Tuesday, March 28, 2006

the heart is predictable above all things

“Wow, it’s like a laundry list of child abuse clichés,” Jenessa said before we were even out of the Castro Theater, where we’d just watched The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. “It’s like, neglect—check, sexual molestation—check, evil punk rock music—check. And of course they had to blow up a meth lab.”

“It’s like how people say that if you show a gun at the beginning of a movie, it has to go off by the end,” I said. “If you show a meth lab, it has to blow up.”

Even without knowing the JT LeRoy backstory, the movie was bad. In some ways, fake stories have to be more compelling than true stories, because they don’t have that oh-my-god-that-really-happened factor to fall back on. And to view a work of fiction whose only point is “child abuse sucks” is not a powerful experience. We left feeling dirty and disappointed.

But my point is the whole list-of-clichés thing, because the next day we fell victim to another laundry list, this time under the heading of Things Straight Men Say To Try To Pick Up Lesbians That Actually Have The Opposite Effect.

We were at a coffee shop, and the perp was a 40-something man wearing a hat that caused one of his ears to bend in a distracting way.

Him: “Oh? Maybe you just haven’t met the right man yet. Have you been with a black man?”

Him: “Well, I wouldn’t be with a man because I’m not attracted to men.”

Him: “How about just being friends? I have lots of friends who are gay and lesbian. And some lesbians, they want to have babies. Do you want to have a baby?”

Him: “But you’re not afraid to be a girl, I can tell. You’re still soft.”

Him: “I think two women together is a beautiful thing.”

Needless to say, I didn’t take him up on his not-so-subtle offer to father my child.


Tracy Lynn said...

Dude, sometimes men are so pathetic. Actually, I'd like to amend that to sometimes people are so pathetic, because I've heard women say very similar things to lesbians, as if they are trying to reassure themselves that lesbianism REALLY is a choice. Weird.

My word verification is Moxee!

Jamie said...

Uck! Oh my god. How bad can it get? People think the racism/abusiveness depicted in the movie Crash is exaggerated, but I disagree. Stuff like that happens every day. People like the guy you describe really exist and really do stay the most stupid and disgusting things.

Jamie said...

I meant "say" not "stay." I seem destined to leave typos in my comments.

By the way, my word verification is etcjab.

Claire said...

Classic. I'm sure he wouldn't get how that could be offensive even if someone explained it to him. "So, I should say what next time?"

Cheryl said...

He was softspoken and friendly (in an offensive kind of way)--it's harder to be mean to people like that, who are just genuinely ignorant. But next time maybe I'll try etcjabing him with a nice sharp moxee.

Schrodinger's Kitten said...

But at least you're still soft!

erin said...

Bleck. That man was icky. And you know he's thinking to himself how evolved he is because he's okay with women being lesbians and with lesbians wanting to be mothers. You know, he's telling himself, "this girl's going to think I'm great because I'm not one of those hatemongers who bash dykes." Au contraire... he loves lesbians. In an icky icky way.

Cheryl said...

You totally pegged him, Erin (but not in the Dan Savage sense of the word. God forbid).

thelastnoel said...

Too bad you're not Asian like me. When someone like that comes up to me, I say, "So sorry, no speak English." (I bow several times for maximum effect.)

Cheryl said...

Maybe I'll try to learn how to say, "I don't speak English" in German.

Hyperion said...

Where is Brian Krakow (with a shaved head) when you need him?