celebrity, culture and radical politics in the heart of the american empire
Queer white cisgendered woman. I post a more or less equal mix of radical/leftist politics, disability rights, general US celebrity culture and One Direction stuff here. I tag all my shit so if some but not all of those things interest you I think we can still be cool.
My ask box is always open. I might not always respond to every anon message but I do read everything. Call me out on my shit if I say something shitty. Send hugs or coffee or whatever if you just wanna talk. Big love.
Amy Poehler via Papermag
I think I have figured out why these kinds of comments from celebrities irritate the ever-living fuck out of me (separate from the fact that critiques on selfie culture are almost always deeply boring and trite).
I think the urge a celebrity has to shame non-celebrities for controlling their own image through social media and curating their life for a public audience comes from an insecure and hierarchical place.
They are the ones who are supposed to be performing their own lives for the public, ya hear? Not us. Why don’t we know our place? Our place is to consume their images and their lives. It is our job to look at cute pictures of Amy Pohler and her adorable ginger-haired kids, to idolize her former relationship with Will Arnett. Our selfies and our social media curation threatens their bottom line because it cheapens their product.
Lest you think I’m only calling Amy out for this: I’m not. She’s not the first celebrity to put forth this critique on modern Western culture and she certainly won’t be the last. I know almost everyone loves Amy Poehler. Hell, I like her too. Back when I lived in Weho I lived for the times I saw her and her adorable as fuck kids playing with the farm animals at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market.
But that doesn’t mean that she’s not capable of the subtle emotional manipulation that every celebrity engages in with the public. It’s part of her job. And we’re threatening it.
Yeah I didn’t think you were. It just came right after you were discussing shitty people and I think people with underlying judgmental attitudes about people who abuse drugs might pick up on that and make a connection you didn’t intend to make, so I wanted to put out a general disclaimer. But I really liked it. Great job :)
Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (via maarnayeri)
-May I first remind people that the chain of events here is not 1. Kid says something that hurts lgbt fans 2. I start shouting that everyone should shut up about it. It is rather 1. Kid says something that hurst lgbt fans 2. Everyone starts blaming Jay/saying the Tomlinsons are a bunch of homophobes/questioning Jay’s parenting skills/shitting on Jay and the Tomlinsons in no subtle way 3. I start shouting that people forget they are in no position to judge and question their motives
- So. I never said that everything Jay, or any other member of Louis’ family do or say is perfect or exemplary. I also never said we didn’t have a right to be critical of what family members do or say. Like with every individual who owns a social media account and says things that are hurtful, I believe it’s useful and valuable for other individuals who are bystanders, to educate them on it. In Keith Tomlinsons case, people I work with on Takemehomefromnarnia have done so, and with effect, as he recognized that he shouldn’t have said it.
- I do not advocate this fandom as a whole coming down on Louis’ sisters for not knowing better though - they are minors, they are kids, they didn’t choose to be in this position, we shouldn’t expect them to be role models, they have a right not to be perfect and say stupid things sometimes, even in public. And yes, in principle when normal kids with normal lives would do such things, I would tell them why what they are saying is hurtful to people like me if I knew them personally, and/or encourage their peers to say something about it if I didn’t know them personally. But this is not a normal situation and they don’t deserve an entire fandom hating on them for making mistakes that loads of other teenagers make, and learn from, on a daily basis.
- The thing is, that isn’t even what we are talking about - we are not talking about what was said, but about the assumptions and accusations people make about Jay, based on what her kids/family do. And there I say we are going several bridges too far. We are in no position to judge Jay’s parenting skills based on the observation that sometimes her kids do/say things they better hadn’t. We simply don’t know how she parents, and whether any of the things that have happened, have happened because she didn’t do her job as a parent. Most kids have social media accounts, most parents monitor what their kids do, and no parent can or should monitor their kids 24/7. Stuff is going to happen. And then parents educate their kids on how to avoid future mistakes. Who says that didn’t happen. How do you know that?
- On that note, I think it’s interesting that someone suggested that good kids can come from shitty parents in response to my argument that Louis is a great guy and so Jay must have done something right, but when it’s about Louis’ sisters saying things they had better not, everyone seems to forget that good parents can have shitty kids too. A kid making a mistake is very often not the parent’s fault. I know drug addicts with wonderful parents (and drug addicts with shitty parents too). And here we are talking about a teenager making a throwaway comment that’s accidentally homophobic - which people think justifies them talking shit about the teenager’s parent. Honestly. Why is it so important to you to have the right to do that?
- I am also saying that even if we knew for sure that Jay had some sort of responsibility in this - which I stress we do not - but even if, publicly chastising her for it, on anon no less, is not going to help Jay or her kids. I work with parents, and criticizing them and blaming them for every mistake they let their kids make (and everyones seems to conveniently forget that letting kids make mistakes is part of parenting too) does not empower them to become better parents - far from it.
- all of this, me calling people out for collectively and publicly blaming the mistakes of individual teenagers who cannot expected to be role models on their parents, is something very different from encouraging individual people to speak up about systemic homophobia in all of its forms (including adult family members making similar homophobic comments and a management company closeting two people apparently against their will). The differences are plenty: we don’t know if Jay is responsible, we know that Modest/the entertainment industry is; you cannot expect Louis’ sisters to be role models, we can expect Louis and Harry to be to some extent (which is why we call them out on cultural appropriation among other things); there’s a difference between individuals challenging a homophobic system and a collective of fans calling out individual teenagers; and so on, and so on.
- I keep wondering why people are always so quick to judge Jay. How they justify that to themselves. People keep telling me they have a right to point out where they believe things could have been handled better. That seems to me to be the point you are making, correct me if I am wrong
But this means that 1. You think you have all the information that Jay had, and that you know everything that she has done and 2. You think your judgment all things considered is better than hers. 3.You believe it will help someone if you say so in public
I am telling you, you don’t know about 1. though. You really really don’t. And with regard to 3. I am telling you, you are not helping the kids or Jay - tell yourself what you like but you are not and research shows this.
To me 2. is very telling. It is key in this story and what irritates me about it in fact. Because soooo many people in this fandom seem to believe it. And yes, I have my suspicions about why that is.
Thee way you call the Tomlinsons “the rest of that family” is very significant in my opinion. This fandom seems to like to collectively lookd down upon the Tomlinsons. And this brings me to what I think about 3. As far as I can see, the only point in publicly shitting on the Tomlinsons is to feel better than the Tomlinsons. Everyone likes to feel better than the chavvy teen mom and her kids. There. I said it. That is the prejudice people have and that they like to perpetuate by constantly criticizing her. And I am sick and tired of it. So as an individual, I am calling out this fandom’s collective upper middle class classism. Voila.