Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dyke Central or Support Your Local Starving Artist

I know I don't blog here nearly often enough, but those of you who know me outside of The Superhero Lunchbox know that I'm always juggling five different projects, obsessively posting and cross-posting on Facebook, updating one of my other blogs, or working at the job that pays my bills. Also? I'm actually an incredibly lazy person, at heart. My capacity for just chilling out, drinking coffee, and playing Ruzzle is HUGE.

Whatever. I'm here, now, because I stumbled upon something really cool that definitely needs to be passed around, supported and nurtured. Again, if you know me, you know I'm forever interested in new media and independent film projects, specifically projects spearheaded by women. There's no shortage of web-based programming. In fact, I feel as if every time I turn around, there's a new web series being pimped on Facebook and Twitter. Let's cut to the chase: just like television and the big screen, the internet is flooded with crap. Low production values. Bad writing. Lousy acting. A lack of diversity. Enter Dyke Central.

I'm not going to write a tome about this (I told you: I'm lazy.) You can click on the link and find out what it's about, how it came to be, who the women behind it are, and why it's not like anything you've seen, before. You can even watch the first episode, which isn't a 5-minute snippet, but a full-length, 20-minute episode.  What I am going to say is this: most lesbian-themed programming I've watched is bloody awful. Hardly any of it looks or feels remotely familiar to me. Most of it tends to be very Anglo and completely ignores women of color. The fact is, America's biggest concentrations of queer women are ethnically diverse communities: NYC, Boston, San Francisco/Oakland. Why most lesbian-themed films and programming are predominantly white is a mystery to me. More than a mystery: an annoyance. I'm a mixed race Hispanic woman, myself. We exist. (And please do not send me emails pointing out that The L Word had a whole subset of Latinas. Seriously. The L Word was such crap. Do. Not. Get. Me. Started.) I watched the first episode of Dyke Central and was blown away by something that shouldn't blow me away: women of different ethnicities on the screen. On a show about queer women. On a show produced by women. On a show without cringe-worthy gags, and which isn't set in some weird, netherworld that looks nothing like earth as we know it. It's Oakland. And it's pretty damned good. Watch it. I think you'll agree it has real promise.

The other thing you can do is support it. Again, if you know me, you know I'm all about supporting worthy projects like this when I can. I'm all about projects such as The Throwaways and I Hate Tommy Finch, from Tello Films -  quality projects that only came to fruition because of crowd sourcing. This is what crowd sourcing is supposed to be about: supporting the creative efforts of people who have good and interesting ideas, but not the financial means to make them happen. Let me be clear: tv and movie stars who make a million dollars an episode, hugely successful authors of graphic novels and screenplays for major motion picture studios, and internationally-known musicians with recording contracts and touring schedules DO NOT need your ten or twenty buck donation to make their projects happen. THEY DON'T. And they should be ashamed to ask for it. Instead of throwing your hard-earned money at a successful, wealthy person or studio, so that they don't have to risk any of THEIR OWN cash (boo fucking hoo), support projects by artists and creative people who aren't connected up the wazoo, and don't have any other way to get things done. It's pretty clear the major motion picture studios have no intention of producing content for, by, and about queer women of color. Hell, the studios can barely stand to HIRE women of color in any capacity. If this sort of content is ever going to be produced and widely available, it's up to the viewing public to make it happen. If you want to see something well-produced, which looks a lot more like real life than you're used to seeing, and which is produced by smart women with new ideas, kick in what you can to support Dyke Central.  And, even if you can't throw any money at this project, pass it along. Blog about it. Tweet the link. Copy and paste it on your Facebook wall. Crowd sourcing demands a crowd.

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