The Gentle Reader is doubtless familiar with those people who have only recently heard about the phenomenon of homosexual attraction, and who see every little gesture, but every single one, as a subtle indicator of the Inner Gay. This insidious form of thinking has, obviously, permeated the visual arts in general, so that basically, every time two people of the same sex are in the same scene together, viewers -critics and the general public alike- scream excitedly Homoeroticism! Look! These two OBVIOUSLY want to sleep with each other, But They Can’t! How EXCITING!
One of the most extreme examples of this sort of thinking was a review on Hitchcock’s classic Strangers in a Train. The critic claimed that the subtext of Gay was screamingly evident between the two male protagonists- look how one of leans back on the couch and puts his feet up! What more evidence could you want? If leaning back on the couch isn’t an obvious indicator of SECRET GAY DESIRES, then what is?
Gentle reader, laugh though I may at this shallow silly trend, yet I confess I cannot remain immune to it. It is true that I don’t take the fact that some girlfriend sat down in front of me, scratched her arm and reached over to get something from her bag as indicators of her raging gay gay gayness for me, nor do I worry that she will take my act of standing up and walking to the kitchen to get tea on as a clear come-hither sign. But films and tv shows? How can you focus on the plot when it is so clear that these lovely same-sex protagonists with their lovely hair and eyes and make-up, jumping up and down and yelling and fighting and making up are in fact completely “crushing” on each other?
Take the latest tv show which has swept our family by storm- Merlin, a BBC fantasy supposedly about the developing friendship between the legendary wizard Merlin, still a novice, and Arthur, later to become king of England, when they were both young men. I say supposedly, because while the plot is about – hmm- not sure what it is about- because all I can see is Merlin and Arthur having the hots for each other and completely not doing anything about it.
THE FLAMING TORCH IS A SYMBOL OF THEIR BURNING GAY PASSION! AND PENISES! DO I HAVE SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU?