On the current state of affairs

Published 04-03-2023 at 13:46 (a year ago)

Otherwise titled "I'm Spending Too Much Time On Twitter And It's Bothering Me".

Hey there! It's been a while since I wrote anything, and though I've had a ton of stuff in the works, nothing's quite made it to the finish line. The past year and a bit has been incredibly busy for me, so I haven't had as much energy - nor as much time! - to spend on writing. That being said, this one will be a bit of a more personal thing, so feel free to step away now if that isn't your jam.

You're going to have to bear with me - if I open this the way I want to, I'm going to get shoved into a fucking locker. Admittedly, that would be pretty funny (and maybe kind of hot) but it's not really what I'm going for here. I'd really prefer to take a reasonable approach to this whole thing, because a lot of what's been going on lately bothers me in one way or another.

So, well, I guess we'll start this a bit differently. I'm a queer person, and that's felt pretty scary lately. People like me are kind of the "hot topic" right now - we're the subject of nearly endless reactionary spectacle and political debate, and we're ever-increasingly commodified and fetishized in pornography. Computers don't really know what to do with us, and the legal systems and traditions that a lot of society upholds don't really know either. Other people's opinions of us are generally pretty split; from what I've seen, the majority of the population seems to fall into a weird sort of venomous indifference, not really bothered by what we do as long as we're not too loud about it. Everybody else seems to fall into one of two camps; one that welcomes us, and another that loudly decries our existence.

Being on this strange sort of "fringe" of society is pretty exhausting; I generally try not to think about it too hard, but it's pretty difficult to live my life when the merit of my continued livelihood has become a political question. It's genuinely hard for me to overstate how abjectly terrifying it is to live in a relatively welcoming part of Australia, around friends and colleagues who are accepting of me, and still feel like I am in danger of being stripped of my rights as soon as the next election. There have already been attempts at this, so it's not like this fear is unwarranted or an overreaction; Australia's "Religious Discrimination Bill", which would allow religious groups to discriminate against others on the basis of religious belief, is one such example. This is by no means a uniquely Australian thing either - several US states have recently passed a slew of anti-queer legislation, and my existence alone is still considered a crime worthy of arrest or execution in some parts of the world.

With that being said, let's move on a bit. At this point, you've probably heard a lot about a certain Wizard Game, entitled "Hogwarts Legacy". I personally have not played the game and I don't really care about it. It's not interesting to me and I'd rather spend my money on something else. But - regardless of what I think! - the game has generated a lot of controversy, for various reasons. The majority of this controversy that I've seen discussed relates to the anti-trans sentiment expressed by Rowling, and how the game has sort of become a symbol of anti-trans ideology in light of that.

A large number of trans people - including me - are incredibly concerned for their livelihoods right now; the world is a scary place, after all. So when something comes along that draws from the works of a person who threatens your livelihood, I don't think it's a surprise that people want to push back against it. By way of the Harry Potter franchise being the original work of Rowling, this comes down to the matter of "separating art from the artist", which is something that a lot of people seem to disagree on. In that sense, it's something that I, personally, don't really know what to think about. When it comes to any piece of media, I think it's important to decide whether the merit inherent to the art outweighs the harm perpetuated by the artist's biases, but maybe that isn't really the "right" opinion to hold. In my case, I don't have any particular attachment to the Harry Potter series, and as an extension of Rowling's work, I don't really like what the Wizard Game has come to represent. So, for me, the game is something I don't have much interest in interacting with.

But I know people who do like Harry Potter to a slightly absurd degree, and they're probably absolutely enamoured with the Wizard Game, in spite of Rowling's biases and all of the flaws in her work. I don't really take any issue with this, but again, I'm not sure if this is the "right" opinion to hold. It just feels bad to steal somebody's fun if, despite everything, the franchise has sentimental value to them. I don't want to impose. It's a murky subject, one that makes me feel like I'm not sufficiently well-read, and something that I really ought to think more about.

Anyway. I can't put it off any longer; we've arrived at what prompted me to start thinking about all of this in the first place: VTuber drama.

But saying that sounds really stupid which is why I had to open with something else. I told you I would get shoved into a locker for a reason!

To be more specific, there have been a lot of accounts of people harassing others for playing the Wizard Game. I don't know how true any of these accounts are, nor do I know how severe this harassment has/hasn't been. But from my - perhaps thoroughly uninformed! - perspective, the harassment and boycotting of the Wizard Game seems almost frivolous. I understand where it's coming from, I think - I'm, quite frankly, also terrified of what the future holds. So to some degree I appreciate the sentiment; I want an end to this perpetual anti-queer rhetoric as well, and I want a chance to live my life in peace.

But I just can't help but feel like this probably isn't the right way to go about things? Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like this piece of media is pretty inconsequential in the scheme of things. Likewise, drawing so much attention to the situation has seemingly fuelled more anti-trans sentiment, which is.. not really what any of us wanted, I don't think.

Seeing this all over my Twitter feed has driven me insane because everything there seems thoroughly one-sided. I guess the character limit is partially to blame for that; nuance sure isn't easy to express in 280 characters. Or y'know, maybe certain parts of Twitter are just a unique kind of hell.

All in all, I'm kinda just conflicted on all of this. It's hard for me to reason about a lot of it. I really just want to live my life out in peace, and I don't want to be the topic of every single political debate. And I wish others were more receptive, and less hot-headed, and a whole host of other things.

But oh well. It's been however many hours now? Thanks for reading; I appreciate you sticking around for my ramblings. If you have anything you want to say, or think I'm being silly, the usual ways to get in touch with me are all still there.

Until next time!
- Kaylynn

In passing

So yes. That's the end of the first actual blog post I've finished in however many years. I normally put a more personal note here, and nothing's changed this time. Work has been beyond hectic lately, and I've got at least four other half-written blog posts in the works. I just.. haven't managed to get there. I really want to write more this year, so I'm going to put a conscious effort into it going forward. All being well, you'll see more from me!