Thursday, March 29, 2012

Still Living In A World of Social Games?

“Like the fish that does not feel the weight of the water, human beings live in a world of social games embodied and turned into second nature” (104). 
   While reading Popular Culture and Queer Representation by Diane Raymond this specific line stood out to me. Through Raymond’s examination of three recurring tropes, (the increased appearance of glbt characters, the gay pretender and the straight mistaken for gay character) she considers the role of the dominate ideology, power relations, and changing popular culture when analyzing specific media texts. The quote above reminded me of the movie Brokeback Mountain; this movie uses the dominate ideology, power in representation, and the popular culture to illustrate “the new glbt characters we see on television are an attractive group both morally and physically” (106). Health Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, the two main characters, could be categorized by many of the terms we use to classify “masculinity.”

   Raymond’s primarily analyses television shows as a way to show the change in glbt representation and argues that, “today’s situation comedies manipulate signs of gayness to create humor and playfulness” (108). I thought it would be interesting to consider the movie Brokeback Mountain because it is a different form of media text; it does not use comedy to address homosexual relationships and although the movie’s storyline takes place in 1963, the movie was released in 2005. I wonder what type of reaction audience members would have if a media text like this was shown in 1963? 
   One movie review states, "Brokeback Mountain is an important and original romance that really and finally portrays the homosexual romance as two humans falling in love and never plays it for clichés, stereotypes, or comedy. It's a heartbreaking, beautifully acted, piece of romance, and deserves to be seen.” I would argue that Raymond would say this type of representation of glbt, although not a comedy or television show, stills works towards and will “give birth to new means and signifiers attached to queer sexuality” (109).

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