Sunday, January 19, 2020

No Apologies (*)

In going through old posts, I realize that I have, at times, been particularly hard on some people (mostly celebrities) and projects (mostly shit).  No, it's true.

My views on a lot of things, especially political and social issues, have changed a lot, too -- some entirely. But I'm not taking down those posts and I'm not "updating" or whitewashing them to reflect the changes in my opinions.  I'm only updating them to cash-in on recent developments and popular opinion.

Those posts were written by a different person in a different time; a time which, in retrospect, may have been Big Media's Last Gasp:

MySpace was bigger than Facebook, which wasn't even available to the public until 2008 or so; YouTube had only been online for one or two years; I don't think Twitter had even launched yet.  Hulu didn't launch until 2008 or 2009 and Netflix still sent DVDs to your house because DVDs were still A Thing.  Blockbuster was still bigger than Netflix back then!

The 24-hour cable news cycle was in full-swing; streaming media wasn't even A Thing until at least 2008-2009 and didn't become a serious contender until 2015 or so; tabloid blogs were all the rage (remember Perez Hilton?); people still went to the movies because Hollywood made more than just superhero films; and chicks like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, and (the real) Paris Hilton were fucking crazy!

I'd forgotten how nucking futs Britney went!  It wasn't just an off-color, or "tone-deaf," remark or two -- like the ones that kill careers today; she went off the rails for a while there.  Remember when they sent a chopper to Paris Hilton's house -- and broke into regular programming to show it in real-time?  Like it was an earthquake or 9/11.  They're Impeaching the sitting "President" right now and I don't think they've interrupted regular programming for that!

I don't feel bad for reacting to those things like they were the end of the world -- that's how they were presented!  TV, movies, and even cable TV were huge parts of American pop-culture, and our daily lives, which is how (and why) tabloids and sensationalized news stories about famous people got started in the first place.  I still largely believed things the talking heads on TV told me about war, politics, health, and other important issues, and few of those outlets had a notable online presence (and none of them should).

Those posts were written 10+ years ago and everything was different then -- including me.  I can't apologize for those things.  I started to apologize for piling-on to Britney Spears, for example, but I'd entirely forgotten about her skipping court appearances for custody of her children and serving her mom with papers on the set of her little sister's TV show.  Shit, I'd forgotten her little sister ever had a career (in entertainment)!

The things I felt, thought, and said back then were shaped, not only by the events themselves, but by the media, the constant coverage, the proliferation of tabloid websites, the mainstreaming of it all, and a thousand other things -- most of which I've all but forgotten!

I certainly did go too far sometimes, but who didn't?  That's not an excuse, that's just the way things were back then.  Remember Perez Hilton?  I was in competition with major players who had major backing from major corporations, all of whom went much further.  And, again, a lot of that was some unprecedented shit and the drama was ramped-up by the traditional media by at least 1,000-fold.

Hell, I sometimes go too far today and I'm okay with that.  The world's a fucked-up place and the morons running it are War Criminals with zero oversight.  Most days I wake up, I'm (pleasantly) surprised that people aren't running wild in the streets -- which would hardly be an "overreaction," should they start.

For those who weren't around then or haven't noticed, the "news" cartels have simply replaced pop-culture celebrities with politicians.  And blogs have largely been replaced by social networks.  Traditional media is still as toxic as it ever was and its effect on viewers is evident on social networks today.

Keep this in mind when, five or 10 years from now, you re-read people railing on "Cancel Culture" and "#[everything]SoWhite," because these things, too, will be forgotten.  Not the events or people, but the context in which they are taking place, and the things that are said in the midst of the fray will read entirely different once removed from that context.

So, if I hurt anyone's feelings or upset them, I didn't get their Twitter account removed or break into regular programming to show my chopper hovering over their mansion.  That's an important distinction.  Blogging, the Internet, TV -- everything was entirely different in 2008, 2010, 2012, et. al., and the context in which those things were written and those events took place matters.

I take full responsibility for the things I have said but I feel no responsibility to apologize for being fooled, swept-up by current events or my emotions, nor anything like that.  All of that just makes me human, and I can't really change that.

© The Weirding, 2020

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