The Drudge Report is fascinating to me. It represents America’s thinking so perfectly, and reminds me of Nora Dunn’s skit on Saturday Night Live when she was in her character of the shallow Pat Stevens:
Well, you caught me doing my favorite thing — reading a good book! You know, I like to think of my mind as a big, empty bucket, just waiting to be filled with pictures and words and…whatever. Surprise me! That’s why Vogue is my favorite book…and you know, I have my own library — volumes and volumes of Vogue. You know, I can just refer to them. What was I thinking last October? Well, I can look, and it’s right her, between September and November!
Drudge tells you exactly what America is thinking today. Left, Right, it doesn’t matter, you want to know the precise thoughts, go on Drudge.
Journalism lost that sense completely. They are running scared, but Matt Drudge, on the other hand, is sitting cool and collected. Journalists are insanely jealous of him, and they they do not understand how he does it.
It’s simple: he has a pulse on society. When you have a pulse, you follow the flow, no matter how offended people are with your findings.
If I post a fact, and someone is offended, I don’t care. They can throw a temper tantrum, and try to impose a silly narrative to demonize me, I still have the truth, they have a lie, and it becomes easy for me to have no respect for their opinion of me.
Because I respect the truth. I respect reality.
Their offended demeanour has absolutely no impact on the veracity of the fact.
They use their temper tantrum to try to sweep their problems under the rug, hoping it will all go away and work out in the end, and they will never have to face or own those problems.
But journalists are no longer brave in that regard. They have alienated too many people for them to be able to stand up and show their facts are right, and tell detractors that if they don’t like reality, they should constructively focus on embracing truths, and then work to change the reality so that fact no longer applies.
But they can’t do that for another reason: because when you express a hurtful opinion or narrative, and someone calls you out, then you are stuck. You know what you did was not kind or honest.
And while I keep a pulse on things in my own way, I find it interesting that the Drudge Report has all sorts of links to stories of this ilk. One radio station is forcing mandatory sensitivity training, for example. The Oscars have a backlash because more and more people are becoming offended by fictional characters. The New York Times fired a writer the same day because she used trigger slurs and interacted with alties.
On the face of it, these complaints are silly. If you don’t like a movie, don’t go watch it. I detest violence, for instance. I would never go see a horror movie again (I have seen a grand total of less than ten in my entire life), even if it was Japanese. I think they are sick.
But I wouldn’t throw a hissy fit over them. I just don’t give my money. I don’t talk about them. I give them no publicity.
Movies are supposed to be about all sorts of people — good and bad. To be offended that a villain does villainous things is ridiculous. Villains can be white men, black women, just as heroes can be Asian women or Latino men or First Nations trans.
And vice versa.
If you are going to stew over that, don’t watch movies. At all. You don’t get the concept that you are watching disposable entertainment.
If you do get it, you are just choosy. Use your dollars to support the kinds of things you like, but be aware that everyone else on the planet has the same right.
For the record, I don’t watch movies at all, anymore. Why? Because they do not speak to me. I used to watch old movies and obscure indie art house weird stuff from all over the world, but now, I see it as a life sink.
The same goes for television. It’s not as if I don’t have shows I could watch (Elementary), and there are shows I loved until the direction went bad for me (Major Crimes I adored until the final season, which I won’t watch, and Chicago PD until Erin Lindsey left), but there is one show I am waiting for it complete its season so I can binge watch, and that is The Good Fight.
People are shocked at how little I consume popular culture. Once upon a time, I taught Ideas in TV and Film to college students.
So what happened?
Simple: I had my fill of Patriarchal structures.
I was a pop culture junkie. I read comics books long before it was cool for girls to do so. I was four when I picked up my first comic book (an Archie Digest), and then quickly jumped to DC Comics where I followed the adventures of Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl, as well as the men.
Now, I don’t read them at all. I divested almost all of them save for my Blue Beetle Comics from Charlton because Ted Kord is just about the only hero that held up to scrutiny.
But I understood why I suddenly rebelled: I got sick and tired of the Patriarchal structure in storytelling.
It is not as if we should never have it. In fact, there are things going for it. It is about the One, for instance. If we have structural diversity, we wouldn’t have so may violent reactions to stories, these days. We’d have tolerance, and people wanting stories where they could travel into even troubled psyches to understand why some people do the things that they do.
But with too much media these days — it has become an overdose of a single (yes, single), kind of story that is, even if the story is written for a woman about women — is masculine in mindset.
The thought patterns are rigged for a single kind of person: the predatory male.
The one who absolutely has to win at everything. The One.
It becomes an overload, and now the world is violently reacting to a single and overused structure.
There is almost no Matriarchal out there — and when there is, it is too subtle, and mostly a hybrid where the Patriarchal still dominates.
The Matriarchal allows for different protagonists and doesn’t go for the Chosen One structure. There is diversity on all levels, including ideological and political diversity. We learn to understand, and not always have knee-jerk reactions because these are the stories that bring spoilers depending on what you read and in what order you read it.
This has been my mode of fictional storytelling for many years, starting in 2008 with my book Consumer-isms in 12 Easy Steps, and then fully defined by 2013 with A Dangerous Woman Story Studio.
I will give you an example: in two short stories, we come in contact with someone who can be easily defined as a villain. Two different protagonists have dealings with the same villain, and have no end of grief because of him.
If that’s all you read, you are not going to be rooting for this guy.
He is a supporting player in a prequel novella — and we see the origins of his villainy — but now we see that he is insecure and being manipulated to be a villain without his knowledge. He has no idea he is a puppet. If you don’t read the short stories, you have sympathy for a man whose life has been rigged to fail on cue, and yet, he is a little too eager to be a bad guy.
And then he is a character in a novel that turns all of those rules on its head, and your impressions are shattered.
Same character, but if you think you know someone, think again.
A reader will have no idea what to make of certain characters. You can be offended, or even outraged, but the story doesn’t end with a single story. Supporting characters in one book can be title characters in another series.
And we learn the importance of humility as we gather facts and truths about people.
You don’t know until you make the effort to understand.
And it explains the growing backlash coming from both the Left and the Right.
They are angry, but don’t know why.
It’s the Patriarchal Backlash.
People are terrified of being villainized yet again. They are sick of certain groups getting preferential treatment with the hidden structural rigs in stories.
Movies do it. Even when a film is supposed to be about people other than attractive white men, they are, in fact, not.
And news stories continue to do it. It’s why journalism has become offensive to people.
People always complained, but now, we can hear those complaints loud and clear.
And the world is starting to hate the Patriarchal because it is too restrictive.
We need Matriarchal stories, just for the change of pace.
We have to even explore other kinds of structures.
But the Matriarchal is a great start. We have too much aggression and anger out there.
We need to transmute that anger into something constructive.
Journalism should have always been Matriarchal: it should have shown us connections and not always go running after Great Men like trained lapdogs.
We do not always have to be angry and offended. We can simply support Matriarchal stories where no one falls beneath the cracks or feels ignored, but in a way that informs us and guides us to less selfish places.
It can be done, but only if we move away from the things that trigger our rage as we make the conscious effort to try new paths to get to better places.