Archive for the ‘Pop Culture’ Category

The Worst Character in Breaking Bad (And I Don’t Mean Walt)   9 comments

It’s been a LONG time since I last blogged, and I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to return to this blog, start a new one, or just quit blogging for good. Still don’t know, and while I could update you all (well, whoever is still here after all this time which, for all I know, is like twelve people) on the nightmare that has been my life during the last year (the Cliffs Notes version: illness, death, poverty, desperation, hopelessness, alienation, more death, and then still more death), I really don’t want to go into all that today.

So, on a lighter note: Breaking Bad. No, we still don’t have a TV but what are friends for, right?

I’ve been following the Breaking Bad threads on some of the mainstream feminist and progressive blogs and was once again reminded (not that I really needed a reminder) how incredibly different my perspective is from that of the predominantly middle class liberals who post and comment on these blogs. I realize people haven’t had my experiences, but I was nonetheless surprised to discover that Hank is actually a popular character. Hank the racist DEA guy who beats up suspects, violates people’s constitutional rights, and treats illegal drug users like subhuman garbage. That Hank.
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When Hate and Bigotry Are Considered Cutting-Edge Entertainment   1 comment

I bet you know the answer to this one: When are hate and bigotry considered cutting-edge, forward-thinking entertainment? When the targets are women, of course! I was going to write about this post at Feministe in which a male guest blogger twists himself into a pretzel trying to justify the violence-soaked misogyny of a rap crew he likes, but I see the Red Queen has already beaten me to it. So I’ll talk a bit about the incredibly positive reception outspoken misogynists bigots like Odd Future get from the predominantly male journalists at the New York Times, The Guardian, The Village Voice and other so-called “serious” publications.

For those who don’t know, Odd Future lyrics go way beyond the now-accepted-as-mainstream notion of women as bitches and hos who exist only to be fucked and need to be slapped around sometimes. Most Odd Future tracks dwell in graphic detail on the kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder of women bitches. And yet countless dudes who consider themselves progressive and claim to abhor bigotry are engaging in Olympian mental gymnastics to come up with reasons the creators of this hate are not only decent guys but important artistes.

For instance, when group leader Tyler says that rape is fun, that is “likely a metaphor for something else.” Why? Because no one could possibly think rape is fun? Newsflash: One in four women in the US will experience a completed or attempted rape. There are a lot of men who think rape is fun. They’re called rapists. Or perhaps these enlightened dudes just can’t see someone whose music (or movies or books or athletic performance) they like as a rapist. Rapists are 100% unadulterated evil with zero positive characteristics. I guess that’s why they’re always lurking in bushes wearing ski masks; everyone would immediately recognize their evil rapeyness if they showed their faces. How could someone as “undeniably charismatic” and “irrepressibly goofy” as twenty-year-old Tyler possibly be a rapist? Oh, I don’t know. It’s not like there’s a connection between rape and viewing women as subhuman fuckholes. Or between rapists and sociopathic assholes who think the damage they do is irrelevant as long as they’re having a good time.

I don’t know whether the man whose hate-drenched lyrics advocate the rape and torture of people like me really commits such acts. I do know that this type of violent bigotry set to a seductive beat has real-life consequences. Very bad ones. Advertisers spend billions of dollars every year on TV commercials to influence behavior. Why? Because that shit works. Yet there are those who argue with a straight face that music they consider far more powerful than any corny commercial does not influence behavior?!? It’s bullshit and I suspect they know it.
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