Whitewashing May Be Real But It’s Not Nearly as Common as Twitter Would Have Us Believe.

Most of us probably have a Facebook account but the degree to which you use your account says a lot about you as a person. I very rarely look at my feed and use it solely as a way to keep in touch with distant friends. There are better ways but we’re somewhat set in our ways as we’ve been doing it for years. Therefor one can be assured that I’m a fairly intelligent and motivated person in general!

The average Boomer, however, lives in a triggered rage as he furiously reposts bitter, objectively insane content for all of his “friends” (actually people he resents). With every glass of Jim Beam, his antics grow more frenzied and nonsensical. He starts to send direct messages to people, hoping to find somebody to argue with at 3AM on a Wednesday. Life’s been pretty boring since he retired from the paint chip manufactory.

People like this paint the world in a pretty dismal picture but I am ever optimistic. I maintain that Facebook Boomers and Twitter Fascists still represent a tiny, tiny minority of the world’s population. Most of the people I know are incredibly intelligent and open minded about contrary opinions, it’s just that the bad interactions we have stick out more in our memories.

For example I watched a movie on Netflix called The Outsider a couple of days ago. I’m behind the times; it came out in 2018 so I missed all of the controversy surrounding it by a little bit. I rather enjoyed it so I went online to look up more information about the film. If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically about a former American soldier who winds up in prison in postwar Japan and joins the Yakuza when he gets out.

Obviously the far left were going to object to this film. In their circles, discovering racism is a contest not an actual pursuit of truth. I only saw one line of tweets before I closed my browser but it was enough to make me roll my eyes hard. Something about “obvious whitewashing”… a bizarre claim. In a story about a white man joining a Japanese crime family and all of the trouble that comes with that, how could it make sense if he were anything other than white? People were complaining that an Asian man wasn’t cast in the role and I have to assume that they didn’t even see the movie because that is such an incomprehensible thing to argue about this plot. Like I said, they just found out that a movie about Japan was being released so they had to find a reason that it was racist.

Take The Last Samurai as another example (and one frequently cited as a case of whitewashing). The central focus of the entire plot is how western intervention in the 19th century disrupted Japan’s society and government. How could this movie not have white actors playing leading roles? It strikes me that the people who complain about things like this often do so before movies are even released and thus don’t actually have any clue what they’re talking about. They see “China” and “Matt Damon” and figure “holy shit they cast Matt Damon to play Emperor Yang, those racists.”

Perhaps white people should only make romantic comedies about how much money we have and how we all stand around the office water cooler laughing about the extent to which we’re fucking over all of the black people in the warehouse. Then Bradley Cooper can have an epiphany in the films 3rd act where he falls in love with a black truck driver and realizes, yes, it (because assigning a gender would be sexist) is actually a human being!

It would just fix everything.

The Undistilled Cosmic Dread that is Shaye St. John

Susan, how old are the diet drops I took from under the dirty part of the sink? What do you mean those weren’t Hollywood Diet Drops?

I discovered Shaye St. John around 2011 which was sadly already after her/its creator Eric Fournier had died from complications due to alcoholism. My friends and I rapidly digested everything we could find from the artist before learning that he’d passed. Even as recently as 2011, it wasn’t as easy to find information on someone like Shaye. These days, when one person discovers something, it’s immediately indexed on Google, ad revenue is assigned, and a Wikipedia page is created by hyper-sentient AI robots.

Desperate to know more, I purchased Fournier’s sole material work, “The Triggers Compilation”. It was a DVD (remember those) of short videos about Shaye St. John and her… mental states… which still aren’t available even on YouTube. I still have it somewhere but as I built my current PC to rely on flash media, I have no way of playing it.

Comedy-Horror That is at the Same Time Neither Funny nor Scary but Also the Extreme of Both…

How can one accurately describe Shaye St. John? It’s difficult, no doubt. Equal parts surreal comedy that would make Tim & Eric gasp and a kind of unspoken horror that filmmakers spend their lives trying to achieve, I almost believed that Shaye St. John could have been a real person. It was too strange, spontaneous, and inexplicably creepy to be an act. But it was an act. An act by a seemingly brilliant artist who was content to simply publish random YouTube shorts during the golden years of YouTube; before everyone on the platform was trying to pursue it as a career and churning out reams of vanilla, safe content designed to appeal to advertisers, the alt-right, and the alt-left.

Most people I’ve shown his/her (depending whether we’re talking about the artist or the character) videos to are far more terrified than amused, but in a way that they can’t describe. It’s “weird” and they feel “creeped out” but they can’t say why. I mean, if you watch one of the videos it’s obvious why, but not in a way that can be easily put into words that accurately make sense of it.

Shaye could be described as once successful model or actress who now lives in the most apocalyptic version of rural Florida. The official lore is that she was disfigured in an accident. Her body was replaced with pieces of a mannequin and she always wears a mask complete with dead, unblinking eyes. Her best friend is a doll which either has psychic powers or Shaye herself unknowingly manipulates the doll with her own abilities. But at the same time… none of this matters when watching Shaye St. John.

YouTube Dot Com Slash…

I’ll refrain from posting any links here; things like Shaye St. John are much better discovered on one’s own. Fortunately, it’s far easier to find in 2020 than it was in 2011.