Queerness and the American Media: Comedy and Tragedy:
One of the more bitter, awful ironies of the last week is that there appears to be more news coverage of the gay-bashing beating of Jack Price in Queens, New York, than of the gay rights march on Washington, DC. One supposes that the DC event wasn't quite the cross-dressing, nipple-ring-licking festival of flamboyancy that usually prompts media reports on GLBT protests. But the brutality of the assault on Jack Price in the middle of a street by two walking puddles of dog vomit? That shit's on video, man, and it can be replayed endlessly. (Of course, the coverage is still not much, comparatively, since it isn't even mentioned on Drudge.)
Let's layer the irony here, too. Remember a couple of weeks ago when Derrion Albert, the black honor student in Chicago, was beaten to death by ganged-up pigfuckers and it was caught on video? Remember the outcry over it, the reflection on the horror of youth violence, the quick reaction of the White House, which sent Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Chi-town to say it was a "wake-up call"? Yeah, that was cool. If you were to hold your breath for White House reaction and action to the Price attack, your eyes would be bursting out of your head from the effort.
And you remember when that white kid was beaten by a couple of black kids on a school bus in St. Louis and it was caught on video? Remember how the usual suspects of right wing fucktardery jumped on the story as a way of gleefully demonstrating that black people were gettin' uppity in the wake of Barack Obama's election? Remember how they apologized profusely when it came out that the beating wasn't racially motivated in any way and was a stupid argument over a bus seat? Oh, wait. That last part didn't happen at all. Why ruin a good racist point with the facts? Do you think any of them will blame anti-gay rhetoric from the right for Jack Price's pain? Again, it's best just to keep breathing. So far, in conservative nutzoidville, there's been more outrage over Rush Limbaugh not being able to buy the St. Louis Rams.
Daniel Rodriguez and Daniel Aleman pounded the fuck out of Price. (Sure, sure, allegedly.) It was a punk ass beatdown. Price was on the ground and they kept punching, kicking, and slapping him. From the moment they bumped into him at a deli, the two men in their 20s taunted the skinny 49 year-old Price with anti-gay slurs. When they were seemingly done with him, one of them handed bleeding, jaw-broken, internal organ-wounded Price back his wallet, which had fallen out earlier in the beating, and then smacked him again. The Rude Pundit will go out on a limb here and say that the whole thing happened because one Daniel wanted to fuck the other Daniel and couldn't stand feeling that urge. Aleman's in Riker's right now. You fill in the blanks. The Rude Pundit's thinking the dude's now a bottom with some forced shit-eating for laughs.
Between the DC protest and the Price assault, we see how the mainstream news media presents the GLBT community to us: freaks or victims. Those are narratives that conform to some comforting version of queerness that most Americans can digest, as if gays and lesbians exist, still, after all these years of activism, for laughs or pity. Or they're just invisible. And it says something about how small and petty a nation we are that we're even still talking about such things as equal rights for gays.
More on that tomorrow.