you don’t need purity in the material you consume
you have a brain, you are capable of critical thinking, you can sift through the material and keep what is edifying for you and discard what isn’t
flaws don’t necessarily make material worthless
all right i queued this last night because i was already posting a lot and didn’t want to flood anyone’s dash but you guys i need to talk about this more.
like, okay. i grew up REALLY STRICT christian. like. every piece of media i consumed underwent a fine-toothed comb by my parents to be sure there wasn’t anything “sinful” in it. I got into a tearful, screaming fight with my mother over whether I was allowed to watch a piece of educational children’s material on PBS because one of the characters said “damn” once.
(I’m still not sure they did. In retrospect, I think my purity-focused mother misheard something and, having her suspicions confirmed that you couldn’t trust any “secular” source not to be sinful, reacted accordingly.)
(Pay attention, that parenthetical was also relevant.)
Do you know what my teenage rebellion was? Listening to the oldies station in the car when I had my driver’s license and could go places on my own. That was my big fuck-you to my parents: listening to the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel and the Fifth Dimension when they couldn’t tell me how I shouldn’t be listening to them because the creators of that music were drug-addled, free-loving atheists whose own disregard for God and religion might just infect my impressionable spirit. Like I was gonna listen to “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and go do LSD and become an atheist. This was my teenage rebellion in the year 1999.
I’m 35 now. And all right so I became agnostic. But I didn’t become a drug addicted prostitute because I loved listening to psychedelic rock music as a teenager. (And you know what? Even if I had become a drug addicted prostitute, I’d still have worth as a human being, so dissect that one.) And it wasn’t even the psychedelic rock music that turned me agnostic: It was Christianity itself. But that’s another story altogether.
My point here is: Y’all are on here acting like my goddamn parents, “don’t watch this” and “don’t listen to that” because this character does XYZ problematic thing and this author said ABC ignorant thing two years ago at a con when they were put on the spot in an interview. If you watch this movie where a teenager falls in love with someone five years older than them, you’re going to become a pedophile! If you read this book by an author who once used an outdated term for someone in the trans community, then you’re a transphobe!
Y’all need to sit the fuck down and stop acting like nobody ever taught you to think for yourself, because I know damn well that you’re capable of critical thought and you don’t need your media chewed up and spit into your mouth like a baby bird. And I’m an adult and I sure the hell don’t, so stop telling me I’m going to choke because I’m consuming something complicated, complex, and not already pre-morally-dissected for me.
Thanks for coming to my TED talk.