! This claim about election fraud is disputed
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are taking action to reduce misinformation (or “information” depending on your preferred bias). But it’s become a game of whack-a-mole with new entrants flooding the market to capture “free speech” advocates. Sites such as Parler, MeWe, and Gab have gained popularity with the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement, which seeks alternative echo chambers. And despite regulators’ best efforts, this trend is unlikely to reverse anytime soon—cut one platform down, and two grow back in it’s place.
Do you have any preconceived notions that you clearly know are unfounded? How does our culture decide what “matters” and what doesn’t? And most importantly, is a male ballet dancer actually called a “ballerino”?
In a different universe, under different circumstances, ballet is the rule-breaking pastime of rebellious youth, and skateboarding is the respectable practice of a well-mannered, cultured aristocracy. At the highest levels, both activities require finesse, nuance, and the potential for artistic expression. Each can have a soft touch or emotional vigor, be smooth and graceful or forceful and punchy. The difference is our historical expectations—highbrow artists vs. lowbrow rebels. What if their roles were reversed?
What’s do you see? What comes to mind when looking at the image above? Is it a celebration of the modern woman’s accomplishments—breaking down gender barriers while juggling life’s many tasks? Or perhaps it’s an example of mansplaining—a message from yet another male critic of the “feminist agenda”? Does the image endorse multitasking or condemn it? Liberal or conservative? Sexist or feminist? An attack on contemporary activism, consumerism, and technology or a recognition of the modern world?
Last week the New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced that she was pregnant. Her first child will be born during her first year in office. News outlets had a field day. Social media immediately flooded with opinions. And I… well… I drew a cartoon.
This is not an essay. I started writing an essay; it was on cultural differences, what makes us the same or different, the difficulty of defining ethnicity/diversity/race/culture and how they relate to conflict, Freud’s “narcissism of minor differences,” the American melting pot, and various other ideas along those lines. But with so much written on these topics, they are still ambiguous concepts that change with time. Rather than failing to convey my thoughts clearly with an essay, I’ve elected for a simple cartoon—a three panel summary.