Death To Thinkpieces

05 Jan, 2015 · Sascha · Alles sonst so

Vince Mancini fasst bei Filmdrunk einige Internetphänomene zusammen, ohne die wir 2015 viel besser und ungestörter durchs Netz surfen würden. Neben Buzzfeeds “Try”-Videoreihe, YouTube Pranksters und Social Media Gurus macht er sich auch über Thinkpieces Luft und erklärt wunderbar, wieso ich 90% dieser Artikel einfach nur zum Kotzen finde.

It’s hard to criticize thinkpieces without sounding like a white dude who thinks people with less privilege should know their place. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the long rambles where a writer has some vague problem with a pop culture phenomenon that they can’t quite put their finger on and so they sort of ramble for 11 paragraphs before deciding to call it “problematic.” Which I guess is more official sounding than “I don’t like this.”

Again, I think outrage sharing must be a big part of the business model, but thinkpieces may have finally hit a tipping point this year when a Huffington Post writer wrote a treatise on why the “Mail Kimp” lady at the beginning of the Serial podcast is racist, having assumed the person saying “Mail Kimp” was an Asian woman and that the ad was somehow making fun of her. Soon after it was posted, a Serial producer pointed out that, no, the person saying “Mail Kimp” wasn’t Asian at all, and the writer apologized and took down the piece.

That the writer actually apologized for basing her entire lecture on a flawed premise that a tiny bit of research would’ve confirmed and retracted the piece is actually a big step forward. Most of the time they’d say “Okay, well this example was certainly a poor illustration of it, but the thing I’m talking about is still a huge problem!”

Look, not everything is a “teaching moment.” And it dehumanizes the people involved in your example to just yadda yadda the facts of their situation to illustrate your agenda. Stop writing essays about something you claim is a serious issue where the framing device is something Miley Cyrus did.