The goat renaissance: how pop culture learned to love the devilish-looking creatures (Guardian UK. Jan 2016).


he Fabulous Beekman Boys do not travel with their own goats. Thankfully, they could borrow my wife’s. This is how Brent Ridge and his husband Josh Kilmer-Purcell ended up posing outside of New Orleans’s Morial Convention Center with my two goats, Jesse and Willamena.

The couple were flown down here to promote their lucrative “lifestyle brand”, Beekman 1802, endorsed by Martha Stewart. Most famously, the couple starred in two seasons of the reality TV show The Fabulous Beekman Boys, wherein Brent and Josh transformed from “obnoxious” Manhattan yuppies into slightly less obnoxious yuppie goat farmers. To cement their pop culture legacy, they then won The Amazing Race in 2012.

Heads turned in their direction as their photoshoot progressed. A crowd started to gravitate – though everyone ignored Brent and Josh, instead fawning over my family’s goats.

It’s true – people go friggin’ crazy for goats. When my wife has taken ours out on the town, I’ve learned how it must feel to hang out with Katy Perry or Justin Bieber. “I have always wanted to get a goat!” every third person squeals.

“This pop culture obsession with goats seems to be something recent,” Josh told me, agreeing that 2015 was not just the Year of the Goat in terms of the Chinese calendar. “There continue to be so many goat memes and videos: the fainting goats, the screaming goats, that recent one with goats singing Christmas Carols.” “Have you seen the goats singing Taylor Swift?” Brent piped in. “Rosanne Barr tweeted us with a question about goats; she has a goat farm in Hawaii. Tori Spelling has goats in Beverly Hills – she wanted us to go on her show with her goats.”

“There is something about the connection you can have with goats,” Brent added. “They are very social animals, so they’re more like a dog. They really look in your eyes – most farm animals won’t hold your gaze, but goats do.”

Along with a colorful history as a drag queen (as documented in his book, I Am Not Myself These Days) Josh comes from a professional advertising background. Both men casually pepper their speech with marketing phrases like “value added”. The couple’s business acumen is their biggest strength.

The goat-powered Beekman 1802 lifestyle is aimed at 1) Those who yearn for a more bucolic existence but probably won’t ever go through with it 2) Martha Stewart fans 3) yuppie entrepreneurs inspired by Josh and Brent’s monumental life-branding feat, and lastly 4) we who fetishize goats. CLICK HERE to read the rest of the piece at The Guardian UK…

Or watch this cute video from the Beekman Boys’ goat nursery!

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