Thursday, April 15, 2004

Dr. Strangeglove


How I Started Worrying and Learned to Hate Today's Mass Media

Being a guy over 40, my yearly check-up now includes the added humiliation of a prostate exam. For those of you who don't know what that means, it's essentially the doctor putting on a rubber glove gaining access to it by your "exit only" port. If the doctor has small fingers, like most women doctors, it's worse because there's some ramming involved in achieving the goal. Once the trauma is over, I have the same thought year after year: I simply do not understand those who voluntarily do that sort of thing for fun.

Now, I know that some hetero couples indulge in that activity, or so I've heard. (My wife is as baffled as I, in that regard.) But gay men have don't have a lot of choice on the issue, more or less. (Yes, this is where I'm going with this, so surf away now if you're appalled, because it just keeps happening.) There are a lot of behaviors I simply don't understand, but this one would have to be near the top of my list. That doesn't mean I condemn it though. My stance is pretty much whatever consenting adults want to do with/to each other is pretty much their business, as long as no one is harmed in a way they didn't want to be. Still, that doesn't mean I understand it. BDSM, bloodletting, etc., ick, etc., go beyond anything I care to truly comprehend. Simply knowing that it exists, and that it's not for me, is enough.

I could say the exact same thing about Brussels Sprouts. I hate those squishy, heinous little bastards. Why anyone would want to purposely eat, and be able to somehow enjoy something that looks like a miniature cabbage, has all the bad-tasting elements of cabbage (bitter, cloying) but none of the good (buttery, hearty), topped off by a seemingly rotten, yellow center that kind of oozes - or worse, squirts - onto the tongue, just defies any conception of enjoyment I could conjure. Yet, I've seen people put them right into their mouths! Without hesitation! And not gag! Go fig.

So, some of the things that other adults do for jollies confound me, too. But who cares, really? Live and let live.

Where it gets weird for me, though, is how it's all become so politically explosive. Yes and of course, no one should be subjected to violence or discrimination because of their sexuality. That's such a "well, duh" and a given, I shouldn't even have to have typed these two sentences, but there you have it. Beyond that, however, I continue to feel like a stranger in a strange land. To me, sexuality is automatically about adult behavior, and therefore should be treated and discussed as such. Thus, when kids are subjected to the concepts, the discussions, the terminology, and the reality of it all, it pisses me off to no end. I don't want to have to explain whores (or ho's), or bondage, or nipple piercing, or homosexuality, or sex of any sort to a child. Childhood is for innocence in that regard; end of discussion. That's where I draw the line.

And that's the only place I draw the line. As far as marriage is concerned, let any consenting adult who wants to get married, get married. This is not going to degrade or mock marriage. Tune in to about any "Jerry Springer" show if you want to see marriage truly defiled and mocked. This does mean, though, that if we are going to expand marriage beyond one man and one woman, we should just kick open the gates. Polygamy should be legal. Group marriages should be legal. And on and on. (I said that once in front of a divorce lawyer, and he nearly passed out in ecstasy contemplating the implications.) Marrying to another species, barring the discovery of sexually compatible sentient aliens, is right out, though. If your religion does not allow polygamy or gay marriage, as mine does not, that's fine. But don't expect the whole society to live by the tenants and restrictions of YOUR faith, or mine. And, let's not get all high and mighty on someone if their religion does not allow these things, and call them regressive or oppressive - that's just ignorant.

Nonetheless, let's keep it in the adult world. We have a clear demarcation in that regard for many things: alcohol, driving, voting, movies, language, serving in the military, marriage, and sex. And I, for one, want to keep that distinction, thank you very much.

You may ask, though, "Yahmdallah, what about a gay couple who adopts? How do you explain why Trish has two daddies?" Well, let me channel the late, great Bill Hicks to respond, "I don't have to, so you can stop your internal dialogue!" It doesn't matter what the sexual reality of any couple (or group of people) is who're raising a child. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, villages, communes, packs of wolves, single people, and regular ole hetero married couples have been raising kids for years without having to turn to little Billy and say, "Well, you know, Hal and Sally over there haven't done the horizontal bop in over five years, and are merely staying together for the sake of the kids and out of a combination of sheer fear and laziness when it comes to the possibility of having to date again, but understand that doesn't make them bad people." It just doesn't have to come up, dammit.

So when the credits of a kid's movie has to go and spell out that the two guys who own one of the dogs are his two "daddies," expect me to froth a little. It's just not necessary. When the commercial breaks during Cinderella keep pounding away that new episodes for "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" are starting next week, I'm gonna fire off an angry email to the network (where it will be ignored, responded to by a vapid auto-reply, and my email address will be sold to any comer for my effort). It's not necessary or appropriate to advertise that way. And the same goes for horrifying monsters, porn stars, gangsta rap, and puke, like I gassed on about in this post. Childhood should be about dolls, puppies, hotwheels, action figures, treehouses, stickers, bubble gum, and jungle gyms, Ok?

Simply put, let's be adults about it.

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