Oh man! I know it! The craziest concept I could have EVER come up with……..yet here it is.
This was an especially shocking revelation for me. Not just because I’m about as far left as it gets when it comes to things like gay marriage and public vivisections for anyone who thinks the Patriot Act was a good idea, but also because I live in this weird alternative universe of my mind that is always more interesting than reality. One of the most interesting facets of that universe, which also happens to be the most gay, has to do with my roommates. Basically, I live with Tim Gunn and George Tekai; men who inspire me with their quick wit, charm and seemingly endless supply of wisdom and kindness. Life isn’t always easy for me despite the tough facade that I use to keep people at a distance, so their constant input helps to temper my outlook and my mood. I don’t feel as if I expect them to micro-manage me, because I pick up on resentment pretty quickly, and that is not a predominant vibe in our house. It is all about give and take, and we all bring our unique sense of humor and style to the party. And honestly, with all of the changes that come with bariatric surgery, people like Tim and George are EXACTLY the type of people you can depend upon to voice realistic concerns as well as their heart-felt support.
I won’t go into too many details about our daily routines, or how tough it is to coordinate schedules when you have three busy men in the house. Suffice it to say, we do make the most out of our quality time together when we are in town at the same time. We have a traditional high tea (which we all make fun of) any day we’re together…..whether the event has to happen in the morning, afternoon or evening….schedules dictate that. I can’t really say that we watch much TV or anything, we generally serve as each other’s entertainment and sounding boards. We’re just a fun group, and I have to say that it feels GREAT to play the “attention whore” role with these guys. How I write is exactly how I talk…anyone who speaks to me regularly can tell you that. And I have no problem knocking these two over with a feather when I start in with one of my tales or theories. George’s signature “oh MY!” never gets old, and you can work Tim into a tizzy without even trying….”JERRY! You have got to get it together! That girl is what? Twenty three? What do you two even have to talk about? But even worse, my GOD, those BANGS! Her GRANDMOTHER may have been Bettie Page, but that look was dead before she was even BORN! Just awful!”
So I know what you’re thinking, these are the only two guys who make me feel butch and I’m using them for that. Now I can’t prove a negative, but I will say that you are totally wrong. We have a mutually respectful and supportive relationship that works equally for all of us. Each of us brings a unique sense of style, humor and support to the relationship, and there’s just no way to qualify that for those of you who view the scenario with some weird preconceived notion. There is a level of bonding that goes beyond explanation or rational thought…and I think that is the exact type of inexplicable dynamic that is the cornerstone of our friendship. Obviously, I can only theorize about THEIR bond with each other. From what I witness, it is honest and fun , and there is no evidence that would make me believe otherwise. As far as what “I get” out of all of this, and I guess you can call it feeling “butch” if you want to, are those quiet and private moments where (and maybe this is all in my head) I feel like I can act as some sort of sentry or protector for these two gifted men. I want to protect the world in which they live…and there are times at night when the conversations are winding down, before we all retire to our rooms, and I make some final and ridiculous act of showmanship. I’ll make some insane point about wine or women that has absolutely no possibility of resolution, then suddenly leave the room in a flourish and hear their laughter as I shut my door and head to bed. Once I’m ready to go to sleep and I can hear that they have retired as well, and the house is silent and dark, I will simply stand in my doorway for several minutes appreciating who they are and wishing for the best of all possible things for them….silently channeling Atticus Finch in my own protective and fatherly way. It isn’t much, but when I do it I mean it…and you can either understand that or you can’t.
So…..how are great guys like THEM ruining America? First of all, I’m no social theorist or city planner, but I’ll start this off by telling you to think of the “cool” parts of your town. More likely than not, they are what Paul Fussell would refer to as the “Bohemian Enclaves”. In Kansas City, the 39th St. corridor is a good example of the exact phenomenon I’m talking about. It is the part of town where you’ll find a high concentration of galleries, high-end and ethnic eateries, weird little boutiques…..basically wherever your gratuitous and ubiquitous “FIRST FRIDAY” ground-zero happens to be. You like those places? Well so do I. You know who you have to thank for them? Gay people (and artists). You know who is responsible for their imminent destruction? Gay people (and artists).
It sounds insane, but follow along with me here…… the majority of the “cool” parts of town spring up where there was once urban blight. This is not always the case, but it happens enough to map a trend. Space is cheap so artists will set up studios. Once they have established the territory and there is enough of an infrastructure to support life, the trendier urban gays (and developers too…I know that) come in and begin to rehabilitate houses and turn industrial space into nice lofts. I’m not breaking it down like this to sound flippant or demeaning, I dearly love all that hipster shit….lofts, markets, studios, ethnic grocers and eateries….those things are all right in my comfort zone. And let’s face it, I’m white, you’re white, we’re ALL white….so we make it easy for ourselves to overlook the fact that we’re capitalizing on blighted areas that were abandoned by the urban poor….it’s all in the name of progress, right? Right. God bless the bountiful bowls of pho, overpriced art glass and the homemade candles the hippies are so fond of creating…….and God bless the gay (and artist) pioneers for creating these sanctuaries…..
But this is as far as it goes before it is ruined. If you know of an area like this that is currently thriving with all of the locally owned and independent businesses, take one last look before it is gone. In “Fear and Loathing…”, Hunter S. Thompson notes a similar phenomenon when he says “So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark….that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back”.
The wave in your Bohemian Enclave has already crested, and it has begun to roll back. It is a victim of its own progress and white-ness…..because things are about to get a little TOO white…..
How, you ask? No punches pulled here, this is how the damn gays (and artists) are ruining America…..
It’s a typical Thursday evening at some kind of themed bar or restaurant in a stripmall, and Todd and Tina Exurb are chatting with their boring friends about whatever boring shit people yack about out there in their pre-fab tombs. Then suddenly you hear “OH! I read in the local alternative paper about this restaurant that opened up in a part of the ghetto where they don’t automatically kill white people anymore! Oh, they said it was GOOD! They use SAUCES! We need to all get in our gigantic Humvee’s and get down there! Sometimes I feel like the waiters out here don’t respect all of the money we spend, so this is new territory for us to monopolize waitstaff and leave SHITTY TIPS!! WHEEEEEEE!!!!”.
And so it begins. The gayness and artistry have drawn in the very worst of humankind….yuppies who like all of the trappings of that environment but think it’s still too “icky” for them to actually live there. With the suburban buzz created by Todd and Tina Exurb, comes the totally familiar and totally corporate…..they want the same five dollar Starbucks drink that they can get out at the cookie-cutter stripmall….the independent coffee shops just don’t do it right, they never make it sweet enough and the staff isn’t hip to the fine art of kissing yuppie ass. So just like the 39th St. corridor in Kansas City, Starbucks comes in, followed quickly by Chipotle. Soon the “icky” factor subsides enough for Todd and Tina to realize….”oh look at all of these quaint houses and lofts…they’re so much cheaper here than they are out in our paradise of suburban sprawl….and those roving gangs of black teenagers our friends warned us about haven’t done a home invasion and massacred an entire white family in AGES! I want to LIVE HERE!”. Then because you obviously need one on every block, Walgreen’s comes in and takes up space, and before long the corporate dollars have driven overhead so high that the independent shops and restaurants can no longer afford to exist in the area that they made successful. So the damn gays (and artists) flee the scene to create and ruin the next Bohemian Enclave. One minute you and I are blissfully strolling the avenues of our hipster nirvana, and the next minute we’re getting cut off by gigantic SUV’s driven by total fuckers who think they may have seen an empty parking space right in front of whatever familiar retail chain they cannot live without…..
And yeah, as soon as more people in the West Bottoms of KC can afford to put air conditioning in their lofts and shops, it will all happen there too. Todd and Tina can’t ruin it for everyone until they can do so in a climate controlled environment.
Whether it’s corridors like 39th St. or Westport, or it’s the gigantic and hideous pre-fab ready-made communities like Zona Rosa or The Power and Light District, one thing is certain….people with absolutely no taste are running the show. Now I can’t blame the gays (and artists) for the prefab communities, but just knowing there are cooler parts of town to spend your weekends makes the development of those monstrosities even more torturous. You can’t even have a decent dinner in them without being inundated by the rudeness of the overgrown fratboys who don’t see a problem with wearing their favorite team’s ballcap at the dinner table, or their tanorexic skanks who literally have their cell phones surgically attached to their ears……so thanks gays, artists and gay artists….THOSE are the people you are drawing to our happy little biospheres! As soon as they pick up a copy of the local alternative rag at Applebee’s and read about the good work you’re doing…….the ruination cometh!
Now, I don’t want to sound like even more of an elitist dick than I already do, so I will say this….I understand that big box stores and corporate chains have their place in this world. I do realize that unless you just have a ton of money, you can’t venture down to the hipster brasserie every time you don’t feel like cooking and want to feed your family. I know that it would be insanely cumbersome to visit ten independent stores every time you go shopping when Target has everything you need in one spot. What pisses me off is the fact that the need for comfortable, familiar, brand-recognition generally wins out over its locally owned and operated counterpart. Taking advantage of the kid’s menu at Chili’s is one thing…..fucking over a local business just so you can save ten cents on a cup of coffee is another issue entirely. The suburbs are already there, and they have everything you need….feel free to visit the Bohemian Enclaves but don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. We have enough McDonald’s, Ted’s Montana Grills, Hooters, brewpubs, sports bars, GAP’s, Old Navy’s, and all of the other shit that is apparently like crack to Todd and Tina Exurb. Always having one of those places two minutes from wherever you happen to be isn’t the “new manifest destiny”…..it’s time for you to fuck off now. Seriously. You people who view the corporatization of every square inch of ground as progress, just because it’s familiar to you and easy, embody everything that is ugly about The Ugly American.
My GOD I just get so worked up because of those GODDAMN QUEERS (AND ARTISTS) coming in and doing something cool and then leaving us with all of the corporate chain bullshit!
Obviously, the real point of this post other than to vent my frustration at corporate sprawl, is to give my readers a tool with which they can blow people’s minds. Everyone who stops by here and takes the time to read my rambling is obviously very intelligent, attractive and cutting edge…..so I don’t have to spell it out for you but I will anyway. We ALL know at least five or six Huckabee-lovin’ dumbasses, and I’m sure you all love to jack with their feeble worldviews as much as I do. Now, you can either approach the topic from a standard Socratic methodology or go with the whole “your enemy of your enemy is your friend” angle, but the point is to get people to equate homosexuals (something they hate) with stuff like Wal-Mart (something they love). Be sure to leave enough holes in your argument like I have, so that they don’t just blow you off. If you make too airtight of a case they’ll just ignore you instead of engaging you with their banter (as evidenced by my “Why I Hate Guys Like Huckabee” post….it just made TOO much sense).
So there you go, have fun with it. And speaking of corporate hell, I’ll be in DC for the next several days for the type of training that could be accomplished in a few hours, BUT being corporate America they take way more time than necessary to insure that everyone is tortured as they teach to the dumbest person in the room…..
I’m sure I’ll be checking in here at some point, I just wanted to get this extra-lengthy ramble recreated so you’d have some entertainment……..I hope you all have a great week, even you damn gays (and artists)!