Tea Time II

Let’s start out the month of manufactured love promoted by the card and flower conglomerates to make money (yes, I am an old bitter queen), by having a little tea…

This is why Black People like Pork

In watching the original report that brought this all on, the Queen was once again taken aback by the stark differences between how liberals and conservatives see the world. It reminded me of a fascinating segment I saw a few weeks ago on the PBS News Hour. And in this trying time in our American History, it is extremely frightening (yet oddly hopeful) that the Muppets offer the clearest voice of reason. And the Divine Miss P’s hair looks FABULOUS!

The End of the Line

I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon when it comes to the death of venerable Soul Train host, Don Cornelius. Each time the story was introduced, a newscaster started out with the solemn announcement concerning his apparent suicide, but very quickly segued to either a personal memory about the show, or footage of a Soul Train Line. We kind of hurry past the apparently unhappy last days of an entertainment pioneer and focus on the icon he created. That troubles the Queen–as suicide always does. Understanding how dark and deep the waters of the soul can go, I grieve for a man who had such a profound influence on my life. And I hope that somewhere he himself has found the Peace, Love and Soul he wished for all of us at the end of each episode.

Why Couldn’t Chuck Clayton Have Been In The Closet?

I freely admit it: the Queen is a Geek. As a chubby young monarch-in-training I adored anything Archie Andrews. Somewhere, I still have stacks of comics–some of which I got from my grandmother! One of the only things I can draw relatively well are the characters from the 70 year old franchise. So I was thrilled when I found out that the town of Riverdale would host it’s first Gay Wedding. It is further proof that being gay has truly hit Main Street USA. So is it wrong that I wish it could have been an African-American couple, instead of an interracial couple? Do advertisers still think that if you have two black people in any given group, that it will prevent non-blacks from reading about it, or buying the product? It doesn’t help that the African-American character has the name Clay Walker. The name is ironic, because it also happens to be the name of one of the main characters in a powerful piece which involves interracial relationships by American playwright Amiri Baraka called The Dutchman.I wish Kevin and Clay all of the best. And Chuck…come on out baby! I know there is a fierce black queen somewhere in Riverdale who will gladly give you some “Sugar, Sugar”!

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5 thoughts on “Tea Time II

  1. Go Miss Piggy! Given the sorry state of political discourse these days, I’ll take voices of reason wherever I can find them. As one of my jobs, I on occasion transcribe congressional hearings, and when the proceedings get dishearteningly rancorous and ridiculous, as I’m afraid they sometimes do, I fantasize doing my own bit of editorializing:

    Rep. X [grandstanding]: Mr. Chairman, I am shocked and dismayed that….
    Rep. Y [wimping out again]: I can assure the gentleman from….
    Rep. Z [talking out of his…..]

    Well, you get the idea!

    As far as Archie comics, that’s definitely an interesting development in the mainstreaming of gay. And I keep going back to Sharon Needles’ comment about how easy it is to be gay today, but being gay and weird is hard, because it’s SUCH a good question about the limits of tolerance. As wonderful and necessary a thing as this was to happen, has society become more tolerant of gay only to the extent that gay can be defined in a way straight understands and can feel validated by — as being fulfilled by the American dream of (faux) monogamy, kids, and consumerism? Are we more tolerant of gays who aren’t particularly interested in marriage or even settling down with one person, who are not upwardly mobile?

    And really, those are the same kind of questions that can be asked about racial tolerance as well. Do we need to do the exercise of “Oh, they are just like us after all, okay” before we “tolerate” or can we tolerate people on their OWN terms even when they’re not validating our choices? It’s interesting that the Archie couple is interracial, in a place like Riverdale, AND one of them is in the military. It’s almost like a textbook for trying to prove just how tolerant society now is, isn’t it? And yet…

    But maybe it’s just me. I’m in the funny position of being over the moon that my gay son will now be allowed to marry if he chooses, but I’m SO down on the institution of marriage right now! I’m right with you on the Valentine’s Day cynicism. I may need to whip up my own post-apocalyptic costume to get through the day.

    • For a time in High School, I was a Congressional Page. I feel your pain. In addition to instilling in me a morbid fascination with the political process, that period of my life taught me that the Red Light District and Capitol Hill had something in common: they were both hang-outs for whores.

      On the subject of tolerance (A word I abhor in America’s continuing conversation on race/gender/sexual orientation. It may be semantics, but to me “tolerance” connotes a perceived superiority–something you “put up with” and “allow” in your world–as in you “tolerate” ants at a picnic. I don’t want to be tolerated. I want to be accepted.): I think you’ve tapped into the core of where we are as a society. I feel we are at the very beginning of the discussion on what it means to accept and integrate–not just racially, or sexual orientation…but gender as well. We’ve been gingerly sticking our toes in these waters for a few generations now; but movements like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street have signaled a new generation who will push us into the deep end much more rapidly.

      Slightly off-topic: I’ve been meaning to respond to one of your Tea Time posts regarding your youngest son and his commitment to Obama in ’08: I don’t know if this is the same son that you are referring to in the above comment, but regardless–would you tell him for me how proud and in awe of him as an American I am? He sounds like one of those passionate and committed people that started the movements I mentioned above. When I begin to worry too much about the topics we are discussing, I realize that it’s people like your son who will lead us into the next stage of our evolution, and I breathe a little easier.

  2. Yes, same son. I’ll pass on your compliments! He is indeed passionate and committed, and he has taken his Obama energy and turned it into OWS this time around. When he was in college outside of LA, he volunteered in a creative writing program at a juvenile detention center (he’s a really talented writer), and spent a good part of last summer volunteering in Ecuador. He now is assistant teaching in a “GT/LD” (gifted and talented/learning disabled) program in Maryland public schools, which is perfect for him because he was exactly one of those kids with various learning disabilities (visual processing, “sensory integration” issues, attention issues) who was also clearly as smart as a whip. Or as the psychologist who tested him bluntly put it, he’d do great in college, but elementary school was going to be hell.

    Sooo, I decided to homeschool him and his brother for a few years. There wasn’t really anything quite so forward thinking as “GT/LD” back then, and the alternative seemed to be to hire tutors, slap him on Ritalin, and go through all sorts of hoops to keep him on grade level, when in the end it wouldn’t matter if he learned to read in second grade instead of first or did long division in sixth grade instead of fourth. He went back to public school in 8th grade and did great, took lots of AP courses in high school, was on the debating team (and OMG, you don’t want to argue with this kid!), wrote poetry, and built theater sets.

    So anyway, he’s really enjoying teaching these kids who he identifies with a great deal, and I bet he’s very good at knowing how to support their uniquely eccentric learning styles. I think they’re very lucky. (Oh, and I’m equally proud of his brother, but better not get me started…)

    (BTW, point taken about the word “tolerate.” I think I was struggling with that when I put it in quotes once, but you’re right, it’s a tainted word in the context, and there is a much better one.)

  3. Instead of tolerate, how about enjoy our differences. Comic gave me a wry chuckle. How much inclusiveness can you cram into a single frame? Trying so hard you land on the other side of patronizing.

    Soul Train video reminded me once again of the evil’s of polyester. Sometimes in my nightmares I’m condemned to spend eternity in bad 70’s fashion.

    Muffets were always good for speaking truth about a lot of hard subjects. That’s the wonder and marvel of comedy. It presents information in a palatable format and makes it easier to accept. Communication Theory 101. Its actually one of the nicer ones. The ones you learn in Propaganda and Mass Communication can and should make you question everything you see, hear or read.

    • “Comic gave me a wry chuckle. How much inclusiveness can you cram into a single frame? Trying so hard you land on the other side of patronizing.”

      Nicely put! Yes, that does kinda sum it up. (Or are we just being cynical?)

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