Jan 3, 2009

I Heart the Monster (revised)

I posted an article about the Toxic Avenger a few days ago, but I withdrew it because I realized it was like, synchro raving! So here's a second attempt, with more right brain respect.

I finally watched The Toxic Avenger, "the first super hero from New Jersey!" A 1985 dud that became a midnight movie cult hit. The movie struck me because of it's themes of good and evil and our perceptions of it. The criminals are physically gorgeous, while the hero is a deformed monster, and the only one who sees the hero as a HERO, is a blind woman (and total babe). It's a fabulous morality play, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Plot: Melvin Ferd is a stereotypical 98-pound weakling dork. He works as a janitor at a health club in the town of Tromaville, which is the "Toxic Waste Capitol" of the nation. The corrupt (and corpulent) Mayor Belgoody is also head of the local crime syndicate, which probably describes most towns a little too well.

Melvin is constantly harassed by the health club patrons, His mere EXISTENCE being an affront. The pranks grow meaner and more violent until he's tricked/seduced into wearing a pink tutu and kissing a sheep, with the entire club witnessing his humiliation and emasculation. A ritual castration? He is then chased around the health club by the mob where he eventually leaps from a second story window - landing in a drum of toxic waste. He THEN spontaneously combusts and runs down the street screaming!? And that's the last the wicked clubbers see of Melvin, or so they think.

Unfortunately for them, Melvin is transformed into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength, who has a single-minded desire to "clean up" Tromaville (trauma town?). He is much like the Hulk, a creature who descends/ascends into a state of unstoppable rage when confronted with injustice. The 'Berserker'. I believe he represents the Id:

"But the Krell forgot one thing - Monsters John! Monsters from the id!" --Forbidden Planet

Much like the Batman, 'Toxie' has taken on the form of the villain's worst nightmare, which he literally IS - the concretization of their subconscious guilt. The criminal elite of Tromaville have grown fat off poisoning the town, and it's brilliant that the vehicle of their destruction is born from the FRUIT of their OWN wickedness. Karma Smackdown!

The innocent are frightened by Toxie at first, but they soon realize they have nothing to fear from the hideous creature. It only attacks "bad people", as a scientist empirically demonstrates. Toxie (like Santa) "knows" who has been bad or good, because he is the subconscious Id, the Mind that lives within ALL minds. The Monster knows where ALL the bodies are buried.

By the end of the movie, the townspeople realize that the hideous monster is their true Savior, and they come to his rescue at the big stand-off, creating a human shield of protection around him, wearing "I heart the Monster" t-shirts. It was so dorky and so cute and so FIERCE - I may have shed a tear.

The film is notable for it's homophobic attitude - many of the real monsters are outrageous gay stereotypes - and it reminds me how far we've come since 1985. Varen and I are a legal couple now, with (most) of the same rights as straight people. The Gay Monster has been civilized, and that's honestly something I could never have imagined back when I came out in 1982.

In the 'Life Imitates Art' category, I blogged over a year ago (see The Good Shepherd) about a school in Nova Scotia who's student body (thanks to the inspired organizing of two boys) donned pink t-shirts in solidarity with a boy who was bullied and called a faggot because he wore a pink shirt to school. They formed a human shield, and they did it by wearing the equivalent of an 'I Heart the Faggot' t-shirt.

As I'm writing this, the Palestinians are undergoing another bashing from the Israelis, this one worst than the last, but better than the next. Bullies ALWAYS escalate the torment. I'm thinking, ya know, the only reason gay people have a legal RIGHT to the Pursuit of Happiness is because enough straight people somehow saw themselves in this struggle, and even though Prop 8 succeeded in California, honestly, I think that's just a blip - the trend is gay friendly.

Gay people have reached, if not THE Promised Land, at least a meaningful plateau. A place to spread our tents. And I feel like it's time to return the favor. Gay Porn for Palestine? Gay Band-Aid? I heart Palestine!

NOTES:

My most memorable personal episode of gay bashing was actually one of total victory. I had just come out and my hot new boyfriend and I were making out on the hood of my car late one summer night in the parking lot of of a notorious gay bar, and some guy started harassing us because we were doing that. So we stood up, and he quickly realized that he'd chosen to pick on guys bigger and stronger than he was. We fucking CHASED him around the parking lot, cornered him, and told him what a JERK he was to his face, and he had to take it. Beaten by FAGGOTS!!

How can you not love the Monster!? Chris Rockway via Unnatural Devotions

10 comments:

aferrismoon said...

As a human one of th things I dislike is when people draw a line across some faith , activity, etc etc , call themselves a name, politicize it and them render it legal [ which is always always false] and then have the gall to call other people Straight? hetero? Bi?
Goy , non believer , white man,
I have met [ in this case] gay people who are hell-bent [ scuse the pun] on telling me what my sexuality is, the gay-fact that heteros are just born dull, uncreative.
Thankfully u managed to get up and deal with the guy , cool. But let me tell u most 'straight' guys couldn't give a flying fuck how people get off.

Sorry but the pretty well-off , comfortable gay community has become a farcical , political clique that imagines that the whole world revolves around what type of sex act a person performs.
It also [ deliberately] applies the term to any man thinking about or trying out anal sex for life-experience purposes, thus dissuading any natural inquisitiveness.
I have even heard gaymen pronounce that so and so is gay as they are gay and know the signs - apparently gaymen are genetically superior as they have a gene that gives them gaydar while dull-heteros are merely there to be laughed at by the gaggle of gayguys now feeding off their projected status.
Personally i think all these cliques are people searching for a shared identity, plus group/gang status and of course we've been more victimized than anyone else status and as such require free-something + power over somebody.

To show u how stupid the gay thing has got =
I happened to speak to a woman, intelligently and didn't try to get her into bed. She assumed I was gay - that's how insulting gay-power has become.
And after that there's the 'denial' clause - if u a gayman says u r gay and u deny it - it's denial

Personally I think the gay marriage etc thing shows that the gay community is severely mainstream, straight and conformist, which I guess is why they have such political and media clout

Gay as a political system requires acquiring power from those who feel no need to 'qualify' themselves, as do all the names - black, jew, islamic, aryan, masons, gays, straights, bi, christian, gay christain, gay jewish christian black heteros - which will come one day, and they will get a grant and a place on the stupid representative Council of the the selfishly one-dimensional.

Names - Pedestals - separation - pride - community - predictability - law - death

Homophobia = Those that 'hate/fear' gay-men , yet homo means 'man' implying men = gay.
gay men can rile against 'hetero' men, but this has no name , as its ok, its acceptable intimidation with a legal foundation.

What do u call gaymen who feel they have a right to hate what they term as STR8 Men?
heroes?

Michael said...

As another human, one of the things I dislike is when people draw a line across some some faith, skin color, activity, etc. and then call it evil or sub-human or something. A minority "group" never even KNOWS it's a group until it gets excluded. That's how it starts, not the other way around.

Dividing people into hetero and homo wasn't even a concept until shrinks defined homosexuality and labeled it a deviant behavior. In other words, if that had never happened, I'd simply be a "confirmed bachelor", or perhaps hiding in a marriage of convenience.

It's particularly interesting when the group has a higher percentage of members that are really good at something the majority values, like African Americans are better, on average, than white folks in sports, so we had to make Negro leagues to keep out the "unfair" genetic competition.

As far as I can tell, on average, gay men are better at musical theatre and haircuts than straight men, which isn't exactly a huge threat?

Apparently Palestinians have the gall to call themselves a "people" since they've been corralled into concentration camps and are regularly bulldozed, shot and bombed. Some cheek.

This blog is obsessed with sex and sexual identity because I find it interesting, and maybe that makes me a stereotypical "gay"?

Devin said...

well-thanks so much for chris rockway-had never heard of the fellow-but you bet i will remember him now! Your blog always makes me smile and think had forgotten all about toxic!:-) unfortunately i have lost my few (luckily) battles with bashers-came out even in one encounter-i would love to see what would happen if anyone tried to start shit with 'D' when we were together-some things he isnt-but one thing he is is Tough! I had a friend-former lover actually that was almost beaten to death in 98-the same year as Matt S-the reason I say almost is that the cops who examined the scene and his brutal injuries think that the TWO dudes(wow thats real tough 2 guys picking on one queen-what a way to PROVE your masculinity-sorry if I sound angry-but this situation still reverberates in my mind-my dad wanted to get together with former lovers dad and do some tracking down) Love you and Varen (platonically of course-although in the windmills of my mind I might wish different:-)) best to you as always-hi aferris also

Devin said...

sorry -geeez didnt even finish thought I got so mad-the cops think that the guys intention was to beat my former lover to death and were scared away by a car or something-they found a weapon that they feel one of the dudes dropped that could have sliced someone in half-as it was the assholes did an incredible amount of damage as it was this 'D'(think biblical white guy names) is very lucky to be alive-love and hugs!

Michael said...

Dev - thanks for the comments. I realize my experience with bashers wasn't typical, and am lucky he wasn't carrying a weapon except his fists.

aferrismoon said...

Considering the israelis - there's a prime example - They claim and have always claimed to be the minority of minorities - which is why everyone is to frightened to deal with them.
They never fail to tell people they just want a little place in the world , and are surrounded by a sea of arabs/moslems/goy.
Most of the rich = a minority, like the royalty. The psychiatry profession = a minority of people who could get educated, and get published by a small clique of publishers and pressmen.
Add all these minorities together and u get a really really big minority.
My-nority

All hail

Anadæ said...

Laddies, now behave, shake, and be nice. LOL! As a NON-human my(s)elf, always on the outside to human affairs looking in, I must confess that I personally eshew ALL parties, whether cloaked in the garb of heterosexism under whatever religious aegis -OR- parading under tha banner of the (even worse) "Heterosexism Can Be Cured!" contingent of lavender-striped poli-trickers.

No offence, but, hey, the veritable Lord & Lady of this writer's political affiliations have always been Mikhail Bakunin & Emma Goldman, both of who, please take note, were lovers of womynfolk.

Speaking OF "I Heart the Monster", the field of teratophilia, or the love of monsters, has always been something that I've gravitated to, from collecting issues of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND as a young tad to researching the monsters of folklore ( vampires, yadda yadda yadda) or the more classically confined fabulous beasts of yore (the appellate for mythological creatures aspecting strange animal & animal/human forms) as well as genetic innovations in Nature usually deemed accidents by science.

So, that being said, Mr Gospel Porn, please see the third & final installment in the Toxie mythos, the most excessive for sure, wherein our hero takes on distinctly messianic proportions, entitled "The Last Temptation of Toxie", in which his wife, portrayed by the very unique chanteuese, Phoebe Legere, and he actually do battle with, yes, you guessed it, the Devil himself. My personal favorite in the trilogy.

Back to the gay (so-called) rights movement having become distasteful, witness the Book, "Androphilia, A Manifesto: rejecting the Gay Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity", authored by Jack Malebranche, an active participant & priest in the Church of Satan. Wow, took about macho Uberhomos. Later y'all.

Michael said...

People fear the Israelis because they have a huge army (thanks to the U.S.) and have no compunction against using it against innocents, and they use their eternal "victim" status as a continual excuse for their violence. I understand that. There are also plenty of oppressed who have no army and no great press machine who never get anything.

Israel, in it's attack on the Monster, has become what it most fears (exactly like the US). And since you think homophobia is a joke, were you ever attacked at school in your dorm room by a boy with a switchblade intent on murder after you were forcibly outed (like Var)?

So Mr. Moon, what to do? Is it misguided to find a little empathy for the latest in a very long line of victims? That makes me a Nazi?

Doug said...

thanks for the link, Michael. Chris Rockway is one sexy beast, especially when he's got some fur on his chin.

Michael said...

Anadae - thanks for the comments. There seems to be a lot of teratophilia in homoerotic art, and I suspect it all an attempt at making some kind of peace with the Monster, aka the Id. I'll check out that other Toxic Avenger flick, though I don't know if my stomach can take it!

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