Monday, October 24

Savage Review

Dan Savage's newest book -- The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family -- tells the tale of how he and his pretty-mouthed partner Terry recently got married, despite the wishes of their son. Six-year-old DJ, like most boys his age and many much older, views marriage as a kind of super-cooties inflicted upon the male of the species by conniving girls. Since I'm currently in the middle of reading the book, I was sorry to see I missed a booksigning in Downtown DC last Friday.

The Washington Post recently featured a rather negative review of The Commitment by UCLA English Professor Carolyn See. The most surprising thing, which alarmed Chris, was how See wrote as if she was on loan from the WashTimes. She decried Savage as an uppity "homosexual activist" in a world where gays have plenty of rights (or maybe too many?)

A lot of this gay-marriage stuff is moot by now. In many states gay people can bequeath money to their partners. Plenty of gay people have a say in how their partners die in hospitals. James Dobson and his Focus on the Family may not like it, but that's beside the point. Even Disney gives benefits to "domestic partners." This is not to say that gays are first-class citizens in America, but neither are women or Mexicans or Middle Easterners. Savage fails to note any significant social progress or acknowledge the suffering of other repressed groups; he just drones on, preaching to the choir.

The humorless See calls Savage "sanctimonious personified" and even complains that he makes fun of the "morbidly obese." (I'm guessing she doesn't watch much South Park.) Not that I imagine many of his choir usual readers will mind: they are used to the self-described "insufferable, judgmental libertine," and read his books because he also happens to be funny and refreshingly non-P.C. Quite unlike Ms. See.