The Ken Doll Clone Cult

28 03 2011

Are these the same person? Can you tell? I sure can’t. I think they might like the fact that they came from the same factory in Fort Lauderdale. You don’t see it much in Seattle or Brooklyn.

I remember, a long time ago when I was about ten years old, an elder male relative telling me he would never shave his chest because that was what “homosexuals” did. And, of course, you wouldn’t want to do anything a homosexual does. Like eat, or drink, or breathe.

Homophobia aside, I thought he had a good point. Gay men are obsessed with manscaping. They want to look like Ken Dolls. Yes, there are subcultures like bears, but, of course that is just one of many subcultures. (And I could go on about bears for other reasons.) The prevailing physical ideal in the gay male community seems to be a white, blond, blue-eyed, hairless, muscular man with 5% body fat. Audre Lord must be turning in her grave.

I don’t really understand this. If you are a gay male, it means you are attracted to male bodies, right? And men tend to be hairier than women. (I am not a champion of traditional sex differentiation, but I will concede this.) A lot of men are also black, east Asian, South Asian, Native American, mixed race, or perhaps something else entirely. So, the prototypical man is not a blue-eyed Tyrolean yodeller. Granted, Asian men are less hairy than other men, but that’s just because some races are less hairy than others. Asian men are still hairier than Asian women. Besides, Asian men are fetishized for their boyishness, as if that is the masculine ideal. Follicles aside, the point is that in the gay community, men often have to bleach and wax their skin, and don blue contact lenses, in order to be desirable to a significant portion of the population.

I wager that this is largely a psychological effect created by the media. It is not necessarily an inherent desire motivated by genes or evolution or whatever. The media are everywhere. Images are everywhere. We cannot escape them unless we go hiking in the woods. Then we listen to the song of the sparrow and the rush of the stream, and breathe a sigh of relief. And even then we have our fucking iPhones with us. I once read somewhere that homosexual physical ideals are based largely on trends in pornography. (Don’t quote me on this, because I can’t remember the source, so you’ll have to take my word for it.) Supposedly, in the ’90s, the hairless twink was the ideal, but in the 2000s, it was the rougher, seedier sort. I think one film company superseded the other. And yet, again, it seems, the blond, white, hairless twink prevails. We still see it everywhere. Perhaps they’re reviving the ’90s or something. Either way, there has always been a strong twink presence. (The term twink comes from Twinkie, because a young, white, blond, thin, blue-eyed boy was full of cream, just like the famous pastry. I know.)

Perhaps the most offensive thing about the whole Ken Doll clone cult is the thug aspect. These films almost seem to glorify black criminality. They almost always depict the black man penetrating the white man as if the black man is raping the white man, reminding one of slave-day stereotypes. Or, they depict a black gangster penetrating some submissive white suburban jock. I like to think of myself as sex-positive. If a person really, truly enjoys what they are doing, and they are not being coerced, I cannot in my right mind object to it, but I sometimes wonder if the black models in these films are hired to perform based on a degrading stereotype. Ultimately it is their choice, and maybe they enjoy it, but it is something to take into serious consideration.

This is why I have a little bit of a problem with pornography. People like Bill Maher constantly defend it, but I think a lot of it tends to exploit the vulnerable. Again, ultimately it is the choice of the model to perform, but we should be aware of the way in which they are treated, and whether or not they have options equal to the other group (e.g. black vs. white or female vs. male). “But female pornography models earn more than male pornography models”, you will say. But what is the real cost? You are placing money above dignity. Perhaps dignity is worth more than money, in which case the female model is losing out, submitting to humiliation in order to earn money. And, besides, she isn’t the kingpin. Somebody else is making money off of her. (Granted, sometimes, a woman just has good, hot sex with a man and earns money for it, and that’s no biggie.) At any rate, it should ultimately be the model’s choice.

I didn’t mean to digress. My main point is that the gay male community is replete with racist stereotypes. It is. You rarely see coloured people in gay pornography, or, if you do, it is categorized as “Asian”, “black”, “mixed”, “Latino”, or whatever. (“Latino” isn’t a race; it’s an ethnicity, like “Jewish”.) And within these categories, blacks are constantly penetrating whites, whilst east Asians are constantly being penetrated by whites. The Ken Doll is the the racist medium that can go either way. It can be penetrated, and it can penetrate. Depending on the race. It is the smooth yet white and muscular doll that serves as the dull and flavourless prototype.

What do you think? Don’t give me your self-screened, politically correct opinion. I want to know what you really think. Is gay culture permeated with a white man-doll prototype?

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Candle-light

28 03 2011

Candle-light changes everything.

When your boobs sag,
When you’re on the rag,
When you look like a dried-up old hag,

Just light a candle.





Bad Humour Is Good Humour!

26 03 2011

What is the essence of good comedy? It is levity in the face of tragedy. It is the clown, and it is drag. Too many people mistake sexual, ethnic, and racial humour for a mockery of the victim, when in fact what the comedian is really doing is mocking the victimizer.

Comedy is so complex now that comedians are doing blackface in order to show how absurd and ridiculous blackface really is, and drag queens are impersonating 1960s housewives to lampoon twentieth century feminine norms. Layers of irony are heaped on top of one another until the object of ridicule becomes obscured for the simple-minded, remaining crystal-clear for the more perceptive observer.

Sometimes, the comedian simply wants to make fun of everybody. They do not discriminate—they want to expose the flaws in every person, for every person has them. In fact, they want to celebrate these flaws as part of what makes us human. It is the obligation of the comedian’s target to overcome their pride, acknowledge the wonderfully honest caricatures the comedian paints of them, and laugh at them with a sort of tongue-in-cheek humility.

Shock humour is not malicious; it is expositive. Malice is a concerted effort to inflict harm; shock humour is a concerted effort to expose the foibles of human nature. A person who seeks to hurt the feelings of their target is not a comedian, but a cruel and elaborate misanthrope. Indeed, the comedian practises her art out of an appreciation for humanity and its imperfections.

The most important thing for the audience is to know the intent of the comedian. The burden of understanding lies not just on the shoulders of the comedian, but also on those of the observer. While the comedian is obliged to communicate her jokes in a fairly down-to-earth, sociable, and straightforward way, the observer is obliged to meet her half-way and try to decipher her language, tone, allusions, and body-language in order to uncover her intent. Otherwise it would be a simplistic, and hence boring, act. It’s a two-way street.

Take the ridicule of gay people, for example. I think it’s fucking hilarious. Most gay people I’ve met think it’s fucking hilarious. Gay people know what homophobia is when they see it, and they know that a stand-up comic poking fun at anal sex is not necessarily homophobic. In all likelihood, the comic is poking fun at anal sex because she is comfortable about it and openly acknowledges it as just another part of the puzzle that is humanity. Indeed, she may be a proud and loyal fag-hag attacking the very homophobes who rail against gay sex. Gay people know the difference between a genuine attack, and a lighthearted jest exposing their own foibles.

With that longwinded disclaimer, I would like to present you with a series of random and otherworldly works, or “quirks”, of art that my friend Seth and I created using MS Paint and the Web Site Dragulator, created by drag icon Ru Paul. The goal is to mock assumptions and stereotypes, so hopefully you will see that. I hope that I haven’t killed the effect, because a spontaneous heart is required to enjoy the art.

(You should visit Seth’s blog at http://thelittlereport.blogspot.com)