Sunday, December 20, 2009

There and Here

An interesting confluence of news stories today, combined with the varying reactions to them. In the UK, Gareth Thomas, a rugby great now in the declining years of a wonderful career, has finally come out of the closet and publicly admitted that he is gay (although I note here that teammates and coaches have known this for some time).

In Canada, MP Scott Brison, who is the first ever gay MP to marry his partner, sent out a Christmas card with a photo of him, his husband, and their dog.

The troglodytes are out because of this, but surprisingly few of them are British rugby fans. In fact, according to the Globe & Mail, the "overwhelming number of hateful and homophobic remarks" caused them to disable commenting on the online article. All because Brison has the temerity to be standing in a field with his husband, Maxime St. Pierre.

Good on the Brits on this one, but there is one other aspect of this story that stands out for me. The key word? Moderation. For some reason, the people at the Globe seem unable to manage their commenters, and even if people wish to say something positive or interesting (even if negative), in this article they don't have that option. Whereas at the Guardian website, comments that are deemed to break the rules are removed by the moderator. No muss, no fuss. We're still told the idiots posted something, but needn't be bothered with putting up with the BS.

Good for the Globe for recognizing there was a problem. Bad for the Globe for not recognizing that there are better ways to deal with this. And shame on all the bigoted assholes who will always be so shit-scared of anyone who is different than them that they feel the need to insult and threaten.

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I want to say something brilliant about this, I do, but I'm the usual mix of "sigh" at the troglodytes and "Yay!" for everyone else.
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