Also: is there any chance you kept a receipt? Please understand: I appreciate the effort. Like God Herself, I love a trier. And the song has already lodged itself in my frontal lobe and kicked both of those new Bon Iver songs out of their seats. It is nice.
Holden was drinking disappointing sangria with a friend at the bar of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, where he had come last February more out of curiosity than reverence for the president. He was in town for his first Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC , an event that he took seriously enough to dress up for dark suit, American-flag tie but that he was also interested in for its anthropological weirdness. A few feet away, several conservative gay and bisexual journalists and activists reclined on couches. Among them was Charlie Nash, a tweed-wearing year-old British reporter for Breitbart who described himself to me as a pagan, an absurdist and a right-wing environmentalist. At the bar, Holden and a fellow Suffolk student were joined by a heavyset man in a colorful checkered shirt. Before long, it became clear why he had joined the students in conversation: to hit on Holden, who is tall and broad-shouldered and has big, protruding ears that add to an aura of youthful affability. But even as the man flirted he confided that he was deeply closeted and, in fact, saw his same-sex attractions as a kind of affliction.
I briefly wondered if I had wandered into the wrong conference. Yet surveying the various panel discussions left me confused. Gay people were once policed as criminal subversives, depicted in the popular culture as deviants, and pathologized by the medical establishment as mentally ill.
I have no problem with it whatsoever. When several United States embassies — including the one in Berlin, over which Grenell presides — requested permission to fly the rainbow flag this month in honor of Gay Pride, the State Department said no. Sign up for his newsletter. His treatment of gay people perfectly reveals the flabbiness of his convictions and his willingness to stand at odds with a majority of Americans if it pleases the smaller number who adore him. And he is at odds with most of the country, very much so.