Originally Posted by Rob Instigator
All these things you say are true, and I have known this for decades. It has nothing to do with whether the show as aired is entertaining to me. I am a person that does not find any value in aggressive pretending. I have seen countless drag shows in bars and clubs and such. I don;t give a shit about the foundational aspects of drag, the obsession with superfluous and stereotypically feminine looks (for the most part. I know there is a wide range of drag performers, including avant garde and comedy, but those are riffs on the standard femenine queen trope)
I do not like any of the music they perform.
I can;t stand the acts they copy (Cher, Lady Gaga, Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Judy Garland, whoever. They mean nothing to me and my life, except as signposts that I need to get away from their horrible "music")
I do not enjoy extremely affected fake accents, mannerisms, and reactions, especially when done in an attention-grabbing "look at ME!!!" way. I find that shit sad.
I do not find their humor particularly funny.
i know what you mean because i used to see it that way too but it’s not about pretense
the great american philosopher ru-paul (ha ha) coined this phrase i’ve seen reposted elsewhere— we’re all born naked, everything else is drag.
i’d like to believe im an unfashionable dude who wears the same uniform every day cuz i don’t give a shit about clothes but maybe that’s just pretense. maybe your beard and glasses are also pretense. the grey suit and tie, pretense. the janitor uniform, pretense. all pretense.
but it’s not really about pretense— it’s about performance and self-expression. as much as we’d like to think we’re “natural” and “act natural” we all perform our social roles. we have to. we act a certain way in certain contexts, we act another way in others. the current shitstorm of social media, people getting fired from their jobs for posting things on twitter, happens when people naively blur the boundary between public and private personas.
so we’re all have our personas— our masks— we wear at the parties we’re at.
drag queens are just more aware and self-conscious about this.
as for their ideals of femininity, you’re right, they’re stereotypical and, depending on context, oppressive. a drag queen is more feminine than the average woman—which says something about the whole institution of femininity. not sure if you ever saw americas next top model (i saw the first season bakc in the day), but they’d bring a drag queen to teach the ladies how to walk! yep.
anyway i agree with your prespectives i swear, i hate the music too and i think it’s foolish to chase money and fame and glitter, but at the same time i admire those queens for their massive show of balls in the face of a mainstream culture that would have no compunction exterminating them, and the whole nietzschean transvaluation of values they perform for their own benefit and their right to exist and thrive in full view of the disapproving public.
you’re right that in our usual context the “look at me” is sad, and i’m usually very hostile to the average attention whore, but when you see the attention whoring as a means of overcoming oppression it suddenly becomes a glorious thing to behold— a fight for survival and for freedm. and those queens don’t demand that you look at them just becuz— they really work fucking hard not just to deserve but ultimately to command that look.
ultimately, it is a display of male power, just like in traditional sports, but it’s gender-bending instead of gender-reinforcing, and thus punk and revolutionary as fuck—this in spite of its apparent reinforcement of oppresive discourse on its outward expressions.
they’re showing us that in social life everything is surface and that you can choose your own mask instead just of receiving your assigned one. i think they’re fucking great. well, not all of them— the show has both sublime heroes and despicable villains. lots of drama ha ha ha ha ha.