Tuesday, April 24, 2012

“Most Americans are repelled by the mere notion of homosexuality." - Mike Wallace

Not now of course, but way back when...

LifeSite dug up a 1967 Documentary by Mike Wallace on Homosexuality.

Hard as it may be for my readers to believe - I watched the documentary when it aired.  Not many years before that, Life magazine ran feature articles on the homosexual sub-culture in NYC, which helped educate anyone who cared to know about it, just how things worked in the underworld of the gay social scene.  In fact, the entire country suddenly knew more about homosexuality than they probably wanted to know.  And yes, people hated homosexuality.   

One psychologist interviewed in the documentary, Dr. Socaride, described homosexuality to Wallace as “a mental illness, which has reached epidemiological proportions.”    Today public attitudes have changed radically.  Obviously sex education beginning at university level even before the time of the interview, extending down to secondary and primary school level as we know it today, helped to change public attitudes toward sex.  Teach your children, as they say. 

However, the wider cultural reasons for the paradigm shift were clearly recognized at the time of the documentary - although few expected the rapid, radical shift in morals that we experience today.  Cultural critic Dr. Albert Goldman sized it up rather well:
“It seems to me today we are in the course of gradually rolling back from our former cultural values or cultural identifications, to a more narcissistic, to a more self indulgent, to a more self-centered and essentially adolescent lifestyle,” says Goldman. “The homosexual thing cannot really be separated form a a lot of other parallel phenomena in our society today.”

“I mean, we see this on every hand. Forty percent of modern marriages end in divorce. We have a very widespread tendency to live lives of nonstop promiscuity. This is played up in a kind of playboy philosophy which is celebrated and sugar-coated and offered to the masses and received with pleasure. We have all sorts of fun and games approaches to sex. We have rampant exhibitionism today in every conceivable form.

“We have a sort of masochistic sadistic vogue. We have a smut industry that grinds out millions of dollars worth of pornography a year. We have a sort of masturbatory dance style that’s embraced as if it were something profoundly sexual, whereas actually all those dances do is just grind away without any consciousness of other people or their partners. And homosexuality is just one of a number of such things, all tending towards the subversion, towards the final erosion of our traditional cultural values.”
How astonishing, and yet today, people imagine that only now are we "gradually rolling back from our former cultural values or cultural identifications, to a more narcissistic, to a more self indulgent, to a more self-centered and essentially adolescent lifestyle.  The homosexual thing cannot really be separated form a a lot of other parallel phenomena in our society today.”  Nevertheless it was anticipated then, it was already in the works back then.  As Wallace noted:
“It should be pointed out that Dr. Socaride’s views are not universally held. There is a smaller group who do not consider homosexuality an illness at all. Instead, they regard it as a deviation within the range of normalcy.”

Although now days even to suggest homosexuality is a deviation within the range of normalcy would be insulting to most gay activists, who regard the orientation as completely normal sexual orientation.  In the documentary, Gore Vidal also has something to say about normalcy - well, kind of - and it's the same thing people like Dan Savage say today:
Vidal begins by insisting that the family is not under threat from the homosexual subculture, and then proceeds to argue that marriage and sexual fidelity are “obsolete.”
Yeah, so.  The more things change...

Anyway - the big obsolete of the entire documentary - at least according to any gay activist or happy homosexual today, would have to be the following information the documentary revealed to a still rather naive American public back then:
“The average homosexual, if there be such, is promiscuous,” Wallace states matter-of-fact. “He is not interested in nor capable of a lasting relationship like that of a heterosexual marriage. His sex life, his love life, consists of a series of chance encounters at the clubs and bars he inhabits, and even the streets of the city - the quick one night stand. These are characteristic of the homosexual relationship.”
Truth be told, gay people have been socialized better in these days of political correctness and equal rights, they no longer have to haunt the places they did back then.  Today it's more an optional/alternative form of behavior/entertainment.  As for couples staying together - it's probably closer to the same percentage rate for hetero couples staying together - maybe not - I don't think it's that big of a deal to gay couples.  There may be an element of cool to the idea they can divorce just like straight couples, adding to the semblance of normality, or parity with heteros, the movement has sought to create.  That said, nothing will make the modern homosexual more crazy than to claim that homosexuality is a mental illness.  They took care of that diagnosis in 1970.  (Don't ever mention it though - I just did but I think I got away with it.)

Anyway - read the LifeSite article and watch the video - it's very interesting.  Click here.

H/T Ray of Stella


  1. What's interesting is how a lot of pop culture icons delved into that subculture not because they were themselves necessarily homosexual, but *because* it was subversive.

    I used to love David Bowie's music. An there are still songs that I think are awesome (Life on Mars? Heroes, Young Americans), but I can no longer listen to the Ziggy Stardust album in it's entirety. So much of his music praised perversion just because it was perverse, which seems more perverse than perversion itself, if that makes sense.

    The same with Lou Reed an the Velvet Underground, among others. I think what made the sixties and tge following generations so insane was not that there was promiscuity and perversion - that's been around in all ages, but tge way it was so enthusiastically embraced and encouraged.

    And I LOVE much of the music from that period, though I find I am listening to Led Zeppelin and The Stones a lot less nowadays.

  2. Great point Merc - cool = subversive.

  3. A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution.

    New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

    That consent is key. “With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”

    The study also found open gay couples just as happy in their relationships as pairs in sexually exclusive unions, Dr. Hoff said. A different study, published in 1985, concluded that open gay relationships actually lasted longer.

    None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage.


  4. I have a psychologist friend in his 60s whose partner of 30 years passed away almost 2 years ago. He is convinced that their relationship was monogomous and that the milieu in which he was a part of were the same. He is an aging hippy pacifist who sees the opening of the pandora's box of the 60s as a good thing that went bad in the 70s which doesn't make sense to me. Monogomy to me would preclude flirting and cruising online,viewing porn, or spending time with escorts. I told him that but never got a straight answer.

  5. James - I know that - I'm not sure many straight supporters of gay marriage are really aware of those facts - and if they are, they are naive to think that the behaviour will impact traditional marriage negatively.

    Martial, I have never met or known a male same sex couple who were monogamous. Ever.

  6. Hi, My name is Aaron I write a blog entitled "Roman Missiles" on blogger here. I just found your blog and must say I love it! I am a convert from atheism, and the sexually relative, superfically hip subculture which embraces deviance as not just lifestyle but birthright! The fallicy of genetic determinism has been amazingly effective in reshaping the nature of the social arguement in terms of a psuedo-psychiatric cover of ethical inevitability. Which makes the psychiatric statements given above refreshing do to their honesty, which is rare in the modern milieu of culture. Thanks again, I will be reading you. Aaron (Roman Missiles)

  7. Servus - it's amazing how many heterosexual couples do not see viewing pornography as "cheating". I sure didn't see it that way before I got serious about such things.

    But looking back, it's SO, SO, obvious.

  8. Terry,

    I didn't think I had ever met a same sex couple who were monogomous either. I remember guys talking about "emotional monogomy" as though one could separate the two. I just am baffled why someone like my friend would cling to that notion. I have heard him say "denial is a wonderful thing" over the years.


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