Disfigurement Article Totally Fucks Up Representation

I just love how everything is now a virtue signaling thing.  No matter what you do, you have to find a way to make everything that people like somehow bad.  There was this great article in The Onion about how a girl takes a brief break from being a feminist to actually enjoy something.  That’s how I feel about every single piece of click-bait crap that is on display these days.  If these people could take a break from their latest pet issue, who knows what they would enjoy.  Let’s see an example from an article from some teen magazine.  I won’t be talking about the article, but rather the images they use to sell their narrative.  Because it’s all so stupid.

Okay, let’s break this down.  I could go into all of these characters, but I want to focus on just one.  But before I get there, let me make a point about the characters shown here.  First, they are all heroes.  Second, they are known for their disfigurement.  Third, their deformity is part of their narrative in an important way.  Like how Big Boss (second from top-left, for those who don’t game or pay attention to modern culture in any way) lost an eye because the Boss took it from him.  His predominant eye.  The goal was to hurt his ability to fight, and it was achieved.  Or how Old Snake (top-left) was disfigured stopping Liquid Ocelot’s plan.  Or maybe I could get into how Deadpool’s *second from bottom-left) whole arc in the film is that he is grotesque and deformed, but desperately wants to get the woman he loves back.  How about Darkman (second from bottom-right)?  His whole story is depressing.  Underrated superhero movie.

The one that I really want to look at though is the character on the far-right – Auron from Final Fantasy X.  Let’s get into the fact that he’s disfigured and really show how featuring him in an article this stupid is fucking ridiculous.  There’s a story about why he is so messed-up, and it is equal parts tragic and central to his character.  See, Auron went with Braska to fight Sin.  In the end, when Braska called the Final Aeon, he used his other Guardian, Jecht.  After seeing Braska die, and seeing everything that happened as all for nothing, he chose to go back to Zanarkand and confront Yunalesca about the futility of it.  After a very grueling battle, he was defeated.  The battle killed him.  But instead of simply allowing himself to die, he chose to fight it, and came back as an Unsent.  He crawled his way out of Zanarkand and back up Mt. Gagazet, before nearly dying again on the side of the mountain.

Aside form not being able to follow that story if you never played the game, did you catch something about it?  Like how Auron was a good man who became disfigured from the cruel injustice of the world.  Now one of his arms doesn’t work right and his eye was destroyed.  He’s arguably the coolest character in the entire game.

Here’s my point – fucking know what you’re talking about when you use shit like this!  Are there a lot of disfigured villains?  Sure.  But there are also a lot of disfigured heroes whose disfigurement is part of their character.  A central part.  Like Nice from Baccano, who blasted half her face because of her love of explosives.  Tsume in Wolf’s Rain, who has a massive scar on his chest because of a sin he committed.  Edward Elric, in Fullmetal Alchemist, who lost an arm and a leg in a horribly-botched alchemy attempt to bring his mother back to life.  Just got done watching the first season of Westworld, and you see Ed Harris character go from being an unlikable monster to an almost-sympathetic character, because we learn what got him to where he is and it’s kind of depressing.

This idea that pop culture at large says that only villains are disfigured is laughable.  I hate how every little thing is some stupid social justice thing.  Like some guy who said that Game of Thrones doesn’t have enough black people.  Are you fucking kidding me?!  So, a series set in a medieval world, with the largest amount of focus on a very Anglican part of that world doesn’t have enough black people?!  No!  Really?!  You’re putting me on!

For all the legitimate points that are made about pop culture and the flaws in it, we then have to deal with shit like this, and it is insufferable.  I hate this crap.  But everywhere I look there is more and more of it.  Can we please grow the fuck up?!

Until next time, a quote,

“When you don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s hard to know when you’re finished.” – Tommy Smothers

Peace out,

Maverick

You’re the Victim Here? Really? (A response to Stephen Totilo)

The people at Kotaku have decided to raise a stink recently.  See, according to them, they have been blacklisted by the likes of Ubisoft and Bethesda, and they want everyone to know what victims they are.  All the while making sure that GamerGate is known to be such an enemy, and how they are nothing but the victim of a massive conspiracy against them.  Here’s a link to an article written by Stephen Totilo, where he is crying the blues about what he calls “the price of games journalism.”  Yeah, because you are totally the victim here, Stephen.  You and Kotaku did nothing wrong, and us evil gamers are the ones who screwed you.  Of course.

Stephen, I am going to go through a list of things that your publication has done, and you tell me how sympathetic you are.

  • You were totally fine with one of your writers having a casual, sexual relationship with someone he had written about, and only saw fit to disclose it after it went public.  What’s more, in your disclosure, you said that the sexual relationship happened the day after the article was published.  That sure is convenient.  For you.  And your publication’s “ethics” principles.
  • You wrote a series of article demonizing gamers and taking up the “gamers are dead” party line.  Then, when the gaming community rightly gave you the finger, you try and white-wash history by saying that us gamers are just tops, and how we are super, and acting like what you said never happened at all.  Because a few months was all it took for everyone to forget about it, right?
  • You wrote an article where you talked about a sexual harassment claim, in great detail, without getting a single counterpoint.  Say, did Sabrina Ruben Erdely work for you guys?  That would explain a lot.
  • You reported the outright lie that Brianna Wu was forced to leave her home, while it was shown that she was doing TV interviews from her office.  Which is in her home.  Go figure.
  • Time and time again, you and your publication has ignored corruption and gamer dissatisfaction, such as after the “Doritogate” scandal.
  • Your writers have established relationships with people working for publishers like Ubisoft and Bethesda.  Relationships that got them to a point where they were under an embargo about releasing information about their latest games that were coming out.  An embargo which you then subsequently broke.  The irony is that you are crying the blues about something that was, quite clearly, your fault.  Something you did wrong, because…
  • Your entire publication is nothing but a click-bait machine that has been shown, time and time again, to lack ethical standards, objectivity, and a desire to improve.  Any publication that tries to white-wash its own history such as after the “gamers are dead” incident obviously has no sense of shame, and does not deserve any respect.

Stephen, I’m gonna give this to you straight – the people who write for you aren’t journalists. They’re salesmen/women.  Any publication that is as dependent on click-bait as you are is trying to sell to people.  What is your product?  Simple – sensationalism.  You want to make the most stink and the most fuss out of anything that comes to your doorstep.  Given that your parent company is Gawker, this isn’t a surprise.  Just look at the hot water they are in because of them leaking the Hulk Hogan sex tape.  That case is getting so ugly for them that they may very well not survive it, which will mean that you and everyone who works for you will be out of a job.  I’d feel bad for the people losing money, except I actually do have a degree in journalism, Stephen.  And I think that anyone who uses the Yuppie Nuremberg Defense to do the kind of work you do does not deserve even the slightest amount of sympathy.  After all, if you didn’t know that your position was wrong when you did the “gamers are dead” articles, then why did you feel the need to whitewash it?  You knew, and you tried to make it go away.  Just admit it, and let’s stop this pathetic charade of you being the victim, when it is so obvious that what is happening to you is years of unethical retribution that is being meted out on your company.

And since you are merely a product of how broken games journalism is, of course people are coming to your defense.  Naturally.  Games journalism has become nothing but a giant circle-jerk, after all.  The “gamers are dead” saga was coordinated.  It all happened at the same time.  You all were connected via the Google+ group “Gamejournopros.”  Everything about you and our industry is crooked and corrupt.  But you are the victim.  Who do you think buys this?  Who do you honestly think is listening to you?  Why, your friends in the various companies, of course.  Part of me can’t help but wonder if this whole article was you covering your ass now that Gawker is looking to fall apart, with Hulk Hogan on the war path and tons of lost revenue, which has led them to restructure around political commentary.  In other words, SJW bullshit.

If you ask me, what happened to you should only be the start.  This should be the beginning of every major game publisher cutting click-bait publications like you off.  I hope to see the likes of Square Enix and EA throwing you to the wolves.  It would be a fitting end to you and your publication, Stephen.  To watch as your coverage gets so bad that you actually have to step up and do REAL journalism, where you make a ton of calls and get interviews and coordinate with people.  It’s hard work, but it can only be good for the industry.  But let’s be honest, you won’t survive to that point.  You’ll just shrivel up and die, or move onto Polygon or whoever else will take you.  This article felt like your resume pitch, to whoever wants you there.

I don’t feel any sympathy for you, Stephen.  None whatsoever.  I think I’ll end with a quote that you might be familiar with.

“You made your gamergate bed, now get fucked in it.”  – Randi Harper

Peace out,

Maverick

Poor Journalists Love Click-Bait (A response to The Young Turks)

Was that title inflammatory?  Oh, I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have made a title that was so deliberately made to increase clicks.  But I was just so inspired by a recent video that I saw on The Young Turks YouTube channel.  Indeed, this video saw fit to do nothing but exploit a current online trend to get clicks.  The same way as The Drudge Report or The Mary Sue does.  Oh yeah, I am putting this publication with them.  Why?  Because, to be honest with, I am seeing that The Young Turks were always like this.  I used to watch and enjoy their coverage.  I think that Ana Kasparian is the last vestige of anything approaching objectivity on their network.  The rest are a bunch of self-righteous, bourgeois liberals who, as Carlin once said, “think the only thing wrong with the world is there aren’t enough bicycle paths.”  Oh, and that insulting anything having to do with Islam is wrong.  And that all women and black people need them and their ilk to stand up for them.  In other words – sexist, racist, unbelievably condescending-left wing of this country.  And these people report the news.

In the past, I have gone after Fox News and conservative media for how bad it is.  I still do, from time to time.  But let’s go after someone more on my side of the fence.  Granted, I am not on the same extreme-left side of the spectrum.  But I am on the left.  I know, shocking.  One of the first defenses that these people have when confronted by an opposing view is to say that someone is conservative.  Hey Cenk, if you ever see this – Find proof that I’m conservative.  I dare ya.  Or rather, have your unpaid interns find it.  When’s the last time that you did real research?  You gotta rehearse your schtick for the camera.

A recent video on their network, entitled, “Gaming Losers Hate Women,” (yes, that’s the caliber of “journalism” that we’re dealing with here) decided to find a study that is absolute garbage and then use it to justify click-bait.  I’ll share the video, then we’ll talk about it.

First off – Halo 3?  Not even the Master Chief Collection version, either.  The Xbox 360 one.  That’s their “source?”  Wow.  Right out of the gate with bad science.  Now, don’t get me wrong – just because the game is old doesn’t mean it doesn’t have people playing.  Look at how big Team Fortress 2 is.  The old version of Tribes still has dedicated players.  But do you honestly believe that a game that outdated is a good source to use for a study that isn’t old?

Next, to head off people making this point – yes, there are PLENTY of guys online who troll women who get online.  I am up front about that.  Shitty people exist in every medium.  Why, just look what the social justice crowd is up to these days.  Shitty people are in every community.  But if you think that the shitty people represent the majority, and your only evidence is this ONE study that looks at an outdated game that can’t have a lot of players on it, then you are out of your mind.

And I just love that little way that you say that not only are the guys who are rude to women, but that they also are nice to the guys who win.  Are you shitting me?  This is why it’s not good to make click-bait videos about one study.  Because then you miss out on things.  See, if they had done their study on the most recent Call of Duty game, they might have seen a different picture.  Like the ENDLESS shit-talking that goes on in online gaming.  It never stops!  That’s the nature of the beast.  You know where the term tea-bagging came from?  The first Halo and what people would do in multiplayer.  Online gaming, especially competitive FPS games, are the most smack-talk-ridden places one can go.  That’s just how it works.  Ana, you can argue about how our culture pushes things all you want, but it helps to have your facts straight.  Online gaming is about shit-talking and being a dick.  Skill is rewarded, but the term “camper” exists for a reason.  “Noob” exists for a reason.  Online shit-talking is the backbone of many a games’ chat.  It has ALWAYS been like this.  Another thing that the people who wrote this study that you did your story on failed to notice.

I was glad to see the lady they brought in to comment on this was able to see this more objectively.  That was a step in the right direction.  But, did anyone notice how nothing of any merit was really talked about here?  Cenk clearly didn’t know thing-one about this medium.  His little “doing this” and making it look like he was playing with a controller was juvenile, but it showed that he had no investment in this.  Kasparian and her instant need to get on the culture that she believes creates this was a sign that she had no connection to it.

Not one person associated with this, aside from the lady they had from Nerd Alert, seemed to give two shits about this.  So why talk about it?  Why go out of their way to make a story that they KNEW was going to invite gamer traffic?  I’ll tell you – for the same reason that Nightline decided to make a hit-piece about GamerGate, that they later admitted was nothing but click-bait.  For the same reason that The Mary Sue makes any article at all.  They wanted to get clicks.  This is what journalism has become.  The Fifth Estate is nothing but click-bait and a growing sense of ennui as our media has resigned itself to – let’s just capitalize on controversy!  Because that’s where the REAL quality of news is, right?  Whether it be Cenk and his half-assed attempt to make 2nd Amendment debates into a race issue, or NPR doing an unboxing video (I shit you not, it really happened.  And they even said in the story that they were doing this because it was popular.  Unreal), this is what journalism has stooped to.

Turks, this is just pathetic..  This is a new low, and that’s coming from me.  You have stooped to the bottom of the barrel, just so you can keep the income flowing in.  Honestly, how you all can look at yourselves in the mirror and think, “yeah, this is totally the person I want to be” is beyond me.

Until next time, a quote,

“If there is one mental vice, indeed, which sets off the American people from all other folks who walk the earth, it is that of assuming that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that ninety-nine percent of them are wrong.”  -H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick