A penguin and a polar bear are sitting on an iceberg. The penguin yells, "No Soap Radio!" They both jump in the water.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Failure to Communicate: Make your choice: Be gay or be a bigot

The Carolinian -- Two things surprised me about this year's Superbowl. One, that anyone actually thought the Bears were going to win I think is beyond belief. Two, the commercials were absolutely horrible this year. Most companies didn't even put in the effort to make a new commercial for the Superbowl, and of those that did few were anything resembling creative or funny. Perhaps that was a smart move on their part.

One company that did make a new commercial met with almost immediate protest. Snickers launched an ad showing two mechanics leaning over a car engine. One pulls out a Snickers bar and begins eating it. The other, overcome by the Snickers's deliciousness, begins eating the other end of the bar until the pair's lips accidentally meet in the middle, a la Lady and the Tramp. The two guys recoil, then one shouts for them to "Do something manly!" at which point they each grab a handful of their own chest hair and rip it out. It's somewhere around here that I burst out laughing, whether from their exaggerated reaction or the fact that they thought tearing out a clump of chest hair was manly I don't know.

But you won't see this commercial on TV. Snickers pulled the commercial after a few gay rights groups - like the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Matthew Shepard Foundation - condemned it, saying that it made humor out of homophobia. It's sad, really.

The commercial isn't getting a laugh from homophobic jokes. If anything it's making fun of the guys reacting in that way, since the exaggerated reaction is the punch line, but it's not homophobia in any accurate sense of the word. Homophobia refers to fear of or discrimination against homosexuals. There are no homosexuals in the commercial; there are two heterosexual males. And two straight guys kissing is just... gross. Stick with me on this.

It's okay to make a joke out of two straight guys being repulsed by kissing each other, because straight guys aren't supposed to kiss. A straight guy, and I think I can speak for the group on this one, would generally be disgusted by the thought of kissing another guy. I'm not weirded out by gay guys kissing; I've been on campus here for more than 10 minutes so I've seen it happen a few times. It's fine for gay guys to do it. That's their thing. Most of us aren't afraid that we're secretly gay either. We just don't want to smooch on dudes, that's all. It's not our thing, hence us being heterosexual. Full column here

I had to cut it because of length, but I wanted to mention the absolutely ridiculous recent incident with a showing of The Vagina Monologues in Florida.

BBC -- Stage play The Vagina Monologues has been renamed at a theatre in Florida after a complaint about the title.

It will be known as The Hoohaa Monologues - a child slang word for the female organ - after a woman in Atlantic Beach complained.

Bryce Pfanenstiel from The Atlantic Theatre told local TV station Channel 4 the woman said she was "offended" when her niece asked her what a vagina was.

The TV network claim the play's director is not happy about the change.

Just two days later the play's organizers got the name changed back, but how pathetic is it that "vagina" is now offensive? It's the medical term for the female bodypart. It's not like the girl was even asking about the birds and the bees; it's a fairly important piece of her anatomy that she will have to become aware of sooner or later. The story doesn't say how old the girl was, but I'd argue that old enough to read is old enough to label your own body parts.

Only infants or infantile adults need to hear baby talk.


Blogger Joe Killian said...

I'm with you on the humor coming from PICKING on homophobia.

The commercial, which I finally saw late last week, should infuriate homophobes. It makes them look ridiculous. By comparison homosexuals would look terrifically cool.

Anybody these idiots would be afraid of I'll drink with anytime.

2/19/2007 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Kitty Campbell said...

I have to agree with you - this is a case of oversensitivity. The first time I saw the commercial I rolled my eyes, but that was because I got the joke: these guys are morons. You should laugh at them. I guess some might try to make the argument that by making light of the men's homophobia, the commercial implicitly denies the seriousness of it - but I think that's reaching. Not many people would put that much thought into it.

Chris was telling me about some of the article comments you've been getting that totally miss the point of your "Two straight men kissing is gross" thing. I told him it's like accidentally slipping your grandpa tongue when you give him a kiss - it's totally gross not because you hate your grandpa, but because that's just not supposed to happen. (Don't ask me how you could accidentally kiss your grandpa with tongue, it's just the first thing that came to my mind.)

2/22/2007 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Luke McIntyre said...

Very good point, Kitty. Extremely gross, but good point.

2/22/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger The Movie Show said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/25/2007 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger The Movie Show said...


Thought you might like to check this one out.

2/25/2007 09:10:00 AM  

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