Monday, November 25, 2019

Conan Goes to Washington

You may have to click through to see this short video:
 I'm not sure how much can safely be read into a fifteen-second video clip, but it does look to me like Willis is right.  As someone who gets along very well with cats and not all that well with dogs (though some dogs are friendly to me anyway), I'm not unsympathetic to Trump in this situation.  Not exactly sympathetic, of course.  And the Secret Service would have had to shoot Conan if he'd gone for the President of the Free World; bad optics!

The responses to Willis's tweet were predictable.  Quite a number were variations on this theme:

Oh, really?  If dogs can detect humans' evil character, how could Mike Pence stroke Conan's ear without losing a finger or two?  One other commenter raised this point; no one so far has responded.

This one, however:
Ah, the stink of liberal homophobia on a mild November afternoon.  "Weird, no?"  No.  "Such an intimate gesture for a man to make to another man?"  Not particularly intimate, and anyway, I watched the clip again: Pence touched the handler's back only fleetingly.  If he'd lingered, caressed, maybe slipped his hand under the man's jacket, Persistent Woman would have had a point.  And I wouldn't be surprised if Pence, like so many antigay fundamentalists, did have something to hide.  As it is, her reaction says a lot more about her than about Pence.

American society is diverse.  Of course some are, but not all straight men are homophobically chary of physical affection with other men.  From what I've seen, there's a lot more affectionate touching between them than is officially supposed to happen.  But also, homophobic societies are likely to permit a great deal of affectionate same-sex touching, going far beyond Pence's gesture in this video. I'd rather encourage it than discourage it, but people like Persistent Woman, by fixating on it and mocking it, however lightly, are not going to discourage it.  I prefer to discourage homophobia.