Monday, November 10, 2003

A fluff post: "Queer eye for the straight guy" hits Venezuela

Sunday 9, November 2003

El Universal announces today in an almost full page, with picture, the arrival in Venezuela, on cable, of the summer hit in the US: "Queer eye for the straight guy". In case you do not know, it is a show about 5 gay guys that try to make some US urban straight males a little bit less dowdy, more "metrosexual", with soccer star Beckham as a role model of sorts.

This is not a review about the show of course. Like everything in Venezuela these days small details can reveal more about our social evolution than long treatises.

El Universal dedicates 5 out of 6 columns to the coming show. El Universal is arguably the most "conservative" paper in the social values sense. Yet, it has evolved enough to deal with "minorities themes" with a certain nonchalance, past the cliche lines. It is also the paper that is more oriented towards business and perhaps has more of a sense of individuality. It is thus interesting to observe that the most conservative paper gives such a coverage for a TV show that after all will be on cable with most of its puns not translatable in Spanish.

On the other hand we have a president that tries to discredit the US ambassador casting doubts on his sexuality. If the president hints at such matters on his Sunday show, some congress people have no qualm about qualifying publicly some sectors of the opposition with any word worse than gay.

Thus the contrast in Venezuela. A middle class that has been heavily influenced by the outside world and that at least on social themes is more progressive than its forebears. A social group in tune with the changes of the world. On the other hand a supposedly progressive, leftist revolution which everyday looks more and more like a nightmarish reactionary return to a machista past were the will of the supreme leader dictates which are the acceptable social attitudes and ideas.

‘nuf said!

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