Friday, January 02, 2004
So I'm perusing Amazon.com and writing a couple of reviews (people are so stupid and it's my job to correct them, goddammit!). I then go to see what the sheep are writing about "Broken Hearts Club", which is one of bete-noire movies. These are movies that are ostensibly about gay life and end up insulting and/or stereotyping gay life so badly (usually with the help of lousy heterosexual actors or fear-ridden gay actors) that I can't understand how any homosexual worth his or her salt can stand it.
Movies that qualify for my scorn include the above title, "Trick"(which manages to insult gays and be racist at the same time), "Better than Chocolate"---hell, any and all Canadian movies about gays really---, and "Will and Grace", which is not a movie but my hate for it is so intense that I had to mention it.
Anyway, I read a 1-star review that sums up my feelings about "Broken Hearts Club" perfectly and, in some ways, sums up my problems with all bad gay-themed movies:
Heterosexual Stealth Bomber, June 3, 2001
Reviewer: sarrellec from Dallas, TX USA
I laughed at the first few scenes, until I began to notice something about the over-all context of virtually every "message" in the movie.
Subject: How to pander to virtually EVERY heterosexual misconceived perception of being a gay man.
1. Gay men are more miserable AFTER they "come out" then they were before they decided to make "being gay" the ONLY thing they ever talk about or before "being gay" became the primary focus of their one-faceted lives. The only other alternative available to gay men to being "out" and miserable is to attempt to achieve momentary and fleeting happiness through drugs...which leads to overdoses.
The overall message: If gay men would just shut up about it, everybody, including heteros, would be much happier.
2. At least four of the primary characters work in a restaurant, and yet at least one of them owns a home and drives a brand new SUV. Conclusion: Gay men have incredible amounts of disposable income even on the lowliest of salaries.
3. It is the ultimate goal of gay men to "act straight" and being a "bottom" is something gay men find just as degrading as heterosexuals would.
4. Gay sexual relations are empty and unfulfilling with even celibacy being a more desirable alternative. 5. Only Gay men who don't find fulfilling relationships and do not settle for celibacy as an alternative by the age of 28 or so are jaded and bitter. This, of course, is NOT the case for heterosexuals in the same boat.
There are more of these not-so-subtle contexts and sub-contexts which run rampant through this entire movie. The internalized self-hatred of these "gay" characters is based on completely heterosexual perceptions of what it means to be a gay man in America and left this viewer wondering just which right wing conservative organization provided the funding for its production.
If the production wins any awards, in my opinion, it would be most fitting if the presenters were Rev. Phelps and Dr. Laura.
Don't get me wrong. Gay men SHOULD watch this movie. And if you identify with any two characters in the story, immediately seek professional help from a qualified therapist to overcome your heterosexually socialized self-hatred. It beats overdosing and/or living a life of jaded celibacy.
Thus endeth the sermon by the reviewer, who I wish I could shake hands with.
Here, now, is my just written review for "Trick" which is under my pseudonym "Henry Clark" at Amazon.com:
Overrated, insulting, and surprisingly racist
Reviewer: henry clark from chicago, il United States
The upsides of the movie: A good-looking cast, JP Pitoc's body, not bad acting, a hella funny restroom scence with a bitter drag queen, and a lead character that is not completely secure but not completely dorky--almost life-like in his plasticity in fact.
The downsides of the movie: Heavily stereotyped gay characters, unbelievably caucasian New York City, a lead character that seems to be no better than the sex-crazed teenagers in movies like "Porky's" or "American Pie" with none of the redeeming value of at least being funny or finding some depth by the end of the movie. The worst downside? JP Pitoc's character being the worst kind of latino gay stereotype (stripper, possible prostitute, super well-hung, lives at home, closeted, and almost nymphomanical) seen in some time. The fact that he is given no inner life save his sexual attraction to the well-written lead (white) character only points out the subtle and poisonous racism in this film.
Which will not disappoint anyone who only wants a light as air comedy about how a geeky but cute midwestern white guy manages to land the hot New York stud.
I know no one will care. In fact my last guy, a nominally super-liberal white guy with an overdeveloped sense of white guilt and black victimhood, had a copy of "Trick" in his collection and couldn't understand my disgust for the movie and did not see the obvious racism in it.
I don't usually come out of my hat with the racist thing. I have never been hypersensitive and have, in my life, received more insults and discrimination from being gay than black (the occasional run-ins with cops who wonder what I'm doing from time to time being the big exception). But I am constantly disgusted by the fact that there is a shocking amount of racism diguised as sexuality in the gay "community".
I'm moving on now...
Listening to: Electric Warrior-T. Rex, Back to Basics-Danny Tenaglia, All Systems Gone- Presence
Thursday, January 01, 2004
oooh, cute little Elijah Wood on that icky Leno late night show.
He is just the sweetest little thing! Such lovely skin. (Ewww, that was little too "Silence of the Lambs")
I just want to smoke opium with him and lay down on a nice couch and just make out.
Just sweet kisses on his rosebud lips.
Today: Bored and Boring.
Guzzled a bottle of champers straight from the bottle, ghetto-style (or just rock n' roll sleaze style, depending on how you want to see it) and went into a decent food coma after snarfing daddy's sphaghetti and meatballs. Followed by a bit of studying and obsessive internet surfing.
No depression after all from the New Year. I stayed up til 4 last night and woke up perfectly happy at 9:30.
I've got to hunker down with my books though.
Like I said, Bored and Boring.
But I, as ever, RULE.
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
The theme of today's sermon:Pimpin' for Jesus
Whoops, wrong blog...
Anywho...quite a busy (ha!) 7 days for yours truly.
Christmas Eve: Return of the King with La Linda followed by multi-drinks, depression, recovery, more drinks and voyeurism in the back room of sleazy-ass club, Touche on Clark. Was it fun? Parts were. Other parts were amusing in their pseudo-decadence. Watching guys suck dick and generally act piggish is always amusing. I wrapped my mind around that particular thing years ago. And I still hold that it is not that gay men are more sexual, it is that most men if given the chance, would be piggish in regards to sex if they thought they could get away with it. And from what I've seen in my short years, they (I?) will do anything they can get away with.
Return of the King was a gas. LaLinda said as we left the theatre (Village North on Sheridan), "So what the hell will we do next year?". Soreida was a no show (no surprise) but we didn't care. John (ugh!) showed up during the Touche part of the evening. As LaLinda and I walked from Granville to Clark, I bitched up a storm about John being an ass, thereby effectively wiping away the minor-depression I'd been brewing in the Anvil. Fresh air and complaining about a jackass will always make me feel better!
We got a ride home, which made me happy, but I had to talk to John the whole way because LaLinda passed out cold, which made me sad. But all's well that ends well.
The next few days were spent looking for books so I can start boning up on Mathematical Econ and Stats for next year, which appears is going to be all about Quantitative skill building. I'm still thinking about getting a Math degree as I have so much ground to cover in that anyway. I don't think I'd mind being able to teach Math either. It could come in handy in a pinch.
I think I might get a new sewing machine. I'm kind of ready to do some new things. Where I will find the time is beyond me.
I may have either a job or some research coming up (I hope, I hope, I hope!). I'm trying to get my projects together (slow!). Happily, it seems Thomas Sowell as done some work that will give me a jumping off point. The task at hand is to start contacting other economists working in my corner of interest. Prof. Z gave me some names and ideas, but I've never written anybody out of the blue so I've got to carefully consider what I'm going to write.
I want to change my look, my daily process, and my attitude for 2004. This is not unusual for me to do, just unusual for me to write it down. I'll say no more about it, I'll just get to work on it. I'm picturing a mix of the military look from the late-70s northern England punk scene mixed with Rastafarian appropriation of the militaria and a side order of bourgeois preppy circa 1982. I'd grow back my dreads except I'm kinda bored with that shite. I'm contemplating extensions, because the idea of fake Rasta taken to a far out extreme excites me. I never wanted to be authentic.
It makes me remember when I was visiting English Rose a couple of years back and we went into London to check out the Camden market. It was late and dark by the locks as we wandered around. At the time I still had a major head of long dreads as well as a mustache and beard. Very butch.
Anyway, we wandered the locks and found, huddled into corner and under the stands of market stalls, a number of young English kids, bundled into their wool coats and flares, all very stoned from the quantities of ganja being sold openly around the market by any number of heavily dreaded Rastas, who took one look at me with very white and blond English Rose and decided that I was one of them and offered me all manner of free herbal refreshment. I refused in my very Chicago accented way. Upon discovering my Americaness (and hale and hearty Midwesterness) they appeared shocked, but took my refusal in their stride and moved on. I say "they" because the occurance I have outlined happened more than once on our travels around the locks.
The above anecdote has happened in Chicago as well any number of times.
It always amused me that I should be taken for Rasta over and over again until I finally cut off all my dreads and facial hair (Bear or merely fat? You decide!). But as I said above, I never wanted to be authentic. And my "batty boy" status for me always meant that if one of those hot-ass Natty Dreads had stood still long enough, I would have fucked him up the ass as my contribution to the cause.
I wasn't feeling to hot yesterday, no doubt due to the upcoming New Year. As I've gotten older, I've gotten more depressed near major holidays. I will probably try to go bed early (like I did last year) and sleep through it all.
Listening to: Beautiful Tomorrow-Blue 6, Greatest Hits-Todd Rundgren, Flesh and Blood-Roxy Music, Timespace-Stevie Nicks, Greatest Hits- Human League