As you may or may not know, this Thursday, California will hold hearings on Proposition 8. To gear up for this event, Equality California has issued this ad which it hopes to widely circulate this week:
Now… who is this ad supposed to appeal to? Some of my fellow bloggers (who I very much look up to) have mixed feelings about it.
Andy Towle over at Towleroad wrote this morning:
“For every Jerry Falwell, there’s a Harvey Milk”
I hate to sound like a ‘debbie downer’ because the images and issues here could not be more serious, but would Harvey Milk have approved the soporific, feel-good elevator music and the groovy stoned sounding narrator that accompanies this ad? Where’s the anger?
And Jeremy Hooper at Good As You echoed his concern:
Hmm. It’s certainly relevant, with the attempt to capture the Milk zeitgeist. And it’s certainly — cool. But does it capture what you are feeling? Does it lay bare the extent of the gaping wound that’s been on your heart since November? Is it perhaps too heavy-handed in its reliance on the “God Hates Fags” sign? Or is it the right tone for this moment in history?
To be honest, I’m not sure it does for me. I don’t need to be reminded about concentration camps or Matthew Shepard. Harvey Milk is already my hero. I’m angry, and I’m angry that other people aren’t angry, and I want other people to be angry with me! I want us all to be so angry that we get to a point where we stop and look at each other and wonder what is left to be angry about, because we’ve spread our message. We’ve honestly conveyed our emotions and society has opened their hearts to us.
But that’s not how it’s going to work. And I don’t think that everybody who could be our ally feels welcomed into the movement, because they don’t constantly study these issues and they aren’t versed in the history of the movement. I think this ad is for them. This ad is saying, “Hey, remember all this stuff? We still have work to do,” without scaring them away. We need them, and we need them to understand why they need to stand with us.
The ad does nothing for me, but it doesn’t has to. What does it do for you?