Who The Fuck Does Margaret Cho Think She Is?
Some mornings, you can barely make it to the coffee pot before somebody is already trying to mess with you….
In today’s loadocrap from listservs spammers airlines job lists that never have any jobs I could apply for and the occasional message from a Real Live Human comes this gem:
“Irrepressible Margaret Cho—excerpt from one of her routines”
with a link to buzzflash.com, where the excerpt is listed under the completely incomprehensible headline
“Mullet Fantasies of Neighborhood Gays.”
It’s unclear whether this is Cho’s title or one word-processed (it certainly wasn’t written) by the worthies at buzzflash.
There is also the warning in all caps:
“CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE”
Here’s the thing. In her new show, Assassin, Cho takes a moment to poke a little fun at “Christian Family” groups who, in her words, “laugh [their] ass[es] off to Will & Grace but are against same sex marriage,” thereby “tak[ing] the benefits of our culture and leav[ing] behind the burden of inequaltiy.”
(Yeah, it’s written like that: “inequaltiy.” One of the benefits of “our” culture is not, one gathers, the ablitily to spel.)
Let’s forget for a moment that neither Cho nor anyone else has the slightest freaking idea what she means by “our” or “culture,” and let’s even forget that the idea that holding Will & Grace up as milestone in “gay” culture is … well, probably just about right. Thirty-six years of post-Stonewall struggle and what have we got to show for it? A primetime TV show about a celibate ‘mo who gets hard for Prada (and nothing else, apparently); a dizzyscreamingfaggotqueen who makes Emory from Boys in the Band look like Kurt Waldheim; a fag hag; and a filthy rich, big-mouthed, gold-digging, alcoholic shrew with the moral values (and fashion sense) of Imelda Marcos. All of whom live in a New York of the mind, untroubled by such inconveniences as black people and lesbians.
And that’s good television, my friends!
If this is a “benefit” of “our” culture, it only serves to raise the musical question: Is there one damn thing in the “community” that middle-class white gay men have created that anybody deserves to be all that proud of?
But what’s supposed to be funny about Assassin is when Cho says that the “family oriented Christian population” are “Bible thumping, cousin humping, monster truck enthusiasts” and then when she says the only way to get rid of gays would be to “tent the county and play Reba McIntyre at earsplitting levels” or to “close Abercrombie and Fitch [and] Restoration Hardware.” Or else when she implies that right-wingers worry needlessly about gays moving into their neighborhoods: “As if we would ever live in a trailer park.”
Are your sides splitting yet? Mine are, but I think it’s because of all the effort it’s taking to keep from hurling.
First off, the Christian right has to be most undemanding, fish-in-a-barrel comedy target since Gerald Ford. Thanks for staying up late to write that one, Margaret. Second, we just can’t ever hear enough reinforcement of the idea that “real” gay people—the meaningful classy cool ones—are NEVER poor, NEVER live in the South, would NEVER listen to country music or go to a race track, and ALWAYS have impeccable fashion sense, flawless decorating skills, and expensive haircuts.
Oh, and I almost forgot the best thing: The notification about the Cho excerpt came to me because it was posted on the QueerLeft mailing list. The queer LEFT mailing list, where, unlike every other queer mailing list, you sort of have the right to assume a smidgen of consciousness about issues of class and economics. Now that’s funny.
CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE??
Yeah, well, here’s some right now:
Margaret Cho can kiss my fat, hairy, country-music-listening, trailer-park-raised, Abercrombie-and-Fitch-hating, Kentucky-Fried-Chicken-eating, no-style-having ass. Once on each nalga.
Fuck you, Margaret, for your classist, anti-working-class bullshit, for thinking you have the right to say anything you want because “it’s just comedy” and because middle-class white fags – who think they own homosexuality – give you a pass. Fuck you for equating the struggle against homophobia with class warfare. Fuck this idea that all you need to do is say “trailer park” and “country-western music” to an audience of trendy queens and get a laugh.
Fuck you for being naïve enough not to understand that the fascism of Abercrombie-and-Fitch imagery has done more damage to gay men than “Christian Family groups” ever thought of. (You want to talk about who hates gays, Margaret? Let’s talk about the epidemic of anorexia and bulimia among young gay men whose self-esteem and body-image are so destroyed by the “gay culture” they see around them that they try to starve themselves to death.)
It’s still hate speech if they laugh afterwards, Margaret. You, of all people, ought to know that.
Read the excerpt: http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/05/03/con05092.html
Email Margaret’s manager: email@example.com