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February 06, 2007

The Malcontent On The Snickers Wars

Robbie writes in the wrong style -- i.e., not like a sixteen year old girl just told she would not be getting a pony -- and so the media takes no notice of him.

The right gays to consult on gay controversies are, the MSM believes, those with the foresight and resources to stock up on exclamation points.

This guy? Bah. He manages to write with a more finely-balanced emotional calibration that that typically displayed by eighth-grade girl. Who's he fooling? Probably he's a closet straight, a guy who so hates queers he's actually decided to date men exclusively just so he can mock lefty gays as a "gay man."

Won't work. The MSM sees right through such ploys. It didn't work for me in 1993-1998 (during my stint as managing editor of the gay Advocate), and it's not working for Robbie now.

They [Avarosis and other perpetually-hysterical gay advocates] cannot speak coherently on gay marriage, they could not prevent three-quarters of states from passing amendments, they have not the tools to persuade the electorate on our issues, but yesterday the professional grievance organizations of Gay America vanquished a candy company, and for that they are heroes.

Heroes, at least, if you found yourself among the offended.


What to make of the new definition of homophobia now concretely embedded in gay thought? No longer do we ask for amorphous tolerance and equality before the law. Now we seek not mere acceptance, but affirmation and security in all areas of politics, media, sports, entertainment, and advertising. A grimace from the face of an NFL player and an odd throwaway comment, and soon organizations like the HRC speak of violence against gay youth in response. Straight men must now always be comfortable with displays of same-sex affection, and if they are not, they must be hidden, silenced, scrubbed clean of public record. Anything less is harm against gays. You will do nothing less than celebrate and accept every aspect of our lives, or you will learn to shut up.


There could be no fairness in approaching the ad campaign, because being fair and thoughtful and reflective on what could be gained and lost in the hysteria is not the path to being relevant. It doesn’t get your name in the newspapers, it doesn’t bring visibility, it does not assuage a hurt or diminish the insecurity of perceived powerlessness.

How did the major gay blogs and gay organization rise so quickly in so unified a voice when homophobia remained so clearly disputed even among our fellow gays? Who were they representing? They were not representing me. They were not representing the scores of gay individuals who registered disagreement with those who claimed offense. How did not one voice of objection filter through this perfect storm of gay resentment?

Addressing the controversy on the View this morning, Rosie O’Donnell stated, "I’m tired of being the gay police." Because you are not, Rosie. Nor are you, John Aravosis. Nor are you, HRC and GLAAD and Taskforce, and a hundred other gay organizations that create controversies and feign hurt, and push politics on the purported behalf of me and countless others.

What these individuals and organizations did was for themselves. The politics of grievance required an offense, and now it will require money and a platform. You will offend us, and then you will serve us.

Read the whole thing.

I actually wouldn't mind seeing the two-men-kissing advertisment dropped off the airwaves, for several reasons.

1) Guys kissing other guys just wigs straight guys out. And most women, too, though not as badly.

A lot of gay guys are bothered by this, and insist that we immediately re-wire our brains to no longer express this aversion to man-on-man sex, and perhaps even embrace a bit of the Love That Dare Not Speak etc. ourselves, just to prove our tolerance.

A total idiot once argued with me online that unless I was willing to at least entertain the notion of personally engaging in gay sex, I was a "homophobe," because, I guess, you prove you're not anti-gay only by actually becoming gay. He didn't seem to get the whole gay/straight distinction, and, to the extent he comprehended such a thing existed, he found it oppressive and hateful.

Gays have to get over this. Sorry, but look: It's one thing to say gays shouldn't be mocked for their sexuality, but it's quite another to insist that straight's discomfort, to put it mildly, at witnessing or engaging in such behaviors themselves is inherently homophobic.

Am I a Brusselsproutophobe as well?

At any rate, yeah, I kind of hate seeing guys kissing, even in comedy (SNL does it a lot), so I guess I can get behind Avarosis' new gay jihad. He doesn't like seeing gay kissss played for cringe-inducing laughs; honestly, I'm wit' ya on that myself, brother. Let's keep gay kissing only in movies and tv shows where it's treated with the respect and smoldering eroticism it deserves (i.e., shows I will not be watching).

2) The joke is, I think, especially in a lowest-common denominator commercial, kinda weakly homophobic -- depending on how expansively one defines "homophobia." Certainly it's not suggesting two guys kissing is a good thing. It's a comical thing, something to get a hoot out of. (And, of course, a wince as well.)

The joke may be justified as the payoff in movie like Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, but in a commercial? Eh, I don't need to see it, and the potential for (low-level) offense isn't justified by its comedy payoff. If you're going to offend people -- even offend the perpetually offended -- a joke has to be worth it. Is this joke worth it? I don't think so; seen it a thousand times, and it always plays the same way.

3) All of these jokes are cheap, in the sense they all work the same way and one can hardly improve upon them through innovative writing or strong execution. You have two guys kissing -- that's the joke. There aren't really any variations on the joke possible. Two guys kissing, wince, chuckle. So there really is no room for artistic innovation here. Especially, again, in a thirty-second commercial for a candy bar. (Sometimes, I hear, a gay-kiss scene is even written into a movie just to annoy the actors involved.)

That said, there is a level-headed, sane, sedate objection to two-guys-kissing jokes, which could be made by a Robbie or a Gay Patriot West, and then there is the flying-off-the-handle spittle-flying eek-a-mouse OUTRAGE!!! about it, replete with rather dubious claims the ad "encourages violence against gays and lesbians." (Because the guys involved in the kiss tear off their own chest hair to prove how manly they still are -- just like as happened, kinda-sorta but really not, to Matthew Sheppard.)

And of course the media embraces the latter. Contributing, in their own clueless way, to perpetuating gay stereotypes.

Maybe the media could help fight anti-gay stereotypes by occasionally ignoring a shrieking sissy like Avarosis in favor of a gay guy who actually manages on occasion to not lose his shit like an Oprah audience member just informed her fat ass is sitting on a 40 carat diamond sculpted to look just like Steadman.

How Come... Americablog's hysteria will, by the time the weekend rolls around, be covered by Howie Kurtz and FoxNews Watch, but my only slightly-less-unhinged support of AmericaBlog won't be?

I see stealth messaging about amyl nitrate and sado-masochism; he sees a directive (by disproportionately-gay advertising guys, by the way) to go all Matthew Sheppard on gays everywhere.

What's kookier?

It's a close call, I admit. But I think my parody manages to be slightly less psychotic.

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posted by Ace at 07:16 PM

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