Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Quote of the Day


Hillary Clinton warned us, before the election, and was largely met with derision while Trump's "no puppet, no puppet" line was amplified and joked about.

Hillary Clinton was correct.

It is now July 2018, and Donald Trump continues to hold rallies for himself at which his supporters chant "lock her up," referring to Hillary Clinton, the woman who won the 2016 popular vote in spite of Putin's assist to his buddy Trump.


Monday, July 16, 2018

Whedon Gets Another Female-Centric Show

I know there's a lot going on in the world right now, politically speaking, but I also believe pop culture, and who produces it for the masses, is inherently political. Pop culture is often a reflection of larger political trends, creator biases, and power dynamics. It can also normalize and replicate them.

Netflix has granted Joss Whedon the opportunity to write, direct, executive produce, and showrun a new series about a group of Victorian women with unusual abilities.

Whedon, in my opinion, now occupies an awkward, at best, place within he sphere of feminist and woman-centered pop culture. For one, as Karen Osborne reminded folks on Twitter, Whedon's ex-wife has contended that he has used his power and influence to have affairs with women in the TV/film industry, including on shows which he has produced.

Two, he is still widely hailed as a feminist hero, largely for his work on Buffy. But, the role of white male leaders within feminist pop culture must always be, I believe, examined within a context in which systemic discrimination has stifled the potential of women since the industry's dawn.

Virginia Woolf, of course, wrote of Shakespear's Sister, the equally-brilliant sister of William who, because of opportunities denied to her, never shared her gift with the world. When we keep tapping into the same pool of talent, it's the world's loss. What stories, narratives, and characters' voices are we not hearing because white men so often hoard the best gigs for themselves?  And, while I won't say that all men should be excluded from telling stories about women, I will say I harbor a certain distrust of men who think it's their place to do so, knowing that so many women lack the same opportunity to tell these stories from our perspectives.

Three, and finally, I had forgotten that when he killed Tara off, it was the first episode in which Amber Benson was credited as a series regular. What an unbelievably jerkish and privileged way to treat queer fans of a believed show.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Vital Programming in the Trump Era

I have learned that the male point of view is so dearly under-represented nowadays that men need their own special "no women allowed" show, barftastically titled, "Real Men Watch Bravo" and hosted by Jerry O'Connell.

From The Guardian (emphasis added):
"In a press release, the network described O’Connell as 'a walking encyclopedia of Bravo history', stating that the actor will appear 'alongside a panel of male celebrities, comics and tastemakers, discussing the buzziest Bravo moments'. The panelists, the release assures us, will be 'unapologetic Bravoholics' who will provide 'the male point of view pertaining to all things Bravo'.

In other words, Real Men Watch Bravo is meant to be a bit of meta-counter-programming, featuring men talking about Bravo’s TV shows in a presumably manly way. The question of why women will be excluded from the opportunity to provide commentary on Bravo’s programming went unaddressed in the press release."
With respect to the unaddressed question, I guess it's just one of life's enduring mysteries, the answer to which we'll never know.

But, I'll take a gander. With the article noting that two-thirds of Bravo viewers are women, is the idea that men are needed to come talk about these "feminine" TV shows and validate them with their authoritarian manly presences? Is the show really actually for women, so they can learn what "real men" think about their girly TV shows? Or, is ..... is the idea here really that male opinions don't already have super-sized influence on pop culture - even "feminine"-coded pop culture - and thus this show fills a vital gap in that respect?