I was just reading Andrew Sullivan's very excellent blog about Alec Baldwin having called a paparazzi a 'cocksucking fag'. He makes a very compelling argument, but I do have to ultimately disagree with his conclusion that Alec is a homophobic bigot for having used those words. Here's my reasoning:
Some people say that when you get drunk, it reveals who you truly are inside. In particular, if you are an angry abusive drunk, it's because you are truly an angry abusive person. But I don't think that is true at all, because when you are drunk, you have retarded your higher thinking abilities and you are reduced to using the old lizard brain.
I think it's the same thing when you get enraged. When you see red, the higher thinking goes out the window and the old lizard fight or flight brain kicks in.
And to be frank about it, the old lizard brain isn't uptight about where to put a penis or a vagina. It's actually the higher thinking brain that is concerned about those kinds of things. Go watch lesser evolved apes to see what our lizard brain thinks of sex. Bonobos have sex to say hello to each other and orientation doesn't matter.
So, when Alec sees red and calls someone a 'cocksucking fag', it's not because his higher thinking brain is a homophobic bigot. It's because his lizard brain is in fight or flight and it uses whatever it's learned over a lifetime to attack or defend with.
Now, when Alec calls someone that when he's not seeing red THEN I think you can fairly surmise that he is a homophobic bigot.
But does this excuse Alec for having called someone that? I don't think so at all. Just because it doesn't make him a homophobic bigot, doesn't make it okay that he said it. Even if he said it while seeing red. An angry drunk can't keep excusing away hurting people just because they were drunk. When they know that they are an angry drunk, it's their responsibility to stop getting drunk. And when Alec knows that he has a short temper and that he hurts people when he loses it, it's his responsibility to find a way to stop losing his temper so easily.
Everyone has gotten so angry that they ended up hurting people that they never meant to hurt and in ways that they never meant to hurt them. Everyone. Every single one of us. Nobody is perfect. So, I am not going to condemn Alec for having a short temper. But I am also not going to enable him, as Andrew claims that liberals are doing, by failing to say that seeing red doesn't excuse him for the hurt that he causes. He needs to get control of himself. He hurts people when he losing his temper.
Just my thoughts.