One of The Dallas Morning News' resident scolds, editorial board member Tod Robberson, is fixated on a hookup-website billboard that was erected over Interstate 345 in Deep Ellum a couple of weeks ago.
It's not so much the implication of hot, dude-on-dude action that bothers Robberson, he tells us, but that that action is occurring outside of committed relationships.
"I suspect that gays in loving, committed relationships also would find this type of advertising offensive," he says in an April 3 post for the DMN's opinion blog. "It sends exactly the wrong message, given what's happening politically across the nation. The timing could not be worse. The ad really is not about gays and straights. It's an advertisement for blatant, unbridled promiscuity of the most dangerous kind."
Squirt.org's graphic design choices take Robberson's mind to a funny place, as he makes sure we all know.
"Everything about Squirt.org seems focused on the idea (again, sorry to be so blunt) of male orgasm. Even the dot over the letter 'I' in Squirt isn't a dot. It's a droplet in horizontal flight," he says. "You don't have to be a cloistered nun to be disgusted by this ad and the notion behind Squirt.org. This advertisement does not belong anywhere on a billboard in this city. I would argue that it doesn't even belong on a billboard in San Francisco."
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Lest we think this was all about the gays for Robberson, last week he found out, he says in another Opinion Blog post posted last Friday, that "[s]ome gays disagree with it too." No, Robberson is bothered because, unlike billboards for New Fine Arts -- which he calls "well-disguised ads for porn videos" -- Squirt.org's advertisement ignores the lessons learned from the AIDS epidemic.
"I just have to wonder whether someone missed the entire message of the 1980s and '90s, when the Washington Mall was filled with a giant quilt to commemorate the deaths of loved ones from AIDS. Despite tens of millions of people infected with HIV and the painful losses from engaging in unbridled and unprotected sex, does someone seriously propose that we return to the dangerous bad-ol' days of hot-tub hookups?," he says.
As disturbing as hearing Robberson's righteous salivation about the billboard has been the last couple of Fridays, let's hope, for Tod's sake, that the gays learn their lesson before Friday, when it would seem the third in his series would be due.