A Dumpster-Possum in Dick-Pants: We Revisit “Dirty Dancing”

I watched Dirty Dancing last week for, I don’t know, the 580th time in my life?  I’ve written many “hot takes” on it over the years, so I didn’t expect to have any new takes on it this time around, but what do you know?  A new one presented itself, and here it is:

Johnny Castle is the ultimate pick-up artist, and should be killed with a rock.

Now, if you know anything about modern pick-up artistry, it’s that you should be really mean to the girl and she will then go hog-wild for you.  It’s called “negging”, meaning that you say negative and mean things to the girl and bludgeon her self-esteem until she feels like such a lowly loser that she’s willing to lower her standards to sleep with a goddamned lowly loser like you.  It’s a really mature way to conduct your life, and Johnny Castle is apparently an expert at it.

I was nearly halfway through this movie when I realized that Johnny hadn’t said a single kind word to Baby since the moment they met.  Not one!  Also, within moments of their first meeting, he rubs his very adult wiener on her teenage body under the guise of “dancing”.  Without asking.  So there’s that.  Does she walk away from the experience thinking he’s a gross pervert?  Nope!  She stumbles away, drunk on his boundless, vagabond wiener and craving for more, further proving my theory that older men like young women because young women are so stupid.

Thereafter, things that Baby then does to impress Johnny (who is NEVER nice to her) include, but are not limited to:

(a) Lying to her own father so she can borrow an exorbitant amount of money in 1960s dollars to pay for Johnny’s friend Penny’s back-alley abortion.  For this favor, Johnny repays Baby by insulting her, acting like a passive-aggressive dick while swigging a beer and looking in the opposite direction, and then incredulously telling Penny that she should take the money anyway.  He’s a real king of the “no-win situation”, which is a classic narcissist move.  Oh, you wish there were some way to pay for this abortion, but there isn’t one.  Oh, there IS one?  Oh, it’s not in the form of payment I was hoping for, so fuck you, teenage girl who’s only trying to help!  Oh, Penny, why aren’t you taking this money that I just insulted the very notion of?  Bitches be crazy!  (Note, he is the only person who is acting crazy.)

(b) Bails his ass out filling in for Penny by learning how to do a complicated mambo routine on a moment’s notice for the sole purpose of him being able to keep his standing gig at the Sheldrake Hotel performing the mambo once a year.  How much money could this possibly pay to make it worth the hassle?  It’s a 2 minute dance routine that happens once a year!  What is it?  Ten bucks?  While training for this dance routine, Johnny acts like a total dick 100% of the time to Baby.  A total dick.  He rolls his eyes, he huffs, he literally yells at her, day after day.  He only starts kinda-sorta being nice to her while she’s changing in the backseat of the car and he’s trying to spy on her nudeness with the rearview mirror.  And after completing her dance assignment, does he say, “You’re amazing” or “You’re the best”?  Nope!  He says, “You did real good.”  While being a peeping tom.  Oh, be still my heart!  Baby stands to gain zero from volunteering for this mambo assignment by the way, besides the possibility of gaining a super virulent form of herpes.  They should change the name of this movie to Unsanitary Dancing.

(c) Risking her relationship with her father in order to save Penny’s life after the abortion goes wrong (surprise plot device!).  While it appears that Johnny is grateful that Baby went and retrieved her father in the middle of the night to save Penny, he ultimately repays her for the favor by putting his very adult wiener into her teenage body.  Because nothing says, “Thanks for saving my friend’s life, teenage girl!” like making hot, sweet unprotected love to her on a dusty cot.  I don’t care if she made the first move.  She’s a teenager and he’s a grown man for god’s sake!  Later, he gives her a compliment by telling her that her real name “Frances” is a “real grown-up name”.  I know when I am lying in bed in a post-coital state, what I really want to hear are condescending observations about my birth name.  I also assume that by pointing out that her real name is “real grown-up”, this means she’s “aged out” for him.  Bring on the Tiffanys!

(d) Admits to everyone at the hotel that she let Johnny give her the hot beef injection, in order to provide him with an alibi for Mo Pressman’s wallet going missing, thereby wrecking everything for her and her family, but keeping Johnny out of jail (for the time being).  I’m pretty sure jail is an inevitability in life for Johnny, what with all of the uninvited wiener-rubbing on teenage girls combined with his sporadic-at-best employment. Baby has basically just hit the snooze button on his eventual incarceration, at the expense of her relationship with her family.

Then Johnny leaves like, “LATER!”

At the end of the movie, he comes back and says a couple of nice things about her – in public, even!  Then he immediately undoes this kindness by rubbing his wiener on her some more, but this time in front of her mother and father, because what girl doesn’t want her parents to see that?  And I tell you what, the folks LOVE it.  Because every parent wants to see the human equivalent of a dumpster-possum in dick-pants grind all over their intelligent, Seven Sisters college- and Peace Corps-bound teenage daughter.  You name one parent who doesn’t want that.  One!  Go ahead.  I’m waiting.

The Fish Boner: A Freeform Analysis

I recently watched that movie where the Quiet Lady totally gets it on with the Fish Man, and I have some thoughts on it.  I can only imagine how “on the edge of your seat” you must be right now.  It’ll be one of the smarter things you’ll read today.

So, Quiet Lady works at the secret government building place, and as a Quiet Lady with minimal dating opportunities, she apparently has a natural interest in fish men. Because all of the human men around are either gay or sadists (true dat!).

Fish Man, being a Fish Man, does the double-blinky thing at her sometimes and also eats hard-boiled eggs that she brings for him.  (As an aside, if you think a Fish Man has some stinky butt-smells already, imagine incorporating hard-boiled eggs into the equation.  I guess as the old saying goes, “Love for a Fish Man is nose-blind.”)

Anyway, Quiet Lady develops a romance with Fish Man by having silent lunch with him a few days a week.  Since he never tries to chew off her fingers, she falls in love with him. Because those are just the kind of standards a single lady has to have at her age.

Quiet Lady finds out Fish Man is going to be dissected, so she helps him escape the lab.  Later on in her apartment, she pulls off all her clothes and she and Fish Man totally do it.  Does Fish Man even know what sex is?  Does he??  How do we even know that Fish Man is a man?  What if he’s a child Fish Man?  What if this is Lolita, but with a fish teenage boy?  What if this is a crime?!  And at what point can a Fish Man even give enthusiastic consent?  Is a fish boner considered consent?

Thankfully we don’t have to wonder whether Fish Man actually gets a fish boner, because when Quiet Lady tells her coworker about it later, she mimes what the fish boner looked like because, thank god, the writer of this movie knows that’s all literally everybody wants to know.

Conversely, I also find it interesting that in the movie “Splash!” with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, he only does it with her when she’s in human form.  There aren’t even any double-entendre jokes about them doing it while she’s in fish form because people would be all EWW GROSS.  She probably used to just have one of those multi-purpose fish holes and was totally happy with it until she got a hold of last month’s Mermaid Cosmopolitan magazine where one of the headlines was, “Ditch That Multi-Purpose Fish Hole Thing – Drive Your Man Wild With a Human Vagina!

You know why?  Because this is yet another sexist bullshit double-standard, only this time women have to be totally cool with a fish boner from their fish men, while the men are like, “Human vagina or GTFO” to their fish women.

Anyway, back to the movie, it turns out Quiet Lady never realized she is actually part fish woman, so she and Fish Man swim off into the sunset together to keep doing it, but since she is still part human, she still has a human vagina, so win-win for Fish Man.

Which reminds me of this discussion we recently had about how the alien men on any Star Trek series are almost always fully alien (except for Spock, so don’t even start with me), and the women are almost always half alien (unless they’re a totally “hot” alien variety like Jadzia Dax on Deep Space Nine) , which I think is yet another sexist bullshit double standard.

Women are just supposed to be totally cool with getting it on with Neelix on Voyager, who is full Talaxian with actual whiskers and some kind of weird snake eyes and scrotum-head, but when faced with an amorous woman who happens to be full Klingon, dewdz are like, “Uhhhh, too scary?  How about half Klingon?”

And it’s never even half-Klingon and half something else weird for the women, like half-Ferengi.  It’s B’Elanna Torres from Star Trek Voyager:  Beautiful and exotic, half-Klingon and half-human.  The other half is always human.

And as if that’s not bad enough, they make her marry Tom Goddamned Paris.  Tom Paris!  Tom Paris is something you accidentally let fall into you during Spring Break and immediately regret, not something you marry.  Tom Paris?!  Who the hell marries Tom Paris?!!

I liked that fish boner movie, though.