So some youtube “Anita Sarkeesian truthers” are trying to make a documentary about how she’s really manipulating the internet and scamming everyone of her supporters. I’m not linking to it because I ain’t signal boosting that crap, but I just want to rant about it for a bit.
Oh this thing. This is just fucking dumb on so many levels. First it’s a Patreon, aka monthly instalments, for this “documentary” instead of a Kickstarter, which is just really odd. You use Patreon for regular web-series and the like, things that come out on a regular basis, not a single film. Then there’s the “bringing on expert journalists, scholars, and other authorities to assist in the project” which I’m sure will go well considering they’ll just ignore or re-edit those that disagree with them. It’d be funny if the experts they heir come back to them saying, “actually we think she makes valid points, hasn’t done anything wrong or illegal in making her videos, and the only wrong-doing are those sending her death/rape threats constantly and trying to discredit and silence her just for vocalising her opinion.” But that’d, strangely, end up on the cutting room floor.
I’m always left scratching my head at the “she’s a manipulator/huckster” idiocy. The fucktards complaining about her and sending her death/rape threats are the ones that gave her attention, everything they claim she manipulated. They yelled at her, tried to bully her, and they’re surprised she managed to turn around and make lemonade out of it all. Then the “scamartist” BS that just leaves me wondering “what’s the scam?” She asked for money for a project, got the money, and is delivering the project. That’s not a scam, that’s business.
The only major thing that’s true from this “documentary” is that actual criticism of Anita’s videos is hard to get. Though not because the pro-Anita side is silencing it, is that it’s really hard to tell the “I think this point could’ve been expressed better” constructive criticism from the mountains of “she just needs to shut up, none of this is a problem, she’s just scamming you sheeple!” unconstructive hate posts that get made about her and her videos. So it’s really hard to find the constructive criticism posts, and sometimes hard to tell them apart from the thousands of hate posts that get made.
Anti-Anita folks take this to heart: if you ignore her, stop sending her death/rape threats, she won’t be getting all that free publicity. She’ll go to her corner of the internet and you’ll go to yours, both as happy as you could possibly be. If you stop being assholes they’ll stop using it against you.
Ironic that this has started a few days before Anita’s next video is supposed to come out, both of which will probably signal boost the other.
Asked by Anonymous
It depends entirely on a few different factors.
The big question is, do the artist’s ass-clown opinions about social issues/minorities/ectetera leak into the art they’re creating?
If the answer is “yes”, then yes, it does matter and I’m likely not going to partake of their work. For example, Larry Clark is a gross ephebophile who fetishizes teenage boys and you c a n n o t escape that shit in his movies, which linger on sweaty 15-year old abs for way too long in every other shot. His movies do have some good qualities, but the ephebophile stuff is so rampant that I can’t sit through his work.
If the answer is “no” and I think the person is a pretty good artist in spite of his or her shitty baby opinions, then I’ll generally partake with a caveat in the back of my mind “this was made by an asshole, but so long as it isn’t a sermon about how much they hate gay people or whatever, I’ll observe it as a piece of questionable art and judge it afterward”. Many of Mel Gibson’s movies fall into this category for me. Gibson is a disturbed alcoholic abusive bigoted monster who also made some really good movies that have nothing to do with any of that, like Apocalypto. I’d have missed out on a really striking film if I’d skipped that due to Gibson’s monster status. I think it’s still worth observing art made by incredibly troubled people, so long as they’re also talented people making interesting things that aren’t just drenched in their godawful bullshit. I mean, most of the old Renaissance masters were bizarro-world sister-fucking weirdos, but we ignore all of that because they painted inspiring beautiful works of art that enrich the world. It isn’t black-and-white “this artist thinks [terrible thing] so I can’t find any value in anything they create ever or that means I’m somehow agreeing with [terrible thing]”. It’s case-by-case, artist-by-artist, your subjective choices based on your personal philosophy on this subject.
But the one constant, at least for me, is that if I’m going to even kind of tolerate one of these asshats, their art has to be really good. I’m of the opinion that Orson Scott Card is a boring writer with boring ideas (no, I don’t think Ender’s Game is particularly good - it’s alright, I suppose, but nothing special) so I can safely ignore his work while also knowing he’s a terrible bigot. That’s handy when that happens, since you can just wash your hands of it all completely. “Oh, he’s a homophobe and also not much more than a middling talent? Cool, I can ignore him!”
The important thing when it comes to art and your relationship to that art via the artist is, chiefly, your personal philosophy on what you can tolerate, what you’re willing to overlook, and what’s most important to you in terms of art appreciation/observation. I’d be curious to hear how other people interpret this question and what their criteria are.
Available September 2, 2014
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