Top 10 Letters
College football, the NFL, gay superheroes, Star Wars, Trent Lott, and more.
11:00 PM, Jan 5, 2003
He was not a politico; he probably knew little of foreign affairs. As Brooks pointed out, he was a dutiful son, and, as his record shows, a dutiful soldier. There were some, I'm sure, who wrote letters home indicating their lust for political change. I could never imagine Jimi doing so. He just loved to play.
In case no one else has pointed this out to Victorino Matus, the Rawhide Kid is actually not the first openly gay comic book hero, but the first openly gay title character of a comic book (Blazing Saddles). Marvel's "X-Men" boasted North Star, a gay Canadian mutant super-speedster (and former Olympic gold medalist). He was the first comic book hero written as gay. DC has the Pied Piper (a close platonic friend of the Flash) and another fellow who is a supporting character in the grownup-oriented "Codename: Knockout."
Regarding the rest of the hoo-ha over the Rawhide Kid's coming-out: As usual the only ones who get upset over positive media representations of gays are those who don't realize that they interact everyday with homosexuals. It's true. At least ten percent of any population in the world is homosexual or bisexual, including the residents of conservative little Bible Belt towns. They may be too frightened of you to tell the truth about their sexual feelings and/or activities, but they're right there next to you, living their own little lives, baby.
Speaking as a gay former resident and churchgoer from just such a place, it's my opinion that our society benefits immeasurably from the happiness, emotional security, and free expression of its citizens. Ten percent of the population is a LOT of citizens. Why shouldn't we see our own faces looking back at us out of the TV or movie screens, popular magazines or comic books? Are conservatives afraid that we'll begin to believe that our lives and feelings are real and important? Why shouldn't we, and why shouldn't everyone be happy for us? It seems "conservatives" really only want to conserve their own small, mean-spirited view of the world, at the expense of the well-being of everyone else. Well, no. It's that simple: no. We're here, we're queer, get used to it.
While it is clear that the Republic is bloated and ineffectual, it doesn't appear that the Empire is any better at keeping order among its citizens (Jonathan V. Last, The Case for the Empire). If the Empire has no effect on the lives of ordinary law-abiding citizens, it is only because it tends to have no effect on much of anyone. Tatooine is a study in anarchy, no matter which regime happens to be in charge. Imperial attempts to thwart smuggling are half-hearted at best. The only evidence of the Empire becoming involved in smuggling operations at all is in the pursuit of the Rebellion. The Empire may say that it wants "order" but it is incapable of delivering it and so it degenerates into mere brute force.
While the Republic may be guilty of overzealously attempting to maintain the unity of the galaxy, it should be pointed out that in this instance the Empire couldn't possibly be much better. The Death Star was built by the Empire to maintain its integrity for the same reasons that the Republic wishes to remain intact.
It should also be instructive that the only person seen to advocate forcefully for maintaining the separatists' membership in the Republic is Palpatine. The Jedi and Senator Amidala seem to take a more laissez-faire approach to the matter. The Senator isn't interested in doing all that much about it, and like the Jedi, seems not to mind that the separatists go off on their merry way.
There is no evidence that the Imperial regime is one that business can be done with. Indeed, there is much evidence to the contrary. Lando Calrissian makes an attempt to do business with the Empire and ends up having to completely shut down his operations. It's interesting that the capitalists of Episode II are composed entirely of aliens. From what we know of the Empire, everyone of any consequence appears to be human. The Rebellion, on the other hand, seems to incorporate many of the alien species that formerly made up the capitalist contingent of Episode II. Perhaps the Rebellion arose from the ashes of the defeated capitalists of the Clone Wars.