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.
Perhaps you have heard of KFC's "Buckets for the Cure" campaign. The idea is, every time you buy a pink bucket of fried chicken from the chain, 50 cents is donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation for breast cancer research. Now, raising money for cancer research of any kind is great, but I can't help but think (and I am by no means alone here) that this campaign is misguided and misleading (not to mention the weird irony of buying – and eating – certain breasts to save others). Of course, tying an advertising campaign to the fight against breast cancer, a practice commonly known as pinkwashing, is nothing new. Let's look at some more examples and discuss!
Blogging Against Disablism Day ("disablism" is the UK equivalent of "ableism") was started by Diary of Goldfish in 2006 to occur annually on May 1st and highlight online how disability discrimination is lived, discussed, and portrayed. Here's a handful of some of the great posts that went up this weekend...
May Day is Saturday, the international worker's day. It's a holiday remembering the murder of protesters in Chicago in 1886 who were on strike for the 8 hour work day, but has grown to be a day for calling out against systems of oppression, and particularly war and capitalism.
It's celebrated almost everywhere around the world, although notably not here in the United States where the murders took place.
May Day is also an important pagan holiday (more widely known as Beltane).