Saturday, July 21, 2007

Credit in the Strait World

I am for the most part un-shockable and un-offendable. I laugh at jokes about gays. Hell, I tell jokes about gays. I'm not hypersensitive about pokes at the tribe. I actually liked The Bird Cage in which a gay couple is put into a heterosexual mold. They aren't the only kind, but there are couples like that. What bothers me is when people demonstrate their extreme lack of understanding of how it is. When a girlfriend of mine was talking about the "man" and the "woman" in gay male relationships without any hint of irony the frustration boiled to a point where I had to leave her presence. Similarly, the idea that "gay" is one thing and one thing only bothers me. Gay people are men and women of every stripe, culture, tradition, religion, racial/ethnic group, geographical location and time in history. To say that someone is "gay" doesn't sum anything up.

Also, media hysteria over things like gay gangs ignores the fact that gang violence is common and not something that a "pack of lesbians" started on Christopher Street.

All that's neither here nor there in regards to this: The premise of the movie Chuck and Larry is not only stupid, it is also kind of offensive. First and foremost, the idea that entering a "domestic partnership" is the resolution to making sure your kids get your firefighter's pension if you die is a huge, contrary-to-reality twist. The reality right now, in this age of the "gay marriage" debate in the United States, is that gay people are routinely denied access to things that a hetero-gendered partner would not be, from hospital decisions to pensions to basic rights of legal marriage. In fact, the real scam is marriages between out gay people and knowing hetero partners of the opposite sex.

This movie is a recent example of what Sarah Schulman describes in her book Stagestruck: gay people are made secondary characters in their own stories and heterosexuals are portrayed as heroes who save them. (The same thing happens with black characters. More often than not it's a teacher that really sticks with it and straitens out all those wild ass black kids, who, in the end, become huge successes in only the arts and worship the teacher.) I haven't seen Chuck and Larry and don't plan to, but I would bet my big toe that the conclusion provides a "humorous" moral lesson about how we should be nice to gays! And people like Chuck and Larry can have open minds and kind hearts too! And Jessica Biel is sexy!



Christine said...

Yeah, Chuck and Larry really seems like that kind of movie, but Slate gave it a really good review that made it sound quite pro-homo -- as if the trailer (which is not) was misleading. Most "mainstream" movies that try to deal with homosexuality at all are like you say, however.

S.D.A said...

I also find the premise of Chuck and Larry, pandering and offensive. However, what could be funnier than fratboy hero Adam Sandler pretending to be a Homo? Oh, wait... I know! Let me get my elbow gloves on!

Stroll said...

Christine, I don't doubt that it's "pro homo", in that it's not "anti homo", it's just that the idea that gay marriage is a way to get rights is from Opposite World.

S.D., I actually really like Adam Sandler and the King of Queens guy, but I don't want to think of either of them in any elbow glove or otherwise sexual scenario.

S.D.A said...

Sorry. Adam Sandler is aight. Maybe I'm just easily irked by apple pie makin a hack ass joke movie out of what it feels like? I'll admit that the thought of givin Billy Madison an Ol'One,Two is partly just me being prurient. Forgive me!

Christine said...

Okay, I just read a review in The Stranger that suggest it IS as bad as it sounds.