Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Balancing Work And Home

Difficult (or at least obscure) question:    what do Elton John and Hilary Rosen have in common?

Easy question:    what do Elton John and the late Dusty Springfield have in common?

Rush Limbaugh, happily ensconsed in his fourth marriage, was complaining yesterday about Hilary Rosen and Democrats and liberals and their hatred for stay-at-home mothers, and touting his own support for the traditional relationship between the sexes.      He chose to bolster his argument by approvingly playing "Wishin' and Hopin,'" a hit record (that's what they were called back then) by Dusty Springfield in 1964.     Representative of the lyrics is this portion:

So if you're thinkin' heartbreak 
True love is
All you gotta do is 
Hold him and kiss him and squeeze him and love him 
Yeah, just do it and after you do, you will be his

And because Rush assumes his listeners are dim-witted and didn't get the message, he followed with "This is it.  This is the root, folks.  Cook his meals.  Iron shirts.  Put out his slippers."     He wasn't kidding, and no tongue was witnessed in cheek.

Throughout the early period of rock/pop music, there was no shortage of songs extolling the virtue of the relationship between men and women common (or at least we suppose) prior to the women's movement.       Rush, however, specifically selected a song from Dusty Springfield.

I liked Springfield, which is why a video of one of her famous songs is shown below.     But Limbaugh was otherwise motivated.      The performer while alive was rumored to be a lesbian; in death, and with greater acceptance of homosexuality, it is now largely acknowledged.    

Wonderment followed the announcement that the flamboyant Elton John would be the featured entertainer at the June, 2010 wedding of Mr. Limbaugh and Ms. Rogers.       People were amazed that John would be chosen to sing at the wedding of the famous right-wing talk show host, thought to be anti-gay.    However, one man involved in preparation of the wedding explained      

Rush and his now-wife had been vacationing in Hawaii when Limbaugh developed what some believed to be heart trouble. Sir Elton happened to be staying in the same hotel and inquired of the manager as to Limbaugh’s condition. Rush joked in his speech at the reception that he asked the hotel manager whether Elton was happy or upset over the news was that he was okay. The bride-to-be wrote a letter thanking Elton for his concern, and an email friendship of sorts ensued.

As the day drew closer, she sent an email telling Sir Elton that there is no one they would rather have play at their wedding (I would have loved to have heard the discussions in that committee when the decision to ask Elton John was made). With the flash of a few emails (and a reported $1 million dollar fee), suddenly Elton John’s European tour schedule was changed, Rush’s future wife got what she wanted, and we were going to be the beneficiaries of her good taste.

The very openly gay Elton John was invited to headline the festivities because there was "no one" she preferred to provide entertainment, and Rush's fiancee  "got what she wanted."     Further, at the wedding the Limbaughs suggested that they get together at a later date with Elton John and his partner.

Rush recently was roundly criticized for outrageous statements during the recent contraceptive controversy, including repeated references to Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and "prostitute."     Evidently, Mrs. Limbaugh was not amused but instead, according to the National Enquirer (which was, at least, right about Rielle Hunter), was

furious at the 61-year-old con­servative firebrand and threatened to walk out of their marriage if he keeps up his trash talk, say insiders.... Rush’s big mouth has caused a rift in his fourth mar­riage, and sources say he’s now running for cover from 35-year-old Kathryn, a Florida event plan­ner.

Kathryn was still angry after her husband's "limp apology," less because of his duplicitous, belligerent attack upon Democrats and the need for family planning than because it

didn’t stem the tide of criticism, and his beautiful wife of less than two years was swept up in the controversy, having to endure rebukes from some of her closest friends.

“Kathryn is fit to be tied,” said a pal. “She feels as if she’s be­ing tarred and feathered with the same brush that people are using on her hus­band. She really let him have it.

According to the report, Mrs. Limbaugh "said she’s become a social pariah because of his hot-headed, heedless comments."

Limbaugh's topic in this segment was not the capital gains tax or U.S. policy in Afghanistan, but the proper relationshp (as if there is one such thing) of woman to man.         The sexual preference of the singer cited by Limbaugh as getting it right is intimately related to this issue, to the perspective she brought to the lyrics.      Eager to attack a Democratic strategist who criticized a stay-at-home mother for not working outside the home for pay, Limbaugh played the audio of a long-ago performer who was gay, probably pleasing his wife. Kathryn, a personal friend of Elton John, apparently has to answer to her other friends, many of them gay or sympathetic to those who are.     Meanwhile, Rush strategically chose not to remind (or inform) his ultra-conservative audience that Dusty Springfield was a lesbian.

Praise is due Rush Limbaugh, a radical conservative and partisan (not in that order) who continually criticizes Democrats, repeatedly on the same issues, week after week, day after day.    But on gay marriage- for approximately the past eighteen months- Limbaugh has been virtually silent.    He is a master juggler, able to keep his wife at least somewhat satisfied while maintaining his appeal to an audience he masterfully manipulates.

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