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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

we pillage and plunder, we rifle and loot

Recently we had a big group of people over at our house, and one of them--first while complimenting the buffet/sideboard in the dining room, then again while admiring the view out my kitchen window--affected a sing-song, lispy voice, the voice that people use when they're making fun of gay men.  I was irritated by this, because it's mean and weird, and also because it implies that to see beauty in a well-made piece of furniture or a country sunset is GAY.  And GAY IS BAD.  So irritating.  And when I think about it, it seems like this happens a lot.  Is it just in my imagination?

Also a few weeks ago someone told a joke that involved gay horses who eat "haaaayyyy" and I was like are you being serious right now.  I told him to be careful what jokes he tells in my house, and he said, "Do you think a gay person would be offended by that?"  I guess I don't know for sure, but it seems like they probably would.  And I think the great rule of comedy to punch up, not down, is in force here.

So is there something about me that makes people think, "She seems like she'd be cool with making fun of gay people," or are they just obtuse?  Because what party isn't made better by the addition of tired stereotypes and dumb, bigoted jokes?

Frankenstein is certainly a product of its times, is it not?  There are so many groany lines when he's talking about his cousin/surrogate sister/wife-to-be Elizabeth, like how she was most attractive when she was "continually endeavoring to contribute to the happiness of others, entirely forgetful of herself."  Frank, you had me up until "entirely forgetful of herself."  Let's remember, shall we, that Elizabeth is just coming off a bout of scarlet fever--which Mother Frankenstein caught and died from--so maybe it would be cool with y'all if Elizabeth did a little self-care for a minute?  And he is so snobbish and myopic that I wonder if Mary Shelley was even trying to create a sympathetic character?  The people he interacts with sure seem to think a lot about him (as reported by him), and he certainly has many nice things to say about himself, but I'm not on board.  Also he describes himself as an object too much for my tastes, someone whose life just happens to him, and I don't like that.  Stop sandbagging your culpability, Frank!  I think by the end of this book I'm going to think that the monster has got a pretty good idea of what we're really dealing with.

Okay, serious question:  Wolverine vs. Freddy Krueger?  I think the first thing to figure out is does Wolverine have his powers in the dream world?  If not, then the situation is very grim for him.  I'm not entirely conversant in the cosmology of the Nightmare on Elm Street world, since I've only seen the third one at a slumber party when I was little and I was pretty upset about it for a long time.  But I bet Wolverine could take Freddy, if just because good always triumphs over evil, except in the real world where good people get cancer and bad people just keep on doing their thing.

4 comments:

tipsybaker said...

Was the somebody affecting the gay accent a male? I've noticed men do that sometimes and my theory is that they think it's unmanly to comment on things like decor. Which is ridiculous, of course. But the "gay voice" when commenting on upholstery always makes me think they're insecure, rather than trying to make fun of gays.
I don't understand the horse joke! I am obtuse.

Layne said...

Yes--that's exactly what it is. Like they don't think they're supposed to have an opinion about decor.

The horse joke is not worth worrying about.

beckster said...

I agree that insecurity and awkwardness makes most men affect a "gay" tone of voice, although just saying that implies that all gay men are the same. That's offensive in and of itself. Must we be defined by our sexuality?

Layne said...

SRSLY just tell me I have pretty furniture, it will be okay.

It reminds me of those "disappointing gay" sketches where the people are so depressed that their gay friend/brother doesn't give them fashion or decor advice.