30 thoughts on “ETHS #48 Gay Pride or Get Out the Bloat?”

  1. Vera, I hope you do read this because I share your opinion and your experience. After years and years of pulling the lever for change it never happened. I am 41 and since I turned I8, I have been going to the polls to fulfill my duty as a citizen. I have only voted for one candidate who won, that being Representative Betty McCollum. I’ve never voted for the winner in my mayoral race, not in city council, not in schoolboard nothing, nada zilch. No president who has held office since I’ve qualified for the right to vote has been elected.

    I have become a home owner and repeatedly written my state and federal reresentatives. I usually get a canned response and here again, nothing changes. I feel your frustration, your hurt and your anger because it is my hurt, frustration and anger. I have lost my idealism and my belief in the ability to effect change. I applaud that you are making your own piece of your world a beautiful place, I try to do the same. Will I vote? Yes. Will it make a difference, probably not since it hasn’t done any good in the past. I think of it this way…it’s nothing but a hedge bet that I will most likely lose. Fortunately my polling place is within blocks of my house. I appreciate the synergy that you bring to ETHS and this listener loves you.

  2. Gack! Vera’s benevolence towards the Serfs makes me choke everytime I hear it. While it may make you feel good in your own little bubble, it is meaningless to these people. They aren’t going home and thinking to themselves, “Oh, that kind patron smiled at me today. Screw my lack of healthcare coverage, everything is sunshiney and bright now!” You “smiling at waiters” is NOT changing anyone’s lives other than making you feel good about yourself. Casting a vote on the issues that affect these very same peasants (and quite possibly even yourself) DOES lead toward change. It may not be immediate and your side may not always win but at least you had a say in the process. Instead you choose to go on living your comfortable life, shut off and untouched by the very real issues affecting very real people, myself included, deluding yourself into believing that you are making the world a better place by being kind to the little people. I respect your right to be apathetic but your reasoning behind it is nothing more than an excuse that makes you come off as sounding arrogant. Personally, as one of the little people, I find it demeaning and insulting. Save your smiles for Gooch. All I want is to be treated as a human being with the same rights that any other citizen of this country is entitled to. The only thing that’s going to change that are votes…yours included.

    I won’t even get started on Pride/Shame.

    Other than that, a super progrum. Thanks to all three of you!

  3. Wanda and Madge — I am truly in awe of the patience and kindness you offered Vera in this progrum. Seriously. You are better ladies than I… let me just leave it at that.

  4. To spare the feelings of our apparent “queen” Vera I will keep this simple… keep your good thoughts and smiles to yourself! you are going to need them when you are living alone and miserable in your own little Xanadu that you have created for yourself. Give me a break!!! People fight and die for the right that you so flippantly say doesn’t matter… but I guess those people don’t have the benefit of you being polite to them! Maybe you should travel around the world and see how much change you can evoke with your pleasantries!

  5. Two points:

    1. I need to work on PR with Wanda, who apparently believes that I’m a barebacking bathhouse queen.

    2. AVC says that writing letters doesn’t work. I, however, beg to differ. How many times have you heard a podcaster ask/beg for comments or emails? Direct human communication makes a difference.

    Thanks for the very excellent discussion. The funny side effect of Auntie Vera’s apathy is that it triggers these debates on Eat This Hot Show, which just engages him and the audience in non-apathetic thought and actions.


  6. This was a GREAT program, simply because it’s the conversation that doesn’t happen enough. Uncomfortable? Yes, probably to some… but I am glad that Madge, Wanda and Vera held their ground and expressed their views. I will spare you where my politics lie, I just appreciate that this conversation happened as its exactly what we all need to question in ourselves. And if you don’t find both the views of Vera and Wanda/Madge in yourself then you are kidding yourself.

  7. Vera is right!
    Her voice does not matter.
    To opine one’s opinion with no concrete backing is to foist emptiness upon us all.

    Vera’s apathy is empty — the epitome of “My actions are meaningless in the big picture and therefore do not matter”

    Who can argue against that!

    I said it while I was smiling and being pleasant.


  8. I just caught on to something. Vera says she IS making a difference IN HER OWN WORLD… Ok, but when she describes it, she says “I’m nice to the guy picking up my dishes, the person mowing my lawn, and to the person selling me a car.” So, she’s not actually DOING anything. She’s nice to the people who are doing everything for her. We’re looking at an example of somebody who has completely checked out.

  9. The most infuriating thing about this podcast is that they’re completely overlooking that VERA IS DOING SOMETHING to make the world better. I can’t think of a single other thing that is more useful than being kind to those around you and making your immediate environment a better place. How is *voting* a more significant act than doing what needs to be done and is right in front of your face? What purpose does *voting* serve but make you feel like you’ve done something when all you’ve done is pull a lever? It does nothing but absolve you of actually having to get your hands dirty or do anything yourself.

    I don’t vote because I’ve always found politics to be a purposeless distraction from what is important. Voting for candidate A or candidate B will produce the EXACT SAME RESULT… it’s a big show and a distraction from doing anything that actually matters. Anyone who thinks differently is deluding themselves. The only thing that will actually make any difference to anyone is what you do with your own individual life, and that means getting off your butt and doing something in your community, small or large, which is exactly what most Americans will never do. They’re far happier pulling a lever once every 4 years and blaming the other side when things get worse. It’s disgusting!

  10. Vera sounds like someone with money. Since when does being nice to your maid equate to fighting for a larger cause. Making a voice heard? Why is it so easy to accept that the Christian right has united and made a voice that seems desirable to politicians to court and pursue, yet we don’t even have faith that we too can organize and create a force that must be listened to??? I have not lost hope and turn a deaf ear to your bitching and gladly step over those (like Vera is proclaiming herself to be) who refuse to fight for a better way. It’s not over yet, so quit acting like it.

  11. Great show!

    I like Vera. Not strong on debating, but with very firm views. Vera is like a housewife who just cares about her own kids, for their well-being and security. The rest of the world is too big to change anyway, so why bother? When Dad comes home from the office he will know what to do. So, being pleasant and nice to people, that is how to make a immediate impact that matters. Cute.

    On the other hand there’s the rugged dynamic realist duo Madge and WWW. They are trying to get Vera to “understand” the procedures of Democracy and think they keep hitting the brick wall. Why? Because Vera DOES understand Democracy! She DOES NOT propagate apathy (insert discussion whether or not leading by example is propagating), not outspokenly at least. Selfish? Yes. Lack of reasoning? No. She just DOES NOT CARE, that’s her reasoning! Her prerogative.

    Of course 1 vote never ever ever tip a scale in an election of magnitude nominally (e.g. 99999-99998). True.

    HOWEVER, that is a ridiculous reason not to vote. That is voting! Why should your individual opinion decide? What about all the other people, Vera? If you were the only person (with voting rights) who felt like you do, sure, your vote would not count. But, what Madge rather bluntly is trying to tell you is on an aggregate, your vote most certainly does count. By not voting and instead focusing on improving your immediate surroundings, one can never change the big picture through the only means “given” to The People by The Big Picture; Voting.

    Or, yous all know whak…?
    When you have Experience of Bombing and Senility vs. Change that Corp. America feat. The Congress most likely will block; Why get your hopes up? The world doesn’t really…

    P.S. Furthermore, it is my opinion that all silent H’s must be pronounced!

  12. We are going to change the world and Vera is NOT invited.

    We are about to elect a progressive BLACK man to the white house.

    Stop being such a fatalist, vera….

  13. I wanted to drop a note to Auntie Vera and let him know that I understand why you feel harassed by Madge and Wanda about your not voting and your political views. You feel that way because they DO harass you about it. If they do not agree tell them to listen to the podcast again just before you got irritated and they should hear how they were talking to you.
    This is not the first time I have heard them GANG up on Vera about politics. It is almost like they think Vera does not have a right to his own opinions.

    Vera I am on your side.

  14. If Wanda and Madge keep double-teaming Vera, they’re going to be looking for another host soon. Driving Vera off the show would be a unnecessary loss. Do Wanda and Madge want to just host the show together and agree about everything? Ladies, Vera doesn’t have any obligation to convince you two that she’s right. While I do vote, the greater impact on the world is to make a little corner of it brighter. If everyone followed Vera’s example, the world would be a better place.

  15. Ugh, these Vera fans on here defending her right to be ignorant are the worst. Just as blind as their dopey little idol. Poor Madge and Wanda for being intelligent and insightful people caught up in this mess.

  16. Wow! This episode was amazing. Tons of great insight from all three hosts.
    Sorry if I’m repeating something that has already been said, but the Gay Marriage Referemdum is proof that organized letter writers can be heard. Too bad the “righteous” people of this country are being united to hate and block civil rights.

  17. A couple of points to expound about. To all that say Auntie Vera is stupid and should either quit the show or just shut up about her strongly held views is exactly what this show isn’t about. If you don’t want to hear her opinions, simply unsubscribe. That’s it. And this is the problem that all three hosts have elaborated on this show. Opinions are democracy. The point of democracy is the expressed views of everyone. If you want views silenced or controlled, well I hear North Korea or China are lovely places to stay (yeah, that was a bit sensationalist and I apologize tongue in cheek).

    Point 1: Vera is right in saying that an individual’s vote does not count. We vote for politicians who’s job is to get voted into office. If they didn’t want to be voted for, well, they wouldn’t run campaigns. MOVEMENTS are what count including the gay rights movement. Yes, it helped that Gavin Newsome was voted in as mayor of San Francisco, but if there were a bunch of lazy queens and mary’s laying around and not actively pursuing rights through organizations and protests, then what basis would he to allow gay marriage in San Francisco especially where there is a counter culture against allowing gays to marry. Movements counter other movements. Simple as that. Our Founding Fathers sought equality for all, yet most of them (including Washington and Jefferson) owned slaves. It wasn’t until another 70-90 years passed that the abolitionist movement was strong and we had a president who didn’t care for slavery that slavery was abolished…however, even that didn’t ensure the rights of African Americans until the 1960’s….and look at the plight of the black community today (however, I think Obama’s candidacy has snapped them out of their apathy, at least in Virginia).

    Point 2: While voting counts, it is only effective if it is matched with other votes. While this may sound rather redundant to say since politicians can only be voted in through the majority (…whoops…forgot about Bush…)…ahem, usually through the majority, your vote will only count if there is a movement of votes with you. Now, in every election there will be people who voted who didn’t get their person into office (obviously). However, its because that candidate didn’t carry with him/her a movement or a reputation built off of their name of some sorts.

    Point 3: For people being on Madge/Wanda’s side and Vera’s side I say this….stop your pointless bickering. Only the fans will tear this show apart, not the 3 friends who come together to produce such a quality show. Your whining and complacent, mindless meandering will make either Vera or Wanda or Madge stop doing the show and so if you want to destroy the show, go ahead. But unsubscribe so the rest of us can enjoy the debates and topics that makes this show an A+.

    Point 4: To Mark in Canada, I don’t think Wanda or Madge were teaming up against Vera. I think they were trying to get Vera to explain her points. Vera does, at times, say something very poignantly because she has such strong opinions and at first, I don’t quite understand what she’s just said. However, Madge tries to get Vera to solidify her opinion through explaining it and then once that happens, I tend to have the “eureka” moment. Does this make Vera stupid or ignorant about issues. Hell no! It just lets some of the ignoramuses (or ignoramii? Its been so long since i’ve taken Latin), including myself, to understand Vera speak.

    Point 5: All of us have to admit that Vera is a much better host than Reagan. The show has leaped stories in terms of quality and the show isn’t so “pop” like anymore. If you want entertainment for the sake of entertainment, don’t listen to this show. But if you want entertaining dialogue and interesting debates, continue listening.

    Love the show you three! I hope you all continue what you do best.

    <3 Mike from VaginaVirginia

  18. To make an addendum to what I already have said…Vera wasn’t saying why she believes people shouldn’t go out and vote but she was saying why SHE doesn’t go out and vote. Two very different things. If a person wishes to withdrawl from the democratic process, they are entitled to do so. That’s the beauty of democracy.

    There..I think i’ve said enough ;p. Feel free to skype me you three if you want me to elaborate.

    <3 Mike from VaginaVirginia

  19. What all seem to fail to understand is that Vera’s opinions, if you agree or not, are valid and are those shared by a good percentage of the population. The better questions to address are “Why does he feel so unrepresented in our society?” and “How has this happened in America?”

    Hearing the despair and hurt in Vera’s voice was painful. But it showed how passionately he feels about feeling left out of the system.

    Go and vote, Vera. I give you my assurance that the American people will see the light…this time.

    All three hosts are wonderful in that they bring a different vantage point to the discussion. This show has evolved into something far better than just the normal “fag talk”.

    To lose Vera would be tragic.

  20. Madge, thank you for rescinding your comments re: the media portrayal of Pride events. I count on you to interject the informed point of view.
    I know you’ve read Chomsky. Like you said the real issue is the media not the non-normative elements.

    Vera, what if Larry Kramer et al. felt as impotent as you and there was no ACTUP. How many treatments would not have seen the light of day? How many deaths would have occured? How would the largest most evil entities in the world have conducted themselves differently if a handful of activists felt it was pointless to take action?

  21. with the looks at the very small
    per cent of the nations that votes, Vera is not the only apathetic one.
    When I was a kid my parents
    always said they were voting
    for one of the lesser two evils.
    We really don’t have much to pick from, nor a candidate who
    has excited America since JFK.
    Vera is just expressing her opinion and shouldn’t be tarred
    and feathered for it. Being nice
    to food service workers, etc. isn’t throwing a bone from
    a rich woman, it’s being polite
    kind and humane. Vera wealthy queen? Boy theatre is of the mind. Vera’s lives a modest life
    in the valley not Malibu! Vera
    has much more life experience
    than Made and Wanda. Lay
    off the ole gal!

  22. Wow, this was a excellent show. The discussion reached a very high intellectual level. That is in the way Madge answered Vera. Vera had some very simplistic views about democracy and voting, that were hard to attack without getting angry. Madge was very good at explaining the principle of democracy in a clear and logical way. I really enjoyed Madge’s thinking and rethoric. You should go for presidency !

    I hope Vera is staying in this show, because every episode now she is defending herself. It seems she looses the arguments everytime/ I hope Vera still likes doing this show, because it’s hard if you get attacked this way, on every show. It must be fun to do.

  23. Interesting discussion again. Although I still vote myself I can understand Vera’s frustration. This might be a thing coming with life experience I could imagine.

    She clearly said that she believed in democracy but just does not want to participate in it any more, because one single vote does not matter and because nothing changes anyway. Period.

    I disagree with this as far as I am concerned. Extremists usually can profite from the non-voters, and there was once an election in Germany for the head of government, the first Bundeskanzler, which was won by exactly 1 vote (Adenauer’s own) So I guess one vote can be deciding. But if she choses to skip elections, we ought to accept it.

    One thing Madge, just to repeat a statement again and again does not create logic per se. And just calling a statement logical does not inevitably makes it logical. Your rhetorical skills are brilliant and your eloquence is stunning. Who are you? Mrs Spock? 🙂 But even if the dress robe might be breathtaking, it can only hide the bitter truth. Your point was probably better expressed, but as emotional and illogical as its counterpart 🙂

    Amazing podcast anyway!!! You guys are excellent and Vera is essential for the show. Give her a pay rise or a bj if she prefers. Do whatever it takes to keep her in the program!

    Love love love you xx oo xx kb

  24. I think Madge tends to pick on Vera just to see how far she can go. But seriously, I think Vera’s comments on voting ring true in certain situations. It wouldn’t have mattered if she had voted for Gore the last time around since he DID win the popular vote and fucking lost anyway. So had she voted for him, like I did, it wouldn’t have mattered. Stay strong Vera – and Madge… go get fucked and play nice with Vera and Miss Wanda (who I adore by the way). I love you too Madge but Jesus H Christ, behave yourself!

  25. Dear Pugs,

    I disagree with you. While the vote wouldn’t have affected the outcome of the (perhaps stolen) general election, his vote may have been useful in more localized politics, especially in the state of California, where it only takes a simple majority of the popular vote to amend the state constitution. Local politics tend to have a more immediate impact in the everyday mechanics of our life; it’s not all about the presidential race.

    I thought this was a great episode packed with heated philosophical banter. The discussion reminded me of a Platonic dialogue. While I may not agree with voter apathy, I believe in a person’s right not to vote, which, in itself, sends a message about the current state of Democracy. Some theorists describe the right not to do something as a “negative right,” like the right to die or the right to remain silent.



  26. Vera and Ladies, I almost pulled the car off the road and screamed after listening to Madge and Vera go on about voting and not voting, what matters and what doesn’t matter. So many of my friends feel just like Vera and I find myself in the minority of those who vote and write frequent letters to try and express my opinion to influence change in our world. My friends often as me “are you going to write a letter about your crappy service at the restaurant.” And, yes! I do write a letter. Or perhaps I write a letter to a congressman who is reported to vote against taking away privileges from government officials who abuse them. But regardless of why I write a letter (or email) I do get a response about 20 percent of the time. And sometimes I even get a letter back stating that the law I supported passed and my opinion mattered. So the point I want Vera and my non voting friends to hear is that most of the time no one gives a shit what you say…..but now and then someone does. You just have to say it in a way they understand. Tell a department store that you won’t by goods from China. Tell your politician that you hope they burn in hell for taking rights away from gays. Tell your local sandwich shop that they need to have more low fat items on the menu. But regardless of what you say, just know that people listen and they listen more when more people say the same thing. Get off your ass and say something for change.

    Change the world, it can happen,


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