Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
Ever since becoming more aware and mindful of things like racism, sexism, size-ism, age-ism, and a lot of other bullshit, consuming media has become a little fraught. I mean, in the past, I heard a song, and if it had a catchy beat, I liked it. I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about lyrics unless I really, really liked a song. Mostly, I’d just hum along with the melody without really paying attention to the lyrics.
Then someone pointed me to the words for the Rolling Stones song “Brown Sugar.” http://www.lyricsfreak.com/r/rolling+stones/brown+sugar_20117857.html
No, really, go read them. I can almost guarantee that you’ll have the same expression on your face I did when I read them.
I believe :O is a pretty good likeness.
After that little realization I started actually paying attention to the lyrics of songs I found myself humming, and oh… There are days when I feel like I’ll have to give up classic rock altogether.
One song, while not necessarily classic rock, that made me raise my eyebrows was Nick Gilder’s one hit wonder, “Hot Child in the City” http://www.lyricsondemand.com/onehitwonders/hotchildinthecitylyrics.html which he says was his effort to draw attention to the plight of runaways. Um, yeah, look at the last verse, and tell me that’s what’s going on there.
And I’m getting a lot fussier about other media. Comedians who use fat people as the butt of all their jokes or make rape jokes, television or movies that stick with the “schlubby dorky dude gets super hot chick” formula (i.e. every sitcom ever anymore, it seems like). Where’s the schlubby dorky girl gets smoking hot guy shows? Huh, assholes? I mean, with a few exceptions like Pearlsong Press (http://www.pearlsong.com/), even the majority of our (women’s) written escapism involves very thin, pretty women getting handsome dudes to fall for them. Until very recently you NEVER saw a plus-size heroine, anywhere. One of the major romance publishers has started an imprint of plus-size romance, but I can’t remember who and I wasn’t that impressed to begin with, because all their heroines fussed constantly about their weight and were Bridget Jones levels of neurotic about it.
I mean, shit. When John Waters’ original “Hairspray” came out, the fact that he had an actual fat girl playing the lead love interest was fucking earth shaking. Ricki Lake was amazing in that role. And almost immediately started dieting down so she could get more roles because Hollywood sucks ass. Don’t think so? Look at Salma Hayek in “From Dusk Til Dawn,” not even remotely fat, now look at her. She’s way too fucking thin now. WHEN SHE WAS NOT FAT TO BEGIN WITH!!! See also Uma Thurman and Cameron Diaz. I mean if THOSE women were “too fat” what the hell chance does anyone else have?
And let’s not forget that when Camryn Manheim had a love interest on “The Practice,” she had to fight for them to actually show her kissing the guy. The fuck? And I don’t watch a lot of tv really, but can anyone point me to ANY mainstream representations of fat girls getting to mack on anyone? Fat, thin, whatever? Fat guys get to.
Wow, that was a bit of a digression. Can you say “rage button?” I knew you could.
What I’m trying to say is that as I’ve become more aware, I’m finding myself having more and more “No, John Ringo! No!” moments with some of my formerly favorite authors, musicians and comedians. Billy Connolly is off the list for likening fat people having sex to gorillas. That’s great. Just fucking great. And after the “Brown Sugar” incident, I’ve listened a lot harder to more Rolling Stones songs, and um, no. With the exception of “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” which I only listen to so I can mock Ogre, “Gimme nummy nummy!” I mean, “Emotional Rescue” is one of the creepiest fucking songs ever. As is “Every Breath You Take” by the Police. STALK-ER!!!!
Because I’m paying attention now, sitcoms that used to just annoy me, drive me over the wall (not just up it). It’s just like… You know in that wonderfully awful Rowdy Roddy Piper movie, “They Live!” where he puts on the sunglasses and the aliens are everywhere? That’s what it’s like. It’s like I’ve put on asshole-detecting sunglasses, only I can’t take the damn things off. From things like the Rolling Stones catalog, to “The King of Queens” to the weirdly racist redneck emails my dad sends me from time to time.
Sometimes it’s too much, and I think that maybe ignorance is bliss. Like maybe I could somehow forget, and enjoy media again… But then I remember that knowledge is power (thank you, School House Rock!), and you can’t fight what you can’t see. I’m glad I can see it now, even though it makes that vein in my forehead throb like nobody’s business.