Monday, June 23, 2008
Who cares? The right-wing gasbags that make their living trotting out talking points and feigning moral outrage while masquerading their grandstanding indulgences as "news". Obama's playing this game to win, and it drives them INSANE. I say more power to him. Hell, I might even make a contribution this month.
I like Michelle Obama. I always have. I can't pinpoint one exact reason why, but maybe part of her appeal lies in the fact that it can't be whittled down to one specific reason. I like the way she dresses. I like the way she presents herself. She is a very, very smart person who can talk to many different types of people without making them feel stupid. That is some hard shit to pull off.
She is a black woman in America, which is (I'm sure) a very hard thing to be, regardless of how many degrees she has, how much money she has, and how many bedrooms are in her house. Many people can't remember this far back, but there was a time before all of the race-bating and smears of the later primary season when people wondered if Barack Obama was "black enough" to connect with African-Americans due to his differences in experience and upbringing. Michelle is the one that was able to assuage these concerns and to help Barack connect with blacks on a real level. She is real, she is honest, she is, well, a Strong Black Woman.
I have heard and read the sentiment from black females that Michelle is "one of us", and yes indeed she is. She was "one of us" in a way that most blacks didn't see Barack before the Clinton campaign tried to put him in a racial box (ironically failing at doing so with most whites and simultaneously endearing him to blacks who were apprehensive of his candidacy before). I have so much respect for (and maybe a little hetero-crush on) this woman that it makes me nervous to think about what the GOP will try to do to her. In a country where a disturbing percentage of people still believe that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and Faux Noise (Fox News) generates some of the highest basic-cable ratings for cable news, there will be rampant opportunities to try to paint the eloquent, classy, and intelligent and, yes, articulate Mrs. Obama as angry, out of touch, and elitist.
The question I have is that will the old-school feminists that were such die-hard Hillary Clinton supporters in the primary election stick up for Michelle Obama? In some strange way, Mrs. Clinton's campaign strategy seemed to anoint her as the new face of feminism when, in reality she acted as anything but (more on that another time). In Michelle Obama, we have the real thing, and the attacks have been, ironically, similar to those leveled at Mrs. Clinton so many years ago. The difference here is that Obama will be hit with the double-whammy of sexism and racism (Obama's Baby Mama? Really, Fox News?) and she will need all the support she can get. I suspect that the generational divide between the old-school (read: heterosexual white middle-class) feminists and the new wave of feminism that is more inclusive of different races and sexualities will only get larger, and nowhere will that divide be more pronounced than in their defense of Michelle Obama, or the lack thereof. I'll be watching this one with bated breath, but I certainly won't hold it waiting for statements of outrage from the likes of Geraldine Ferraro. That's okay. I'm sure the new kids will have Obama's back.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Earlier today, I had the fabulous displeasure of having brunch with my boyfriend in Rue B, a low-key restaurant in the faux-hipster dwelling East Village (ooooh, don't even GET me started on the East Village and how a place which may or may not have been interesting at some point in time has definitely turned into the destination du jour for manorexics in skinny jeans and girls who treat Sex and the City like a how-to life manual).
After 6 months in New York City, I'm starting to wonder why I've been having so many shitty meals in what is allegedly one of the "food capitals of the world" (feel free to add the name of your favorite travel mag rag here). Is it me? Do I give off the vibe of someone who doesn't enjoy every morsel of tasty, tasty food that I shovel into my mouth? You would think that even the most cursory glance at how my tree-trunk legs fill out a pair of jeans would alert the wait staff to the fact that I know my way around a good meal, yet I find myself surrounded again and again by bad food.
This week's offender is Rue B, another in a seemingly endless line of "cute and hip" (honestly, who the fuck says "hip"?) NYC restaurants that somehow survive and thrive on ambiance while offering actual food that would probably inspire a walkout from Mom's Diner in Pigs Gullet, West Virginia. Dining out to me is an experience, a treat, and I try to order a little differently at these NYC restaurants because #1 I'll probably never go there again, and #2 the chances of it still being there in a year are right about in line with Carnie Wilson really losing that weight this time.
Of course, it's father's day and the place is fairly busy. While there appeared to be a booth open in a corner, it was in the direct sight line of some 5th ave. Stepford family and their weird silver-eyed spawn and I didn't feel like having my brunch discussion relegated to one of those strange close-quarters restaurant conversations where you try to sound smart and shit because someone's within earshot. So, while sitting at the desolate bar with my boyfriend debating the difference between slasher flicks and zombie movies, the cute redhead waitress came, and I decided to be bold and order the Eggs Corleone, finding the delectable mixture of "poached eggs, prosciutto, and a special hollandaise sauce" irresistible. Imagine my surprise 20 minutes later when my food comes, and there appears to be poached eggs and proscuitto over some old-looking rye bread trying to escape from under a gravy-brown mess of nearly congealed sauce that has been rather unappealingly splattered over it.
So, after spending a few moments being a bit transfixed at this strange mixture of Jackson Pollock and Julia Child that sits before me and cursing the brunch menu for offering Mamosas instead of jello-shots, the thought occurs to me that I have to actually eat this. And eat it I do, but I don't like it. In fact, I hate it. The poached eggs and prosciutto taste like, well, poached eggs and proscuitto, but the sauce has an awful gravy-sweet taste that somehow seems influenced by the grease-traps that undoubtedly surround the grill in the kitchen, as if whatever this sauce was supposed to be was mixed with a healthy spoonful of grease fat runoff from the hundreds of omlettes and bacon strips that were made in the same area. As for the bed of Rye Bread that this monstrosity sits on? It is so hard that my poor butterknife can't even cut it and I give up on it, but perhaps it is for the better.
After all is said and done, after the awful sauce is sequestered to a corner of the plate like an unruly child, after I have finished the poached eggs and proscuitto and vowed to only eat in in this city whenever I can help it, I have only 6 words to say to the other poor soul next to me who has wandered into the wrong place looking for a meal who leans over me conspiritorially and comments: "The service here is awful". Those words, my friends, comprise the title of this post, delivered in real life with as much acid as I could muster while summoning for the check and the end to yet another awful meal in this great city.
Friday, June 13, 2008
You see what that smile says, kids? It says that you too can, as a grown-ass man, manipulate a teenager into performing sexual acts on video, degrade and defile her at the end of it, have said video leaked in the interest of bringing you to justice, use your money and power to delay your trial for 6 years, sell millions of albums in the meantime, and then get off scot-free after a month when the trial finally DOES commence.
If there's some kind of celebration for this motherfucker a la Mike Tyson, I just might scream.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
This is really happening. I'm alive. I am watching this happen in my lifetime. I can do anything at all. I now officially have no more excuses as to why I can't do anything in my life. There is no way that it can be even half as hard as what this man had to go through to get here, and what he will have to go through to win. I hope every young black man in this country can feel exactly what I feel and run with it.