Wednesday, 30 July 2008

157: John Hughes - Homo Fashions

in "National Lampoon" September 1978

Yes - this by that John Hughes who directed all those teen films in the ‘80s.

To say that high fashion has adapted male working class styles is a little disingenuous. What Hughes really means is that gay fetish-wear has emphasised a new flamboyant performed machismo though its acquisition of heterosexual fashion props. This piece almost acknowledges outright the base sexual impulse but instead retreats to just being about fashion. So the joke becomes more about presenting dull working clothes wrapped in a lot of high-powered promotional fashion-spiel.

However since Hughes uses the words “homos”, “fags” and “Queers” it’s fairly certain that within the ambit of this piece that homosexuals aren’t worth much. I also get the vague impression that Hughes (or the “humorous” “utterances” of this written performance, if you want to get a bit more lit-crit – or even if you want to give some benefit of the doubt to Hughes) feels bothered and pestered by gays and wishes they would stop invading the straight world of regular guys without permission for homosexuals’ weird (sexual or non-sexual) ends.

National Lampoon was edited by P.J O’Rourke in the late 70s. John Hughes was one of the newest and most prolific writers at "National Lampoon" at this time. Between the two of them they largely defined that period’s reconstructed trad-hetero post-frat-boy ethos (and hence much of the popular early 80s humour that followed), often featuring many nasty throwaway remarks about fags.

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