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Ed Driscoll

Pinkwashing Norman Rockwell

December 27th, 2013 - 11:02 pm

“Author Claims Norman Rockwell Was Closeted Homosexual,” William Bigelow writes at Big Government:

American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, a new biography of the great American artist and iconic figure Norman Rockwell, accuses him of being a closeted homosexual, basing the spurious claim on the fact that Rockwell would stop young boys on the street or at recess and ask if they would pose for his illustrations. The author, Deborah Solomon, ignores the fact that Rockwell, who was married three times and had three children with his second wife, who died unexpectedly in 1959, stated in his autobiography that after he asked the boy, they would go together to ask the child’s mother for permission.

Rockwell’s family is furious about the biography for its sloppiness and misuse of sources, saying there are a multitude of inaccuracies as well as a “phantom theory” about his sexuality. The family released a statement saying there were at least 96 factual errors in the book, and that Solomon made “highly selective” use of Rockwell’s autobiography “My Adventures as an Illustrator.”

Solomon would not reply to inquiries.

Orson Welles once referred to Citizen’s Kane’s “Rosebud” leitmotif as “dollar-book Freud.” Isn’t another example of dollar-book Freud the attempt by authors to cobble together enough “facts” to reach the conclusion that that every historical figure was gay? Gay activist Larry Kramer appears to be a one-man cottage industry in this department, according to this 2009 UPI article:

Harold Holzer, who has written 35 books about Lincoln and the Civil War, said playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer admitted to him he fabricated his much-publicized claims that a diary and letters discovered in an old Lincoln home confirmed a homosexual relationship with his roommate, Joshua Speed, the New York Post reported Thursday.

* * * * * *
The Post said Kramer, who also has claimed President George Washington, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, and explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were gay, couldn’t be reached for comment.

As a Free Republic post from 2002 noted, claiming famous historic figures as gay icons “associates homosexuals with positive images (symbols) just like advertisers use celebrity endorsements”:

Famous historical figures are considered especially useful to us for two reasons: first, they are invariably dead as a doornail, hence in no position to deny the truth and sue for libel. Second, and more serious, the virtues and accomplishments that make these historic gay figures admirable cannot be gain said or dismissed by the public, since high school history textbooks have already set them in incontrovertible cement.

But then, history has become much more pliable in years since; that trend actually started in the early 1990s, just as postmodernism, political correctness, and black armband history were all gathering steam in academia, which quickly spilled over to other cultural institutions, including the Smithsonian.

In the mid-1990s, the Smithsonian, the self-described “nation’s attic,” worked extra hard to discredit the Enola Gay (pun not intended here), the dropping of the A-bomb, and America’s successful conclusion of World War II — perhaps the most visible element of an ongoing concerted effort to discredit the Allies’ efforts in the Second World War.

As Heather Mac Donald wrote in her 1997 essay “Revisionist Lust”:

Anyone who still doubts that the madness currently possessing American universities matters to society at large should take a stroll through today’s Smithsonian. The Institution has been transformed by a wholesale embrace of the worst elements of America’s academic culture. The staples of cutting-edge academic “research”-smirking irony, cultural relativism, celebration of putative victims, facile attacks on science-are all thriving in America’s premier museum and research complex, its showcase to itself and to the world. The changes at the Smithsonian are not unique to that institution. Museums across the country have rushed headlong into what may be called the “new museologv;’ based on a mindless parroting of academic fads. But the Smithsonian’s embrace of postmodern theory and identity politics is of greatest import, because of the Institution’s contribution to America’s public identity.

And of course, the Smithsonian was also eager to jump on the Norman Rockwell was gay bandwagon — in October, their Website ran a massive 6000-word excerpt of Solomon’s biography, which reveals far more about the mindset of its author and publishers than it does any new details of Rockwell’s life.

Outside of Liberace and Oscar Wilde, I’m sure that there have been some well-known historic figures who were gay — law of averages, and all that. But given the rush to claim that seemingly every historic figure — and seemingly every U.S. president, from George Washington to the aforementioned Lincoln to Richard Nixon — was gay, my first instinct is to assume that none of them were, unless they explicitly admitted it themselves. It’s the equivalent of those “merchants of despair” in the global warming industry shouting “We only have five years or ten years, or 90 days and 127 minutes to save the earth” — in both cases, an isolated claim will get you on the Today show, but start to look silly when quoted in bulk.

Or, see also: Jesse Walker’s recent exploration and debunking of conspiracy theories throughout the entire strata of American society:

Oh, and the flip side of all of the above is an interesting trend as well, which runs the risk that books that were thought to be grandfathered in by today’s PC police could become increasingly dangerous samizdat, including liberal WWII CBS reporter William L. Shirer’s back catalog perennial, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Or to put it another way, “So pointing out how many Nazis were gay is now verboten?”

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Top Rated Comments   
So true!

That is what I find so profoundly dysfunctional about political gays. I'm perfectly happy to basically ignore gay people and let them go about their business, just as I ignore bondage aficionados, those with a foot fetish, and various other paraphilias that only involve consenting adults. I don't understand these fetishes, but I don't have to, I'm not involved in them. What other people do that affects only themselves is not my concern, though I do hope they make wise choices when indulging whatever it is they're into.

Yet gay agitators seem to be so conflicted about their own peculiar kink that they demand that others validate them for it. The recasting of historical figures as homosexuals is part and parcel of that. These guys are so desperate to convince themselves that they are normal that they try to pretend that the world is chock full of people just like them. This is where the oft-repeated 1 in 10 canard comes from as well.

Only children and the emotionally immature need the approval of other people to feel good about themselves. These guys need to grow up, be happy with themselves, and stop being such a continuous nuisance to the rest of us.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The need of homosexuals to prove that every important person in history was a homosexual bespeaks the profound insecurity of people who are ashamed of their behavior.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rather reminds me of reincarnation folks: they were all famous people (king, prince, etc.) in a past life, never a common bank clerk or farm hand. It's always the famous person (Lincoln, Rockwell, etc.) who gets pinkwashed, never a non-prominent deceased auto mechanics or a brush salesman.

It's also peculiar how in such a homophobic, Bible-thumping, repressive bigoted culture as Lincoln's mid-1800s or Norman Rockwell's 20th Century, all these famous people -- under the withering gaze of the public -- were able to keep their illicit proclivities so clandestine. Surely all the town gossips and blue noses would quickly find out and run these pink pioneers out of town on a rail. (See Oscar Wilde.)

Or, you could apply Occam's Razor and decide that these modern pinkwashing attempts are merely agenda-driven fictions, and predictable fictions at that.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (77)
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OK, I'm confused now. Norman Rockwell was gay because he supposedly showed interest in young boys, but aren't these the same folks who keep telling us that gay men pose no threat as Boy Scout leaders? I guess being gay doesn't make you a paedophile unless it does?
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
The bad thing about an historical figure being accused of being gay is that once that happens, in a lot of people's minds, they really must be gay. So the left wins in the long run. And they know it.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...Rockwell would stop young boys on the street or at recess and ask if they would pose for his illustrations..."

Did it not occur to the author that he is comparing what would be considered pedophiliac grooming behavior with being gay?

The Gay lobby goes banana's when Christians put gay men in the same category as molesters and pedophiles.

Here's one of their own using it to claim Rockwell was gay. Because he approached little boys.

Own Goal!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh the author is a she?

Even better.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is one interesting case of possible homosexuality, and that is President James Buchanan.

As you know, Buchanan never married; he lived in the White House alone.

Prior to that, he had lived with his male friend, Rufus King, for many years. When King traveled on business for a long period, leaving Buchanan lonely and alone, Buchanan wrote this:

"I am now 'solitary and alone,' having no companion in the house with me. I have **gone a-wooing to several gentlemen**, but have not succeeded with any one of them."

There were plenty of rumors about it at the time; even Andrew Jackson insinuated that Buchanan was gay.

We may never know for sure, because when Buchanan and King passed away, their surviving relatives destroyed all the letters that Buchanan and King had written to each other.

30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Absolutley, everyone is secretly gay, doncha know?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the now infamous words of hillary clinton, "What difference does it make now"? This is nothing more than the left's attempt to expand on their "misery loves company" mindset. Why is it so important that anyone think that Norman Rockwell MIGHT have been gay? He was a wonderful artist that gave me some cherished depictions of life in an earlier time.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
How do you sell a book in the second decade of the 21st Century, especially a biography of an iconic figure from the arts? Reveal some surprising secret that no one (particularly the subject of the book) ever knew before and that is inconsistent with everything that was previously known about the person. The Rockwell family is rightly indignant about the multiple errors of an author who doesn't seem to know the difference between pedophilia and homosexuality.

Frankly, I could care less whether Norman Rockwell was gay. (He actually appears to have been clinically depressed, just the opposite of what "gay" meant in his day). I do care about the high quality of his art and about the ability of sensationalist authors to market their slop.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, we should take them at their word. One of the unique things about today's homosexual politics is that homosexuality is an _identity_ rather than an impulse. And as an identity, that means that they should never marry* - since they cannot be attracted to a member of the opposite sex. And yet their historical "homosexual" ideals did marry and have children.


* I use the term in the sense it has been used for all of human history - a committed relationship to a member of the opposite sex, not this invented idea that two men or two women are a "marriage." As Abraham Lincoln once noted: just because you call a dog's tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nothing unusual here. Hate movement do this all the time. Moslems claim Abraham as a Moslem and the Nazis and Communists both claim Florian Geyer. Following in their footsteps….
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would have thought that pursuing boys was evidence of another sexuality, but if the author recognizes that behavior as homosexual, I defer to her fine judgments.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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