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Life after Ellen.

A friend of mine was called for jury duty just before Christmas. She sat for a day and a half in the holding area until she was summoned for a criminal trial. She and her cohorts were ushered into an empty courtroom where the judge thanked them all in advance for their service and time in the busy holiday season. He reminded them that justice takes no holiday and encouraged them to think of jury duty as they would think of military service: as an honor and privilege in the preservation of democracy.

When it came time for the voir dire, my friend told the judge she was a lesbian. She said she would be excluded from the honor and privilege of serving in the military because of that. Using the military precedent, she argued that injustice should not get a holiday either and that she should be dismissed. He said he got her point, and she was excused from jury duty. My friend felt vindicated by this stunning appeal to juris logic.

Unfortunately, this same friend believes she can pass the law boards just by watching horsewoman Greta Van Susteren on Court T.V. She also thinks things are going to be very different when Ellen comes out. She believes it's going to be big--that time hereafter will be measured B.E. and A.E. So she numbers 1997 as 1 A.E., and claims that Ellen's coming out will usher in not only the end of homophobia but also the end of racism, sexism, and ageism. Big, big, big.

In A.E. 1, the racism inherent in news stories describing the inscrutable Asian campaign donors who were allowed into the Clinton White House posing as Chinese takeout delivery guys will be exposed.

In A.E. 1, military dudes on Frontline, Nightline, and Admiral Stockdale's What's My Line? will stop saying, "See, we told ye. Gals have no place in the military. They're the reason you've got your rape and harassment. Period. End of story."

In A.E. 1, Bill Gates and Martha Stewart--in a love match more terrifying to contemplate than Jane Fonda and Ted Turner, Andrew Sullivan and RuPaul, or Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King--will meet in a Mensa Mensch chat room he designed, but she decorated. They'll do some cyber-dating, though they won't ever actually press the flesh. She will insist that in the now-meaningless Microsoft Century, MSNBC actually became the feminist news channel its initials suggest.

In A.E. 1, the age-based T.V.-ratings system announced by Jack Valenti, who's having whatever Dick Clark is having, will be abandoned. It will be replaced by a gender-based system: L, G, S, Bi.

In A.E. 1 and a half, the Professional Skating Association--which had received widespread complaints about too many televised professional events--will team up with cash-strapped NASA. Together, they will launch a new space program, proudly asking, "If they can put a man on the moon, why not put all the ice skaters on the moon?"

In A.E. 3, Michael Ovitz, still stung from being eased out of Disney with nothing but a measly, shameful $76 million and two all-day E-ticket passes, will celebrate his fiftieth birthday. What to give the man who has almost everything? His wife will give him his own coin-operated prison system in Arizona, and his kids will give him a merged medium-sized airline and munitions factory.

In A.E. 5, all T.V. will be abandoned, except for The Rosie O'Donnell Show and any show selling cubic zirconium.

As soon as Ellen comes out, the word "plethora" will be put on restricted use: The sentences, "There was a plethora of canned corn on sale," and, "A plethora of my buddies were there," are outlawed.

The first big event of A.E. 1, the Clinton Inaugural, will be downsized. Why not a brief, private morning service on CSPAN, then everybody back to work? Save the money for the plethora of defense funds.

I'm hosting an all-girl ball, L-rated, with professional skaters doing an interpretive inaugural speech. Proceeds go to my new movie, Ovitza!--the story of a capitalist and the country that adored him.
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Title Annotation:Unplugged; humor - 'Ellen' network TV character admits to being a lesbian
Author:Clinton, Kate
Publication:The Progressive
Article Type:Column
Date:Feb 1, 1997
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