Queer Eye for the Sox

Caught the second run of the Sox episode of Queer Eye tonight. I sort of had perhaps unrealistic expectations that it would be a good episode, but from an entertainment perspective, it was not. First, they filmed during spring training, and as you might expect, central Florida doesn’t exactly offer the usual cultural & commercial facilities of Manhattan. So they were a bit constrained with what they could do. Second, while makeover shows tend to be thin excuses for product placement, this episode really felt like an hour long commercial for Dunkin’ Donuts, BJ’s, and more. Last, they tried to do too many of them at once, and so there wasn’t a whole lot of personality to the whole thing. So, it wasn’t great TV. Still, I think it’s a good episode as a social milestone. I have this perhaps unfounded faith that the whole Queer Eye thing, despite how problemmatic it can be, is a positive cultural force. Sure the whole enterprise is a bit cheesy and trades in stereotypes and sentimentality and promotions for Crest White Strips. But I’m a pragmatist and I believe in baby steps.

Queer Eye guys throw out the first pitchFor example. We went to the Angels/Sox game on Sunday with Nora. Three of the Queer Eye guys threw out the first pitch, and Jai sang the national anthem. Of course, I don’t like his breathy, Broadway style of singing, but when have anthems ever been sung for their artistic merit? I was a bit moved at the thought that even ten years ago, an openly gay guy singing in a major league sporting event would have been pretty much out of the question. Good for the Sox management for doing it on a Sunday day game. And good for Larry Lucchino for not buckling to those boobs on WEEI.

In a slightly related note, since there is a huge lacuna in my baseball interest, stretching from about 1986 (when the only thing going for the Pirates was the pre-steroids Barry Bonds) through 2002 (when I went to Fenway for the first time), I missed the fact that in 1997, MLB retired Jackie Robinson’s number for every major league team. Terri pointed this out to me at the park on Sunday, hence the 42 in blue rather than red. Part of me thinks it’s a terrific gesture, and another part of me thinks it just calls more attention to how long and how bitterly baseball held out against integration. Baby steps I guess. Maybe we still need the gesture now. But I still have to hope that someday people will wonder what the big deal was.

5 thoughts on “Queer Eye for the Sox”

  1. I too cheer Red Sox ownership for embracing the “Queer Eye” folks … I have similar reservations but I think this team has done wonders to move itself away from the overtly racist ownership of the Yawkey family (the sham of a tryout for Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson in 1945, Pumpsie Green finally breaking the color line 14 years after Jackie Robinson, encouraging Sox players to go to the all-white Elks club during spring training — in the 1980s! — and having one, count ‘em, one, non-white player on the 1990 team (Ellis Burks)) … You have to imagine the “curse” could have been broken if Ted Williams had Willie Mays playing next to him in the outfield. Also, I hate WEEI and the morning show with their “outrage” over the Sox and Queer Eye makes my blood boil. Yet I can’t bring myself to turn it off. Please help me.

  2. Yes, it does. Cool, huh?

    The short version is that WP’s default RSS 2.0 feed spits out posts as encoded HTML. So anything you can do in HTML gets preserved in the feed.

    The long version is that rather than using the default RSS “description” node to contain the contents of the post, it uses a “content:encoding” node. RSS 2.0 allows namespaces, so if you look up in the namespaces blurb at the top of the XML doc, the “content” namespace is defined here: http://web.resource.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/

    Basically, RSS leaves it ambiguous as to whether the contents of the “description” node is plain text or HTML. This just assumes it’s HTML and escapes it using XML’s CDATA thingy.

    If you use absolute URLs in your img tags, they’ll work, otherwise you have to be careful, and really, you’re kind of at the mercy of the newsreader to do the right thing, which isn’t really clear cut anyway. I’ve seen feeds from people who use relative URLs, and since most RSS feeds are in a different “current directory”, the images break.

  3. PS: I tend to not use Flickr’s post to blog feature, but instead go to the individual photo page, hit “all sizes”, which gives you the HTML for a link to the individual photo page wrapped around an img tag. No thought required.

  4. fwiw, a (quite tech savvy) friend of mine reports that the flickr image embed code — i’m not sure if that’s what you get with ‘post to blog’ since i haven’t sperimented w/it at all — always crashes his mozilla. i haven’t dug into that, and in fact only recently learned that firefox-killing and mozilla-killing sites don’t necessarily overlap much at all. in any case, i’m a l’il mistrustful about the recent flickr acquisition, so i’m keeping some redundancy twixt my flickr page and my journal site, which means the images i put in the journal entries are locally hosted. i just use right-click/copy link location from the photo page to make my hrefs, which is pretty low-thought.

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