I know I’m a week behind on this, but I was out of the country and geo-blocked from most platforms. Anyway, this is great.
In the post-truth world, attention is a skill. Reading is a skill. We must vigilantly listen to the hum of the currents of power running through texts and their interpretations, to actions and their spin. We must insist upon reality in order to meaningfully and morally do the work of relativistic interpretation: there are four lights, for fuck’s sake.
Re-reading this essential essay in preparation for ST: Disco
This goes way beyond Trek; most days the world makes me want to scream “THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS, FOR FUCK SAKE!”
And you’re too sharp to be used
Or you’re too shocked from being used
By these bullying children of the fabulous
Raffling off limited edition shoes
A crossover between King Midas and King Oedipus would be pure motherfucking gold
How dare you make me read this with my own two eyes
Quality Greek Tragedy Humour
smug thinkpiece writer: “the internet is about the sound bite, the tweet, tiny fragments of information that only take two or three seconds to consume”
me, thinking back to the 5000-word tumblr post i scrolled past yesterday where two classicists, three high schoolers, and a witch all got in a very pointless argument about hades and persephone or shakespeare or something: uh,
Spreading the news to South America about how nobody agrees on a definition for transmedia (at Bogotá, Colombia)
From the top of Monserrate in Bogota (at Monserrate bogota)
In less than 100 words, you articulated not only the weaknesses of Gilmore Girls that I’m happy to attack, but you took no prisoners and ripped me out of a comfortable coccoon where I justify consuming potentially amoral/immoral art simply because I like/romanticize/excuse parts of it.
The lack of enjoyment is, I think, a sad but actually pleasant surprise for me. The widespread dissatisfaction and even anger that I saw with the Gilmore Girls revival was telling. Viewers were not preached at; they simply saw the boring, empty, selfish lives that some of the characters lead.
I think the show inadvertently showed the natural conclusion of the original series’ moral framework.
So, absolutely yes, also thank you, and how dare you.
May I offer a counter thought?
As Lorelei put it, she “stopped being a child the instant that strop turned pink.” She lived with well-meaning but absolutely smothering parents. As a child/young adult under their authority she could do very little about her own life; only reject what she didn’t want from Emily’s. (Not to justify all rebellion, but Emily didn’t allow her any room to be her own person with her own opinions and needs.) Lorelei didn’t want her own daughter raised in that environment, with values and goals she didn’t share; and saw that, really, *she* wouldn’t be allowed to raise her daughter – everything would be decided and orchestrated by Emily. Now acting as a mother herself, Lorelei erected the only barrier she knew how to protect her new little family.
I absolutely agree with the broad strokes of these criticisms of GG but I’m not convinced that Lorelei’s moving out and cutting off contact – despite her own faults and mishandling said – was totally 100% unjustified.
Aaaaand if I too might add something:
If the show had begun with Lorelai having Rory and subsequently cutting off contact with her parents, the show would have been very different and it would be fairly easy to reject. However, the very premise of the show, starting from the pilot, is that the Gilmores are back in Lorelai and Rory’s lives. Despite her not wanting to depend on them in any way, Lorelai does allow them into her life and does begin, slowly and contrarily, to TRY to get along with them. I think this is why the first few seasons stand up fairly well to rewatches – there’s still some hopefulness, through the character of Rory, that everyone is really going to learn to get along and to love each other like a family.
There’s just a huge amount of suspension of emotional disbelief that is built into the premise of the show. I completely bought it as a teenager, but as an adult, all I can think is– “Wow, when you really think about it…Lorelai is incredibly childish and self-involved.” The writing is just SO uneven–Christopher’s involvement in Lorelai/Rory’s life is the perfect example. ASP wanted him to be a viable love interest, but she never wanted him to be endgame, so he’s irresponsible in ways that don’t really make sense? He’s bad enough that Lorelai rejected his proposal but not bad enough that he wasn’t her main romantic interest the following season. Did he ever pay child support? Lorelai not making that demand of him is absurd considering he came from money. Pride isn’t worth your kid sleeping in a shed, Lor!
Emily and Richard are also kind of parodies of WASP culture, so it’s hard to take them totally seriously as these awful people. Oh, wow, they wanted Lorelai to go to Yale and get married. HOW CONTROLLING.
For what, in the end, is aging but the process of identifying more and more with Emily Gilmore.
That’s my buddy Mike.
For those who need context, that’s Mike Godwin, who coined the first widespread “law” of the Internet (appropriately named Godwin’s Law). The law states, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1.” It was meant to point out how poorly discussions on Usenet threads tended to fare after they’d been going for a while because eventually someone invoked Hitler or the Nazis. The discussions could be about any topic: computer code, or types of cheese, or a television show–it didn’t matter; eventually, someone would say that the people on the other side of the discussion, or the subject of the discussion, was “just like Hitler.” At that point, thanks to The burgeoning fame of Mike’s new law, people could point out how ridiculous the argument had become (e.g. no, George Lucas was not a Nazi just because he didn’t want people to write Star Wars slash fiction), and once that happened, the argument was over, and the party or parties who had brought up Hitler lost by default.
Godwin’s Law has been the definitive “last word” on Internet discussions since it was coined in 1990. But here is Mike Godwin himself, pointing out that we now live in a world where contemporary global sociopolitical discussion is exempt from his law.
I wish I could laugh.