Thursday, November 24, 2005

From Open Book
Rent a wreck
I’ve not seen it but this review rubbishing it is very funny. From what I’ve seen in the adverts it looks like stage-musical schmaltz pretending to be hip (and unlike the writer I found the tune in them catchy), though the stage version actually is an opera (everything is sung), which sounds interesting.

From Slate
Was Rent partially pinched?
Sarah Schulman has a point once you take out the self-aggrandising gay propaganda:
The real story of the AIDS crisis is the story of a group of despised people who had no rights, who came together, saved each other's lives, and changed the world. And that is not the story you find in any of these mainstream depictions.
I don’t see any humility or common sense about natural consequences of one’s behaviour. Anyway:
At base, it's the issue of taking authentic material made by people who don't have rights, twisting it so they are secondary in their own life story, and thereby bringing it center stage in a mainstream piece that does not advocate for them. That's an insidious but very American process. It's gone on for many, many years, [for instance with] black music, and with all kinds of fashion. So, being part of that is annoying, as you put it.
True. Another example is ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’, which was really Carl Reiner writing about himself but having to bend to anti-Semitism and have a show with a goyische front-man and Jews sidelined.
[In these pieces,] gay people are always alone and self-oppressed, and have no community, and are dependent on some kind of other—a benevolent straight person, a homophobic lawyer, or even, in some cases, a woman...
Familiar to anybody who’s seen ‘Will & Grace’, a conventional sitcom romance that tells lots of gay jokes to make it seem hip — it used to be witty and funny but has run out of steam.

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