Let’s Answer: 100 Ways to Make Life Easier for Trans People

I did the one where it talked about how to make life easier for black people and for women.  These lists are awful and I always feel drained at the end of them, but here’s another list and it caught my attention.  Let’s talk about 100 ways that I can make life easier for trans people.  Here’s a link to the article.

1. Respect people’s pronouns. This is really not very complicated! If someone tells you how they identify, you have no say on the matter. Use the pronouns they use.

Sure, why not.  So long as it isn’t some stupid pronoun like xir/xirself or ze/zeself, I got you.  If you’re gonna pull that shit, then my pronouns are master/master.  So you have to say to your friends – master said my pronouns are dumb.

2. Still on pronouns: if you don’t know somebody’s pronouns and want to get it right, either use gender neutral pronouns (i.e. they/them/their) or quietly and discreetly speak to the person and ask. Be aware of your surroundings and those around you before doing so – do not out this person or put them in an unsafe situation.

Nah.  I don’t think so.  I’m gonna use the pronouns I think fit the gender as I see it unless told otherwise by the person.  I don’t get into this gender-neutral world that people want to live in.

3. Trans folk can use gender neutral pronouns, so please do not assume that we must adhere to a binary.

You can use whatever terms you want.  I don’t care.  Free country.  And can we PLEASE stop using the world “folk.”  It’s fucking people.  I swear, when I hear them use the term “folk” unironically, I think of the Pepperidge Farm commercials.

4. Try to start removing binary language from your everyday conversations. If we all make conscious efforts to steer away from gendering everything, this will have a knock-on effect that stops our learnt obsession of having to divide everything into binaries.

Um, no.  I’m gonna speak how I see fit.  If you don’t like it, don’t talk to me.

5. Trans women are women. This is not up for debate – so don’t try to.

I’m fine with a trans person identifying themselves however they wish.  Not my concern nor my problem.

6. Trans men exist! We are often overlooked or forgotten, so try to remind yourself that we are out here and can find the male cis world hard to navigate.

There is this assertion this person has, that people like me just hate trans people on the face of it, so we refuse to acknowledge their existence.  I’m anti-SJW, after all.  Again, I’m fine with trans people identifying themselves with whatever gender they want.  Even idiots like Milo Stewart.

7. Call out transphobia WHEREVER you are! Even if a trans person is not present, be our defence. Hateful language perpetuates the dangerous cycle of violence.

Yeah, no.  If someone’s talking to me and they say some hateful shit, I might be like “dude, what the fuck?”  But if I just hear something someone is saying, I’m going to leave them alone.  Much as I would hope other people leave me alone when I talk to other people.

8. Understand and be vocal that transphobia is never “funny,” “in jest,” or “banter.”

If I’ve learned anything from the Cyberpunk 2077 nonsense, it’s that what constitutes transphobia is always evolving with you people.  So tell you what – I’ll make the jokes I wanna make.  If you don’t like them, you can not talk to me.  In fact, let’s start that right now.

9. Don’t refer to us as a whole. Do not make sweeping generalisations about every trans person. We are all individual people with different opinions.

Can someone tell the writer of this article that?  This entire fucking post is about how to treat an entire community of people as if they are all the same.  Irony, it’s a learned art.

10. Reject the idea that transitioning looks like one thing. People wish to transition in various ways. If someone doesn’t want to or can’t medically transition, this does not mean they are “less trans.” There is no such thing as “less trans” or “more trans.” This is a personal journey that doesn’t need to tick any boxes in order for the transition to be validated – by anyone!

I couldn’t possibly care less about how people transition.  For real.

11. NEVER ask anything about our genitalia or body. “So… do you still have everything down there” as a puzzled hand flutters near our privates is not ever going to be OK. That is final.

This depends on the situation.  If we’re getting hot and heavy and I know that you’re trans, I have every right to ask.  If we are in a sexual situation, as part of consent, I have a right to know what I’m getting myself into.

12. Oh, let’s not forget that we do not all know each other. The queer community is bigger than you think.

Again, articles like this treat the LGBT community like a Borg collective.  I happen to know it’s bigger than one would think.

13. Try to refrain from using language that is heavily influenced or derived from queer culture if this is not your community. Words and phrases are a way of communication in code for a large majority of the queer community (like “reading”). Language creates a dialogue within the queer community that is meant to protect and ensure safety.

I’m sorry…what?  The term “reading” is part of the gay community?  The fuck?  Yeah, fuck you.  I will use whatever terminology I want, and if you don’t like it, you can suck it up like a big boy/girl.

14. Do not enter queer or trans safe spaces without a queer person asking you to be there or without making sure that allies are welcome.

No worries there, whoever, because I have no desire to go to a queer/trans safe space.  At least not without someone asking me to be there.  People who designate an area a “safe space” are probably not the kind of people I’m going to like getting to know.

15. When you are in queer spaces, repeat: “This is not my space, I will not fill it” and actually do what you say.

See previous answer.

16. Be aware of your hands. Do not touch people without consent in all spaces – and especially queer spaces – and especially avoid touching trans people who often are triggered by physical contact involving parts of their body.

You know what, this I agree with.  Don’t touch me, ever.  I don’t like to be touched, and I guess you don’t, so tell you what – you don’t do to me, I won’t do to you.

17. If you are called out for being offensive, do not argue. This is not a debate. Apologise. Take a moment to reflect. If necessary, leave or give the space over to those you have offended or upset.

If someone calls me out, I absolutely will argue, because they are making a spectacle of something.  Someone wants to talk to me in private, that’s something else.  But you call me out in public, I’m gonna argue with you all day.  You started that fight, not me.

18. Never try to argue with a trans person that something isn’t transphobic.

No.

19. Remind us that being trans isn’t a burden or a bad thing!

It absolutely isn’t a bad thing, but given that most of the population isn’t trans, and society doesn’t have the same view on it that it does on the gay community, it has a burden.  Technically, being gay is a burden too because the average person is straight.  Being gay is a minority situation.  We all have our crosses to bear.  Sorry if you don’t like that, but reality doesn’t conform to what you want the world to be.

20. Recognise the strength and power of your voice.

Okay.

21. Now use it.

Using it now, to reply to you.

22. If a trans person is being verbally assaulted, made to feel unsafe or uncomfortable, or being attacked in any way and needs your help – open your mouth.

If someone asks for my help, I’ll do so, but I’m sorry – I’m not gonna put myself in a difficult situation without someone asking.  That’s a huge imposition.

23. This being said, do not become the ally that speaks over or for a trans person in this situation. Ask if we want you to step in because there’s nothing more frustrating than cis person silencing you. It happens enough, jeez!

See, this kinda makes my point about why I do nothing unless asked.  Because these people don’t appreciate it when people go out of their way.  And wait, didn’t you JUST SAY that people should step in in a situation where someone is being verbally or physically attacked?  Gotta say, your yin-yanging on ideas is a real doozy.

24. Talk to us about more than gender! Movies, what we had for dinner, our next holiday – anything that isn’t constant emotional labour.

Tell you what – you don’t talk to me about your gender, I won’t talk to you about it.  I have no more desire to talk about that than apparently you do.

25. Take us off your mood boards. Book us, pay us, and celebrate us.

…What?

26. Do not fetishise trans folk. We are not your sexual experimentations, tokens, or reason to rebel against your parents. We are not here for you.

I’ll be sexually attracted to whatever I’m sexually attracted to.  You have no more right to tell me how to conduct myself in what I want than I do you.

27. Criticise the media. Write to the newspapers, institutions, and publications that are spreading hate towards the trans community. Create polls and petitions. National news portrays us as monsters and threats to society. We can’t stop them from doing that on our own.

Making fun of conservative news is a good pasttime of mine.  Not on your behalf, but because they say so much stupid shit that’s comedy gold.

28. Learn what Mx means.

No.

29. Talk to the generation above you – your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. You can’t always change traditional mindsets, but you can give them a new perspective.

I come from a conservative-ass extended family.  My own parents are cool, but the rest run the gamut.  And I know for a FACT that if I broach any of these subjects with them, it will just start a fight.  I’m trying to avoid these people as much as I can already.  Don’t need to add that to the problems.

30. Support the generation below; speak to young kids. Make them aware that gender is a spectrum and they don’t have to commit to one gender for their whole life. Educate them on their freedom and choices.

Yeah, no.  Here’s what I’ll do for the gender below – if they are super young, I ain’t gonna say shit.  When they are old enough for gender dysphoria to manifest, then I’ll talk to them about how that works, and say that they can look into if they want to see about transitioning when they are old enough to make an informed decision, or not.  I’m not gonna give kids bad information like you lot.

31. Don’t buy gendered things for kids around you. This just pushes the ideas that boys must like blue and girls must like pink and only one of them can play football in their spare time. I don’t even particularly like either colours!

Good for you.  As for me, assuming I buy something for a child (highly unlikely), I’ll get them whatever I think they’ll like.  Fuck your stupid-ass opinion.

32. Stop pretending only trans people experience name changes or surgery. Me changing my name and a friend getting married and changing her surname meant we had to go through some similar legal process. Help trans folk with these legal procedures, whether that’s telling us which bank is easy to change your name with or going through the deed poll process with us. It means it doesn’t feel like these are “trans issues” – they’re just really confusing forms that nobody quite understands!

This sounds like a huge imposition on my time and I don’t actually care enough about your issues to do anything, so no.

33. Share your platforms. I am tired of cis people talking about trans health. Ask us to talk, educate, share our stories, and pay us. This way you don’t get the credit for the lives we live.

Oh fuck off.  I’m not talking about your issues.  And I’m not paying you for anything.  What should people pay you for, existing?  Are you an Instagram influencer now?  Wanna do some Internet panhandling?  I’m sure a decent chunk of the people who are seriously trying to discuss stuff like this are doctors and people who understand these issues from a scientific standpoint.

34. Support trans artists. Rock up to our exhibitions. Buy our books. Listen to our podcasts. Use your social platforms to share the incredible things we do despite the adversity we face.

I’m sure they don’t have this opinion of Blaire White.

35. Don’t expect trans folk to always congratulate you for being an ally. Sometimes you’re just being a good person. I don’t get a gold star for just being a good person.

I don’t think you are a good person.  I think you’re a judgmental asshole who I have no desire to know.

36. Donate to organizations and charities that are set up to aid and help trans folk. There are so many organisations struggling with funding. Without lots of these resources we can’t access things like mental health services and free meet-ups.

I donate to charities I think will do the most good.  You do the same, and power to ya.

37. Do not tell us what RuPaul, Trump, or the Daily Mail said about us. Chances are we already know.

Good for you.

38. Post about the #blacktranslivesmatter campaign – highlight that trans people of colour are targets of violence.

I have ZERO respect for any of these identity politics hashtag movements.  Kindly fuck off with that nonsense.

39. If you are dating a trans person, try to understand their triggers. For example, me and my partner call my menstrual cycle “Lucifer.” So if I text her to say “Lucifer is here,” she knows to bring chocolate and pillows. You can also try covering tampon or pad boxes and wrapping with cute cartoons or their favourite colour.

My Groj, do you people want to be coddled.  I won’t be an asshole if I know something is a sensitive subject for you, but I’m not gonna go out of my way to pamper your ass.  Christ, what world do you think you live in?  This is why people say that Gen Zed/Millennials can’t handle life.

40. Do not tell us we “are playing the victim,” WE ARE THE FUCKING VICTIM.

Yeah…you kinda made the point about how you play the victim.

41. Do not attend panels that address gender and/or trans identity if everyone on the panel is cis.

There will never be a point, in my life, where I will be attending a panel about gender/trans issues.  Ever.

42. Give trans creatives platforms to share work that aren’t all about being trans.

Why do I have to give this to you?  All the social media you could ask for exists.  And we know that right now it has a very hard-left bias.  So why do you need me to give you a platform?  You couldn’t ask for more by yourself.

43. Do your research. For all ignorant questions, divert to Google. Google is your friend. I am not, especially if you’re asking me how doctors make a penis from my leg.

Remember that point about you saying you don’t get a gold star for being a good person and my response about thinking you’re just an asshole?  Let’s revisit that for a moment.

44. If trans folk do have to explain something to you that may be uncomfortable, triggering, or upsetting for us, buy us a bunch of flowers, take us for dinner, drop something into our PayPal. No labor should be free.

Oh fuck right off with this shit.  Yeah, let me pamper you for asking a fucking question.  Fucking Internet panhandling at its finest.  Let me guess, you have a Patreon.

45. Transphobia is a huge issue in the queer community. Do not let other people who identify as queer get away with things, because they can be by far the worst.

I’m not gonna tell anyone how to think, and I would expect the same courtesy in return.

46. Record transphobic incidents. (Caveat: This is only if your immediate assistance is not needed and you have checked you can use this footage by the person involved.) Share this with everyone you can. It may lead to prosecution or people in positions loosing their job. Nobody should still be allowed to be a CEO and use offensive slurs.

Fuck you.  I’m not gonna try and destroy someone’s livelihood because of what they do in their off hours.  If they are unprofessional on the job, that’s one thing.  But I’m not gonna go after a person that said something impolitic when they aren’t at work.  Fuck people who think like you too.  All that stuff about you being a good person, let’s log that in the trash.

47. Don’t question someone’s religious beliefs because they are trans and you think they go against what it says in a holy book. This isn’t your business, OK?

No.  It’s a valid question.  How can you possibly believe in a deity who outright says that how you are is an abomination unto them?  Really asking here.  This interests me.

48. Trans issues are not for profit. That’s it.

Are you fucking kidding me?!  You just told people if they ask you a question to pamper you or give you a Paypal donation!  There cannot be this level of cognitive dissonance!

49. “Queer” is not a theme. Do not have a “queer” house party and let boys who still use the word “faggot” wear your heels and dresses because it’s fun.

I don’t do house parties, so I think we’re good on this one.

50. Drag queens are not always trans, but they can be – so respect that!

Sure.

51. Do not make someone feel bad after dragging you for something you have done that is deemed transphobic. Your guilt is not my guilt to feel.

If someone I know made a big deal out of stupid bullshit, yeah, I got no issue making them feel bad for making this my problem.

52. Don’t ask what gender dysphoria feels like because it’s a stupid question and there’s no way you can try to understand it.

For someone who wants everyone to understand their “struggle,” you certainly do go out of your way to tell them not to ask about what it’s like.

53. Ask your friends or trans folk you know if they’d like company when going to hospital appointments. Hospitals are scary at the best of times and sometimes you don’t always get the treatment, doctors, or results you want. Be there to give a hug, at least.

I mean…I guess.  Having spent over a month in a hospital because of a head injury and a subsequent coma, I don’t fear them all that much.  But sure, if someone I know has to go to the hospital and they are nervous, I’ll be there for them.  No problem.

54. Do anything you can to stop trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) from leaving stickers, leaflets etc. Tear down everything you see associated with them.

I was wondering if TERFs would ever come into this conversation.  I don’t think I will.  It’s kinda nice to see the community fighting amongst itself.  Identity politics does this a lot, and it’s entertaining.

55. Do not engage in question-based conversations with TERFs. You have nothing to learn from them.

Hey, I got an idea – how about you don’t tell me who to talk to and I won’t tell you who to talk to.

56. Correct others when they misgender people.

No.

57. Gender and sexuality are not the same thing. Remember that at all times.

This is all part of a long, convoluted conversation that people like the person who made this list have helped perpetuate, so I’m just gonna walk this off as – sure.

58. Do not ask a trans person’s partner what being in a relationship with a trans person “makes” them. It makes them in love, now fuck off.

Again, I won’t tell you how to talk to your people, you don’t tell me how to talk to mine.

59. Trans Lives Matter should be more than a hashtag. Push it further than social media.

No.

60. Tell your trans friends and partners how great they look. Highlight the changes after hormones, surgery, or even just a good skin day.

This reminds me of that thing about the “TRANS-lator 3000” comic where, if you tell a trans person how well they are passing, it’s an insult.  You people can’t even make up your own minds on this shit.

61. You are not a true ally if you allow your partner to use transphobic language. Educate your friends and family.

Not an ally.  Just a casual observer.

62. Love your children regardless of what gender they identify as. Most self-hate for many trans folk comes from not being accepted at home.

Never having children.  As of this year, removing myself from the game, medically.  I mean to be part of the solution to overpopulation, not the problem.

63. Offer shelter, money, food etc. The basics of survival are hard for trans folk. If you have enough to spare, try to offer.

No!  They can work for it like anyone else.  I give to homeless shelters and organizations to help the homeless, so if that is their issue, I’m helping them and other people the best I can.  You make being trans sound like this huge Lawrence of Arabia kind of endeavor.

64. This is not a “phase.” Do not tell me it is one.

I ain’t telling you shit.  You seem really unpleasant to me.  As for Milo Stewart, I think that it is a phase.  Someday the little dork will grow up.  That’s a good thing.

65. If your trans friend is leaving a social situation and feels uneasy about travel, offer to walk them to a train station and wait with them, drive them home, or get them a taxi. Travelling home alone by yourself can be a scary scenario.

Why does the person writing this always want me to make huge impositions for people?  If it’s my friend, sure.  If it’s not, no.

66. Do not think you are saving us. We don’t need saving. You are helping us to have what everyone else has without having to ask for it.

The irony of this statement in respect to the rest of this list is just staggering.

67. Be active about your allyship. Just saying you are an ally but not doing enough to actually make a change isn’t enough.

Not an ally.

68. Avoid gendered slang terms like “dude,” “man,” or “missy.” For trans people, these too feel like misgendering.

I’ll speak however I like, thank you.  Dude is a non-gendered term in my mind.

69. Expand your knowledge of gender. For example, the Yoruba language is genderless. There is also a third gender in many spiritual philosophies.

No. I don’t care about Yoruba.  Fuck them.

70. Decolonise the way you think of gender. Remind yourself that these social constructs are postcolonial issues that the western world have pushed onto people.

*rolls eyes*

71. Be hyper aware of the systems that work against trans folk in issues like policing, housing, and health care.

Fuck off.

72. Offer to help go to health meetings and assessments. These spaces and the people within them can be very triggering and cause distress.

NO!  Unless someone I care about asks me to attend something and tells me why, the answer is fucking no!

73. Correct yourself if you accidentally misgender someone. It doesn’t matter if it was an accident – it still hurts.

Sure, if it’s a friend.

74. Make no excuses for others. No trans person wants to hear one of your friends say something offensive, only for you to say, “I’ve known them for ages, they don’t mean it like that.”

Uh, no.  I’m going to step in on account of a friend if I know that the friend wasn’t trying to be offensive.  Sometimes things come out wrong, and your precious opinion doesn’t override that.  Egotistical bitch/bastard.

75. Don’t forget that racism is rife in the queer community and trans people of colour are often the most vulnerable. Protect us.

I’m glad that somebody brought this up.  “People of color” tend to be the least accepting of the LGBT community.  But I’m sure you mean that just white people are evil.

76. Do not call yourself an ally if you do not believe in complete intersectionality. You be xenophobic and be an ally for trans folk. It doesn’t work like that, I’m afraid!

Not an ally.

77. Sex work is a service. Again, this is not up for debate. Do not try to stop trans folk from advocating for and implementing their own safety measures. Do not hide your prejudice against sex workers with fake worry.

I got no beef with people who do sex work, so your point here is mute.

78. Do not ask to try on or feel a strap-on, breast plate, or packer. These belong to us.

I needed a good laugh.

79. Believe trans folk when they say they have been targeted. Recognise the hatred that is thrown at us from so many angles.

Depends on who’s telling me.

80. Read Charlie Craggs’ To My Trans Sisters, Juno Dawson’s The Gender Games, C Riley Snorton’s Black on Both Sides, and Travis Alabanza’s Before I Step Outside (You Love Me).

No!

81. Relearn there is no universal trans experience. Not all of us go through the same things – we are all shaped by our varying lives.

Wait, did you just admit that you know you’re out of ideas and are now retreading old ground?  Ugh…

82. Share our work. Often our talents are overlooked based on our gender identity.

If your work is any good, sure.

83. Step down. Take up less space. If you are asked to do or take about something that you think your trans friend, partner, or coworker is more qualified for. Give our names.

No.  I wanna get ahead in this world.  I’m tired of being poor and scraping along.  If I have a chance to do something that gets me farther along, I’m gonna take it.

84 Love us and see us as human beings. After all, that’s what we are!

I will love other people and see them as human beings.  Not you, person who wrote this.  I am convinced that you are an unrepentant dick.

85. Watch Pose, Paris is Burning, Tomboy, Tangerine.

No!

86. Learn the correct terminology. Instead of saying “when you were a girl/a boy” say “your assigned gender at birth.”

No.

87. “Transgenders” is not a thing. We do not fall under one group. Never say that.

Yet-another retread of something we’ve already talked about.

88. Fight for our rights. Block and report pages or people spreading hate, too.

Not gonna try and stifle other people’s freedom of expression because it makes you mad.  Sorry-not-sorry.

89. Help to introduce gender neutral bathrooms. They should be way more common. Ask for them at work, cafes, bars, and venues.

Got no problem with you doing that.  Not gonna help.  As I said, not an ally.

90. If somebody who is trans asks you to go to the bathroom with them, go. This can be a very unsafe space for us.

Yeah…I’m gonna have some follow-up questions if someone asks me to go into a bathroom with them.

91. Pride is not for you to get drunk and smear glitter on your face. Respect that this is not your space.

Fuck off.  If you don’t want people to have fun at a public event, then have a fucking funeral, you pedantic prick.

92. Trans-only groups are there for a reason. These are also not your spaces.

Fair enough.

93. Your curiosity does not come before our comfort. Don’t expect answers and labor.

If you don’t wanna answer people’s questions, then don’t get mad when people don’t have an understanding of your issues.  They came to you wanting to learn, you told them no.  That’s on you.

94. Saying “I do not see gender” is hella problematic. We don’t need another way to be erased.

Fuck off.

95. Don’t assume anything about gender dysphoria. Not everyone experiences it and not everyone experiences it in the same way. People navigate it with different coping mechanisms.

Remember that point I made about people asking questions and you not answering them?  Kinda comes back here.

96. Do not deny your privilege. If you tell me that being a cis heterosexual white man doesn’t mean you haven’t “had it rough,” I will tell you that you are wrong.

Fuck off with your Original Sin bullshit.

97. I also am not playing Top Trumps with you. Don’t try to top my experience.

Top Trumps?  Is this a British thing?

98. Not everything needs labels. As my grandmother would say: “Baby, some things just be as they be.”

You all are the kings/queens of labeling things.

99. Intimacy can be even more complicated for some trans folk. Respect boundaries and ways people feel comfortable with nudity, tactility, and sex. This may been being patient or unlearning what we deem as ‘sex’.

What?  Unlearning what “we deem as ‘sex'”?  What the fuck does that mean?  Oh, right, I shouldn’t expect answers from you because you’re an asshole.  Never mind.

100. Find your own ways to disrupt the cis world. There are so many ways to do this.

Fuck off!

I hate these things so much.  Why I torture myself by doing them, I’ll never know.

Until next time, a quote,

“I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.” – Professor Farnsworth

Peace out,

Maverick

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Can We PLEASE Stop Blaming Video Games for America’s Rampant Mass Shootings? #VideoGamesAreNotToBlame

This is getting old, man.  Really, really old.  I can count on one hand the amount of times that mass shootings in this country haven’t been blamed on video games since Columbine.  It’s been the conservative go-to line ever since then.  And it is getting really, really fucking old.  For those of you who have been living under a rock, there were two mass shootings in America over a 24-hour period.  The first was in El Paso, Texas, where a man walked into a Walmart and started opening fire.  22 people were confirmed killed, as of the writing of this post.  The second was in Dayton, Ohio, where a man in body armor decided to get a 100-round drum magazine and put it to work in a suburban neighborhood.  Lots of people killed there too.

As is ALWAYS the case, the dog and pony show that is the government’s response to this begins.  Where both sides decide to do lot of hand-wringing and blaming of whatever, and in the end, fuck-all gets done.  It’s so consistent that you can set your mother-fucking watch to it.  Naturally, Fox News has their spin on things all nice and prepped.  With their retarded-ass panel of old white guys, they talk about how political meanness is responsible.  Oh yeah, and violent video games.  Because hey, we’ve drummed this point into the ground for now over 20 years.  Why stop here?  All you have to do is put some blood and gore on the screen and the talking point writes itself with the octogenarian and equally-retarded audience of Fox News.

Never mind study after study that has shown that playing video games has no correlation with violence.  Never mind that the rest of the developed world has all the same access to violent video games and violent entertainment that America does, but you don’t see anywhere near this level of mass shootings.  Makes you wonder if there’s something else behind all this.  Like, America’s unfettered access to firearms?  Without even the slightest amount of stricter regulation after every mass shootings?  Maybe the 24-hour news cycle that uses tragedy to get views and turns the mass shooters into anti-heroes?  A political climate where everyone is tribal and it’s starting to look like another civil war is inevitable?

Can’t talk about those things.  Because then, those in power would have to actually look critically at the country we live in, which could then precipitate real change to actually make things better.  And then the NRA would get super mad because their precious freedom to arm every Tom, Dick, and dumb-fuck Harry would be mildly inconvenienced  That’s against the Constitution!  It’s unconstitutional to have to do something simple like get a license to own a firearm and have to register your firearm!  Freedom!  The Constitution is very clear that there can be no bureaucracy surrounding the sale of firearms of any kind!  Wait, no, it doesn’t say shit about that, but don’t tell conservatives.  They might actually do some critical thinking, and who knows what could happen after that.

Along with the Fox News cacophony, you have President Trump getting in on the blame video games bandwagon.  Because of course he would.  With roughly ten brain cells to pass around, Trump can’t critically analyze anything.  Doesn’t help that one of the shooters was doing what he did because he didn’t like Hispanics and wanted them gone.  Sounds a lot like the rhetoric of a certain guy who has done nothing but demonize immigrants to this country.  Which is all just code for Mexicans.  That’s what it always is to the bigoted Republicans who say that they love Mexicans who come to America legally, but who you could ask what Latino person they actually like and they won’t have shit to say.

I’m just so done with this argument about how video games cause violence.  There’s no proof.  None!  In fact, all the proof is to the contrary.  But you don’t need compelling evidence when you have this thing you can put on screen which shows blood and guts.  Or some modern FPS which depicts warfare.  Combine that with footage of a killer who plays video games (because they are ubiquitous to modern society) and you don’t even have to do anything like actual work to sell the narrative.  Fear of scary imagery and old people who don’t understand this medium will do the work for you.  It’s lazy, easy fear-mongering at its absolute best.

This country has a real problem.  These mass shootings are now so common that you can honestly set your clock to them.  Who’s gonna get killed next?  What day where someone is having a good time is gonna get interrupted by a fuck-nut who shouldn’t have been sold a gun in the first place?  What ordinary activity are you going to do where you have to worry if people are gonna be there looking to kill you?

Can’t help but notice in all of the coverage of the event doesn’t talk about anyone else with a gun.  It’s a Walmart.  Surely some of these open-carry mother-fuckers must have been there.  How many true patriots stood up and went to battle against the attacker?  Oh, right, none.  They did what everyone else who wasn’t gunned down did – fled for their lives.  Because in the real world, being on the business-end of a gun is actually terrifying and you do whatever you have to in order to not be in that situation.  I speak as someone who has had a gun pointed at me by someone who I genuinely believed wished to do me harm.  I don’t joke around with this shit.  All these Dirty Harry fuckers don’t know shit.

Video games have been the whipping boy of conservatives who don’t want to talk about the real problem for almost my whole life.  America has reached a point where mass shootings are so common that it’s not even a big deal anymore.  This is part of life.  This is the day-to-day in America.  How scary/depressing is that?  What does it say about us?  To me, it says that America has a problem, and the biggest contributor is obvious but we won’t do shit about it.  We’re like an addict who smokes crack and says they can stop crack at anytime, but never does.  I wish just one, just one of these fucking politicians would actually do something.  Even if it was just get in a big circle and do the Guns Are Awesome Bill.  Let’s actually give conservatives their due.  Let’s make it so easy to get guns that everyone can get them everywhere.  They just give them out at the bank.  And then, when that does NOTHING to stop the violence, maybe we can try something else.

Because this shit we’re doing now, it ain’t working.

Until next time, a quote,

“Protection?  What are you talking about?  You have a gun in your house, you’re 80% more likely to use that gun on yourself than to shoot someone else.  And people think – yeah, well that would never happen to me.  You don’t know that.” – Jim Jefferies

Peace out,

Maverick

It’s Okay to Admit You Were Wrong

A while back, a popular YouTube channel called Extra Credits made a video where they made the argument (and then tried to say in the Comments that this wasn’t the argument they made) that putting Nazis and terrorists in video games can lead to embracing those ideologies.  It was a video full of terrible logical fallacies, most notably the slippery-slope.  The video was just awful, but their response to people rightfully ripping their argument to pieces was just the best.  Being sarcastic, of course.  It was so stupid.

There’s something to be said when you can just admit that you were wrong.  To just say that you had a video you made, and the argument you made was bad.  However, as it seems Extra Credits has now embrace politically correct culture, they now have to embrace the part of that culture where they can’t just admit that they were wrong.  Instead, they have to double-down on their argument and make sure that they demonize everyone who disagrees with them.  Because so long as you can say that the opposition was wrong, that makes you correct!  Right?

The communication director for the channel decided to go to Twitter (where it seems like every person in the politically correct sphere goes) to tell the world just how wrong everyone who disagrees with them.  Their argument?  “We love losing all the bigoted subscribers.  Are you kidding me?  Less bigotry is great!”  The kid who is their communications director looks like he’s fucking 12, so I’m gonna talk down to him.  Kid, come onto my website and find me something to prove I’m a bigot.  Go for it.  Have whatever flunkies you probably don’t have (because no flunky would respect this dude enough to do what he wants) come on here and find where I have EVER supported Nazism or radical Islam (which is where the vast majority of modern terrorism comes from).

For that matter, find me proof that the people who made videos destroying your bad argument are bigots.  Like Upper Echelon Gaming or TLDR.  Show me how they are bigots.  They made reasonable arguments about how your points were bad, going through your video and citing sources to prove their points.  Couldn’t help but notice there wasn’t a SINGLE citation in any of what you did.  Everyone who thinks that your video was dumb is just a bigot.  You all have a real gift at being declarative.  Wouldn’t you agree?

You can’t just admit that your video was stupid.  You can’t just admit that you were wrong, that your argumentation was flawed, that you made huge logical fallacies to make a point that you provided ZERO evidence for.  It was the Anita Sarkeesian method of argumentation – make declarative statements without evidence, and when you are called out on it, demonize those who respond negatively.  The video even said in it that those who are cool with playing as the Axis forces in a World War II game are fascists.  Gee, another word whose meaning has been utterly destroyed by sheer overuse from a political ideology that just LOVES to beat a word into oblivion.

There’s something to be said for admitting that you’re wrong.  It’s a mature thing to do.  Admitting that you made bad arguments based on biased opinions and that you didn’t think through what you were actually saying.  These things happen.  But we live in an age where nobody wants to admit that they were wrong.  That they made something bad and to own that.  It’s why so many great content creators are a laughingstock.  Or went so far overboard that they became a meme and were forgotten about.  You can come back from just a simple admission of wrongness.  However, those who decide to double-down and stupid arguments just come off looked horrifically biased and unwilling to see the bigger picture.

I’ve admitted when I’m wrong in my life.  It’s happened a lot.  When I make bad mistakes and then have to own it and do better.  Now I’ve grown at my job and have become a very knowledgeable and thorough employee.  A pity no one told Extra Credits how this works.

Until next time, a quote,

“The word ‘fascism’ has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’.” – George Orwell

Peace out,

Maverick

Your Rage-Bait is So Painfully Obvious (A response to VG24/7)

I’ve talked at length about the fact that journalism at this point is a tired old whore who will tell you whatever she thinks you need to hear in order to pay her for services.  In the online sphere, that means whatever gets peoples click fingers going.  And games journalism is basically the king of whoring out whatever for those clicks.  All the clicks are needed.  Sure, it means their integrity basically doesn’t exist, but it functions, so there’s that.  Now it seems that they’re stepping up their game in order to get the clicks coming even faster.  After all, article after article has come out demonizing gamers and those who are critical of gaming and they get attention.  Which means more clicks.

Which brings us to an article saying that game developers need to stop listening to fans.  An article whose goal is so clear – rage-baiting.  They want to get people’s rage going, which will get responses, which in turn will get clicks.  It’s not even subtle what they’re doing.  But, this topic is stupid enough for me to take the time to really go into it.  Here’s a link to the article, now let’s talk about it.

Don’t get mad, there’s a bit of hyperbole in that headline

Pathetic attempt to take shots at themselves for their deliberate choice make a title that is rage-bait.  Please.  You knew what you were doing, and it worked.  People are talking about it.  I’m talking about it.  But I’m not gonna take the bait.  I’m actually gonna respond to the stupidity on display in a constructive way.

BioWare has a lot to answer for, basically. Mass Effect 3 feels like ground zero for toxic fan entitlement. I’m sure the developer was just trying to do the right thing, but it changed the ending of its game due to negative feedback, bending its creative vision to pander to the baying masses.

You know, this point might have SOME level of a decent argument if it weren’t for the fact that stuff came out about the ending to Mass Effect 3.  See, EA was pressuring Bioware HARD to get the game out in 2012.  A console generation was coming to an end and they didn’t want to have to compete.  Not to mention that the time frame they were aiming for put them ahead of the competition.  As such, Bioware had the ending written by one guy and they accepted the first draft as the final one.  For a studio who had had teams of writers working on all the parts of the game to mesh everything with player choice, it strikes me as a little odd that you’re defending a game that had a bad ending that Bioware knew was bad.

This wasn’t people making them compromise their vision that they thought out and truly believed was the best.  It was EA doing what EA does and forcing Bioware to compromise their vision, which in turn had them redo the ending to try and save face.  Granted, I hate the revision, but at the very lease I see where it’s coming from.  Your point would be better if Neil Druckmann took out India lesbian from the sequel to The Last of Us: Part II because of all the conservatives railing about it.  And this isn’t even the end of the false-equivalence.

Things are often cut or changed. Some things don’t work. Some things work better than expected and are expanded upon. Nobody wants to release a bad game. Nobody wants the ending of their critically-acclaimed sci-fi trilogy to be ill-received.

Well, Bioware made a really bad decision in letting themselves get bought out by EA.  Game companies make bad decisions all the time.  But EA put their boot down and Bioware was stuck.  I have some level of sympathy for what happened to Mass Effect 3.  Since every other part was so carefully crated to accommodate all the decisions the player made, can you not see why people would be so upset that the ending totally throws everything in the trash?  I can’t be the only one who notices this.

Part of the issue here is how our industry feeds into this entitlement. Whether it’s PlayStation saying it’s “for the players” or it’s Xbox head Phil Spencer saying stuff like, “Games and gamers together now have the sheer magnitude to be a significant unifying force for the world,” whatever that means, our industry goes out of its way to say the customer is always right.

Um…are the basics of supply and demand just an illusion to you?  The customer is always right.  If you want to have an industry thrive where the goal is entertainment, then you have to entertain.  It’s pretty simple.  You entertain the masses and they buy your product.  If you start giving them sub-standard products, they won’t buy them anymore.  One of the products that gaming sells is narratives.  So if you have a product built on narrative quality with understandable narrative rules that the universe you created follows, and you finish the series by basically shitting on the rules and making it so that the cornerstone of your franchise – player choice – is thrown out the airlock, what makes you think that critical feedback will be positive?

This wasn’t a case of fans not getting some deeper meaning.  We know now that Bioware was in a corner so they just threw something together at the last minute.  Makes me wonder what could have happened if Bioware had been given the time and the game would have come out in 2013.

Metal Gear Solid 4 – the worst game in the series – was a game for the fans. People hated Metal Gear Solid 2 at launch because it forced you to play as floppy-haired newcomer, Raiden, instead of Solid Snake. Metal Gear Solid 4 put players back in Snake’s sneaking boots, but the game was basically an extended bit of fan service.

Dude, that wasn’t the fans’ fault.  It was Konami’s.  Are you just completely unaware of the ugly relationship between Kojima and Konami?  It destroyed his last project.  Konami wanted MGS4.  Kojima never wanted to make a sequel after 1.  His being forced to do so was consistently the studio he was tied with forcing his hand.  It’s why he’s cut loose so hard for his next project, to make it something so radically different.  That game was Kojima just putting something out there to please his benefactors, they wanted it to just be fan service, the video game.

Elsewhere in the Bad Place, some gamers actually petitioned Obama to get DmC pulled from shelves because they wanted a traditional Capcom sequel and not the Ninja Theory reimagining: “Dear Mr. Obama: As a consumer to the Video Game Industry there is one Video Game that has caused a lot of controversy over the past few month’s,” the petition said, grammatical errors and all. “The name of the game is DmC: Devil May Cry made by Ninja Theory and Capcom.

Yeah, there is the cringe-y shit like that.  But there are also petitions to get rid of Rotten Tomatoes for shitting on DC movies.  You know, because they have almost-universally sucked.  Two good movies in an ocean of shit.  That’s impressively bad.  This shit is everywhere.  You notice, it didn’t work.  The game was still published like always.  It’s just that a sequel was never made because the company who owned the IP decided to take it back and Ninja Theory has gone indie because they didn’t want to deal with publishers.  What’s your point?

Then there’s Mass Effect: Andromeda, a game taken down by gifs. Development focus was on creating worlds and learning how to use an entirely new engine that isn’t well-suited to RPG development. As such, the facial animations suffered and people took the piss in gifs. Back in the day, it was a given that RPGs didn’t look as nice as other games because of the scope. Nowadays, everything looks nice because developers want their games to look good in screens, rather than communicate what makes the games special. BioWare’s next game, Anthem, looked incredible, at the expense of everything else. It appeared to be a direct reaction to that negative feedback – those viral gifs of goofy character expressions.

There is a LOT to unpack here.  Mass Effect: Andromeda was not destroyed because of the bad facial animations and the gliches.  It was destroyed partially by that, but more because the story was poorly written.  The characters were terrible.  The voice acting was bad.  There were political messages blatantly shoved in there just for fan outrage because Bioware does that now.  It’s weird.  It was a bad game.  There were stories about that too that you could easily have found if you knew what research is.  But you don’t.  You just find the biggest click-bait articles and parrot their talking points.

The development team behind that game couldn’t make the engine work for what they wanted to do.  There was no set path for the game months before it came out!  Months of work and people didn’t know what the fuck they were making.  A problem which, by the way, Anthem suffered from.  That game had no clear vision for what it was trying to be.  That big, beautiful demo released at E3 a couple years ago was made from whole-cloth and reflected NOTHING of the final product.  The game was a victim of false-advertising and EA’s bullshit.

Why is this guy so incapable of knowing the context of ANYTHING?  It’s bizarre.  Oh right, this is all click-bait.  It’s rage-bait.  It’s meant to get people riled up.  I forgot for a bit there.

Look at any online game community and there’s always someone complaining about how their character isn’t strong enough, or how the character who can counter their hero is too strong. There will be dozens of posts about how their favourite weapon doesn’t do enough damage, or how another weapon is OP. There will also be another player somewhere typing out the exact opposite.

Wait, what?  How is people bitching about a narrative in a game equivalent to a game having balancing issues?  That isn’t a creative freedom issue.  It’s a gameplay one.  And if your goal is to have a game be marketable online to masses, you have to balance it.  Otherwise, it isn’t fair to other players.  How does this tie in at ALL to your points made above?  Narrative creative freedom is one thing, but this is basic game design stuff.  Companies need feedback fro stuff like this.  Otherwise the game will suffer for it.

There’s a quote that’s often attributed to Henry Ford around the dawn of commercial motor vehicles: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” People are generally afraid of change. New ideas always get a bit of pushback – it makes me worry whether this environment of fan feedback development is holding back triple-A game development from reaching its true potential.

What true potential?  You haven’t defined anything.  You’ve just taken talking points that other articles have had and put them in your article, and act like your point has been made for you.  Generally, gamers like change.  We want games to be new and unique.  New IPs instead of the same old games made over and over again.  It’s why Indie titles get lots of attention now.  It’s why you have AAA developers working for Sony pushing narrative boundaries.  Because people are saying we want something good.  And generally they are.  Sony especially has a pedigree of quality to their work in the last few years that is really refreshing.  Games that push narrative boundaries, but never to the point where you break them.  Push as far as you can, then let the dust settle from the outrage communities and see what happens.

See, plenty of people were noisy about the lesbian relationship in Neil Druckmann’s latest project.  Hell, the social justice crowd came out against it because it’s almost a guarantee that India lesbian is dead by the time we get to where the gameplay portion of the demo at last year’s E3 picks up.  But they will still play this game because the first entry was amazing and the gameplay in this one looks slick as fuck.

Making a product for the masses means you have to take a measured approach if you’re gonna push boundaries.  Push them too far, and you drive people away.  That’s how it is with ALL entertainment.  Movies, TV shows, anime, whatever.  It all has the same rule – do new things, but don’t make new things a total aside.  You expand things over time.  Fan feedback isn’t killing that.  But since the writer of this article was just trolling for clicks anyway, it isn’t like he cares.

Until next time, a quote,

“People tend to blame the news for spreading all this fear.  As if there’s no market for it.” – Doug Stanhope

Peace out,

Maverick

Game Developers Should Unionize

Time was, I worked at Walmart.  I stocked shelves at night.  It was, hands-down, the worst job I’ve ever had.  Nothing else even comes close.  During training, we had a whole day devoted to the group I was hired with getting a big education in why unions are bad, and those who work for unions are bad, and how we are so much better off because we don’t have a union.  Orwellian as fuck, but that’s how it goes at Walmart.  The corporation is pure evil, so what else did you expect?  Not sad that I lost that job.

Story after story is coming out about how AAA-game publishers are forcing those who work for them into some of the worst working conditions I’ve ever heard.  From the 100-hour work weeks that was uncovered at Rockstar, to the Bioware nightmare while Anthem was in development.  Activision Blizzard treating testers in a way that is subhuman.  EA as well, but EA is so evil that it defies comprehension.

While we’re on that, did you hear the thing about the guy at EA who is just absolutely baffled, for 25 years, why people think that EA is full of “bad guys”?  That just blows my mind.  This dude has seen how the company treats their employees.  He’s seen how they will lay people off when the money isn’t coming in enough instead of treating their employees like they care.  Or how EA treats their consumers as nothing more than cash machines instead of actually trying to give them a quality product.  How about the thing where they try and defend lootboxes as “surprise mechanics” and make a point about how they are part of the pioneering spirit of EA?  This dude can see all that, but is totally baffled as to why people think that EA is full of scum-fucks.  Maybe this dude is so out of touch, but I refuse to buy it.

Apologies for the digression, but that was too good not to talk about.  EA is one of the most evil companies ever.  It hurts me inside that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order looks so good.  Part of me is wondering how EA is going to secretly screw everyone over.  They said no lootboxes, but maybe there is some other “surprise mechanics” in the game.  Fuck EA.

Even CD Projekt Red isn’t immune from this.  There was an expose published about the development of The Witcher 3 and what hell it was for those who were involved.  The company has promised that that kind of thing is not going to happen again.  We’ll see.  I’m always skeptical.  Blame the fact that these companies have a reputation for being liars and treating people like crap.

Which is why I genuinely do believe that game developers, testers, all of those groups should unionize.  It’s LONG since time that they did so.  As we have seen with the lootboxes fiasco, these companies won’t learn from the horrible things they do and will just make excuses.  Hell, there was an article where one head of a company was laughing at the idea of them unionizing.  Since these companies can’t be trusted to do the right thing on their own, it’s time for those who are stuck in this nightmare to step up and band together.

Naturally, there’s the thought about what companies would do if this were to actually happen.  The answer is pretty obvious – not hire anyone associated with the union.  They’d outright tell people that if they unionize, they’ll just fire them and never hire them again.  They know how many people are desperate for a job and would accept their ultimatum of staying out of the union to keep their job.  Gotta love a profession where people live under a constant threat of having no income if they don’t tow the corporate line.  Or with the testers, being treated less than human and paid virtually nothing.

The only way this would work is if enough developers/testers were to get together all at once and make this happen.  It can’t just be a couple of people.  It has to be a large effort.  But it needs to happen.  It should have happened so many years ago.  With gaming getting bigger and bigger, employees need the protection a union brings.  That way these companies can’t pull the bullshit that they do.  There are so many stories of the work environments, the stress levels, the burnout, even suicides in connection to how awful it is.  It’s high time for those in this profession to band together and actually look out for one-another.

What would this mean for gamers?  Several things.  For starters, yearly releases would be a thing of the past.  Less crunch would mean that things would have to be paced out.  Games would be on CDPR time – coming out when they’re done.  Given how unfathomably impatient gamers are (I admit that I am an impatient man myself.  But I accept when there are delays because I want things to come out perfect), this could have a lot of people bitching and moaning about the delays.  They’d have to suck it up and deal.

Because we never see the people who makes games, it’s hard for people to understand the human cost.  In this age of apathy, plenty of people probably don’t care.  It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is for people to rationalize not caring about what happens to other people.  With homeless people, it’s just fantastic.  Part of me wants America to just ditch the pretense of empathy and just kill the homeless.  It’s painfully obvious how little people care.  I had to overhear two coworkers talking about how awful it is that they are everywhere.  What would they prefer?  The way I see it, nobody cares, so let’s stop pretending.

Sorry, another digression.  AAA gaming needs to change.  It needed to change years ago, but now more than ever, it’s time for the people being exploited by corporations who treat them like cattle to band together and step up to them.  They would fight tooth and nail against them.  They’d fire, threaten, and make life hell for those who do this.  But in the end, they could succeed.

Part of me is hoping that AAA gaming is gonna have a collapse.  EA is a company that I would LOVE to see brought to heel.  People lament the idea of EA collapsing.  Not me.  I think it’s a great idea.  Maybe one or two of these companies need to topple in order for the rest to learn that they can’t keep being as greedy and scum-sucking as they are in order to survive.  A man can hope.

Until next time, a quote,

“It’s been a day of firsts.” – Lt. Richard Winters, Band of Brothers

Peace out,

Maverick

Letter to the Editor: Dunleavy Wants to Sink Alaska for Your Free Money

Back when I was an office assistant at the part of the state I work for now, I got a call from a guy very upset that we were garnishing his PFD because of what he owed.  He said that we can only take a portion of it because it’s income.  I told him that’s wrong.  We can garnish up to 100% of any lump-sum payment, and 40% of wages.  The response I got was classic – the PFD is wages.  To which I rightly replied – what exactly is it that you did to earn this money?  The answer I got was about as incoherent as it could be, and he angrily hung up.

Wanna know the truth?  He did nothing.  This is free money that he got for living in Alaska.  He did NOTHING to earn this money.  But in his overwhelming sense of entitlement (for the old people who think this was a young man, think again.  Dude was in his 40’s) had him actually believing that he was owed this payment from the State of Alaska.  That it wasn’t a gift that could be taken away.  Looking at all the madness surrounding Dunleavy and the crazy nonsense he has done and is still doing, I’m starting to realize that he isn’t the only one.

During the last election for governor, I knew exactly what the issue on the table was going to be – the PFD.  My prediction was that those on both the D and R side of the table were going to use it against the then-Governor Bill Walker and destroy him with it, because people had their dander up about the PFD because Walker had cut it for three years.  Cuts done because he was too conservative to do what now HAS to be done – raise the income of the state.  He couldn’t cut his way out of the problem, so the idea was to use PFD money to plug the massive financial hole that the state dug because the oil is drying up and our state made the unfathomably-stupid decision to tie our entire economy to a finite resource.

All of my predictions were spot-on.  Both Begich and Dunleavy were doing nothing but using the PFD as a bludgeon against Walker.  To the former Governor’s credit, he actually did step up to that.  A pity he dropped out.  Would have liked to see what it would have looked life if he hadn’t.  So we had a pretty much substance-free election, all tied to everyone yelling about their free money.

Now, a year later, and Dunleavy intends to keep to his word.  His one major campaign promise – a full PFD, with an amount for what was cut in previous years to be included.  But since he’s a Republican and has a single-digit IQ, he decided that doing the smart thing like raising taxes (which has to be done.  We’ve long passed the point where we can cut our way out of this) along with cuts (which also does need to happen.  It has to be both, not either), he opted for something that is outright insane.  In a series of line-item vetoes, he cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the state budget, smashing so many programs that actually helped people to bits.

The biggest thing that he slashed to ribbons was the University of Alaska budget.  $130 million cute from the University, effectively disabling it from dozens upon dozens of degree programs.  And this may not even be the end of it.  In one fell swoop, Dunleavy crippled one of the biggest things that Alaska has going for it.  Don’t believe me?  I’ll explain.

A few years ago, there was a big push to keep Alaska students in Alaska.  The reason being that most who leave for college never come back.  There was also the goal of getting those who are out of state to come to Alaska.  Things like UAA’s excellent nursing program, or UAF’s amazing engineering program.  These things are known nationwide.  Not to mention using the UAA teaching degree program to help get new teachers to Alaska, or at least get people to be aspiring educators.  One can never see how the future will pan out.  Especially with the turnover rate for teachers.

The powers that be at that time could see what I do now – Alaska’s population is getting old.  As more and more young people leave, and fewer young people are having children than ever before (guess they got the memo about overpopulation killing our species), the population of Alaska is very old, and getting even older.  Back before the oil market started to crash, this was worrisome.  Now, as industry is leaving Alaska and the recession of 2008 has finally arrived, the aging population of Alaska is a bigger threat than ever before.

One doesn’t have to look far to see what population decline is doing to some of the state where there is no major industry to speak of.  With fewer and fewer people coming into the labor-force, jobs will be unable to fill positions.  Experienced leaders who are retiring can’t be replaced, and as more people are looking for jobs out of state, that leaves an even bigger hole.  The cost of living in Alaska keeps growing, and people are fleeing major cities like Anchorage because the cost of housing never stops going up.  Another thing that Dunleavy is helping facilitate.

What does this mean long term?  For starters, ghost towns.  Places that are economically dead, and people just leave because there are either no good jobs, or no jobs at all.  Businesses that can’t staff their stores will close.  In Anchorage, this is especially important.  Nordstrom just closed.  The 5th Avenue Mall is holding on by a thread.  If JCPenney closes, that’s it.  It will join the Northway Mall in being effectively dead.

You can’t sell the direness of the situation to the entitled people who want their free, unearned money, however.  They won’t listen.  They don’t care.  While the state is dying a very slow and ugly death, while the PFD is on borrowed time because to give people the PFD Dunleavy promised (because he is having to dip into state reserve money to pay for it), while young people will leave Alaska to pursue education opportunities elsewhere, they just want that free money.

In a previous article, I talked about how what’s happening in Alaska is a microcosm to what is happening nationwide, and I’m certain I’m right.  Now more than ever.  Alaska is bleeding to death, but everyone is blissfully unaware, or outright doesn’t care, because they want things their way, and to hell with anyone who says otherwise.  Plenty of people say that the left just wants free stuff, but those people aren’t paying attention.  Medicare For All wouldn’t be free.  The difference is that for people like me, instead of paying premiums to private insurance, it would be paying to that.  It would probably be cheaper than my plan.

The PFD, on the other hand, is free money.  Not one person complaining about it has done one thing to earn it.  It’s money that the government gives you.  And if we don’t do something, now, to increase revenue and cut the oil tax breaks that we should have 20 years ago, that free money will go away.  With as old as the population of Alaska is, maybe they don’t care.  After all, it’s not like they’ll live to see it when it’s all gone.

Until next time, a quote,

“You can’t sell smart to the American people.” – Toby Ziegler, The West Wing

Peace out,

Maverick

Your Comprehension of History is Laughable (A response to Extra Credits)

Something I have always hated is people who look back at history and don’t learn shit from it.  Combine that with people who believe that entertainment somehow will “normalize” a societal value, and you have a good amount of stupid that one can pick apart.  Which is where Extra Credits comes in.  I’d heard of these guys around, but never really seen much of their content.  But this video has been making the rounds lately, and I just had to respond.  It’s so fucking stupid.  They talk about how we shouldn’t have Nazis in video games anymore because it normalizes them.  Oh boy.  I’ll have the video on here so you can see it with me, then we’ll talk about it.

Alright.  We start with little Billy playing his game, when suddenly he is a Nazi in multiplayer!  Now, this is a game centered in World War II, and in multiplayer that means that someone has to play the opposing side.  That’s how it works.  And most people wouldn’t even think about it.  You’re thinking about taking out the people you’re against in the game.  You wanna do better in the game than the other side.  Would you rather the Allied forces kill each other?  There’s some meta commentary about the nature of warfare.

Apparently, this is bad on so many levels.  Let’s hear it.  The dude starts off saying that by having it so you can play as the Germans in a World War II focused multiplayer game, you’re alluding to the fact that German soldiers are on the same level as the Allied ones.  Um…what?  That is INSANE levels of reaching to make your point.  Nobody is saying that, dude.  Nobody.  Find me someone who says that who isn’t a white nationalist.  It’s saying that when you have two sides in a game squaring off against each other, you typically have them as the enemy they are fighting so that it fits.  Otherwise you’re having allies kill each other.  Is what you want?  Want Americans to kill each other in-game?

Man, people say that I overthink things.  This dude makes me look like a fucking amateur in this department, because this is some quality overthinking.  It doesn’t matter if the game tells you that the person you’re playing as was forced into military service for Germany during World War II.  Hell, that was pretty much all men at that time, so yeah.  It’s how the game works.  What proof do you have that playing as a Nazi in a game does any real damage?!

The narrator goes on to then say we need to stop forcing people to play as terrorists in games like Counter Strike.  What is the rationale this time?  Here the dude goes into more details.  See, people have been hurt by terrorists and Nazis.  Not even gonna talk about those still alive who were hurt by the Nazis, because the amount of Holocaust survivors goes down every year.  There are very few left, if any at all by this point.  It’s been almost 80 years since the war ended.  So the amount of people hurting because of this is a VERY small number.  As for those hurt by terrorism, it’s weird to hear this coming from an American.  Yeah, 9/11, but fuck that.  You wanna talk about those hurt by terrorism, Europe has a MUCH bigger leg to stand on at this point.  Radical Islam has been killing so many people there over the last few years that it’s almost commonplace at this point.  Kinda like mass shootings here in the US.

His argument is that nobody should be part of an ideology they don’t like without their permission.  So then don’t play the game.  Nobody’s holding a gun to your head.  It ain’t like the game is making you swear allegiance to the Nazi party.  It’s a skin for your character to fight the other side.  It’s just a place-holder, which you said you’re against, but the one argument you’ve made so far is just bullshit.  If they are so abhorred by the idea of playing as a German soldier in a game where the goal is to be better than the opposing team, with nothing political involved save what skin you have on, what’s the problem?

Finally, we get to the meat of his argument, and it’s so fucking stupid.  By having it so you can play as a Nazi in a video game, we “normalize it”.  It becomes just another part of life.  That Nazis stop being super bad, and just become “meh.”  Then he asks if we’re ignoring history with this statement and says the answer is no.  Um, fuck yeah you are!  This is blatantly ignoring history.  And because you’re almost-certainly an American, I’m not surprised.  It’s not exactly a mystery that American education doesn’t even do the most basic of stacking up against other developed nations.  Education in this country is a fucking joke.

The Nazi party isn’t something that just came from the ether.  They didn’t just come out of nowhere and say “let’s start killing Jews, homos, and gypsies!”  No, there is a long and ugly history.  Like the Treaty of Versailles, which was an egregious document that destroyed the German economy.  Then there was the burning of the Reichstag, which galvanized the German people.  Then there’s the fact that, historically speaking, blaming Jews for people’s problems has a LONG history.  During the Black Death, whole communities of Jews were killed, because people thought they were bringing the plague.  Mostly because they weren’t getting sick nearly as much, partly because of their social isolation and partly because they had more standards of cleanliness than other people of the time.

So when this dude says that the concept of Nazism is being “normalized” by playing CoD: World War II and being on the Nazi team, I’m left to wonder something – what the fuck is he talking about?  The dude goes off on this tangent of how if it’s normalized, you might go to Nazi websites and read their ideas and become radicalized.  What?!  This is so fucking stupid.  Like some kid who is raised in typical, accepting and pro-diversity America is just gonna go “you know, I looked at Nazism, and I think it’s a good fit.”  Let’s totally ignore that white nationalism ideas are typically taught by families who are racist as fuck.  That you don’t just go onto a website and believe an ideology.  That wanting to become a Nazi is WAY more complicated than “I played a video game and was a Nazi in it, so now I’m gonna become one in real life!”  Jack Thompson 2.0.  Well, maybe 3 or 4.0, at this point.

The dude then says one of the dumbest thing I’ve EVER heard.  That after playing over a thousand hours of CS: Go, you’re gonna be celebrating terrorism!  Are you fucking kidding me.  What fantasy world does this delusional fuck live in?  What absolutely bonkers fucking reality does this intellectually-vapid moron live in where he can think that all it takes to become a terrorist is seeing in a fucking video game?!  Never mind that terrorism as we know it today almost-exclusively comes from a very violent and very bigoted religion that is pretty popular, worldwide.  Granted, there are plenty of people who subscribe to a much less radical version of that religion and just want to live in peace.  Good for them.  But the more radical element of that religion has a pretty big stake in terrorism as we understand it.  I don’t hear a lot of these games praising Allah.  So what is your proof of this, troglodyte?

So we get to the moron’s solution to his intellectually-insipid non-issue that exists only in his vacant mind – make PvP just training exercises or color everyone red and blue, a la Halo.  He then makes the argument that people who claim that needing to have Nazis or terrorists in games multiplayer for historical accuracy is stupid because it isn’t historical.  A guy who literally ignores ALL of history associated with EITHER of the groups he is decrying in games is telling me that people arguing for historicity is bullshit.  Um…pot, kettle on the line!

The rest of the video is just him restating what he already talked about.  This is stupid.  This is so fucking stupid.  This is the Anita Sarkeesian argument that violence against women in video games normalizes violence against women in real life.  There’s no measurable difference between these arguments.  Meanwhile, there is a lot of history for both sides that we as a society could learn from and not repeat.  But this stupid fuck wouldn’t even know where to begin on that.  It’s clear that he is historically illiterate.

Until next time, a quote,

“Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, while those who do learn from history are doomed to watch other people repeat it.” – Anonymous

Peace out,

Maverick