The Purpose of Dylan Mulvaney

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.

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9 thoughts on “The Purpose of Dylan Mulvaney

  1. “exist precisely in order not to make sense”

    That does make some sense (irony intended), but just strengthens my idea that we’re already past neoliberalism and into something else that doesn’t have a name yet…

    For all it’s faults neoliberalism depended on some kind of market system (in which a degree of unpredictability is a feature and not the defining feature).

    Capitalism itself doesn’t work when inputs and outputs have no relation most of the time…

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    1. If it’s not a stage that leads to capital accumulation in some way we can’t see right now, it might actually be not even just post-neoliberal but post-capitalist. That means there’s a completely different logic behind it to what we are used to.

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  2. The tide seems to be turning on the idea of trans:

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  3. Regarding Musk, I do think it’s honest not to hide that his views on trans are influenced by personal experience which paints him in not too good light:

    // Elon Musk had twin boys Griffin and Xavier from his first marriage to Justine Wilson in 2004. After the billionaire left their mother and started dating actress Talulah Riley, Xavier stopped talking to him. Last year it became known that Xavier completed the transgender transition, became a girl, officially changed his gender and name to Vivienne Jenna Wilson. Vivien officially filed for a sex change through the courts in June 2022, when she turned 18 years old. The trans girl also stated that she wants nothing to do with her biological father.

    In addition, in 2022, Musk’s ex-wife, singer Grimes, began dating trans woman and social activist Chelsea Manning. Following the news of this, the billionaire also posted transphobic memes.

    In October last year, in an interview, a businessman accused the American education system of not having a relationship with a transgender daughter. He considered that Vivien’s father was set up by “neo-Marxists” from the elite college where she studies. “This is pure communism. It makes you think that if you are rich, then you are the personification of evil, ”Musk said. He expressed the hope that over time he and his daughter would reconcile, especially since he has an excellent relationship with all his other children (a total of seven).

    The original post in Russian is here:

    https://www.gazeta.ru/social/2023/04/14/16558741.shtml

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    1. It’s not unusual that children react in these unhealthy ways to divorce. The same thing happened to a girl in our parish but thanks to the guidance from the priest she recovered and is now fine.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I think both sides of this culture war camp just keep making things worse. I honestly would have never heard of this Dylan Mulvaney character had it not been by the hissy fit they are throwing over this non issue.

    People can dress however they want, and if some companies want to sponsor that, so be it; companies sponsor all kinds of weird shit.
    A decade or so ago this would never have been an issue and nobody would even bee discussing such a non-important issue.

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    1. What if he wore blackface and pretended to be a slobbering, stupid black person? Or glued on a huge nose and pretended to be a greedy, sneaky Jew?

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      1. Ideally nobody would care. These people thrive on attention, even negative attention.
        I bet that Mulvaney character is making tons of money right now.

        Maybe we can add this to the long list of problems social media created. Before social media nobody would know or even care. Now some people are just so obsessed over this trivial and dumb issues and they’re getting bigger than they ought to be.

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