Saturday, May 13, 2006

Literature

Dear Indigna,

California is incorporating the sexual orientation/gender identity of historical figures into its textbooks. The goal, apparently, is to show children that gays, lesbians, bi’s and transsexuals are widely represented among our most accomplished historical figures. What, exactly, are they hoping to achieve?

Panicked, Deeply Closeted Public Figure
Decline to State, USA

Dear Deep,

Think about it. “Not only did she write famous poetry, but she also had a penis!” It’s all good! Clearly, one’s accomplishments cannot possibly be correctly assessed without weighting for gender, ethnicity, race, origin, religion, quality of childhood, socioeconomic status, gender-identity, and political and sexual orientation. So, for example, if you are a young, impoverished, black, bisexual Arab-Jewish hermaphroditic prostitute who grew up in a 16,000 square-foot apartment on the Upper East Side, and who has been abused for being a Republican, anything you write is automatically a best-seller and literary classic that will be the subject of dissertations for generations to come (see the collected works of “J.T. LeRoy” and “A Million Little Pieces” created by the fictitious “James Frey,” among others). If you’re just a regular joe writing about your privileged suburban life (like John Cheever), fuggedaboudit.

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