boycotting vodka, a gay intifada
and playing us all for fools
Once upon a time, your ranking within the western freedom-and-democracy club was a reflection of how much you loved Israel. Suddenly, in a bizarre turn of events that has getting-even-for-Edward-Snowden written all over it, the metric has shifted to how much you love homosexuals. And Russia – unsurprisingly – is the center of a circle of pointing fingers as the homophobic flavour-of-the-year, because of what western media insists on referring to as its “anti-gay law”.
Sniffing the heady aroma of empowerment, the gay community was quick to react. Gay bars from Vancouver to London to Chicago to San Francisco have vowed to remove Russian vodka brands from their shelves. Gays of the world, unite to free your oppressed Russian brothers and sisters!!
It’s hard to overstate how stupid this all is, and you could be forgiven for being a little weary of it, because you’ve seen it before: in the embarrassing and much-ridiculed “Freedom Fries” fiasco. Back then, the target was France, because its surrender-monkey government would not climb on board the Get Iraq bandwagon. Just for fun, a blast from the past, would you like to see an excerpt from the speech made before the U.N by senior French surrender-monkey Dominique de Villepin, in a desperate attempt to put the brakes on the idiot train before it jumped the tracks? Allons-y, mes amis.
“To those who believe that war would be the quickest way to disarm Iraq, I say it would establish gulfs and create wounds that are long in healing. And how many victims, how many grieving families?
We do not subscribe to what may be the other objectives of a war.
Is it a matter of regime change in Baghdad? No one underestimates the cruelty of this dictatorship and the need to do everything possible to promote human rights. That is not the objective of UNSCR 1441. And force is certainly not the best way to bring about democracy. It would encourage dangerous instability, there and elsewhere. Is it a matter of fighting terrorism? War would only increase it, and we could then be faced with a new wave of violence. Let us beware of playing into the hands of those who want a clash of civilizations, a clash of religions.
Or is it, finally, a matter of reshaping the political landscape of the Middle East? In that case, we run the risk of exacerbating tensions in a region already marked by great instability. Not to mention that in Iraq itself, the large number of communities and religions already constitutes a risk of a potential break-up. We all have the same demands: more security, more democracy. But there is another approach beside that of force, another path, other solutions.
We understand the profound sense of insecurity with which the American people have been living since the tragedy of 11 September 2001. The entire world shared the sorrow of New York and of America, struck in the heart. I say this in the name of our friendship for the American people, in the name of our common values: freedom, justice, tolerance.
But there is nothing today that indicates a link between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaida. And will the world be a safer place after a military intervention in Iraq? I want to tell you what my country’s conviction is: no.”
Was he right? Damn skippy he was, right as rain on every point. But America went ahead with the “Freedom Fries” dunce’s opera anyway. There are not too many people in the Anglosphere today who remember that as other than the epic piece of stupidity it was. But the point is, when you burn your fingers on a hot stove, it is supposed to foster an instinct in you that will prevent it from happening again.
Have we learned anything? Apparently not.
Would you like to see the law that has vested so much clout in international gayness that banning vodka is going global, and has miffed cities – hard to imagine the childishness, I know – severing their “twin” relationships with Russian cities? All right, then.
The Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offences (Collection of Laws of the Russian Federation, 2002, No. 1, Article 1, No. 30 et al.) shall be amended as follows:
1) add Article 6.13.1 reading as follows:
“Article 6.13.1. Propaganda of homosexuality among minors
Propaganda of homosexuality among minors –
is punishable by an administrative fine for citizens in the amount of four thousand to five thousand rubles; for officials –forty thousand to fifty thousand rubles; for legal entities – four hundred thousand to five hundred thousand rubles”;
2) in Article 28.3, Section2, Clause 1 figures “6.13” shall be changed to “6.13.1”.
President of the Russian Federation
to the Draft Federal Law “On Amendments to the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offences”
Propaganda of homosexuality in Russia took a wide sweep. This propaganda is delivered both through the media and through active social actions that promote homosexuality as a behavioral norm. It is especially dangerous for children and youth who are not yet capable of a critical attitude to the avalanche of information that falls upon them every day. In this regard, it is necessary to primarily protect the younger generation from the effects of homosexual propaganda, and the present bill pursues this goal.
Family, motherhood and childhood in the traditional, adopted from the ancestors understanding are the values that provide a continuous change of generations and serve as a condition for the preservation and development of the multinational people of the Russian Federation, and therefore they require special protection from the state.
Legitimate interests of minors are an important social value, with the goal of the public policy toward children being to protect them from the factors that negatively affect their physical, intellectual, mental, spiritual,and moral development. Paragraph 1 of Article 14 of the Federal Law № 124-FZ of24.07.1998 “On Basic Guarantees of Child Rights in the Russian Federation” directly states the obligation of public authorities of the Russian Federation to take measures to protect children from information, propaganda and campaigning that harm their health and moral and spiritual development.
In this connection it is necessary to establish measures to ensure intellectual, moral and mental security of children, including the prohibition onto perform any act aimed at the promotion of homosexuality. By itself, the prohibition of such propaganda as an activity of purposeful and uncontrolled dissemination of the information that could harm the health and moral and spiritual development, as well as form misconceptions about the social equivalence of conventional and unconventional sexual relationships, among individuals who, due to their age, are not capable to independently and critically assess such information cannot be regarded as violating the constitutional rights of citizens.
Given the above, a bill suggesting amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences was prepared to introduce administrative responsibility for propaganda of homosexuality among minors. In this case, administrative responsibility is established not for the sheer fact of the person’s homosexuality, but only for propaganda of homosexuality among minors.
This bill imposes the right to make records of administrative offences for public actions aimed at propaganda of homosexuality among minors on the law enforcement officials (the Police), and trial of cases of administrative offences– on the judges.
Please note – this law does not, in any way, prohibit adults from being gay, or being seen to be gay. You’ll see why that’s important in a minute. It introduces administrative punishments – fines – for the promotion of homosexuality as a behavioral norm to a minor child. In Russia, that means anyone aged 16 and under. The explanatory notes are at pains to point out “administrative responsibility is established not for the sheer fact of the person’s homosexuality, but only for propaganda of homosexuality among minors.”
Since this anti-gay law has so infuriated homosexuals all over the world, only two possibilities exist – (1) they have not actually read it, and have no real idea what it says, but are content to follow mob rule because the empowerment is too exciting for them to bother considering they may be advocating from a position of ignorance, or (2) they demand the right to market homosexuality as a behavioral norm to children aged 16 and under. Because behavior other than that is defensibly not against the law.
Own it, my gay brothers and sisters – which is it?
I’d be interested to hear why gay people demand the right of access to minors. Kids 16 years old and under are still in school. Do they need to learn The Gay Way for purposes of basic sex education? Why? What does where you intend to stick your penis have to do with learning how to put on a condom correctly? Kids already learn it; after that, it’s pretty much point and push. Is it to protect them from sexually-transmitted diseases? Already part of the focus of basic sex education. To protect them against unwanted pregnancy? Ha, ha. Is it to teach them tolerance, so they will not pick on gay people when they get older? Schoolchildren already learn that it is wrong to discriminate against people because they look, act or worship differently, and there have been far fewer suicides of Russian schoolchildren over anti-gay bullying than there have been in western countries; they must be doing something right.
I doubt that persons of the same gender holding hands or exchanging low-key demonstrations of affection is going to be regarded as “homosexual propaganda”. Unless perhaps the two are schoolteachers at work in school, in which case no public demonstrations of affection – whether homosexual or heterosexual – are permitted. But say it’s on a city bus, where minors are present. Do you really think if two women on the bus are holding hands, a SWAT team is going to smash in the windows and drag them away? Come on. However, if they’re playing sloppy tonsil-hockey in front of everyone, that is offensive to a broad spectrum of society and simply being gay does not grant you absolution from responsibility to behave respectably in public. Elderly people still have a functioning sex drive, too, and are an identifiable social group. Grandpa and Grandma sitting on a bus seat together holding hands – no problem. Grandpa with his tongue down Grandma’s throat and his arm up her skirt like he’s prospecting for gold – big problem. Perhaps I’m getting the wrong impression, but it seems to me that gay-rights advocates are crusading for the right to behave with complete hedonism in public. And if there is a group that loves to act out in public more than homosexuals do, it must be the Stratford Theatre.
The law says you may not market homosexuality as a behavioral norm to minor children. Well, is it? If homosexuality is natural and normal, why can’t homosexuals reproduce naturally? If it were natural and normal, there would be only one sex, and it would blaze out in a single generation, or it would be capable of high-function asexual reproduction or we would all be born hermaphrodites, a plug-and-play species. Since none of those conditions prevail, I believe we must conclude that homosexuality is not the normal or natural state – and, furthermore, that it is a state at which humanity arrived all by itself, without input at the drawing-board by The Creator.
That notwithstanding, it must be acknowledged that the gay community has provided the world some of its finest playwrights, poets, artists, performers and philosophers – in fact, due to the late closeted nature of homosexuality, imposed upon it by revulsion and persecution in decades past, it is very likely the gay community provided the world with giants in every field of endeavor, but their sexuality was a puzzle-piece which remained undiscovered. For that, it is owed a debt of gratitude, and at the very least homosexuality must be regarded as a reality that is not going to be discorporated, frightened, wished or legislated away.
Understand me – I get that love is love, and I’m not arguing you should deny the call of your heart if that’s what you really feel, just because some of society disapproves. The same resistance was encountered by interracial relationships, and nobody thinks anything of that any more. But a law which restricts pitching homosexuality to minor children is not unreasonable. Neither is teaching basic sex education in schools pitching heterosexuality. It is focused on preventing sexually-transmitted disease – which is a concern for homosexuals as well – and preventing unwanted pregnancy, which is not. It is not disadvantaging homosexuals, and it is not anti-gay.
Which is why it is particularly disappointing to listen to the coded rhetoric of Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, as he “blasted Russia’s hateful anti-gay law“. Mr. Baird and others allegedly “raised concerns” both before and after the signing of the law, which suggests that Mr. Baird is well aware of exactly what the law says – God knows politicians should all have learned by now not to blather about issues on which they know nothing. Therefore, he knows the law applies only to the propagandizing of homosexuality to minor children, which is those 16 years old and younger. There are all sorts of red herrings, such as that gay Olympic athletes may be arrested, and that simple displays of affection such as holding hands or displaying the rainbow flag are now banned. Really? Show me. No specific examples of “homosexual propaganda” have ever been provided – activists complained the meaning was not clearly defined. Homosexuality has been legal in Russia since 1993 – 10 years before it was legal in the United States, and even that was pushed through only in the shocked aftermath of the gruesome torture murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming.
Policymakers are knowingly misrepresenting the Russian law, and gays are responding unthinkingly, because they perceive an outpouring of western support for gay rights which is, in fact, an illusion. The gay are simply being used as a battering ram to put pressure on Russia, because the west has no other way.
I mean, there’s no appetite for a gay boycott of oil, is there? Think you can get gay people to stop using any means of gasoline-powered transport, and convince them to put on a sweater instead of turning on any non-electric heat? After all, Russia is the world’s largest energy producer. But that will never happen, because three of the USA’s top five companies are oil companies. Oh, and Saudi Arabia is a close ally. Where, incidentally, the penalty for any same-sex activity is death, or life imprisonment; you pays your money and you takes your chances.
I mentioned earlier that Milan, Venice and Turin had severed their “twin” relationships with Russian cities in outrage over the “anti-gay law”. However, Milan remains twinned with Dakar, Senegal, where any same-sex activity is illegal and punishable by 1 to 5 years imprisonment. Turin remains twinned with Kazerun, Iran, where any same-sex activity is illegal and punishable by death. Venice had only two twins; since it dumped St Petersburg in a show of solidarity that likely had the gay community in tears of emotion, it now has only one – Esfahan, Iran. Yeah, that’s right. Give me sodomy, or give me death.
Stolichnaya vodka, often referred to as “Stoli” by regular vodka drinkers, is the target of choice in the gay purge of Russian vodka. It’s actually made by two different companies; the one which markets the vodka being pulled from gay bars in Canada and the United States is really made by SPI Group, a company based in Luxembourg. The CEO, Val Mendeleev, says, “the Russian government has no ownership, interest or control over the Stoli brand that is privately owned by SPI Group.”
Oh, look; New York City gay bartenders dumping Stoli on the street, in a gay symbolic protest in front of the Russian consulate. I’m sure that will hurt their feelings, since it was bottled in Latvia and made by a private Luxembourg company. That’s OK, the Latvians do not need jobs, it’s a very wealthy country. Yes, I was being sarcastic – the per-capita GDP in Latvia was just a little over $5,000.00 a year in 2012. Additionally, the gay community in Latvia begs the world not to boycott Stolichnaya – not just because it is only tenuously Russian, but because gay Latvians fear a backlash of hatred will be directed against them.
And here, in another of those weird double exposures, is a story about Young Americans For Freedom gathering at the French consulate in New York City in 2003, to pour French wine into the gutter. Freedom fries, anyone? Incidentally, the CATO Institute pointed out at the time that boycotting French wines would hurt California manufacturers, because they would have to lower their prices to get under the artificially-depressed price of French wines. But damn, a boycott sure feels good, doesn’t it? We’re doin’ something!!
Those who are fond of pretzel logic, riddle me this: how did we get to a point where the Russian Orthodox Church’s lack of support for the unrestricted freedom of homosexuality is an intolerable restraint which requires an international gay assault to overcome it….cheered on by the political class and press of the country in which the penultimate president was elected with the enthusiastic support of evangelical voters? George W. Bush carried every state in which there was a significant Southern Baptist presence. You better believe religion mattered then, oh, yes, and the newly-elected president was quick to reward those who had helped him: with the establishment of the National Day of Prayer, the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, and the re-imposition of the gag rule with regard to abortion services in American foreign aid. You remember the Southern Baptists – they’re the ones the religious press was talking about back then when they said, “When we talk to evangelicals about political issues, we actually hear them talk much more about gay marriage than about abortion. It’s not that they’re not concerned about abortion. But it’s like people have been fighting that battle for a long time. Everyone knows this script. There’s a sense that if there’s going to be movement in one direction or another, it’s going to be relatively minor…Whereas with gay marriage, there’s a feeling that they’ve just gotten hit with a tidal wave, and that society as they know it, and as they think it should be, is being destroyed rapidly. It’s urgent. It’s an emergency. And something has to be done about it.” Mmm hmm. Gay marriage is going to destroy society. That’s right there at home, folks, if you’re not too busy boycotting Russian products to punish them for not being sufficiently welcoming of homosexual rights to chat up minor children.
In case you’ve forgotten, it was the ultra-radical Westboro Baptist Church which picketed the funeral – the fucking funeral, if you can believe it – of Matthew Shepard, carrying signs that read “No Tears For Queers”, and “Fag Matt Burns In Hell”, and others which featured crude stick figures in sexual positions. The Supreme Court upheld the church’s right to free speech. Just in case the sublety of that point slipped by you, let me re-frame it – it is apparently fine for the U.S. Supreme Court to legislate against gay rights in the interests of the majority who are not gay – in any event, it has not inspired a gay boycott of black robes and oak paneling. When Russia legislates in a manner which is even perceived to champion the rights of the majority – and 16.5% of the Russian population is 14 and under, I find it hard to believe a higher percentage of Russians are homosexual – it’s simply unacceptable. The Westboro Baptist Church is a hero to websites like godhatesfags, which described Shepard as someone who “…lived a Satanic lifestyle [and] got himself killed trolling for anonymous homosexual sex in a bar at midnight.”
But I don’t want to interrupt your high-fiving each other for how you’re bringing Russia to its knees.
Western policymakers, and the mainstream press which are their mouthpiece, are encouraging militant gay activism by hyping the vodka boycott to make it seem larger and more effective by far than it actually is, at the same time they are pushing gays and gay-rights activists toward demanding a boycott of the Sochi Olympics so that it will appear to them it was their own idea. Drunk with imagined success and tingling with imagined acceptance, the gay community thus far is going along with it even better than the initiators could have hoped. There is no broad support, politically or otherwise, for an Olympic boycott, and the athletes at least want nothing to do with it. But if a powerful special-interest group could develop support based on the narrative that Russia must be punished for its barbarity, and sacrifices must be made for the greater good…
For what it’s worth, I don’t believe the manipulators seriously think they’re going to be able to achieve a total boycott. But I believe they would happily settle for gay activism turning the Sochi Olympics into one gigantic rainbow protest. And it is this that would do the most damage, because the authorities would have to react and there would doubtless be incidents which would be spun as a brutal authoritarian crackdown on human rights, with bonus negative publicity for Russia while creating a distraction which would see the protests remembered as the defining story of the 2014 Olympics rather than any feats of athletic achievement.
The gay community thus far is happy to cooperate – delirious with excitement, in fact – by boycotting vodka which is neither made in or owned by Russia. A state of near hysteria prevails over a law perceived to discriminate against homosexuals which specifies in its text that no administrative penalty may accrue to anyone simply because they are gay. The same gay community which claims to yearn for anonymity, to be treated like everyone else, is gathering itself for an assault on Russia because it will not allow gay people to have a parade… which advertises their difference.
Gay activists who were truly focused on strategy and advancement of gay rights would know enough to demand up-front compensation of the policymakers in the form of domestic reforms at home, rather than running about waving rainbows and shouting down a law they do not understand. But the string-pullers know their weakness, and they dangle in front of gays an opportunity to scream in the face of everyone who ever called them fag or dyke or pansy or queer. The sad thing is that illusory arm around the shoulders, that gay momentum, will fall away just as soon as the gay footsoldiers have served their purpose.
And for that they will throw away the patient work of years of building acceptance, as the gay community will almost certainly be blamed for the worsening of international relations that would inevitably result from a deliberate attempt to sabotage the 2014 Olympics.
Disappointing, to say the very least.