Category Archives: gay

Links & Hijinks: Fat Men Do It Better; No Facebook for Harrisburg, etc…

Just some links to stuff I’ve found interesting over the past few days…Readers, you say?

  • Not Asking, Not Telling: Riverside judge declares “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” unconstitutional…policy not only violates the 1st Amendment rights of lesbians and gay men but has a “direct and deleterious effect’’ on the military…Los Angeles Times reports the story here…
  • Crazy, Sexy, Fat: According to today’s Daily Beast, fat men last longest at having sex. YES! I’ve known it all along. What we lack in quantity of partners, we more than make up for in quality of love! Read the story and get all kinds of other sex-based factoids here at The Daily Beast
  • Friend Me, Fail U?: Harrisburg University offers extra-credit for no Facebook, and basically “blacks out” social media: You can read all about it at the Chronicle of Higher Education here…
  • Children of the Manor Born: So, Jay-Z’s signing Jada and Will’s daughter to a record deal. She’s 9. Jay-Z calls her the “next Michael Jackson” or some other such ridiculousness. Check it out here at Rapradar.com (including Ryan Seacrest interview with Willow; she hates math.)

If you haven’t heard her new song, here’s a video. It’s called “Whip My Hair” and it sounds like Rihanna. Not great “Umbrella” Rihanna. But that’s just me.

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Links and Hijinks: Ellen, Anne Rice, Dexter, Potboilers and More…

  • The Baby and the Bathwater: Anyone who saw the 4th season of Dexter knows how much the game changed—horribly so. The trailer for the new season looks fantastic…and way different than any other season of the great Showtime show about a serial killer and the masks we all wear. Nikki Finke’s Deadline has the trailer here.
  • Pulp F(r)ictions: As someone (and a soon-to-be-academic) who really wanted his novel (coming out next year, haha) to be page-turning thrill ride, who really wanted to create an accessible, fun book that appealed to many peeps and (potentially) not just the other PhDs that I know, I was fascinated by this academic’s interestingly defensive defense of the fun and pleasures of what she calls “trashy paperbacks.” Of course, one woman’s trash is another woman’s flash. And as I’ve said before, trash, obviously, is in the taste of the beholder…but I love a good high/low culture debate with my morning coffee, don’t you?
  • Brotherly Love: And finally, I just had to post this news link. It intrigues me on so many levels: thinking about how rape shield laws operate in different geographical locations; how some news orgs cover stories in interesting ways–in this case, the Alabama network obviously re-cut a second version (see vids below); that age-old  race, gender, sexuality and class “intersection” that arises when we think about public representations of black folks; and finally, why do some vids “go viral” and others don’t? Antoine Dodson, step up for your close-up:

{Thank you to Crystal Durant, teacher/blogger/dope DJ, for pointing out the above vids…you can catch her funny  bi-weekly pop culture rants at Forcesofgeek.com}

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Straight Eye (Network) For the Gays

So let me get this straight: CBS has asked (told? demanded?) the production teams and writing staffs of three of its shows—two that already exist and one upcoming this season—to add gay characters to the storylines. This after the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) gave the network a failing grade for lack of gay diversity—for the second year in a row. Apparently every year, GLAAD publishes a Network Responsibility Index which results from an investigative survey on the representation of gays on TV. According to the GLAAD website it is “an evaluation of the quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television…intended to serve as a road map toward increasing fair, accurate and inclusive LGBT media representations.” On a scale of Excellent, Good, Adequate, or Failing,” CBS failed, which led CBS president Nina Tassler to announce the other day that those 3 aforementioned gay characters will now be added to The Good Wife, Rules of Engagement and new sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, dropped like progressive multi-cult seasoning into a presumably bland, politically incorrect salad.

Greek

If you go to the GLAAD site you can download the entire study, and find some very interesting numbers and analysis. For instance, they break down the number of LGBT characters who are of-color. They look at each network closely and count up “fictional” characters and reality show contestants—guess where there are more of-color LGBTs? Apparently FOX is merely adequate, whereas MTV is excellent and ABC is good (well, there’s ABC’s new fall ad campaign slogan: ABC is Good!) Of course I’d argue that, next to ABC Family’s Greek, FOX’s GLEE has the best (written and acted) gay storyline on television right now (see a terrific scene here); and though GLAAD thought Rescue Me’s attempt at a gay fireman storyline a few seasons back to be “problematic,” I found it funny and somewhat touching—and real (but that might be because I tend to know a lot of closeted post-adolescent dudes struggling with how to balance a desire for dick with their suburban training as capitalist, nation-building heteros; of course I do, I went to Brown, haha).

My beef though, if you can call it that, is this: how does the writing/producing team of a show suddenly take the call to go gay?

Kalinda and Alicia on The Good Wife

And how do they do it, considering it’s almost August and shows have been in production for weeks, storylines planned, and actors cast? And how do you decide whether you’re going to bring someone out of the closet or suddenly, organically, drop a next-door gay into the story? And do these suddenly-arriving, obviously-destined-to-be-on-the-fringes gay characters have to be saintly and positive? Can they be complicated peeps with real problems (well, as real as TV can be) like the lead characters who never are gay anyway? And why The Good Wife? Isn’t Kalinda already sexually-ambiguous? Isn’t that how many of us experience sexuality anyway, not exactly knowing who our co-workers and friends are canoodling with? But here’s a suggestion to CBS: If you’re gonna go there, just go ahead and let Julianna Margulies’ Alicia Florrick discover her latent lesbianism, now that she’s done with Peter—and since, be honest, the whole subplot of her potential dalliance with the senior partner/friend from law school is absolutely DOA. (Come on, let’s be real: No one leaves Chris Noth for Josh Charles; hell, Carrie Bradshaw spent 6 seasons of Sex & the City pining for Mr. Big and not even Aidan’s new body or Mikhail Baryshnikov’s money and fame and life in Paris could keep her from him.) Let Alicia and Kalinda have an affair. Can you say ratings gold? Or why not just create all-new gay shows from scratch? Already got an idea for you: CSI: Provincetown.

But I digress.

I’m wondering if this is how black folks got our jump-start on TV back in the day? Did the NAACP have a study of the (lack of) black characters on TV, leading a benevolent TV exec to sprinkle some color into shows, leading to the—um, how can I put this?—beauty and nuance that was Good Times and Baby, I’m Back? I think so, actually. And when I get a chance I’m gonna dig in the archives to find some of those old NAACP reports. It would be great to see the work that led to the growth we’ve seen toward the wonderfully diverse African-American characters on TV (like, you know, Meet the Browns and the many, many dramas starring black folks) these days. Yeah. Right. Just hope GLAAD’s work results in something real. Wouldn’t want them to get snookered.

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Bigotry Begins At Home

Over at the website Queerty, the editors investigated the ways in which many businesses and their owners discriminate against their gay employees by not allowing partner’s benefits or supporting anti-gay legislation. They think you should know who the worst offenders are so you don’t accidently give your hard-earned cash to one of them. It’s an interesting mix. And a few surprises. 

What do you think? Click here to see the list.

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