One possibly true story about the Talking Heads is that, while working with Brian Eno on their genre-shattering album Remain in Light, the band members, or perhaps Eno, decided they wanted to do a song that sounded like Joy Division. The only problem was that none of them had heard Joy Division before, and apparently (this part of the story makes no sense) couldn’t track down any of their recordings.
So instead of recording a song modeled on Joy Division’s distinctive sound, Eno instead suggested that they do a song based only on the descriptions of the band’s music in the British music press.
The resulting song, “The Overload,” offering a glum coda to an album best remembered for its more exuberant moments, doesn’t really sound anything like Joy Division. But it does sound exactly like a song based on, well, what people were saying at the time about Joy Division.
I think about this story a lot, and I really want it to be true — a reflection of Eno’s genius as a producer who knows that sometimes setting constraints on creativity can force musicians and other artists to ratchet up their own creativity.
It’s also a reminder of what happens when you base your understanding of music, art, whatever, not on direct contact with the art in question but on other people’s vague feelings and ideas about it.
In the case of The Overload, the song stands on its own, in large part because David Byrne and Brian Eno and the rest were able to conjure up something interesting based on the vague adjectives applied to Joy Division in the press; they weren’t trying to represent Joy Division’s actual aesthetic. It was more of a game of telephone.
Why am I going on about this? Well, because every time I stop by the Men’s Rights subreddit, or any site that involves large numbers of ignorant people avidly discussing the alleged evils of feminism, I see something similar going on.
It’s clear from the comments that virtually none of the commenters have ever actually read a book or even a handful of articles about feminism. Unfortunately, they’re getting their information from somewhere even less reliable than the music press; they’re largely just repeating what they’ve heard about feminism from other people as ignorant on the subject as they are. It’s a game of telephone that’s lost almost all touch with reality.
Here are a few comments taken from recent discussions of feminism on the Men’s Rights subreddit — or, rather, discussions of a not-terribly-accurate facsimile of feminism the Men’s Rightsers have made up, basically to make themselves and each other mad. When your movement, such as it is, is driven largely by hate, you gotta remember to keep stoking the hate.
One recent comment:
[F]eminists are the aggressors who started the gender war; and … feminism is not seeking the goal of equality at all.
There are lots more comments just like that one:
Even when they get equality, they’ll still bitch about not having equality. In the end they’ll find something to bitch about, they always do.
As I get older I realized feminism is a scam. It is a great injustice against men. I don’t even understand how it’s legal. It’s not fair at all.
Apparently feminism is some sort of big lurking monster intend on murdering men, or something.
Or maybe just a cult. A death cult.
I’m done playing nice.
Feminism is a cult of hatred and death and anyone who still claims to be one should be mocked and jeered at
Having been pegged (accurately) as members of a hate movement, some MRAs try to reverse the charges:
What they want is more dominance and privilege at our expense.
Feminism is a fraud and a hate movement and you need to stop giving in to their frame of reference.
The 1% support feminism for much the same reason they support Nazism or racism. At some point though these things become too much of a risk to continue to be associated with so they may move on to supporting other ways to divide the working class.
Here’s another popular MRA fantasy: that feminism can be defeated with a sort of reverse-Lysistrata move.
The only way feminism will be defeated is if we truly treat women as equals. What I mean by that is, we treat them like we treat males. So no sex, no marriage and no children. Just pretend they are males.
Once enough of them are childless and in depression, they will begin to wake up. If we keep on allowing them to practice hypergamy, to get the upper-hand for no reason in society AND STILL give them children and commitment, they will not change.
Luckily for us, there are heaps of them in their 30s and 40s that are now alone and due to their biology will never be able to find a proper partner to commit to them unless they aim really low or an exception to the rule is found (she is extremely attractive etc).
This fellow below, while as delusional as the commenters above, has a rosier view of the future:
the current generation of feminists are just pushing for supremacy, and lost their chance. possibly the credibility for the entire movement, that had since then done some remarkable stuff, like voting rights, rights to own property, equal rights in marriage, etc
I’m hoping that once this generation of karens dies, in the next 100 or so years feminism and mra migth do as they’re supposed, and go hand in hand creating equality and fairness for both, instead of competition and political tension where both mock each other and refuse to understand the other side
Nah. That’s all on you guys. You’re the ones that have taken leave from reality.
That does give feminists one advantage in the current ongoing battle with MRAs: We pay attention to what MRAs really say instead of just repeating endless dire nonsense that we and our colleagues have made up about Men’s Rights. In other words, we know what we’re up against. The MRAs have no clue.
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