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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Woman After My Own Heart

posted by on October 21 at 11:49 AM

Everybody loves MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow—her new show is absolutely kicking ass. But I didn’t fall hopelessly in love with Maddow until last night when I read this in The New York Times Magazine. Profiled in the “Domains” column, Maddow answers a bunch of questions about herself and her home in Massachusetts. I swooned when I read this…

Favorite place to shop: Not applicable. I don’t shop.

I know that she’s a lesbian and I’m a fag and the lives-to-shop stereotype applies primarily to boy homos and not girl homos, but reading that made me feel a little less alone. Spending money to go places and do things? I’m always up for that. But going places just to spend money and acquire things? No thank you.

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My favorite part was when she said her favorite political mementos are 2 ashtrays from the Watergate Hotel. It was precious because it almost made Watergate sound trite in comparison to the scandals of today and what will be revealed of yesterday.

Posted by Non | October 21, 2008 11:54 AM

I don't understand. Where does she get her clothes and food from? Does she own no books, no records? What can she possibly mean, "I don't shop"? The only people who don't shop are people who have staff do it for them, which can't be true of her, can it? There is nothing remotely dishonorable about shopping.

Posted by Fnarf | October 21, 2008 11:54 AM

sigh. she's so dreamy.

Posted by feathe | October 21, 2008 11:57 AM

Well I, for one, started shopping on September 12, 2001, just like W. told us to, and I haven't stopped since. Why does Rachel Maddow hate America?

Posted by LDP in Cincinnati | October 21, 2008 11:57 AM

Fnarf, I think the question is clearly angling for recreational shopping. What is she going to say, "the grocery store?"

Posted by Heather | October 21, 2008 11:58 AM

Spending money to go places and do things? I’m always up for that. But going places just to spend money and acquire things? No thank you.

That's what you have a husband for...

Posted by michael strangeways | October 21, 2008 11:59 AM

I'm with you, Dan. My recreational money is spent on restaurants and bars, hanging out with people I like. Shopping is boring and stressful, and I only do it when I absolutely need to. Frankly this is why I love Amazon Fresh, since now I don't have to go to the grocery store anymore either.

Posted by Mary Traverse | October 21, 2008 12:03 PM

Wait—you mean new socks and boxers don't just appear in my dresser drawers by magic?

Posted by Dan Savage | October 21, 2008 12:03 PM

I have to admit, my love of shopping is the most hopelessly girly thing about me. I just like stuff. Clothes. Shoes. Seattle World's Fair glasses. Things are neat.

Posted by Abby | October 21, 2008 12:05 PM

Shopping for things I need is satisfying enough for me. Looking for a bargain on a raincoat or sweater is enough adventure.

Posted by Vince | October 21, 2008 12:09 PM

Boxers? Is that what the gays are wearing these days?

Posted by boxers? | October 21, 2008 12:09 PM

I myself was charmed by her admission that she keeps comics and graphic novels by the side of her bed, to read before sleep. Deep sigh!

Posted by --MC | October 21, 2008 12:10 PM

Awww, most precious comment ever @8

Posted by Non | October 21, 2008 12:12 PM

Shopping for shopping's sake gives me a headache--unless I'm at an antique store. I love perusing antique stores. But I hate shopping in general.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | October 21, 2008 12:12 PM

Dr. Maddow is an awesome lesbian nerd.

Posted by Jeremy from Seattle | October 21, 2008 12:12 PM

I'm with you Fnarf. I have a friend who claims he hates shopping, yet he owns every piece of technology avaialble. What he means is he doesn't really care what he wears and it shows. Maddow does shop but wants to sound as if she has opted out of consumer culture and is thus somehow more enilightened than "shopping" people. Everyone buys things, even if they are second hand, because no one is going naked. Unless she dresses entirely in clothes given to her by friends she must buy something. I have noticed that people who dress only in jeans and t-shirts spend a good deal of time deciding which type of t-shirt and jeans they like best.

Posted by inkweary | October 21, 2008 12:15 PM

She also doesn't own a TV!

Sooooo dreamy...

Posted by Ari Spool | October 21, 2008 12:16 PM

And I adore that she's on TV but didn't have a TV until two minutes ago, and only let one in the house because her girlfriend wanted to see her show. (Okay, the NYT actually called her girlfriend her "companion," which gave me 80's flashback.)

Best of all is that she's not seen the Fox shows for fear exposure will muck up her ability to present her stuff in a fresh way that might actually get something new going. Sloggers who link to Fox clips might let that sink in.

Posted by tomasyalba | October 21, 2008 12:18 PM

It's shopping as recreation, like hiking or riding one's bike that Rachel does not do. The shopping as recreation or therapy attitude is what fearless clueless Leader Bush had in mind after September 11, 2001.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | October 21, 2008 12:21 PM

Look, maybe we're just splitting semantical hairs here, but I DO believe there's a fundamental difference between purchasing necessities (e.g. groceries, boxer shorts), and "shopping", an activity that seems predicated on: A.) completely unplanned, random purchases; and B.) frivolous expenditures for things one really doesn't need, but which nevertheless seems to fulfill some innate psychological desire to acquire even more of what one already has.

Posted by COMTE | October 21, 2008 12:22 PM

She is indeed a woman after my own heart *swoon*.

Posted by genevieve | October 21, 2008 12:22 PM

non, just so you're quite aware: your constant and glaringly obvious brown-nosing of dan IS SICKENING. you totally fucking DISGUST me.

Posted by adrian | October 21, 2008 12:27 PM

Believe it or not, there are people who don't think of shopping as a recreational activity, but only go shopping out of necessity. You can buy bread and underwear and still refuse to hang out at the mall. I'm aware that it's a dangerously subversive attitude around these parts, but then so is not having a television. Props to Maddow for daring to step out of the consumer stream, however slightly.

I also really liked that she reads comics in bed (and actually calls them comics!). Truly she's a breath of fresh air.

Posted by Gurldoggie | October 21, 2008 12:29 PM

I thought her comment about dressing like an assistant principal in order to meet the minimum tv dress code was fantastic!

Posted by Sleestak | October 21, 2008 12:32 PM

She's fab, pure and simple. As an added bonus, MSNBC recently added her show as a podcast so TV-less souls like me (hi Rachel!) can watch the show with grace and ease...

Posted by Chris B | October 21, 2008 12:33 PM

Not owning a TV is a hallmark of total stupidity. TV in the 21st century is so much better than film it's not even funny. This is a new golden age. Arrested Development, Mad Men, The Office, on and on and on. There's a new series on BBC America right now called "Gavin and Stacy" that's fantastic, and Rob Bryden, who's in it, is the funniest person who HAS EVER LIVED.

You're missing that because you've got your puritan wires crossed up somehow? You're not really alive.

Posted by Fnarf | October 21, 2008 12:35 PM

cool news, chris B @25... I've been an Olbermann freak lately, due to the video pod cast of his show. Finally can see Maddow's show now.

And yes, I think in the context of the interview.. "shopping" refers to "girlie shopping" for unnecessary clothing, et al. at The Mall.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | October 21, 2008 12:43 PM

Wow. You're not really alive unless you own a teevee and shop? I don't have a driver's license either--maybe I'd better check my pulse.

Posted by Amelia | October 21, 2008 12:44 PM

Goddamnit, there is a difference between going shopping to shop and going shopping because you need a pair of pants that hit below your ankles.

I hate both, but I still do one.

Posted by Hannah | October 21, 2008 12:47 PM

@26 - silly Fnarf, they're just practicing applied economics. Buying a TV today is a waste.

Better to buy it say February 2009 when 40 inch 1080p HDTV sets will cost between $300 and $500 on sale.

Why pay thousands when you can pay hundreds?

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 21, 2008 12:50 PM

there's nothing wrong with not owning a tv, but there is something very wrong with thinking that not owning a tv is a virtue. people who brag about not owning a tv are worse than vegans.

Posted by brandon | October 21, 2008 12:54 PM

@26: Torrents. A big TV is nice for shiny HD files though.

Posted by Gloria | October 21, 2008 12:55 PM

Fnarf, you don't need a tv anymore because if you want to watch the good shows you can just rent the DVD and watch on your computer. I don't have a tv because I can't stand commercials.

By the way, I've been wondering why there hasn't been mention of Mad Men on Slog, unless I missed it.

Posted by Jude Fawley | October 21, 2008 12:55 PM

i like maddow, but there is something holier than thou about saying you don't own a tv. i suspect that not owning a tv actually means you don't trust yourself not to abuse your tv privileges. it is possible to only watch that which is worthy/entertaining/relaxing and then TURN IT OFF when appropriate. i've done it myslef on occasion.

Posted by ellarosa | October 21, 2008 12:55 PM

Ya! Who needs CLOTHES and FOOD!! Forget that stuff, man!

Posted by bl@ster | October 21, 2008 12:56 PM

It drives me crazy when people brag about not having a TV. Fine, I get it- you think you're better than everyone. Sorry Rachel Maddow, you are pretty awesome despite this annoying flaw. I know this because I'VE WATCHED YOU ON TV!

Posted by ray | October 21, 2008 12:56 PM

The first place I go when I travel is the local supermarket, to see what sorts of stuff they have in there. You should try it. You haven't been to Paris if you've never been inside a hypermarche.

ALL shopping is "superficial" and consumerist. So fucking what? Do you only eat unsalted gruel, and wear only sackcloth? No, of course you don't. Are you interested in pleasures of taste and style beyond the bare minimum necessary for life? Of course you are.

To say otherwise is to engage in a particularly annoying and fake Calvinism that people on the left are bizarrely drawn to. It helps them prove that they are "serious" and not "frivolous". But joy is not frivolous; asceticism is.

And saying "I don't have a TV" is saying "I have no interest in culture".

Am I a materialist? You bet your fucking life. These eyes, these hands, this heart are material objects, and so are yours.

Posted by Fnarf | October 21, 2008 12:58 PM

I would just like to add that I don't have a tv AND I'm a vegetarian. But believe it or not I don't think I'm better than you.

Posted by Jude Fawley | October 21, 2008 12:58 PM

@20 does she *need* a comic book? Is that a necessity?

Posted by inkweary | October 21, 2008 1:00 PM

Adrian @ 22

You must not regularly read slog, you fucking idiot. Here are examples to the contrary after only 1.5 deep because I care not to go further back:

I know that somebody must have alerted you to the fact that you were mentioned in Jonah's post (read next to avoid being caught by spam filter blocking more than 3 links...)

Posted by Non | October 21, 2008 1:02 PM

adrian :(. non is my secret favorite commenter.

gurldoggie, not owning a tv is pretty much standard for white people.

i have to agree with fnarf that tv isn't the black hole it was 5+ years ago, but i wouldn't say that not owning a tv is stupid.

Posted by jrrrl | October 21, 2008 1:02 PM

...continued from 40 yesterday and you felt like retaliating, but you were wrong.


Posted by Non | October 21, 2008 1:03 PM

There is an inherent contradiction between being on TV and being all holier-than-thou about not owning one. If TV is only for the lazy and uncultured, why on earth would you you pursue a career on television?

Posted by joykiller | October 21, 2008 1:11 PM

I've noticed that people who say they hate to shop or claim that they don't shop, frequently have the latest tech gadgets, shelves full of books and cds and dvds and a closet or garage full of sports equipment. Many of them spend hours wandering around Best Buy or Bailey/Coy or Silver Platters or REI looking/drooling/buying their favorite shit. People who claim they hate/don't shop, really mean that they hate to shop for boring stuff/necessities and disdain people who like to shop for the stuff they aren't interested in. The whole, "I'm a better person because I don't like to shop for so called frivolous things" is just a lot of elitist, hipster bullshit. The notion that it's cool to spend two hours in Powell's or a Virgin Records because you're a book/music lover but it's not cool to spend your time looking for a cute bargain outfit or some discount art or knick-knacks is hypocritical.

And, I won't even get started on the whole, "I feel superior because I don't own/watch television, yet I spend 4 hours a day on the Internet watching the same media in a different format" defense of many a hipster...

Posted by michael strangeways | October 21, 2008 1:15 PM

non, as usual, neither i nor YOU have any idea what the fuck you are blathering about. you are as obsessed and paranoid as you are trolly. you make up wild fantasies about me in your head. i am not following your stupid links, no one "alerted me" to/of anything, jonah or otherwise (i'm mentioned often in many places, i sure as hell don't go sniffing around, doesn't that drive you crazy?), and i stand by my word: you are an obsessed drippy, syphonatic brown-nosing freaktard, and your dan-kiss-assery is vomit-making. VOMIT MAKING!!!

Posted by adrian! | October 21, 2008 1:20 PM

Fnarf, inkweary, et all,

You don't understand. There is shopping, and then there is shopping.

There is shopping for necessities, like groceries and socks. And then there is recreational shopping, spending hours cruising in malls or downtown shops with your friends, trying on a hundred shirts before selecting just the perfect one, buying utterly useless stuff just for the fun of it. Shopping as a purely recreational activity.

When I was younger, I used to love shopping, just for the sake of it. I spent much of my free time in malls, and spent most of my money on unnecessary junk.

As I've aged, this has stopped almost entirely over time. I still pick out a nice shirt every now and then, but hate spending more than 15 minutes in a mall any more. My shopping is little more than functional these days.

I have completely given up shopping as a recreational activity. I now waste my money on other recreational activities, just not at malls.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | October 21, 2008 1:20 PM

I am ignorant; I had never heard of this Rachel Maddow til right now (probably because I hate all talking on the radio except for baseball, and only when the M's are doing well). She's adorable! I wonder if I get MSNBC.

Posted by leek | October 21, 2008 1:22 PM

joykiller: Well, she started on the radio, and she also said that she fears her job is too self-indulgent and not important enough. So that all seems to be pretty consistent with not having a TV.

Posted by leek | October 21, 2008 1:26 PM

Why when someone says they don't have a teevee do others accuse that statement of "being superior"? And then shoot that straw man down.

Posted by Amelia | October 21, 2008 1:32 PM

Reverse, that's just called "getting old", not "getting smart". Recreational shopping? Why do you care? Why is shopping in the mall reprehensible while playing video games or ballroom dancing or drinking beer is OK?

Posted by Fnarf | October 21, 2008 1:35 PM

I do happen to own a TV, but it's a ten year-old 14" thing that I only use nowadays to watch my slowly decaying collection of VHS.

And it's not that I'm "anti-TV", there is in fact a great deal of interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining fare on the airwaves - along with even oodles more of absolute drek, just as there's always been - but, rather, that I seldom have large amounts of TIME to spend watching TV, and frankly, there's all sorts of OTHER THINGS I'd rather be doing with my precious leisure time; reading, drawing, learning to play guitar, working on theatre projects, going to plays and concerts, hanging out with my friends, etc., etc.

Posted by COMTE | October 21, 2008 1:42 PM

what rachel ACTUALLY means is that her partner does all the "shopping", as she's only home on the weekends.

she obviously shops for "graphic novels".

Posted by max solomon | October 21, 2008 1:53 PM

@46, If you knew me you wouldn't state that I do not understand the nuances of shopping. I am a very skilled shopper. I have a wardrobe that people who make many times my salary envy and a creditable art collection which, were it not for my shopping skills would be way beyond my means. I manage at the same time to have absolutely no debt. Why do I do it? Because it is fun and creative. Is it important? Only on the level of a hobby. I like spending time with artists and my tailor is very entertaining. There is nothing in this that makes me less serious an individual than someone who doesn't care for it and nothing that makes me more worthwhile either. It does however, make me less pompous than those who feel self-righteous about their own perceived asceticism.

Posted by inkweary | October 21, 2008 1:53 PM

Savage feels "alone?"


There are entire organizations devoted to voluntary simplicity. It isn't just Dan and Rachel.

Posted by Ella | October 21, 2008 2:09 PM

I like the fact that she looks like Wil Wheaton.

Posted by Lavode | October 21, 2008 2:43 PM

I didn't own a TV until the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in the SF Bay Area (I lived in Oakland). My anxiety levels at hearing about the disaster on the radio and filling in the mental images with my imagination was much higher, and very stressful. I got a TV so I could keep up with the news. And sure, for a time I watched a lot more than I probably should have. But now I have a big TV, satellite, TIVO, and I still only watch three or four hours a week, if that. I gave up on most episodic shows because by the time I got around to watching them, the next episode would be on and I'd see spoilers. So mostly it's random things like "Simpsons" because I can pick it up at any time, or news, etc. But even though I don't watch that much, if my TV broke I would run out and get a new one. It's nice to know it's there when it's needed.

Posted by RS | October 21, 2008 2:48 PM

this thread has made me love fnarf and dislike adrian - what is happening! i used to love celebrity i saw u.

i have no idea what's going on between adrian and non but from the comments i've seen, adrian is the one who looks like the insane obsessive stalker.

Posted by jrrrl | October 21, 2008 3:01 PM

I knew you'd come around, jrrrl.

RS, that's funny, because the Loma Prieta quake was one of those moments when I wanted to chuck my TV out the window -- the networks had all gone into full coverage, but NONE of the talking heads had even the slightest glimmer of a clue where anything was. Hearing them repeat inanities about which freeway was located where had me screaming at the set "buy a fucking map, assholes!" and waving my tattered $2 Rand McNally Bay Area around in rage. Seriously, I don't think anyone at any of the networks had ever fucking HEARD of Oakland before. I was particularly concerned because there was reportedly heavy damage in the area where I had been living just a year earlier, but the airheads on TV didn't know the difference between 280, 580, 680, 880, or their own asses.

Posted by Fnarf | October 21, 2008 3:46 PM

I used to have a black lab, Samantha. We didn't drive to the dump but she did like taking rides. Rachel is refreshing. what's the deal with the handkerchiefs?

Posted by 4f...sake | October 21, 2008 4:02 PM

I have to say, I agree with Fnarf on this. Stuff is neat. I enjoy shopping and I enjoy collecting/having interesting things, even if they're 'useless'. And I don't believe there is anything wrong with that.

Posted by Abby | October 21, 2008 4:18 PM

I didn't own a TV when I met my boyfriend. Or a phone. Or a pot or a pan or a dish. I owned three bowls, a couple of spoons, a couch, a mattress. That was about it. Now I own everything.

Posted by Dan Savage | October 21, 2008 5:04 PM

Maddow now the top emailed story on the NY Times...

So, now that we have such a visible out lesbian in the news media, why the hell can't Anderson Cooper get himself out of the closet. Hey, Savage, you were hanging around Cooper just a few weeks ago...what's the deal with him?

Posted by Adam | October 21, 2008 5:09 PM

Maddow is the best thing that has happened to TV in a loooooooong time...........well, maybe a close tie with True Blood.

Posted by Juan Alonso | October 21, 2008 6:34 PM

I don't have a TV, but I do love to shop, so I guess that makes me both a pretentious hipster AND a materialistic twit. I win!

I do agree that there's a difference between people who enjoy recreational shopping and people who hate it and only venture into stores to buy necessities. There's also a difference between people who watch a lot of TV and people who use the Internet for the same purpose. The difference is called "having different hobbies and interests."

Posted by Marya | October 21, 2008 6:38 PM

My issue is not with people who buy a lot of stuff, but rather people who buy stuff and then don't do anything with it. Like people who want to show off how well read they are by buying a lot of books, and then not actually reading them. Or people who have a huge DVD collection, most of which they've never watched. That drives me insane.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 21, 2008 7:26 PM

Everybody loves MSNBC’s... even Sarah Palin!"

Posted by Jacob | October 21, 2008 8:21 PM

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