I have a problem with two articles I recently read.
The first is a brief piece in Bitch magazine by Sarah Seltzer about Tina Fey's character on 30 Rock, Liz Lemon. Now, if you haven't watched 30 Rock, you need to, because it's simply the best comedy on television right now. But Ms. Seltzer does not think so, apparently; she takes offense at Liz Lemon's stereotypical characteristics and makes a claim that Tina Fey is damaging the idea of a strong female role model. Now, I love feminists as much as the next guy, but not when they don't get irony. I think Tina Fey is smart enough to get the joke here, and it bothers me that Ms. Seltzer is not. Liz Lemon is indeed an important female figure in the show, and she does suffer from those stereotypical attributes that society places on women of such important stature. I believe Tina Fey is playing on those stereotypes; after all, she's a satirical writer. My suggestion to Ms. Seltzer is to watch Spike Lee's Bamboozled and then tell me if she thinks putting African-American characters in black-face is offensive.
The other article was in today's Red Eye, which I swear I only pick up for the sudoku and the crossword. I was tempted to read it today because the cover article was about John Travolta's role in the movie version of the musical version of Hairspray. Already I'm against it because the original was good, the music in this version sounds shitty, and John Travolta is stupid. (By the way: what's up with his southern accent in the movie? Baltimore, Maryland?) I read the article, however, because apparently some gay blogger in Washington took offense that Travolta is in "an iconic gay role," despite being a Scientologist, which "rejects gays and lesbians as members and even operates reparative therapy clinics to 'cure' homosexuality." This is a pretty stupid tiff, especially compared to the negative view of Tina Fey in Bitch, because the argument here seems like someone trying to garner a lot of buzz over something pretty inconsequential. John Fucking Waters is quoted in the article as saying that he didn't intend for the original role of Edna Turnblad to be a "gay role;" it just happened that Divine was a drag queen. I think we can all agree that the reason that Edna is played by a man is because seeing a man in a dress is, well, funny. And John Waters knows this, and he wasn't afraid to make use that kind of humor in an effective way.
On a sort of related note, one of the Chicago Tribune's bloggers took a swipe at Gawker today because it made fun of Jews in a post yesterday.
I think my point is this: lighten the fuck up, people. It's only a joke.
Sour Lemon [Sarah M. Seltzer]
Playing it straight [Red Eye]
Chicago Blogger Unamused By Our Anti-Semitism [Gawker]