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February 06, 2013

Shocker: Feminist Intellectual Obsesses Over TV Show

TV is of course the Queen of the Arts.

Her problem is that in a show that is all about cynical manipulation and borderline-sociopathic personality types who take an almost sexual pleasure in dirty dealings, the female characters are depicted as being cynical manipulators with borderline-sociopathic personality types who take an almost sexual pleasure in dirty dealings.

Why in a show entirely about the sick, mercenary aspects of human behavior are the female characters (and the female characters alone) not portrayed as moral paragons like All Women Must Be Portrayed Always?

You know. The important stuff.

Dear Hollywood, don't you know that TV doesn't exist for interesting examinations of human behavior (at best) or (at least) entertainment? Don't you know the purpose of art is to relentlessly push a very one-dimensional and trivial political slogan?

I'll take you seriously when you start taking you seriously. As I wrote about the Decadent Phase of Feminism:

Many movements or eras -- most, probably -- enter a decadent phase at some point. I don't know of a textbook definition of a decadent phase, but my off-the-cuff attempt is this:

a period marked by extremely minor variations on art or thought that has gone before, of recycling, of re-using old tropes rather than creating new ideas;

a period marked not by accumulation or creation of capital, whether monetary capital or capital of another kind, such as intellectual or influential or philosophical, but instead marked by the use/spending of previously acquired capital without replenishing same;

a period of sloth, whether sloth in intellect or sloth in industriousness, and a concomitant lowering of standards so that what little new work is done can be credited as good, important, or noble, albeit by a greatly reduced standard;

a period without vitality;

and, ultimately,

a period marked by inward-turning self-indulgence, of whimsy, of juvenalia and "childish things," and a focus on trivia.

I am not an unbiased critic of feminism, or at least "feminism" as is practiced by the the successors of the Frankfurt School on the left.

Nevertheless, I think it's difficult to argue against the point that feminism -- whatever it was in the past -- has entered a long, dreary Decadent Phase, largely focused on the past glories of a long-faded golden age, now rehashing the same three or four themes endlessly into (very slightly) different configurations.

You call it TV; they call it "texts."

I call it Liz Lemonism: The comforting soapy bath of mock-intellectual TV geekery, dwelling on ludicrously-trivial subjects that only Rich First-World White Women are blessed enough to be troubled by.

Exit Question: Was "Sliders" too cis-normative? Please discuss in the comments, drawing from your own experience and readings from this class.

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posted by Ace at 03:28 PM

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