r/Braincels, earlier today.
No one cared about Incels when they were just writing shit on the internet. We all care about Incels now because a man called Alek Minassian committed an atrocity in Toronto, someone looked at his internet history (which is basically the first thing journalists and writers do while normal people are still in shock) and found a Facebook shoutout referencing Elliot Rodger.
The net effect of this is to make us feel incredible anger towards a group of people that claims it only exists because ‘normal’ society has already excluded them.
For reference, Incel is a term reportedly coined by an individual called Alana “as a name for an online support forum for singles, basically a lonely hearts club”.
Do you remember what you were doing when you first saw This Life? Did you discover it when they did the reboot in 2007? Find the DVD box set in a charity shop? An 8mm film in your Nan’s attic?
Or like me, were you drunk on life (and copious amounts of cider) in 1996, distractedly tapping your fingers on the night bus bell as it might somehow speed up your journey to your room in your parents’ house where the latest episode would be waiting for you on VHS, probably with the beginning or end missing?
We’re having a conversation about sex at the moment. Not so much the great British tradition of ‘who’s doing it to who’ (although that continues unabated) but more how people arrive at the point of ‘doing it’ and others asserting their right to be in that conversation.
I could tell you all about it here, but Rachel Parris did such a good job on The Mash Report a few weeks ago, I’ll just leave it to her.
No one expects the #MeToo movement to rise and fall without criticism.
Nor should they.
JK Rowling broke her silence (and her website) yesterday afternoon by making a statement about the casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
I cut and pasted that description because I literally couldn’t be arsed to write it all out, but don’t take my laziness as an indicator of the importance I place on the matter, I just wanted to get straight to the point rather than faffing about with Gellerts and Grindelwalds. It’s hugely important.
An inexplicably popular daily newspaper published a piece about Millie Bobby Brown’s meteoric rise to the coveted plinth of Young Hollywood this morning. Accompanying photos of her body in size adjusted designer dresses and soft feet sliding about in high heels is much breathy prose about how ‘her parents sacrificed everything’ to help their daughter follow her dream, including moving from Bournemouth to Hollywood and not having enough money to eat.
In short, all the trappings of a traditional rags to riches story you can read with your lunchtime sarnie and imagine for yourself/your child before reality sets in and you realise you’re going to spend the afternoon trying to remove crumbs from your keyboard again.
Embed from Getty Images
It’s been almost a month since the New York Times broke the story of Ashley Judd’s allegations against Harvey Weinstein. A month in which people have bravely stepped forward to break the silence and tell their own stories. A month of support and empowerment.
Do I have a responsibility not to self-harm because of the impact it will have on those around me?
Not exactly a party starter, is it? But it’s because this is a deeply uncomfortable question with significant and numerous ramifications that we don’t engage with it – we try not to think about it at all – despite the vital insights it might offer.
Creating images is Hollywood’s business, so perhaps we should be a little less taken aback by the allegations raining down upon Harvey Weinstein like Oscars used to do.
But then, the pictures they like best tend to be formed from bold colour palettes, semiotics, tropes and conventions to push us towards a resolution that while not necessarily satisfactory, is at least coherent. If the stories they told were as convoluted, confusing and messy as those we experience in real life, no one would watch them.