Skip to main content

Why A Show About Sex Makes Me Cry

Thanksgiving is coming up.
You know when you bring the turkey home from the kosher place, or Trader-Joe's, Giant, Publix, Shop-Rite or wherever? And you stick your hand into the bird and pull out all the guts? And then look inside?
That is what watching Transparent is like. It's the first show I've ever seen to mix so naturally what we laboriously termed "sex, gender, and sexuality" in graduate school.
In a way, it's not even about sex.
It's about who you really are at the core. Your most personal self, your truths, the things you think you're hiding but you're not.
You can't.
As you get older, the gradually increasing inability to act like someone else.
Transparent wouldn't have been watch-able, or even make-able, 10 years ago. Or even 5, I don't think.
It reflects something happening in our culture, a seismic change.
But it's so imperceptible we think it's happening naturally.
After so many tentative years of drawing, then photographing, then filming ourselves -
Then learning how to post it for the world to see---
Every minute.
After discovering that our personal selves were like brands, and that their inner qualities existed, in a sense to be harnessed---
After realizing that our quirkiness would make us never fit into any corporate kind of mold---
We have emerged, or are emerging, from a very restrictive kind of box.
A box that held a set of rules inscribed in stone.
Not the rules themselves, necessarily.
But the belief that every situation has a "right" and a "wrong" way to handle it, to represent it.
Rules about what to do.
We've grown tired of all the boxes and rules, haven't we? We know there is no salvation in obeying.
Transparent represents the loosening of tight collars, pulling out neckties, putting up one's feet to have a glass of red wine.
It shows adults breaking free from social convention, because sometimes you have to do that to be who you are.
It shows that everyone's life has at least one good shonda - roughly translated fro the Yiddish, "a disgrace" - and once they are free, they can actually breathe again.
It shows that things weren't better in 1952, 1972, or 1994, either. When they were shoved under the rug to varying extents.
It's almost 2015 now.
We are looking for entertainment like this, that reflects back our endless search for ourselves. What is deepest, and authentic and pure and what we somehow lost amid a modern life full of artifice.
All our worries, all our pain, all the struggle and the tears. We are so hard on ourselves, and on each other, for nothing.
Joy in life comes from simple authenticity. From recapturing the childlike ability to love, and trust.
To be intimate with your other.
To know and be yourself.
Disclaimer: This blog is written by Dannielle Blumenthal in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed here are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the National Archives and Records Administration, or the United States government. "Transparent" graphic via Amazon.

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …