Modified On May 16, 2013
After getting disinvited to an awards banquet, Bret Easton Ellis wrote a 3000+-word opinion piece for Out Magazine. In the essay, entitled “In the Reign of the Gay Magical Elves,” Ellis comments on his disinvitation and on the media coverage of the coming out of NBA benchwarmer Jason Collins.
Here’s the best part (and the reason we’re mentioning it on a website about standup comedy):
Because of these and similar comments, I’ve been accused by a few vocal sections of the gay community of being a “self-loathing” gay man. I might be a little self-loathing at times (I don’t think it’s an unattractive quality, BTW) but it’s not because I’m gay. I might come off that way because I think life is essentially hard and that scalding humor and rallying against its absurdities is the path on which to move through the world– and sometimes that means making fun of myself or lashing out at media targets in a way that might make it look to a dumbass that I Hate Bret. That a gay man can’t make a joke equating AIDS with Grindr (something my boyfriend and I had used a number of times) without getting punished and being called “self-loathing” is indicative of the new gay fascism. The real shame isn’t the jokey observation. The real shame is the PC gay reaction to the jokey observation. The real shame is that most gay men– who are every bit as hilariously filthy and raunchy and un-PC as their straight male counterparts– have to somehow tow the GLAAD party line in public or else be criticized. A lot of gay men probably feel they can’t be provocatively raunchy or politically incorrect in the mainstream media because it doesn’t represent The Cause. This is where we’re at now, I guess. Within the clenched world of the gay PC police there has been a tightening of the reigns. It’s as if in this historic moment for gay men we somehow still need to be babied and coddled and used as shining examples of humanity and objects of fascination—the gay baby panda—and this is a new kind of gay victimization. The fact that it is often being extolled by other gays in the Name of the Good Cause is doubly stifling.
We caution our readers to pay close attention to the words above that are in bold (we boldified them, not Ellis or Out.com) and ponder how they might relate to standup comedy in general and to recent standup comedy “controversies.” (Extra points to readers who can identify which controversies. Points will be taken off for readers who focus on gay issues instead of issues of free expression.)
Oh… and read the whole BEE essay– it’s fascinating and, let’s be honest, it doesn’t take all that long to read 3,000 words.
And if you don’t know who Bret Easton Ellis is, Wikipedia does.