camera: Canon S120
processing: Lightroom 5
and from Bobby Jindal:
and from Sarah Palin (Thank you, Universe):
I absolutely understand the desire to make money off of either evangelical Christianity or American backwardness, which has increasingly been one of the staples of reality television. There is clearly a market for an underserved audience of religious Christians who would like to see themselves reflected in popular media more frequently. And there is clearly a market for being horrified by other people’s behavior. But it is exceptionally difficult, in a reality television context, to separate out and wall off the part of someone’s personality that is attractive and media-friendly from the parts that are less palatable to a mass audience. If you’re writing fiction for television, those attributes can get shaved off by the collective process of the writers’ room. But if you are, yourself, a reality television product, especially if you feel like you’re being suppressed or misrepresented, those parts of your personality and beliefs will inevitably out. Sometimes, the surprises are pleasant, as was the case on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, where a family offered up as backwards and repellent proved to be tolerant, loving, and charming. But that is not often the case.
For the most part, reality television producers and the networks that air their work, have decided that these outbursts are worth the risk of continuing to sell highly specific personalities, precisely because the cycle of suspension, response, and temporary profit loss are so well-established at this point that it can probably be worked into a budget. I can’t imagine anyone at A&E is surprised that someone like Phil Robertson, who bills himself as a Bible-believing evangelical, believes that you can “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” or that he would say something like “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” The question was probably when, not if.
We’ve reached a point where the monetization of controversial figure as entertainment, their inevitable line-crossing, the organizations that exists to police that line-stepping, and the outrage that accompanies networks’ moderation of their own business strategies is an institution in and of itself. The relationships between all players in the cycle are symbiotic. But the power to influence culture and determine which political ideas are mass-marketable is decidedly real.
There is clearly a market for an underserved audience of religious Christians who would like to see themselves reflected in popular media more frequently.
As naive as this sounds, I never really thought about that being the case before. So many of us in the gay community crave the same thing, as well as any other self-identified group. If all of us feel unrepresented, or poorly represented in media, then who is actually being represented?