Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm Not A Bitch, I Just Don't Like You

A while back, a friend’s birthday party turned into an impromptu reunion as many old friends from varsity found ourselves congregated. As these things go, we got to reminiscing about the good old days, before that quasi-adulthood, being a student, came to an end.

As we spoke, I’d be playing it down to say, I was taken aback when I realised the image that some - meaning all - of my friends had of me was vastly different to how I perceived myself.

Personally, I’ve seen myself as a mildly funny but generally nice guy, however to my friends that’s not who I am. As one magnanimously put it, I’m “mean,” or as another stated bluntly, “a bitch.” I would’ve pouted and flounced about as only a real man can had they not started reminding me of moments where perhaps some credence was lent to their point.

Of the many so-called facts my so-called friends listed about me to support their lie, the most damnable was that I hate fat people.

Whilst it’s true, many people do hate fat people and I have at times had my less than diplomatic moments on the topic, I don’t get why anybody would hate somebody for being fat. That’s ridiculous, stupid and frankly; prejudicial. Furthermore, if I’m to be accused of this, let’s be specific. It’s the morbidly obese rather than the fat I take umbrage to. And more so, what really irks me how (some) try to fob off their personal responsibility in the matter, arguing that obesity is a disease or some such claptrap.

For despite what Empress Oprah the Magnificent may say; that’s rubbish. A disease, obesity is not. People who suffer from real diseases have for the most part not done anything to deserve them. Obesity, however, is a problem that can be easily handled; eat less or exercise more, or even better yet, do both, and before you say, “but I have a thyroid problem,” know that I hear, “unluckily you have to eat even less or exercise even more.”

I once saw a woman who despite the pleas of the flight attendant refused to sit in her seat because as she shouted, “you make them too small!” In my opinion, that flight attendant should’ve taken JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater’s, master-class on how to deal with passengers, thus I have no pity when the grossly obese are forced to pay for an extra seat. Despite what the NAAFA (the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, yes it’s real and obviously it’s American) says, it’s not discrimination when airlines do this, it’s to ensure the comfort and yes, the safety even, of all passengers.

I will admit, in my fervour for this topic, I may have sometimes crossed the line with some slightly off colour jokes and comments, But for what reason do we have and cherish the freedom of speech if not to insult and make cheap jokes at the expense of others?

But before we get on our respective high horses, let’s for a moment consider what it is that’s so horrible here? Is it perhaps that some people are offended?

Fact is, just about anything and particularly any joke is certain to offend somebody, however, I’d rather live in a society where I have that freedom rather than the politically correct, but lobotomised horror the PC Brigade is leading us to. The comedian Steve Hughes sums it up best when he says; “When did sticks and stones stop being relevant? Isn’t that what you teach children for God’s sakes? You’re offended? You’re an adult! Grow up! Deal with it!”

On yet another moment, where I essentially was being taken to task, I came to realise that perhaps the issue is the irreverence shown?

As I was told, “within every joke is a bit of truth.” This isn’t a charge I deny. Regardless how flippant whatever I say is, there is an element of what I believe to it. In the case of fat jokes; I’m not comfortable with obesity, I don’t like it, but ultimately I’m joking and nothing more. To that, he replied, “words have power.” Seeing that we were playing a game of parrying clich├ęs, I replied in kind, “life’s too short to always be serious.”

But back to my friend – and I do regard him as one - When he called me a bitch, though he didn’t say it maliciously, it remained stuck in my mind, keeping me tossing and turning through the night as I wondered about his comment. After much thought though, I know I’m not.

Yes, some things are too serious to be funny… But only until that line is said that makes them funny. I may not like something or even you… But I most certainly am not a bitch.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Boys Will Be Boys

No serious person would ever deny this, being gay can be difficult. Be it dealing with homophobia or trying to live at 100% fabulous, it is a complicated life.

Despite what the name belies, ‘gaydar,’ that innate ability of gays to ferret each other out from the crowd is no science. It essentially is what all people do, look for those signals that maybe, just maybe, that other person could be interested; and as with any signals, they can be crossed. For the single gay guy out on the town, searching for a beau, or beaux, those signals have just become intricately more convoluted.

Last month, a UK study found, amongst high school and university students, the prevalence of heterosexual males kissing each other had skyrocketed with 95% of respondents saying they had done so. A mixed signal to be sure. At first thought, that lone gay may want to believe those kinds of European shenanigans are not on in Africa, not even in that African slice of Europa, Cape Town.

However, as has been proved by the number of women who are famous for no other reason other than being able to don bikinis, or ‘glamour models,’ as they’re known in the land of our former colonial master, what begins there, sooner, rather than later makes its way down here.

To the disquiet of the gay on the prowl, this trend continues. The study also found that it is not only the chaste fraternal kiss being exchanged between straight males. The full on snog, probably best demonstrated by a furtive Jacob Zuma meeting up with Sonono Khoza in a dark corner of the Nkandla homestead, or “sustained” kiss as the study termed it, is also on the rise, with 37% of respondents indicating they had engaged in this activity.

This may seem to be something of a surprise, with our homosexual friend jumping to the default position of, “Well that is a load of rubbish! They must be gay as the day is long!” Yet, he should consider the following. Whilst for the gay man, this is a new and worrying development, for lesbians this is old news. Ever since Britney ever so (in)famously locked lips with Madonna, the straight girl kiss has been a thing of norm. As the great vocal digital manipulation artist, Katy Perry, in her magnum opus, I Kissed A Girl, croons, “I got so brave, drink in hand, lost my discretion,” and, “I kissed a girl just to try it, I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it.”

Unlike the cougar, this is not one of those fads, which seems to inhabit Hollywood alone. On any night of the week, in the favoured haunts of our future-leaders, the student nightclubs of Claremont in Cape Town or Melville in Johannesburg, to give just two examples, this can be witnessed. As such, that girl and her girl-friend standing on a table, locking lips will soon have to vie for attention with that boy and his boet, doing the very same thing.

Though those concerned about the moral compass of our society may worry that this is a sure sign that the gay agenda to indoctrinate the gay lifestyle within our children is succeeding, take heed of this fact. Those in their never-ending quest to be cool, are just partaking in what is nothing more than a fad. Safely ensconced in the South African strongholds of moral rectitude, where men are men and women know their place, where good traditional family values still reign, you will never have to witness this. Just as in the UK, such examples of moral depravity will be found in those dens on liberal iniquity, universities, or anywhere the wayward youth are to found injecting their new-fangled drugs into their eyeballs and partaking in sins of the flesh.

However, for those, with a slightly more sensible mindset, would be interested to note that, though a fad, study researcher, Eric Anderson, stated that this development, be it the chaste kiss or the sustained kiss, indicates that, “these men have lost their homophobia (and that) they're no longer afraid to be thought gay by their behaviours.”

In as much that no serious person would deny that being gay is difficult, no serious person would complain about the changes in attitudes this study indicates. Even then, one cannot help but think about that lone gay. Faced with those team-mates from the rugby team in a ‘sustained kiss,’ his mind fills with that warm rush of excitement, only to be tempered with the cold reality of confusion as he thinks, ‘maybe they are just two friends, just having fun and nothing more.’

With boys being boys, his life just became a whole lot more difficult.