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Sep. 3rd, 2004 @ 01:11 pm Blame It On The Gays
Blame It On The Gays

We all know it. Our society is coming apart at the seams. Volunteerism is dropping to a woeful nadir. Membership in community organizations is going down the tubes. No one knows their next-door neighbors, as we live in increasingly isolated, cubicalized, disassociated, non-functional warrens. The slippery slope has been most elegantly painted in Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam. I won't reiterate here all of his thesis, but he concentrates on the withering of social organizations, from fraternal lodges to church membership, political parties to the PTA, and uses bowling leagues as his prime case in point. He discusses several possible reasons for this decline: women entering the workforce, an increasingly mobile society, soaring divorce rates. Most likely of all, but not conclusively, is television; but did it really have that significantly different an effect than movie theaters had only a few decades previously?

There was one significant societal change Mr. Putnam overlooked. These organizations were not equally supported by all members. There were always a few firebrands who supplied most of the enthusiasm and energy, and did most of the work. Then as now, most of the men (or women, but for simplicity sake I shall confine the remainder of this essay to male references) had to expend most of their time and money on their families. Romancing their wives when they were younger, feeding their children, clothing their growing families, providing for their educations. It takes a lot of time. If a man can get out one night a week, and squeeze enough out of the family's budges to pay his dues, he's doing as much as he can.

And the Old Guard can't do much. The superannuated members from the last generation whose families have finally grown and gone on may have the funds to accomplish some things, and experience, but they no longer pulse with the energy of youth.

But there were always a few younger men who were devoted to the organization. Professional men whose business interests were so consuming that they had never taken the time to find a wife and marry. Or perhaps ones who had suffered a tragic loss and never recovered. Or just a plain woman-hater. Some few may have even had a neglected wife at home or off at her own meetings. These were the oil that kept the organizations running.

And did so very well, to everyones satisfaction. The community and many charities benefited immensely. The family men enjoyed their night out with the boys. The dedicated organization workers did their pursuits with dignity.

And then some idiot opened the closet door.

The "Gay Pride Movement" siphoned off the oil that lubricated fraternal and service clubs in America. Instead of the asexual or misogynistic men's men throwing themselves into supporting the community organizations that they had for generations, they began to be lured away to the siren call of a promise of libidinous rewards they hadn't considered before. And those who had been living discreet lives with "housemates" or otherwise-described companions ceased to seek out their lodges and service clubs, and instead went openly to the Pride Marches and bathhouses.

Without this generation of firebrands to recruit them, only a scattering of the young homebody family men have joined, the ones with little spare time or money to accomplish much, anyway.

And so all that's left is the Old Guard, and soon, even we will be gone.

Consider that service clubs and Masonic lodges are strong and growing in Eastern Europe, where homosexuality is still proscribed, while the decline of those organizations parallels the acceptance of Gays in the US.

What can be done?

If it's not too late, put the Gays back into a closet. But they won't go back into the same cobwebby, dark, dusty one they were in before. So this one must be padded. Velvet-lined. Give them what they want. But on the condition that sexual orientation goes back to being something that is not spoken of in polite conversation.

So that they can come back to running our society for us again. Please.
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