Recently, I was discussing the recent Joss Whedon revelations with my weekly writing group. While we were universally outraged at his behavior (but not exactly surprised), we differed on how much we could still appreciate, watch and consider his work a part of our lives. One friend said he will absolutely not watch any work of art made by anyone who was accused of bullying or abusive behavior, in addition to not supported art made blatantly by people committing heinous crimes. This included Hitchcock, David O. Russell, and Tarantino.
I made the point that everyone sets different standards for what they consider acceptable and that acceptability is a complex, nuanced issue. My friend rejected that notion, saying that there was no room for nuance until we reset our standards for acceptability.
I am completely on board with resetting the goalposts for what constitutes acceptable behavior in the entertainment industry. Yet, the concept of there being “no room for nuance” still haunts me. Taken out of that context and applied to how we communicate as a culture, I can see this permeate communication across the board. Social media has reduced our thinking (at least in my circles) to curt oversimplifications, clickbait-y headlines to articles no one actually reads, and an emphasis on being loud over being right.
None of this is new information to anyone who spends as much time on social media as I have over the past decade-plus. But no one has really thought of a solution.
One of my resolutions for 2021 was to spend less time on social media. I’ve more or less accomplished that goal. But good lord, I miss the healthy conversations that online communication could garner when it wasn’t overrun by trolls and edgelords.
So this blog, a relaunch of a blog with the same dumb name that I launched in 2007 and abandoned around 2010, attempts to return to the kind of long-form, detailed analysis of pop culture, politics, cultural ethics, and how all those areas relate. I aim to use this blog to replace my snarky Tweets and status updates, no matter how witty and “well-branded” they may be.
Feel free to fire away with thoughts, comments, disagreements, and any kind of non-toxic communication in replies to wherever this article is posted. I will attempt to foster a culture of nuance and detail while maintaining my passion for treating people humanely. I hope you do too.