17 June 2007

Doesn't that cheapen it a little...

If winning this prize is contingent on who you sleep with?

Michael V. Smith has been named the inaugural winner of an award for emerging gay writers.
See... I don't get it. Shouldn't a prize for writing be about what you do with words... not what you do with your genitals?

Damn... I keep forgetting.

A meritocracy isn't politically correct.


James Higham said...

Mercy! How can we be saved from all this?

Anonymous said...

Probably no more than a scholarship for catholic youth, or an athletics awards for asian-americans, or a grant to a budding artist from a third-world country. so what's the big deal, except that he's gay? ding ding ding - i think we have a winner.

I constantly ask if we can be saved from all of this, but I expect we're referencing different things.

It sounds like he's pretty accomplished new writer by any standard from the article. So if a relatively small grant helps him pursue his career, is that such a bad thing? Writing is not exactly the surest of career paths, no matter what your background, race, sexual orientation, etc, etc.


Anonymous said...

Another shot at gays? Turn off the computer and go clean your closet.

Neo Conservative said...

"anon said... Probably no more than a scholarship for catholic youth, or an athletics awards for asian-americans"

see... that's my point. all the self interest groups set up their prizes and accolades for members only. it's bullshit.

should there be a separate gay national football league for homosexuals who weren't good enough for the existing scheme?

writing, like athletic prowess, should be judged on whether it is good, or not.

sexual preference shouldn't be part of the criteria.


Neo Conservative said...

"Anonymous said... Another shot at gays?"

oh sorry... i forgot, no one is allowed to criticise, in any way, shape or form, anything to do with homosexuality.


Eric said...

Why do you care so much about this? If the Dayne Ogilvie foundation wants to spend $4000 recognizing outstanding gay writers, so what? It isn't taxpayer money, and no-one is forcing you to read his books, so why is it an issue?

The Pulitzer Prize is only awarded to Americans who write about America, the Booker Prize is only awarded to writers from countries in the British Commonwealth, and the Governor General's Awards are only awarded to Canadians. Do Scottish writers get agitated that they can't win Pulitzers?

It may come as a surprise to you, but gay people sometimes like reading books about other gay people, written by gay authors. If a private organization wants to recognize excellence in that narrow segment of the market, why is it an issue?

Lighten up, for crying out loud.

Neo Conservative said...

"eric said... Lighten up, for crying out loud."

sorry eric... you should perhaps note it's jeff who seems to busting a blood vessel over this... i enjoy the back and forth immensely.

but while we're at it, are there any other issues you would like to put up on the sacred altar of unquestioned sanctity?

are you saying no one is allowed to question the relevance of any sexual preference... as regards anything else... or just guy on guy homosexuality?

what about sex with animals? what about public masturbation? are you saying we shouldn't question the significance of anyone's desire to do anything?

believe it or not, i really couldn't care less what consenting adults do with their genitals... in the privacy of their own home... it's the cult of personality being, excuse the pun, erected around issues like homosexuality that seem so bizarre to me.

do you think this guy prefers to be known as a gay writer... or a writer... period.

and that's a serious question.


Eric said...

Oh for god's sake, what nonsense. We're talking about private individuals spending their own money to recognize excellence in something that they think is valuable. Why do you care? Who has the issues here?

Are you upset that the press is covering it, and thereby giving free publicity to a gay author who should remain toiling away in obscurity? Or does it bother you that the award's donors are allowed to spend money supporting gay authors in the first place? It's not your money, and if you find homosexuality repugnant, don't read the guy's books.

By the way, what is it with you guys and your obsession with "what people do with their genitals"? Do you actually know any gay people? Being gay is about a lot more than sex, and most gay people don't talk about their genitals any more than straight people do. Gay pride parades are not representative of the lives of a vast majority of homosexuals any more than Hooters or Penthouse magazine is a microcosm of heterosexual "culture".

While we're on the subject, it may surprise you that a lot of literature by gay authors is not just about gay sex. Try reading "The Charioteer" by Mary Renault, or "The Folded Leaf" by William Maxwell, or "Gods & Monsters" by Christopher Bram, or "Giovanni's Room" by James Baldwin, to name a few. Who's fixating on genitals here, anyway?

A "cult of personality erected [heh heh] around issues like homosexuality"? Please. We're talking about a $4000 book prize here, not the Nobel Prizes. The only people "erecting" anything around this non-issue are the commenters here who are repulsed by the idea of "gay books" getting any publicity. Don't read them,if that's the case - no one is forcing you to.

And finally, yes I suspect that the recipient of this award is proud to be identified as a gay author, and if this award gets him some exposure & furthers his career outside the "tribe", so much the better.

Anonymous said...

I guess you need to write about almost anything in order to maintain your 100 average posts a week.

A guy won an award for writing, yet you feel the need to belittle that accomplishment. Exactly what is the point?

Anonymous said...

Sorry...100 posts a week should have been 100 posts a month.

Mac said...

I was thinking of using my private money to set up an award programs for emerging caucasian heterosexual writers. Anyone want to donate a few alms to my endowment fund?

Anonymous said...


Go for it. If you seriously want to donate your private money to fund a talented writer with the criteria that they need to be heterosexual and caucasian, just go for it.

That's the beauty of diversity, you can do that.

I say writing is a tough career for anyone to crack and folks who have the means and the inclination to support good writers in their pursuits are doing good things for society.

So I commend your efforts. Even if just in jest to make some point (which escapes me), you should think about what you can do to help promote good writers and other artists.

That's why I won't play this "oh my god what have 'they' done now" game. Someone did something good with their own money, and people want to shoot down their efforts. Sad. Really Sad.

And if that deserving white heterosexual male that wins your "promising straight white male" award can write works that open the minds of others, good for him. My experience is good writers can generate worlds from a variety of perspectives. Maybe he'll write a telling story of a poor immigrant girl struggling to cope with her father's alcoholism and mother's accidental death.

In other words, good writers can transcend themselves and write unexpected things that make you think and stir your emotions.

So if folks want to devote resources to the good ones, by whatever means and with a background or voice they appreciate, they should.

Some of you seem to be struggling to make this something it isn't.

And as for the person who said their whole point was there shouldn't be "special categories" for 'anything," then why focus on this one article?

I defy you to make a statement next time a local wife win's a chuch bake-off to make your "oh so important" point.

Neo Conservative said...

"eric said... Oh for god's sake, what nonsense... Are you upset that the press is covering it..."

easy eric, easy... maybe you should reread the thread and see who's really emotionally invested and upset here.

and you are right... it is the militant queer movement that pisses most people off, with their feather boa parades and that "in your face, breeder" behaviour.

like most people, i have had gay acquaintances, friends and co-workers who were perfectly nice people who didn't go around shoving their sexual preference in everybody's face. but even you have to admit that sort of thing is out there looming ever larger, feeding off the prevailing politically correct winds.

the reference to the cult of personality around gay culture was about that bigger picture.

nobody really gives a hoot about this book award thing... i do find it interesting though, that there is such a vitriolic reaction to my poking a stick through the bars here.

if you imagine in your wildest dreams that i have some ambition beyond poking fun at things in this world that i find ridiculous... you are, my friend, sadly deluded.

underneath the fairly articulate upset you seem to be riding right here... i can tell you're a pretty decent person.

well, i'm no monster either.


Neo Conservative said...

"mac said... thinking of using my private money to "

mac... it would perhaps more adequately capture the spirit of my original post... for you to set up an award program for emerging left-handed writers.


Neo Conservative said...

" anon said... write about almost anything in order to maintain your 100 average posts a month"

aaaw, i'm flattered... did you actually go back and count?

that's so cute.


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, another shot at gays. Why not, eh? A writing contest for gay people, what is this world coming to?

Neo Conservative said...

"anon said... Ah yes, another shot at gays. Why not, eh?"

eric... you can tell this guy didn't even read the thread... but he's gonna pretend to strike a blow for the oppressed anyway.

how's it feel to have this fatuous faker for a brother-in-arms?


Mac said...

neo said... "mac... it would perhaps more adequately capture the spirit of my original post... for you to set up an award program for emerging left-handed writers."

Sure, okay... that makes sense. Wait... I'm not left-handed!

Anonymous said...

A $4000. prize?

I'd be happy too.