The Brady Bunch
Are they clones? Are they brothers? Are they actors auditioning for the role of the young George W.? No, they're the candidates for this year's Ace bachelor auction.
How disappointed was I to see last week's Bluegrass Bachelor Bunch on the cover of the Ace Weekly! Why not call it the Boring Bachelor Bunch, the Bland Bachelor Bunch, or even the pasty white-faced Brunette Bachelor Bunch?
While I'm sure each guy, individually, is perfectly fine bachelor material, as a group they leave much to be desired. The front cover design is totally appropriate. They do look like the Brady Bunch boys. Their faces shout "Wonder bread!" "Meat & Potatoes!" "My mom does my laundry!" "When is my tee time?"
Even the Herald-Leader would have come up more diverse choices. Admittedly, to satisfy some major newspaper PC policy, but at least they might have given us a few blonds, redheads or beautifully bald men not to mention maybe one or two African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics or Asian Americans (forgive the correctspeak). Some flavor! Some spice! Some variety!
How about some guys who are carpenters, artists, environmentalists, musicians, massage therapists, bartenders, handymen or plumbers? How many women out there would love to hook up with a guy who's cute, nice and can snake her bathtub? We're not all Marsha Brady's! We're not all looking for the stereotypical Caucasian professional.
BTW guys, you're doing a great thing and good luck!
A friend of mine handed me this week's ACE Weekly and told me that I should read the story about the Bluegrass Bachelor Auction. She's so proud because her brother is one of the lucky guys that is being sold. Upon glancing at the cover, the first thing that struck me about the composite picture of the gentlemen was the overwhelming sameness of them all. What I mean is, the first thing to jump out at me was that there were no minority men included in the photo. I thought to myself, "Surely this can't be all the guys they're auctioning off, there must me more inside." But alas, all the bachelors going up for sale are Caucasian men. Looking at the guys from last year, I discovered the same thing, no minorities.
Does this mean that there are no eligible bachelors in this town of non-white ethnicity? Or maybe it means that the only men that women will pay good money for (charitable contribution or not) are white men. Do we think that ethnic men will not bring in the same amount of cash?
The auction, while for a good cause, is unintentionally perpetuating the idea that Caucasian men are more suitable/eligible than their non-Caucasian counterparts. Being an African-American male, I am certain that I am just as worthy to be paraded around like a slab of meat as these guys are. Why then do we, as minority men, get refused this opportunity?
Below is a reprint of last year's response. True now, true then. Also true, now and then: if you didn't see a bachelor reflective of what you want in a single man, nominate one you like better next year. The criteria remains this simple: single, over 21, uninvolved (nominees were disqualified if they'd been in a relationship for six months). A job IS considered at least ONE indicator of eligibility, while wealth is not (we auctioned off a COP and everybody knows what a public servant makes).
And finally, Ace champions diversity at every turn, and while we can't speak to the lack of representation among other groups, there were African-American nominees who graciously declined to participate - last year and this year - citing a very specific sociohistorical bias against going on an Auction Block for any reason, no matter how great the charity.
The selections reflect the predominant composition of the nominees, who (for whatever reason, but at least somewhat reflective of the Lexington single male demographic), were white males, 25-40.
[This year, we were able to expand the age range from 24 to 51, because the nominations among older candidates went up slightly.]
Beyond that, some nominees elected not to participate. Some had conflicts. Some were out of town. Some had to work. Several disqualified themselves i.e., they were already hooked up, and their nominator didn't realize it [that was the Number One reason cited this year]. Some missed the deadline. And finally, there was only space for 10 (in the issue, and on the Auction block).
Thanks to everybody who came out Friday night for Ace's second annual Bluegrass Bachelor Auction, in support of Woodstock Animal Foundation, and low-cost spay-neuter programs.
We were all heartened by the turnout and the response - while simultaneously frightened by the over-eager mob that nearly shattered the doors to get to the bar.
Thousands of dollars were raised (still counting), and that's a LOT of veterinary care that will help reduce the animal overpopulation (and euthanization) crisis in this town.
As for the irate mail we've received about the bachelor selection itself - take it easy. These guys were tremendously good sports, terrified out of their minds (by and large), AND it seems terribly bigoted to universally condemn them - as a group - because they happen to have jobs and showed up in clean clothes for their photo shoots.
One guy works with animals all day on a farm another is a med student another sells beer and barbecue another works in auto-parts another solves murder cases and so on. To accuse them of hegemony or homogeneity is not to have read very carefully.
If you didn't like the selection, make sure you get your nominations in early next year.
As for the event itself, a list of our many Thank Yous and some photos appear on page 10 of this week's issue (and on our website).
As a publisher, I am particularly heartened by the way our fellow media stepped in to support the event by helping us get the word out in an effort to support a good cause (including every local tv station, the Lexington Herald-Leader, and almost every radio station in town).
It was great to see downtown packed from 5 pm till past 1 am, and we're very grateful for everyone who turned out.
Of course there are always a few in every crowd who want to spoil the good time - and this year, it was the crashers.
For those "guests" who "cannily" arrived early for Gallery Hop in order to avoid the door charge, and then "sneaked" in (no point in denying it: too many volunteers overheard the bragging), well, redemption is at hand.
We're printing the addresses of two animal charities that Ace readers have worked to assist for many years.
Sit down and write them a check, or even better, adopt an animal, or contact them about how to volunteer:
Woodstock Animal Foundation is a not for profit organization dedicated to positively impacting the companion pet population, making every pet a wanted pet. Through the use of education and a high quality, low cost spay, netuer, and vaccination services, their motto is: "Reducing companion pet over-population one alteration at a time."
You can mail them a check at:
715 Allendale Drive
Lexington, KY 40503
Or reach them at 859.277.SPAY to volunteer.
Home at Last Animal Sanctuary is a nearby no-kill animal sanctuary. Home At Last provides lifetime care for dogs, cats, pigs, cows, goats, and other animals. The sanctuary also maintains a 180-acre wildlife refuge. Home At Last emphasizes the concept of harmlessness and offers exceptional quality of life for many formerly abused and abandoned animals. Programs include rescue, adoption, educational outreach, life-long care, spay/neuter assistance, and feral trap/spay/neuter/release.
Ace features a Home at Last animal for adoption in every week's Ace List, under the "Pet Pick." You can learn more about them at www.homeatlastanimals.org. You can also mail a check to them at:
Home at Last Animal Sanctuary
PO Box 144
Salvisa, Kentucky 40372
They do have 501©3 non-profit status, and they are accredited by the American Sanctuary Association.
The Bluegrass Bachelor Auction is the first of three events Ace hosts annually to benefit local charities. Although we typically don't raise extravagant sums of money, our goals focus more on promoting awareness of community needs and increasing involvement - both our own, and that of our readers.
We try to affiliate with organizations that are small - like us - who'll benefit from a few extra bucks, and our efforts at community education.
The second event this year will be Taste of Ace, our annual party which celebrates the May anniversary of the paper. Local chefs provide a sampling of their wares and come out to meet our readers. And this year, we'll be adding a silent auction - tentatively scheduled to benefit Ronni Lundy's medical fund. Lundy is a pre-eminent Kentucky food writer, a frequent Ace contributor, and is battling ovarian cancer. If you would like to be involved in the project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. A committee is already in the planning stages.
The third event is the Best of Lexington, celebrating the results of our Annual Readers' Poll, and coming this Fall. (Scaled down last year in response to September 11.)
We hope to see more and more of you in the coming year.