Sunday, March 12, 2006

Political Philosophy for Poofs

I note with approval the arrival of the new Dolce & Gabbana advertising campaign on the giant Charing Cross road billboard. There’s nothing like swinging round the corner of Oxford street to be confronted by enormous, semi-naked paragons of male beauty. Naturally, they’ve thrown in the odd dolly bird for the amusement of the straight populace but nothing so garish as to distract from the chiseled jaws, ripped abs and olive skin. The purposeful sexual ambiguity is made explicit in the male and female hands both draped over the taught, hairless chest of the modern day Adonis that sprawls across the bottom of the poster.

I would like to stand and look at it for longer, but then I suddenly remember that I have far too few D&G clothing options in my wardrobe and double back on myself in the direction of Bond street. At these moments in life I can only breathe a sigh of relief that I don’t live in Poland. Apparently the country has gone to the dogs; or, to be more exact, it went to the right-wing Law and Justice Party - also known as Prawo i Sprawiedliwość or PiS for short - in the elections of September 2005. In addition, the populist Samoobrona and the extremist and rather sinister-sounding League of Polish Families recently signed a solidarity pact with the amusingly-named PiS party to prop up its minority government. Then again, the party boss, Jaroslaw, and the new president, Lech, couldn’t have a closer relationship, politically, ideologically or genetically: they are monozygotic twins. For the brothers Kaczyński, politics is in the blood.

Not good news for Poland’s homo communities, alas. Lech, in his former role as Mayor of Warsaw, had already made his antipathy towards Polish poofry evident when he refused to authorise a pride parade in June, 2005. When its organisers requested a meeting to discuss the reasons why, he responded that “he was not willing to meet perverts”. Hmmm…a diplomat of the Prince Philip variety there, methinks. They decided to go ahead anyway but, sadly, were met with a hail of rocks, bottles and verbal abuse thrown by young members of Młodzież Wszechpolska, an organisation associated with the League of Polish Families. At least two of the participants required hospitalisation, and several dozen more probably had their new D&G tightie-whitie T-shirts ruined by troublesome blood stains.

Now that Lech, Jaroslaw and the PiS party have been handed the reigns of power, it is clear that we can expect more of the same. They were off to a running start when they abolished the Office of the Government Plenipotentiary for the Equality of Men and Women, which also promoted equality of homosexuals. Now they are suggesting that queers should not be allowed to take up jobs where they would come into contact with children, such as a school teacher. Ah yes, my all time favourite: that wilful lack of distinction between the terms homosexual and paedophile. It’s the year two-thousand and fucking six, we claim to live in a rational, inclusive, cosmopolis, and yet people – and not just people but heads of national governments - are still trotting this one out. It’s just crazy!

Nor are PiS a particularly shy party when it comes to making their opinions known. Jaroslaw told to the Polish weekly Ozon: "The affirmation of homosexuality will lead to the downfall of civilization. We can't agree to it." Downfall of civilisation, you say? Goodness, sounds bad. Who’d have thought it? You start off by letting two men hold hands in the street and before you know it the whole of mankind is poised to plunge backwards into benighted barbarity. Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, faithful lapdog and trusted Prime Minister of the brothers Kaczyński, confirmed that he was ‘on message’ when he told Newsweek that homosexuality is "unnatural" and also threatened lesbians and gay men with "state intervention" if they tried to "infect others with their homosexuality." Infect somebody with homosexuality? Gosh, it really throws the worries about Bird Flu into a new light! And ‘state intervention’ – what exactly does that mean? Perhaps history can point us in the direction of the form this might take? Maybe something along the lines of the notorious Hyacinth law enforcement action, which began on November 15, 1985, at the behest of Czeslaw Kiszczak, Internal Affairs Minister of the then-ruling Communist regime? It lasted for two years, during which the police, then called the militsiya, gathered information about some eleven thousand homosexuals, many of which they interrogated and fingerprinted.

Hmmmm, maybe I’ll keep Poland off my list of potential holiday destinations just for the moment. It’s terrible shame really: I hear they have such great vodka over there...but,unfortunately, absolutely no homoerotic Dolce & Gabbana advertising campaigns.


Blogger beatroot said...

Very good picture you have painted here of Poland under the homphobes. But if you go to my blog you will see (second story down) that Abba have come to the rescue...

8:37 pm  
Blogger The Venial Sinner said...

Thanks. I was happy to read that it has taken the trinkets of burnt-out pop band to help restore a polish poofter's right to party. Stand aside the commissions of EU - Abba are here to save the day!

9:32 pm  
Blogger vegas said...

I am coming to town to check out this poster for myself. Would you be interested in "getting caned" on Thursday night? Drop me an e-mail/text (details available on request from the Lost Doctor, who will be co-hosting the evening's proceedings).

11:47 pm  
Blogger The Venial Sinner said...

I'm sure I'd be able to fit a session in on Thursday. I will arrange The Lost Doctor as advised.

2:07 pm  

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