Marty Moody creates a new satirical float every Independence Day. This year, locals agree he went too far.
Get it? I hope not. (via 9&10 News)
Is an Independence Day parade the right place for a transphobic Caitlyn Jenner joke? No. The right place is nowhere.
Every year, Marty Moody creates a satirical float to bring up the rear of the 4th of July parade in Boyne City, Michigan. This year, he chose to create a float based on Caitlyn Jenner's recent transition to life as a trans woman. The joke is kind of complicated and needs a lot of explanation (like all the best jokes), but I'll try my best.
It starts with a crude depiction of Jenner's 1976 Wheaties box. Behind the box, three men on a couch are playing the characters from Two and a Half Men, but instead of the kid, there's Caitlyn Jenner. Because she's a half man now. That's the joke. I'll wait for your raucous laughter to die down.
I hope you've had a chance to regain your composure. At the bottom of the float, large handwritten letters spell out "From Wheaties to a sweetie!" The box contains a number of other anti-trans jokes that don't bear repeating.
Moody assumed his joke would be taken in the spirit with which it was written (laughing at transgender people without thinking of the consequences), but not everybody enjoyed it as much as he did. Boyne City resident Lynn Gillespie and her family were mortified. She told 9&10 News:
“Well the tenor of a July Fourth parade is America, independence, freedom, acceptance, I would think, and I didn't see that. I saw, this is totally away from anything that smacks of patriotism or encompassing peoples. That's what struck me, is this has no place in this parade."
The Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce, which organized the parade, is distancing itself from Moody's float. The director explained that they didn't approve the float because Moody didn't register it – he never does. Every year, he just builds a float and follows the parade without asking for permission, and no one has ever stopped him. After all, what's the worst that could happen? This is.
Marty Moody, renegade floatsmith. (via 9&10 News)
For his part, Moody's fun has been spoiled by the backlash. He defended himself to 9&10 News, saying, “It wasn't directed at anybody. It was a float in a parade. It was meant to be comedic." Despite the fact that it was definitely directed at a specific person whose name was on it, he still feels his joke is being unfairly targeted.
“My reaction is, 'seriously?' I mean, so we're finally in a world where we can no longer have any fun anymore?… Lighten up America. Why does it have to be like that? It's all about the political correctness stuff. How come they get their view point, but I don't get my view point? Why can't I say what I want to say?"
I've heard all these rambling arguments before, and I'll say to him what I say to everyone: put it in a float. Otherwise I won't even pay attention. I guess we'll have to wait till next year to hear Moody adequately explain himself. Then again, we may not even have a chance then. He says he's not sure he'll even participate in the parade next year.
Now that would be the real tragedy.