Comparative Commentaries to Go: Homophobia

The following Comparative Commentary to Go is submitted to the website by David Preece. David is an intelligent, experienced, and engaged teacher who works at the International School of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Both texts are on the subject of homophobia, a topic that is (quite rightly) likely to interest English Language and Literature students. The first text – Text 1 – is a cartoon, written by Pulitzer Prize winning Kevin Siers. The second text – Text 2 – is the lyrics of the song ‘Homophobia’ by the British group Chumbawamba (and readily available with music on the Internet).

David may acknowledge that it could be challenging for students to write with balance in this comparative commentary. Nevertheless, the combination of genres and the germane, contemporaneous subject matter make this an excellent comparative commentary for practice purposes.

David, thank you.

 Homophobia - song lyrics (1994), by Chumbawumba 

Text 2

Homophobia

Up behind the bus stop in the toilets of the street

There are traces of a killing on the floor beneath your feet

Mixed in with the piss and beer are bloodstains on the floor

From the boy who got his head kicked in a night or two before

(Chorus) No! Homophobia--the worst disease

Love how you want to love and love who you please

 No! Homophobia--the worst disease

 Love how you want to love and love who you please

In the pubs and clubs and burger bars, breeding pens for pigs

Alcohol, testosterone, and ignorance and fists

Packs of hunting animals roam across the town

And they find an easy victim and they punch him to the ground

No! Homophobia--the worst disease

Love how you want to love and love who you please

 No! Homophobia--the worst disease

Love how you want to love and love who you please

Do, do, do, do (Repeat)

The siren of the ambulance, the deadpan of the cops

Chalk to mark the outline where the boy first dropped

Beware the holy trinity: church and state and law

For every death the virus gets more deadly than before

No! Homophobia--the worst disease

Love how you want to love and love who you please

 No! Homophobia--the worst disease

Love how you want to love and love who you please

By Chumbawamba

(Song lyrics, 1994)

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