(I originally wrote this article in response to the flap over Ann Coulter making fun of John Edwards by insinuating he's gay. After the Don Imus flap, it seems appropriate to finally publish this one.)
Rehab. It’s such a magical word. Or rather, a truncated form of a word used as everyday slang. It’s actually short for "rehabilitation". That’s a big word meaning to restore to a former, better state of being.
Originally, at least as I far as I can recall, rehabilitation used to be a fancy-schmancy way to deal with criminals. God forbid we lock them up like the animals they emulate, or beat them like they do their victims. No, let’s give them big hugs, lollipops and help them learn to be the fine, upstanding citizens they once allegedly were.
In the 1980s, I started hearing a lot about drug rehabilitation clinics. Places folks could go who had drug problems. Places that would help them to kick their habits and once again become non-dependants. The problem was, so many folks were going to these clinics, that folks apparently got tired of saying "drug rehabilitation clinic" and shortened it to just plain old "rehab". Kind of like "Bowl Movement" which became "B.M." or "erectile dysfunction" which became "E.D.".
In the grand 21st century we hear about folks going to Rehab on a weekly basis. And not just for drug or alcohol use anymore either.
Recently, Ann Coulter was lambasted for making a homosexual joke at John Edwards experience. Actually, what she did was mock the whole concept of Rehab as the solution for all evils committed by people. "It turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I'm kind of at an impasse -- I can't really talk about Edwards," Ms. Coulter said.
See, a famous tv celebrity, Isaiah Washington, of "Grey’s Anatomy", had recently called one of his co-stars a "faggot". This of course enraged the pro-homosexual Hollywood community. In response, Mr. Washington offered up a sincere apology and stated he was going into rehab- thereby inferring he was not actually responsible for his slander.
This wasn’t such a new idea. In 2006, Mel "Mad Max" Gibson got plastered and was arrested by the police for drunk driving. During this incident, Mr. Gibson cut loose with a lot of drunken slurs and ethnic epithets. Afterward, Mr. Gibson was apologetic and went into rehab- for his drinking problem.
What I would like to know, is how does Isaiah Washington plan on being rehabilitated for his language problem? Is Hollywood so obsessed with forcing the idea of homosexuality down America’s throats, that they missed that the problem was Mel Gibson was a raging drunkard? Did they ever hear about a little thing called the First Amendment? So Mr. Washington’s opinions of homosexuality are not the accepted norm in Hollywood. As a sentient being he is entitled to think whatever he wants. He just needs to work on where and when to express those thoughts.
When Mr. Washington goes off to his language rehab, at some plush spa-like resort, is he going to be subjected to shock-therapy to prevent him from uttering such words as "faggot"? Is he going to be given sensitivity lessons, to make him alter his way of thinking? Will he be forced to watch gay porn 24 hours a day to de-sensitize him to the idea of man-on-man love?
And while I’m on the subject, what is really wrong with calling someone a "faggot" anyway? Historically, a "faggot" was a red-hot ember. Then, in the United Kingdom, it became a slang term for a cigarette. "Queer" on the other hand, means odd, or strange, yet homosexual men are often referred to as "Queers"; take for example, the television shows "Queer as Folk" and "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." Why is it okay to call them "queer" but not "faggot"?
What other words or expressions merit the utterer being sent to rehab? If I call someone an ***hole, am I being insensitive to hemmorroid sufferers? And what about lesbians? If this is an era of equal rights, then mocking homosexual women should surely have the same penalty as mocking homosexual men.
Maybe I need to go to rehab? I have often mocked noted lesbian women, for example "Ellen Degenerate" or "Rosie O’ Ton-ell". Perhaps I should go off to some spa-like resort and sit around watching lesbian movies to de-sensitive my perceptions of that particular lifestyle.
Of course with my luck, it wouldn’t be hot, playmate-type lesbians making out, it’d be rugged, bearded ladies that would make Rosie and Ellen look good.