Context, co-opting, and condescension: When Click-Bait is a double-edged sword
NB: I will not be linking to any of the articles mentioned, because y’all have plenty of google-fu.
ETA: Excuse the typos of phone-blogging, I’m rather bleary-eyed atm.
From the debacle a few weeks ago, over, “Fake,” geek girls to this week’s slut-shaming, hairdo-controversy, and the insidious misuse of a quote fragment to frame an actor as an object of the class debate: media has been failing in ever more absurd ways.
Miley Cyrus continues to confound the media by refusing to play the good little girl, and this week brought us the controversy of her new ‘do.
Because obviously, Miley chopping off her hair is the sign of a huge mental disturbance. At least that’s the spin being presented in the media. I think it’s interesting that the more Miley Cyrus declares media opinion irrelevant in her life, the more she’s questioned by the media for doing things that most 19 year-olds do as a matter of course.
Double-standards, slut-shaming, and absolute hypocrisy have been the hallmarks of the StewPattz breakup (and I am never going to use that portmanteau again) but it reached a fever-pitch as reports.that Stewart had been booted from the SWATH sequel. “And the Huntsman,” would still be directed by Rupert Sanders, though. Because obviously, a married man and father who can’t resist the charms of a 23yo and/or sees fit to take advantage of a 23yo is a grand choice for directing a film aimed at young women. It may only have been a rumor, but the fact that it was entirely plausible means that something is very wrong in our society. Who broke legally-contracted vows to their partner? Wait, you mean it wasn’t that Hollywood Harlot who has already prostrated herself in remorse publicly? I’m confused. Why is Stewart being treated like Hester Prynn, exactly?
Yes, misogyny is alive and well and these are just the pop-culture obsession-related examples. People wonder why I’m angry so much of the time. REASONS. DAMMIT. REASONS.
Mitt Romney refuses to release tax returns to, “You people,” (Ann Romney refers to constituents as, “You people,” now. Fun.) Paul Ryan misses every point in every song and even the band name of Rage Against The Machine. In Russia, Pussy Riot has been found guilty of hooliganism and Moscow has banned Gay Pride. And in the UK, we’ve had a completely out of context quote which in actuality refers to a fight against typecasting in a good-humored and self-deprecating way, treated as a signifier of the “Posh” world in the class struggle. Never mind that the person quoted has more than once publicly argued against Cameron’s cuts because they disproportionately impact people who aren’t rich. Never mind that a snippet of a quote treats not only the person quoted but the entire issue of classism, as a trifle to be derided. Never mind that an actor who has zero influence on Cameron’s agenda and has fought against it might be the wrong person to point a finger at. No, the Guardian threw down the gauntlet.
It’s offensive to equate a fragment of a mischaracterized quote with what classism is. It is offensive to put up a poll that asks if, “Posh-bashing,” has gone too far in the first place, but to do so solely with the intent of,creating click/link bait, is revolting.
Avoiding meaningful discussion of the impact of the alleged “Austerity measures” by shit-stirring is not a valid means of highlighting class issues. It draws attention to a person without one iota of power in government rather than people like Cameron and Johnson, both of whom not only have power but embody the class privilege that is being bashed. A puff piece to distract the masses becomes a tool for the ruling class, which is ever so helpful. It is demeaning to have something that is actually killing people turned into a pointy stick to poke at a celeb with. Invented backlash that obscures and ignores real problems makes me hulksmash for so many reasons.
So we have heaps of casual and institutional misogyny, class war smoke and mirrors, and then there are the actual class wars. Where Romney and Ryan think that they have no obligation to serve the American people they seek to lead.
All in all, I have been thunking my head against walls all week.