Monday, October 18, 2010

Another Take on the 'Dilemma' Trailer Fiasco

Enough has been said about the primary complaint of the hideously unfunny, offensive gay joke in the Dilemma trailer. People more eloquent than me, with bigger dogs in the fight, have laid it out there.

I'd like to voice a secondary complaint. It certainly doesn't have as large an immediate impact as what everyone is talking about, but I think it's at least as important in the long term. The questionable line in the trailer, in referring to electric cars as "gay," is using a gross stereotype to imply that they're weak and effeminate. I believe a majority of the country would agree, and that thinking is poison.

We need electric cars. The goddamned stupid cowboy ethos of America has convinced us that we need big bulletproof wagons that can go from 0 to 60 in the span of seconds. This same thinking gave us a president who actually thought he was a cowboy and treated his eight year reign like an eight second bullride, leaving us castrated.

When was the last time it mattered how fast you could get to 60, or how much horsepower your car has?

Electric cars have been relegated to eggheads and treehuggers, as if that's a bad thing. These people, who truly understand that actions have consequences, are working to literally save our species. Ed Begley Jr.'s house is not only super-green, it practically makes money for the man. But Begley has been turned into a green punchline.

For too long the fear of seeming elitist or better than someone else has dominated public discourse. It's probably the largest single reason that Kerry lost in 2004. It is time to turn the tide against the vilification of intelligence. Electric cars are smart. Solar panels are smart. Wind turbines are smart. Questioning the real messages behind the constant assault of data to which we're subjected is smart.

If intelligence is gay, give me a rainbow flag to proudly fly.

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