Sunday, October 30, 2016

Aberrance Is Its Own Reward: The Michael Lucas Edition

As a veteran of the Queer Wars of the 90s, I’m all ears when an activist with a dissenting voice is denounced as a revolting extremist, a moronic bigot, a hate spewer, a hypocrite and a whore. (It’s par for the course, and you’re probably not doing anything worthwhile if you haven’t been similarly denounced by “your own kind”). The reactionary loathing which Lucas’ brand of Zionism attracts from Queerish gay men isn’t substantiated by logic or reason, and we’re wise to ask why. While not wishing Israel well isn’t proof of anti-Semitism, it just happens to be one of the very best indicators currently at our disposal.

For close to a decade, Michael Lucas has been a very uppity homosexual. He’s the aberrant homosexualist par excellence. Not happy to just live the shadowy dual persona of pornographer and pornographee, he regularly walks the burning coals between political left and political right and lives to yell about it.  An opinionated homosexual is nothing new, but one who can actually put up without drowning himself in Post Modernist rhetoric certainly is.

One case in point is the subject of Israel. Lucas regularly picks at one of the sores of sloppy liberalism: concurrent promotion of gay rights as well as so-called Palestinian rights... a cause which bathes itself in claims of no anti-Antisemitism whatsoever. It’s indeed a rich mother lode to be mined by the skeptic: the narrative is always framed in terms of a juggernaut of Israeli violence committed against innocent victims, with but one historical reference being the Holocaust - as in “They’re doing exactly what Hitler did!” That the fallacy isn’t regularly repudiated by facts - or simply laughed off – is certainly indicative of a mindset which doesn’t accommodate at its core a Jew’s basic right to exist. By logical extension, you can be certain that a militarily-protected homosexual state would similarly unleash a hatred which is masked by sympathy for the “victims”, no matter how loathsome their beliefs or what ends they desire. Lucas was quick off the mark to point out a fundamental lie of the broadened “Islamophobia” trope: despising a murderous religious ideology can’t be seriously construed as racism unless you're a stupid dilettante, or worse.

But Michael Lucas isn’t taking shelter within religion. He’s an atheist, with zero tolerance for religious fundamentalism. His Israel is a secular shelter, or more precisely, a homosexualist secular shelter. It’s important to note the specificity: robust anti-Israeli propaganda insists that Israel’s status as the only gay refuge in the Middle East is a “pinkwashing” plot designed to draw focus away from that state’s brutality. Ever the alpha male, Lucas has no problems mounting a counter-offensive: if the state won’t step up and promote Israel as a destination of gay sex tourism then he will. If the gay Israeli can’t advertise his studliness on the international stage as culture, then Michael Lucas can make an erotic movie which does ("Men Of Israel", 2009). Unsure about gay Israeli visibility? He’s done the doco already ("Undressing Israel", 2012).  Neither The Jerusalem Post nor Haaretz seems anything but bemused by the chutzpah of it all, but it's sure pissed off a disproportionate number of gay men, as Lucas' fapping fans struggle to outnumber the online trolls he attracts.

If any premises define an epicenter of  Queerdom and the LGBT movement it's New York's LGBT Community Center. Twenty years on however, and the place was welcoming groups dedicated to undermining Israel. The Center didn't back down without a fight either: it took Lucas half a year and all the clout he could muster to take the edge off the unprincipled madness. And that came about in tandem with BDS actively disrupting bridge-building efforts to shore up Jewish, Israeli & LGBT alliances. As I recall, Queers in the 90s didn't protest and put our safety at risk to establish "equal" rights for those would contribute to reversing Queer achievements anywhere: it's ridiculously naive to imagine that advancing the cause of Israel's enemies and neighbors is not effectively advancing homophobia.

For many gay men - and yes, queer theorists - the Holocaust is an abstraction from which they excuse themselves entirely. For the Post Modernist, it’s just grainy old black-and-white footage about other people in another time. Considering the facts and figures of homosexual extermination and unimaginable targeted brutality, that’s quite a state of denial to position oneself into, historically or otherwise. But denialism does go a long way to explain why Israel might not represent hope of the most profound kind: Michael Lucas obviously gets it; it’s his critics who don’t.

"Russian-born gay Jew" is on Lucas’ calling card, but how he got it isn’t exclusively shaped by Jewishness or homosexuality: some legal education has fine-tuned a sharp mind, and somewhere between the stifling bleakness of Moscow and the bounty of flesh-peddling he found a sense of rightness which he’s ready, willing and able to act upon...a  “sense of rightness” being neither self-righteousness nor the airing of opinions and the relative right to do so: it goes directly to the heart of ethics at any given point, across an arc which cannot be defined by legalism or political ideology.

Or else you could just say that Michael Lucas isn’t here to promote erectile dysfunction of mind, body or spirit.

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