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Wonderful! Marvellous! Actually to be honest I truly do not give a damn

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as homosexual!

Wonderful! Marvellous! Actually to be honest I truly do not give a damn.

It might be because it has nothing to do with his job. People can announce what they do with their genitalia all they want, just do not expect me act as if this is something I need celebrate. He can shag goats for all I care, just please, make iTunes better than the steaming pile of poop it became in version 12.

Should homosexuals be given grief? No. Now that we have settled that, please just STFU and run the company like a good little capitalist.

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68 comments to Wonderful! Marvellous! Actually to be honest I truly do not give a damn

  • Mr Ed

    As soon as I saw Tim Cook, I thought ‘He’s not Steve Jobs‘.

    I was right.

    What else matters?

  • What else matters?

    Nothing. And no amount of goat shagging or whatever can make up for that.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Re: iTunes and poop. Many years back a relative was kind enough to get me an iPod for my birthday, and I was forced to use iTunes to use it. I suffered for a few years until one day the drive ground to a halt. You know when you need to poop and have to hold it in for a while until you have a moment, and that feeling you get when it does evacuate? That was the same feeling I had when I uninstalled iTunes that very evening.

  • Mr Ed

    RB,

    What did you replace the iPod with?

    BTW How on Earth did you get iTunes stuck up your bottom?

  • Surellin

    Exactly! I deeply resent that I am expected to go into full-celebratory mode over the personal lives of people whom I have never met and will never care about.

  • momo

    Wasn’t this all made public available (and championed) when he took over the company?

    Why is it being repeated now?

  • Mr Ed

    I read into the article, and it’s actually quite touching how the man who brought us Apple Maps is now offering to help people find their way.

  • momo

    A quick Google search shows this widely discussed in 2011, 2012, and 2013 (and I just limited the search to 2011-2013).

    So, again, why now?

  • Why ask me? The Guardian and all manner of other sites are running this story today, so for some reason they think this pot needs stirring and we need to give a shit for some reason.

    But it is curious, is it not? Reminds me a bit of GamerGate when all those games ‘journalist’ ran editorially similar articles on the same day (or close).

  • Snorri Godhi

    The BBC subtitle on the story:

    Apple chief executive Tim Cook has publicly acknowledged his sexuality, saying he wants to try to help people struggling with their identity.

    If that’s one of his top priorities, then it might be time to go short on Apple.

  • RAB

    I couldn’t give a good goddam what his sexuality is either. But I think that if I had any Apple shares I’d be selling them right now. Any CEO who thinks his sexuality is the greatest gift god has given him, is not keeping his eye on the balls I want him to.

    I’m not a big fan of Apple to be honest. The only product of theirs I own is a 60g iPod Classic. It wasn’t called a Classic when I bought it though, it was known as the iPod Arm and a leg, so damn pricey was it. It came in a box the size you normally get Belgian chocolates in. As I was handing over the money, I thought I’d better ask… this does have a charger doesn’t it?…. Oh no Sir comes the reply. You charge it by plugging it into your laptop… But I didn’t have a laptop at the time and will be using it on a Nile cruise, so how do I charge it?… Sir will have to buy a charger as an extra. Katching! another 30 quid on top, robbing bastards!

  • Any CEO who thinks his sexuality is the greatest gift god has given him, is not keeping his eye on the balls I want him to.

    It would be hard to overstate the awesome of this remark 😀

  • Laird

    I thought everyone already knew this. And didn’t care. But I agree with Snorri (and RAB).

  • I didn’t already know this, and I didn’t care then and I care even less now (if that’s possible.)
    I don’t like Apple products, I don’t buy Apple products and I’m certainly not going to start buying them just because their boss announces that he’s a crafty butcher, however “brave” that may or may not be, which probably isn’t very in these enlightened times.

  • Tarrou

    Am I too cynical? My first thought was that there must be a serious scandal in the offing if the CEO is coming out. Time to drum up some uncritical hagiographies from NPR and MSNBC (but I repeat myself).

  • Julie near Chicago

    Echoing Perry, nomination for SQUOTY:

    Any CEO who thinks his sexuality is the greatest gift god has given him, is not keeping his eye on the balls I want him to.

    –RAB

  • James Strong

    One day it will be no more important if someone is black/female/homosexual or white/male/heterosexual, or any permutation of these, than if they are left-handed.
    For some, that is already the case. But they tend to be nasty right-wingers.
    What matters of course, which end does he crack his boiled eggs?

  • PersonFromPorlock

    My comment on another forum was that “I find people who announce they’re gay are almost as fascinating as people who announce they’re recovering alcoholics.”

    What a useful phrase “How very nice for you” is!

  • veryretired

    So what?

  • Gene

    I am very, very happy to discover so many other souls (on one of my favorite websites to boot!) who are bored silly by other people’s sexual orientation or gender identification. How I long for the day that is of no more interest to most people than the color of other people’s cars.

  • Tarrou

    So I posted my last cynicism at work, then drove home, and tuned to NPR. And do you know what NPR lead with at 5 tonight? A twenty minute tour-de-force about how a gay Apple executive is going to cure homophobia and bigotry not just in America, but around the world. Seriously. A third of their broadcast. I don’t know what the scandal is, but Apple must have been executing its six-year-old workforce for failing to meet quota or something.

  • […] – RAB, commenting on Samizdata here. […]

  • Midwesterner

    My first thought echoes Tarrou’s. In addition to whatever else, Tim Cook must have screwed the pooch royally. If you are dumb enough to still own any, sell Apple stock because Cook is invoking the strongest job security firewall he can think of. Undoubtedly with good reason.

  • Nick (Natural Genius) Gray

    Couldn’t you have found some way to get Fabulous! into the header?
    And will shareholders be expected to eat pink apples with pride?
    I bet the next tech breakthrough will be- a portable Gaydar unit!

  • the other rob

    Runcie Balspune I suffered for a few years until one day the drive ground to a halt.

    If it’s still around, in the back of a drawer or somewhere, you might try digging it out and giving it some power. Many years ago I had a (second generation, I think) iPod. I bought it on a whim in NYC, because it was heavily discounted, loaded it up with Tom Waits and Warren Zevon and used it, off and on, for a while.

    After a couple of years, during which several new versions were released, it died. I put it in a drawer and forgot about it. Some years later, it turned up during a routine junk clearance effort and, for no reason, I plugged it in. The damn thing had started working again!

    Jobs truly was a genius! Devices which suicide, in order to spur the reluctant to upgrade yet will resurrect themselves, should said reluctants prove sufficiently stubborn, in order to at least chase a revenue stream from potential content purchases. One has to give it to the man…

  • Fred the Fourth

    Today 10/30 Apple stock dropped about 1%, then rebounded, between 10:00 and 14:00, and finished slightly below the day peak, at roughly its opening price. I’m betting Cook’s announcement hit the internet about 10:00, and a significant number of people had the same thought as Tarrou and Midwesterner. We’ll see – it may have been propped up today by the general rise in the DOW, who knows?

  • Fred the Fourth

    My comment refers to Thursday in NYC, of course, as I see it’s already tomorrow wherever (London?) the server lives. Tomorrow I could post an update, but since you Londoners will get there first (indeed, are already there) perhaps you could get the jump on me? (Hmm…is AAPL traded on the DAX or Hang Seng?)

  • Alsadius

    “please, make iTunes better than the steaming pile of poop it became in version 12.”

    I believe you mean version 1.

  • Although in fairness to Tim Cook here, he had been keeping his sexual preference under wraps until he was outed on TV

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoUJqH3SGwY

    I’m assuming that subsequent events were more about Apple Corporate PR more than anything else, but as others have said

    “What has the type of hole you like to shove your todger into got anything to do with running Apple?”

    The obvious answer being Sweet Fuck All.

    DISCLAIMER – I have never owned an Apple product or iAnything as I’m too much of a tight-wad to spend vast amounts of coin on something my Android phone does as standard.

  • Rational Plan

    All I see is a bunch of people going urgh he should keep quiet about his sexuality. If you don’t care why comment on it all? The Out movement has been the principle reason for the rise of gay acceptance. When people no longer hid in shame then more people came to realise that people they knew and loved were gay and not evil. This became a virtuous circle as growing acceptance has allowed more and more people to come out.

    But it is not a fight won, there are still quite a few people who are phobic and it until a day comes I can show affectation in a public place (such as holding hands or leaning on some ones shoulder) without having to think, ‘Is this a safe street?’ ‘Or will someone shout at me or beat me up’. So Yes it’s important in what he said. It’s important that people of influence and power are out. It helps us all. I don’t think mentioning it a couple of times is the equivalent of waving a rainbow flag and taking part in weekly parades.

  • All I see is a bunch of people going urgh he should keep quiet about his sexuality.

    Well yes, that is rather the point. Unless Apple has decided to brand itself “We are the computer company for gay people”, maybe the nature of the CEO’s sexual predilection is best not used as a marketing tool.

    If you don’t care why comment on it all?

    But I do care, just not in the way I am supposed to. The response this proclamation is designed to elicit is “how brave!” … yet the CEO of a major California company saying “I am gay” is about as brave as someone in New York announcing “I am a Yankees fan!”

    I am suggesting that is actually not going to work with a great many people, even folks who are not ‘anti’ homosexual at all, they are just sick to death of having people’s “identity” waved around in order to elicit an approving response.

    If a CEO had stood up and apropos nothing said:

    “I want to share this with you all: I have a red car!” or “I have a large collection of rare African turtles!” or “I want you all to know that I fuck chicks”…

    I would probably sell my shares really quickly as I would assume he was trying to draw attention away from something really bad that actually related to, well you know, the business he was running. At the very least I would deduce they were a bit cringeworthy.

    Being a gay CEO is now so uncontroversial that it makes me suspect the motives of anyone waving the fact around, so I am inclined to actively make a point of not performing the expected forelock tug when someone does it. We have plenty of pukka libertarian folks here on Samizdata who do not feel the need to preface their remarks with a reference to how proud they are about their gayness, unless it is somehow germane to the discussion.

    I don’t think mentioning it a couple of times is the equivalent of waving a rainbow flag and taking part in weekly parades.

    Except it was covered in pretty much every major media outlet in the western world, which means it was not just because Apple is newsworthy, but presumably because the Apple RP machine made that happen, which kind of is the equivalent of waving a rainbow flag and taking part in a big global parade.

  • Richard Thomas

    To those who are still suffering along with an ipod, I recommend FUBAR2000 with the ipod plugin which allows one to manage one’s music without that godawful abomination that is itunes.

  • Richard Thomas

    Tarrou, you’re not alone. I was wondering who Obama had let die this time

  • Laird

    If Cook had really wanted kudos for bravery he would have said “I smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, plus the occasional cigar, and I’m proud of it!”. That would take actual courage.

  • Paul Marks

    Rational Plan….. people are commenting because (rather absurdly) it is being treated as a major news story.

    Front page of the Financial Times today – lots of BBC coverage (and so on).

    A week or so ago “Gay Rights” were the cover article of the Economist magazine (I can remember when the Economist publication was about rather different matters) – in the same week the “New Statesman” and the “Independent” were pushing the same agenda (in relation to the Roman Catholic Church).

    With respect (no – with no respect whatever) it is not the business of these publications to tell people of other religions to change their (nonviolent) beliefs.

    And it is weird (to put it mildly) that electronic and print media coordinate to make something the most important news story in the world – when it is not, in fact, a news story at all.

  • Paul Marks

    It is well known that the entertainment media (films, television stations and so on) have a “liberal-left” cultural agenda (they have had such agenda for many years – being against abortion is “bad” [the baddie character in the show or film will be against abortion], being for Gay Marriage is “good” [goodie characters in the show or film will be for Gay Marriage] and so on, entertainment shows attempt the teach the young, children, the l-l point of view on such things).

    But for the hard news side of the media to be quite so blatant about the same agenda is worthy of comment.

  • Paul, I seriously doubt that the media outlets themselves coordinate this or that item – rather, someone outside these outlets is pushing such items to all of them at once. These ‘someones’ are usually PR people, either independent PR agencies, or PR offices that are part of a particular company, such as Apple in this particular case. It really is more about money than anything else.

  • None of which, of course, goes to negate anything that Tarrou and Mid said – quite the opposite.

  • rxc

    there are still quite a few people who are phobic

    Yes, and they and the countries they live in are not going to go away or change for a very long time, because the very same people who play up this declaration of sexual preference are also firmly convinced that those people are peaceful and loving and tolerant, in spite of what they actually say.

  • I know someone who really dislikes the whole idea of homosexuality (i.e. he very definitely lacks my “people can fuck goats for all I care” sensibilities) and thus could be said to be ‘phobic’. But he is perfectly civil and non-violent, but exercises his right to free association by whenever possible avoiding homosexual people. He tolerates but he emphatically does not accept, very much in the Voltaire tradition. If you ask him what he thinks he will tell you in no uncertain terms, but I cannot imagine him bringing up the subject unsolicited. I imagine he would also find an excuse for not hiring such a person for his business too.

    And in my view that is his right, even if the law suggests otherwise.

  • Mr Ed

    How long before arachnophobia becomes unlawful?

    And I don’t mean the film.

  • Snorri Godhi

    All I see is a bunch of people going urgh he should keep quiet about his sexuality.

    You do? where? I didn’t notice.
    Oh yes, Perry wrote STFU in the OP … but that was AFTER he emphatically proclaimed:

    People can announce what they do with their genitalia all they want

    (However, coming to think of it, Perry is going too far in saying:
    He can shag goats for all I care.
    If he did, he’d be likely to end up in jail, and that is no place to run a company like Apple.)

  • long-lost cousin

    In addition to whatever else, Tim Cook must have screwed the pooch royally.

    Don’t read too much into the announcement. I don’t think Cook would have come out of the closet (again) to hide beastiality.

  • Jon

    I’m a trifle disappointed by this post and the subsequent comments, if I’m honest.

    One of the things I’ve liked about libertarians has tended to be their indifference to the consenting sex lives of others, and the confusion at others who don’t exercise the same indifference.

    Tim Cook isn’t trying to proselytise (unlike the religious right who oppose him), he’s saying ‘I’m a successful guy, I’m gay, and no one at Apple cares’. His message isn’t infringing any liberties, and it’s not targeted at those who are genuinely indifferent.

    It’s clearly targeted at gay teens, who experience bullying far more frequently, commit suicide alarmingly more often than their straight peers, and can often not see beyond the predicament they find themselves in. It’s saying- live your life, be free and don’t worry about high school- you can be fulfilled afterwards even if life now is hard.

    Bully for all of you that you’re so enlightened (even if some of your mates are clearly not so much!). Cook lives in a country where being gay is still illegal in lots of places. He’s on the side of Liberty on this issue, and it’s a shame libertarians here aren’t rallying to his side instead of acting like prudish blue-rinse Tories from the 80s.

  • Nah, but that is the point Jon, I am not buying that this is just him saying “‘I’m a successful guy, I’m gay, and no one at Apple cares’”. This is not actually new news, so my first line should have been “Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as homosexual again!”

    I am indifferent unless someone is talking about it in an unusual context, at which point I get interested in the reasons why.

    And yet this story appeared in every major media outlet pretty much everywhere in the world as far as I can tell, which means it was not an aside (which I would indeed have felt really not worth comment), but rather a massive deployment of Apple PR assets. Which means this essentially is a marketing exercise.

    Cook lives in a country where being gay is still illegal in lots of places.

    There are places in the USA in which being homosexual is illegal? Really? I was under the impression it was non-acceptance that was illegal!

  • There still may be some antiquated laws on the books in some states, but I seriously doubt that any of them have been or are going to be enforced in our life times. And, CA, where Apple is based, is certainly not one of them anyway.

  • And yes, this a perfect example of a dog-bites-man “news” item.

  • Mr Ed

    Cook lives in a country where being gay is still illegal in lots of places.

    There are places in the USA in which being homosexual is illegal? Really?

    Perhaps Jon has checked, and found these places, with Apple Maps?

  • Jon

    Sorry- you guys are right. Sodomy laws in lots of US states, having been abolished back in the mists of time (2003) by an unelected body of judges striking down illiberal laws passed by reactionary states. There definitely going to be no homophobia in those places, so it’s probably a really friendly place to grow up as a gay teen. There are probably loads of role models to young people for when they’re getting the living crap kicked out of them in school.

    There’s also the fact of gay marriage still being illegal in many states.

    As a gay guy in the comparative liberal bubble of the UK, it’s still nice to know that there are gay people in the upper echelons of business who haven’t had to hide who they are from colleagues.

    It may mean nothing to you, but then why comment?

    And if you think Apple did this for a sales bump, gay people already know Apple is supportive and always has been. It will cost them more sales than it adds. I think he did this in a personal capacity and I’m grateful he did.

  • The fact this was reported in India and China and Germany and UK etc means that yes, it is indeed a strange PR exercise. I realise Apple is a big player but nothing this trivial spreads like that without a PR machine pushing it.

  • Mr Ed

    Jon

    There’s also the fact of gay marriage still being illegal in many states.

    I don’t think gay marriage is illegal in any State, but it is not lawful in many States, there is a distinction between the law not recognising something, and positively prohibiting it. I would prefer marriage to be a contract that parties can enter into, with written terms for the avoidance of doubt, being whatever is agreed. No divorce law, no maintenance, ouster injunctions throwing people out of their own property and allowing their spouse or partner to remain in a property they do not own,

    And violence against the person is, afaik, illegal in all States.

    As for Dr Cook coming out on favour of liberty, I have considerable difficulty reconciling that proposition with this quote from his announcement (linked in the article),

    Still, there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies.

    I do wonder if what Dr Cook is saying is that some State law codes do not prohibit such acts, i.e. the laws do not interfere with freedom.

  • Rational Plan

    I think you’ll find gay advocates are very much aware of the situation in many countries and are often quite vocal about it and are in fact not vocal in support for these cultural practices or these countries. As far as gay rights goes it’s a constant struggle and at first our only allies were on the radical left, as out support has gone mainstream, we are no longer on the fashionable curve for those who live to protest and too often some advocates are told to shut up about certain issues as some causes have greater support.

    Like the Jews with the Labour party the gay vote is not monolithic and certainly has been taken for granted by the left. Gay people don’t just vote on gay issues, otherwise there would be no gay Tories.

    Mr Cook has only issued a couple of press releases, he’s hardly wasting company time, plus Apple probably ses at as good publicity, in the whole we’re really not an evil monolithic corporation but still a young vibrant company selling funky fashionable (expensive) electronics. Apples target market is pretty much liberal urban consumers.

    It would be more remarkable if the head of JP Morgan or GE came out, or in fact had the former head of BP (I think) had been able to come out.

    It’s a shame that those who supposedly believe in freedom and liberalism (in the true sense of the word) feel they must follow the script of what it means to be right wing.

  • I regard this whole thing as trivial but interesting. But I also personally dislike the whole ‘expected response’ thing. I am fine with homosexuals being regarded as unremarkable but I amnot inclined to provide the expected applause

  • Mr Ed

    Mr Cook has only issued a couple of press releases, he’s hardly wasting company time, plus Apple probably ses at as good publicity, in the whole we’re really not an evil monolithic corporation but still a young vibrant company selling funky fashionable (expensive) electronics. Apples target market is pretty much liberal urban consumers.

    Indeed, a nice summary of the Apple corporate view, I would think.

    It would be more remarkable if the head of JP Morgan or GE came out, or in fact had the former head of BP (I think) had been able to come out.

    The CEO of BP, Lord Browne was ‘outed’ after apparently perjuring himself in some legal proceedings in which his private life was, for reasons I cannot recall, an issue. BP hired some Labour types during the Blair years. No criminal action was taken against him in respect of perjury, unlike Lord Archer, a Conservative Peer. Lord Browne has been a cross-bencher (non-aligned member) in the House of Lords.

    It’s a shame that those who supposedly believe in freedom and liberalism (in the true sense of the word) feel they must follow the script of what it means to be right wing.

    What script? Any links?

  • Jon

    Mr Ed, I have some problems with laws that prohibit freedom of trade (i.e. the laws that stop people not offering services to gay people) but whilst the laws are on the books, I don’t see why gay people shouldn’t be expected to avail themselves of them. Certainly, those, who like Perry’s friend would seek to avoid offering employment or custom to gay people purely on the basis of their sexual orientation, would seem to me to place their businesses at a needless disadvantage in the “war for talent” or a battle for custom, which would, I hope, lead to their welcome and timely obsolescence by competition rather than regulation in the long run.

    Perry – as I’ve said, I don’t think you were expected to applaud (although some people might, in the spirit of rubbing the NOM- types faces in it), for me, it’s more of a psychic message to people suffering at the hands of anti- gay attitudes that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I wish more people were like you (and not your mate), but much of the world is a pretty dark place for gay people – hence the coverage by the Economist in a recent article (which, Paul Marks, has been remarking on gay issues since at least 1996 – before that, it was all back to basics and apple pie – and we all know how that worked out! ;-))

    I also don’t think you need a corporate media to promote this. There are a lot of gay people in the media who like to gossip about other gay people, which is why this news is no great surprise to lots of people.

    I hope that one day this is as unremarkable as the colour of someone’s eyes. But it’s not right now, because people don’t get often bullied for eye colour. Until then – we have to fight a battle for liberty of self. I would hope most libertarians would defy the leftist stereotype of being the conservative right’s shock troops and stand for genuine liberty.

  • Certainly, those, who like Perry’s friend would seek to avoid offering employment or custom to gay people purely on the basis of their sexual orientation, would seem to me to place their businesses at a needless disadvantage in the “war for talent”

    I have said as much to him and to his credit he does not deny that, he just takes the view that as it is his company and his capital at risk, it should be his choice. And I had to agree that I should indeed be his choice, even if it was not the choice I would make.

    I would hope most libertarians would defy the leftist stereotype of being the conservative right’s shock troops and stand for genuine liberty.

    Looking at the comments here I do not really see anyone arguing that anything ‘need to be done about this’, so we are piss poor shock troops really 😉 . I admit as a hetro-white-male I do sometimes find the public exaltation of sexual identity tiresome (ditto racial or national identity frankly), but that is not really a political issue for me, it is just how it strikes me personally.

  • Rational Plan

    @ Mr Ed, the same script in which left wing people ‘love the gays’, when the very phrase makes my eyes role. But that’s the burden of being fashionable among some people. I do very much mind if you think suddenly going to take you shoe shopping or be expected to know what’s in this season? I much happier reading my sci fi books thanks, I’ve never taken drugs or drunk all that much if it wasn’t for not needing to get drunk to get down on the dance floor I don’t think anyone could guess. Most people are surprised I don’t fit their stereotype.

    As to the original point I often feel that people adopt positions their tribe expect of them, whether they’ve really thought it through or truly believe it is another thing.

    There are plenty of gay people who believe in individual liberty and the desire to make filthy amounts of money and the ability to keep it without the government pissing it down the drain, but then those same people we could identify with keep telling us to know our place and too shut up. And quite a few want to be able to excludes us and punish us and keep us down so it’s natural many seek security of the left as the only ones who will protect them (traditionally anyway). But these days it’s not so hostile on the right, which is just as well as those loonies on the left want to surrender to certain fanatics.

  • There are plenty of gay people who believe in individual liberty and the desire to make filthy amounts of money and the ability to keep it without the government pissing it down the drain

    Well yes, some of them even occasionally write for samizdata

    but then those same people we could identify with keep telling us to know our place and too shut up.

    I think my problem is homosexuality is now so normalised that I am inclined to treat is just like other public remarks about sexuality or identity. If he had stood up and announced he was proud to be straight (or hispanic (whatever that actually means) or white or black or jewish or muslim or whatever) I would have similarly rolled my eyes and suggested it would be great if he’d STFU and fix iTunes 😉

    But that said, if the head of a California company circa 2014 stood up and said he was proud to be WHITE, now that really would be ‘brave’. But it would also be equally irrelevant and worthy of a brief suggestion to STFU, haha.

  • Mr Ed

    Rational Plan

    The script seems to be in your head, and elaborated by your helpful explanation, so links are presumably unavailable.

    As for the radical Left being ‘allies’ for gay people, well in the USSR it was, in the main timeframe, illegal to be gay, and the radical Left in the West would have followed the Soviets once it suited them. And the Wiki page on the issue is illustrative, excerpt:

    Soviet legislation does not recognize so-called crimes against morality. Our laws proceed from the principle of protection of society and therefore countenance punishment only in those instances when juveniles and minors are the objects of homosexual interest … while recognizing the incorrectness of homosexual development … our society combines prophylactic and other therapeutic measures with all the necessary conditions for making the conflicts that afflict homosexuals as painless as possible and for resolving their typical estrangement from society within the collective

    —Sereisky, Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1930, p. 593
    LGBT history under Stalin: 1933–1953
    In 1933, Article 121 was added to the criminal code, for the entire Soviet Union, that expressly prohibited only male homosexuality, with up to five years of hard labor in prison. There were no criminal statutes regarding lesbianism. During the Soviet regime, Western observers believed that between 800 to 1,000 men were imprisoned each year under Article 121.[13] The precise reason for the new law is still in some dispute.[citation needed]

  • Jon

    Perry, I think you’ve sort of contradicted yourself. If homosexuality is “normalised”, how come your acquaintance considers it acceptable to not employ someone purely on the basis of sexuality? Would he consider not employing black people too? Would his be regarded as “normal” behaviour or is it something he keeps quiet for fear of opprobrium? Are there grooves in the pavement outside his house from his knuckles?

    As to the left/ right divide thing – in my admittedly newish understanding, I see most libertarian thought I’ve staggered across sitting outside that divide (and all the better for it). I recognise that the left uses identity politics to further its broader aims (having fewer objectively rational economic arguments to draw upon), and gay people have been supplanted (at least in the European left’s affections) by a new victim group in the form of muslims (accurately or not – I’m not arbitrating for the purposes of this discussion). In this context, I also feel I should also explain my “shock troops” comments – in the leftist mindset, libertarian arguments for lower taxes are the same as Tory arguments for corporatist support for favoured groups through lower taxes. They’re not, but they see purist libertarian arguments as a cover for the Tory jobs-for-the-boys mentality, I think.

    As such, we could equally roll our eyes at every statement backing or legitimising Israel’s behaviours. After all, Israel has a state, runs the region’s only decent military, has nuclear weapons, and the unqualified backing of the planet’s hegemon. I mean – get over it already – you’ve got your rights and almost most of us accept you! Except we don’t take that route, because we recognise that the situation is fluid, there are life or death consequences, and that our opinion can matter to the foreign policy attitudes of our democracy. We also know that stacked against Israel are hundreds of millions of people who don’t wish them well (in the most generous interpretation of that spectrum of “reasoning”).

    Consider the situation gay people find themselves in. Catholic and Islamic orthodoxies vary in their level of unfriendliness, ranging from passive dislike, to equating homosexuality with paedophilia, to forced sex changes and crucifixion. Most States aren’t as laissez faire as you are – including several in the west. There still lurks, even in “normalised” societies, a small but significant number who dislike gay people on spec, which is their right, I suppose, but it hardly suggests normalisation. Tim Cook runs one of the planet’s most powerful businesses, is very visible, wields clout over investment decisions which could affect entire national economies. Yes – he should be acting in the interests of Apple shareholders (and iTunes users, one hopes) but ceteris paribus, you’d hope he’d back a regime more tolerant to his continued existence, than one which isn’t. What’s more, Apple has history on this issue. He’d hardly face shareholder revolt for pulling out of a country for human rights abuses (though he doesn’t seem to mind producing phones in China…)

    As such, your policy on iTunes aside (for which you have my unqualified support), I don’t see how you can roll your eyes at Tim Cook’s profession of his identity, on the one hand, and on the other post on Israel without rolling them then too. Except you can because you’ve decided one identity is either more important, or more imperilled than another. Aren’t you therefore on a slippery slope towards leftist identity politics? Sticking to “I don’t care who you shag” and “I support your right to self determination”, as well as “I support your right to not be bombed by Hamas” and leaving it at that would seem the wiser course of action, and more consistent with what my limited brain understands your aims to be.

  • Perry, I think you’ve sort of contradicted yourself. If homosexuality is “normalised”, how come your acquaintance considers it acceptable to not employ someone purely on the basis of sexuality?

    Oh then maybe you misunderstand my position. Moreover ‘normalised’ does not mean ‘everyone agrees’. It just means ‘that is the norm’. It has been so normalised that if my chum was honest about not employing homosexuals, it is *him* the law would punish. So it is his views which are now ‘de-normalised’ to the point they are prohibited by law if he actually tried to act on them commercially. That is not just normalised (which implies tolerance but not necessarily acceptance), it is enforced (i.e. acceptance, not mere tolerance, is required by law).

    And moreover, I assume you expect *me* to treat a homosexual person the way I would a heterosexual one, given my views. Well that is what I am doing. If he used his position as head of Apple to talk about heterosexuality or race, I would be rather scornful and suspicious of his motives. If homosexuality is normalised, why do you expect me to react differently when that is what Apple’s RP drums are beating out?

    If I have not remarked on his views about Israel, it is because obviously the Apple PR machine is *not* ensuring it gets reported in every major media outlet in the world, so I guess that is just his views, not The View According to Apple. As a result, I actually have no idea what his views on Israel are. And as I have not seen it reported everywhere, I really don’t care either.

  • Nick (Natural Genius) Gray

    Actually i think that we might come to treasure gays as rarities, because if gayness is genetic, then they’ll be able to detect this in the womb, and parents would choose to abort these feoti in favour of hetero children. So I don’t think they’ll be around for long, if parents have a choice in this matter.

  • Jon

    Argh – sorry – I need to stop replying on mobile phone screens, I’m not making myself clear. I was talking about what everyone else thinks about Israel, rather than what Tim Cook thinks. Why do people feel the need to comment in support of Israel (when it has its rights, and can marry, and people pretend to treat it fairly) was my analogy. I mean, why not roll your eyes – it’s an old issue, right?

    The laws you cite don’t protect kids growing up surrounded by messages that what they are is somehow less or wrong (thanks Nick Gray for making my point for me). Tim Cook is just saying – I’m gay and I got paid $300m odd dollars a couple of years back. I don’t know that Apple’s PR drums had to beat loud – it would have got reported anyway, after all he’s a pretty high profile guy – did you receive a press release from Apple is that how you know Apple put the message out?

    Nick – what makes you think people wouldn’t abort in favour of gay kids? Ask most mothers (who are, after all, ultimately responsible for most abortion decisions) whether they’d like a son who is (in the stereotypical imagination, if not in actual fact) more likely to stay in touch and care for them, or one who will be a slouch which will lose touch as soon as he finds another woman to get his washing done by, I reckon it could be you straight boys getting aborted.

  • Why do people feel the need to comment in support of Israel (when it has its rights, and can marry, and people pretend to treat it fairly) was my analogy.

    And if the head of a major corporation said it, and had it broadcast by their RP machine, I might have written a similar article.

    I don’t know that Apple’s PR drums had to beat loud – it would have got reported anyway, after all he’s a pretty high profile guy – did you receive a press release from Apple is that how you know Apple put the message out?

    Oh come off it. Apple is a big company but when a supposedly by-the-way off-the-cuff just-sayin’ remark appears in newspapers in Russia, India, Slovakia, Turkey etc etc etc, well sorry, but Apple’s CEO is not THAT high profile a guy. And these days ‘press releases’ really are not how PR people work, that is soooooo 1990’s. I was involved in PR in the early 2000’s and even then we thought that was archaic 😀

  • Oh and I think you do not realise that Nick is the resident court jester. But I do rather marvel at your response 😉

  • Jon

    But I do rather marvel at your response

    I does my best! 😉

  • ‘Apple’s President says he is gay. Samsung’s President says he is more gay,…and waterproof!’

  • My favourite version of that was: “Apple’s President says he is gay. Samsung’s President says company working on a faster and cheaper gay!”