Welcome to another meeting of the Super Opinionated Power Club!
Hi there! Show of hands: who is having the worst day? Don't bother, it's me. Not even the announcement that One Direction is releasing a concert film for one weekend only is cheering me up...I'm pretty sure all the other girls in the movie theater would be mean to me, so I'm not planning on going. I woke up and hated everything about everything. It's like I have a migraine but in my soul. Is this how goths happen?
The Most Important Thing in the World
I have been meaning to tell you about this for three full weeks now, but I keep forgetting. I'm so excited to talk to you about a 7-year-old, 12-episode web comedy series about the smooth sounds of the 80s. I speak, of course, ofYacht Rock, which I watched all of in one sitting because it is delightful. (You can also apparently watch it in HD, although that was not my path and it's possible the whole thing is less charming when not pixelated.) The one clear misstep in the whole thing is that they uncritically and lazily use a gay slur as an insult occasionally (starts with F, rhymes with 'maggot'), and I'm sure the defense one could muster is "well but in the 1980s that's what people said"...but since the rest of the show is so smart about lambasting and twisting a lot of "what people said/did in the 1980s", that's a really shitty hypothetical excuse! The way it plays, it actually feels a lot like a group of guys who saw an opportunity to get away with saying that word in their comedy "for reasons" and chose to stop thinking any harder about it. With that warning, I recommend the series.
(I can never blank-check-recommend anything a group of dudes produces, it feels like. I had to explain to someone over the weekend that they had to check the date released on RiffTraxs if they wanted to avoid the possibility of transphobic "jokes" showing up in the middle of an otherwise-fun time (because the Rifftrax guys used to do that frequently until finally Twitter interactions + latent human decency got them to stop). Straight White Men Ruin Everything.)
(Rest of the JHolz's Truisms here - my fave today is "IGNORING ENEMIES IS THE BEST WAY TO FIGHT", but I feel like some of these are so dated about gender that a modern scrub through the Truisms is probably in order.)
Time's Inexorable March
Teen girls are only supposed to smile when we command them to
A young woman took a picture of herself smiling at Auschwitz and y'know, how dare she, amirite? Leah Finnegan's thoughts about photographing oneself at the sites of International Tragedies (vol 1: Auschwitz, vol 2: the 9/11 Memorial) are relevant here. Also relevant: the lack of (inter)national public outrage at any one of the people who posed themselves with Kara Walker's A Subtlety in grotesque ways (or hey, at any American plantation, ever). Final note: The teen girl who studied the history of the Holocaust with her father and then visited Auschwitz after he died and took a picture to commemorate the occasion (you remember her from the first sentence) has set her Twitter account to protected sometime in the last two days, one assumes in response to the volume and quality of abuse she's been receiving for not performing the appropriate amount of honor, respect, and dignity. Indeed.
Using trigger warnings harms my need to harm people
I guess there's yet another dust up about trigger warnings, whether they're a good idea, no no immediately let's all decide they're a bad idea, etc. Please go read Andrea Smith's writing about this. I've begun volunteering as a medical advocate for my local rape crisis center, and one of my peer supervisors asked me what I did and was surprised when I told her I work in technology because, "your attitude is so great, you sound like you work in mental health services." The way I wanted to answer was, "no, I'm just receiving a lot of mental health services," but that didn't seem appropriate because of that fear and myth that Andrea Smith writes about. I am trying to make myself better, and I am trying to have as much positive impact on the world as I can, but I live in a world that causes harm, and I am capable of causing harm. Without recognizing that the work is done by imperfect people, and that the work itself can tear you apart, my fear is that we'll prop up and champion people just as willing and able to abuse as those we decry.
Stare at This Immediately
Elizabeth Graff's "Illustrating and Embracing the Unknown", a series of custom visual monthly calendars for children to help them understand the passage of time and reduce their anxiety around same.
[...] of the Week
Cross-fandom pairing: William Ryker/Sayid Jarrah Anything to help Sayid get over Nadia okay
Jam: Rich White Ladies, Wimbledon
Made me cry: IT'S A TIE: Kacy Catanzaro recently became the first woman to beat a televised qualifying course for American Ninja Warrior (I think that's what's happening here?) and Sophie Barbasch's Goodnight Call(This work made me think a lot about how easily we all carry loving words inside us, how well we can use them even for a stranger. We have this in us, we know how to be loving already.)
Subject line song: Robyn, Get Myself Together
Twitter: Olivia Taters, because I fell in love with her all over again for this tweet
YouTube video: GaymerX's Internetting While Female panel, featuring Carolyn Petit, Katherine Cross, and Anita Sarkeesian.