I was chatting back and forth via email with Michael Bane this week about the shellacking we’ve taken in pop culture as of late, and he pointed out that both sides are using tried and true social manipulation strategies: They’re using the anti-smoking model to “brainwash” people into believing that guns are bad and evil, and we’re using a gay rights model to expand what is considered “normal” in polite society.
Back when I was a photog, I worked with an art director named Jim who was a former NYC firefighter. He was unpretentious, laid back and easy to work with. He liked golf, had a great creative eye, was into indie music, and we got along famously.
And then we threw a Christmas party at the studio, and Jim brought his boyfriend.
Jim did more to change my mind about homosexuality’s place in our society than 10,000 people in ass-less chaps marching through the Castro District shouting “WE’RE HERE, WE’RE QUEER, AND WE’RE NOT GOING AWAY!!!” ever could. It wasn’t a freak show of loud and proud activists that changed my mind: My mind was changed by someone who looked like me and acted like me and was like me in every way, except with who he chose to snuggle up with at night.
What will change America’s attitude on guns: Open carry marches and rants about “Freedom’s clenched fist,” or taking your friends, family and co-workers out to a shooting range?
Some people are activists to make themselves feel good. Some do it to change the world.
Take someone shooting. The world you change may be your own.