September 06, 2003

New National Post Column --...

Posted by at September 6, 2003 10:29 AM

Comments

Two things that these Chron/Times/etc. articles don't seem to be considering:

1. What was the acceptability of the term fag during the (much less PC) 70's, and

2. How much did the commonality (or uncommonality -- my knowledge of regularity of use at the time is limited to the same SoCal schoolyard 8-year-olds as yours) of the term fag influence Arnold's speech, his vernacular, as a foreign-born, learning the language?

Generally, learning the language as a non-native speaker includes picking up slang as you go along, incorporating common terms in your daily speech.

Wasn't the Oui article the first and last time he ever used that term in interviews?

Posted by: Ken B. at September 6, 2003 11:35 AM

Ken -- No, according to a good San Jose Merc profile from Aug. 31 or thereabouts, he also told Newsweek something like "I'm tired of all these fag questions! I know more plummer fags than bodybuilder fags!" ... in 1975. I'll get the exact quote when I have time, which will be some time next month....

Posted by: Matt Welch at September 6, 2003 12:31 PM

Here's the link:
http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/6606447.htm

Here's the excerpt:

During those years, Schwarzenegger also demonstrated little tact in discussing homosexuality. He once scolded an interviewer for asking him ``the fag question'' and dismissively told a Newsweek reporter in 1975: ``I know more plumbers who are fags than I do bodybuilders.''

A few years later, however, Schwarzenegger tempered his remarks.

``I have no sexual standards in my head that say this is good or this is bad,'' he said in 1977. ``Homosexual -- that only means to me that he enjoys sex with a man and I enjoy sex with a woman. . . . It's all legitimate to me.''

Posted by: Matt Welch at September 6, 2003 01:07 PM

Thanks for referring to my blog, Matt! Again, as a courtesy to your readers, I just posted my detailed comments here.

Posted by: Robert Tagorda at September 6, 2003 10:48 PM

Whence your assertion that gay marriage "is losing ground in public popularity after years of gains?" It looks like support has never been broader.

I'm ALMOST sorry. This would have been a great time for us to speak directly about those who most badly need their interests protected by society, infant children. But the larger part of the enthusiasm to grant gays rights of marriage and adoption seems to be our continuing rush to compel *adult* fulfillment through policy.

Even the most aggressive wonks of my youth, yer Buckleys and such, seem to be surrendering with barely a "whatever." Gays can win this without a shot fired, so to speak. I'm not entirely dissatisfied. Gays have raised children for millennia. I just wish someone would acknowledge that straights too have long had to marry partners they regarded as fundamentally imperfect in order to spawn.

On the other hand, this will really (and I mean REALLY) piss off the Osama Bin Ladens, no small achievement.

Nice piece. Even in my vulgar, high-traffic corner of showbiz, I hadn't noticed the link of tv's Queer Eye to this homosexual mirabilis annum.

Posted by: Cridland at September 7, 2003 12:46 AM

Cridland: "I just wish someone would acknowledge that straights too have long had to marry partners they regarded as fundamentally imperfect in order to spawn."

As opposed to those lucky gays and lesbians who get to find somebody who's fundamentally perfect? I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.

Posted by: Michael Farris at September 7, 2003 07:48 AM

Cridland -- After the Lawrence ruling there were a number of public opinion polls that came out showing gay marriage slightly dipping in popularity.

Posted by: Matt Welch at September 7, 2003 10:54 AM
When I was a nine-year-old in Southern California in 1977, the most popular insult on the playground and the classroom was "fag." A distant second was "queer-bait," though we didn't have any idea what it meant. A favourite impromptu sport in suburban SoCal was "Smear the Queer," in which the possessor of a football (the "queer") would be gang-stomped by everyone else until successfully tackled to the ground.

No child was punished by a teacher or coach for using such "homophobic" language, as far as I remember.

Jeez, that's dead on, and it was like that well into the 1980s. Remember "Valley Girl"? How people forget. Posted by: Magyar at September 9, 2003 04:27 PM

Sorry, self-serving Valley Girl link is here.

Posted by: Magyar at September 9, 2003 04:29 PM

When I was at school in the 80's (Sydney Australia) fag meant cigarette. We'd say "I'm going down the park for a fag".

Posted by: Jonny at September 10, 2003 01:35 PM

Arnie should be Secretary of Defense, then before we take out terrorists he can say "hasta la vista baby".

Posted by: Jonny at September 10, 2003 01:43 PM

You stand correct. Nice article, Matt.

For anyone interest, some folks have dug up old commercials from Japanese television starring Arnold, and they're hysterical:

http://homepage.mac.com/alan31/clips/schwarz5.mov

http://homepage.mac.com/alan31/clips/schwarz4.mov

Posted by: Nik at September 10, 2003 04:26 PM
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n polls that came out showing gay marriage slightly dipping in popularity.

Posted by: Matt Welch at September 7, 2003 10:54 AM
When I was a nine-year-old in Southern California in 1977, the most popular insult on the playground and the classroom was "fag." A distant second was "queer-bait," though we didn't have any idea what it meant. A favourite impromptu sport in suburban SoCal was "Smear the Queer," in which the possessor of a football (the "queer") would be gang-stomped by everyone else until successfully tackled to the ground.

No child was punished by a teacher or coach for using such "homophobic" language, as far as I remember.

Jeez, that's dead on, and it was like that well into the 1980s. Remember "Valley Girl"? How people forget. Posted by: Magyar at September 9, 2003 04:27 PM

Sorry, self-serving Valley Girl link is here.

Posted by: Magyar at September 9, 2003 04:29 PM

When I was at school in the 80's (Sydney Australia) fag meant cigarette. We'd say "I'm going down the park for a fag".

Posted by: Jonny at September 10, 2003 01:35 PM

Arnie should be Secretary of Defense, then before we take out terrorists he can say "hasta la vista baby".

Posted by: Jonny at September 10, 2003 01:43 PM

You stand correct. Nice article, Matt.

For anyone interest, some folks have dug up old commercials from Japanese television starring Arnold, and they're hysterical:

http://homepage.mac.com/alan31/clips/schwarz5.mov

http://homepage.mac.com/alan31/clips/schwarz4.mov

Posted by: Nik at September 10, 2003 04:26 PM
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