so i’m still making up my mind about last week’s storyline from “the boondocks”.
but i think i’m ok with it.
the topic? the new movie “brokeback mountain”.
you can read the week’s boondocks comics starting here. the basic premise is this: old grandfather wants to see a movie. sees ad for brokeback mountain. likes manly cowboy movies and decides to go with a male friend his age.
well, not so much. there’s basically one obvious joke in the whole week’s worth of strips. the joke? “that’s not manly.”
now i’m sure lots of glaad types are all het up about this. and if you look just at the surface, it is kind of offensive. because of the “well gay men can be manly too despite the heterosexual stereotypes and how can you make fun of gay men saying that they are all effeminate” attitudes and all that.
the thing i like about this particular cartoonist, aaron mcgruder, is that he is very subversive and detailed. and if you look below the surface of the joke, it’s a really cool commentary.
take thursday’s strip. it manages to parody the perception of gay relationships as being temporary, and the cluelessness of heterosexuals when it comes to matters homosexual, and includes a nice background of a very young gay couple actually interested in talking to men over 40.
all in three panels and a couple of dozen words. that’s pretty brilliant.
and the grandkids are the best. the wrap-up strip has the same joke, but it’s clear that the kids knew about the “manly” thing all along, were cool with it, and had a good old cynical time sending grandpa off to have an eye-opening experience.
and no preaching required. all accomplished with subtext.
pretty impressive stuff.
i think i made my mind up while writing this.