Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Will", on "Days of our Lives", demonstrates a moral dilemma

An “ultimate” moral dilemma has surfaced on the NBC soap “Days or our Lives”.  I’ve covered the outing of Will (Chandler Massey) and his relationship with Sonny (Freddie Smith) on my TV blog.  Wednesday November 14, 2012 aired some of the most intimate gay soap scenes ever – it was interrupted by Obama’s news conference (largely about Petraeus’s heterosexual indiscretion, as well as other heterosexual misadventures in the CIA and military both), but fortunately it is playable today on NBC (here ).  One note – you can’t back up on the timeline below without starting over, so pay attention if you watch it.

About three months ago, Will was intimate with a reckless female character Gabi, in order to prove himself a “man” to his father Lucas.  Yesterday, during the part pre-empted by Obama’s conference, Gabi learned she was three months pregnant, which meant that Will is the father.

It’s easy to imagine the fun writers can have with this – or that social conservatives can display.  First, let’s accept the idea that terminating the pregnancy is out for moral reasons.   Let’s say that the “progressive” solution is the “Modern Family” approach:  Will and Sonny raise the child (I don’t know whether Sonny can adopt in Ohio) and Gabi stays around as the mother.  Some will say that is not in the best interests of the child.  That goal would require that Will marry Gabi, and learn to channel his passions into the rest of his life with one woman, whose character is flawed from the outset (Will doesn’t know what she had done to Chad – but that’s another topic.)  Also, Gabi is “in love” with Nick Fallon (appealing actor Blake Berris), who doesn’t know either – and who (a prototypical geek) really shouldn’t have been in prison – again, another topic.  But one can say a lifelong monogamous marriage between Will and Gabi (without the other characters) could be in the best interest of the child – the next generation.  

Or perhaps one could say, Sonny is obviously much more mature than Gabi and probably much better suited to be the second parent, even if adoptive. (He'll obviously be much better able to support the child financially, too.) Maybe a marriage (not yet legal in Salem) between Will and Sonny (giving Sonny parenthood) really is the best solution for the child.  
Gabi has really done horrible things – which some say doesn’t make her a horrible person. 

All that made me wonder something.  When I was thrown out of William and Mary as a freshman in 1961 for telling the Dean of Men that I am gay, would people have preferred that I had gotten a girl pregnant to “prove my manhood”?  As absurd as that sounds today, that’s probably how they felt.  I was an only child, and a “Gabi” incident could have guaranteed my parents a lineage. 

I perceived the “straight world” then as limiting, as channeling one’s innermost passions to meet the demands of others, who then can become corrupt.  But of course, one can say that “sustainable freedom” requires that people be willing do just that.  While more naturally aggressive men sacrifice themselves in war (and sometimes even on the gridiron) for the good of the group, someone like me was supposed to sacrifice innermost passion, sometimes predicated on fantasy and emotional self-indulgence (at least so it seemed in that “reparative therapy” at NIH in 1962). 

It sometimes seems that Sonny is about the only sane character in the show, which until now has been dedicated to showing how Midwestern heterosexuals can mess up.

There are other questions which must seem tempting to the writers of Corday Productions.  Will or Sonny (and then Gabi)  could have HIV (without symptoms), and the baby could be born with it.  (In fact, Nick could have subsequently gotten it from Gabi  -- yes, it can go both ways even for heterosexuals, sometimes.)  And why, in a soap opera, doesn’t anyone ever use condoms?  Is it because they don’t think they can get STD’s?  Pregnancy seems almost to be an accident most of the time.

During the scene where Gabi told Will that he was the dad, some of my own composed piano music was playing off Sibelius on my Mac (some rather dissonant fugal-like stuff with a lot of triplets).  It fit the emotional framework of the scene perfectly, a lot better than the stereotyped background score in the soap.

Oh, any by the way, on the Petraeus Scandal: “Heterosexuality is incompatible with military service.”

No comments: