saturday, may 12

Does anyone else think the new Snapple commercials are fucking hysterical?

Andrew Sullivan on the marketing of Matthew Shepard:

resilience of the Shepard case is about political and cultural symbolism.
[U]nlike martyrs, he did not choose to die. Shepard is “crucified,” even
though, in reality, he was tied to a post, his body and head slumped on the
ground. After a while, as in the case of the religious right’s Columbine
“martyr,” Cassie Bernall, the facts cease to matter. What matters is the
message. And the message is that homosexuals are innocent victims and
heterosexuals are either saviors or menaces. Billy Jack Gaither was killed
shortly after Shepard, in Alabama, by two men who bludgeoned him to death
and then burned his body on a stack of rubber tires…. Or take Private
Barry Winchell, a gay soldier stationed in Kentucky, murdered at the same
age as Shepard. In a barracks fight, Winchell had bested a soldier who
gay-baited him. In retaliation, the straight soldier and a gang of other
soldiers allegedly dragged Winchell from his bed and beat him to death with
a baseball bat. Winchell and Gaither were clearly men, not boys. One was a
soldier; the other was a middle-aged, burly, working-class figure with only
average looks. They weren’t upper-middle-class; they weren’t well-educated;
they weren’t waifs…. They threaten the weak, effeminate stereotypes of gay
men that the victimologists require and that many heterosexuals are more
comfortable with. They were more prudent than Shepard was. Confronted with
violence, they were more likely to fight, as Winchell did, than to retreat.
They suggest a gay world that is strong and grown-up and mainstream–exactly
the kind of world that has no need for pity. The point of this iconography
is to divest Shepard of any maturity, any manhood, any adult sexuality–for
that matter, any true humanity. It is literally to infantilize him, to turn
him into a symbol that is at once pitiful and utterly unthreatening to the
stereotypes that still burden most homosexual men…






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