[UPDATE: This post has been edited for style (it was one hot mess when first posted). The content remains essentially the same. If you want to see the original version, it is up at notes toward everything, just so you know that the post still says the same thing, only it no longer runs in circles.]
- This sets a false opposition between Leah-Lynn Plante and Pussy Riot (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich). Defenders will point to this as a critique of mainstream media, and it is clearly intended as such; however, the two terms "Leah-Lynn Plante" and "Pussy Riot" are definitively placed in opposition to each other. Whoever put this together establishes a false dialectic with "Plante" and "Pussy Riot" at the poles: why are these two terms opposed? They are both symbols of oppression . . . more than mere symbols, they are both locations of oppression. The explicit charge here is that the term "Plante" designates an authentic location of oppression, while the term "Pussy Riot" designates a false (media manufactured) location of oppression. This is simply not true: both terms are very real locations of oppression; and as such, they have no business being opposed to each other.
- So we already know all about Pussy Riot "because that's how the western controlled media works" . . . oh, really? Then what are their names? THEY HAVE FUCKING NAMES! Nadezhda Tolokonnikova! Maria Alyokhina! Yekaterina Samutsevich! Use the names! The person who put this meme together wants to critique "western controlled media" for creating a false symbol of oppression. But in the process of "critiquing" the media this person makes the same mistake that he/she indicts the media for making: by dislocating the oppression of the term "Pussy Riot", a real location of oppression is converted into an empty and compromised symbol. As this meme self-realizes (by becoming more popular on tumblr., facebook, etc.) it becomes part of the master narrative, thereby adding yet another reterratorialized symbol into the lexicon.
- At a certain point, "critique" of "western controlled media" becomes a reterritorializing mechanism when it is deals in such empty symbols. These symbols become slotted into master narrative, and get dealt with in ways that serve that narrative, such as dialectical/polar oppositions, the privileging of the ideological over the specific, the transcendent over the immanent, etc. Critique is not useful when it reinforces the ideological imperatives of the controlling narrative; and, again, by opposing two locations of legitimate oppression, this meme not only trivializes genuine locations of oppression, but it supports a master narrative by dislocating true critique.
- Any critique of specific media revolves around the unreliability of that media. An accusation of unreliability assumes that there is such a thing as reliable media. "Reliability" in its turn assumes assumes the receiver or audience (or "consumer", in the truest sense of the word) of media is passive, and therefore dependent on the media to be reliable. This is a false hope. An accurate critique of media starts from the assumption that ALL media is unreliable; a true critique will mark an entry point into the media's ideology as well as how that ideology functions in the real world (such as it is).
- The Leah-Lynn Plante caption is from SALON. How the HELL is that not mainstream media? This whole piece of shit collapses under its own contradiction even before we get to any of these other objections!
- And anyway, exactly what is mainstream media anymore? It's hard to focus on locations like network television, major western news outlets, etc., as mainstream when facebook is more popular and ubiquitous than any of them. Media has become atomized to the point that "mainstream" has very little meaning in any general sense: one only has to look at Fox News's indictment of "lamestream media" to see that.
- On top of everything else, it is ridiculous and petty to try to establish one level of suffering by opposing it to another . . . yet another case of internet infantilism.
The western media has also, through its criminal silences, done violence to the ongoing legacy of Leah-Lynn Plante. This meme also does violence to Plante by reducing her to a symbol in a base dialectic of authenticity, by turning her into "Plante" and paralleling the dislocated symbol "Plante" to the dislocated symbol "Pussy Riot".
In the process, both Leah-Lynn Plante and Pussy Riot (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich) are demoted from true locations of oppression to mere symbols of exchange. In other words, BOTH are dehumanized.