cheer readers : a thief’s playbook

There exist desires which fall and feed beyond the boundaries of normative polite society. Football, in many ways, a dehumanizing livestock show, the skilled commodity is an intersection, as the Penn State scandal shows, where the erotic topic of the athletic body and male dominance, hierarchy and race intersect. A commodity culture where  the toxic values of white, middle-class male superiority and patriarchy are present and its almost existential necessity for a sexual underclass, part of a broader national context of symbolism and political coherence. Is football based not on sportsmanship or even a business model of entertainment but on erotic desire? Is football an erotic problem where the adoration of the male body circulates like a beauty pageant at a gay roast. A cage aux folles?

Read More:

Perversion may have been implicit in football from the beginning with the fetishism of the body being the model of all perversions. The Penn State scandal, and its young Nittany cubs, is ostensibly shocking to white middle-class values, but this same segment has always had a perverse underside. Here the little boys and young men are just part of ” the anal universe” which the pervert creates; a world in which individuals are as meaningless as shit, disposable worthless end products and the victims no better than a toilet of discharge for chronic need for ejaculation.

So, Penn has to be looked at as a homoerotic commentary within the long context of American white supremacy, slavery, property rights,  in
order to explain why football players here were subjected to  this kind of assessment, particularly in light of the injunction against homosexual desire, incest and pedophilia that suffuse the culture of  football as well as other male-centric activities with a hierarchy in place; inter-male dominance where the body is a legitimate object  of desire which sustains the erotic subtext and reinforces white male power structures. Just another incarnation of white supremacy?

---Genet's eroticisation of macho can hence be seen, in the first instance, to have a two-fold effect: on the one hand, it celebrates macho without (explicitly) contesting its privilege; but, on the other, it repeatedly suggests that the source of this macho is theatrical or even illusory. Genet himself, it should be noted, seems perplexed by this ambiguity in his work. In The Thief's Journal, he puzzles: If I am accused of using such theatrical props as funfairs, prisons, flowers, sacrilegious pickings, stations, frontiers, opium, sailors, harbours, urinals, funerals, cheap hotel rooms, of creating mediocre melodramas and confusing poetry with cheap local colour, what can I answer?... The aforementioned props are steeped in the violence of men, in their brutality.... They are animated by male gestures. (1964, 266) When Genet tries to account for his theatricalised representations of masculinity, then, he can only suggest that certain spaces (or arenas) are suffused with men's "violence" and "brutality."--- Read More: image:

In America, erotic  desire often gravitates towards the bodies of black men, like Bell Hook’s Outlaw Culture, a place for white males to work out identity problems. The placement of black men as the object of desire is quite subtle and sophisticated, based as it is on asserting white supremacy in the “gatekeeper” role; a cultural entitlement to gaze judge, and admire the merchandise and ironically forcing this “other” into the same misogyny and perversion as a means of acceding up the ladder, then taking the rap and fulfilling the stereotype. Very clever indeed.  As Oates so correctly put it, the commodification of bodies and the desire that it mobilizes satisfies more than deeply submerged erotic wants. The process of transforming human beings into something that can be bought, sold, and possessed can increase the desire for more conventional types of commodity accumulation….

---It may seem odd to find expressions of desire in the scouting process. Measurements of height, weight, speed, and strength dominate discussion, and an approach of cold calculation suffuses the tone of the analyses. In the process of searching for useful information about prospects’ bodies, it would seem that the assessment of purely aesthetic features of a prospect’s physicality would be rare. But in fact, frankly erotic ruminations on bodily beauty (or its absence) are commonplace. Why are the bodies of prospects available for this kind of perusal and assessment, especially given the taboos against homosexual desire that suffuse the culture of elite football?--- Read More: image:

…There is always a temptation to perverse, forbidden sexual acts. As Freud writes in Civilization and Its Discontents (1929), “the irresistibility of perverse instincts, and perhaps the attraction in general of forbidden things,” can be explained by the fact that “the feeling of happiness derived from the satisfaction of a wild instinctual impulse untamed by the ego is incomparably more intense than that derived from sating an instinct that has been tamed.” Perverse impulses, by their very nature, and by the fact that they have been seriously inhibited by socialization — from weaning and toilet-training on — thus depriving one of deep pleasure, all the more so because it is instantaneous, can never be completely satisfied.

However held in abeyance — as they are by the self-righteous bourgeois males who fancy themselves the pre-ordained rulers of society — perverse impulses are addictive, which is why many high class bourgeois men are addicted to low class prostitutes, with whom they can satisfy their perverse impulses, at a price (undoubtedly emotional as well as economic).Read More:

---Outsports editor Jim Buzinski's heart is all aflutter thanks to the generous helpings of 22-year-old man-meat "in Under Armour running, jumping, throwing and bench-pressing all as NFL scouts evaluate them for the upcoming draft like so many head of cattle." And much to his surprise, the combine drills get an added dash of sweat-soaked color thanks to the homo-erotic commentating of Rich Eisen and Mike Maycock: I loved this exchange between Rich Eisen and Mike Mayock, gushing over the body of tight end prospect Dan Gronkowski (photo), a 6-6, 255-pound prospect from the University of Mary

(who benched 225 pounds for 26 reps). As Gronkowski ran his 40-yard dash, it went like this: Eisen: "He's huge, he's a monster!" Mayock: "He's all carved up. … I told the ladies on the staff that they might want to get a look at Tight End, Dash 8." Eight was Gronkowski's combine number.--- Read More:


The problem when you become a national institution is that the nation’s legions of incredibly well organised and hyperactive born-again Christian smother-mummies become the most vocal part of your audience. And the NFL – purveyors of brute violence and animal sexuality – dare not annoy these sniffy, hypersensitive, idiotically priggish and dementedly superstitious nitpickers….

Thomas Eakins. The Wrestlers. ---Nick Trujillo notes a music video screened as part of ABC’s ‘‘Monday Night Football,’’ which followed the workout routines of two players, set to rap duo Salt ‘N Pepa’s ‘‘Whatta Man.’’ Mariah Burton Nelson calls football ‘‘a male love affair with the male gender,’’ noting that, ‘‘for fifty-one weeks each year, readers of Sports Illustrated enthusiastically examine photographs of scantily clad, muscular men. Television watchers do the same: admire attractive images of male beauties.’’ Although these fans do not generally concede this erotic subtext, ‘‘voyeurism is voyeurism, acknowledged or not.’’ Safely presented as humor, the subtext of homoerotic desire is occasionally acknowledged in coverage of the NFL draft. The jokes below demonstrate the tension between the erotics of homosociality and the requisite homophobia that mark the environment of professional football.--- Read More: image:;id=156181;type=101

…Thus the moral outrage over Jackson’s nipple and Prince’s alleged penis is all part of the disconnect between the reality of the NFL’s product – steroids, antiquated gender roles, screamingly obvious homoeroticism, barbaric violence, hideous injuries, the cheesy semi-pornography of cheerleading – and the image it promotes of itself as the all-American family values sport. The NFL wants to have its cultural cake and eat it. And it does.

For when hypocrisy prospers, who dares call it hypocrisy? Read More:

Read More:
Oates:In addition to these rather straightforward attempts to commodify the mostly black bodies of prospects, the draft further domesticates blacks by positioning them as objects of the desiring gaze. In doing so, this way of seeing places black men in positions usually occupied by women*under the control of white men. Consider the examples provided below. All are comments on African American prospects and
are drawn from material constituting the annual media blitz that surrounds the draft. Note that these analyses focus on cosmetic features of the athletes. None assess the usefulness of a player’s corporeality. Large hands, which are useful for catching the ball, are not the focus here; nor are sturdy legs that make a player difficult to tackle; nor height, nor weight, nor upper-body strength, all of which can be practical assets in a number of ways….

George Bellows.---The privileging of macho in homosexual communities, like that seen in Genet's novels, raises an important question: whether the homoeroticisation of dominant men can be seen to subvert traditional ideas about masculinity, by objectifying it and by challenging its assumed heterocentrism; or whether, on the contrary, this eroticisation merely reinforces how intractable and seductive the power of dominant masculinity is. When, in Querelle of Brest, Genet muses: "is it really possible that I may someday hold naked in my arms, and continue to hold close-pressed to my body, the young men whose mettle and daring place them so high in my esteem that I long to throw myself at their feet and grovel before them?"--- Read More: image:

…Given the extensive testing and analysis each player goes through in the draft process (recorded weightlifting accomplishments, a scientific
analysis of musculature, and extensive physicals), one might suspect that considerations of appearance would be rare and infrequent in published analyses, but they are not. Aesthetic considerations of the male form are commonplace in the draft. This suggests that there is more in play here than the professed goal of identifying potential productivity. Similar comments about white players are occasional* Justin Smith is ‘‘a workout warrior who can play football’’but are much rarer, in part because so many of the prospects are black (and perhaps due to the widespread belief that such discrepancies are due to natural genetic advantages), and partly because assessments of white prospects beyond their athletic abilities are much more likely to be described in terms of ‘‘work ethic,’’ ‘‘intelligence,’’ or ‘‘leadership’’ (or all three). Black prospects, by contrast, find their bodies’ attractiveness the subject of frequent evaluation. Read More:

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion, Marketing/Advertising/Media, Modern Arts/Craft and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>