This post was originally posted on OneWhiteDuck.com.
Admittedly I am not a fan of the Fox hit TV show, Glee - and I understand I am in the minority here. Although the show is a runaway hit, I just never got into it; I guess I am just not a fan of fictitious high school musical “dramedies”. But still, I can appreciate it for its entertainment value – and if it does have so-called “liberal” overtones, then so be it. With the onslaught of positively horrible and outright disturbingly idiotic programming polluting the airwaves these days, Glee is the least of our problems.
However, the show seems to be taking a large and unjustified hit from conservative-types who are latching on to its sexual themes as though they are the signs of the coming Rapture.
In a conservative-speak tirade this last week, author Erin R. Brown from Newsbusterswrote an aptly disturbing piece on the show, where she lambasts its popularity due to its seemingly over-abundant “lesbian fantasies, gay kissing, teen pregnancy and racy photos of the actors” as well as other “immorality-promoting content.”
Brown lashes out against the media’s love affair with the supposed pro-liberal smut-fest that is Glee, where “[b]isexual teen girls making out in revealing cheerleading outfits referencing sex acts” is yet “just another typical scene viewers will see on ‘Glee.’”
As evident in her post, entitled Glee: Sex, Songs and Sleaze, Brown is apparently a bigGlee-watcher – as she makes an uncanny effort to detail, frame by frame, key events throughout the series’ two-season run and critiques each with the Bible-thumping ferocity of John Lithgow’s Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose.
“But despite its quick wit and impressive following,” she writes, “’Glee’ has a disgusting track record of underage drinking, one night stands, anti-conservative jabs, teen pregnancy, and smutty performances.”
(Is she referring to Glee or Bristol Palin’s stint on Dancing with the Stars?)
“Kurt’s emerging sexuality has been a major theme throughout the two seasons of ‘Glee’ thus far. In one emotionally charged episode, Kurt is forced to confront his inappropriate feelings for straight, handsome football quarter back Finn….Kurt’s father Burt (Mike O’Malley) overheard the boys’ exchange and came running in accusing Finn of calling his gay son a ‘fag’ …launches into a two minute long lecture about the use of the word ‘fag,’ calling that rhetoric ‘poison.’”
Regardless of projected angst toward on-screen “immoral” sexuality, it is incredibly transparent that the show is obviously being targeted for its apparent “gayness” – while other shows that tout the same if not higher levels of utter human “debauchery” and downright stupidity go unexamined.
As I wrote in an earlier post, American entertainment (TV in particular) has taken a huge hit recently in terms of quality and substance. And sadly, hit shows are usually not good shows, and even good shows cater to the occasional foray into shock-value territory.
While Glee may in fact flash images of drunken, scantily-clad teen sex and slams against Sarah Palin, why should it be subjected to an onslaught of conservative criticism while other shows are not, simply because its subject matter dabbles in “gayness?”
Just flip through the stations (using picture-in-picture, mind you – we wouldn’t want to miss a minute of Huckabee), and you can see so-called “sleaze” up and down the channel guide where barely-of-age, alcoholic brats are dry-humping each other in HD: Jersey Shore, Kardashians, 90210, Friday Night Lights and more.
You can practically dive into human remains thanks to the grotesque imagery of shows like CSI and Criminal Minds, and experience the adrenaline rush that comes along with Jack Bauer brutally killing off scores of anti-American extremists in “real time” and the cringe-inducing, bone-crunching action of UFC.
We indulge our masochistic, misogynistic fantasies with shows like America’s Next Top Model, BridalPlasty, Celebrity Rehab and Toddlers & Tiaras, deface the precious “sanctity of marriage” with bullshit like The Bachelor and devalue love, sex and so-called “morality” with Flavor of Love.
Season after season, nation-sized audiences tune into So You Think You Can Dance, Biggest Loser, Dancing with the Stars and American Idol not merely to discover talent or reward physical determination, but all-too-often to revel in who sucks the most while living vicariously through those who make the cut.
The list goes on – but my personal favorite has got to be the all-time ring leader of American shock-entertainment: WWE.
Growing up, I was a wrestling (then WWF) fan – I loved watching the cartoonish characters’ choreographed fight numbers in loud, colorful, superhero-like costumes, pretending to pummel each other according to some poorly written script. I had all the toys. It was fun and mindless, but in the end displayed a clear distinction of good and bad, right and wrong. You had your “good guys” and your “bad guys” and ultimately the good guys always won out.
I think I stopped watching “wrestling” at about 10 years old.
Since then, though, the genre has morphed into something darker and edgier and much more profitable. Instead of colorful characters with cheesy theme songs and bad 80’s hair “clothes-lining” each other over a giant belt, today’s “cast” revels in the violent criminality and sexuality aspects of the “sport”. Now, it is all about who is the bigger bad-ass (of the men) and who has the biggest tits (of the women). The storylines include incredibly profane references to sex, nudity, anti-feminism, pregnancy, drugs, criminal violence, satanism, necrophilia, abortion, domestic/spousal abuse, religion, lynchings and racism.
So-called “wrestling matches” regularly consist of steroid-pumped men gesturing to a largely underage audience to “fuck themselves”. Plastic-implanted pinup dolls grapple each other’s barely-covered bodies in lingerie tag teams and “Billion Dollar Booty Contests”. Grown men are shoving their faces – their FACES – between other grown men’s bare ass cheeks as part of the quite literal “Kiss My Ass Club”.
And this is all prime time entertainment, ladies and gentleman. And you know what else? It is making a killing; as millions of dollars line the pockets of WWE production execs, the American public is eating this shit up week after week.
But it’s okay, though – after all, at least cast members are not portraying the “immoral” plight of often-tormented teens struggling with their sexual identity. I mean, it’s not likethat kind of thing has been in the news lately, right? It’s not like would-be-gay teens have been ostracized, humiliated and persecuted thanks to peer prejudices fueled and “justified” by the same conservative morality police propaganda that turns a blind eye to everything else on TV, right?