mainstreaming of VICE // VICE mainstream

Sectionfive

bandwagon house
Understandable, though. The absolute last thing the left in general needs is yet more reasons to play language police, IMO.
Don't think anyone is playing language police though, another caricature of the criticism. Loads of people are writing and speaking with no "mob" ire.


Best thing for the left or anyone else is to tackle these issues.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
awful lot of bigots
so it's overkill to approach it as a de facto post-everything pop deconstruction thing, OK. I didn't really mean it an organized, conscious setup anyway, just that I think most of the offensive stuff is self-aware and not mindless. when you reach a mass audience with a style like that inevitably a % of them won't get it and at a certain point it will cross over and become the thing it's satirizing but that's hardly a problem unique to Vice. that very thing basically drove Dave Chappelle crazy, I mean.

anyway tho, I really shoulda been more clear in OP tho cos I'm def not interested in just discussing VICE. haven't read the mag in years, rarely if ever look at website, it just don't interest me. plus, who the fuck wants to discuss Vice? it is what it is and it has been for what, nearing 20 years now right? whatever you think of it you think of it.
 

Sectionfive

bandwagon house
Better then letting it fester imo. Surely even more important to address this stuff on your own side then the other.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
this news thing is its own thing. I stumbled on it from YT recs. probably plenty of people watching their docs never even heard of the magazine prior. and it's def NOT just "the odd half-decent news report". for one Vice has been doing this for many years, it's not a new cash grab or something. and there are definitely many documentarists, indy journalists out there doing it better and/or weirder, deeper, whatever but who is covering the same breadth in the same format with the same resources? that last is most important, since Vice has the $ to send people to all these places but also the ability that CNN etc don't to market it. I'm not passing a value judgment on that as good or bad, it's just an interesting development. it says as much anyway about mainstream news that HBO is now willing to give them a show to do their frat hipster gonzo thing.

comparing Vice to Herzog is surely giving them too much credit
obviously not comparing them in any imaginable terms of quality, just using Herzog as the par exellence example of being able to contextualize and humanize even the most seemingly disparate, alien topics while still maintaining their own unique weirdness. the ideal to strive for.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
and there's surely problems with it, OK, but a lot of talented people do media things on the Internet and most of it doesn't serve any purpose beyond recreation. which is fine. but otoh, Vice doing the news isn't the worse thing ever is all I mean. it took Jon Stewart a while to get his act together too.

tbh I think Dissensus is kinda past the point of being able to have interesting multifaceted discussions about anything that isn't the latest micropermutation of nuum music.

Was more to it then that with Moore
yeah, O/T but the original shit she said was def legitimately heinous, even if the argument after devolved on all sides
 

trza

New member
Do they still have those photos taken on the streets of New York or Toronto/Montreal with snarky comments about the way people dress or look? They don't take money from certain people but they sell full page ads to American Apparel and their CEO who has a way of being sued for sexual harassment over and over again. Its hard to care either way about Vice but their market cap for a potential stock offering is in the one billion dollar range.

The free distribution model of the alt weekly, and the local American alt weekly newspaper has thrived over the past decade. Village Voice and Boston Phoenix are the exceptions, bought out by business types who tried to get more money out of them and went broke. Most free alt weekly papers gleefully print about the local newspapers declining subscription figures, publish rumors and gossip about the editors and work environments.
 

e/y

New member
You dismissed one feminist writer's piece as "bullshit" while in the same sentence suggesting Zhao has no business criticising other feminists because he, like you, is a man.
No, again that's not what I did. The NS piece is about the way in which discourse within feminism takes place - and I think it is bullshit written with a very specific agenda. At the same time I didn't dismiss the writer as a whole or her feminism (something many women have done, but then it is not my place to do the same).

I think Zhao can certainly disagree or criticise feminists (w/o getting mainsplainy), whereas what he did - taking it upon himself (rather than the "Internet Wimmin Mob") to arbitrate what is or isn't sexism and said that anyone who thinks that some of Vice's content sexist is out of touch, and then mocked a large and diverse group of people (essentially dismissing their feminism), is not on.

Plus, tbh, many of them seem a bit fucking mad.
Nice of you to put it out there where you really stand.

Better then letting it fester imo. Surely even more important to address this stuff on your own side then the other.
100% this
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Nice of you to put it out there where you really stand.
I don't think it's exactly fair to imply that someone is part of the Evil Forces of Reactionary Evil just because they don't uncritically agree with everything any soi-disant liberal/progressive/radical has ever said. Not least because radicals often make statements that flatly contradict the statements of other radicals.

With regards to the New Statesman, left-wing language-policing, Disprivilege Top Trumps and all that, I'm reminded of a piece I read there a few months back, where some guy was saying the Left needs to try and rise above its chronic Popular Judean Front-ism and concentrate on fighting the good fight, rather than just meticulously scouring each other's language for the slightest hint of unexamined privilege and leaping on it. Then in the comments below the article, one commentator branded another "transphobic" for using the word "transsexuals" rather than the phrase "transsexual people". I mean seriously, FFS - how can anyone not see that this is precisely the sort of pointless, sub-atomic hair-splitting that the author of the piece was writing about, and which achieves nothing other than giving the person making it a sense of being more correct than the no doubt horribly privileged person they're attacking?
 
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e/y

New member
I don't think it's exactly fair to imply that someone is part of the Evil Forces of Reactionary Evil just because they don't uncritically agree with everything any soi-disant liberal/progressive/radical has ever said.
???

I quoted a specific part of his comment - IMO if someone dismisses a bunch of people as "mad" and tries to diminish transphobic shit from Moran et al, well then they're being a bit of a dick.

As to the usual line trotted out by the liberal commentariat when one of them is under criticism (or as the SWP did when it was revealed that they covered up allegations of rape, or the exact thing that centre-left parties do to deflect attention from themselves) to "remember who the Real Enemy is" - well for me the real enemy are sexists, transphobes, racists, etc, and I don't want part in any sort of leftist movement that chooses to ignore the oppression of a minority group in order to "concentrate" on some 'Good, Big Fight'.

You and others label it is as petty infighting over insignificant words, but what Burchill, Moran, etc have been criticised for has not been anything petty, certainly not to the people it was aimed at and whom it affects (and a reminder that they were criticised largely by those very people). Burchill was the most egregious and blatant example of transphobic hatespeech, but even something like Moran writing that anyone who "has a vagina is a woman" (I paraphrase) specifically excludes trans* people. Or to take your example of supposedly "pointless hairsplitting" - substitute "blacks" or "gays" for "transexuals" and see what the reaction would be like.
 

crackerjack

New member
Moran writing that anyone who "has a vagina is a woman" (I paraphrase) specifically excludes trans* people. Or to take your example of supposedly "pointless hairsplitting" - substitute "blacks" or "gays" for "transexuals" and see what the reaction would be like.
It excludes by implication about 0.00001% (I guess) of the female population for the sake of keeping her writing sharp & pithy. If you feel you can't be part of a left that refuses to butcher good writing for the sake of bogus self-congratulatory inclusivity, that's fine by me - it sounds like we're better off without you.

As for the "a bit mad"... one instance I particularly have in mind runs roughly like this (I'm paraphrasing from memory - I won't link as I genuinely think the person concerned is a bit unhinged but you can find it via Helen Lewis's posts)

Person A: Why are people praising the racist [person x]?
Lewis: What has she said that's racist? Do you have a link?
A: Oh look who's leaping to the defence of the racist!
Lewis: I'm not, I'm just asking for the evidence.
Person B (friend of A): PoC don't forget racism when they see it. Stop demanding evidence.

and so on and so on

People like that don't need indulging, they need taking aside by a good friend and being told to get a grip.

edit:I'm not defending Burchill's hate piece, which was of an entirely different nature and, tbh, likening hers to Moran's is way more dickish than anything I've written here.
 
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UFO over easy

online mahjong
when you write about things that are outside of your direct experience, and you are called out by those you are writing about (for? on behalf of?), it doesn't seem like it should be a big deal to hold your hands up and engage with those responses without having a tantrum. the policing of people's anger seems like more of a problem to me than the policing of language... losing a few pithy one-liners here and there doesn't seem like much of a sacrifice even for a writer like moran
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
You and others label it is as petty infighting over insignificant words, but what Burchill, Moran, etc have been criticised for has not been anything petty, certainly not to the people it was aimed at and whom it affects (and a reminder that they were criticised largely by those very people). Burchill was the most egregious and blatant example of transphobic hatespeech, but even something like Moran writing that anyone who "has a vagina is a woman" (I paraphrase) specifically excludes trans* people. Or to take your example of supposedly "pointless hairsplitting" - substitute "blacks" or "gays" for "transexuals" and see what the reaction would be like.
OK, so Moran thinks there is a distinction between trans-women and cis-women, which I don't think is outrageously unreasonable in itself, and some anonymous internet user isn't au fait with the latest up-to-the-minute way to refer to a certain group of people (as decided by whoever it is that decides these things). Is that, in all honesty, demonstrative of a literal fear and hatred of trans people?

I know that what Burchill said was much more objectively objectionable, but that's hardly surprising.
 

e/y

New member
"and some anonymous internet user isn't au fait with the latest up-to-the-minute way to refer to a certain group of people"
Except that's not what it is, is it? I don't get why you try to mischaracterise/diminish it in this way - no one is asking people to have Gender Trouble memorised by heart, it's an issue of a few basic, commonly-accepted terms. crackerjack's defence that it somehow makes writing unwieldy or aesthetically poor is simply bizarre (even if it did, so what? you value prose over people? then fuck you, to paraphrase Zizek). It's like the notion of self-criticism doesn't even enter some people's heads.

Again, if a broadhseet writer used inappropriate language to refer to ethnic minorities they would be rightfully pulled up for it, but it is still ok to shit over trans* people.

And Moran wasn't making a distinction b/w cis women and trans* women, her statement implied that trans* women aren't women at all. Are you fine with that?

Completely agree with Ben.

edit:I'm not defending Burchill's hate piece, which was of an entirely different nature and, tbh, likening hers to Moran's is way more dickish than anything I've written here.
Except that I didn't say they were exactly the same, did I? In fact I explicitly said otherwise. But just because someone has done something worse, doesn't make the other thing ok.

You're welcome to your New Statesman/Guardian brand of liberal "leftist" btw.
 
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UFO over easy

online mahjong
haha right on man, get a job e/y! take your ideas about how to treat people with respect back to university where they belong! extremist!
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
And Moran wasn't making a distinction b/w cis women and trans* women, her statement implied that trans* women aren't women at all. Are you fine with that?
Well I'm not a woman and I'm not transsexual, and I'm also not a psychologist, a sociologist, a biologist, a professor of gender studies or anyone else who might be qualified to say who is and who isn't a woman, if anyone can categorically be said to be qualified to decide that.

If you take the view that anyone who feels themselves to be a woman, is a woman, then sure, owning a vagina is not a prerequisite to womanhood. Caitlin Moran thinks there is more to gender than a matter of personal opinion. You think she's wrong, and I'm sure you could present a good argument as to why you think that. I just think it's a bit of a leap to go from this to the conclusion that she must therefore hate transsexual people.
 
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crackerjack

New member
Well I'm not a woman and I'm not transsexual, and I'm also not a psychologist, a sociologist, a biologist, a professor of gender studies or anyone else who might be qualified to say who is and who isn't a woman, if anyone can categorically be said to be qualified to decide that.

If you take the view that anyone who feels themselves to be a woman, is a woman, then sure, owning a vagina is not a prerequisite to womanhood. Caitlin Moran thinks there is more to gender than a matter of personal opinion. You think she's wrong, and I'm sure you could present an argument as to why she's wrong. I just think it's a bit of a leap to go from this to the conclusion that she must therefore hate transsexual people.
Co-sign this. And throw in a big LOL at people claiming this is about showing people respect when the default position of one side seems to be accusing others of bigotry or sympathising with racism on flimsy, or even non-existent, evidence.
 

UFO over easy

online mahjong
the moran scrap was similar to many others, in that the initial criticism she faced was, all things considered, pretty measured. it snowballed following her reluctance to engage with that critcism and with the community of people affected by her piece, the closing of ranks and the disgusting, self-congratulatory, sneering sympathy offered by her colleagues who felt bullied and victimised by a "mob" - it seems likely that they were in fact just not used to having their senses of themselves as good and moral questioned in any small way, as if it's not completely normal for people to make mistakes and for people not to be perfectly considerate at all times. i would say that it is an example of widespread and normalised transphobia, but getting into a semantic argument about it here seems pointless - it's damaging regardless, and i would expect more of people who spend their lives thinking and writing professionally

these things do get out of hand, for sure - but i think people have a right to their anger, and there are bigger problems than the hurt feelings of broadsheet journalists
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I think part of the problem is that Twitter is a medium perfectly suited to dashing off heat-of-the-moment rejoinders and jibes, rather than measured, considered responses. That's not to say people should be able to get away with saying absolutely anything, of course, but it does perhaps mean that when people feel themselves to be under attack, we shouldn't hold a response made on Twitter up to the same standards we'd hold an article of a few thousand words that they've had a couple of days to think about.
 
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