Jordan Raskopoulos, one third of very funny and very successful musical comedy trio Axis of Awesome, posted, and adopted as his profile pic, the second coolest photo of Ian McKellen I’ve ever seen, earlier this Sunday morning:
Now, I gotta be honest.
I can’t help noticing the guy behind him wearing a similar shirt. Same colour. Writing in the same bold, san serif style. Saying something about ‘gay’. I know Sir Ian’s of that lifestyle choice – and he’s wearing a similar shirt. So either he’s chosen to take the mickey out of whatever hands-across-the-water ‘let's all march in the same t-shirt’ proclamation the guy behind him was making – which is feasible; if I’d been both Gandalf and Magneto, I’d be proud of it too – or someone’s been having fun with photoshop.
Turns out to be the latter; here’s the original photo (Note the ‘M’ and the ‘O’ in ‘MAGNETO’ and the ‘G’ in ‘GANDALF’, above, compared to the ‘M’ and the ‘O’ in ‘SOME’ and the ‘G’ in ‘GAY’, below: wrong font!):
And it is part of a big campaign, as, Dannii Minogue’s ‘some people are making a career out of jumping on bandwagons’ photo opportunity would attest.
(Or maybe she means ‘gay’ in that other sense: ‘crap’. But I’m not allowed to crack that joke anymore, am I! What an interesting world we live in, that people getting all het up that ‘gay’ no longer meant ‘happy’, has given way to people getting all het up that ‘gay’ no longer means ‘gay’. And it’s clearly too difficult for some people to explain that words change their meanings, and even when they don’t, can still mean the opposite depending on vocal inflection. Why else would it be easier to change the lyrics to ‘Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree’ than to explain ‘gay your life must be’ means it’s a ‘happy’ life, cos the kookaburra’s laughing, rather than ‘crap’ cos the kookaburras aren’t getting all of Men At Work’s royalties for ‘Down Under’, or ‘homosexual’, cos society’s politically correct and uptight about having to be so.)
Anyway, back to Sir Ian McKellen being proud about Gandalf and Magneto on his t-shirt:
“Awww, it’s a fake…” someone wrote on Facebook, under Jordan’s posting – sad that McKellen didn’t have a rampant ego, that he wasn’t undermining the campaign by being a camp pain. Although, a lot of us, including me, thought the t-shirt was cool, and we’d still resepct Sir Ian if it were real and he were wearing it. Not even ironically. The debunker also linked to the BBC story that ran the original photo. Turns out McKellen was attending a protest against the Pope – on the other side of Hyde Park from the where the pilgrims were flocking to see His Papal Holiness.
My favourite Papal protest is still Tim Minchin’s. Don't listen if you don’t like swearing, particularly if you think swearing about the religious is a bigger sin than standing by while the religious ignore mass kiddie fiddlerage among their ranks.
Let me put it another way: people are gonna get satirical with the visual arts online. Get over it.
Before finishing, I’d just like to add:the coolest photo of Sir Ian McKellen I have seen is the one my buddy got with him, outside the Sydney Opera House, when he was appearing in Waiting For Godot.
And, to bring everything full circle: Tim Minchin jammed with Benny Davis of Axis of Awesome during their Edinburgh Fringe run. Guess which song they played.