There's been some discussion on Natalie's video and I'll say there's parts that I had to rationalize as "these are characters, this is not a formed opinion."

Much of it was, in my mind, like an internalized argument about the trans version of "white voice."
Some of it was uncomfortable; echoing what Thought Slime said, it did hurt me a bit at times.

Maybe I'm a bit of a glutton for that, though, and I find things I agree with yet disagree with their application.
The talk about performance is something that I am more or less on board for the discussion. "Expression" is so linguistically related to "performance" that it's a discussion I find myself often wanting to have, but I felt a bit... burnt.
I am gender non-conforming, and if you look at me, you see I have little to no proclivity for performance. I actually, to most degree, have a similar thought on it all being performance - but my life is almost entirely dedicated to undoing the need for performance.
Like, you see me in funny costumes, in silly situations, but it's all meant to get in your head and say "hey, this is bullshit."

My upcoming doc on Merit is pretty much the crystallization of this.
Next thing I am going to say is not in a critical capacity, as it's simply difference in methodology as opposed to criticism. I think it demonstrates how much more flimsy my facade is than Natalie's.

I don't name my "characters," they do not recur. They are literally just gags.
I say this because in making "people" that her audience "knows," Natalie has created separate entities for people to engage with.

Again, this isn't to drag her (and it's probably more realistic) but it makes everything more ambiguous.
Now here is where it is criticism: to create characters who are probably analogues for certain arguments in certain contexts, but characters in others... I think that is where we start having issues.
Consider when Natalie makes herself the center of the video and these characters pop in and out with one-liners and prompts. This is where they make sense as they are, imo.
They move the conversation along, provide good pivot points, sometimes contribute to the nuance, etc.

Whereas when the characters are the focus, the fact they are intentionally stereotypes becomes an issue as the more fictional format begs for character development.
And here is where I want to give Natalie a *lot* of leeway, because I think her point isn't actually to depict a view but rather a conflict.

These characters are seemingly not intended to develop. And that itself isn't necessarily a bad thing.
And she has a grasp on the actual issue with that, but perhaps didn't make the connection. She says this herself:

We are living in an aesthetic age.
My issue here is that should come with an understanding that if you are presenting an image (and we all are; see Debord) we either have to be subverting the prominent image or presenting an alternative one.
And here is the thing, I don't want to be critical of the idea of presenting alternative image in personification of internal conflict.

I think that is good, actually. But as Justine (character) notes, "this is politics."

And to me, that is where the big disconnect hits.
I am saying, literally all the time, "politicians and campaigns are images." I say it in a context to remind people that the relationship between the material world and ourselves is mediated by images.

Ones placed in front of us, and ones generated by our own brains.
She explicitly understands this! "We aren't living in an age of reason, we are living in an age of spectacle."

Spectacle is a me dog whistle. It brings me to the yard.

Yet, though she understands how important this image is, she presents conflicts rather than direction.
And I appreciate the idea that life is about conflict, at least in today's world. I appreciate that this is indeed more like real life than any one of us leftists presenting a persuasive view. I understand the need to be human.
I am also extremely reticent of saying "this is how it should be." Because I don't think there is a way it "should be." This is creative expression, and this isn't something we *should* have power over.
I am also extremely hesitant to be nitpicky, as I am not angry. I was not hurt in a way I feel is intentional or, for that matter, dire.

But my feeling here is that in a 20 minute video, a thesis would have been good.
I found it pretty difficult to say all of this, because Natalie is genuinely one of my favorite people online.

I settled on Twitter because I am a "fan" in some respects and saying this stuff directly to her might imply I am angry or trying to confront, and I am not.
Also, I want to acknowledge the possibility that she may not have a thesis. I *really* get that and I don't want to demand someone has an answer for me to consume and feel validated about!

But I think this is essentially where much of my issue lies:
I also wanted to point out that there is a lot to like about the video, and that just because it's not explicit that doesn't mean everything in it should just be thrown out. I actually want to talk a LOT more about performance in this and a lot of other contexts.
IMO one of the biggest, most important points that it seems no one has much to say about is the idea that men defined what merits a woman.

Fuck, it is amazing how little we talk about that.
For me, the ending clip montage showing Blaire also casts Justine's initial viewpoint in a very negative light, but it also depends on the viewer's specific sensibilities to understand it that way.

But the intent of the montage is abstracted. It is perhaps the thesis?
It's ambiguous, so I don't know.
I thought Tracy (a fictional character) told us this was fiction within fiction - really emphasizing "this is fiction."

Which is why my criticisms (I hope) don't come off as harsh. But also begs "why not more character development."
Thinking more about it, I'm wondering if my issues are about narrative construction. I mean, if I am right about the Blaire montage then I am wrong about lack of thesis.
I would say so. It's an entertaining video, if a bit easy to misinterpret, especially for people who aren't up to speed.
To go back to the "white voice" comparison, WV is often about survival. There's a lot of interesting aspects that Sorry To Bother You brought to light in that discussion that I think Natalie is trying to bring here, and I like that.

I do feel a *tinge* of the crossfire though.
This is a particularly good point imo.
TBH the good faith thoughts I've gotten since doing this thread have been extremely constructive in my interpretation of Natalie's video. I think it's maybe not one that is going to get "the normies," but damn, it did get leftists having constructive dialogue.
I have seen the disposal mechanism out in force and if you're engaging in that, please check yourself.
The person I was referring to IMMEDIATELY quote tweeted me after I tweeted that.

lol blocked - also I'll be blocking anyone on the left being a fuckface from now on

fucking done, folks
I am not going to go after leftists, Natalie included, for not doing something "right."

The "toss 'em, be visibly better than 'em, reap the rewards" method of criticizing other leftists is shit. Social capitalism.
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