The I-can’t-tell-if-there’s-a-there-there open thread.

Ta-Nehisi posted something at the utterly baffling hour of 1:17 EST today. What are his most dedicated stalkers – erm, fans, to make of that? But there’s still no open thread, and he hasn’t responded to a query on Twitter, so what the hey. If he shows up right after I throw open the student lounge, them’s the breaks.

Student lounge: OPEN.

Standard FYI clause: My general rule of thumb is that I wait two hours after Ta-Nehisi would usually open a thread (roughly noon, EST), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

114 Comments

  1. dmf

     /  January 12, 2012

    why can’t the first couple get mad? b/c the Man fears:

  2. I blame the good economic numbers for my inability to make it to work on time at all this week.

    Anyone watch the People’s Choice Awards?
    Just me? Alrighty then.

    • By which you mean it’s Obama’s fault. Natch.

      And #2: Well, it wasn’t me. Sorry about that.

    • David L

       /  January 12, 2012

      Nope. I was hosting a documentary screening. Kinda.

      I was there as the owner of the laptop that was plugged into the AV system at the room on the UT campus that was borrowed for the showing (and the son of the person who organized the space, after being contacted by the director.) There was a technical fiasco and it ended up that we used the room’s DVD player with someone’s powered standalone speakers because the high-tech controls went nuts in a way that not even the supervisor who me managed to track down could figure out.

    • I was unexpectedly getting linked to on Kotaku and having a very sudden crash course / audition in, “Can I actually handle having the Internet Commentariat aimed at me?”

      (The answer is, mostly yes. I can dismiss 99% of comments out of hand: anyone complaining about who I am rather than what I wrote; anyone complaining about something they read that never actually appeared in my piece; anyone complaining about the game, studio, or any other thing that bothers them regardless of what I wrote. That last 1%, folks who did actually read what I wrote but want to tear it down, are the ones I need to learn to cope with. And I’m okay with the percentage of that percentage that’s civilized disagreement. See? I’m learning!)

      But it was weird: I think, as I observed last night, that yesterday is the only day in my blog’s past, present, or future where The Atlantic and 4chan are absolutely equal drivers of link traffic.

      • Dude. Link to the Kokatu piece!

        Also, too: It sounds like you’ve figured this out. I’m going to take notes.

        • Kirk Hamilton wrote it (he’s a genuinely nice guy, as best I can tell from knowing him on Twitter), and it also features friends / acquaintances Denis Farr and Kris Ligman:

          http://kotaku.com/5875251/not-everyone-hates-dragon-age-ii–you-know

        • Also, I think it might be easier for me than for you because ultimately, everyone I’m talking with (or being talked to by) is talking about art and entertainment. The controversies -you- blog about involve actual life and death and the betterment or worsening of thousands or millions of lives. So I can learn to take a deep breath and walk away from someone who is WRONG on the INTERNET because ultimately, I don’t have to give two shits what they think about a game…

          • I’ve been thinking about this since this afternoon and I’m not sure. I mean, on the one hand, yes, you’re dealing with entertainment, and I often write about (and frankly, more to the point, will soon be writing for a much larger audience about) do-or-die stuff.

            But a) entertainment isn’t just entertainment. It fills people’s lives, it gives them goals and fills them with joy or dread, it inspires them and shapes their days. Entertainment is often a bigger FD than we give it credit for being.

            And b) bottom line, one person (or twelve people) getting all up in my grill about war and peace in the Middle East aren’t what stand between the Middle East and peace. We argue like we are, but we really aren’t. That’s what I think I need to remember — for good or ill, this person (or me) being WRONG on the INTERNET will never be the thing that makes or breaks anything. The long view is the only one that matters — but what the individual little arguments can do is make the long view even longer (farther away. Something like that!).

  3. Today is Thursday the 12th.

    AAAAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEE.

    …wait, that’s a bit off…

    • BJonthegrid

       /  January 12, 2012

      Liked

      • (So that means you understood it? I’m utterly baffled over here. As I so often am).

        • Because that means tomorrow is Friday the….
          so Paul’s just a day off.

          • /slaps forehead. Hard.

            Good lord. You would think that a woman with a Masters Degree wouldn’t be this thick-headed.

            BUT. My son was born on a Friday the 13th, and now that you’ve drawn my attention to it (…), maybe he and I will make a special plan! I always figure it’s a very lucky day indeed.

            • BJonthegrid

               /  January 12, 2012

              I love this. Now Friday the 13th will never seem scary again.

            • R was born Friday February 13th.

              • The’s boy’s 1/2 birthday!

                Which we long celebrated in school because you don’t ever get to bring cupcakes anywhere if your real birthday is in August. Sadly, now that he’s in middle school, no cupcakes, period.

                • socioprof

                   /  January 12, 2012

                  My kiddo #1 still gets screwed on this deal. His beginning of July bday means that his half bday is at the beginning of Jan. and thus still out of school. The last week of school, all the summer bday kids get to bring in birthday snack, so there’s that.

            • taylor16

               /  January 12, 2012

              My parents got married on Friday the 13th. (Yes, they’re still married). They had no problem booking a hall, caterer, band, etc. LOL!!

              I was also born on the 13th of another month, and various other family events and milestones have fallen on the 13th. Thirteen is definitely not an unlucky number for our family!

            • I was born on Wednesday the 13th, but I do enjoy having my birthday on Friday the 13th every so often. Some of them have been pretty darn good!

  4. I’m guessing TNC (or his media overlords) scheduled the post. I could be projecting though… I do social media for a living. ALSO! You’ve drawn me out of hiding, Emily Hauser. Congratulations. – AndOneForBlog

  5. BJonthegrid

     /  January 12, 2012

    Last night my 9 year old had a nightmare. I let him crawl in bed with me. Before he nodded off he asked me if I thought new cells could be grown faster than old cells could die off. I said “sure”. Wrong answer! He started talking about his dream where we were all grotesque because of this theory. It’s really sad when I can’t even understand his dreams.

    • Sounds like it’s time to explain cancer to him and how it’s not something he has to worry about, but that it does happen to people sometimes.

      What did I tell you about spawning dullards next time? Hell, I never even thought about that sort of thing until i was in my late teens…

    • Don’t let him watch “Akira” any time soon.

      • Captain Button

         /  January 13, 2012

        Agree completely. Speaking of horrible growths, is the American remake of Akira still dead?

        (Looks around the web a bit) Lokks like it has been frozen in liquid helium again for the moment. Hope it stays there.

  6. These are amazing photographs of, and a genuinely surprising story about, a community of polygamists living literally in a massive wall of rock: http://www.lalettredelaphotographie.com/archives/by_date/2012-01-03/5189/the-polygamists-leandro-sanchez

    It’s very hard for me not to judge these folks, but I’m trying not to.

  7. Has it occurred to anyone else that Coates is quietly discontinuing the OTAN and letting it drift off to Emily’s?

    • I’ve wondered a little bit. It can’t really be drifting over here, because I don’t have nearly the bandwidth that he does and though we do tend to get to or cross the 100-comment mark here these days, a) 1/4 of those comments are mine, and b) that’s a drop compared to the 400-600 that TNC’s gets.

      To the extent that he’s doing any such thing, I think it may be more along the lines of “I don’t have time/I can’t deal/oops I forgot – oh, that’s ok, Emily will take of them.”

      • I can totally understand that, though. If I were as serious about moving racial discourse and proper discussion of the civil war forward at TNC is, I’d be extremely leery of leaving anything unattended on that blog. When I started reading him on the regular 3-4 years ago, it was a much smaller, very different place. The nasty comments and trolls were rare.

        He’s hit the big time, which means the intimate conversations are rarer and the free time is dramatically reduced. If that keeps him focused and writing, I’m cool with it.

    • Bookwoman

       /  January 12, 2012

      Not quite, but he may not want the hassle of monitoring it every day, so we may start having an OTEON (Open Thread Every Other Noon) or something.

      • That’s kind of my feeling. I think he has no problem with -sometimes- Open Threads, but that -Daily- Open Threads are just too much work and insanity. Which, you know, probably true. Even if it does make me sadface from no OTAN sometimes. (Because the internet is all about me!)

        • Don’t be silly. The internet is all about Me, hello!?

          You HAVE read my blog today?

          • I hadn’t, ’cause I tend to save yours for after the 4:00 update.

            That said, now I have, and I can’t manage fantasy casting Into the Woods in my head anymore. I had a cast in my head a decade ago but now, not so sure.

            (It’s one of my favorites. I was involved in four productions along the way from middle school to college: once as Cinderella’s Stepmother, once as a stagehand, and twice on horn in the pit orchestra.)

            • Sorry, I’m real nervous about CBS coming after those PCA vids. I keep double checking to make sure they’re still there.

    • Also, if I may, this is kind of the reason that I’ve said that I really wish he would hire an intern/second-in-command-moderator. I’ve hinted broadly that I wish he would hire me for that position, and I still wish that, but bottom line, I really wish he’d just get someone. The OTAN thing grew larger than he ever anticipated, I’m sure, but now it’s a real thing, and no one in their right mind would expect him to have to wrassle it on his own all the time. And it would be a real sorrow if the community fell apart because the man actually has to have his own life. (And to the extent that my little alternative is a help, it can hardly take the place of the real thing).

      • That’s not up to hime though. That’s up the The Atlantic. I think that sort of unwillingness to bring on underblogger staff unless it was utterly absolutely necessary is part of what Tina Brown used to convince Sully to come over to the Beast. First thing he did was double his staff when he got there.

      • dmf

         /  January 12, 2012

        i think the editing of the blog is an extension of his voice/identity and so really can’t be shopped out.

        • Oh, clearly. I mean the dinky, nuts-n-bolts stuff, as well as moderation. I mean intern work, and occasional ban-hammer wielding.

    • taylor16

       /  January 12, 2012

      I’ve actually thought for awhile that he lets the OTAN slide a day after we have one of those monster OTAN comment threads. Like, yesterday’s is over 700 comments. A few days ago we had another monster one, and then none the following day. I’m wondering if he’s sort of subtly trying to make sure he’s not spending all of his space and bandwidth just giving us a space to talk amongst ourselves every day rather than responding to the more substantive posts.

      Man, I really could’ve used an OTAN to distract me today, though. Tiiiiiired, headache, crabby, blaaarrghhhh…..I’m glad we have you, Emily.🙂

      • So glad I could help ease your headache with behind-the-curtain blog-moderation slapstick shenanigans!

        : )

      • The thing is, I feel like there’s always pent up demand for OTAN-ing, so skipping a day often means that the next one will have extra comments. Which is another way to say that it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  8. Sorn

     /  January 12, 2012

    So I finished my C.V. and my personal statement this week for the masters program at the University of Montana. The only thing left to do is pay the application fee, and send them my GRE scores. Then wait with trembling and anticipation.🙂

    I wanted to say thanks to the mini-horde, but especially to DMF for encouraging me to go this route. A person can usually find a job with an M.A. teaching at a private high-school, or something in archival work. Also, the masters program will allow me to sharpen my skills. Thanks all.

    • cofax

       /  January 12, 2012

      Good luck!

    • dmf

       /  January 12, 2012

      good for you sorn, i’m impressed by your determination and efforts, i went back almost ten years after getting a masters to get my doc so that’s always an option. they would be lucky to have you so i hope they make this easy.

      • Sorn

         /  January 12, 2012

        Thanks D,

        What passes for determination in one context is often just pure cussedness and stubborness in another. There wasn’t ever a vice that wasn’t also a virtue.

      • There’s a woman who volunteered in my lab and has now joined the graduate program. She’s in her 40s and has twin teenage daughters. It’s never too late.

    • Yay for you! I send you soothing tea to help with the trembling. (Or, you know, I would if I could. Through the tubes).

    • taylor16

       /  January 12, 2012

      Good luck!!! I’m sure you will get in and do great. And yes, even someone like me who left grad school behind agrees that a masters’ is a good investment of time and money. I am really happy and proud to have mine. Fingers crossed for you!

    • MightBeLying

       /  January 12, 2012

      Good luck !!!

    • socioprof

       /  January 12, 2012

      Good luck, Sorn.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  January 12, 2012

      Good luck, sir!

    • wearyvoter

       /  January 12, 2012

      Good thoughts headed your way!

  9. Hi all,

    Wanted to say three things:

    1) Thank Emily, anibundel, and Kate Cox for having entertaining Twitter accounts that break up the uber-serious nature of the other accounts I follow. Also, thanks for encouraging me to post here. I work in social media like 10-12 hours a day, so it’s rare that I jump in on anything like this any more. I miss it! I’ll try to chime in more often. Convos with the Horde were (are) awesome.

    2) Does anybody else here have an interest in unorthodox social media marketing? Without going into details, I basically plan, expand, moderate, and analyze 25+ social media properties, and just kind of… fell into it because I use it a lot. It’s awesome and I’m doing awesome things with it that nobody else is, but the nature of my company is such that I don’t really have a need for the typical social media advice, a la SEOmoz. Anyway, if you’re into such things, get at me on Twitter: @AndOneForBlog.

    3) The number of GOP debates we’re having is excessive, but man are they fun to watch with a bottle of wine.

    • 1) We do our humble best! /curtsies

      2) In theory, yes, but in practice, I don’t even have time to think about such things. Maybe someday. I hope someday. I’ll keep you on Twitter Rolodex and cross my fingers.

      3) Oy God, you are clearly part of What’s Wrong With America [tm]. MAKE IT STOPPPPP!!!!

    • My pleasure. *bows*

      My twitter stream is an absolutely absurd mix of things: half gaming news, 1/4 people who very seriously follow and tweet about politics, and the last quarter are just friends,who do whatever. So I’ll see outrage about a game suddenly dwarfed by the latest NHL game, which is suddenly overridden by a GOP debate…

      • I just followed and was followed by our 21 year old ex-babysitter, a delightful young man who is at college mostly playing lacrosse but also getting an education degree.

        The future is one, big, very odd mixer.

    • If I am nothing else, I am entertaining.

  10. taylor16

     /  January 12, 2012

    Oops … the “JC” comments upthread are me, guys. Sorry…accidentally used my wrong online nickname.🙂

    • taylor16

       /  January 12, 2012

      Actually, Emily, you can just leave those in moderation limbo. I’ll re-write.🙂

      • I’m here to save you! Wait!

        …aaand done.

        • taylor16

           /  January 12, 2012

          Ahhhh!!! I will stop typing and let you do your work!!

        • Captain Button

           /  January 12, 2012

          I wanted to post a link to the bit in FLCL where Noata says “Don’t call my brother! I’m the one who’s here! Hey, look at me! I’m the one who’s gonna save you!” but couldn’t find it on youtube.

      • And now I’ve just made a mess of things. Curses! I’ll delete one of the repeats.

        • taylor16

           /  January 12, 2012

          I’m sorry! If I was in Chicago I’d bake you cookies for all of the hard work you’re doing for me…🙂

  11. MightBeLying

     /  January 12, 2012

    Teaching my first class of the spring semester as we speak. (Writing seminar – they are writing diagnostic essays so I can totally be on twitter/facebook/the Horde while officially teaching. Boo yah.) Where did my break go !? How is it January !? When am I going to write my dissertation !?!?!?!?

    In better news, they love me for bringing cookies.

  12. caoil

     /  January 12, 2012

    Somehow, this is coming out in a little over a week, and I had not heard a peep* about it until yesterday when I caught an article about it on Racialicious. 23 years to get it to screen? And in the end, he had to finance it himself? I mean, that’s dreadful. I’m going to drag as many friends to it as I can.

    *I was going to make a “how did this get under my radar?” joke but then it seemed too obvious.

  13. David L

     /  January 12, 2012

    Since we’ve been talking about Tim Tebow back in the main building, I figure I’ll bring this to the student lounge…

    Apparently there has been a sharp rise in the level of the rumors that he’s gay since the post-game press conference last weekend where he used some body language that had even me, watching skeptically, going “if that was my first impression of the guy, I would assume that he’s gay.”

    I’m not surprised that the rumors are out there. They seem to hit every good-looking famous man of a certain age who isn’t in a long-term relationship with a woman (and even a bunch who have), regardless of how he walks, talks, or acts. Some of it is seeing what we want to see in innocuous things, some of it is seeing patterns in circumstantial evidence, some of it is just plain wish fulfillment. It probably doesn’t help that Tebow’s making a point of his chastity around women.

    In a great post, Cyd Ziegler at gay-sports-centered blog Outsports wonders what it would mean if he is gay…

    All that pious religious bullshit he spews…at the end of the day, that’s not him. That’s what his parents and his pastors have drilled into his head from the day he was born. The kid doesn’t even know who he really is. When you’re indoctrinated with religion from birth, and you commit your life to the all-consuming sport of football, there isn’t much time left for true self-discovery. If he is in fact gay, he may not know it. Even if he does, chances are slim he’d be comfortable telling his mother…or pastor…let alone us.

    http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/2012/01/12/is-tim-tebow-gay/

    • Video or we cannot judge.

      • Ignore that, there’s a video at the end of the article. One that made my jaw drop. Gaydar going off all over the place. Holy hell.

        • It’s certainly not my place to judge, and the man’s identity is whatever he says it is, and he likes whoever he says he likes, and that’s it as far as I’m concerned.

          But holy shit, you aren’t kidding. The gaydar, it goes to 11.

          • He sounds just like my boss. Who isn’t the biggest flamer I’ve ever met, but he’s up there. Like, you meet him and know instantly he’s gay.

            • David L

               /  January 12, 2012

              I am reminded of something I once said about the biggest flamer I know: “Helen Keller could tell that _____ is gay from a distance of 50 yards.”

              Tebow may not pass the Helen Keller test for seeming gay, but he’s getting close to passing the Marlee Matlin and Stevie Wonder tests in that clip.

          • Everything you said.

            And then this: I once saw a picture of him on a beach full of scantily clad women and instantly went “He’s gay.”

            It wasn’t just that he had glanced away or something. There was just a complete lack of that indefinable thing that is there between beautiful straight men and beautiful straight women. And lord knows I could be wrong, but between that gut reaction, and the fact that he kind of over-sells his sexual purity schtick, and this tape? Yes. 11.

            And I know nothing and pass no judgments and everything you said.

        • David L

           /  January 12, 2012

          Yeah. I went into that video the first time (a couple of days ago, possibly the Deadspin post referenced in the Outsports post I linked to) expecting it to be one brief gesture where he let his wrist go limp or something, and was just blown away when it kept going for the full 30 seconds, combined with the voice.

      • David L

         /  January 12, 2012

        There’s one in the linked piece. YouTube is blocked by my firewall at work or I’d link it directly.

        • Yeah I realised that after I got to the end of the piece.
          That was actually the first time I had seen Tebow with his helmet off, talking like a person. Yeah, it was a shock.

          • David L

             /  January 12, 2012

            No worries. Your reply to that where you pointed out that there was video and mine crossed somewhere.

    • taylor16

       /  January 12, 2012

      Okay, I first found his press conference from last weekend and was watching it (on mute) and thinking “WTF is everyone talking about? He looks totally normal!” (Important point: I haven’t seen him in a presser before because the Tebow-mania freaks me out). Then I saw the video in your link, and um, okay. I guess I see what everyone’s talking about.

      On one hand, I’m sort of uncomfortable with it if people were saying that he must be gay because he claims to be a virgin. I mean, there are a lot of things I don’t like about the guy, but concluding that he must be gay because he’s a virgin is pretty juvenile.

      But, okay. My gaydar is reasonably well pinged by that video. If so, that outsports article makes me sad. It’d be one thing to know you were gay but to keep it to yourself while playing. It’s another thing altogether if he’s somehow become some sort of stunted preteen who doesn’t know how to understand who he is outside of football and the religion he was born into.

      So … yeah. I’ll be thinking on that for awhile.

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  January 12, 2012

        Tebow’s done other interviews, with absolutely zero gaydar mannerisms. It’s very possible he’s just that guarded and restrained most of the time, and only the emotional rush of a huge victory combined with the swarm of questions could lead to a “letting down of the guard” as it were. In my personal experience, most of the closet is just being laconic and keeping discussions focused on concrete things rather than people.

        Other data: Tebow’s personal interviews have a PR person with him at all times, so relevant queries (gay marriage politics, etc.) have always gotten shot down without a response from him. He’s got celebrity-handlers helping him with this, if he is closeted, especially if he’s closeted to himself and loved ones.

      • taylor16

         /  January 13, 2012

        And … I just realized that I wrote “he looks totally normal!” in that comment.

        WTF, hetero privilege. Apologies, apologies, apologies. And I learn something, once again.

        • taylor16

           /  January 13, 2012

          Um, let me elaborate … by writing “he looks totally normal,” I meant that he looked like any other football player giving a presser, where stereotypically effeminate mannerisms are not typically being used. Just to clarify: I did not mean to suggest that macho football player-like behavior is “normal” and any effeminate behavior was “abnormal.” Just that I didn’t see anything in that presser that would have triggered any kind of “he must be gay!” reaction from people.

          And now I’ll stop talking….

          • Without wanting to speak for anyone else, I want to say that I got that. Your tongue slipped a little, and you came back to make it right, but I don’t think anyone who’s spent anytime on these boards would think that you meant anything along the lines of “macho football player-like behavior is normal.” I think the more important thing is that when our tongues slip in this way, we hear it, and can then apologize and readjust our tongues for future use.

            • taylor16

               /  January 13, 2012

              Thanks, Emily. I’m going to post something in the OTAN today. Geez. Not that it’s about me me me, but there’s nothing quite like leisurely reading through a conversation with friends and suddenly wanting to smack yourself in the head for being so unthinkingly stupid and rude to people you care about.

    • We have never had an out gay man in any of the 4 professional team sports in America. We ain’t getting this lucky.

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  January 12, 2012

        God works in mysterious ways.

        • David L

           /  January 12, 2012

          In some ways, it wouldn’t actually surprise me if football is the first of the big four.

          Rugby, which fills the “big men crashing into each other” niche in western Europe and a reasonable percentage of the southern hemisphere, had an active professional player come out in 1996 (Aussie Ian Roberts) and an out superstar in 2009 (Welshman Gareth Thomas). The closest any other major spectator sport has gotten in Soccer, which has an up-and-coming player in Swede Anton Hysen, who came out last spring, and a Canadian player whose name escapes me who came out shortly after being cut by a MLS team last fall.

          And yet the culture of rugby is so incredibly different from that of football. It encourages deep bonds between all participants and acknowledges, even celebrates, the homoeroticism of those bonds and of the physical contact of the game. Masculinity is proven through on-the-field performance. Football, on the other hand, has a rather evangelical strain of Christianity running through it that tends to be less gay-friendly (see also Tony Dungy) and seems to be played by men who feel like they have something to prove to the world. I don’t think it would be nearly as hospitable as rugby has been.

    • helensprogeny

       /  January 12, 2012

      Thanks for posting this, David. I’ve had such a hard time with Tebow on a number of levels, but mostly because of the evangelical dimension. Having come out of that experience myself with scars that probably will never heal, it’s been really difficult for me to get past any of it to take a real look at the man underneath (because I’m still reacting to my own shit). If Tebow is in fact gay, I’m totally with the author of this piece – he’s gonna need all the support he can muster, even if he never comes out. Just the possibility that he might be gay and hiding gives me pause and makes me want to pull back on the Tebow-bashing.

      And yeah, my gaydar is definitely at 11 with this video. Dude.

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  January 12, 2012

        That was setting off rainbow klaxons in my room as I watched. The momentary lisp was the cherry on top.

        As I commented on the linked website, gay or not, Mr. Tebow is still enormously religious. If he is gay, he’s in for a world of fierce scrutiny from activist purity police of all persuasions. Heart will go out to him if that’s the case.

    • Here’s my take: why should we effing care? The whole point of acceptance is that yeah that is who he is. I haven’t heard any anti-gay stuff from him, so there’s no element of hypocrisy. If he’s hetero and chaste, so be it. If he’s got a girlfriend on the side keeping it quiet, so be it. If he’s gay, so be it. I’m with Mister Rogers: “God loves you the way you are.”

      • I think this is a valid and important question, but I think that there are so many other factors at work that it still comes up “we effing care.”

        First of all, as an evangelical actively involved with promoting evangelical Christianity, I would argue that he is, in fact, involved with anti-gay stuff, just as I argued the other day that his faith essentially consigns anyone who doesn’t share it to hell. He doesn’t have to say it, in order to say it. Saying “I support Rick Santorum” is tantamount to (at the very least) saying “I am anti-gay rights” – likewise, saying “I am an active member of the evangelical church” is tantamount to the same, unless clearly stated otherwise.

        Second, there is something very deeply wrong with a society that demands the kind of deep closeting that LGBTQ athletes are still enduring. If he is gay, his closet is both a terrible, terribly sad thing, and a powerful force in the perpetuation of the closet for everyone else.

        If he’s gay but wasn’t actively promoting a faith that actively dehumanizes the LGBTQ community, I would merely be sad for him, and think “well, that’s got to be his call” (which is the very same thought I have about a handful of well known public figures who are well known to be gay but refuse to acknowledge it. I believe their refusal is also damaging to the community, but at a certain point, if the damage is not intentional, I don’t think I’m in a position to tell them to use their struggles to fix the broken world). But since he is actively promoting a faith that actively dehumanizes the LGBTQ community, his private struggles become a weapon used against other people. At the very least, I feel free to have an opinion about that, and a pretty negative one, at that.

        All of that said, if he’s gay? I mostly feel sorrow and compassion for him, because I can’t begin to imagine the struggle and the pain that he lives with as he tries to be the best he can at this thing he is so good at, all while having to hide from bigots and God Himself.

        • I’m just saying he doesn’t have to hide from God. I’d like to think that if he is gay he still has his faith the same way a hetero would, and doesn’t hide from God in that regard. Besides, how can you hide from God? 😉

    • thanks. i thought that was a great article, though i do seriously, seriously question this statement:

      All that pious religious bullshit he spews…at the end of the day, that’s not him. That’s what his parents and his pastors have drilled into his head from the day he was born. The kid doesn’t even know who he really is. When you’re indoctrinated with religion from birth, and you commit your life to the all-consuming sport of football, there isn’t much time left for true self-discovery.

      this seems like a really dubious bit of judgment to make on a person. yes, absolutely, of course tebow is deeply influenced and shaped by his upbringing, and he may very well be exactly what the author says he is: closeted and not even sure that he is.

      but we are all deeply influenced by our upbringing, both in accepting what we were raised as and in rejecting it (as we so choose). i don’t think it’s fair to tebow’s intelligence to say that he “doesn’t even know who he really is”, as if we are sure that he doesn’t have the experience or autonomy (or time, as the article mentioned) to develop a sense of self-awareness, or to choose his beliefs on his own.

      honestly, i think it would be a powerful thing if tebow were really gay and came out to the world–a very meaningful milestone in making professional sports a safer place for gay people. but i bristle at the assumption that because he’s a) young b) an athlete and/or c) an outspoken evangelical christian, that he doesn’t know himself.

      sorry, i know these weren’t your words or anything, but i had a really hard time commenting yesterday because i was a little annoyed at the conversation and didn’t know exactly why, or how to respond to what we were discussing. i’ve talked a little before with the horde about being a (straight, cis) guy who also happens to have a lot of mannerisms that are typically considered feminine, and how i struggled through most of my adolescence coming to grips with the fact that i didn’t need to act or talk all jockish all the time in order to still feel like a man. so when conversations about these sorts of things (tripping the gaydar, for instance) come up, i bristle at the ease in which we can slip from simple curiosity to judgement.

      and again, sorry–my thoughts on this are a little unfocused. i just figured i’d chime in with a slightly different angle.

      • and actually, let me clarify my last point, because i don’t think i expressed it well. i get a little hesitant when conversations about gender and sexuality go in the direction of social signals, and language;because, while there genuinely are interesting questions and observations that come up, it’s really easy to slip into sloppy generalizations.

        so the tl; dr version of my second point above: regardless of whether tebow is gay or not, it’s not particularly productive to use generalizations as speculative evidence.

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  January 13, 2012

        Agreed. Had a pretty long response on the linked article about that. Gay or not, dude is seriously religious.