Saturday, February 22, 2014

Morris on Looking



I love this Grantland piece by Wesley Morris that uses the HBO series Looking (which I like)to pose questions about "normalized" gay characters and the lack of subversive LGBT artists a la a younger Todd Haynes. These are questions with no answers (yet), but cheers to Morris for starting the discussion.


We’re on the far side of that strain of self-destruction. But one wrinkle in 2014 is that there’s no handbook, no guiding principle of behavior. Kramer, the indefatigable activist, humanitarian, and holder of gays to the highest sociopolitical standards, married his longtime partner last July. Gays are often lumped in with women and blacks as another oppressed party. But blacks have a control for measuring what’s accepted as social progress: white people. There’s no reliably visible foil for gay people, in part because, for so long, they were visible only to themselves. Political strains of gay culture radicalized quickly against hatred and legal demoralization. I’ve never come across a black questionnaire that asks whether I’m political. But it’s a frequently asked question on the gay equivalents. The achievement of marriage equality differs from battles for suffrage or integration. The fight is for a right that someone like Patrick isn’t sure he even wants.

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