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Interview :: GLBT/Queer
RCP interview with with SpongeBob SquarePants
17 Feb 2005
<div class="longintro">
<p>SpongeBob
SquarePants is known all over the world. He has his own cartoon show on Nickelodeon
and people of all ages seem to have at least one toy or product with his image
on it. Having just been on the big screen, he had the spotlight on him long
before James Dobson and his group, Focus on the Family, launched their attack
on him accusing the sponge of being "pro-homosexual" and tolerant
of people of different sexual orientations.</p>
<p>SpongeBob recently agreed to meet with the <em>RW</em> at his home—a
pineapple under the sea—to talk about all the controversy surrounding
him and what is at the heart of it. What follows is an unedited transcript
of our conversatio
<p align="right" id="issueinfo"><cite>Revolutionary Worker #1268</cite>, February
20, 2005, posted at rwor.org</p>

<div class="box1-2">
<h4>The RW Interview</h4>

<p><em>A special feature of the RW to acquaint our readers with the
views of significant figures in art, theater, music and literature,
science, sports and politics. The views expressed by those we
interview are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible
for the views published elsewhere in our paper.</em></p>
</div>


<div class="longintro">
<p>SpongeBob
SquarePants is known all over the world. He has his own cartoon show on Nickelodeon
and people of all ages seem to have at least one toy or product with his image
on it. Having just been on the big screen, he had the spotlight on him long
before James Dobson and his group, Focus on the Family, launched their attack
on him accusing the sponge of being "pro-homosexual" and tolerant
of people of different sexual orientations.</p>
<p>SpongeBob recently agreed to meet with the <em>RW</em> at his home—a
pineapple under the sea—to talk about all the controversy surrounding
him and what is at the heart of it. What follows is an unedited transcript
of our conversation.</p>
</div>


<p><img src="http://rwor.org/i/spongebob.gif"; width="300" height="301" border="0" align="right" alt="" /><strong>RW:</strong>
Mr. Sponge, I mean Mr. Square, or is that Mr. Pants. Er, what should I call
you?</p>

<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> Oh tartar sauce, I got John Reed here
interviewing me! Just go ahead and call me SpongeBob, kid.</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> Very well. SpongeBob, were you surprised that
Christian right-wingers launched an attack on you?</p>

<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> Well, with Bush in office again
it’s not surprising that these Christian extremists are
emboldened to unleash their attacks on whoever they feel is not up to
their moral standards. But I never thought they would go after a
toon. It just seems so ridiculous, even for me!</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> Believe me, a lot of people in the human
world also share that feeling. How have others in the cartoon world
reacted?</p>
<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> Really the only "animated people" (as
we sometimes call ourselves) that I know to have made negative comments about
this have been the GI Joe folks. All the other "toons" have been very
supportive. Just yesterday I got a call from Scooby Doo, and although I really
couldn’t understand most of what he was saying, he did call to send a
message of support. A few other toons are scared that they’ll be next
to be "targeted," as many of them appeared on that same video as me.</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> Actually, tell me more about the video. I
understand it was created by the We Are Family Foundation.</p>

<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> Right. Nile Rodger, who also wrote the
disco hit "We Are Family," is the founder of the
organization. Well, I guess he didn’t just want to be known as
somebody who had something to do with disco music (laughs). Just
kidding. But, seriously, the whole point of the video was to promote
tolerance and multiculturalism. When my agent told me about the
concept I thought it was a great idea and jumped on board. Leave it
to the crazy right-wingers to find something immoral with
tolerance.</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> Yeah, because what angered Dobson the most
was that on the We Are Family website they had a "tolerance
pledge" that Dobson accused of being "pro-homosexual."
He released a statement to the press that said, "Their inclusion
of the reference to "sexual identity’ within
their’tolerance pledge’ is not only unnecessary, but it
crosses a moral line."</p>

<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> I went to the Focus on the Family
website not long after this started and found an open letter that
Dobson wrote to his supporters. In it he wrote that "...Kids
should not be taught that homosexuality is just another
’lifestyle’ or that it is morally equivalent to
heterosexuality. Scripture teaches that all overt sexual activity
outside the bonds of marriage is sinful and harmful." But I
guess this is the kind of thinking you end up with when you spend
more time in Sunday school than you do watching Saturday morning
cartoons as a kid.</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> Did you know much about this Dobson character
before all this controversy started?</p>


<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> Well, I do read <em>Time</em> magazine. (I’m
actually one of the few toons I know who prefer it over <em>Newsweek.</em>)</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> I see.</p>

<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> They say Dobson was named as one of
the 25 most influential Evangelicals in America, so that tells you
something. I mean, when I have my skates on some call me a "holy
roller," but this guy is over the top.</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> I hear he is largely credited for helping
Bush get re-elected.</p>

<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> Yeah, apparently he told seven million
people over his radio show that not voting for Bush is a sin.</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> Uh-huh.</p>

<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> He hates gay marriage and wants to ban
gay people. It’s a scary thought, even for a cartoon sponge,
considering this guy is so tied in with the Bush administration. He
even promotes spanking children. Can you believe this guy is
supposedly a doctor?</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> Recently there was also an attack on another
cartoon, "Postcards from Buster," because it featured
Buster visiting a girl in Vermont who had two mommies. This time it
was the newly appointed U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret
Spellings who launched the attack, saying that "OMany parents
would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyle
portrayed in the episode." I think you’re right. The fact
that the people who are saying this are actually the people who are
now in power makes this even scarier.</p>

<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> Well, if this isn’t a sign of
Christian Fascism on the rise, I don’t know what is. And if you
don’t mind me citing Lenin, since you’re a communist and
all.</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> Go right ahead, I didn’t know you read
Lenin.</p>


<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> My collection is a little waterlogged. But anyway
to paraphrase Lenin in <em>What Is To Be Done</em>, I <img src="http://rwor.org/i/spongebob.jpg"; width="320" height="240" border="1" align="right" />
wonder why we toons "manifest little revolutionary activity in response
to the persecution of the most innocent cultural undertakings."</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> Do situations like this make it hard for you
to even think of visiting the human world?</p>

<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> Yes. You see, in that letter that I
mentioned earlier, Dobson also said, "Make absolutely sure your
child is not being targeted for this purpose. If it happens in his or
her classroom, take an army of like-minded people to the next board
meeting, and let your voices be heard to the rooftops." An army
of like-minded people who only believe what the Bible says and have
no tolerance for other people of different sexual
orientations—that’s not exactly the kind of welcoming
committee I would hope for. You see, we sponges are not known for
getting married. We reproduce asexually, which for Dobson I’m
sure is considered a sin.</p>

<p><strong>RW:</strong> That’s interesting. I’m a big fan
of your show, and from watching it I would not have known that
you’re asexual. But, I guess that’s because cartoons
aren’t real.</p>

<p><strong>SpongeBob:</strong> ( <em>laughs</em> ) We’re as
real as the stories in the bible.</p>

<div class="footer">
<hr class="footer" />
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary
Worker Online<br />
<a href="http://rwor.org";>http: //rwor.org</a><br />
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654<br />
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497
</div>

This work is in the public domain
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Wait a second...
18 Feb 2005
Did the chairman switch party lines? Wasn't the RCP in favor of exterminating all homosexuals? Didn't lenin and mao actually do this?
Re: RCP interview with with SpongeBob SquarePants
18 Feb 2005
this is hilarious.