adding his turning the teaching about American racism into a war against the new Confederacy.
The good news, reported in a 2019 article, is that Americans Are Becoming Less Racist and Homophobic (link).
The resurgence of openly racist attitudes in the Trump era has led many observers to question whether the apparent reduction in prejudice in recent years was an illusion. New research provides a reassuring answer.
Researchers find that both conscious and unconscious bias regarding race and sexual orientation declined significantly between 2007 and 2016. For racial attitudes, this change was largely generational, whereas the more relaxed attitudes toward sexuality were found in the population as a whole.
What this tells us is that Americans are less racist and homophobic than they used to be. Because of this, that only having a few policies like being Latino anti-immigration and enacting voter fraud laws to run on, far-right politicians like Trump and DeSantis are taking advantage of cultural issues, gut issues. They want to scare the bejesus out of their base telling them to be terrified of the Babadook.
A poem by DAMETRIAS, 2014