Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Breakup with Jen Lancaster

Here’s the thing…because of a trusted friend’s recommendation, I purchased Such A Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster. I was struggling with weight loss, and her chubby girl memoir was like a mirror’s reflection of my life, and, was maybe the funniest thing I’ve ever read. So, now I adore me some Jen Lancaster!

Down the road, I decide I must read Ms Lancaster’s previous works, so that I can fully appreciate her other books as they are released. Cut to me purchasing Bright Lights, Big Ass and Bitter Is the New Black (great titles, right?).

So, after putting off my reading for pleasure for some now totally forgotten reason, I finally pick up Bright Lights…and begin to read. Once again, I find Jen L. to be hilarious. I scream. I cry. I cough. I moisten furniture. AND THEN…

Out of the blue, like a kick in the shin or a slap in the face, she declares that she is not merely a casual watcher of Fox News, but is in fact FNC’s BIGGEST fan! She lovingly invokes Sean Hannity’s name. Really???!! How can this be? How can the new love of my life be one of THOSE people???

Now, before you judge me too harshly, I remember in the earliest days of Emperor Ron Reagan’s reign when it was super cool to be a young Repub (or so the brilliant marketing campaign would have had us believe). And, my grandmother (and her father before her) were Republicans (and quite horrified by my Chief Union Steward, workers’ rights, Democrat father).
And I remember before the Right Wing takeover of the world (you remember when Pope JPII, Ayatollah Khomeni, Maggie Thatcher, and Ronnie Reagan all swept into power, practically on the same day) when there were actually moderate (and even a few liberal) Republicans. Betty Ford was all about the ERA, and the once liberal Supreme Court was almost single handedly created by Richard Nixon. So, one might have disagreed with a few points of the “other” party, but neither party was the face of evil.

So, one might have one’s reasons for being Republican...those reasons might be valid, even excellent. But we aren’t talking sane political philosophies now…we’re talking friggin’ Fox so-called News!!! My heart breaks. My soul shrivels. Somewhere, a unicorn dies. The baby Jesus weeps.

I decide to forgive her…maybe she likes Fox the way I like vampire fiction. Maybe the gore is allegorical for her; maybe the hate and venom are comedic for her. Maybe they remind her of unfortunate, cave-dwelling relatives who still beat their food to death with clubs, and that is a way she copes with/laughs at said relatives. I read on…

A chapter or two later, she now admits to not only reading Ann Coulter (hey, reading is good; I’m not at all the censorship guy), but to LOVING her and of fantasizing about them having sleepovers together and being best pals. I vomit. I seize. The room goes white. I’m certain when I regain my composure I’ll find that I’m in a straight jacket being spoon fed jello.
I loved her! I thought Jen Lancaster was super-groovy. She’s smart. She’s witty. She doesn’t seem to be racist or homophobic. I even forgave her (about 83% anyway) for Fox.

But Fox and Coulter (and, BTW, making fun of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Ted Kennedy, AND defending George “Dubbya” Bush…the man who with Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin decided to make mediocrity, meanness, and stupidity cool???!!!!!!!) is just too darn much. I may now hate her. I certainly will hate me for once loving her. Republican? My sainted grandmother was Republican…that’s not the issue. But part of the Far Right Cult of Bile and Buffoonery, that is something else.

Meanwhile, I’ve got to finish this book (it’s a rule by which I live), AND read the other one (which, please gods, let it be as apolitical as the first one I read)…but I’m afraid there will be no new Jen Lancaster purchases. She may not be homophobic, but if she supports and endorses those who want to write homophobia into the constitution, then for my own safety, I can’t put any more of my queer money into her designer purse. I did once love her…but as it turns out, I love me more.

Still, she is very funny.

Durrell Watkins

1 comment:

Lynette said...

So how were the others? I just finished The Tao of Martha, the first JL book I've ever read. I was taken aback when she mentioned watching Bill O'Reilly, but she mentioned finding his bloviating funny. Still, combined with the chapter on prepping, it stuck with me. So after ordering a boatload of her books of Amazon (because she is hysterically funny), I googled. Thus you. And eek! Thank goodness amazon allows cancellations, because no matter how funny, this shit's real! And I don't know anyone on that tragically deluded side who embraces only its and pieces of the hate filled message. How disappointing. But thank you. Lynette