Friday, June 27, 2008

A Straight Guy's Cinematic Homoeroticism

For those of you who are still hoping for it: no, this is not the post where I renounce my marriage and my heterosexuality, and switch this blog over to a fan-Yaoi* site featuring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. I am sorry. That post is still several years away, at least.

But this is an attempt to explain and situate the reasons why I spend very little time valorizing the female figure and more than a little time mentioning that Christian Bale is hot. I'll divide this into two parts: I. Why I don't obsess over the cinematic female figure.
II. Why I do obsess over the cinematic male figure.

Ia. It just feels juvenile: Sure, Megan Fox in Transformers is about the hottest thing I have ever seen (and no, that's not dirty- she's not much younger than I am. She just played a high schooler). But if I spent time talking about/posting about/leering over how hot Megan Fox was, then I'm pretty sure I would feel like I was 12 years old. If others wish to do so, that's fine...but it just rubs me the wrong way.

Yes, I could look at that all day long. I'd feel pretty bad about myself, though

Ib: It's misogynist/objectifying: This one, surely, is obvious to everyone. Now, certainly, there are male actors who have been chosen purely for their looks, and who feel bad about being objectified that way; Burt Lancaster started his own production company just to get some roles where he could keep his shirt on. But those male figures are relatively rare. On the other hand, I would say that over half of female Hollywood stars and starlets are viewed as sex objects first, and then actors and/or people second. And talking about how hot Megan Fox is is only a few steps away from chasing Britney Spears with a camera and ruining her life.
Oh Burt, put your shirt on

This leads to a corollary: except for the occasional shot that Craig Ferguson shows of Jack Nicholson shirtless, male movie stars are generally allowed to age. The women, on the other hand, are hounded into plastic surgery, then mocked for getting plastic surgery. I'd rather not be part of that cycle.

Ic. It encourages bad acting: Sure, there are guys who get cast just because they're pretty. But there's a long history of less than super good-looking guys (Spencer Tracy, Robert DeNiro, etc) being major Hollywood stars, as well as a long tradition of pretty boys (Pitt and Clooney, for recent examples) who get their break because of looks but, through hard work and (one presumes) outside pressure, eventually back up their looks with great acting.

I don't really know of either of these traditions for the ladies. Instead, the cult of female attractiveness leads casting people to scour the modeling agencies for fresh, talentless faces, which it tosses in front of the camera just to put leering men in the seats. And maybe some of those faces would pan out with actual acting ability...but the life of a Hollywood leading lady is desperately short, and they usually get thrown on the junk heap before we find out if they can act or not. I'd rather not encourage that system.

II: Reasons why Man-Love is Awesome

IIa. It's Generational: This isn't so much a reason as a statement of fact. An anecdote: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which seriously pushes the bounds of male-nudity) features a British cock-rocker (Russell Brand) and a Hawaiian waiter (Jonah Hill) who loves him. At least one reviewer described Jonah Hill as "gay." But neither I nor any of my friends perceived him as gay. He was just a guy who really liked his favorite rock star, to the point of sexual arousal. And in an age where the term "man-crush" can be used even by the homophobic, I think that's just not that weird.
You can be straight, and still want to hit that.

IIb. It's funny: Now, in case you were wondering, I don't think Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are that hot. But boy is it comical - with my wife, on my blog, but above all at parties and gathering - to loudly and passionately proclaim my belief in their physical attractiveness. Or at least, I think it's comical. If everyone else doesn't: sorry. Don't invite me to parties or read my blog any more, because I ain't giving this one up.

IIc. It's Sublimation: I know this isn't a classical use of sublimation (i.e. sublimation is usually nonsexual), but I think the term applies. Here's what I mean: I do like looking at pretty people up on the big screen. But I feel bad and/or dirty (see reasons Ia, Ib, and Ic) for ogling the ladies (besides, apparently, Megan Fox). But I'd like to ogle someone. So I redirect my desires to subjects that I can admire without feeling like I'm turning them into inhuman sex objects. That's not so bad, is it?

IId. Christian Bale is hot.

*I am so naive. I couldn't remember the name for Japanese cartoon guy-on-guy porn. So I searched, in google, for "Japanese cartoon male porn." That search...did not turn up what I was looking for.


Fletch said...

I suddenly have the urge to watch the Top Gun volleyball scene...

....Playin, playin with the boys...

Sing it, Loggins!

Graham said...

Oh, Top Gun. Your homoeroticism isn't even the slightest bit repressed.

Tadalafil said...

I agree about Megan Fox, she is the hottest girl of our epoch, however she still need to change her mentality, due to the fact sometimes she thinks the world turn around her, and baby you're sexy, but pitifully you're wrong.