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Television is going to hell in a lavendar handbasket
September 11, 2003 11:22 AM   Subscribe

A really good reality show for gay people would be five gay men dying of AIDS. Changing the channel has gotten so much easier since the invention of the remote control. Who doesn't love free speech?
posted by archimago (70 comments total)

 
That's the Montana Family Coalition, 406-442-6290 (office) 406-443-8877 (fax).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:28 AM on September 11, 2003


Formerly the Montana Christian Coalition.
posted by archimago at 11:35 AM on September 11, 2003


OH! NO! NOT THE MONTANA FAMILY COALITION!!!!!!

*gayfolk everywhere begin shaking in their shoes*

oh, they're just dancing, never mind...
posted by quonsar at 11:36 AM on September 11, 2003


that's one helluva sound bite.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:36 AM on September 11, 2003


You know what's weird? I thought before I read the article that this was a protest against a proposed show documenting the lives of AIDS-stricken people. I actually would watch that.

Obviously the heartless bastard in the article quote meant they would take delight in watching "sinners" slowly die, but their neaderthal mentality would actually do themselves good by actually watching the normal (and un-normal) apsects of a gay man's life.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:36 AM on September 11, 2003


I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
posted by mathis23 at 11:37 AM on September 11, 2003


They're so cute when they're totally irrelevant.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:41 AM on September 11, 2003


My favorite line of the story: "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" airs in Montana Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Bravo, an NBC-owned cable station."

Word to the homophobes!
posted by rcade at 11:44 AM on September 11, 2003


I watched a couple of episodes of Queer Eye to see what all the fuss was about, and thought it was pandering to stereotypes of gay men. ("Look! They're thin, cute, and crazy about fashion!") Then I read an article like this, and realize that maybe Queer Eye actually is serving a higher purpose simply by showing gay and straight men interacting together, despite falling into the typical stereotypes. Some people seem to have so much hatred..
posted by jess at 11:44 AM on September 11, 2003


Why does someone so easily offended have cable, anyway? Guess they aren't springing for Cinemax.

And what mathis23 said. Sums up why I'm a solitary-practicing Christian.
posted by marzenie99 at 11:46 AM on September 11, 2003


XQUZ - me too. that would actually be television at its finest: showing and telling the truth about something including all of its love, compassion, and horror. the whole nine yards. but it think that's the antithesis of the timewarnermsnbcetcetcfoxco inc mission statement.
posted by quonsar at 11:46 AM on September 11, 2003


Some of those Christian Family Values types have horrendous fashion sense. Maybe they's like to be on the show?
posted by jonmc at 11:48 AM on September 11, 2003


Guess they aren't springing for Cinemax.

Oh I don't know, lots of homophobes seem to make an exception for softcore girl-on-girl action.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:52 AM on September 11, 2003


I ~yawn~ in Montana's general direction.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:54 AM on September 11, 2003


What about a reality TV show about five gay men living together and constantly arguing, between bouts of doing really boring stuff like grocery shopping and work?
Two are in a monogamous relationship and above all just want to live their lives quietly, without their homosexuality being an issue to anyone else.
Two others are in a less happy relationship where one is a co-dependant and the other cheats, but both are obsessed with being part of the "gay community", in an almost cult-like manner, abhorring social relationships with straight people ("breeders"), and involving themselves in *any* political issue, reasonable or downright silly, that has homosexuality, or homosexuality-vaguely-related-to topics.

Number 5 gay guy is a totally self-destructive, self-hating, everyone-else-hating luser who *doesn't want*a stable relationship, a steady job, good health or happiness. But everyone he knows wants to help him not be want he wants to be. Which makes him even more unhappy.

Two of them work in construction, one in clerical, one is ex-military but now works for a gay non-profit. Oh yeah, and luser was homeless and nobody wants to go into *his* room because it's stinky.

Oh, and I suppose one or more of them has AIDS. But he or they have had it forever, it doesn't seem to be getting worse, and they are far more concerned with going bald and getting a pot belly, along with getting laid off because of a business slump.

Reality show.
posted by kablam at 11:56 AM on September 11, 2003


WolfDaddy, please try not to judge an entire state by one soundbite. Thank you.

One of the funniest moments from my college days was when a friend of mine came rushing into the smoker's lounge, flung himself crossways into a chair, and loudly exclaimed "If it weren't for gay men, fashion would be dead!" Everyone within earshot had a hearty and agreeing laugh. Trust me, not all of the people in this state are represented by Ms. Millam.
posted by Wulfgar! at 12:06 PM on September 11, 2003


Wow, there are still bigoted asshats in the world? Somebody call Michael Savage! (Or was it Dan? Always got those two confused...)
posted by arto at 12:14 PM on September 11, 2003


MetaTalk.
posted by headspace at 12:23 PM on September 11, 2003


Wulfgar! I yawned in Montana's general direction because I was too lazy to type Montana Family Coalition's specific direction. Now I've spent more energy typing a half-assed apology to you than the joke was worth. This is all the liberal media's fault.

Also, the QE guys really lost a lot of cred with me when they jokingly announced that Barbra Streisand had won a Video Music Award. Please, boys, LET GO OF HER so she can die a natural death.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:23 PM on September 11, 2003


Funny, but I never thought of that show (which I enjoy) was a reality show about gay men. I thought it was a show about making loser-like straight men look their homes and take showers so the women in their lives would love them more. The gay guys could be little green aliens, and it wouldn't matter to the core purpose of the show. But then, I hang out with a bunch of gay men, so the antics of the ones on the show isn't anything novel and foreign to me. They are just people. People who happen to have better fashion sense than some of the Neanderthals they attempt to shape up.
posted by Orb at 12:31 PM on September 11, 2003


Tiny steps, tiny steps.

The Fab Five come across as real people who are honestly concerned about helping the poor schlub du jour. IMO, QEFSG humanizes gays in the eyes of much of straight America more than any other current TV show. Yes, the central concept is born from stereotype, but the Fab Five, in my opinion, transcend that stereotype through their good will and, well, humanity.

This, of course, makes the show a threat to anyone who might want to demonize homosexuality.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:32 PM on September 11, 2003


Like Montana has the right to criticize. Where men are men and the sheep are scared.
posted by vito90 at 12:52 PM on September 11, 2003


It wouldn't be a day on metafilter without at least one gay-related post. Now, let's go get two more before sundown, so we can bat for average.
posted by bwinnard at 12:53 PM on September 11, 2003


we don't need no stinkin quotas, bwinnard
posted by yesster at 12:56 PM on September 11, 2003


"You know your god is man-made when
he hates all the same people you do."
-qouted from Usenet
posted by thedailygrowl at 1:02 PM on September 11, 2003


bwinnard -- You've got this woman's home phone number above. Give her a call and you can commisterate on how everything's going gay today.
posted by archimago at 1:09 PM on September 11, 2003


Gay men all die of AIDS: Stupid, uninformed stereotype.
Gay men are all effeminate fashion-conscious hipsters: Stupid, uninformed stereotype.

I like kablam's idea. I'd be the straight neighbor coming over to borrow power tools and mooch some advice on refinancing my mortgage.
posted by PrinceValium at 1:14 PM on September 11, 2003


I, too, can see the benefits of a show about gay people coping with AIDS, WD. BUT, even though I agree about her general designs, what she SAID was "A really good reality show for gay people would be five gay men dying of AIDS." She believes that gay people would "learn their lesson" from such a show. I doubt she'd watch it even to "watch them slowly die". Perhaps I'm being to kind.
Armitage- that's the most thought-provoking thing I've heard all day...
posted by hoborg at 1:32 PM on September 11, 2003


Actually, a true good show for gays would be a show where absolutely nothing unusual happens and they go about living an entirely normal life.

How is the AIDs crap is any different that any of the other asinine stereotype crap currently showing?
posted by HTuttle at 1:40 PM on September 11, 2003


living an entirely normal life

We can't be normal. All you straight boys keep wanting to get in our pants for fashion advice.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:45 PM on September 11, 2003


People living normal lives - of any sexual orientation - makes for boring TV.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:59 PM on September 11, 2003


All you straight boys keep wanting to get in our pants for fashion advice. --WolfDaddy

Oh, sweetie...it's not just the boys. ;) In college, I had my own fab five...and ye gods, I could use them again. How dare they leave me and go be fabulous and successful somewhere a little less whitebread than Dallas?

If only I had someone to tell me the difference between curtains and window treatments....
posted by dejah420 at 2:06 PM on September 11, 2003


Window treatments are tie-dyed bedspreads, large posters, Confederate flags or even, in a pinch, large bath towels and ratty blankets.

Curtains come from Wal- Mart and are hung on rods rather than pinned up with thumbtacks. I thought everyone knew this.
posted by cedar at 2:36 PM on September 11, 2003


Am I the only one offended by the assumption that some poor "Schlub" actually needs a lifestyle or fashion consultant? The one show I watched was the guy who already had a cowboy kind of look going and a slightly messy but reasonably tasteful loft-style space.
posted by 2sheets at 2:37 PM on September 11, 2003


This show has to be better than "The Joe Shmoe Show" as everyone but the Shmoe is an actor. Where is reality tv going when you have real actors being real fake.

All you straight boys keep wanting to get in our pants for fashion advice.
Hey, just watched my mom shop, guess I can thank her for having descent tastes.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:47 PM on September 11, 2003


so, 2sheets, did a bunch of TV thugs come in and force him to get a QE makeover?
posted by badstone at 2:48 PM on September 11, 2003


Thanks, cedar, I certainly needed that refresher.

On a more serious note, Ms. Millan obviously needs a refresher course on both public speaking (how not to put your foot in your mouth while your head is up your ass), and in AIDS/HIV. It's not just for gays anymore.

Speaking of, I'll be on "safety patrol" for AIDS Walk Detroit again this year. If any MeFi folk will be there, let me know. I'll look for you. :-)
posted by greengrl at 3:07 PM on September 11, 2003


I don't mind the gay trend on TV. It's cool with me, and I don't mind the TV show in question either. I could however do without the hawknose blonde guy on there, he just weirds me out.

Aside from that, they're cool. I'm straight, and i like to think I've got it down for good fashion. But some of the guys on that show really needed help- and some were beyond hope...
posted by shadow45 at 3:29 PM on September 11, 2003


I interpret her phrase as "a realistic show for gay people would be five gay men dying of AIDS." It's an unfortunate backlash against the disgusting glamorization and the sheer excess of the "gay lifestyle" on television.

It's also a grim reminder that homosexual lives are not rosy disco balls and fashion tips; there's an underside of disease, unstable relationships, promiscuity etc etc which must be portrayed as accurately as possible.

The recent "Philadelphia" phenomenon of portraying gays as either victims or innocent, soft spoken martyrs is a very serious mistake. The attempt to dissociate homosexuals from AIDS is futile wishful thinking if not outright mass-scale denial; the attempt to transform homosexuals into wise advisors to mankind via popular entertainment is totally wrong, pointless and counterproductive, since pushing unnatural beliefs always entails terrible consequences.
posted by 111 at 3:33 PM on September 11, 2003


2sheets: Am I the only one offended by the assumption that some poor "Schlub" actually needs a lifestyle or fashion consultant? The one show I watched was the guy who already had a cowboy kind of look going and a slightly messy but reasonably tasteful loft-style space.

The guys go into it willingly as near as I can tell. Do they need it? Does anybody need it? I don't know.

If it was a situation where some dude was being forced to change a lifestyle that they were already happy with, I'd be down on that. However, if I recall, cowboy dude actually cried when they left - he was so moved at all they had done to help him propose to his girlfriend.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:39 PM on September 11, 2003


pushing unnatural beliefs always entails terrible consequences

...what an appropriate day to bring that up.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:45 PM on September 11, 2003


It's also a grim reminder that homosexual lives are not rosy disco balls and fashion tips; there's an underside of disease, unstable relationships, promiscuity etc etc which must be portrayed as accurately as possible.

Hahahhaa! That's really funny! Oh, you're not kidding, are you. That's even funnier!

Hey, dude. Last time I checked, het sex transmitted a lot more diseases than, say, lesbian sex does. Did you know that cervical cancer is sexually transmitted, from men to women? Have you checked out the rate of STD transmission among heterosexual teens? Wow, that is some promiscuous bunch, isn't it. And what was that divorce rate again in the heterosexual world? 50%? My goodness, what a tremendous number of unstable relationships! How about the rate of violence against women? Date rape? Child molestation? Is that all natural?

Let's face it; the people least likely to get AIDS via sexual transmission are lesbians. God loves lesbians! Not so much you straight people. I knew it was true.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:55 PM on September 11, 2003


111, as a heterosexual, i can assure you, since you suffer from some humongous retinal trauma which renders you unable to see clearly, that heterosexual lives are not rosy disco balls and fashion tips; there's an underside of disease, unstable relationships, promiscuity etc.
posted by quonsar at 4:16 PM on September 11, 2003


on second thought, scratch 'heterosexual' and insert 'human'.
posted by quonsar at 4:18 PM on September 11, 2003


I'm glad 111 came along and gave us the real scoop. nobody knows more about homosexuality than right-wingers.
posted by mcsweetie at 4:24 PM on September 11, 2003


pushing unnatural beliefs always entails terrible consequences

You are Ted Kaldis and I claim my five pounds.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 4:46 PM on September 11, 2003


It's also a grim reminder that homosexual lives are not rosy disco balls and fashion tips; there's an underside of disease, unstable relationships, promiscuity etc etc which must be portrayed as accurately as possible.

Unlike the shining world of heterosexuals, who are always strong, bronzed, healthy, and forever looking skyward towards their glowing future full of hope and divine providence and all that.

You should really get yourself one of those AM radio shows, man.
posted by majcher at 4:51 PM on September 11, 2003


A really good reality show would be an office-full of rednecks festering in their own ignorance.

Then again no one wants to watch "The Montana Family Coalition" put on their hateful schtick even for a couple of minutes, so I'm guessing there's little hope of seeing that show on the air.
posted by clevershark at 4:58 PM on September 11, 2003


The thing I like best about QEFTSG, as some here have said, is that it shows straight and gay men modeling friendly, close interactions that aren't threatening or uncomfortable. I'm so happy to see this that I'm willing to overlook the silly stereotyping of gay men as over-primped aesthetes, and the stereotyping of straight men as being unable to decorate or groom or care for themselves. (The stereotype of males in general as childish, incompetent, and socially inept is a popular one lately.)

What bugs me a little, though, is the narrow set of aesthetic values that the show pushes. I mean, Zeus forbid that someone should have some hair growing somewhere other than their head (some people like hairy men or women). I've gotten a "your body is not ok" vibe from that show here and there, which is too bad. Not that I don't think some of the guys end up looking much better at the end, so obviously I'm torn -- there's a line somewhere and I think the show dances upon it. I still think it's a fun show.

Otherwise: I hope this isn't just troll chow, but 111: Can you define "unnatural" for us, as you are using the term here? Seems to me that "natural" is a descriptive term that describes whatever people happen to be or do. I'm not sure how someone could do something "unnatural", because the fact that they're doing it apparently means that it's natural for some humans to do so, unless we imagine that there is some "supernatural" cause for that behavior. "Nature" is simply whatever is, so your comment seems trivial.

If, on the other hand, you meant "statistically uncommon", then we'd have to call people who go to graduate school "unnatural" as well, and your point still wouldn't be clear.

Finally, if you meant it to mean "things that make me uncomfortable" or "things I don't like", then this would be your problem and not ours.

On preview:

A really good reality show would be an office-full of rednecks festering in their own ignorance.

That show is called "Cops" (lack of an office notwithstanding).
posted by boredomjockey at 5:14 PM on September 11, 2003


you know what would be cool, if people ignored 111.
posted by rhyax at 5:18 PM on September 11, 2003


I'm glad 111 came along and gave us the real scoop. nobody knows more about homosexuality than right-wingers.

Thats cause the right wingers have been fucking us all for so long.
posted by jonmc at 5:27 PM on September 11, 2003


Hildegarde, people are imperfect, but it is terribly wrong to insist on portraying homosexuals as funny, harmless queens whose lifestyle is risk-free. There is a bias nowadays which prevents most creators working on popular media (except perhaps for rappers) from even remotely implying that most people are not gay, and that those who are gay face specific dangers.

Women are much more in control re sex than men, so perhaps lesbians lead slightly safer lives. That is, unless you happen to be attacked by a vampirish, energy-sucking harpy like Madonna before a live TV audience, but I digress.

I think God loves everyone, but it's very important to love Him back.

111, as a heterosexual, i can assure you,

quonsar, that's surprising; I always thought you were a lesbian.

Anyway, get this: thinking in purely statistical terms, if the heterosexual levels of promiscuity were, say, 75% of those observed among homosexuals, mankind would probably have gone extinct some 15 years ago through an HIV epidemic. You certainly do have exceptions on both sides, but the fact is that most people do not behave like alley cats. There are also other relevant practical differences in the sexual act of the average heterosexual and the average homosexual which must be taken into account.

Contraceptives are overestimated in the sense that people from your generation sometimes believe in the hippie ideology that everybody sleeps around. Guess what: most lives are much more controlled than that.

To go back to Hildegarde's point, suppose I wrote a sitcom called "The Quonsie" about an adorable hairdresser that works at the Everlasting Perm salon every day and frequents the HomoTalk club every night. If I described her/his behavior as promiscuous, that would be immediately vetoed by the producers, even though it wouldn't be unrealistic. Now if I wrote about a dysfunctional, bizarre family called "The Quonsons", people would probably say "Ok, no prob". That's a double standard.

ps: in the Silence of the Lambs special edition DVD, Jonathan Demme implies that he did the Philadelphia movie because of the reproaches and immense pressure of the gay community regarding the simple fact that Silence's Buffalo Bill was gay.

Otherwise: I hope this isn't just troll chow, but 111: Can you define "unnatural" for us, as you are using the term here? Seems to me that "natural" is a descriptive term that describes whatever people happen to be or do.

boredom jockey, think about it.
posted by 111 at 5:39 PM on September 11, 2003


boredom jockey, think about it.

Ok, I guess it was just troll chow.

I gave you three paragraphs of "thinking about it" and got a non-response. I shall know better than to waste the bandwidth here in the future. My apologies to the group.
posted by boredomjockey at 5:44 PM on September 11, 2003


boredom jockey, think about it.

Ok, I guess it was just troll chow.

Unnatural, to use your own words, would be "statistically uncommon" as far as reproduction and physiology go. More than that would be redundant and excessive for 99% of all adult readers, I presume. My apologies to perpetual slow learners for not being crass.
posted by 111 at 5:57 PM on September 11, 2003


on preview: deleted a long rant aobut the worthless little shit trolling this thread at the moment, then decided he isn't worth the attention. Please everyboyd don't address him directly.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:58 PM on September 11, 2003


bordeomjockey: What bugs me a little, though, is the narrow set of aesthetic values that the show pushes. I mean, Zeus forbid that someone should have some hair growing somewhere other than their head (some people like hairy men or women).

While the men do seem to be going into this willingly, I confess that the Fab Five often seem to be working the wife, girlfriend or mother's fashion agenda. Witness the interviews with friends and family between the segments.

On the other hand, they do spend lots of time asking the schlub "what do you see here that you like?" Also, for all the time they spend mocking clothes, furniture and decoration in the schlub's house or apartment, they seem to keep the things that were particularly meaningful to the dude.

Unlike most make-over shows, there doesn't seem to be much mean-spiritedness in this. They seem to make lifestyle change suggestions which (with the exception of culinary skills) can be maintained by the straight guy.

So, yes, there is a "thin and hairless" thing going on. You get to pick your own shirt, though and end up feeling pretty good about yourself.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:22 PM on September 11, 2003


Contraceptives are overestimated in the sense that people from your generation sometimes believe in the hippie ideology that everybody sleeps around.

No, most of us aren't that attractive.
posted by jonmc at 6:33 PM on September 11, 2003


111: "The attempt to dissociate homosexuals from AIDS is futile wishful thinking if not outright mass-scale denial..."

I agree wholeheartedly.

The heterosexual population could learn a great deal from the gay community... considering that the gay population in the West is the only group that seems to have been able to get a grip on the prevention of HIV.

When you consider the only demographic to show a consistent decline in the rate of HIV transmission over the last decade are gay males, while heterosexual transmission is actually on the increase (and accounts for better than 90% of new infections worldwide) it seems that, yes, it is indeed foolish to 'dissociate' homosexuals from AIDS.
posted by cedar at 6:34 PM on September 11, 2003


homosexual lives are not rosy disco balls and fashion tips; there's an underside of disease, unstable relationships, promiscuity etc etc

Up until now I've been polite but, really, how many times do I have to ask you wacky straight people?! Stop staring at my underside and disco balls! Thank you. (Yeesh!)
posted by bradlands at 6:58 PM on September 11, 2003


111: Wow. Seriously man, I thought I was as vaguely "homophobic" as the next guy, but... wow.

Anyone want to see my fasion tip?
Kidding!
posted by namespan at 7:20 PM on September 11, 2003


I WANT A REALITY SHOW OF PRIESTS ABUSING LITTLE CHILDREN, YOU STUPID WHITE CHRISTIANS !!!!

STUPID WHITE CHRISTIANS SOUNDS LIKE A MOVIE ....
posted by bureaustyle at 10:00 PM on September 11, 2003


Stupid White Christians Can't Jump? The original tagline fits: "It ain't easy being this good."
posted by Onanist at 10:59 PM on September 11, 2003


Nobody's lifestyle is risk-free.
posted by nath at 1:50 AM on September 12, 2003


111: Unnatural, to use your own words, would be "statistically uncommon" as far as reproduction and physiology go.

So, since most higher species (great apes, chimpanzees, horses, porcupines...you get the idea) engage in forms of same-sex sexual behavior, you acknowledge that this is completely natural and expected in some percentage of humans, too. Right? Or does your reliance on "natural law" go only as far as your apparently limited academic and life experience, rather than what actually exists in nature?

More than that would be redundant and excessive for 99% of all adult readers, I presume. My apologies to perpetual slow learners for not being crass.

I only see one slow learner in this thread, and it ain't boredomjockey...
posted by wdpeck at 1:58 AM on September 12, 2003


Do you know what? I'm tired of my gay friends giving me fashion criticism when, to be quite honest, they could take a good look at themselves.
posted by Summer at 2:53 AM on September 12, 2003


Sheesh Summer, are you seriously advocating that I spend more time in front the mirror. I need my vitamin D.
posted by dprs75 at 3:33 AM on September 12, 2003


Step AWAY from the mirror dprs. And you know that semi-mohican high/low-lighted haircut you were thinking of getting? NO.
posted by Summer at 3:57 AM on September 12, 2003


but.. but. hoxton fins are all the rage
posted by dprs75 at 4:00 AM on September 12, 2003


Three years ago. Jesus. The 30s short back and sides with pencil 'tache is about to make a come back. Just you wait.
posted by Summer at 5:26 AM on September 12, 2003


Women are much more in control re sex than men, so perhaps lesbians lead slightly safer lives.

I think there's a troll on this thread who's never had sex with a woman who wasn't faking it.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:49 AM on September 12, 2003


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