It’s Wednesday—time for GOOD’s cocktailian-in-residence to offer liquid solace to a needy public figure. This week: re-controversial sex columnist Dan Savage.
It’s no surprise that the right-wing attack machine occasionally takes a break from trumping up reasons to hate President Obama (this week: POTUS hated the Beastie Boys! Because of racism!) to remember that Dan Savage exists, and that he tends to say things conservatives don’t like.
But given the illustrious career Mr. Savage has built out of making provocative statements when no other kind will suffice, you may be surprised at the precise remarks that twisted a nation of Ronald Reagan Underoos, and caused the National Organization for Marriage to challenge Savage to a debate, anytime and anywhere (Savage has accepted, and says that he'll announce his time and location choices today).
“We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people,” Savage told a high school assembly in Seattle, “the same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about masturbation.”
That’s it. Not a word about fisting, CBT, electrostim, or (gulp) “sounding.” Just some mild cursing and the kind of disparagement of the Old Testament that made Bill Maher and David Cross the darlings of the college comedy circuit. As a longtime "Savage Love" reader, I am stunned that such relatively innocuous remarks were enough to move actual students to walk out of Savage’s speech, setting off a firestorm of blogger outrage. Stunned, and upset that I lost my office pool (fisting seemed like a sure thing!).
Of course, the details of Savage’s remarks matters less than their target. The real tragedy here is the way he must defend the hardest-won territory of his It Gets Better campaign every time some hack columnist calls him a bully. In a country dominated by self-identified Christians, amid a culture still starved for LGBT allies (even on college campuses), Dan threw a rhetorical skipping-stone at a Sherman tank. He may have chipped off a little paint, but the power imbalance remains.
I felt like hurling a pebble of my own after reading the remarks of Dallas pastor and rhetorical tank driver Robert Jeffress, who told Fox News that "inviting Dan Savage to speak to teenagers on 'anti-bullying' is like asking a member of the Ku Klux Klan to speak on racial tolerance. His hostility toward Christians is typical of the hypocritical intolerance of liberals."
To wash the taste of that nonsense out of my mouth, I made a modest donation to It Gets Better, and pulled out my trusty shaker.
The Call: Good, Giving, and Gin-Soaked:
Besides It Gets Better, Dan is best known for two things: his advice that partners in any relationship strive to be Good, Giving, and Game (GGG), and his redefining of the word "Santorum." Though some uncouth Brooklynites may disagree, I find the latter topic unsuitable for cocktail inspiration. That leaves GGG, which could also stand for Gin Ginger Gimlet, a tasty excuse to use more of the ginger syrup we made a couple weeks ago. (If you kept it in your fridge, it should still be fresh).
Gin Ginger Gimlet (GGG Cocktail #1)
2 oz. gin (I used Bruichladdich’s The Botanist)
¾ oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
½ oz. ginger-peppercorn syrup (See the recipe under "So Fresh, So Green")
Shake all ingredients with cracked ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Alternatively, GGG could stand for “gin, ginger, and grape-based spirit”—the component parts of this all-booze corker from Rye bartender Rhachel Shaw, whipped up when I told her the inspiration for this week’s column.
GGG Cocktail #2
Courtesy of Rhachel Shaw, Rye, San Francisco
1 ½ oz. Overproof Gin, such as Leopold’s Navy Strength
¾ oz. King’s Ginger liqueur
¾ oz. Sutton Cellars vermouth
2 dashes celery bitters (Rhachel used the Bitter Truth brand – the only other brand I know is Scrappy’s, and I think one dash of its product would be plenty)
Stir with cracked ice; strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
To borrow from Dan’s lexicon: If my GGG is more "vanilla," Rhachel’s is the kinkier cocktail, bringing all kinds of outfits and accessories to the party. In the GGG #2, a cornucopia of diverse flavors coexists in an uneasy, yet positively luminescent, harmony: An incendiary gin ignites both the quick-burn of ginger and the longer-fused peat from the Scotch-based King’s Ginger. Notes of herbs, dried fruits, and honey from the vermouth round out the experience, and the celery bitters contribute an earthiness that grounds everything. There’s no fruit juice in the cocktail, but the lemon twist contributes just enough fresh citrus to its aroma.
Either GGG is suitable for getting one’s creative juices flowing, inspiring strategies to extricate oneself from life’s trickier dilemmas, or just passing time while ginned-up controversies run their course. Choose one, or experiment with both at the same time. Here at Buy You a Drink, we try to keep an open mind.
Does someone in the news seem like they could use a drink? Let Ken know at firstname.lastname@example.org.