Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rhetorical Knots

So John Nolte (presumably Nick Nolte's less successful son and editor of, you guessed it, Big Hollywood) has his knickers in a twist today over some LA Times film critic claiming that long-dead (and largely forgotten) actor Randolph Scott was gay. The nerve!

Apparently Scott lived with (long-rumored light-in-the-loafers) Cary Grant for 12 years in Malibu, though both were very well-paid stars and could easily have afforded their own Malibu homes. But, hey, Nolte tells us, it was their bachelor pad. Okay, bro. He then goes on to "defend" Randolph Scott from this scurrilous accusation. Oh, and of course those of us on the left aren't allowed to question the idea that one's sexual orientation can be the basis of an "accusation":

Defending Scott against such charges can only mean one is anti-gay, right?

Well, how about pro-truth and pro-fairness?

The truth is that (according to Nolte's own post) Scott's and Grant's sexuality have been under dispute for years. Both men denied being gay repeatedly, which is not surprising considering that the alternative at that time was never working in Hollywood again. But, who knows, maybe they just liked having unnecessary roommates, like Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick.

But why is Nolte so worked up about an offhand assumption (which many people share) in some article about some early 20th Century actor?

Oh I'm sorry. I can't say that it's because Nolte thinks that being identified as gay is a bad thing. That would mean that I think that Nolte's "defending" against such "charges" is inherently anti-gay.

Yes, it would.


And by the way, at what point did the American right become sensitive about being called anti-gay? Wasn't that their official position for most of the 20th Century? What are you, a pansy?

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