At the end of his must-read New York Times op-ed on why we shouldn’t devalue our work by indulging all the requests to give it away for free (so that it can be sold for advertising), Tim Kreider, author of We Learn Nothing, offers this perfect reply-template for responding to such requests respectfully but resolutely.
He adds an infinitely necessary note on how referring to creative work as “content” commodifies it and exposes the greatest tragedy of mainstream media – the vendorship of advertising for which all else is a mere vehicle:
This is partly a side effect of our information economy, in which “paying for things” is a quaint, discredited old 20th-century custom, like calling people after having sex with them. The first time I ever heard the word “content” used in its current context, I understood that all my artist friends and I — henceforth, “content providers” — were essentially extinct. This contemptuous coinage is predicated on the assumption that it’s the delivery system that matters, relegating what used to be called “art” — writing, music, film, photography, illustration — to the status of filler, stuff to stick between banner ads.
The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog.
I feel like I’ve been preparing for this image all my life.
The internet is over, everyone can go home
It’s just as beautiful as I always imagined.
My life is complete.
Life is over as we know it
QUICK! Find my box full of five dozen liquor jugs!
I’d like you to remember the last time you found it difficult to give an explicit “no” to somebody in a non-sexual context. Maybe they asked you to do them a favour, or to join them for a drink. Did you speak up and say, outright, “No?” Did you apologise for your “no?” Did you qualify it and say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t make it today?” If you gave an outright “no,” what privileged positions do you occupy in society, and how does your answer differ from the answers of people occupying more marginalised positions?
This form of refusal was analysed in 1999 by Kitzinger and Frith (K&F) in Just Say No? The Use of Conversation Analysis in Developing a Feminist Perspective on Sexual Refusal. Despite the seeming ambiguity in question/refusal acts like, “We were wondering if you wanted to come over Saturday for dinner,” “Well, uhh, it’d be great but we promised Carol already,” they are widely understood by the participants as straightforward refusals.
K&F conclude by saying that, “For men to claim [in a sexual context] that they do not ‘understand’ such refusals to be refusals (because, for example, they do not include the word ‘no’) is to lay claim to an astounding and implausible ignorance of normative conversational patterns.”
the teachers at my high school do this to the graffiti in the bathrooms and i literally cant
I may start doing this.
"As the years go on, you see changes in yourself, but you’ve got to face that - everyone goes through it… Either you have to face up to it and tell yourself you’re not going to be eighteen all your life, or be prepared for a terrible shock when you see the wrinkles and white hair. Getting older doesn’t frighten me, but I wish I didn’t have to because I like life a lot." Audrey Hepburn
Imagine if people dismissed other forms of communication the way they do the internet.
“Why are you being such an asshole to me?”
“OH MY GOD THIS IS THE TELEPHONE! Stop taking it so seriously!”
“It’s 170.59 kilometers distance to Chicago, Illinois. Our petroleum reserves are at 50% capacity. We have ten cigarettes. There is no illumination. And we have on eye-wear that reduces the amount of light that enters our retinas. Which is illogical.”