I read the New York Time'srecent piece on Obama's young staffers with avid interest. I confess that the human dimension of political clout (and how it's gained and wielded) fascinates me endlessly. The article is nothing hard-hitting, but provides a fascinating society-columnesque glimpse at the go-getter twentysomethings who roam the corridors of power and what it takes to keep afloat in that world.
Today I focus on Nicki Minaj, a female rapper who is part of Lil Wayne's Young Money crew and has recently gone solo She's been on my radar for some time. Jonah Weiner recently wrote a Slatecolumn about her. Jay Smooth and Maura Johnston had in an interesting exchange about her for NPR. Apparently this Web site gets several searches for her as well, so she's clearly someone we should be talking about.
File it under "No Longer Surprising," but yet another anti-gay douchebag has turned out to be... wait for it... GAY!!! Baptist Minister George Rekers was caught out not only entertaining a male escort, but entertaining him on a ten-day trip to Europe! Oh, and the kicker? Though Rekers claims the man was just there to help him "lift his luggage" (yeah, that sounds sexual to me too) he hired his "luggage lifter" from the male escort service rentboy.com! Yeah, I'm not buying that he thought it was a site for the hiring of "luggage lifters."
It's OK! I'm not gay, I just don't like carrying my own bags."
Esperanza Spalding has been flying just under the radar for years now, especially for those who don't follow jazz pop news (it's not all about Norah Jones, people!), but recently experienced something of a breakout in her February performance on the PBS program Austin City Limits. The day after her performance, Spalding, became the second most-popular search term on Google and millions of PBS viewers were (I assume) smitten.
Today, I thought I'd turn our attention to Showtime's The L Word. I'll admit that the Los Angeles-based ensemble dramedy created by Ilene Chaiken was marred by over-the-top situations, uneven character development, hackneyed writing, a bevy of skinny femmes, and racially problematic casting decisions. It also featured one of the worst theme songs ever, which was written and performed by BETTY.
However, until the final season I was hooked. I started watching with my girlfriends in college toward the end of Sex and the City's run on HBO (L Word fans may recall that the show's original tag line was "Same Sex, Different City"). I was invested in many of the L Word's characters and their long, interconnected histories with one another. I appreciated the incorporation of lesbian icons through dialogue or cameos, and the attention drawn to lesser-known cultural practices like Dinah Shore Weekend or the prevalence of lesbian nuns. I liked the sex, even though it was often of the lipstick variety. Most of all, I enjoyed the role music played in the women's lives.
I feel as if my more navel gazing commentaries should come with some sort of disclaimer stating that they're not meant to be extrapolated upon, taken as universally representative of the readership's experience, etc. To that end...
I confess that I've watched the recent brouhaha over Facebook's privacy changes with some measure of baffled amusement, especially when those complaints come from my peers. Gen Yers aren't exactly known for our reticence and while I understand that there's a qualitative difference between voluntarily revealing details of your personal life and Facebook letting third parties poke around in your browsing history, the somewhat arbitrary distinctions between "good" transparency and "bad" gives me a chuckle.