Friday, December 16, 2016

A Serious Post About the Memes of Production

Okay, I'll play.

I want to dedicate this post to a brocialist member of the Tone Police, "Your Woke Toddler," who toddled into my Twitter mentions yesterday to scold me for integrating pop culture references into political posts because such integration doesn't comport with his enlightened notions of proper political purity and serious discourse.

It is wrong of me, he instructed, to build a "geek brand" off of "real-world problems," which sounds to me like a cool leftist way to try to trivialize my (ad-free! non-revenue!) writing and shame me at the same time. Although, he has a point when you think about it. Can a person, let alone a woman, even cite geeky things and express serious political thoughts at the same time? PROBABLY NOT.

Behold, an observation: We are apparently to believe that re-tweeting dank leftist and anti-Hillary memes under the handle "Your Woke Toddler" is a Very Serious Contribution to the Political Discourse. (Why, it's almost as though frivolity in political discourse is not my scold's real complaint, but maybe, just maybe, something else! Is this a consistent complaint Toddler makes of all he encounters? PROBABLY NOT!)

Behold, another observation: We are to believe that one should never include a Game of Thrones reference in any post about politics because Game of Thrones has no message about politics from which we can or should draw analogies to current political realities. Apparently, that's just, like, the rules of leftism.

Nevermind that pop culture, art, geekdom, and science fiction are used by many people to cope with, draw comparisons to, and/or critique political oppression, and have long been used this way.  Literally who doesn't do this? Consider, for instance, the many women for whom The Handmaid's Tale serves as a precautionary tale about the dangers of the state controlling reproductive autonomy.  Better not mention that! Best to instead follow an Internet rando's rule on citing fiction in political work, or else you're just another unserious shillary corporatist neo-liberal imperialist!

And let me tell you! This little non-commercial, non-corporate independent geeky outfit I run here at Fannie's Room makes me millions of dollars! Millions! That's why when I'm not indulging pop culture cravings, my other favorite pastime is to dive into my vault of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck and do the backstroke.

I admit. I do this, even though there is suffering in the world.

But, and gather closely because I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I do sometimes hear that faint whisper from 22-year-old me: "If..... if only I could seize control of the means of production." I would then make all the femslash. No wait, sorry. At such times, I wonder, "Could I too one day be a white person on social media who fetishizes violent communist revolution?" Was I a total sell-out this whole time for not spending months attacking Hillary Clinton, when I could have instead been tweeting the whitest, most violence-glorifying shit ever about Fidel Castro after he died?? But the Goldman Sachs speeeeeeeeeeches!

Dear readers, it's clear I've been put in my place.

Tyrion Lannister tells us that we should know what we are, and wear it like a shield, so it can never be used against us. And readers, I say to you, I have been smacked down from my high horse. I'm now the opposite of an uppity, shallow liberal feminist. I'm downity. Debbie Downity. I shall cope with political travesty only in serious ways, ways which are dictated to me by brocialist strangers on Twitter. I have seen the light of the wagging finger and I want nothing more than to please it (for, a bird landed on it, and I was mesmerized!).

From henceforth on it's nothing but academic analyses of Das Kapital, comrades! Down with shallow pop culture blogging!*

But first, this.

A last bit of "white feminist"** shit for brocialists to ridicule via that well-worn veneer of post-feminist enlightenment that masks their seething misogyny. I give you my version of the popular "Me in 2016" meme!

Me at the beginning of 2016:

Me at the end of 2016:

Me at the beginning of 2017:

But, in spite of brocialist dipshits, I do believe we mustn't forget the real enemy. To paraphrase Jessica Jones, Trump is the kind of person who gives people a bad name. But then again, so are lots of people.

As the walking-Deplorable-Comment-Section prepares to take office, I continue to contemplate resistance while steeling myself for the cruelty he has emboldened. As this cruelty is inflicted offline and on, I think about different strategies for addressing cyberbullies and will likely be experimenting with them in the coming year. As you can see. The mean people are winning because they count on nice people's civility and exploit it. When you do fight back, they see it as an unfair attack. When deplorables are blocked or banned, they think it makes them strong and us weak.

They're wrong.

I will defend myself, but unlike them I don't actively seek out people to harass. That's not because I have any great respect for them as Internet Deplorables, but because I respect the principle of presumptive civility more. You treat me well, I treat you well. You fuck with me, I defend myself and fight back. What I won't do is allow strangers to dictate to me how I can and cannot cope with this political reality, what tone of voice I use, or what sources I cite to articulate my points.

On that note, I am over the non-pragmatic left, many of whom effectively acted as propagandists for foreign operatives even if they didn't know it and won't now own that complicity. I have always been over the right, who have shown their hypocritical true colors as is typical. These political rifts didn't happen overnight in November, they've existed for a long time and were effectively exploited. I find myself searching for political allies, even in unlikely places, while I also search for that middle ground between pragmatism and idealism, self-defense and aggression. Perhaps there is no middle ground and we encompass them all.

A lesson from comic books is that these are the conditions that create anti-heroes. So says Jessica:
"They say everyone's born a hero. But if you let it, life will push you over the line until you're the villain. Problem is, you don't always know that you've crossed that line.
This is a dark moment in US history. I suspect posterity will be appalled at Trump and his fans - the obsession with "Hillary's emails" while they ignore Russian interference in the election, the misogynistic "lock her up" fantasies, the racist backlash against President Obama, the pussy-grabbing. I mean, where do you even stop the list?

In a dark way, the light that history will shine on the Trump depravity gives me hope. And also, there is always honor in defending ourselves if only because it communicates that we are worth defending.

So, on that note, how is everybody else doing?

*J/k, your regularly-scheduled fan-video Fridays will not be going away.
**White feminism is a thing that should be critiqued, but contrary to some leftist interpretations doesn't actually mean, "White feminists who aren't socialists are all shallow bitches who do nothing but worship Lena Dunham all day."

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