words are all i have


Ol’ Maggie Court’s crazy ramblings a reminder that the LGBT collective still has plenty of work to do

Margaret Court says tennis “is full of lesbians.” As if that’s a bad thing.

patti dawn swansson

Moreover, ol’ Maggie informs us that there were a couple of devil lesbians on the professional tennis circuit back in her day and, get this, they would take young players to parties. Imagine that. Young women partying. With lesbians. The horrors.

Ol’ Maggie has been saying a whole lot of oddball things lately and, if we are to believe the preacher lady from the Land of Oz, civilization is caught in the grip of a global plot orchestrated by the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender collective. Those pesky gays are stealing the minds of our children, don’t you know?

“That’s what Hitler did, that’s what communism did—got the mind of children,” she advises us. “And it’s a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to get the minds of the children.”

Hmmm. Kind of reminds me of what the Roman Catholic Church tried to do to me when I was a sprig.

The nuns, when not whacking us on the knuckles with a yardstick, would regale us with far-out tales of fantasy gardens, poisonous fruit, hell fires, voodoo antics like turning the rib of a man into a woman and, best of all, talking snakes in a magical tree. Their stories were better than anything we watched on The Wonderful World of Disney. But apparently Margaret Court believes all the Bible-based, brainwashing blarney that my receptive mind was force-fed, and it’s quite clear that the great Australian tennis champion is convinced that gay and (especially) transgender people are the spawn of Satan.

“That’s all the devil,” she says of transgender kids.

Ol’ Maggie Court

Poor, ol’ Maggie. There’s just no escaping conniving gay men and (especially) lesbians. We’re always shoving ourselves in her face, so to speak. Why, it’s gotten so bad that she can’t even travel hither and yon on Qantas anymore because the airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce, is a gay man who, not surprisingly, promotes same-sex marriage, which is, in the world according to Maggie, “alternative, unhealthy, unnatural.” The right to wed is “not theirs to take.”

“I believe marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible,” she harrumphs.

Well, it’s about your Bible, Maggie: One person’s truth is another’s fiction.

The prune-faced preacher lady has been battered fore and aft for her Bible-thumping bleatings, which included a disapproving and extremely tacky tsk-tsking of Aussie tennis pro Casey Dellacqua and her partner Amanda Judd following the birth of the lesbian couple’s second child, a joyous event that Court greeted with “sadness” because the newborn has two mamas and zero papas.

I’d rather not join the Maggie-bashing chorus, though, because I think she’s unwittingly done the gay community a small favor.

The hell, you say. How can that be so?

Well, to be clear, I find her drawing a parallel between the LGBT collective and a mass murderer, Adolph Hitler, repugnant. It is not only offensive in the extreme, it shows she clearly has lost both the plot and the argument. She appears to be totally off her nut. But…I also think ol’ Maggie has provided us with a reminder, albeit appalling—at the top of Pride Month, no less—that we still have work to do. The fight for acceptance and equality continues. It has not been won. We must keep society’s feet to the fire.

I suppose we really shouldn’t care what comes out of this nutter’s mouth, but Court is a legendary sportswoman. No one has matched her two dozen tennis Grand Slam singles titles. One of the playing venues at the Australian Open in Melbourne is named in her honor (for now). And she is a pastor (the argument could be made that she’s more of a cult leader given that she created her own church, the Victory Life Centre in Perth). Thus, her voice carries some degree of heft. If not, the pushback from gay, transgender and, indeed, straight people against her homo/transphobic tripe wouldn’t be so robust.

I’ll just say this about that: Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing, but so is the freedom to shut the hell up. Ol’ Maggie might want to give that a try.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m stepping out to party with some lesbian tennis players.


One vibrator (batteries included) away from romance

Apparently, Victoria is the most romantic city in Canada. Been that way four years running, so the folks at Amazon.ca tell us.

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Well, fat lot of good that’s doing me.

I mean, I hang my bonnet in Victoria. I’ve been here going on 17 years. So where’s the love? Not feeling it, people.

I’m sorry, but when Amazon.ca tells me that Victoria sits atop a list of the 20 most romantic locales in the True North, I have to scratch my head. And it isn’t because I have dandruff. If it’s true that love is all around, it has managed to avoid me like logic and Donald Trump. Last time I had a date, social networking meant picking up a telephone and dialing.

So what gives?

Well, right off the hop, I suppose I ought to explain the Amazon.ca methodology in determining the burg where hearts throb the fastest. Its findings are based on the purchase of romantic novels and relationship books, romantic comedies, romantic music and, ahem, sexual-wellness products in towns with more than 80,000 residents.

That’s a whole lot of libido those folks are looking into, and they’ve been doing it for seven years, the last four of which have found favor with Victoria. More to the point, My Town is the runaway leader in each of the aforementioned categories.

In short, I live in the Land of Lust.

So, again, what gives? I am, after all, a romantic. Hopelessly so.

Most of my fave tunes are ballads. The eyes dampen and the heart strings tug when I hear the Garth Brooks rendition of Bob Dylan’s beautiful Make You Feel My Love. Ditto whenever I listen to Timothy B. Schmit and the Eagles sing Love Will Keep Us Alive. And I totally lose it every time I watch George Strait serenade Harley Tucker with I Cross My Heart in the final scene of the movie Pure Country.

I’ve read romantic novels/relationship books, and don’t even get me started on romantic comedies. I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched Sleepless in Seattle, Notting Hill and When Harry Met Sally. After seeing Return to Me for the first time, I watched it again. Immediately. I ran out of Kleenex…then ran out for more.

So sure, on that basis, I qualify as a hopeless romantic.

I do not, mind you, own any “sexual-wellness products,” which is a fancy-schmancy way of saying “sex toys.” Well, if that’s the sole thing keeping me out of the romance game, then I shall rush out and purchase a vibrator for my batteries.

I should point out that I have had ample opportunity to date. Thing is, I’m not into dating men who try to pick me up on the street. Actually, I’m not into dating men at all, which reduces my possibilities to the 76,885 single, separated, divorced or widowed women (2011 census) who live in Victoria. And, of course, those ranks are further reduced when you eliminate the straight women and are left with the lesbians. How many single, separated, divorced and widowed lesbians call My Town home? Likely less than 2,000.

So that’s my dating pool. You’re apt to find more fish in the Sahara. Seriously. And no amount of sex toys will increase those odds.

All of this is not to say I am waving the white flag and surrendering to a life of loneliness. I’m still out there, baby, and I’ve got a fresh batch of batteries just in case.


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New Year’s unresolutions: Dating the penis people, smoking pot and eating Big Macs

A New Year’s resolution, although often the offspring of positive intention and noble thought, is much like ignoring your mother’s caution and sticking your tongue on that frozen, metal bar in winter: It seemed like a good idea at the time.

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patti dawn swansson

The trouble with making New Year’s resolutions, as I see it, is that you’re setting yourself up for a fall. You make a vow to do, or not do, something that you know you cannot do, or cannot not do. You resolve, for example, to lose five pounds of flab, but you like chocolate swirl ice cream too much and it takes too much discipline to remove Haagen-Dazs from your diet, so you sit alone on the couch with a tub of chocolate swirl ice cream each night and stress over not losing those five pounds of flab, even though resolution No. 2 on your list is to bring less stress into your life.

Thus, you actually put on five pounds of flab and you’re now on meds to lower your blood pressure.

That’s why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.

I compile a list of New Year’s unresolutions, instead. It’s sort of like that Seinfeld episode, the one when George realizes his life is a steaming pile of horse hooey and he decides to do the opposite of everything that seeps from his neurotic mind. Similarly, when I make my New Year’s unresolutions, I know there exists zero likelihood of me achieving any of them.

Take, as an e.g., the item atop my short compilation of 2016 New Year’s unresolutions: Date someone who has a penis.

You cannot even begin to imagine how distant that is from the realm of reality and possibility. I could have had dates with a handful of the penis people in 2015. A couple of them, strangers, approached me on the street and offered to treat me to lunch and/or dinner. Others, no doubt emboldened by the grape, pitched their woo in public houses. Alas, all had a serious flaw: They were men. Given that I prefer the company of women, they were barking up the wrong skirt. Thus, flattered as I might be if and when circumstance delivers similar opportunity in the New Year, I need only remind myself of my unresolution to date one of the penis people.

So, you see, it’s success by failure. I achieve my goal by not achieving my goal. Ergo no disappointment and no stress.

Were I, on the other hand, to resolve to date a damsel in 2016, there would be considerable pressure that would lead to considerable angst and, next thing you know, I’d be on the couch with a tub of chocolate swirl ice cream and putting on five pounds of flab.

It’s so much more magical that happenstance rule the day.

I could have this all wrong, mind you. After all, the brainiacs at statisticbrain.com say those among us who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t explicitly make resolutions. Fine. Except for one thing: A mere eight per cent of those who make resolutions achieve their goal.

That’s why I resolve to unresolve.

new year's unresolutions