Wednesday, May 20, 2009

That's so Gay...No, homo

I entitled this entry merging two phrases used rather often by students (and teachers) in the halls of schools but in the attempts to create "safe schools" are phrases policed. I find these phrases rather comical and may myself use them, ironically, everyonce in awhile. I find them comical recognizing that they are also problematic. However, when merged are they still problematic OR in merging them do they, curiously or perhaps queeriously, do something different? Of course, the answer is probably both and thensome...but I want to write about the merging doing "something different"

"That's so gay" is shut down or argued to be shut down, silenced, when uttered because it associates "gay" with "stupid". I say "that's so gay" when I should just say "that's stupid" because gay is not or should not be synonomous with stupid. Of course, I would argue that who says the phrase and when alters that if it is uttered with irony or parody, it illuminates the idiotic nature of the phrase.

"No homo" is similarly shut down or argued to be shut down, silenced because it, in a sense, "shames" the homo by positioning "acts" as either "ok" or not and the one's that would "not" be ok are the "homo" ones. I can make my act "ok" by adding an addendum to the act by uttering "no homo".

Both phrases then position "gay" or "homo" as bad, shameful, illegitimate, etc. However, when merged as I merge them in my title, they are altered. How you ask? Well, by adding the addendum "no, homo" to "that's so gay" the "gay" becomes disassociated from "homosexual" and instead becomes simply "stupid". The gay in "that's so gay" can no longer operate the same when "no homo" is added to it since the "no homo" requires a different reading....and a reading that makes it not about "homosexuality".

Of course, this is inevitably much more complicated and the history of both of these phrases - sexually and racially - in need of being further explored. But for now...I think "that's so, homo"


WillTrumanEsq said...

Hi Adam,
You may have a point, but your writing is hard to understand. If you rewrote it without the unnecessary big words and explained better and more clearly your linguistic argument others will better be able to see what you are trying to say. It might have been brilliant, or not, can't tell until its explained more clearly.

Maybe one of your ed-psychology friends can help you revise it to make it more understandable. I'm sure you can put your overinflated ego aside for 10 minutes to do this lady gaga...

"Russian roulette is not the same without a gun, and when it comes to love if it isn't rough it isn't fun..."

A Queer Lens... said...

Hi Will,

Sometimes reading is not supposed to be easy. I respect a potential reader too much to try and write in an over-simplified manner as you seem to want. This of course requires the reader to "read" more closely than we are often allowed or asked to read in educational settings. This is not to say that at times I am too complex or verbose...but a little excess is "when it comes to reading and writing, if it isn't rough it isn't fun".

I am sorry you think I've an overinflated ego...that's something you place on me, not something I put on myself.

WillTrumanEsq said...

Hi Adam,
"A" "dam", are you the human incarnation of a wall designed to prevent floods ?

I'd imagine in your ed-psych. courses at Mich State they have taught you the basics of learning efficacy. If you really respect the reader you will write as clearly as possible, so the reader need expend the least amount of energy necessary to understand what you are saying. If you do not respect him, do not write clearly, and insult him by making him expend more energy than necessary.

Not only does writing clearly relieve strain in his working memory, it also activates the most efficient visual and verbal codes possible, resulting in the deepest learning possible.

Actually, you could have also included pictures and diagrams in your post, to illustrate the syntactic argument, it was another option as your disposal.

Also, the ambiguities in your writing and word choice make it difficult to accurately assess what you are trying to convey.

In your academic career, writing clearly and making hard concepts easy will be an important skill to learn. I'm not trying to make you feel bad, I'm just trying to enhance your writing style.

Lady Gaga and Patrick would be so disappointed, reading and writing should be easy, not rough.

You should "Make the reader hot, show him what you've got..but efficiently"

Also, if you had more clearly dissected the syntax of "That's so gay" and "No, homo" it would have provided a much stronger linguistic argument. You may be on to something substantial. You could lookup more on word morphology and apply it to your argument, perhaps even write it up as a paper someday.

Oh, I don't think you have an overflated ego, I know so. I reference the last quote on your facebook page if I recall something about how you're likely smarter than everyone you meet". Not a very modest thing to say.

Compensation issues ?

Michael Faris said...

I truly hope WillTrumanEsq is being farcical, because your language in this post isn't that complicated. It also seems clear to me that you're thinking through some things here, not providing a fully complex theoretical/linguistic argument.

I'm not sure I agree with your proposal in the initial post. It's an interesting proposition, and I think could work in certain contexts. Of course, like all language and meaning, it's situational. :) But interesting idea!

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