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09 September, 2009

A Piece of the Action

When you think "polyamory", what's the first thing that comes to mind? Cuddle piles? Jealousy? Day planners? An overabundance of neologisms? No, of course not - if you're anything like the rest of us, the first thing you think of is MTV!

Yes, MTV, that bastion of U.S. media and culture! Somewhere in between all those music videos they're so fond of broadcasting, they found time to shine a spotlight on reality. That's right, folks: next week, True Life, the documentary series that brought you "I'm on Steroids", "I Live in a Brothel", "I'm on Crystal Meth" and the 2006 sequel "I'm Addicted to Crystal Meth", will be screening the soon-to-be-classic "True Life: I'm Polyamorous!" You can read it all right here!

For those of you who are just tuning in, some stunningly unprofessional intern at MTV has been posting on the LiveJournal polyamory community for months, since at least last winter, begging for a poly family with an expecting mother to step in front of the camera. The backlash was incredible, even excepting the posts that were simply devoted to tearing apart the poster's grammar. You see, the last time this happened, shit went down. A trio named April, Shane and Chris lived together with April's child from a previous relationship, but when April's grandmother saw the three of them on MTV's "Sex in the 90's: It's a Group Thing" (really, guys?), she stormed off to court and convinced a judge to remove the child from their home. According to Time magazine, "the judge handling the grandmother's petition said one of the men had to move out before he would consider returning Alana" (emphasis added, because Jesus shit). April later dropped her appeal, saying that she had found herself to be an unfit mother on other grounds, but the original issue was never resolved. The legal precedent remains in Tennessee: consensual nonmonogamy is such dangerous debauchery that it is sufficient grounds for a judge to order a child removed from the custody of her parents.

Honestly, I'm curious about this documentary. I have never seen an episode of "True Life", and maybe it'll be engaging, informative, entertaining ... one out of three wouldn't be bad. Maybe one of our campus organizations could get together around a dorm's cable-equipped TV sets so that we can see for ourselves. I worry, however, that it will just be in keeping with MTV's typical reality programming: the 21st century equivalent of a traveling freaks' cage. Step right up and take a look at People Who Are Not Like Us. Aren't you glad we're all out here?

EDIT: More nonmonogamy in the media - this A Softer World comic may be the best thing ever. It is currently in contention with the rest of the A Softer World comics.


  1. Did you see that before I sent you the link?

  2. Augh... that is disturbing as hell.

    Lord knows FOSTER CARE is great for kids... jesus shit.

  3. @tiny_little_dot No, I noticed it because you shared it.

    @catalystparadox Hey, let's not get personal!