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Lamrot Hakol (Despite Everything)

Musings and kvetchings and Torah thoughts from an unconventional Orthodox Jew.

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"I blog, therefore I am". Clearly not true, or I wouldn't exist except every now and then.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Glee is really getting on my nerves

Okay, this is probably going to really piss off my gay friends (and gay friendly friends). But there's a difference between pushing the envelope and being totally obnoxious, and last night's episode of Glee went about 10 steps over the line into obnoxity.

The character of Kurt has bugged me a little since the show started. There've been other people who have objected to flaming, mincing, girly-boy Kurt being a symbol of gayness on the show. The fact is, most gay guys I've met aren't anything like that. Some have a stereotypical "gay accent", with a slight lisp, and other things that set my gaydar off, but the only time I've ever met anyone like Kurt was in college. There was this guy named Rory, and it was like his feet never touched the floor. He was so "in your face" and effeminate, and a friend of mine named Eric, who was his roommate, once walked in on him in bed with another guy. Eric slept in a sleeping bag in the hallway after that until housing services could find him another place to stay, and I have to say that I don't blame him.

When I was watching this last episode of Glee, and Kurt was being bullied by two jocks, I started to reconsider my feelings about his character. Maybe, I thought, it was a good thing to let sissy-boys like Kurt know that they have a right to express themselves and not to have to blend in. But then, there was the scene where Kurt's father reads Finn the riot act.

I can't even imagine a more inappropriate thing. I wanted to punch the father's lights out, and I wanted to yell at Finn for putting up with the browbeating. This wasn't a case of a guy freaking out about having to be near another guy who is gay. Kurt is freaking in love with Finn. Finn knows this. Kurt knows Finn is straight, but he never misses an opportunity to flirt with him, hit on him, make googly eyes at him.

Turn this around, and have a straight guy constantly acting that way to a lesbian, or a straight girl acting that way to a gay guy, and everyone can see how obnoxious and offensive and downright thoughtless it is. It's harrassment, plain and simple. But because Kurt is this heroically flaming poster-girl for the cause, it's just him expressing himself.

He isn't stupid. He knows what he's doing, and he knows how uncomfortable he's making Finn, and he just doesn't care. And then his father, who has learned the lesson that Kurt has the right to express himself, but in the meantime has forgotten that so does Finn, goes off on Finn as though he beat Kurt up.

Oh, I know. "Words can hurt." So what? He was the victim in that little scene. Not Kurt. And then to have Finn come along in a dress, saying that he was wrong and still has a lot to learn... what a crappy message. What a horrible, horrible message that sends.

True, if someone feels uncomfortable being around flamboyantly flaming fruity folks like Kurt, they need to grow up. Like those two jocks. But that doesn't mean that Kurt types have the right to constantly make advances on people they know aren't interested. One time, I get. But once it was clear that the Finn wasn't interested, Kurt should have backed off.

There were good things about the episode. "Beth" is one of my favorite songs in the world. I can't get over the fact that headbangers like Kiss created something so beautiful. Puck is really growing up. In fact, he may be one of the few people in the show who has progressed as a human being. But it doesn't make up for the brainwashing.

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Blogger Danul said...

You don't know me, and I followed a link here from when someone posted it on E! Online. Just wanted to say that I agree with you so much. As avid fan a fan of Glee as I am, I was super surprised at that message last night. Thanks for putting this on the internet.

11:57 AM  
Blogger tnecniv said...

"He was so "in your face" and effeminate, and a friend of mine named Eric, who was his roommate, once walked in on him in bed with another guy. Eric slept in a sleeping bag in the hallway after that until housing services could find him another place to stay, and I have to say that I don't blame him."

Turn this around, would you still not blame him if he had walked in on his roommate having sex with a girl?

So, does what Kurt is doing give Finn an excuse to start yelling faggy this faggy that? Absolutely not. Your post assumes that Kurt's dad knows what's going on between Kurt and Finn. Maybe he does, but I really don't think so. And even if he did, I don't think he would have put up with that language, he probably would have sat down and talked to Kurt about what he was doing.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

tnecniv, yes. There were times when my roommate didn't sleep alone, but I never had a roommate do that without locking the door or arranging things with me first. That's appalling, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

For everything that bothered me about that episode, I asked myself that exact question. Would it bother me if it was turned around. I'm a lesbian, incidentally, so it's fairly easy for me to imagine that.

Finn didn't call Kurt a fag. But jeez, he's a regular teenage boy, and Kurt turned his room into a freaking brothel. What the hell?

And none of that has anything to do with the fact that Kurt was shown as being utterly without fault. Remember, neither Finn nor Kurt nor Kurt's father are real people. They're characters. And they were used to make a point. You can say of someone who is real "Maybe he didn't know", but you can't say that about a character, because it doesn't matter if he knew; it matters that the writers knew.

8:23 PM  
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11:57 AM  
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Blogger Dana Friedman said...

Lisa: I never looked at Kurt and Finn that way. I suppose you're right about Kurt having gone over the line. Nonetheless, I think he was overcompensating, and he was immature. He's in high school. That's not an excuse...but I think it's a reasonable perspective for why he was acting as he was.

So long as you view of Kurt's behavior is that it's no more reprehensible than the macho boy who doesn't let up on the girl who clearly isn't interested, or the straight guy hitting up the lesbian, it's fine.

Now that Kurt's in that other school that's more gay-friendly, maybe he'll calm down and learn moderation, and mellow out, and mature.

As for "in your face" and "effeminate", one he can help, the other is just him. We all come by some traits naturally.

Also, in the Rocky Horror episode (which came after your post) he specifically did NOT want to be Frank...and he spoke out against the stereotyping.

He could calm down the "in your face", and he was reprimanded for "too much" at some point. He calmed down. Also, Sue (whom many love to hate) seems to temper things a bit. However, he will be happier in his new school. If he comes back, he'll probably be a LITTLE less swishy...

Nice post, though.

8:04 PM  

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