“Leftist” Gamergate & the Alt-Right

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Sometimes you get to choose the wars you fight in… Sometimes you get drafted and war chooses you…

I haven’t written much about Gamergate lately, but with all of this stuff about Gamergate and the Alt-Right coming up recently, I felt I needed to get some things off my chest.

First, I want to talk about GGRevolt and the ethics cuck thing. Even if GGRevolt was more or less right about Social Justice being one of the root problems in journalism, many failed to articulate it in a way that could convince anyone, and the term ethics cuck was not just off-putting, it sounds really stupid. Dan Wolfgang (the QuQu’s producer), pointed out to me that it’s not particularly worse than Social Justice Warrior or Feminazi (which, despite being a catchy portmanteau is, as he noted, invoking Godwin). FWIW, I’m not big on calling folks SJWs or Feminazis either.

Second of all, depending on who you ask, I’m either alt-right or not welcome in the alt-right (muddy blood, and what not). You might say I’m on the left-fringe of the Alt-right. But I’d like to talk about the inescapable political conversation and politics surrounding an “apolitical” movement, especially as those in the left stake claim of Gamergate while disavowing the right.

A lot has been made, and is still being made, of that Gamergate Political Compass meme, which is often tossed out there to “prove” that Gamergate was a left-libertarian movement.  The problem with this is that the meme is a snapshot from one moment, fairly early on in Gamergate, with no meaningful data behind it, based on a political test that skews left-libertarian with ranked statements that basically sound like “I believe people should have rights” and “I believe corporations should be allowed to rape the earth.”

The new Alt-Right meme vs. the Gamergate is leftist meme is another way that the media has managed to successfully create drama and in-fighting among people who’d done the whole ‘ethics in games journalism’ thing together. While I haven’t seen many people on the Alt-Right try to claim broadly that Gamergate was a rightwing movement, some have (rightly) tried to point out to certain left-leaning individuals, who are trying to distance themselves from Trump and the Alt-Right, that yes, there were a lot of conservatives involved in Gamergate. Heck, I was one of them.

I don’t have a problem with people who lean left in Gamergate; I don’t deny that they exist, nor do I deny that they may have made up a sizable portion, if not a majority, of those involved. I don’t have a problem with people having left-leaning politics. I am annoyed when folks on either side of politics try playing the “You’re not really Gamergate” card, but honestly I can understand why someone would suspect a person (in the US) didn’t actually care about Ethics In JournalismTM if they remained, after what they’d learned, a loyal Democrat supporter.

One of the reasons why, on the face of it, Gamergate is appearing to many as a right-leaning movement is that you have those who genuinely want to fight the fight for Ethics in Journalism who see, understand, and will try to expose media corruption and cronyism, and the inconvenient truth of the matter is those things presently are far more to the benefit of left-leaning, pro-social justice, and Democrat politicians than anyone else.

Democrat and Republican voters actually have a lot in common; not the least of which is their hatred for elected Republicans!

A Brief Summary of the Tingling

  • Vox Day & Rabid Puppies say “Let’s Nominate Chuck Tingle for the lulz!”
  • Chuck Tingle gets nominated, proceeds to be awesome and hilarious, even in the face of pressure from anti-puppies that he withdraw because he’s ruining the Hugos by being there.
  • Puppies and Puppy Adjacents say “Chuck Tingle is awesome, let’s get him a Hugo!”
  • Chuck Tingle posts jokes about Vox Day and announces Zoe Quinn will accept the award for him.
  • Many of the people previously saying Tingle should withdraw because he’s ruining the Hugos say “Let’s get Chuck Tingle a Hugo; that’ll show Vox Day, the Puppies and Gamergate!”
  • Puppies and Puppy Adjacents – “We’re okay with this!”
hunchbacknotredam

Love is Real

For some reason, I don’t think giving Space Raptor Butt Invasion—a work that wouldn’t even be on the ballot if it were not for Vox Day—a Hugo is going to teach Vox Day a lesson.

Just as planned

Just as planned!

All I know is that my Legends of Science Fiction T-shirt should be arriving sometime this week, and I can’t wait.

Serious important post and announcement later today.

Hugo Noms are Live!

So a few of my picks made it!

Huge congrats to Jeffro Johnson, Douglas Ernst, and Kukuruyo.

Also, to the Castalia House family which I’m honored to be a part of.

A bunch of my picks were underdogs, so I didn’t expect them to get it, but hey, some of the names I’d floated even before SP4/RP2 made it.  The only real shame is that TIE Fighter didn’t make Dramatic Short Form.

Some of the Noms this year are positively magic.

I am, as has been pointed out, more “puppy-adjacent” than I am a Puppy, but I really can’t help but rub my hands together in glee over a few of these, particularly Kukuruyo, whom I DID vote for, and Chuck Tingle.

I wasn’t sure if I’d spring for a voting membership this year, but I think I just might…  Also, yay for the Leigh Brackett in the Retros!

Cathy Young, “Cuckservatives”, #Gamergate and the Trump Phenomenon

I haven’t talked about Gamergate, or even really followed it much, for some time; I’ve been too busy with the zine and my new writing gig at Castalia House (both of which have been going fabulously!), but this article rubbed me the wrong way, particularly the attempt to link the term “cuckold” to racism.

This is rather disappointing coming from Cathy Young, especially as one of the few in the media who gave gamergate fair coverage.  As someone who was close to gamergate, she should know that “cuckold” is not the racial term she claims it is.  As a slur, it has come back to prevalence in the last few years, not in reference to race or the supposed black “cuckolding porn” she describes, but by and large to male feminists who are perceived as not being able please feminist women.

Cathy admits in the twitter thread that she knows the actual origin of the term (having to do with Cuckoo birds; it was never a racial term to begin with and has been around in English since the days when most Englishmen had never seen black people and probably thought they were mythical).

It’s pointed out to her that the term “cuckservative has nothing to do with race” to which she replies “Except those who use it say otherwise”, linking to not to someone using it and claiming that they’re using it as a racial slur but to a National Review article full of people complaining that they’re being called cuckservatives and the people calling them that must be racist, claiming that in addition to being called cuckservatives, they’ve also been called “kikeservatives”.  The National Review article’s first linked source?  Washington Post.  Because those guys are in touch and know what they’re talking about, amirite?

It’s sad to see someone who supposedly took up the cause of ethics in journalism spreading and repeating silly falsehoods.  It’s even sadder to see very few people calling them on it.

First, let me preface this next bit by saying that it is not an endorsement of any candidate or policy, but conclusions drawn based on my own observations.

The Trump phenomenon is not difficult to explain.  Many who have, in the past, supported the Republican party as an opposition to the Democrat party and progressive platform have come to realize that there is no such thing as a RINO and those who’d been labeled RINOs actually represent the strategy and consensus of the party as an organization.  In a two party system, Trump represents the only opportunity for those who are opposed to the Democrat platform and who are tired of the GOP’s perpetual betrayal of its base.  It also represents a backlash against conservative eggheadery; for all of the think-tanks and institutes and scholars supposedly promoting conservative thought and ideology, where does any of it show up in Washington?  It’s a vote against policy wonks and think-tanks as much as it is against other candidates.

In an effort of the established pseudo-conservative intelligentsia to stop Trump and thereby maintain their control and relevance, the fear mongering about the straw-alt-right has been ratcheted up.  This is backfiring, however, because when taking Europe into account, people are able to see “there but for the grace of god and another few years of social democratic policies go us” (and I’m not just talking migrants and refugees, but failing social programs and the economic turmoil of the Eurozone as well); the people haven’t changed much in their core ideologies and beliefs, but in their desperation.    Voting “conservative” in the last several election cycles has failed them and many refuse to take the gamble again when 3 cycles in a row Republican majorities in Congress have failed to bring about the policy changes the electorate had voted for.  People have moved from conservatism to nationalism because they feel like they have no other choice.  The GOP is far more responsible for this change by being an ineffective opposition party than the institutional left.  The GOP must paint their failure as being the responsibility of a fringe group of far-right lunatics because otherwise they will be forced to admit that the American people have abandoned them utterly; yet by making concerted efforts to destroy their own front running candidate, they are proving how little the American people need or want the Republican Party to have anything to do with anything at a national level, because they are willing and active participants in the modern American Kleptocracy.  The desire for any alternative at this point is the biggest shaping factor of the 2016 race.

The Republican party IS an institutional cuckold; in the case, the egg is the statist agenda.  Once a pro-statist social agenda in place, they tend to it like it was their own.

For those on the left, whether middle or far left, this should be an object lesson in the importance of not going all out to destroy opposition to your agenda; if opposition to your agenda is ineffective or non-existent, those who object to what you’re doing will go to desperate extremes to shift the balance.  We haven’t seen anything yet, here in the US.  Again, Europe and the backlash that the social democratic left may be about to face there on a continental level has potential to be a bloody demonstration of what happens when any one agenda goes too far without reasonable opposition that is not simply dismissed and denigrated as “alt-right”.

Even many of those who support Trump probably wish that it never had to come to this.   But after a longstanding betrayal predicated on a falsehood of shared conservative ideologies, America’s relationship with the GOP may finally be coming to grisly end.

 

#BrackettGate

This is nothing short of erasure.  Leigh Brackett’s centennial birthday found her most well known contribution to sci-fi under attack by a concerted media narrative across multiple platforms.

Read her script and tell me again how it was “discarded”.

the lone credited female screenwriter who worked on one, The Empire Strikes Back‘s Leigh Brackett, died after completing a first draft, which was discarded. – ComingSoon.net, The Next Star Wars Director: Lucasfilm Meets With Mystery Women

one big surprise about the “Star Wars” films have been the lack of any women as writers or directors beyond an uncredited screenplay polish on “The Phantom Menace” by Carrie Fisher, and a very early (and discarded) “The Empire Strikes Back” draft by Leigh Brackett. – Dark Horizons, Lucasfilm Seeks Female Director For “Star Wars”

Leigh Brackett initially worked on The Empire Strikes Back, but her screenplay was discarded shortly after her death – Hey U Guys, Lucasfilm Meeting With Mystery Female Directors for Future Star Wars Movie

yet the lone credited female screenwriter who worked on one, The Empire Strikes Back’s Leigh Brackett, died after completing a first draft, which was discarded. –  Steelers Lounge, Carrie Fisher’s Response to Slave Leia Merchandise Controversy Is Fantastic

The only woman to have written a Star Wars script was Leigh Brackett, who passed away before completing work on The Empire Strikes Back; her draft was subsequently discarded. – Screen Crush, ‘Star Wars’ Could Be Written or Directed by a Woman Soon

Leigh Brackett – a woman – did work on a script for The Empire Strikes Back, but she died and her work was apparently discarded. – We Got This Covered, Women Writers And Directors Are Finally In The Running For Star Wars Movies – But Not For Another Five Years

yet the lone credited female screenwriter who worked on one, The Empire Strikes Back‘s Leigh Brackett, died after completing a first draft, which was discarded. – Camara Oscura, Will “Star Wars” Be Directed by A Woman??

 

Empire Strikes Back’s Leigh Brackett did her screen writing for the fifth episode. Brackett passed away after the first draft of the movie, which was left unused for the final product, according to Coming Soon – Inquisitr, ‘Star Wars’ Crew Members Going From ‘Boys Club’ to its First Female Director?

 

The Empire Strikes Back‘s Leigh Brackett, died after completing a first draft, which was discarded. – Albany Daily Star, Will the next Star Wars director be a woman?

Fortress Europa Wrap-up & Minor Updates

The final nail in the coffin was hammered on the September IV turn.  I managed to make one last heroic strike and was even able to take out SHAEF, but without enough troops to form a line, my few strong piles would get surrounded by Allied troops and would so be unable to escape (units retreating through enemy ZOC are immediately eliminated).

Anti-climactic, I know.  But we will be starting Avalon Hill’s Bull Run this week, which we are both pretty stoked about.  After bagging Fortress Europa, we set up the Order of Battle Cards, were both impressed and perplexed by the granularity of the forces, attempted to extrapolate the system based on the pieces and were delighted as we figured out that some of our guesses were correct.  On the surface, it looks like a far more complicated game than it probably actually is.  I’ll go into that in the first post of our run on that game.

So, time for a few updates.  First, the zine:

I may have found an artist for the first issue of Cirsova.  Once contracts are signed and everything is official, I can make the official announcement.  I’m pretty excited about it.  This week, I’ll be doing a bit more work on adspace; I’ve figured out how much adspace I have, now I just need to get some exact print dimensions so I can provide those specs to potential advertisers.

Now that I may have an artist, I have figured up my costs for this first issue, crunched numbers and have something in the way of rewards tiers planned out.  All rewards will be some combination of “investing” for one copy or many and buying an ad or not buying an ad.  I’m going to try not to harp on this too much, so I don’t burn people out before I get a chance to actually launch the kickstarter, so my next updates prior to launch will simply be to announce the artist, show off the art once it’s done, and to promote the kickstarter.  I’ll include details on those things here, naturally.

Second, Drasmyr Week:

It’s not quite going to be a full-blown Drasmyr week like I did when The Children of Lubrochius came out, but I will have the author Matthew D. Ryan here on Wednesday talking about Tolkien.  Hardback for Sceptre of Morgulan comes out on Lulu tomorrow and you can bet I’ll be ordering it!

Now, the AlisonScam:

I wanted to try to say something about the whole Alison Prime/Steve Polk massive troll, but I can’t really put together anything that doesn’t sound like I’m saying ‘this person is being pilloried and that’s probably a good thing’.  For those who don’t know, Alison Prime was a self-described boob obsessed lesbian gamer girl who was also a cancer survivor and survivor of domestic abuse who was loudly pro-gamergate (though from what I’ve heard, she would mostly derail conversations by bringing up boobs); this person turned out to be a sock-puppet account of some dude named Steve who used pics from a (supposedly dead) friend and other various similar looking women to create a composite fake gamer girl.  Steve’s house burned down and got outed when people were raising money for “Alison Prime” whose house burned down.

I was only vaguely aware of Alison Prime, because I mostly only paid attention to a small handful of streamers whom I had time for (Sargon, Vee, Queeny before she left, Sox and the Honey Badgers.)  Most GG drama is pretty bad for GG, but I don’t know if it will be bad in the long run that everyone in all corners of GG can be united in being pissed off that someone lied about being a cancer and abuse survivor for attention. It also shines a bit of an uncomfortable light on how the internet affects our empathy: many people seemed to love and genuinely care about this weird and kooky person who turned out to never actually exist.  To find out that someone you cared about was not only lying to you but didn’t actually exist must be pretty gutwrenching, and I feel pretty bad for the folks who’ve been affected by it.

My Gamergate & Sad Puppies Apologia

It has been a little over a year since Gamergate started and a little over a year since I became involved with it. My traffic has more than doubled in the last year, so I think it’s a good time for a reflection on the matter for new folks. I will also go into my relationship with Sad Puppies. This is a personal disclosure, rather than a defense of all the particulars of either movement; I want to put out there why I supported these things.

Gamergate
First things first, for those who are wondering about that image over on the right side-bar, that’s Vivian James: she’s the unofficial mascot of Gamergate whose creation was crowdsourced by the artistic members of the community that grew around the whole debacle. Why is she standing in front of a Confederate flag? That image was created in part of the response to game storefronts who decided earlier this year that the Virginia battle flag was so offensive that historical games featuring it were being pulled from digital shelves. As a historical war gamer, that was a pretty big deal for me. The OpSkyNet hashtag it links to was created as a networking tool.

Why did I come out in support of Gamergate? I first heard about the whole debacle that started Gamergate from James Desborough back in late August. In his post, he actually defended ZQ to some extent while acknowledging that there is corruption in games journalism. What followed, however, were wave after wave of articles condemning anyone who questioned journalistic practices all sorts of ugly names. The media spun a provably false narrative of Gamergate being comprised of white male misogynists who wanted to run all women out of gaming; what I saw was an incredibly diverse and talented group of creative people who were not only upset that the media covering their hobby was corrupt but that the media was accusing them (many of whom are non-white and women) of trying to impose white male hegemony over gaming. It was absurd!

Gamergate is a very different thing today. As a movement, it accomplished a lot, and being acknowledged by the Society o Professional Journalists as having a legitimate grievance about media corruption was huge. Is there still media corruption? Absolutely. But the initial push was about exposing and getting people to recognize the issues regarding media malpractice. What has happened, however, since SPJ (and to some extent leading up to it) is that the movement (as all movements do) began to slow and wind down; the community is still there, and there is a very diverse (including politically diverse) group of people who are not quite sure what to do now. Keep fighting, or plant the flag and go home? A lot of folks don’t want the party to end, and to an extent, I understand that: it feels good to have been part of something. The community is still there and the cause is still there, but some of those differences in opinions manifest themselves in unpleasant ways, and the community (not Gamergate) is struggling to deal with them.

In the end, I think it was a good thing filled with mostly good people trying to accomplish a worthy goal, and I’m proud to have been a small part of it.

Sad Puppies
Not long after I started blogging, I became a member of the now more-or-less defunct* RPG Blog Alliance. One of the many blogs I was a regular reader of from there was Jeffro’s Space Gaming Blog. When he was announced on the Sad Puppies 3 list, I had no idea what Sad Puppies was or the whole story behind the Hugos drama; I just thought it was cool as heck that someone from our community had been noticed! This was a big deal for those of us in the tabletop community.

Then I started noticing something happening. Something so familiar! News outlets were saying that a bunch of racist white men were trying to run women and minorities out of science fiction! I saw a mind blowing amount of not just hatred and meanness but falsehood being directed towards these people, including someone I really like and respect.

Now, I’m very fortunate that this did not spill into my personal life more than a little. I did nearly lose a friend, however, who sent me numerous blog posts and articles, including one that invoked the Holocaust, trying to convince me how terrible these people were. If anything, it had the opposite effect; the worst and even many of the milder things they were accused of struck me as so obviously false that I couldn’t help but sympathize with them. To the “this individual is pompous, rude and disagreeable”, I may say “Okay”, but to the “these people want women out of science fiction!” I must raise my eyebrow in suspicion. I’d seen this very thing before reported about a different group of people in many of the same outlets.

The gist of what I saw was “These people are racist sexist misogynists who have bad taste in fiction!” It was the old Arson, Murder and Jaywalking. See, if the response I had encountered was simply “The Sad Puppies have bad taste and they’ve nominated bad stories”, I don’t think I would have been inclined to take any position on the matter. Ultimately, I may have found myself disappointed with nominations I did have time to read (I did not participate in nominations and did not vote in categories wherein I did not read all the works), but I still sympathize with any group who has been so unfairly, wrongly and falsely maligned.

So THAT is why I wound up on the side of the Puppies this year.

I am not interested in fielding “what about (something gamergate/sad puppies allegedly did)?”questions, but if anyone has any questions for me about my interests or involvement with either of these things, I would be happy to discuss them off-site.

*There is a G+ community, but it has a largely different membership and just really does not feel the same; with the exception of Rumors of War, none of the stuff posted there is from the blogs I regularly followed from the old web portal days.

Fictional Milquetoast Leaves Fictional Abusive Girlfriend Following Actual Feminist Accolades

UK rag craps all over itself.

You read that headline right: “Feminists are angry that Kermit the Frog’s new girlfriend is young and thin”

Despite being a caricature of the loud, abrasive, violent, bullying, self-centered actress type, something went dreadfully wrong with pop culture and a generation grew up mistaking Miss Piggy as some kind of a role model, simply because she was tough, female, and got what she wanted.  Nevermind that she usually got it by whining and throwing temper tantrums while being a nuisance and a danger to those around her.

Why Miss Piggy became a feminist icon in the last 20 years ought to be beyond me, but for some reason i can kind of see it.

Maybe Helena Horton is a professional troll. Given her job as Trending News Journalist for the UK Telegraph, sounds fairly plausible.  But more likely she’s been trolled by twitter because of wanting to pursue the narrative that’s been fed by all of the BS awards and accolades Miss Piggy has been given by the actual feminist community.

Best part that a lot of the tweets being used as supposed ‘evidence’ of feminist backlash are coming from accounts I recognize as individuals associated with Gamergate.  Most folks seem to be getting a kick out of the fact that Kermit was dumped by the violent bullying ‘feminist’ and is now dating an ‘attractive’ pig who’s probably a hell of a lot nicer to him.

scamille

Scamille_crosby seems taken aback that his/her tweet was taken to mean that it was a “backward step for feminism”: