Monday, June 15, 2009

A bureaucracy always tends to become a pedantocracy.


Here is someone bringing their boat back to park it in the picturesque bay down in Bellerive Village. Bellerive is four bays south of Geilston Bay (OUR bay): Lindisfarne Bay; Rose Bay; Montague Bay; and then Bellerive. I think that this makes us related.

Or something.

I was on the bus the other day trying - and failing - to shut out the racket that is the local "yoof" conversing. Indeed, I could feel my I.Q. dropping by the minute as I valiantly tried to block out the inane, mundane and profane musings of the masses, and tried to concentrate on the Ukrainian existentialist black comedy I was trying to read.

One thing struck me, and it isn't an original thought, it's one I've pondered before: when did the word 'gay' cease to mean 'queer' (as in 'homosexual', rather than 'unusual')? It seems to me that at this place, in this point in time, to be 'gay' is no longer associated with 'limp wristed', 'a flair for the dramatic', 'well groomed' or 'sexually attracted to one of the same gender'.

No, the yoof, in their infinite wisdom, appear to have co-opted it as an all-encompassing term for anything 'lame' (that is, 'uncool', not 'injured'. By 'uncool', I mean 'not considered to add to the esteem in which one is held by one's peers' and not 'hot').

So, to be 'gay' it seems is to be 'sad', 'tragic', rubbish', or 'inferior'. For example, one fellow's hat was 'gay'. Now, I agree that the hat looked stupid, but I will it didn't admit that it didn't fit my definition of the word.

So while I'm concerned at the notion of a word once associated with those attracted to someone whose naughty bits resembles their own, is now an almost universal moniker for anything worthy of ridicule, I'm also wondering whether someone who is gay is 'gay' any more?

10 comments:

Baino said...

Aw c'mon Gay meant happy and frivolous before it was hijacked by the Rainbow Commmunity. Now it's just 'meh that's teh gay!" The beauty of this ever evolving language. Only a couple of years ago Phat and sick were good things! Go figure! Gorgeous shot by the way, you're so lucky living so close to the water.

me said...

I remember this use of the word "gay" was on a small scale at my high school in the early-mid 90s, not particularly widespread at all.

Bit different now. In fact, to use the vernacular of our times, I find it a bit "gay".

yamini said...

I would myself like to know the answer to the question that appears at the end of this post.

The photograph is brilliant. I have started feeling jealous now coz you live so close to water and mountains...

Roddy said...

As long as there is mirth and joy in our lives then we shall always be gay. I'm not one for the corruption of the word to mean queer. As for your new connotations of a word that once meant happiness!!!???

Sue said...

My days consist of living among the "yoof" you refer to. I am always fascinated by their language and can often be heard using it as if I too were a "yoof". It can't be helped after being immersed in it on a daily basis. Besides, they don't understand me if I talk "proper"!!!
Each generation invents their own lingo (didn't we all think we were clever as emerging adults when we used words our elders looked askance at???). It's happened for as long as I have been around and I think it will happen well after I have moved on from this earth.

Kris said...

Baino, it's the overwhelmingly negative connotation that interests me.

Kris said...

Me, it seems sad that whole swathes of people have seemingly eliminated ten words and replaced it with one.

Kris said...

Yamini, it is cold today, so don't get too jealous.

Kris said...

Roddy, how queer.

Kris said...

Sue, young people are horrid.