Friday, August 23, 2013

My Weekend Crush

The older I get – and believe me, I’m getting fucking older – the less informed I become by my anger. Finding coalition around anger is easy. It’s what built the multi-million dollar anger empires of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Anger that flails around in a frenzy looking for a reason loves company. The certainty of rage can, oddly enough, be comforting. The Tea Party is political group built entirely around anger about taxes and guns and assorted other things they believe are their God-given right to get angry about.

I have found, in my almost seven and a half years writing for the series of tubes, that people get the most angry at me when I’m not angry at the same things they are. It’s an interesting and understandable phenomena. We come online, many of us, seeking solidarity and a megaphone for our voice. That’s why fandom is so powerful. The communal experience of loving a thing is transcendent. But the flip side is the shared experience of hating a thing, of shared anger and indignation. Folks responded more to the posts where I just railed at Ryan Murphy than the posts where I just loved on Brittana. That’s not a judgment, that’s just a fact.

If you are angry, I certainly understand that and would never deny you your anger. We have a lot of shit to be angry about. In fact sometimes all we feel is hate, so I understand the desire to lash out at anything associated with that kind of pain. Anger can be justified and anger can be righteous. Anger can spark a revolution. We need anger. But right now, for me, love – that undeniable source of all good in this too often cruel and random universe – is what I’d rather project. I know, I’m sounding all Rainshower Moonbeam Kale & Quinoa Salad here. But compassion is truly what moves the human heart. Anger moves our other muscles and our mouths.

I am also certainly not here to scold anyone. Scolding in itself implies self-righteous anger. I’m not angry with anyone here. I’m sad you feel mad at my lack of anger, mostly. I write to parse out ideas, express opinions, spread information and share Big Lesbian Feelings. You are welcome to take what you want and leave what you want. You are welcome to remain angry with me until the end of time. That’s entirely your prerogative.

But while we may not agree on every issue, I hope we can disagree respectfully. And I hope we can at least agree on the big issues. LGBT rights are immutable human rights. Women’s rights are immutable human rights. Minority rights are immutable human rights. Also, ladies are awesome and look amazing in tank tops. These are the things that matter.

Life is such a strange, strange journey and in the end if all we can say we’ve tried our best to be kind to those around us then I believe it was well worth every dip in the road.

In other life-is-fucking-weird news, here is Taylor Swift and Tegan & Sara singing “Closer.” I can’t quite get my head around it, nor can I comprehend T-Swizzle’s silver high-waisted hotpants. But then there are also 15,000 people jumping up and down with joy while singing about lesbian sex, so why the hell not. Let’s all get a little bit closer, shall we? Happy Weekend, all.


Rachelle said...

How could anyone be ever angry with you when you write so righteously and beautifully? Take care ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to reconcile this from earlier in the week:

Say what you will about me (and you do and that’s cool – everyone’s got an opinion)

And this from today:

But while we may not agree on every issue, I hope we can disagree respectfully.

With that moment when you compared those who disagreed with you to homophobes.

Helena said...

Ms Snarker , thank you for your wonderful and informative blog. Just love it and please keep on writing. Have to agree about the tank tops:)

Anonymous said...

It is important to express anger appropriately.

It would be, after all, wildly inappropriate to force a comparison between people who had merely articulated disagreements or criticisms of an article you wrote, to the kind of people who abuse state powers to facilitate the violent, torturous murder of gay teenagers.

Somebody who would do something that incredibly crass, something that cheap and that offensive - purely because of an emotional response, or anger, coming from an instinctive reaction to strong challenge - would probably want to withdraw the comment and apologise when they had time to consider the implications of what they had said.

It would be deeply inappropriate, and offensive, and disrespectful to the entire gay community to deploy that kind of language in anger, in a cheap effort to win an argument, just because it's instinctively easier to lash out than consider the validity of illustrated criticism.

It would be just awful, I mean, it would be pretty much the worst thing for an LGBT issue writer to do. I can't imagine how they could expect to retain any credibility at all after resorting to such a shockingly misguided tactic, so profound an insensitivity to both of those totally different topics would it seem to display.

That's the kind of thing that could happen if people let their anger get the best of them.

So yes, I completely agree with you.

Because that would be nauseating, if that happened, and the writer stood by it and continued to try to cast fault on others, even when the emotional reaction had cooled off. Just nauseating.

Anonymous said...

Well done. You know you'll never please everyone but you can and do please many on a daily basis, specially tank top tuesdays.

Kaz said...

I LOVE YOU DS. There I said it. I'm not afraid to pronounce my love for a blogger. You have a cleaver mind and a wicked tongue. Two things that can drive a gay girl mad with Internet love. Is it "real love" ? Probably not since we have never met. But it is BIG WET INTERNET LOVE because you are willing to say the things so many of us want to say but don't have the writting skills to say them.
Hate and bulling come through the Internet at a vicious rate. It is easy to send this rage out because we can sit on our beds at home in the dark and beat each other up without ever having to look the other person in the eye. I love the Internet because it helped me find a voice. But, eventhough I have found a voice I find that I can be intimidated to not post or even delete a post when too many people disagree with my opinion. I have big love for you because even though people might disagree with you or send you hate mail, you DON'T DELETE. You post and take the heat.
We all need to use our own voice and we need your voice. You deliver your voice with humor which is the most engaging way a person can get their opinions expressed. I wish I could write like you but at least I'm smart enough to read what you write and follow you on every new platform that is in vogue at the moment. Keep up the good work and know that you are LOVED even though I don't always agree with you.
Sorry, I don't like Rozzili & Isles. Too unrealistic. But I love Lost Girl. Go Figure ??

PS. Aren't you glad pseudonyms were invented? I know I am.

maya said...

What she said ^^. Also, and I don't mean to gang up on you here, but I don't necessarily *agree* with everything in your religion/fandom post, but I definitely support and appreciate your right to say it and the thoughtfulness with which you express your views. I myself am rather allergic to fervent religiosity, so I as soon as I saw that Psalm or whatever posted on Rachel Skarsten's twitter homepage, I ran screaming the other way--didn't stop me from watching Lost Girl though...But that's just me.

maya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mahlers5th said...

You are a brave woman, Ms Snarker, to stir this pot one more time. This job is not for the faint of heart.

Speaking for myself, I've never felt anything approaching hatred or even anger towards you personally -- maybe flashes of "WTF?!" now and then when you write something perplexingly provocative -- like your Addendum yesterday. But mostly I enjoy your posts, laugh at your witticisms, and secretly enjoy your exuberant appreciation of the tank top.

If I may point out two problems I've noticed over the past six months since I began following your blog;

1) All the world's a stage, but some people handle the critics better than others. When people write things critical of your point of view, I've noticed that a chorus of your fans leaps into action, as if disagreeing with you is tantamount to defamation of character, and the debates quickly devolve into ad hominem attacks, with the "critics" quickly labelled as angry, sttrident haters, or obsessed losers who have nothing better to do with their lives than attack nice, reasonable, talented bloggers like you. In a heartbeat, any valid issues that your critics may be raising are obscured by a wave of straw man arguments, reductio ad absurdum debates, and other distortions, to the point where it can become difficult to know for sure
what everybody's been arguing about and how it all got started.

2) Rather than maintaining a neutral stance, not taking sides in the devolving personal attacks, or perhaps stepping in to remind people what the debate is about and to dispassionately lay out the competing perspectives (that would be very helpful!), on several occasions you or surrogates (I'm not referring to fans) seem to join in on the ad hominem attacks -- for example labeling critics as angry haters, or entitled babies -- which doesn't really address the content of the criticism. In fact, it has the effect of completely invalidating the other perspectives as the venomous ravings of a "little bubble" of haters.

I am willing to believe with today's post, you thought you were extending an olive branch, but despite your good intentions, you took up the same old meme about the critics being mean haters who just need to opentheir hearts to a little love. Gasoline on the fire, alas. Better would have been some clarification about yesterday's Addendum.

Something that is hard for everyone -- me, Rachel, and perhaps you -- is to recognize when you've made a mistake and apologize. So easy. So hard for people.
Unfortunately I don't recall who wrote this but it has always struck me as wise: "The highest form of self-respect is to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character."

Kaz said...

No one ... not even Rachel Skarstens ... should apologize if they do not feel they were in the wrong.

If they apologize but don't mean it then it means less then nothing.

As for Dorothy ... She has nothing to apologize for.

Mahlers5th I think you should respect other people's opinion and except they sometimes differ from yours. Of course, you are feel to disagree with me.

Unknown said...

Dorothy, I'm way older than you, so here's something from my past that we would call up from time to time: "You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't."

So keep writing, keep the well full for those of us who choose to fill our vessels from your work. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

My Weekend Crush is Anon @ 7:14.

Ashlynkat said...

The world is not black and white and neither is anger. The absence of anger is not the presence of peace and harmony. Nor is the presence of anger an absence of rationality and necessity. "Anger" (as a catch-all term here) has its place in civil discourse and society.

The world functions when people have an impetus to move forward. When something is wrong, sometimes that impetus is an "anger" at the wrong and a drive to speak up.

As the famous Edmund Burke quote goes "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

If the absence of "anger" is silence (doing nothing and brushing things under the rug) then what?

Anonymous said...

Disagree it's one thing... Comparing people that don't agree with you with what is happening in Russia is another... Sorry but DS should apologize fir that...

Anonymous said...

First of all, well said Pat Cooper, I liked that:)

Dorothy, I love reading your blog, you're hilarious and informative in a way that I could never be but enjoy oh so much. So keep doing what you do, you'll never please everyone and that's okay. But you've had the talent and courage to write this blog for more than 7 years and that makes you Wonder Woman in my eyes. You're my weekend crush.

Anonymous said...

DS I think you should apologize...for being an amazing lady who speaks her mind and made me want to keep coming back and reading your blog. God.Damn.You. Also, how can I compete with that kind of talent?? I no rights so good:0

egghead said...

"You Taylor Swift-ass motherfucker." OITNB

Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha egghead, nicely done:) But seriously, Taylor Swift singing a super gay T&S song to her audience? Yes.

Anonymous said...

DS--I strongly disagree with your comparisons, including the addendum from the other day. It trivialized what is happening in Russia and whitewashed a lot of thoughtful, well meant requests for a response as hate and slander.

Even now, you use "flip-side" shared experience of hating as a broad stroke with folks who disagree.

Anger isn't hate.

Sunshine and tank tops are all well and good, but I agree with AshlynKat--When we stand in silence, when we press not to question, when we let things go: we lose out on our ability to make change.

Equanimity is valuable, important in discussion, and is the only way to press forward with debate at times. Many of your commentators are well-spoken, passionate individuals who care. But I haven't seen a reach out of discussion on your part.

You don't have to. It's your blog, but this is the 3rd post on the "angry fandom" without the conversation. I know, I for one, am tired of the incongruent comparisons.

Personally, I let this thing go when RS made her statement. It wasn't great. But it cooled some of the issue. Your posts lately have reignited the ire. It's unfortunate.

I loved the AoF article. The author did a fantastic job of maintaining discussion with compassion and resolute remarks.


Anonymous said...

Word to what Mahlers5th and Kedrie wrote.

Anonymous said...

Thank you once again DS and please just keep doing what you do. You are lovely and fun and kind of spot on with your insights.

I guess no amount of calm, measured words will convey what you are, I believe in part, trying to say here...and throughout this unleashing of comments..

It is not that DS or those of us who speak from the same place don't see or get the point. We simply don't agree with the interpretation of the situation that leads to anger and outrage. We are not angry over this particular set of facts. Kind of disgusted with EM in general?? Yeah I despise megachurches mostly. I also hate the rhetoric of the Catholic church but will not disavow my Catholic friends who support their churches...

Now something may happen tomorrow that pisses me off but this RS association with a church and its pastor didn't push my indignation button. But I respect those who continue to need to process it. If DS did indeed flame the issue, no one is obligated to continue commenting. That is your choice...

And as for the addendum, as DS said, she wasn't equating the substance of the sentences, just the demanding, accusatory tone of each. And that is what folks hear really...they hear our intent, our anger and accusations, they sometimes miss our message due to the tone and volume and the repeated iterations....

I choose love and tank tops too. When a real battle with real enemies appears, I'm ready though...

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Mahler and Kedrie for their continued work. The best take on this whole fiasco was the Ace of Flamingoes post. It articulated the concerns that many have in the LG community has had.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, the piece was certainly well researched (given that there are only a handful of years old tidbits and a few internet references) but what I like about DS in this thing and in general is that she will take a stand (it is a blog, she is not a debate moderator) and still recognize and acknowledge everyone's viewpoint. That she has one of her own is not surprising nor should it be a is her blog. She is not our representative or paid spokesperson...

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mahlers5th and Kedrie. I hope your posts are read and considered by DS...


Anonymous said...

1211You lost me years ago when, in writing a recap of the L-Word, suggested that Sarah Shahi and Kate Moennig had such chemistry onscreen that gee just maybe maybe they were attracted to each other in real life. That just struck me as so naïve, so teenage crush-ish that I remember it all of these years later. On a related note, why is it that Kate Moennig can only seem to get roles as gay women? Has she been pigeon holed or is she not a strong enough actress to play all kinds of roles?

Anonymous said...

Are we sure that every straight person that plays gay isn't secretly homophobic? How many times did Hal Sparks say that he was straight just in case anyone was confused? Those L-Word actresses were savvy enough to appear very supportive of the lesbian community and mostly they probably are. But we don't really know. Amanda Seyfried made some pretty strong statements about how hard it was to do a love scene with another woman when she was promoting, "Chloe." Didn't Justine Bateman play a lesbian briefly in some sitcom and she is, I believe, a Christian.
I've always found it odd and vaguely disconcerting that the actresses who play gay roles seem to have these huge expectations put upon them that they don't in other roles. Yes, it is very very important that they represent lesbians accurately. And if they do a good job of that, then they have done their job. It's awful if they are homophobic - shame on them as much as anyone else who is homophobic - but they should never be seen in the first place as these great spokespeople of lesbian rights. Are we going to dig into the religion of very actress playing gay? The actress is not the character as much as we may wish they were.

Mahlers5th said...

If your impression is that I don't respect other people's opinions, it makes me wonder if you've read any of my posts. I have made every effort to understand what Dorothy was trying to say both in her Addendum yesterday and again in her post today. Did I suggest in any way that Dorothy's not entitled to her own opinion? If it came across that way, I sincerely apologize. That wasn't my intention at all. I'm a very big fan of the First Amendment.

But I do think I should be able to disagree with Dorothy (respectfully) and get a rational response to the CONTENT of my criticism, not personal attacks. That's how debates work.

If Dorothy sees no problem in having placed side-by-side impassioned pleas from LG fans to protect the rights of the LGBT community, and the Russian Sports Minister's self-serving justification for banning free speech, impeding peaceable assembly, and imprisoning and torturing members of the LGBT community....well, we'll just agree to disagree. I wasn't trying to force an apology from her (especially a hollow one!). I was asking her to rethink her response and consider the possibllity that her choice of that particular comparison was regrettable.

Mahlers5th said...

I went back and read the transcript of RS' interview of May 30th and came across a question and answer (unrelated to the EM controversy) that I thought would be of interest. I offer no comment.

Q: Lost Girl has really skyrocketed in the U.S., what do you think makes this show so special compared to competing Supernatural dramas...?

RS: I think that what makes Lost Girl so special and different from the other shows, and it’s one thing that people really respond to and enjoy about the show, is the humor in it...It's not just you have that kind of one token funny character that says the one-liners, the whole show has an undercurrent of humor. It extends with Bo and Kenzi and Tamsin and just all of these different characters that are not only intelligent and brooding and Supernatural but the difference is there’s a humor about it

Anonymous said...

Love and tank tops, baby. And the occasional Naked Lady Monday.

Mahlers5th said...

Couldn't resist adding (nod to Valksy);

You know, there's a Doccubus fan vid on Youtube that has about 30 million views. That's something like the population of Shanghai.

But yeah, it's the zippy one-liners that keep 'em coming back.

Mahlers5th said...

And then there was this from the same interview, when asked Team Dyson or Team Lauren:

RS:" I think Team Dyson. And I say that because he’s Fae, and I think that ultimately, such as in life, one should probably choose [someone with whom there are no] fundamental and inherit problems pre-existing, because marriage is hard enough. " [Laughs.]

Let that sink in for a minute

Mahlers5th said...

So same-sex definitely out because, well, because being gay is one of those pesky pre-existing, inherent conditions that, you know, makes marriage more difficult...undeniably

And never marry anyone with a chronic illness or disability because, well, why make life harder for yourself?

And if you're a Capulet, don't even look at a Montague because really, not our kind dear

Hey, guess who's coming for dinner, Mom & Dad?

From Valksy again: "The iconography of human love is strife - we have a habit of fighting for it because it's worth while."

Mahlers5th said...

And then there is this "shout-out" to her adoring young female fans:

Q: Have you had any weird or crazy fan encounters, in real life or on Twitter?

...I’ve had a couple of people come up to me or kind of tap me on the back and just say, “I’m sorry, I never do this, but you’re on Lost Girl and that is my favorite show and I never miss the show and I shut the doors and I just watch my show,” and they go, “all by myself.”

And I’m always like, "That’s a little weird, but cool."

But no one has been particularly crazy, although
sometimes I do get people tweeting me ten times in a row “I love you so much, message me back.” So that’s also a little extreme...

But I do appreciate the love.

Mahlers5th said...

Hm, wonder why those girls feel the need to shut the doors and watch all by themselves?

That's a little weird
That's a little extreme

Mahlers5th said...

And last but not least, here is RS on the "haters" -- bear in mind, this interview was taped on May 30th, well after the finale to season 3 had aired in Canada andthe US:

"So I was expecting [hatred] however very quickly on into the season people just gave the warmest reception and I don’t think I’ve gotten a single negative tweet."

Not a single negative tweet as of May 30th.

I'm just pointing out, Ms. Snarker, that news of shipping wars apparently didn't reach RS' ears even though we're such noisy haters.

Anonymous said...

A bit of obsessive commenting there, Mahlers5th

Mahlers5th said...

Thank you for your thoughtful reply and a thousand pardons for boring you.

Tank tops!

Anonymous said...

Apology accepted.

egghead said...

Anonymous said...
Hahahahaha egghead, nicely done:) But seriously, Taylor Swift singing a super gay T&S song to her audience? Yes."

I say bless her little ole heart to pieces. 3>

reddragonready said...

@ mahlers5th I do agree with your main point regarding fans and their responses to those who criticize their idol. Be that some singer or some blogger.

And this is by no means meant as a personal attack, but have you considered that possibly your interpretations of someone's words are not always how they were intended?
The quotes you posted...I totally agree they could be interpreted the way you do but then again, I could also see a different interpretation for each of them.

Mahlers5th said...

Absolutely! I often get things wrong and am genuinely open to hearing other interpretations.

There has been such a laser-like focus on Rachel's EM "shout-out" in that interview that I had missed these other statements altogether, and imagined others may have missed them too, and wondered what sort of responses they had.

My posts clearly didn't generate much interest
-- and one person found them a bit obsessive -- so I let it go. But I'm still perplexed: for RS to suggest *humor* is what sets LG apart from other supernatural dramas -- when practically everybody else, including the star and showrunner, thinks it has something to do with the strength of the show's central relationships and the fact that Bo doesn't really differentiate between genders in terms of who she ls atteacted to and who she chooses to love -- that seemed odd to me. Did Rachel miss that or shy away from discussing it or does she honestly think humor is what sets the show apart? I guess I made my bias clear -- I think she is uncomfortable with same-sex attraction -- but if people have other perspectives I'm all ears.

reddragonready said...

Now see, seeing as I am a scifi fan (books mostly that is, Heinlein being one of my favorite writers,and hail from a more liberal nation than the US, this view point isn't all that big of a deal to me and I actually do find the humor in Lost Girl as enjoyable as the sexual openness of it's characters.

Seeing as you stressed being open to other interpretations..I also think that "team fae" remark could be interpreted as that things are easier if two partners have some main basics in common.
The show seems to me to be written actually as that Lauren being non Fae creates a certain fundamental between them. As it is in life, How many" liberal" lesbians(or straights for that matter) do you know who date Republicans? never mind whether they in principal would...fact is, that would be a relationship where the fundamentally different view on some basic matters might create too much tension. Even if both are gay. ;-)
And it IS true that making it work between two people, even if you do have the main things in common, is hard enough.

Mahlers5th said...

James Carville and Mary Matalin are still going strong! But point taken. RS could have been referring to the Fae/human differences.

Anonymous said...

k seriously all of this focus on this actress is starting to feel very very stalkerish.

reddragonready said...

LOL Every rule has it's exceptions

Anonymous said...

Humans are such complex beings. For such an evolved species, so certain of our superiority over other creatures simply because we possess grey matter, we are still - under that guise of reason and "higher order thinking" - a bunch of hedonistic, base creatures driven by id, emotion, and biological imperatives. What DOES allow us to transcend our flawed nature-- is love. And the most basic form of love is kindness. Simple kindness. Somewhere, under all the venom, anger, and accusatory pointing fingers that fly so readily and abundantly across the internet, we all have within us the capacity for peace, kindness, and humility. None of us is capable of choosing the high road EVERY time. But each time we do, each time we choose peaceful kindness over anger, we contribute to making the world a better place. What higher purpose could each of us have?

Snarker, I wholeheartedly and gratefully support your decision to strive for kindness. I believe the world will be better for it. Much love to you from this faithful reader.