Sunday, July 02, 2006

Vicious Returns (I'm No Superman)


"You must think I'm some kind of gay blade..."

Saturday afternoon, I went to see Superman Returns with JR. After spending far too much time at IKEA, buying a large furry orange beanbag, we desperately needed a break.

As we approached the movie theater, I slowed down to deposit a bit of trash into a receptacle and hear these words: "Fucking Faggot". I turned to see who was so perceptive. An overweight "gangbanger" type with his skinny girlfriend passed by us, he kept his eyes on me, glaring.

I asked JR if he had heard, but he was far too busy reading me a description of an upcoming film with Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. The gangbanger kept turning around to see if I would react. I just stared blankly at him, wondering how I would feel about a knife attack. Yes, it's reprehensible that I assume he was a member of a gang. Just because someone is Hispanic, wears a wifebeater, has prison tattoos and isn't afraid to call sissy boys names, does not make someone a gangbanger. I know that, but I also believe that calling someone a "Fucking Faggot," (outside a movie theater on Saturday afternoon while he's with his girlfriend), says far more about the namecaller than it does about me.

I remembered an incident where someone had written "faggot" in the dust on the back window of my car. Instead of wiping it off, I chose to make an addendum: "with a gun." I left it like that for a couple days, hoping that whoever did it would see that I was not afraid. This time it was different. It was not an anonymous comment.

His words haunted me. I couldn't forget the look he gave me, as if I were the most vile creature on earth. He wanted me to give him an excuse. He wanted to kill me. He was not afraid. His girlfriend dragged him away and we climbed the steps to the theater. I stood in line to buy our snacks, while JR went to use the restroom. I stood there, just like everyone else, but I did not feel like everyone else. We gathered our refreshments and found our seats, way up close in the second row. During the movie, we laughed especially loud at Parker Posey's character, a victim of circumstances beyond her control, with empathy. Superman explains to Lois that he constantly hears the cries of humanity calling for a "Saviour."

Unfortunately, there is no Superman. There is no Saviour. People are vicious, especially me. At the recent Pride festival, I shamefully screamed out a racial slur at someone while in the midst of a drunken emotional breakdown. There is no excuse and I have felt truly horrible about it ever since. I suppose I got what was coming to me. Karma works in mysterious ways.

19 comments:

mellowlee said...

You can never spend too much time at IKEA ;) I would love that beanbag! Orange is a rockin colour, beanbags are great and fun fur is just happy stuff.

My first reaction to the "gangbanger " type was "To hell with that big fat creep" To let it eat away at you is giving him far too much thought. He probably just had a fight with his g/f and had to take it out on someone. But then I thought about it more and realized by writing about it, you've done something much more powerful.

Don't worry, I'm sure the Karma Police will kick the SOB in the ass.
I think you're wonderful

Mike said...

Karma is definitely the great equalizer. The sooner people understand that the way they treat the world will be the way the world treats them, the better.

Saviour Onassis said...

Thank you, Mellowlee, for your kind words. The Karma Police are on the case, I am sure.

Mike, you reminded me of something that Dr. Wayne Dyer said: “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

The high road is never crowded.

Mike said...

yes Dr. Dyer is very wise. It's just getting up all those damn step! But I'm trying!

Bored Dominatrix said...

Hi SO--even if it WAS some kind of karmic payback, I'm still sorry this happened to you. I've had my life genuinely threatened a time or two, and it's really, really horrible.

And, while I think you really shouldn't have shouted the things you told me you shouted that day, I will still point out that the people you shouted them at DID inexplicably take your cell phone and start calling people in your address book, and that their limited command of English made recovering your phone more difficult than it should have been. If you had merely passed them on the street, would it even have occurred to you to belittle them loudly enough that they could hear? Would you have turned around after pronouncing this slur to make sure the object of it knew you hated and wanted to hurt them?

In other words, I admit you over-reacted and spoke inappropriately, but you reacted to the way someone specific behaved specifically towards you, not to the simple fact of their existence on this planet, which is what the gangbanger dude did. And what he did is way more wrong than what you did.

ziggystardust73 said...

hey Saviour

Strangely, I had a similar experience recently - and although it doesn't seem to happen that often, when it does, I feel similarly disturbed by it. Sorry you had to deal with that.

Sometimes I think this world is not the right place for some of us. The thing is, that if the people that don't 'belong' all lived on a planet together in isolation, would we all work? Or would factionism still occur?

I have a feeling it might.

Saviour Onassis said...

I have a feeling it might as well.

I've been watching Big Brother 7, and BB asked Glyn to discuss the meaning of life with his housemates. In the end, they decided that it had something to do with love, but I believe it has more to do with acceptance.

mellowlee said...

I recently read "tuesdays with morrie" by Mitch Albom. "Morrie believed in the inherent good of people. But he also saw what they could become. People are only mean when they are threatened, he said" (p 154)

What do you think the "overweight gangbanger type" feels threatened about?

Saviour Onassis said...

I honestly don't feel like I posed any threat to him, whatsoever. In fact, it seemed as if he was compelled to say that to me in order to prove that he wasn't threatened by me. Who knows?

Maybe he was a closet case, but I hate to say that because it's caused problems for me before.

Anyway, thanks for the kind comments and thoughtful questions Mellowlee. (I linked you, btw!)

mellowlee said...

Thanks, I've linked back to you :)

Carm said...

I was moved by your entry, your insights on acceptance, and the quote you posted by Dr. Wayne Dyer. You have given me a lot to think about.

Saviour Onassis said...

Hi Carm. Welcome.

You have given me a lot to think about.

If only everyone would think a little more, you know? Including me.

Blog Off said...

I'm stunned anyone would do that - what a wanker.

Great blog, by the way!

Tay Hota said...

i like the question posed by mellowlee. What does he have to feel threatened about? Assuming he is in a gang (hate to say it, but wouldn't that be pathetic, to look like that, and NOT be in one?) we can assume a few things: This guys home life blew growing up; he has been the victim of his share of discriminitory comments; he's sleeping with one eye open... He most likely has no self concept at all... I think we are all threatened by something; perhaps he sees us as one group that is generally accepted to be even lower than his own,,,

Saviour Onassis said...

Yes, Alan. Wanker is right!
Thank you.

Tay- It is interesting to consider what is threatening to us. I never felt like it wasn't safe to go to Burbank before. Yeah, he was a big tough man, alright.

Tay Hota said...

sorry that happened to you... i went to an amusement park with a guy years ago... both gay, but not involved with each other, at all (his idea, not mine....) anyway, some lady yelled out and called us fags... it was so humiliating, and I was so shocked i had no idea how to repond.. funny th9ing was that he didn't even hear her. when i told him he said he was glad he didn't becuse he would have walked over and smacked the red right off her neck... hehe... don't know that we hung out again though...

Carm said...

I have been thinking a lot about your entry since I first read it. I have also had my life threatened on several occasions (not for my sexual orientation but for other reasons) and the experiences still haunt me. I am sorry that happened to you.

After reading this posting, some of your other postings, and the replies from others I wanted to share my thoughts with you. The first thing I thought when I read about what the “gangbanger” said to you was “fuckin’ idiot”. I then read about the anonymous person who wrote on your window (loved the addendum by the way). Then further read (in your posting about the movie Brokeback Mountain) the comments made by that woman. It occurred to me that though they were all done in different ways, ranging from subtle to aggressive, all were homophobic. I believe that all of these individuals have issues, but all have the capacity, and responsibility, to deal with their issues rather than putting their crap on others.

This got me to thinking, while all of them are responsible for their views (and the retribution this may send back to them), is it possible that they initially learned to be homophobic because our society may promote and/or condone homophobia? Are we creating a breeding ground for “fuckin’ idiots”, anonymous bashers, and people who are homophobic that do not realize they are, through exclusion of gay and lesbian people in the mainstream media?

Saviour Onassis said...

Tay- That's funny. smacked the red right off her neck... Your story reminded me of a time in college when my friend Paula had a Mia Farrow haircut and she was riding on the back of her boyfriends scooter. Someone yelled "FAGS!" at them. We thought it was hysterical at the time...

Carm said: Are we creating a breeding ground for “fuckin’ idiots”, anonymous bashers, and people who are homophobic that do not realize they are, through exclusion of gay and lesbian people in the mainstream media?

It has often occured to me that in some ways the inclusion of gay/lesbian/transgendered people in mainstream media creates a breeding ground for homophobia. I am sorry that this sort of thing happens to anyone. I have tried my best to think nothing but positive things about people, but it's not easy. Like the film "Crash" demonstrates how everyone is a racist to some degree, we all have fears and prejudices. Some people like to flaunt that more than others.

The thing that bothers me about homophobia is the "threat" that gay people pose to society. What's so scary about gay people? Are they afraid we might rearrange society as a whole? I don't think they have to worry about that. Their furniture, on the other hand, is a whole different story...

mellowlee said...

Maybe people are scared of what they don't understand? (Just a guess) It's stupid really. But some people are stupid.
lol about the furniture crack. :) :) :)