I was watching UFC the other day.
One of my friends, a woman, does not really like watching it, but her husband watches it regularly. She likes to annoy him by saying things like…”Is it time for man-love?”
Which is really kind of funny, because, let’s face it, most of the action involves two men in a very tight embrace, passionately grappling, faces usually inches apart. If you close your eyes and listen to the broadcasters, you’ll hear phrases like: top mount, rear mount, side mount, reverse mount, north/south position, submission, ground and pound, and my personal favorite, the rear naked choke.
Seriously, can it be that UFC is basically a practical joke on teenage boys put on by a cabal of gay men?
This wouldn’t be the first time. In the 70’s, when I was a child, the Village People used to appear on main stream variety shows all the time. I remember watching them on The Mike Douglas show and The Merv Griffin show, both of which broadcast straight into America’s heartland. They were staid, upright shows that all of a sudden would feature a band of fetish costumed men singing about the YMCA and the joys of being in the navy (there is no need to wait / they’re signing up new seaman fast).
Of course, let’s not forget Judas Priest. I grew up in a heavy metal town full of teenage thugs in leather jackets and long hair (for the full dose, watch the movie “Heavy Metal Parking Lot”, which is basically a documentary of my life when I was 17 years old; watching it over twenty years later for the first time, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry).
To a man, these toughs worshiped Judas Priest, specifically Rob Halford. Many years later, when Rob…um…came out…as a flamboyantly gay man, I sometimes wonder how many of those now aging, but still quite possibly terribly insecure men committed ritualistic seppuku, or even better, started re-thinking their own up to then over-compensatory sexuality?
And don’t even get me started on the movie 300.
If years from now, Dana White publicly announces his devotion to the love that dare not speak its name, I for one will stand up and salute him, and then fall down laughing my ass off that one more time, the macho, conservative, God-fearing part of America got suckered in one more time.