Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The One With the Gay Lion

As I sit here in Panera and write this, a girl that I went to high school with, who HA. TED. ME, is sitting across the room. I feel like she keeps looking at me, and every time I look over at her, and she glances up, I look away. I probably look like a stalker. She, apparently, has not ended her infatuation with men of other ethnicities. The guy that she dated all through high school and through most of the years I was in college was a black guy, and the guy she's dating now ("Jerry" according to the guy who just called out that their order was ready) is Hispanic. None of that is relevant to anything, except that it's making me nervous that she's sitting there, and I haven't seen her in. . .at least 5 years.

So I started work on Monday, and I must say, I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Basically what I'm doing is working for a company that works with publishing companies. The project I'm working on is something they were commissioned to do for either Texas schools or Ohio schools (I can't remember which), where they are "measuring" the textbooks used to see if, by using these textbooks, the students are getting the proper amount of knowledge for use in either college, or after college graduation.

I have to admit here that when I was initially told I was going to be "measuring" books, I thought they meant that literally. Like, I was going to be seeing how long the books were. This was before I knew what the project was (I'm assuming that the length and width of a book has nothing to do with its readibility.) So I load the scanned books into this software program that "reads" them and highlights information as either being text, pictures, graphs, or whatever, and I go through and delete all the information that doesn't need to be run through and analyzed. Stuff like pictures, page numbers, chapter titles, headers and subheaders and stuff like that.
I'm pretty sure that my description of this is really, really dull, but I'm actually really enjoying my job. I can wear jeans to work, I can listen to music while I'm working, and nobody bothers me. My supervisor comes over, like, once a day to check and see how things are going, and the woman that works with my supervisor comes over to bring me hard copies of the books I'm working on, but other than that, that's it. Plus! They have a fridge full of soda (Diet Coke included) that I can help myself to. It's pretty much ideal.

The only issue I'm having is that while I'm going through these books, I have a tendancy to want to stop and read them. A lot of these have really interesting essays and stuff like that (I'm doing mostly English and grammar and rhetoric books) and I have to fight to keep from reading them a lot of the time.
The other day, I was editing a section on arguments, and an essay (that I didn't read in its entirety, but that I read parts of) caught my attention. The author was arguing that The Lion King is racist and homophobic. Her (I think it was a woman) point was that the hyenas (which were dark, which means they were black) were sequestered to the otuskirts of the Pridelands, along with Scar (whosed mane was also black), who, apparently, represents gay people. The point was that the "black" and the "gay" characters were being shunned.

This? Blew my mind. I can pretty much find gay undertones in anything you put in front of me, but I have never until now even considered that there was anything gay about Scar. If you were to say, "Sarah, find something gay in The Lion King," I would point to Timon and Pumbaa. Scar might sound a little bit British, but other than that, I just don't see it.
I was going to do some more in-depth research on this, looking at other places online, to see if anyone else had said anything about it, but I haven't done that yet. What I have done, however, is present the theory to D, who I expected to find it just as ludicrous and I did.

That is not actually what happened.

This is:
"Yeah," he says. "I had never really sat down and thought about it, but yeah. I think he represents the gays."
I asked him to elaborate, and he says, "Well, he's thinner, sleeker than the other, 'straight' lions. . ."
"He's ostracized and doesn't get enough to eat!" I argued.
"I don't know," says D. "I feel like there's nothing stereotypically gay about him, but that you just kind of understand that he is."

"I don't understand he is," I say.

I can't necessarily remember the rest of that conversation, but the basic gist (jist?) is that I am, apparently, the only person ever who didn't see that Scar was gay. Anyone else? I don't know how many people actually read this, but I'd be interested to get some other input. Do you think Scar is supposed to be gay? Am I missing a huge thing here? (Yes. I realize how 'stereotypically' gay he looks in this picture. It's called irony.)
I'm really disturbed by this whole concept. Not that he's (maybe) gay, but that I didn't see it. Then again, I tend to miss obvious gays. The subtle gays, I'm like, "Hey! He likes men!" But if it's right there in front of me? I tend to miss it. Par example, when I saw Adam Lambert for the first (and only) time on the one episode of American Idol I was roped into watching, I insisted he wasn't gay.


1 comment:

  1. Scar is a classically overdramatic villain, and the behaviors thereof overlap a good deal with flamboyance. That said, a couple of his moments really drive the "Scar is gay" argument home — for example, the way he says "sen-SA-tional news" in "Be Prepared".

    Still, that's all surface and no substance — there's no evidence of his having desires for any character, male or female, so it's really neither here nor there.