This week’s New York magazine featured a report from San Francisco, which is enduring so many crises it is said to be stuck in a “doom loop.”
But everyone cheered up on Easter.
“The biblical rains that had flooded San Francisco this winter finally ended. It was the first gorgeous day of spring,” Elizabeth Weil wrote.
“Thousands of people gathered in Dolores Park, where the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence put on their annual Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary contests. The Sisters, a blessedly campy order of activists, first sprang to life in 1979. Its mission: to use drag plus religious tropes to satirize fake notions of morality and brotherly love.”
Over 50 people competed in a “Hunky Jesus” contest, some “carrying a large wooden cross up a wide green lawn and pole dancing on it.”
To Weil, this was “the most exuberant thing I’d seen in the city in three years,” a much-deserved break from San Fran’s “performative politics and neoliberal greed.”
Hey, whatever gets you through the “doom loop.”
And yet, one state senator could not resist dipping his toes into his own muddy puddle of performative politics, telling the crowd, “This is Ron DeSantis’s worst nightmare.”
Gee willikers. Way to stick it to the man, man!
But be careful. Why, if you keep speaking truth to power like that, maybe you’ll only be able to become a state senator – or governor – in, like, 30 states. Or work at any Ivy League university. Or elite media company.
Or be celebrated by about 50,000 people. For Pride Month, the LA Dodgers baseball franchise planned to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and perhaps even their crucifix stripper pole.
Take a wild guess at how it went.
Various Catholic and Christian organizations, including usual suspects like the perpetually outraged Irish American Bill Donahue, raised various objections.
At first, the Dodgers said they would no longer honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with its Community Hero Award in a pregame ceremony, “effectively disinviting the charity, protest and street performance organization that employs humor and religious imagery to call attention to sexual intolerance,” The New York Times reported.
Guess how that went?
Many LGBTQ+ organizations raised many objections, so the Dodgers went and re-invited the Sisters.
Apparently, the team really believes in what the Sisters’ website calls using “humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit.”
They forgot hypocrisy. Because no one comes out of this looking very good.
Irish Catholic conservatives may want to focus a little more on, you know, the real priests. Rather than the fake nuns.
Last week, yet another horrific report on sexual abuse was released, this one about Illinois’ clergy. This came after a separate abuse lawsuit cited Archbishop Sean Cardinal O’Malley and other Boston church leaders.
On the other hand, one suspects we won’t be seeing any Hunky Rabbis or Foxy Imams any time soon.
That’s apparently too irreverent. Or not irreverent enough.
One Sisters’ rep even slammed critics, and “the dangerous impact of political tactics.”
I suspect Donahue would agree with the Sisters on this one.
The real hate in all of this comes from the Dodgers, who just wanted some do-gooder points and ended up with a headache. Just like Bud Light did. Just like Target did.
You don't always get what you pay for. But you get what you deserve when you forget that publicity comes in the bad as well as good variety.
As for something you probably did not hear about this week: the New York-based Sisters of Charity – actual nuns who’ve been supporting the needy from the Irish Famine to the current migrant crisis – announced it was no longer accepting new members, essentially putting an end to its mission.
But we’ve got Foxy Mary and Bud Light. Who needs dedicated, humble, charitable human beings?
(On Twitter and Instagram: @TomDeignan)