Reader Blog Goliard said in a comment about the New Yorker profile of Jill Soloway, the radical creator of the award-winning transgender series Transparent:
I don’t know if anyone has remarked on this bit from the New Yorker piece yet (I didn’t get any hits searching the comments for “vetted”), but it stopped me in my tracks:
“Every decision on the show is vetted by Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker, trans activists and artists whose work about their relationship appeared in the most recent Whitney Biennial. ‘We monitor the politics of representation—if we catch things in the writing stage, it’s kind of optimal because then there’s time to shape it…’”
What’s astounding is how plainly and openly they lay this out: their show has political officers whose explicit function is to keep everything perfectly in line with ideological goals.
(Can you imagine how the average artsy person would react if these two people were, say, traditionalist Catholic activists rather than trans activists?)
This is a powerful factor in the shifting of opinion in this country. The average person is marinated in our entertainment media, and that media has been working steadily to construct an alternate reality of their own devising. And unlike the old physical Potemkin village, the digital Potemkin village has the power to not just fool people about present reality, but bend future reality towards its fantasy.
Speaking of LGBT commissars, another reader sent this piece from Slate in which a gay writer brands Caitlyn Jenner a traitor to the cause because she has been trans for over six months now, and still has the gall to think and speak for herself. Jenner, who began presenting himself as a woman at the age of 65, sold out the team by saying that she works hard on her presentation to look like a woman. Said Jenner, unforgivably, “If you’re out there and, to be honest with you, if you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable.”
Well, yes, that’s true. But J. Bryan Lowder of the Homintern is not having it:
In response to criticisms of these comments, Jenner has penned (undoubtedly with oversight) yet another apology lamenting that she has “still so much to learn.” But here’s the thing. These screw-ups? They are not a matter of some tricky point of terminology or deep theory that you can only access after unlocking Queer Level 5. (Indeed, Jenner herself noted elsewhere in the Time interview that she has been “learning” for six months now—enough time to actually take in some hardcore queer theory if she wanted to!) These mistakes are basic. They are ideas and truths that any moderately compassionate, halfway curious cisgender or otherwise non-queer person could learn in a focused hour or two. That Jenner is still making statements like this as a trans woman—and again, a trans woman who came out with the support of a well-informed team rather than the typical case of struggling through the process isolated and confused—is, at this point, suspicious. Whether it is an offensive media game or a truly concerning display of ignorance, I can’t say for sure. But I am certain of one thing: I cannot take it seriously anymore.
We may not have hit Peak Trans yet, but I am sure that after the campus unrest this fall, and now this kind of thing, we are very close to hitting Peak Insufferable Progressive. I hope so. Elizabeth Nolan Brown, reporting for Reason from last week’s Atlantic LGBT Summit, said of the foofarah preceding one discussion, “By the time panelists had sorted out who was micro- or macro-agressing against whom, there was little time left for the planned topic of the panel, trans civil rights.”
What misery it must be to be around such people, having to watch every syllable that comes out of your mouth. What misery it must be to be such people, obsessively monitoring the lives and words of others.