CN pretty much every kind of bigoted abuse but mostly racist, instructions to suicide, MRAs/libertarians/edgelords being themselves.
As expected, answering 27 Questions has induced a steady influx of anti-humanist nonsense into my comments queue. I’m better prepared than most to receive this onslaught, because I’ve watched this happen to people far more important and interesting than me for a long time, I’ve read what the various subsets of atheist dirtbag are about, and I feel no need to let them get close enough to get under my skin. They have no surprises for me, and nothing to say that far more articulate bigots haven’t said before. They can whine endlessly about how, in this heat, taking away their freeze-peach is a super mean thing to do, the kind of thing only a crate of hippos would dare make standard policy, and I can look at the other things in my spam folder and derive amusement from the idea that they think I’ll ever take them seriously.
Y’all are dangerous, not interesting. Understanding yourselves is a big step toward becoming better people, and I’m glad I could help.
With that in mind, this comment stuck out at me for how impressively it missed all the points.
Something peculiar happens with film budgets. Films that spend more on their cast than small countries spend on food make decisions premised on that kind of money. In a culture that places whiteness, maleness, and similar statuses on pedestals and holds others down, that often means that seeking the biggest names—the people most often recognized for their talent and expertise—means finding people who have had every advantage up to that point. Big-budget films are incredibly white and distressingly male, by and large, regardless of where they are set, and it’s only recently that films could give top billing to members of ethnic minorities without immediately becoming “niche.”
That’s what makes lower-budget films especially interesting.
One of the first things I noticed when I started watching classmates’ film projects, amateur movies on YouTube, and other low-budget cinema was the overwhelmingly greater diversity in the cast. Women and non-white people, disappeared from sight in mainstream films, appeared in profusion, matching the reality of the diverse places I have lived.
Sociological concepts are controversial in the skeptic/atheist community. Many of its members don’t think of sociology as a “real” science, or otherwise dismiss the claims such a peculiar field makes as not holding up to the scrutiny expected in biology, geology, or physics. Criticisms of important sociological concepts like privilege tend to rely either on argument from personal incredulity or on hazy readings of introductory philosophy texts.
The funny thing is, philosobros who think they can undo sociological privilege with binary logic or harsh skepticism about the motives of other humans have only a few pages to flip before their own sources turn against them. Equally basic philosophical concepts and discussions underpin major sociological findings, and remind us to be aware of the limits of our own knowledge in other ways.
For those who don’t know, Dungeons and Dragons is, crudely, the tabletop board-game version of games like World of Warcraft and EverQuest, and I’ve played it for many years. The enjoyment I derive from this game is so thorough, through the several editions that I’ve played, that I’ve written my own campaign setting. Those who know what that phrase means know that this was no small undertaking, and the world’s current, approximately finished state is the culmination of a decade of effort and countless revisions.
I’ve never really thought of myself as a person of color. I’m Hispanic, on both sides of my family, but that’s not necessarily what people see.
Mom has a look that blends into the swarthy shades of whiteness that define the region surrounding New York City and even more so South Florida, invisible against the Italians whose struggle made southern European shades acceptable in the United States. But she has the low hairline and dark curls that made Carmen Cansino unacceptably “Mediterranean” for movies in the 1930s, the traits that led Cansino to undergo electrolysis, skin bleaching, and relentless hair dye to become Rita Hayworth, finally “white” enough for success. For those who know what to look for, she is unmistakably Hispanic; to everyone else, she’s another dark-haired white woman who speaks with a Hoboken accent when she’s excited.
And Dad? Dad has the ruddy complexion of someone who has worked hard jobs in the sun for decades, but it’s there all the time, even in the years he spent managing grocery stores and apartment buildings. His edges are sharper than hers, his accent different enough that I hear it as no accent at all until he slips a little Cubanism into his sentences. He, too, could tell people he was Italian or Greek or unqualified “white” if he wanted to, except that he actively cultivates the most Cuban mustache in the history of Cuban mustaches. He, too, is invisible to people who don’t know what Hispanic people look like, or who don’t talk to him.
In the places where I’ve been, middle-aged white folks who spend a lot of time in the sun get talked to in Spanish first. Sometimes, they answer in Spanish.