Monthly Archives: July 2009

Buddy, can you spare my peace of mind?

Subway station performers are pretty standard, of course, and anyone who has ever lived in a place that has subway trains has seen these urban entertainers playing guitar or trumpet, their instrument cases by their sides open for donations. But in New York, the performers do not limit themselves to an audience of hurried commuters rushing past in pursuit of the next train. Rather, they have decided in favor of a truly captive audience: the commuters already on the train. Continue reading

Posted in Alternate Realities | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dated: What Self-help Dating Books Really Tell Us about Ourselves

Gawker recently featured a post from Latoya Peterson on “self-help” dating books for women. Peterson’s article, “Dating Guides Are Hell: When Women Are the Problem”, is an amusing critique of the dating advice industry–an array of books whose messages seem more inclined toward self-destruction than self-help. Still, what’s particularly interesting about the genre is how predominantly hetero the selections still are. One would think that if anyone needed dating advice, it would be the non-hetero crowd; after all, those of us who are heterosexual have had relationship models all around us–on television, in school, in our families and our friends’ families; we should be able to navigate dating without a legion of literature to explain to us how it’s. Gays and lesbians, on the other hand, have often grown up in surroundings lacking in couples whom they could model themselves after. I remember David Sedaris writing that, as he struggled through his confusing adolescence, his mother liked to say, “Oh, you kids think you invented sex,” a remark that made Sedaris think, “But hadn’t we?” In his world, where everyone around him seemed to be hetero, what would it mean if he wanted to be with another man? Continue reading

Posted in Alternate Realities | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment