I am somewhat obsessed with The Tony Danza Show. The show is amazing. Mr. Danza is a truly unique soul. Recently, after mentioning a charity he was involved in, for either soldiers, children, or both, and right before launching into Extrava-Danza (his daily quiz game), Tony tossed off a throwaway line. He does it all the time. With his trademarked charm (I know you can’t trademark charm, but Tony’s laws are based on his own Danza-tution), he went—”We really gotta get that Osama guy.”
“We really gotta get that Osama guy.”
Tony’s right. We do. For those not in the know (if you haven’t heard of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or The Hold Steady—that’s you), this “Osama guy” that Tony Danza is talking about is Osama bin Laden. Who is he? He’s only America’s numero uno enemy-o! What’d he do? Is he a bullshit artist? Yes! But it’s way bigger than that! He’s not at the tippy-top of America’s shit list for just trash-talking. I won’t go into it, but let me just give you an idea of how bad this guy is—if you google “Osama country music“—you will find a lot of songs and flash games that take this motherfucker on. You will find a parody of Rick Nelson’s Garden Patry called Osama Party. (Sample lyrics: I went to Osma’s party to find out about his friends/ A chance to show the world who we are up against. Chorus: But it’s all right now/ We learned our lesson well/ You see, we can’t let Sadaam go unless he kills himself.) U.S. intelligence couldn’t make a connection between Osama and Sadaam, but parody songwriter Rudy Ramirez had no problem. The trick—poetic license. It would be much simpler for investigators if they replaced investigation with poetic license to solve crimes.)
Still, thanks to the relentlessness of celebrities like Tony Danza to “get that Osama guy,” it keeps a fire underneath President Bush (the first openly gay president in over 25 years—25 dog years—so only about 3 1/2 human—which means W. is the first openly gay president since himself! I just double-called the President gay—once directly and once using roundabout logic!)
I kid. The truth is, and some of you already know this, President Bush actually opposes same-sex marriage (he thinks homosexuality is a sin, like stealing or a neighbor/wife coveting party with a bowl of keys and a two boxes of wine.) Others (like John Kerry and Ayman al- Zawahiri, Osama’s right hand man, ironically) don’t oppose the idea of same-sex unions, but would hate to change the meaning of the word “marriage” to include them. John and Ayman should be worried. Words change all the time, and not always for the best. Remember what happened to the word “gay?” Everybody lost when a few decades ago some rogue tweens took it upon themselves to twist “gay” into a slur that could be applied to anything from Bon Jovi to the color of a wall. I’d hate to see the word marriage have the same fate as the word gay. Do we really want kids running around schools going, “You’re so marriage!” or worse, a parade of religious zealots, marching on Washington with signs that read, “God hates marriages!”
It’s always sad to see a word’s meaning change—a little or a lot. Could you imagine a world where “nurse” meant “college.” I can’t. Wait, I just did. But it’s very confusing. I don’t recommend it. Watch—”Where did you go to nurse?” “Western Mass.” See, confusing. Please, America, don’t slightly change a word’s meaning. It will destroy what that word meant before. And what’s more important than that? Only one thing—getting that Osama guy.
And in keeping with the multimedia spirit, here is a phone call from the anti-gay phone company that periodically calls me to switch. This call is from the first time they contacted me.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 4, 2005