Identity, performed

One of the better takes on the whole SJW/Clickbait/Outrage-Memetics-Issues: How hot takes drowned out journalism and ruined our Facebook feeds.

As blogging platforms like LiveJournal and Blogger erode and microblogging platforms like Tumblr fill the void, as small screens eat big ones and small ideas cannibalize the corpses of long-form writing, we lose even more of our ability to share complex identity markers. So we grasp for the most ready ways to present our identities noisily—unambiguously, in stark black-and-white.

It seems like everywhere you look these days, you’ll find problematic things in need of a take. Johannah King-Slutzky at The Awl, writes: „Fifty years ago, 'problematic' was modest, mousy and rare, maybe akin to 'thole' or 'vellicate'—nice for a dinner party, but far from a buzzword. Today, you can’t go online without bumping into a 'problematic' or two: 'Hip-hop videos featuring bling and babes' are 'problematic'; 'The Promising…Future of Ultra-Fast Internet' is problematic; 'psychological process—which underpins racism, extreme nationalism, and prejudice of all sorts' is problematic; 'resolutions, as Oscar Wilde knew,' are problematic; 'videogames' are problematic; Miley, Katy, and Iggy (not Pop) are problematic.“

Yes, problematic has become the epithet of choice for preferences or statements (or even celebrities) that don’t match a given moral or political norm. […]

Such norms do valuable work. But when they become untethered from their rationale, they become little more than fuel for white-hot takes. Take the great debate over Rihanna and feminism. It is good for the media to encourage readers to be critical consumers of popular culture. And we ought to intersectionally interrogate our cultural representations. But breathless thinkpieces too often flatten thorny, complex issues into a single, simple question (“Is Rihanna a good feminist?”) and then supply a simple answer (“No”).

Mein Standard-Insider-Joke: Ich dachte eigentlich, der Diskurs wäre schon längst viel weiter (SCNR). Stammt aus der Diskussion um diesen kleinen Artikel zum Thema. Ich schätze übrigens, dass wir dieses Jahr einen Aufstand innerhalb der Linken gegen die sogenannte Illiberal Left erleben, was äußerst spannend werden dürfte.