PewDiePie and the Death of Old Media

Before you go off and say that I am doing what everyone else has been doing and mining what has happened for clicks, hear me out.  I got me degree in Journalism and Public Communication.  I have an understanding of this medium better than most.  And it is because of that that I feel a great sense of shame and pity for what has happened here.  Everything about what has happened was a sign of how the medium that I grew up loving, who was supposed to be the vanguards of democracy, is failing.  And there is no coming back from it.  But here’s the thing – we all should have seen this coming.  From a long ways off, this was apparent to me.  It’s happened before, and it now it is beginning to happen again.

Where did it start?  You could make the argument that it most recently started with the Wall Street Journal putting out a video which was an unfounded hit-piece on the YouTube personality PewDiePie.  There was no defending that video.  None.  It was such blatant bullshit that you felt ashamed of yourself watching it.  To think that a news outlet that was once believed to be a very respectable source could make an attack video against a YouTuber for a video where he was blatantly satirizing the people calling him racist and making a joke about finally giving in and becoming a Nazi.  It was all so obvious, and the Internet tore the Journal to pieces over it.  But that isn’t where it started.

Maybe it started back in 2014, with a little uprising known as GamerGate.  Indeed, the parallels between what happened to Felix and that instance are rather shocking.  We have a corrupt press colluding together to take on an Internet culture that is clearly a threat to their industry, and now we see the beginnings of a new culture war.  And just like with the “Gamers are Dead” articles, now we have every major media outlet releasing a barrage of articles lambasting Felix and his politics.  Also just like GamerGate, this is blowing up in the media’s face so badly that not one person involved is walking away clean.  I don’t think this is where it started either.

The first time I truly got a taste of the downfall was looking at a video on NPR.  I didn’t believe what I was seeing.  There was a link to a video that was, quite literally, an unboxing video.  That’s right, NPR, one of the most respected journalism outlets who does some truly biting work from time to time examining critical issues. was doing an unboxing video.  It was of a PS4.  A lot of people tried to make the argument that they were trying to talk about unboxing videos.  That’s wrong.  It wasn’t a video about unboxing.  It was a fucking unboxing video.  I was so embarrassed for them at that point.  However, that most certainly wasn’t where it started.

So where was it?  Where was the great downfall of the media’s beginning?  The beginning of the Internet?  Getting closer, but still no bueno.  It was actually around the time when Princess Di was killed.  The news at the time wasn’t talking about the facts of her death.  Instead, they were creating narratives.  It couldn’t be enough that a great woman died.  No, the narrative had to be that a wonderful, fantastic woman died.  And her passing needed a good catch phrase and sad music to be played over it.  It was when cable news decided to come into the picture and turn the news from a discussion about the events of the day that transpired, to a narrative telling their audiences how to think about the news.

Here’s the thing – this idea of unbiased reporting is bullshit.  There is no such thing.  You can strive to be as unbiased as possible, have a rigorous vetting process to remove the scruples of bias to whatever extent you can.  But the cold hard truth is that you still have to deal with the fact that bias exists, and it will always be there.  Edward R Murrow admitted his bias, but his way of counter-manning it was to let the other side have its day.  He let Joseph McCarthy come on his show and give a very passionate defense of his position, where he called Murrow and his ilk all sorts of unprofessional names.  In giving his stage to his opposition, Murrow did more to cement how right he is in the eyes of the public.  Still, Murrow was biased.  The best minds are.  Walter Cronkite told some harrowing stories about the war in Vietnam, but he did so with an agenda to get the troops out of there.  He had a bias, but he had enough dedication to his craft to make sure to get people to the truth as close as he could.  It wasn’t hard to sell people on the war in Vietnam being a bad idea.

PewDiePie is the victim of a medium that is lost.  Print media is dying.  I feel it all the time.  I am just one of a thousand blogs that are ignored by the masses.  My audience is still pretty awesome, but I realize that I am part of a bygone era.  I don’t have video-making chops.  This is the best I can do.  Like all animals that feel their end coming, the media is lashing out.  PewDiePie makes for an easy target.  His popularity cannot be overstated.  Traditional media has to work very hard for all of their stories.  Felix basically just gets in front of a camera and plays video games, then he makes millions.  He makes astronomical amounts of money just by exaggerating his expressions while playing video games, and now making more original content.  Of course the media who has to work hard to make any content would despise such a person.

And for those who will say “it’s not anything to do with that!  It was the fact that he used Nazi imagery in his videos!”  First, the video they went after was so cherry-picked and avoided context where Felix showed that he has no love for Nazis, but decided to give the media who attacked him to no end what they wanted.  They do everything they can to take his videos out of context.  And when the Internet took them to task for it, the media overall decided to try and make it in to a big deal about how context doesn’t matter.  Actually, dumb fucks, it does.  It really does.

Old media is dying, and its final death throes will not be pretty.  But I don’t miss them.  Sure, the person who spent $40,000 on a degree like me would be pissed that some guy on YouTube can make boatloads of money.  But I don’t see any of them trying to make a niche for themselves.  I mean, when a high school dropout can become the biggest atheist channel on YouTube and last for longer than anyone else on the site, that means that if you can keep a fresh idea and change up for your audience enough, then you can make a new brand for yourself.  Media has to change with the times.  Its refusal to do so leads to some unbelievably sad things.

Until next time, a quote,

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha

Peace out,

Maverick

My Fellow Liberals, Stop Antagonizing Russia!

There’s probably the greatest quote ever spoken from George Santaya, “those who cannot remember the past a condemned to repeat it.”  More and more, this quote is making me feel an overwhelming urge to smack my head into a wall as I watch the media of every stripe going out of their way to antagonize Russia over alleged (it has not, under any circumstances been proven) hacking that they did of the DNC that was sent to WikiLeaks.  And the more I watch the media and the saber-rattling that them and President Obama are doing, the more fearful I become that the past will come back.  Only next time, it won’t be a cold war, it will be a hot war.  One where the next war is fought with sticks.

If, for no other reason, I am glad that Trump won, it’s because he was immediately able to settle people’s worries about World War III.  Listening to Hillary talk about how she was going to be taking offensive action in Syria with a no-fly zone, that scared the hell out of me.  All of the saber-rattling after the leaked documents sent to WikiLeaks that exposed that corporate money-whore for who she is.  In reality, if it truly was Russia who leaked that info, I want to thank them.  If the Fourth Estate was doing its fucking job, we wouldn’t have needed Russia to leak documents.  They would have been stepping up and exposing Hillary for what she is, instead of doing everything in their power to polish her knob.  For my take, even if Russia was responsible (there has been NO conclusive evidence), we should be thanking them.  Given what the Hillary’s knob-polishing media is trying to provoke, all of what has been said about the media’s collusion with her has been vindicated.

I guess that people are too young to remember that there was a time where the threat of nuclear war was a real thing with Russia.  It was a thing that my parents generation lived in constant fear of.  Two nuclear-equipped superpowers going to war, it would have been the end of life as they knew it.  There were so many close calls, and it was only thanks to cooler heads prevailing at just the right moments that two nations didn’t destroy life on this planet.  How I wish that my generation wasn’t full of dumb fucks.  Or corporate shill media that will do anything to kiss the ass of the person that they supported.

However, I am going to try and be the voice of reason here.  My fellow left-leaning people, the antagonization of Russia needs to stop.  Not only does this make your side of the political fence look like butthurt little bitches, but it is toying with disaster.  Think of what would have happened if Hillary had won the Presidential campaign.  Given what a vindictive bitch she is, you just know that she would have put her pantsuit boot down on the situation in Syria.  We’ve been fighting a proxy war in that country against Russia for years.  It’s been a powderkeg that looked to blow up at any minute.  But Trump immediately started talking to scale that back.  Thank Groj.  I honestly can say that the only time I have ever been afraid for my nation’s future was right then.

As for the liberals who want to be mad about the hacking, keep this in mind – nothing that was released has been shown to be doctored.  None of it.  Glen Greenwald did a fantastic article ripping the people who are butthurt about this and their pathetic attempts to defend Hillary to pieces.  Hillary Clinton was a shill, who used every single tool she possibly had, media collusion, and her entire party’s backing to destroy Bernie.  It was stuff people already suspected it, but WikiLeaks proved it.  Then there was the release of the speech transcripts that everyone was asking for.  Once-again, everyone already knew that they were a love letter to Wall Street, but now we had definitive proof.  No wonder Hillary couldn’t show her face election night.  Her own corruption destroyed her.  If anything, all the media’s attacking Russia looks like is them attempting to cover for their own transgressions.  How about we not do that?

In the meantime, let’s dial back the calls for retaliation against Russia.  One guy on CNN actually said that “cyber war is the same as real war.”  That fucking imbecile was actually believing that we should respond to this unproven allegation that Russia aided Trump with military force.  The very idea scares the fuck out of me.  It’s an opinion from a person who never has had to fear for their future.  The statement of a person who didn’t live through a generation where nuclear annihilation was a very real threat.

But hey, the media has to cover their ass somehow.  Might as well blame Russia.  World War III?  Price you pay to not have to eat crow and admit their mistakes.

Until next time, a quote,

“Yeah, let’s try that.  Then the next war really will be fought with sticks.” – Punished “Venom” Snake, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Peace out,

Maverick

America Cares! You Know, Unless You Have an Actual Problem

Read a rather fascinating article in Mother Jones today.  It was a young woman telling the story of her cousin, who was schizophrenic and killed his father by brutally stabbing him.  She also talked about her aunt, who had problems of her own, but got treatment.  It was a rather cold look at the absolute failure of the current American mental health care systems.  The staggering statistics of people who need help and aren’t getting it in this country is almost terrifying.  The people who are ignoring this overwhelming statistic are so surprised when shootings like Newtown and Virginia Tech happen.  Why that is the case is genuinely beyond me.

As a journalism major, I hear much on the news.  So much gnashing of teeth after shootings like this.  “It’s because we don’t have strict enough regulations on guns!”  “It’s because the public doesn’t have enough guns!”  “It’s because of violent video games!”  Lots of talk, but the elephant in the room is becoming overwhelming.  America simply doesn’t care about people with actual problems.  Our country can cry the blues all day about how this is bad or that is bad, but when we are faced with a genuine dilemma, what do we do?  We start talking about budget problems, logistical problems, how it can’t be dealt with right now.  Reason after reason why we can’t handle this problem now, but will handle it later.  It’s almost kind of touching.

I read another fascinating article that was written about a new breed of people in this country – tunnel people.  See, it turns out that there are massive underground networks of people in this country.  Almost every major city has them.  Groups of people with nowhere to go and no help to be found, making a life for themselves however they can.  Some of these communities have actual camaraderie.  Most of them don’t.  The truly saddest part about that is that police who have found evidence of these communities (which is surprisingly harder than you’d think) have found something very tragic – diapers.  A lot of the trash in these places is diapers.  Babies and small children are being brought up in underground communities.  This is happening here, folks!  Right here in the good-ol’ USA.

And while we’re talking about things in the US, here’s a neat statistic – there are over a million children right now, in schools, who have no home.  There are children who lie to their friends about where they live, because they don’t want to tell them that they go home to their family’s car at night.  This is happening, right now, in America.  And how much do the pseudo-celebrity jackasses we put in Congress care?  Not at all.  Hell, even the President of this fucking country doesn’t care!  After all, he is embracing the austerity that has been destroying the EU.  Cutting massive chunks from our nation’s social safety net.  Our President has shown himself to be a turncoat for EVERY single thing that he said he stood for.  I hope that the blue-dog liberals are proud.  After all, they have yet to say that he is a bad guy about anything.  Same way that the Republicans sucked Bush’s cock.  Well, every side has a fanbase, doesn’t it?

The reality getting lost in all of this political bullshit is this – America doesn’t care about the people who have actual problems.  I wish that someday, somebody in the media would see that they are the single greatest contributor to all the mass shootings in this country.  When you have people who have nobody to help them, nobody who will listen and  who are having some severe mental issues, what do you think happens when they see the news?  They see some other mentally-unstable person who has done something horrible.  They see the news and the general public wanting to know everything about them.  Everything they said, wrote or may have been a part of.  The public is absolutely swarming with people who will listen, where nobody listened before.  You don’t think that that sort of coverage has an effect?  When we care more about the killers than their victims, you don’t think that that makes a difference?  If you honestly don’t, then please, leave the gene pool.  You aren’t worth the genetic material that made you.

If there is an afterlife, Mr. Rogers must be looking down right now and wanting to cry.  His entire message was about taking care of each other, because it makes the world a better place.  That people should care about one-another, because being hateful and divided just makes everybody hurt.  But what have I been hearing my entire adult life?  Something along the lines of – you gotta look after yourself!  Don’t help nobody because if you do, they will become losers!  On and on it goes, with everybody finding more and more ways to justify not helping people.  Because they really do seem not to care.

What hurts me most about this is that I keep wanting to believe that there is something redeemable about this species.  That we aren’t just wild and filthy animals that can occasionally aspire to something OTHER than pure evil.  But over and over again, humanity gets more opportunities to prove me wrong.  And they take advantage of all of them.

You know, if we are going to be the evil empire, could we please just drop the fucking pretense?  Could we just man-up and admit that we are evil?  If this country is going to give fuck-all about the fact that we are using drones to kill innocent people overseas and not care that over a million kids in this country go to school and have no home, could we just accept that premise?  For real, can we just fucking stop pretending to be so good, when we’re anything but.  See, here in America, we trample upon the people who can’t stand up and fight for themselves.  A pity that the people who did all these mass-killings didn’t get the memo about that.  If only they had known that, they could have done what they want with impunity!

Until next time, a quote,

“But we’re fucked.  Because it’s too easy, in nature, for evil to conquer good.  For force to conquer peace.  Because the tranquility of 20 people at a picnic can be destroyed by one maniac, wielding an automatic weapon.”  -TJ Kirk

Peace out,

Maverick

CNN, Steubenville and How Awful Humanity and the News Really Is

Does anyone remember the imprisonment of Jerry Sandusky?  Well, after that whole affair, there was this comic that got rather famous, where you see Sandusky in jail, along with a giant guy who says, “Hey, I’m the tickle monster.”  The implication being that this man is going to rape Sandusky.  And wouldn’t you know it, people just loved that comic!  It got so many thumbs-up or what-have-you wherever it was posted.  And all the people’s comments talking about how Sandusky should get horrible raped and beaten repeatedly got tons of thumb-ups on them as well.  It seems that we all like the idea of a man being horrible raped and beaten.

Now let’s look at the news footage following the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  The media did as they always do following these events.  They tore into the shooter’s personal life.  The victims?  They got a couple of blurbs.  But after that, they went right into talking about the shooter.  It seemed that America needed to know every single thing about the shooter.  What his likes were, what his hobbies were, who his friends were, everything.  We all wanted to know everything about this guy.  If you were paying even a modicum of attention, then you noticed that a lot of this reporting sounded like celebrity gossip.  That is REALLY disturbing, ladies and gentlemen.  And the worst part is that this kind of reporting has happened before.  A lot.  It was the same after Columbine, Virginia Tech and the Oklahoma City bombing.  This is a trend that gets these networks views.  Lots of views.

But now we come to CNN, and the recent scandal following something they reported about a horrific rape that happened in Steubenville, Ohio.  The reason that this story is making so many waves among the internet is because, if you check out the link I put above, you will see that the story is pretty much defending the rapists.  For real, the story is lamenting that this conviction of young football players, who raped a teenage girl, is going to ruin their lives, along with their family’s reputations.  Take a moment.  Let that sink in.  A news outlet didn’t lament what happened to this girl.  Instead, it had a guest on who is sad that this rape conviction is going to damage the reputation of future of the rapists.  What the fuck?!  Yeah, there is only one conclusion that a person can come to after seeing that – CNN is pure evil.  I mean, they make hardly any mention of the victim, and focus almost exclusively on the rapists, from the perspective of – isn’t what happened to them so sad?

But you know what, to me, this is a symbol.  It’s a symbol of what is truly wrong with this species, and especially America.  See, this story is cruel in a way that is mind-boggling, but the reason it is taking so much heat is because it is cruel in a way that makes us look harshly on ourselves.  Meanwhile, we absolutely LOVE to watch cruelty that is to other people.

There are almost an endless list of reality shows that exploiting people who aren’t smart enough to know better.  Shows like Toddlers and Tiaras, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Bridezilla, and the list goes on and on and on.  These shows find the biggest assholes they possibly can and air out their dirty laundry to the rest of the country, for the express purpose of people enjoying it and mocking these people.  Then there are shows that spit in the face of what America says.  Shows like Pawn Stars.  This show, for the most part, is glorifying money lenders.  America calls itself a “Christian nation,” yet we are totally behind a show that makes money lenders look good.  I’m sure that Jesus would just LOVE to see that show, wouldn’t you?  Oh, wait, the Christian religion as a whole has been spitting on what Jesus said for as long as the Catholic church has existed.  You know, that whole thing about Jesus preaching about living in poverty and giving everything you have to the poor, while looking out for your fellow man.  Yeah, the opulent palaces that we call churches don’t reflect too well on their beliefs, do they?

While we’re on the subject of watching cruelty, let’s look at the world of UFC fighting.  This is taking the boxing gloves away (which is a sport that is the lesser-version of where this is going) and gives people carte-blanche to beat the shit out of each other.  The people who watch this don’t watch to see skill and tactics.  No, they are watching to see two people brutalize each other.  How exactly were the Romans worse than us?  I mean, they had people kill each other in the ring, but let’s be honest – there are a lot of people who are hoping for that to be the result with these sports.  And then there is NASCAR, which is pretty much just the Roman chariot races with seat-belts.  For real, the people who watch that shit watch for the crashes.  It’s the absolute truth.

But the thing that’s funniest to me about this whole pathetic thing is that when you see the news networks coverage of this affair, it shows you that this is the reason why the networks aren’t able to cover anything of actual emotional complexity.  They don’t know where to sympathize.  If these people had been around following the fall of the Berlin Wall, they probably would have been sad that the wall had to be destroyed.  If they had been there following the end of World War II, they probably would have been upset that the Nazis weren’t getting a fair shake.  If CNN had been around following the Civil War, they probably would have been sad that the slaves were being freed.  These people just don’t know how to look at things that are emotionally complicated, because they have no empathy.  They fake feeling sad, because they honestly can’t feel sad.  They go through the motions, because they want a quick buck.

This story wasn’t focused on actual people.  No, this story was for parents who think their douchebag kid is going to grow up to be a rapist.  It was cheap pandering for the sake of making money from people who are afraid.  Fear has become the absolute narrative of modern media.  But at the end of the day, this is who we are.

America, I’m going to give it to you straight – you are an amoral monster who tries so hard to believe that you have actual morals that some part of me thinks that you have convinced yourselves that it’s true.  You say that you believe in God, while you spit in the face of his teachings that you don’t want to actually listen to.  You merely want to believe it because it feels good.  You like to be pandered to, indulgent, complacent and stupid as fuck.  And when your complacency is no longer sustainable, when you have to get off your fat and stupid ass and actually give a shit about what is happening in this world, there is NO god who is going to be here to help you.  You’ll only have each other.  Alas, that won’t get you far.

Fuck you, America.  Fuck. You.

Until next time, a quote,

“Traditional media takes one small step away from moral sanity, and one giant leap away from cultural relevancy.”  -TJ Kirk

Peace out,

Maverick

Shooting, Tragedy and Placing Blame

This post is a little late to the shot, but I wanted to take some time, get my thoughts together, and try and put as cohesive a thought process as I could.

Now, before we begin, let me say up front that the only person that we should be blaming for the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and most anywhere is the shooter.  The shooter is responsible for his own decisions.  So was the shooter in Aurora, Colorado.  So were the young men responsible for the shooting at Columbine.  So was the shooter at Virginia Tech, Virginia.  All of these people are responsible for their own choices, and that should never, ever be lost sight of.

But in the absolutely relentless coverage that the media places on these sorts of events, this is often lost.  And there is a lot of things that are never talked about.  After this most recent shooting, there were the usual topics talked about.  The left said that guns are responsible, which anyone with a modicum of intelligence should be able to point out is complete bullshit.  The more interesting arguments about this come from the right wing of this country.

The spokesman for the NRA said that violent video games are responsible for this.  He cites a Flash game called “Kindergarten Killers.” as evidence of the violence in video games leading to shootings like the one in Newtown.  A game that is one of a billion stupid Flash player games that was made by a kid in high school who probably just wanted to shock people.  The spokesman holds this up as proof of how the regular media fails, and his media is better.

The media has been trying, for years, to get somebody to say that video games are the source of violent behavior.  The fact of the matter is that there has never been any proof that such is the case.  In fact, for the last 20 years, violent crimes have been on the decline.

And the man’s argument of “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is so blatantly stupid that it is almost offensive.  For real, there are not two words of truth to that at ALL.  The reality of the situation is that people with guns have not stopped other people with guns since…ever.

For real, think about this – America was founded based on a war with Britain.  But the reality is that most of what led up to that war was misinformation that the revolution supporters were using to get people on their side.  The British were not some evil monster that was using taxes to crush us.  In fact, they were often providing better deals than the revolutionaries.  Guns came into play when words failed, but guns didn’t end the conflict, either.  Words did.  Words formed the agreement that the British would stand down, and America could have its independence.  Throughout history, words have done so much more than guns could ever hope to do.

The best evidence of all is in looking at the fact that the media is a blatant accomplice in these shootings.  The shooters at Columbine were found to have been looking for help, over and over again.  They were troubled, and all they really wanted was somebody to listen.  They were at the cusp of when America’s media became as over-bearing as it is.  They saw these events, that got relentlessly covered, and they decided that they would get the word out by making themselves heard.  What they did was horrible, and I will never condone that, but these kids wanted help, and nobody listened to them.  It was a brilliant quote by Marilyn Manson when asked what he would have said to them –

I wouldn’t say a single word to them.  I’d listen to what they had to say, and that’s what no one did.

Well said, and it just kills me that not only has the media not learned from this, they are amping up their game.  After this shooting, there were reporters sticking microphones into children’s faces and asking them if they heard shooting.  What the fuck is wrong with you people?  Not only should these “journalists” be ashamed to show their faces in public, they should lose any and all credibility for this.  And the tragedy is that this is what the news does.  The TV news doesn’t have your best interest at heart.  They want to make money.

It was the same after the Aurora shooting.  Instead of keeping this about the victims and the event, they decided to massively cover everything about the shooter.  To tear apart his life and make him an anti-hero.  There is a kind of hero status that those who commit these crimes gain by doing this.  And the rest of us seem to not notice.  Or even fewer care.

Because after the media was able to cover the shooter to death, they decided to cover the bullshit that Congress and the people were spewing about who was to blame.  Oh yes, it must surely be the guns.  Why, I am totally behind it being the fact that we took “God out of the schools.”  And it definitely makes sense that video games were behind this.  Yup, you all figured it out.  Brilliant bunch of fucking morons.  And once-again, we cement this man as another media-created anti-hero, who will be remembered for years to come.  I guarantee you that all of you probably know the name of the shooter, but can’t think of the name of a single victim.  Don’t go to Google.  Just think.  And that, in a nutshell, is why I am fully behind the belief that the media is an accomplice to this sort of insanity.

And while we’re talking about it, the argument that the Christian right makes in this country EVERY SINGLE TIME something like this happens – not enough God.  Do I really have to show how blatantly stupid that argument is?  Do I have to talk about how dumb it is to say that their sky-wizard decided not to help people?  By that logic, then this “all-loving” deity of theirs is not only not “all-loving,” but is selective, judgmental and not above watching genocide.  After all, he watched the genocide of the Jews in Nazi Germany, even though his son (who is also him) was a Jew.  Consistency, what’s that?

While we’re talking about guns being the problem, do the liberals who argue that even understand that the biggest perpetrator of gun violence is linked to the reason that large-scale banning of guns wouldn’t work – the war on drugs.  For real, gang violence is the number 1 source of gun violence in this country.  If we ended the war on drugs, the number of violent crimes associated with guns would be slashed to ribbons in a week.  In a month, we would hardly hear of it.

But amidst all of this, let’s all remember – the person who is guilty here is the shooter.  The shooter in Newtown made his own choices, and is responsible for his own decisions.  Our eagerness to get on a bandwagon and deny this doesn’t make it any less true.

Until next time, a quote,

“There are mountains and mountains of statistics you can use to show that there is no link between shootings and video games.”  -Total Biscuit, Tragedy and Video Games  

Peace out,

Maverick