Another fictional lesbian is dead and sadly, it comes as no great surprise.
Queerbaiting has become almost a norm in today’s television. It can be seen across every genre of television and happen with any kind of character.
Queerbaiting is when a television show has two characters that could possibly be in the LGBTQIA+ community and they have the potential to be together romantically. Most television shows play this for the ratings and the audience it gathers. There is a slim chance that they will get together, but the LGBTQIA+ community is so desperate for any kind of representation they are willing to root for anything.
Another way of queerbaiting an audience is to finally have said LGBTQIA+ couple get together and then immediately have one or both of them killed for no real plot reason. This might be the most brutal form of queerbaiting. The audience finally gets their LGBTQIA+ relationship and it is immediately dismissed and thrown away.
The first kind of queerbaiting can be seen in a lot of mainstream television. Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles from Rizzoli & Isles, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in Sherlock, Emma Swan and Regina Mills in Once Upon A Time, Dean and Castiel in Supernatural are all examples of this queerbaiting. They are all characters that have incredible chemistry, but never make it to coupledom. They keep the audience watching and hoping that one day they will get together.
The second form of queerbaiting is seen in many television shows as well. Lexa from The 100 is just the most recent case. She was accidentally shot and died in the episode that aired on March 3. Tara Maclay from Buffy The Vampire Slayer met the same exact fate in 2002. Naomi Campell suddenly got cancer and died on Skins. Maya St. Germain from Pretty Little Liars was bludgeoned to death. The list goes on.
Elizabeth Bridges, author of the blog The Uncanny Valley spoke about queerbaiting on March 7. She said, “Sadly, all of us queer viewers are so happy to get any kind of representation, we will watch anything with queer (or even potentially queer) characters in it, even though we know we’re going to see ourselves brutally killed onscreen sooner or later, and odds of our character ever being happy are slim to none. But we watch anyway, hoping that this time it will be different.”
Abigail Bruffy, 22, of Galloway stated her frustrations about queerbaiting with an example from Glee. “I watched the Santana/Brittany love story be treated as a joke and not taken seriously until the last minute scramble in the final season that led to them being married. Through the ups and many downs of their screen time I was left lost, uncertain if being a queer woman ever ended happily. It has been five years of me searching for that happy ending on screen and it has led me nowhere.”
Caitlin Forde, 23, of Union has also had enough of the queerbaiting. “It’s love, it’s human, boil it down to literal chemistry and biology for all I care. But queer people exist, love, and want to see that they and their experiences are valued. It’s just gross that we are still a punch line, a ratings spike, a f—— life to throw away.”
When it comes down to it, queerbaiting is basically saying that people in the LGBTQIA+ community do not get a happy ending. They are never portrayed on screen, and when they finally are, they are torn apart.
Television shows are saying that people in the LGBTQIA+ community are not worthy of representation. They do not deserve to see themselves on television shows. They are not worthy of their time, but the television shows will use them for ratings and to draw attention to their show.
It is time to end queerbaiting and have equal representation on television.
People in the LGBTQIA+ community deserve their happy ending.
You can find this published on The Montclarion’s website.
Lily Mortar is a supporting character in Lillian Hellman’s “The Children’s Hour.” While not having all too much stage time, she really is a key factor in the outcome of the play. Mortar bookends the play without having developed her character in any way. She is the same self-serving, past romanticizing, crazy aunt that was in the beginning of the play. Lily Mortar is the spark and the extinguisher of the revolution created by Mary Tilford.
Lily Mortar is described as, “A plump, florid woman of forty-five with dyed reddish hair. Her dress is too fancy for a classroom.” (Hellman 451). From these two lines alone you get the exact feeling for who Lily Mortar is. She is living in the past; she was once an actress. Mortar is trying to keep the young look alive and fresh in her. While doing this, she is acting as if she is the greatest person to ever walk the Earth. She wants to teach the girls “her” way, while they really consider it the “old” way.
Mortar also falls great victim to any type of flattery. When Mary Tilford is coming to class very late, Mortar begins to yell at her. As soon as Tilford says she was late because she was picking flowers for Mortar because, “You were telling us last week how much you liked flowers, and I thought that I would bring you some and-” (Hellman 452) Mortars demeanor changes entirely. She is now very humbled and forgiving. “That was very sweet of you, Mary; I always like thoughtfulness. But you must now allow anything to interfere with your classes. Now run along, dear, and get a vase and some water to put my flowers in.” (Hellman 452). She immediately changes her tune, and forgets about Mary’s wrongdoing.
Mortar says, “Courtesy is breeding. Breeding is an excellent thing. Always remember that.” (Hellman 452). Mortar then asks her students to write it down. They respond that they wrote it down last week. This is very interesting and ironic. Mortar says, “courtesy is breeding.” However when it comes down to it, Mortar did not give Martha and Karen the courtesy of coming to the trial on their behalf. She appears to be in such high social standing, her breeding very excellent. However, at the bitter end, she does not even appear that way.
Mortar also enjoys name dropping. She is always going on about Sir Henry. She also said, “It was I who saved Delia Lampert’s life the time she had that heart attack in Buffalo. We almost lost her that time. Poor Delia! We went over to London together. She married Robert Laffonne. Not seven months later he left her and ran away with Eve Cloun, who was playing the Infant Phenomenon in Birmingham-” (Hellman 456). Mortar feels as if she name drops all the time people will consider her to be “above” them, more talented, known, and privileged. However, her rambling on about people that no one seems to care about any more makes her look wild, foolish, and desperate.
Karen and Martha feel as if Mortar is not helping their situation any by being there. They finally have enough money that they almost aren’t in debt anymore. Martha offers her aunt the chance to go to Europe, expenses paid by her and Karen. Mortar immediately turns it around and says, “You’re trying to get rid of me. So? You’re turning me out? At my age! Nice, grateful girl you are.” (Hellman 457). Mortar is insistent about complaining about any and everything. She can’t see the good in anything thrown her way.
While Mortar and Martha are arguing, Mortar is the spark of this entire play. “Every time that man comes in this house, you have a fit. It seems like you just can’t stand the idea of them being together. God knows what you’ll do when they get married. You’re jealous of him that’s what it is.” (Hellman 457). She then goes on to say, “You’re fonder of Karen, and I know that. And it’s unnatural, just as unnatural as can be. You don’t like their being together. You were always like that even as a child, if you had a little girl friend, you always got mad when she liked anybody else. Well, you’d better get a beau of your own now- a woman of your age.” (Hellman 458). This is it. This is what Evelyn and Peggy hear from outside the door and relay to Mary. This is what gives her the idea for her revolution. Lily Mortar was the spark.
At the end of the play Mortar comes back to the destroyed remnants of Karen and Martha’s lives. She tries to pretend as if nothing happened. She pretends that everything is just as it was. When asked why she did not respond to their telegrams and why she did not come testify for them she says, “Why, Martha, I didn’t refuse to come back at all. That’s the wrong way to look at it. I was on tour; that’s a moral obligation, you know. Now don’t let’s talk about unpleasant things anymore. I’ll go up and unpack a few things; tomorrow’s plenty of time to get my trunk.” (Hellman 477). Even when trying to defend herself, she tries to act as if nothing is wrong, and the entire outcome of the trial, and their lives did not hinge on her coming home. She continues to live in her dream world.
After Martha kills herself Mortar is sad for her for only one moment. It then immediately turns back around to her. “I’ll never forgive myself for the last words I said to her. But I was good to her, Karen, and you know god will excuse me for that once. Suicide’s a sin.” (Hellman 482). She then goes on to say, “She shouldn’t have done it, she shouldn’t have done it. It was because of all this awful business. She would have got a job and started all over again- she was just worried and sick and-” (Hellman 482). Her niece has just killed herself, and she is worried if God will excuse the last thing she said to Martha. She then is very angry and resentful towards Martha for killing herself.
Mortar then almost immediately is worried about what will happen to her now that Martha is gone. She will not be getting any money from her, or a home to live in of hers or any other means of living. “What will happen to me? I haven’t anything.” (Hellman 482). She then says “I did everything I could I- I haven’t any place to go.” (Hellman 482). She believes that she did everything she could to help Martha. She does not understand why she would kill herself. Mortar also has no place to go now that her niece is gone.
Lily Mortar is the spark of the revolution. By not returning for the trial, she is also the extinguisher of Martha and Karen’s hope for justice. Mortar is a self-interested, past romanticizer, who is interested in no one but herself. She does not see the world as a whole. She is only interested in her best interests and who and what can help her achieve that. The entire play hinges on her attitude and her self-interest. She said those words to Martha in a fury, and she did not come home to testify because she was busy enjoying herself with her theatre and traveling.
Since at least the British Abolitionist Movement white men have been the main storytellers even if the story is not about them. Mary Prince’s narrative of enslavement and Nicholas Kristof’s tales of sex slave workers of today both come from the perspective of a white man. How accurate can the experiences that are individual to people of color, women, or the enslaved be if they are told through the voice of their oppressor?
Through scholarly research, other stories, and videos, it is clear that these stories are watered down to try to have a white audience begin to understand what the enslaved of every kind were and still are going through.
The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave is a verbal story from Mary Prince herself. However, Thomas Pringle, a white man, was her “editor.”
Mary Prince recalls her enslavement, “I then took courage and said that I could stand the floggings no longer; that I was weary of my life, and therefore I had run away to my mother; but mothers could only weep and mourn over their children, they could not save them from cruel masters- from the whip, the rope, and the cowskin.”
Jessica Allen suggests that Pringle did a bit more than just the normal editing. “Even though he claims in his preface that his alterations to the narrative were insignificant, he also admits to ‘exclud[ing] redundancies and gross grammatical errors.’”
How can Pringle’s alterations be “insignificant” if he excluded “redundancies and grammatical errors?” By whose authority are they redundancies or grammatical errors? Perhaps, that is the way that Prince wished her story be told. Perhaps, that is just the way that Prince told a story, and by Pringle editing out parts of it, the story lost it’s Prince touch.
Allen goes on to say, “This context suggests Pringle’s supposedly insignificant omissions might be, in fact, quite significant, because they reflect the larger cultural responses.”
“A tension, then, emerges in Pringle’s editorial decisions: although in his preface he attempts to emphasize Prince’s humanity to promote anti-slavery sentiments, his dismissal and removal of her repetition violate her subjectivity by overlooking her authorial decisions” Allen continues, “Thus, he fails to fully acknowledge the humanity that he hopes the pamphlet will affirm.”
Pringle undermines Prince by editing her words. But, there is no way to find out exactly how much he edited because there is no transcript of Prince’s story and no first draft.
In the same way that Pringle undermined Prince, today we have Nicholas Kristof undermining human trafficking stories.
This white man has almost 15 different stories published in The New York Times about human trafficking.
Having a white man be aware about human trafficking and trying to spread the word would be wonderful. However, his articles are all very short, they have little to no pictures, and if they do, it is a picture of his own face.
The stories are always about his experience dealing with the people themselves who have experienced human trafficking. He uses very little quotes from the survivors and does not really give them a voice at all.
When talking about a survivor Srey Pov, Kristof writes, “She’s a tough interview because she breaks down as she recalls her life in a Cambodian brothel, and pretty soon my eyes are welling up, too.”
That’s very sad that your eyes are welling up too, but this is supposed to be a story about Srey Pov, not Nicholas Kristof.
Kristof also offers a lot of non-solutions. He states, “I think the most important single step is for prosecutors to focus more on pimps and johns. Closing down the leading Web site used by traffickers would complicate their lives, and after so many years of girls being trafficked on this site, it’s time to hold owners accountable.”
Of course it is important to focus on pimps and johns when talking about human trafficking, but that is a very easy way out. Kristof can give more than a lame shot at a real solution rather than one that is almost a given.
Here is a short video about the human trafficking of today and a few statistics.
Teju Cole is a Nigerian-American and he had a major call out to the white savior industrial complex that is evident in Pringle and Kristof.
In a series of tweets Cole said,
“From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the US is the White Savior Industrial Complex. The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening. The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm. This world exists simply to satisfy the needs—including, importantly, the sentimental needs—of white people and Oprah. The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege. … I deeply respect American sentimentality, the way one respects a wounded hippo. You must keep an eye on it, for you know it is deadly.”
Cole goes on to say that for white people, it’s more about their own needs and validation of their emotional “healing”than anything else.
Cole explains it as the following photo, the invisible black child, and the prominent white man.
Cole has actually spoken about Kristof, he said, “He does not connect the dots or see the patterns of power behind the isolated ‘disasters.’ All he sees are hungry mouths, and he, in his own advocacy-by-journalism way, is putting food in those mouths as fast as he can. All he sees is need, and he sees no need to reason out the need for the need.”
Cole is saying that Kristof does not dig deep enough into the problems that he is facing. This is very similar to his non-solutions. He is more than willing to help fix the end result, but he does not realize that he can stop the problem from happening altogether.
If we took Kristof and put him in the shoes of a woman of color, we would get Alicia Nunn. She is just starting her journalism career at the Huffington Post, but in her most recent article, “A Salute To Warrior Women Past and Present” she really makes a splash.
Nunn talks about how survivors are strong, and that they can look up to people to help them make it through. Nunn also gives statistics about trafficking.
She said, “Sex trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise with 20.9 million adults and children bought and sold into sex slavery, forced labor and bonded labor globally. 98% of sex trafficking victims are women and girls.”
Nunn goes on to say, “Poverty and gender discrimination make women vulnerable to this horrible human rights violation. Sex slavery cannot exist in a world where women are valued as equal to men.”
This is what representation should look like. A woman of color writing about how survivors can live and giving important information to others.
You always have to question the source of where you are getting your information. How much of Mary Prince’s story was edited? How much is Kristof editing out of these human trafficking victims stories? Their white savior complex has gone too far.
As Teju Cole said, “The White Savior Industrial Complex is a valve for releasing the unbearable pressures that build in a system built on pillage.”
Lawrence “Yogi” Berra died on September 23, 2015 at age 90. He was the New York Yankee’s catcher, a manager, an All-Star for 15 consecutive seasons, and a 10 time World Series Winner.
Berra’s death was announced via the Yogi Berra Museum twitter early this morning.
President of Montclair State University Susan Cole, is quoted on the school website saying, “The Montclair State community is deeply saddened by the loss of our longtime friend, neighbor and supporter Yogi Berra. We are proud that our campus is home to the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center. It will continue to serve as a lasting memorial to the outstanding achievements and inspiring sportsmanship of this legendary athlete and compassionate citizen.”
Berra is famous for his “Yogi-isms” and his quick wit on and off the field. Perhaps some of his most famous quotes are “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” “It’s deja vu all over again,” and “You can observe a lot just by watching.”
The Yogi Berra Museum on Montclair State University’s campus is free today in honor of his memory. There were news trucks as well as students and fans at the museum in quiet remembrance.
“I’ve been a Yankee fan for as long as I can remember, since I was born, really,” said John Valikus, “We’ve been to a couple Old Timers’ Days and we’ve seen Yogi at book signings here at Montclair State, and at Costco. His grandson was actually a student of mine. So I would ask him to bring home balls and get his grandfather to sign them. It was really great. But I think Yogi’s rapid decline happened after his wife passed away. It just seems like it really broke his heart.”
Many other fans and students mourned the loss of Yankees legend at the Museum by placing flowers at his statue outside.
Number 8 will always be remembered by baseball and non-baseball fans alike. Thoughts and prayers go to his family, friends, and loved ones.
As Berra said, “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”
Tuesday night was the first Democratic Debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook. The two frontrunners for the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have not received equal media attention the day after the debate.
In polls by viewers they have Sanders winning the debate by a landslide. Slate’s poll has Sanders ahead 70% to 16%. Time’s poll has him ahead 57% to 11%. C-Span has him ahead 10,000 people to 1,200 people. MSNBC has him up 15,000 to 2,600. There is no denying how far ahead of Hillary he is with the viewers.
However, when it comes to the editors and the news articles, the exact opposite is true. Everyone says Hillary won, without question. Slate’s article is titled, “Yes, Hillary Won The Debate.” Time says “Hillary Clinton Takes Control In First Democratic Debate.” MSNBC tells, “Hillary Clinton Solidifies Top Spot In Democratic Debate.”
CNN takes the cake with more than one article on Clinton’s “win.” The “Democratic Debate Winners and Losers” by CNN journalist Jeremy Diamond has Clinton as a clear “Winner” and Sanders as “Unclear” because “[he] didn’t shock anyone.” Another article is titled “Hillary’s Big Night On The Debate Stage.” The interesting thing is that there is not a single article on anything Sanders said last night, regardless of whether he won or lost.
The Sanders supporters media blackout hits an all time high when CNN completely deletes their poll asking who won, when Sanders was ahead of Hillary 82% to 14%.
At the debate Sanders said, “I believe in a society where all people do well.” The viewers and the voters clearly had their say, and there is just one that is on top.
To see this article published, you can go to Wired Jersey’s website.
I actually never wanted to teach. It was a total accident that turned into my absolute passion in life. When I was in undergraduate I just loved ideas, I loved learning, I loved the arts. But I thought teaching was- I just thought it wasn’t for me. I was really shy, I liked being behind a closed door reading, or talking to friends. I couldn’t imagine being in front of a class. But then I just sort of happened into high school teaching and quickly found out it was the best thing I’d ever experienced, and the hardest, but I very quickly found that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So. I feel really lucky.
I didn’t have an original plan. I mean. I feel like most undergrads are like, “I don’t know! This is fun! I don’t know what comes next.” So after I graduated from undergrad I worked. I was a cheese girl. I worked in a cheese shop where I chopped these gigantic wheels of cheese into smaller slices. Worked in coffee shops, worked in bookstores. Just slacked off for a few years until I figured out what I wanted to do.
I actually like high school and college equally for very different reasons. I like the material in college. A lot. We can go deeper; we can be more “intellectual” about things. It’s more challenging. In high school though, students seem to be, for whatever reason, more funny, and irreverent, and sassier, and I love that. Students in college are so respectful and I appreciate it. But I love the smart asses, and there just aren’t very many smart asses in college.
As Told To: betwitchingbrielle
“They’re the perfect loving family so adoring, and I love them every day of every week. So my son’s a little shit, my husband’s boring, and my daughter though a genius in a freak. Still I help them love each other; father, mother, sister, brother, cheek to cheek.” These are the opening lines to the musical Next To Normal. This production’s book and lyrics are by Brian Yorkley. The music is by Tom Kitt. Next To Normal tells the story of Diane, a bipolar mother and her and her family’s struggles with everyday life. Her husband Dan has to help her drive and get through each day of therapy with the help of Doctor Madden. Her daughter Natalie is sixteen, trying to make it though day by day with her boyfriend Henry, the stoner. She is trying to get into Yale early for the piano. Diane’s son Gabriel is involved in all sorts of school things. However, he never is in the room with his sister or father, and seems to be giving Diane all sorts of wrong advice.
I saw this production while it was on Broadway a couple years ago. However, I saw it again at The 4th Wall Theatre at the Westminister Arts Center in Bloomfield very recently. The cast was made up of Nancy Feldman as Diana Goodman, Gregory Allen as Dan Goodman, David Maglione as Gabriel Goodman, Kelly Karcher as Natalie Goodman, Miles Jackson as Henry, and John Wilkening as Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden. Each actor did an absolutely superb job. This is such an emotionally heavy show. They played it just the right way and had me on the edge of my seat, even though I knew what happened. They were wonderful; I felt as if these actors really were their characters. Every time you see a production of a show you have seen before you catch different things, and maybe see things from a different perspective. I definitely had this happen with this performance in comparison to it on Broadway.
This show is about Diane, a mother who has a bipolar disorder. (Spoilers!) She believes that her son who died as an infant is still living with her, her husband, and her daughter. Natalie, sixteen, can see that something is wrong and her father Dan takes Diane to therapy to try to help. After going through many drugs to finally find the right prescription, Diane stops taking them under the guide of her dead son, Gabriel. She then attempts suicide with the help of Gabe. After this her therapist suggests electroshock therapy. After some debate she goes through with it and doesn’t remember her son Gabriel. However, she doesn’t remember anything after the night she met her husband for the first time. After she regains her memory she still feels as if she is missing something. When she finds out about Gabe she decides it’s time for her to move out and try to come to terms with things on her own. The musical ends with a song titled Light which talks about hope for a brighter future and how they are able to overcome this obstacle together as a family.
The musicality of the show is incredible. There are a lot of deliciously crunchy dissonant chords that just chill you to the bone. The overall tone of this musical is dissonant and wonderful. There are a lot of interesting keys, both major and minor. The music jumps around from being in a comfortable four, to three four, six eight, cut time, and other mixed meters. It gives the musical a completely different feel depending on the music. You can feel the uneasiness, tension, hurriedness, sadness, and loss in every single note.
The performance was wonderful. The actors were working off books and they had the entire thing memorized, blocked, and choreographed. The venue was a small little theatre. It was very intimate and felt as if you were really looking into their home and watching what was going on in their lives. The acoustics were great, and the sound system that they were using was actually working and not glitching at all. There was no repertoire from the American Popular Songbook, only what was written by Brian Yorkley and Tom Kitt.