March 07, 2004

IT JUST DON'T ADD UP

How to mesh this this crowd

Drizzling rain did not dampen the spirit of Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras last night with up to 300,000 spectators lining the streets for the annual celebration.

With this claim, from Mardi Gras parade leader Monica Hingston, the lesbian cousin of Archbishop Cardinal George Pell

"We are such a hidden group in society."

Posted by Tim Blair at March 7, 2004 11:04 PM
Comments

"We are such a hidden group in society."

Right. I don't think that there is another group more "out there" and "in your face" than the so-called gay and lesbian "movement". I suppose being a lesbian cousin of a Cardinal somehow lends authority and quote-worthiness to what she says.

Posted by: Kevin M at March 8, 2004 at 03:12 AM

Kind of like the idjits who take out full page ads in the New York Times to complain that they are being "silenced..."

Posted by: Jerry at March 8, 2004 at 04:05 AM

Lots of older gays I talk to in my cab, wouldn't be seen dead at the Mardi Gras. They are over the 'movement', and consider it not only marginalising, but reinforcing the stereotype.

Posted by: jafa at March 8, 2004 at 04:51 AM

Most of the gays and lesbians I know would rather chew their own hands off at the wrists than appear in a pride day parade or something similarly flashy. They're not ashamed of who they are, they just think they're incredibly tacky, and like jafa said, hurting instead of helping.

If they're "hidden", they want to stay that way, just like any sensible person feels about their sex life.

Posted by: LabRat at March 8, 2004 at 06:09 AM

"We are such a hidden group in society'

I'm not sure what she means here either....maybe the unflattering ponchos, the vast umbrellas and the driving rain led her to conclude that no-one could see her? Who knows? "Cabbies for Mark Latham" - a group of 'cabbies' clutching briefcases and shuffling along on crutches with bandaged limbs and heads, certainly got the loudest cheers.

Posted by: Geoff Honnor at March 8, 2004 at 07:57 AM

What about vegetarians? In places like Rockhampton and Texas they suffer incredible discrimination. A vego friend of mine went to Somalia for six months and was brainwashed into becoming a voracious goat-eater.

Where's the outrage? Where's the PBS series validating THEIR alternative lifestyle (Queer as Tofu?)? Where's the frickin' street parade?

Posted by: fidens at March 8, 2004 at 08:18 AM

"What about vegetarians? In places like Rockhampton and Texas they suffer incredible discrimination. A vego friend of mine went to Somalia for six months and was brainwashed into becoming a voracious goat-eater.

Where's the outrage? Where's the PBS series validating THEIR alternative lifestyle (Queer as Tofu?)? Where's the frickin' street parade?"

Fidens if you could find a buyer for a televisual feast portraying a bunch of anaemic vego's staggering up the street, feebly waving their biodegradable canisters of pureed carrot juice, you'd be a bloody wunderkind. ;)

Posted by: Geoff Honnor at March 8, 2004 at 08:44 AM

7:00AM Saturday, and I'm listening to ABC radio in Sydney, weekend host Simon Marney (?). It's the usual annual ABC part-the-cheeks promotion for the Gay Mardi Gras, '900,000 people are expected to attend tonight's blah blah blah.' Then, the interview with Monica Hingston, which was once again everything you'd expect. Typical leftist, all her problems- and she's had plenty- are caused by someone else. In this case, because she's gay they're caused by Christians and hets. For some reason the sneering way the news announcers spit out the name 'George PELL' really got on my goat. I dialled.

me: are you taking calls on this topic?
she(female producer): no, but what did you want to say?
me: why can't you people have the common courtesy to give Cardinal Pell his proper title, when referring to him?
she: but we do!
me: not once. Not once, this morning. If you had a Muslim leader on, you'd call him 'Imam.' If you had a Jewish leader on you'd call him 'Rabbi.' Your bias is showing, lady.
she: if you think we're biased you can make a complaint to the ABC through the proper channels.
me: yeah. We saw how fairly that kind of complaint's handled, with the inquiry into your biased Iraq war coverage.
she: (click)

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at March 8, 2004 at 08:51 AM

A gay pal told me about his trip to Houston from Chicago. In 1992, the Republicans held their National Convention in Houston. A lot of "queer activists" traveled to Texas from the North to demonstrate (this was back when Bush the Elder was 'causing AIDS') and were suprised and chagrined to find their biggest critics were Southern gays.

The Southerners were overwhelmingly conservatively dressed in polo shirts, financially successful, well groomed, and in long term relationships. The Yankees were skanky looking drag queens, leather jacketed punkers, and overweight chicken hawks. The Texans didn't want them in their bars and clubs and generally copped an "oh, grow up!"-attitude.

My friend told me it was real culture shock (he was a punk rocker) and he described the Houston gay scene as something his suburban parents would've felt comfortable in. Pretty funny.

Posted by: JDB at March 8, 2004 at 09:15 AM

Mardi Gras - Yawn!

Fifty blokes marching up the street with waxed arses dancing in formation.

And here's the next float - its got fifty blokes with the arse out of their trousers marching up the street in formation.

Oh, how witty, there's a bloke with a George Bush mask on kissing a bloke with a Saddam mask on, the biting political satire - oh and look, they have their arses hanging out!

Maybe its just because I live in Sydney but the sexuality of an individual has absolutly no interest to me.

I suppose the Mardi Gras has served a purpose in that it has bored people out of their homophobic tendancies, it probably also offends the Mufti so it must be alright.

Posted by: Gilly at March 8, 2004 at 09:48 AM

In Rockhampton, vegetarians aren't discriminated against- they're shot in the head, butchered and eaten like all other herbivores.
Pass the sauce.

Posted by: Habib at March 8, 2004 at 10:40 AM

Some people just have their oppresion-filters set to 1950. Being a hidden/oppressed minority is so vital to their self-image that they willfully ignore everything that's happened in the last 55 years to advance their status. It can't possibly be the case that gay people are pretty well accepted in the Anglosphere these days, it just can't be!

We needses the preciousss oppression! They lied to us, preciousss, oh yes they did! Toldses uss we were free, preciouss! They wanted to destroy the preciouss!

Posted by: Oddly Normal at March 8, 2004 at 01:23 PM

I've heard that the best place to hide is in plain sight, so maybe she's right.

Posted by: charles austin at March 8, 2004 at 01:31 PM

Just a point at the claimed number veiwing the faggot frolic:
Before the event heard one of the dykes on a radio talk back gush that they "expected 300,000 to watch"
After the frolic heard an Aunty Hoon declare, "300,000 watched as..."

Set me thinking back when the estimate before the jollies started was "more than 500,000 expected..."
And Presto next day all the meeja ran with" more than 500,000 people watched..."

Just amazing aint it that the numbers are so precisely foretold by the queers!
What a pity somone in the meeja wouldnot get off their arses and actually find out what the tue numbers were.
But perish the thought - what say the number was only 20,000 in reality. Sheesh this could lead to all sorts of nonsense like "no one gives a shit" about this lot or like "the value of this live porno show to Sydney is almost zilch" (in lieu of past claims - totally unsubstantiated - that the frolic and attendant activities was worth at least $100 million to NSW.

Facts can be so bloody inconvenient at times!

Posted by: lawrie at March 8, 2004 at 02:12 PM

"It can't possibly be the case that gay people are pretty well accepted in the Anglosphere these days, it just can't be!"

Which Anglosphere is this? The one with a US President cynically trying to ban gay marriage to pull in a few extra votes? Or some other one?

Posted by: Stewart Kelly at March 8, 2004 at 05:50 PM

"But perish the thought - what say the number was only 20,000 in reality. Sheesh this could lead to all sorts of nonsense like "no one gives a shit" about this lot or like "the value of this live porno show to Sydney is almost zilch" (in lieu of past claims - totally unsubstantiated - that the frolic and attendant activities was worth at least $100 million to NSW."

But Lawrie - why do you give a shit? It's a parade. It happens once a year. And every year Fred Nile claims there were 5 people, some poof who was on something claims there were about a mill and the cops come up with 100-200,000 - depending on the weather. It doesn't matter. The parade would happen if it was just you standing there with your arms folded, looking determinedly glum.

Here's a deal: you don't have to watch me frolic if I don't have to watch you frolic. OK?

Posted by: Geoff Honnor at March 8, 2004 at 05:56 PM

It happens every year - an outageously inaccurate crod figure. This year 300,000, in the past anything up to 900,000 have reportedly lined the route.
Let's look atrehe numbers. Assuming the parade route is 2 kilometres long, that's 2000 metres and would require a crowd of 1500 PER METRE along a relatively narrow Oxford Street. Let's face it around 60-75,000 is around the right number.

Posted by: runyon at March 8, 2004 at 06:26 PM

We need a Queer Eye for the Stewart Guy!

Posted by: Sortelli at March 8, 2004 at 06:39 PM

Which Anglosphere is this? The one with a US President cynically trying to ban gay marriage to pull in a few extra votes? Or some other one?

Keep up with the meme, Stewie! He's doing it because he's a gay-hatin' Fundamentalist homophobe!

Sheesh.

Posted by: Quentin George at March 8, 2004 at 06:39 PM

There is no connection between being homosexual and choosing not to eat some or all food of animal origin. If I choose not to eat animals, for whatever reason right or wrong, it is my business and it merely leaves more for you to consume. Obtaining adequate iron from the diet without consuming animal products is not that difficult (even for a menstruator). It reflects your insecurity, that you defend your dietary choices with abuse.
I consider myself a political conservative. I just happen to like cycling and respect vegetarianism where it is nutritionally balanced. It is my long-term body maintainance regime and none of your business.
Please refrain from abusing trolls with references to these harmless lifestyle choices.
Please keep abusing trolls, driving V8s or eating shit.
Most of the try hard correspondents here are just bolsheviks with a change of clothes. Ideological flip flops, like mussolini, fueled by nationalistic paranoia.
Some of us were conservative before it became trendy.

Posted by: ghandi, da vinci & phar lap can't be wrong at March 8, 2004 at 07:59 PM

Jesus, come down off your high horse, veggie. No one here cares what you eat.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 8, 2004 at 08:20 PM

The whole Mardi Gras thing doesn't thrill me that much and I'm not up for public displays of sexuality whatever the orientation. I am reasonably politically conservative, but I'm also someone who believes in liberalism (the original sort, not the bastardised American version). That means that the inability of gays and lesbians to marry is really problematic and almost impossible to justify if you adhere to basic liberal precepts (again, in original sense, not American).

But for those people who complain about church, synagogue, mosque etc intolerance of homosexuality (like Pell's cousin), I have a lot less sympathy. If you want to be involved in a primitive organisation, then you have to accept their primitive precepts... or start your own.

Posted by: brill at March 8, 2004 at 11:30 PM

It always struck me as odd that the Washington, D.C. police and the US Park Service quit putting out crowd estimates as soon as satellite pictures got good enough that you could actually count the heads. Even today it's possible to use aerial photography to get very good hard estimates (+/- 2%) if you do it right. Wonder why no one does? Could it be because the only folks who care about inflated numbers are the ones who want to force the rest to do something?

P.S. It is perfectly likely that the largest crowd for a political reason in D.C. was the 30-year anniversary anti-Roe crowd in 2003. What aerial photos there are put it easily over 1,000,000 people. The Million Man March looks to have had at least 700,000. The Million Mom March had 12 (giggle -- well, it actually had a few thousand, but . . . )

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at March 9, 2004 at 12:25 AM

I'd always assumed Mardi Gras crowd sizes were exagerated but only because its journalistic practice always to double or triple any number.

For an example check any sports injury story. "Football player our for ten weeks" normally means they will be back in five. Same goes for crowd sizes, dealth counts and all the rest.

Posted by: Mike A. at March 9, 2004 at 02:57 AM

Andrea, I'm very concerned about the consequences of that vegetarian's diet, it's obviously affected their literacy and ability to comprehend an ironic comparison between unrelated lifestyles.

Posted by: Sortelli at March 9, 2004 at 11:22 AM

Vego baiting: it's all carrot and stick.

Posted by: fidens at March 9, 2004 at 11:23 AM

Although hard to come up with a figure, it's generally accepted that a reasonable portion of the crowd who attend Mardi Gras are casual observers from the straight community, as well as outraged members from the more conservative elements of society.


Posted by: Finn at March 9, 2004 at 11:28 AM

"Although hard to come up with a figure, it's generally accepted that a reasonable portion of the crowd who attend Mardi Gras are casual observers from the straight community, as well as outraged members from the more conservative elements of society."

I'd take a punt on at least 80% of the crowd being straight Finn. They're there for the entertainment. Most of us poofs are either in the parade, standing on apartment balconies or giving it a miss because we've seen it all before. "The outraged members of society" - about 10-15 in number - traditionally join Rev Fred Nile in a bus shelter in lower Oxford St. I think they quite enjoy it all.....

Posted by: Geoff Honnor at March 9, 2004 at 04:00 PM

Being gay earns you a death sentence in many Islamic countries. Ironic how anti-gay fundamentalist Christians are so close to Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban in their thinking. Maybe they should all be put together on some remote island somewhere.

Posted by: jean-luc bidet at March 9, 2004 at 05:06 PM