As an actor commuting constantly between Vancouver and LA, I live in a world of creativity and leftist politics. It suits my belief system just fine, as I’m pretty much a big bleeding heart liberal in every department.
Ironically, I’m also a straight white male with some vestige of old school “stiff upper lip”, which means I tend to follow the unspoken rule that for me to complain about anything is verboten. As Louis CK says about white people, “we’re gonna pay hard for this shit”. Double down on those odds if you’re a guy and grab a cup. We’ve raped and pillaged our way into this corner and it’s time to take it in the balls, right?
This passive acceptance of our lot makes us acceptable targets for any and all potshots. We’re sort of like those guys on Japanese game shows who get blasted in the nuts by a mechanical fly swatter if they get the wrong answer. Or the endless parade of emasculated and ineffectual dudes in commercials and pop culture.
And who easier a target these days than Lance Armstrong? Granted, a harder target to hit as you only have one testicle to aim for, but what a prize turkey for all the trolls who sit back and fire away. Forget about the cancer money, he’s the 1%, he’s a man, he’s defiant, he’s a liar. Get him.
None more eagerly piling on than my hometown liberal rag, The Georgia Straight, whose only article close to centre politics is the sports section and who published the above front page this week.
“Male ego and lust for power”? Can you imagine an issue of the Straight with Tonya Harding on the cover labelled “Feminine Stories” with a title like “Tales of female violence and emotional manipulation“? Or a cover featuring Ann Coulter, Paula Deen, or any number of awful women, tying these women into “femininity” stereotypes of the negative order? Or linking women who drown their children into some sort of feminine dysfunction? Wouldn’t happen.
But so called traditional masculinity? Have at it, it’s great copy and fodder. If the dude’s white? Home run and risk-free. Male or female journalists will run with it, whatever puts bread on the table.
How tacky of the Straight and how predictable for a paper stuck in the Pacific Northwest bubble of small town hippie-think. It reminds me of my days at the University of British Columbia, listening to ivory tower militant nuttiness and my 19 year old brain thinking I was a pig, a racist, a chauvinist and an evil patriarch in waiting, simply by birthright.
I continue to be a bleeding heart liberal. And an actor/activist. And a producer of plays which address race, gender, prejudice and the modern world, through a lens of realism and balanced thought.(Shameless plug – come see “Becky Shaw” in Vancouver this November – great female playwright, great female characters.)
Maybe these attachments of mine sound paradoxical given the writing of this blog. That’s because the world is grey, as it should be.
Perhaps a new generation will think on how our own runaway consumerism has eaten us alive, not just the greed of a few evil men. Maybe all of us should be on the cover of a paper for wearing yoga outfits made in the third world. Maybe one day a cover like this week’s Straight will strike everyone as gauche and outdated. Or maybe it’s me who’s gauche and outdated.
Fire away. I’m wearing a jock.