oh beezy

miscellaneous cultural commentary from two urban twenty-somethings. on this here interweb, we go by "bee" and "zy."

holy sacrilegious travel ad! to the popemobile!

So, Kayak.com has a hot new ad out. In case you haven’t seen it:

The Pope’s not gonna like that. He’s probably busy drafting the next Harry Potter ban, though.

Of course, this is well-worn territory. Nuns as transgressive sexual beings have been featured in many TV spots and ad campaigns, including The L Word and this widely publicized Bennetton image:

The world can use one more, though. Enjoy!

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wow. i love living in the future!

Ugh. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and with it shitty jewelry ads. While I can’t find a video link (who wants heart-shaped shit when you can YouTube screaming chickens?), the sickly-sweet Kay Jewellers spot goes something like this: Woman is cooking, man is reading candy hearts. He reads them out to her to prove their oracular nature: “My girl! You’re sweet! You’re an amazing woman and you’re all I’ll ever need!” I’m about to propose to you… maybe.

“It doesn’t say that,” says sensibly-dressed girlfriend stirring pasta. You’re making me super uncomfortable…

And then he springs it: the heart-shaped diamond necklace. OMG!

“Gasp,” goes girl. I can sell this for a grand!

No you can’t. Because it’s cheap, silly! Oh, and because this necklace is supposed to complete you.

I suppose there’s not much point in railing against these kinds of V-day ads, but in a year where so much has already happened (earthquake, Prop 8 trial, worldwide economic collapse), pushing shitty mall bling seems a bit outdated. Girlfriend doesn’t even look as impressed and owned as she should!

V-day is rough for many people. The pressure, the idea of presents. The endless red and pink marketing. The stale themed candy displays that you can’t get rid of for weeks, or bring yourself to eat. I actually enjoy the day: I loved giving valentines as a kid, and I’m not too proud to admit that I like receiving the odd card or candy heart. Munch.

But once the heart-shaped advertising farce is done, let’s turn our attention to what should be the main event in nationwide love news: the Prop 8 trial. Watch the reenactment here. And fortify your hunger for justice with this little ditty:

Happy almost Valentine’s day, queerlings. I love you all.

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tricks are for kids

I’m too lazy (slash have to run to a meeting, so don’t have time) to think of a relevant title for this post. But anyways, I wanted to recommend ya give a listen to this NPR podcast in which two pundits from opposite sides of the political spectrum re: gay marriage discuss their coming to a middle policy ground.

Just give gays civil unions, they say. To which a few callers said, civil unions for all! “Get the government out of the business of marriage,” was a phrase callers particularly fancied. Then some middle-aged, but well-meaning, I suppose, man called to talk about how he’s being discriminated against as a single guy. Whatevs. Anyways, it’s an interesting listen, and made my commute to work this morning feel oh so smart.

My response? Can’t we just start working from the baseline assumption that any political debate in which someone thinks someone else shouldn’t have the same rights s/he has is wack? Cloaking self-righteous, paternalistic, discriminatory thinking in euphemisms about “principles” and “morality”–Tricks, tricks, tricks.

(Gawd, yes, I’m that much of a nerd that I couldn’t wrap this up without trying to make the title relevant.)

FYI- Zy previously wrote an excellent post responding to the op-ed co-written by the two guys interviewed in the podcast.

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insanity.

It must be said: The L Word is imploding. Evidence:

  • Alice may be getting left, again. This is because the suggested threesome between her, Tasha and Jamie seems to be devolving into an oncoming Jamie-Tasha affair. And they met because Alice saved a teen from suicide!  There is no justice in this world. I hope the cute designer from Season 5 reappears in time to show them up…
  • Max has gotten left, again. And is being subjected to Jenny’s insane Wonka-esque baby shower and breast pump presents.   Can’t he get a break?  (At least the awesome Daniela Sea gets some more lines.)
  • Jenny is ruining everyone’s relationships, including Dylan and Helena’s. Quoth Shane, “She’s just so inappropriate.” Sigh.
  • Shane is locked into craziness with Jenny. Set her free!
  • Elizabeth Berklee, aka VD, continues to come on to Bette. I am simultaneously bored and grossed out.
  • There is almost no humor left.  And an episode titled “Lactose Intolerant”?? I know the writers are running out of “L” puns, but give me a break.

Perhaps E.B. really is the best expression of what the L Word universe is coming to: slightly desperate, lifted, and squealing loudly in an attempt to be seen as fun. Again, sigh. It’s so hopelessly SATC (Girls!!! EEE!!!).

Though maybe there is hope, in the form of Kit and Sunset Boulevard, who is pretty hot for a Kit love interest. I mean, she’s been with some real duds: Benjamin, Angus.  Ivan Aycock was OK, but had a ridiculous name and an issue with honesty. And Papi would have been awesome, but Kit isn’t that way inclined (and the whole thing almost seemed like a mommy issue).  So a sweetheart drag queen who’s hot in and out of dresses? Major step up! I hope they work out.

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nyt op-ed compromises: left-right talks, or PR move?

Usually the latter.

So, I was going to compose some elaborate commentary on the resuscitation of indulgence-granting in NYC churches, but it’ll have to wait. Because this NYT Op-Ed has me riled up.

A “reconciliation” on gay marriage? What, like it’s an arms race? Give me a break.  Oh, but wait. Let’s just compose ourselves and listen to the Brookings-American Values “solution” to our messy national debate:

It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on same-sex marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them most or all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage. But there would be a condition: Washington would recognize only those unions licensed in states with robust religious-conscience exceptions, which provide that religious organizations need not recognize same-sex unions against their will. The federal government would also enact religious-conscience protections of its own. All of these changes would be enacted in the same bill.

But hold on! Don’t get riled up! You don’t know enough to be upset!

For those not immersed in the issue, our proposal may seem puzzling. For those deeply immersed, it may seem suspect. So allow us a few words by way of explanation.

Whatever our disagreements on the merits of gay marriage, we agree on two facts. First, most gay and lesbian Americans feel they need and deserve the perquisites and protections that accompany legal marriage. Second, many Americans of faith and many religious organizations have strong objections to same-sex unions. Neither of those realities is likely to change any time soon.

And so we should settle for civil unions and allow religious institutions to decide when to recognize them. Church and state–well, why not appeal to them both? Thank goodness Blankenhorn and Rauch have come up with this novel way to appease both moderate politicians and Prop 8 supporters and their ilk.  I didn’t want to have any more of those unhealthy, messy disagreements.  They explain it so well…

And while most Americans who favor keeping marriage as it has customarily been would prefer no legal recognition of same-sex unions at either the federal or the state level, we believe that they can live with federal civil unions — provided that no religious groups are forced to accept them as marriages. Many of these people may come to see civil unions as a compassionate compromise. For example, a PBS poll last fall found that 58 percent of white evangelicals under age 30 favor some form of legal same-sex union….When a reasonable accommodation on a tough issue seems possible, both sides should have the courage to explore it.

Except that this is bullshit. Appeasing evangelicals with a non-marriage offer is hardly courageous. I am not a half-person, and federal civil unions that can be freely ignored are just about as useful as permeable reproductive rights and mutable voting practices. When it comes to equality, there is no compromise.

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you would never support prop 8

if you saw this. My friend Erica’s uncle, David Gere, co-curated the 13 Love Stories project, a series of profiles of gay couples affected by the passage of Prop 8.  Each photo links to an interview; to get a taste, watch the especially touching one below.

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a question of sexuality–or gender?

I’ve been thinking about this article on Seattle’s mayoral sex scandal a lot recently.  The author, Taylor Clark, contends that the mayor’s homosexuality–and the supposed leeway given to homosexual relationships when it comes to the age of majority–have prevented the scandal from decimating his political career.

Clark writes,

After all, there’s a massive double standard in how we think about the age of consent. When an older man courts a teenage girl, it’s predatory and sleazy; but when it’s a teenage boy receiving advances, gay or straight, we have trouble believing he’s being wronged. (Indeed, Breedlove was aggressively chasing Adams; he even has a dog named Lolita.) Critics see the movie The Reader, wherein a 36-year-old Kate Winslet beds a 15-year-old boy, and they speak of a “tender sexual awakening,” as every straight man in the theater (including me) thinks, “I would have sold my siblings into bonded labor to sleep with Kate Winslet when I was 15, you little bastard.” Portray a 36-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl, though, and you’re in … well, Lolita territory—no mercy there. Some have argued that if Breedlove were female, straight men would be high-fiving Adams, but this is preposterous. We’d understand the attraction—and when you peruse Breedlove’s unbelievably porny Myspace pics, you can certainly see what was on Adams’ mind—but we wouldn’t excuse the behavior. “Yes, she’s hot,” we’d say, “but they call it jailbait for a reason. You don’t touch underage girls, period.” The male-male relationship brings a moral gray area that helps Adams.

Reader ridiculousness aside, Clark’s examples cite heterosexual May-December taboos and kudos; they must, as he is comparing the Adams-Breedlove scandal (or relative non-issue) to the Monicagate-scale disasters that we’re used to.  But this doesn’t take the gender of the homosexual couple into account.  If this were a lesbian mayor who had had an affair with an underage girl, what would be the consequences then?  Would the younger participant be seen as aggressive, or victimized?  Would her MySpace profile be mocked as “unbelievably porny”–or would she be seen as innocent bait for the predatory?  And would the affair as a whole be seen as emblematic of a unique, and according to Clark, untouchable subculture–or as tawdry and salacious?  I, for one, feel convinced that were Adams and the younger person female, the office would now be empty.

Thoughts, please.

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Jenny and Shane: WTF?

As Bee has noted, this L Word storyline seems a tad incestuous. So what’s behind this odd pairing? Perhaps the writers are trying to milk the murder mystery angle, with constant threats against and hookups with Jenny.  Maybe they want to complicate Shane’s already impossibly tangled emotional state. Or maybe they’ve just run out of ideas?

—Zy

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