Spanking on "The Office"
Any fans out there of the NBC-TV show The Office? If you are, and you watched last night’s season premiere, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, bear with me.
The Office is a bizarre show to begin with; you either get it or you don’t. Michael Scott (played by the brilliant Steve Carell) is an incompetent idiot of a boss, and we’ve all had one (or more) of those, so we relate, laugh and empathize with the office workers, all of whom are pretty damned quirky themselves (some more than others). In last night’s episode (appropriately called “Nepotism”), Michael had hired his 20-something nephew Luke to be the new office assistant, and the kid was the worst, most obnoxious screw-up in office history, insulting everyone and incapable of getting even the simplest of tasks right (he’s sent out to get ice cream for everyone, and he returns with one small container of soy ice cream and a bag of bagel chips).
Anyway, after much protest from the employees, Michael finally loses it with Luke (who is annoying people with a laser pointer), bends him over a desk and gives him a spanking in front of everyone. You can see the clip here.
OK… I’ve been reading the online reviews of this episode, and the general consensus (with a few exceptions) seems to be that the spanking scene was hilarious. That’s what the average vanilla viewer thought. What did spankos think?
I cringed. I laughed a little, but mostly, I cringed.
OK, I hear the hollers of “Homophobic!” out there. That’s not it. To be fair, most current mainstream spanking scenes have made me cringe rather than feel excited. I didn’t like the spanking scene from Community last year, which was F/F. I freaking hated the two spanking scenes from Californication. And I didn’t even like the Weeds spanking, even though it was M/F and the spanker was yummy. His technique was godawful — he looked like a flailing marionette and he spanked one cheek over and over. But I digress. The fact that this spanking was M/M wasn’t the issue; it was just creepy to me overall.
Why? Because (my opinion here; yours may vary) once again, spanking has been played for ridicule and laughs. It was an embarrassing scene, topped off by the nephew running out of the office crying (!), and the employees re-enacting the scene, mocking it. Some would say it made the character Michael Scott look stupid and inappropriate, which it did. (The damn fool referred to what he’d done as “capital punishment.”) But it also made spanking into something silly and inappropriate too. As a spanko, this bugs me.
Am I taking this too seriously? Or did others have the same reaction? I’m genuinely curious.
There are some spankos out there who rejoice at these scenes, cheering and saying, “Spanking is becoming more mainstream!” No, it isn’t. It’s used as a tool to get laughs or to be titillating (“ooooh, look, how naughty“). If you’re uncomfortable with something, what’s a good way to defuse that discomfort? Make fun of it. That’s what I feel is happening here.
If this is the best they can do, then personally, I would prefer it if the mainstream would leave us the hell alone and leave the spanking scenes to the experts.
What do you guys think?
On another note, thanks to everyone — here, on FetLife, on Facebook, via email and elsewhere — who sent me birthday wishes this week. I was really floored by all the greetings and I wish I could have bottled that blissful feeling and saved it for a sad day. All kidding, sassing and clowning aside, my heart was very full indeed.
Have a great weekend, y’all.