there’s a big difference between “i’m sad because a character i was emotionally invested in was killed off” and “this character’s death served no purpose, was used for shock value, and is the product of bad writing and i’m upset about that”
As anyone who follows my blog can probably tell, I’ve been semi-obsessed with the show True Detective lately. Besides the fact that I just like the show a lot, I’m fascinated by the amount of debate it has generated, especially in terms of diversity on current TV. I wrote a blog post about this a few days ago (shameless self-promotion alert!), but it turns out I still have thoughts on the topic, so here are some more ramblings.
For some reason, it’s always bothered me when people label art as “feminist” or “sexist”. First of all, we can’t even agree on what feminism is, so what does it mean for a movie/TV show/etc. to be “feminist”? Does it mean it has complex female characters? What makes a female character complex anyway? How important are female-centric relationships and racial/class/intersectional diversity? Does art have to have all of those elements to be considered “feminist”? Does it have to explicitly examine feminist issues or can they just be subtext? In the long run, for me, calling art “feminist” is as meaningless and empty as calling it “boring”. Speaking of which, let’s stop acting like there’s an objective measure for these things. The Bechdel test is useful, but only to a certain point.
But more importantly, I hate binaries. Like really hate them. By dividing art into opposing categories like feminist vs. sexist, even if it’s not intentional, you simplify it. You erase the nuances and depth. Personally, I’m not sure it’s even possible for something to be absolutely feminist. Even the best movies and shows are problematic in some way, and if they attempt to explore social or political issues, chances are, they’re going to contradict themselves at one point. That’s because 1) they’re made by lots of different people, all with their own beliefs, opinions and values and 2) people are inherently biased and hypocritical. Art isn’t created in a vacuum. It’s influenced by tons of external factors like social conditions, economic considerations and individual people’s subjective perspectives. So, just because something is flawed, that doesn’t mean it can’t also be interesting, complex and possibly even meaningful. The failures of art don’t negate its strengths, and its positive qualities don’t make it immune to criticism.
For example, True Detective undoubtedly has misogynistic elements, but (at least IMO) it also has compelling things to say about gender politics and institutionalized prejudice in contemporary American society. By dismissing something as pure sexism, you limit your ability to engage with it on a deeper level. I get that not everyone has time to analyze every single detail of every text, but just be aware that crying “sexism!” isn’t by itself a sufficient argument, and you can’t expect people to automatically agree with you.
In the end, while I’m obviously all for critiquing individual works of art, that can only be so useful. Like Maureen Ryan says in this excellent article that you all should definitely read, if we want to increase diversity on TV, what we really need to do is increase diversity behind-the-scenes. We need a bigger variety of perspectives, which will then give us a bigger variety of stories. It’s also important that when a show comes along that does offer something different, we pay attention and give it its proper due. That means I’m judging you something fierce if you, say, watch True Detective but never check out Top of the Lake or if you watch Mad Men but completely ignore Masters of Sex, The Hour or any of the other period pieces created by and/or revolving around women. In order for change to happen, we all need to do our parts.
Gondor + Rohan parallels
There were some buildings… There were these really tall buildings, and they could walk. Then there were some vampires. And one of the vampires bit the tallest building, and his fangs broke off. Then all his other teeth fell out. Then he started crying. And then, all the other vampires said, “Why are you crying? Weren’t those just your baby teeth?” And he said, “No. Those were my grown-up teeth.” And the vampires knew he couldn’t be a vampire anymore, so they left him. The end.
#movies that have a place in HEAVEN bc too perfect
Days of nothing. That’s what it’s like, you work cases. Days like lost dogs. Goes on like that. You know the job. You’re looking for narrative, interrogate witnesses. Parcel evidence, establish a timeline, and build a story day after day.
Don’t ever change, man.
It’s just a story, but as with all good stories things aren’t always as they seem.
"I’ve had loss in my life. You have to let yourself feel it. You can’t dampen it with drugs and sex. It won’t get you through."
This is Carcosa.
collections that are raw as fuck ➝ abed mahfouz s/s 2013
You learn after you’ve been in the business for a while that it`s not getting your face recognized that`s the payoff. It`s having your film remembered.