One of the readers asked recently why, if austerity measures are not that profitable, they are still implemented. We can find an answer in the phenomenon of Dylan Mulvaney.
Men dressing as women for comedic effect are not new. Remember Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, or Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire? Those are excellent movies because the actors are talented and their performances are both funny and touching.
In Ukraine there’s a male actor, Andriy Danylko, whose entire career is performing a female character on stage. He sings, does standup comedy, and is very famous. Obviously, he doesn’t claim actually to be a woman. Danylko is an actor, playing a role, and he’s been very famous in Ukraine for over a quarter of a century. Brands have put him on products because he made himself famous with his talented acting.
It goes in the opposite direction, too. In The L Word, Katherine Moennig gives an outstanding performance as a butch lesbian who moves, gesticulates and talks like a man. This is not a comedic role but it’s the best cross-gender performance I have seen in my life. Like Lemmon, Hoffman and Danylko, Moennig is very talented.
Dylan Mulvaney is not. His performance is bad. He’s not funny like Danylko, touching like Williams, or convincing like Moennig. He isn’t trying to write interesting texts to accompany his role or create some sort of a variety within his act. It’s all extremely repetitive and, frankly, tedious. People have been watching Danylko’s performance for 25 years. Imagine the effort that goes into keeping an act interesting and relevant for that long. Is anybody likely to watch Mulvaney for over 2 minutes? It’s not about ideology of any sort but simply that his spiel is very boring. Mulvaney isn’t trying. He’s not working hard.
Then why choose Mulvaney to promote and put on brand-name products? Some people would say his attraction is that he pretends actually to believe he’s a woman. But there are many guys who do that and are better actors with funnier or more convincing routines.
The answer is the same as what concerns the unprofitable and counterproductive austerity measures.
It’s all about randomness.
If Mulvaney had earned his contracts with Nike and whomever else through hard work, that would have made sense. If the budget cuts actually helped the budget and made things better, that would have also made sense.
- Action → consequence.
- Hard work → reward.
- Poor performance → punishment.
This approach makes the world more understandable and less confusing. But people who aren’t confused and disoriented are harder to rob. Put them in a situation where logic and reason are suspended and nothing makes any sense anymore, and you can do what you want to them.
It’s not supposed to make sense. These budget adventures at my school, Mulvaney’s boring videos, and other disorienting things that are mushrooming everywhere exist precisely in order not to make sense.
It’s all about randomness.