Friday, November 04, 2005

Homovision #2

Anyone catch the telly last night? 'Twas a little bit queer.

First on the 7:30 Report, there was the story of John George and Jiro Takamisawa. In a nutshell: George was a WW2 veteran and Takamisawa his lover who cared for him as his health deteriorated until his eventual death. Takamisawa applied for a war widows' pension, knowing he was ineligible, but to his surprise actually received a repatriation health card - only, woops, it was addressed to "Ms Takamisawa". When he contacted the Repatriation Commission to point this out there was apparently a deafening silence on the other end of the phone, followed by men in protective suits rushing to his house the following day to remove the offending card.

A few observations: As always, Tanya Plibersek's on the case (Takamisawa lives in her electorate), making a speech in parliament identifying the hypocrisy of this discrimination, especially rank given the recent announcement of equal entitlements for same-sex partners of service people in the defence force.

All well and good, but you can't help but be at least a little suspicious of Tanya's timing given her rush to defend Kym Beazley's appalling address to the ACL. Credit to her that she did attempt to spin a completely unambigious point Beazley made - apparently, according to Tanya, when he claimed debates on same-sex couples are "are often marginal to the real pressures that families face every day in our society", what he really meant was that "(the ACL’s) obsession with gay marriage is a marginal issue”.

Thanks for clearing that up, Tanya.

Veteran Affairs minister De-Anne Kelly - she of the A2 Milk Marketers conflict of interest scandal - maintained an unnervingly blank, Stepford Wife-esque expression in stating the bleeding obvious that Takamisawa did not meet the relevant criteria because he was not a partner of the opposite sex, without bothering to explain the inconsistency that her own government now actually does acknowledge same-sex relationships in the armed forces.

Particularly unhelpful was her claim that "the concerns of our veterans are foremost in the Government and the Australian people's mind, not the views of extraneous organisations overseas. It's our veterans that matter, and their views". That's lovely De-Anne - perhaps someone in your department neglected to tell you that the RSL was the main agitator to change the ADF policy in favour of same-sex couples? Was hard to know what was going on with De-Anne and her dead-eyed face, due either to way too much Botox, a labotomy, heart or emotion bypass or possibly all four.


Later in the evening was "30 Days", Morgan "Super Size Me" Spurlock's switcheroo doco where Ryan, gun-totin', fag-huntin', Jesus-lovin' Army good ol' boy from Hicksville Alabama (who, naturally, looks like he should either be in a Falcon movie or A&F catalogue) spends 30 in the Castro with good-natured homosexualist Ed and his wacky friends for thum thuper gay adventureth.

The moral of the story was obviously for Ryan to see the error of his ways, and if you believed the final speech he gave to Ed & Co it would appear mission accomplished. But Ryan struck me as a pleasant, ultimately harmless vessel waiting to be filled (so to speak). As he could regurgitate biblical passages and various anti-queer slogans to rationalise his homophobia, so too, after a few days with some non-threatening fags, PFLAG parents and an MCC minister, could he churn out a few platitudes about how he'd grown and learned to see the error of his ways - which, even if it were true, you know would be comprehensively bashed out of him again the minute he returned to the bayou.

I sympathised with Ryan's dislike of Rev Penny Nixon - have to say I wasn't impressed with her much either (although admittedly I'm basing my opinion of her on 2-second soundbytes). She's obviously done good work in her time but she was far too condescending to Ryan and put forward fairly useless hypotheticals along the lines of: "If the Bible suddenly said you could never sleep with women, only men, would you do it?" I don't think such an edit is due for that particular book's next re-print.

Ed I found far more impressive. An intelligent, perceptive, unassuming guy to whom Ryan warmed, especially when confronted with drunken sleazebags at dodgy gay clubs (and haven't we all been there, done that and bought the T-Shirt?) I was very pleased to see Ed as our TV ambassador, and Ryan did seem genuinely sad when saying goodbye to him, even offering the straightest of straight-boy hugs before getting into the taxi.

The cynic in me wants to assume it was all ultimately a futile exercise, but dammit, the romantic in me found it appallingly sweet.


At 4/11/05 4:06 pm, Blogger JahTeh said...

"soppy pancake"

At 4/11/05 4:23 pm, Blogger Ron said...

I have totally given up on the ALP as it tries to 'out-right' the Liberals.

Plibersek's own appearance recently at a Christian conference on marriage held at Parliament House was the final betrayal for me.

And, damn, I forgot to set the VHS for '30 Days' (this old number must be in bed by 9pm for much-needed beauty sleep - and it's only in dreams these days that I meet the nicest boys!).

I wish you all a full weekend.

At 4/11/05 6:57 pm, Blogger skander said...

there was something about Ryan's down-home buddy Jake that I couldn't quite put a finger on...

At 4/11/05 7:18 pm, Anonymous kate said...

when they returned to the dodgy bar and the little hick started dancing topless my (straight male) friend started muttering about how many beers it takes to get a person feeling 'experimental', and wondering if this would all end in a big coming out scene. we were disappointed on that front, but enjoyed the show.

I can't remember when I gave up on the ALP. I think it was before I started voting.

At 4/11/05 7:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously the quuer community just don't get it. This government does not give a shit about us and won't.. Regardless of how stupid or inconsistant the law is - THEY WON'T RECOGNISE OUR RELATIONSHIPS.

Further to that the Liberal Party has moves so far to the right that it each MP can't outdo themselves when it comes to making outrageous statments. i.e Panopoulos and the headscarve.

The Liberal Party should basically call themselves the Christian Party as every senior minister is an evangelical christian..

Peter Costello
Kevin Andrews
Deanne Kelly
Tony Abbot
Dana Vale
Bill Heffernan
The list goes on and on..

At 5/11/05 8:09 am, Blogger Ron said...

The Six Beer theory

At 5/11/05 2:02 pm, Anonymous kate said...

thanks Ron, we also laughed a lot when the hick's dad asked "so what do they do for regular jobs?" as if being gay was their other job.

a very "I'm the only Gay in the Village" moment...

At 7/11/05 11:36 am, Blogger Sam said...

Ron: If you're talking about the National Marriage Forum last year, I think you're mixing up Plibersek with Nicola Roxon the shadow A-G.

Skander: Hell yeah. "Hey, let's take off our shirts in the middle of a dance floor at a SF gay club. But we're not fags or nothin'!"

At 7/11/05 3:02 pm, Anonymous Ricky said...

I particularly liked Ryan's boss at the cheese shop kissing him goodbye on the cheek and Ryan got all confused!!

At 8/11/05 10:44 am, Blogger skander said...

And kinda cute too, he was.

At 8/11/05 3:06 pm, Blogger Ron said...


"mixing up Plibersek with Nicola Roxon"

You're quite right! Thanks for picking that up.

- Ron ...

At 23/11/05 5:09 pm, Blogger Brownie said...

I know 2 guys who married each other in Toronto recently.
I know a gay Family Court Registrar who is totally against gay marriages simply because he sees unhappy hetero couples every day - 'why would you want to join THEM?' he wails.

At 23/11/05 5:10 pm, Blogger Brownie said...

and I forgot to ask - WHO THE HELL voted for that nitwit Deayarn Kelly? stupid stupid woman.


Post a Comment

<< Home