Sitting on my couch in front of the television, the bf curled up and desperately trying to burrow his feet underneath me, i found myself beginning to wonder about the future of television.
Yes the writers will continue striking until a deal is reached, and I can’t say I blame them.
But soon, your favorite shows will all run out of pre-strike recorded episodes and then what? Will Americans turn off the TV in droves and head out into the yard to play with their kids, or perhaps become active in the political process?
They’ll turn to the inter-tubes to keep them entertained!
What does that mean for LGBT characters or even the view of the community at large?
So far we’ve had good writers (mostly) who often write engaging and witty gay characters without resorting to too many stereotypes (I know there are many exceptions, save your emails). But now we have several different gay faces on the internet who, like it or not, are representing our community. Lets take a look at a few examples:
William Sledd’s “Ask a Gay Man” on YouTube:
William Sledd is what we would get if Jack McFarland had sex with Paul Lynde and accidentally impregnated Julia Sugarbaker.
Broadcasting from his home in Paducah, Ky, William’s “Ask a Gay Man” series deals with all the major issues affecting LGBT people like Fashion, “Bitches”, who he hates YouTube. You know, the important stuff.
In this clip he discusses policy issues surround what people wear to the mall. He disturbs me; not only because he speaks as a gay man, but also as a southern gay man. I’m a southern gay man, and I enjoy a video post from time to time, but this is what people see as a representative of southern gay boys. I should interject that William Sledd is a boy. Not a man. Not by far.
Chris Crocker: The “Leave Britney Alone Guy”
Like many of today’s celebrities, Chris Crocker is a flash in the pan, 15 minute are over, one hit slumber. One gay guy cries on YouTube about Britney Spears and the MSM begins to take his opinion seriously… or have they? Coverage on shows like “Maury” and “Access Hollywood” all portray Crocker as a joke. Even Britney has distanced herself from him. Britney thinking someone is too crazy is like Hitler thinking someone is too racist, I know, but it should tell you something about the level of freakishly crazy we’re talking about here.
The thing about Chris Crocker is that he actually has a story that could help people. He knows what it’s like to grow up in a small southern town. He’s experienced the sort of bigotry that being yourself can attract. Crocker could address these issues and actually educate people for change. Instead he’s appeared drunk and half dressed (a la Britney) at Hollywood parties where even there they think he’s a joke. I promise, not all southern gay boys are like this. But if I’m right about the coming surge in internet viewership, this is what America will see.
Ben Patrick Johnson: Life On The Left Coast
Ben Patrick Johnson’s video blog is well put together, flowing like a (very) abbreviated news cast. He sometimes wanders into the realm of entertainment news and rants about celebrities but usually stays focused on issues that affect the average LGBT person. Of course, it really doesn’t hurt that he’s a bodybuilder, has the voice of someone who should do movie trailers and has appeared nude (tastefully) on a gay bodybuilding site. The average American probably won’t watch BPJ’s show simply because it is political in nature and he hasn’t appeared naked and sobbing on YouTube yet. I’ll still be tuned in.
The moral of the story is this: just because you have a webcam, doesn’t mean you need to post a video. And if you do becme famous via the internet, try like hell to make some positive change in the world while you can. Finding a new “star” is only a click away.
P.S. Who are some of YOUR favorite YouTube (or other Video sites) “Stars”?
Some other YouTube Stars you might like:
Patrickblog Is a young New Zealander (ite?) who posts about his life.