On Guest Blogging by the Editorial and Technical Assistants: Aren’t You Sick of Living in the Dark Ages?

03Dec08

In which Dante and Zephyr take over The Gay Recluse.

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Friends! Aren’t you tired of getting on the subway and listening to two teenage assholes engage in a loud debate about whether it’s “gay” or not to touch shoulders in the kind of “bro-hug” you see on the teevee when a team scores a goal/point/tee-dee? Wtf? And aren’t you sick of watching all the other asshole passengers — even a few who “looked” pretty fucking gay if you ask us — laugh and smile at these two cut-ups, as if they were really fucking hilarious? And aren’t you sick of having to stand there quietly, pretending to be above this constant barrage of unchecked bullshit, knowing that in 2008 you can still be mocked and stereotyped as if you were a _____ fifty years ago or a _____ before that? Aren’t you sick of living in the dark ages?

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Yeah, well we’re pretty fucking sick of it too, which is why today we leaned over to these assholes and said: “Why don’t you STFU because from now on, to be ‘gay’ means one thing: having your cock in another guy’s mouth or ass or vice versa, which is basically the most awesome thing ever, and if you have a problem with it, keep your mouth shut or you’re gonna find it on the floor, got it?” Lol. We wish.

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Friends, not every cat is lolcat.



3 Responses to “On Guest Blogging by the Editorial and Technical Assistants: Aren’t You Sick of Living in the Dark Ages?”

  1. 1 c.

    Dear Assistants,
    You are hyper-fuzzy, pretty pussy cats. Please ask The Recluse for an extra scritch from me.
    __________________________________

    TGR writes: “And aren’t you sick of having to stand there quietly, pretending to be above this constant barrage of unchecked bullshit, knowing that in 2008 you can still be mocked and stereotyped as if you were a _____ fifty years ago or a _____ before that? Aren’t you sick of living in the dark ages?”
    ……………………………………………
    I went to see “Milk” tonight. It is, as the New Yorker and Charlie Rose had promised, quite well done.

    http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/cinema/2008/12/01/081201crci_cinema_denby?currentPage=all

    I know the story from the excellent 1984 documentary, “The Times of Harvey Milk.” So I can’t say any of it came as a surprise. What did catch me off guard, however, was the degree of fury that rose in me as the picture neared its climax. I was literally shaking in my seat, and my fingers went numb, until I caught myself hyperventilating.

    When I thought about it after, I connected to two, internal sources of anger:

    1) The awfully ignorant, intolerant world of Anita Bryant, the Briggs Initiative, and the equation of homosexuality with bestiality, pedophilia, and worse, was the world in which I passed my formative years and adolescence. In my “sheltered” upbringing, I knew nothing of the hope and triumphs of the gay rights movement. It was rough going, and scars remain. The kind of violent hate crime touched on in the movie was very much a threat in my early adulthood, throughout the eighties, even in the supposedly more-enlightened world of Manhattan. One always had to be wary, and bashings were a regular fact of gay city life. So was suicide (a topic also woven into Milk’s story). The film coalesced feelings I haven’t visited much of late, but have certainly grappled with in my life: how much damage and pain was caused — to me, to people I knew and loved, to our culture — by dumb, hateful, or murderously insane people who felt strangely entitled to dictate the course of my life and other people’s lives, and of history? How is it that such people got away with the havoc they wrought?

    2) How come they still get away with it? There are simply too many parallels between the world in the movie, with its obstinate, heartless, self-appointed “normals,” and our experience today. Recent statewide ballots (not to mention the past eight years of American government) make plain the ongoing co-opting of American sensibilities by homo-ignorant bullies. (As does the Recluse’s subway moment.) On the other hand, there’s little of the activism of Milk’s era today, nor the hope of setting an example: much of the civilized world has passed us by on civil rights. The cozy gay couple I saw the movie with provided cold comfort: they exist in complete and willing ignorance of the history “Milk” tells, and of the fragility and cost of the insulated, ghettoized “freedom” in which they live their material, suburban lives.

    I came home from the movie to the Recluse’s sad subway saga. It was all too familiar, and too, too old a story. Not exactly an antidote to feeling that the gap between 1978 and 2008 is only a football field wide, perhaps, rather than a Grand Canyon which cannot be easily crossed back over.

    “Milk” is an important, humanizing piece about a recent, pivotal moment in American (and gay) civil-rights history. The story is moving. But its reminder that the Dark Ages are far from over is chilling. I’m not so much sick of that, as shaking in my seat with rage.

  2. There very plenty of times to keeps quiet on the subway, but there are plenty of times to put assholes back in their place! One time my boy and I were riding home and these ghetto teen boys got on the train… we were reading a gay rag and one of them called us faggots in spanish. Thinking I was completely dumb and couldn’t understand him, I stood and through the magazine at them, shouting “,araco?!? You wanna see fucking maraco?! Mind your own fucking business!”

    I was nervous as hell but I sat there in confidence and they were quiet. I also had the benefit of working with college bound kids so I know how to handle the little bastards, so maybe it’s not something everyone should try.

  3. Thanks for sharing that, KC! (You seriously deserve a medal.) I agree that it has to be a case-by-case basis, and ultimately it’s really about the larger problem of homophobia in our culture.


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