I Don’t Care About The Future

I’m not a big ‘advance planner.’ I make ‘game-time decisions.’ Every day something unexpected happens and I’ve made peace, relatively, with having no control over my own life anymore. Cosmo always told me to face a new challenge every day, so.

However, amid the daily barrage of panic-inducing real-life invitations for actual scheduled activities or human interactions, my news sources and email inbox ask me to care, repeatedly, about mildly interesting things which I either a) have no personal investment in, b) have no control over or c) am interested in, but really, why bother caring right now, it either c1) might not happen or c2) is happening in the far, far, faraway future. Furthermore I must then pass this information onto you, or else I am NOT DOING MY JOB.

Is it my Bat Mitzvah? Is it my best friend’s wedding? Is it Ani DiFranco playing at the Greek Theater in Berkeley? Is it the premiere of Season Seven of The L Word? No? Okay, then I don’t care. IDC, for short. I’m busy.

I endeavor to suggest the following: ignoring this bullshit is the best possible way I can do my job. This is how we make Autostraddle what it is.

It’s a 24/7 news cycle and, no longer constrained by the cost of printing actual pages to contain their drivel, news outlets can churn out as much fucking content as they want. And for chrissake we need some higher standards for what defines a “story,” people!

Just yesterday I was forced to consider the following items as potentially “newsworthy” stories to share with you, my dear readers:

News: Ginger Spice might be planning to launch Spice Girls 2.0, maybe.
When I’ll Care: When Spice Girls 2.0 enter the recording studio.

News: Jane Lynch is hosting Saturday Night Live on October 9th.
When I’ll Care: October 9th around 11:15 pm, if I happen to be home and am considering watching Saturday Night Live.

News: Relatively unknown actress Sofia Black D’Elia will be playing “Tea” in Skins USA, debuting 2011.
When I’ll Care: This is a tricky one. Though I do care now (we did report on it, after all), it’s almost a painful kind of caring, because 2011 is so far away. I’d rather not think about it until right before it happens — anticipation makes me insane.

News: Lady Gaga maybe wants to make a movie, according to “A SOURCE” who says “Gaga is a real creative genius and is thinking about new possibilities all the time.” “Reports” state that “Gaga’s movie will be a cross between Michael Jackson’s film Moonwalker, which tied together the music videos for his Bad album, and the Oscar-winning flick Dreamgirls which starred Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson. Director Bryan Singer, best known for his work on the X-Men films, is said to be interested in the project.”
When I’ll Care: When Lady Gaga herself makes concrete plans to make an actual movie and openly declares said plans, gets a script, finds a producer, begins filming – any of those things.

News: Hillary Duff is probably coming to the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards.
When I’ll Care: Never.

News: Lady Gaga is working on a third studio album and INFORMATION — not the actual songs themselves — about the (probable) release date has been leaked.
When I’ll Care: When Lady Gaga‘s third studio album is available for pre-order.

News: Lucy Lawless will return for season two of Spartacus, which begins filming in November.
When I’ll Care: If I Cared About Spartacus, Which I Don’t: On the NOT-YET-ANNOUNCED air date.

News: Kanye West‘s new album will come out some time in November.
When I’ll Care: November.

News: Pussycat Doll “Nicole Scherzinger” is set to join the judging team of a show called X Factor, which I think is a British show.
When I’ll Care: Never.

News: Girls Aloud member Sarah Harding might be starring in an X-Men film.
When I’ll Care if I Cared About this Person: If Sarah Harding, whoever she is, actually secured the role, my interest would peak at the moment Harding is cast and then wane until the film’s release date, at which point I might remember caring once, back before I got dentures, fell down a well, broke my legs, and stopped caring. Like that time I was sure I had AIDS and then Al Qaeda flew a plane into the World Trade Center and I never called for my results. Don’t worry I got tested again, I’m not HIV-positive, this isn’t RENT or Degrassi or anything.

The X-Men story is actually where I’ll stop, because it exemplifies everything I’m complaining about. Who cares? Who are these people? Moreover, if they haven’t finished casting the X-Men film, then it’s certainly not coming out any time soon, which means I don’t care, I’ll probably be living in a castle by then, far away from the village square/movie theater. AND! AND! If I did care, I’d find this news where it belongs: on i09 or a movie fansite, not as its own actual news story in a general interest newspaper.

Here’s the story, I’ve highlighted the most problematic sections:

Sarah to star in X-Men film? Nicola signs solo deal?

Hollywood could be getting a sexy new action-hero in the shape of Girls Aloud beauty Sarah Harding.

Word reaches me that Sarah has been for two auditions for the next X-Men film and is waiting to hear if she has bagged the role as a femme fatale baddie.

Yep, you heard me right. Sarah could be heading over to LA to star in a film that will no doubt propel her to international stardom.

My source reveals: “The makers of the films like her attitude and think she could be a great addition to the cast.

“They were very impressed with her in the second St Trinians movie and are testing her out to see if she can make the grade for an action flick like X-Men.

“Everybody’s keeping their fingers crossed she gets it.”

If Sarah were to clinch the role on X-Men: First Class she would be working alongside a more than impressive British line-up.


Furthermore, almost every day I’ll find stories written on topics that would generally interest my readers, like Glee or Lady Gaga, except that it’s NOT news and I’m NOT INTERESTED. These stories generally fall into the following five categories:

1. Straight/”Not-Out Woman Gay Girls Like” such as Tina Fey/Jennifer Beals/Eliza Dushku/Kristen Stewart might be writing/auditioning for a role in/thinking about/had a sex dream about a movie that might get made, maybe. (“A source reports.”)

2. [x random celebrity] would like to record with Lady Gaga, announced on twitter.

3. [x random actor/celeb/singer] would like to be in an episode of GLEE.

4. [x group] is going to do a study on [GLBTQ minority]. (When I’ll care? WHEN YOU HAVE THE RESULTS, JACKASSES)

5. [x performer] has released [x item which is not an actual album/film, such as “stills” or “album art” or an announced intent to duet with Drake]. This didn’t happen before the internet, you guys. We’re making mountains out of 1200-pixel molehills because a publicity machine wants us to, not because it actually really matters or is legitimately important. I think this technique will fade, because outside of the fansites on which said info belongs, most people will feel overkilled by Christina Aguilera‘s new album before it actually comes out.

Occasionally, news-in-advance does pique my interest. For example, I do care that Steve Carell is not returning to The Office, because it’s the only sitcom I like and without him I imagine it’ll get canceled. I care about Kate Moennig’s acting plans because she’s my girlfriend and we share custody of our twin dachshunds.

My antipathy for premature anticipation might be a personal issue; perhaps, due to an artist’s lifetime of dashed hopes, empty promises and shattered dreams, I’ve stopped letting myself feel excitement until the moment anticipated events are actually happening. Anticipation feels dangerous — it’s risky, like gambling.  And when I hear about an upcoming film I’d like to see, my initial sense of eager anticipation is quickly destroyed by a Dark Knight of Prognosticated Remorse/Self-Loathing that scowls, “there’s no f*cking way you’re gonna see this movie in the theaters, because you see like two movies a year, do not even front.”

“I’d love to live in a world where the possibility of a lesbian hug on an obscure daytime soap between a tertiary character and a one-episode guest star is drowned out by important lezzie, women-centric, feminist, gay, educational news happening that we wouldn’t even have TIME to get to that shit.”

You see, due to the relentless unpredictability inherent in operating a start-up business, my Denial of the Future Problem has spiraled out of control and I’ve mindlessly continued reporting “news” that I imagine you appreciate, even if I find it dull.  My friends hate my Future Problem. I hold off on committing to tickets of any kind (show/plane/concert/etc) until the last possible moment. I ignore Facebook event invitations, because let’s be real, isn’t EVERYTHING a “maybe”? I’m constantly reminding myself (in order to justify my piss-poor financial planning skills) that I could get hit by a bus OR convince Nikki Weiss to invest in Autostraddle tomorrow, and therefore it’s best to wait on those diverse outcomes to play out before I start caring who might play SXSW next year or talk about Managing Editor Sarah’s impending matriculation at Law School or commit to attending so-and-so’s comedy show on Friday.

I don’t even buy groceries anymore. I guess if I can’t be bothered to think about tomorrow’s coffee, how the hell am I supposed to spring into action when Miley Cyrus tweets her desire to work with Lady Gaga? I want to work with Lady Gaga, doesn’t everyone? I also would like to make a movie in the spirit of Michael Jackson‘s Moonwalker, I’m sure Britney Spears would also appreciate that opportunity. I mean, wouldn’t that solve all of these problems? Maybe we could also be in an episode of GLEE!

But you know what? Caring about all these abstract possibilities in a world that presents, repeatedly, SO MANY opportunities for actualities, makes me feel fucking pathetic. I’d love to live in a world where the possibility of a lesbian hug on an obscure daytime soap between a tertiary character and a one-episode guest star is drowned out by important lezzie, women-centric, feminist, gay, educational news happening that we wouldn’t even have TIME to get to that shit.

We deserve bigger stories.

[Or, at least, inventive/unique/special angles on smaller stories.]

So basically, we’re going to stop scrambling to cover every minute detail of gay-related entertainment “news” the minute it happens and instead devote more time and energy to writing about topics we actually feel invested in. We started doing this about six weeks ago following a long meeting (spurred by my panic over recapping The Real L Word/missing Queen Latifah saying something kinda gay at the BET Awards) in anticipation of a redesign Alex finished in June (which Tess is currently coding, launch date TBA), but we never really announced it. So consider this our announcement. This website is about your hearts. We want every post to be something you can’t read anywhere else, to excite and engage and change everyone who participates in this conversation.

We’ll still be on it if Spice Girls 2.0 ever do pull themselves together, but if you really want to know about how the second bisexual extra in the third scene of Law & Order this week was on an Olivia cruise and said something into a microphone, you might read it first elsewhere. We’ve got cookies to eat, shark attacks to avoid, and propositions to overturn. This is Autostraddle, g-ddammit.


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Profile gravatar of Riese

Riese is the 35-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City and mellowed out in California before returning to Michigan for reasons that are unclear to her now. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2359 articles for us.

95 Comments

  1. 0

    thank you! I appreciate your efforts to relay everything in an amusing way but it was a little much.

    Except if you continue updating on Janelle Monae, ya know, that’d, well, that’d be okay with me.

  2. 0

    Keep doing whatever you’re doing the way you want to do it, because I’m loving it.

    And fyi, Riese, I kinda want to give you a hug. Because you’re so genuine and awesome.

  3. 0

    – This is why I read & love Autostraddle.

    p.s, I feel you need a hug too, someone hug this girl right now.

  4. 0

    I agree, there’s no point in emulating news agencies. I see this place as a laboratory of original thoughts and feelings that the standards by which news agencies operate can’t make room for.

    Just be your gorgeous selves and let your gorgeous brains do all the work!

  5. 0

    Riese you remind me of Charlie Brooker, minus the mock masturbation obv. (everyone should watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cT0TSp9Mm0 watch the whole thing but from about 6 minutes on is actually making a point relevant to your article about anonymous sources).

    I would hope that the 21st century, bringing with it the internet and 24 hour news and constant communication would illuminate us to the enormity of the world and the people living in it, rather than just showing us how fucking petty people can be.
    There is a civil war in Sierra Leone that has been ingoing since 1991, and more than 50,000 people are known to have been killed. The only thing anyone in the media has to say about it is that dictator Charles Taylor gave supermodel Naomi Campbell blood diamonds.
    I don’t care about celebrity rehab and paparazzi crotch shots, there is life and death and war and life going on out there.

  6. 0

    You know what this is? This is Let Barlet Be Bartlet.

    I have the same feelings about this as I did about that, namely, ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥. Hold me.

    • 0

      …and we’re gonna lose some of these battles…but we’re not gonna be threatened by issues. We’re gonna put them front and centre. We’re gonna raise the level of public debate in
      this country, and let that be our legacy. – Leo.

      Yes. – Me.

  7. 0

    “And for chrissake we need some higher standards for what defines a “story,” people!”

    This should be put on billboards around the world and across the internet.

    I’m not religious, but I’ll give you an “AMEN!”

  8. 0

    One of the many reasons I like Autostraddle is that it’s more like a journal, with columnists, than a news service with real-time news and updates. It is, and IMHO should increasingly be, a space where important news is analyzed and processed, and I read it because I like the style with which news are written about and discussed, not because it tells me something I can read in real time on my twitter feed.

  9. 0

    But what if “maybe” is the world you prefer existing in? The world of possibilities will always be grander then what is, here, now. I agree that these insignificant, inaccurate details of televised future should be left for internet scavenge hunters, but don’t discard the future. By living in the future, you make it a part of your present, your past, before it gets the chance to not happen.

    • 0

      yes you’re right! thank you, you just gave me a thought which gave me another thought which gave me the sub-thesis that this post is missing: i think maybe the “maybe” and the “world of possibilities” inherent in my actual life/work/website is all the “maybe” and possibility a person can possibly handle.

      • 0

        Maybe my love for the possible future can only exist because my present is stable. I never have to deal with what doesn’t happen, only the maybes which still have the theoretical possibility of occurring.

  10. 0

    Riese,

    I love it. I agree. It should be about the present. This is why my focus on Amber and Tasye, the Pretty Little Liars finale and why everyone gets some sexy time on True Blood except the Queen and Hadley.

  11. 0

    Autostraddle can do no wrong. Full support for this refocus since it is a much better usage of your talents and efforts. Be yourself, AS, we like you that way.

  12. 0

    Everyone that works on AS are ledgends! I think iv been Reading various articles, updates links randomshittogasp/cry/cringe/laugh at for nearly a year and ther has never been a day when iv thot wow this site is crap, never, NEVERrrrrr!!! 🙂 you’ve opened my eyes to what queer culture really is (mostly that it’s ok to say queer outloud in a positve way lol), challenged my mind which articulate arguments and opinions that I never knew existed, got me hot n bothered with all those unobtainable suicide girls I didn’t know existed either AND made me giggle on numerous occasions. You didn’t need to change but if guys thinku can improve on what you’re doin already I cnt wait to read/click/watch it !

    AS – ur my portal to queer life, u reduce th risk of me bein caught lookin at homo-esk things as iv only one site to delete in my browser history! Lol and for that in itself I thank u! Lol

  13. 0

    Oh Riese. <3

    "This website is about your hearts. We want every post to be something you can’t read anywhere else, to excite and engage and change everyone who participates in this conversation."

    That's why I love Autostraddle so much. It's so much more special than anything else. It is more than a website, a news center, whatever you want to call it.. it's like a family. It's a place to feel at home and welcomed and comfortable and loved.

    At least, that's what Autostraddle means to me. Although, I dare say, I doubt I'm the only one.

  14. 0

    Yess do it. When you are writing about stuff you give a shit about it shows. It depresses me when you have to cover boring celebrity news.

  15. 0

    I’m all for it! You’re totally awesome Riese and whatever you decide to make out of Autostraddle I stay behind you a 100%.I learned more from Autostraddle than I did from any other Website.

  16. 0

    I think what makes AS interesting is the fact that it’s so rooted in reality. There’s no pretentiousness! As much as I love other queer women sites, I end up getting bored because everyone’s so filled with LOFTY GOALS. And reporting on ANYTHING THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN. And yeah, goals are great, but I really don’t need all the what-if’s all the time.

    And besides, Spice Girls is only relevant to my interests if one of them (Esp. Geri Halliwell) comes out and then I’m sure you’re all over that. So it’s all good.

  17. 0

    All of the above! Autostraddle has always felt like one big family since the day I started reading and I’ve always appreciated the clever topics and opinions. Each article is flavored with a life of its own, knows how to be serious or slap-happy depending on the mood and there isn’t a day that I don’t get giddy about checking the website. Even if it’s just a cat in a graduation cap staring back at me. Hell, then I KNOW something good is waiting for me on the other side of that click!

  18. 0

    Neil Postman would probably have loved you for this. It’s like we’re inventing news to fill the ENDLESS INTERNET VOID. I spent the past school year with HOW WILL WE SAVE JOURNALISM??? being hammered into my head. And the answer was always something like, “Be first! File quick! Faster! Faster! Faster, bitches! Internet! Twitter! Facebook! Social Media! WEB 2.0! MORE PICTURES, FEWER WORDS.” And I kind of threw up in my mouth every time.

    You know what’s going to save journalism, in whatever form it takes? Better writing and better thinking. There will ALWAYS be people passing on little tidbits of information that most people will not give a shit about twenty-four hours later. The LAST thing the internet needs is to pass on information that has no real meaning in the first place.

    Enough props to fill a theatre.

    • 0

      You know what’s gonna save journalism, in whatever form it takes? Better writing and better thinking.

      YES GIRL

  19. 0

    thanks for caring about our young queer minds 🙂 and for giving me the courage to admit out loud that i’m a feminist. I LOVE YOU GUYS

  20. 0

    I don’t have anything to say really except that I have a lot of appreciation in me for this, and for AS and for Marty McFly and Doc Brown.

  21. 0

    Beat them at their game, Riese, and come up with some possible futures of your own. Speculation. We can all bet on them if you like. Then see how clarivoyant you are.

  22. 0

    Dear Autostraddle,
    I’ve loved you since the minute I met you when you still had that cute little pencil graphic and I used to wait for your daily fixes in my RSS feed. You’ve changed overtime, but never to my disappointment, and I trust you to continue providing for me what I need. If I could marry a website, which is inevitably where this country is going once we move on from gays and ducks, I would deeply consider you. And if you do break my heart, which probs won’t happen, it’s ok because the internet is made of kittens.

  23. 0

    this is amazing and reason numero uno of my 8379324722 reasons to love autostraddle for ever.
    and, a sincere THANK YOU for the effort you guys, you need to know how much we appreciate it.
    and it makes me sad when riese says that she doesn’t buy buy groceries anymore and i just want to feed all of you and keep you warm at night and buy you stuff and ponies and hug everyone here.
    bye.

  24. 0

    thank you so much for this, riese!

    i’mma go tell everyone about this now, because PEOPLE ARE SENDING ME FACEBOOK EVENT INVITATIONS TO MY EXAMINATION RESULT. LIKE OF COURSE I’LL BE THERE YOU IMBECILES, NO NEED TO MAKE AN EVENT OUT OF IT. WTF [/pent up anger]

  25. 0

    Love it. This is how you participate in the making of culture, with original content baby! I tend to dislike people who can just give you data and not information. Autostraddle is the opposite of that.

  26. 0

    i care a whole heap about the future. i think good things are coming and i like to imagine all the possibilities it might bring.

    However, i don’t care at all about any of the possible ‘news’ items you mention and love this post ALOT. Things like “This website is about your hearts” is exactly why i think the future is bright.

  27. 0

    I like this a lot a lot.
    But I do care about the future. Too much, probably. Which is why I avoid and no longer mind when my phone accidentally turns off.

  28. 0

    dear riese,

    you are amazing. we all want to hug you.

    i have been reading your words and then AS’ since forever (def many years in total) and i want to say thank you. thank you for always keeping AS so close to your chest and for creating this fabulous little hub in the infinite abyss, that is the internets, full of kittens and hope and love and words re: girl-on-girl culture. you are the wind beneath our collective wings.

    xoxo,
    elida

  29. 0

    Wonderful mission statement as always. I love that Autostraddle is most of the time home to the most engaging, nuanced, quirky actual NEWS that I read on any given day. I love that Autostraddle reports on news/events, goes on to dissect and discuss and critique said news/events in an informed and often hilarious way, and then provides a means for anyone to do the same thing. It is the reading we deserve, ya know? This website is about our hearts! Thank you Riese! Thank you AS!

  30. 0

    This makes me really, really excited. Like really. Like you don’t know how excited I am. This makes me wanna go out and change the world today. Awesome.

  31. 0

    Reise et al…
    This post is like a vodka tonic on a hot day, refreshing. Thank you for acknowledging that I have some degree of intelligence… how ever small it may be.

    But really, you should put the donation link up- this makes me want to give ya’ll money

  32. 0

    I have a scrap of paper in my nightstand drawer that says “The future is romantic.”

    But I also have a roll of toilet paper in there because I keep forgetting to buy another box of tissues, so what do I know?

    • 0

      OMG I have a box of tissues in my toilet because I keep forgetting to buy loo roll. This makes me think that maybe you are the matter to my antimatter, and if we get too close the universe will implode.

      • 0

        1) “Loo roll” is adorable.
        2) I’ve been told that my vagina is a black hole, so perhaps I am the antimatter to your matter.
        2a) That makes me think of spaghettification. Which is silly/terrifying concept.

  33. 0

    I will be a fan, a supporter, and a commenter for Autostraddle from 1.0 to 2.0 to infinity and beyond. This piece is one of the many reasons why I continue to check in daily with the poeple, production, and success of this awesome website 🙂

  34. 0

    PREACH IT!!! But really though, I was thinking about this the other day, FUCKIN useless publicized gossip!!!

  35. 0

    Aye!

    ditto “I hold off on committing to tickets of any kind (show/plane/concert/etc) until the last possible moment. ”

    when i say grocery, i mean OJ

    XO Riese

  36. 0

    This article was linked to in todays Pop Culture fix and I just wanted to say that this kind of maybe is happening now (five years after you wrote it):

    I’d love to live in a world where the possibility of a lesbian hug on an obscure daytime soap between a tertiary character and a one-episode guest star is drowned out by important lezzie, women-centric, feminist, gay, educational news happening that we wouldn’t even have TIME to get to that shit.

Comments are closed.