Monday, March 23, 2009

Chock Full o' Cheerful News Monday

Here are just a few of the rosy spots in today's headlines:


Like mother, like son: Nicholas Hughes, the son of poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, committed suicide in Alaska last week. He had been battling depression for some time, says his sister, Freida Hughes. He had recently left his teaching post in the oceanography department of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks to set up a pottery at his home. Was he planning to make bell jars? (Sorry. Bad joke.)

No longer a close fit: A spokesman for the U.S. Agency for International Aid says that they have decided to change providers for the billions of condoms that they ship to poor countries. Like everything else in America, the new condoms will be made in China. This will essentially put the lid on the coffin of Alatech, an Alabama company that has been the sole U.S. distributor for several years. The spokesman, who only spoke on condition of anonymity (gee, we haven't heard that in five whole minutes), says part of the reason for the switch is that the government recently dropped the "buy American language" in a recent appropriations bill.

That leads me to believe that this organization has been lying in wait to take these jobs away for a long time, which is despicable. I think any organization that takes jobs out of America should have their earmark money revoked. Period.

If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't NOBODY Gonna Be Happy: I enjoyed this Trib column from Dawn Turner Trice, who visited a few of the bars on Northalsted (yes, that's the official name of the area--don't use that extra "H!") to check out the growing trend of brides-to-be having their bachelorette parties in gay bars with male strippers.

According to many of the girls that Trice interviewed (the lucid ones, anyway), girls feel safer at these establishments knowing that they can party hearty without worrying about some nasty ol' straight guys pawing at them. (Perhaps they'd feel safer if they had their party at home and didn't drink like Elaine Stritch.) Ironically, Trice notes, as they get more inebriated, these women become the "pawers," behaving with the strippers just like the straight men they want to avoid. Apparently, the alcohol makes them forget that there's nothing that could make these particular men less attracted to them. (Oh, whoops, I forgot, there is: drunkenness. We have our own sloppy messes to deal with.)

As a result of the Prop 8 furor, a few Northalsted bars, like Cocktail and Sidetrack, are refusing to host bachelorette parties until gays have equal marriage rights (which seems only fair to me--why the hell should these people take up space in the places that we've built up and rub our faces in the fact that we don't have what they do?). Remind me to patronize these places more often, even if they're way outside my neighborhood. Trice asked one female reveler if she didn't find it heterosexist to hold these parties in gay bars. The girl replied it hadn't occurred to her: "I can see how it might be frustrating for gay men. Maybe I'll have to think about that next time."

Yeah. You do that, honey. In the meantime, have fund at the VFW hall, because we're taking back our neighborhoods.


That's all the happy-happy-joy-joy for today. On the plus side, we're one day closer to warm weather. Woo hoo.


Blogger Stephen Rader said...

I was just about to post about the whole "no bridal showers in certain gay bars" thing. I definitely understand your point, but my gut reaction when I read the article was very different.

I didn't understand why women would want to come to a gay bar until I started hanging out in a lesbian bar in college. When I went there, I had fun, no one judged what I was wearing or how I looked, no one was looking at me as a potential Mr. Right and I wasn't looking for Mr. Right. It was relaxed and I had a ball. So, I can see why these women would want to be in a place where they can just let go and have fun.

And sure, those drunken women will paw the strippers at Cocktail, but I've seen the men paw, grab and poke those strippers, so what's the difference? Especially since most of those strippers are straight.

I guess it just reminds me of watching women stand at the bar at Sidetrack and be totally ignored by the bartenders. And the night at Sidetrack that some friend of a friend announced, "There sure are a lot of fish here tonight," with such disdain that I could taste the misogyny. Being that exclusive just makes me feel like all those homophobic straight people who don't want us in their bars.

Yes, it is rubbing our noses in it when these bridal showers hit our bars, but for some reason, it doesn't bother me. It'll be interesting to see what comes of this.

More importantly, speaking of gay bars, when are we hanging out and having drinks again? :)

3:47 PM  
Blogger ayem8y said...

I was at the Parliament House in Orlando a few years ago when a tacky bride and her maids waltzed in and acted like they owned the place. During the show they became rowdy and the drag emcee read them to filth about this very subject, “Ladies you better settle down or I’m gonna find your man and fuck him.” When they didn’t settle she said, “I got your addresses and when I get married my party is travelin’ to your houses and you better put on a damn good show or I’m ripping your house down.” The whole audience turned on them and booed and after the show they kind of tried to sneak out. The drag emcee said, “Who said you could wear white anyhow. bitch”

BTW I’ve had more fun in girl strip clubs than any other bars. The strippers hang out with the gay boys when not on the main stage or lap dancing. Something equalizing about being considered second class citizens. Homo’s and strippers go together.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Stephen: I can understand where you're coming from. And you're nicer than I am, that's for sure! I guess I'm just tired of having my nose rubbed in things, and am ready for a good old-fashioned backlash throwdown. And frankly, ever since this whole Prop 8 fight started, weddings have seemed pompous and ludicrous to me. The idea of a lifelong commitment is a beautiful thing, but if we can't have it, why should we cede our space to those who get that privilege?

Sorry...I'm in a bad place today.

Notwithstanding, I WILL be at Sidetrack on Wednesday when the Joans get their Pressie, so if you're there, I'll see you! Otherwise, how about Sidetrack on next Wed. (Thurs we have a rehearsal and Fri is The Jackhammer show.)

Ayem8y: My favorite clueless bachelorette moment was winter 2008 (a year ago) when a posse of Eastern European bridesmaids (and their Queen Bee, I assume) attended a showing of "Bare Naked Christmas" and clearly thought they had an ice cube's chance in hell with one of the naked queens. ("Vat happen in Chicago, stay in Chicago," one of them said.) They commandeered the whole stage to take pictures and acted like they were the only people in the world. I think it's the bride thing. Since they play dressup like 7-year-olds, the mindset naturally follows...

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the last things Bush did before leaving office was to make sure that Buy American was erased. Obama has avowed to put it back but he didn't count on the strong Republican backlash. Next time we need to erase the Republican side of our ballots and make sure none of them get elected. ed

6:00 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Yes, it's nice how "patriotic" the Republicans are, isn't it? (Actually, greed is universal to businessmen, and isn't limited to those of the red stripe...look at Blagojevich!)

9:31 AM  

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