Dear Jeff Jarvis,
Je Surgis Lac
Years and years ago Channel 4 announced they were doing a “gay news programme”. (Late at night, obviously – it ran for 8 weeks, 11pm-midnight. The practice of showing the queer stuff when little kids might still be awake is relatively recent.) A very straight friend (she quit being a friend a year afterwards, and this comment should have been an early clue, if her doing a postgrad degree in social work hadn’t sufficed) said, when I mentioned this,
“But what do you need a gay news programme for? It’s not as if there are any heterosexual news programmes!”
And she meant it. And she didn’t have the least idea why I thought it was funny: in fact, I knew better than to giggle over it in front of her, because it was quite obvious that she wouldn’t find it funny at all.
Well, you can say “OMG. Clueless” (and in fact, I did) but within a year, she had let me know that she expected me to feel grateful and appreciative of her kindness in listening to me talk about my first girlfriends without her ever saying anything negative about homosexuality: which I had (oddly enough) figured was a mutual function of friendship: after all, I had spent considerable time listening to her talk about her essays, her boyfriends, and her supervisor, without every saying anything negative about her studies, her heterosexuality, or social workers.
I wonder how many of Jeff Jarvis’s “best friends” are black?
But, by the by and by the way: Jeff Jarvis also writes
On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog or a cat, black or white, man or woman, young or old, unless you chose to say so and unless it’s relevant.
On the Internet, Jeff, and I speak from experience, unless you clearly identify yourself otherwise, everyone assumes you’re:
- and American.
It’s not that “nobody knows”: it’s that everyone assumes they know, and will continue to assume, unless and until you tell them otherwise. Not something I expect you’ve ever noticed, Jeff…