Being a new patron to ContraPoints (since valiant attempts at maintaining nuance and public admissions of human vulnerability delivered while chipping away at a 40 are things I feel deserve my money), I sat in on a live stream for the first time this past Friday.
Aside from the fact that Natalie is dreamy and relaxing to listen to, what I was most looking forward to was seeing a public figure holding their own in the company, not of detractors, but of supporters, the unique obligations and pressures that might create, and how an individual as inherently diplomatic as myself (cos Natalie totally is) would navigate said obligations and pressures.
To my delight, what I came away with was a healthy reminder that, like the rest of us, even content creators as erudite as Ms. Wynn cannot necessarily sermonize spontaneously on every book they’ve read or every work of art they’ve ever produced. Chances are one’s ability to speak off the cuff at length without stepping in caca is probably limited to that which one has been putting to practical use most recently. None of us has solutions to the world’s greatest existential dilemmas, and if we claim to, we are full of it. Young idealists need to hear this as often as possible, hard as it seems to be for them to stomach.
In any event… the serendipity of my wearing a “The Personal is Political” t-shirt and someone then asking her about her thoughts on that exact phrase gave me the tingly-winglies.
Then Saturday it was down to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to see an exhibit on Edward Hopper that focused on both the sunny and sordid sides of the hospitality industry in relation to his work. I found myself in a sort of meta-voyeurism as I photographed the public viewing paintings made from his window-framed vantage point… and I was already feeling even more the watcher than usual, having just borne witness to other people’s parasocial interactions in a live stream the night before.
This next bit I just had to capture as it contrasts an elevated, life-of-the-mind notion with base, carnal impulses. Not gonna lie, this totally made me think of Natalie’s whole academia-reject, I’m-trash schtick (which, don’t get me wrong, I relate to deeply):
I will close with a song I felt oddly compelled to pull up on YouTube and listen to immediately after the live stream, which, upon reflection, sounds like it could easily be the lament of an embattled content creator at this day in age. Especially one who, though their content may contain political subject matter, is, above all, an artist.