The Glossy Indecency of The Olympic Games

2.26.2010

By Alex Wilburn

The same with Johnny Weir. Talented, I'm sure. Am I into the whole "Culture of Fabulousity" (can someone please tell me what that even means? When did the word 'fabulous' become this drag image of taste dread?) and overly showy antics? Not really. This seems like a Lambert Part 2: The Cutting Edge.

I didn't care for Adam Lambert even before his "Am I? Am I Not?" antics, but he never offended my patriotic sensibilities of what an American Idol should be, because, you know, they're tacky by definition. Except he sure did seem to offend some of the country's sensibilities, and now apparently Weir is doing the same. But there's just one thing -- Weir hasn't talked about being gay. So what's the problem America? Is this really just about some sparkles? Are you getting upset because a male figure skater is not as masculine as you think he should be? Color me confused because two summers ago Matthew Mitcham was an openly gay Australian diver, and we didn't seem too upset when he won. Australia even put him on a stamp. A STAMP. And the boy was on the cover of The Advocate. That's some Pride. Australia put their boyfriend-screwing, Advocate covering, Oliver Twink on a stamp. So why is America afraid of not-yet-gay Johnny Weir?

Have we become a country that cares more about what you wear than who you sleep with? Is this somehow a gender presentation issue and not a gay issue at all? Are the two irrevocably intertwined? If sequins and lipgloss have truly outdone honest to God homosexuality, we seem to have gone both backwards and forwards at the exact same time, accelerating us into some alternate dimension where the heteroculturally assigned "gayest" men's sport has become suddenly flagrantly "gayer" and yet truly not gay at all, just like Lambert's run on Idol. It's a controversy because we decide is it, though I don't know how many times I have to say, it's just clothing, it can't change you.

So America, I'm not sure where we stand. I thought you were afraid of the gays but now I think you might have just been chasing waterfalls. Are you really afraid of glitter? Because that seems even sillier, and so much scarier, because it's harder to define. If pseudo-gay controversy surrounding less-than rugged men in televised karaoke competitions and figure skating can arise, really, where does it start and end? And what's next?

Or is that when you put our country's name in front of a noun, American Idol, American Olympian, suddenly all we want are our gender assigned Ralph Lauren uniforms? Has this country, which truly, when you think about it, owns the world's media influence, lost it's sense of dramatic flair? Are we more afraid to be dazzled than fornicated?

Weird, America. Really weird.

-- ALEX WILBURN

Previously Yup, We Still Think The Olympics Are Gay

Tags: Popnography
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