We’ve gotten to the bottom of Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent appearances on Glee. I draw your attention to this little item in Nikki Finke’s Deadline.com, in which show creator Ryan Murphy outs Gwyneth for who she truly is to him. For those too lazy to click, I refer you to the following quotation:
“Gwyneth is sort of the muse of the show,” Murphy said. “She’s somebody who I write on the weekends and say, ‘What do you think about this for an episode even if you’re not in it?’ She has opinions. She’s great.”
Murphy is hiding behind subtleties that many creative Gheys might not see themselves, which is why Dr. Killough is here to explain. He uses the word “muse.” But a muse is distant, an inspiration, someone the artist aspires to commune with, a siren who unblocks the creative flow just by being there. Gwyneth is the muse transformed, the mermaid wrenched willingly from the sea and forced to walk on land. She has become Murphy’s Fag Hag.
Apparently she has been this since they worked together on Running With Scissors, Murphy’s decidedly unfunny adaptation of Augusten Burrough’s exceedingly funny memoir. He should have gone with archly flip for RWS’s tone, not with sincerity and contrition. I’m sure he knows that now with the tone he established in Glee, which would have served RWS better.
A true muse is someone like my creative partner, Rain Li, who basically ignores you, making you desire his or her company and the inspiration that it gives you all the more. Rain and I hardly ever speak on the phone; I’m lucky to get a text-based Skype session once a quarter, during which she types one line every ten minutes until I just give up at 2 a.m. I won’t hear from her for months, but then a single “You aw-right, dahling?” in that mockney Beijing accent and my entire career path becomes clear to me. That’s a muse.
When I was growing up, the phone was the fag hag’s all-purpose magic conveyor, her wand/broom stick/crystal ball. You would spend hours with your hag murmuring into the phone until she allayed your anxieties, dispelled your demons and you fell asleep. Now it is the email/text message; “[Hag Gwyneth] is someone I write to on the weekends,” as Murphy put it. The hag uses these magical devices to soothe the hysterical Ghey, who might be panicked that, for instance, he has blazed through his budget for the entire year midway through the season. She will say or type things in a calming, authoritative Spence School-infused voice like, “Fuck the network. You’re too special for them. They’re so lucky to have you.”
“You know, Hag Gwyneth, you’re so right,” you will reply, feeling fortified. Indeed, the fag hag is always right. Hers is more than just the oblivious, passive inspiration of the muse. This is a dialogue you are having with an uncertified psychologist who is always on your side.
Here I have to say, Well played, Gwyneth. Teaming up with Ryan Murphy as your Ghey is a strategic move that Madonna, who built her entire career on the backs and bucks of many a Ghey, would surely envy.
Lest anyone think I am dissing Ryan Murphy, please don’t. Of course, I’m a human homo: I have healthier levels of schadenfreude than I do testosterone. But I am only teasing him; it’s good to tickle people at the top. Even if the creative content of Glee isn’t entirely my cup of tea, ideologically it is a powerful show. It is changing the way people perceive Gheys and the American culture of bullying, which is a more endemic problem in this country than most Americans think; I’d say it’s up there with obesity. Again, the DH Lawrence quotation: “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” Well, it certainly seems to have started melting in recent years, praise cheeses.
Glee is doing more to normalize us Gheys than the repeals of a dozen morally opprobrious legislations. This interview with Murphy really made me like him:
The character of Kurt deserves further musing. Murphy is quite right in the above clip: there are lots of fagelehs just like the Kurt character, especially in musical theater. In recent years, Gheys have been portrayed as overly normal and masculine in order to make us more acceptable and PC-neutral. The Kurt type, a.k.a. the flaming queen, is the Ghey who throughout history could never hide in the closet. He basically straddles the two sexes, one foot in each. It is because his type couldn’t hide themselves with wives and other beards that the stereotype of the homosexual became the camp, wrist flopping, lisping Nancy. Kurt is an Old School Ghey, the kind who is so super girly that he becomes a Fag Hag himself.
That was my take on the relationship between Kurt and the other more masculine gay character on Glee, Blaine, until this last episode. Up until then, they were best friends and schoolmates, and Kurt had a crush on Blaine. But to me Kurt was Blaine’s male Fag Hag — this was never going to happen because it wouldn’t cross Blaine’s mind. Then, in a delayed coup de foudre that came off more like forced thunder booming from an uninspired writer’s room, Blaine discovered that he was in love with Kurt.
Unfortunately, experience tells me this would be improbable. I am surprised Murphy let this happen, but maybe it was time to show a healthy gay teen romance on network TV, if there has even been one on premium cable. And that definitely trumps the concerns of sticklers for the nuances of gay culture like me; there are always exceptions to these generalizations, anyway. Also, while we can applaud it for social change, nobody is ever going to accuse Glee of social realism; I’ve never been to Ohio, but I have it on good authority that William McKinley nothing like a public high school there.
See, the Blaine character always struck me as being a true gay man: he likes men. Remember, these are not real teens playing these roles, they are in their early to mid-twenties, so when I look at Blaine I see a Log Cabin Republican who is being fast-tracked for a partnership at Goldman Sachs, or more likely Morgan Stanley. In my experience, a “masc” Ghey like Blaine would have a fag hag-ish Ghey like Kurt around for the belly laughs (they are usually screamingly funny) and support, for the shopping and fashion advice and, most importantly of all, as a drinking buddy to prop him up in the often oppressive, all-male environment of a gay bar while he cruises men he would rather be with romantically. But he would never sleep with Kurt, just as he wouldn’t touch a female fag hag. In real life, or in my real life, a girly boy like Kurt is likely to end up with a borderline straight guy who likes chicks with dicks, the same purview as trannies.
I had this dynamic explained to me by a fierce drunk black trannie once just after I refused to sleep with her. “You’re a real faggot,” she said. “You know why? Cos a guy like you only sleeps with masculine men, which makes you a complete gay man. I sleep with real men, men who like women.” She wasn’t just drunk, she’d taken a toke or two off that old homo self-hatred crack pipe. Doesn’t mean she wasn’t dead right.
Speaking of black trannies, it looks like Mama Gaddafi from the House of Gaddafi will not be getting her cha-cha shoes for Christmas after all. I am frankly surprised that the UN Security Council voted for intervention; it was generally felt that Russia and China would veto it and we would find a way to worm out of taking a pro-active approach and not bomb the bejesus out of that meshugana cocksucker. Once again, the Obama administration surprises me at the last minute by pulling a probable backdoor deal at the UN and having both Russia and China abstain.
Lesie Gelb has been quite vocal about how we shouldn’t get in on the action in articles that reached the top of the list at The Daily Beast (read them here and here). Whatever Gelb’s reasoning is about how we shouldn’t lead the charge into Libya, how we are getting ourselves into a third war that can and should be taken care of by the adjoining Arab states, the fact is we have no choice. It pays to remember that this man bombed Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. World War I was started with the murder of a single man, yes, a royal, but what about a planeload of people?
Forgetting an eye for an eye for a second, the reason we have to lead the charge is simple: we are the good guys. Well, we’re the almost-good guys, we have a long way to go and I will never stop reminding us of that, but for now we still set the moral tone, we carry the standard into battle. If we fight anyone, anywhere at all, this is the good fight. Forget even talking about Russia and China, who cares about them? They’re not even in the same dialogue, so fuck ’em. Russia is a dysfunctional, alcoholic old bear, so flea-ridden with corruption it can’t move; China is like the Catholic Church coming out of the Inquisition, trying in vain to scrub the blood off its hands, still tripping all over itself under the weight of malfunctioning, obsolete ideologies. The world has willingly, rightly submitted to, or is in the process of submitting to, Pax Americana, not Pax Russica or Sinensi (are you impressed with my Google Translate? Hmm?). Ours is a cultural hegemony wrought more by Disney and Facebook than any physical conquering, and that is a good thing; people have for the most part chosen us, not been coerced.
So go get that crazy, rabid bitch, fellas. Hunt her down, shoot her in the head and string her up like Mussolini. YEE-HAW!