ADAPTED FROM TLP (TheLastPsychiatrist.com)
There’s a difference between what you need and what you want, and the media will always, relentlessly, give you what you want.
Do you want to know why you get such poor candidates every election? Because you want them. You want someone you can easily judge for a procedural deficiency, a personal indiscretion, whatever (Grace Poe’s citizenship, Duterte’s crassness, Roxas’ atrocious PR). “Well, that matters to us!” Then you got what you asked for. The media has selected for you three cans of Century Tuna, and encouraged a public debate about which can most embodies the Filipino spirit.
The only truth you know is what you get over the internet. Right now, there is a whole, entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of the internet. This is the gospel, the ultimate revelation. This media can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers. This is the most awesome goddamn force in the whole godless world.
Media is not the truth. Media’s a goddamn amusement park. Media is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We’re in the boredom-killing business. You’re never going to get any truth from us. We lie like hell. We’ll tell you any shit you want to hear.
We deal in illusions. None of it is true. But you people sit there, day after day, night after night – all ages, colors, creeds. We’re all you know.
You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the media is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the media tells you – You dress like the media. You eat like the media. You raise your children like the media. You even think like the media.
– TLP (abridged)
From the NYT:
“Monday was anything but ordinary because it was the day the world would learn about the decision Allums had embarked on one year earlier: to come out as a transgender man playing on a women’s basketball team.
Advocates for transgender athletes said they believed Allums was the first Division I college basketball player to compete publicly as a transgender person… a George Washington official said Allums would remain on the women’s basketball team.”
Got it? Transgender man on women’s basketball team.
In case you miss the nuance, here’s the title: “Transgender Man Is on Women’s Team.” So in a progressive society, what are we to do with this? Should a transgender man be on a man’s team, or a women’s team?
But the more urgent question is, who decides what words mean?
The point is that what’s actually happening is very different than the report. Let me summarize: nothing. A person born as a female is playing women’s basketball. Also, she is still a female. She’s never had surgery, never taken hormones, has no genetic ambiguity. At autopsy even the most radical activist is going to mark “F.”
However, she prefers to identify herself as a he. That’s it.
There is no controversy here, at all. It’s just names.
This is a regular female who is playing on the correct team (women’s) and wants other people to call her what she thinks she is. But there are plenty of idiots who are applauding the college for… letting her play. As a woman. On the woman’s basketball team.
It’s true that gender means different things to different people. The real issue is who decides what words mean. The NYT is setting itself up as the arbiter, it is deciding for both of us what will be true. It’s not taking up a scientific analysis of the question, it isn’t even delving into the massive volume of mostly unreadable articles about gender issues. It is simply deciding.
It doesn’t announce what it’s done, it pretends it is already established to think like this. “We’re writing it this way because of course everyone knows…” Are you telling me that one of the most prestigious papers in the world did not know that the article it was writing was misleading? Confusing? It did it on purpose. And so did the AP. And every other media outlet that “reported” the “story.” There’s no story! Nothing happened!
They didn’t do it because they care about the transgendered, they did it because they want to make it ordinary that the media decides what words mean.
That’s the reason for the report, that’s the reason the story is everywhere.
You can go back to the distraction of gender politics and semantics, go ahead and be hypnotized into thinking you must take a side, like the NCAA had to do (“planning a review of its policies.”) Wake up. The media redefines what is right or meaningful, and it can redefine you as meaningless.
And you’ll believe it.