Friday, June 21, 2013

Above the Game, John Cheese and Deconstruction Done Right

Back at the beginning of the month, I espoused a plan for dealing with offensive art. Not so much the “ewww, I shouldn't have to see that”, pictures of people crapping on the sidewalk type of offensive, but the kind of morally repugnant bullshit that can end up with people being hurt. The kind of art that continues a cultural tradition of subjugation. My response was simple, make new, better art that reflects the direction our culture should go. Now, a recent development has proven a marvelous example of what I'm talking about and where I hope things like this will go in the future.

If you've been online lately, you're probably aware of the Above The Game kickstarter debacle. If you aren't, here's the skinny: the kickstarter is to fund a how-to guide for men that espouses the “women want a man who takes charge” attitude, to the extent of coming across more than a bit rapey. It's the kind of thing I could've pictured Maddox doing back in the day, only with no tongue and no cheek. Beyond appearing to be childish, amateurish and rather stupid, most of the complaints center on the idea that this supports and continues a culture in which women are treated as things for men to place their desires upon. Calls have been made for Kickstarter to take it down and revoke the funding for it.

This response has made me a tad uncomfortable for previously stated reasons (I refer you back to Tycho: If you start to think that less art is the answer, start over. That’s not the side you want to be on.). Yep, the guy's a douche who should be smacked numerous times. He definitely should be told that what he is saying is appalling and moronic. I kinda hope he never gets to feel the gentle caress of femininity again. However, this is merely an expression of the culture we exist  in and I don't think that censorship is the way to change that culture. If nothing else, it allows the asshole to play the victim.

Instead, look at what John Cheese does with this cracked article (“5 WaysRegular Guys Ruin Their First Impression With Women”). He comes across simply, witty, entertaining and stands very firmly against the kind of thing Ken Hoinsky espouses. Whether intentionally or not, he is engaging that culture on the same field. Creating a reasoned dialog instead of angry invective. It isn't about just tearing down the old, bad ways, but showing another way and showing why that way is better. That is how you fucking do it.

I sincerely hope to see more like it.

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