Has ‘Project Runway’ Jumped the Sharkskin?

And Other Crucial Parts of the Culture Puzzle I've never been a fan of purely reactive writing. Most of it banishes those errant ideas and images that have no obvious connection to the fake trend or genuine outrage of the moment, but are nonetheless a writer's best reason to write. It's a puzzle, then, to find novel ways to react "new" to the daily cultural-political flood. Maybe the task can be accomplished in pieces. Jigsaw Part 1: Bloodsuckers I'm afraid that our favorite TV "crossover" shows are withering. You know, crossovers, the … [Read more...]

‘American Idol’ — the Judy-Deanna Version

        Now that our Idol hangover is over, we may regain some composure and perspective about the relative importance of a manipulated mass election -- sounds presidential, no? -- within the body politic of popular culture. Right? Then how do I explain why I woke up literally singing the word "swing" -- but like a cat wail, "swiiiiiiinnnnnng." Judy was talking to me again. "Didn't you see me?" she asked. "I was hard to miss. I had to share some space with Freddie, but I like Freddie, and even with that awful Lee" -- I … [Read more...]

No. 1 Ladies’ Detective — With Apostrophe, Praise

Rarely has this writer, even in the guise of critic, thought it wise to promote a product without immersing the recommendation in a cleansing bath of context. A pleasing exhibition? Look at the history, the economy that produced the work. A fine restaurant? Look at the economy, the history that ... .  Yes, I know. But the result need not be hortatory or didactic, and may be at least a bit more defensible than writing long-form blurbs. Except in this case. I want you to watch a new HBO series, period. It's … [Read more...]

I Have Never Depended on the Kindness of Judges, but …

...Yesterday's court-tossed wedding bouquet was caught by me and thousands of others who will visit City Halls all over California in a state of "finally" and make it legal. Of course, the decision to allow queer marriage can be reversed by referendumb as soon as November. In the meantime, here's a quasi-update to my very last, coincidental post, "Gay Rice": So, ladies and gents and everyone in between, why has it taken so long to have a pissy little gay wedding on network television? Yes, we're in California, not Massachusetts, so no … [Read more...]

Gay Rice

Down the Aisle, Slowly It took the supposedly liberal New York City mayor David Dinkins ages to come to his political and humanistic senses and order City Hall to issue domestic partnership certificates. That was January, 1993, more than 15 years ago, and it seemed late in coming even then. No money for city employee health benefits, previously promised, came with the mingy declaration; Dinkins was and will forever be an accountant. (Sample certificate is above. I don't know who the fine gents on this particular document are, although … [Read more...]