Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pope Francis on Gays; Riley Cooper Racism; Kickstarter Zombies

Pope Francis on Gays

In an interesting piece, here, Michelangelo Signorile writes about whether or not Pope Francis might be secretly pro gay. He also gets into a lot of church politics where sometimes priests who have ambitions tend to support...or not to support...issues that may or may not advance their careers. For those who don't know, the inner workings of the Catholic Church are complicated, highly competitive, and extremely political. And those who play by the rules usually reap the most rewards. I know this personally on a smaller scale just from being Catholic and spending twelve years in private Catholic schools. I think it's important for me to disclose that up front so people don't think I'm talking about something with which I'm not familiar.

As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Pope's former name, he seemed to support gay civil unions in Argentina, but did not support gay marriage or gay adoption. His recent comments about gay priests seem to suggest that he might be thinking differently now...or that his past thoughts were geared toward his career?

Why, then, did Bergoglio rail against gays in such a bigoted way after he was unsuccessful in getting support for civil unions? Because one doesn't become pope by doing otherwise. The country was about to pass the marriage equality bill, and Bergoglio was publicly showing the Vatican and the world that he'd go to the mat, organizing marches and railing against gays.

It's a very interesting article, and for those who don't know much about this it covers a lot of ground. And recent moves the Pope has made seem to suggest he's very different from previous Popes. Time will tell.

Riley Cooper Racism

A well-paid professional football player, Riley Cooper, made one of the worst racist comments I've heard in a long time last June at a Kenny Chesney concert. You can watch the video here, and what Cooper says is very clear and articulate.

As the video went viral today, Wednesday, long after the incident occurred, well-paid Riley Cooper tweeted this:

I am so ashamed and disgusted with myself. I want to apologize. I have been offensive. I have apologized to my coach, Jeffrey Lurie, and

Howie roseman and to my teammates. I owe an apology to the fans and to this community. I am so ashamed, but there are no excuses. What I did

Was wrong and I will accept the consequences.

Maybe I'm too cynical, but I smell PR firm damage control lurking in the background behind those tweets. Other athletes, the most well-paid, have made racist and anti-gay remarks and nothing has happened to them. Paula Deen says something racist years ago, admits it in a deposition, and loses her career. From what I've seen and read, there doesn't seem to be anything Deen can do to make it better right now.

So far, Cooper has been fined for using the N-word in one of the most offensive ways it can be used. If nothing else, I think he qualifies as a naughty guy with a strong story.

Kickstarter Zombies

It seems as though everyone's jumping on to the Kickstarter bandwagon, including zombies. Not actual zombies, just a small start up publisher named "Zombies Need No Brains."

Backers of this project will be creating a new force in the SF&F field, a publishing house that will fill a gap in the genre that we feel is growing by creating a market for original anthology projects open to outstanding authors, regardless of their publishing house affiliations. While some publishers still offer anthologies featuring their house writers, the market for open anthologies has been shrinking. With your help, we’d like Zombies Need Brains LLC to fill this gap.

That's true. The market for open anthologies has been shrinking, but that's due to changes in publishing and less writers submitting from what I hear. In the past, I never turned down the opportunity to be in an anthology pubbed by one of the LGBT presses. Recently, I've turned down ten because I've been too busy working on other projects that pay more money. It's a pragmatic thing with me, because I truly do love anthologies and the short story.

But it's hard for me to comment on this because I've never been a zombie fan. I love almost anything paranormal, from vamps to fairies, but zombies just never did it for me. However, I personally thought the zombie trend had already reached its peak around 2010 and it has been starting to taper off. But I could be wrong about that. I don't follow anything zombie related.

For those who know nothing about Kickstarter:

Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.


Remembering Grace said...

At the moment I'm impressed by the Pope and his actions...

I can no longer figure out professional athletes - sometimes they get away with doing terrible things! I still can't fathom how NBA's Sprewell tried to kill his own coach and KEPT HIS JOB. In the case of Cooper, I'm all for apologies, but the climate right now is volatile. The viewpoint is: you say it, that means you're thinking it, and you shouldn't be thinking it, this is the 21st century...

Zombies are not my favorite either. I remember reading a Piers Anthony novel a few years ago with a zombie in it, and Anthony wrote something like, 'As the zombie spoke, a piece of epiglottis flew out of his mouth.' That image has stuck in my head for the last 25 years. Yuck.

ryan field said...

I think most Catholics are okay with gay marriage...and many other things the church is against. So it's nice for all Catholics to see a change coming from the Pope.

That's why I'm not into zombies either :)