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Everybody Loves a Strawman

March 12, 2010

You can't win. You can't get even and you can't get out of the game.

As a Pop Culturalist, I’ve never found it my job to critique media I do not consume, nor do I give much credence to those who do. It’s really easy to pick apart even the legitimate shortcomings of media you don’t like, but it’s hardly productive. Okay, so you found all the problematic content of something you already do not like! Good for fucking you. Now here’s a barrel of fish to shoot!

You ain’t never heard me in my life critique on the following:

LOTR
Joss Whedon’s universe
WOW
D&D
Howard Stern
lolcats
Twilight
Harry Potter
The Office
Reality TV
McSweeney’s

BECAUSE I DO NOT LIKE THESE THINGS. And state as much up front. Me no like!

Besides, what would be the point? To prove I know how to pick on an easy target? There ain’t no black people in LOTR. Booyah. I’m done. Okay, I can go out for a soda or something. Joss Whedon’s world is like Tori Amos’s world, which is like Jesus’s world. Possibly great but the followers appear to be large pains in the ass when proselytizing about their savior. Playa, JW’s are less aggressive. Done with that one. The rest are probably self explanatory if you’ve read this blog with any degree of closeness.

And that took – what – like a paragraph. Should I waste more of my time analyzing all the ways in which I believe these things to suck with supportive evidence of their suckery? As I say all the time, I don’t know how many hours your day comes with, but mine only has 24 and I intend to use them wisely.

Critiquing what you consumes means never having to say, “Omg, I can’t believe Le Tigre would do that!!!” Cause if you’re critiquing what you actually care about, well then you don’t find yourself so god damned shocked by what was in front of your face all the time. And granted, it’s a lot more difficult to question the merits of things you cherish, but it’s work that has to happen. Ain’t no two ways about it. The alternative is merely ensuring it’s always someone’s else’s heroes, interests or passions that are problematic and not say – yours.

*FIXED SPELLING OF JOSS SO FOLKS WILL ACTUALLY HAVE TO ENGAGE WITH THE MESSAGE. AND NOT TRY TO SHOEHORN TELLING ME HOW AMAZING HE WHILE PLAYING 3RD GRADE TEACHER. 😉

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2010 6:08 pm

    This is an excellent philosophy, and this — There ain’t no black people in LOTR. Booyah. I’m done. Okay, I can go out for a soda or something. Joss Wheadon’s world is like Tori Amos’s world, which is like Jesus’s world. Possibly great but the followers appear to be large pains in the ass when proselytizing about their savior. — will be making me laugh for some time.

  2. March 12, 2010 6:15 pm

    It’s like, okay I get it, now can you please move your foot so I can close the door.

  3. March 12, 2010 6:58 pm

    Heh. I’ve probably told you this before, but I might actually be the only person alive who’s basically neutral on Whedon. I did love Buffy, and he seems like a perfectly nice man, but yeah, I really don’t like being stuck in a room with his serious fans.

  4. March 12, 2010 7:04 pm

    I actually liked the first season of Buffy a lot! Or maybe I just have fond memories because it meant I was going out gothing. I also think it’s awesome his dad worked on Golden Girls! But the fans are hard to take some times.

    Even though there are things I’m incredibly fanatical about I’m the first person who can tick off every problematic aspect of the content – don’t ever ask me about the Rocky Saga – and I don’t assume anyone else would share my feelings. Actually, I’m usually surprised when I find people who are all about some H:Lots and want to talk about for hours. I usually end up dating them or at least trying to.

  5. March 12, 2010 7:04 pm

    But… but… you mean I have to find some other reason for doing my superiority dance?

  6. March 12, 2010 7:06 pm

    As to Whedon… I was meh on Buffy, but I have to say I really did enjoy Firefly immensely. Really, the worst thing about it, as you point out, is his fans.

  7. March 12, 2010 11:47 pm

    Wow, Snarky, you are on fire. Or I’m just finding a lot of personal meaning in your posts. As a (much-lower-caliber) Pop Culturalist I am taking your words to heart.

    Firefly gave me the Jayne hat, which I knit for my husband and daughter, which was rad. That’s about it. Oh and I liked the Dr. Horrible thing.

  8. March 13, 2010 12:45 am

    This is hilarious. I echo the LOLs about the “no black ppl in Lord Of The Rings, booyah I’m done”. I woke my girlfriend up with that giggle. And I say this as a fan of Joss Whedon (Buffy, anyway) and at least one other thing on your list.

  9. hsofia permalink
    March 15, 2010 7:54 pm

    Buffy and Dr. Horrible are a bit too geeky for me. I’ve seen some episodes of Buffy but never became enamored. Dr. Horrible I’ve had to see half a dozen times (even attending a SingAlong birthday party) because my SO and lots of my friends are into it. I did like Firefly (by the 3rd episode). And Dollhouse (especially second half of second season) – despite a lot of questionable content in Dollhouse. I just find the emotional maturity level to be kinda low in Joss Whedon’s work. There’s a lot that’s maudlin. I complained about this to my husband (way geekier than I am) once and he simply said that geeks are not as emotionally nuanced in general.

  10. March 15, 2010 8:50 pm

    There’s a lot that’s maudlin. I complained about this to my husband (way geekier than I am) once and he simply said that geeks are not as emotionally nuanced in general.

    Ha. An asute observation.

  11. March 15, 2010 9:59 pm

    Yes geeks aren’t even as emotionally nuanced as typical guys, so we’re already starting from a disadvantage.

    But we can be damn handy to have around so sometimes it’s worth humoring us 🙂

  12. March 16, 2010 12:17 am

    LOVE this. I was inspired to write a critique on a movie that, other than its epic fails, I actually kinda sorta liked (up in the air!)

    and i put a shoutout to you at the end too 😉

    http://radicalpinay.blogspot.com/2010/03/feminista-review-up-in-air.html

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