If you happen to be a fan of one of TV's longest-running and top-rated reality shows, The Amazing Race, than you've already scene this now historic image:
You've seen it because once a story about two (normally white) gay men gets out than everyone jumps into the echo chamber and reports on it without any effort to give it meaning or explain it in context.
But not my friend John Aravosis of AmericaBlog.com. He explains that it does matter and does it with out resorting to psuedo-intellectualism or a false sense of originality:
"Some of you, I know, will ask, “why does it matter?” It matters because it matters. When gay people still are having their civil rights voted on, like some high school popularity contest, and we often lose, then it matters who in famous-land is gay because it puts another face to the “gay menace” and makes it that much less menacing. It’s long been held that people become more supportive of our civil rights if they know someone gay. And even if (or perhaps even better if) the person is a “celebrity” who you don’t know personally, but perhaps feel even more strongly about than someone you actually know – finding out they’re gay helps to soften any internal opposition you might have. It also doesn’t hurt, when gay kids are killing themselves because they refuse to believe that it will ever get better, for those same kids to see adult role models who are happy, successful, well-loved and admired, and yes, gay. So yeah, until it stops mattering that we’re gay, it matters that you’re gay."
Personally, I think The Amazing Race is a patently offensive construct. Why? Because I'm offended by this idea that a bunch of middle-class yuppies think it's somehow entertaining to go to these exotic (read: poor) lands and set up shower systems, tents for foor and purified water and makeup consultants while the people around them are hunting what they eat or starving or don't have access to potable water and, worse, are left to clean up after a bunch of narcissistic ne'er-do-wells.
Clearly, if the ratings and longevity of this show are any indication, I'm out of sync with America.
© 2012, Victor Hoff. All rights reserved. Menofcolor.blogs.com