Ideology vs. Aesthetics

Ideology versus aesthetics is something I’ve been thinking about a lot this past week in the wake of a 24 hour barrage of criticism hurled at Quentin Tarantino because of a piece I wrote about him and whose innocuous opinions were re-interpreted into a sexist-racist screed that wanted to portray both of us—subject and writer—as white privileged cisgender mutants based solely on our aesthetic opinion and not any kind of ideology—and this was troubling, for everyone including Tarantino and myself, troubling for the filmmakers Tarantino had opinions on and which I shared, and troubling for social justice warriors who said simply if you don’t like those movies you are a sexist racist—not even thinking for a moment that someone might not like something because of their notions about art. It was an example of how the ideological narrative of social justice warriors distorts simple aesthetics and the opinion of individuals. And I was thinking how the narrative of an artists life and their problems and their opinions and their ups and downs can form a false narrative about the artist’s work. Look at the art, not the artist, is something Bruce Springsteen said in an interview about 30 years ago and has stayed with me ever since—that the art should stand as the truth of the artist—and the person themselves: meh, who really cares, you’ll probably be disappointed—so just look at the art—let the art speak. Though that might be a resolutely antiquated idea for someone my age—we are in a very different world now. And I, myself have felt the changes that have occurred about how we respond to an artists identity first hand. And I’m bringing this up because of this short piece, really just an appreciation, I wrote about Tarantino for The New York Times.

I was approached by the New York Times last summer and asked if I wanted to profile Tarantino. The last time I had done a celebrity profile had been over twenty years ago when I happened to be in LA for a couple of months drifting through pre-production on a film project that never happened and Details magazine asked me if I wanted to profile Val Kilmer who was on the Warner Brother’s lot shooting the new Batman movie, Batman Forever, and because I was bored and because of the outrageous amount of money Details was offering to write the profile (by the way—that outrageous sum—doesn’t exist anymore for anyone) I took the assignment even though I didn’t find Kilmer particularly interesting and this was and wasn’t proved over lunch at a sushi bar off of Mulholland, in his trailer on the Warner’s lot in full make-up and Batman regalia while he lolled about and I fumbled with my recorder, on a drive from the Warner’s lot to Culver City late that night where I talked to Kilmer while he was in a chair in a trailer doing make-up tests for his upcoming role in Michael Mann’s Heat, which was shooting near-by. The Val Kilmer piece had come out okay but the fights I had gotten into with the editor over cuts and omissions just wasn’t worth it—fighting over a Val Kilmer profile because I hadn’t written more about his sex life and the various women he dated was, well…is this where I’m at? I’ve gotta get back to New York, and I did, soon after. Since then I’ve turned down various assignments to profile celebrities, mostly actors, and as much as I like hanging out with actors, writing about them and getting quotes and not freaking them out and wishing they would be more transparent and less afraid of their publicists, is a task I’d rather leave to someone more capable than myself.

The New York Times clarified what they wanted: the T magazine supplement was doing an issue called The Greats—various writers on cultural figures who were hovering around the center of the culture in this moment: Rihanna, Jonathan Franzen, the filmmaker Steve McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, and Tarantino—and I said yes because I’m actually interested in Tarantino—interested in his films, and in a Gen-X sensibility that we both share, and in the man himself who seemingly knows more about film history than any other middle-aged American auteur and I love him in interviews where he is fearlessly opinionated about current actors, directors, movies and television—and I hate saying fearlessly because it shouldn’t be THAT fearless dissing Oscar-bait movies, saying you don’t care for Cate Blanchett or found the first season of True Detective boring after only watching one episode. But in our current emotionally-stunted childlike snowflake culture, all bothered and twitching about a grown-ups negative opinion about something, it is becoming fearless to say you don’t like something, it’s not for me—yes, we’re living in a neutered corporate culture where the grown-up negative opinion or joke is considered blasphemy, sooo insensitive, you’re such a meanie, take that back, apologize, because I’m a child, I’m a child and I can’t take it and I’m covering my ears up with my little hands. There was a moment where you could have opinions and make them public and they weren’t always positive and people discussed them. In the corporate culture we live in—run it seems by over-sensitive children, so fearful of discourse and in thrall to upbeat group think ideology—a harmless opinion about an actress, a female director, a black female director becomes an opportunity for the social justice warriors to launch their attacks which they did once the Tarantino piece was posted by The New York Times online a few weeks ago.

I had met Tarantino only twice before—strange perhaps since we have so many acquaintances in common—once after the premiere of The Last Exorcism over drinks at the afterparty in the lobby of the ArcLight where we talked about the film critic Pauline Kael and Tarantino’s interest in Less Than Zero, and one other time at Soho House here in LA when both of our parties overlapped. Knowing Tarantino was heavily into editing The Hateful Eight, opening in December, and also knowing that this was not going to be a full-blown profile—roughly 2500 words—and that it was essential for the magazine to have the writer spend some time with the subject before writing the piece even if the piece was basically just an appreciation they still wanted some added face time, some movement, some flair, so I ended up talking to Tarantino for about two hours and then the two of us went to the movies at the revival theater he owns here in LA, the New Beverly, to watch a Chaplin movie I—yes I had never heard of and referred to, foolishly, in the article as an “obscure” Chaplin movie called The Circus—it was the one Chaplin film neither Tarantino or I had seen and I didn’t feel at the time it was crazy to refer to it as “obscure”—but the cinephiles in social media correctly took me to task for that. After the movie Tarantino wanted to get a bite to eat—but it was nearing 11 and I was tired and had to get up early the next morning for a meeting so we said our goodbyes and I took an Uber home. I really liked Tarantino a lot: generous, friendly, good-natured, approachable, so smart about film, the history of film, and his genuine love of film is infectious when you’re hanging out with him and he’s also a clear-eyed tough critic and I like that about him too. The interview was actually, ultimately, just a conversation we had, not a hard-hitting journalistic expose, not an investigation, not a grilling, just a few soft-lob questions, a couple of things I wanted to ask over a bottle of red-wine by the lit pool in his backyard—super mellow, super pleasant. Ultimately I actually gave the Times a 5000 word piece, double what they asked for, and of course, they only ran the half that they preferred. Admittedly, I took a look at the edit they presented to me and though I was aware enough to know that his monologue on black critics might push a few buttons—it seemed so benign, but I said yeah it’s fine, it’s part of the Quentin narrative, I would have preferred the paragraph where he talks about his now-complicated feelings for his hero-crush Godard and especially QTs take down of Hitchcock, who he never really liked, in-fact preferring Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho over the original. THAT to me was the most shocking thing in the transcripts.

So when the piece was posted what were the two things that QT said that were so appalling, so blasphemous, so disrespectful, so sick-making, so sexist and racist, so newsworthy that social media erupted with thousands of butt-hurt souls calling for QTs head on a platter? One was in reference to Inglourious Basterds losing to Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker at the 2010 Oscars for picture, directing and screenplay, and the not-so-hidden idea, at least out here and by out here I suppose I mean the academy of motion picture arts and sciences and Hollywood in general, that there was a bit of token-ism on display when Bigelow won the first female directing Oscar ever, and that this was discussed widely among people out here at the time, it was in the air everywhere, we have to give it to Bigelow, we have to prove that we aren’t horrible sexists, if we give it to Bigelow it’ll prove something to the world even if the movie wasn’t best of 2009—I even had a conversation with one of The Hurt Locker’s producers at the Equinox gym in West Hollywood about this, who, when the topic came up, agreed that “Yeah, that probably is the case” and this is the supposedly horrible thing Tarantino said in response to losing best director and best picture to Bigelow and The Hurt Locker and I’m quoting it verbatim: “The Kathryn Bigelow thing—I got it. Look, it was exciting that a woman had made such a good war film, and it was the first movie about the Iraq War that said something. And it wasn’t like I lost to something dreadful. It’s not like ET losing to Gandhi.” End-quote. And on Ava DuVernay’s supposed Selma snub—which again Out Here not many people liked the movie all that much for aesthetic reasons—not ideological ones, snowflakes, but aesthetic ones, the conversation turning on the fact that it seemed more like a TV movie, and whether you agree or disagree with that assessment, it was the assessment out here (and if anyone really cares to listen to my deconstruction of the supposed Selma snub you can listen to this at the beginning of the Alex Ross Perry podcast from earlier in the year). Here is the absolutely horrible and sexist and racist and appalling thing Tarantino said about Ava Duvernay and Selma: Ready? Here we go. Brace yourselves. It’s twelve words. I hope this doesn’t trigger anything: “She did a very good job on Selma, but Selma deserved an Emmy.” Did, um, everyone survive hearing that? You all, okay? Just want to make sure you’ve recovered before I continue. Tarantino was parroting the typical response in Hollywood, just as the Bigelow tokenism response was also typical out here. That’s it. Tarantino is not against women—throughout the conversation Tarantino gave his honest feelings about various male filmmakers as well—and though some of them were cut from the piece they were not all favorable. But these were opinions—NOT prohibitions. Unless you wanted to make them one.

The internet exploded and by mid-week in hundreds of social justice warrior think pieces, and so many dumb tweets from people who should know better, Tarantino was considered an outrageous sexist and uninhibited racist. What was so disturbing about the sentimental narrative about Tarantino’s innocuous thoughts was in the overreaction to someone having an opinion that was not supporting the corporate ideals of inclusivity and positivity, who had opinions that were in many ways against the sentimental narrative of the group-think, who was above the overly emotional reaction to criticism and opinions (and personally I think he’s way too nice to The Hurt Locker)—there was the overwhelming suggestion that ideology—just because she’s a woman or she’s a black filmmaker—she needs to be protected from these opinions. And what this outrage toward Quentin Tarantino does is that the social-media outrage turns Bigelow and DuVernay into victims—which is just so deliciously gratifying to Social Justice Warrior mentality. Tarantino was just giving an opinion on two films—the social justice warriors turned Bigelow and DuVernay into martyrs, which is the real thought crime. And there isn’t that much difference between Social Justice Warriors and members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—sometimes they overlap. The Academy has certainly given awards, not to the deserving party necessarily, but to wrongs they feel the need to right—whether it’s Scorsese winning for The Departed, Pacino winning for Scent of A Woman, Julianne Moore winning for Still Alice—the list goes on and on. In-fact I had dinner last week with a woman who is an Oscar-nominated producer and member of the Academy and a self-professed proud Hollywood liberal who got a little miffed by Tarantino’s words about Bigelow and DuVernay and when I started to defend the words and that I agreed with them and that I hope she was not going to say that ideology trumps artistic merit—she closed her eyes and her voice rising over mine, exclaimed, “They get a free pass! They get a free pass!” which lead to a drunken semi-exhausting conversation about aesthetics versus ideology and Hollywood’s horrible sexism problem, that I hope to never have again.

Tarantino painted as something he’s not because of his opinions is where we’re at now—even though it lasts only 24 hours on social media—and this is essentially a corporate culture where everyone gets so emotional over a dislike—and pissed at a person who instead of following the upbeat status quo remains idiosyncratic—the upbeat status quo is an expansion of Facebook culture, posting about your best self, making yourself a little friendlier, a little duller, playing a fake noble you in a fake show—this is what’s turning everyone into a clockwork orange, and what is really at stake here is: stamping out the non-conformists. I hope the reaction to Tarantino and the piece don’t take away from his achievements as a filmmaker but sometimes we seem to be getting dangerously close to extolling an emotionalism about an artist—that in this reality-culture moment who cares about what they create—who cares about their art in this democratized DIY universe—instead it seems as if the crowd is shouting I just want you to notice me, me, me, and hear my story, my story, my story—and if you do this then I’m much more interested in your story as well. But not if it’s different than mine. Not if it doesn’t conform to the group-think narrative. This is the childlike narcissism at the heart of corporate culture and the social justice warrior mindset as well. The fact that social justice warriors are even more conservative than corporate culture is something to be mindful of…


  • Gianni W.

    Eye-opening piece. I really enjoyed it and absolutely agree — it aggravates me that we’re no longer allowed to react to something organically, or even to encounter a thing without its most “shocking” element being either prematurely revealed, or scrubbed altogether to prevent “triggering” (as if the person censoring it is afraid of getting sued for emotional damages). Being allowed to react to art honestly is more than half the fun, and it opens your mind. Thanks for this.

  • I agree with everything you say. Also try to watch the new South Park episodes,I think it relates to what you’re saying in this article and the Tarantino interview. You should get Matt Stone and Trey Parker on the podcast. And dude get back to writing a novel or at least try to get a TV show going since you seem to have so many Hollywood connections, it would be a perfect match for your writers voice.

  • Wait. Why does one of the book descriptions say that you are “deeply concerned with the moral decline of our society”? That can’t be true. Why does it say that? The word “concerned” should be replaced with “invested,” and then it’d be accurate.

  • Terrific blog post! And happy to see such a well-designed new official website for BEE. One comment for the Blog: maybe break up the big blocks of text into a few smaller paragraphs. I think it makes longer articles/blog posts on the web easier to read when there are smaller blocks of text, adding a few extra white spaces from start to finish. Just a personal preference!

  • The hollow outrage that has occurred as a result of the Tarantino piece is ridiculous, though not surprising, given the hive mentality that is increasingly pervading modern, western societies. You’d think the the millennial generation (My generation), with all the sources of information at their disposal, would usher in a more nuanced and liberated age; an age free of the intellectual stigmas and taboos that restricted discourse and culture itself in the past. But no – this generation has ‘chosen’ to carry on the tradition of censorship, public shaming and black/white worldviews. The difference now is that it has taken on a twisted form of narcissism where in stead of trying to elevating themselves overtly, they choose in stead to victimize themselves in hopes of getting attention – not unlike that of an association footballer taking a dive in the hopes that the referee will award him a free kick or a penalty. The most important thing is to be HEARD, regardless of whether or not they actually have anything to say, besides the tired and recycled old platitudes. It is bitterly ironic that the internet – being a boundless well of information and an excellent platform for the sharing of thoughts and ideas – is the hunting grounds of these politically correct lynch mobs. Instead of using it to enlighten themselves, they use it to regulate people’s opinions and to bully those who do not conform to their PC vision – very much like the cool kids in the school yard giving you shit for not listening to the right bands. The social media is becoming more and more like an unofficial, modern day Hous of Un-American Activities Committee. One of the reasons for this is, paradoxically, that people are becoming increasingly politically aware in the sense that most people have at least some idea of where they stand politically. The problem is that this politically awareness appears to be in its infancy, as they seem unable to appreciate or even simply observe art without reading some political agenda into it. Look hard enough and you’ll find it, of course; much like conspiracy theorists ability to link 9/11 to extraterrestrial lizards from Mars.

  • A. Richard Langley

    Spot-on slam of feckless and flighty editors and of politically correct, thin-skinned, corporate-minded whiners who object to anyone whose opinions and views—especially on racial and feminist topics—do not align with theirs.

    Keep up the good fight—and the great writing.

  • William Neal

    Loved your latest podcast with Quentin. Your opening monologue got me thinking because you rail on Millennials and their inability to deal with criticism. That they wrap themselves around a social security blanket to hide themselves from anything negative.

    My question then isn’t that all of us? Social media causes us all to seek out those of us with similar attributes and causes. Everything does become black and white. There is no middle ground.

  • HailEris

    Many thanks for this piece Bret. You have articulated what a lot of us in our late 30s and early 40s have been thinking for a while. Even in 2004 when I was in grad school, I found myself among peers who judged everything with out it interacted with their political views. I think it is not an exaggeration to describe this SJW behavior as a religion that is as fundamentalist and reactionary as anything the righties have to offer. SJW’s seem to have a stranglehold on popular culture, so the constantly rationalize themselves into knots to convince themselves that it isn’t so.

  • Zack Stein

    I just listened to your Quentin Tarantino podcast and absolutely adored your opening statement. I’m thankful for what you’ve written here. As someone who’s been a fan of your voice since Less Than Zero (I’m 45; began reading you in high school) I’ve enjoyed listening to you carve out a niche in the podcasting realm. In some ways, I feel your Quentin Tarantino episode might be one of your most important. Just wanted to share my thoughts and thank you for your words.

  • Anthony Watson

    Thank you Bret Easton Ellis. I just listened to your Tarantino podcast, and now this. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. I think both. Everything you have to say on moral outrage is true. Where do we go from here? There is a huge element of Projection in social media and society for that matter. Everybody is trying to project an image of what they want people to think they are. Its all bullshit. The world has gone mad with self righteous social warriors now trying to project the ‘brand’ they want to be known by as you say, and outrage seems to be the loudest tool they have access to. And everything else that appears interesting on the social media surface turns out to be fake, constructed, bland. I think I will now remove myself from society and retreat into a B.E.E podcast archive-listening marathon.

  • I just found this blog after having back to backed three of your novels for the first time, ever, this month…. Which is almost amazing considering how long its taken me to start reading your work after consistently reading books n stuff my whole entire life, like, and I saw Less Than Zero forever ago and American Psycho has been in nearly constant rotation since it came out and, ummm, all my coolest smartest friends have been consistently deriding my criminal lack of “getting it” at all, forever…. So thank you for your patience! I just needed some space from the 80’s itself and a bit of distance from the films to cleanse the pallet and peel my lids back! I lost a decade or two somehow in there… I just started Less Than Zero and will Probably binge that a few times in a row as I just have with The Informers. Thank you for your amazing work… Just the songs mentioned (Crimson and Clover??!!)bring back that era so clearly…. I wonder how we all made it out alive? Alternately sure that none of us have, and Social Propriety is the new hell worse than any coked up fauxapathetic Bard-nihilism I suffered at the hands of my own sick mind or dear friends suicidaly impaired driving hobbies way back then…. A new (to me) engaging author is truly a life’s pleasure at the bitter age of 45, a last vice I can firmly advise to any old friends I don’t hope to kill quite yet… I can maintain long held delusions of accidentally discovering all the cultural greats myself, then demand my low life no taste friends catch up with my current indulgences…. (Having discovered for all the world to know and love both Hemingway and Rimbaud on the same bleary Vermont fall day in 2003 I remain confidently delusional in both divine ignorance and fine taste) I can taste the social victories and hard won “likes” when I tell all my old art fag cronies (from the prestigiousest of prestigious Art Colleges where I studied Art taught by professors who were so professional at Art that America hadn’t even heard of them yet. Not even Europe knew who they were!! Underground Art is so demanding… so pure… I learned all the art they had in two years and left school to avoid being heard of before I was countercultured enough to deserve the agent I’m getting probably later this year, on the 25th anneversary of leaving ART School!~Background. Sorry.) I found the new have to have (at least have pretended to read) literary giant that EVERYone’s gonna love (me) when they hear I found out about this guy… Brent Ellson!! He’s this crazy writer that actually writes Novels about big time movies like Less Then Zero (Sheen starred) or American Psychos (Brad Pitts best underground 80s movie ever!) like 30 years AFTER the movies came out! This guy is so pure underground he doesnt even let people know he just wrote a whole book, he puts the date the movie came out, like ’82 or whatever as his published date, and just leaves copies in Librarys or wherever for random people to randomly find… It’s the whole new way people will be getting there work out there!!
    And so then I see you’d interviewed Tarantino here and just about pissed my socks in delightful anticipation…. I certainly caught a giggle over the Selma quote but never thought it would irk the (Races, Genders, Faiths, Sexual Preferences, Politics, Ages, Sex, Weights withheld to avoid re-sanding anyone’s panties) same ambiguous friends with whom I’ve had far too many heated arguments, myself defending Tarantino and D’Jango when that came out….. and for a few years since….Simply for saying I enjoyed the film. I love that movie. Absolutely. It’s truly genious to me, in my personal top ten. A lot of other people did too, and the one’s that were genuinely offended I dared to even profess a love of that Film or, now by apparent association, even his other older films, kind of floored me. Intelligent people I thought I knew! I cant imagine what they would have said online to Tarantino given a chance…. Thank Jesus Christ (my PERSONAL) Lord and Savior ( or not) that we have freedom of PERSONAL choice to see or not see whatever films we want, and furthermore that some of those films still cause any feeling whatsoever is amazing considering the trash we are subjected to, and the levels our society at large seems to seek out mindless vapid subjectless entertainment, we should universally love anything that makes us think at all even if the thoughts are unpleasant. Then we should discus our feelings and agree that some differences in thought are inevitable, and know that we may not agree, like some of us learned to do in first grade. Calling Ellis and Tarantino racist and sexist is ridiculous in that as entertainers they bring us there Art and we have a coice to view or support it. But thats a waste of time really…. Does anyone actually believe that the movie Inglorious Bastards sparked a Nazi Revolution or D’Jango encourages slavery. Because Selma didn’t take the God Ordained Oscar am I supposed to take the view that the acadamy is racist and …. what? Boycott movies with white people in them? Refuse to STILL never watch the Oscar’s ever in protest…. What if I agree with the view that as a film Selma could have been much more powerful and thought provoking, shot better, acted better…. Is that not valid? then what should I feel, who do I call when I don’t know how I was supposed to feel about these comparatively meaningless comments? Ridiculous. I know so much less than anyone making films today and I honestly feel that way…. I would expect Tarantino to have opinions about movies given his obvious love and total devotion to the craft. That is truly the absolute weakest claim of racism I’ve heard in a long time. If racism is someone not winning an Oscar and then someone quips, well, it was worth an Emmy…… Thats just funny. No matter who says it. If only Racism was something we described by those words and nothing more serious?? We would be in a much better world, and I doubt that remark would have warranted an actual march in Selma… Yes, I agree that D’Jango was edgy and made you think about some uncomfortable issues, and to me it was also a wonderfully acted, beautifully shot and entertaining aside from those issues, and it didnt make light of the epic injustice of the time in my opinion. At least we’re all free to give em right? If only someone would write giant completely meaningless posts after these intelligent, interesting, blogs have been out for a bit to distract the OTHER total crazy losers out there that think someone like Ellis or Tarantino should be yelled at for expressing an opinion however they like, just because someone else liked their opinions or views…. That’s crazy to me. I’m still trying to come to grips that it was Springsteen that said the Art from the Artest thing! I had no idea! And if anyone argues that “the Hurt Locker is the best female made war movie of all time” is somehow sexist than explain why I want to join the U.S. Army so damn bad every time I watch it!! If they accepted Art School Dropouts I would have by now! Even most of the manwar films don’t do that too me….. – This is just another covert writing experiment from everyones favorite Gayboy Female War-Asian morallity monitor and Batgirl enthusiust, John Grisham.

    Please forward all internet related hate spew to me for correction before just throwing useless nonsense no sane Mangal would read onto the internets, together we can all make them feel like they should!

    • Suevonne

      The guidelines you shared here are extremely priceless. It was such an enjoyable surprise to get that waiting for me as i woke up today. They are always to the point as well as simple to unatnsedrd. Thanks a lot for the clever ideas you have shared above.

  • John Lalor

    Cannes film festival this year where Jarmusch lost out to Loach is exactly this : esthetics losing out to ideology. Jarmusch like Godard or Ferrara is wrestling with film making and its potential as an art form. He is not making ideological television films. The French revolution has a lot to answer for as has also Paris 1968, where we have now the triumph of the ‘amateur blogger’ without a professional history or status constantly hammering home his democratic/ideological populist views which seem to please a secular leftist driven media. Pasolini said he’d prefer the riot police to the lefty student anyday as they were truly the proletariats.

  • John Lalor

    Cannes film festival this year where Jarmusch lost out to Loach is exactly this : aesthetics losing out to ideology. Jarmusch like Godard or Ferrara is wrestling with film making and its potential as an art form. He is not making ideological television films. The French revolution has a lot to answer for as has also Paris 1968, where we have now the triumph of the ‘amateur blogger’ without a professional history or status constantly hammering home his democratic/ideological populist views which seem to please a secular leftist driven media. Pasolini said he’d prefer the riot police to the lefty student anyday as they were truly the proletariats.

  • Dear Bret.
    Your books have always been a major influence in my life. You influenced my decision to become a screenwriter. Thank you so much for your honesty, which clearly identifies the faults of my generation. It has become impossible speak honestly about anything in a public setting. I constantly feel socially rejected for the slightest criticism of art. FUCKING ART! It’s like you can never say the right thing.
    You are one of the great contemporary minds, and continue to evolve. Keep up the great work.
    One of your fans.
    -Cody Sabo

  • Is it really corporate culture? Maybe. But I think it might be three other things as well 1) Social media gives everybody a voice, and many people respond to what they read and hear without the ability to place it in the proper context. Fifty years ago, your interview with Tarantino in the NY Times would have been read, for the most part, by a NYC audience steeped in the arts, an audience that was culturally and historically literate. Today, that New Times interview is online and reaches a less specialized audience, a nationwide and global audience, one not necessarily familiar with free speech, nuanced thinking, criticism, aesthetics, the marketplace of ideas, etc. I know that that we are no longer in the era of the mass market, and that technology is supposed to reach a specialized consumer, but it seems quite the opposite to me.

    2) Technology enables messages to be shattered into little pieces and their shards spread all over cyberspace. Many people are responding to articles and quotes that they have not even read in their entirety, and the quickness with which these responses spread makes it almost impossible to salvage the original message, it having been lost in a big game of internet telephone.

    3) Minorities and women have been excluded from positions of power for many years and this is the first time in history in which anyone can directly communicate with the media elite. Who knows how long it will last, so people are making their voices heard. How can there be a marketplace of ideas if not everybody is allowed into the market? The film industry is still closed to most women and non-white people. Look at the demographics of America, and Los Angeles in particular, and contrast that with the demographics of the film industry. It’s more appalling when you realize the California taxpayers subsidize the film industry. If the market is closed then the only recourse people have is Twitter and the threat of boycott.

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