Link Roundup: March 2019

First, a plug: Carnival of Aros.  For readers interested in loads of aromantic-spectrum discussion.

h/H i s t o r y – Vesper explains why they’ve never been a fan of history.  Basically, history is always about the dominant group.  And even, say, Black history or LGBT history tend to focus on certain groups therein, and it can be hard to find a history of people at the intersections.  I really appreciate this article.

The Emoji Movie, Adorno and the Culture Industry (video) – Cuck Philosophy talks about Adorno’s criticism of the kind of media that gets incentivized by capitalism.  This is relevant to my interests, but he gives waaay more credit to Adorno than I would.  Any critique of cultural production needs to grapple with the fact that successful media is successful because it is, after all, popular.  That is to say, it provides a lot of people with value.  I think any reasonable economic system will produce media that tries to provide people with value; any reasonable economic system damn well should.  I think a better system could produce more niche media of little value to most people, but that’s not the same as saying it would not produce popular media.

When someone like Adorno criticizes popular culture, the danger is that he is simply criticizing “low” culture, from his own ivory tower.  Although I know little about Adorno, the mockery he receives for his jazz-hating seems well-deserved.  The lack of class-consciousness is just embarrassing coming from a Marxist theorist.

Elon Musk’s “Loop” – It’s bad, folks (video) – This is an illuminating analysis of an Elon Musk proposal that I had never heard of before (no, it’s not the same as the hyperloop, it’s a different one).  I don’t give a shit about Elon Musk, but his ridiculous proposal proves to be an entertaining conversation-starter about the real obstacles faced by public transit.  Also, I found that this guy, donoteat, makes lots of great videos about urban politics, using Cities: Skylines as a tool.  I recommend the channel.

J.K. Rowling Reveals That You, The Reader, Were Gay All Along (parody) – J. K. Rowling confirms a popular fan-theory, that the reader is gay.  Well, I admit it makes quite a bit of sense, but shouldn’t she have mentioned that at some point within the books?

The Darkness (video) – ContraPoints talks about comedy, from the perspective of a trans woman who makes a living making political commentary mixed with “edgy” comedy.  This is the kind of analysis I could never do because I just categorically dislike comedians.  That’s not “dislike” as in “I complain about comedians on twitter”, but as in “I don’t know what people are complaining about because I just stay away.”  Mind you, I like ContraPoints, and part of her appeal is indeed the comedy.

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