Bragging about how stupid you are is not attractive


If you spotted Rick McGinnis at the grocery store, you’d think: “Hipster artsy foodie leftist.”

You’d be right on three counts. McGinnis looks the part, with his vintage wardrobe, cool specs and fashion forward facial hair. He’s photographed the likes of Alan Rickman and Hilary Swank for magazine spreads, was featured in a Canadian documentary that toured the festival circuit, treasures his Mad Men box set and recently reviewed “the best cappuccino in Toronto.”

But Rick McGinnis is also a married man with two daughters and a new house, who’s active in his parish’s Catholic men’s group. He’d call himself a social conservative who holds his nose and votes Tory.

Rick and I figure we probably walked past each other years ago, at the same Violent Femmes concert or screening of The Tin Drum at the Revue on Roncesvalles. But we didn’t meet until he sent me a fan letter , when my blog began reflecting my post 9/11 voyage from left to bored to (some would say “far”) right. Rick was in the same boat. He was one of the numerous Gen X “punk rock conservatives” I’ve encountered since, all of us young anti-Thatcher/Reagan types who came to realize we were more independent minded than our knee-jerk lefty drinking buddies.

Both freelance writers — neither of us can stand Toronto’s stifling, ultra politically correct, feminized office culture of “holiday parties” & Gestapo recycling rituals (and the feeling is mutual) — we email back and forth sharing links to horrifying reports of the latest “progressive” outrage with the subject line “please kill me.” (And kitten pictures. We’re both cat people, as you might have already guessed.)

Today Rick sent me a message titled, “the right needs to be more culturally literate.” It’s a running theme with us (along with cats.) Here’s what annoyed him today.

Remember that loud loony who accosted Sarah Palin yesterday? She’d claimed to be a teacher, but she wasn’t. No surprise there: leftists compulsively lie about almost everything. From Sacco & Vanzetti and DDT to Michael Moore, it’s part of their strategy. (It’s reached the point where I expect to find out one day that the Scottsboro Boys were actually guilty.)

Anyway, Rick wrote:

Turns out she wasn’t [a teacher] — fair enough. Another lying lefty. But the person who did the background check found out that she’d been involved in a production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which turned into her playing in a “drag queen rock band.”

Which might be a minor thing, but it makes us look like we’re talking out of our ass.

Sheesh.

I agree. Calling Hedwig and the Angry Inch a play about “a drag queen rock band” is like calling West Side Story “a musical about a couple of street gangs.”

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is one of my favorite plays/movies. The music is stunning, and the main character and plot are clearly the fruit (sorry) of years of incubation in the mind of its talented creator. Hedwig can also be “read” as conservative (although I doubt the ultra lefty playwright would approve of my take.) At the end of the film, let’s just say that the natural order of things is restored. Which is an awfully conservative thing.

However, I’ll bet many of my fellow conservatives would refuse to watch the film all the way through. Some because it features, well, a drag queen. Some because — gasp! — it contains “cursing.” Others because it isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster, has a funny title and/or seems slightly “foreign.”

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