Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm tired of the rectangles

Today's post will be about politics...sort of. I'm sure I'll disappoint all of you out there who think I'm some kind of true blue (or is it red) Nazi Republican who worships at the foot of Karl Rove, but it's not gonna be that kind of post. Oh, and by the way, if you do still think that about me, you need to pay more attention. But on that note, before I move along (just because I like to give the people what they want), last Tuesday I was at a gathering to watch the election returns. As it became apparent the Dems would indeed win the day, and that Nancy Pelosi would subsequently become (man this is hard to type) Speaker of the House; I started in on my "Nancy Pelosi couldn't think her way out of (enter large open-ended receptacles here) joke series." If you're wondering why I would think such a thing (I mean, other than it's the truth), well luckily I had a blog back in July of 2005. Just read this. For extra entertainment, read the comments. Yes, "at least she's not running the country." Nancy Pelosi, the best reason yet to keep Dick Cheney alive by any means necessary.

Anyway, the actual topic of this post will probably interest no one, but when has that ever stopped me. I mean, I write I blog for like 0.73 people. NBC has a new show this year elegantly titled Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It's a show that has a litany of stars but the reason I decided to give it chance was that Aaron Sorkin would be writing it. His two previous TV endeavors of note were Sports Night and West Wing and I enjoyed them both. I mean, if he's entertaining enough to get me to sit through 8 years of liberal crap, he must have something, right? Well, what I expected was an inside look at how the entertainment industry works, kinda like Sports Night but with jokes and satire instead of homers and touchdowns. What I quickly realized and now feel ready to confirm is this is just a vehicle for Sorkin to espouse his political views. If I may be so bold, this show is more politicized than West Wing.

My exhibit today will be two conversations during the course of the show. The first between the show's fictional head writer (Matt Albie) and the female star of the show (Harriet Hayes) who happens to be a self proclaimed evangelical Christian...so Aaron has is foil. A seemingly smart, level-headed, and well meaning foil, but a foil nonetheless. What you need to know is that the Harriet character was asked by some publication her thoughts on gay marriage. Oh, you should also be aware these two characters are involved in one of those on-again off again relationships. I think you're supposed to believe that Matt is madly in love with Harriet. Now the conversation:
Harriet: You honestly think I'm a homophobe?
Matt: Harriet, I can't...
Harriet: You honestly think...
Matt: Yes, yes I do. And you know why? Cause, you are. Now go to work.
Harriet: I said the Bible says it's...
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
Harriet: Don't "yeah, yeah" me. And seems to me every Democrat on a ballot answers the same question by talking about civil unions and leaving it up to the states and not wanting...
Matt: I don't need any reminding that my party is full to brimming with panderer and mediocrity.
Harriet: What's wrong with civil unions? And why shouldn't we...
Matt: Because there's no way to get to the end of that sentence without saying that homosexual love is something less than heterosexual love. And watching you trip all over it makes me want to hit you in the head with Liberace.
You should probably also know that the quote that Harriet made is: "The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. It also says 'Judge lest ye be judged'". I not here to even raise issue with the debate itself, even if I don't think it was handled in a way I like. It's what I think the tone and direction of the conversation exposes. If I'm correct, homophobe means "a person who hates or fears homosexual people". If someone accused me of being a hater, and not the cool street lingo sort, but an actual person who hates someone else without real knowledge of them, I would not have used some political rationalization. I might want to know why they can't see the difference between a religious belief and actual rancor. Also, if I had accused someone of such a grievous offense and they responded with some justification of political viewpoints I would say, "I'm not talking about politics, I'm talking about you." I've heard that one of the main problems Democrats have with religious conservative voters is that they can't separate their faith from their politics. But what we see through this fictional exchange is that Aaron Sorkin and those championing his cause suffer from the same malady.

The second exchange occurs between the same Harriet Hayes character and the supposed head of the network's entertainment division played by Amanda Peet (Jordan McDeere). The issue here is derived from Harriet's participation with a group called "Women United Through Faith". I'm assuming it's like Promise Keepers for women, which might actually exist, but what do I know. Oh, also Harriet supposedly has a side career as some sort of Gospel/Christian singer. Because of the flap that Harriet's quote caused, she's being encouraged to not take a part these W.U.T.F. events. That should be all the set-up you need.
Jordan: You have 6 concert appearances scheduled with them around the country on 6 consecutive Mondays.
Harriet: Yeah.
Jordan: You shouldn't be appearing in front of groups that oppose gay marriage.
Harriet: Are you censoring me?
Jordan: Don't put it like that.
Harriet: Give me another way to put it.
Jordan: Harry...
Harriet: I grew up with Women United. I was a teenager when my mom died and she asked them to look out for me and they did.
Jordan: Harry...
Harriet: I don't agree with everything they believe in, but I don't believe in everything you do either... doesn’t' stop me from working for you.
Jordan: I understand...
Harriet: I do "Crazy Christians", I do "Science Shmience","Cheeses of Nazareth"...
Jordan: "Cheeses of Nazareth"?
Harriet (smiling): It's Matthew's latest. Cheddar, Gouda...all from the holy land. "Cheeses of Nazareth".
Jordan: That's a little funny.
Harriet: Yes, it is. They all are. I saying they are, so why can't I go out...Young girls attend these events. They admire me. I'm in a position to show them that Christianity has a nicer voice than Ann Coulter's.
Jordan: Carol Channing has a nicer voice than Ann Coulter's....

Yes, we end with the obligatory shot at Ann Coulter. I can't be sure this entire episode wasn't written just for that one line. But I must raise a question, do teenage girls know who Ann Coulter is? Maybe a few teenage boys...maybe, but girls? And if your were asked to name the female spokesman...sorry, spokeswoman for Christianity. How many days would we have to sit in a quiet, empty room before Ann Coulter's name came to mind? Basically, what I'm trying to say here is that despite the fact that I really enjoy pretty much everything Aaron Sorkin has ever done, this act is getting tiresome. We get it that you don't like conservatives, Christians, or any combination thereof. It's kinda like the rock group who's 4th album is just like their first. Or maybe it's like my Mark Rothko experience. I really liked the simplicity and the colors but after a while I just got tired of the rectangles.

No comments: