When It’s Okay to Say, “That’s So Gay”

Oh, Public Service Announcements. We know them so well. Created by The Ad Council, some of the most famous – and relentlessly mocked – PSA slogans include “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to  Waste” and “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.”

Hey Ad Council! What if we’re wasting the mind of someone who causes forest fires? Exactly.

One of the council’s current campaigns focuses on the negative connotation of the phrase “that’s so gay.”  These particular PSA’s are a collaboration between The Ad Council and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

The campaign’s commercials feature “celebrities” such as Wanda Sykes and Hillary Duff (~well-known gay rights activist~) confronting unsuspecting teenagers as they use the phrase “that’s so gay.”

The campaign hopes that people will stop and think what they’re really implying when they say “that’s so gay.”

For those of you who don’t know, I am the queen of the gays (yeah, you heard me Kathy Griffin). I love them and they love me. So I am all for fighting against discrimination and preventing the bullying of gay teens. However, this campaign has overlooked one critical fact: sometimes you just have to say “That’s So Gay.”

I got in trouble recently with one of my gays for saying “That’s so gay.” What was I describing? Something super gay.

When I’m watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and one of the contestants does a pirouette during the lip-sync for their life, how am I supposed to describe that? When a designer on Project Runway screams “Where the HELL is my chiffon?” what do you want me to say?

The most concise and accurate response is simply “That’s so gay.”

Some people use the term to be intentionally malicious or hateful while others use it with complete ignorance. When I say “that’s so gay” I say it with the utmost love and respect.

In fact, why can’t we decide to use “that’s so gay” to describe positive things? If you find a $5 bill on the street, proclaim “That’s so gay!” When your friend tells you they’re engaged, scream “That’s so gay!” The next time your boyfriend is excited that he bought some fabulous shoes on sale, tell him “that’s so gay.”

The point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make is that intent is more important than words. People can say some horrible, hateful, evil things without using a single slur or profanity.

And sometimes things are just super, mega gay and “that’s so gay” is the most eloquent description that can be used.

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How Do I Get That Crappy 70’s Look?


Technology today is amazing. We can carry around 20,000 songs in our pocket, watch 3D movies in our home and we have the internet at our fingertips every moment of the day. We have all the tools we need to never have to interact with another human being face-to-face ever again. It’s magical.

Photography is an example of a medium that advances drastically with each passing year. Digital photography has revolutionized the way we take, keep and display pictures. Most family memories are kept in a folder in a computer hard drive instead of in a shoebox in the closet. The majority of us now carry a camera with us at all times (as the poor individuals on PeopleofWalmart.com can attest… or they could attest if they owned computers).

Even picture frames are digital now. Heaven forbid we have an attention span long enough to put one picture in a frame. Must. Have. Constant. Stimulation.

This year Hasselblad came out with a 200-megapixel camera that can be yours for the low, low price of $45,000. 200-megapixels? No one needs to be seen with that kind of clarity.

While most of us don’t have a 200-megapixel camera at our disposal, even the camera on my iPhone is 5-megapixels. The digital camera I bought a couple years ago was only 8-megapixels.

So even our phones can take amazing, clear, beautiful pictures. How can we best utilize these amazing advancements? I know! Let’s make our photos look like they were taken by a cheap 70’s camera and then stored in the pages of an acid laden photo album for 40 years.

Apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic give smartphone users the ability to add all kinds of filters and effects to their photos. For those of you who aren’t tech savvy, let me give you an analogy of the effect you get with a photo filter: it’s like buying a new pair of jeans, throwing them in a mud puddle and ripping them into shreds because you feel it adds “character.” Oh, wait! That is a current fashion trend. But I digress.

In the spirit of full discretion I have to admit that I love crap-a-fying my photos. Overexpose? Yes please. Add a lens flare? Don’t mind if I do. Fade all the colors? Indubitably. Crisp, color photos are boring.

So what is the point this snarky self-helper is trying to make? Sometimes technological advancements don’t equal advancements in entertainment or artistic expression.

Actually, that’s not really my point. The real point I’m trying to make is that we don’t all need to be photographed with amazing digital clarity and crispness. If I don’t have a photo retoucher at my disposal 24/7 then I might as well just overexpose the hell out of my pictures and throw a nice grunge filter over it. Amazing how my complexion clears right up.

Yesterday Was Thursday, Today is Friday

Teen singer Rebecca Black got a lot of criticism for her song, Friday. And why wouldn’t she? The song was ridiculous. With lyrics like “Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday, comes afterwards” and “we, we, we so excited.” Lyrics to a song couldn’t get much more moronic and juvenile. Or could they…

A couple weeks ago I was listening to the mind numbing song selections available on our local Top 40 station. I heard a song that I rationalized could only be a spoof of Black’s song Friday. ~The hosts of the morning zoo are skilled at parody and hilariously funny.~ This was probably a replay of one of their “bits.”

Here is a sample of the lyrics to this mystery song:

There’s a hickie or a bruise
Pictures of last night
Ended up online
I’m screwed
Oh well
It’s a black top blur
But I’m pretty sure it ruled

This Friday night
Do it all again
This Friday night
Do it all again

Slowly I made the horrible realization that this was a “real song.” Even more horribly, it turns out the song is by the 27-year-old singer Katy Perry.

“Whoa! People are going to make so much fun of this song,” I thought to myself.

But to my surprise I’ve seen nothing about this song. Where are the articles making fun of its idiotic subject matter? Why doesn’t my Facebook feed explode with statuses quoting Perry’s stupid lyrics every Friday? This is a grown-ass woman singing about getting hickies and using the term “epic fail” (without the slightest hint of sarcasm) and no one raises an eyebrow.

The answer to this conundrum is simple: most popular music is stupid and the majority of people just don’t want to admit it.

I have no problem with stupid music. It’s enjoyable. All in all, music should be fun. If it has a good beat and you can dance to it, I say more power to you.

It’s just an interesting line between what constitutes a laughably stupid pop song, and a legitimate pop song (if there is such a thing). Black’s song Friday has gotten stuck in my head more times than I care to admit, but I can’t remember Perry’s Last Friday Night even if I try. So which song is the real joke, America?

The advice that this snarky self-helper is giving to you is just to accept that every pop song you like is dumb and be okay with that. Life’s too short to be a music snob.

So go out and have fun, fun, think about fun. You know what it is.

I’m Not Old, You’re Incompetent

The horror. Oh, the horror!

Sorry, I got ahead of myself. Let me take a moment to set a scene for you.

You’re in the checkout line of your local grocery store getting ready to purchase your adult beverage of choice. You’ve carefully thrown some additional items into the mix so it doesn’t look like you went to the store just to buy booze. Everyone knows that you want your shopping selection to have that “I just noticed the alcohol while I was shopping for my groceries” feel. It’s just the classy thing to do.

As you begin to check out, the pimple-faced 12-year-old working the register asks you if you found everything alright. You answer politely “yes,” even though you’re thinking “why the hell would someone wait until they started checking out to ask where to find something?”

Since you’re a courteous shopper, you politely get your I.D. ready to hand to him. The sign does say that they card anyone who looks under 40-years-old after all.

The adolescent cashier finishes ringing up your items, looks at you and says “Your total is…”

Oh… no… he… didn’t.

In a humiliated panic you try to subtly put your ID back into its slot in your wallet. You attempt to cover this catastrophe by pretending that you’re getting out your credit card, but you can tell everyone is looking at you and laughing. Laughing at your smug delusion. “Ha! She thinks she looks 19,” they think to themselves.

There has to be some reason for this blatant oversight. The explanation is not an easy one to accept, but there is only one logical answer: he’s incompetent.

Here’s a little tip from this snarky self-helper to all the cashiers of the world: always ask a woman for ID. Trust me, it’s for the betterment of society as a whole.