Friday, January 8, 2010

The New York Times pays all sorts of people to write all sorts of crap. There's a woman who writes a column about being a housewife, tarting it up with the title "Wife/Mother/Worker/Spy." The latter is apparently her claim that a parent performs roughly the same functions as someone who kills their enemies with poisoned umbrella tips. This pisses me off: it's like those housewives who say if they were paid for their work they'd pull down $150,000 a year. Because, you know, they occasionally function as psychotherapists, and psychotherapists make $500 an hour.

To which I say, excuse me, but you don't exactly qualify for that post with the ability to heat canned soup and repeatedly coo, "There, there."

And then there's the adorable, probably soon-to-be-a-movie "Cooking With Dexter." Because, you know, readers in the financial capital of the world are only interested in cuisine when there's a tow-headed four-year-old involved. (Dexter is absent from this Sunday's episode, which I'm hoping means we'll see a correction Monday morning: "'We regret to say yesterday's Cooking With Dexter column totally forgot to include Dexter.")

One might think the Times would trend better -- or at least less heterosexual-with-spouse-and-child -- in non-fiction fields. One would be wrong. Randy Cohen, their Ethicist, allegedly looks at both sides of thorny problems and decides which is correct. Which is why I wrote to him many years ago.

A government agency was running an essay contest, which sent up a red flag for me. Non-Christian gay men know what I'm talking about: send in a story about that funny thing that happened to you and your boyfriend at last week's coven and you know it's getting tossed in the trash. Essay contest winners are without exception heterosexual Christians, either bragging about or lamenting the loss of wives and children and picket fences. And while this is just annoying and discriminatory in the real world, when the government gets involved it's unforgiveable.

So, I made up a fun little story about my wife and kids. And I won the contest.

Immediately the shit hit the fan. The prize was huge. And I didn't realize they wanted the winner to make public appearances. With press coverage, of course.

<Low but still possibly natural voice>"As I was telling my dear Katrina the other day, while she was breast-feeding Kassaday, our youngest, . . . "</low>

No, that was not going to work. I've pretended to be straight before, but if I failed and flapped a limp wrist or called some dude "girlfriend" I wasn't going to be tossed straight into the slammer.

I made excuses. I had to travel on business. I was sick. And eventually they just gave up and mailed me the prize.

Naturally, I felt guilty. I wrote Randy. And surprisingly, he wrote back. I tossed out his reply because it was incredibly stupid, but basically he said, "Hey, the rules were it had to be a TRUE STORY, and yours wasn't true. So, dude, you messed up."

I knew I was right, and I still do. I was looking for support, which he didn't give me. I was tempted to write back and say, "Hey, the GOVERNMENT shouldn't be using OUR TAX DOLLARS to reward HETEROSEXUALS who also get hired by the esteemed Times to write about their other-sex spouses and culinarily-inclined rugrats. So whatever the FUCK I do to upset this system is perfectly justified."

Instead I just wrote him off.

And now the Times has its Social Q's column, about etiquette. Hoping for better? This week's column proclaims that gays who boycott hetero weddings are "selfish."

Whoa. Yeah, dude's a little harsh. Better not get him started on that bitch Rosa Parks.

Just forget all those sour grapes, Philip Galanes proclaims, and toast the happy couple celebrating rights you don't have. Maybe express your thoughts about second-class citizenship "in a congratulatory card."

"Dear Fred and Ginger:

Congratulations! You're so lucky most politicians don't think you're an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.

All the best,
Cecil and Bruce

P. S. Don't even think about putting this Baccarat vase in the dishwasher."

Despite my own sour grapes, though, I have hope. I have hope that one day the Times will hire a gay columnist, and that gay columnist won't be afraid to break a few eggs. That gay columnist will tell somebody that not only would he refuse to enter that chapel, but he'd hang out in the parking lot with a sign that read "FRED AND GINGER: WEDDING SCABS!"

I'm thinking that day is far away, though, and color me crazy if I refuse to wait. So, until then, keep an eye out for prize-winning stories about a happy white dude, his lovely wife Katrina, and wise-beyond-her-years Kassaday, who's whipping up an omelet as we speak.


Yet Another Steve said...

Oh, the crushing disappointment! I refer, of course, to your reference to the riveting title COOKING WITH DEXTER, which then turns out to be not about Dexter the serial killer on Showtime, but, even worse, it's about some LITTLE KID! I was so ready to see all the Ed Gein jokes about ladyfingers, etc., trotted out.

S said...

All NYT lifestyle columnists are gay, except for the lesbians.