Thomas Wictor

I’ll take “bigotry” over authoritarianism

I’ll take “bigotry” over authoritarianism

The US is wrestling with divisive social issues. As happens in representative democratic republics, the voters will decide where we go from here. If you support or oppose something, you have the duty to elect politicians who can convince enough of his or her colleagues to get on board. Since being informed is hard, many choose instead to scream. It’s been my experience that the people who claim to be the most enlightened, tolerant, and open minded are actually the most bigoted. Even worse, they have a love of authoritarianism.

I hadn’t followed the case of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Memories Pizza. When my Twitter timeline got crammed with references to it, I did some research. As I knew would be the case, the story that the media presented was false. The news station ABC-57 manufactured the controversy.

ABC-57 reporter Alyssa Marino’s editor sends her on a half-hour drive southwest of their South Bend studio, to the small town of Walkerton (Pop. ~2,300). According to Alyssa’s own account on Twitter, she “just walked into their shop [Memories Pizza] and asked how they feel” about Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Owner Crystal O’Connor says she’s in favor of it, noting that while anyone can eat in her family restaurant, if the business were asked to cater a gay wedding, they would not do it. It conflicts with their biblical beliefs. Alyssa’s tweet mentions that the O’Connors have “never been asked to cater a same-sex wedding.”

This is Alyssa Marino.


She’s why I haven’t watched TV news in over five years. That person has nothing to say to me about anything. I’m not her intended audience.

After Memories Pizza said they wouldn’t cater a gay wedding, ABC-57 fanned the flames to the point that the business had to shut down due to death threats. A journalist named Lawrence B. Jones III organized a GoFundMe campaign that so far has raised about $835,000 for the owners of Memories Pizza.

Another journalist decided to take action.


Alix Bryan works for WTVR CBS 6 in Richmond, Virginia.


Among her many tweets on this topic was a screen shot from a fake Website for Memories Pizza.


It includes the real phone number of the business.

When confronted about her self-admittedly false report on the GoFundMe campaign for Memories Pizza, Bryan lied.


Tonight Bryan issued what I suppose she wants everyone to think is an apology. It’s nothing but more lies, including her claim that the fake Website she used in her tweet made her concerned that the GoFundMe campaign was fraudulent.


She was only trying to protect us!

Seriously: What’s the likelihood that Alix Bryan regularly patrols GoFundMe, on the lookout for con artists?

None of this surprises me. From 1978 to 1981 I lived in Norway, a nation that touts itself as one of the most progressive societies on earth. It’s also one of the most authoritarian, bigoted, and dishonest. When a Norwegian gets drunk, he or she will start bitching about government intrusion and non-whites. And Jews.

Norway has spectacular scenery, but the culture made me sick. I was accosted constantly by adults who lectured me about the evils of Ronald Reagan. Being apolitical AND SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD, I had no defenses. These hypercritical finger waggers were full of sermons on how others should live. However, after they’d gulped down a few glasses of akvavit, out came the racist slurs and the endless griping about the government.

There were two societies: One was the official, public face of Norway—a paradise on earth with free health care, free education, and open arms for all of the world’s races and creeds. The second society was underground. It was an utterly corrupt, cash-only netherworld of hate-filled schemers dedicated to breaking as many laws and rules as they could.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t blame them, since the official Norway doesn’t exist. My father and sister had to be hospitalized there, and they may as well have been in Zimbabwe. The filthy hospital seemed to have no staff. When my sister was admitted for appendicitis, there were no rooms available, so her bed was put in the hallway. Despite her life-threatening condition, I never saw a nurse or doctor in attendance.

My father went to the hospital for a nasal hemorrhage, and they caused an infection by using dirty equipment. To drain his sinus cavity, they took a hollow needle and hammered it through the bone above his right eye socket.


Nobody in Norway cared about anything except forcing everyone else to suffer. That’s what it came down to. It was a society of bitter, angry drunks who took pleasure in causing trouble for others.

The Los Angeles entertainment industry is a lot like Norway. I was a music journalist for ten years, back in the day when magazines were vital. Artists made most of their money from CD sales; therefore even though I was paid virtually nothing, I was courted by everybody because I was a Contributing Editor at Bass Player.


To get me to interview a bassist, publicists would invite me to parties thrown by their other clients. I was also friends with a cynical, glamorous married couple who knew everyone in Hollywood. They were like anthropologists studying a grotesque, Stone Age culture that had survived to the modern era. The more hideous the people, the more my friends wanted me to meet them. I went to lots of parties at the houses of actors, directors, and writers whose names you know.

I’ve never encountered more repulsive monstrosities. They hated blacks, gays, and—most of all—Jews. At every single party, multitudes brought up black genitalia, gay wrists, and Jewish noses.

I had a Mexican mommy, Cecilia, who’s on the left in this photo from 1958.



At these Hollywood parties, everyone took in my milk-white skin and complained to me about beaners and spics. It didn’t upset me, because I didn’t see the complainers as human. It was like being called a spic by a blobfish.


A few days ago, I learned that I’m an eighth Santee Sioux. There are people in my family who hate Native Americans. And those people may as well be blobfish too.

I could deal with the bigotry of the bigot-shouters, but they inevitably want some form of authoritarian government. Bigotry and authoritarianism are two sides of the same corroded coin. The sanctimonious bigots want to outlaw religion, dissenting political views, and individuality. What happens then is that you end up as Norway, a nation of raging, alcoholic robots who are always trying to punish someone.

To hell with that. If people don’t want to cater your gay wedding, find another caterer. Don’t turn us into Norway, where real hate is bubbling right beneath the surface, even as they smile and tell you how much they support you.