30 March 2022

At The Oscars 2022 on the Internet!, brought to you through various clips and bits and articles and blips a day or two later, when all of this is officially irrelevant …

… and with the loudest of these clips and blips being “Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock” etc. 


From my POV—as a person who didn’t know that The Oscars was even happening this weekend until I read some article about Rachel Zegler and then wrote about it (“On The Ignorance of Rachel Zegler: or more precisely ‘How Your TEAM Can Make or Break You’”) but didn’t post it, because The Oscars is not something about which I would like to spend my time thinking or writing, and who didn’t watch The Show, because, why would I?, but whatever, here we are now—the Internet has forced me to become not only aware of The Show but also, aware of its contents. Sure, of course, I could totally abandon the Internet and cancel that shit, but that’s nearly impossible these days, as someone who wants to be a contributing member of society. My point is simply that I don’t care for The Oscars, never really have ever since leaving my childhood home wherein I was forced to care because it was an Event for my white adopted mother. And I feel like my stance was basically proven with this latest installment. 


Amy Schumer drags Kirsten Dunst from her seat and calls her a “seat filler.” Dunst’s husband remains seated. Dunst has a lifelong career as a leading woman, Plemmons a fraction of the time as a leading man. They both receive their first Oscar nominations in the same year, for supporting roles. As a white woman, Schumer decides to drag Dunst, a fellow female. A better joke? Calling Plemmons the “seat filler,” and gushing over Dunst finally, finally, receiving her Oscar nod. 


Chris Rock takes his moment to make the life of an already-struggling black woman more miserable. The husband of the black woman defends her. The white public calls the husband a disgrace and blames him for ruining The Oscars. A better joke? Will and Jada walk up to Chris Rock together, Jada slaps the shit out of Rock, and Will and Jada, together, walk off stage and leave. Smith tells the Academy to go fuck themselves when he wins.   


And so, I have two main points (I think): One not in favor of and one in favor of The Oscars (I think).


The first is that people blame individuals for making The Show terrible—bad behavior, bad jokes, tasteless humor, etc. The Truth is that The Show is terrible. Duh. If time after time, year after year, the jokes are bad, the whole point is stupid and celebrities “misbehave,” then they are not the problem, The Oscars is. Duh. When you round up the world’s top narcissists, shit’s gonna go down. When that same world rewards these celebrities with money and fame, a Show in celebration of all they’ve accomplished looks, tawdry, at best, absolutely elitist, at worst. And so, The Show cannot spend time uplifting all of these already uplifted people. 


But what do we do when we learn of the toil and true sacrifice of fame, fortune and for the lucky few, celebrity? When the world bashes and trashes these same celebrities, non-stop, do they not deserve one night to celebrate themselves, unabashedly?


And so, secondly, The Oscars has the ability to remain as a bombastic institution that celebrates celebrity. Why not? We don’t have to watch as mere plebs. We don’t have to tune into the goings on of the wealthy, the fabulous, the famous. Why do we care so much? They don’t care about us. And fewer and fewer of them are of us. The capital city of nepotism is Hollywood. And so, the time of the lucky ticket holder is coming to an end, because celebrity comes at such a great cost that for a mere pleb to stand the test of time once thrust into fame is increasingly becoming impossible to withstand, which is why, of course, being raised within the machine sets you up for success, through the copious amounts of support you receive, the type of support by which the majority working-class (i.e. poor, yes you’re poor if you show up at some job every day and then receive a paycheck at the end of every pay period) are exploited.


My point is that The Oscars is and are so totally irrelevant to the every-person. This is something that the youngest adults in our population have already understood. The role of celebrity, in my mind, serves as a collective consciousness, a gossip tree that we can all see and understand and mock and love and obsess over and completely hate. When you break into that realm of global gossip, you pay the price with your privacy. Some celebrities have figured this out and have made strides to mitigate that sacrifice, starting with their children. Other celebrities have capitalized on the spotlight, be it good or bad (a distinction I also find irrelevant), starting with their children. Thus, since we, as mere powerless plebs (a lie! We hold all of the power, as consumers of their products, duh, and as a whole, women, you women of the world do not take your consumer power for granted) hold the power of gossip over these fancy famous people all year long, why not we give them one day, one big event where they can blast their egos into the stratosphere and just be gaudy, terrible, entitled rich people? Why not? 


Cause the changing culture means that we all understand the rigor of celebrity. Not all people want to become famous, but they do because we, as a society, cannot resist good gossip (and NO, this is not a feminine quality, fuck you, cause have you ever watched two straight white men talk about football? Men who love sports are participating in gossip, plain and simple). And it is the goal, after all, to become well-known enough to be paid the big bucks. Big bucks are waiting for anyone with enough exposure to sell a product en masse. This is why we should just maybe let celebrities do whatever the fuck they want during this egomaniacal circle-jerk season, and we should stop giving a fuck about them, generally speaking.    


 

15 March 2022

In Good Company w/ Ed Sheeran/Dua Lipa, ‘Duke’ William What’s-His-Face/Vladimir Putin, Jane Campion/J.K. Rowling, and Seth Meyers/Amber Ruffin

… I typically do not do these so frequently, but the headlines have been a doozy over the past few days, and no, re the “Duke of Cambridge” and Vladimir Putin, I am not directly comparing the colonialist words spoken by the “Duke” to the MURDEROUS CRIMES of Vladimir Putin—this is an exercise in writing and philosophical/ideological comparison—obviously, as this is a little online space wherein difficult things cannot be easily discussed, and yet, I try and try again, in this futile series, one of these is not like the others. 


re Ed Sheeran/Dua Lipa (sp?, dkdc)

Apparently, they are each being sued, individually, due to copyright issues, and if you read some of the things that Sheeran has said while on the stand, you’ll understand that this motherfucker does not write music so much as begin with a track of someone else’s making and then tweaks it. There’s a gross colonial undertone to both of these cases, and it’s because they are both Britons—meaning they see themselves as inherently superior to the “others” of the world—that I make my case for their view of the world being such that they can take whatever they want from it and “make it mine.” 



re the “Duke of Cambridge” William the Wannabe “Conqueror”/Vladimir Putin

Whenever anyone has a title of superiority that makes them feel as if they a) are the civilized and b) are the geniuses, the only outcome is that of maniacal narcissistic egotism. In the case of Wills, he views Europe as being civilized and war being unheard of in modern Europe, which is false, unless you do not consider certain parts of Europe to be Europe. Sure, the words he spoke were not that of a direct comparison with Asia and Africa, like mistakenly thought, but the implication is there. Why did he have to specify Europe? And his obvious education in some alternate history has made it painfully clear that he’s a dumbfuck. The other piece of evidence I hold for Wills’ dumbfuckery is that his family is—the whole shtick is that they are—charitable? Is that what it is? Cause it’s awfully strange to tax one’s “subjects” as one’s “income” and then call giving that money back to them charity. Hmm.


And Putin is not someone about whom I will speak intellectually because I cannot. All I can say is that it seems like Putin exists in some past echo chamber. I could not decide whether it is worst if Putin is a genius with a master plan or if Putin is a dumb-as-shit rage monster. The latter is worse, somehow. 



re Jane Campion/J.K. Rowling

Two British Commonwealth White Women (or BCWW if anyone else wants to chime in on other white women of this ilk, British Karen, if you will) who equate their white privilege-filled white privileged white lives to the disenfranchised minority women of the world upon whom the privilege of their white privilege-filled white privileged white lives is built. FUUUUUUUUUUCK. YOU. 



re Seth Meyers/Amber Ruffin

Aside from the obvious—that they are American—Seth Meyers is doing his part to create equal opportunity, which is what equality is all about! And Amber Ruffin is an original. 



08 March 2022

In Good Company w/ Timnit Gebru, Christine Sun Kim, &Mila (Ashton) Kunis (Kutcher)

... on/for "International Women's Day" (which, for me, ends up sounding a bit confusing bc I do not know if it is a day for "international women" or if it is a day globally celebrating all women, and I know that it is the latter, but the name of this day, a celebration of all the women of the world, is a bit ... condescending, nevertheless, I've decided to celebrate a few international women [meaning they embody international identities and their impact is of an international scale, and yes, I typically do not participate in these sorts of bromides, especially when considering the fraught nature of defining "woman," but I have a small stockpile of seeming-women to highlight and so, figured I'd share some of them] today, thru my mediocre series)  ... one of these is not like the others. 


re Timnit Gebru

"It was like, You built this thing, but mine is even bigger," ... "When you have that attitude, you're obviously not thinking about ethics." —Timnit Gebru for TIME (18January22)


"Gender Shades: Intersectional Accuracy Disparities in Commercial Gender Classification*"

 *Download our gender and skin type balanced PPB dataset at gendershades.org 


 "On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big?" [parrot icon]



re Christine Sun Kim

 

"Deaf Power"
iconography w/ its original creator unknown,
championed by Christine Sun Kim and Ravi Vasavan



re Mila (Ashton) Kunis (Kutcher)

Don't be fooled, the Kunis-Kutcher brand had plans to off-load probably about $3M this year in "charitable" donations, i.e. taxable deductions. They will gain, financially, someway, somehow, by "giving away money." This is the inherent flaw of "charity," especially within the capitalism-as-usual playing grounds of capitalism-as-usual.  

Are the Ukrainians fortunate enough to have a nouveau riche American celebrity care about their plight because she is of them? Absolutely. Can anyone truly know the intention of any person? Absolutely not.





04 March 2022

Some Thoughts on Some Stuff | 2022 February Edition

Or “Notes & Errata” (w/pictures)


On Menstruation 

You walk into the kitchen for some now-forgotten reason; a snack, you remember, but it’s baking right now, so a snack while your snack bakessome already-dipped-into stash of Hot Cheetosbut you haven’t started your period yet, and the Cheetos are technically "period snacks," so tortilla chips it is cause there’s some leftover salsa drying in a little dipping sauce container that sat out on the counter all night. 


Exact Change

Have you ever watched—like seen with your own two eyes—a 2020s white twenty-something cashier count change? To do so gives one little hope for the white American future. *yikes*


Reasons Due To Misogyny

Men are disincentivized to uplift women.


The Future Future

When will the real future get here, cause this in-between, nearly-there version totally fucking sucks. 

Future Obits—"The Late Show w/ Stephen Colbert Disintegrates Into Obsolescent Irrelevance Due To Colbert’s Obvious Lack of Friends and Staff of Color.” 

IF we are already living in, plugged into the/a “simulation,” then there’s absolutely no way of knowing how “good” it is, how “right” it is. 


... the 10 of the 90/10 breaks down into 90/10 and so on and so forth ... 

The difference between being able to convince someone that you understand what they are explaining to you and you being able to describe something so that someone else may understand what you are explaining is the difference between being a light-weight versus heavy-weight intellectual.


&In Images


last of the wintertime shadow play



give up, yet?



newest batch #kimchi


  


02 March 2022

2022 FEBRUARY READS | Books 09-14/80

Month Goal: 6/8

Year Goal: 14/80


Nonfiction 364.163 TEF | 2021 | 352 pages


2. An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination by SHEERA FRENKEL & CECILIA KANG

Nonfiction 302.30285 FRE | 2021 | 400 pages



3. How To Wrestle A Girl: Stories by VENITA BLACKBURN
Short Stories | Fiction Blackburn, V. | 2021 | 224 pages
Nonfiction 364.163 KON | 2016 | 321 pages
Nonfiction 612.14 HOO | 2021 | 352 pages



6. The Other Black Girl by ZAKIYA DALILA HARRIS 

Fiction Harris, Z.D. | 2021 | 357 pages


&In Images ...


Happy Reading!

... visit The Complete List in order to see ... this year's complete list ...