In this autumnal season, I've recently had two, wait, three things on my mind. One is the election, naturally. Just got my voter registration approved, now all I need is a State Yellow Card or a New Haven CityCard to vote for Obama and our beloved Once and Future Congresswoman Rosa deLauro...and the other two are more upbeat and personal.
I've gotten involved with the Project Chanology/Anonymous movement, and I've turned into a "House MD"/Hugh Laurie fanatic. And thereby hangs a speculation.
You see, Scientology, for all its bluster, is showing definite signs of having jumped the shark. Laffy Hubbard is dead. Membership is down to less than ten thousand worldwide. The early adopters in the intellectual sphere (Aldous Huxley, William S. Burroughs, and so on) are not only dead, but showing a bit of creakiness as well.(After all, we now know a lot more about drugs, psychology and so on than the two worthies listed above ever dreamed.) Even Aleister Crowley, on whose ideas a great deal of Scientology is based, is borderline mainstream: his books are in print and available in Barnes and Noble, sometimes even sitting tamely on shelves besides New Age fluff books. The main thrust of Scientologists were Baby Boomers/Generation Jones, who joined during the late Seventies and early Eighties when it was still cool to rebel against your parents by chucking your college education (and subsequent entry into corporate America) in favor of Finding Yourself. (Nowadays, everyone's too busy trying to make a living to do anything else.) Many Baby Boomer parents (at first) may well have welcomed their involvement with a non-druggy, well-dressed social service organization, but pretty much everyone's heard just what a fraud they are, and almost no one today would wish to finance an expensive series of courses that don't promise to train for any definite goal outside of its own system. Pretty much all they have going for them nowadays is their celebrity ties and what we see in Scientology's celebrities (with the possible exception of Beck and the Beckhams) are largely Eighties people, particularly several men who have been rumored to be gay.
Now for the House/Hugh Laurie connection? I hear. Well, yes, I've got it, but let's go on.
As of 1981, Hollywood casting theory went that women will not want to see as a romantic lead any man who in real life is flat-out gay, or has portrayed a gay man in any serious way. That is, if I know that X is gay, or percieve X to be gay, I can't somehow insert myself into the fantasy of him responding to me as a woman. Therefore, if you're gay in Hollywood, you're going to be cast in comedy and character parts, or at the very most, roles as a "diversity" token. Back in the old days, of course, this was just Not Discussed, but anyone with as much as a rumored lavender side was inevitably photographed or spoken of doing some kind of manly-man activity as insurance. Nowadays the preferred smokescreen is a highly public marriage and a few much-photographed rugrats, something that Scientology is purported to have supplied to some men, in exchange for their lifelong fealty, threatening exposure if their unspoken contract is breached.
This may have been true a while back, but now is blatant ballocks. David Bowie likes to say that coming out to the press got him more quim than a gynecologist ("They all wanted to convert me."). Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger, even Pete Townshend still have women throwing themselves at them right and left, despite the first and the last of these being totally open to the press about their sexual orientation. But, they're singers, not actors! you might say. OK, how about this: Kiefer Sutherland is pretty much transparently bisexual, has played gay characters openly, and yet no one is doubting him as a "man's man" on 24, or anything else. Anderson Cooper is a gay icon, and I, personally, would have him in a minute. In real life, of course, I've known any number of guys (including The Love of My Life) who've been at least part-time, involved with other men, sometimes quite openly, who've been more than attractive to women, even to quite conventional ones.
And then, there's House, which has introduced the Japanese word "yaoi" to so many people. Yeah, Hugh Laurie is as straight a guy as it gets, AFAIK, although one of the least homophobic I've ever seen, and he is best friends with Stephen Fry, who has the Ellen Degeneres Award for being one the least threatening, and gayest, individuals in history. (And Fry's a geek, too! Yay!) However, mention House and Wilson getting it on, and women will faint readily, as several thousand drawings and fanfictions will attest. (Laurie has said that he's "game" for a gay affair in the show, though he doubted Mr. Leonard, his costar, would accept.) And he's not the only one: the heterosexual parts of "Brideshead Revisited" are as nothing to the first half of the movie, when two scrumptious English fellows carry on like loverbirds. Anderson Cooper-watchers are beginning to make romantic drawings as well, with a doelike Cooper in the arms of various hunky Hispanics, and even Men's Health magazine is advising fellows that "majoring in Latin can only be augmented by a summer in Greek." In short, gay is sexy, yaoi is hot, and women can get just as randy over two guys getting it on (in a nice way) as men do a pair of lesbians.
Which might be the final nail in Scientology's coffin. I'm not naming any names here, but if some of these guys (if they are), decided to come out, as bisexuals at least, they'd get a huge career boost. Chucking the CoS would be an even bigger bombshell, especially if they could leak some of those steamy secrets the SciBorgs have been sitting on. Come out! Come out! Whoever you are!
...and stop feeding Suri honey, OK?