The Straight Pride Parade Brought Out the Dumbest of the Dumb
The Straight Pride Parade occurred this past weekend in Boston. If you did not know the Straight Pride Parade was a thing, you are in the majority. At one point–roughly an hour or so into the affair–20 people were present and a handful of those were marching for the sake of irony, humor, and comedic effect, which is kind of redundant because the idea of a straight pride parade is laughable in of itself. Living in Tel Aviv the last two summers, I have had my fair share of gay pride parades. Those make sense to me. A historically belittled and subjugated community blowing off steam seems like a good idea. And I go because I like to support my gay friends (plus, I rarely bypass an opportunity to day drink–even if it means I end up in a rainbow tutu).
I go and support my friends even though I disagree with the over-sexualization of Gay Pride Parades in general; the same way I feel awkward whenever I am in a strip club or encounter strippers (best to leave children 13 years and younger at home in both cases). But that is the whole point of Gay Pride Parades. You go to show your support for people that need the support and you hope everyone can lead the lives they were meant to live. Life is hard enough without people casting side glances at two guys holding hands or a pair of women sneaking a kiss at dinner. If they are not physically bothering you, they can do what they want (and they should respond in kind with you and your significant other).
Yes, my philosophy is a simple, “live and let live philosophy.” Even though I believe the vast majority of the Bible and try (and fail) to follow the teachings found therein, it does not jive with my libertarian overriding philosophy of “leave me the hell alone.” Which is why the existence of a Straight Pride Parade strikes me as so unnecessary. Did the people who conceived of this parade really think it was a good idea? Who is stopping them from being straight? Where are the historical injustices against straight people that compelled them to take the streets and demand people see them… as… well straight? Or was it merely a human reaction to, “damn, those people look like they’re having fun, I want in on that action… no… NO… NOT THAT KIND OF ACTION… YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!”
Straight Idiots at the Straight Pride Parade… All Kinds of Idiots at the Straight Pride Parade
In baseball, the saying is “hitting is contagious.” Well in Boston, apparently stupidity is contagious. While the straights got all jealous and decided to hold the most pathetic of parades since the last “big” Neo-Nazi rally in Georgia, the counter-protest–filled with all kinds of folks–decided to double down on the stupidity. Hundreds showed up with the idea of dwarfing and ridiculing the straight pride parade. Again, a lost school bus would have had the same effect, but the intention was there nonetheless. The problem is they only succeeded in accomplishing one of those two things.
They succeeded in dwarfing the initial straight pride parade, but did so while making asses out of themselves. In hindsight the problem was really quite easy to comprehend: get a couple of hundred angry people together in the same area, add in a hot day, and the collective IQ of the group will fall faster than the barometric pressure before a storm. Where the counter-protesters went wrong was in deciding the straight pride paraders did not have a right to their parade and therefore could do anything to stop them.
And they tried to do anything. Three dozen protestors were arrested trying to stand up to the straight pride marchers. They brought weapons to their protest–including razor blades–and assaulted cops who were actually doing their job and keeping the peace unlike in Portland. The assault on officers ranged from the verbal yet permissible (“cops and klan go hand-in-hand”) to the physical and arrestable (forcing their way into cordoned sections of Boston and throwing bottles of urine at police officers).
Again, the straight pride parade was a parody in of itself. The best method to protest this parade was simply to go to the parade and hold up a sign ala Bugs Bunny, “can you believe these guys?” Holding a straight pride parade is as worthwhile as traveling everywhere by hopping around in a potato sack; sure you can do it, but it’s stupid and pointless. But the parade–like many things in modern America–brought out the worst in everybody.
The paraders who were either too stupid or too jealous to not realize the lunacy of their idea, and the protestors who were too angry to realize their manner of protest was not only ineffective but portrayed them in the worst possible light. The best lesson we can all learn from something like this is the same one we should always try to remember; people are stupid, but to live and let live is the easiest way to deal with that stupidity. If somebody wants to make an ass out of themselves, let them. If you try to stop them, there’s a good chance they are not the only ones that end up looking foolish.