The Thuper Bowl
(Current Events-Related, 1460 views) - 2/7/05
(recorded 2/7/05 @ 3:48:37 PM)
There are very few holidays during a typical year that are celebrated by people of the alternative sexuality as a whole. National Coming Out Day, Day of Silence, Judy Garland's birthday... the pickings are slim. But all people, regardless of orientation, celebrate one "holiday".
The Super Bowl.
Yay, and be thankful for the day when the nation pauses for a four hour event, the struggle between hot, sweaty college-aged men who run and jump and tackle and squeeze to win the "good game" pat from another teammate. And not only are they attractive, they're straight (most of them), and any gay guy will tell you that seeing a straight guy interacting questionably with another straight guy is HOT.
This is a great day! Thank you, Homophobic White Males, for creating such an event! I get to kick back, drink beer, eat nachos and pizza and stare at Tom Brady's adorable smile! And you know the just-won-the-super-bowl-sex is good. And probably starts before they leave the locker room... But let's not insinuate.
I would like to draw your attention to a column I found in the State Press today (seems they replaced Eric Spratling with an equally talented writer). Enjoy.
Yesterday, tens of millions of Americans watched muscular men in spandex tights tackle each other. Announcers lauded various players for their abilities to "penetrate the gap," "hit the hole hard" or "plug the slot."
The players congratulated one another via firm pats on the lycra-clad hindquarters of their teammates.
Putting the pink icing on this homoerotic cake, each play begins with the quarterback and the offensive center locked in a stand-and-deliver position reminiscent of jailhouse proctology.
Somehow, this annual spectacle of man-to-man physical contact consistently flies under the gaydar of self-appointed culture guardians such as the Rev. Jerry Falwell and James Dobson's fine boys over at Focus on the Family. Even Gary Bauer's Family Research Council (an intrepid defender of "family, faith and freedom") managed to overlook this one.
Maybe they were too busy inflating teen pregnancy statistics to take notice. They sure dropped the ball on this one though.
Even though the Super Bowl happened on a Sunday -- a day when these guys are normally busy wringing congregants dry -- the safe bet is that each of the aforementioned reverends caught the game. We all saw their reaction to last year's Super Bowl halftime show foibles, proving that religious fanatics hate nipples almost as much as they hate homosexuality.
Yet the silence of these reverends and their councils demonstrates that they, like most Americans, watch the game without really seeing it.
If the NFL provides a glimpse into the very core of the American psyche, then the spectacle of the Super Bowl openly reveals it -- as if blown up on a stadium jumbotron. Sexual politics go on display, easily decipherable to any viewer able to watch carefully and critically.
Mainstream, football-loving America still struggles to understand the concept of sexual orientation. The fascistic sexual witchhunts of conservative Christian councils under the guise of "defending marriage" certainly don't help the situation, and neither do arguments about the existence of a gay gene.
Infinitely arguing over the causes of homosexuality is a tactic that is inherently homophobic in its treatment of homosexuality as an aberration that must have some cause. A more fruitful approach would question how football and other elements of American society determine norms of same-sex behavior.
Football delivers a clear message: Americans will tolerate beefcake men in tights touching and wrestling with other beefcake men in tights if said wrestling occurs within the context of a militaristic game with a clear winner and loser.
The emphasis on violence and stats helps to distract male spectators from the fact that they are ogling muscular men bending over in spandex. Cheerleaders, dancers and sexy female sideline reporters such as Bonnie Bernstein further deflect that gaze and ironically allow men to affirm their heterosexuality by watching what amounts to a highly stylized homoerotic ritual.
Perhaps this, more than anything else, is why Falwell and company leave football alone and instead go after questionable cartoon characters such as Tinky Winky and SpongeBob SquarePants. Football allows men to let off homoerotic steam without having to acknowledge that they aren't as straight as they think they are.
In America, watching the Super Bowl and then voting against same-sex marriage poses no contradiction at all. And that's just how the religious right likes it.
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