2007 choice

The constant disapproval of Ryan Evan’s father in High School Musical 2 (2007) of Ryan’s choice in tilting his hat to the side may stem from internalized homophobia, indicating Ryan’s father wants him to be straight (through hat straightening). Ryan also shows constant jealousy of Troy Bolton, who spends much of the movie in the constant praise of Ryan’s father - often being ignored for this very reason. Troy Bolton seems to be the epitome of masculinity that Ryan cannot emulate perfectly for his father (maybe due to his hat tilting, doing yoga with his mother, or even the homoerotic swapping of clothes with friend Chad Danforth). This thread of mild homophobia also leads to Ryan wanting to diverge from his family’s (rather sister’s) path to success. Instead of performing with his sister for the country club’s talent show, he sides with the lowly staff who seem much more accepting of his sexuality/flamboyant personality. Ryan’s flow of creativity peaks when with these people that are not his family silently oppressing him through their assumed homophobia. Sharpay, his sister, seems to finally understand Ryan cannot fully flourish under this oppression of his sexuality and expresses this through giving him the talent show award at the end of the movie. Ryan is incredibly grateful and it shows through his dazzling smile. The applause garnered from the audience (including his parents) seems to eliminate much of the unhappiness of Ryan. But who knows if Ryan’s father has overcome his homophobia? But Ryan is gratified enough to forget his unhappiness, even if it is very temporary. High School Musical 2 thus shows the potential of a person will be at its height when one is able to express themselves freely.

Balthasar van der Ast, Still Life of Variegated Tulips in a Ceramic Vase, with a Wasp, a Dragonfly, a Butterfly and a Lizard, 1625

The aesthetic and economic obsession with buying and displaying tulips during the Dutch Golden Age is called “tulipmania” by scholars (1). John C. Mather describes Dutch gardeners “vying to produce better and more bizarre variegations and feathering” (2) - desirable tulip traits seen in this still life by van der Ast.

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You did everything, I asked you not to. Look where it got you. I’m sure you heard it before. How could you? Baby, why would you? Goodbye, sweetheart. Countdown started. Words are heavy, but I’m far from broken hearted. Goodbye stranger, I’ll take the fall. Lies were tempting. You know you never really threw me off at all. Go ahead, waste your time. Count me out. Take your place at the end of the line. Raise a glass, no surprise. Here’s to us at the end of the line, oh. Here’s to us at the end of the line.
—  Ladies Choice by Mandy Moore