I’m not an art critic but I am a painter who knows when I’m moved by a piece and am having my ideas around identity, presentation, and tradition challenged by it. I cannot speak to this piece in the context of art history, but I can share with you why this piece has left me undone and why I believe out of the two portraits, Sherald’s is bolder. There’s a restraint here I’m utterly mesmerized by, and in exercising it, Sherald has allowed for an evolution of how Black women are perceived and depicted. It’s a bold departure, based on the artist’s previous renderings of Black women especially, but that seems to be by design. Considering that Michelle Obama has been subjected to public ridicule for looking too manly, too dark, too toned and athletic, and even called a gorilla, I see this rendering as not just capturing Michelle’s humanity, but also Sherald perhaps turning that Strong Black Woman archetype on its head in an unconventional, but necessary way.
We are allowed to be more than one thing at a time. We can like romantic comedies and know what’s happening with gerrymandering. We can spend 3 hours reading about the benefits of serums and still have a nuanced opinion about clean energy. It’s the same way that we can internally rage at being treated like garbage by most men we meet but still smile through the meetings where our voices are ignored.
We cannot remain silent in the face of the suffering of millions of people whose dignity is wounded, nor can we continue to move forward as if the spread of poverty and injustice has no cause. It is a moral imperative, a responsibility that involves everyone, to create the right conditions to allow each person to live in a dignified manner. By rejecting a ‘throwaway’ culture and a mentality of indifference, the entrepreneurial world has enormous potential to effect substantial change by increasing the quality of productivity, creating new jobs, respecting labour laws, fighting against public and private corruption and promoting social justice, together with the fair and equitable sharing of profits.
Here, Jack is right. Or rather, Gandhi is right. We mustn’t lose faith in humanity. But Twitter isn’t humanity. It’s a venture-backed tool that profits off human connections without really understanding how they work. It’s not an ocean. The more apt metaphor would be a bloodstream. And while a single turd doesn’t spoil an ocean, a single cancer cell in the bloodstream will spread and attack every healthy cell it encounters. For too long Jack has allowed the cancer of fascism to spread through Twitter’s bloodstream.
This never would have occurred to me and may be spot-on. But if so, those disgusting acts are also valuable to the predator for their very implausibility. They are the pubic-hair on the coke can, the grope carried out before hundreds of people in the middle of an awards ceremony. “Why,” people are forced to ask, “would someone do such a thing?” — because it doesn’t make any sense. Well, that’s why.
Those are two things that make sexual assault and harassment so difficult to litigate and combat: the hypocrisy factor and the assumption that it is all single women, rather than certain married men, who are inherently predatory. A third aspect that complicates the sexual harassment scenario is, typically, crudity: the sexual predator tends to enact deeds that have no real place in a romantic or sexual context, things so extreme or disgusting that they are simply not credible. Why — we’ve all asked ourselves recently, as the stories about Weinstein, about Hefner, and now about Wieseltier have come out — is there always such a strong ick-factor? Is it because the man really has a penchant for ejaculating into a potted plant? No, it’s because no one would believe that anyone would do such a thing.
That, right there — I’d argue — is the impulse behind sexual harassment. It’s about getting away with something. It’s about seeming to be one sort of person, a “pillar of the community” — responsible, dignified, respectable, a family man, a liberal, a progressive, Presidential, whatever — while really being A Very Bad Boy. That’s exciting for some men. Not the being bad part. The getting-away-with-it part. It isn’t just about power over individuals, the women you victimize. It’s about power over society and the court of public opinion, the thrill of risking everything on one roll of the dice, knowing that it isn’t really all that much of a risk — because nobody will believe her.
Trello was successful building this horizontal product, achieving rapid growth to tens of millions of users and an acquisition of hundreds of millions of dollars. However, the one thing Trello didn’t do a good job of was keeping track of it’s paying customers.