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Queer Culture: An Introduction
An introduction to the concept of "queer culture"
“I don’t think you can really be proud of being gay because it isn’t something you’ve done. You can only be proud of not being ashamed.”
What is “queer culture?”
Well, are you queer yourself? Or would like to know more about such things?
I explain “queerness” here for the "misguided artist," by which I mean the millennial deluded art school student who doesn't understand why everything is so decadent today, and why it’s being promoted.
As a liberal, would you consider gay or trans rights “decadent?” No. That’s “normal.” But at times, it can be “queer” to prove a moral point against the norms of society.
If you know about the origins of the word “queer,” you probably know it use to mean “strange” or “eccentric.” Today, it means being a homosexual, or apart of some sexual identity political group. That’s only a surface level understanding of the term.
It is true that the LGBT community has taken over what was left of queer culture, and since added the letter Q to their program. However, being a "queer" requires effort than simply being a sexual deviant. It also means investing oneself in a subculture that has origins in punk rock, criminal gangs, homeless squatting, hedonistic night life, strange intellectualism, and prostitution.
Recall back in the 1950's, the white normative and cisgendered “club” would mock the outsider as being a "nerd," or as a “queer.” There was even a recess game called “smear the queer.” Being normal was all the rage. The boys hanged out with the boys, and the girls hanged out with the girls. There was only the stereotypes of “Johnny” and “Jane.” The nerd was kicked to the side, otherwise known as “Melvin,” who worked with his toy chemical set, or read a lot of books.
Reading is an anti-masculine virtue. Only nerds read. Melvin was picked on by Johnny because he read. Jane ignored Melvin because he couldn’t supply her with anything. Melvin was also either fat, skinny, ugly, or just didn't understand the rules of the normative culture of Ohio (or any suburban doldrum out there).
Kids like Melvin later grew up and read William S. Burroughs, did LSD, or became a promiscuous hippy. Other hardcore Melvins became “postmodern” philosophers, and tried to doubt the normative structure of American society. Melvin finally had his "Revenge of the Nerds” fantasy in his later years. But in the current year of 2023 and beyond, the terminology of “queerness” has also drastically changed.
A new generation of Melvins came about, and are dubbed as “incels," or as internet trolls. We live in a time where the normative culture of today, has been hijacked nerd culture of the past, that now tries to woo towards those disgruntled Melvins in positions of power, who are also known as “the transgressive liberal elite.” From the 1950s up until today, the elite have a spiteful and resentful interest of the “queer culture” of the past, which became normalized. Hence why we so often think of “queer culture” belonging to homosexuality.
No. Queer culture means an eccentric and strange outsider culture against the normative.
Under our neoliberal capitalist system, “individuals” have to find their own uniqueness and apply their “skills” to an oversaturated market. Capitalism requires unnecessary cultural competition. This means one has to prove “authenticity” over irony, or being a poser. The real queers now have to fight against fake queers, and the system must cater to the interest of their perverted individualism. Capitalism thus becomes “woke capitalism” and advocates the subcultures of resistance.
Queer culture has gain popularity in the arts because it is a reflection of the values of liberalism and free-market liberation. “Queers” use money and burn it. There is no profit return unless its about selling an ideology of Americanism. “You can’t be a queer anywhere else, but you can be queer in America!”
The middle class becomes fascinated with queer culture because it offers cosmopolitan values against suburban privatization and mundane subculture. The petite bourgeoisie is about emulation, mimicry, and fitting in to what the elites want. And because the elite are made up of resentful Melvins, the middle class develops a hatred against Johnny and Jane.
The queer elite can range anywhere from Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Kevin Spacey, Jeffery Epstein, or any celebrity than can practice depraved acts without any restrictions. They have the money and power above the law. Queers ultimately want the power to pursue this freedom. The far-right may call queers "degenerate" and “Jewish," but this is a misconception. Queers are not limited to the categories of elitism, but range from trash-TV celebrities and culture revolutionaries that normal people are repulsed by. Even Nazis, (especially gay Nazis) are by default, queer. So as one is hated by society, one is “queer.”
What remains is a progressive-stack or "snowflake" war between the queer elite and the queer underclass trying to find an authentic (or “true queer”) life under capitalism.
In 2023, art, music, literature, culture, and experiences is judged by how queer it is. Someone is uplifted in this system is they are against whiteness, love cosmopolitanism, and against normal behavior. Normative values were the thing of past, and the queer now reigns supreme.
Ultimately, queer culture is a pretentious phenomenon. It’s about a “fake it till you make it” scenario of acting. It assumes art is more powerful than politics. Politics is often modeled on the concept of "the good life,” and art is the bourgeois luxury and expression outside the urge of social control. The artist sees the world and shapes it to their own liking, while the philistine submits to the established order.
Queers can never agree upon the same thing, as queerness conflicts against itself. I would argue and say that eccentric political science, creative writing, dedicated research, and social commentary naturally belongs in a “queer” category. It’s not asking to be apart of the egalitarian queer culture club, but in it’s natural environment, we can judge queerness like we do with Christian Weston Chandler and Terry A. Davis.
For the sake of clarity, anyone on the far-right is “queer” because of their hatred against the liberal world. The older Melvins might get upset over this as their previous zeitgeist went against this idea. But queerness intersects, and anyone who is a character of eccentric interest is immediately a queer. Queers are studied on Encyclopedia Dramatica and Kiwi Farms for good reasons. We should study queerness as a priority to understand subculture, ideology, artistic intentions, and reasoning before any ideas of sincerity. Queerness can be sincere, and we have to discover that. We can appreciate the arts if we appreciate the queer, first.
More about “queer culture” is elaborated in the humorous Bob Black punk pamphlet of the same name. You can buy it here.
2018 - 6/15/2023