I’ve been watching The West Wing on Netflix lately. I was late to the show, didn’t start watching it until the third season. And then I ended up missing most of the last season. But I loved C.J. Cregg – my competence kink, let me show you it. I will watch anything with Allison Janney in it, anything. Now that I’m rewatching it from the beginning, I still love CJ but I find a lot of the other characters considerably less sympathetic than they were on first watch. Part of it is perspective/age and experience, and another part of it is watching several episodes at a time and seeing repetitive behavior that irritates.
How many times did Toby undermine CJ? How many times did he talk down to or underestimate women? All the damn time. The episode when Felicity Huffman’s character burns him hard? He so deserved it; he underestimated her and treated her like she was stupid. Why? Mostly because she was a woman and he seemed to feel like it was okay to condescend to her (and to blow off CJ at the same time).
Sam’s call girl friend – the president promises that she’ll get admitted to whatever bar she wants. Uh, that’s not really the way bar admissions work. Moral turpitude is often grounds to deny admission.
Anna Deavere Smith as Nancy McNally is awesome.
But do not get me started on the political appointee/operative attitude toward government employees. The contempt is not even veiled. Which I guess is only to be expected since in my experience, the contempt that rank and file government employees feel toward Congress and elected officials and their appointees is reciprocal.
Also on a fan-ish note, I’m struggling with my enjoyment of professional hockey. The NHL is problematic, as much as any other professional sports league, although they (and a lot of fans) seem to think otherwise. It’s mostly white bro-culture that’s homogenous, racist, and sexist (spare me the “hockey moms! hockey fights cancer!” PR program; try again when Ice Girls are either gone or get to wear exactly the same clothes as guys shoveling ice). It has domestic violence, assault, and substance abuse problems that the league prefers to pretend do not exist. I have always been aware of this and acknowledge that being a fan is problematic (to put it mildly). But this summer has really been awful: the
deportation voluntary departure of Slava Voynov, the settlement of a civil assault case filed by a former nanny against Mike Ribeiro, drug charges against Jared Stoll and Mike Richard, the drunk driving and leaving the scene by Ryan O’Reilly, and pending rape investigation of Patrick Kane are just the things we know about. What other stuff has been deemed small time and swept under the rug by the NHL or the teams?
The Blackhawks and Predators have been pretty tone deaf to how bad this looks to outsiders and to female fans in particular. The league’s indifference has been infuriating.
My favorite team is currently not under the microscope for similar off-ice activities; I have no illusions that it always has been so or that it will always remain so. I paid for my season mini-plan before the Kane allegations and the NHL’s most frustrating indifference surfaced. The share of ticket revenue that goes to the league is already gone and there’s no way to get it back. Only one of the games I have tickets to involves any of the teams involved above (although I also have no illusions about the possibility of equally awful but unreported behavior by players on any other teams). I’m not sure what to do. Make an equal donation to either Turn Around or House of Ruth? Sell my tickets and donate the proceeds?
I’ve got a letter half-written to the NHL (like they’ll actually read it?) but I don’t think they’ll care or change their radio silence. Why bother unless/until fans who are revolted by this actually hurt their bottom line?
Tangent: the CWHL announced a collaboration with the NWHL and NHL. I’m very curious about the timing of it, since the NHL has basically ignored women’s hockey and the CWHL for as long as it’s existed. Now it’s time to get some good lady-PR? How convenient.