I have no NaNo progress to report. Instead, I want to talk about some of the photos that being passed around social media right now. They aren’t actually photos. They are AI generated renditions of political villains in drag.
Leaving behind the problematic issues of AI generated art behind for a moment, these images are astonishing. They are also repulsive. And I’m not even sure what repels me most about them.
Is it because they make such ugly women? Their diva qualities shine through, but nothing about them is attractive, though the outfits are stunning. I’m not the best judge of what makes men attractive, but these are ugly men. Not by any arbitrary beauty standard, but because of the hate and violence they praise and inspire.
Is it because these images were created to humiliate and degrade these men? These are men who, on a daily basis, humiliate and degrade the dignity of women, black and brown people, and LGBTQ folks. There are many who say turnabout is fair play.
But is it? One of the things I miss the most about the Obama era is Michelle Obama’s catch phrase, “When they go low we go high”.
The world seems to have changed dramatically since then though. The violence, hatred, and bigotry was still more closeted then. Now it is bold and aggressive, and many feel it needs to be fought the same way. I don’t know that they are wrong.
I do know that these images did not initially repel me, that came later after thought and contemplation. Like most people I laughed and shared the images. But now I’m regretting that. There might even be shame. I’m not sure I want to be the person who gleefully humiliates another human, no matter how terrible that human is.