Thursday, February 9, 2017

Totally Mainstream

I gave Ross Doubt That a link to my most recent Potter series so he could update his social commentary without having to search for some newer cultural trend.



Seriously though, it was more the Times' idea than this one's, since they promoted the original trend so hard before this one even knew the books existed. I'm presenting this not because Doubt That was aware of my existence or drivel, but because the NYT has been so massively involved since the very beginning in pushing Potter in every way possible, including insulting it as a means to drive more attention in Potter's direction. Once, it published the carefully selected worries of Christian parents about how Potter was "too imaginative" for children; now, it's positioning Potter as anti-Trump in order to simultaneously make Trump more popular with some people, and Potter more popular with others (neither side's position would be changed, but more Pepsi/Coke/product would be sold overall). Doubt That's article is not strictly news about how "liberals" are resorting to purportedly-juvenile metaphor content, but rather a pointed allusion to the cultural prevalence of one of the Times' partner-projects. His use of large imagery from the Potter series in his related articles makes his point, though not the point he's theoretically (and that he himself quite probably believes he's) making.

Ironically, this one is doing the same thing. I cited him, and even used a picture, to make a point. Not only have I caused more attention to be directed at Potter, I've done the same for one of Potter's little lackeys, Doubt That. Which makes this one his little lackey.

This ultimately speaks to the recursive nature of power. "Liberals" use "Potter" as a reference for Trump not necessarily because they're stupid, but because it's all they have, just like the internet (or some sub-derivation thereof) is all I have by which to whine about it (since my boss at Domino's says not to insult Hermione any more or he'll cut my hours). Using the medium to try to tell someone the medium is a fake: already broken. We're here, so we're all guilty, so we can take comfort in one another's failings. Yet the availability of that comfort is, like the proverbial SSRI, why we're so calm. Perhaps Strauss was right; perhaps we need pretty lies to avoid instant madness in the face of the cosmic emptiness.

Or, conversely, perhaps there is a way out, and we're just disgusting hypocrites for not taking it.

6 comments:

  1. I like Doubt Hat (has to put it on like a costume piece) or Do This/Do That (my mind is decided based on external authority) instead of Doubt That, but the sentiments all are the same.

    All the keybangers of Ross's tier are thieves who couldn't cobble together an independent thought if they had weeks between work pieces.

    The higher tiers are worse!

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    1. Also,

      Perhaps Strauss was right;

      No, he was always Left, and merely plying a psychopathic strategy of wearing Right camouflage.

      --Capt. Obvious, signing off.

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    2. This one suspects they know they're not original, but believe that what makes them valuable is their professional presentation of things, without which things wouldn't ever be soberly presented. They're wrong about that, of course. I wonder, which is the more sad: that they're not interested in being creative, or that they think their style of presentation is inherently superior than one of this one's friends' Facebook posts referencing a political event? As a frequent non-news-reader and an infrequent Facebook checker, I find a more effective presentation of today's top stories when I click on a social networking link and find an effusive forty-year-old woman discussing her feelings about the latest [issue] than when I read the Associated Press. The hoi polloi so often have a way of cutting to the tenderloins with shamelessly empty efficiency.

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  2. They are products of two main forces, one is Look-at-Me! social media & its perpetual outward ripples, and the other is certificate-culture in Academia (talk a lot, say nothing, get Certificate).

    Doubtless (no pun intended) you, I or a number of people could talk circles around most paid scriveners, and do so in a number of fields-subjects-areas, but they have Certificates and they have Social Media Prestige, and that's what really counts!

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    1. I remember being pulled aside for the quiet talk, "You're right, but don't come out and say it, that's not how you're supposed to do things." Doubtless I'd be better paid if I'd, as they say, sold my soul.

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  3. You can try switching to comedy, but even as a comic observer one's list status can turn blacker than black if the wrong person(s) dislike the observations. Comedy is not any kind of shield against this.

    Like most everything in 21st Century USA, there is only one acceptable format for comedy application.

    Tina Fey.

    Not Dave Chappelle.

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