Soap Box 5: Issues I took during October

Welp, October came and went and brought a lot of leaves, sickly co-workers and darkness with it. I actually had a moderately comfortable month, so most of my issues manifested themselves in the last couple of days but I think we got a good collection here: Apparent feminist-logic that isn’t feminist, a depressing little video, stupid messages in kid’s movies, Merkelphone and – world-premiere – a self-facepalm for insensitive facebook-profile-pictures on my behalf (no boobs, though, sorry).

1. Your logic is invalid, stupid

When Taylor Swift got made fun of by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, she passively aggressively said that woman shouldn’t put other women down. I left that without comment because Taylor Swift is just the kind of woman who will never ever get a joke about her. But then Selena Gomez (besty with Swift) said something along the lines of “it’s not feminist to criticise other women” because Lorde said that Gomez’ new single “Come and get it” is a horrible presentation for women (which…it kind of is).

NOW!

Feminism is about equality, gals, it’s not about tolerating every insipid thing any woman has ever said because get this: women can say stupid stuff and if I say stupid stuff, I appreciate it if people tell me and if these people happen to be women, I won’t take offense and I will absolutely not tell them that they are not feminists. Take Ellen Page, who played a pretty cool character in “Juno” but was very open towards criticism in her “Guardian”-interview, when the journalist said that it wasn’t very cool that “Juno” decided to keep the baby after she heard an argument by a pro-life person. She said she had to think about that and never considered that before. She did not tell the journalist that she better shut her mouth because it wasn’t feminist to tell her that the message of her movie wasn’t as powerful as she initially believed.

So, ladies, don’t use feminism as a death-trap for valid criticism of your work just because it sucks.

2. Economics are depressing

3. You can achieve anything if you want it hard enough…le sigh

I fucking hate this notion. Almost every single kid’s movie that is not about friendship or fitting in has this theme and it is one of the most frustrating messages you can give. What I loved about “Monster University” was the fact that it taught that no, if you really want it, you maybe won’t get to your goals because sometimes you are just not made for them. But hey, you can make the best of your skills and find something else.

Now, it’s not bad to teach kids that they have to work hard to reach a goal. But if you teach them that that’s all they need…you’re gonna have a bad time. You can’t be the best singer in the world if your voice sucks. You can’t be the greatest runner in the world if you simply can’t run very fast. But that doesn’t mean that everything will suck if you don’t make it.

Look, one of the things I hate about inspirational kid’s movies is the fact that the “normal” life and “normal” people are always ignorant and boring, sad existences. Why would you want to teach your kid that everything except raging success and popularity is depressing and lame? People can be happy as accountants, librarians and waiters. People can also work a job that is not their dream job but still enjoy their life because they have hobbies, friends and family to make it worthwhile to go to work (remember the greatest scene of all Simpsons-episodes ever? That’s, what it’s about).

(Well, they didn’t have it in English…”And Maggie Makes Three”, Season Six, Episode Three)

Plus, it’s never about doing what you love to do in those movies, it’s always about doing it like a superstar, being the most successful, the most popular and the most fawned upon who does it. But that’s not what it should be about.

I love music journalism, I love writing but in my 9 to 5 job, I am far from doing amazing interviews with awesome bands and reviewing awesome albums 8+ hours each day or writing comedy or epic tales about tricksters. I am still doing those things, though, in my spare time and I’ve come to the point where I realized that that can be enough because at least I have the chance to do it and that’s awesome and far more than others can wish for. So why not teach kids that not every dream and passion has to lead to success? If success is the ultimate goal, it wasn’t a real passion in the first place (there’s a whole branch of philosophical theories about that, by the way).

4. Merkelphone

So last week, people were super shocked that Obama/America (because obviously Obama IS America, that’s how presidency works, right?) has NSA’d the fuck out of Angela Merkel’s phone. And everyone was like:

Seriously? Is anyone still surprised after Snowden dropped the bomb? Didn’t we all just assume that this means that if they can, they will spy on everyone? I also assume that all other countries do this and succeed/fail according to their power over internet honchos and/or the strength of their spyware or ultracool hackers with blue hair and piercings.

Never was a movie so accurate and true about computer specialists…especially Angelina Jolie’s character is totes legit.

I mean, I think it’s good if the media pick it up and therefore put a little pressure on the politicians to address this issue but I can not believe that anyone seriously thought that Obama’s BFF Merkelmeyer (I suppose that’s his nickname for her) would be exempt from the lovely Cold War-espionage we’re re-establishing bit by bit. Especially given that Germany is on the same way concerning data-storage from private citizens (dude, it’s totally for safety!) whilst keeping essential information from them (oh yeah, we knew about the NSA but thought it was too technical, nerdy and boring for you guys).

How was that? Trade your freedom for your safety, the best way to slowly, comfortably step into a beautiful dystopia.

5. Context is everything

Even I can be stupid sometimes, yes, it is rare like a five-leaf-clover but it happens. So I was on Facebook, raging over an article that had collected apparently funny comments of readers of a music site and one of them said about Rihanna’s music “This totally deserves Chris Brown to smack her up”. Me, angry feminist as I am, immediately took to my keyboard and hammered in a reply, how dare the site choose that comment for comedic effect, blablabla.

Now, as usually happens nowadays, the first thing someone who thought I was wrong did was, going through my profile and trying to find something discriminating so they could – instead of dealing with the issue – attack me on a personal level or even better: Hypocrisy. As private profiles go (that apparently wasn’t as private as assumed as that person could quote from one of my posts), it wasn’t difficult to find something (me making a joke about Detroit). “I guess you’re also joking about violence, don’t you” was the riveting reply to my critic which was pretty lame as far as I am concerned.

BUT! Unmentioned, yet glaringly obvious was the fact that my profile picture at that time was me in make-up with a black eye. Yes…Captain Hindsight already rolled his eyes at me. See, a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be funny to take a beat-up picture in Punk-leather-jacket, tousled hair and a black eye in the look of a police photo and the black sign – instead of giving case information – giving my mail and phone number, as a music journalist..you know, for promotion. In a haze of It’s-Halloween-fuck-it-mood I uploaded only the face as a profile picture, not aware that my make-up skills were as good as to concern some of my friends. I left it, though, because I thought it would be awkward to change it after one hour of – “Oh my God, what the hell happened to you?” (Luckily for me, my mom knew the photo before and therefore didn’t have a heart attack in contrast to some of my friends). I thought I would change it after Halloween but was forced to do that right after my femifaceboogeddon (I am still hoping that no one picks up on it).

Let it be a lesson, boys and girls, even social media-savvy people can be complete idiots that hurr durr their way through the internet and cause havoc all over the place.

By the way, my new profile picture is a lot less prone for accidental political incorrectness:

spinach lemon fish

(It’s a lemon-spinach-fish)

8 thoughts on “Soap Box 5: Issues I took during October

  1. 3. I completely agree.
    5. I actually think this is kind of funny. It’s obviously one of those comments you shouldn’t make towards and audience of people who are not more or less close friends and thus know your real position towards violence against women, but … yes, some of Rihanna’s songs could elicit that comment from me.
    I really hate her songs.

    Like

    1. I think my issue with the Rihanna-comment was less the actual commentator but the fact that a music site with thousands of followers picked it as comedic highlight for the amusement of the masses…

      Like

      1. Yes, I get that.
        I wouldn’t have picked it either.
        I love to make Hitler jokes in private, but I try to avoid them on my corporate facebook profile.

        Like

  2. That wealth thing? It bothers me, but it’d be more OK if there was actual chances for people to rise up, but that’s not sufficiently possible.

    I like your rant about you-can-be-anything. For me, unrealistic dreams help, but only because I appreciate the much more modest things that come from it’s pursuit. I’ll never ride the Tour de France, but I’ve developed actual non-superstar fitness and I like it!

    Like

    1. Non-Superstar fitness sounds like a good concept for a new fitness-center-chain that is not flooded with douchebags. “Non-Superstar fitness – for the mediocre sportsman/woman in you!”

      Like

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