Sunday, 12 April 2009

252: K-Y Comics Presents Dixie Nixon and the Boys in the Bund

by Sean Kelly and Tony Hendra. Art by Larry Hama and Ralph Reese
in “National Lampoon” February 1974

Edward Heath’s unwavering sobriety and conspicuous lack of any sexual or emotional attachment suggested an intense grinding sublimation making him a curiously ambiguous figure ripe for such queer quips. With Heath cartoonists and satirists could only indulge in innuendo, though, for fear of making any too absolute a statement. Besides, all the fun was in the suggestion. Particularly since Heath was such a prissy, sulky, sensitive self-regarding lump.
This comic can indulge in such lavishly grotesque gay travesties and caricatures because Richard Nixon and co were so tediously straight as to be almost unbelievable. So why not make it as unbelievable as this load of screaming, lascivious stereotypes to suggest a different type of scandal more reminiscent of the Decline of Rome.
There is an almost admirable amount of ingenuity in Hendra’s and Kelly’s combining of camp bitchery and sexual outrageousness with the convoluted details of Watergate. What the writers go after are all the most outrageousness stereotypes to spice up the dense facticity of the real life scandal. They go far beyond any sissy imagery, it’s all crude double-entendres, extravagant transvestism, and non-stop promiscuity.
If you want, I think a strong case can be argued that a very definite smear is intended on Nixon and co with such extreme gay clichés. Frankly, Hendra’s assumptions about what makes for a good homosexual gag amount to smears in themselves.

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