It's almost Independence Day. And I won't have another column here until after it's over.
So I'm theming this one. It's because I always feel compelled to remind people that I don't hate America, since I do in fact talk a lot about moving to Spain with my husband and then train-riding it up to France whenever I feel like it for some of those amazing Nutella crepes. These days, when you don't shit all over France people think you're a socialist. I mean, I kind of am a socialist, but that doesn't mean I'm also a self-hating U.S. citizen. I just really like those Nutella crepes. And I would like mine subsidized by the state. Meanwhile, as a proud Complaining-American, I think we have a lot to be thankful for:
1. Bill Maher
As self-important as he can be sometimes, Bill is currently the man speaking for me. Here's him breaking down the Left and the Rght in American politics on his show Real Time With Bill Maher. I would comment more on this clip but it says everything I feel like saying already.
2. Lesbian disco gangs
Am I the only person paying attention to Gimme Sugar on Logo? I feel like I am. It's like the only all-lesbo program on TV right now, except for The Rachel Maddow Show, and I don't even know any lesbians who watch it. Anyway, I'll catch you up. Charlene, a club promoter and sort of like a reverse Dawn Denbo because she's nice, has left Los Angeles to go to Miami (this season the show is actually called Gimme Sugar Miami ) and straightaway moves into a crazy expensive beachfront apartment, like the kind where you expect Philip Michael Thomas to pop out from behind the fridge demanding that you listen to his solo album, and she meets a handful of chicks with rockin' bodies who decide to immediately start bossing her around and telling her not to talk to members of rival lesbian clubgoing factions. When she asks why, their response is, "WE are your girls! You talk to US!" Next week I think they jump her in.
3. Bravo's Andy Cohen
I like how unflappable he is these days, even while seeming genuinely fearful of the Real Housewives of New Jersey on their reunion special. Of course he's right to be so. Between Teresa throwing restaurant tables, Danielle's past connections to kidnappers and drug lords, and big-mama Caroline's increasingly feral ways when it comes to protecting her own. If you go look at the special, you'll be unable to shake the worry that she might devour his entire face if he mentions The Sopranos in connection with her family ever again. Meanwhile, the best thing in all of this is the network's tagline to get you to watch the second part of the reunion: "More drama, more yelling, more tears!"
What are we, somewhere between 4% and 7% of the U.S. population? I think I heard that somewhere. So what does it say about my favorite new anxiety disorder reality show, Obsessed, that they've already covered a gay germ-phobe and now a gay hoarder? Are there more gays among the anxiety community than in the general population? I suppose that makes sense, especially among the older gays who grew up all afraid of everything. Anyway, I thought they were going for a third one with the guy who pulls out his own facial hair. I just assumed he was a bear with a major case of self-hate, but he was actually a large straight guy with trichotillomania and a habit of scribbling on walls with a Sharpie. Anyway, that show is currently the most horrifying thing on TV and makes me feel way better about pretty much everything in my own life.
5. Porny wrestlers
Two straight boys from a collegiate Nebraska wrestling team decided to get some cash for showing it all off on a gay porn website. I watched the ESPN show Outside the Lines and learned that neither one of them is particularly remorseful about it. They got dumped from their team even though other jocks with actual criminal convictions got slaps on the wrist. Best quote from one of the guys: "We took some naked pictures, took some money, deal with it." And if you'd like to deal with it yourself, the pics are still up online.
I am proud to say that my pal Bobaloo is a fighting Green Tiger on this season of I Survived a Japanese Game Show, and even though he fucked up the first game by falling into the foam and dropping all the bento boxes while wearing a pink spandex bunny suit after bragging about his hand-eye coordination (always your first clue that the self-confident game show contestant is about to bite it), he remains one of the lucky ones still standing. I hope he wins the $250,000 so he can take me out to a fancy dinner. I'm also proud of how, as a fellow fat guy, he doesn't give a damn what people think about bouncing those moobs all over national TV. Go, Bobaloo!
7. Fox affiliates that, in a bid for simple gross sensationalism, inadvertently strike a blow against antigay churches
If you've seen the full-length gay exorcism video on YouTube from that church in Connecticut, then you know that it's pretty wild and that it's basically child abuse. And some people are already calling the attention being paid to it racist, since white churches often employ similar tactics and volume to harming their own gay kids, but no one seems to mind or put them on the local news. But whatever, crazy is crazy is crazy, and I do like that this local Fox station decided to cover it. The laws that protect us may lag behind, but the culture tide keeps on turning. And while you're watching, check out how that preacher has that kid bent over. Some nice gay couple needs to adopt that kid and get him away from those perverts.
8. Ads for Bruno on every show
Some gays are going to hate this movie because of blahblahstereotypesblah. Those are gays who don't understand that comedy has a moral duty to take it to the limit. And if it takes a straight man to make the loudest, funniest noise about homophobia, then let him do it. To get your undies in a bunch over it is to be Kazakhstan in late 2006. Meanwhile, bring on those talk show appearances! Bill O'Reilly first. The700 Club next. Then wherever Ann Coulter happens to be.
9. Alexis Stewart
How many times have I watched the "Washing Dishes" and "Felt Hats" episodes of Whatever, Martha! you ask? OK, you didn't ask. But several times. If you think Chelsea Handler says the edgiest stuff on TV, then you haven't heard Alexis bitch about having Martha for a mom, goof on Rosie O'Donnell, or extol the virtues of sex on the first date while dissecting the whys of a famous parent who whittles sticks for s'mores and then bundles them in grosgrain ribbon. New season starts in the fall, but first-season repeats are the TV equivalent of a freezer full of Otter Pops all summer long.
10. Awful spoiled rich kids in Manhattan
NYC Prep just started, so it's not too late to catch up on this SAT-acing, East Coast version of The Hills. Naturally, these kids have no idea how being on TV is going to fuck up their lives, but the future we all wanted is coming true, and soon everyone will be on basic cable as gently scripted versions of themselves. And I was stuck in a small town in New Mexico with a family always on the brink of actual poverty when I was 16, so for me this kind of show is fascinating, like watching insects under a magnifying glass. Coming this season? A suggestion that one of the boys is going to come out as gay and someone in the cast is going to literally die in the pursuit of social status. As my friend Xtreem Aaron (he demands to be called that when I write about him) said after the alluring "this season on NYC Prep !" clips ran, "This is going to be like a really shallow Deadliest Catch. "