Moral Chaos in Baghdad; Homophobic Rites of Passage
Strange about foreign war, though. However bad it gets, it's still foreign. However bad things get there, I now know that I will still drink Starbucks' Chai (my primary vice -- tho' a bit of pot or alcohol now and then is a pleasant diversion); I will still watch movies (I watched Deliverance again tonight, for the first time in a widescreen format -- thank the Gods of Moviedom for the DVD format -- and grooved on the beauty of the photography, the lovely sound design of the film, and the fascinating aspect of homophobic rite-of-passage to the film; contrary to my previous opinion, there IS a homoerotically charged moment between Lewis and Ed in the film, just as Ed is going to bed, drunk, looking soft, feminine, and vulnerable towards his reclining masculine friend; I thought that Boorman chose to underplay that element of the book, but for the attentive, the moment is there); I will still buy CDs (the new one by Dutch anarcho-avant-punk collective The Ex comes out this week, a singles compilation); and I will still buy DVDs (Roeg's Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession is being released by Criterion this month). Such is life -- for all my debts, I am affluent and comfortable and very well off, while the unemployed of Baghdad are being blown to bits. Life goes on. I've marched, I've brought the war into my ESL classrooms (and still do so), and I've written online about it. Somehow it seems like it's not enough -- perhaps that's ultimately why some part of me just wants to forget its happening.
Most of North America, I fear, is in a similar state.
The existence of sites like Demonbuster, encountered while I was looking for an interesting Deliverance link, is even harder to contend with, harder to fit into my head, than the latest news from Baghdad. I challenge you -- particularly if you have the sound on -- to actually spend more than two minutes perusing their site. I won't.
Also trivially, the phrase "homoerotic rite of passage" gets 119 hits on Yahoo search; the phrase "homophobic rite of passage" gets none. Yet surely the suppression of homoerotic desire is far more important to the passage from boyhood to adulthood in a generally straight society than its cultivation -- I mean, that's what the high school boy's lockerroom is all about, isn't it? (And I assume most gay-bashings are done by high school boys from outside Vancouver -- like raiding chimps in enemy territory, they're going out to "prove" themselves men by ritually/symbolically overcoming their own homosexuality by projecting it onto, and then assaulting, a token gay man).
Anyhow, as soon as I click "publish," there will be ONE site with the phrase "homophobic rite-of-passage" on it.