It's things where I can see systemic inequality and oppression in real life in the present day here and now, but everyone around me seems to be attributing things to individual causes and coincidence, or implying that it's not really bad because over there in the distant past or far off places, that's the real bad things.
So a novel that turns out to be about sci fi slavery kind of pisses me off because you don't need to literally reprogram and meat puppet people when you can keep them scrabbling for scraps while heavily in debt and trying to live on zero hour contracts somewhere the minimum wage isn't enough to get by on.
And novels about oppressed monotheists in a polytheist society would only not piss me off it they had kinda muslim trappings, but no, it's always secretly oppressed xtians.
And yesterday I got in a pub discussion about systemic inequalities in education and (though I didn't fully articulate this) how capitalism and economic pressures leads to the convergence of media companies into monopolies which control every level of production and distribution, all adding together to mislead voters even before you factor in how money is deliberately going back into the political process to systematically campaign on false premises. I stopped because we were there to talk about science fiction, but I started because someone made a joke about stupid Americans and then wouldn't let it drop. Apparent stupidity and ignorance has a whole lot to do with systems. You can't just call an individual stupid and make out like it's their individual problem with an individual solution. All the solutions cost money, resources, and time, and systems collude to make sure most people don't have those.
Access to information is a hugely political topic. People not knowing stuff is not just about the choices of that individual person.
Nothing is just about the choices of that individual person! People exist within systems and their actions contribute to those systems, whether they consciously will it or not!
And yeah, I go to media texts looking for things to be annoyed at. Eleven years of further and higher education have kind of got me in the habit. Because once you open your eyes to it, sexism, racism, and all the other ugly isms are sodding everywhere.
Someone yesterday was arguing the 'it's just the best person for that role' angle about Dead Bro Walking trope. Yeah all the black guys die but it's just because individually they were the best actor for the role of screaming dying person. How can anyone actually believe that and not see how it adds up?
Also, I feel it is derailing and irrelevant to start picking apart my pub level accuracy on quoting media creators, when I was trying to list dead lesbians in TV shows. The problem here isn't precisely what is said about dead lesbians, it is that all the fictional lesbians are in fact dead. I feel it reasonable to be annoyed about that. And again they argued the 'best character for the role' angle, that just coincidentally the TV show went and brought in these characters to kill them off and it has nothing to do with them being lesbians. Even if that's now 100% of the lesbians dead, that's just luck.
And I'm not arguing that content creators sit there all *evil laugh* and pick a minority to kill off this week. That's what's always being defended against, as if that's an invisible accusation, and it's entirely irrelevant. What they thought they were doing isn't the point. The point is there's a whole lot of dead bros and dead lesbians, and that is a problem. They're a bunch of individual choices of best for that five minutes that somehow coincidentally adds up to meaning black guys and lesbians are all killed off. Which is creepy and bad.
Also, if the problem is dead lesbians, pointing out how many strong women there are on a show is also irrelevant. Unless they're dating each other, they are not the current point.
And I am so wound up and frustrated about this stuff.
And it feels like it's all of a piece, like people are trained into thinking things one at a time, attributing things to individual one off choices, and not looking at the systems and aggregates and big picture.
And I know that sitting there telling them elsewise four at a time is very nearly no help at all but
I can see so many problems, I know there's more problems I don't see, and I can't see how to get other people to see it let alone solve it.
And this is without getting into the sort of real world problems with a real world body count. Those are just horrifying and terrifying and leave me somewhere between really angry and awful hollow.
Especially the science based stuff. It's really quite a large problem when science can spend my whole adult life pointing at something and saying with some authority 'unless we do the thing we are going to die' and yet we don't do the thing. Humans are actually killing the whole planet. We could well render it uninhabitable. We're causing a mass extinction event and the Earth, as a whole, may not survive it. This is a problem.
And my individual choices for doing anything about said problem are... limited.
I mean I'm sitting here somewhere all western educated industrialised rich developed, with all those years of degree behind me, in a position of in some respects massive privilege, in one of the countries eating the world. But I don't see how to stop just by changing my individual consumer choices. They're not enough of the problem to make much of the solution. I don't know how to get at the levers. So I'm benefiting from systems of power and oppression, but feel pretty powerless to stop them or get out of the train, so to speak.
... this is why I daydream about space colonies. new place, new systems. also, my author brain knows that the point of the story will turn out to be that even in a new place humans are still human so we'll have to deal with our shit or live with it longer, and the suddenly concentrated nature of society would highlight everything.
Plus of course I feel powerless to do anything because I'm disabled and have had no support for a year and a half and it is in fact bloody difficult to do anything. Including shopping. Or the house viewings that are part of the plan to get me somewhere I can cope with better.
And then I feel weird about what I am getting that other people don't, like I should be guilty about having plus stuff, except I'm kind of stuck with the bits i'm not getting, and then it's all problem and no solution.
Everything all problem no solution.
Massive collective action is only way to make changes.
Except I've seen massive actions, protests, all sorts, and it don't seem to do any good.
So then I hide under a blanket and play Sims a lot.
xposted from Dreamwidth here. comments. Reply there