links for 2010-02-08

Continue Readinglinks for 2010-02-08

Locked on the roof? Seriously?

I really loved the West Wing, most especially when Sorkin was writing for it, and I really do like Studio 60, for the most part. But lately the weird thing Danny’s doing to Jordan, the sort of creepy-stalkerish, pre-rapey, not really romantic, “refusal to take no for an answer” thing is really disturbing, especially since we know Sorkin’s setting this up to have them get together eventually. Note to Aaron – No really does mean no, dude. If you want me to start surveying the women around to to see if you’ve pulled this crap on them, I will. I’m not kidding. Cause you apparently think this kind of thing works in real life. But In real life it only works if you’re trying to get a restraining order.
And last night’s episode, where they get locked on the roof? Um, no. Like Jane Espenson calling for a moratorium on scenes where the character kicks a machine and it suddenly starts working, I’m making a new rule – no more locked rooftops. Really. Get a frackin’ key before you go there. Why would the door on the roof need to be locked anyway? Is Spider-man going to break in?
For all Aaron’s bitching that his audience just isn’t smart enough to get him, he certainly does insult the little intelligence we do have. But I guess I’m “just a blogger” so my voice shouldn’t be equal. After reading that Chicago Tribune piece I’m tempted not to watch the show ever again.

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Mark Foley, and “real” gay relationships

In an opinion piece for the LA Times, Michelangelo Signorile says that the media should have “outed” Mark Foley as gay soon after his hypocritical votes in favor of anti-gay legislation. I agree with Signorile about “outing” hypocritical public figures, and consistently always have. But there’s something else in the article that I wanted to highlight…

Foley lived in a glass closet in Washington, where many people, we’re now being told, assumed he was gay, even as he orchestrated a lie for the voters of his district with help from the media both in Washington and at home in Florida.
Foley’s closet wasn’t just about protecting his political career. He seemed to be filled with shame. According to one gay man quoted in the Washington Post last week who challenged Foley on his voting for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, Foley justified marginalizing gay marriage by saying, “I could never compare any relationship I have ever had to the nature of my mother and father’s relationship.”
For Foley, homosexuality meant second-class status.
That kind of self-loathing is bound to play out in harmful ways. Would Foley have made online sexual advances on teenagers if he were openly gay or if he’d been reported on, truthfully, by the media as a gay man long ago, and faced the consequences? It’s quite possible the answer is no.

I find the phrase I highlighted above just heartbreaking, for Mark Foley’s sake as well as for my own.
I love my parents, and the people who are especially my role models for a good marriage — my paternal grandparents, who are just wonderful people. But do they somehow have a more “valid” relationship than mine? Of course not. When I see my girlfriend, I see someone as important to me as the members of my own family; someone that love, adore, want to become a better person for, to live with and build a life with.
If I can live up to my grandparent’s example even half way (I’ve referred to them in the past as living examples of “happily ever after”) then I will be more successful as a spouse than 95% of heterosexual married couples are. And I love Stephanie so much that I want that for her and for me. I want a relationship like my grandparents have, with love and stability and surrounded by family and friends.
As loathsome as I think Mark Foley’s behavior was, I hope that someday he finds a relationship that moves him in that way, too — an equitable relationship based on respect and honesty and concern for the well being of his partner.

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What is Wrong with Being Single?

I’m twenty-nine years old, and I’ve been single for three years. And the truth is that I’m happy about that. I just came to that epiphany today while I was doing my dishes, alone in my apartment with the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack playing on my stereo in the background. I don’t want to be single forever, but I am comfortable being single right now, and want to stop feeling anxious about my single status.


I’m comfortably in a rut, as my friends would probably describe it, going to work during the week and spending my weekend alone writing, and reading to my heart’s content. I really like the way I live. My apartment is uniquely my own, and a sanctuary to me, filled with the things I love.

Everything is in it’s place, and I know where everything is. It’s not organized to the point of obsession, and I need to learn to put things away immediately after I used them, but I’m happy. I clean when I like, and leave things a mess when I like. If I had a girlfriend, all that would change, and I admit that bothers me.

I cook for one, which means I make a side dish rather than a meal, or get something from take out. In fact, I think I’ve lost all of my cooking skills in the past few years. I grew up as the oldest girl in a family of eight, and I used to come home from school, prepare the family meal, set the table, and clean up while everyone else trooped into the living room to watch TV. I’m sure my resentment of that responsibility has contributed to my cooking patterns now. But the fact remains that I once could cook a Thanksgiving dinner, and now when face with a simple meal, I’m at a loss. And I don’t mind that at all.

My Family Background

I think the reason I value my time alone so much, that I fiercely guard it, is because I grew up in a house where I was never alone. I shared a room with my little sister and a house with four brothers. There was noise all the time, everywhere.

I learned really bad communications skills that I still need to work to undo: the sense that no one was listening to me gave me the habit of repeating myself over and over, as well as the habit of interrupting and speaking louder when trying to make a point. I’ve lost some of those habits from living in the real world, but I still fall back on them at times.

I had no privacy growing up unless I was in the bathroom, and that only lasted until someone started pounding on the door to get in. Now, I love nothing more than lighting candles all around my apartment and sitting in relative quiet with my thoughts, especially after I’ve interacted all week with people at work.

All My Coupled Friends

Up until this point, I’ve been fearing there’s something wrong with me for not pursuing a relationship strenuously, for not making it a priority in my life. And my friends have certainly reinforced my fears.

My friend P., who has known me for about six years, I think, was grilling me on this subject in the bar a few months ago. She had just broken up with her girlfriend of many years, and confessed to me that the two of them had been analyzing me in their spare time, trying to figure out why I was single. "You’re attractive, humorous and you have a decent personality…"

Of course, this analysis immediately made me self-conscious, and rather than defending my comfortable lifestyle, I immediately focused on the word "decent," questioning whether she was suggesting there was something wrong with my personality, and suddenly filling with a self-doubt that I never feel when I’m alone; only with my friends.

It doesn’t help that I made a ton of new friends this past summer, who at that time were single, but quickly paired up when winter came. I used to get phone calls to run around and do something every day. Now I’m lucky if I see my friends once a week. And when I do, the awkwardness of the triad is always the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.

I’ve become a single burden to my coupled friends, and as a result, they either avoid spending time with me, or try endlessly to set me up with someone else. In fact, the last relationship I was in three-years ago was with a woman my friend P. set me up with. And I’ve been tricked into every conceivable setup situation since, so that I’m suspicious whenever someone’s single friends are around.

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