Fear Of Whales

Tales of a reluctant minister

Merry Christmas, The Characters of RENT are Horrible People!

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It’s Christmas, so I am rewatching a number of Old holiday favorites: Die Hard, First Blood, Elf, you now, the classics.

I happened upon RENT this year, which I watched and enjoyed in theatres when it first came out. It’s a holiday musical about young people, alternative lifestyles, and telling Christians they are doing it wrong. So it’s pretty much the total package as far as I’m interested. Only trouble is, I’m not as young as I used to be, the story made more sense this time, and these bold cultural rebels have started to seem a lot more like horrible people that deserve everything that’s coming to them.

Imma show you what I mean.

First of all: The problem is not that a lot of the characters are queer. I’m fine with that, I certainly don’t think that liking members of the same sex means you deserve to die in poverty. Things like refusing to work, committing crimes, and being irresponsible in handling infectious diseases however to have a tendancy to make one poor and dead.

Homosexuality has become a smokescreen for these characters. Anyone who criticises them just doesn;t understands, and is really homophobic. They do something horrible and then kiss, “Hey mister, she’s my sister” they respond to the shocked faces. “Ooooo” the audience responds. Look at those bad judgemental peole who cannot appreciate love. Unfortunatley, I’ve seen this attitude played out in real life too.

The plot of the play begns with Mark and Roger, neither of which is gainfully employed but who nevertheless live on the lower east side. Mark is a filmmaker who has never made a film. Roger is a guitarist who hasn’t played in a year. This arrangment is possible only because their former roommate Benny is the landlord and has allowed them to become a full year late on rent. They steal power and burn things indoors without a chimney, but they are mad that they might have to pay anything at all. He tells them that if they don’t pay he Image result for rent Bennywill have to kick them out. They sing about how hard their life is for a while before resolving into a musical crecendo that they are not going to pay rent… ever.

How is this okay? Who is okay with this? How are we as an audience supposed to expect and cheer for any resolution to this besides eviction?

Enter Angel who kills Benny’s dog for money, and uses that money to buy booze for everyone. He’s therefore a hero and we all like him, but it’s not kindness, he makes it clear in a long sont that he expects the favor to be returned “Today for you, Tomarrow for me”

Oh and there is also a bi-girl who cheats on everyone while pretending to be monogamous. She is an “actress” who puts on disjointed and masterbatory shows that nobody would ever pay for tickets for. She is also mad at Benny because she wants the performance space rent-free just like the boys apartment and he won’t give it to her.

It’s not that these characters have no moral code. It’s just that their moral code is terrible and wrong. These characters identify the following things as immoral in the movie

  1. Expecting payment for services (with Benny obviously, but also the server at the cafe)
  2. Accepting a paying job with artistic flexibility (this was called “selling out” and Mark felt guilty for it)
  3. Ever not having sex with someone (Roger told Mimi “another day” and it was a big deal)

It’s worth noting concerning #3 that both Mimi and Roger had aids, neither knew about the other one, and neither told the other one they had it as a reason why whe might not want to have promiscous sex right now. This is not considered a valid excuse, and the Roger is very sorry he refused to infect what he thought was an innocent girl with a fatal disease, or contract a fatal disease from her. His bad.

And the strangest thing about all this, the strangest thing is that Benny is right there as a member of the main cast, making all the sense in the world about how fucked up this all is, and serving as a foil to the horrible characters.

They make fun — yet I’m the one
Attempting to do some good

This dude has a POINT!

I don’t know how I ever watched this with a straight face.

Oh. And one last thing. There are 525960 minutes in a year. Can’t these people do anything right?


Written by RyanGaffney

December 21, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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