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Showing posts from August, 2009

Mom genes?: Salon discussion on why "gay hags"

The first time somebody wanted to be my fag hag, it was the year 2000, I was 16 years old, and I was sitting in the back of a high school physics class. A fun South Asian girl to whom I'd recently admitted I was a "flaming homosexual" was chatting with me about her boy problems, and, at some point, the discussion veered onto familiar territory: "Will & Grace," the hit NBC show about a gay man living with his straight female friend. I don't remember much of the conversation. I do remember the following: She told me that she was going to be the "Grace" to my "Will," and then uttered the words that would haunt me for years to come, "I want to be your fag hag."[. . .]But the neutered gay characters on the show were about as sexual as a pastel-colored cardigan, and in the decade since the show first aired, the fag and his hag have become a tired trope everywhere from "Sex and the City" (Carrie and her queeny sidekick …

Napolean-garbed hippies asking for the moon (20 August 2009)

image from pulp cult scan funGod bless Barney Frank. His outburst at a "town hell" protester who accused him and Obama of supporting "Nazi policy" spread virally around the Web early Wednesday and expressed a lot of liberals' head-splitting frustration. "On what planet do you spend most of your time?" he countered, to lots of applause. Frank called it "a tribute to the First Amendment that this kind of vile, contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated," and closed by saying: "Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it.”[. . .]In related news: The dumbest statement of the day didn't come from Frank's town hall critic in Massachusetts; it came from the White House, where an unnamed "senior White House advisor" told the Washington Post that the administration just doesn't understand…

Professional bloggers' kind request (19 August 2009)

re: “Blogger” confuses us today because we’ve conflated two different meanings of “blogging.” There is the formal definition: personal website, reverse chronological order, lots of links. Then there is what I would call the ideological definition: a bundle of associations many observers made with blogs in their formative years, having to do with DIY authenticity, amateur self-expression, defiant “disintermediation” (cutting out the media middleman), and so on.Today professional journalism has embraced the blog form, since it is a versatile and effective Web-native format for posting news. But once you have dozens of bloggers at the New York Times, or entire media companies built around blogs, the ideological trappings of blogging are only going to cause confusion. (Scott Rosenberg, "Time to retire the term 'Blogger'," OpenSalon, 18 August 2009)Maybe we could figure out a way so that every screen will read every professional writer/blogger's print as black or grey…

Salon CEO firing (the) duds (19 August 2009)

Richard Gingras--CEO of Salon--is laying off personel:For several months we have been working on a redesign of our product, that we will launch this fall, and also a redesign of our underlying systems. We are moving away from a very traditional magazine production model and becoming more of a true Web publication, with a more direct publishing system. Moving forward, we are investing most in the writers and creative participants who can help us continue to attract the smart, discerning readers attracted to Salon. We think this direction makes us a stronger company, and puts us in a good position to not just weather the economic storm but emerge much stronger than ever. Economic times are difficult and that necessitates change. But change is also healthy and you'll be seeing many new developments from Salon over the coming months.The financial changes emphasize what we do best — publish sharp, fast takes on the important events in the world, as well as the in-depth stories, review…

Salon discussion on John Hughes (18 August 2009)

A country of human self-doubt birthing a nation of superhuman hubris -- it’s not the paradox it seems. After all, the popaular culture sustaining this oxymoronic reality revolves around exalting the impossibly gifted virtuoso, the against-all-odds champion, the Mount Rushmore-size megastar -- in short, the larger-than-life individuals from Michael Jordan to Lance Armstrong to Ronald Reagan whom we know we cannot be.While such deification drums up national pride, it also evokes the ugly feelings associated with personal insecurity, which is why I think so many mourned last week’s passing of John Hughes. The 1980s filmmaker was one of the only contemporary artists who found success providing an uplifting antidote to those darker emotions -- an antidote that is more relevant today than ever. (David Sirota, “Champion of mere mortals,” Salon, 15 August 2009)Sirota: flawed you are, but no mere, alas.No, not true. What made him exceptional is that he understood what real greatness is. In &qu…