Scouts, Beliebers and bad advice

by Scott Yost

There’s been a lot going on in the news lately, so let’s get right to it…

For instance, the big news surrounding the Boy Scouts recently is that the venerable organization is going to start allowing gays to join.

That announcement surprised me a little because, I guess, I’d always just assumed the Boy Scouts was already very gay-friendly since it’s an all-male organization whose members dress in soft pastel colors, wear multiple badges of flair and sing songs together — not to mention that neckerchiefs are accepted among the group, in fact even mandatory, I think.

Plus, if I’m remembering correctly, each year they go door to door selling Thin Mint cookies.

So I always just kind of assumed the Boy Scouts organization was gay-friendly to begin with. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The last time something related to sexuality in the news surprised me like that was when “American Idol” star Clay Aiken shocked the world with his astonishing revelation that he was gay. That announcement just stunned me because that was something no one could have ever seen coming. I mean, before he announced it, there was just no hint or clue that Aiken was anything other than a completely straight, macho, man’s man.

But, like I said, with the Boy Scouts, unlike with Clay Aiken, there were all sorts of clues to work from.

Anyway, this growing societal acceptance of all things gay is clearly the wave of the future and, if you’re one of the few anti-gay-rights people left, you may as well just throw in the towel because resistance is futile.

Just over a month ago, NBA player Jason Collins became the first professional athlete in a major sport to announce he was gay, and now that the Boy Scouts have also come out — well, it’s Katie bar the door because the old-school sexual dam has collapsed and now it’s all just water under the bridge.

Mark my words: Given the way things are going, before long you’re going to even start seeing gays working in jobs such as hairdresser or the theater arts. One day a gay man could even end up performing in a Broadway musical.

*** In other news, they may not have found a cure yet for the common cold, but, practically overnight, they have apparently discovered a miracle cure for the great scourge previously known as Bieber Fever.

Bieber’s most avid fans — predominantly teenage girls who chase him around screaming madly in high-pitched squeals — are known as “Beliebers.” However, now even some previously hardcore fans are turning their backs on the Bieb after a string of recent controversies. He’s engaged in profanity-filled confrontations with the paparazzi and has sped recklessly in his white Ferrari through his ritzy neighborhood while kids were playing.

In April, the 19-year-old pop star got in hot water after visiting the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam. He wrote in the guest book at the Anne Frank House: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”

You know, if she hadn’t died a teenager in a Nazi concentration camp, she would have been all about getting herself some Justin Bieber.

So, anyway, last week, after the string of mishaps, Bieber got booed at the Billboard Music Awards, but Justin had a few words for all the haters. He told the crowd: “I’m 19 years old; I think I’m doing a pretty good job, and basically, from my heart, I really wanna say it should really be about the music. It should be about the craft, the craft that I’m making. This is not a gimmick. I’m an artist and I should be taken seriously and all this other bull should not be spoken of.”

Well said, Justin, well said. I completely agree with him that he shouldn’t be judged on superficial things like over-hyped confrontations with photographers and other irrelevant pop-culture controversies — he should instead be judged purely on the artistic merit of his music.

And Justin, I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say that, based on that criteria… Boooooo! Booooooo!

*** In news closer to home, I was somewhat shocked and dismayed at what I saw in the Thursday, May 30 News & Record. Amazingly, the headline for the Dear Annie advice column in the Life section stated, “When Girlfriend says stop, do it.”

Listen, this is 2013, not 1813. When your girlfriend says stop, you need to stop — not “do it,” as the N&R callously encourages in that headline. You need to respect your girlfriend’s wishes and not do it. Listen up N&R: In these situations, no means no.

I didn’t read the advice column because that headline told me everything I needed to know, but I can only hope that, in that column, the N&R didn’t also suggest that all we men just grab women by their hair and drag them into our caves and tell them that their place is in the kitchen or the bedroom.