The Burning Question

"And, er, they are tight.  I mean tight all the way down to the ankles.  And that is not modest, brothers.  No.  It's not appropriate.  It's not sound of mind.  And I was proud of the circuit overseer, who told me this past summer at one of the international conventions—'cause he brought it up—one of these fellas shows up for his circuit overseer visit, and he wants to go out in the ministry, work with him door to door, and he's wearing tight pants." (Anthony Morris III/Kingdom Hall)

One of the challenges facing the blogosphere is its localization. While the democratizing of the internet does mean that any idiot anywhere with an internet conection can now have a soapboxα, there is also the possibility that nobody who happens to live anywhere else has a clue what you mean. Who else is going to understand the Mudhoney bit with socks and toasters, or why the Soundgarden video with the spoons is so damn hilarious?

Okay, plenty, I suppose. It just requires careful watching. Of music videos.

Okay, better example: Who the hell else understands David Schmader?β

I ain't gay no more! I'm delivered!To the other, it is not so cryptic to wonder at the sight of that guy wearing that jacket with that shirt, and that tie and silk square announcing, “I’m not gay no more. I am delivered!”

Which, you know … right. Good for you, dude. Go into business. Jesus the Carpenter would make a killing on closet doors.

Oh, right. Sorry, wrong theology. I’m thinking of Prosperity Gospel, not the Good News of Self-Hatred.

Actually … er .. right. Never mind.

But what, you might ask yourself, is the purpose of such a ranting blog post? Well, to the one, in Slog terms, it’s an entertainment thing. The Stranger and its readers seem to enjoy morbid comedy, and, well, inasmuch as queerness just radiates from the clip, even down to the preacher’s attempt to stir revivalist flames while maintaining a dignified, wooden appearance, ranges between queer and downright f’d up. That is, there comes a point where you look at the little pink glans ring on the microphone as the young man comes in(to) the closet ....

Oh, Jesus. Lord help us.

Look, Freudian fallacies (and phalluses) pass for comedy vérité of the highest order around here.γ But it is true; there are fewer places in human society that understand The Stranger in general, or David Schmader in particular, than, say, Calvinism.

But this is where the fun really begins, because after the chuckle comes the scary part.

Consider Anthony Morris III of the Kingdom Hallδ:

And the other one that, er, needs addressing is for these young fellas, ’cause the older ones aren’t doing much of it, thankfully; uh, it’s the metrosexual look. We’ve addressed that in the past. We’ve said things about it. But what’s happened now, it’s really caught on more. Metrosexual—that’s the tight suit jacket and the tight pants, er, better known as ‘tight pants’.

And, er, they are tight. I mean tight all the way down to the ankles. And that is not modest, brothers. No. It’s not appropriate. It’s not sound of mind. And I was proud of the circuit overseer, who told me this past summer at one of the international conventions—’cause he brought it up—one of these fellas shows up for his circuit overseer visit, and he wants to go out in the ministry, work with him door to door, and he’s wearing tight pants.

And the circuit overseer was man enough, spiritual man enough, to say, “No! I’m not going door to door with you! Mmm-mm. Not with that dress on. Inappropriate.” And you elders out there listening in—and be kind, now! We always wanna imitate Christ Jesus. You be spiritual man enough to tell these young fellas, “You don’t go out in the ministry looking like that! Not in this organization.”

And frankly I have asked sister after sister, you know, “What do you think of this? You find that appealing? Attractive? You know, I’m just curious, ’cause I’m not a woman.” Uh, and you know what? I’ve not met one yet that thought they look good.

But like I’ve been telling others, and this is a fact, the homosexuals that are designing these clothes, they like you in tight pants. That’s who likes it. Not spiritual people. So, just something to consider with dress and grooming. Is it appropriate? Is it modest? If not, do something about it if you’re a spiritual family.

Okay, it would be one thing to say there is a lot there to unpack, but in truth there is not. Basically this is what it comes down to: First, sir, you’re wrong. Take it from me; I’m gay and the only people who notice my tight pants are heterosexual men. As a matter of fact we were joking about that on Sunday as we all gathered for our communal prayers in front of the television as the Seahawks struggled through another weak team to barely pull out a win. But it’s true, I was wearing the really, really gay looking blue slacks with the Italian name on the label and the puffy pleats in the front and high waist that requires my belt be tighter than any other pants I wear. Got ’em years ago, for work, at a department store. The Italian name on the label is just that, an Italian name on the label to make people think the pants cost more than twenty bucks.

First time all season I showed up for the football game without wearing skinny jeans, I was told. My skinny jeans were in the wash, I replied, and everybody laughed. Really, though. No joke. So were my saggy jeans, my baggy jeans, and my raggy jeans.ε

But it’s true that my skinny jeans don’t get any notice from gay men. Or, rather, if they do, I get scratched off the list. Not manly enough, or something.

As to the women you are asking, sir? Well, they’re Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Not that skinny jeans will get women falling all over a guy. On those rare occasions that a woman gets all gaga over something about me, it’s usually my hair. Which certainly isn’t part of the gay fashion conspiracy else it would be cut short and I’d be wearing more gel on my head than hair. Even with the Freddie Mercury mustache … if I grew one.

My point being, sir, that you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about when you speak of homosexuals. Which, in turn, brings up another point: How much time do you spend thinking about gay men?The hidden obsession finally burns down the closet.

Seriously, he ain’t gay anymore? And you know what gay men think? How in the name of Christ do either of those ideas work?

You know who else thought about gay men too much? Rev. Haggard. Dr. Rekers. Pastor Long.

So let me ask you again: How much time do you spend thinking about gay men?

And what makes you so sure you know how gay men think?

As for anyone else, well, yeah. This is why it’s funny.


α (ahem!)

β Admittedly, not fair. It’s a trick question, as we don’t understand him, either.

γ So do slips of the tongue and promises to not get it in your hair. Go figure.

δ a.k.a., Jehovah’s Witnesses.

ε For the record, it’s not like I actually buy baggy jeans; it’s just a disagreement between the homosexual designers at Levi Strauss and myself about how my body is shaped. Then again, as I understand it, when the problem is that they’re guessing me heavier than I am, I should be thankful. So, no. I’m not complaining.

Schmader, David. “The Week in Religious Theatrics”. Slog. 11 November 2014.

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