“Consider how textbooks treat Native religions as a unitary whole. The American Way describes Native American religion in these words: “These Native Americans [in the Southeast] believed that nature was filled with spirits. Each form of life, such as plants and animals, had a spirit. Earth and air held spirits too. People were never alone. They shared their lives with the spirits of nature.” Way is trying to show respect for Native American religion, but it doesn’t work. Stated flatly like this, the beliefs seem like make-believe, not the sophisticated theology of a higher civilization. Let us try a similarly succinct summary of the beliefs of many Christians today: “These Americans believed that one great male god ruled the world. Sometimes they divided him into three parts, which they called father, son, and holy ghost. They ate crackers and wine or grape juice, believing that they were eating the son’s body and drinking his blood. If they believed strongly enough, they would live on forever after they died.” Textbooks never describe Christianity this way. It’s offensive. Believers would immediately argue that such a depiction fails to convey the symbolic meaning or the spiritual satisfaction of communion.”
— Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen (via whoistorule)
“The romance industry conflates finding love with looking a certain way, and it’s hard even for the strongest of us not to internalize messages about the way we look. And worse, these messages are normalized. Just think of things people say when they are getting ready to date someone: ‘He’s cute,’ ‘He’s short,’ ‘He’s kind of chubby,’ ‘He’s tall and fine.’ Or men: ‘I prefer slender girls,’ ‘I’m not really into fat girls,’ ‘I prefer Asian chicks,’ and on and on. It is completely acceptable to say the most appalling things about the way people look when it comes to dating, and if someone is called out for it, their opinion becomes a matter of ‘preference.’ What gets ignored in calling this level of categorization ‘just preference’ is a history and culture of mainstream advertising that impacts our psychology, causing us to actually want to respond to certain things over others. It’s hardly a coincidence that people are attracted to images of femininity that have been beaten into their psyches….We are taught to prefer certain things over others, and when we repeatedly see the same exaggerated images of femininity and masculinity, we internalize a specific standard of beauty and begin to strive for it unconsciously. Considering the exaggerated nature of these kinds of images, preference is not really a ‘preference’; it is more like a culturally sanctioned fetish.”
— Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life (via eibmorb)
real talk: sometimes i am just flat-out stunned by the entire concept of “high culture” versus “low culture”
i mean, the entirety of that concept can basically be boiled down to “what rich people like is better than what poor people like”
what the fuck
#and before someone gets into me about ‘but high culture requires education and intelligence to interpret!’ #i’m pretty sure the sheer effort tumblr has put into analyzing single screencaps of the avengers #just about equals the effort academics put into analyzing shakespeare #who was also ‘low culture’ before rich people started liking him and he suddenly became ‘high culture’ #funny; that
if you cannot tell the difference between white people coming into a culture and demanding they do “equality” the way white people have determined it okay and people born in the culture finding their own culture problematic
if you don’t believe women in a culture want the choice to be able to do what they want and allow men to do what they want, whether your outsider opinion approves it or not
if you believe that your opinion on what women in another culture want overrides what the women born into that culture are telling you
if you believe that your opinion on how women in another culture should handle it overrides the methods the women born into that culture are using to handle it
if you believe that you have a right to make a stand for women in another culture who have not explicitly asked for your help
you should fuck yourself, you colonizer garbage
Sometimes I hear people say that racism/sexism/etc in culture isn’t important or worth criticizing. ”Oh it’s just a book,” they say. ”It’s just a crappy TV show.” ”It’s just a commercial.”
This argument always baffles me. It’s like if you put poison into a fish-tank and then say “Oh well I didn’t poison the fish, I just poisoned the water.” The fish lives in the water, dumbass; it’s completely submerged in and surrounded by the water. I’m pretty sure that poisoned water is going to affect the fish.
Similarly, we all live constantly immersed in this miasma of information that we call “culture.” People are not born prejudiced. We don’t emerge from the womb knowing that all black men are scary thugs, that all Latinas are spicy sexpots, that all Indians are violent savages, that all women are weepy and frail, that all gay men are depraved pedophiles, and that all people in wheelchairs are objects of pity. We learn these things, usually starting at a very young age, and we often learn them from our culture — the books we read, the movies we watch, and the constant barrage of advertising that we don’t really pay attention to but which still manages to seep into our brains, and which shapes the way we think about the world, for better or for worse.
If you want to save the fish, you need to purify the water.
eta: People don’t analyze things to ~*harsh on people’s squee*~. “Oh no, you’ve pointed out an issue in this show/comic/film/whatever. Clearly you’re doing it because it’s popular. Or to ruin everyone’s fun!”
god seriously i am so goddamn tired of people asking me that. why is analyzing stuff bad? why is caring about stuff bad? why is not wanting to condone oppressive shit bad?
This seems like a good place for Moff’s Law:
Of all the varieties of irritating comment out there, the absolute most annoying has to be “Why can’t you just watch the movie for what it is??? Why can’t you just enjoy it? Why do you have to analyze it???”
If you have posted such a comment, or if you are about to post such a comment, here or anywhere else, let me just advise you: Shut up. Shut the fuck up. Shut your goddamn fucking mouth. SHUT. UP.
First of all, when we analyze art, when we look for deeper meaning in it, we are enjoying it for what it is. Because that is one of the things about art, be it highbrow, lowbrow, mainstream, or avant-garde: Some sort of thought went into its making — even if the thought was, “I’m going to do this as thoughtlessly as possible”! — and as a result, some sort of thought can be gotten from its reception. That is why, among other things, artists (including, for instance, James Cameron) really like to talk about their work.
Now, that doesn’t mean you have to think about a work of art. I don’t know anyone who thinks every work they encounter ought to only be enjoyed through conscious, active analysis — or if I do, they’re pretty annoying themselves. And I know many people who prefer not to think about much of what they consume, and with them I have no argument. I also have no argument with people who disagree with another person’s thoughts about a work of art. That should go without saying. Finally, this should also go without saying, but since it apparently doesn’t: Believe me, the person who is annoying you so much by thinking about the art? They have already considered your revolutionary “just enjoy it” strategy, because it is not actually revolutionary at all. It is the default state for most of humanity.
So when you go out of your way to suggest that people should be thinking less — that not using one’s capacity for reason is an admirable position to take, and one that should be actively advocated — you are not saying anything particularly intelligent. And unless you live on a parallel version of Earth where too many people are thinking too deeply and critically about the world around them and what’s going on in their own heads, you’re not helping anything; on the contrary, you’re acting as an advocate for entropy.
And most annoyingly of all, you’re contributing to the fucking conversation yourselves when you make your stupid, stupid comments. You are basically saying, “I think people shouldn’t think so much and share their thoughts, that’s my thought that I have to share.” If you really think people should just enjoy the movie without thinking about it, then why the fuck did you (1) click on the post in the first place, and (2) bother to leave a comment? If it bugs you so much, GO WATCH A GODDAMN FUNNY CAT VIDEO.
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