And another thing…
I get a bit self-conscious about this site sometimes, and I wish I didn’t have to. But the interweb is a touchy place these days, so I wanted to add a big queer (umbrella term implying all gender and sexual minorities equally and without favour) apology to my other apologies.
Yes, if you take the majority of these titles out of context (which is, after all, the whole point), then this site is full of nasty slang and former (sometimes current) homophobic slurs. You may even learn some new ones. And if you do, be thankful that you’re probably too young to have heard some of thing things people used to say about us.
But I’m sorry if this site gets on your nerves in any way. I really am. Maybe you shouldn’t read it. But what else can I say? I’ve have retained my camp sensibility through to the age of identity politics. It’s a form of armoury, and I’d not have survived without it.
I also firmly believe:
- done right, and done at the right moment, anything can be the subject of humour, anything.
- subversion is a perfectly valid way of taking something seriously, and this is the essence of camp.
- the past should not be sugar-coated, elided, or forgotten. Some of these books make my toes curl so hard that my nose bleeds. If I notice something awful (I don’t look through every one, and I rarely read more than a page or two to get the gist) I’ll often point it out. It’s usually sexism, racism, or casual brutality of course, very rarely homophobia (this slang is nearly always inadvertent).
- and, damn it: it’s fun giving queer (or just mildly obscene) readings to horribly earnest books. Especially those written with an express purpose of encouraging sexual repression, social conformity, gender conformity, and unquestioning religious devotion.
I’ve been dropping hairpins and hints, but I’ll also spell out the facts for you: I, TartanPartan am both queer and gender-queer. I’m also quite elderly (by internet standards), and I know my shit. All of this sly joking is plain camp, silliness, and subversion. There is a place for all of those things still.
How else can we cope with the world as it is, ffs?
Daddy sends hugs,