Today, in Idiots: The People at the Comic Book Store

Posted: February 24, 2010 in Braak, Politics, religion, shitheads
Tags: , ,

I was at the comics store in King of Prussia, looking at comic books while I waited for Verizon to fix my superphone.  While I was there, I overheard a conversation between the clerk and, I presume, another customer, about why they were less than enthusiastic about the idea of gay marriage.

This was a revelation for me, I suppose because I tend to assume that people who like the things I like are basically the same as I am.  This was false, and I found myself compelled to get involved.

Of course, it’s rude to butt into someone’s conversation, especially about politics.  It makes you look like a huge jackass.  But here’s what the guy, the customer, was saying:

“It’s just, I don’t care if they get married, I just don’t want to have to see them get married in my church.”

This is deeply moronic, but you see why I felt like I had to say something.  If I don’t take the opportunity to correct grievous misinformation on the subject, then idiots like this guy will continue to go around believing that the gays are lobbying for the right to have a dragalicious ceremony in the First Church of Christ the Bigot.

First:  gay people don’t want to get married in your stupid church.  They hate your church, because your church hates them.  Do you think they’re having wedding ceremonies out of spite?  Bullshit, that’s what straight white protestants do.

Second, and more important:  IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO FORCE YOUR CHURCH TO HAVE A WEDDING CEREMONY FOR TEH GEIGHS.  Period, full stop, end of sentence.  Impossible.  The government cannot dictate how you practice your religion in your church.  The First Amendment protects you from that, the First Amendment will ALWAYS protect you from that.  Your privilege for not letting your church get directly involved in politics is that politics cannot get directly involved in your church.

Why is this?  It’s because the marriage that happens in your church doesn’t actually mean anything to the government.  It only means something to God.  The state DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK.  What the state cares about is if you signed the papers–that’s the “gay marriage” that people are trying to legalize:  two people of the same gender on the fucking marriage license.  It’s about taxes, healthcare benefits, adoption and social service issues, visiting rights in hospitals, &c.

There is absolutely no reason that a decent human being would refuse anyone any of these things, and there is, moreover, absolutely no reason not to just call it “marriage”, since that is exactly what it is.

I explained this to the people in the store — as I said, because I’ve come to think I have a moral responsibility to eradicate bullshit — with a great deal more tact than I’ve set it down here.

The man, who was the customer, sort of slunk off and looked at the new releases.  He probably thought I was gay, and didn’t want me getting glitter on him, or something.  The woman, the clerk, responded to my statement, “Well, who knows, right?”

I know, idiot.  And I am explaining it to you, with basic words that you clearly comprehend.  I watched the expression on your face as I smacked you in the brain with some enlightenment.  I SAW YOU UNDERSTAND ME.  Why are you doggedly maintaining a position that you can’t support?  What’s this, “Well, who knows?” dodge?  It’s bullshit, is what it is.

It is a Sysiphean task, I think, to convince people that basic things that are harmless won’t actually harm them, but some force deep in the recesses of my spirit compels me to try, anyway.

  1. Jeff Holland says:

    “Well, who knows?” is clerk-speak for “Listen, man, this guy’s been coming in here every Wednesday for the last 20 years, and frankly, I don’t want to piss him off – because he’s probably the type – and lose his steady weekly money. You put up with bullshit because this is a business.”

    I may be biased, because I always liked the girl-clerk (who has been there FOREVER!). If it was one of the newer guys over at the Plymouth Meeting store, I may take a different approach.

  2. rodriguez says:

    The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s (woman’s) heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

    You go. But it is so hard.

  3. Moff says:

    Here is where I would be worried if I belonged to a church that didn’t want gay people getting married in it: What if the church is just FAAAAAABBBBULOUS?

    @Jeff: That sounds deeply plausible.

  4. Every victory for a minority is not a defeat for YOU, PERSONALLY. I don’t get why people don’t get that.

    And the language you report the customer using is akin to “I got nothin’ against black folks, I just don’t wanna eat with ’em.”

  5. mike10005 says:

    @Moff. What’s the matter? Couldn’t leave an intelligent, rational argument alone? Had to make sure you got at least one stereotype in there?

  6. braak says:

    Hey, man, I’ve been coming to that comic book store for 20 years. She could have at least said something else about it after the guy left.

    Besides, where else is he going to go for his comic books? Plymouth Meeting? PLYMOUTH MEETING IS SHIT.

  7. Heather says:

    Great blog Chris.

  8. braak says:

    @mike10005: Dude, he is joking, it’s cool.

    Also, I think my aggressive use of profanity excludes me from my argument being accepted by the International Rationality Society.

  9. Jeff Holland says:

    Plymouth Meeting breaks my heart every time. I mean, it was tough enough watching Legends evolve to the point where they weren’t selling old records and pulp novels anymore and they removed the adult section, but once it switched over to Comics and More there’s this GIANT DVD RACK right in the middle of the store.

    Nobody goes to a comic store to buy DVDs, guys.

    (This is to say nothing about the giant gaming room in the back, which is I’m sure really nice for gamers, but reminds me once more why I will never run a successful comic book store.)

  10. J.Gold says:

    “This was a revelation for me, I suppose because I tend to assume that people who like the things I like are basically the same as I am.”

    I’m currently working at Gamestop. People spout awful bullshit in there all the time, and it never fails to surprise me.

    I can’t unleash on idiots while I’m on the clock, but I find that appalled silence and a “why the fuck would you say that?” expression is pretty effective at getting them to shut up without driving off potential sales.

  11. wench says:

    My favorite argument is “It’ll devalue my marriage!” …like your marriage was some sort of currency you could buy something with. It won’t devalue my marriage, that’s for sure, because the only currency which influences my relationship with my husband are the husband points he earns when he does stuff like bring me tea or the points I earn when I make him cookies. Outsiders? No impact. At all.

    ‘Cause if outsiders had an impact on my marriage, I’d be taking a whiffleball bat to Tiger Woods right now, smacking him around going “your sexing it up all over town devalues my marriage, dammit! Till Death! TILL DEATH!”

    Lame-ass arguments. “Defenders of the Purity of Marriage” my ass, they can just get over their need to control everybody all the time and get on with their own lives. I know, their lives are boring and they’re looking for shit to do (ie, complain about) but THERE ARE LIMITS.

    I don’t have strong feelings on this. natch.

  12. V.I.P. Referee says:

    Some words–nomatter where or from whom they’re heard–require a response. And that is how social injustice is overcome.

    Good show, Mr. Braak.

  13. Lord Wackadoo says:

    All right, I’m with on this one in principle, but I think that your behavior toward your opponent was a bit more like Magneto than Xavier.

    I wear a bracelet that says only W W S L D

    What would STan Lee do?

  14. Jeff Holland says:

    I would like this bracelet. And I would like to use it to fight against bigotry. Because it would baffle the SHIT out of them. And that would be kind of awesome.


    (And then a hearty punch to the head to drive the point home. “Face front, true believer!” BAM!)

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