Meadow to AJ: AJ!
Tony to Colin: No offense.
Colin, unconcerned: I'm not gay.
Tony, taken aback: You're not?
Tony: [speculative sideways look at Meadow]
Meadow: [stricken "oh did I forget to mention that my male roommate is straight oops tee hee oh God please don't kill him" look at Tony]
I can't really do it justice, but the side-eye Tony shoots at Meadow after that revelation is hilarious. Anyway, Finn says he read that researchers found gay cave drawings in Africa. Alex is all, "Really?" and Finn is all, "Um, no," and everyone laughs, but Carmela doesn't see the humor and bitches about how "this stuff" is "pervading" education, movies, TV, blah blah. Oh, boy. Shut up, Carm. Naturally, even a hint of prejudice in front of a college sophomore is like blood in the water, and Meadow pounces on it with a pointed, "What stuff?" "This gay nonsense they're teaching," Carmela says stridently. "I am sorry, but Billy Budd is not a homosexual book." Meadow, wearing the patiently patronizing smile I employed to torture my own parents on matters pretentiously academic hundreds of times in the early nineties, is literally laughing at Carmela's ignorance: "Actually, it is, Mother." Shut up, Meadow. Carmela, just as patronizingly: "I saw the movie, Meadow, with Terence Stamp." Ha! Meadow smirks some more as Colin tries to get things back on track with a mention of Terence Stamp's performance in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; Carmela doesn't know about that, but she does know that "Billy Budd is the story of an innocent sailor, being picked on by an evil boss." Any homophobia on Carmela's part aside, it's pretty telling that that's her take on it. Even more telling is the quick shot of Tony that follows, in which he's eating nonchalantly. Meadow tries to explain the queer reading of the text, which sounds valid to me, even if I don't love the condescending tone -- again, I've never read the book -- but Carmela responds with a shrill "oh, please." It's Alex's turn to try to talk sense to Carm, and she mentions a passage where Melville compares Billy Budd to a nude statue of Adam. AJ is grossed out: "Really?" Tony to AJ, dryly: "I thought you read it." Aaaaand AJ is busted. Heh. Carmela explains that away as a "Biblical reference -- does that make it gay?" at which point Tony finally interrupts to ask what's the difference, but Carmela can't admit that maybe she's wrong, shrilling that she thinks "it's ridiculous how everything is being sold as homosexual nowadays."