Wednesday, December 14

Beastly love

Today I was watching the news when CNN's resident spitfire, Kyra Phillips, clued me in to the controversy surrounding Brokeback Mountain. I had to rub the gunk out of my eyes and do a double-take. Wicka-wicka-wha? Controversy? I haven't heard anything but subdued interest from arty folk and the occasional "Hey, it's actually a good movie so we'd like to give it some awards" type of pronouncements. I hadn't seen footage of oppressed Christians picketing in front of the local cineplex (most likely 'cause it ain't coming to your local cineplex, unless you have an arty art house theater in town; it's not even playing at our arty theater yet, and I don't know if it will) and I hadn't heard of any silly widespread boycotts of whatever evil company is trying to feed such Filth to the innocent American public.

But Kyra showed an interview with this silly "ex-gay" kook, who said Brokeback is just another insidious way for Hollywood to convince the American public that being gay is A-OK, and you should try it. And he's right. Every time I see a movie about gay cowboys, I want to have sex with cowboys. Oh wait. It didn't work after all! Hallelujah.

So CNN's just making shit up now, because one crazy ex-gay preacher does not a controversy make. I know, it's not surprising. But it's annoying and tiresome. And I'll tell you why.

No one cares.

Yes, it's true. I can't say a lot for my generation, but at least we're doing our best to slough off some of the traditionally accepted forms of bigotry imposed on us by generations past. Kids these days, for the most part, don't get all riled up over the notion of same-sex lovin' unless they've been repeatedly intructed from the day of their birth to do so by their parents. Gay people do exist (regardless of Hollywood's capacity to accurately depict fictional gay characters), they function and act just like Real Humans! and no one's the worse for it. Who cares? Not me. Not fans of tween shows like "Degrassi". Not these kids who tried to start a gay-straight alliance in their school. Et cetera.

I remember Andrew Sullivan writing something way back when about how it would have been unheard of just a few decades ago for two strapping young A-list actors to take on the roles of gay cowboys without being blacklisted in homophobic Hollywood. What does it say about our generation that two of the most popular hunky hetero actors would take on a project that would have killed their careers years ago? It says we've come quite a way. And regardless of whether it's art or life doing the imitating, it means we're getting somewhere.

But the real question floating among the chunks in this perceived controversy is this:

Where is the outrage over the unnatural emotional coupling of Ann Darrow and King Kong?

From Slate:

Ann's juggling doesn't assuage Kong's terminal loneliness. So, she lies beside him and they have a little snooze. He makes her feel so safe, so protected against all the T-Rexes and giant spiders and big sucking thingummies. When the heroic Driscoll appears to liberate her, she hesitates. How can he need her as much as Kong does?

That sounds to me like a most unnatural thing that should attract the ire of those advocating "traditional family values." A willowy blonde woman with a soft spot in her heart for a big hairy monkey? Somebody get Pat Robertson on the phone!


Blogger Kleinheider said...

Kids these days, for the most part, don't get all riled up over the notion of same-sex lovin' unless they've been repeatedly intructed from the day of their birth to do so by their parents.

Well, I'm not exactly a kid anymore but I take issue with this assertion. I don't think younger generations are as truly comfortable with homosexuality as you may want to believe.

To the extent that it is true, it may well be a reflection of repeated instruction by the media and the culture that has made it so.

You assume that disaproval of unnatural sex is something learned and contructed when it is just as likely to be the other way around.

Thu Dec 15, 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...


What's your definition of natural? Approved by God? or g-d? Approved by the Breeding Police? What you feel is right for you in your own life? What feels right for 87 percent of the population?

Because I'm positive there are quite a lot of people throughout history who never questioned how natural it was that they felt attraction to their same gender. For them, it is no less natural than your robust heterosexuality. For still others, sexuality moves along a spectrum of attraction, unaffected by gender or sex.

How, exactly, do we go about deciding what is natural or unnatural about humans desiring and loving other humans (obligatory "I'm not talking about children having sex" warning here)?

Psychologists conceded several decades ago that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, and they're tuned in to the brain more than the average shmoe. When will the rest of us catch up?

The entertainment media have not always been so gay friendly. Really, the main reason they are now is because affluent gays (you probably won't see any other kinds represented) represent a lucrative target market, and why not let Will prance around like a clown so we can sell whatever the hell is sold during Will&Grace?

One's opinion of homosexuality (or straightness, for that matter) might be formed before any instruction from others about its rightness or wrongness (as in some straight kids naturally might be squicked out by the thought of kissing kids of their same gender, simply because that's not their preference), but I don't believe that you would grow to hate same-sex attraction and gay men and lesbians to the extent that you are threatened and want to make sure the laws keep gay people out of public, political, civic and other spheres. Doesn't that type of hatred have to be taught and nurtured, soaked in the prickly brine of patriarchy?

Also, I think we need to draw a distinction between being comfortable with homosexuality existing, and being comfortable with being gay. Of course straight kids in my generation would not feel comfortable being gay. Gay kids don't feel comfortable being straight. But I think we are more comfortable than generations past acknowledging the rights and the dignity of our gay peers.

I just can't imagine why anyone would think that's a bad thing.

Thu Dec 15, 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger TVonthefritz said...

You tore into his ass like it was candy. Oh snap, bitches!

Thu Dec 15, 12:57:00 PM  

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