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.