how have so many academics basically become “how do you expect to survive in the real world” internet trolls re: trigger warnings
how many op ed pieces do you need to write in order to exhaust your need to whine about being asked to say smth like “this book has ____ in it jsyk”
the fact that several radical~ academics have expressed support for internet troll level of hostility towards trigger warning just goes to show that a) making their work accessible was never one of their main concerns (since tws are an accessibility issue), b) they’re very invested in maintaining classroom dynamics in which they have all the power and students can’t make any kind of decisions about how they learn (by asking your teacher to teach you in a different, more effective way, you’re threatening their “academic freedom”) and c) they never cared about disabled students specifically and probably said no to students asking for other kinds of reasonable accommodations in the past
If you really believe that representation doesn’t matter, then why the fuck are you threatened by it? If not seeing yourself depicted in stories has no negative psychological impact - if the breakdown of who we see on screen has no bearing on wider social issues - then what would it matter if nine stories out of ten were suddenly all about queer brown women? No big, right? It wouldn’t change anything important; just a few superficial details. Because YOU can identify with ANYONE.
So I guess the problem is that you just don’t want to. Because deep down, you think it’ll make stories worse. And why is that? Oh, yeah: because it means they wouldn’t all be about YOU.
The first time I ever came to visit Canada was a few years ago on Canada Day itself. I was really anxious about meeting Ian’s family and friends, annoying the crap out of my flight seat mate by shaking my leg for the whole trip. Ian and his dad picked me up from the airport and I felt a little more at ease but still internally freaking out for the most part that I was going to meet the rest of his family the next day. That night, Ian’s best friend Julia made me a beautiful turkey dinner (yes, in July) with help from their good friends Lauren and Charlotte to welcome me to Canada; I felt like I was at home with my friends and I could feel how much they loved Ian. Instead of being the kind of people to be wary of this person their good friend was in love with, they welcomed me with open arms. I have rarely felt as comfortable with new friends as quickly as I did with Lauren and Charlotte, primarily because they seemed so comfortable together, at ease and just so generous with their time and kindness.
We were so thrilled when they got engaged last year and I was so glad to be in Canada last year for their engagement party. When they asked me to not only come to their wedding but to be their stylist for the big day, I was so honored; thank god immigration made it so I got here in time! Much like our big day almost two years ago, Lauren and Charlotte were so calm and at peace when their wedding day rolled around. I headed over to their house to help them and Julia get ready and Lauren was the picture of calmness, much like Ian was on our wedding day; Charlotte had a bit more nerves which I could definitely relate to. Not because of the idea of getting married, of course, but just because you want everything to go so perfectly. Helping them all get ready was a pleasure, there’s nothing I love more than helping people feel beautiful on this kind of day. And I got Julia to not only wear but love how she looked in a bright lip which is obviously my main mission in life.
The ceremony and reception were at the Belwood Lake Conservation Area, specifically in Hampton Barn which overlooks a beautiful wooded area and lake. Lauren and Charlotte spent a year thrifting for all the vintage floral plates they used and it looked darling with the bunting and handpainted signs done by their good friend. The ceremony was outside in a grassy area and was short and sweet but lovely. The clouds had looked threatening all day but the light misting rain we got didn’t start until the ceremony was over thank goodness. We quickly took photos and headed inside the barn; lawn games would have to wait till brunch the next day.
Their wedding had so many touches that were just lovely and personal. In order to find your table number, you had to find your photo on this table covered with frames and it would reveal your number on the back. Everyone got to take their photos home too which is such a nice way to always think of the day as well as Lauren and Charlotte. I love how they included their friends and family in every part of the overall design from having me do hair and makeup to their friend who designed the invites and signs to their friend who brews beer providing two delicious beers including a brown ale (“Where the Mild Things Are” it was called) and a hefeweizen that was so, so good; Ian was shocked because he’s not normally a wheaty beer lover. The other beer they had came from a small local brewery called Royal City which had a tasting just the night before the wedding that Ian and I attended. I’m in love with the Morning Stout which has coffee and oatmeal flavors in it.
They had this amazing First Nations food truck do the food and appetizers did not disappoint: asparagus wrapped in wild boar bacon, venison meatballs with a blueberry reduction, and rice paper rolls. All the local Ontario flavors were incredible and the food design was surprising but also just so right once you tasted it. Dinner didn’t disappoint either with deconstructed Indian tacos (fry bread with chili and vegetables and basil creme fraiche), bison sliders with caramelized onions and cheddar on beer/onion/cheddar buns, and heirloom tomato and cucumber salad. I wanted to eat a billion more bison sliders but I knew I’d explode.
I’m a sucker for speeches at weddings. It’s the main reason Ian and I are planning on having a belated wedding reception/anniversary party next year; there’s just something so wonderful about having the people you care about so much telling funny and embarrassing and loving stories about you. I teared up a bit during some of the speeches because I’m generally a crier and because there was just such a beautiful feeling in the room of togetherness and love for these two awesome people. Lauren and Charlotte took such a personal interest in putting together this beautiful day for everyone and their speech definitely made me tear up; I full on started crying when they thanked me for helping with their styling. I told you, I’m a crier.
The night finished with coffee from the lovely coffee truck parked outside the barn (what a great idea!), cupcakes that literally shocked me and Ian, like shocked us out of our previous beliefs about cupcakes (FILLED WITH CARAMEL), and dancing to tons of great music but specifically Faded by Soul Decision which just confirmed how much I am meant to live in Canada due to my shameless love for it. In fact, I danced so aggressively to it that I unbuttoned Ian’s shirt with my shoulder somehow. This day would have been enough to be the most perfect wedding ever but then they hosted us all at the barn the next day for brunch where we ate peanut butter & jelly muffins, sausage rolls the size of my damn head from Eric the Baker, and a rosé/orange juice combination Ian created that was shockingly delicious. Lawn games were on thankfully and we had a great game of croquet in which I not only beat Ian but came in third overall so not bad for someone who hasn’t played since she was six. I think I’d like to get a croquet set so I can play in High Park with friends and also have a picnic with cheese and wine. Any takers?
It was a beautiful weekend and Ian and I are so happy we were able to be a part of Lauren and Charlotte’s day. They are honestly one of the most meant couples I’ve ever met and I’m so excited to see and be a part of the rest of their beautiful life together. Also, the weekend has kind of led to Ian and I beginning to think more seriously about our own belated wedding reception/anniversary party but narrowing down a date/place at the very least: Ontario, November 2015, get ready!
I worry that Anaïs is making me too lazy to write up stuff we do together, but she does it so well! It was also lovely that we were able to stay with my brother and his family this weekend, including having breakfast with my mother when she came to pick up my niece for a weekend together (I had a smoked salmon and goat cheese omelette and if financial and nutritional concerns didn’t prevent it I’d have one of those most mornings). While Anaïs was doing hair and makeup before the wedding I got to hang out with Ben and watch (most of) a charming South Korean movie called The Thieves (think the Ocean’s # series, but less predictable, at least to our sensibilities). I had to leave before the last series of twists, and he tells me it went to some interesting places, so hopefully Anaïs and I can find time to watch it soon.
It was a really great weekend for a lot of reasons, chief among them this great wedding and seeing my friends so happy. We’ve got a number of social things going on this week, but thankfully the weekend is mostly free (and when not free, doesn’t involve quite so much travel), so we might just spend the whole time napping.
Do people really think that refusing to buy non-organic products, for example, is going to eliminate the use of pesticides? Or that not buying meat will get rid of animal cruelty in factory farming?
People have this weird view of corporations like they take a big poll of their customers and then they go: oh wait, some customers don’t like that, I guess we won’t do it anymore and then they stop doing that thing forever.
But that’s not what happens! Corporations are not a democracy! Voting with your dollar isn’t going to set policy. They want ALL the dollars. They don’t just want your business. They want to target everybody. So they’re going to keep right on taking dollars for the harmful polluting cruel stuff alongside your moral kind green stuff. They won’t stop the other stuff. They do it the bad way in the first place because it’s cheap and easy and they make a lot of money doing it, and now you’re giving them your money too.
It’s all branding to them. Green is a brand. Fair trade is a brand. Sweatshop-free is a brand. These are not moral decisions, they’re labels. They will slap them on products and there is no guarantee whatsoever that it means what you think it means.
The only thing that will make corporations stop doing terrible things to make more money is when the law forces them to stop. And all this “activism” does is convince people that they’re making a difference by shopping, of all things, rather than demanding the government to step in and regulate this stuff.
It’s weird, it’s almost like the unrestricted profit motive is cancerous and deforming.
The work week has come to an end! A busy one for me, near the end; I’m just starting my first book, the first project I’ve got where I’m the editor from soup to nuts. It’s a new book, too. So sometime in… December, I think? I’ll be able to look at a physical book that people actually buy and use and think “I helped make that happen” (and I’ve already been published in one of those, so that’s two things that were apparently on my unconsciously-kept bucket list).
Anaïs and I are going to Guelph for the weekend for the wedding of some good friends of ours. We’re staying with my brother and his family. It is going to be, I think, a pretty great weekend; and I don’t even have to wear a suit (nobody does)! Not sure how online I’ll be, hope you all have a good weekend and good weather for whatever you’re planning.
Since this blog is like one fetus away from a mommy blog, I figured I’d share my landing story, rather the day I finally moved to Canada. On US to Canada immigration message boards, which were a huge help to me in this whole process in figuring out things government websites made complicated for no reason, there’s always a landing thread where you post the story of the day you finally land. It’s a big deal, even in the easiest of cases (ours) this is a long and expensive and difficult process so when you make it, it’s just huge.
Zach made the trip with me and it was a good trip although I could feel my stress levels peak sometimes. The morning we left, I threw up and the morning I was supposed to officially land, I threw up. I tend to throw up when I’m nervous and this might be the thing I’ve been most anxious about in my life. I’m the kind of person whose anxiety will not let up until something is official and done and over. Despite outward appearances, I’m a wreck before then. Zach knows so thank god he was the one there with me to keep me not only calm but to give me real talk when I needed it.
We made it Buffalo so fast, on our second day of driving and stayed there for the night because you have to export your car and do your landing during business hours. The next morning, we woke up and got ready to go. Zach made me a hotel waffle and made me eat some even though I really thought I was going to puke. We printed a bunch of extra paperwork I was told to bring and then we hit the road for the Lewiston Bridge (note: the only place in Western NY to export your car to Canada.) Siri gave us directions for the US Customs and Border Protection office where you export your car and as we are passing Niagara, we see this sign that says just that, US Customs and Border Protection.
Maybe that’s where we should go, we think.
Nah, Siri wouldn’t lead us wrong.
Pretty soon, Siri tells us we have arrived and we are on the side of a mountain road. Thanks for nothing, Siri.
We turn around and go back to the original place we saw which to be fair was right by the border where you actually cross. It is an actual maze of parking and I am driving figure 8’s to get over to where the office is. We finally park and I am gathering myself and my things when someone bangs on the window. Zach and I shriek and roll down the window.
"Passport and vehicle title," this guy who I swear to god walked out of bear porn 30 seconds earlier says.
I hand it to him with shaky hands.
This is the part where I should also mention that exporting my car had become my main source of distress in the week leading up the move because they have recently changed the laws surrounding this where you have to have a shipping/freighter ID code and like, a bunch of other shit to do it. Until October of this year, it’s an informed consent period so they aren’t making people do that or penalizing them but I wasn’t sure what to expect at the border. In other words, I was very afraid I was going to have to walk over the border or something.
We follow this guy upstairs and sit. He is at his computer typing in stuff about me and my car. His coworker comes and sits next to him while he does this and is showing him photos of her dumb dog on instagram. Read the room, lady. I keep waiting and rocking back and forth and expecting him to ask me for info I don’t have or for something bad to happen but instead he gets up after maybe four minutes, hands me my passport and title, and says that I’m all set.
"That’s it?" I squeak.
"What else did you want?" he said.
"I just thought it would be more complicated or something, I don’t know, I—"
Zach pulled me out of the room before I could fuck anything up.
So we get back in the car only to have to once again navigate the dumbest fucking series of parking lots and exits to get to a place twenty feet away. We get our passports out, I get my certificate of permanent residency out, and we wait at one of those toll booth thingies for maybe 4 minutes. The guy in the booth looked maybe fourteen and he seems very irritated with my overly enthusiastic smile as I tell him I’m landing. Like, as a permanent resident. He approves Zach to come in as a visitor and sends us over to the building marked Canada. Zach and I gather my things and go inside, immediately giving Canada points over its governmental typeface choices even though we aren’t serif people.
We walk in and there is no one there. Now, I knew it would be not as busy as let’s say a weekend at the border but I expected like, Ellis Island lite or just a dash of Fievel Mouskowitz but no, there was literally one other person who didn’t work there in the building and they were just sitting on a bench so who knows what that story is. I walk up to the counter and the hot bearded man sends me over to a hot unbearded man. Also, yes, the majority of Canada’s border agents? Super hot. If you want to move to a different country, I recommend Canada when it comes to border agent hotness.
So anyways, I give this guy my paperwork and he is really nice and helpful. He asks if we are both landing and we said no but in hindsight maybe they would have just let Zach if we kept our big mouths shut. We blew it. So this guy looks over my documents and sees everything is in order and prepared them for me to sign.
"Have you ever been convicted of a crime?" He asks.
"No," I reply. "Well, not yet." Because anxiety makes me a jokester.
Luckily the hot border agent guy laughed along with Zach. I signed and became a permanent resident of Canada. I’m pretty sure I gripped Zach’s hand or something. I was then sent back to the hot bearded border agent who had me fill out forms about my car to import it and looked over my list of belongings (books: value $500 cosmetics: value PRICELESS.) Zach was the best as always and ran to my car to get some number they needed and then I signed more stuff and that was that. They then sent us to the next desk over where the people weren’t so hot but they were nice so there’s that. I didn’t have to pay a thing because I was a settler which of course gave me so many Oregon Trail vibes. I sort of hopped in the air when it was all done because oh my god, it was done! And nothing went wrong! And I could now breathe oxygen into my lungs again!
We exchanged money at the border, marveling at how fake it looked and laughing at the fact there was not only a white guy on it but a snowflake and a hockey player! Zach took a photo of me in front of the welcome to Ontario sign and we hit the road to Toronto (not very far, maybe an hour.) I tried to show the hills-obsessed (not The Hills obsessed) Zach that Canada had lovely hills as well but he sulked at this. At one point, as we were about to cross a bridge, we passed what looked like water but with a weird barrier that was up kind of looked like a field of lavender.
"Is that water?" I asked.
"That’s Lake Ontario," Zach replied.
And just like that, I doomed myself to this being my Canadian Heritage Moment. In 2014, Anaïs Mathers discovered that Lake Ontario was in fact made of water. Damn.
We made it to Toronto, we parked by my new apartment, and since Ian was still at work and we were actually starving, we walked down the street to get sushi. Zach and I were excited to discover that it was all you can eat and we set about making our list of what we wanted, eating with our eyes as we hadn’t had much for breakfast. What we didn’t realize is that this is not America, land of waste and gluttony where all you can eat means if you don’t finish what’s on your plate, no big deal. So we order like 8 thousand things and start eating, slowing down pretty quickly because no one actually needs as much food as we ordered. At this point, the waitress comes over and shows us the fine print on the bottom of the menu which says that you will pay entree price for whatever you don’t finish. You cannot imagine the horror we felt.
We eat as much as we can but a huge problem here is, I ordered stuff that has gluten and dairy and meat in it, three things Zach cannot eat. So I am stuffing it all in my mouth, tears in my eyes, literally coughing some up that just would not fit down my food hole. I start putting things in my napkin so I can put it in my purse. Finally, with one or two pieces of things left on some plates, we gave up. The waitress brings over the check and luckily it’s just for the lunch price. The problem now is walking up the hill back home. Zach and I very slowly begin our ascent, looking like footage of people climbing Everest in a blizzard when really it’s a lovely warm day in the summer. We have never felt more useless and American as we did climbing that hill.
We don’t attempt to unpack at this point, instead going inside and lying next to each other on my marital bed. We watched basically all of the Canadian Heritage Moments on youtube in order to get into the Canadian spirit and waited for Ian to come home and find us, American flag scarves strewn all over. And at that moment, I was so grateful to have crossed the border and been there with Zach, my gusband, who would not judge me for puking into my napkin at a sushi restaurant and who would also think it weird that Superman was invented by a Canadian. And that is how I became someone who gets to live in Canada forever.
Okay, I know I’m married to her and in love and everything, but I laughed out loud while reading this several times. And they’re stories I’d heard before!
Paste Magazine just premiered our latest video, a short piece directed by Alex Lubliner, with visual effects and editing by William Zoe Fitzgerald (and with homage paid Peter Ravn’s album artwork). It’s dedicated to the crisis of authority, the failures of your once favorite institutions, teenage mob logic, white men foreign to doubt, and the ever popular gang war dance-off vibe sadly missing from popular films and videos today. Kids today. It made us giggle, it creeped us out, it rattled our nerve endings, and felt more or less right for the song. Confusion, spontaneous samba, nightmares (the real kind that make no sense in the waking hours, not the Hollywood variety) and laughter are welcome and acceptable responses. It’s your body, but you are scarcely as in charge of it as you think. Here’s a love letter to doubt.
I meant to post this a while ago (the video is gr8, and funny to boot), but today I’ve got “Night Falls on the General Assembly” stuck in my head anyway, so it’s extra appropriate. This bit from the link is too good not to share, but click through and watch the video too:
“The vignettes in the song all pivot around this central anxiety: that is, a fear of mob logic,” said Fields in describing the music video. “Specifically male, specifically young. Alex took these ideas and inspiration from Peter Ravn’s cover art and drew a line between the practiced, self-assured dominating gaze of a mock CEO in a MerrilLynch commercial and the narrative ambiguities in Peter’s paintings that make those characters haunting, sad, and funny.”
So anyone that’s been reading this tumblr for a while or just, you know, talks to me probably knows that I’m a big, big fan of Low (ahem). I try not to proselytize about them too much, but when I saw that Brooke had posted that she just started listening to the band and liked them, I pretty much had to offer to make her a mix. She’s already got C’mon, so I left it off the list, but this mix is my overview of the rest of their career.
To give you some idea of what we’re working with, when I put all of my Low into a playlist and removed C’mon and a couple of duplicate tracks from other mixes I was left with 204 songs; 16 hours, 17 minutes and 43 seconds of music. I took a first pass to yank out everything I wanted to put on the mix and was left with… 34 songs, 2:31:56. So this mix might seem on the long side, but I assure you I had to cut a lot of things I really wanted to keep in order to get down to 20 tracks and a mere 83:23.
And there’s definitely stuff ‘missing’ — there’s only one track from Trust, one of my favourite Low albums, for example! I couldn’t find room for plenty of favourites, like “Days Of…” and “Rope” and “Joan of Arc,” “Dinosaur Act” and “(That’s How You Sing) Amazing Grace,” but that also means if newcomers like this mix there are just a ton of great songs for them to discover. I also left off the track that made our wedding mix, because it’s special (although if I left off every Low song I’ve put on a mix for Anaïs there wouldn’t be much left for me to use!). But I tried to pick a range of stuff from across their body of work, and represent the different sides of their music as much as anything else. It’s not really a best of, it’s not really a greatest hits, it’s not just their most accessible material, but I think it gives a good overview of what Low are like as a band and why they’re a great band (and why, I hasten to add, people should buy their records and go to their shows and buy t-shirts, if they can afford it and are so moved). Hopefully it’s a good introduction for Brooke and hopefully other people get something out of it too. Enjoy!
Hand So Small (Low & Spring Heel Jack Bombscare EP, 2000)
Belarus (Drums and Guns, 2007)
Whitetail (Things We Lost in the Fire, 2001)
Blue-Eyed Devil (Soul Coughing cover, originally from an unknown compilation, released on the A Lifetime of Temporary Relief box set in 2004)
Words (I Could Live in Hope, 1994)
Two-Step (Secret Name, 1999)
Shame (Long Division, 1995)
Walk Into the Sea (The Great Destroyer, 2005)
Be There (live version from One More Reason to Forget, 1998)
The Plan (demo version, included in the A Lifetime of Temporary Relief box set in 2004)
Weight of Water (Secret Name, 1999)
Laser Beam (Things We Lost in the Fire, 2001)
In the Drugs (Trust, 2002)
Violence (Long Division, 1995)
Murderer (Drums and Guns, 2007)
Pissing (The Great Destroyer, 2005)
Venus (1997 single, included in the A Lifetime of Temporary Relief box set in 2004)
Over the Ocean (The Curtain Hits the Cast, 1996)
Will the Night (Secret Name, 1999)
Will the Night (Songs for a Dead Pilot EP, 1997)
Sendspace decided to make the file impossible to download at the same time they decided they’d erase it if it wasn’t downloaded in seven days, so… I’ve reuploaded it, if anyone would like this mix. I didn’t even update it; still nothing from C’mon (let alone The Invisible Way), and I resisted the urge to add in the version of “No Need” from Paris 99 “Anthony Are You Around?”. Anyway, here’s "Wonderwall" this mix.
The mistake people make when they talk about not being able to trust Wikipedia is in the implicit assumption that we could trust encyclopedias as infallible sources before Wikipedia.
I like Wikipedia because I know it could be wrong. Regular encyclopedias can be wrong, too, but my guard was never up in the same way with them as it is with Wikipedia. I like Internet media specifically for the reason that Aaron Sorkin doesn’t like it: because it makes it that much more difficult for me to have any illusions about the fact that the burden of critical thought is on me.
I don’t automatically trust bloggers because a group of people I’ve never met decided to give them a badge that says “reporter” on it. I don’t turn off my critical thinking because they’ve gotten to be some sort of “professional”. I have to judge them on the merits of their writing and history of thoughtfulness or thoughtlessness alone. That is a feature, not a bug, because we should never trust any news media outlet implicitly.
Stupidest thing ever is this infantilization of patriarchy like, “it’s boys who do those things; a ~~real man~~~ would never be that way” no listen to me, it is not little boys who crack jokes that make up patriarchy but actual grown-ass men engaging in actual physical, systematic, structural, emotional, verbal violence against women. Patriarchy is not puberty you grow out of but a backdrop wired into the fabric of our society.
I have a list of my ten favorite albums. It has changed a bit over time, with seven remaining fairly constant and the other three spots a revolving door of albums that may or may not claim permanent positions on the list after a few more listens. However, by no means would I ever claim that my list is of the ten “best” albums ever made, nor would I foist it upon someone else as such.
When I read “best of” lists, I usually feel like this is exactly what the people behind the lists are trying to do; it’s probably why I have so much trouble taking them seriously. (An aside: I use semicolons wayyy more than everyone I know. I think I’m using them correctly, but I might just be coming off as a miseducated tool. Help me out here, y’all.) I think many music critics have a tendency to conflate “best” with “favorite” - the former seems like it could possibly be objectively determined, while the latter is the result of one’s personal, visceral reaction to the music they’re hearing. That said, feel free to tell me I’m full of shit, as I know that the best music is frequently emotionally driven and not necessarily technically correct or masterful.
My boyfriend is a guitarist, according to the literal “one who plays guitar” description, rather than the “this is my career!” sense. This is entirely unsurprising, as he is a white boy from the suburbs. Growing up, he was totally into solo guitar albums by the technically-talented Yngwie Malmsteen. Ever heard one of his albums? They’re boring as fuck. “It’s not great music, but holy shit, it’s good guitar,” Jesse said, when I mentioned that I’ve never been able to really enjoy albums by Yngwie, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, or their contemporaries. I don’t deny that they can play the fuck out of their instruments, but their music is mechanical, serving only as a vehicle for their ego trips. Jesse is also an engineer in a highly technical profession, and he finds 80s hardcore, which I fucking love, absolutely unlistenable. It is totally unsurprising that he still carries a torch for prog rock and all things Favored Nations.
Did I mention I can’t play a single instrument? I’m gonna stop undermining my own point, and leave it to y’all to do so instead. Anyway, do feel free to throw in your own thoughts, even if they are just as incomplete and disorganized as mine. Eh? Ehhh.
best + favorite are totally different! the difference is that because appreciation of art is inherently subjective, “best” is totally irrelevant to music, IMO.
Keri’s post is great to begin with, but what Jess added? Write it in the sky in fireworks, put it on my tombstone, engrave it on the walls of the city, recite it to the children, etc.
If someone tries to tell you they’ve made some sort of objectively “best” list of art (music or otherwise), they are lying to you and you should think about how and why they’re lying to you (and even whether they realize that they’re lying to you). That our appreciation of art is inherently subjective is one of the great glories, joys, and beauties of art; anyone who wants to disavow that has gone wrong somewhere.
Which is to say every list I’ve ever done or will do is a list of favourites, and usually not some almost-as-illusory “favourites of all time!” either (I can’t even be sure I have a self, how can I be sure ten records are my absolute favourites?), and every single list I’ve done since somewhere in mid-adolescence has been explicitly and knowingly so.
Re: the young man, Tal Fortgang, who wrote about white privilege for TIME.
What is very fascinating in this Salon piece is the comments. As a black person, I cannot understand the minds of these people. I cannot understand their inability to grasp the concept of racial privilege and how systematic racism works.
Many of the commenters simply refuse to absorb and comprehend that privilege is about how society is structured and how that structure influences the way that different people experience life. The commenters actively misconstrue the argument by rephrasing “privilege,” an established sociological concept, into something of their choosing. The shape that these commenters have decided to give the concept of “privilege” is “whether bad stuff ever has happened to white people,” and also a notion of “do white people always have good fortune.”
Among this lot, those that chose to condemn Fortgang decided that his misdeed was “bragging.” Obviously to me, bragging is the least of his faults.
Some have decided that the phrase “check your privilege,” is an insult (the word “insult” is used) rather than what it factually and grammatically is: a command. “Do this.” The command “check your privilege” instructs the listener to examine how their behavior is being influenced by their station in society. It’s about thinking beyond oneself, outside of one’s own experiences. It isn’t (as many people have claimed) a bully pulpit to tell pesky white people or men or heterosexuals to “shut up.” It means that the listener must examine something about their views and how their position may be intruding on the positions of other people with less societal power than themselves in a particular area of life.
That’s a lot of words but it’s really quite simple.
Not really pertinent to the article, but white Americans, at least of our generation and before, have been raised to believe that ‘privilege’ is synonymous with ‘wealth.’ This very narrow definition of the term (wealth is a privilege, not all privileges) has done more, in my mind, to allow people to ignore and derail discussions of other privileges, because nearly all of us are not wealthy, and therefore can honestly and earnestly say ‘I don’t come from privilege,’ because we have been instilled with a different definition of the word. Untangling that fundamental misunderstanding based on terms is a huge stumbling block to a lot of white Americans, because we are trained to hear ‘privilege’ and process ‘rich.’
Many of us never get past that, and part of me suspects that the definition white people have given the word, while perhaps not deliberate, was certainly done with some kind of malicious intent to start conversations of privilege with a fundamental failure that would allow the people at the top of the privilege ladder to immediately recoil from the dialogue.
Ugh, why are Tumblr SJWs so hypocritical? It’s almost as if they’re thousands of different people with different characteristics from varying backgrounds, and not the completely neutral hive mind I make them out to be in order to veil my bigotry… Fuck social justice :(
And so the work week comes to an end! (I’ve written about this song before, but while I think it still belongs in that mix I’d say something different now.) Anaïs and I are going to the AGO this afternoon, then grocery shopping so we can pick up some things for Sunday (we’re having a few people over for the game).