I am about to piss some people off.
I am going to piss off Dean Esmay, because I can bet he will think this article is imprudent. I am going to piss off our fine editors, because they prefer to get eyes on everything so they can make us shine. I am going to piss off a few in the gaming community, which is easy because that community is already pissed off, and for damned good reasons.
A lot of people will be, or are, pissed off. That includes me.
I have been having hot tea and Twitter for breakfast. I know, the combination clashes, but I get both callings at once. Reading tweet after tweet, sifting past the Obamacare gotcha game that is going on, illuminati freakazoid tweets and people grumbling about getting to work late (while having time to tweet) I spotted a tweet from Salon.com that said, “Bravo to all the nations and hotels banning these jerks who travel the world preaching the gospel of misogyny.” The shortlink was to an article about Julien Blanc getting booted from Australia.
That pissed me off, but only long enough for me to reply to Salon with something nasty. Once I reminded myself of who I was mad at, the irony of a publication lauding the banning of free speech lost its edge. Jesus, Paul, its Salon. I took a sip of earl gray and went back to the feed. Then I saw it.
Someone from #gamergate was apparently following tweets about on the #supportmatttaylor and #shirtstorm hastags. If you have been awake any time in the last week you know that Matt Taylor is a scientist. Not just any scientist, but one that was part of a team that landed a spacecraft on a comet blazing though space at an unreal speed. His celebration of being a part of one of the most mind blowing human achievements in history was cut short, and he ended up breaking down in tears and apologizing for wearing the wrong shirt to a bunch of feminists who would go ballistic if you said something about what they were wearing.
Anyway, the guy from GamerGate tweeted out a reminder in the midst of copious support being offered to Taylor and his artist girlfriend that said supporters should remember this is what GamerGate has been fighting all along.
Bingo. I found my anger again.
What. The. Fuck. Since when did people who never noticed jack shit was happening (and still don’t notice most of it) until their hobby websites went south a few months ago, come up with the words “all along”? For that matter, “we.”
Before anyone jumps. I get it. I have been saying it all along. I am impressed as hell at what GamerGate has accomplished, and I expect they will do more. I also respect the fact that a lot of people in the MHRM are in the gaming community. From there it is a short hop to the reality that one tweet does not come close to representing a whole community.
I have actually been cautious about what I have said out of respect for that community. I’ve been careful to qualify all my commentary as an opinion from someone on the outside. I have even been a bit hypervigilant about MHRAs from AVFM doing anything that looks like we might be trying to usurp that movement.
All that will continue, but not before I blow off some steam.
Perhaps there are a few in the gaming community that need to hear that “all along” for some people means decades. And they would do just as well to remember that we have been dealing with flak, and a lot more than flak, working in a filthy swamp of social indifference and hostility trying to prevent there ever having been a GamerGate or Matt Taylor fiasco to begin with.
I know Dean is cringing right now. And that is OK. I am just a guy who has been doing battle with these sociopathic fucks in one form or another for the better part of a quarter century. And I am wise enough to the current zeitgeist to know that 10,000 tweets supporting Matt Taylor are not really going to address the fundamental problem, just as I know that most of the tweeters won’t notice or care when it happens to a thousand other guys who did not have the distinction of making history.
I did not see a parade of tweets for Caleb Warner, and I am betting that few outside the readership of this site and others like even know who he is.
It sucks, big time.
OK, I feel better now, even if my tea is getting cold. Dean will tell me when we talk later in his kindly diplomatic way that this might not have been a good idea; that we don’t want to start a brouhaha with GamerGate, and that we are still on pretty much the same page as these guys.
If so he will be right, especially the “on the same page” part.
Still, all of us need to blow off a little steam now and again. Today just happened to be my day.