Coping with Our
Society's New Idols
FEBRUARY 13. 1987/MONTROSE VOICE 5
The Innocent Bystander
By Arthur Hoppe
My daughter, Malphasia, came down to
breakfast wearing high heels, a strapless, sequinned gown and a toothy
smile. She looked at me, waved and
clapped her hands. "Bye-bye," she said.
Ah, parental decisions. I couldn't decide whether to comment first on her
costume or her
greeting. "I'm practicing for my career," she explained.
"As a dysfunctional lady of the
evening?" I inquired.
"No, Daddy," she said, "as the next
Six months ago, I might have asked
who Vanna White was, but she has
since appeared on the covers of both
People and Newsweek. From scanning
the pictures in the former and the text in
the later, I now know that Miss White is
a pretty, charming, talentless airhead
who has become a national celebrity by
turning over letters on a quiz show
called, "Wheel of Fortune."
So I wasn't surprised when Malphasia slunk sexily over to the calendar on
the wall and turned the page—annoyed,
but not surprised. "It isn't March yet," I'
growled, "and why are you pointing at
that gargage compactor?"
"I have to practice pointing to the
prizes, too," said Malphasia. "There's
lota to this job."
"That compactor's no prize, believe
me," I said. "And don't talk with your
mouth full of English muffin. You'll
never be a television star if you don't
learn to emote properly."
"Vanna doesn't talk at all," said Malphasia, "except to say, 'Bye-bye.' That's
why everyone's so excited by the title of
her new autobiography, 'Vanna
"If that's her worst fear, she must be
either very secure or very uninformed,"
I said. "Of course, one probably goes
with the other."
"And she reveals her secret recipe for
Lasagna a la Vanna," continued Malphasia, who never pays any attention to
my aphorisms. "It's no wonder her publisher gave her a $250,000 advance."
Considering that's 50 times more
than any publisher ever gave me, I
thought I took the news with mature
stoicism. "Are you out of your mind
emulating an empty-headed bird-
brain?" I shouted. "What will it get
"Rich," said Malphasia. And with a
big smile and a little wave, she chirped
"Bye-bye" and flounced up the stairs.
I took my umbrage out in the backyard where my dear wife, Glynda, was
trimming the pyracantha. "What kind
of a society are we living in," I
demanded, "that worships shallow glitz
and surface glamour and doesn't care a
whit that their idols have no more intelligence than a flea?"
"Now, now, dear," said Glynda, "I'm
sure Malphasia will turn out just fine."
"But she's betrayed the entire sexual
revolution and the sexual equality that
her sisters marched and sued and picketed for," I said. "Even in this society,
what position of importance can she
ever hope to aspire to if she relies soley
on mindless charm?"
Glynda lopped off an errant branch
with a single deft snick. "The presidency?" she said.
©1987 1987 (S.F.) Chronicle Publishing Co.
Gay Community Events Nationwide
^Hearings Predicted on National Gay
Civil Rights Bill
From a Human Ricjhts Campaign Fund Press Release
With a record 50 members of the U.S. Houseot Representatives and six members of the U.S.
Senate co-sponsoring the Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights Bill this year, the climate appears to
be favorable for actual committee hearings on the bills during the 100th Congress.
The House bill was introduced as HR. 709 on Jan. 21 by Rep. Ted Weiss (D.-N.Y.), The
Senate's version of the bill, S. 464, was introduced on Feb. 4 by Sen Alan Cranston
(D.-Calif). Joining Sen. Cranston as original co-sponsors were Senators Kennedy (D-
Mass.). Kerry (D.-Maine). Moynihan (D.-N.Y.), Weicker (R.-Conn.) and Inouye (D.-Hawaii).
"We've worked long and hard with Rep. Weiss and Sen. Cranston to get this many
co-sponsors," said Vic Basile, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign Fund.
HRCF describes itself as a national political action and education committee ot the gay and
lesbian community and has made passage of the civil rights bill a major focus of its political
activities for the past six years.
Hearings on the House version would afford supporters and opponents an opportunity to
goon record with their positions on the legislation. For the gay and lesbian community, this
means a very high profile forum in which to present evidence and arguments on behalf of
their need for civil rights protection. For their opponents, it necessitates bringing bias and
prejudice out ot the closet and putting them on record.
Almost all of the co-sponsors ot both bills were recipients of contributions from the
Human Rights Campaign Fund in last November's election. Contributions from the campaign fund are contingent on a candidate's promise to support the civil rights bill.
Basile predicts that a record number of members of Congress will sign onto both bills as
the year progresses. To help make that happen, he asks members of the gay and lesbian
community, as well as others supportive of the bills, to write their representatives and
senators and urge them to support the bills
Members of the House may be reached by writing them (with "The Honorable" preceding
their name) at the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington DC. 20515. Members of the
Senate may be reached by writing them (with "The Honorable" preceding their name) at the
U.S. Senate. Washington. D.C. 20510
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