THE WORD ON THE .NET

Writer T. James' Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

Category: Rant

Like ‘Opinion’, only more so.

#Gamergate, it’s ‘Them and Us’ All Over Again

The end of society as we know it? Probably not, but there’s plenty of fallout for those too close.

August-November, 2014 and #Gamergate hit the proverbial fan, setting off waves across the net:

  • ‘Lack of ethics in games journalism’ saw female dev-minxes allegedly grinding completely innocent journalists until they were so hot on testosterone they willingly lay naked on floors, laptop-typing feverously positive game reviews that were stiletto heel edited with jabs to the neck.
  • Hidden left-world think-tank, oestro-powered cranium-women sent Telepathic Mother Waves that were downloaded through big loopy earrings and regurgitated, unedited, by glam, pretty young things.
  • Hidden left-world think-tank, testostro-powered unwashed news hacks sat around in hairy-huddles, picking fleas from each others armpits and groin-sniffed and chest beat until they thought they were Alpha Kong-Dongs and could defecate on everyone else from on-high.
  • White, fat, hairy neckbearded menchildren responded and declared themselves the new oppressed minority majority, except the journalists had already killed them, so it was too late.
  • Left to to carry the torch were women-trans-gay-coloured gamers who shouted at the open-minded and completely unbiased mainstream press who didn’t listen – they wanted to demonstrate sympathy with the fem-left by acting in an utterly patriarchal way: ‘helping’ distressed women against their online male oppressors because it was what their audience expected, and gamer-hating brought in the ratings and ad revenue.
  • The Rabid-Fem community heard the ‘gamers’ who refused to conform though. Clothed solely in totally functional and ungenderising armour woven from whiter-than-white lily petals, these humanitarian souls labelled other women, non-whites and every gender imaginable, ‘white mens’ bee-atches’, ‘house-n*ggers’ and ‘gender-traitors’.
  • The non-majority gamers retaliated with angry signs declaring ‘#NotYourShield’ and accusations of control, hypocrisy and prejudice.

Not nice, is it?

The confusion, clash of ideologies, nepotism, deceit and arrogance displayed through the whole debacle has left lives in tatters (no, really) and enraged  people on- and offline. So, who’s to blame? The Quinns, Sarkeesians, or Wus? If women had that much power, even the most rabid man-haters would be appeased, their desired matriarchy firmly established over all men and any women still willing to treat the breast-less as human beings. Whatever their actions or politics, those three have taken enough flak and it’s time to let them get on with finding their lives. Zoe Quinn will, hopefully, eventually find joy in developing games and sharing them with an open-minded audience. Yes, Anita Sarkeesian will probably release another video or several criticising males and video games and appear on mainstream TV and in editorials, but that’s what she does. I’m not going to tell her she can’t. I’d even fight for her right to do so but she doesn’t need my help.  Whatever she says or does, I hope those that threatened her are caught and dealt with. And Brianna Wu? I hope she keeps finding the courage to send a few mocking tweets – there are plenty on  the internet who need a good prodding. My hope is that they’re big enough to take it, and restrict their responses to tweets-in-kind.

So, that leaves the misogynist gamers (no matter their colour, creed or orientation), the corrupt games journalists, the sociopathic trolls, self-serving mainstream media, the Boadicea Wimmin Warriors and Fem-Bashing Neanderthals. Who’s your tribe? Which group(s) do you hate?

Personally, I blame the cliques; group-think works for any ideology. It’s the safe way to live.

How to fight an historical patriarchy that remains as part of the establishment, making the life-slope steeper for women to climb? Solution: define yourself by opposition and become a man-hater pushing for preference, not equality.

How to fight racism and discrimination against human beings who just happen to have more melanin in their skin than I do? Solution: define yourself by opposition and call white males bigoted ‘rednecks’ and ‘neckbeards’.

How to fight the corrupt media? Solution: in-focus and huddle, until you call for boycotting of every site that hosts reviews you just don’t like, and not just because they manipulate and grant behind the scenes favours. Follow up by nit-picking every little mistake your opposition makes, as if that proves your point. (But your opposition does that too, so it doesn’t matter.)

Instead, do you join the corrupt media? Answer: absolutely, because you get to close ranks with your mates when the finger pointing starts, insult you readership, and refuse to even consider signing up to ethically sound journalistic guidelines to ensure a level playing field for everyone.

That leaves the disenfranchised, what should they do? Answer: form an anti-whatever group and send the hate ‘they’ dissed you with back at ‘them’, ten-fold.

What’s so utterly obvious, yet apparently so hard to believe and act on, is that no one is perfect. Prejudice, self-righteousness, anger, hatred, judgemental-ism: it’s part of all of us. People are complex. No-one’s online self is all that they are. But, whoever we are and whatever our weaknesses, we’re defined by our choices. So, which have you made? Do you hate/despise/belittle those who oppose you? Attempt to silence them? Attack them personally?  (Note: criticising someone’s work is different – maybe just keep the bile out of it?)

Are you defined by being anti-something, or are you for something, and no, they are not the same.

Humanity doesn’t need hate-filled feminism any more than it needs self-interested patriarchy. It doesn’t need self-appointed, self-interested power groups any more than it does those who would resort to abuse or attacks to fight them. It doesn’t need groups or individuals labelling and condemning each other and not listening.

Whether our bits jiggle when we walk, or not, whether we turn pink in the sun, or not, when did we leave parts of our minds / souls / spirits behind?

Tomorrow is another day, so why not make it better?

Which is more deadly? Medicine or legalism?

In what is an obviously blatant simplification it seems to me that medicines can be divided into three types:

1) Vital but venomous: basically the stuff really isn’t good for you but you have to take it to prevent something worse happening, like death, for example. I have to admire the courage of all those choosing to undergo the necessary ordeal of chemotherapy. The side effects can be horrendous.

2) Standard pharmaceuticals: the things that are fine as long as you read the label like most headache pills, and creams for that itch you don’t want to tell anyone about. They are potentially dangerous, but basically have only minor side effects if used carefully.

3) The stuff that is about as deadly as a cheeseburger. Let’s face it, if you eat enough cheeseburgers then you could conceivably die from either choking, or a heart attack caused by the build up of cholesterol. My point is that you have to eat a lot of cheeseburgers to achieve any level of lethality.

So, how is this relevant to anything? I took my son to nursery today and I had to sign a medical consent form for a common cough medicine that’s got honey, glycerol, and liquid sugar (sucrose ) in it. That’s it. I will have to sign the same form, giving the same information, every single day it will benefit him to take it. How long do the regulations say he is permitted to take it? Three days, before I have to take him to see a doctor. My boy has a cough. He’s four. Children get coughs. There is no phlegm, fever, or anything indicating he isn’t going to make a perfectly normal recovery. His cough is likely to last five to six days. So that’s several days where the nursery staff are not allowed to give him anything to make him more comfortable and help him to regain lost sleep at nap time, until he has seen a doctor. So why not just take him to a doctor?  The doctor has patients who are really ill, and a limited number of appointments. Also, our son gets miserable and really really bored waiting for his allotted appointment time for about an hour. At least at nursery he has toys and other children to distract him from his symptoms. So, we either leave him in nursery with his cough (before I get flamed by irate parents, of course we bring him home when he is properly ill or suffering, poor mite), or we waste a doctor’s time, who will just tell him to take the same medicine anyway, and bore my son, literally, to tears.

So that was irritating. Just don’t get me onto the time when our boy went to nursery fit and well in the morning, then got such a high temperature that the nursery staff phoned me saying he was very upset, and advised I drive him to hospital. His temperature had been getting progressively worse for an hour before they called me. I asked whether they could give him something to bring it down. According to the regulations you have to sign a medical consent form. Even when his temperature is so high you are saying I should take him to A&E? Can you give him something now to help him, and I’ll sign the consent form when I get there in half an hour? According to the regulations you have to sign a medical consent form. We are not allowed to give him anything until after you have signed. So for an hour and a half he was given nothing to help with either his distress, or his rising temperature. The incident today with the cough mixture is irritating. That got me angry. (He turned out to be fine after a few days of TLC at home).

Rambling? Yes, but my point is this. I don’t blame the nursery staff who are all very diligent and caring. I do blame our over protective, agoraphobia inducing legal system which prevents teachers, parents, and carers responding to the specific, and individual needs of the vulnerable for fear of getting sued. Some things are quintessentially British. We still have cricket, tennis, cream teas, curries, and our weather, but we’re losing our good, old fashioned, British common sense.

Has any one had a similar experience? Any views or opinions? Please feel free to share them below.

N.B. Note on allergies: As our son had taken the medicines on several prior occasions with no ill effects, it seemed unlikely his head was suddenly going to explode. The only things he seems allergic to are raw eggs, some sun creams, and wearing long trousers and a jumper when it’s cold outside.

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