The Mike Jones reading was a sad affair.
He began by telling us that he wrote the book because he was a victim and that all the gays in the audience were victims too. Yes, we’re all victims of the hatred spewed forth by the Ted Haggard’s of this world. Then he proceeded to read a brief bit about his initial meeting with Ted before explaining that Ted is also a victim just not as big a victim as Mike Jones. Cheez-its! In the first 15 minutes I heard the word victim so many times I felt I was being brainwashed. VICTIM = Mike Jones. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Next he read a bit about his mother and her death and he began to weep. This cheap ploy for sympathy didn’t sit well with my group of friends as the eyes started rolling, claws came out and catty remarks were being whispered among us. But we were alone.
I don’t know where this crowd came from but I believe they may have been trucked in by Mr. Jones’ publicist. Not one of them seemed to have a mind of their own and the whole thing turned into a love fest. Like Mike Jones was gay Jesus.
At one point Mike mentioned that he wanted to make sure his story broke before the elections because he felt that it would help defeat the anti-gay measures on the Colorado ballot. Yet he failed to mention that he voted for George Bush in the last election. I had intended to ask more about this but by the time the opportunity arose, I no longer cared. I’d had more than enough of his whining. I’d also had enough of the crowd that would no doubt have hung me out to dry if I’d raised the question.
I went to this reading to thank Mike Jones for his bravery in exposing hypocrisy in the pulpit. I went to commend him on his timing, as I believe his outing of Ted Haggard played a role in the outcome of the elections. But none of that mattered to Mike; he was there to talk about Mike Jones, the victim, whose life is now so very pitiful. He was there to talk about how the gay community abandoned him in his time of need. He was there to whine and cry and wonder why he doesn’t get the same media coverage as Paris Hilton. He was there to have his ego stroked. Oh…and he was there to tell us how he’d love to have a boyfriend.
That’s when I left.
Afterward, while discussing this with my friends, we concluded Mike Jones is his own victim. He chose this line of work and he chose to accept this client. That the client turned out to be a self-loathing preacher of hate does not make Mike Jones a victim. That he outed the client and therefore had to deal with the subsequent series of events made him a victim…of his own actions.
What he did was noble, how he represents it is not.