To be clear, this is a post I wanted to write long before the events in recent history that have brought at least one NK to the attention of celebrity-gossip-mongers. I want to start by getting right down to the heart of things: isn’t there a statute of limitations for talking shit? Isn’t nearly 25 years plenty of time for a group to have existed and proven themselves so that members of the media wanting to take potshots can have moved on to some other poor unsuspecting soul?
By now, most of us BHs who’ve been around for any real length of time (see previous post) have likely developed skins that are thick enough that we’re not really bothered by it much these days. The point I always try to make is that I’ve been a fan for so many years, I’ve heard it all. I actually think I have a better case for making fun of whoever’s trying to make fun of me by pointing out how tired, lame, and dated their “you like the New Kids?!” material is. I usually win, because if they do stop to think about it (or anyone else around does), it’s pretty obvious that they don’t have much wit. I know Joe likes to call fans “bravehearts” for their battle scars over the years of defending ourselves (whether to Joe himself or to others is still unclear), and I appreciate that. But I digress…scars or no, the fact remains that this “joke” is way past its expiration date. By the way, when I say “this joke,” I mean any kind of joke that tries to embarrass/make fun of somebody for liking/still liking the New Kids, though it kind of applies to a person’s preferences in general. Really? I’m from the school that celebrates a person for his/her individuality…if I weren’t an NK fan and I met someone like me, at my age, I’d genuinely think she was one of the coolest people I knew just because she’s not afraid to go against what’s socially accepted as “cool.”
Recently, though, it’s not even just that people are making fun of the NK or us for liking them. Are we really revisiting the late 90s and speculating/joking about their sexuality? Some people believe celebrities have to take the good with the bad & so should be prepared for being the targets of such rumors and criticism. I’ve never been one to swallow that argument. Whether I’ll ever meet them or not, I’ve always kind of looked at celebrities as people and tried to get a sense of who a person really is. (Because of that, I also have a hard time liking the work of an actor or singer, etc, who I don’t care for much as a person.) I don’t think that just because these people sing, act, dance, create, etc for a living, that they should have to accept everyone and their dog’s cracks about them. Why do so many of us just swallow this? We hear that age-old line and most think, “that’s true…” and the criticism goes on.
In case you’re wondering where I’m going, I don’t want to get too into specifics. But if a guy I know and love, and have loved for a very long time, is gay…I couldn’t care less. It doesn’t make him any less beautiful, inside and out, than he was before I knew this to be true. Sure, were I fantasizing about someday going on a date (or more!) with him, this might hurt my chances of fantasy becoming reality, but other than that I don’t see how or why this would upset me in anyway. I’m not a homophobe and I don’t think sexuality is a choice, nor do I think homosexuality is “wrong” in any way. I probably wouldn’t care much if he was polyamorous, so long as he agreed to keep coming back to entertain me for however long the rest of this unit does the same.
What I don’t understand, though, is why this is news? Who cares? Lots of people, in showbiz or otherwise, are gay. Who decides when it becomes headline news, and more importantly, why? I just can’t comprehend. Not every person who is “out” will announce it to the media a la Lance Bass by gracing the cover of a national magazine with the actual headline, “I’M GAY.” I don’t think that was necessarily a good or bad choice on Lance’s part, I just know that not everyone will make the same choice. How come more of the world doesn’t look at a so-called revelation like this and say, “so?” before going back to whatever it is they were doing? I’m embarrassed to call myself an American when this kind of thing happens. I really am.
Wrapping up, I have to point out that the worst current offender for me is Chelsea Handler. I never really thought she was that funny, because while unfortunately it often is funny to be mean, I usually find her more mean than funny. A few of my girlfriends tweeted that last night she speculated on this “news” about a loved one being gay. Her retort was that she thought they were all gay, which brings me back to the beginning: really, Chelsea? Is that the best you’ve got? Because I don’t know that your “joke” makes me laugh, unless it’s at your expense for your poor attempt at humor. If ever that was funny, it was probably back in the freaking 80s, the first few hundred times people cracked it. It’s long since gotten old and lost its humor value – let it go. It’s a cheap shot, and if you’re going to continue to call yourself a comic, perhaps you should come up with some new material, as I thought comics prided themselves on original humor? Good luck with that. If it doesn’t work out, I’m sure Grey Goose could always use a new spokesmodel.
I’m sorry for the rant, and for veering off topic. I’m just sick to death of the old old old jokes. I don’t care what people think. The New Kids are a part of me and always will be. I’ve heard it all and it’s all fine. I’m immune to what you want to say about me as a fan. But why would you try to go after one of them? I guess to most of the world that shit is “always good for a laugh,” but I see it as pathetic, and I think comics and news reporters of any kind really ought to be trying harder to find new and relevant material. Recycling the same old tired joke or two year after year (and decade after decade) actually makes me more embarrassed for you than me…just so you know. Who’s with me?
(I always appreciate comments!)