Monday, May 02, 2016

Pledge to Do Better

Granted, this video is jokey. That tends to happen when you get a bunch of funny a bunch of professionally funny lesbian ladies together. But the sentiment behind the humor, that there are literally a zillion other things to do with lesbian characters rather than kill them, is of course spot on.

Also spot on is the new Lexa Pledge, which was created by writers and producers of the Canadian series “Saving Hope” in support of the thriving LGBT Fans Deserve Better campaign. And what is says, in seven rather succinct points, that it strives to provide better, more representative, non-stereotypical portrayals of LGBTQ characters. And it also promises to not kill off LGBTQ characters “solely to further the plot of a straight one.” I’ve said it before, but not every show that kills an LGBT character is irredeemably bad. Characters die all the time on TV. Hell, two more queer female characters died last week. But the overall effect of this mass of killings is a cultural narrative that tells an already underrepresented group its life story is overwhelmingly tragic. And that is bad.

The pledge has collected more than a dozen signatures so far from producers and writers on shows like “Saving Hope” and “Rookie Blue” and “The Catch.” But what it really is is provide further confirmation that LGBT Fans Deserve Better is a real and powerful campaign that is helping to change the way the entertainment industry respects its LGBT characters and fans.

I’d also like to address the predictable knee-jerk reaction by some in Hollywood to the campaign. When faced with criticism, your first instinct shouldn’t be to throw up your hands and say, “Fine, I’m taking my toys and going home.” Yet there are some who counter reasonable concern about the Bury Your Gays trope with the claim that people will be too afraid to write LGBT characters at all now. The answer to poor representation is not less representation. When we say we’re sick of the Dead Lesbian Syndrome, the response shouldn’t be to say well then we’ll just stop writing lesbian characters. The point, you seem to be missing it.

The point is to write realistic, representative and non-reductive LGBT characters. Which, really, should be the point of writing any character. Why write a whole character simply to prove a tired point? Unless you’re writing a modern version of “Aesop’s Fables,” the goal of character development should be a fully realized person with agency – not matter the person’s gender, race, sexual orientation, whathaveyou. You need a way to give your straight white (usually male) lead more motivation. Buy him a poster with a kitten hanging from a tree limb that says, “Hang In There!” It’s not less original as it is to kill off the woman or minority or gay character.

The funny thing about the whole LGBT Fans Deserve Better campaign is that, in the end, what we’re really asking for is better TV, period. If producer and writers start treating LGBT characters with more respect and representation, it will actually make their shows better. Because who starts writing a TV shows and says, you know what, I’d really love to write a character that is stereotypical, hackneyed and falls into a predictable trope that is harmful to a vulnerable community of people who look to it for hope of a better future? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

p.s. I did hear about The Catch killing off a gay lady. But since I have not watched I will reserve judgment on it for the time being.

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Weekend Crush

Some days, I don’t feel like analyzing pop culture. I don’t feel like raging against injustice. I don’t even feel like looking at ladies in tank tops. (OK, that’s a lie; I always like looking at ladies in tank tops.) But, in all honesty, some days I just want to watch cute animals sing Pixie songs. After ten years of doing this, sometimes you just have to go with your gut. Enjoy. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Charge It

By now I’m sure you’ve already heard Trump *gagging sound* (sorry, that’s just my involuntary response to each time I hear his name) saying Hillary Clinton is playing the fabled Woman Card. Excuse me while I go scream into the inky void forever. Naturally, we woman folk and our lady brains did not take kindly to these remarks. Not only do they fly in the face of political facts (like, uh, Hillary Clinton is a past Secretary of State and U.S. Senator so she clearly has more qualifications to offer the presidency than her ladyparts), but also half of the humanity’s universal reality.

Look, I’m as terrified and disgusted by the thought of a Trump *gagging sound* presidency as everyone else. But I have to believe also that a man who so blithely insults 51 percent of the world’s population could never, ever be leader of the free world.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

If They Were Your Boyfriend

If I admit I still have a hard time telling Tegan from Sara sometimes, will you take away my Lesbian Card? Look, it’s harder when they cover up their tattoos, OK? Damn, now I’ve ruined my Lesbo Street Cred forever. Good news though, my face blindness when it comes to Canada’s most musically awesome twins has done nothing to make their content less totally gay. To wit, please witness their most recent song “Boyfriend.” Yes, following up a song all about lesbian sex (hello, come a little “Closer”) with one about your on the down-low girlfriend who treats you like her “Boyfriend” definitely counts as totally gay. And I am totally OK with that.

p.s. Clea DuVall directed the video, who I have no problem recognizing - ever. So, um, can I get at least part of my Lesbian Card back?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ten

Yesterday I took one of the very few weekday vacations days from blogging I’ve taken since I started writing Dorothy Surrenders. Why, you might ask, did I afford myself this tiny luxury? Well because Sunday marked my 10th anniversary, or blogiversary if you will. What started as a whim has become a decade of my life. Holy and shit.

What has kept me going, all these past 10 years, is sharing my love – and sometimes otherwise – of this culture we call pop with you. Being able to write down the things I would otherwise only yell at my television in the privacy of my living room, and connecting with other folks yelling the same things in their living rooms, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

It’s a reminder that we have so much more in common than what separates us – especially for us gay ladies. So I want to sincerely thank you, as always, for coming here every day to read the sometimes serious, often silly things that float thing my head. It has meant more to me than I can possibly say.

So in celebration of this ridiculous milestone, I will reshare this video that I made some five years ago. Yes, back when I thought five years was a long time to be writing a blog. Thank you, kittens. Thank you for 10 amazing years.

p.s. As a reminder, you can also follow me on Twitter (@dorothysnarker), Tumblr (dorothy-snarker) and Instagram (mssnarker).
p.p.s. Thanks for letting me know how long you have been reading, and where you are from. I love finding out more about you, kittens.

Friday, April 22, 2016

My Weekend Purple Crush

For whatever reason, I never truly entertained the idea that Prince could die. He always seemed so immortal. Death seemed too pedestrian for such a mad genius. I’ve written about the permission to be weird Prince gave to me, as a queer girl growing up, and all us other glorious weirdos over at Women & Hollywood today. So now, I’d like to just revel in the talent. Since it’s hard to find Prince’s music – particularly videos - online on purpose, I’m posting some of my favorite (not to mention some of the gayest) covers of his music here.

Brandi Carlile, “Nothing Compares 2 U”

While practically nothing compares to Sinead O’Connor’s original version of this, Brandi gives it a beautiful go.

Tegan and Sara, “When You Were Mine”

Lots of people, including T&S, forget this song was written by Prince and covered by Cyndi.

The Bangles, “Manic Monday”

Not a cover, since they recorded it originally, but another reminder of the wonderful songs Prince wrote – particularly for female artists.

Cast of “The Color Purple,” “Purple Rain”

Last night Jennifer Hudson et al from the Broadway show performed this tribute. Lovely.

And, finally, not a cover. Just Prince singing his own song, stripped down to its beautiful bones, two months ago.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

No Shame

Lena Headey, continual bringer of delight despite her portrayal of one of the most despicable characters in television canon, is back at it. She appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” to recount a particularly personal fan encounter. I won’t ruin it for you. Please, proceed with joy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Show Me the Tubmans

Sometimes, sometimes, if you wait long enough, something good happens. Today was one of those sometimes. Today the Treasury Secretary announced that African-American abolitionist and all-around American hero Harriet Tubman would supplant President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. Yes, please, let us relish the delicious irony of a former slave replacing a former slaveholder as the face of American money. (But, don’t get too excited, because Jackson will remain on the back of the $20 – cue sad trombone sound.)

It was previously announced that the Treasury Secretary wanted to replace founding father Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill with the image of an undetermined female civil rights leader. But then he wisely changed their mind, which is a good thing for Hamilton fans and non-fans of Jackson (particularly the latter’s campaign of genocide against the Native Americans).

Harriet Tubman is as righteous as they come. Born into slavery she escaped, became an abolitionist and worked as a spy for the Union Army. She will become the first African-American person, not to mention first black women, to appear on U.S. currency, period.
I for one cannot wait to start asking for my change in “Tubmans.”

In honor of this momentous occasion, please enjoy the Harriet Tubman edition of “Drunk History.” Harriet Tubman is coming with her army full of bad bitches to snatch your bills, Jackson.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Back to Black

So how about that “Orphan Black” season opener? Starting off with a flashback? Showing us more about Beth? Introducing a new clone named MK? Not a Castor clone in sight. Yes, yes, and yaaaaaaaas. Of course, the problem with showing us more about Beth is now we want more of Beth. But alas, we all know how that ends.

Last season of “Orphan Black” was, well, convoluted. And adding the Castor Clones diluted what has always been best about the series – Tatiana Maslany in all her many incarnations. I hope this season premiere signals a return to form for the show. And I hope against all possible hope that we can also see a return to Delphine. Yes, I know – those bullet holes looked pretty convincing. But a gal can dream. Come back, Evelyne Brochu. Come back.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Let Them Eat Cake

Well, when you put it this way all these new “Religious Freedom” bills seem pretty damn silly, don’t they? Life, liberty and the pursuit of denying basic goods and services to LGBT people. That’s how the constitution goes, right? While it’s all fun to joke and scoff at the ridiculousness of these so-called religious liberty laws and so-called bathroom safety laws, it’s also important to never forget that these are really the arguments being made by some. That LGBT people are still being used as scapegoats to scare people. That bigotry is being masked as religion. I mean, who do they think they’re kidding? We all know God is a boob woman.