Badpuppy Gay Today

Thursday, 01 May 1997

A DATE WITH ELLEN--- AFTERSHOCK

A Badpuppy Editor's Same-Night Reflections, 11:30 PM

by Jack Nichols

 

Yup, I was shocked. I started The Swoon during those close-ups in the interviews. Its easy to understand why Anne Heche has, after always believing herself "straight", fallen headlong into the arms of this woman, Ellen. It must be because Ellen Degeneres, up close, has extraordinarily beautiful eyes. Beforehand I hadn't really seen her. Now, suddenly they've miraculously appeared, striking me like warm sun: Hah! Beauty! Expressive! Brad Pitt-class eyes! Startling inner joy-- reflecting from a simply divine character--and I just hadn't been prepared for seeing it happen tonight--you know, with Ellen. Geez, I can't stop wanting to go back to see her. Next week, Ellen? Same time?

But even if ABC hadn't taken this American kind of step that it has, I'd still feel Ellen Degeneres speaking as a lesbian makes good sense, because this woman projects a proud flame that represents caring in our land-- our exotic land of varied sexualities-- and should not all tend to such a noble flame? It appears, after all, that Anne Heche isn't blind to it either because she's publicly chosen companionship involving personal honesty/ loyalty over later-promised wealth. Are the "shocked" Hollywooders who say she might lose out on more big straight parts so blind? Charisma has no orientation, sillies. It penetrates old boundaries that cultures invent. You film promoters have learned that by this time, haven't you? Well, anyway, that's what the formerly straight Anne Heche has discovered. Thank you Anne Heche for making the right choice at the right time.

Yes, and Ellen is as warmly representative of everyday folks as I could hope for. She says she's not political. So? She doesn't have to be anything but Ellen, so nobody should give her a hard time about not crusading if she opts out of that. She's beating, after all, her own distant drums, handsomely playing a romantic guitar and, in real life, dancing with beautiful Anne in her own way and so is ABC dancing with Ellen Morgan, Degeneres' lovable, fumbling but truly good and persevering character. She gives us real life on its way, charitably, to self-realization. Such things--Degeneres stance and ABC's excellent airing of it--one can respect.

Me? Swoon? Sure did. I was floored and just started basking in the glow of those Ellen-in-her-interviews eyes, soaking up their playful warmth, honesty, joi de vivre; their visionary optimism shining through triumphant inner experience. Ms. America's Eyes. Ellen Degeneres, please hear this: I'd say that Anne Heche is one hell of a judge of character, and that you're damned lucky too to have found a beautiful, wise friend who has such good taste in people. You two a ceremony make without any intermediary. Isn't that the point?

If everyone be aware, I sit content

And if no one be aware, I sit content.

(Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass)

But if this isn't a kind of ceremony you both are going through publicly, I wonder, what is it? If not a religious ceremony, it seems instead a social/spiritual catharsis-- I seem to see ( visualizing Ellen and Anne symbolically exchanging rings at a non-existent alter) America looking on expectantly from the pews, smiling bridesmaids and alter boys being those one-third of all teens who earlier might have tried suicide, foreseeing social rejection looming, needing tonight this deep catharsis statement broadcast. But not just to these young'uns is Ellen important. She speaks to all growing hearts--male and female-- where there's ever a need for more self-scrutiny, more searching, more vulnerable commitments to interpersonal honesty waiting in mental treasure vaults, untapped. Its honesty with a hug, and a helpful, friendly hand along the way.

American television--- ABC & Its Sponsors on this April 30 evening--- has made and celebrated history with savvy, evoking silent spirits of fairness and inclusiveness that are moving on the land. One can look up for it, into prairie skies, or just visualize it reflecting in Ellen Degeneres' wonderful eyes.

1997 BEI; All Rights Reserved.
For reprint permission e-mail gaytoday@badpuppy.com

GayToday Image Map