The Shit Never Ends
At the SJWC network- Social Justice Warriors Network, yes not very original but who cares, you get the point- its news and entertainment staff had their own daily meeting. Considering the news, there was much to celebrate. They had perfect dirt on the president of their rival network America Today. But before they could celebrate this, there were the necessary formalities…
”Before we begin,” said Charlie as he sat down at the head of the chair, ”I first want to declare my privilege for being a white straight male.”
”Check your privilege” said everyone in response to Charlie’s admission besides the newest staff-member in the room: Chelsea. Chelsea thought it was a little creepy actually how they there were all perfectly in unison, almost like a cult.
It was very important for SJWC that everyone was aware- well mostly straight white males- of their privilege. Being white, Charlie was a very controversial president of the SJWC network. Therefore Charlie had to do his best not to step on the toes of any woman or minority.
”Even though I have the highest rank, I recognize that women, minorities, transgenders, androgynous, androsexual, bigender, bi-curious and eh….”’
”Don’t forget otherkins!” said Reza, the host of the show Privileges Exposed, wearing bunny-ear headband.
”Off course otherkins, of every sort. Whether you feel like you a cat, a dog, pig, a snake…”
”Or a dragon!” called out Kim, the economics correspondent, who was wearing a T-shirt on which a dragon was perched on a mountain, shooting fire into the night-sky. She was Japanese-American.
”I kind of feel it’s insulting to say that ‘we feel like something,”’ said Andrew, the leading anchor, ”We don’t feel like something, we just are!”
”I concur, wholeheartedly with what Andrew just said,” said Ken, associate producer. Ever since Andrew, a black man, overheard Ken listening to old-school gangsta Rap from white rapper Eminem. Eminem has now been considered inappropriate music because his use of the N-word and the fact that he’s white and using a black-art form- cultural-appropriation. Andrew stated that Ken was a closeted white-supremacist and he was almost fired for this reason. Ken tried to explain why he wasn’t, but he was quickly shut down and told to check his privilege. In the last few weeks Ken is doing his best to make up for it, mostly by kissing Andrew’s ass.
”Of course, thank you Andrew for pointing that out,” continued Charlie, ”otherkins don’t just feel like they are a different species, they just are. It was very insulting for to me say that and I should check my privilege.”
”Check your privilege,” the group said in unison again. Chelsea was really getting creeped.
Charlie wanted to continue but the thought of mentioning the six hundred genders, something he was required to do every morning nauseated him.
”Would you guys mind if I continue, since we have to cover today, by merely stating that I believe that every minority and every gender or non-gender or otherkin can do my job, perhaps even better than I can?”
The group gave each other and seriously look and then shook their heads in agreement.
”Thank you, I thank you for checking my privilege….”
”Check your privilege” everyone said in unison again. Chelsea felt like fleeing.
A faint twitch of annoyance came over Charlie too but he quickly suppressed it, as he always did and made his announcement: ”a quick announcement, we are no longer using the word homosexual, instead we are using the word ‘same-gender loving.’ I know you have no problem with this Cenk, but we’ve got some complains. We gotta make sure we don’t offend anyone, I hope you understand.”
”It’s fine by me,” said Cenk, a reporter who just happened to be an openly gay Muslim- I can assure you that didn’t factor at all when he was hired.
”Before we go further, does anyone else have an announcement?”
Arriana, one of the network writers, lifted up her finger, ”I have something to confess.”
”Last night, I was making food with Mark and we thought… Oh god I’m so ashamed….”
”What is it Arriana?”
On the verge of tears she continued: ”we thought it be a cute idea to….wear kimono’s the whole the day…”
Everybody was shocked and appalled. Chelsea didn’t get it.
”I know, I’m so sorry. They were just so comfortable. But I’m not Japanese so I should have known better.”
Kim, turned her head away from Arriana.
”It was a vile, despicable act Arriana, but I’m happy you came out with it. But we can’t okay such bigotry. I understand if Kim doesn’t want to look at your face. You remind her too much of the bigotry her great great grandparents endured in the Japanese internment camp.”
”Actually they weren’t in the Japanese interment camp at the time, they were actually living comfortably living in New-Zealand but I don’t think that matters. I still feel very triggered with what Arriana did. I feel like puking actually.”
”I’m so sorry Kim!” Arriana reached out for Kim’s shoulder who brushed it away and yelled ”don’t touch me you white whore!”
”I think I speak for all of us,” said Charlie, Chelsea expecting him to reprimand Kim, ”that we don’t want to work with you today. I need to leave this building immediately. I will discuss with whether or not we still have a place for you here.”
Arriana burst into tears, muttering apologies under her breath as she left the room. Chelsea felt like she was living a different dimension, both hilarious and horrifying at the same time.
”Shocking, just shocking. What is happening to this country?”
Serena lifted up her hand, ”I would also like to confess something.”
Serena was another reporter, who just happened to be a lesbian Mexican.
”Go ahead Serena.”
”Last night I was watching this drama starring about the struggle of this transgender artist and I really liked it. But I discovered the actor wasn’t even really a trans!”
Everyone in the group was shocked.
”My god, they could never get away with this now!” said Jonah, a staff-writer who just happened to be Jewish, ””how far we’ve come.”
”Oh that’s okay, you don’t need to be sorry for that,” said Chelsea, she was herself a transgender- male to female, ”you can enjoy a movie about transgender artists without the actors themselves being transgender.”
”How can you say that!” yelled Jonah, ”that role could have been given to a transgender actor! Someone who really understands the struggle they go through!”
”I’m just saying, I’m a transgender and I still love to watch reruns of Transparent, knowing that the late great Jeffrey Tambor wasn’t transgender. I don’t care. That show fucking rules. It’s called acting.”
Jonah was stunned, ”Charlie, can I leave and go to my safe space? I’m really triggered because I’m so offended by her attrocious words.”
”Yes you may Charlie and Chelsea, I think you should leave to and think about what you said.”
”Why the fuck should I leave?”
”Chelsea, I know you are new here, but we have a certain way of doing things. I know you’re transgender and you have dealt with a lot of discrimination…”
”Well yeah, this world sucks. I don’t need Jonah to defend me, I can defend myself…”
”Of course you can, you are perfectly able to defend yourself. Jonah was just doing his duty as a human being…”
”Helping the oppressed. He was calling out your form of oppression.”
”As a human being we should call out oppression. The world will perish if good people don’t do anything. You are horribly misinformed by the notion that cis actors can play transgender roles, and that’s obviously wrong and Jonah was just correcting you. You should just accept it.”
”This place is fucking mental.”
”Listen, just shut up for a moment. I think you should leave now and go to your assigned safe space and really think about what you said. If we don’t watch out what we said and if we don’t call each other out for the things we say, we can let oppression slip by. Before you know it things will turn into an authoritarian state, like it is now…”
”Well it’s not exactly an authoritarian state is it? We still have the right to vote. I mean, this country is going to shit, but we are not there yet. And even so, what does a cis actor playing a transgender character have anything to do with authoritarianism?
”It always starts with something Chelsea.”
”Yeah, slavery started in a similar fashion,” said Andrew, who quickly realized what he said made no sense and was in fact, extremely stupid.
”What are you talking about?” asked Chelsea.
”Hey do not tell Andrew how slavery started! He’s black! His ancestors were slaves and therefore he knows all about it!” yelled Serena.
”Leave Andrew alone!” yelled Ken.
”Look we are all a bit triggered. We need to calm down. Chelsea I want you to leave immediately before you afflict more emotional trauma.”
Chelsea sighed, got up, left the room. She closed a door a little too loud which startled Christiano Chandler, a staff-writer who just happened to be high-functioning autistic. He was wearing noise-canceling headphones and not paying attention to anything that was going on and continuing his favorite hobby: crossing cartoon characters with his favorite cartoon character of all: fucking Pikachu.
”Does anybody else need to go to their safe space after this very emotional moment?”
Every shook their heads.
”Okay, so if nobody else has an announcement, I think we can begin. I think we’ve all heard the good news: the president of America Today, that repugnant character by the name of Rupert Ailes, was spotted a socialite neo-nazi rally. He says it was an accident but I think we all know better.”
”I fucking knew it,” said Andrew.
”Course you did Andrew!” said Ken.
”In fact now that I mention it, maybe we should get some counseling for Jonah,” realized Charlie, ”I’m sure was really triggered when he saw those pictures with the swastika. I mean, you know his great great grandmother almost died in World-war 2? He never met her but I’m sure that must have been hard for him. Make a note of that Anita, he said to his assistant next to him.
”Will do Charlie.”
”By the way, that new hairstyle really looks good.”
Anita looked appalled. A silence came over the room. Charlie realized what he did.
”Calling out my appearance is fucking sexist Charlie.”
”Yeah don’t be a sexist pig,” said Kim.
”I’m so sorry…. I just meant that…” Charlie had the urge to scream the most offensive obscenities but he quickly suppressed it, ”okay, well let’s focus on the issue at hand. We’ve got a several picture of Rupert Ailes at a Neo-Nazi rally and we need to use this opportunity. We even have one of him doing the Nazi salute. It almost looks like he’s just pointing at something but we know better,” Charlie laughed, everybody was still reeling from his ‘sexist comment’ and refused to laugh with him.
”It’s an election year,” continued Charlie, swallowing his pride, ”we’ve got a real chance here because if the popular figures in America Today are exposed, so will the president and maybe then,
we will finally have a women president again in this country. We only had one! It’s a travesty!”
They all nodded in agreement.
”I mean I know Bob has more experience and shown more care than Debra Schultz but he’s an old man. An old straight man. We’ve had enough of them in office.”
”Hell’s yeah,” said Andrew.
”Word to a motherfucker,” said Ken, whose head went red when Andrew gave him a funny look.
”I mean granted she’s not as left as we want her to be. She’s kinda hawkish. She didn’t support gay-marriage until last year. She doesn’t seem genuine but she’s a woman! We need a woman back again in the office! It will give hope to the women of America who are oppressed daily, hourly all the time!”
Again, they all nodded in agreement.
”We need to hit them hard, with everything we’ve got,” as Charlie was talking, Anita was giving out the talking points.
The Talking points were:
-Hint that everyone who agrees with America Today or the President on anything, even the mildest thing, is morally compromised and might be a closeted Neo-Nazi.
-Talk extensively about race, make everything about race and gender. Ask the audience: is there enough diversity on screen and if not, is this a sign that white-supremacy is running rampant in this country?
-Is using black emoticons a form of blackface? The answer: YES!
-Make sure to know that anyone who says that Islam has anything to do with Islamic terrorism is an Islamaphobe and doesn’t deserve to speak.
”We need to interview every Jew we can find!” said Charlie excitedly, ”perhaps we need a whole segment about the holocaust and imply, not outright say -I mean we are a serious news channel here- that America Today supports the Holocaust. That if you watch America Today or think him or the president has any good points, you’re immediately an anti-Semite.”
”You gotta pick a side,” said Serena defiantly, ”pick a side or go fuck yourself.”
”Yeah everyone who watches America Today is a motherfucker!”
”A cocksucker!” blurted Ken out who immediately corrected himself: ”I’m sorry. that was homophobic. There’s nothing wrong with sucking cock.”
”Damn straight,” said Cenk.
”Are we going to forgive Ken for using a homophobic epithet?”
Ken held his head down in shame while the group nodded ‘yes.’
”You are forgiven Ken, check your privilege next time.”
”Check your privilege.”
”Thank you,” said a humble Ken.
”That’s okay, you’re a white-ciss male, you don’t know any better.”
Ken nodded in agreement.
”We have a great opportunity here people. We need to use it. We can win this fight against oppression. Do whatever you can to destroy America Today. Not just Rupert Ailes but everyone. They are evil and they must all go away….”
They were all excited and there was an urge to clap, but instead, they were waving jazz-hands. Clapping provokes too much anxiety.
Every staff-member in the SJWC building a designed safe-space. It was a pink little room, full of stuffed animals, flowers and soothing Enya music.
Chelsea laid back, on an extremely comfortable couch. Yet she couldn’t relax. She felt she was at the wrong place, that taking this job was a mistake. She had heard stories but she didn’t expect it to be this bad. She wanted to desperately to contribute something to the political discourse and she would have a large platform on this channel.
But she wondered at what cost and whether that by conforming to these rules, she would compromise her own credibility.
She remembered what her father once said: ”we gotta get through the shit to get things done.” This was just part of the shit. But will the shit ever end? She had asked her father, ”no he said,” downtrodden, gulping his twenty-fifth beer (might have been more, don’t remember, does it matter?), ”the shit never ends.”