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The Kiss
Ok, the latest Ellen flap. The Kiss. Which may or may not have involved the use of tongue. Which may or may not have been enjoyed by all. The Born Agains are in an uproar, ABC and Disney are in an uproar, Baptists won't watch "Sleeping Beauty", Ellen is threatening to quit if ABC doesn't take down the "adult content" *warning* for God's sake at the beginning of the show. Sigh. All this over one kiss. Which we all knew would happen. Hello? She's a lesbian. We have established that already. Lesbians, along with large numbers and varieties of other sorts of adult humans, kiss.

The Discovery Channel (known in my household as the Bug Porn Station) makes a living out of showing, nightly, how every other earthly creature above and including flatworms do the big fazoolie, in all its combinations and permutations of gender, in full view with minute explanatory voiceover, often including measurements of genitalia and duration of coitus. If any. Flatworms can do it alone, apparently.

But Ellen kisses another woman on the small screen (on the lips, actually, not on her small screen) and all over Christendom there is an outbreak of cardiac infarcts. Plus, the kiss was in jest. The other woman in the story line is straight. It was a *joke*. This show is a *comedy*. Doncha just hate when you have to point out the obvious? Explain a joke? Men kiss one another on the mouth--I know I've seen this for years on television--in jest when for the sake of the plot, they want to make people laugh. Remember Milton Berle? Or show real affection or show the opposite: that they're straight and the kiss is an affront. And I never saw a warning.

Whatever. What this current uproar is about is that nobody can any longer pretend to pretend that gays and lesbians don't exist, or that we don't do all the normal things that the rest of humankind does. Because Ellen has already said she's a real, live lesbian. Not just her character. There has already been sometime last year a wonderful, full on the mouth, spit kiss on "Deep Space Nine" on Fox, and it didn't bring the bigots out of the woodwork, nor did too many families in America crumble as a direct result. That I know of. But then the two women involved in that episode weren't really lesbians, or said they weren't, so the threatened majority could pretend that these particular women hadn't really defected. They were just playing make believe. What all the Ellen uproar is about is that the usual gang of bigots is insisting yet again that we hide. Ellen can *have* a gay show (maybe), and she can even *be* gay (maybe). But why does she have to flaunt it? :::covering up little Janie's eyes::::

All the usual people are quaking in their jackboots over the threat to the American Family. (Who ARE those people, anyway? Don't you have a family? I certainly do. All Americans, every one.) All the issues which The Ellen Kiss brings up have been discussed ad infinitum since the 60's, chief among them being that kissing isn't as threatening to *anybody's* family as is learned violence. I don't want to take the time to count the number of murders and other violent acts depicted daily, real and imagined, on television, or the acts of heterosexual foreplay, duringplay and afterplay, but come on here. Gimme a break. ONE kiss??

If the entire weight of Western civilization, all of its institutions and power, is threatened by Ellen, if their insistence on heterosexual culture, conveyed over the centuries by millions of pulpits, hundreds of legislatures, nearly all of the publishing industry, fiction and nonfiction, films and television, music videos, music itself, advertising in all its variety all day long in all media--if all this can not withstand a single kiss on national television, then I would say there might possibly be some beansie thing wrong with their basic premise. If Ellen kissing a woman can bring down the American Family when it has at its disposal all of Western civilization for a crutch and a prop and a flying buttress, we either have one kickass powerful actress available for our amusement or the American family as an institution is in dire need of new architecture and just a teensie bit of re-evaluation.


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