Friday, June 29, 2007

Miranda Lambert love = Skidoo's kind of man

Miranda scares radio - she's not like Shania Twain, all cute and 'What can I do for you? Can I do anything else for you boys?' Miranda's making good music, and it's not getting played. It's because they don't have the balls to play Miranda. She scares the sh*t out of them.

— A country music critic for The Dallas Morning News, on the phone with someone in the biz

If I have to sit in a cubicle in front of a screen all day long, at least I have M.T. sitting on the other side of the partition to inadvertently entertain me. He's audible to half the floor, but I don't think he knows that. I could tell you interesting details about his personal life that he thinks are totally on the d-low.

But sometimes his phone conversations aren't all about his polyamorous relationships and test results. He's totally in love with Miranda Lambert as a country artist and champions her to everyone in the industry that he talks to on the phone. This he doesn't mind the whole floor knowing, which interests me.

He's very adamant and unabashed about how country radio is still thoroughly inhabited by good ol' boys who don't want to play a female artist whose albums are independent, in your face, or have a point to make. Unless you're sweet and always singing sweetie pie songs, then you won't get on radio enough to crack Top 10. The Radio vs. Natalie Maines hateration, anyone?

Country radio's still too traditional, conservative, safe and formulaic to promote 
a loose-cannon of a woman who might call the world as she sees it. All this from the very audible mouth of M.T., and more than just once.

A feMANist in my midst? Like happening upon a beautiful rare bird, the sighting is awesome when it happens. Does the fact M.T.'s gay have something to do with that? I'd like to hope not. A man, of his own volition, championing anything feminist-related — he's gone above and beyond what anyone expects of him.

Sure, most guys I know are civilized and don't mind women being around and among or even above and it's not even really a hairy issue these days. But will you hear one of them making consistent noise about an injustice experienced because a woman's a woman? Especially post-affirmative action? Nope. And I can't say that I would, either, if the britches were switched.

What is a feminist man, anyway? That women should become queens of the universe and exact PMS-like payback on the hairier sex in the form of pink military uniforms and a Lifetime channel monopoly? Um, no. He believes and practices the value that opportunities shouldn't be set on different rungs based on sex, culturally and institutionally. Just a level floor, a level ceiling. Once that's fully achieved, feminism will have served its purpose and fade into history.

Because according to M.T., Miranda would be in off-the-chart demand and would be ringing in Top 10 hits on the regular if the floor of country radio's standards was level.

I'm going to use my crafty feminine talents to create M.T. a medal — shaped like a vagina. No, tsk, not really. Whatever shape best conveys appreciation, that's the shape I would make it. Love you, M.T.