RhetoricLee Speaking

Tiger Kink Part 2 of 2–Tiger King, Transgression, Trump

April 21, 2020

Part 2 of a 2-part episode defending only the first ⅗ of the very first episode of “Tiger King.”: A piece of cultural criticism as epic as “Tiger King” is not.

Tiger King bashing--which is not the same as nuanced cultural criticism--is demophobia to the core. Demophobia means a fear of the demos.

Tiger King gives you pleasure, at least in the first ⅗ of the first episode, because it toes the line of kink--of queer transgression around sexual identity and practice. Not in a mean, sad way but in a fun kind of loving way

Talking about wanting to get peed on--which he’s almost certainly into--might have been the only thing Trump could have said that would have lost in the election? Why? Because we spend way too much effort as a society shaming people for basic, fun, transgressive instincts like being peed on, having gender subversive identities, experimenting with language, or doing anything else, especially when we’re young, that might mess up the tidy binaries we all spent too much time defending between straight/gay, woman/man, us/them, appropriate/inappropriate, and so on and so forth.

Thus we arrive at the ultimate disappointment that will be Tiger King’s demise: the playful kink transgression sketched in the first episode, where viewers first get to test the waters of their pleasure with the text, quickly gives way to mean-spirited.

Tiger King works the same way. It feels good because it rehearses a bunch of stereotypes you have about rednecks and drug addicts and women. Sitting around immersing yourself in misogyny and stand-your-ground entitlement and the cult of personality doesn’t feel good but it does feel good. It’s a cycle of mean-spirited perversion. But that’s not all it is. No, there’s also something beyond the pleasure principle, which is playful transgression and kink and gender and genre bending.

Read the blog version:http://rhetoriclee.com/tiger-kink-part-2-of-2-tiger-king-transgression-trump/


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