The Concept of Innocuous Depravity

or How I Pretend To See What I Don’t Want To See

“All these people are assholes. All of them. They’re all big assholes, but they all know how to hide it real well, ‘cause they’ve played the game long enough.”

Redlettermedia’s Mike Stoklasa

In the last week a myriad of publications have echoed multiple cases of sexual harassment by big profile figures of the entertainment world. Mostly by big, creepy, hairy assholes who, to no one surprise, have spent the last decades harassing and probably raping people. It is no big news the temptation nature of power, especially when it comes with a sense of invulnerability given by influence, power, profitability, or all the above.

Question is, why is everybody so surprised about this. We all saw this coming, and if you say otherwise you are either a deluded one, or a very naïve and innocent person. If you are in the second group, run as fast as you can while you still have time. And don’t look back.

We have been submitted to the idea that depravity comes with fame, power, and money. We celebrated and encouraged it while socially outcasting those who fall in disgrace upon our very own eyes. If you have some time, read works like Hollywood Babylon (1959, Kenneth Anger) or, if you are a morbid kid with a sense of bad timing, Down and Dirty Pictures (2004, Peter Biskind). This one focus on the explosion of indie cinema at the beginning of the 90s. Oh, and also how Harvey managed his business during those years. A second reading brings new sides to this situation, to say the least.

Here is what Biskind said on Vanity Fair about the recent events regarding the accusations of sexual harassment against Weinstein:

“I would hear things occasionally, but they were rumors,” Biskind said. Why didn’t they merit a mention in his book? “I wasn’t writing a biography of Harvey; I was writing about the explosion of independent [films] in the 90s . . . I didn’t feel that whatever truth there was to this rumors about Harvey’s personal life had really much relevance to what I was writing about.”

This is said by the same guy who wrote Easy Riders, Raging Bulls (1998), one of the best ones when it comes to know the 60s and 70s in Hollywood and the changing of paradigms. And also who fucked who in which way. God knows I love this book too, but I can’t stop thinking about the inconsistences of the never-ending concept of the profitable asshole.

Imagine an awkward, socially aggressive, borderline reclusive, eventually predatory and/or dominant person with a set of skills that makes him profitable for other people’s economic interests. I just described half of the characters written by Aaron Sorkin (Studio 60, Newsroom, Steve Jobs, Moneyball, The Social Network, and surprisingly not Molly Bloom[i]). I just found a shortened definition of the not so American but mostly universal mindset of fascination about the new outlaws. With the cunning rascals forgotten, serial killers being a boring trend, and the downright demented genius of previous generations forgotten, or at least in a serious risk of being forgotten/being reduced to circlejerking niches, the new excess is not only the economical one, but the social one.

The “I get away with it and you don’t cause I am superior” mixed with “I can do things you won’t ever be able to” and a dose of “you jerk off crying while I fuck gods. Loser”.

Nothing wrong here, being a quasi-respectable instinct/hobby of the modern human being. If you are able to separate phantasy from reality, to say the least. Excess becomes routine. And for the minds of the wicked or the curious, routine becomes boredom. Therefore, the search for new limits.

And I am not talking about climbing the Himalaya without oxygen tanks, or going to central Asia in search of spiritual self-discovery, but the click that makes bad people into aspiring sociopaths and fulltime monsters.

And when this mindset is thrown into weak and deranged individuals, horrible things happened. And when every one of these cases goes public, everybody gasps. In surprise, in disdain, and in pure horror. What were you expecting exactly? Already deluded and powerful scumbags saying “oh, no, no, we crossed the line. No one had the balls of telling us what is right and what is wrong, but don’t worry: we know the limits here”. Come the fuck off, people. The worst thing about this whole shitfest is the fact that this is how is supposed to be. The general mindset paved the road to sociopathy, and the monsters are going in full speed. I am not throwing away blame and accusations, but giving basic context. We are not the moral guardians of anyone else except ourselves, but day after day the concept of “voting with your wallet” keeps growing in my head. What else can we do?

And yes, the generalized consent inside the industry is what make this monsters not only survive, but grow and prevail. Is it really worth it? Hollywood loves itself way too much, and while tv shows like Entourage or Californication (just to name two of them) gloats with a humorous and whimsical perspective about the dark and true nature of the industry, I’d rather see the equivalent of Network for the current generation.

 

[i] First movie written and directed by him, starring Jessica Chastain. A biopic about the real Bloom, who ran for years illegal poker games and became involved with the Russian mafia and the FBI. Slightly believable sources inquire that Sorkin was involved romantically/sexually/both with Bloom during the writing and making of the movie. Hmm… Regardless of this: script was great and movie looks neat.

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Alternatives and Hydra

 

DISCLAIMER: probably there are a shitton of mistakes and errors in this text. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t be a major inconvenience to enjoy this delightful words. Be my guest.

Today I read a post of one of my former bosses on his Facebook’s profile. In such text he protested against institutionalized censorship and unfair terms of use. Said unfairness could be resumed in its terms and rules. And these are described when any user creates his own personal profile and/or page. In the eventuality of any modifications, these are announced. And if anybody thinks outside sources from those social network don’t supervise/warn about any bad practices, you’re out of your mind. Censorship hurts when it attacks well-intentioned actions. Besides having valid arguments, its focus is out of place. His text is a rarity: a love letter to freedom. Sadly, the following nagging is dedicated to those people with similar objectives and the worst arguments possible.

Censorship is everywhere, and it makes people think in concrete ways. A never-ending fear of seeing the masses’ mindset reconfigured to a one and only line of thinking. And for the time being, reality couldn’t be more different:

  1. Facebook is just another social network and its terms and rules are the condition for using it. If you accept to use it. There is no real obligation to do so, and there are uncountable alternatives.
  2. We live in a country with serious limitations regarding basic and fundamental liberties (specially freedom of speech) without, for the time being, a strict governmental supervision. Unlike other regions.
  3. The current mindset in certain sectors. Focused in social action, some passionated and diverse minorities who are trying to establish an unique thought system. Personally, I’d rather think they don’t know that opinions must be diverse. Or, pardon me for bringing this, the complete opposite.

When somebody uploads potentially problematic content knowing previously mentioned corporate practices and decides to expel bile after the quick and predictable act of censorship, that it’s even cute. Candid and shit, especially when innocence and inexperience dominate such reaction. But good Lord, haven’t we seen these things long enough? We still don´t know what is allowed on where? Aren’t any ways to get all the necessary information of a private company whose users must comply in order to use such services, being these one option among many others? Nudity isn’t anything else that what you want to make out of it[i]. An act and/or condition more prone to be used as a motivational force, a defining act of your own character or, in this case, a fast way to obtain cheap and easy drama  than anything else[ii]. Although there are also, in my opinion, ridicule postulates: equate nudity with social clashes is an already depleted resource since God knows when; equate all nudity with art leads to the quick and fair answer of you need to learn more and better about art[iii].

In those occasions when I find myself with such complains and protest I only think in two things: number one is the Hydra Protocol, and number two is remembering the lack of freedom when it comes to intellectual property in some western countries. Seeing how people with enough intellectual experience to know how social networks work, but not enough will to have some coherence in their acts, engages in a never-ending process of nagging is tiring as fuck. And here is when you tell them (not to all of them, just only the special ones[iv]) the Hydra Protocol[v]: the purpose of this initiative is to create a false sense of security in those minds who believe that social networks work for their users, and not the other way around[vi].  And those people think that insisting in this particular objective (thus, saturating servers with forbidden content) will be enough. Justice will be done, the system will be defeated, and everything will be sunshine and giggles. Yay.

To make this simple: instead of looking the big and worrying existing problems, the world will be saved today by uploading nudes that look like shit. Á la Ed Gein Style, may I say. The intention, if there was any, is to teach something simple: Facebook won’t allow nudes? Well, try somewhere else. Easy enough; there are plenty of worldwide famous networks, like Twitter or Tumblr for example. And when I say worldwide famous I mean famous enough so I can spread my daily shit to my fans. Although everything in excess quickly becomes tiresome, there are people out there who enjoy archiving everything. Just so you know, they could reupload again if the original authors regret a particular and tasteful decision. lel.

Preserving memory is necessary.

My advice? Become fan of any artist who uses the limits of physic perception as a creative asset on social networks as Instagram and Facebook. Learn from them. They’re fucking masters of uploading what’s necessary to keep your short and pathetic attention span, bring you wherever they want you to be, and also stay in said tyrannical places. The rest is just fooling around. And every complain becomes someone else’s lulz.

You wanna know what really worries me[vii]? The way Fair Use is adopted in our country.

Fair use is the capacity of using copyrighted works, under specific terms and conditions, to create new works: critique, parody, analysis, and so on. With, and sometimes without, the possibility of economical profit. And no, it doesn’t exist in Spain. The European Union stipulates that each member can regulate such usage. So you can imagine the range of freedom that we have here.

Just like Freedom of Speech limits, the interpretation/application of Fair Use (or its complete absence) defines the creativity of a country. Seeing how capable people in the Kingdom have to stick with such limitations (i.e. sitting on a chair talking about a movie without being able of showing any pictures/sequence of it[viii])  is just painful. The solution is, again, to search out there. And also make security copies out of everything. Just in case everything gets eventually fucked up.

And this, just like the notion that every social network will sooner or later die to later mutate in others, must be a priority.

But, hey, I guess it’s more important to cry about some ridicule, forgettable and easily avoidable shit that facing what’s out there. Something that make everything, and everyone except a few selected people, more poor and/or miserable every day. And I wish this would only be a matter of crazed deranged and greedy lobbies and media corporations, but nope. So the next time some victim of such terrible injustices comes to you, just do this: tenderly hug him/her while whispering at his/her ear “shhh… shut the fuck up and grow up, for fuck sake”.

Priorities, you know.

 Bob Ross helps. A lot. 

 

[i] A necessary and also imminent article could be a reflexion about saturation through nudity and its progressive invalidation of significance in these fast and easy days of hardly digested body worship.

[ii] And exceptionally true and unforgettable beauty and art.

[iii] And maybe because I’m death inside after my working experience this and last year, but seeing people naked no longer impresses me.

[iv] Have you ever wondered why we’re here?
What’s it all about, you’ve no idea.
And everywhere you look all you see is hatred, and darkness, death and fear.
But you know it doesn’t have to be,
that I hate you, and you hate me.
Cause even though we’re different, it doesn’t make a difference… and we can live in harmony.
No, you don’t know who I am,
but maybe I could hold your hand.
And together we can understand about love!

[v] This name refers to the creature of the classic Greek mythology.

[vi] Assuming these people are acting with total honesty while nagging about such issues, that is. But it can also be a false flag attack and/or publicity stunts with the plain objective of capitalizing a newly found status. Being a victim pays off if you are stuck with sociopaths, hacks, politicians and all types of hypocrites. Receiving/witnessing an act of aggression triggers primary instincts. Paradoxically those who doubt and/or question about the circumstances/details of said aggressions are dealt with hate. And these hate later on becomes a new, and in this context justified, aggression.

The bad side of such mindset is its permeability to any social structure, artistic discipline, amount of talent, and also any kind of moral character. Such as with pure evil, those who are under this influence and also closer to us make everything miserable, disappointing and sad. But the worst part is this: victims are often used as mere social instruments. A way to others to project and protect themselves with the most simplistic statements possible.

Another objectification process. The person is no longer an individual and becomes a few actions and facts. The possibility of change and evolution, or even redemption, is denied. Of improve and become someone better. And, at the beginning and the end too, to be equal to those who are using him/her. Besides, drama doesn’t bring real recognition. It’s just a brief exercise of social masturbation.

[vii] Speaking of mundane and kinda small issues, that is.

[viii] With a few exceptions. Not everybody is able to pull this off and still be entertaining. (I.e. RedLetterMedia).