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Mar 11 2006

Homework

Who’s up for some blaming homework? Much as it pains me, my blaming duties require that I watch that new HBO show that glamorizes polygamy, Big Love. So I’m inviting y’all to the screening so we can do a radfem group evisceration on, say, Tuesday. Don’t make me do this alone! It airs tomorrow (Sunday) at 9 PM central.

Not to color your prejudices and preconceptions, but the Tapestry group I was telling you about a couple of weeks ago, the one made up of plural marriage escapees, says, and I believe them, that the reality of LDS polygamy is pretty much about teen sex slaves, rape, money, trafficking, power, and general degradation of women, and that mainstream Mormons, in the privacy of their secret evil god-caves, aren’t nearly as opposed to the practice as they appear.

My own recent polygamy post is here.

43 comments

  1. MzNicky

    Twisty: I’ll be watching, and taking notes, for Monday morning blaming.

  2. Pony

    I’ll be the control group. No tv.

  3. Hattie

    I don’t have cable. Try not to hate me.

  4. Cass

    I’d also like to add, in as smug a manner as possible, that I don’t have cable either. (And I don’t watch anything on the free channels outside of ‘Seinfeld’!!)

  5. schatze

    Homework? Oh man—-do I hafta? I think the dog might eat this homework.

  6. Jezebella

    If I had HBO, I’d take one for the team and suffer through Big Patriarchal Love, but I do not.

    They sure are getting a lot of press – NPR was all over it yesterday afternoon, watching a preview with Centennial City polygamists, who don’t want to be confused with those icky child-fucking polygamists a few miles up the road, and also, you know, “it’s not about sex,” blah blah blah. I mean, did NPR have prisoners reviewing “Oz”? Did they have mobsters watching the Sopranos? What I kept wondering was this: If they justify polygamy because it’s biblical, can they also justify slavery? I’m almost afraid to find out the answer.

    Ugh.

    Twisty: thanks for doing the dirty work for us.

  7. Kat

    No television here either.

  8. Twisty

    No TV! Thanks for nuthin, Luddites!

  9. wordgirl

    The whole concept of Mormonism is one I’ve read a lot about and is fascinating/horrific. I’ll be watching.

  10. Pony

    “No TV! Thanks for nuthin, Luddites!

    And why else did you think I have time to be here 24/7? Seriously, you’re funny, educational, informative, a drop-dead brilliant writer, and sexy (this from a het). Not to mention, no commercials.

    Why go anywhere else?

  11. Cass

    “No TV! Thanks for nuthin, Luddites!”

    I’m sure everyone here is very grateful, love, for the sacrifice you’re making. If it gets too painful, just close your eyes and imagine you’re in chemotherapy…

  12. aldahlia

    Oh, I am so already there.

    http://www.aldahlia.net/article/34/big-love

  13. Amanda Marcotte

    I don’t have a TV, but that’s not due to being a Luddite. It’s due to spending all my time online and figuring that I might as well not waste the money.

  14. thebewilderness

    Jezebella: Indeed they can and do. It’s all in the ‘sin nature’ cop out. Instead of focusing on the free will responsibility to consider the consequences of your actions, it’s all about how the devil made ‘em do it. Most recently framed by CNN, arson in the form of firebombing churches has become “a prank that spun out of control”. If you can justify torture you can justify anything. I blame the patriarchy.

  15. Kat

    Hey! I am not a luddite. I’m avoiding televised patriarchal propaganda and commercials. It’s a mental health choice.

  16. ascendingnode

    I’ll be watching and blaming right along with ya, Twisty! Well, actually, probably a couple hours before you, as I’m on the east coast.

  17. Sara

    Sorry, kids. I am HBO-free and loving it.

    Besides, I’ll be working. I get paid time-and-a-half to work on Sundays, even though I’m not now nor have I ever been a Christian. It almost makes up for that whole Inquisition thing.

    Meanwhile, I blame the patriarchy for my lack of a supporting trust fund. Hmm…maybe I can get knocked up instead.

  18. Keeshond

    Ew. Ew. A thousand times ew. I heard this total whitewash on polygamy on NPR this afternoon, and it was so insulting I changed the station. The argument was how polygamy was actually a great arrangement for women, and that the women who end up married to these turds aren’t uneducated teenagers, are not coerced into staying against their wills, and stay in the situation because they’re delighted with all the benefits accrued to them by the whole arrangement.

  19. Grace

    Proud Luddite here. Though actually, this year, for the first time in my life, I wish I had a TV with zillions of channels. This is because I’m in Germany and watching German TV would help me to actually learn German. At home, I have a 13″ that gets 1 1/2 channels and I watch videos on it maybe three times a year.

  20. Sophist

    Meanwhile, I blame the patriarchy for my lack of a supporting trust fund. Hmm…maybe I can get knocked up instead.

    Nah. Child support payments a good start, but the real money is in welfare queening. I hear they eat lobster and caviar every day, and wipe their asses with scarves of the finest silk. All whilst laughing maniacally about all the honest, dedicated American workers they’re screwing over. It truly is la dolce vita.

  21. Pterodactyl Woman

    As up for radfem evisceration as I am, unfortunately I do not receive HBO in the UK.

    I’m perfectly willing for radfem evisceration of something else, though.

  22. hedonistic

    Another HBO-free woman checking in. I did get cable last week, though, because I wanted to see Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show . . .

    Word is the life of this “nice” polygamous family – - with the beautiful, free-choosing of-age-wives in their free standing homes (as if that ever happens in real life?) are juxtaposed with the creepy, compound lifestyles of those “other” polygamous couples. I wonder how that will play. Oh well, I’ll have to hear it from the rest of y’all because I’m not watching. The whole thing skeeves me.

  23. Vibrating Liz

    Oops, another useless cable-free Luddite here! It’s amazing how many of us there are. Maybe we should start a motorcycle gang or a roller derby team or something: Hell’s Luddites. I actually know how to hack into cable, but since I don’t have a tv (I shot it halfway through The Stepford Wives), it’s yet another moot talent on my resume. So y’all will just have to go forth and shoulder this one without me. Sounds like some of twisty’s anti-nausea supplements might come in handy.

  24. Frumious B

    I’m another useless Luddite, but I deigned to read the Slate article (http://www.slate.com/id/2137855/nav/tap1/) which condemns the show for all the wrong reasons.

    Just out of curiosity, exactly which family structure *isn’t* a tool of the patriarchy?

  25. rrp

    I’ve got tv and I’ve got cable part of the week (don’t ask) but I can’t bring myself to watch this.

    My mind is still boggled that this show exists.

    I’m back to lurking, but was glad to register.

  26. EG

    I just wanted to delurk for a minute. Check your local listings for time because it’s on at 10pm where I live.

  27. Burrow Klown

    he argument was how polygamy was actually a great arrangement for women, and that the women who end up married to these turds aren’t uneducated teenagers, are not coerced into staying against their wills, and stay in the situation because they’re delighted with all the benefits accrued to them by the whole arrangement.

    And all the women who have fled and the teenage birthrates in Bountiful, BC will say otherwise. It might work if he was 40 and they were between 15 and 30

  28. Erin

    Another cable-less household, but my best friend is saving it for me on her magic cable tv-show saving device (TiVo? DVR? I don’t know). I probably won’t get over there to watch before Tuesday, but I look forward to seeing what you have to say about it, Twisty.

  29. Keeshond

    Oh. My. Buddha.

    Just caught the first episode, and all I can say is this is the most misogynistic show HBO has produced since Mind of the Married Man. I hate this show. I hate the producers, the writers, the directors, the set designers, the makeup artists, the key grips and everyone involved with it and their entire extended families unto the sixth or seventh generation. My eyes — they burn.

    Bill, the lead character and husband, is the most ridiculous, smug fuck ever. When he’s not feeling sorry for himself that is. And he feels sorry for himself a lot because it’s really, really, really, super hard to have three beautiful wives that sass you when you try to control them, and might have ideas of their own or have their own selfish expectations and stuff. I mean, he dignified their worthless lives by marrying them, and impregnating them, what more do they want? Like the “lead” wife who wouldn’t willingly sign her entire paycheck over him to help cover expenses that his bitch, shop-a-holic, passive-agressive second wife ran up while acting out. And how dare his wives show any reluctance to go visit the extreme mormon polygamist compound from when he sprung and voice their thoughts about everyone their being batshit crazy, and that it’s wrong for self-serving godbags who call themselves prophets to marry 14 year olds. Why should he have to listen to them complain about it? That really bums him out! God, so unfair! Waaaaaah! Shut up you fucking whiner! You created your own misery with your douchebaggery. Deal with it!

    Frankly, the old lady at the compound had the right idea, and one of Bill’s wives should get wise to it. Poison your controlling, self-serving, sick fuck, douchebag of a husband with arsentic over time so that he suffers terribly, let him teeter on the brink of death for as long as possible and refuse to take him to the hospital or let anyone else give him medical care.

    Holy shit this show sucks, and for that I blame the patriarchy.

  30. Occasional Expositor

    I’m with Keeshond on this one.

    Bill practices “good” polygamy as opposed to the “bad” polygamy at “the compound” which involves “seediness, corruption and old men preying on young girls” (according to Wife 1 Barb – not Bill himself).

    Two things I particularly enjoyed: 1) The opening scene of the show where Bill leaves a $100 bill on the nightstand of Wife 2 Nicky after spending the night. Let’s get our characters defined early. 2) The way the wives are depicted as sexually demanding — so much so that when Billy gets e.d. from stressing about his business franchise, trying to out-manoeuver the creepy prophet (strangely appropriate that this aired after The Sopranos) and balancing the demands of 3 wives, he has to take Viagra to please them. Way to dispel the “harem” image of polygamy.

    The worst was, as Keeshond mentions, Bill snapping at Barb when she expresses distaste that the prophet “marries” a 14 year old girl.

    Icky.

    (Speaking of icky, this week’s episode of CSI prompted me to swear off it forever – my VCR will record it no longer.)

  31. Violet Socks

    I do have a television and even cable, but since I never watch I don’t know if I’ve got HBO. Even if I did, though, I don’t think I could stomach this particular load of tripe. A show so steeped in misogyny and anti-feminism would almost surely induce projectile vomiting.

    I am looking forward to the radfem evisceration, though.

  32. deb

    First off, All of this protesting reminds me of the classic Onion article, accessible at this link, http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28694, entitled, “Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn’t Own A Television.” Seriously people: have a TV, don’t have a TV, have cable, don’t have cable, whatever floats your boat, it doesn’t make you special one way or the other.

    Okay, now that I’ve taken my Monday morning crankiness out on all of you (sorry) I did watch the show last night, and I have to admit that I am just the tiniest bit torn: there were after all some good actors and more roles for women of various ages (although white white whiterson, to be sure) than you usually see on television, and I used to love Six Feet Under, so I admit that while expecting the worst, I still hoped for the best from HBO’s Sunday night drama.

    But the normalizing Mormon/polygamy theme, the “good polygamy” in the suburbs vs. “bad polygamy” at the compound, the poor poor husband has to support so many demanding dependent women plotline, the stereotyping of good mother/no sex vs. bad mother/loves sex, empty woman loves shopping, i am so religious and moral that i constantly drive an SUV around everywhere while on the cell phone, etc., all made me blame so much that I couldn’t fall asleep afterwards. It was awful.

    Anxiously awaiting your discussion, Twisty.

  33. kreepyk

    Don’t have cable, so I can’t view for myself. Is this a fictional or “reality” show? Not that reality shows are unscripted…

  34. Twisty

    You will all laugh your asses off when I tell you that I fell asleep in my lime green recliner 20 minutes before the show came on, so my pithy analysis will have to wait until next week. I blame chemotherapy.

  35. aldahlia

    It’s going to be repeated all week. And, boy, are you gonna have fun.

  36. gayle

    Twisty,

    I hate to break the bad news, but there is an encore presentation of Big Love tonight at 9PM on HBO2. Can’t wait for your analysis!

    I concur with just about every other opinion posted here but I’m wondering if anyone else got the impression the producers don’t know what this show is supposed to be yet. Is it a dark comedy? If so, it’s not funny. Is it a straight comedy? If so, same problem. And it’s not serious enough to be a drama. It’s as if they had a successful pitch session, the show was green lit on its “daring” concept alone and then they couldn’t figure out what to do with it.

    That said, I found the compound characters far more interesting than the so-called “good” polygamists. The 1st wife of the Prophet is played with creepy genius by Mary Kay Place, whom I adore. (IMHO, her 60 seconds of screen time was more compelling than anything else in the show.) Maybe if they had based the show there– and gone with a very dark and dramatic tone– they would have created something interesting and fresh.

    As it is, it’s just an uneven, sexist mess. Kinda like Desperate Housewives only with an annoying, utterly superfluous male lead.

  37. aldahlia

    I’m honestly kind of annoyed with the lack of research. Or, maybe, the lack of reality. I’ve actually been to Colorado City, and #1, Paxton’s mom wouldn’t have hair that short. And, they’d all be a little dirtier–they bathe once a week or so, because to do it more often is “vain” and sinful. And, I don’t get the obliqueness on religion. It’s obvious that there are three wives because of the FLDS “requirement”–basically that a man needs *at least* three wives to get into heaven. Or, the teen girls embarassment over the family set up? WTF? First, you can’t keep that kind of thing a secret, and folks in Utah can spot that shit from a mile away. And, it’s very unlikely that anyone, “State Trooper” or not would do anything about it.

  38. hedonistic

    OMG look at these assclowns:

    http://www.rickross.com/groups/polygamy.html

    Men like this know that in an egalitarian society, they would never, ever, ever ever get laid.

  39. MzNicky

    Twisty dear: Don’t feel bad. I fell asleep during the odious series’ broadcast. Nevertheless, I am fully prepared for appropriate blaming, whenever you choose to bring it up.

  40. finnsmotel

    Well… since only like 3 people here even SAW the show in question, I was a bit surprised to see 39 posted replies… so, shoot me if someone already said this, but I can’t be bothered to read 36 posts about how proud you people are NOT to have cable.

    ;-)

    I have 9 hbo channels and I’m proud to say that HBO2 was re-running this program last night on my TV.

    The show made me uncomfortable, to say the least. But, I am wondering if that isn’t the whole point. (“Six Feet Under” has plenty of uncomfortable moments, too, but it contributes to the ebb and flow… If you’re not uncomfortable with “Dead Wood” you are, yourself, prolly dead…)

    The comparison of Bill and his “normal polygamy” to the “compound polygamy” should get us all thinking about the ridicul-osity most judgements on lifestyle. The simpler fact being that unhappy partners will eventually resort to killing each other to get free (they can’t kill off Bruce Dern this early; he’ll survive). The bigger point being that there is no mystical, divine equation for happiness in a relationship. It doesn’t come from 3 wives, or hetero or homo. It comes from respect, responsibility, and trust. Look for that to be the point either missed or made by each character throughout.

    Funny stuff… I’m sure there are zillions of guys flipping this show on, hoping to see a blueprint for how to make it work… “come ON honey, look how happy THEY are!” Those dudes were likely flipping back to SportsCenter within the first 10 minutes. I mean, how many of us have imagined polygamy… lots. But how many have imagined three wives with credit cards. ahahahahaahahahahaa

    There’s more, but I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it (even though some of you will have to wait until it comes out on computer or stone tablet or something). And, I suppose I should wait until Twisty gets to sink her teeth into this one. I look forward to that essay.

    I blame God.

    -finn

  41. Cass

    “I’m pretty sure there are millions of guys flipping this show on, hoping to see a blueprint for how to make it work… ‘come ON honey, look how happy THEY are!’ Those dudes are likely flipping back to SportsCenter within the first 10 minutes. I mean, how many of us have imagined polygamy… lots. But how many have imagined three wives with credit cards. ahahahahaahahahahaa”

    That’s pretty wacky!! But I think, Sir, our cynicism on these matters is extraordinarily well-earned…

  42. No Blood for Hubris

    Look, this series has Mary Kay Place in it. And Chloe Sevigny. They’re not promoting it as deadly dry humor, but that’s what it’s got to be.

  43. No Blood for Hubris

    Just watched it on TiVo. It’s desperately funny. Ozzie and Harriet and Harriet and Harriet with a sharp pinch of David Lynch. Opening shot has all four ice-skating in changing pairs to the Beach Boys uber-soppy “God Only Knows What I’d Be Without You”, each wife giving hubby gooey eyes as he spins with each, ands the ice cracks beneath their feet.

    It’s a hoot, but only if you like your humor dark and deadly.

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