Sunday, April 7, 2013
'A boy's best friend is his mother.'
A prequel to a 1960 film set in the current day really shouldn't work, but it does!
I am currently loving Bates Motel, A & E's venture into scripted television featuring the iconic characters of Norman and Norma Bates. In this telling of the famous tale, we meet Norman as a high school student and learn what led to one of motion pictures most famous shower scenes. What makes Bates Motel so great is the incredible acting and amazing chemistry of the shows leads played by Vera Farmiga & Freddie Highmore. Highmore makes Norman positively sympathetic and tragic. Overbearing doesn't even come close to describing Farmiga's portrayal of mother.
I recently watched last year's Hitchock, which primarily focused on the making of Psycho. Bates Motel makes a perfect companion piece.
There is no magic to having babies. Every species of animal, even plant for that matter, have the capacity in one form or another to reproduce. Raising an offspring then, often has little to do with birthing. It is the parenting that is the key.
Like most of you, I was touched by the story this week about Magic Johnson’s support of his gay son. It is always heart warming to see a man, maybe especially so one so closely associated to the world of sports, so open about his love and support for his child. Why was it then, that the longer I pondered the story, a news story no less, the more it nagged at me just a bit.
I am aware of course that stories such as this are part of the reason that there is more mainstream acceptance of gay people, and gay marriage, with the public. The more celebrities who are open, the more public figures embrace the normality of the lifestyle has only helped. Yet, as the week went on, I began less enthusiastic about viewing this story as a positive news item.
When highway patrol officers pulls people over on the highway, they don’t generally pull drivers over to compliment and praise them for following the speed limit. Now, one could argue that they should, but currently, they don’t. They pull over those breaking the law and give them a message, either verbally, or financially with a ticket, that they are doing something they should not be doing.
Why is it then, that when it comes to gay culture, we point out when people are doing exactly what they should be doing? We should not or course discriminate, we should be supportive of people being who they are. Parents should instinctively want to support the children they chose to raise. Maybe it would be better, to draw everyone’s attention on those parents who are not supporting their kids, the parents who cause emotional distress and pain on those they at one time vowed to love and protect.
In case it wasn't clear, there are no criticisms of Magic here. I love that he is supportive of his son. I guess I am just not sure I am OK with it being something heroic, extraordinary or newsworthy. I want it just to be what should be done.
I realize there is nothing new about censorship, but for some reason I have been reading more and more about it over the past few weeks. Not so much the censorship of adult or mature material, but more specifically, the suppression of the shaft.
Accounts of artists having their work removed from social media are not new, but now it seems to have filtered over to even sites which have in the past always supported and promoted adult material. What is so alarming is that for the most part, the artists being censored are ones who focus on the male form. Many of these sites house thousands upon thousands of images of the female form, some much harder in focus than the images of men being removed.
When photographer Hans Fahrmeyer first sent me this series a few weeks ago, it came came with a link to a video of the work. If you have followed Sunday With Hans, you know there are often accompanying videos, beautifully edited together by Hans featuring his images and a usually exquisite piece of classical music. By the time I went to post, the video, along with the last few I had posted, had all been deleted by Vimeo.
Hans is an artist and these videos were simply compilations of his photographic images. Graphic... maybe, but no actual acts of sex or violence were ever depicted within any of them. Most sites who host adult material have filters to ensure anyone viewing understands adult material is included.
I do understand that sites like Vimeo don't want to be overrun with homemade sex tapes and bedroom images from anyone with a camera. There has to be however, a way to distinguish what is and what is not pornographic. Sadly, this line seems more often than not to always come down to a penis.