Edgy: Just Another Excuse To Be An Entitled Asshole

11Jun10

Media is rough. I get that.

It can be hard to make it in the art world, it’s part of the reason I went into the sciences despite my writing and artistic capabilities (I’d say talent, but fucked if I know if I have any or not, I’ve yet to get published. I seem to do well enough here though). Whether you’re an actor, musician, writer, artist (comics or whatever) you need something to pull the crowds, no matter what your purpose for your art. Some people do art because they’re searching for beauty in a sea of fuckery. Others are just trying to reach like minded people. And some just wanna get noticed. There’s not a lot of bad reasons to do art, that sort of thing is pretty personal. Of course, that doesn’t say a thing about the methods used to achieve those purposes.

Like being “edgy”.

Some of y’all might not know what edgy is. That’s cool. Pop culture isn’t everyone’s thing. Edginess is provocation through unconventional means. At least, in theory. The idea of edginess is to generate controversy and provoke thought. It’s supposed to get people to notice what you’re doing in a way that makes you think about their art in a different way. Often unconventional, very unorthodox, edgy was and occasionally still is a good way to force people to think outside the box and find new ways to enjoy, make and comprehend art. And of course, it’s also the biggest hipster fuckjob excuse to spout entitled, privileged, pseudoironic, -ism poisoned garbage as a way to get attention and make a buck.

Let’s go over some examples, shall we?

Amanda Palmer. Edgy artist extraordinaire of the Dresden Dolls, Amanda has done all sorts of fairly unconventional things. For the most part her work hasn’t been a huge issue, at least from what little I’ve seen. Then we get to the Evelyn-Evelyn fiasco, where Amanda decides that it’ll be cool to make a band by faking conjoined twins. This has been discussed all over the place, in the press, at blogs like at Tigerbeatdown and FWD (yes, I know FWD is shit listed on my site but that’s still a really good article about it. Also Annaham wasn’t involved in the events that resulted in the shit listing. Community blogs get a little more leeway cuz of the wide number of writers). In case you hate following hyperlinks (perhaps you worry that the internet may trap your soul in them), this comes down to “crip drag” (abled folk dressing up like PWD and/or pretending to be PWD in an acting capacity or for media), exploitation of disability (“OMG LOOKIT DA CRIPPLES”) and subsequent privileged whining on Amanda’s part (Intent, blah blah blah, artistic license blah blah) when called out on it.

All for the sake of making unusual, unorthodox and unconventional art. Prime example of edgy being an excuse.

Nic Buxom. Writer and artist of a webcomic about kink, normally does edgy really nicely. Until she decided to jump on board the transmisogyny train. All aboard hipster fuckheads! Her ticket on the trans hating fuckery train was in turning the stereotyped appearance of trans women into a joke and then, played out the “uppity minority bitch” story line, seemingly in reaction to the bad reaction to her first comic (and referring to trans folk as trannies in her news section). Cue privileged whining about her magical Intent, the joke not being funny if she didn’t do it the nasty way and wishing people who didn’t like it would stop reading (something everyone was glad to do).

The two best articles on the fiasco are over at I Am Not (SN was nice enough to guest post that same post here a bit ago too) and over at Reconciliate .

Seth MacFarlane. Haha my favorite edgy scumfuck of all. Writer and actor (maybe animator too? I can’t recall) of the intensely shitty animated sitcom Family Guy and all of the cloning vat rejects that escaped from his underground lab (American Dad, The Cleveland Show, etc). Let’s face facts, Seth’s kind of a stupid failure when it comes to… well, being funny. Considering his shows are a bunch of incoherent non sequitors it’s pretty much a setup that requires you to be stoned out of your mind to be amused. And even then you may be disappointed. So is it any surprise he resorts to edginess, mostly in the form of fucking with minorities, to float that steaming pile of shit he calls a show? I’m sure we’ve all seen how he mostly tries to pull out the most offensive thing he can think of to get people to watch, a la train wreck morbidity maybe. And obviously it pulls the secretly bigoted crowd, they eat that shit up. Most edgy types, like those above, generally take the tact that it shouldn’t be offensive because it is humor or “OMFG I DIDN’T MEAN TO OFFEND ANYONE.” (I seriously can not stop linking that post. I need help. I’m addicted. o_o) Seth, either being stupid in a way that makes it difficult to comprehend how he doesn’t forget to breathe or just the kind of asshole who thinks our standards are low enough for him to get away with it, took a new tact to his edginess for the latest batch of fuckery:

Seth MacFarlane: You have … the [gay] news anchor partners on American Dad, you have Bruce the performance artist on Family Guy, and you have my own personal abhorrence for Prop 8. That always distresses me when I hear that the gay community is upset with us, because that’s one group of people I hope would know we’re on their side. … I can safely say that the transsexual community will be very, very happy with the “Quagmire” episode that we have coming up in a couple of months. It’s probably the most sympathetic portrayal of a transexual character that has ever been on television, dare I say.

Source

Yeah, you read that right. Wow. You can see he uses the same acute logical skills and thinking power for his interviews as he does for his writing, no? I wanna meet the acid dropping gremlins that run the inside of his head. I’m sure they wear interesting hats.

So, you have your examples. Edgy is the radio shock jock archetype, no talent and all scummy sleaze. It’s the guy who you hang out with who says the unbelievely racist, cissexist, ableist, sexist, fatphobic, homophobic bullshit imaginable because he doesn’t actually have a sense of humor and his equally -ismtastic white cis, abled, het guy buddies will laugh (sometimes nervously, if they have a soul) at those comments (as opposed to when he tries to actually make a real joke, where he fails). It’s the artist who makes something just to piss people off. It’s every douchenozzle who got into the business of art, media and humor and couldn’t cut it without making people gasp. And really. It isn’t funny. It isn’t cool. It isn’t talented. It turns oppressed minority populations into a backstand to prop up someone who probably couldn’t make it on their own or who feels the need to pad the way down with nets in case they can’t make it. And the rest of the time, it’s just lazy. Lazy, tiring, old, same shit different day.

Not very provocative, in the end, no?

What happened to actual art? What happened to challenging the status quo? Because let me tell you right now. Transphobia? Sexism? Ableism? Racism? Homophobia? All of that is the status quo. Reaching out to offend those people isn’t challenging or provocative. It isn’t truly edgy. It’s old. It’s worn. It’s tired. If you want to break society’s expectations, if you want to be seen and heard, really want to get out there, try making art that challenges those hatreds. That challenges the crushing of these people. You wanna support the pwd community? Why not let someone with disabilities who has the talent into your band? You wanna make a comic about trans women? Why not challenge the views about how we look and how we are? You wanna get a reaction from society through mockery? Satirize and mock their bigotry. You will get noticed then. Trust me on that. And then, maybe you’ll have a right to call yourself fucking edgy.

Till then, keep on being boring, useless, run of the mill shit. I’ll be waiting for some real edgy to show itself.



7 Responses to “Edgy: Just Another Excuse To Be An Entitled Asshole”

  1. 1 Karyn

    I agree with this 110%. You expressed it so well. I find myself in arguments with people about this all the time. “Oh, it was just meant to be funny.” And I can never find anything remotely persuasive enough to say to convince them that it isn’t fucking funny.

    The great irony is that being a bigoted piece of shit isn’t edgy – it’s NORMAL. Being edgy is actually giving a damn and enough of a damn to say something about this.

  2. 2 makomk

    There’s edgy and then there’s edgy. However, actually taking on stuff that matters turns out to be both more controversial and much riskier than pseudo-edgy “entitled, privileged, pseudoironic, -ism poisoned garbage”. One involves annoying people and groups with the power to cause you real problems, and the other doesn’t. Guess which most people choose?

  3. Oh me! Pick me! Pick me! I wanna guess! XD

  4. 4 Cat

    That thing about Nic Buxom’s comics in regards to MTFs reminds me of a story I read not too long ago about how another cartoonist, Erika Moen, delegitimizes FTMs by turning them into fetish objects; Nix Williams covers it very well here: http://nixwilliams.blogspot.com/2009/03/trans-guys-are-ridiculously-hot.html

  5. @Cat: Yeah I heard about that. Nix did a good job doing the take down.

  6. 6 Eirwyn

    This is EXACTLY what I was trying to explain to some jerkwad I met on a dating site who says he wants to write a satirical blog.

    I looked up ‘satire’ (I know, I know) and told him if he really wanted to shame society, then he ought to do it by taking shots at the people who are in power, not at marginalized people.

    But I think he was too offended that I insinuated he couldn’t know a woman’s experience because he is not, in fact, a woman, to answer properly. (Apparently saying a man can’t understand a woman’s experience is “sexism”.)

    And it is absolutely refreshing to hear someone take down Seth McFarlane and Family Guy. I started out liking Family Guy but it just seemed to get more and more filthy and needlessly offensive. Seriously, fuck that show.


  1. 1 Working toward the future, rape and personal triggers. (trigger warning) « Genderqueer 2 genderqueer's Blog

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