Sunday, April 01, 2018

Do you find this offensive? Or funny?

Let's ease into Monday with another somewhat "frivolous" post. Seeing how successful my recent post on Prince at the 1985 Grammys was, I may post things from time to time to bring up a bit of nostalgia or make you think about internal issues regarding the LGBTQ community.

Do not worry, though. The main goal of this blog - to expose the religious anti-LGBTQ right and their tactics to undermine our equality and safety - remains and will be the subject of the majority of posts here.

That being said, let me ask a question, mostly to the younger folks. The above clip is from a legendary 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles. In a wild, madcap way, Blazing Saddles, and its director Mel Brooks,  makes fun of Western movie cliches, as well as racism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry and stereotypes of all kinds. And let's not forget homophobia. 

Do you find this scene in which the cast of Blazing Saddles end up in a brawl with the gay men shooting a musical (don't ask) offensive or funny? Personally, I find it hilarious and I doubt I'm alone among those who grew up watching this film. Still, I want to know what others think. Please, do not go on any tirade about "political correctness" or nonsense like that. Just simply, what do you think and why?


fangs for the fantasy said...

While I'm not super offended by it (mainly because there's worse out there), I don't think we can say it's challenging homophobia, nor do I find it especially amusing. I'm not going to roar with laughter because there's a gay man dancing.

The antisemitism is poked at by Mel Brooks himself, as a Jewish man, and a parody. I'm not going to argue how well it does his because I'm not going to challenge Mel Brooks on how he deals with antisemitism, not my place as a non-jew to do that

The racism is hit by being the whole point of the show - beyond being a ridiculous comedy - that the Black sheriff is actually really effective, more than decent at his job and the prejudices of the people around him are unfounded. I'm not saying it does it perfectly, but it does do it; it presents racism and then shows how it's wrong. We're meant to identify with, support, cheer and celebrate Bart. We're meant to see the treatment of Bart as wrong

But the gay men? They're not presented to challenge homophobia. They're not presented because the homophobia we view them as is wrong. There's no CHALLENGE to homophobia here. Rather they're here because dancing, prancing gay men flailing their hands and squealing "you brute" is considered funny. They're the butt of the joke. We're not meant to celebrate these nameless gay men, or care about them at all. we're meant to point and laugh at the silly homos who are funny only BECAUSE they're gay. That's literally the entirety of this part of the scene "tee-hee look at the gays!". Not because they're doing anything funny or being funny or engaging in a funny plot or anything other than being stereotypically gay which is supposed to be so hilarious

fangs for the fantasy said...

Basically, I don't see him making fun of a homophobic stereotype, I see him perpetuating and relying on one for a cheap laugh

mickeebee01 said...

Hilarious. I'm of that age that I grew up with Mel Brooks, Monty Python and such. love them all and make sure my nieces and nephews watch. I explain that is humor and nothing serious. Life is too short.

Anonymous said...

It was a funny bit in its time. And the way Mel Brooks had an old lady use what we now call the "N Word" was also an amusing satirical put-down on racism.

And, yes, I believe it's absurdly wrong to ask that Mel Brooks in the Seventies, or anybody at any time, should have thought about how what they were writing/filming/singing/ whatever would be viewed in 2018 or any other time in the future.

Corvus Imbrifer said...

On the one hand, yes, as Fang says, silly sissies sashaying. But on the other hand, I want to see a tiny bit of subversion:

"I'm parked by the commissary."

And that call to arms: "They hit Buddy! Come on, girls!"