Sunday, February 11, 2007

This post is a little different; I'm feeling reflective

I know a girl, someone I used to work with, who spends some time making out with gay men. This would be fine if she was just all for making out and grabbed the closest thing, but, sadly, I believe she invests some emotion into these encounters. A couple of years ago, when we were on friendly terms and she was very drunk, I witnessed one of these encounters and her breakdown shortly after. She said something about her life to me, asked me my opinion and I said something about this habit and she said: "Cara, don't you think there are some topics you should just lie about?"

The truthful answer to that question is "no." When I feel strongly about something, I say it. Honestly. Some people think that is a bad aspect of my personality, maybe it is, but that is me. Some times I keep my mouth shut, but if I open it, you always get the response I believe in. Who respects a dishonest person? And who is afraid to speak the truth?

In the last few weeks, I have been reminded that the world has very definite notions about things you cannot speak about. I have a friend who is an editor at a soap opera magazine. Now, I'm a soap kid, so I would be qualified to write a piece for her magazine. Her particular magazine has, in the past, had guest editorials. I called her and asked her if I could do one. She immediately answered "yes, of course," but then asked me about the topic of my piece. I said I wanted to write about how I hate All My Children's transgender storyline. She quickly changed her answer to "no," not because she so loves the storyline and wants to protect it, but because she feels speaking out against it is un-PC. "You, with all your gay friends, should know better than this," she said. I was a little perplexed by this response and thought she might be crazy, but I asked others and they concurred with her. Why?!? I am not against there being a transgender storyline, I just believe this particular one is being handled in a moronic fashion. If that is construed as me being prejudice is anyway, the people who are interpreting it that way are stupid. Why is it that a publication should be that scared of something like this?

Today, on the way home from a business brunch, I ran into a theater critic who had recently given a good review to In the Heights. Now there were people I know who loved In the Heights, but I had spoken to this particular critic shortly after he had seen the show and I knew he didn't really like it. So, I was surprised to read his review on Thursday night, but just let it go. There are sometimes when shows grow on you, though this he saw two days before opening, so it was not like a fond memory. As he was standing in front of me, questioning me about a story I had published yesterday, I could not resist the urge to question him. Had the show indeed grown on him in retrospect? He stumbled on the answer. Then he gave some crap line about wanting to encourage young writers of different ethnicities and voices. Is that a reason to praise parts of a show you did not actually like? Is that cause enough to slant your views?

I just don't get it. Sadly it happens a lot--people afraid to speak out against things because they feel some sense of responsibility to support something or other. It's a phenomenon I don't understand because once you slant a perspective in the name of politics, you're in danger of becoming a marketing outlet, not one that fosters journalism.

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