Archive for The View

Battlestar Gallactica at the UN with Woopi Goldberg

Posted in People of Color, politics, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2009 by thebrooklynsocialite

A Battlestar Galactica discussion, held at the United Nations Economic and Social Council Chamber, moderated by Whoopi Goldberg? It sounds like the premise of a fevered dream or a bad trip. It may well be the first time that the UN’s diligent sign makers had to dedicate their skills to crafting signs with the names of extra-terrestrial places like “Virgon” and “Sagittarion” for the assembled delegates.  It was definitely the first time The Brooklyn Socialite made a dent in the United Nation’s amazing seafood buffet, looking out over the Hudson while chugging industrial-sized whiskeys and thinking about the strangeness of being in a building which, as the wise Whoopi G put it, “is as much an idea as a place”. Which we agree with – especially as it’s an idea that incorporates waiters in tuxes and brings together diplomats, high school students and geeks in a building decorated with tapestry portraits of Secretary Generals past and present.

A team-effort between the UN Department of Public Information and the Sci Fi Channel, the evening was less trippy and more substantial than it sounds. Tying in themes from the science fiction series with the UN’s work, actors Mary McDonnell (who plays President Laura Roslin), Edward James Olmos (the battle-scarred Admiral Adama), producers Ronald Moore and David Eick were joined on the podium by a variety of UN representatives, touching on subjects such as human rights, children in armed conflict, terrorism and religious reconciliation.

Helping the non-Sci Fi geeks in the audience, each segment was introduced by a clip from the series. It quickly became clear that Whoopi hadn’t only done her homework by watching the show, but that she’s a genuine Sci Fi fan (she admitted to using the Battlestar Galactica curse word “fraq” on The View – she works with Elizabeth Hasselbeck, so innovative, non-censored swear words are clearly called for). Deputy director of the NY office of the high commissioner for human rights Craig Mokhiber’s gave an impassioned and witty description of the continued importance of the UN declaration of Human Rights, saying that it is not a quaint idea only held by the liberal softies at the UN, but  what stands between humanity and the slippery slope of moral relativism , which de-humanizes the “other”. Ron Moore seemed to agree, though throughout the evening he hesitated to take a clear stance on any of the moral issues in the show.  Instead, he’d emphasize the complexity of the characters – answers which may have disappointed the avid fan who, delighted to have avoided paying the entrance fee for a Comic Con, wanted the definitive definition of the difference between Cylons and Humans in the show.

No fan’s passion for Battlestar Galactica could match that of Olmos, who seemed to be slipping in to his Adama character throughout the evening. His voice is pretty mesmerizing (he seemed to think so too), so he might be forgiven for some of his more extraordinary statements – at one stage he seemed to be supporting Cheney’s policies on national security, which we all know is more ridiculous than thinking you’re a commander at a floating space colony.  Though to be fair to Adama (Olmos?) he did have some interesting ideas about how fans blogging about the show had caused it to take on a life of its own, to become a cultural phenomenon intelligently addressing current affairs.

The only downer of the evening, actually, was the disinterested girl who, during Radhika Coomaraswamy’s touching presentation about children and armed conflict, sat next to The Brooklyn Socialite playing Brick Breaker on her BlackBerry. Not cool.

By Ella Fitzsimmons

Slate Honey weighs in on Prop 8 and “Transvestite” Media Bating

Posted in politics, queer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I give you Mr Honey… This is not me, Robyn, I am not a gender-queer Junkie-Ha ha, that’s my most earnest sarcastic disclaimer…now for slate:

A response to gay disclaimers:

I should make a disclaimer myself. I’m a gender-queer junkie. All things related to the gender-queer and trans community immediately grab my ears and eyes. It’s a rainy Thursday, I am grant-writing for my current film project (a film about Transy House—a house that’s been home to a self-made gender-queer family and has been open to homeless trans women for fifteen years). All of a sudden, I hear an ad for the Leonard Lopate show on WYNC, something akin to “One thing you may not know about celebrity chef Jaime Oliver… he likes transvestites.” The web page relating to the Leonard Lopate show has some questions asked of Oliver, the last of which is:

WNYC:What’s one thing you’re a fan of that people might not expect?
J.O.:I love art and graffiti, jazz music, and transvestites.

So, I go to the on-demand podcast to listen. Disappointing! The interview itself is twenty minutes of Lopate and Oliver discussing meats, vegetables and home gardening. Among the chatter about poisonous rhubarb and raising chickens, there is no sign that anyone is about to talk about anything transgender. So, why use as the draw in (on the radio ad and on the webpage) this question that was not asked in the radio interview? Is anyone going to explain what exactly that means, to be a fan of transvestites?If I were Leonard Lopate interviewing myself, Slate Honey, it would go like this:

L.L.: What’s more difficult to grapple? Hetero disclaimers that precede pro-gay rights advocacy, or using a random line about transvestites (that’s left totally unexplained) as a way to draw a listener in to an interview about poultry?
S.H.: Well, Leonard, I don’t believe it’s a contest. What isn’t problematic on the queer and trans civil rights frontier? These both reinforce an already solid conclusion I have: We better self-represent and stick up for ourselves in this world!

On that note, November 20th is Trans Remembrance Day. Something to keep in mind and heart and maybe to counter some tokenizing advertising.

-Slate Honey

And now for an extra note from me-Robyn- Gawker and The View also seem unable to stay away from this subject. Without giving too much credence to the finger pointing dehumanizing antics implicated here: A link