On letters, cancellations, and what everyone seems to get wrong

There will be no burying the lede here. People can’t cancel people; businesses cancel people. As it has always been and how I expect it to remain in my lifetime, those in power are the ones who truly determine the amplification of a voice or the silencing that may occur when it is determined that the person’s voice is of no value anymore. It’s cold and true. Blaming a supposed mob for using their own voices, especially when the grouping of people is largely composed of those who have historically been marginalized, is ultimately another exertion of dominance.

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An Argument for Why Distasteful 30 Rock, Scrubs, and W/ Bob & David Blackface Episodes Should Remain

Yes, this image of JD (Zach Braff) in blackface as he imagines himself as his best friend Turk is problematic. But we shouldn’t ignore that it happened either.

In the most current of decades (and decades) of social justice movements based on the realization that Black people are regarded quite differently than other Americans, creators and platforms in entertainment have decided that they should also have a reckoning. Last week it was announced that an episode of W/ Bob & David would be removed from Netflix because a sketch featured a character in blackface. This week show creators Tina Fey and Bill Lawrence requested that platforms remove episodes of their respective shows, 30 Rock and Scrubs, for also featuring scenes of characters in blackface. Now that these entire episodes are gone there are no longer issues, right?

Except the problem is those episodes did exist and all they’re trying to do is say they’re owning the problem by saying they don’t exist anymore. That’s not a solution.

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Censorship and Visibility in the Age of Trump

The executive order regarding social media is in part meant to serve as a flex at social media companies. It paves the way for legal recourse against any action perceived as negative toward conservatives – or the ruling party, really. Given that the president likes the ease with which he can communicate with his constituents over a service like Twitter as well as the following her commands on Facebook, nothing lethal will occur to either service. The threat is there, though. And money is the blood shed in a capitalist culture.

There’s a second meaning to the order, though.

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Speculation of Cable TV’s Death is Grossly Exaggerated

Go back through the archives and you’ll see that I’ve been prematurely calling the death of cable television for the past decade. Despite the signs of death being there, cable providers are a resilient lot. So now that some are claiming that the coronavirus might actually bring about the end, I’m skeptical.

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The G-Word

Previously on Our Multimedia Culture… Gospel X, our intrepid author who claims he is too busy to regularly update the blog, decided to no longer include himself among those who call themselves geeks and nerds. He decided it was more important to focus on the things we like than the labels we use for ourselves. Isn’t that the point?


It’s been two and a half years since I wrote about no longer throwing in with the geeks, nerds and otaku. For the most part, it has been a very smooth road. It was surprisingly easy to navigate this identify, even when trying to put myself way out in the open to draw in others with similar interests. I created a group on Meetup that didn’t necessarily have to do with the labeled cultures, but those most interested all called themselves geeks. The trick was to create a group that appealed to them but didn’t use the label. I chose enthusiasts. It was regarded as a mere idiosyncrasy of mine, and no one asked why I didn’t just call it a geek group. And no one asked why I didn’t identify as such.

Unfortunately, in retrospect, I realize I just inserted one label for another. What’s the difference between enthusiast and geek in this context? Granted, I never said I was an enthusiast, but it doesn’t matter. One word for another.

Another issue is that in the associated keywords I chose included “geek culture”. It’s hard to win sometimes.

It’s also hard to win when you do admit that you no longer use the label and are questioned about it. I’ve learned this very recently thanks to the online communities I frequent. Discussion on the matter leads to being backed into a corner with the implication of your using us and them language. And people aren’t wrong, especially when I say something along the lines, “I don’t want to be associated with geeks because of such-and-such.” It’s a difficult situation to be in and one I need to learn how to navigate better. It’s important to realize that when people self-identify so strongly with an identity that makes them feel like they truly belong, it offends them to hear that you want nothing to do with it based on people they feel are on the fringes of their culture.

Happy Birth- Oh, we can’t say that

Is there any case of copyright more egregious than that of “Happy Birthday to You”? I doubt it.

The purpose of creating art is to share something with the public conscience. Few are lucky enough to have something so well known, so iconic that everyone wants it to be everywhere. Copyright in some cases, like “Happy Birthday to You”, essentially tells people that a business owns a part of the culture. While this makes complete sense in a capitalistic culture, it is a sad reality. Rather than our culture’s being something we share, it’s something that we buy, borrow, and rent.

Amazon provides you a digital copy

If you haven’t checked your Amazon account in a while, you really should make your way there and to their Cloud Player. Every physical album you’ve purchased since 1998 will automatically be uploaded to your personal Amazon Cloud Player, so long as Amazon currently has the digital rights to the albums. This means that you have a free digital copy stored online that you can listen to and download at any time. Great move!

This is honestly something of which I would like to see more. The current climate of physical or digital doesn’t make sense to me. Every item that you purchase physically should automatically grant you access to a digital copy, especially if it is an item that is so easily copied anyway. This would be a great value for consumers, especially those who are collectors. Not to mention the fact that, while digital sales haven’t overtaken physical sales in all mediums, this could help to keep jobs in production factories. Digital-only should remain an option, but I don’t see the point.

Imagine a world in which you still get the tactile pleasure of flipping through pages of the latest novel or comic, popping open your new DVD/Blu-ray or video game, or inserting your latest CD into a player with full knowledge that should anything happen to them they are backed-up. Or that they are accessible to you while not physically in your presence. The future isn’t simply the digital revolution brought through MP3 players, e-readers, and streamed video. The future consists of options and access for media for which you paid.

Verizon to expose copyright trolls

Verizon to expose copyright trolls

TorrentFreak is celebrating the fact that Verizon is taking on the anonymous bullying of copyright trolls. Supposedly, this is to protect the customers. That’s the spin. While it is nice to imagine a corporation of any sort would stick its neck out to protect its customers, nothing is ever that simple. You see, a customer who is successfully sued by an outside entity will cease to be a customer. They are often sued for thousands to millions of dollars for copyright violations. The average joe, who is always the target of these disputes, cannot afford that. Why would they continue using Verizon service after finding themselves in in debt for that much? A successfully sued customer is no longer a Verizon customer, which means Verizon gets nothing out of the deal.

Clearly, fighting back for the customer is just a way to continue receiving money from the customer. Verizon isn’t riding in on a white horse. It’s just reigning in the money flowing from its current and future customers.

Further Misogyny

Further Misogyny

I’ve heard great things about the Reddit community, but I always seem to find the worst things when I go there. Today I found someone’s sharing a graphic from 4-Chan about the Feminist Frequency issue. It’s not a fair view of the situation. Some responses have been supportive of the project, but there are so many voices stating the same things: she should get over it, she’s profiting from sympathy, and feminism really wants to tip the scale in the other direction/equality does not mean entitlement. What do you think?

 

Further Misogyny

I’ve heard great things about the Reddit community, but I always seem to find the worst things when I go there. Today I found someone’s sharing a graphic from 4-Chan about the Feminist Frequency issue. It’s not a fair view of the situation. Some responses have been supportive of the project, but there are so many voices stating the same things: she should get over it, she’s profiting from sympathy, and feminism really wants to tip the scale in the other direction/equality does not mean entitlement. What do you think?