I read the news today oh boy! Page 2145

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A Horseradish

  • Saturday 8th February 2020, 7:00pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 7,115 posts

The 21st Century culture of openness - the sort which dwells on identity issues for days on end because the United Kingdom no longer has an industrial heartland - is becoming more of a sham than it has ever been in terms of being a supposed development from the bad years. There can be thousands of pages of newsprint devoted to it, four million hits on You Tube and nearly a week of phone ins with the half-baked thoughts of Trevor from West Malling. Still it seems we are all none the wiser about anything specific when it is specifics that alone should define reality. The political line is next. It is one to which we are all expected to adhere or else be described as a social leper. It was funnier in the old days.

So, someone after nearly 30 years of marriage with an individual of the opposite sex and with two adult offspring, quote, "comes out as gay". Everyone says they are proud of him. Lengthy discussions are held in the media on the matter to use up air time, justify presenters' millionaire style salaries, and ensure that no effort has to be made to fill that space instead with expensive documentaries on dinosaurs, space travel, the piano concertos of Tcherepnin (Alexander rather than Nikolai) and advanced crochet. And after it all, what has any of us learned? Precisely nothing other than that this is all to the good just so long as no in depth questions are asked as those apparently are about personal privacy. Well, I am going to buck the trend. I shall ask as I am not as a viewer quite satisfied with the vagueness being promoted. One which turns us all into beings compliant with the socially required naivety. What does gay in these circumstances mean? Specifically?

It does not mean, does it, being in love with someone of the same gender when the existence of such a relationship seems to be absent. Nor does it appear on all that has not been said to mean having a strong emotional yearning to be in a sexual relationship with someone imagined of the same sex who is older or who is younger or who is of the same age as the individual concerned. Thirdly, it is not that the individual could be said to have had a physical inability with sex with someone of the opposite gender for donkeys years which of itself would genetically rule out bisexuality. A strong yearning to have sex as sex with a man - any man - well, perhaps, but that is not exclusively gay either and hasn't been confirmed. So, no, it is on the basis of what we have been allowed to hear more general. More vague. Less specific. Not specific at all in these ways, that's as it has been told. Without question, the spotlight is wholly on the coming outer but his spotlight on what others mean to him has to date been "no reveal". Except that in many ways could be the biggest reveal of all.

Who would begrudge a man who on coming up to 60 and, who, since his mid teens, has been desperate to entertain and do the usual responsible thing of being a husband and a father, opts to have a bit of "me time" as death draws closer? Some go down the pub more. Others take up fishing. A few will choose to do it altogether differently. The ageing process is a devil for everyone, whether he is a professor or he drives a dust cart. Consequently, by this sort of age, sex is largely absent so any talk of having a sexual identity is almost comical, let alone of having a sexual orientation. But then there is the fact that the media business is a very fickle mistress who, in her modern insistence on making life fairer for everybody, needs to have a dismissible fool guy. He is today called the white older middle aged British heterosexual family man.

Yet, change heterosexual to homosexual here and the media model suddenly changes. Computer indicating about to say "no - go and find a nice late night slot on BBC Radio Cleveland" switches in to "you've got a job for life, mate" mode. Immediately it senses currency, modern relevance, albeit bizarrely in what has been an aspect generally in life since long before the Bible, and a reversal of age-related fading significance much as a new weave would have a dramatic impact on virtual baldness. All the while, no other person (apart from the wife and the kids and a few celebrities) or yearning or behavioural preferences to the extent that they exist, if at all, need to be mentioned during what is falsely described as in-depth scrutiny. There is, I am in no doubt, an aspect to these things which says something of social changes in the past 30 years. They have made many lives easier than they would have been. There is also, without question, a very genuine quality to what has been thought and felt and expressed in which career based considerations unequivocally play no part.

But the gay identity here is a closeted thing in its supposed outness. It is in regard to its perceptions of any other person (or people generally) like a three line sketch in which one can just about see it is a figure but all its characteristics are missing. Strange when the entertainment has so often been about interviewing other people but then does questioning ever fully reach or engage?? As for the person with the perceptions, he is reduced to a word - gay - but is simultaneously elevated by its simplicity which in truth can never be the full identity in anyone or close to it. It's a construct as all aspects of our identities are but one in which even more notice is taken of someone who has rarely been out of the public's gaze yet only seemingly about his true gaze in regard to others which, by necessity for self-focus, must remain approximate.

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john tregorran

  • Saturday 8th February 2020, 8:05pm
  • mornington,victoria, Australia
  • 837 posts

Why did this man make it public?He could just tell his family and friends in private if he thought he had to.
Another one of those" look at me" characters the world seems to be full of these days.

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Briosaid

  • Saturday 8th February 2020, 11:40pm
  • Scotland
  • 1,302 posts

Yes. I look forward to the day when it'll be totally unnecessary to make this kind of statement. You are what you are, so what?

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A Horseradish

  • Saturday 8th February 2020, 11:51pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 7,115 posts
Quote: Briosaid @ 8th February 2020, 11:40 PM

Yes. I look forward to the day when it'll be totally unnecessary to make this kind of statement. You are what you are, so what?

I thought that was how things were in the main about 20 years ago when fewer people felt the need to be categorizable.

Still, it makes a change from real public concerns. SNP's Scotland has what could have been their next leader (and God knows how as he wouldn't impress me even as a biscuit salesman), Derek Mackay, as one lump of bread down in the Borders and their last leader, Alex Salmond, as another lump of bread up beyond the Trossachs. Nicola Sturgeon, the poor woman, has become, through no fault of her own, the Central Belt strawberry jam filling in a sex allegation sandwich.

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BTF

  • Sunday 9th February 2020, 1:03am
  • United Kingdom
  • 519 posts

I wonder if he saw it as such a big thing because when he was a much younger man he would have felt obliged to deny it. I suppose it would get out if he just told his mates so he thought he may as well go public.

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Michael Monkhouse

  • Sunday 9th February 2020, 10:18am
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 4,414 posts

Independence Day, the US declares its independence from the rest of the world cos 'We are Americans and we are AWESOME!'... The Monroe Doctrine proclaims the US shouldn't get involved in the rest of the planet cos 'We are Americans and we are SO AWESOME!'... The US stays out of 2 world wars as long as possible cos 'We Are AMERICANS and we're TOO GODDAM AWESOME!'... Now we go Brexit: 'You selfish ASSHOLES! Get involved, muddafakkas. You just don't care. It's just us, us, us.'

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Paul Wimsett

  • Sunday 9th February 2020, 1:24pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,344 posts
Quote: john tregorran @ 8th February 2020, 8:05 PM

Why did this man make it public?He could just tell his family and friends in private if he thought he had to.
Another one of those" look at me" characters the world seems to be full of these days.

I think Horseradish was trying to answer this. It's confusing why you say "this man" as if it would be okay for another man though. He's on a programme where you have to give advice on personal problems. You might say it's not that good at doing this, but if a presenter has something to give to a dilemma?

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Rood Eye

  • Sunday 9th February 2020, 4:02pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,612 posts
Quote: john tregorran @ 8th February 2020, 8:05 PM

Why did this man make it public?

Homosexuality has been a crime in many countries since biblical times - and almost certainly before.

In some countries today, homosexual men are put to death simply for being homosexual.

In Britain, homosexual men suffered the same fate until relatively recently, in historical terms.

In fact, when the Beatles were at the height of their fame during a period which many people remember as being "not that long ago", homosexual men in this country were still being sent to prison for attempting to strike up relationships with others of the same persuasion.

Even today, it's not uncommon for schoolboys when noticing something unusual in another boy's behaviour, attitudes or style of dress (even if there isn't the remotest rational connotation of homosexuality) to denounce it humorously among themselves by uttering the word "gay".

Men who have lived several decades in a world like that might, if they're lucky, feel at ease about their sexual orientation: others might have all manner of fears and other negative feelings built up inside them like a pressure cooker.

I can only imagine Philip Schofield falls into the latter group and that making his announcement took an absolutely colossal weight off his mind and shoulders.

He's probably sleeping more peacefully now than he has done for years.

I wish him many more peaceful nights.

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john tregorran

  • Sunday 9th February 2020, 6:26pm [Edited]
  • mornington,victoria, Australia
  • 837 posts

I know all that but you have to consider other people besides yourself.He may be feeling wonderful now but what about his wife and kids?

"Darling,our years of happy marriage have all been a lie.Oh and by the way I want to tell the whole world about it."

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Chappers

  • Sunday 9th February 2020, 9:02pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 30,804 posts

I didn't have time to read Horse's post (yet again) but I guess he was talking about Philip Schofield.

If so well it hardly seemed a surprise to me.

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Briosaid

  • Sunday 9th February 2020, 9:14pm
  • Scotland
  • 1,302 posts
Quote: A Horseradish @ 8th February 2020, 11:51 PM

I thought that was how things were in the main about 20 years ago when fewer people felt the need to be categorizable.

Still, it makes a change from real public concerns. SNP's Scotland has what could have been their next leader (and God knows how as he wouldn't impress me even as a biscuit salesman), Derek Mackay, as one lump of bread down in the Borders and their last leader, Alex Salmond, as another lump of bread up beyond the Trossachs. Nicola Sturgeon, the poor woman, has become, through no fault of her own, the Central Belt strawberry jam filling in a sex allegation sandwich.

I've ignored this and ignored it till I can't any longer. No where near the bloody Borders, about 5 minutes drive from Nicola's constituency. Away and look at a map. Renfrewshire in general is close to Govan.

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A Horseradish

  • Sunday 9th February 2020, 10:42pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 7,115 posts

Very Brief Comments

I accept all of the points that have been made in the last few posts. My difficulty is with the concept of an individual sexual identity with regard to sexual orientation when the concept of orientation, by definition, means an orientation towards another person or other people. Consequently, it can't rationally be just about one person rather than two people or more. I realise that this is not generally how people identify others or how they self-define. They tend to say "he is gay" or "I am gay" even in the absence of any sexual interaction with other people. But the first of those - and often the second - appears to me to reside in the area of the playground experience as described by Rood, only in a supposed adult form.

Historically, group think at age 9 or even at age 15 was based on perceptions of an individual as effeminate or less manly or not being good at team games or in manner and behaviour not seeming to some quite like one of the crowd. None of that has anything to do with that individual as he relates or might relate to another individual emotionally or indeed to the basics of being in bed with another person and especially any physical/sexual interaction between two people. Rather it implies and conveys falsely that sexual orientation, whether gay or straight, principally exists in its own right in an identity in the absence of sexual interaction with another person. That is plainly irrational. It is largely in the Mr Humphries school and, I would contend not entirely unfashionably, pretty vacant although its ability to make itself substantial is one of life's most extraordinary and enduring of givens. Eras come. Eras go. There are always legions with a certain kind of gob.

Many nuances based in fact have been acquired by "the crowd" during the past 20 years. Not only have considerable strides been made in terms of promoting a culture of acceptance of everyone but there is a greater understanding that gays can be good at sport and straights can be very womanly or, if not, very different from being "one of the lads". I refer to the male stereotypes here given the nature of what is in the news but equivalents on identity can obviously be found too in female scenarios. Whatever, that thinking continues in the playgrounds up and down the land, albeit with the refinements as outlined, so that it can ultimately be tantamount to a self-fulfilling prophecy, This is to say that the sense of isolation which it engenders can have such a long lasting impact that in adulthood the individual concerned translates it into an emotional need. That is, one for an acceptance from someone of the same gender in physical relationship terms.

The massive weight of the political end of gay culture will, of course, endorse the full embracing of that angle in such an individual because everyone involved in it believes strongly in that idea of an evolution from what was always intrinsic to the identity, as perceived. In contrast, what I have always believed is that it - often with the best of intentions and through no fault of its own - operates unwittingly as a concession to what is ostensibly a half baked framework designed by immature and inexperienced heterosexual kids. Somehow those kids equally unwittingly manage to have huge clout. They persuade both themselves and any individual they perceive as being different that he has such a different identity that it can't possibly have anything to do with them and their group think attitudes when it may well do. Furthermore, all tell themselves that in the longer term it is or will be all about interaction involving the genitals. Frankly, that is a massive leap.

It is to me like a kind of heterosexually conceived magic trick on which basis some connection is indeed found via the conjurers and the conjured both believing wholeheartedly in the process. Additionally, it is in this context in which lifelong homophobes and both straight and gay liberal adults who are the absolute opposite of homophobic ironically form an unholy alliance. As political adults, all believe in the phenomenon but more structurally. It is in different ways in all of their own personal interests to see these things as they do. None of this is to imply that there aren't many people who are fundamentally gay because of genetic composition, aspects of family background or positive preference and choice where such things are also factors. I am in no doubt that there are and where this leads to big happiness good luck to them.

However, the story in the news is a reminder to us all that there are many situations which at least historically are more complex. It may well be that there is something absolutely fundamental to the identity there but the bisexual quality of the individual concerned does not strongly imply that such clarity is obvious. Complexities reside in many places. One known radio presenter - a man who is happily married to another man - somehow manages to combine in what is generally crystal clear political thinking a full positivity about that relationship with a vehement belief which he utters frequently that he would not have chosen to have been gay and by consequence few would do so far as he believes these things. Here his idea of the common view is entirely based in his own personal experience and as such is almost a form of group think in himself. But then this tends to be the way of social memes. I feel X. X is fact across the board, give or take a nuance or two.

Another broadcaster who is a clergyman and whose husband sadly died recently enjoyed a celibate marriage and not without some criticism from some gay men who felt that his religion had played too important a part. But that almost biblical style critique in them of non sexual interaction in that marriage could seem deeply homophobic of itself. That is, when one considers all of the heterosexual marriages which for years themselves are run in celibacy and yet do not generally come in for any form of social attack. Arguably, it is that playground instinct for isolating one individual from a crowd which is ironically at play there. More to the point, the Reverend and his late spouse were both adamant about themselves being gay. Fair enough. If they said so, we should accept it. Yet in practice, some might say that there was barely any difference between them and two straight mates without active interests in finding a partner sharing a house.

Even Briefer Comments

While I am a great advocate of individuality - in this modern world where there are not enough characters and most folk simply fall bizarrely into either the category of a corporate type or a chav : whatever the diversity committees proclaim, it is these social groupings which are actually the most prevalent and, to my mind, both retrograde and stultifying markers of identity in our times - I do think individuality can go too far, especially in younger age. The budding 15 year old broadcaster who writes off to to a hundred or more people in the business so as to get himself a job clearly already has highly individual needs. Most people just don't do that sort of thing. They mock the stage and often snarl at a screen.

Needs to communicate. Needs to entertain. Needs to make other people happy. Needs to be happy by making other people happy. Needs in which concepts of having an audience are unusually important to the identity itself so that it does not necessarily sit comfortably without that concept. Many entertainers have felt the loneliness of ultimately having to leave a stage. It has felt to them that almost a part of them has been lost. Such talent can be a gift. It is a gift which can also be a burden. It may or may not emanate from the attitudes experienced in the playground very early on. Where it doesn't, it may simply have evolved of its own accord as a kind of self-development of distinctive identity. One which seems great at the time but with age becomes more of a symbol of something that was sadly divisional. How it could translate across to matters of sexual interaction will inevitably be complex. But one thing to bear in mind is that the media circus is itself a playground of the supposedly mature. Its daily influence on us all should never be underestimated.

I do think that the manner in which the story has been lived in the full glare of public scrutiny speaks volumes about the nature of media impacts on identity. Such divisions of any kind which are felt by media types inside themselves will always have been partial at most for any gaps were inevitably felt to have been filled by that understanding of an audience in the identity. But as I flagged up in my earlier post, there is an inherent contradiction in the way an individual goes public in the media about his private side. The privacy may be actually what he subconsciously craves, whatever sexual prism it seems to be driven through and however physically that sense of another sexual person in his life is in truth rather remote, What, though, he is likely to acquire as a result is ten or twenty more years in the heart of the media business. Or to put it in another way, that never ending adult version of the happy clappy adolescent stage which is a Hotel California of sorts.

Incidentally, I see John Lydon is about to do a tour to promote his latest book, "I Could Be Right, I Could Be Wrong". Tickets are selling like hot cakes. Most folk, it seems, either never totally got the feeling that they had been cheated or perhaps deep down they just like to have an element of cheating in their lives, even if it magically backfires on them. That is, so long as it is - and I will, if I may be so bold, quote that great philosopher the late Paul Daniels here - not a lot. Personally, I can't think of a better - or more relevant - phrase of three words to end what for reasons of being a decrepit 57 year old myself has inevitably had to be the most succinct of my shorter entirely non audience orientated monologues.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Monday 10th February 2020, 10:46am
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,344 posts
Quote: A Horseradish @ 9th February 2020, 10:42 PM

Very Brief Comments

Yeah, right...

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A Horseradish

  • Monday 10th February 2020, 4:50pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 7,115 posts
Quote: Paul Wimsett @ 10th February 2020, 10:46 AM

Yeah, right...

Possibly but not necessarily.

I could be right.

Or I could be wrong.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 1:04pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,344 posts
Quote: Chappers @ 9th February 2020, 9:02 PM

I didn't have time to read Horse's post (yet again) but I guess he was talking about Philip Schofield.

If so well it hardly seemed a surprise to me.

No, it wasn't Phillip Schofield, someone got hold of your secret photos.

I think "it hardly seems a surprise" seems to be people's general reaction when something happens which they didn't expect, be it Brexit, Trump getting in and so on.

Even intelligent people can't predict everything. And there's no scientific reasoning behind a "gaydar" we can only make suppositions. And saying that Russell Brand, David Wailliams, Robbie Williams are gay would seem to show (at time of writing) that we get these suppositions wrong.