Different Is As Different Does

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Have you seen the uplifting new "Celebrate Different" TV spot aimed at the narrow-minded and xenophobic?

In it, celebrities and television personalities encourage us to not just accept but to celebrate a wide variety of different types of people. I know they mention Filipinos.

"Boys who like boys" get a mention (The Village People, Barney Frank, etc.) as do "girls who like girls" (Ellen DeGeneres and Rachel Maddow, for example).

One thing about the lesbian, gay, bi, trans community: They’re not into labels.

No one brings it up but there’s certainly nothing wrong with celebrating straight men, too, while we’re at it: Kofi Annan, Chaz Bono, Tommy Lasorda, just to name a few.

We learn that both black and white people are cause for celebration and why not? Remember Ebony And Ivory? Barbara Bush and The Spinners come to mind in this category.

Glitterati such as Rick from Pawn Stars makes a plea on behalf of those who "don’t fit in." But does he celebrate Chumlee? Not that I can see.

Isn’t there an element of KEEP AUSTIN WEIRDness in this? I was once refused service at a restaurant in Austin for not looking enough like Lyle Lovett. I know nicely kempt sensible pragmatists have a tough time of it in Austin as do the well-shod and reasonable.

Do we celebrate the studiously weird denizens of Austin but not an Okie from Muskogee? Where were the be-camouflaged philosophers of Duck Dynasty in the spot? The canny social commentators of Lizard Lick Towing? The pithy prognosticators of Operation Repo?

Isn’t there a danger of stirring up Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-like animus?

"Celebrate Latinos but not Canadians? What’s up with that?"

Suddenly hunter-gatherers are bursting with nationalist pride and deciding the happenstance of their genealogy is something to crow about.

Feathers of a different color are ruffled; war ensues.

BTW, The Beatles are in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and ? and the Mysterians aren’t? Are you freaking kidding me?

Muscle-bound metal enthusiast Henry Rollins urges us to "celebrate the loud and proud" and you get the distinct impression that if we don’t Henry will beat the shit out of us.

I have no idea who the loud and proud might be but I support them in their noisiness and their vainglory. They’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take itm and who can blame them?

I celebrate any and all groups’ prideful boasting and "my side, right or wrong" jingoism—the more militant, the merrier.

Is "celebrate different" just a thinly veiled attempt to get us to "honor diversity" without the kicking and screaming?

I know after watching it I found myself accidentally more accepting of the poly-sexual many-gendered hermaphrodite at work whom I may have looked askance at before. We realized: We both like squid!

I think the point they’re trying to make is that some people are different from other people, but what’s the difference if they’re different or not? People who are different are exactly like people who aren’t different, and that’s OK because it doesn’t matter whether or not people are different because what difference do differences make? It’s fine to be so different from everyone else that it isn’t funny so long as people are nice and tolerant of others’ differences unlike, for example, people like you and your, your ilk.

In the words of the only worthwhile bumper sticker ever printed: I EXPRESS MY INDIVIDUALITY THROUGH MASS-PRODUCED BUMPER STICKERS.

True iconoclasts don’t need to tell you about it.

In the words of Chris Rock, certain people want credit for things they’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to celebrate Filipinos.

Don’t wait for Danny from Counting Cars or Ax Men‘s Shelby Stanga to tell you to.

So what have we really learned from our entertainers’ entreaty to celebrate white, black, lesbian, gay, trans and every kind of people including Filipinos?

A) They think we’re simple-minded shitheads, and B) so much for that "people are people" crap.

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