When I saw a very similar shot of these three US Marines, celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s death, in the Sunday Times newspaper, I thought it was a scene from a Gay Musical on (or off) Broadway. But no, it is just another scene in America’s Big Gay Musical of Machismo.
Mark Simpson, who has written astutely on the arch campness of America’s macho culture, including the military, and relatedly but in a slightly different vein on the homo-erotics of America’s military, said:
‘There’s no doubt that the most profound impact of 9-11 in the US was on American machismo. The Hyperpower humiliated. The ‘Twin Towers’ emasculated. The Pentagon ‘ring’ penetrated.
That’s part of the reason why Bush described the suicide pilots as ‘cowards’. Or in some accounts ‘gay’. Why US servicemen scrawled ‘take this faggots’ on bombs dropped on the Taliban. And why there was an attempt – so obviously bogus – to portray Bin Laden as ‘cowering’ behind his wife’