Wednesday, February 12, 2003

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (Blog Division) spans the globe to Down Under, where John Ray's Dissecting Leftism takes note of one of my rants in his "Carnival of the Vanities." Thanks, John! And let me recommend some good barbecue if you ever visit the Southern part of the northern hemisphere ....
Some upscale "Southern culture" Web site makes reference to what has sometimes been called the Second Civil War, namely the Great Barbecue Debate.

Of course, both conflicts are misnamed. The former is rightly called the War for Southern Independence (or, if you prefer, the War of Northern Aggression). And as to the latter, well, there ain't no debate.

Barbecue - n. - Pulled pork, smoked and slow-cooked over hickory, soaked in a thin mustard-vinegar sauce, generally served with white bread, baked beans, steak fries, cole slaw and/or potato salad.

This is not an opinion, it is a fact -- it is the capital-T gospel TRUTH. Texans and other such fools can cook a cow over mesquite, and slather some blend of ketchup and Tabasco on it, and eat as much of it as they want. But if they try to tell you that's "barbecue," well, they are lying. There is barbecue, as previously defined, and there is everything else.

While I'm at it, Yankees should be advised that "barbecue" is not a verb, and has nothing to do with charcoal bricquets. "Hey, Leonard, when ya gonna be finished barbecuing dem hamburgers?" Pity the poor Northerners, denizens of a land with no indigenous culture.

Enough talk of apostasy. Let me direct you to the Barbecue Mecca, Wallace Barbecue on Bankhead Highway in Austell, Ga., about 16 miles west of Atlanta. Here are directions from Hartsfield Airport (about 21 miles) and here are directions from Six Flags Over Georgia (about 6 miles). Go there soon. Eat real barbecue. The truth will set you free.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

HOMO HOLLYWOOD -- Andrew Sullivan gets an e-mail from a friend, demonstrating that the American film industry is totally dominated by homosexuals.

No, this isn't about Tom Cruise (please don't sue me) or even Nathan Lane. It's not about movie stars so much as it is about screenwriters, directors, producers and other behind-the-camera personnel, and the themes of the material they produce. The people who develop the stories and turn them into films, who pick the casts and select the scenes, are disproportionately homosexual -- a fact of which Sullivan doesn't mind boasting.

I would argue that this has an impact not just in explicitly gay-themed films, but also in the way heterosexual relations are portrayed. For instance, in the last 20 years, it has become a Hollywood convention to portray traditional morality as stifling, to portray parents as clueless or oppressive, to portray marriage as a sort of slavery, and most especially to denigrate chastity and monogamy. These themes -- call them "anti-family" or "trangressive" or whatever suits you — are developed in dozens of recent films, including many movies that are thought of as inoccuous.

Consider "My Best Friend's Wedding," the whole point and purpose of which is to have Julia Roberts discover that marriage is only suited for dumb bimbos, an overrated institution she can live without, because she has a gay friend. The desire for marriage is an unworthy sentiment. This anti-marriage, anti-family attitude shows up in so many movies that one could hardly name them all. "Pleasantville" and "American Beauty" are definitely near the top of the heap. "The Birdcage" and "In and Out" are two more. (Do not imagine, for instance, that the hetero bridal couple in "The Birdcage" constitute an endorsement of marriage. The whole point of the movie is that the gay couple are as legitimate as any married couple; ergo marriage is equivalent to homosexuality; ergo traditional marriage bestows no distinct legitimacy upon sexuality; ergo, marriage is irrelevant, except so far as it functions as a weapon of oppression and exclusion against homosexuals. This is a Queer Studies concept known as "heteronormativity.")

Even rather family-friendly films, such as "Blast From the Past" and "Sweet Home Alabama," show how it has become de rigeur that the romantic heroine must have a Gay Male Best Friend with whom she can "compare notes" about guys. Inevitably in such movies, the Gay Male Best Friend is a sweet and harmless (but lusty) thing, whose helpful romantic advice always proves correct. The Gay Male Best Friend is never a misogynist (contempt for women being a widespread but seldom acknowledged sentiment in the gay male community). Instead, he is always sympathetic and supportive, full of "you go girl" encouragement for the heroine. The Gay Male Best Friend is becoming a Hollywood stereotype like the Big Bellied Southern Sheriff and the Wise-Cracking Action Hero.The heroine may be a ditz, her boyfriend may be a jerk, but the Gay Male Best Friend is as honest as a Boy Scout and as wise as Solomon. He even scores points for having The Courage To Be Who He Is.

You don't have to be a homophobe to find all this strange. Homosexuals are 2 percent of the population, but 40 percent of the Best Original Screenplay nominees? C'mon, explain that. I'm imagining that "coming out" in America today means your 16-year-old son marches into the family rooms and announces: "Mom, I'm going to film school!"

I'm not saying that this is a conspiracy of some Velvet Mafia to indoctrinate America with queer propaganda. All I'm saying is that the (increasing?) influence of homosexuals within the film industry is naturally reflected in the product flowing into your neighborhood cineplex. Agree or disagree. Tawk amongst yahselves. Or e-mail