Fifteen Minutes of Shame

Man with Make up and Make Up Brush
Don’t Tread on Me
Photo from Dollar Photo Club.

From National Review, we learn today that “Eliminating Gender Norms from Clothing Styles is Actually Transphobic” for some reason. This being the Age of Outrage, you can be damned sure that someone is going to preach the good word–which is to say, we’re not going to tolerate that shit.

But trans people should be aware that well-known faces like Jaden Smith are starting to encroach on our territory. They’re starting to wear the trans uniform without actually stating that they are transgender, and they’re claiming it for themselves under the guise of gender-neutral fashion. All of which begs the question: where does that leave us?

Well, Katie, I hope it leaves us in a place where we’ve reached (I hope, I pray) peak absurdity. This is a moment where it doesn’t matter what you say or do, someone will be offended. They’ll be offended because they prefer the social benefits of outrage over finding the good (or intended good) in what people do. They would much prefer to aggregate power behind cultivated victimhood than merely give the benefit of the doubt.

But it doesn’t matter anymore. It can’t matter any more. It’s just a bunch of people yelling at the top of their lungs, pegging the max on their outrage meters, desperately trying to enforce their view of how everyone else should behave.

It’s a funhouse version of Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame, though. In the future, everyone will spend fifteen minutes of shame at the hands of an internet lynch mob and no carefully assembled armor of social justice causes and virtue signaling can possibly save you. It will be a quiet joke told between friends, a well-meaning photo that you took (but didn’t vet with your minority advisory council), an inappropriately appropriated “ethnic” meal, a candidate or cause you supported decades earlier, a political donation you forgot to regret loudly and publicly enough, or merely daring to believe something outside of the current cultural orthodoxy.

Whatever it is, the lynch mob is closing in and your fifteen minutes of shame is coming up.

But, surely, no society could possibly withstand that, could it? No society can maintain a common fabric with so many power hungry, outraged fingers pulling at the threads. Surely, we’ll grow past this absurd moment and remember that the other people on the receiving end of our outbursts of self-righteousness are just like us: imperfect folks doing their best to get along. Surely, we’ll remember to extend them good will and the benefit of the doubt when they say something questionable (and maybe even remember that it isn’t our place to police every word that comes from their mouths to begin with).

Surely, with generosity of spirit and kindness in mind, we’ll remember that ripping each other to shreds and leaving careers, personal reputations, friendships, and dignity in tatters isn’t the best way to build the better world that we all are aiming for.

Comic Sans: It Just Ain’t Funny

A Little Something Font Related

Font snobs rejoice: the hour of your triumph is nigh.

For many of us, the most shocking revelation to come out of CERN’s Higgs boson announcement today was quite unrelated to the science itself. Rather, we were blown away by the fact that a team made up of some of the most undoubtedly brilliant people in the world believe that Comic Sans is an appropriate font for such a historic occasion.

C’mon, font snobs, you can’t expect a roomful of Sheldons to choose the right font for their presentation (although you should be surprised if you find out that they don’t have an opinion on the subject).

As for me, my favorite font of the moment is Avenir. Tasty.

Read the rest.

(PS- Credit where due: this article brought to my attention by the great Matt Moore, formerly Big Hair Matt, formerly the guy who ran The Blog of the Century of the Week.)

To Orbitz or Not to Orbitz. That is the Question.

Apple Computer

I imagine that many Mac users will be cranky to hear this bit of news.

Apple customers are known to pay a premium for their Macs, strong design, and integrated software. Apparently, Mac users will also shell out more for hotel rooms too.

According to the Wall Street Journal, travel site Orbitz has been able to segment its audience in Apple and Windows camps. The upshot: Mac users will pay $20 to $30 a night more on hotels than PC users.

But here’s the thing: they aren’t charging more for the same stuff. If a Mac user and a PC user order the same type room at the same hotel on the same day, they’ll pay the same price. What they’ve realized is that Mac users prefer  something that they believe is a little bit nicer. Which isn’t such a bad thing.

Seriously: I don’t stay at cheap hotels anymore. I look for a decent deal, but I also read the reviews on travel sites to try to find the places that best suit my needs. That often includes things like extensive spa services for my wife and nice bars for me. I don’t mind paying a little extra for what I believe is a better product, and that extends to everything from hotels and furniture to cars and shoes. I’m not so sure that I mind Orbitz realizing this about me and doing its best to offer me the stuff that I would prefer.

rbitz may have a nasty PR problem on its hands, though. The way the information is presented in the news outlets is designed to make Mac users feel like they are being treated like suckers. No one wants to be the sucker at the table.