Thursday, April 16, 2009

What was that?

This week in class we watched the film Paris is Burning. I didn’t really understand the film because of the unique perspective through which it was presented. The culture we saw in the video was so foreign to me that I was incapable of connecting with them on a human level. It almost seemed like these people were trying to seclude themselves from the reality of the world. I thought it was weird that they seemed almost incapable of living a real life. I know many gay people and none of them try to be “real,” as the video portrayed it.

The type of cool we are seeing through this film is cool obsession. My thought really is: Can obsession be cool? When people become so enamored by an idea or the thought of an idea that they do nothing to stop themselves from indulging it can be a little frightening. Unfortunately I have to say that these people do frighten me. Not because they are gay or trans-gendered but because of the emphasis they placed on the leading the lifestyle they were discussing. Not only was it so far from the norm that no normal person could relate to them, but they were also subjugated to torment because of the life they were living. You shouldn’t have to feel sympathy for a group of people as I did for them. The fact that people can look past a person to see a stereotype is disgusting. What are you going to get from life with an attitude like that? Nothing. You will just end up being a close-minded asshole. Most of the greatest people you will meet in life will be different in some way or another. However many times this difference will be a source of inspiration and encouragement. In my opinion this was not the case in this group of people.

These individuals in my opinion hurt the idea of acceptance. The idea of achieving acceptance shouldn’t be based on how well you can blend in to society, but in the case of these trans-gendered individuals it was all about how well they were able to blend. They weren’t. Consequently they were shunned. They reveled in being different. They wanted their success to be based on their differences. They failed to realize that if they were going to be successful for their differences they would also be judged by their differences. Normal trans-gendered people who didn’t have the same obsession of the ones we saw in the film would resent the eccentric behavior of them. No one wants to be biased based on the behavior of someone else and that is exactly what would be occurring. Judgment is a bad thing, but obsession is worse. Judgment at least requires logical reasoning and deduction to occur. Obsession only requires a lack of self-control.


  1. I think you're being a bit harsh here. While I agree that the life that most of these girls were living was not necessarily the life that was going to get them their dreams of fame and fortune, we have to remember that they probably didn't really have much of a chance at that anyway. And if you don't have a chance to achieve a goal that most of us might see as a healthier choice, why not go for the one that you might be able to get?

  2. It seems that over time that gay people have been more accepted into the mainstream, and that the secluded society that once existed in the 90's has begun to dissolve. As time goes on, I believe that the obsession that you have such an aversion to is going to disappear as homosexuality becomes more accepted.