Tuesday, December 18, 2007

(A Shot of Love Makes Me) Want My MTV?

I am waiting with baited breath to see who wins a shot of love with Tila Tequila. This is embarrassing on many levels. Like any other piece of reality TV whose premise is that someone will find true love, A Shot of Love is a crappy show. I got hooked while visiting folks who have MTV. I’d watch on the sly, flipping channels to CNN to avoid detection whenever footsteps came remotely near my door. So please don’t tell anyone my dirty secret. On second thought, do tell. Spread the word. No one will believe you anyway. This vice is way out of character.

Or maybe it’s not. The force behind my obsession with the reality soap-opera is Dani, a firefighter from Florida. Dani is easy on the eye, and, compared to other lesbians on TV, oh so butch. I am captivated by how her “futchness” plays out in popular entertainment. As we approach the finale, I wonder whether a non-feminine woman can succeed “win” in mainstream media, especially at the expense of her 16 strapping male competitors.

Following A Shot of Love reminds me of my teenage habit of reading Annie on My Mind or Two Teenagers in Twenty to assure myself other queers existed. Even in the age of the L Word ‘mos (homos) on TV are as invisible to me as they were in the halls of high school, so their presence is intriguing. Apparently this still applies when the show features a silly plot and perpetually tipsy lesbians who I don’t for the most part find attractive. Go figure.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Does Picking the Lesser of the Evils Count as a Luxury?

Last week, a self-assured, politically-savy colleague sprung the following idea on me: Financially well-off Americans us have the luxury of voting based on social issues, but for the rest of the country choosing a candidate is a matter of economics. I’ve been mulling it over ever since.

First of all, which vote will improve my economic well-being? According to the GOP mantra, Democrats may be “Tax and Spend Liberals,” but the way I see it, the other option is Spend Don’t Tax Conservatives. I have a hard time seeing politicians who throw money at pet projects like the war in Iraq and abstinence only sex-ed with out regard for their efficacy, or the billions in debt foisted on the next generation, as the fiscally conservative option. If there were a group of candidates who’d make quality health care affordable, I’d vote that ticket in a heartbeat, and consider it the economically responsible thing to do. Alas, the option just isn’t there right now.

And then there are the “social issues.” There isn’t much to get excited about here either. The Dems may be pro-choice, but they get squeamish when it comes down to the nitty gritty (partial birth abortion ban anyone?), and aren’t motivated to take on (and get rid of) abstinence only education. They say they are pro-equality, but they can’t get behind gay marriage. They participate in pride parades, but their willingness to chop the T out of ENDA reveals a discomfort with queerness. The list goes on. It doesn’t feel great to get behind democratic candidates when they have such a weak record on social issues. Gems like Huckabee, however, remind me that I’d be crazy to do otherwise.

What do you think?