Culture postsThursday November 13, 2008
Dan Savage Opens a Can of Whup-Ass
The Best Argument for Gay Marriage
This is one of the best arguments I've heard in the battle for gay marriage, and it's just one sentence. Irony in it, too. One of the questions (whispered or otherwise) in the civil rights struggle was, "Yeah, but would you want your daughter marrying one?" It was the anti-progressive argument. Now it's the progressive argument. What gets whispered now is all that's implied in that question. Would you want your daughter involved in a marriage with someone pretending to be what they were not? Someone incapable of loving them fully? Lying to them — daily? There's an overwhelming sadness in it. The time lost. The lives lost. C'mon, people, wake the eff up. It's hard enough to do this without barriers.
Obama in '03: Mistaken for Waiter, Deemed Unworthy of Magazine Profile
Via Eric Alterman, the WSJ's Katherine Rosman has an account of meeting a young state senator at a literary party five years ago. At the time he was about to run for the U.S. Senate. He's now president-elect.
The punchline is that, back then, an author at the party mistook the future president for a waiter:
But what I will always remember is as I was leaving that party in 2003, I was approached by another guest, an established author. He asked about the man I had been talking to. Sheepishly he told me he didn’t know that Obama was a guest at the party, and had asked him to fetch him a drink.
Equally telling to me about the way the world works is the fact that Rosman, impressed with the young man, tried to pitch a story about him to a national magazine but got shot down. They weren't interested.
Obama? Apparently there was nothing to sell there.
Sully points out some idiotic commentary, from Dan Kois and Joe Carter, on the future of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report during an Obama administration. Can they skewer a Pres. Obama as effectively as they did a Pres. Bush? Both say the fun's over. Kois indicates that Colbert will overtake Stewart while Carter actually suggests replacing Stewart with something for a “hip, young, right-leaning audience” and offers up Dennis Miller.
OK. Yes, it will be tougher for these two shows during an Obama administration. But what they skewer more than anything else is hypocrisy and there's still plenty of that to go around. There always will be. Start with the media. The best bits of The Daily Show have focused on the hypocrisy, or just the absolute stupidity, of many in the media, mainstream or otherwise, and that ain't going away. Kois' and Carter's inch-deep articles are testament.
As for the right-leaning audience thing? Republicans don't do comedy well. Sorry. Humor comes out of powerlessness, and, no matter who's in power, Republicans, by virtue of their wealth, are never out of power. There may be a Dem in the White House, but, in business and industry, it's Republicans who are still running things. Running them, I should add, poorly. Which is why we'll have a Dem in the White House in January.
Maureen Dowd Sucks (Again)
As the posts below indicate, I've been waiting for the Sunday Times since Tuesday evening around 8 PM (PST). Wasn't the first thing on my mind, certainly, but at some point I did want to hear how Frank Rich and the others reacted to the Obama victory.
Rich's main point is that we're a better country than we (and the Rovian Republicans) think we are. Thomas Friedman wants foreign leaders, giddy over an Obama victory, to remember to back Obama when things get tough: when we try to extricate ourselves from Iraq without collapsing the entire structure, or when we have to put pressure on Iran to keep them from developing nuclear weapons. Nicholas Kristof, echoing what I've long felt, wonders if Obama's victory is as much a victory for another embattled minority group, intellectuals, as it is for African-Americans.
And Maureen Dowd? She begins her column not poorly:
I grew up in the nation’s capital, but I’ve never seen blacks and whites here intermingling as they have this week.
That made me want to read on. Until the very next sentence:
Everywhere I go, some white person is asking some black person how they feel.
Really? I thought. Surely not everywhere you go. Surely there are white people in D.C. who realize how condescending that is. Surely there are white people in D.C. who are happy enough to bask in their own joy without probing into the joy of perfect strangers — as if an Obama victory went beyond their ability to understand or experience. As if it wasn't for them as well.
But Ms. Dowd finds them. Or at least writes about them. A white customer quizzing his black waitress. White women quizzing their black bartender. A white-haired white woman and a UPS delivery guy. Dowd herself and her mailman. Each instance involves a black service-person and a white customer. Nice. Where does she live again? Maybe she needs to get out more. Or further.
And the point of her column? It comes in the second-to-last graf:
But is it time now for whites to stop polling blacks on their feelings?
Jesus. So Maureen Dowd writes a column in which a group of people act in a suspect manner to impart the lesson that this group of people probably shouldn't act in this suspect manner.
Can someone please put Maureen Dowd out of her (and our) misery? Please?