Friday, July 23, 2010
TWO DAYS. Also, I contemplate the donation thing, uncomfortably.
I love Mad Men. I love it for what it says about race, class, gender, sexuality; I love it for its slick, controlled beauty that hides the chaos and dark tragedy underneath; I love it for its messy characters, never easy, making me love them and then hate them and then love them again in the span of one episode. I love how sorry I feel for Betty as a fellow lady, stuck more than I will ever be in a role which bores and angers her; but then I hate her for her privilege and entitlement, which makes her mean and small and ungenerous. I love Peggy and Joan as my feminist fore-mothers, although they may not have called it themselves that, for they were the ones who hit those glass ceilings and pushed and pushed and knew that they were better than what they were told they could be, that the system was unfair and gamed against them, and they refused to give in, even if the ways in which they fight back are so different. And I can't help but love Don Draper, despite the fact he is a terrible human being sometimes, because he was such an underdog once, and a wounded human being, and we are all that wounded, desperate human being, too.
I said that I would start blogging about each episode of Mad Men, and give people a feminist space to discuss the show here. I also don't have a TV, and buying the season on itunes is $30. Which: I will just scrape by paying rent for this month. I don't have that $30 (by the way, I have definitely contemplated going to friends homes to watch episodes, but I know I am going to sometimes need to watch an episode at least twice or rewatch certain parts (I have the world's worst memory for moving pictures, you wouldn't believe) or even not go all the way across the city to get to a friend's TV for a show that starts at 10pm Sunday night before I can post, which is why I sort of need the itunes subscription). And I am torn about if I should ask for help from readers here, if they can, so that I can pay for the season and blog about it and we can all talk about it. I am conflicted because there are other causes and people that need more money than me, and this is essentially a gift, a pleasure, for me, to watch Mad Men and write about it, and NOT a necessity, and people should reserve money for those who really have needs; because I have hardly been around long enough as a blog with a solid readership and enough product let ALONE good enough product for me to feel justified in asking for any money; and also, because I struggle with the honest truth that I just don't value my writing, or my time, very much, and I don't think other people should give money towards something that is not worthy of being supported yet. This is more a personal thing, this last one; I could write sentences like Don motherfucking DeLillo and I would still think my writing was not valuable because, well, those are the (especially lady) demons I deal with.
I change my mind by the hour, whether I want to ask for donations for this, or not. I tell myself that it would be a feminist act for me to value my labor and time, and I should ask for donations; then I tell myself it would be a feminist act for everyone to go give their dollars instead to Planned Parenthood, who is doing infinitely better feminist things than I am watching Mad Men and dishing about what Joan was wearing (I promise I won't only dish about what Joan was wearing when I blog about episodes, but come on, how can one NOT at least mention what Joan is wearing?). I wonder if I will write better blog posts because we have all made them possible and I am contributing to this very amazing little community with each post, or if it will just be harder to write blog posts, feeling it is a job now, a thing of obligations, not merely a pleasurable endeavor.
So. I am totally unsure of how I feel about a donate button. I guess if I am going to put a donate button here, I would say: if you are thinking about giving me money, cut it in half, and give the other half to a good cause. Or, just give all of it to a good cause. Or maybe you are super broke right now like me and you need to keep your buck to buy food, which: I HEAR YOU. Also, I don't know how to shut this thing off after I get to $30, if I get there? I guess I will just post STOP. If I get more than $30 (well, technically, $29.99 - and don't you hate when things are priced like that? WE ARE NOT CHILDREN, businesses, we know that's $30 really) I will donate the rest to charity, and feel free to suggest somewhere you think the money should go. Otherwise, I will give it to Planned Parenthood or Medecins Sans Frontieres or the DC Rape Crisis Center or something.
Ok, I can't tell if this is making me a terrible person or not, but here it is:
Oh, god, that is freaking me out. Ok. Breathe, Gayle. ALSO. If you do give me any money (and please don't feel the need to give me like more than a buck, because if everyone just gave me a buck, that would be PLENTY) and some of my personal information pops up, can you let me know? Because I will whisk that damn button down sooner than you can say, "But maybe I also want to donate?" I would, as mentioned before here, really, really not like certain people to find me (meaning my rapist, who has certainly tried, but especially now that I have, uh, trashed specific people (like professors) and my job before on this site? Also those folks). And my safety is way more important than Mad Men, obviously.
And finally: thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, whether you can donate or not, whether you care about Mad Men or not, whether you think I am out of line asking for money for this or not. If anything, this is an exercise in me attempting to value my own time and effort. And in that vein: I am practicing this.
Posted by Gayle Force at 4:24 PM