Monday, December 05, 2005

Oh That Woman

We were listening to a radio station that was playing Christmas music this weekend whilst decorating the tree and discovered that both my daughter and myself really really dislike "The Little Drummer Boy." I like the tune, but hate the lyrics (playing drums for an infant? C'mon), my daughter just dislikes it, period.

I told you that to tell you this:
Then they played something from one of the animated Christmas specials they play every year, and my wife noted how they don't play animated "The Little Drummer Boy" anymore. I surmised that it was probably too overtly religious for today's tastes.

To which my wife retorted, "So it's probably going to be replaced with 'A Transgender Christmas'."

Here's why that's funny, he explained to the room full of crickets...

We had on the TV during dinner prior to the exchange above, and before we got around to turning off "Entertainment Tonight", it dogpiled onto the media push this weekend for the two big movie releases besides "Narnia" (they were literally in every magazine and on every entertainment/news show we watch):
1) Brokeback Mountain, about two cowboys hired to tend sheep who haul off and fuck one night, but nay, 'tis forbidden love, so apparently the rest of the movie is two cowboys with thick redneck accents talking incessantly about the porkfest and wouldn't it be nice if cowboys could sometimes be pirates. Unrequited lust, etc.
2) Transamerica in which one of the actresses from the TV show "Desperate Housewives" plays a man who's transgendered and wants a "gender reassignment," but hilarity ensues when his/her long lost son shows up. Life's complicated when you don't know if you're a boy or a girl, etc.

Around my household, we're experiencing a little fatigue regarding movies, shows, etc. on "alternative lifestyles." We've grundingly had to explain what "gay" and "lesbian" were to our nine-year-old (back when she was eight), since there's really not a TV station that doesn't have it on commercials, teasers, in reports, previews, and what have you. We feel that sexual orientation belongs strictly in the adult realm, and little kids shouldn't have to be aware of it unless their parents decide they do. Well, unless we were to completely go into media blackout, which we don't feel is a good thing - all the kids we knew growing up who had that happen were a mess - the media has removed that decision from us. Forcibly. So, we cope.

I have no quarrel with movies, etc., about being gay/lesbian. In fact, my ambivalence about it, as long as it stays in the adult world, is nearly complete. I just hope those who produce entertainments don't misjudge the potential audience for the same. As I recently opined on a 2Blowhards thread, I usta love theatrical plays, but just before and during the onset of AIDs, Broadway and the New York scene kinda went "all gay, all the time" (as another person put it on that thread), and I lost interest. So, I hope movies and TV don't go that direction.

A small part of it is that I've yet to see/read an entertainment where the main engine of the plot was that someone/everyone was gay that I found at all intriguing. The same goes for opera, the rap/hip-hop world, costume dramas, or the new action genre where a bunch of tough assholes get together and be tough assholes during an adventure (see the last two "Alien" travesties). Yawn, baby, yawn.

TLD: One element of gay/lesbian dramas I think the people who make them assume is: The rest of us view them as subversive or controversial, so putting them all up in our face is only for our own good, so that our minds will be expanded, etc. Well, sorry dudes, but those days have past for the most part. We've all seen the dance card, and most of us are happy with you being happy. Rock on with your bad selves, already. Frankly, Brokeback Mountain would have been more subversive in these days of PETA if they'd hauled off and fucked a sheep. Really.

Here's one of the true things about fiction: For a reader/consumer/viewer/audience member to be invested in the fiction, they have to be able to see themselves as one of the characters or be empathetic with one of them (this can include merely hating a bad character). Since I dig the ladies, stories of great loves between those who love their own gender (Gods and Monsters comes to mind, where Gandalf wants Brandon Fraiser to wear tight things and bend over a lot) just bore me.

In other words, I don't really want to see "A Transgendered Christmas" any time soon, thanks, even if it is a good punchline. Nor do I want to see "Christmas with the Rock" (the former pro wrestler turned action nubbin), or "A Christmas Carol Opera", or "Snoop Dog's Pimpin' at the North Pole", or "A Downhome Christmas Buggering Sheep". Hey, you can make'em. Just don't expect me to tune in, K? More for you.


Sleemoth said...

Sorry...still crickets here.

Yet another recurring rant against homosexuality. I know, you have no problem with other people doing what they want, but why does it have to be shoved in your face? As if it's something to be ashamed of. If two people love and care for one another, what difference does their gender make? And how does it impact you personally?

It's here for good, so get used to it. Just like our parents got used to the excessive sex in the media when we were kids.

To relegate such a topic to "adults only" casts shame on it, in a subtle way. The message is, being gay is wrong, but it happens. Don't spoil a kid's innocence. What about gay kids? Maybe they wouldn't have to endure so much trauma if they knew their feelings were ok, i.e. natural.

Anonymous said...

Pete, gays are about 3% of the population. What percentage of movies, plays, TV shows, and books have gay themes? A lot more than 3%. And I don't just mean have gay characters in them, but actual overriding focus on gayness - that's what we're griping about.

We already know that gays are here to stay. We have gay neighbors and gay coworkers, we deal with them every day just like we deal with everybody else. And we don't mind the occasional gay-themed film or play, since they do reflect a valid facet of our lives.

But we get tired of seeing the same facet emphasized again and again and again and again and again. It gets old. We yawn, we wish they could think of something else to write about. And we laugh at the sendup of "Rent" in "Team America," since it hit the nail on the head so perfectly.

And by the way, I love this line: "Frankly, Brokeback Mountain would have been more subversive in these days of PETA if they'd hauled off and fucked a sheep. Really." Made me laugh.

yahmdallah said...

In addition to what the above comment said, I disagree with "To relegate such a topic to "adults only" casts shame on it":

Other things that I think are "adults only":
- All of "Pulp Fiction" and movies like it
- Beer, whiskey and cigar drenched nickel poker games
- Any depiction of sex
- Most blogs, especially mine
- Every parody of the visa "priceless" commercials I've seen on the web:

And yet that does not "cast shame" on it. (Well, maybe the "priceless" stuff is shameful. But it's damn funny.)

Sleemoth said...

I agree that there's more depictions of gays in the media than as are represented in society, but why do you take it personally? Let's face it - there are a lot of people who are homophobic/strait supremecist, etc. who feel that gays are sick, disguisting freaks. They're the ones who deserve to have it smeared in their faces. So I jump on the gays' bandwagon (as it were). There's enough other shit in this world that pisses me off. Why go looking for more?

Yahm, this is your blog. You're free to write about whatever pleases you. But this topic has come up many times, and it's getting old.

Anonymous said...

"this topic has come up many times, and it's getting old."

Oh, the irony.

Sleemoth said...

An example that comes to mind was your concern for Kenny Chesney and your relief when he turned out to be hetero. This tells me there's something more than just annoyance here. Very subtle, but there, nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

"[Hollywood], this is your [studio]. You're free to write about whatever pleases you. But this topic has come up many times, and it's getting old."

Pete, why don't you get it? You keep accusing people of bias who are just tired of seeing the same story (noble gays oppresed by homophobes) a bazillion times. The relief about Kenny Chesney was relief at NOT having to go there yet again. And yes, it is real relief.

BTW, one of my favorite depictions of a gay man on film is Wez in Road Warrior. He's strong and fearless and holds his own on screen next to all those other bizarre characters. And he's overtly gay. And he's not being persecuted by all the hets around him. This makes him, even after 25 years, unique in film. (Of course, he's also a sociopath, but in that film that's hardly an issue.)