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Saturday, May 30, 2015

On Analytical Modes

Paragraph found in a post on why the new Entourage movie is bound to fail critically:
But there’s more to the changing tide of Entourage’s cultural reception than that. It’s not just that Entourage didn’t evolve—it’s that the whole conversation around TV did. Needless to say, pop-culture criticism as a whole now pays far more aggressive, fine-grained attention to the political implications of art within the context of criticism. We increasingly consider aesthetic judgments to at least overlap with ethical ones, in part if not entirely. This change has allowed for some of the best TV criticism of the past few years, coming from some of the best critics. It’s led one of the most popular shows on the air to be flayed to the bone every time it airs a rape scene. It’s spearheaded the critical reevaluation of Friends. (OK, Chandler is the worst.) Yes, it has also produced plenty of ham-fisted and wrongheaded analysis—but, no matter your opinion on it, this analytical mode is now built into the way we talk about culture.
A couple things:

A)  My opinion on it is that it's shit.
B)  I hope it's more of a phase than "this analytical mode is now built into the way we talk about culture."  Because...
C)  It's not that this analytical mode has "also produced plenty of ham-fisted and wrongheaded analysis," it's that it's likely to.

That's why Ronda Roussey is in the movie.  You can't make a movie about four white dudes in this day and age without addressing "the political implications" in some way.  Throw in a cage-fighting girl, a boneable one of course, and it's a sop to all the wet blankets who would decry the testosterone overload.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Woah

A feminist calls out other feminists about their abjectly ridiculous complaints about Game of Thrones.

She says:
The issue here is bad arguments and why feminists need to avoid them. Feminism is supposed to be a movement against reactionary politics, so this kind of reactive, rationalizing behavior—the kind we see so often from conservatives—is a bad look. I spend a lot of my time trying to debunk conservatives whose entire worldview is built around coughing up bullshit rationales to justify their thoughtless reactions, from “abortion is icky” to “sexual women are gross” to “hip-hop doesn’t sound like the music of my youth so it must be wrong”. Being challenged or upset by stuff is not a reason to be against it. It often means you need to slow your roll and think about things harder. Plus, bad arguments makes it easier for anti-feminists to paint feminists as a bunch of overly emotional, thoughtless and censorious creatures. Don’t give them that.
I think Amanda Marcotte gets a lot wrong about George RR Martin's intentions about the series -I think Martin just wants to shock and horrify his audience, no cheap trick for an author who also writes horror- but she gets this right.

Being challenged or upset by stuff is, indeed, not a reason to be against it.