After watching the 2011 premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” last night, featuring the tragedy formerly known as Chastity Bono, I couldn’t help but notice similarities to another tragedy: Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles. For you victims of Unionized School Districts, here is the Cliffnotes™ version of today’s discussion:
In the original version, King Oedipus doesn’t know that he is adopted. He goes to a fortune teller to find out his future. The psychic tells Oedipus that he is going to kill his father and screw his mother. Oedipus doesn’t wanna, so he runs away from home. On the road he kills a guy and gets lucky with a babe. Of course the guy is his dad and the babe is his mother. His real mother freaks out and hangs herself. Oedipus freaks out and pokes his eyes out, then hits the road to wander in remorse and disgrace. Sound complicated? Not even close to my theory of Chaz Bono......
Chaz, born Chastity to Sonny and Cher Bono seems to have deeply conflicted Oedipal issues within his family dynamic. As the homely daughter of a sex symbol, mega-star mother and a vaguely asexual father, Chaz may have developed a lezbiatic sexual attachment to his mother combined with a resentment of Sonny’s dibs on her. Their divorce and Sonny’s subsequent death left all lanes wide open for Chaz to step into the role of alpha sex partner, except for the inconvenient detail that Cher (in spite of her legions of gay followers) is probably straight.
Chaz has apparently subconsciously resolved the issue by turning morphodite, cutting off his tits, undergoing an addadicktome, gobbling a pro football season's supply of steroids and covering himself in macho tattoos. Chaz can now present himself (symbolically, of course) to his mother as a viable non-lezbiatic suitor.
Most of this fits neatly into the archetypical Oedipal scenario in that you have a dead father, a sexualized, seductive mother, physical mutilation, and ultimately, the public disgrace of appearing on “Dancing with the Stars”.
Of course, this is only a theory. Archetypical symbolism be dammed, more traditional thinkers might say. After all, in the words of Freud himself: “Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar.”
Try telling that to Monica Lewinski.