Jim Goad vs. Elton John and his 'baby'

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Niccolo and Donkey
Arkansas Store Censors Elton John’s Designer Baby!

Taki's Magazine

Jim Goad

January 31, 2011


A global scandal erupted last week after someone complained about the manner in which a grocery store in Mountain Home, Arkansas was displaying an Us Weekly cover featuring sextuagenarian songbird Elton John, his widow-peaked “partner” of 17 years David Furnish, and their month-old bioengineered son Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John—who may or may not be gay, nor, as far as I can tell from that cover photo, even alive.

After spotting the magazine on display at a Harps regional grocery-chain outlet, a local Arkansas native Tweeted that she was “shocked” and “horrified” at what she’d seen and publicly inquired whether anything could possibly be done to rectify this clearly unacceptable and morally abhorrent situation.

The story soon went viral, along with the sad, predictably uptight bleatings of pharisaical outrage among faceless, small-minded commenters:

Many of the comments crossed the line from simple moral indignation to violent threats and outright hate speech:

Kindly note that all those unhinged and morally totalitarian quotes were from gay-rights supporters, not gay-bashers.

The sequence of events at Harps Marketplace way up in the Arkansas Ozarks went roughly like this: The magazine featuring the gay duo and their possibly gay baby was put on the racks. According to store management, “several” customers complained about it. The manager, following standard protocol when customers complain, decided to put up what is known as a “ Family Shield ” covering most of the magazine in order to “protect young Harps shoppers.”

It was the Family Shield—not the in-your-face-and-down-your-throat gayness—that “shocked” and “horrified” local woman Jennifer Huddleston, who, at the risk of stereotyping, looks like a typical fag hag who owns a lot of cats.

The gay-friendly Huddleston decided to get TWICE as offended as the anonymous local homophobes. She hopped onto Twitter beseeching the help of the ACLU, GLAAD, Anderson Cooper, Ellen DeGeneres, the shrieking orange cunt-monster Kathy Griffin, and the rest of the gay-friendly digital world, which came out in force to prove that they were far more technologically efficient at getting offended than a smattering of fundamentalist queer-baiters in the Arkansas hills.

It was during this furious and well-orchestrated backlash that we got a glimpse at how truly tolerant and accepting the gay coastal urban blogosphere is toward those whom they perceive as fundamentally “different” from them:

The story was picked up by ABC, NBC, and CNN. It soon found its way into the UK’s Daily Mail, the India Times, and the Sydney Morning Herald. The international press made blanket headline statements about how the magazine was “Censored In US” or “Censored in Arkansas,” as if what happened was more far-reaching and culture-damning than a single incident at a single store in a single small American town.

Within a day, Harps executives relented to media pressure, removed the Family Shield, and issued a groveling apology about how “our employees and our customers come in all shapes and sizes, beliefs and preferences….Harps has never and would never discriminate.” With triumphalist jubilation, major media declared that one brave girl had “shamed” a backwoods grocery store into removing the odious Hate Shield.

I remember back when public shaming was largely aimed at the homos. Nowadays it’s the homos and their sob sisters who are eagerly doing most of the “outing” and public shaming. Either way, I’ll pass.

After decades of insisting that the government get out of their bedrooms, gay activists are now insisting on their natural-born right, even if they have to hop in bed with the government to accomplish it, to drag their cum-spackled waterbeds straight into small grocery stores in rural areas where the majority of people might not want their four-year-olds to see it.

Not that anyone asked, but I preferred gay males when they were cultural outsiders who seemed impossible to offend. Nowadays they scream for mainstream acceptance and get offended at everything. Tsk-tsk, ladies! As outsiders, they used to see clearly through the idiocy of mass-culture moral panics. Now, as they squiggle and squirm to be accepted as “normal” rather than “different,” they fabricate their own humorless moral panics. Frankly, the fags have disappointed me. If they keep up this pace, it will soon be impossible to distinguish them from the lesbians.

As I entered puberty, Elton John was unquestionably the world’s hugest pop star—as big as Elvis in the 50s, The Beatles in the 60s, and Michael Jackson in the 80s. In the early to mid-70s, Elton’s popularity rocketed deep into outer space while no one else so much as dented the clouds. Even The Beatles never had an album that entered the charts at #1, much less two albums in a row. The moment that Captain Fantastic was released, my ostensibly homophobic douchebag Italo-Catholic working-class next-door neighbors snapped it up and had it spinning on their turntable.

With his giant spangled boots and rhinestone glasses and peacock feathers and undeniably fey mannerisms, we all assumed that Elton John was, in the local argot, a “gaybird.” It mattered not that he sang about “holdin’ hands and skimmin’ stones” with a girl named Suzie or how he begged Kiki Dee not to go breakin’ his heart—it was a foregone conclusion that he was a born fairy.

And none of us cared that he was fruitier than Carmen Miranda’s headpiece . That wasn’t the issue. We liked his music. His flamboyance (code for “gayness”) probably made him all the more exotically entertaining to us.

Although way back in the 1950s the USA was supposedly buried up to its asshole in homophobia, that didn’t prevent Liberace from becoming the world’s highest-paid entertainer all the way through to the 1970s. And if you couldn’t tell that Liberace was gay, you shouldn’t even be entitled to a driver’s license.

Likewise, Elton John’s unabashed Mummer’s Parade level of, ehh, “theatricality” didn’t stop Americans from embracing him openly in the 1970s…until the fateful 1976 Rolling Stone interview where he for the first time admitted he was, at the very least, bisexual. (It wasn’t until a failed marriage to a German woman many years later that Elton finally conceded he was “comfortable” being all-gay, all the time.)

After Elton outed himself, his popularity in America instantly and palpably weakened. It seemed as if people had no problem knowing he was gay, but they got skeeved the moment it became an issue . It’s the familiar complaint of “Don’t shove your long, hard, throbbing, veiny, juicy agenda down our throats.”

I find the magazine cover of Elton and David posing as if they were Ozzie and Harriet Nelson with their little pink designer-handbag infant to be even more distasteful and disturbing than when Elton was dressing up as Donald Duck . It seemed normal for Elton to be weird; what seems so weird are his half-cocked and possibly senile attempts to be normal.

There was nothing normal about their son’s birth. Elton and David, with the scientific aid of the Center for Surrogate Parenting in Encino, CA, claim they mixed their semen together, which was then injected into Woman #1’s vagina. Once one of their sperm fertilized Woman #1’s egg, it was surgically removed and then planted into Woman #2’s vagina. Neither woman’s identity has been revealed, as they were presumably paid handsomely to keep quiet. And it’s safe to assume that little Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John’s inevitable quest for identity will be anything but normal.

To date, Elton John has not publicly commented on the Arkansas magazine-shielding scandal, but otherwise he can’t keep his mouth shut about how he continues to suffer for being a homosexual. Despite his massive wealth, undoubted legions of paid minions, and widespread reputation as a tantrum-throwing diva, Elton recently wailed that he’s “fed-up” with being treated like a “second-class citizen” in America.

For once in your life, Elton, quit acting like such a fag and show some taste and restraint. I’ve crunched the numbers. Your estimated net worth is more than the yearly income of every resident of Mountain Home, Arkansas combined. Let’s be clear about who the “second-class citizens” are in this equation, OK, luvvie? Let’s be honest about whose back the major media is protecting, m’kay? I don’t see any of these Ozark hillbillies barging into the Castro District and demanding that everyone wave Rebel flags. So let them have their own culture. Obviously, Arkansas ain’t the kind of place to raise your kid. In fact (in the winter at least), it’s cold as hell. You’ve quit those days and your redneck ways, so better let the honky cats get back to the woods, darling. Isn’t that what diversity and tolerance are all about?

Sir Elton John—if I may call you that—you have most of the rest of the world in which to mince freely as if you were Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. So be a good sport and let them have the Ozarks. Have you ever even been to the Ozarks? Why has your insatiable lust for Lebensraum expanded so greatly that you suddenly need to flap your angel wings in the Ozarks, too? Give the Ozarks back to the Ozarkers and quit trying to pass for normal. Or do I have to shove you back in the closet before you start making good music again?