March 13, 2007

One

“It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.”

- Jerome K. Jerome.

Wise words, and also my thought for the day. There’s nothing so self-indulgent as lying in bed by the window, watching the trees scratch at the passing clouds and listening to the traffic whilst emphatically not doing work. Stopping to feel the passage of time slding over your skin – at once a beautiful and terrifying experience.

-

Listening to – “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead,” by Stars:

God that was strange to see you again,
Introduced by the friend of a friend.
Smiled and said “Yes, I think we’ve met before.”
In that instant it started to pour.

Captured a taxi despite all the rain.
We drove in silence across Penchant Lane,
And all of that time you thought I was sad,
I was trying to remember your name.

-

Good stuff. So what else is new? I’m trying to conclude an article on the necessity of being public about one’s sexuality, and I can’t really make up my mind. It’s not an easily abbreviated issue and it ties together so many deply personal stories to a much broader political struggle. The jist of my argument – or, rather, question – is whether or not the “out and proud” motto of the gay rights movement is counter-productive to the ultimate eradication of the boundaries between different sexual orientations. Being “out” necessitates a culture of labelling people – of picking sides. One would have thought that in order to achieve full equality there should be a blurring and eventual fading of the lines between different kinds of people. Acknowledging the difference only re-emphasises it.
That said, though, difference is also something to be celebrated, and the idea of gay culture and the gay community shouldn’t have to disappear. People are different, and many define themselves and their character through their sexuality. You don’t even have to be gay to do this.
Ultimately, I suppose, social progression will have to go on as an organic process. As a movement, the fight for gay rights has come incredibly far incredibly quickly over the past 40 years, and will no doubt continue to in the right direction, whichever one that may be. For now, out, in or undefined will remain a personal choice, as it should be. We’re so lucky to have the freedom to be whoever we want to be.

-

And finally, an update on The Sam Show. The other Sam Show, now printed on the wonderful Facebook. Last week, Sam hooked up with Fabien after being stalked for a short while and discovering with Ailie that Jake was cheating on Avalanche with Livi. Paige revealed her history of romantic liaisons with Nima and, upon discovering Jake’s infidelity, wasted no time in maliciously spilling the beans to a distraight Avalanche, who had been quietly celebrating her five and a half months of sobriety. Pete, meanwhile, in town with Dom and Hannah for the Real Ale Festival, resolved to investigate who was responsible for both poisoning Avi and trying to frame Spike. This news was met uncomfortably by Susan, who suggested it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie, before informing the others that she was leaving the country for the whole of the Summer term, during which, Spike promised her, they would try and sustain their relationship.

Next week, Hannah turns 20, and at her house party in Streatham more than a few sparks will fly as several memebers of the group let their true felings come to light. A new couple will emerge, someone will get punched in the face, and Pete will discover the truth behind Avalanche’s poisoning – with catastrophic results. Stay tuned.


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  1. I love that song! yay. And I like hearing you talking about sexuality so openly – I was used to talking, like you do in this post, with my friends when I lived at home, but now I’m at Warwick I’ve found that there’s a higher level of homophobia drifting about, especially in my halls. Mostly it shows itself quietly in the form of offensive stereotypes and so on – minor offences – but also in attitudes such as ‘I dislike gay people’ or ‘being gay is wrong’, which is more than disturbing.

    14 Mar 2007, 16:28

  2. Homophobia in your halls? Really? I feel slightly gutted in a strange way to have completely avoided all sorts of offense since I’ve ben here. No experience to draw from and all that maybe it’s hall-specific. How harsh? And where do you live?

    15 Mar 2007, 00:24

  3. Gwen Kent

    Cryfield 3. It’s not that bad, really, I suppose. It’s just a couple of people who say things like I’ve already mentioned, but they tend to end their comments by saying ’...I hate gay people, but I wouldn’t mind if it was a friend of mine, and they didin’t rub it in my face…I don’t really care that much…’ and I don’t think they’d act on their beliefs of how ‘wrong’ they think homosexuality is. No serious worries, but they aren’t joking about their opinions, they’ve made that clear. At least it’s not like they think gay people should be punished, as in some countries I’ve been unfortunate enough to visit… I actually wrote a post ages ago on my own investigations upon the subject if you’re interested (not that I’m selling my own blog at all … ;) ) here: http://themarvelousworldofgwenfron.blogspot.com/2006/05/legality-of-homosexuality.html
    Mind you all the info on it is probably stuff you already know.
    Maybe you’ve avoided homophobia because you’re so open about your own preferences. It seems to me to come out only when people think they’re ‘safely’ among heterosexuals. The same people tend to say things like ‘I don’t think it’s proper for women to drink or lager’. Also, different people in my halls from other countries are not only homophobic but horrifically racist. I’ve heard ‘But don’t you think black people are stupider than us?’ actually being said – understandably, they were shouted down, and now they simply don’t express their opinions anymore.

    15 Mar 2007, 09:45

  4. do you think that gay culture could just be creating new pressures and expectations instead of liberating people? would ‘social progression’ really lie in the strengthening of autonomous groups, or do you see gay people becoming, er, homogenised?

    p.s. i cannot help but feel vaguely resentful at being used as a plot device.

    16 Mar 2007, 00:26

  5. Like most social groups, the gay community creates pressure for a certain level of conformity. Go into any club and you’ll see the physical manifestation of this: waxed chests, thick arms, short hair, tight jeans, designer underwear. Gay high-street retailer Prowler has a brand called “clone zone”. Arguably, this pressurisation and mould culture is the responsiblity of a consumer culture trying to capitalise on the pink pound – the gay scene is surprisingly material, perhaps a spin-off of the fact that, on average, a gay man makes 7000 pounds a year more than a straight one. (4000 for gay women).
    But this sense of trend is really not that different from many music scenes (emo, hip-hop), and so on. The gay scene, like these, offer a sense of identity to people who have often felt alone or isolated whilst growing up. But I wouldn’t say that the scene creates a generalised pressure – it’s only something worth conforming to if you’re a part of it, which a lot of gay people aren’t. And since it’s not particularly public, I don’t see it really generating stereotypes. The trick, I think, lies in the tag. Right now it’s the gay scene. If it were rebranded, say, the scene for people who like to wax their chests and dance around other men in designer underwear, you’d change the distinction from gay / straight to clubbing / non-clubbing.

    And don’t flatter yourself – you weren’t that integral. But I could probably slot in a fling for you with someone. How about Dante, keyboard artist for Dear Adele? He has a really nice shiny head.

    17 Mar 2007, 16:28

  6. The Sam Show still bewilders me. However, I reckon Ailie poisoned Avi. It’s just a hunch.

    18 Mar 2007, 23:06

  7. To suggest that there is a closet one must come out of validates the closet. If such an item of furniture does indeed exist, it is only because we have imagined it into reality. Anyway, closet? Surely wardrobe. Closet suggests MDF or cheap american hardboard, stuffed with baseball bats, soccer balls etc. Wardrobe is a much more pleasing Narnia like image, and more reflective of the times that made it. Sadly though, I would be happier stepping into such a marvelous piece of craftmanship rather than coming out. Waffling now….
    xxx

    29 Mar 2008, 22:01


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