Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Why the Red Pepper Sucks

Saturday morning J and I stopped by the side of the road to buy the newspapers from a guy. We asked for the Daily Monitor and the New Vision. He was out of the New Vision, but brought over a Red Pepper and, for amusement, we took that instead. (Newspapers are less than a dollar and cost the same on weekends as they do during the week.) I had read the Red Pepper only once before. It’s a gossip rag, total garbage, but the one other time I had read it, I remember being impressed with its treatment of women. They seemed more comfortable with modern female roles than most other media.

I’m not sure where that came from. The Red Pepper is basically pornography. A columnist called the Hyena describes incidents in which he “shafts” women because they just can't stay away from him - it's all clearly fiction. Which is whatever, as far as I’m concerned. It is what it is. The worst part about the Red Pepper is its treatment of the GLBT community.

A few weekends ago I was talking to a friend who told me the Red Pepper had published a list of homosexuals in Kampala, most of which suffered much abuse and many of which also left town. I remember my friend adding that it was only a matter of time before they did it again.

Well, they’ve done it again. In Saturday’s paper we noticed an ad for Sunday’s paper, which promised to out the 500 homosexuals living in Kampala, their full names and addresses, where they work and what cars they drive. We bought the paper again on Sunday; the list included some 50 names with the promise to continue it next Sunday.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and many people really believe it’s a sin. There has been a lot of controversy over it recently (you can read about some of it here) which I suppose is what prompted the Red Pepper’s repeat performance. What really seemed to irk the paper was the image of a party of homosexuals sitting around patting themselves on the backs for evading the media. A war between the press and the gay community in which the gay community thought they were winning. So this is why the Red Pepper is really going to show them. The paper also portray gays as modern day vampires—insanely rich, intelligent, beautiful, well-dressed, love to party, and constantly trying to lure non-gays into their clutches. Like anyone can be turned gay.

The whole thing is beyond absurd. A few choice snippets so you all can see how sick the Pepper is:

Under the heading “Characteristics of a Gay Man:”
“—They rarely get drunk for they are always watching for their prey
“—If they spot a sexy looking man who is not a gay they will make sure he becomes one of them
“—They watch beauty contests simply to learn how to walk.”

But this is my favorite
“—If you get used to hanging with them you can tell that you are gay. They are sexy, smart, sharp, handsome, loaded, and stylish; they know all the designers in the world.”

Well, then, I must be gay. Who knew?

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