Notebook April 2018
Paint it black
On the Puritan aesthetic of #MeToo.
Anyone familiar with the history of the Soviet Union will be suspicious when some political groups begin to claim moral superiority over others. Such claims always evoke the propagandistic juxtaposition of the “decaying West” and the “flawless” Homo Sovieticus. The #MeToo movement’s insistence on the fundamental infallibility of the victims of sexual harassment, combined with truculent claims to the higher moral ground, seem reminiscent of Soviet rhetorical extremes of rectitude and wickedness. To establish their moral purity conclusively and unambiguously, like their Eastern Bloc counterparts, the members of the #MeToo movement cultivate their own distinct aesthetic. Such reliance on branding makes perfect sense within our society of the spectacle, but the particular aesthetic selected by #MeToo seems less than cogent. For the movement’s visuals of choice...
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