MARC ALAN COEN – CITY TALKS
Who could’ve predicted that On. Rocco Buttiglione would quote Johnny Rotten on national television? It may be useful to know that the television is Italian and Buttiglione was most likely unconscious of the Rottenness of his words. However, thirty-one years after the Sex Pistols committed “God Save the Queen” to vinyl, with it’s apocalyptic refrain “No future, no future, no future…for YOU!” , Mr. Buttiglione has done their legacy a great honor. Rotten thought he was preaching to disaffected English youths bored with “Ziggy Stardust”. The idea was that there was no guarantee of a lease on the future for anyone coming of age in the mid-1970’s, which was the essential ethos of punk. Buttiglione’s stroke of genius (whether he knows it or not) was his affirmation of Rotten’s paranoid ranting. In short, in a debate over the “homosexual question” on Giuliano Ferrara’s “Otto e Mezzo”, Buttiglione said to the homosexuals of the world: you have no future. The object of his barb was none other that On. Maurizio Grillini, who had just made his point that gays are capable of love in just the same way that heterosexuals are. Buttiglione’s smug answer was that, yes, you may kiss and cuddle, break up and make up, screw like rabbits and make lovey-dovey at the movies—but you will never, ever have children. Children represent the future. Consequently, you will have no future.
Buttiglione’s answer raises a question: what does he mean by “future”? Does he mean that homosexuals will eventually become extinct because of their uselessness to society? Is the bearing of children—while doubtless an important part of being human—the only measure of a person’s worth? Or is his a theological argument? In that case, will there be no salvation for homosexuals and no future in heaven? But how could this theological argument be bent so as not to include Catholic priests and nuns who, despite their undeniable worthiness as human beings, bear no children? Had On.Buttiglione reflected for a moment before having his last laugh at the expense of On. Grillini (and the international gay community), he might have been able to catch his tongue before is slipped out of his mouth. Or was he just being punk?