Top 10 Letters
"Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," Gary Coleman, why Saddam's innocent, and more.
12:00 AM, Aug 18, 2003
THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.
While I agree with David Skinner's Queer Like Us, there is one thing worth adding. If we straight guys are so barbaric and clueless, how come I can cook, decorate, entertain, and occasionally impress a nice female? Well, I'll give you a hint: I've never had one--let alone five--homosexuals tutor me.
Instead, I had women take care of me. My mother taught me to treat girls as equals who weren't as physically strong as I was and to understand that good manners were a good way to get girls to like me. I now have three grown kids and seven grandkids and am unfortunately divorced. But I had years of training for my late life bachelorhood--from my wife. She made me behave despite myself. She helpfully (and often forcefully) pointed out my social gracelessness. She taught me how to put a room together. She taught me how to put colors and patterns together. And when I would carelessly put on some hideous ensemble when attempting to leave the house, she used her best chilly voice to say "Oh, no you don't, mister. You're not going out in public looking like that. People will think I don't take care of you!"
Unfortunately, the generation depicted on "Queer Eye" doesn't understand that such a society existed. And their lives are much emptier for it.
Here's the problem I have with "Queer Eye": I see more and more in popular culture the idea that hetero men have to be "fixed" somehow by women or gay men. The dumb-guy stereotype is ubiquitous on television, as is the smart-aleck wife / girlfriend.
Maybe I am overreacting, but I don't like seeing hetero guys diminished in this way. It's especially galling considering that these dumb brute hetero guys are doing the sometimes dangerous work that make "the civilized world" possible--working on oil rigs, soldiering, policing, etc.
Victorino Matus's take on Gary Coleman's candidacy, while deep and insightful, indicates that he, like the rest of us Generation X-ers, watched way, way too much television as a kid (I'm Just Wild About Gary). Such detail work, while impressive, is equally disturbing.
Never forget, though, Coleman's penchant for truthfulness. On one episode of "Diff'rent Strokes" he played Honest Abe Lincoln in a school play. Lincoln had over three feet on him, but all of that honesty crammed into that a little package can only spell good things for California.
--Peter Byrnes Jr.
Matt Labash missed one generation of "covering" in Ruben's opening number at the American Idol concert (False Idols). Karin Carpenter (and let's not forget brother Dick) covered "Superstar" from Leon Russel's (the song's composer) original. So, if you're keeping score at home: It's Carpenter(s) covering Russel, Vandross covering Carpenter(s), and Ruben covering Vandross. Which makes what Labash heard during his night of the living dead a cover cubed.
Since Bill Whalen mentioned "The Beverly Hillbillies," here's The Beverly Bill-Hillaries (Guess Who's Coming to the Recall):
Come and listen to a story about a man named Bill.
Davis that is. Budget buster. Vote buyer.
Will the first thing you know 'ol Hillary's seeing red.
Washington that is. August recess. Searing heat.