Number Five: Cena Says…
First off, I’d like to thank everybody who read the Three “H” series. It was among my personal favorite commentaries ever. Now, this week, we get into a subject near and dear to me and one of the weirdest couples I have ever seen.
The gay rights movement of the last two or three decades has often been compared to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 60’s. Like the Civil Rights movement, society in America has undergone drastic changes. Several states, most notably Vermont and Massachusetts, offer legal marriage rights to same-sex couples, major corporations like Sprint and Pepsi offer insurance to gay partners, and gay people like Ellen DeGeneres and Elton John are household names. The biggest difference between the two movements is the use of political correctness. For simplicity’s sake, political correctness is vilifying a public figure or group for making an insensitive comment towards a particular group. Theoretically, that seems like a good idea. The problem is that it doesn’t usually work that way. The way it plays out usually sees the offender crucified, while the offended pretty much has free reign to say whatever they want. The gay media has vilified numerous people for saying things that were deemed negative to gays. For simply saying they don’t agree with the gay lifestyle, now, not just calling people homophobic slurs. The list, which will grow regularly, includes rappers, actors, countless politicians, and professional wrestlers.
GLAAD, the Gay/Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, recently formed (or more correctly, forced) an alliance with the world’s largest professional wrestling organization, WWE, to discourage WWE’s viewers, which are primarily teenaged boys and young children, against bullying gay youth. This uncivil union came about after GLAAD employees saw two of WWE star John Cena’s promos, which they deemed homophobic and potentially harmful to gay youth.
Here’s the latest big tag team in WWE: John Cena (left), WWE superstar, Role Model, Sex Symbol, Alleged homophobe, and Adult bullying victim. His partner? GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios. Their opponents? Gay bullying. Whatever.
On the February 21, 2011 broadcast of WWE’s flagship weekly program, Monday Night Raw, John Cena “cut a promo” on his future opponent, The Rock. (“Cutting a promo” is basically when you diss and put down your enemy.) It centered around Cena mocking Rock, who is also known as actor Dwayne Johnson, for playing gay characters in his movies. Here are some highlights:
The next week, Cena ripped into two adversaries, the Miz and his manager, Alex Riley, in like manner. (For simplicity’s sake, just forward it to about 4:00 to get to the sh*t disturbing)
As a longtime wrestling fan, and a gay man, I was not offended at all by Cena’s Rock rap. In fact, that’s probably the most entertaining John Cena’s been in years. I will say this: the rap promo was pretty rough, but not necessarily from an anti-gay perspective, but for the language. It barely fit a PG rating. (I WAS offended by his segment on the Miz because it was lame as hell). Nonetheless, this is not GLAAD’s first go-round with wrestling. In 1999, when the wrestling audience was its highest ever, GLAAD attacked WCW over a “gay” tag team named the West Hollywood Blondes. In 1996, GLAAD blasted WWE for the androgynous Goldust, who groped male opponents. WWE owner Vince McMahon was reprimanded for a segment in which he called Cirque de Soleil dancers performing for his birthday party “gay” in 2009 . But the ultimate battle line was drawn in 2002, when WWE concocted a storyline that saw 2 male wrestlers getting married. GLAAD, knowing wrestling shows are scripted, presented tag team Billy and Chuck with a damned gravy boat on the Today show as a wedding gift. (And the look on Billy Gunn’s face was f*ck*ng priceless; if you have footage of that show please let me know) But when GLAAD found out that Billy and Chuck would announce they were actually straight, and subsequently get their *ss*s beat by a rival team, (GLAAD says that signified gay-bashing) GLAAD picked up a grudge they may never drop. Ironically, they never did anything to condemn the “Hot Lesbian Action” on Raw that also became (in)famous around the same time.
GLAAD calling John Cena a “homophobe” doesn’t hurt him half as much as GLAAD seems to think. Cena’s actually despised by longtime, adult WWE fans who watched it during WWE’s profanity-laced “Attitude Era”of the late 1990’s and the first few years of the new millenium. In those days, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was pointing a toy gun at WWE owner Vince McMahon’s head and making him piss his pants. The Rock was referring to people’s “roody-poo candy asses”. And the endlessly horny “Sexual Chocolate” Mark Henry ended up making out with a man in drag, and getting a nearly 80-year-old woman pregnant (she gave birth to a hand). Here’s another example of the antics of that day, actually one of the cleaner promos of that time. It’s a very interesting promo involving Triple H, who’s married to Vince’s daughter, Stephanie, and 1996 Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kurt Angle.
When that segment was aired in September 2000, Monday Night Raw was under a TV-14 rating, true, but it had about eight million viewers a week, nearly double the TV audience WWE programming currently has, so you know youth saw that. In other words, what Cena said in those promos is actually infantile compared to what made WWE its most money. (It should be noted that GLAAD also overlooked that segment.) And GLAAD using their magic words (intolerance, bigotry, homophobic) to describe John Cena actually rallies people behind him and WWE, and make people see GLAAD for the glory hounds they’ve become. The proof of this is when, less than three weeks after GLAAD announced they had bullied WWE into a gay-bullying program (which is pretty much what they did) http://glaadblog.org/2011/03/17/wwe-to-partner-with-glaad-on-anti-bullying-messages/, WWE announcer Michael Cole called fellow announcer Josh Matthews a “faggot” on Twitter. The truth is it was Michael Cole blatantly showing how absurd he thought GLAAD’s bully pulpit was. It should also be mentioned that Cole’s TV persona was being established as a bad guy, so what better way to “turn heel” than piss off the most sensetive group on Earth?
Could you really be insulted by a guy who mugs in a camera like WWE announcer Michael Cole (left)? Just days after WWE “joined forces” with GLAAD, Cole showed his commitment to the forced teaming by calling fellow announcer Josh Matthews a “faggot” on Twitter. And when Cole got out of his sensitivity class, he and Josh were probably lol.
Here’s a quote TMZ got from a gay wrestling company regarding Cole’s “tweet”:
The champion of the Pro Gay Wrestling Federation is OUTRAGED that WWE announcer Michael Cole has not been suspended for posting a homophobic slur on Twitter … TMZ has learned. The Gay Avenger tells us he’s upset by Cole’s “intolerant and insensitive” comment … and insists the word encourages a “hostile bullying environment.” PGW founder and CEO Francis Minks adds, “How can ANYONE at the WWE say anything derogatory about gay people?? Look at what they do and have been doing for a living for years! Big muscles, small tights rolling around! I’m just saying, honey.” Minks adds, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw sconces!”
He DOES have a point about the tights, but did anybody stop to think the male that Minks is answering may not be comfortable being referred to as “honey” by another man? Everyone knows Josh Matthews is not an openly practicing homosexual. If you see his wife, he really doesn’t have a good reason to be. At any rate, Cole had to be punished, for political correctness’ sake, so he attended “sensitivity training”, facilitated by GLAAD. I can just imagine the chuckles Cole walked away with from it. And GLAAD could never imagine the joke people see them as. And those in that segment are not just bigoted heterosexuals, but mature homosexuals who don’t even like wrestling. They are not traitors; they’re just beyond such childish antics.
After all these years of wrestling WWE to a draw, why is GLAAD once again pouncing on a scripted sport? And did it ever occur to them that it may well have been a gay person writing the promos Cena did? Would they be considered homophobic then? GLAAD’s attack on WWE can really be explained in five sentences, but I’ll elaborate to prove the point being made.
John Cena isn’t interested. Is there anything worse than a georgeous, nearly naked guy drenched in baby oil not wanting you? The love/hate relationship between the gay community (the men in particular) and wrestling stems from the fact that while wrestling has blatantly homoerotic elements (near nude men drenched in baby oil play-fighting), it is not a very gay-freindly envionment, which is contradictory. Most wrestlers, even those who play “gay” characters, are happily heterosexual. Bret “Hitman” Hart, one of the most popular wrestlers of all time, had pink and black as his primary ring attire colors and is a married grandfather. Ric Flair, who even now holds the record for the most World Championships, wore robes with sequins and boas for over 30 years, and was one of the most notorious womanizers in the industry. And Shawn Michaels, considered by most fans as the man whos had more great matches than anyone in the history of the business, actually posed for Playgirl, assumably unaware it had a primarily gay male audience. Real men can wear tights, and that’s one of the reasons why GLAAD takes the buff, butch and b*tch-loving Cena’s comments so personally.
They attack WWE because they can. In 1999, WWE had made so much money in two years time that it became the first independent professional wrestling federation to be traded on Wall Street. By 2001, WWE had actually purchased its cheif competitor, WCW, from Time Warner. But the lack of creative competition, and the high body count from wrestlers dying from drug and steroid abuse (the most notable being wrestler Chris Benoit killing his 7-year old son, his wife, and himself) took a major toll. WWE responded by lowering the “violence” and profanity,and targeted the smaller but steady youth market, and ended up with major advertising and merchandising deals. GLAAD knows WWE has a questionable past, and is using it against them. They also know they have HUGE earning potential, something they, as a nonprofit organization, can get in on and indulge themselves.
It’s not like they have anything else to do. GLAAD is the gay community’s NAACP. In the beginning, both groups set out seeking equality and justice. But once the major milestones were met (desegregation, Civil Rights, domestic partnership benefits,) people began to blaze their own trails, and had no need for the advocacy groups. But the NAACP and GLAAD executives got used to the living they were making, and began seeking out any venue they could to keep a vital media presence, so they’ve attacked every group they could get away with attacking to make people think they still needed them, including WWE.And I’m sure they get a kick out of the Republican backing McMahons bowing to their pressure. This is one of the biggest coups GLAAD has ever pulled off, and you can tell by the Michael Cole incident how highly WWE really thinks of it.
They beleive gay youths need political correctness. GLAAD claims to be protecting gay youths from further bullying by putting the clamps on WWE. This comes after a rash of suicides related to gay bullying over Summer 2010. What a wrestling promo aired eight months later has to do with it, I don’t know. When I was growing up, there was no GLAAD, LOGO channel, or “It Gets Better” ads, with all due respect. We had to take either the Martin or Malcolm route. If you took the Martin route, you took the worst your tormentors had and showed you could. Eventually they’d wear themselves out and leave you alone out of frustration…or maybe even out of respect. The Malcolm route meant you took it, but you gave it just as good. If a little boy was going to tote a purse, he knew how to swing it or get that knife out. It was about survival, not acceptance. If they did accept, fine, but if not, f*ck ’em. And we didn’t commit suicide to run away, either. How is it that the gay community has all these damned outlets for youth, yet the suicide rate is higher? The answer lies in the fact that groups like GLAAD never prepare these young people for the rigors of reality; instead they promise to “legislate” the disagreeing mentality away. In a life-or-death situation, who’s going to sit around and recite a damned self-help mantra? GLAAD should be honest and say “it gets worse before it gets better”. And keep in mind that when GLAAD gets on the “tolerance” soapbox, but refuses to tolerate others, it’s showing its true colors. The rash of suicides is not a loss to them; it’s an opportunity.
They beleive WWE reenforces negative stereotypes of gay youth and people. GLAAD and the NAACP don’t attack record labels for the use of “nigger” and “faggot” because A) The record labels see them as the self-righteous glory hounds they are and won’t spend a dime or minute on them and B) they know gay and Black artists (who use those words more than anybody) need those labels to make a living… and to be able to line GLAAD and NAACP’s pockets. The same goes for music videos. The NAACP and GLAAD would be cutting their own throats to try to condemn them, especially when you consider LOGO, the gay cable channel, is owned by Viacom. As are LOGO’s parent company, MTV, VH1, and BET. In 2005, American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino came out with a song glorifying her being an unwed, teenaged mother. Top 40 radio stations refused to play a song like that, and they were called racist. But Urban/R&B stations played it every hour on the hour, because they knew their audience was primarily unwed, teenaged mothers. Should they not have been doing something to curb this trend? Remember when Dr. Laura had that gabfest with the Black woman married to the White guy, and his friends were making racially tinged remarks towards her? Dr. Laura’s response was dead-on correct, but she caught hell for pointing out that Black comedians used the word “nigger” ad infinitum. Then she told the lady that if she couldn’t handle her husband’s friends making those comments, she should marry within her own race. For her troubles, Dr. Laura ‘s radio show was all but forced out of national syndication. Suppose a Black radio host gave the same answer? What about Cena and Triple H’s depictions of gay men? You know the worst thing about stereotypes? They’re almost always true. Be honest. We all know gay couples who love interior decorating, overpriced alcohol, and sappy movies like “The Notebook”, although I don’t know anybody with a tandem bike. Because John Cena mocked it, he’s bigoted. If Danny and Eric DO those things, it’s a damned near prerequisite. Here is the fatal flaw of political correctness: it’s alright to mock those who don’t do what you think they should, but woe unto them that mock you for doing it in the first place.
When I began really keeping up with professional wrestling, I was 14 years old. I didn’t watch it because of the gay overtones. I watched it because it was cool to hear some of the putdowns the guys traded with each other. It was an escape and my source for ammunition. I knew, at that young an age, they were not talking to Douglas Wayne Tipton; they were talking to each other. It was part of a show, and that’s all it ever was or will be: a show. They had never met me, and I had never met them. GLAAD’s attack on WWE is a desperate cry for attention. They don’t give a decent damn about gay youth. They’re simply using those young people’s corpses as a platform. I’m sure it makes them feel big to claim they’re doing all this for the children. The reality is that they look every bit as bad as the bullies they claim to be battling. But keep this in mind: the alleged homophobes John Cena and even Michael Cole are raising millions all the time for the children (Cena’s incredible work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation being a prime example), while groups like GLAAD use the memories of dead teens to raise mere thousands for themselves. Have you seen all those ads WWE did to help Japan? Go to GLAAD’s website and see what they’re doing for anybody in Japan, let alone gay people.
Now, since Astarte Day is April 24, I’ll be redoing the very first blog I did on Posterous. And you already know where I’m going with it…
Posted on April 9, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged John Cena might not be too GLAAD over the way things are turning out.. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.