One of the interesting things about watching cable TV is discerning which demographic slices tune in to which channels.
It isn’t difficult to figure out, really; For example, judging by the number of “Scooter Store” and blood glucose meter, Polident, and Colonial Penn Life Insurance ads on Fox News, it would seem that it’s core audience is senior citizens that have eaten their teeth down to the nub on rock-candy and can’t move around the house any longer and are about to die. Likewise, judging by the commercials, ESPN is funded by beer drinkers, those in search of “male enhancement” and DISH network consumers. History Channel seems to appeal to people that need all sorts of insurance and drive pickup trucks.
And, now, evidently my favorite cable channel –Food Network (of all things)– is the destination for male homosexual of the techie persuasion. Or, techies of the male homosexual persuasion. Whatever.
There I was, innocently watching Restaurant Impossible, when what appeared to be a standard-issue bromide for the e-reader Kindle glared out from my TV screen. You know the sort of Madison Avenue pablum: Hunk of a man sitting next to a smokin’ hot chick on the beach– trying to read their little tablets; She can read hers, because it’s a Kindle; he can’t read his because it’s Brand X. Blah, blah, blah.
The twist comes at the end, when the smokin’ hot chick makes allusion to her husband at the tiki bar– but then the Hunk does the same thing. HIS “husband” is at the bar, too.
I’ve never had the sort of visceral reaction to an advertizement (– and I’ve been in a lot of truck stop bathrooms, too). I was (and I remain) furious. I will never buy a Kindle. Never, ever: Not after this ad. Nope.
I get it: Our culture gets a kick out of Gay Chic, and it has my whole life. I remember watching an episode of All in the Family back in the early 1970’s when Archie Bunker finds out that one of the guys down at the bar, one of his old time pals, is a male homosexual. We’ve been plowing these cultural furrows a very long time now. There is nothing avante garde about male homosexuality. It’s a big yawn-a-roo.
It is one thing, though, to grudgingly tolerate homosexuality in our cultural midst. It is quite another to normalize it to the point of changing the definition of the English language, and worse yet, to promote it. And nothing screams “promotion” more than advertizement on main-stream cable television.
We ignore in wholesale the tawdry, foul underbelly of male homosexuality in this sort of banal, material treatment. Selling Kindle’s with hunky homosexuals? Really? Really? Anal sex (and its close cousins domination and humiliation) fits in this equation where, exactly?
The founders of Exodus International estimate that probably 90% of all male homosexuals are first exposed to male homosexuality at a young age by way of assault from other male homosexuals. Does Amazon really want to discuss this as it regards the selling of their electronic gizmos?
Of course not. It wants us to consume Male Homosexuality as glibly as we consume, say, baseball. And that is as sick as it gets.
The very fact that most male homosexuals become homosexually-oriented only after degrading or brutal assault is something that our culture –despite it’s flirtation with all things Gay– refuses to tackle. It is a subject that remains taboo; and yet, it is the very reason that for so many centuries, Western civilization frowned on public exhortations of gay sex: It protected its children to keep it closeted.
There is nothing open-minded about assault. There is nothing compassionate about normalizing sexual humiliation of children. And yet these are basic elements of male homosexuality. And certainly a commercial enterprise like Amazon wouldn’t want to be connected to such depravities if the broader culture was sickened by it.
But, we’re not.
Now, with a culture that treats its dogs better than it treats its children, with a culture that impugns traditional family life with back-of-the-hand arrogance, our children are societal petri-dishes swirling about to see what ultimately kills them. And, even as the cultural tsunami threatens to engulf my family, I will do what I can to protect them.
And I will start by not allowing a Kindle into my house.