The Patron Saint of Patronization

15Nov08

There are few things I loathe more in this world than being patronized, but unfortunately it’s either been happening a lot lately or I just read it as happening a lot lately.

The global reaction to the Obama win has been…frustrating.  While I know plenty of people internationally who have been following with interest and attention, much of the rest has been kneejerk.  I realize that America, for better or worse, sets the pace, but for god’s sake, there’s only so many times I can hear ‘oh good, you all finally did something right’ before I want to cut someone.  Yes, we did, but you don’t have to keep patting our goddamn heads, because there’s plenty else to do and plenty of people who’ve been this way all along.

J.J. Abrams continues to happily throw the fans under the bus in the name of mainstream audiences when it comes to Star Trek, which looks fantastic but plotwise seems rather dubious.  And yes, I’m a hypocrite when it came to X-Men and Lord of the Rings, but you have to remember, there weren’t ten feature films for either already in the can.  I’ll be fine, but don’t make me consider it canon.  Why couldn’t he just stick to the wack that is Fringe?

Speaking of under the bus, the sudden axing of Brooke Smith from Gray’s Anatomy, effectively trashing one of the very few queer female ships on American television, didn’t bother me too badly–you know, shit happens, and I don’t watch the show–until I read the following quote from Shonda Rhimes (who, if you’ll recall, has pissed me off before):

Brooke Smith was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian. Clearly it’s not an issue as we have a lesbian character on the show – Calliope Torres. Sara Ramirez is an incredible comedic and dramatic actress and we wanted to be able to play up her magic. Unfortunately, we did not find that the magic and chemistry with Brooke’s character would sustain in the long run. The impact of the Callie/Erica relationship will be felt and played out in a story for Callie. I believe it belittles the relationship to simply replace Erica with ‘another lesbian.’ If you’ll remember, Cristina mourned the loss of Burke for a full season.

Right, this sounds fine until you pull it apart–Callie Torres is bi, ‘replacing Erica’ is not the bleeding POINT, and what the shit is this tokenism of oh we already have a lesbian character?!  Especially in light of the fact that the queer intern is now no longer gay, effective within the same brief week timespan?  Oh, and did I mention Smith, unlike a good deal of other actresses, is not thin as a rail?  Clearly someone conservative wankbucket in the brass at ABC threw a shitfit, but even so, that doesn’t excuse Rhimes from playing the whole token queer card and ignoring any other possible issues.  You’re not gonna beat House in the ratings by being bloodless, which, I might note, is how this show’s been for a good two years.  (Much as I love Sandra Oh, she is not Hugh Laurie, and even though the Thirteen bi storyline is…twisted…House is much less of a soap and more of a very angry procedural.  Which is why I like it.)

Elsewhere, there is better commentary on the Gray’s debacle by the lovely Kaite Welsh and by Dorothy Snarker, whose blog was probably my link-find of the week.

So, who’s patronized you in the last couple weeks?



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