Stephen Colbert makes me laugh. He’s also pretty hot, in a nerdy, irreverent smart-ass-in-a-business suit way. Sometimes his parody of the conservative right-wing-baiting media whores is a little creepy… I’m always sending up a little prayer that no one is thinking that his ridiculous mimic of hateful talking points is sincere. As long as I can have faith in that, then Stephen Colbert is nerd-tastic entertainment for me.
Gratuitous shirtlessness was the point of Colbert’s snide commentary on a disgraced religious right-ball who was discovered to have hired a male prostitute to rub him down naked during his European vacation. Colbert suggested that he hires his cameramen from the same “rentboy” website, and then the shot cut to Luke, aka “Julian,” running one of Colbert’s cameras in all his musclebound shirtless glory.
I know it’s a skit. I know that Luke isn’t “Julian,” and he isn’t actually a rentboy. Still, Luke has shown up on the Colbert show before, so it certainly looks like Stephen is a return customer at “renting” the services of beautiful Luke. When it comes down to it, aren’t we all in this society renters of bodies? Speaking specifically to the audience that reads this blog, don’t we all pay money to take pleasure (or in Colbert’s case, profit) from a flexed physique, a strutting stud, a chiseled chin, a pair of legs locked painfully around the body of another, a driving cock, a muscled ass…? I tend to think that in this day and age, in this society, we are consumers of bodies, all of us renting one another for what turns us on and/or pays the bills.
Not that I’m saying it’s wrong (or right, for that matter). I’m just saying… capitalism defines us by the means of our production. In a society aspiring to be the most genuine devotees to capitalist ideals, rentboys (whether they be prostitutes, bag handlers, comedians or homoerotic wrestling pornboys) illustrate the extremes to which we go to participate in the social value of commodifying all means of production. What pays the bills, what satisfies the lusts, what gets the job done is more and more tied to the quantification of one another’s bodies. The world of my wrestling fiction emerges from these questions I have about where we’re all heading in our pursuit of capital as the only inherent good. I certainly don’t suggest that I’m above it all. I whore out myself in my own ways (which don’t include being available to rub down homophobes in oil on European vacations), and I eagerly, sometimes ravenously consume the sights, sounds, tastes, feels and smells of fantastically sensual bodies offering themselves to be worshipped (at a price). I just think it bears mentioning and considering. Beauty, worth and dignity are far more than skin deep, and despite the illusions of our social order, none of us is simply worth what someone else will pay. Each of us is worth infinitely more than that.