The New Blacklist
Freedom of speech--unless you annoy the wrong people.
Mar 16, 2009, Vol. 14, No. 25 • By MAUREEN MULLARKEY
But no matter. I was up there now with Halliburton and Big Oil, a class enemy. The brownshirts came out in force. Within 24 hours, the "story" spread from one gay website to another, even to Vancouver ("Typical greedy American bigot"), France, and Belgium. My home address and email were repeated in comment sections in which readers egged each other on to "make the bitch pay." Militants trawled for editors and gallerists I had worked with to warn them that "the Gay Community is looking at our adversaries and those who may support them." (One former editor blind-copied me his exchange with an aspiring storm trooper who threatened a boycott for those "having an association" with me.)
Reprimands flooded in, all based on the false premise that fat slices of proprietary gay imagery were being creamed off the urban spectacle for my personal profit:
You should apologize for your deceit. Stop using us as your subject matter in this incredibly exploitative manner. You must realize that your actions are no different than an artist depicting the black community contributing to white supremacist organizations.
How dare you use gay people as inspiration and then stab these people in the back by fighting to limit their rights. You are a disgusting, pitiful, opportunistic bitch
Conceptual clarity is not mobthink's strong suit:
I don't understand why you would want to deny love in this world, no matter what form it takes. I can't imagine your motives, can't imagine your hate.
Our parades are not the only place you can fulfill your artistic vision. . . . You could visit the Hasidic community. You know, them? They wear "unusual" clothes, too. There are so very many freak shows you can enjoy in this world.
The prevailing mood was punitive:
Homosexuals rule the World of Creativity, and that is whom you just f--ed with!
You represent the most despicable type of artist and human being. I do hope that you feel the financial pain your actions will bring. May God bless you with financial ruin for your treacherous deed.
Because I love delusional bigots, I hope you never see another dime, bitch.
The president and CEO of an executive travel agency cc'd his message to a curator at the Brooklyn Museum: "You are a disgusting TURD of a woman to support Prop 8." One painter, whose work I had reviewed enthusiastically months before, rushed to her blog to broadcast an open letter exposing my perfidy to the New York gallery world:
The grave ungood you have done is not only to us, lesbians and gays who expect no less than full civil rights in our own country, but ironically to your own art career. Unless you don't mind showing at Reverend Rick's or perhaps at Brigham Young University.
A local paper followed up the Daily News piece. I submitted a brief statement to the reporter affirming the time-honored definition of marriage. I took care to note that regard for individual gay persons does not require assent to a politicized assault on bedrock social reality and the common good. The story disclosed other "suspect" donations of mine (to pro-life groups and, most damning, to the Swift Boat vets) and referred to my Catholicism. That prompted a fellow painter, and heretofore friendly colleague, to write:
At first I thought there should be a special place in hell for people like you. But then I thought, maybe purgatory! A dull, nothing kind of Catholic nowhere. Just like you!
The religious note struck various chords. Rick0564 wrote: "If God makes us Gay, then please let us love one another through marriage. It's what Jesus would do." Tina K inquired: "If I believed that Catholics should not vote, and managed to get a proposition passed to that effect, would that be fair to you?"
Ah, Tina, my opposition to same-sex marriage does not originate in the pew. However much sympathy, affection--indeed, love--I have for certain gay persons, "gay marriage" burlesques a primal institution rooted in nature. Marriage, as a unique bond between male and female, predates all politics and religious doctrines. And no one has to believe in God to see social anarchy, with children adrift in the wreckage, at the end of the same-sex marriage road.
But any semblance of moral reasoning is lost on a mob. The character and sensibility of the same-sex marriage brigades is told in their litany of sexual hostility: