Back in May, twenty-two year-old Army specialist Codey Wilson posted a video to YouTube that gently mocked the sort of ecstasy-and-glow-sticks-fueled nightmare visions some people have of a US Military without Don't Ask, Don't Tell. (We said then, and still say now, that it is a shame he had to set it to a Ke$ha song.)
Now — just as he was redeployed to Iraq — New York has a lengthy profile of Wilson and the new kind of soldier that spends his time on the Internet when he's not on duty and makes choreographed videos set to pop songs. It paints a pretty intriguing (and saddening) picture of a group of people who are immersed in our culture yet wholly apart from it. (Hence all the video-making; they're just trying to be a part of the conversation.) The article also tackles the question lots of people had when the video first came out: was it actually mocking the fears people had about repealing DADT, or was it really supporting them?
Nobody in Wilson’s “If the Army Goes Gay” video is actually gay, even though that’s the part that a lot of people got stuck on. He says he’d be shocked (shocked, not upset, he is careful to say) if he found out there were any gay guys in his unit. “They’re all from Virginia, where we have a lot of straight arrows.”
Wilson says there are homophobes on the base, “backcountry rednecks” whom Wilson makes fun of, but mostly makes fun with, because that is how you get across the sand. There were guys in the company who thought Wilson was disrespecting the unit or speaking out in favor of the repeal. “I was also getting gay jokes for a while, but I have kind of a reputation at home—I’ve had like 50 girlfriends—so let people make jokes.”
It seems to me that any political point was secondary to the video; the main reason he made it was because everyone there is bored and depressed and just wants something uplifting to do. That being said, it doesn't really sound like he's homophobic. What do you think, readers? Here's the video again, in case you missed it the first time:
(Terribly shallow sidenote: Codey Wilson is a fox. he says his next video will be a "really sexual and violent and risqué video calendar," which…yes, please.)