“You wear your heart on a ripped unraveled sleeve”: Links for 2019-03-08

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. Fuck around and find out.

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March 8, 2019

I feel like an awful lot of us have been struggling with loving art that’s made by people who are terrible human beings. At the very least, I know it’s something that I struggle with.

When I was little–no older than 9 or 10–we’d get the occasional free weekend of HBO and that would always mean there’d be the opportunity to watch Bill Cosby: Himself, which was, for whatever reason, something that I absolutely loved. The idea of watching the show again, now that I know what Cosby was doing to women, makes me sick to my stomach.

And on the other hand, there are three Michael Jackson songs that I listen to on the regular: “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller” (I’ve been thinking about culling “Billie Jean,” though). And I know what Jackson was doing to young boys and it also makes me sick to my stomach.  There’s clearly part of me that still enjoys fragments of his art–interestingly, the pieces I enjoy the most are the easiest to separate from Jackson as a person, the ones which can be read as fiction. (And would I buy any of his music now? No.)

I don’t know how to reconcile this contradiction within myself; I don’t know if it’s possible. I don’t know if the contradiction has to be reconciled–terrible people can make beautiful art. I’m fully capable of recognizing that both those things can be true at the same time.

People are complicated and we all make the best choices we can.

  • I know that nearly everyone’s read this, but in case you haven’t:

    “And yet the more moderators I spoke with, the more I came to doubt the use of the call center model for content moderation. This model has long been standard across big tech companies — it’s also used by Twitter and Google, and therefore YouTube. Beyond cost savings, the benefit of outsourcing is that it allows tech companies to rapidly expand their services into new markets and languages. But it also entrusts essential questions of speech and safety to people who are paid as if they were handling customer service calls for Best Buy.

    Every moderator I spoke with took great pride in their work, and talked about the job with profound seriousness. They wished only that Facebook employees would think of them as peers, and to treat them with something resembling equality.

  • “It’s about implying that there’s a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ to be a fan, or way to tell a story. It’s about gatekeeping. It’s about what we condone by how we talk about things.” Ghostbusters, Jason Reitman and Who Gets to Be Mad Online (note: this goes to Playboy, but there’s no nudity or other NSFW work content at the URL)
  • “How many lives have been ruined by coercive men and their protectors? How many women stopped working in music because of them? And how much great music did we lose in turn?” Why Are Women Underrepresented in Music? Look to the Ryan Adams Story

This week’s post title comes from Kacey Musgraves’s “Silver Lining”:

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"It's chaos, be kind."
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