Some Thoughts on the Closet’s Failed Knowledge:
Part I, inspired by Hulu’s gay rom com Happiest Season
Author: Dr. Katrin Horn
Holiday season calls for holiday movies and the most talked about holiday movie of 2020 might be lesbian rom com Happiest Season (To keep with the title’s theme of superlatives: the movie is also hulu’s biggest streaming success so far, it is the most high-profile movie among a surprisingly big selection of “queer holiday movies” – not something my representation-starved younger self ever expected to write –, and it stars Kristen Stewart in her most overtly gay role yet.) With a promo-campaign fit for the originally planned cinematic release, even many without a hulu-account will by now be familiar with the movie’s central premise. As Harper (Mackenzie Davis) tells her girlfriend Abby (Kristen Stewart) on the drive home for Christmas with her family: “I didn’t tell my parents I’m gay” (Trailer). Processing this news over the phone with her gay best friend John (Daniel Levy), Abby adds an additional twist: Harper’s parents think that Abby, too, is straight. In disbelief, John blurts out the trailer’s central punch line: “Have they ever MET a lesbian?!”
Author: Dr. Simon Strick
Facts and Bots
There was a tweet the other day. The author, New York Times tech writer Sarah Jeong, reacted with her message to the fascist iconography and instances of state-mandated violence against people and protestors that occurred in early June 2020 in response to the police murder of George Floyd. Playing on the internet genre of ‘hot takes,’ there was something of a heightened reality effect about this tweet: Twitter’s newly introduced service for better informational politics on the platform applied its ‘fact-checking’ label to the message: “(!) Get the facts about fascism,” the bot attached to Jeong’s tweet. Offering clickable “facts,” it followed the same algorithmic pattern that had enraged Donald Trump in the previous days and led him to propose legislation against Twitter’s fact-checking practice.