Today In Leftist Struggle Sessions
Progressives continue to melt down over having profaned their own sacred cows. New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley has prostrated himself before the mob to beg mercy for a review:
Here is Ben Brantley’s response to the conversation surrounding his review of “Head Over Heels” https://t.co/48Xr2xgOjK. We are updating the review to reflect some of our readers’ concerns now. pic.twitter.com/3SjcC1qAuk
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) July 27, 2018
What did he say that was so horrible? Steady yourself, reader: beastly Brantley misgendered a performer!
This comment is at best, unfunny, and worst, transphobic. We’ve got to do better, folks! Haven’t seen @HOHmusical, but this problematic @nytimestheater review just made it jump to the top of my list! pic.twitter.com/ope6e3vb5P
— Andrew Keenan-Bolger (@KeenanBlogger) July 27, 2018
Release the hounds!
Clearly he doesn’t have the empathy or genuine human curiosity to approach a non-mainstream piece of theatre without bias. @nytimesarts, HIRE CRITICS WHO HAVE HUMANITY. HIRE CRITICS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE. HIRE POC/NB CRITICS.
— Robert M. Thaxton-Stevenson (@rstevies) July 27, 2018
This citizen accuses Ben Brantley of being a party to suicides:
Perhaps if there were fewer people like @nytbenbrantley in theatre, actors wouldn’t feel compelled to kill themselves.
— TerpTheatre (@TerpTheatre) July 30, 2018
Meanwhile,The Nation has apologized for publishing an “ableist” poem. Excerpt:
As poetry editors, we hold ourselves responsible for the ways in which the work we select is received. We made a serious mistake by choosing to publish the poem “How-To.” We are sorry for the pain we have caused to the many communities affected by this poem. We recognize that we must now earn your trust back. Some of our readers have asked what we were thinking. When we read the poem we took it as a profane, over-the-top attack on the ways in which members of many groups are asked, or required, to perform the work of marginalization. We can no longer read the poem in that way.
Click the link above to read the poem.
If you got hiv, say aids. If you a girl,
say you’re pregnant––nobody gonna lower
themselves to listen for the kick. People
passing fast. Splay your legs, cock a knee
funny. It’s the littlest shames they’re likely
to comprehend. Don’t say homeless, they know
you is. What they don’t know is what opens
a wallet, what stops em from counting
what they drop. If you’re young say younger.
Old say older. If you’re crippled don’t
flaunt it. Let em think they’re good enough
Christians to notice. Don’t say you pray,
say you sin. It’s about who they believe
they is. You hardly even there.
— Anders Carlson-Wee (@AndersWeePoet) July 24, 2018
As for the poem itself, please give it a read. I wouldn’t call it my favorite poem ever, but it’s clearly not trying to communicate anything nefarious. I read it as calling out the hypocrisy of people who claim to care about the poor, the homeless, and the disabled, but don’t do anything meaningful to help them. (“It’s about who they believe they is / you hardly even there.”) You know, like people who relentlessly try to enforce politically correct language on social media, as if stopping people from using body metaphors will have an actual, tangible positive impact on the disabled community.
Others criticized Carlson-Wee for seemingly writing in the voice of a homeless person (possibly a person of color), even though he is an affluent white person. But this is the writer’s task: to center oneself in the minds of other people, and make their desires and struggles seem genuine rather than imagined. I don’t think anyone would have been able to tell that the author was white without looking at the name. This should be a credit to Carlson-Wee’s work, not a thoughtcrime.
Contemporary progressivism is the enemy of free speech, of art, of creativity. Fundamentalist Christians segregate themselves into sects that have zero influence on the culture. Woke progressives can intimidate major newspapers, influential magazines, critics, and poets into begging forgiveness for having had unclean thoughts.
It’s a freaking cult, is what it is.