|White Privileged Dude Writing - the Tale of Cracked.com
||[Jan. 9th, 2018|10:19 pm]
Preface One - I like Cracked. I subscribed to their videos until they fired all the regulars. I am proud that I managed to write two articles for Cracked. I get that the forums are in place in order to make for the best articles possible and the fact that editors kill many items on the list means that Cracked is still better than the Buzzfeed List that imitated it. The process of getting from pitching to writing an article is difficult by design. You think that you have enough entries to make an article and then they kill three entries that they loved until then. There are probably dozens if not hundreds of aspiring Cracked writers who tried to pitch articles like "X Ways that SJWs are Evil" who hate the site for their failure to sell their writing. That's not what this is about. I like Cracked because they pay fast and they can still make good articles. I wouldn't be this critical if I didn't expect better. |
Preface Two - I get that Cracked is in trouble and that the fact that it fired most of its regular writers. I also eluded to the fact that there's a huge Nazi Cunt contingent crowing about the end of Cracked because they think that Cracked is full of cucks, SJWs, etc, etc because the Cracked writers took a definite side on Gamergate (they were against it). I really don't care about those people and Cracked having some liberal bonafide because it pisses off a bunch of rightwing dickwads does not mitigate the fact that Cracked is drowning in White Privilege.
Anyhow today I was in the Cracked Forums trying to add to article pitches because my work is slow (almost non-existent) and I was seeing if I could get an article going. One of the article pitches is "people screwed over by Propaganda" and I put in the Empress Dowager from 19th century China who basically ran China almost single-handedly until her death and then was hated by both Imperialists and Reformers. The response was for a few entries and the editor went "I think that Mata Hari might be obscure and in that context the Empress Dowager is WAY TOO Obscure for this."
One of the cardinal rules of writing is don't argue with the editor - especially when it comes to rejection. Editors will remember you. Editors will talk to each other. And in the Cracked Forum where everyone has accepted this dynamic of "put 5 entries forward, get 3 rejected if you are lucky" there is really no reason to fight about any one entry.
Except in this case. In this case, the accepted entries are MacBeth, Richard III, Fatty Arbuckle (fucking hell, I am so fucking sick of hearing about Fatty Arbuckle) and maybe Rasputin. Also a guy was really trying hard to defend Neville Chamberlain. So great, everyone went to high school.
So my response
I got to disagree on Dowager Empress. At very least, she is the basis of a century of anti-Chinese racism, with those fingernails worn by every Fu Manchu villain (including Fu Manchu). She ran China throughout the 19th century and was so powerful that almost every history casts her as the villain - with self-described reformers and Imperialists only agreeing on how awful she was (for vastly different reasons of course).This is me trying to be diplomatic, but holy fuck, I've seen this happen way too many times.
She also probably killed her adopted son, which gets played up a lot, but if she had been in charge of China instead of that guy (he forced her into retirement), Japan would have been less likely to have gotten a foothold in China which would have vastly changed the fortunes of both Japan and China. Which means that she could have prevented the war between China and Japan in 1937 which led to Japan being an ally to the Nazis in WWII.
I also heard of Mata Hari. Don't know much about her, but I know enough about her to know that she has a reputation as a slutty spy, the platonic ideal of the slutty spy. I would rather read about her than a nth article about how Macbeth or Fatty Arbuckle or Richard III were framed.
I know that I'm just a writer who only gets a rare article published but I've seen this dynamic before where historical figures who are not white dudes are automatically dismissed as Too Obscure. In another forum even Margaret Sanger was dismissed as too obscure even though she's at the center of the abortion debate with pro-life groups trying to say that she was a white supremacist (I know I should have just suggested Margaret Sanger for this article, but I've seen her shot down as "too obscure" too many times).
Sure, they might be too obscure to white guys, but they are important historical figures and it looks like they are just being automatically dismissed as untenable because they are women and/or minorities.
Or very least the gatekeepers are letting their biases about what they think is common knowledge and obscure guiding their decisions, assuming that their limited perspectives are universal.
Margaret Sanger gets called too obscure. The Dowager Empress is too obscure. The WHITE editorial staff keeps calling anyone who has any minority status too obscure in favor of these boring white dudes. And yes, I get that a lot of them are fired, but the ones that remain are the same lame white people. Cracked pats itself on the back for being progressive, or progressive enough but then David Wong (who is a white dude with an Asian pen name who keeps it because WTF I don't know) will write articles explaining why Trump voters are really just disenfranchised white guys who are scared of being called out for their white privilege (he was one of many) or articles about how Alec Baldwin was the HERO of Glengary Glenn Ross. No seriously.
Many years ago when I was pitching an article about converting to Judaism that went back and forth, I was hopeful that it would work out until at least three editors went "I know lots of Jews who don't like Israel" - that wasn't the fucking point either. The list entry was that one aspect of converting to Judaism is that you start paying a lot more attention to Israel whether you like it or hate it because you can't get away from the issue of Israel.
I wasn't bothered by the rejection so much as the REASON for the rejection which was basically "I don't know much about Jews, but I have that one Jewish friend and yada yada." So it's all from the white privilege (or Aryan privilege) perspective where personal bias is confused with editorial standards. Now if the reason was, I don't know if that will be funny or that it's a little too live hand grenade, I would be fine with it. But the fact of the matter is that they didn't even bother to consider the issue beyond their token Jewish friend.
So giving the note that the Empress Dowager (the most important woman in China in the entire 19th century) is TOO OBSCURE is just more of the same bullshit. The gatekeepers are drowning in white privilege and they can only judge obscure vs. common knowledge based on their VERY limited perspective.
Granted, Cracked is dying off anyhow but if Cracked would EVER be less boring (and seriously, the site has seen much better days), it NEEDS diversity in its gatekeepers. I'm not talking about myself (I am a white dude who reads a lot and sure, I know who the fucking Empress Dowager is) but anyone who isn't in that same boring dudebro fraternity that lets mediocre white guys think that calling themselves David Wong is a good idea.