Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Sex, Lies & Videofilms

It's your typical baseball story, really: "I made a mistake, I'm really sorry, can't I be forgiven so I can become a multi-millionaire, too." All is generally forgiven. Pete Rose has not been allowed into the Hall of Fame, but he is making millions from baseball and that is what matters in America today.

I haven't watched much baseball since Dale Petroskey, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, made it abundantly clear that there was no room in his enterprise for free speech or dissenting opinions, and the lords of baseball backed him up. Either you accept carte blanche that the president of the United States should be allowed to do anything he wants, or you can't participate in the National Pastime. This is what those who own baseball think of us.

Remember, the men who run baseball are geniuses and philanthropists like George Steinbrenner, who hired private detectives to follow Dave Winfield and then used the garnered information to smear his star employee during contract negotiations, and Rupert Murdoch, publisher of a newspaper that out-ed Sandy Koufax, the greatest living legend of his own team, in a manner that set gay liberation back decades. The list of geniuses and philanthropists goes on, of course; but, I really didn't intend to write about this load of scumbags that make Enron executives look like angels. Hell, Enron officials only stole money. These bastards take tax dollars to build their stadia shrines to shit-headedness, then insult their staff and trample on the Constitution!

Baseball has never been a bastion of intellectual progress. It's a sport. As much as baseball wants to market itself as different than, or better than, the other sports, it's still just a sport with very little to offer the world.

In fact, baseball is such a closed little club that it is mostly ignored on this planet and is soon to be eliminated from the Olympics. Why? Because the geniuses and philanthropists who own the sport are too stupid to showcase their talent on the international stage when there's a few extra bucks to be made selling advertisements for booze and bad food. Why should the rest of the world care about baseball if the geniuses and philanthropists who own the sport don't care about it!?!?!?!

In case you don't know, the USA baseball team has been eliminated from 2004 Olympic competition because the owners didn't want to let the professionals take a couple weeks off to compete, and our children got a right spanking from much better players during the qualifying rounds. This fits into Dale Petrovskey's nationalistic plan for baseball, though. We are a fundamentalist, isolationist country that requires no input from other nations or cultures, baseball is OUR national pastime and who cares if the rest of the world ever embraces it! A closed little sport for closed-minded little people with small ideas on a small stage.

Well, fortunately for the American citizenry, baseball thinkers of an earlier era forged paths to South America and Asia and planted the seeds of baseball in places that have grown athletes with names like Vladimir and Jorge and Oh and Hideki and Kazuhito. Early pioneers of baseball wanted to include outsiders in baseball and worked diligently to bring baseball to the international stage.

It took until 1984 to get baseball included in the Olympics, but it was done! It has taken the fundamentalists only twenty years to bring baseball to the brink of elimination from the the Olympics! But, as usual, I digress . . .

The international flavor of baseball that mushroomed during my youth has been wonderful. Handsome, talented, strong men from Cuba and Santo Domingo and Venezuela and Korea have played on American baseball teams and they have made the sport better.

A young Japanese man named Kazuhito Tadano has been banished from his country's baseball community and landed here in the United States. He is a prospect with the Cleveland Indians and he brings with him talents previously untold in the storied annals of baseball lore and statistical purgatory.

While a college student, young Kazuhito ran short of cash. Not an unusual story. He decided to use some Japanese ingenuity to raise cash and he acted in a porno film. (Is that acting?) No big deal, college students have acted in porno films in the past and will again in the future. College students have prostituted themselves and will again in the future. College students have taken part-time jobs in law firms and will again in the future. As vulgar as these three decisions might be, they are not terribly earth-shattering. Having appeared in a porno film while studying law wouldn't make you a bad lawyer after graduation. Selling your ass while in journalism school wouldn't make you a bad journalist after graduation. Working in a law firm while a college baseball player wouldn't make you a bad ballplayer after graduation.

Japan is not known for its open-minded, warm, all-embracing culture. It's a rather repressive, closed, misogynist, homophobic, racist culture much like American and European cultures. OK, so it might be a tad more repressive than ours; but, who's counting. Like most repressive cultures, Japan has a love-hate relationship with pornography and sexuality. Nobody wants to talk about it, but everyone knows it's there.

Kazuhito made a porno film. Kazuhito made a gay porn film. I have not seen the film, but I understand he performed well. Does a good performance in a gay porno film mean you are gay? Does it matter if he is gay or straight? When news of the film became public in Japan, Kazuhito was banished from baseball. He could not get a job with a Japanese club.

Had Kazuhito made a hetero porno film, I think would things have been different. I know that apologists and liberals will say that porn is porn is porn and he is being punished because it is porn, not because it is gay porn. I don't buy that for one second! Had Kazuhito made a hetero porn film, he would have been made a cult hero. Do I have proof of this? No; but, it doesn't take a body of evidence to know that we treat homosexuals as lesser citizens, and we are more appalled by gay porn than straight porn, and that people believe that no wholesome athlete would really ever engage in homosexual activity. Those lies are continually propagated and nobody stands up and says STOP.

The only way Kazuhito can get a fair shake is to apologize for making the film and saying it was a mistake and that he isn't gay. The only thing that will appease the Steinbrenners and Murdochs and other geniuses and philanthropists who own baseball is a total condemnation of himself and his past. If he wants to earn a living in baseball, he better be straight and he better apologize for having been gay.

I accept that Kazuhito may not be gay, but I also believe that he might be gay. The only reason he can't ever be honest about it is that baseball would banish him if he was openly gay. Baseball is a horrible industry that is closed to anyone who doesn't fit into a very narrow mold. There is nothing more unAmerican than that!

Baseball maintains a constant witch-hunt against homosexuals, and nobody says anything about it. Ballplayers have to hold press conferences to deny their homosexuality, or risk being benched, demoted, and eventually run out of the game.

Read Dave Pallone's book "Behind The Mask" for an inside look at the treatment of homosexuals in baseball. Pallone knows first-hand what happens to homosexuals in the bastion of bigotry and closed-mindedness that is passed-off as the sport of baseball.

If Kazuhito wants to be sorry about something it should be that he hasn't the spine to stand up and tell the fundamentalists running baseball that they are liars and hypocrites and bigots! That is his only dereliction. It's not wrong to be gay or straight, and it's not wrong to have worked in the porno industry. It is wrong to regret your past and let billionaires tell you how to apologize for your life in the hope that they will make you a millionaire.

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe the Cleveland Indians plan to use Kazuhito's predicament to change the sport and the attitudes of the people involved, and make the sport a more open and accepting work environment. Maybe this can be the beginning of a change in that community. Can you imagine?

Don't get your hopes up, though, because baseball is a horrible business filled with men who want to keep women and homosexuals and anyone they don't like out of their industry. They want to keep it a closed industry enjoying an anti-trust exemption so they can control the entire market. Is there anything more unAmerican than that?

I want to feel sorry for Kazuhito, but I don't. Those who shun their past in the hope of future profits have no integrity. Baseball will be perfect for him! But, if he fails to make the grade in baseball, will he return to become the world's most famous Japanese gay porn star?

Here are some links I found about this story:

About Baseball
New York Newsday UK
ESPN Columnist
Japan Radio News
Gay Japan
Utopia Asia
Gay Porn Blog
Gay Videos
Freak Factor
Bi-Latin-Men Message Board