10/29: A Six Second Farewell, And A Racism Roundup

At this point, I'm sure you've heard that Vine will be shuttering sometime in the near future. I am a little sad to see the service go (even if I never really actively used it,) but the completionist side of me knows that the end of an era will allow me to watch the final ultimate compilation of what the best six second videos on the internet are.

However, it's a little disconcerting when we think about what that means for minority voices. NPR's Kat Chow summed up what Vine meant as a non-corporate, low-budget space for Black and brown developing artists so nicely in this article, I won't go beyond linking it and telling you it's worth reading. The main question she asks (and which I have been turning around in my head) is, where do the young people of color turn now to either make short art pieces and share clips of the world around them?

Personally, I'm not worried. There isn't going to be a shortage of independent video-sharing services anytime soon, even if Youtube is getting more corporate by the day.

Chow's piece also brought that question no one has really written in depth about yet to mind: how is Black culture's coopting into memes complicated by different social media platforms?

Just like Elvis stealing rock and roll, white folks steal memes regularly. Take for instance Juju On That Beat, a short dance that took the internet by storm late last month. The song itself is undoubtedly Black, with one of the few lyrics describing the singer's nappy hair. However, nearly every video I've seen that is not the original is a white artist performing the dance. This kind of coopting was typical of Vine, and I don't think I'm sad to see that part go. The whole topic deserves more than a blog post; when I'm not on deadline, I'd like to revisit this.

Changing directions entirely to my own roots in Oregon, Ammon Bundy's merry gang was acquitted of almost all charges. People aren't happy about it, including the state representative for Oregon, Earl Blumenauer. Blumenauer's public Facebook post calls out the specific inequity of the treatment protesters are receiving in North Dakota right now, going as far as to recognize that white armed men and unarmed Native Americans are treated vastly differently. That's not a new sentiment, and it could be a final play in getting reelected next month, but I want to believe that people in Oregon are finally realizing how uneven our state is (and the nation is) for POC.

Thanks for reading a long, rambling blog. I'll supplement this later probably, but I'm signing off for now.