Sometimes I’m reminded of things (that were retroactively erased from my memory) by consequence of the dreaded Wikipedia Hole. Like a Youtube Hole, one link leads to another and so on until you realize hours have flown by and your initial query was for Boy Meets World. And so I landed at this Dr. Dre video, obviously.
When we think of Dr. Dre, it’s normally within in two specific contexts–The Chronic/Death Row era and the resurgence with Eminem, 50 Cent and his own 2001, but we often overlook what happened in between. Dr. Dre Presents The Aftermath was an oddity not unlike Blood On The Dancefloor in its ill-timed release and sound that unsuccessfully rode nostalgia and a stab at relevance. It’s never regarded as part of the official cannon (not to mention his work on The Firm album). It yielded two singles, though, the Group Therapy track that proposed to rather obnoxiously absorb or undo the East/West beef back then and “Been There Done That”, where Dre “grows up” and brands the gangsta pose passé with a carefully choreographed tango number. Here’s why it didn’t work.
Not to call this fact particularly shocking but coming up with a witty, smart-ass title would seem disingenuous and kind of tired at this point, especially since I’m on his side. The thing that bothers me about much of the response to this reveal is the entitlement, as if Hayes somehow is a coward for not publicly acknowledging his sexuality during his tenure at Will & Grace, even though he was playing an over-the-top effeminate character with panache and apparent relish. Coming out is not a public service, it is a personal choice. The circumstances and motivations that dictate the choice to come out aren’t the same for everyone. Period.
Back to one of my earlier points about internal oppression and the way we divide amongst ourselves based on so many criteria, you can’t leave out the sense of superiority that exists among some of those that came to terms with their sexuality a lot earlier than others. For some of us it is effortless and drama-free, for others it’s painful and rather like walking through fire. Regardless of what you endured or didn’t, it does absolutely no good to stare down your nose at someone that doesn’t meet your “coming out” standards. I came out when I was 16. Does that make me any more wise, more heroic or better than someone that comes out at 20? 40? 60?
You can miss me with the notion that if there were more out celebrities it will help the legions of children and, perhaps, adults that are struggling with their sexuality. Are you kidding me? There’s a fair notion that celebrities should be publicly responsible, but this argument reeks of desperately seeking celebrity validation. Additionally, just because Hayes was never out to you or me (the public) doesn’t necessarily mean he was closeted to the people in his life that truly matter. It’s not as if he hit the red carpet with a beard or went out of his way to cover it up; he simply did not say “I’m gay” and was otherwise cagey when confronted with the question, and quite frankly that’s his business. He owes me nothing.
If for no reason other than to update this thing I present to you this Montage of Death from Melrose Place. This is from the original, not the pale imitation that returns tonight (my charitable review of the pilot is here). What makes Melrose deaths so delightful is how humiliating they are. You don’t die in a fit of heroic sacrifice, you must fall to your death with someone else in the room (so it looks like murder), or bump your head on a hard surface or you simply die off-screen as was the case with underused and departed Gay Matt. There’s no such thing as a dignified death in this world, assuming anyone stays dead for long.
That’s the conclusion of a commenter to this post on OK Cupid’s blog about response rates and how they are affected by race. (That link, by the way, is for the gays. The het one is here.) Black women and gay Black men are (surprise!!!) the undesirables. Now, I was on OK Cupid, briefly, just for shiggles and my experience was largely one of boredom. The majority of the users are white and there are plenty I shared common interests with, but none responded even though I looked fantastic in all my pics. Heh.
One thing the post points out is that while most users do not object to interracial marriages and relationships, their behavior on the site indicates a strong, nearly exclusive, preference for suitors of the same (white) race. I don’t find this surprising, disappointing or even particularly racist. People like what they like. And while I understand it’s unlikely that I’ll meet someone of another race on a dating site (again, it was for shiggles; I’m at odds with dating and hookup sites in general) I’m pretty confident that when people meet me in person the results are different. White dudes, historically, have shown interest in me in social settings. It’s just that, in those scenarios, I wasn’t interested in meeting any man, was in a relationship, or just wasn’t ready to jump across and explore.
People act differently online. That’s just what it is. The takeaway is that HTML codes are not good indicators of one’s desirability.