Welcome to another week of Power Club!
The most important thing in the world
Well obviously the most important thing this week is that I'm tidying up Power Club communications a bit (header tags, ugh, must we...yes), because I've written a few of these now and so I want a touch more structure. [dreamy sigh] Oh, ~structure, you're so great. Also, I've linked this up to Twitter now, which I am nominally using again after a five month hiatus? Hi Twitter, I live in this newsletter now.
But also, reality check and in keeping with the title of this section of the newsletter, someone cut new credits for Teen Wolf as if Beyonce was a cast member and you need to go watch right now because it's the most important thing in the world.
Time's inexorable march
(Originally I called this section "the march of time is inexorable" and then the vestiges of Journalism 101 took over and I took out the three extra words and then I felt so good about the process that I'm actually writing way more words down now to tell y'all about it. Is there anything better than removing things you thought you needed?)
Sometimes things happen in the world that I want to comment on before it falls out of my memory...but I'm not sure I need to dwell on any one of these instances. Think of this as, "more data points for the map of understanding how the systems we live in operate."
- The Games Industry (Trigger Warning: Rape)
I am at a point where it feels like there are so many people in the games industry who are rapists and predators, the whole lot could just be called "gamerapists" and the ones who are just one of those could get used to answering to both names like Samneric from Lord of the Flies. Which is to say, yes, another person who had a hand in a very popular game (this time, Cards Against Humanity co-creator, Max Temkin), raped a woman. His response is garbage, but it isvery educational garbage, and I almost wish every man who managed to hold the word "feminist" in his mouth while completely dismissing the words and life experiences of a woman from his brain without question would display it this clearly. There are several great pieces I've seen in reaction to this so far; my current recommendations are this point by point breakdown of Temkin's blog post that points out how he never actually apologizes (among other things), and A Short Letter to The Folks Playing Cards Against Humanity in My Hotel Lobby.
I believe Max Temkin's victim and I stand in solidarity with her. I hope her privacy and safety are uncompromised and that she has friends and whatever support she needs with her through the ongoing harassment, intimidation, and public threats of her rapist. I believe it is the role of Temkin's friends to show him kindness and compassionately work with him to manage his feelings; it is not his victim's, and it is not mine or the public at large's. His actions deserve to be judged, regardless of what his feelings are, and thus far I judge them to be abusive based on his very own reports.
In conclusion, fuck that guy and fuck his game. I hope she is having as peaceful a day as possible.
- The Male Gaze
So John Legend has a new music video that I think we're expected to feel good about? This reminded me of a recent Always commercial, of all things, and to a lesser degree Michael Mapes' work. While it's pleasant to have more mainstream awareness and lots of different male artists starting to grapple with the fact that there are negative messages being delivered to women about their behavior and looks...what is that supposed to do for me? I get the impression that there's a "done-ness" for having noticed this issue, instead of having just reached the starting line to begin working to dismantle the sources of the problem. Mapes' work is the most complex and doing the most interesting work to try and explore how the beauty industry and the art world intersect, Legend's video feels flat and like a first draft someone should have thought through more (eg: why are you turning the audience into the mirror and presenting that uncritically -- the objectification of women's bodies as public objects open to gaze and comment continues because of things like that), and the Always commercial is a one-two punch of "why don't we talk differently to girls about science and math?" combined with using makeup and femininity as a visual shorthand for "not interested in science and math anymore", so good game everyone, glad we dug that trench even deeper. So like, participation trophies all around; You Showed Up. And?
[...] of the week
Animated gif: Grumpy Cat yelling "fuck" ("Courtney, technically cats don't possess the power of human spee--" Get out of my life.)
Demand for fanfic: Winter Soldier and Sailor Mars, they would help each other a lot I think
Quote: “For art to be ‘un-political’ means only to ally itself with the ruling group.” Bertolt Brecht - A Short Organum for the Theatre
T-shirt: I don't wear shirts with words on them, but if I did
Twitter: The Worst Muse
Subject line song: Annie Lennox, Legend in My Living Room