A couple of years ago I tagged along with my friend and neighbor Steve to my first and only gun show. I took Steve up on his invitation because I enjoy his company, and because he is something of a gun nut I figured he would be an excellent interpreter of this Virginia cultural event. He drove out from DC, and on the way he regaled me with stories about his own guns as well as his run-ins with other people and their guns.
Despite that preparation, when we arrived I was immediately out of my element. I am not comfortable around Winchester rifles and Glock pistols, hunting knives, ammunition by the pound, NRA and libertarian literature, and bumper stickers like “I just got a gun for my wife; it’s the best trade I ever made.” But I do like to exit my cocoon occasionally and remind myself about how big our country is, and how diverse we are in our opinions and interests.
This weekend I went to an event that probably would have made Steve, or any of the fine folks we saw at that gun show, fairly uncomfortable.
Thanks to my mom, who timed her visit from Colorado to provide babysitting for the outing, my wife and I were able to see Margaret Cho at the Warner Theater in DC. We rarely see live comedy, but we reserved our seats two and a half months for this, her Assassin tour. Cho’s work is sometimes profane, often vulgar, proudly pro-gay, occasionally blasphemous, vehemently anti-Bush, and her delivery is really quite dazzling. I know that it is all in good fun when she tests her limits by commenting on the first lady’s private parts. (I also did not take seriously the gun show bumper sticker said “Wife and Dog Missing; Reward for Dog.”)
I am happy to live in a diverse country. I felt at home with the Cho show crowd and the people in the theater last night certainly loved her passionately. Her comedy has a political purpose that I support: she voices views that most others in public life are afraid to champion, like gay marriage.
I left thinking that Margaret Cho is good for America.