I used to be one of those ideological pseudo-purists that only engaged with media that jived with my politics—a totally sustainable way of life if you want to think about !!Important Issues!! 24/7. Don’t get me wrong: I’m still all about Racebending and #WeNeedDiverseBooks, but American popular culture sure doesn’t make the struggle easy. Before I started working full-time, I had the mental fortitude to read plot summaries and cast lists to seek out media that passed the Bechdel Test at the very least, but the pacifying ease of shitty media slowly brought me over to the
Dark Bland Side. I had so few fucks to spare after standing in a 120˚F kitchen for 10 hours, and that’s how I ended up watching The Phantom of the Opera productions every night for three months.
Of course I rationalized it, passionately defended it to friends, and parroted a line found in every think piece: “But it’s actually really smart!” I’m standing in the cold, unfeeling light of Acceptance now, but it’s been a struggle. Here’s how it went down: Continue reading