(Continued from HAIR BRAINED Pt. 3)
My taste in popular culture is rather pedestrian. Like most cliched queer boys, I adore THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, MEAN GIRLS, BRING IT ON and GLEE; further you'll find Britney Spears, Leona Lewis, Lady GaGa, and Madonna seared into every playlist on my Ipod no matter the musical theme, era or genre of that particular list. As a matter of fact, whenever I go shopping at the Itunes store, I always check what Dakota Fanning or Demi Lovato is listening to and copy their play lists verbatim. I have no original thoughts or tastes of my own and figure that if Dakota and Demi likes a particular song, TV show or movie it must be cool because they're in TEEN PEOPLE. I contemplated the sad state of my immature, 14-year-old girl tastes during my morning spinning class while shrieking 'PA-PA, PAPARAZZI' at the top of my asthmatic lungs. Here I was, pathetically perched on a stationary bike, my middle aged, headed-due-south body wedged into horrifying Lycra bike shorts, sweating copiously while shouting the lyrics to a song a man my age had absolutely NO BUSINESS knowing.
If my teenage, TWILIGHT-esque tastes aren't tragic enough, I have a rather gayish affection for movies about gladiators. I know, I know - your eyes are already rolling in their sockets as you smugly recall the infamous line from AIRPLANE, where a lascivious, Captain Oveur played by Peter Graves asks a clueless young boy, "Joey, Do you like movies about gladiators?" In 1980, with my greasy, feathered hair parted down the middle and a big white comb crammed in my pocket, I had only the vaguest inkling as to what made that line funny. Today of course, I get it. Gay guys like movies with the three 'S's,' swords, sandals and sodomy. Not necessarily in that order.
Imagine my surprise and delight when Warner Brothers had the foresight to release a film that satisfied both my craving for the three 'S's' but also appealed to my rather puerile, TIGERBEAT-fueled desire for beefcake. No, not that Mandy Moore clunker LICENSE TO WED, (I'm not that gay!) but the blood-soaked, action-packed, actors-with-their-abdominal-muscles-air-brushed-on-their-tummies, 300.
To me, 300 had it all; muscles, leather, eye liner and best of all, a style of parenting I particularly admired and was thrilled to emulate the night my son Ethan locked me out of his room and called me 'Jew-boy.' According to the film 300, whose parenting insights I value more than that creepy COMPLETE GUIDE TO YOUR CHILD'S HEALTH put out by those so-called 'experts' at the AMA, the moment a young male turns 7, he must be removed from the safety and comfort of his home and plunged into a world of ruthless savagery. He must be beaten, starved and best of all-HIS HEAD MUST BE SHAVED! I figured if it was good enough for those hunky, roided-up Spartans, it was sure-as-shit good enough for my son, Adolph Eichmann.
I felt like a MOSSAD agent as I ran to my bedroom in search of my rat tail comb. Having located my improvised plastic 'key' I jimmied the lock on my son's door and burst into his room to find him hiding in the corner behind the cheesy, overpriced, Pottery Barn catalogue rocking chair. As I flushed him out from behind the chair, he tried to blow past me, but I was able to grab him and wrestle him to the floor. Unlike Eichmann, we both knew that despite his wild thrashing and emphatic protestations there would be no Nuremberg trial in his future. This 'Jew-boy' dad was more than prepared to serve as merciless judge, unforgiving jury and savage 'hair-do' executioner.
My son sat moodily in the barber's chair as his damaged locks were shorn and fell to the ground in frizzy golden clumps. Even though Ethan had apologized profusely for the 'Jew-boy' remark and pleaded for mercy, his sentence was none-the-less carried out. The barber made his final pass with the clippers leaving my son looking like the world's smallest Marine.
After it was over, Ethan rose slowly from the chair and gazed at his reflection in the mirror. A long moment passed, and quite unexpectedly, a broad smile crossed his face. He turned to me, folded his arms and suddenly morphed into Jay-Z and in his best ghetto rap bellowed at me:
"Yo Yo my name is Jay,
born and raised in LA.
Though you call me your boy Ethan,
you the Popo I be beaten.
Now fool, take me to Pinkberry,
so they're Chocolate yogurt I can be eaten'."
Despite his alarming transformation from Nazi to street thug, and my own transition from Nazi hunter to the LAPD, I gladly took Ethan to Pinkberry. The pint-sized, often adversarial Jay-Z next to me ordered deep chocolate yogurt smothered in chocolate sprinkles while I ordered plain vanilla with coconut. I chuckled wryly to myself for the symbolism of our respective choices was not lost upon me.