A few things that I find laughable.
1. In movies, TV shows and commercials that feature upper middle class to well-to-do married women, these betrothed ladies generally wear understated wedding bands. I’ve tracked it. According to broad reach media, 9 out of 10 women who have lots of money don’t like big honkin’ diamonds.
Their gold bands are rarely topped off with boastful, eye-shielding, bordering-on-tasteless engagement diamonds (unless they are supposed to be somewhat unlikable). Even though we know that nice women like those portrayed in the fictional dramas aspire to – and generally have – the biggest possible diamond they can afford. Or not afford. The biggest possible diamond they can convince their at the time husbands-to-be to take on as debt. And then have shipped to another state – to a friends’ or a mother-in-law’s – to avoid paying sales tax. They do this with a “we pay our taxes!” indignation, to which I say, “Not your sales tax, apparently.”
But the women in these media spectacles wear subtle gold bands because:
-Producers wouldn’t want them to appear gauche – though I suppose that’s what all the women who live in NY, SF, LA and many other places would qualify as with their hand-dragging diamonds that at least one African must have lost a few fingers over. Is there some irony here?
-We want these women to be relatable. Most women – while aspiring to a real knuckle-dragger – can hardly afford the miniscule, barely visible chip their fiancés spring for at the local Wal-Mart or Shane Company.
We aspire to appear tasteful and un-greedy while signaling that we have lots of money and gigantic jewels. Or cars. Or homes. We don’t NEED them to feel superior. We just like them. Yeah right.
How about we all stop wanting great big shiny rocks (or cars, or homes) that De Beers (or BMW, or mortgage brokers) has convinced us we need to lay down 3 months salary for (more for the car and/or homes) and be as low-key as the pretend wives we see in movies and television commercials?
I’m not saying I’m there yet. I’m working on it. I’m just pointing out the irony.
2. People are upset about Jesse Jackson using the N-word. Really? You think black people don’t talk about other black people, not to mention white people, all people that are just a little less like them? Of course they do! We all do. I have an inside track here being in a mixed race family and hearing black people talk about white people and Jewish people talk about black people and on and on.
Just like religious people talk about how non-believers are heathens, liberal white people talk about “African Americans” (they say this with a barely audible hesitation, not sure what the appropriate terminology is these days; they want to use the respectful term when slandering…have we not yet realized that it doesn’t matter what you call ‘em, so long as you don’t say it with disdain?), gays talk about straights (‘breeders!’) and Jews talk about everyone including Schvartzes, Goyim and Shiksas. Please, white people – don’t act so ‘can you believe it?’ horrified because a black dude talks about the one black guy you like (because he ‘transcends race’ and ‘speaks so well!’) with a bit of antipathy. Not all black folks agree and like each other. Is that so shocking?
Really what we should all be asking ourselves is: why was Jesse on Fox News anyway? Is he so desperate for media attention after years left in the wings of American politics, that he was willing to sell his soul to Fox for a little air time? Apparently so.
3. Speaking of race, folks are also really upset about this New Yorker cover with Obama and his wife, Michelle, ‘fist bumping’; she sports a black pride afro the size of a beach ball in the style of what is intended to depict a ‘black militant’, he is depicted as a Muslim. I’m still trying to understand why people are upset with a magazine known for satirical cartoons for putting a satirical cartoon on its cover. It’s their stock in trade.
I suppose it’s anger inducing because these fancy over educated New Yorker editors are making fun of people who view this couple that way, who probably don’t read the magazine anyway so they wouldn’t have even known about it if it wasn’t telecast on every news channel known to mankind. Liberals are peeved because, they argue, regular old folks are gonna take this seriously. While they sip their over-priced lattes and carry their groceries in re-usable Whole Foods bags, these liberals say: We get it, of course, but all those poor under-educated Pentacostals…well, they won’t understand! Imagine this: when said Pentacostal is reading his New Yorker in the powder room, he’ll jam an index finger at the cover with “I knew it!” satisfaction. Oh wait a minute…he doesn’t get the New Yorker. He’ll be reading Field and Stream or Guns and Ammo or I love Jesus! on the can. So there’s nothing to worry about after all.
Are we really going to take up not very precious air-time, but time nonetheless, asking Barack about his thoughts and feelings on this cartoon? Yes, apparently we are. At least Barack put it all into perspective on Larry King:
“But you know what, it's a cartoon, Larry, and that's why we've got the First Amendment. And I think the American people are probably spending a little more time worrying about what's happening with the banking system and the housing market, and what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a cartoon. So I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it."
Let me be clear. I voted for Hilary. I am one of these latte-sipping liberals (I don’t actually drink lattes, because I hate milk. But I do carry my own reusable grocery bags and I am left of left of center) but I happened to prefer Hils. But, thanks to this man for calling a spade a spade. Bad analogy in this particular instance. My apologies. Thanks Barack, for telling it like it is, in this instance anyway. I’m comin’ around to your mojo.
4. Are people seriously opposed to gay marriage? How on earth is the fact that some guy in San Francisco (we’ll call him Bruce) who works as a casual pants merchant at Gap deciding to spend the rest of his life with his long time partner (we’ll call him Dan) who owns his own interior design firm and they together own a small ‘ranch’ in Petaluma where they grow organic vegetables (well, the local Mexican help does) and style the ‘barn’ to look like a page out of a Ralph Lauren store display…I lost track. Oh yes, how is the fact that these two lovely lads can tie the knot going to put an Oklahoma, Jesus-ordained, highly traditional ball and chain style marriage at risk? These two gents are committed to making the world a prettier place. Their ‘taste level’ beautifies Northern California, their commitment to each other rivals that of Hollywood’s latest ‘it’ couple. And they want what regular old folks have. The ability to commit to each other before their family and friends. And slink away in humiliation ten years later when it all falls apart.
Isn’t it more likely that a husband’s affair with his secretary or the fact that many hetero couples have sexless marriages (officially a ‘sexless’ marriage is sex 10 or fewer times per year) more likely to wreck the traditional union? I just don’t see how Bruce and Dan in Petaluma riding on matching miniature ponies is going to affect Doris and Bob in Tulsa. But then again, I never understood how the fact that Dan prefers to sex up people with parts that match his own was going to impact Doris.
In a few short years it will seem as ridiculous that gay people couldn’t get married once upon a time as it seems now that mixed race couples couldn’t get married just a few years ago. Of this, I’m sure.
Whew. I’ve gotten all my social/political/economic issues on the table.
I’m now going to go read the New Yorker, while wearing only a tasteful gold wedding band, before calling my gay newly married friends to congratulate them and see if they got my wedding gift of a top of the line espresso machine, before tuning in to Fox News for a little heart-pumping ‘know thine enemy’ before bedtime edutainment.