culture

Home/Tag: culture

Cancelling cancel culture is cancelled.

But the problem with criticism of the “cancel culture” is it ignores that the ones doing most of the cancelling are conservatives.

Conservatives in this country have cancelled progressive taxation, have tried for 40 years to cancel public health and education, have cancelled any attempts to increase Newstart, been doing their best to cancel the NBN and have cancelled a price on carbon, any effective action on climate change, and tried in vain to cancel moves to allow gender equality.

Most recently we had conservatives in New South Wales trying with all their might to cancel legal abortion.

And of course the most egregious example of cancel culture in Australia was by the Australian newspaper, which used a short Facebook post by Yassmin Abdel-Magied as an excuse to hound her out of work and in the end the country.

On the other side, progressives get annoyed when Alan Jones uses the N word, Sky News and the ABC interview Nazis or far-right extremists, and political parties continue to mouth platitudes about climate change and then seek to foster growth in the coal industry.

Greg Jericho on cancelling.

I mean, look. I’m the first person who’d admit I have problems with cancel culture1 but, like. Jericho’s not wrong, so…

  1. Pretty much exclusively when it ignores existing power structures. “Cancelling” a teenage indie creator on Twitter because they drew an art you don’t like is… qui-ii-ii-ite a bit different to “cancelling” a millionaire media personality, or multi-billion dollar corporation, for supporting far-right extremism, for example. []
2019-12-18T09:52:59+11:0026th March, 2020|Tags: culture, politics|

Snowflake avalanche.

This isn’t even a question of economics, per se, as Deadspin — and, indeed, G/O Media entities as a whole — are profitable. Deadspin’s future isn’t in jeopardy because it wasn’t making enough money, but because a jury in Florida decided that Hulk Hogan was owed over a hundred million dollars because his public image was embarrassed, in a case bankrolled by Peter Thiel due to a personal vendetta against Gawker. The network of profitable sites was then sold to Univision and used as collateral by its private equity owners, which piled on billions of dollars of debt. Those sites were then sold to Great Hill Partners, another private equity group, which installed as CEO a guy who seems to hate everything about the sites, and who used to run the Internet Advertising Bureau — which might explain why all of these websites are now laden with garbage advertising.

All of this is to say that blogging is a format that is still very much alive, especially if you stretch the definition. But the most powerful people in the room desperately dislike the validity of independent and unconventional writing, and are doing all they can to dismantle it.

Nick Heer on journalism.

It’s also worth pointing out Hulk Hogan’s “public image” was “embarrassed” because he was caught saying racist things on camera. So, y’know. There’s that. And, for those who missed it, Thiel’s vendetta was because Gawker once ran a story pointing out he’s gay… but also a huge bank-roller of far-right (and thus often anti-gay) causes.

Either way, the point is that a pair of millionaires who got caught out being shitlords and got hurt fee-fees because of it basically burnt and salted the earth for an entire segment of online journalism…

2019-12-12T08:25:10+11:0024th March, 2020|Tags: culture, newsphobia|

Theatre.

All over America, the coronavirus is revealing, or at least reminding us, just how much of contemporary American life is bullshit, with power structures built on punishment and fear as opposed to our best interest. Whenever the government or a corporation benevolently withdraws some punitive threat because of the coronavirus, it’s a signal that there was never any good reason for that threat to exist in the first place.

Dan Kois on bullshit rules.

Oh we can suddenly take bottles of hand sanitiser on planes and don’t need to jail people for minor offences? Fancy that…

2020-03-17T08:07:18+11:0017th March, 2020|Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, culture|

Passed over.

This is one of the overpasses Robert Moses built on the Long Island Parkway. Moses specified that the height of these overpasses must be low, some with clearances as low as 7’7”. That’s about the height I can reach if I raise my hand above my head, if that gives you an idea of how low that is.

Why so low? Moses wanted to ensure that buses would never be able to pass beneath these overpasses. In other words, you could access the beautiful parks of Long Island if you owned a car—which, in the middle of the twentieth century, meant that you were fairly affluent, and almost certainly white.

Moses’ design of these overpasses meant that if you relied on mass transit—in other words, if you were Black, or poor, or both—you would be prevented from accessing the parkways, and the lovely parks they led to.

Throughout history, there are many, many instances of design being used much as Robert Moses did—as a means to encode racist and classist biases, as a vehicle through which vulnerable communities are harmed.

Ethan Marcotte on the power of design.

The rest of the post is about how these sorts of issues manifest in the tech industry, which has been historically terrible at even acknowledging them, let alone addressing them.1

  1. I mean say what you want about Robert Moses, but at least he was actively racist in his city planning, not just racist because he’d never bothered to think about the implications of his actions… []
2019-12-03T10:43:00+11:0016th March, 2020|Tags: culture, design, tech|

Whose value?

The financial crisis of the late 2000s shook the foundations of the sprawling market economy and bared some of its uglier consequences: an enormous and widening gulf between the über-rich and the working poor, between the ample rewards of capital and the stagnating wages of labor, between the protected few and the vulnerable many. Compounding these inequities, moreover, was a sweep of disruptive business technologies that began to come of age in the wake of the crisis—from digitization to robotics to A.I.—and that made vulnerable workers feel ever more so.

The reaction against “the system” was both broad and shocking in scale—particularly among younger people. A 2016 Harvard study found that 51% of U.S. respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 did not support capitalism; one-third, meanwhile, favored a turn to socialism. A 2018 Gallup poll of the same cohort found a similar rejection—only 45% viewed capitalism positively, a 23 percentage point drop from 2010, when Americans were still in the murky shadow of the Great Re­cession.

Alan Murray on failing systems.

From a longer article looking at how billionaires are desperately, desperately trying to justify both themselves and the institutions that gave them their wealth…

2019-11-28T08:51:27+11:009th March, 2020|Tags: culture, economics, politics|

TCO.

As someone who suddenly started thinking things like, “If I get milk from the corner store it’s $2 more expensive but it saves me ten minutes and based on my hourly rate the TCO of that would be…” this post on the tyranny of hourly really, like. Speaks to me, man.

2019-11-27T09:49:09+11:006th March, 2020|Tags: culture, economics|

Dereveal.

Why, exactly, a new generation is rejecting categorizations that society has been using for millennia is up for debate. Eighty-one percent of Gen Z-ers believe that a person shouldn’t be defined by gender, according to a poll by the J. Walter Thompson marketing group. But it’s not just about gender — it’s about authenticity, whether real or perceived. Macho male actors and glam, ultra-feminine actresses have less cultural cachet than they used to. Gen Z, with its well-honed radar for anything overly polished or fake-seeming, prefers YouTube confessionals about battling everything from zits to depression. When the New York Times recently asked Generation Z to pick a name for itself, the most-liked response was “Don’t call us anything.”

Perhaps their ideas of gender have expanded under the influence of parents who are beginning to reject practices like gender-reveal parties that box kids in even before they are born. Jenna Karvunidis, who popularized the gender-reveal party, recently revealed on Facebook that her now 10-year-old child is gender-nonconforming and that she regrets holding the party. “She’s telling me, ‘Mom, there are many genders. Mom, there’s many different sexualities and all different types,’ and I take her lead on that,” Karvunidis said in an interview with NPR.

Eliana Dockterman on labels.

From a broader article about the gender neutral Mattel doll.

2019-11-27T09:46:55+11:005th March, 2020|Tags: culture|