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Tinky Winky finally has somebody to dance with

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#1 Zwolf

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 04:28 PM

This is not - I repeat, not - from The Onion.

The article claims the "U.S. right" is behind this, but I'm pretty certain that we all - conservative, liberal, or in-between, athiest, Christian, or otherwise - can agree that... this-here thing is just plain goofy. :)  If Focus On The Family wishes to be taken seriously,  they need to quit comin' up with this silly stuff.  

I'm pretty much hard-wired for heterosexuality, but I like to think that if I was gay, I wouldn't find SpongeBob Squarepants "hot".   Why do they pick on him while Fred from Scooby Doo gets a free pass?    He may drive the "Mystery Machine," but it's pretty obvious... I mean, the dude wears an ascot, fer chrissakes.   Somebody alert Donald Wildmon.

http://news.bbc.co.u...cas/4190699.stm

Quote

US right attacks SpongeBob video 


US conservative groups are up in arms over a music video featuring children's TV heroes such as the cheerful cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.
Focus on the Family and other groups say the video - a remake of the Sister Sledge hit, We Are Family - is a vehicle for pro-gay propaganda.

The video's makers plan to mail it to US schools in the spring to promote tolerance and diversity.

They say the attack is based on a misunderstanding.

The video also features children's favourites like Bob the Builder, along with characters from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.

But James Dobson, founder of right-wing Christian group Focus on the Family, singled out SpongeBob at a black-tie dinner in Washington in the run-up to President Bush's inauguration, the New York Times said.

SpongeBob - who appears on the children's cable channel Nickelodeon - is seen as an icon for adult gay men in the US, apparently because he regularly holds hands with his sidekick Patrick.

His creators deny that he is gay, but he is not the first such character to cause controversy.

In 1999 conservatives claimed handbag-carrying Teletubby Tinky Winky, an import from the UK, was a bad role-model.

'Easy lesson'

Nile Rodgers, who wrote the song and is founder of the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) which released the new video, says it is intended to help teach children the values of co-operation and unity.

"We believe that this is the essential first step to loving thy neighbour," he said. "And the fun and exciting format makes it a lesson that's easy for children to learn."

But conservatives say it sees the video as a cunning attempt to promote homosexuality.

They point to the fact that the WAFF is linked to a pledge being promoted by some liberal groups which includes a recognition of tolerance of sexual identity.

"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organisation is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," Paul Batura, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, told the New York Times.

Mr Rodgers said the groups may have confused his foundation with an unrelated organisation with a similar name that supports gay youth.

WAFF spokesman Mark Barondeso told the newspaper that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased".

Personally, I think Pat Robertson's gay.  Discuss...

Cheers,

Zwolf
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#2 Kevin Street

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 05:14 PM

I dunno, this "Focus On The Family" group sounds a lot like the "Parents Television Council" - you know, those folks who think the Olympics are a nudie show. They're fringe radicals.

Quote

SpongeBob - who appears on the children's cable channel Nickelodeon - is seen as an icon for adult gay men in the US, apparently because he regularly holds hands with his sidekick Patrick.

His creators deny that he is gay, but he is not the first such character to cause controversy.

But does it really matter if he is supposed to be gay? We're talking about a fictional character here, and he can be whatever you want him to be, his nature is not limited to whatever the creators say he is. Gay people might see Spongebob as gay, straight people see him as straight. Everybody wins.

But it's this claim that gets kind of offensive:

Quote

But conservatives say it sees the video as a cunning attempt to promote homosexuality.

They point to the fact that the WAFF is linked to a pledge being promoted by some liberal groups which includes a recognition of tolerance of sexual identity.

"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organisation is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," Paul Batura, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, told the New York Times.

Isn't that plain old bigotry? Regardless of what Spongebob really might be up to, it sounds like this Batura guy is trying to say that's it's "insidious" to promote homosexuality and tolerance of alternate sexual identities. That sounds like hate speech to me.

Quote

Nile Rodgers, who wrote the song and is founder of the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) which released the new video, says it is intended to help teach children the values of co-operation and unity.

"We believe that this is the essential first step to loving thy neighbour," he said.

You're out of touch, man! This is wartime, and values like "love thy neighbour" are staler than month old bread. It's all about fear and violence these days.
Per aspera ad astra

#3 Caretaker

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 05:29 PM

Kevin Street, on Jan 20 2005, 04:14 PM, said:

I dunno, this "Focus On The Family" group sounds a lot like the "Parents Television Council" - you know, those folks who think the Olympics are a nudie show. They're fringe radicals.

I used to live in Colorado Springs, where Focus of the Family is based.  Needless to say, I've learned to dread that name.  I just roll my eyes now :rolleyes:

#4 Zwolf

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 05:35 PM

Quote

I dunno, this "Focus On The Family" group sounds a lot like the "Parents Television Council" - you know, those folks who think the Olympics are a nudie show. They're fringe radicals.

******* I agree.  That's why I thought the BBC's title of "U.S. Right attacks" was kind of out there.  I can always be corrected by some if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the overwhelming majority of right-wingers also would think this Sponge Bob controversy was extremely silly.   It's as loopy as the "Tinky Winky is gay" thing, or the "Mighty Mouse was sniffing cocaine" deal.   The headline-writer gave the right a bum rap with that one, I think.

Quote

But does it really matter if he is supposed to be gay? We're talking about a fictional character here, and he can be whatever you want him to be, his nature is not limited to whatever the creators say he is. Gay people might see Spongebob as gay, straight people see him as straight. Everybody wins.


********* Exactly.  He's a sponge!  :)  I sincerely doubt any kids are going to be "led down the road to gay-ness" (if such a thing could even be done - I doubt anyone who's not pre-disposed to homosexuality could be "lured" there, especially by a goofy cartoon) by Sponge Bob.  

I'm expecting stricter controls on Mr. Potatohead next... :)

Cheers,

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Trying to talk to you

I'd put you down where you belong
But I'm never talking to you again
I'd show you everywhere you're wrong
But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
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Trying to talk to you

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#5 BR48

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 05:46 PM

Focus On The Family is a group of utter lunatics.  I am constantly mystified by the fact that people pay any attention to them.

#6 Kevin Street

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 05:46 PM

Zwolf666 said:

...That's why I thought the BBC's title of "U.S. Right attacks" was kind of out there.  I can always be corrected by some if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the overwhelming majority of right-wingers also would think this Sponge Bob controversy was extremely silly.   It's as loopy as the "Tinky Winky is gay" thing, or the "Mighty Mouse was sniffing cocaine" deal.   The headline-writer gave the right a bum rap with that one, I think.

To be fair, both sides of the spectrum have fringe radicals, and for every activist who scrutinizes Spongebob's sexual tendencies, there's probably a similar activist trying to rename manhole covers "personholes" or expunge the word God from the dollar bill.

Quote

I'm expecting stricter controls on Mr. Potatohead next... :)

Frankly, I just can't understand how Ken has managed to avoid criticism for all this time. Barbie must be one heck of an effective beard. ;)

#7 Caretaker

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 06:46 PM

No one focuses on the phallic implications of Spongebob's nose. :D

#8 DWF

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 07:39 PM

I'm sure Tiny Winky is relieved but do sponges actually have a sex? :whistle:  :eek4:

Edited by DWF, 20 January 2005 - 08:31 PM.

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#9 Lyric of Delphi

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 07:56 PM

Quote

SpongeBob - who appears on the children's cable channel Nickelodeon - is seen as an icon for adult gay men in the US, apparently because he regularly holds hands with his sidekick Patrick.

I watch Spongebob somewhat regularly, and I don't believe I've ever seen Spongebob and Patrick hold hands.

Quote

I'm sure Tiny Winky is relieved but do sponges actually havea sex?

Actually, there was an episode where Spongebob was all "And can you reproduce by BUDDING? Huh? Can you? Huh?" And then he proceded to grow a few more sponges out of his side. It was mildly disturbing, but hardly gay.

I have a relative who doesn't let her kids watch this show "because Spongebob is gay." So I just bought her kids Spongebob underwear for Christmas. It's all I can do.

Edited by Lyric Z D, 20 January 2005 - 08:21 PM.


#10 Spectacles

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 08:13 PM

One would think that Dobson is a "fringe radical," but the more unpleasant reality is that he is probably the most powerful evangelical in America today. And even more troubling, he's credited with mobilizing Bush's evangelical base to help push him over the top during this past election. (Bush won by three million. Rove was upset that during the 2000 election, four million evangelicals didn't vote. Dobson, right or wrong, uses this to argue that Bush should be beholden to him.)

Here's a pretty comprehensive article on Dobson and his Focus on Family. He's a sharp operator, well-organized, well-connected, and therefore his aims to influence the direction this country takes may not be farfetched:

http://story.news.ya...ws/thedobsonway


Excerpts:


Quote

For Dobson, his followers, and many American evangelicals--who made up nearly a quarter of the electorate last Election Day and who voted for President Bush (news - web sites) by a factor of almost 4 to 1--change might finally be in the offing. Next week brings the second inauguration of the most religious evangelical president in modern history; he is expected to fill a string of Supreme Court vacancies with strongly conservative voices. And a handful of newly elected senators allied with the evangelical movement have already taken their seats on Capitol Hill.


Evangelicals haven't stood as much chance of molding Washington since they began organizing politically in the wake of Roe v. Wade (news - web sites). "This kind of hope was present after the 2000 election," recalls David Barton, who advised the Republicans on evangelical outreach for the election. "But it's grown from hope to confidence that something will change. It's the strongest emotion of expectation I've seen in decades." Those expectations include new curbs on abortion, a renewed push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and a more conservative federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court.

Quote

Dobson, perhaps more than anyone, will be most credible in leveraging evangelical power at the voting booth. That's partly because, politics aside, he's unrivaled as an evangelical leader. "Given Billy Graham's advanced age," says Richard Land, president of the 16 million-strong Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "it's James Dobson who's stepped in to fill the void." Unlike Graham, though, Dobson's not a preacher. Over the past 35 years, Dobson, a child psychologist, has published upwards of two dozen books on child rearing and maintaining relationships (including a handful of runaway bestsellers), has hosted a daily radio show carried by 2,000 U.S. stations, and has helped Focus assemble an active mailing list of 2.5 million names. But stepping so squarely into the political ring threatens to alienate some of Dobson's mostly apolitical fans--not to mention Republicans who see the GOP's future as a "big tent."


Dobson, for his part, is ready to play hardball, having already sent letters to 1.2 million supporters in which he threatens to challenge six "red" and "purple" state Democratic senators up for re-election in 2006 if they filibuster Bush's conservative judicial nominees: Florida's Bill Nelson, Minnesota's Mark Dayton, West Virginia's Robert Byrd, North Dakota's Kent Conrad, New Mexico's Jeff Bingaman, and Nebraska's Ben Nelson. U.S News has learned that Focus, a network of 36 "state policy councils" associated with the group, and other Christian organizations are planning to capitalize on the success of the 11 state ballot initiatives outlawing same-sex marriage that passed in November to promote similar measures in up to 15 more states in the next two years. The initiatives' backers hope their success will make it harder for senators in Washington to withhold support for a federal marriage amendment. And Dobson is also keeping an eye on the GOP. "There's a window which may remain open only a short time to make critical changes," he said in a recent interview with U.S. News. "If Republicans . . . in the White House and Senate squander this opportunity, I believe they will pay a price for it in four years--and maybe in two."


Quote

Although much of Dobson's political power derives from his ability to connect with the grass roots, he is more plugged into Washington than he lets on. "I have a very close relationship with Jim," Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (news, bio, voting record), the Senate's No. 3 Republican, tells U.S. News . "I consider him a friend." Indeed, "his influence [in Washington] is huge," says Land, who is widely seen as closer to the White House than Dobson. "He may not be an insider, but he can shut down the phone lines in Congress."


Just after Election Day, he almost did, encouraging listeners to phone Congress to block Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record)--who had warned Bush against judicial nominees who would overturn Roe --from assuming the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee (news - web sites). Some Hill offices logged a thousand-plus calls from abortion opponents after Dobson's broadcast.


In a show of how disciplined and organized the Christian right's leadership has become, a recently formed coalition of powerful religious activists known as the Arlington Group convened a conference call during which its members--including Dobson--agreed that it would be wiser to straitjacket Specter than to derail him. Paul Weyrich, a conservative Christian activist who heads the Free Congress Foundation, says gaining the GOP support necessary to chasten Specter would have been impossible without the strong turnout among "values" voters on Election Day and victories by conservative Christian Senate candidates. "It showed the realization by the majority leader [and] other leaders of that committee," he says, "that you simply cannot give our coalition the finger."


Weyrich tells U.S. News that, in a meeting with Specter after his public vow of support for Bush's nominees, he secured an additional pledge from the senator to allow conservative committee members to appoint some committee staff. (An aide to Specter denies he struck a deal but says the senator is "open to hiring good conservative candidates.") The Arlington Group, meanwhile, with roughly 75 members, will hold a strategy meeting in Washington during inauguration week in which U.S. News has learned that Texas Sen. John Cornyn (news, bio, voting record), a Judiciary Committee member, is slated to speak.

So, in today's America, James Dobson isn't a fringe radical so much as he is an influential player in Republican politics. He has connections with Santorum, Cornyn, and the new crop of evangelical Congressmen who are just now coming into power. He's got Bush/Cheney in debt to him, and he wants payment in form of judges and legislators who will work to outlaw abortion and pass the marriage amendment. In short, he's on a roll.

Now, maybe, the Sponge Bob goofiness will tarnish his image a bit, as Tinky Winky blew up in Falwell's face, a screwup that took him years to recover from, but that remains to be seen. I worry that the evangelical right has been so indoctrinated to fear the "homosexual agenda" that this may just seem plausible to them.
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#11 Kevin Street

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 08:14 PM

DWF said:

I'm sure Tiny Winky is relieved but do sponges actually havea sex? :whistle::eek4:

Yes! Unlike primitive humans, highly evolved creatures like sponges can reproduce in lots of different ways. Wikipedia doth opine upon the subject thusly:

Quote

Sponges can reproduce either asexually or sexually. During bad times, sponges can form small structures called gemmules, analogous to the endospore of bacteria. The gemmule, made up of a few amoebocytes surrounded a tough layer of spicules, can last through conditions that would kill adult sponges. When conditions are again favorable, the gemmule will resume growing. Sponges also reproduce asexually by budding, where a piece of a sponge falls off and grows into a new one. Sexual reproduction in sponges is relatively simple. Sperm from one sponge swims to the egg of another, producing a motile larval stage.

So much simpler than blind dates...

Edit: Ack! Spectacles posted a fascinating link and quotes just before me, but it's time for supper so I'm going to read it later tonight. Thanks for the information, though. That looks like it will be an interesting read.

Edited by Kevin Street, 20 January 2005 - 08:19 PM.


#12 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 08:28 PM

Well that is "interesting" viewpoint on their partÖ   :dontgetit:

Canít they just be against the show because of the lack of intelligent discourse in that show on any level?  ;)
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#13 DWF

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 08:34 PM

Kevin Street, on Jan 20 2005, 08:14 PM, said:

DWF said:

I'm sure Tiny Winky is relieved but do sponges actually havea sex? :whistle::eek4:

Yes! Unlike primitive humans, highly evolved creatures like sponges can reproduce in lots of different ways. Wikipedia doth opine upon the subject thusly:

Quote

Sponges can reproduce either asexually or sexually. During bad times, sponges can form small structures called gemmules, analogous to the endospore of bacteria. The gemmule, made up of a few amoebocytes surrounded a tough layer of spicules, can last through conditions that would kill adult sponges. When conditions are again favorable, the gemmule will resume growing. Sponges also reproduce asexually by budding, where a piece of a sponge falls off and grows into a new one. Sexual reproduction in sponges is relatively simple. Sperm from one sponge swims to the egg of another, producing a motile larval stage.

So much simpler than blind dates...

Edit: Ack! Spectacles posted a fascinating link and quotes just before me, but it's time for supper so I'm going to read it later tonight. Thanks for the information, though. That looks like it will be an interesting read.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Well maybe Bob's and asexual, that would explain alot. :D
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#14 Nonny

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 10:27 PM

Kevin Street, on Jan 20 2005, 02:46 PM, said:

To be fair, both sides of the spectrum have fringe radicals, and for every activist who scrutinizes Spongebob's sexual tendencies, there's probably a similar activist trying to rename manhole covers "personholes" or expunge the word God from the dollar bill.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No no no! That would have to be "perchildholes" since "son" is just as male as "man."  :whistle:

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#15 Morrhigan

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 11:02 PM

How dumb can you get? No self-respecting gay man would be caught dead in square pants. :lol:
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#16 Nonny

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Posted 20 January 2005 - 11:44 PM

Morrhigan, on Jan 20 2005, 08:02 PM, said:

How dumb can you get? No self-respecting gay man would be caught dead in square pants. :lol:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You have a point.  :hehe:  

Meant to mention in another forum: I like your cat!  So cute!  :)

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#17 Norville

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 12:29 AM

*dies laughing*

Can't these people find *anything* better to do with their time?! :lol: No, guess not...

Kevin Street said:

You're out of touch, man! This is wartime, and values like "love thy neighbour" are staler than month old bread. It's all about fear and violence these days.

*slaps self* There's too much compassion these days! I forgot about that!

zwolf666 said:

I'm pretty much hard-wired for heterosexuality, but I like to think that if I was gay, I wouldn't find SpongeBob Squarepants "hot".

Yeah... how disturbing if anyone found SpongeBob *attractive* in that way... Hey, he held hands with his male friend -- that's hot! I'm gonna turn gay now! :lol:

Lyric Z D said:

I have a relative who doesn't let her kids watch this show "because Spongebob is gay." So I just bought her kids Spongebob underwear for Christmas. It's all I can do.

I love this. I'd hug you, but it might turn one of us gay. ;)

CJ AEGIS said:

Canít they just be against the show because of the lack of intelligent discourse in that show on any level? ;)

Really, I was against the Teletubbies simply because watching that show convinced me that my brain would melt and run out my ears. "This show makes adults stupid" would've been a better argument -- although, perhaps these people *want* adults to be stupid, so they can believe accusations like these. ;) I've never seen SpongeBob, and if it's as brain-blasting freaky as Teletubbies, I'm not going to... :fear:
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#18 QueenTiye

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 01:00 AM

My son doesn't watch spongebob, but I didn't make that decision based on some concerns about homosexuality.  I made that decision because I get tired of crass humor that focusses on the main character making toilet jokes and splitting his pants.  

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#19 Morrhigan

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 09:10 AM

Nonny, on Jan 20 2005, 08:44 PM, said:

Meant to mention in another forum: I like your cat!  So cute!  :)

Nonny

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Awww, thanks. I wuv my Griswold. :)
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#20 Elara

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 10:08 AM

Norville says:

Quote

Really, I was against the Teletubbies simply because watching that show convinced me that my brain would melt and run out my ears. "This show makes adults stupid" would've been a better argument -- although, perhaps these people *want* adults to be stupid, so they can believe accusations like these. ;) I've never seen SpongeBob, and if it's as brain-blasting freaky as Teletubbies, I'm not going to... :fear:

~.~ Imagine the brains it takes to watch these shows to find something to fear.
:rolleyes:

I admit to watching SpongeBob, first with my son when he was younger, then with ex b/f's daughter and yes, I laughed. :wacko:
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