Sunday, July 17, 2005

Stuff it up the hole in your culture

For some reason, my friend Claire was hellbent on seeing The Wedding Crashers this weekend. So.

It was mildly cute/amusing at best; largely painless, but certainly not a great movie. And there's no way in hell it needed to be two hours long. But what really fucking annoyed me about it was the homophobia. See, the love interest has a gay brother, who--of course!--is portrayed as a complete, maladjusted freak. And the ONLY purpose he serves in the movie is to participate in an unfunny scene where he comes on to one of the main characters, trying to elicit humor from the character's and the audience's latent (or not-so-latent) fear of gayness. Ha ha! Yeah, gay panic is some funny shit all right--just ask Harvey Milk! Think I'm overly sensitive? Think I'm exhibiting dangerous symptoms of "political correctness," which, as we all know, is the worst thing anyone could ever possibly be? Well, fuck that shit. I don't laugh at racist jokes either.

Of course, it's not so much this one individual example per se that bothers me. Is it likely that this one film in and of itself is going to cause an overall increase in bigotry in any measurable way? Is it likely to actually make anyone's life worse? No, of course not. It's more the entire culture which spawns things like this, and more than that, the fact that people who would, if asked, indignantly deny harboring a shred of homophobia let things like these go by without batting an eye. The fact is, until they become as socially unacceptable as blatant racism (and yes, that qualifier is there for a reason, but you have to start somewhere), we as a culture are never really going to be able to get past our biases. Would it kill us to be a little less lackadaisical about this?


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