I've tried to distract myself for the last few days by…
– basking in the lovely notion of a Toronto park being dedicated to June Callwood
– delighting in the gay perfect storm that is this clip of the upcoming Girls Aloud single cowritten by the Pet Shop Boys
But as Madonna took over Toronto this weekend, everyone's been talking about her divorce and I suppose it's time to chime in.
I wasn't going to blog about it because this is a gay news blog and, with 50% of marriages ending in divorce, it's not at all clear that heterosexuals respect the sanctity of the institution anyway. But "Helloooooooo," I hear someone hollering, "this is Madonnaaaaaa we're talking about!!"
Okay fine, but did the news surprise anyone? I mean, Madonna and Guy Ritchie? Here's a couple less compatible than Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes! After she nearly torpedoed his film career, half the fun of seeing Guy and Madge together was watching their barely-suppressed disdain for one another. Watch this interview with Guy Ritchie at TIFF in September: he can scarcely utter the word "Kabbalah" without needing to laugh or punch the interviewer. And the British were on to their act years ago — I love this clip from a sketch comedy show:
In the UK Daily Mail this weekend, there was a lengthy and terrifying list of Madonna's household demands, ones that presumably drove Ritchie out of the house (if not insane) but what's an issue for we gays are the stories leading up to the divorce. In his tell-all book, Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone said that Guy Ritchie is homophobic, predictably leading to his pals then defending him as a friend-of-a-friend of Dorothy. It's the kind of debate we hear far too often, in which someone disparages gay people then says no no, some of my best friends are gay. What's annoying is that, in a lot of cases, both things are true.
Judging from his movies, Guy Ritchie is obsessed with tough-guy machismo, which is seen as antithetical to homosexuality but, as any bear will tell you, certainly isn't. Like a lot of straight guys, Ritchie seems both fascinated and repelled by gay sexuality in equal measure. "Homophobe" becomes a tricky label. Actor Rupert Everett agreed with Ciccone that Ritchie is "uncomfortable about queens" and that's probably true, yet it doesn't preclude Ritchie from having some brawny "straight-acting" gay pal he can talk football with down the pub. After all, he's British and dull.
But assuming all this is true, then a Madonna-Guy Ritchie divorce is good news for everyone: he'll have a lot less queens in his life while the real marriage, the spiritual union, between gays and Madonna can flourish once again! C'mon girls, do you believe in love?