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Thanks to youtube, anyone anywhere who does something idiotic can become famous whether they deserve it or not. Behold the Miss Teen USA contestant who mangled a question about maps; Chris "Leave Britney Alone!" Crocker; or hapless beauty queen Stacey Hedger, who innocently and ineptly played "Star Wars" on her trumpet at a pageant years ago and was probably sitting quietly at home when she suddenly found herself dealing with online threats. Surprise! You're famous -- and so untalented we want you to die!
However, all of these instant stars are just fluff, unlike new Internet sensation Sally Kern, a hitherto unknown Oklahoma state representative and religious nut who was recorded while speaking to a tiny group of God-Knows-Who-in-God-Knows-Where, Okla. She decided to take a break from her pothole-filling and garbage collection duties and grace her listeners with her vast knowledge of homosexuality, making statements like "the homosexual agenda is destroying this nation--OK, it's just a fact"; declaring gays worse than terrorists; and confiding, "I think we've been suckered by this lie of separation of church and state."
I can hear the loudspeakers now: "At tonight's performance the role of Moron, usually played by the dead Jerry Falwell, will be played by Sally Kern."
Rather than retreating into hiding after her YouTube moment, Kern was more than ready for her close-up. She's working her newfound notoriety like Monica Lewinsky on Saturday Night Live. At first Kern claimed her comments were taken out of context, but you couldn't mistake the meaning of "the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam" even if it was a lyric from Sweeney Todd. And I'm over the "out of context" excuse, which is always made when the speaker should simply say "Open mouth, insert foot, swallow."
Kern looks like the mean lady down the block who won't let her kids go trick-or-treating, or my sixth-grade teacher, who paddled me after school for cracking bubble gum. Realizing that she has an audience of these ladies and other homebound goobers, Kern stepped up her comments and started doing stand-up on the antigay circuit. Her Republican colleagues gave her a standing ovation. A rally of support was held for her at the Oklahoma capitol. She'll probably show up on The 700 Club doing a tap routine with sparkling crucifixes.
If Kern were just some preacher's wife, which she is, no one would care. But she's a lawmaker, elected with a total of 8,815 votes(!), and when an elected lawmaker denies constitutional reality and becomes Aimee Semple McPherson, people notice. Kern offers no evidence or solutions. She pulls out ancient phrases like "deviant lifestyle" and "destroying the moral fabric," which reminds me of Bob Smith's joke, "What do straight people know about fabric?"
Kern has made no significant legislative achievements other than trying to turn schools into churches, evidently what passes for lawmaking in her district. But now that she's in the spotlight, she's decided that Hillary and Nancy P. can't be the only famous women politicians. Sally's loving her 15 minutes. It's the most exciting thing that's ever happened to her, for heaven's sake. She had to hire a bodyguard! She's been on the TV! She's a crusader, this year's Erin Crockovitch.
But she hasn't said anything not already said by "insert extremist here" for the last 50 years. And now, of course, we'll see what comes out of her closet. If memory serves, the last big antigay religious nut was named...Ted Haggard. Instead of serving the republic, the only thing Kern's comments might accomplish is to get her more ink and more invitations to right-wing dinners, and maybe get another poor gay kid smacked around.
YouTube -- it's not just for untalented beauty queens anymore!
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