North America Cup #6

02Oct06

Continuing an informal competition between Canada and the United States of America, based on a series of completely arbitrary, wildly unfair and predictably mean-spirited criteria.

#6: Unremarkable Coming-Out Saga Writers

Evidence:

McGreevey's tome Tewksbury's tome
Former NJ Governor James McGreevey | Former Olympian Mark Tewskbury

So, two famous guys write confessional stories about coming out. For one, this is old hat; Tewksbury’s been selling his story repeatedly, in a previous book and for years in endless “motivational” seminars. It gets no more interesting with each telling, Mark. And McGreevey wasted no time, following his reactive coming-out in the face of a scandal involving sexual impropriety, in getting a book to the stores.

Both favour monochrome images on the front cover. Both men have a bland, boyish attractiveness and look you straight (heh) in the eye, though one is clearly more athletic. They both have good noses, though McGreevey’s, unsurprisingly, is vaguely Pinocchiolike. They both appear to be unaware that coming-out stories are uninteresting to anyone but the person coming out, especially when that person is a white man from a priveledged class. No more interesting, at least, than the coming-out stories of any other white, upper-middle-class gay man…

Tewksbury, from the Publisher’s Weekly review:

Tewksbury covers all the usual challenges faced by performance athletes-the sacrifices, the post-Olympic depression, the intense glare of the media spotlight-but it is his private sojourn as a gay man, from coming out of the closet to visiting his first gay bar {“it was like being in another world with fashionably dressed people drinking cocktails from martini glasses”} to entering his first sexual relationship (an ongoing, three-way relationship with a male couple) that will resonate with the reader. Despite the “Gay Jock” subtitle, the book is accessible; Tewksbury comes with all the tics and quirks of your everyday gay man wrestling with his sexuality, and later, with the complexities of finding a partner and dating.

Jeepers!

Tewksbury was the host for the first season of a program called How It’s Made which, curiously, had the noncontractioned website URL of howitismade.net. On HIM (heh) you learned that “wood chips go in this end of the machine and out this end comes paper.” I’m not exaggerating.

Jimmy McGreevey is on the tube, too, visiting Oprah to shill his book, one filled, by the way, with some turgid prose, less-sexy than even the worst lesbian poetry:

“We undressed and he kissed me. It was the first time in my life that a kiss meant what it was supposed to mean — it sent me through the roof. I was like a man emerging from 44 years in a cave to taste pure air for the first time, feel direct sunlight on pallid skin, warmth where there had only ever been a bone-chilling numbness.”
“I pulled him to the bed and we made love like I’d always dreamed: a boastful, passionate, whispering, masculine kind of love.”

I’m going to let you calm down a bit after that, because it is pretty steamy.

Eventually, Jimmy finds True Love, the sort of True Love that you totally know you’ve found after dating, what, one guy?

“I just knew that Mark was meant to be my life partner,” Jim says. “We just have a very full and loving relationship. … It’s a great gift.”

Jon Stewart called McGreevey on this unseemly behaviour, in which a grown man would feel compelled to share with the universe as supersignificant something that millions of gay men (and lesbos) the world over find unremarkable a few years down the road. But, dude, there’s a book to sell, and behaviour which would be laughable in teenagers of the heterosexual persuasion somehow has become publishable.

Advantage: Canada.

Coming out’s a significant event in any young gay or lesbian person’s life. Men well into adulthood, in the first part of the 21st century, should seriously take a look at this rite of passage, and whether it’s unseemly, unbecoming, unnecessary, undignified and unsophisticated to write about it in such a pedestrian and opportunistic, self-motivated fashion. Because it is all those things.

I do not (and cannot) feel the pain of a man with a slew of Olympic medals around his neck, nor can I feel the pain of a closet-case living in a mansion. These are not the stories to which anyone but the rich and powerful, or world-famously athletic, can truly relate.

But McGreevey’s closet-motivated lies have affected not one but two marriages, with two children, and countless political complications only muddying further his already sketchy gubernatorial record, thus tilting the scales in favour of our plucky Olympian. Who has never, to my knowledge, made a boastful, passionate, whispering, masculine kind of love. Keep it that way, Mark.

Addendum: Awwww, amazon.com thinks you shouldn’t have to choose:

Twice as nice!



One Response to “North America Cup #6”

  1. 1 bstewart23

    Addendum the Second: If, on reading the McGreevey book (or excerpts from same), you get a feeling somewhere between “vaguely creepy” and “undeniably creepy”, read this account from Golan Cipel, the former aide on whom Jimmy-boy allegedly forced himself. “Vaguely” no more!


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