ContraPoints?
November 15, 2018 10:04 AM - Subscribe

I'm wondering if there's interest in discussing the ContraPoints YouTube videos and, secondarily, how it'd fit on FanFare.

I'm slowly working my way through ContraPoints and it is phenomenal. It's come up on the Blue a few times, most recently this week. But nothing much about specific episodes. I'm now working my way through the episodes and would love to have someone to talk to about them.

I guess my main question is whether people would be interested in talking about ContraPoints episodes on Metafilter. I imagine we have a lot of ContraPoints fans here, any interest?

There's also some structural challenges. ContraPoints doesn't fit in any of the FanFare categories exactly, but it's close enough to a podcast maybe that'd do. Also I'd really like to talk about the back catalog but Fanfare doesn't do well with a giant dump of posts all at once. Maybe start with the next new episode and then slowly backfill?

(FWIW there are some ContraPoints communities already, at least there's a a subreddit that seems reasonably moderated. But Reddit seldom has thoughtful conversations.. Is there any place specifically for Patreon funders or something else a bit more highbrow? Maybe here would be a good place.)
posted by Nelson (24 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Pick one that you want to talk about? “The Aesthetic” was a bit (OK, a lot) close to the bone for some trans people though, so maybe tread a little carefully for that one?
posted by pharm at 12:49 PM on November 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


(I agree that the reddit seems good - it’s moderated with zero-tolerance for people pissing about as far as I can tell.)
posted by pharm at 12:50 PM on November 15, 2018


I’m in! (Just as long as we don’t have to talk about the mouthfeel.)
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 1:14 PM on November 15, 2018


I would follow this in order.
posted by zeek321 at 4:40 PM on November 15, 2018


IMHO the two most recent episodes (Aesthetic and Pronouns) have been pretty bad. I don't think CP's trans theory/politics are in a very good place right now, and she's saying shit about identification and performance that are kinda wrong, and harmful. Her next video probably won't be about gender but I dread the next one that will be.

I'm not saying don't post them, just: danger Will Robinson. It might be worth noting that the Aesthetic was heavily criticized by trans and nonbinary people. and Pronouns is partially a response to that criticism, which might make posting in backwards order awkward.
posted by fleacircus at 1:37 AM on November 17, 2018


FanFare doesn’t recognize “ContraPoints” as the name of any TV show in IMDB, and the RSS feed from YouTube “doesn't appear to be a podcast feed. Please check the URL.” Looks like this might take a pony request.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 8:22 PM on November 17, 2018


Count me in as one who would request that pony.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 3:40 PM on November 19, 2018


Thanks for all the feedback. Having raised the topic I think I'm going to back out of actually setting it into motion. There's not quite the enthusiastic response here I was hoping for. And I don't feel personally knowledgeable enough to frame a conversation about the more complicated parts of Natalie's work, like the episodes fleacircus referred to.

OTOH the next episode is rumored to be about Climate Change, a topic I suspect won't be nearly as fraught as gender identity. Maybe it would be a good place to start?
posted by Nelson at 4:41 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I say do it! I like Contrapoints a lot -- just, not the last two videos.
posted by fleacircus at 6:46 AM on November 20, 2018




She has made commentary videos on sets of previous videos as part of the patreon work.
posted by eustatic at 5:34 AM on December 18, 2018


Is Natalie winning her argument about ours being an "age of aesthetics" when people misidentify the Justine character as "winning" an "argument"?
posted by eustatic at 6:05 AM on December 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think CP thinks Justine wins that argument, and is presenting it as a win. I think CP thinks Justine wins on logic, too. (E.g. why is Justine quoting Judith Butler and not Tabby?) I don't think Justine represents argument by aesthetic, where if you agree with her you have kinda proven that aesthetics are more powerful than reason.

I don't agree with everything in this response video but I do agree that The Aesthetic is probably best seen as an illustration of internalized transphobia.
posted by fleacircus at 3:27 PM on December 18, 2018


On the other hand, Justine says, “Sooner or later, you're going to need to take the trans girl blackpill.” Coming right on the heels of the Incels video, that line seems like Natalie giving away the whole game.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 5:53 AM on December 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


CP thinks Justine wins that argument

Doubtful, as Justine fails to get any bath time, or get milk poured on her, nor does she acknowledge our deep dark mother
posted by eustatic at 6:29 AM on December 19, 2018


Which is to say, I think Contrapoints has "seasons", and you should make one post per season of videos
posted by eustatic at 6:32 AM on December 19, 2018


The Aesthetic is probably best seen as an illustration of internalized transphobia.

I agree that Justine is best seen as this. Justine is foreshadowed as the more compelling illustration of internalized transphobia at the end of the Tiffany episode. The announcer character is on the phone, asking for someone more logical to make the internalized transphobia arguments.

If internalized hatred is a thing that exists, if Blair White is a dominant interlocutor in that world, and if the stated goal of the Contrapoints channel is to win "converts", not tolerants, and to communicate the universal experiences of trans folks to folks outside of the fold, as it were, do you think that convincing dramatizations of self hatred are valuable?
posted by eustatic at 7:40 AM on December 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Doubtful, as Justine fails to get any bath time, or get milk poured on her, nor does she acknowledge our deep dark mother

CP has stated [Justine's stuff in The Aesthetic] before on Twitter as what she thinks, and defended it after, and she reiterated it in the subsequent video as another character.

do you think that convincing dramatizations of self hatred are valuable?

They're not all equally valuable to every audience, no.

There's a difference between venting or confessional videos versus, for example, having your characters make a universalizing arguments about which trans women are really women.

Not as bad as letting the NYT publish what should have been a blog post, I guess.
posted by fleacircus at 10:50 AM on December 19, 2018


They're not all equally valuable to every audience, no.

well, we do agree in some limited sense.

you're not going to like the newest video.
posted by eustatic at 5:37 PM on January 17


Yeah, The Aesthetic has to be taken with a heaping pile of salt that this is one specific lens through which you can maybe consider this, not an official This Is Gender Solved Forever.

Pronouns is worth it for the guy who accidentally reveals he has to actively work at it to consistently misgender people.

In Are Traps Gay? I notice she answers the question as though it means, "Is it gay for a man to find trans women attractive?" Is that really how the question is usually meant? Because that's extra dehumanizing, that it's not even about the orientation of the "Trap" herself. In which case, it's disappointing she doesn't directly address that.
posted by RobotHero at 4:43 PM on January 18


The second Google search result for that question is the Know Your Meme page explaining that yes, that really is how it's usually meant. (The first Google search result for that question is the ContraPoints video.) And yes, it is extra dehumanizing. But honestly? There’s a whole lot less “there” in the grammar of it than everything else in the forty-five-minute-long video, and if the absence of that discussion is the disappointing part for you, then … well, I’m not sure what to say.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 5:47 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


Okay, maybe disappointing is too strong of a word. But I felt its absence.
posted by RobotHero at 8:58 PM on January 18


I posted this originally as a call to see if we wanted ContraPoints on FanFare. I haven't followed through, but it seems like a bad idea to turn this thread into "let's discuss CP each month." If someone else wants to start posting episodes on FanFare I'd be all-in joining a discussion though.

(I think I made the right decision not taking responsibility for postings here. I am not knowledgeable enough about transgender culture and psychology to frame discussions. I love her show but it is complicated in ways that are both emotionally intense and beyond my understanding.)
posted by Nelson at 7:09 AM on January 19 [1 favorite]


Pony requested. Will update with response.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 11:48 AM on January 19 [3 favorites]


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