Tuesday, November 01, 2011
I'll make this quick.
Chances are by now you've seen the latest video clip in the ongoing contest between the GOP presidential candidates to see which one can out-crazy all the rest. Just when you thought Herman Cain had pretty much locked up the game with last week's audaciously hallucinatory Cigarette Smoking Man ad, along comes Rick Perry to slam the table with a satisfied, "Domino, motherfucker!" His 25-minute speech at a Cornerstone event in New Hampshire this past Friday -- the YouTubed proof of which has now gone viral -- is so indescribably surreal that it's difficult to imagine not only how it can be topped but the level to which it immediately takes the entire Republican race for the White House. To keep in mind as you watch it that this guy is the governor of Texas, the former frontrunner and a Time magazine cover boy and someone who is still by some considered a possible nominee is to admit that conservative politics have truly achieved a kind of blissful lunatic Nirvana and will likely never come back to the serious realm of planet Earth again.
But while the obvious reaction to the video clip -- the first place most people's minds have gone, judging by the various things being written and said about it -- is disbelief, followed quickly by the conclusion that Perry has to be drunk or high or otherwise intoxicated, my thoughts immediately went somewhere else.
I'll probably catch a certain amount of crap for this for a couple of different reasons, but I was maybe about ten minutes into the clip before I think I actually said out loud to my computer screen, "Wow, I guess those rumors were true -- this guy is flaming."
Now, no, despite the word of a couple of prominent political consultants I'm close to who really do maintain that Perry's sexuality is one of the worst-kept secrets in politics and the aforementioned rumors dating back years -- many involving an alleged affair Perry had with his former secretary of state in Texas, a man named Geoff Connor -- I tend to dismiss all accusations that can't be easily backed up with facts. I have no idea whether Rick Perry is gay and while almost anything is within the realm of possibility, I'm not a fan of perpetuating conspiracist ramblings, so I'm not in any way claiming that I have it on infallible authority that Perry is lying his ass off about his sexual orientation. What I'm saying is that while the New Hampshire clip is disconcertingly weird for a whole host of reasons that kind of gnaw at the inside of your skull, one of the most pronounced is how Perry's gun-toting, shit-kicking tough guy suddenly seems to have been replaced by somebody apparently in possession of a whole arsenal of affected effeminate mannerisms. I mean, Jack Twist didn't even act that queenie -- he certainly never cuddled with a bottle of maple syrup -- and he really was supposed to be a gay cowboy.
The irony, of course, is that it's hard to get too worked up about the mere mention of, oh, I don't know, let's call it "gayerism" -- like birtherism, only more colorful and with better music -- because Perry himself had no trouble once again dredging up the question of President Obama's birth certificate recently, another topic which has almost always been the realm of the conspiracy minded. It's also worth noting, as a disclaimer, that I'm not claiming that every gay man is swishing and flamboyant, only that Perry struck me as being exactly that the other day -- and it flies in the face of the image he usually presents to his constituency and the country. He looked, to me at least, like a guy who'd just come out of the closet and was talking and acting like the "real him" for the first time in his life (and for the record, I actually thought he came off as unusually likable during the New Hampshire speech).
But look, again, I don't have a lick of proof on this -- though I'm definitely curious to know if I'm the only one who watched the Perry video and thought, as Bryan Safi would say, "That's gay."
*Again I'm not saying Rick Perry is actually gay. It's a movie reference -- one of several in this post, now that I think about it.