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The Advocate is anything but March 3, 2008

Posted by Administrator in Creepiness, Cultural Pessimism, Drama, Idiots, Liberal Hypocrisy, Liberal self-loathing.

Though this is really a smaller example of a larger truth: America is becoming a nation of vandals and Peeping Toms. We gather our cultural fruits by demanding to know the most intimate details of our most useless people (cf: Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith, Lindsay Lohan, Brangelina, Owen Wilson and [though it pains me to say it] Heath Ledger), and we claim that we have every right to blare personal secrets as loud as we can in the name of Freedom of Information (cf above: The unfortunate Ms. Spears again, Missus’ Smith, Lohan, and Mssrs. Wilson and Ledger). But a particularly vile form of this latter sin is performed noted by “gay conservative” Andrew Sullivan and by The Advocate, the “Award-winning LGBT news site.” Their view on outing is as follows:

I don’t think there is any good argument for outing a closeted politician who supports gay rights. But any secretly gay person who uses his bully pulpit to vilify his own people deserves the treatment gay blogger Michael Rogers is now meting out in the nation’s capital. Rogers has caused consternation everywhere, from the Log Cabin Republicans to the Human Rights Campaign, by announcing that he will out any closeted Republican who espouses antigay positions or works for a congressman or senator who does. (LINK)

Now I am not going to provide a brief regarding the outing of closeted anti-gay politicians. That does indeed smack of hyopcrisy, and as such behavior occurs within the realm of public servitude, the covers probably need to be yanked. But note that sympathetic legislators get a free pass.

As they should. As the saying goes amongst the MRTs, what goes on behind closed doors is no one else’s business. And in a truly secular way, there is wisdom in that position.

But what of people outside of politics?

I advocated that the media honestly report on gay public figures’ lives in the same way they report on straight public figures’ lives. As far as I was concerned, this was “reporting”—or, as some of my colleagues described it, “equalizing.” (LINK)

Cute little bit of sophistry there, “equalizing.” The ridiculous Andrew Sullivan continues:

“. . .There comes a point, surely, at which the diminishing public stigmatization of homosexuality makes this kind of coyness not so much understandably defensive as simply feeble: insulting to homosexuals, who know better, and condescending to heterosexuals, who deserve better. It’s as if the closet has had every foundation and bearing wall removed but still stands, supported by mere expediency, etiquette and the lingering shards of shame. Does no one have the gumption just to blow it down?” (ibid)

That may be politically valid, but it is personally no better than an intellectual form of rape; the violent taking of something that rightfully belongs to another.

Lemme tell you a story. I’ve been on a Shakespeare kick lately. It is no coincidence that in directing our school’s first-ever full length play, Much Ado About Nothing, I’ve been immersing myself in many things Shakespeare and about things related to him. Been reading a history on English kings from the 15th century, from which period Shakespeare drew the source material for his noted historical plays, including Richard II Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III. I’ve burned out the Blockbuster server in asking for Shakepearean films, including Hamlet, Henry V and again Richard III. It is this last film that the connection to the odious Advocate and the meritriciousness of Andrew Sullivan come into play.

In the 1995 film production of Richard III, the sublime Nigel Hawthorne plays George, the previously treasonous Duke of Clarence. Hawthorne gives a substantial and moving portrayal of the confused, complicated and treacherous Clarence. I recall watching this and saying, “Hmmm. Is there anything else this man has done?” All I have thus far seen else of him is the whimsical At Sachem Farm (also known as Uncorked in the US), where he does a hilarious turn as a modern day isolate hermit, sitting atop a marble pillar on his estate, meditating and reveling in his newfound lack of responsibility, while his distracted relatives (most notably a rather stressed and greedy nephew played by Rufus Sewell) run about the place.

And that’s all I ever saw of the man. My recent researches reminded me of Richard III and Hawthorne. So, I looked him up. Found out that he died in 2001 from pancreatic cancer, that he had been gay, and -here’s the part where I get pissed off- he was outed –by the Advocate– prior to the 1995 Oscars, for which he was nominated best actor for his turn in The Madness of King George. Hawthorne spoke about that Oscar ceremony and his unhappiness at having been outed without his permission:

CrankyCritic: Did you enjoy the ceremony?
Nigel Hawthorne: No, it was very uncomfortable.

CrankyCritic: Because you were “outed” just prior to the ceremony?
Nigel Hawthorne: It was kind of difficult because I was taking Loretta Swit, who is a friend, and my partner. We were given three seats and I was told that there would be two seats together and the third at the back. So I had to make a choice. I wrote to Loretta and said ‘Look you must understand that we’ve lived together for 20 years and I cannot not be sitting next to [him]. Would you mind sitting at the back?’ And straight away she said “I totally understand. You must do it.” But then they changed and they gave us three seats together.
It was a very difficult situation because I was outed by this magazine called The Advocate. I didn’t know the magazine. I don’t mix in those circles. We lead a very quiet life. The Goldwyn office asked if I would do an interview with The Advocate and I said I don’t know what is. They said it’s a gay magazine and it has a small circulation. You have a lot of interviews. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. I said well let’s leave it. I was doing theater in the West End and they approached my producer who told them that I had done 70 interviews and that I was all interviewed out. They said “Well, if he doesn’t give us the interview we’ll write the story anyway”.

So I called this girl up and said …
“I understand you wish to write a story about me”.
“May I ask you a few questions, first? Have you got a lover yourself?”
“Yes,” she had.
“Are you happy?” This she was.
“And how long have you been together?”
“Six years.”
“Is it a man or woman?”
“It’s a woman.”
“Well, now you understand my situation. So please respect it.”

We did the interview and, apparently, I never saw it. It was never sent to me but it was apparently sympathetic. But of course the world press got hold of it and it was splashed all over the papers and really horrific. It was terrible. We had to hire four security guards to keep them away from the house. When I came to the Academy Awards, I had to be smuggled to the airport and we were actually checked in in the car park. It was ludicrous because I was then mid-’60s and we’d lived together 20 years. I was doing then what I’m doing now, advertising a movie, and every question was about my personal life. So it was very difficult. Now that that’s happened, it’s done.

Sorry, Advocate, but that is just plain old, dead-field bullshit. Who in hell designates you the public distributor of people’s private lives? Hawthorne deserved every right to determine for himself when -if ever- that information was to be disseminated.

He learned -as he was forced to- to live with the gross intrusion of The Advocate, and perhaps in the end he felt that it was better to have done so.

But with the liberal crowing about the need to increased personal autonomy and personal rights -and above all, the right to privacy, through which both sexual and abortifacient “freedoms” march supposedly unhindered- it strikes me as more than passingly hypocritical for a liberal organ such as The Advocate to then pull stunt that really is little better than those espoused by the long-despised Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The Advocate is a swinish publication for outing Hawthorne, just as Esquire smirkingly states that Kevin Spacey “has a secret.”

If Spacey wants to out himself, let him do so in his own good time. If Derek Jacobi is gay, same rule. If Jacobi is straight, for that matter, the same rule still applies. Ditto if he’s addicted to gardening. Whatever.

We are becoming a nation of vandals and Peeping Toms. It is repulsive.

POSTSCRIPT:  Came upon this little tidbit after further poking around:

He’d been quite happy to live a quiet life with Trevor before being outed by the American press after the success of The Madness of King George. How did that make him feel? “Extremely angry. I felt it was a terrible intrusion on my privacy.”

Gee, I wonder why?



1. Ky - March 3, 2008

Heath Ledger usless? You really have no class.

2. demolition65 - March 4, 2008

I appreciate the man as an actor. But are you really going to sit there and prove my thesis by claiming that an actor is a really significant contributor to society?

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