From longtime Slog commenter Catalina Vel-DuRay on that gay guy who isn't into that hot gay fantasy:
On the one hand, Sex! Sex is fun!
On the other hand, if I were in this situation I would definitely have some reservations. Not only for myself, but for my friend: What's really going on with him? What's this all about? Is he OK? (I am, of course, not saying that a little M/M fun on the side doesn't do a body good, but why here/why now, after all these years?) I think I would agree to meet up with Old Pal, have dinner, and a real conversation before jumping on the Posturepedic. If that old something-something is there, it could be a nice interlude. But if I sensed that something else was going on with him, I might want to keep things on the buddy level, and offer to help. While a roll in the hay is always fun, one should always be careful when it comes to affairs of the heart.
A general observation from another reader...
You’re turning into Dear Abby.
Guess I'll have to devote an upcoming column entirely to shit fetishists—only way to get that "Dear Abby" stank off me.
Another fan letter...
I think your a punk and a little bitch. You talk shit and you don't back it up. So with that in mind I want to give you a chance to actually back up your words with actions. I hereby issue to you a formal challenge to a cage match. Me against you in a sanctioned fight in my town of Kansas City, Missouri. You wanna act tough and shut me up? Here's your chance to you can show what a warrior for gay rights you claim to be. And my hashtag will be #GoStraightPride. The ball is in your court. You think your tough then let's see if you can back it up. I await your answer, gayboy.
Is there an organization that would sanction a fight between a martial artist and an aging musical theater queen? Doubtful. So I hereby challenge you to a musical theater trivia contest at Joe Allen in New York City, New York. My hashtag will be #IfYouWereGay. The OBCR is in your court.
A response to Episode 566:
So I was listening to your response to the woman who has the asshole Trumpy supporter family and you suggested she tell them that she keeps sending money to her favorite liberal causes as long as they keep arguing politics with her. Um... I can't speak for her family, but if the shoe was on the other foot, I'd simply say "Challenge excepted" and ramble on and on and on. I'd pull out books and started reading them out loud cover to cover. I'd keep going until that little ding stopped and then I'd go a few more hours. And then when she comes to me needing money because she spent all of her's on these organizations (because we're family and that's where people go first when they are broke), I'd make sure to lecture her for a few hours before giving her the money.
I realize that paints me as an asshole myself, but really, that's a stupid thing to do. She's spending all her money and they can just speak. It only costs them air, nothing more.If you want to get to these people, you either cost them money or you embarrass them. Simply giving away your own money as a threat, unless you're Bill Gates or the Koch brothers and you can give millions at a shot, is just pissing in the wind.
My suggestion is that she instead make small donations to lots of liberal organizations, $5 or $10 at a time, and do it in her family's name. Give them all the information, e-mail and home address and everything so they are firmly on the donation rolls. Then watch as these organizations sending them thank you's and sending flyers and cards hitting them up for more donations. Make the postman think Arianna Huffington lives at that address. Oh, and don't tell them you're doing this. If they start rambling on, just sign them up quietly. It might not shut them up, but you'll feel better.
BTW, I am actually a fan. My wife and I have been listening to your podcast for years. It's just that little bit of advice... really doesn't work unless you have deep pockets. I'd personally cut them out of my life if they can't shut up about politics.
In regards to Conflicted Lover:
I understand that in the wake of Charlottesville, emotions are running high, but your response to Conflicted Lover was out of line. If you don't want to interact with Nazis, that's perfectly fine. You get to decide who you're willing to tolerate, and being tolerant of everything but intolerance is a pretty reasonable position, at least until you decide that tolerance of intolerance is a form of intolerance. An alt-righter (as far as we know) from a neo-Nazi (probably) family tolerates his brother/sister, so of course he's beyond the pale. And then a liberal tolerates him, so she can't be a good person. And if I think she deserves my gratitude for civilly and compassionately reaching out to people I'd rather not go anywhere near (and actually getting at least one of them to listen), does that mean I'm also not a good person? Condemning anybody who won't condemn all the same people you will is a recipe for eventually having no allies at all. And I hope you'll reconsider your opinion of the people who are actually trying to change minds.
And more on Nazis:
Do you think it is accurate and productive to use the term Nazi the way you do? In terms of words having specific meanings, it seems incorrect to call the white-supremacist, racist, neo-Nazi people in Charlottesville Nazis. While they were using Nazi symbols and seem to be drawing on Nazis, their ideology, history and goals seem dramatically different (e.g. these neo-Nazi’s seems much more about scapegoating Muslims before Jews and seem to have grown more out of an American brand of racism). Further, it seems to me that Nazis have not had a consistent cultural movement that has evolved over time to take on different meanings (e.g. republican party platform has changed much over time, but the party still retains an unbroken, but changing meaning). Neo-Nazi seems the accurate term.
The more difficult question is whether while perhaps currently factually incorrect, it is a good strategy to refer to neo-Nazis as Nazis as a kind of short hand for dramatic effect. Words evolve and can take on new and multiple meanings. I could see how the term could help to make people better understand the magnitude of the problem we are facing. On the other hand, I have some anecdotal evidence that such use of the term causes some to dismiss people who use the term Nazi to refer to a movement which they see as not the same thing. You’re certainly not the only person I respect who I have noticed use the term Nazi in this way. I’ve found no written discussions of this recent usage and am mainly hoping to push you and others to be deliberate and thoughtful in our usage (if you're not already).