by James Killough
The most salient issue at the heart of Dustin Lance Black’s play 8, a live reading of which was broadcast on YouTube last night, is not just our equal rights as Gheys. It’s the reason we have such a cumbersome, unrealistic institution as marriage to begin with: to protect children. To a lesser extent it includes protection of women as well, but that lesser extent has only come about in recent times, and is pretty much limited to the western countries, where women enjoy some degree of parity with men and can fend for themselves, provided Rush Limbaugh isn’t knocking them up and making them go barefoot.
I’ve never been big on political plays. Whatever the viewpoint and ideology, they always come off as variations on Soviet and Chinese agitprop. I can just imagine the stars of last night’s reading—George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly, et al.—prancing heroically across the stage behind massive fluttering rainbow flags to a schmaltzy, goose bump-inducing rendition of “Born This Way,” played by a newly out gay military orchestra.
A closet case I dated for an entire lunch the other day said he didn’t understand the point to gay marriage. Given that he was pushing forty, I’m not sure he sees the point in being gay at all. “It isn’t about whether we as individuals want to get married or not,” I explained. “It’s about equal rights: if they have it, we must have it, too.”
Whether civil or religious, marriage is a legal contract, nothing more. All of this stuff about being able to affirm your commitment to each other is sentimental claptrap that has no weight in the actual battle for our rights. So it was fitting than Black’s play was set in The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which handed down a two-to-one decision in February of this year in favor of upholding District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
Some of the reasons put forward in the play as to why we must have marriage and not just settle for domestic partnerships with the same rights—for example, that a spouse should be able to say “wife/husband” not “partner,” that children should view their parents as married, just like their friends with straight parents—are irrelevant; the emotional implications of semantics have no place in the legal process. The issue is simple: it’s about equality, not just equity. We are not different. Our relationships are as real as straight relationships and therefore we must be accorded the same status. Period. If not we remain forever apart, something other than the norm with a legal status slightly above illegal aliens, according to the play.
It’s puerile of me, but every time I see or hear about Dustin Lance Black I think of the pictures Perez Hilton posted of him taking it up the ass bareback (Google it). Regardless, I can only thank him for that incident because any time I’m tempted to whip it out on cam with some hunny I’ve met online, I back down in case I’m being recorded: I don’t want to ruin my credibility or chances of getting an Oscar by showing off what isn’t exactly a porn star’s dick to begin with.
I do not agree with Rob Reiner, one of the heads of Americans For Equal Rights, that gay marriage is the last leg of the civil rights movement. We still have a century of work to do curtailing religion, giving atheism a proper place and voice in society and government, and restoring this country to the truly secular nation our Founding Fathers envisioned. That is the next frontier.
I called it early about my buddy (and sometime commentator on this site) Jay Bulger’s doc Beware of Mr. Baker. The film is set to take the SXSW Festival this week by a storm when it opens there, or if the film won’t take it by a storm, then Jay will, for sure. A cover story in this weekend’s lifestyle section of The Washington Post describes Jay perfectly, and fairly—it’s a facile thing to dismiss a hyperactive gorgeous ex-model and former boxer.
Jay’s modeling career was cut short—actually, most modeling careers are cut short owing to age—when they discovered a cancerous growth in a tear duct, which led to multiple surgeries. Of course, this only made his face all the more rakish and interesting. Ginger Baker apparently agrees with me and for good measure broke Jay’s nose with his cane when they were filming at Baker’s farm in South Africa, one of the opening sequences of the film.
I haven’t seen the end result, which was coincidentally cut by a cameraman and editor I have worked with in the past, the delightfully ethereal Abhay Sofsky. But I know it isn’t so much about Ginger as it is about Jay himself, as it should be. Or it’s about how contentious a father-son relationship can be; Ginger and Jay don’t just look related, they are temperamentally similar as well, driven Quixotic visionaries.
I’d rather watch Jay take on the world any day than Michael Moore; at least he’s nice to look at, isn’t porcine, and I can easily con him into picking up my bar tab.
The domestic box office is up hugely over last year. The Lorax, which AO Scott almost had an aneurysm over in his scathing review in the New York Times, opened to a whopping $71 million this weekend. Other polished turds have been doing almost as well.
On the one hand, a healthy box office is a definite sign that our economic woes are easing up. On the other, it gives Hollywood’s crapmeisters even more reason to keep churning out the drek. Regardless, we shall soldier on at PFC and try to review the lesser of evils out there right now, midway between the awards season and the unleashing of the real crap storm over the summer.
And what would entertainment ratings or profits be without news of an implausible pregnancy like Snooki’s, that creature who continues to represent for short fat vulgar buxom Italo-American chicks everywhere? While she hasn’t confirmed the awful truth, gossip pundits ‘net-wide have predicted a late-December birth.
While doing biceps at the gym today like some “Guido” on her unwatchable show, I pondered the nauseating notion of Snooki having a child, and contemplated calling Social Services preemptively. And then I thought, you know what, at the end of the day, she’s Italian (of sorts). The baby will be smothered with affection, carbs and ridiculous superstitions, and will probably turn out just fine, even if it looks like a dancing mushroom from Fantasia.
The problem with Kirk Cameron’s execrable anti-gay interview on Piers Morgan is that he’s not just charming and sodomizable, but quite articulate. If I were Christian and had some doubts as to the morality of homosexuality, I would be firmly persuaded by what he said, not by that foreign interviewer with the nefarious British accent, which we all know means he’s going to press a button one night and launch Armageddon, unless one of our golden-boy entertainers just like Cameron flies in, cape flapping, and saves the world.
I read the celebrity Twitter reactions to Cameron assembled by HuffPo, and I have to say they were pretty lame. They simply add WD-40 to the squeaky halos of Christian bigots by justifying their position. Just compare how clean cut, upright and lucid Cameron seems in the segment above with this Tweet from Roseanne Barr, which sounds like some slushy tub-thumping alcoholic propping herself up for last call in a dyke bar:
“kirk or kurt or whatever cameron is an accomplice to murder with his hate speech. so is rick warren. their peers r killing gays in uganda.”
Schizo of the Week goes to another fat loudmouth celebrity. Yes, of course I mean Rush Limbaugh. He wins the honor not just for his misogynist statements; as Kirsten Powers pointed out in a worthy article for The Daily Beast, male liberal loudmouths like Keith Olbermann and Bill Maher are just as bad. No, it’s actually because he apologized when his advertisers put pressure on him by pulling out of his show. I thought true right-wingers didn’t give in to terrorism or threats, that they were staunch, as Little Edie Beale says in Grey Gardens.
I’m telling you, Rush and company are a bunch of Secret Democrats. Reactionaries, the lot of them. They have so undermined the GOP that even Olympia Snowe is bowing out of the race. (Hats off to her for the wake-up call to the party. That is staunch self-sacrifice right there.)
At this juncture, the sort of establishment Northeast Republicans I was raised by need to realize that the Grand Old Party today is indeed old. It is incontinent with rubbish rhetoric, a moribund basket case that has been usurped from within by Southern and fundamentalist crackpots, and needs to be put out of its misery. Just leave the party to the fat-bitch nut-jobs, let it crash and burn. Y’all need to go out and form a Grand New Party, somehow. Think of it this way: ‘GNP’ has such positive economic connotations. Why, I can almost smell the spin from here.