If you think political violence in this country is limited to Portland fascism, er, anti-fascism, you should see what’s been done to an eight-year-old girl who makes fun of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The idea of threatening or intimidating children because their politics disagree with yours is utterly beneath contempt…
…hold on a minute…
…do eight-year-olds really have any politics of which to speak? Aye, there’s the rub.
The “MiniAOC” account was funny, true — but it was in no way consensual. Eight-year-old children don’t have an innate desire to parody politicians, any more than they have an innate desire to be marched through a gauntlet of social media holding a “Fuck The NRA” sign. You can’t be in favor of the former without implicitly endorsing the latter. MiniAOC might have been amusing, but it was fundamentally abusive. Not only did it put a young girl in harm’s way — because who can be sure that some blue-haired beast wouldn’t attack her at school or on the street? — but it put her future at risk. I can guarantee you that girl in question, whom we will not name, will eventually have to interview with, or work for, someone who in no way appreciated the MiniAOC shtick.
Lately I’ve been thinking about when I’ll stop mentioning my son on social media. Over the past few years, my Instagram account has mostly consisted of parenting stuff. At some point I have to hand control of John’s online “brand” over to him. That’s obvious, right? I wouldn’t want my mother posting about me on social media, even at the age of 47 — and I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted her doing it when I was fifteen. So there will have to be a time when I vanish my kid from my online identity so he can have a life of his own. Right now I think his twelfth birthday would be a good time to do that. Which isn’t to say that I’ll let him post on social media when he is twelve; that’s a great way to meet the Tony Podestas of the world. This will just be the time at which I no longer use his image or his words online.
Fortunately for my son, I don’t have enough recognition as a writer for my existing work to have a Christopher Robin effect. I don’t think he will ever be defined in any meaningful way by what I’ve already written. The rest of his story should be his own to write. Nor do I wish to use him as a means by which to signal my virtue or my social conformance to the world, the way the mother of that “Desmond Is Amazing” person does. So he’s going to disappear. Which will be fine with him, and fine with me. And for the record, he has no political leanings whatsoever. Which is normal for children, believe it or not.
Bark had nothing on TTAC this week.