Pet Shop Boys have always been incredibly divisive, in my experience. I put some of that down to low-level homophobia - but not simply that. It's bad enough for their "critics" that they are poofs, but it's unforgivable that they are poofs with attitude, poofs getting above their station who have the temerity to express awkward and troubling opinions about that bastion of heterosexual machismo: rock music. Worse, to be hugely successful with it - while making it look far too easy indeed - is a bridge too far.
Many "gay" bands get the usual homophobic stuff thrown at them, but they are generally safely categorised and marginalised as spandex queens or disco bunnies and are no threat to the c*ck rockers. They, in the eyes of these august observers, are hoist with their own leotards, undermined by their own inherent triviality, not to be taken seriously. Pet Shop Boys, however, are something more disturbing, much more threatening, almost confrontational. Of course, above all, it's not simply sexual orientation or attitude that is held against them. It is intelligence. They are, essentially, the victims of anti-intellectualism, which is deeply vexing for purveyors of rock with a c.
Let's face it: a large percentage of those who go out of their way to unilaterally declare their distaste with Pet Shop Boys are people who have to have the fact that electronic music is actually music explained to them. They refuse to accept that artifice and mystery are utterly "authentic" in a pop environment. The only "gay bands" they'll make any real concession for are those wielding guitars who take lots of drugs, allegedly. It's why the likes of Freddie Mercury, George Michael, and Elton John have been able to garner "credibility" in this constituency, if not in the US.
I don't mind people disliking Pet Shop Boys. Some people just don't like them. That's fair enough to me. Bad taste cannot be helped. But plenty of the "hate" comes with a slightly more meat-headed complexion and is steeped in a preference for hairy-arsed, armpit-inflected, booze-stewed swill that masquerades as "credible". It's credible, alright - credible for insecure people craving some kind of weird conformity-enhancing peer acceptance.
Thank you and goodnight.
The pale kid that hides in the attic behind his PC...