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« Mexisex | Main | Business, Sherman, Thurber »

August 01, 2002

Mexisex redux

Friedrich --

I enjoyed "Y tu Mama," didn't love it, certainly not as much as many of my movie-critic friends, of whom I seem to have fewer and fewer. Do you know the director's other work? Alfonso Cuaron, very talented. Did a gorgeous kid's movie, "A Little Princess," as well as a modern-dress version of "Great Expectations" (beautiful to look at but a stiff).

In "Y Tu Mama," I enjoyed the use of the teen-sex-road-movie framework as an excuse for an essay on the topic of "whither-Mexico." Since I know next to nothing about Mexico I have no way of judging whether the essay aspect was accurate or not, but I liked the road-movie/essay concept.

I suspect you're right about the underlying agenda, but I wasn't bothered much by it. Latin macho does seem to encompass a lot of homoeroticism (of a sort that wouldn't have been endured in the Anglo-German American small town where I grew up, for instance). And, whatever my ignorance, Mexico does sort of seem to be a teenaged country, doesn't it? Forever trying and failing to get its shit together? Plus I figure that art-and-entertainment types have to be cut some slack, otherwise we'd have no arts or entertainment. (I could be wrong about this.)

That said, artsy types, while sometimes spot-on when they observe something, are almost always dead-wrong when they prescribe a solution. So I agree that we're right to be wary of them and their agendas.

But I liked the raunchiness, the actress, and the little touches of poetry -- the overgrown swimming pool, the Godardian voice-over, the moment when the actress puts the coins in the jukebox and then turns and dances right at the camera. Especially the moment when she puts the coins in the jukebox and dances right at the camera. As far as I'm concerned, that's the kind of thing the indie cinema in this country ought to be doing but never is. (Big mystery: why are American indie films so uninterested in art, beauty, and pleasure?) I remember feeling pretty cheery as I left the theater: Poetry, romance, sex, melancholy! A New-Wave-esque pleasure, however minor a one.

Where gays are concerned more generally, I seem to have a peculiar view. I live in a heavily-gay neighborhood, have lots of gay friends, have more of a taste for camp humor than the typical straight guy, live for the arts, etc. I find many of them very simpatico and relish the often-present irony and humor, and get a big kick out of their love of quality of life.

But I find the groupthink that so often prevails appalling. On AIDs, for instance, it's striking (and horrifying, once you think of the cost) how quick they are to speak of it as "an epidemic" even while forbidding all talk of a quarantine. How do advanced societies deal with epidemics? Quarantine is certainly one of the more efficient options. (The case I've heard some of them make is that their ability to have lots of sex with lots of guys is a "right" that they battled for and won -- presumably akin to the way blacks won full citizenship -- and they're not about to give it up. How strange to see promiscuity as a civil right...) Also, those "pedophile priests" aren't manhandling girls, but it seems almost impossible to talk about the scandal as being a matter of misbehaving gay priests, even though that's exactly what it is.

There is a connection between gay sex and risk and danger, darn it. Some fairly sizable percentage of gays get off on public sex, unprotected sex, risky sex, "transgressive" sex, drugs, underage sex, little boys, leather, danger. "Sex and death" is a big theme in gay art, and it dates from way before AIDs. The sexiness of the pre-pubescent, or just-pubescent, seems to mean a lot to a number of them.

And, hey, they find other men's assholes sexy. Make sense of that.

So: I'm happy knowing lots of gays and at the same time wish it were easier to be more irreverent around many of them. Question for the day: Were gays as a group always so political and groupthinky?

By the way, how has business been?



posted by Michael at August 1, 2002


Why not just enjoy gays as human beings and not categorize them? Putting people
into groups and categorizing them is sure to get sour notes. Who are your
idols? WASPS? Republicans? Clintonites? Movie critics? Journalists?
Capitalists? Americans? Marxists? Heterosexuals? Jews? They all fall
short. I am sure you can find gays who don't group think and who are not
political and who don't speculate a rat's ass about the politics of AIDS.
And a low shot about men's asses. They are certainly in the same category of
women's cunts. And though quarantine is one answer, an easier social answer
is safe sex with a condom. What is against that? Well, some are, I guess
for pathological reasons, but some Americans are for Bin Laden.

Posted by: daniel rosenblatt on August 14, 2002 4:27 PM

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