Father Raymond explained his reasons for coming out. At first he sneaked in a little phrase into the weekly newsletter saying he was vacationing at a “survival camp” with a “few other gay priests.” That was the first ripple but then a few weeks later, he felt it necessary to include it in his sermon. I thought it courageous but then I kept watching.
Michele asked why there was a disproportionate amount of gays in the priesthood. Rather than give what I thought to be the correct answer (closeted gays have used the priesthood for years to hide), Father Raymond said gays were more sensitive to people’s issues. Really? He must have never walked through West Hollywood, I thought, but I also bristled at his PC non-answer. It may win him a GLAAD award this year but I don’t think it helped the hearts and minds of his congregation. And as a priest, shouldn’t that be his primary concern?
When Michele questioned him about the prickly subject of celibacy, he coyly laughed, refused to answer and said, “Most people want to know if I’m sexually active and that’s not the issue. If that’s their issue to them, then we’re way off track of where I’m at.”
Admittedly I am not catholic. I know little of the tenets but the one I do remember other than no fish on Friday is the celibacy rule. His evasion of the question screams Yes! Active and proud but not proud enough to actually say it out loud because then I’d get into real trouble. This is where Father Raymond went from being an interesting look at the difficulties of a gay man navigating the priesthood to the self-serving single-mindedness of shrill gay politics. Father Raymond wants it both ways, not giving a hoot about those priests who honor their vows and the church really being all about him.
It made me mad and it sent me into that place that always gets me in trouble when I say it out loud. I’m exhausted from the screams of gay rights activists drowning out the normalcy of our lives. I do not want to be represented by an effeminate priest who has a very private agenda nor do I want to be represented by Bruce Vilanch. I’m appalled we are now seen as the arbiters of good taste who need to help those poor heterosexual men who can’t shop worth a damn. And sorry but Will & Grace is NOT funny.
Thankfully I TiVoed a 1933 pre-Hays film with Jimmy Cagney in the big house to cleanse my palate. As I drifted toward sleep, I started to do my nighttime math. Last night’s was an internal argument over which director had the most great films on their resume.
Hitchcock obviously wins but who would it be after him? And what modern director is in the same league? So I did the math: Scorsese has four all-time great films (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Good Fellas). Coppola has six (The Godfather I & II, Apocalypse Now, One From The Heart, Peggy Sue Got Married and Tucker). Lynch is brilliant but spotty with only three (Erasurehead, Blue Velvet and Fire: Walk With Me). De Palma might be thrown into the mix but honestly, his movies are a lot of fun but not top 100 worthy. Then, begrudgingly, there is Spielberg with eight (Duel, Sugarland Express, Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Color Purple, Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan). He’s such a populist director but dammit, he’s good.
Above all of them, except for Hitchcock of course, is Kubrick who made each film an adventure you had never seen before. It was the experience of stepping into someone’s private dreams and while he made you feel very unwelcome sometimes, his images and ideas stick like flypaper and there is no escape. With the exception of the second half of Full Metal Jacket and the final scene in Eyes Wide Shut (rumored to be directed by Spielberg), there is not a single frame he ever shot that doesn’t thrill me and take me to new heights of visual and emotional entertainment.
Then I fell asleep.