Friday, November 27, 2009

Out vs Out There

It's been close to a week since Adam Lambert's AMA performance and people still won't shut up about it.
When it comes to issues of homosexuality, I really believe there is a generational difference. I watched the AMA's Sunday night and actually loved how far "Glambert" took it. All the other performances were rather blah - including and especially Janet's hyped 8-minute performance - and Adam Lambert was the only singer to go the extra mile and put on a show. I was actually entertained watching it. I did not think the over-the-top sexuality was inappropriate; I've been exposed to that sort of stuff since I was a child.

I saw the Madonna kiss. I've seen footage of Hendrix simulating sex with his guitar. And when it comes down to it, there's a lot of sexual imagery that takes place on stage - involving mics and guitars; think about it. I'm not an idiot. I understand that gay men are more than the stereotypes. They are sexual beings. Why should they be ashamed? When I saw Adam push a dancer's face into his crotch I was surprised, sure but, I also thought it was brave. It was a moment, of ya, I'm gay. I like having sex with men. Get over it.

My parents, on the other hand, were disturbed. They felt uncomfortable. My dad, the intolerant that he is, was absolutely grossed out and had felt the need to voice his sentiments. It was actually distracting to my viewing experience. I spoke to my friends and they expressed undergoing a similar experience. They found that Adam Lambert had given the best performance of the show (not to mention, of his life) but, their parents were offended. I knew that people would be talking about it the next day but, I didn't think there would be so much backlash.

The media pounced on the story. The West Coast broadcast was edited. ABC turned its back on him. Good Morning America cut his performance the next day. The View denounced him for being sexually aggressive. I won't detail all the commentary but, I will say most accounts seemed to judge him for being a sexual deviant.

I really, truly feel the backlash has arisen from our national discomfort with homosexuals. After the AIDS scare of the 80s, we neutered gay men. The homosexual lifestyle was thought to be too decadent. We separated them from their sexuality so that they could be acceptable to the mainstream. Gay male couples on non-pay cable TV shows never get to demonstrate their affections for each other while straight couples pretty much can get it on whenever, wherever.

As my friend Sha'Donna attested, we've grown accustomed to the image of the friendly neighborhood gay. Will from Will and Grace. The safe gay. The one we can go shopping with, who will advice on fashion and relationships. What Adam Lambert did was step outside the comfortable box we had placed him in. He forced us to rethink our assumptions. He stood up for himself and applaud him for that. If we're going to move on as a society, we have to accept the gay man for all that he is.

Monday, November 23, 2009


As you must have heard by now, the most influential woman of the past quarter century announced her resignation last week. That's right, I'm talking about Oprah. That woman is an institution. Oprah's been on TV nearly the whole time the Bitch, please betches have been alive. When she ends her show in 2011 after 25 years on the air, we will in fact be 25-years-old. This could be quite the quarterlife crisis.

Alright, alright. It's not that serious. But the loss of Oprah from network TV is equivalent to losing your fabulous, rich aunt who gives good advice and has awesome connections. This morning, annoying conservative Chicago shock jock Mancow commented that once Oprah leaves the air, "women everywhere will be able to think for themselves again." Haha, very funny. There was a time in high school when I felt all self-superior (imagine that) and thought that I was above all the Oprah hype. I thought that she was just a loud middle-aged woman with an amazing gift of persuasion.

Now that I'm older I have to give the woman props; she is a successful, powerful woman of color. She is a shrewd businesswoman. She's generous. And she's damn smart.

In a matter of years, she became the Empress of the Media. Everything she touches turns to gold. Granted, she's run into some issues with her schools in Africa. She's working on it though; we shouldn't expect perfection from her every time.

And sure, over the years her name dropping got really annoying. But after a quarter century of rolling with movers and shakers, who can blame her for telling stories about her personal life, even if these stories just so happen to mention a lot of famous people.

She still does some of the best interviews out there. With her 'girlfriend' style, she's someone who puts guests and audiences at ease. She was relatable. She went through some shit before she got famous. And she had her struggles with weight. She was human; she didn't look or sound like the other mono-tone afternoon TV personalities.

She's accomplished a lot over the years. After Sesame Street, I'd say the Oprah Show contributed the most to my educational development. She's gotten Americans to expand their minds and expand their frames of reference. Dare I say it, she makes us care about the issues she champions.

And think on this: without Oprah, the next generation of girls will grow up thinking that the ridiculous charade of a talk show that is the Tyra Banks Show is acceptable TV.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I want to break free

In case you missed it:

Those Filipino prisoners are at it again! I'm not sure but, I think they might have a little too much time on their hands. My only qualm: "Mr. Roboto" does not belong in a Queen medley.

Even inmates deserve a dance break, right?

Weave: Not Just For Women

My family essentially has no interest in any sporting events that are broadcast in the U.S., except for one: tennis. So last night, my family and I gathered 'round the TV set to catch the exclusive Katie Couric -Andre Agassi interview. We weren't even five minutes in when Agassi dropped a bombshell: his trademark hair? A Weave! He made some other bold statements as well regarding his meth addiction and his extreme dislike for the sport that made allowed him to accumulate massive wealth but, after he let that secret slip, I stopped listening to the rest of the interview.

Not to make light of whatever was creating his baldness but, I really love that his mane of hair was a weave. I've read so much lately (coinciding with the release of Chris Rock's documentary "Good Hair" ) about women's vanity and extravagance relating to their hair. And here's this man famous for his lustrous locks, which turn out to be tracks. In the interview, Agassi told this traumatic story about how his weave fell out in the shower right before a big match. His brother had to help him bobby pin it back in place. Good stuff!

Just goes to show, this so-called "vanity" is not just a women's thing. It's human nature to care about the way in which one is presented to society.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Insincere Scoldings Just Not Good Enough

I know the whole David Letterman scandal played out a few weeks ago. You might be wondering, the media has moved on, why am I still harping on the topic?
Well, I'll tell ya. While I think it is unfortunate that Dave decided to engage in adulterous behavior, I do believe it's not my business. I don't think it affects his ability to make people laugh (although he stopped making me laugh a long time ago). I do think it's disturbing in the sense that he could have been sexually discriminating in his work place. I don't know what the real deal is because the women in this case haven't stepped forward to totally clear the air. All I know is, he slept with some of his female staff over the years. Kinda gross but, I always pegged him for a dirty old man.
What bothers me is the way that people downplay these incidents. Workplace discrimination is a real, serious matter. It's not just a concern from the 1950s. After the scandal broke, I read a press release on behalf of Dave's staff saying that a number of women at his production office have high-ranking roles. I have also read an interview with a staffer who claims the opposite to be true. I know comedy to be a total boys' club - you only have to watch the Emmys or Golden Globes to see that - so I can see how there could be a lot of barriers to female advancement in his company. That doesn't mean it's OK to trade sex for workplace advancement, however.
I happened upon this EW cover while searching for something else and I pretty much choked on my own spit. The magazine (that yes, I always wanted to work at) seems to be mocking the situation. Hahaha, Dave got caught with his pants down. Oh, no. Well, boys will be boys. That's what they are signally with their whimsical "Oh, Dave" headline. They're trying to make the situation humorous instead of understanding its weight. They're implying that he's a child who needs to be reined in rather that an adult who needs to take responsibility for his actions. Sure, he made the now-infamous announcement about his affair on his show. But, had he not, TMZ would have broken it the next day. He was just saving face. And I don't think he should be applauded for that.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our Thoughts Go Out to You

Before I go any further, I just want to say on behalf of the Bitch, please team that our hearts go out to those who were affected by the Fort Hood shooting. I hope that the fact that the suspect is still alive means that the victims families (as well as the rest of America) can understand why this happened without the typical media barrage of speculation. The Fort Hood families are in our thoughts and prayers.