Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Reflection on my Past Views on #GamerGate and Other "Sins"

A mildly political post.  If you're sick to death of these things (and I have mostly been avoiding posting them), feel free to backclick away and come back for the next H-space Monster Girl Bestiary story this weekend.

E3 was last weekend.  One of the games that generated some initial buzz was an indie title called The Last Night.  Here is its youtube trailer:

It looks very stylish and Blade Runner-esque.  There was a lot of buzz about the visual aesthetic.

Then somebody did some digging and discovered that the game dev, Tim Soret, had said some vaguely supportive things about #GamerGate back in 2014.  Cue shit show...

This made me think about some of the things I'd written in the past about #GamerGate, #SadPuppies and similar nontroversies.  Would I in future also be dragged up to the drum and forced to account for my past comments?  Not just comments - I'd even penned a short story depicting a #GamerGate protagonist in a vaguely sympathetic light.  The heresy!

Surely, given that #GamerGate was a vicious misogynist campaign to drive women out of gaming (the media says so, so it must be true), I must be ashamed of my past self.  That if it ever came to light, I'd have to disavow those past comments.

Okay, so I should address that now for my new readers.

Here it comes.



My views haven't changed at all.

Written games journalism is still infested with shitty horrible people more interested in student-level politics and stirring up shit rather than writing about computer games.  If you want proper games coverage and reviews nowadays you're better off following the twitch streams/youtube channels of people like TotalBiscuit.

SJWs - with their hypocrisy, faulty logic, doxxing, harassment of creators, and other general toxicity - would occupy the position of biggest shitstains on social media if that spot wasn't already taken by ISIS.

My own personal opinion is I don't care what your sex, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc is.  Everyone is equally deserving of respect as a human being.

That said, if you go around harassing people, or try to dictate what creators/artists can or can't create, I'm going to think you're a cunt, dick, ass, knob, penis, duodenum, [insert part of the human anatomy you wish to use as a slur] regardless of your sex, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc, etc.

Hope that makes things clear.

(and no, I don't want to drive women out of computer gaming)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Obligatory Post-Election Political Post

I've been off-grid for a few days. Did I miss anything important? /s

After the election result came in I did think about writing something.  It seemed like every other bugger was doing it.  Then I wondered if that in itself was a symptom of the problem.  I'm an entertainer.  I entertain people with filthy sexy stories of succubus porn.  You shouldn't give a shit what entertainers think about politics.

Then I saw this video and it sums up what I think far more eloquently than anything I could have wrote:

It's a comedy skit and Jonathan Pie is a satirical creation, but Britain has a long and distinguished history of letting their comics sneak out uncomfortable political truths and this is spot on.  Hats off to Tom Walker and Andrew Doyle for six minutes of glorious sweary brilliance.

It's what I've been saying for a while now.  Continually throw rocks at people in the middle ground and eventually they'll move over to the side not currently throwing rocks at their head.  And when elections are won by which side can most successfully overlap the middle ground...

I'm not going to lie.  I did derive some pleasure in watching some of the more horrible holier-than-thou types in the media (social and mainstream) go from smug confidence, to panic and then finally to full-fledged meltdown over the course of Tuesday night.  They'd earned that.  Less pleasant was seeing a lot of folks on my personal facebook, mostly decent lefties of the non-sanctimonious variety, be genuinely fearful about what the future holds.  I feel for them.

One thing I did think genuinely odious in the aftermath of the election was the number of "If you voted Trump don't read/watch/play my books/films/games" comments from people that really should know better.  Fuck that shit for the condescending bilge it is.  Every person's circumstances are different and I'm never going to begrudge you for voting for the candidate you think is personally better for you, even if it wouldn't be my choice.

I don't mind if you voted Trump.

I don't mind if you voted Clinton.

I don't mind if you voted third party.

Heck, I don't even mind if you didn't vote at all.  (To be honest, if faced with the choice between Trump and Clinton I'd have probably thought "sod it all!" and buggered off down the pub for a pint.)

Neither do I mind if you don't give a shit whether I mind one way or another.  As I said before, you shouldn't give a shit what entertainers think about politics.

I'm not you.  They're not you.

It was your vote.  Don't let any fucker try and guilt-trip you over how you used it.  They haven't lived your life.

And now... I guess we're in the Chinese definition of "interesting times".  On the plus side, the media were so horribly wrong about everything there's a good chance they were horribly wrong about Trump being the second coming of Hitler as well.  I think a lot of the energetic centipedes on reddit that voted for Trump, the human-shaped Fuck You! sign to the liberal media establishment, will be a little disappointed when Trump, the man, doesn't live up to their expectations, but that's a lesson we all learn about politics eventually.

In the meantime, there are some scared people out there and not all of them are obnoxious SJW shits.  If you were one of those that rode the big orange wrecking ball to see it smash SOCJUS political correctness to bits, remember and reassure the vulnerable.  Have their backs against the lunatic fringe of the other side when it slithers out of the rocks to take advantage of the current pendulum swing, and it will.  The right side of history is now you.  Be better.

As for me, I'll continue writing.

The new novel is progressing, if a little slower than I'd like.  There is a new batch of H-space monster girl bestiary stories on the way.

I'm an entertainer.  Time to get back to entertaining.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Writing Updates: Oct 19th, 2015

Somebody highlighted this on my twitter feed.

My first thought was:  Well, durr.  You people have become the Stop Having Fun people, and it's in the nature of youth to rebel against the Stop Having Fun people.

(@radicalbytes is the man behind Feminist Frequency, responsible for the Tropes vs. Women series on Youtube.)

In the past it was the religious morality brigade.  Nowadays it's authoritarian SJWs.  South Park has already lampooned it with PC Bros, it's only a matter of time before other comics lock the trope in.

This is nothing new.  The late 80s/early 90s saw a similar push for political correctness and trumpeted the arrival of the 'New Man' - in touch with his caring, sharing side.  By the mid 90s the New Man was soundly rejected by women as an unsexy wet drip and Political Correctness was buried beneath universal mockery.  This was the decade that saw the emergence of Lads' mags and Lad Culture in Britain.

The same cycle is repeating itself now.  Unfortunately, the viciousness of the more extreme fringe of activism is greater and more visible this time around because of social media.  And I think that means the resulting pushback will also be vicious.  My own personal opinion is that the average person is considerably less [foo]ist and [foo]phobic nowadays, but there's only so many times you can get hit in the head by a rock before you give in to the temptation to start throwing them back.  It's become a cottage industry (or, in some cases, a financially lucrative business) to throw a rock at a group, then scream harassment and seek sympathy when the riled-up group throws rocks back.

Where does that leave us?  Probably with a bunch of virulent anti-women misogynists when those 10 to 14-year-old boys, fed up of being constantly told they're the root of all evil, grow up.

And on that cheery note, it's time to get back to writing.

This week I'll be trying to finish off the two stories I have planned for the Literotica Halloween Contest.  It ended up not quite being the story bonanza I was hoping for.  Progress was a little too much on the stop/start side.  I suspect I might be going too long on my short stories (6-7K instead of 4-5K words) and not getting them finished fast enough.  I've noticed my productivity and enthusiasm for a story starts to wane once it drags past a certain number of days.  Getting an idea down in 2-3 days, while it's still fresh, is what I should be aiming for.

The second story features plenty of weirdness and dangerous snu snu.  That's typed up and should be posted in the next few days after I've finished editing it.

The third story references the #GamerGate controversy, so the response to that should be... interesting.  It also features an appearance of one of my regular characters.  Sort of.  I'm deep in the 1st draft for that one.  The closing date for the competition is the 22nd.  That might be tight, but I'll still post it even if I fail to make the deadline.

Originally I had another third story planned.  The first draft is nearly done on that one.  Horror-head and Erotica-head had a fight over the ending and Erotica-head rightly pointed out the original ending, as planned, would likely leave readers feeling like they'd been cheated out of some of the sexy stuff.  The story does have plenty of nice cliff-hanger moments, so I'll be running that here on the blog throughout November as a mini-serial.

Then it's back to getting the long-delayed "Sandwiched by Scyllas" ready for publication.  I'm hoping a break from banging my head against the wall trying to write the second half of that will get it flowing again.  Lots of tentacle goodness to come there. ;)

Breaking the Sandwiched by series out of the monthly cycle that wasn't doing me any good means I won't be immediately pressured to get the 5th done (currently pencilled in as the slightly voretastic "Sandwiched by Stomachs").  That means it will be time to do what people have been asking me for all year and bring Succubus Summoning 201 to a satisfying end.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Textbook Example of Censorship by Mob - Tournament of Rapists

I read this:

and, ugh.

The tl;dr version.  Somebody put out a (tabletop) role-playing game book with the title of Tournament of Rapists.  From the synopsis it sounds like a Mortal Kombat/Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon type scenario where the players infiltrate a tournament of death to bring down the corrupt ringleader.  The Perpetually Offended Of Social Media caught wind of it and deployed their usual strategy of Point and Shriek and Dogpile until the retailer made it unavailable.

I've been trying to avoid harping on about SJW nonsense, but this is encroaching on my own artistic freedom.  It's close to an idea I've been meaning to work on (monster girls fighting with exotic sex moves similar to the arena section of Monster Girl Quest) as a book or maybe even a game.  I'd like to be able to do this without worrying about a pack of screaming monkeys throwing faeces at me.

Healthy criticism and not liking something is fine.  Gathering together a mob to pressure retailers into not selling certain items because you don't like them is not.  Stories like this need to widely circulated so that people are aware of what's going on.  At this point we need to shout back and let these online thugs know in no uncertain terms that this type of shit is no longer acceptable.

If you're one of the people that threatened to remove your own products unless this book was banned, you are a cunticle of the highest order and I sincerely hope you look on your business in a year's time and see nothing but ash.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Stepping aside from SJW nonsense... for now

I was going to put up a long post about blacklists and cliques, but it was coming out more like a puling whinefest than the motivational piece I intended, so into the recycling bin it went.

It was intended for just-starting-out writers in the light of some of the demoralised comments I'd seen in the aftermath of the ugly Hugo Awards debacle.  The basic gist was this:

Yes, cliques exist.  Yes they're annoying and frustrating, but as you get older you will learn to find ways around them.  Reroute around damage.  Create the works you want to create.

I was also going to do a long piece on SJWs, but I suspect my readers' patience is wearing thin on that particular subject.  I know mine is.  If it wasn't for the fact I'm acutely sensitive to censorship (and this includes the various forms of quasi-censorship people swear blind aren't actual censorship even though they result in the same outcome) I'd stay out of this clusterfuck altogether.

Thankfully, my fears of an SJW-ideological chokehold on the creative process are receding.  Say what you will about Vox Day, his strategy of adopting the same tactics manual and hitting back twice as hard has been brutally effective.  While the more thuggish members of the SJW crowd are kept busy breaking their fists on the rock face of Vox, #GamerGate, and other groups stubbornly resistant to their shaming tactics, they don't have the time to bother the rest of us.  Having the left and right ends of the horseshoe negate each other in ideological combat across social media is win-win as far as I'm concerned.

So I think I'll quietly step away from all that nonsense and get back to the succubus smut.  I have a review of Camel's latest Card Quest game I'm hoping to get out by the weekend, "Sandwiched by Scyllas" for the week after, and that Succubus Summoning 201 ebook isn't going to write itself.

The same message applies:

Reroute around damage.  Create the works you want to create.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The End of All Hugos to Come: Of Clubhouses and the Young Devouring the Old

Well, this year's Hugo Awards certainly didn't disappoint in terms of drama...

Here's the background for those unaware.  Concerned about a political bias in the awards and dissatisfied with the quality of recent nominees, a group of right-wing authors started a campaign, #SadPuppies, to get work they and their fans liked on the ballot (there was also a related, more radical campaign – #RabidPuppies).  Their campaign was a little too successful and their nominees flooded the ballots, locking up all five slots in some categories.  This riled up the rest of Fandom, resulting in a lot of ugliness and bad feeling, and culminated in an award ceremony on Saturday that saw five categories No Awarded as a protest against the slate-voting tactics of the Puppies/because none of the nominees were of sufficient quality/because of the politics of the nominees (*insert own truth).

This is just the barebones.  There's plenty more elsewhere on the internet if you want to read up more.  As with all political controversies, most of what's written is heavily slanted to one side or the other, so I'd recommend reading from sources on both sides of the fracture to get the full picture.  I'd also recommend avoiding reading anything from mainstream media sources such as The Guardian.  Over the past couple of years mainstream media has either been utterly inept or wilfully duplicitous in their reporting on flare-ups in online nerd/geek spaces and this is sadly more of the same.  The argument that this is a conspiracy by old racist, misogynist white dudes to keep minorities and women out of Sci-Fi doesn't really hold up under closer inspection (the number of women on their ballots and the fact that one of the "racist" Sad Puppies organisers, Brad Torgersen, has been happily married to a black woman for over two decades are fairly big giveaways).

For me personally I don't have a dog in this fight.  I write succubus porn for a tiny niche audience and have the networking skills of an octoplegic arachnid.  The probability of my work being noticed and put forward for an award like the Hugo is somewhere about the same as the Earth spontaneously imploding.

It doesn't affect me much as a reader either.  My reading preferences lean more towards horror than either science fiction or fantasy, and awards have been functionally useless in suggesting books I'd want to read for some time now.

While the stated aims of the Sad Puppies are laudable, replacing one clique with another—and unfortunately that's how it looks to an outside eye once you unpick the spiderwebs of who's connected to who—doesn't feel like significant improvement to either writer-me or reader-me.  All this latest dust-up has achieved is to reinforce my impression that the whole of SFF (capital-F) Fandom is nuts, probably hazardous-to-career/productivity and best viewed from afar with a strong telescope.

What I find interesting is how the whole Hugo Awards controversy is playing out as an extension of the wider Libertarian vs. Authoritarian culture war currently waging in online nerd communities.  #GamerGate has been raging for a year now, an unprecedented amount of time in the age of social media.  #GamerGate should have been a trivial bit of kerfuffle about a minor figure in the indie dev scene that blew over in a week, but then virtually all of the online gaming press decided to declare war on their own audience and, twelve months later, a good chunk of that audience is still raging.  At this point I don't think #GamerGate is ever going away.  It's gone beyond a protest movement/hate group (*insert own truth) and coalesced into a community... a very angry community furious about how they've been demonised by the media.

How does this relate to the Hugos?  One of the accusations levelled at the Puppies is that they dragged those evil GamerGaters into the nomination process.  As with most of the racist/misogynist/homophobic claims, it doesn't hold up under closer inspection.  One of the regular tweeters for #GamerGate, @Daddy_Warpig, is a fan of some of the Puppy writers and #RabidPuppies ringleader Vox Day identifies as a #GamerGate supporter, but that's about it.  Or at least, was about it.  Plenty of #GamerGaters kept a close eye on the awards and they did not like what they saw.

Still, who gives a fuck about #GamerGate?  They're just the same old bunch of whiny white dudes crying because someone let some women and minorities into their clubhouse to play with their toys... right?  And there's only like a handful of them anyway... right?

That seems to be the usual narrative about #GamerGate and every other online controversy where geeks and nerds get angry on the internet.  They're old white male dinosaurs—reactionary relics lashing out a world moving away from them.  That world is moving to a bright, shiny future filled with inclusivity and diversity, and nerd culture—be it games, comics, films, books—would be there already if these inconvenient old straight white male neckbeards would just shift their inconvenient fat carcasses out of the way and jump in the nearest canal.  That seems to be the message from a cultural media elite with their blogs and opinion columns—"We are the future, you are the past.  Your extinction is at hand, now kindly accept it and fuck off."

One thing that struck me about the aftermath of the Hugo Awards on social media was that the people most mad about the No Awarding didn't strike me as these old dinosaurs raging at their usurpation.  They sounded young.

Young.  Disenfranchised.  Angry.

And this is #GamerGate in a nutshell.  It's not about excluding women, it's not even about ethics in games journalism.  It's anger.  And most of this anger is directed at an elite media class that doesn't understand them and has repeatedly lied about and demonised them.  If they're white and male, they're angry at being lectured to about privilege by writers with far greater reach and social capital.  If they're female or a minority, they're angry at being dismissed as sock puppets, or of having "internalized misogyny".  They're angry at being called misogynists, racists and homophobes for questioning logic in media narratives that don't add up to them.  They're angry at being smeared as terrorists and rapists for having the temerity of speaking back.

One of the things I found most telling was a twitter exchange between one of these angry young nerds and a multi-award-winning author.  The author described it as Fandom successfully keeping out interlopers trying to gate-crash the clubhouse.  And then it clicked for me.  The roles are all wrong.  The angry young nerd isn't angry because they think they're being kicked out of the clubhouse to let in a more diverse female/PoC/LGBT crowd.  They've never even been inside the clubhouse.

I don't think the people that write the blogs and newspaper articles understand this.  They've made careers and names out of "punching up" and "speaking truth to power".  I don't think they recognise that to the young people coming up, they've become the establishment putting bars on the doors and windows of the clubhouse.

Now we come back to #SadPuppies and the Hugo Awards.  My personal opinion is that while I'm sympathetic to the #SadPuppies cause, ending up with a situation where the rest of the voters were left with a choice of voting for one of the Puppy picks or none at all was a mistake (and not entirely the #SadPuppies fault—it was the additions of Vox Day's overlapping #RabidPuppies slate that ended up locking out some of the categories).  People being the contrary buggers they are, voters going "fuck you" and plumping for none at all was always a likely outcome in that scenario.

The thing is, all those angry young nerds currently raging on the internet aren't going to see that.  These people have zero trust in the media after fighting a bruising campaign against it over the past year.  They've even been blamed for contributing to this controversy and casually smeared, again.

Then they see the Hugo Awards play out.  They see a bunch of people cheering the announcement of No Award and then gloating afterwards about denying people based on their politics rather than the quality of their writing.  They hear about a distinguished female editor with a long history in the field walking out because she'd had enough of the mockery.  They read the account of another female writer having what should be a dream occasion turned to utter shit.  They hear about the multi-millionaire author throwing an after-show party for his buddies in a big mansion and giving out awards to the people the in-group thought "should" have won.  Is it any wonder they came to the conclusion the whole thing is as rotten as hell?   The raging you're seeing on social media is their "speaking truth to power".

This has been reported as a victory for progressive attitudes over a reactionary backlash of old white dudes stuck in the past, further evidence that the old guard are being elbowed aside and the future of SFF is a bright one with social justice at its heart.  I think there's a problem here.  It relies on the assumption that the current backlash is coming from old dinosaurs clinging grimly on to power.  They're thinning out.  Less and less people are sharing their attitudes.  Soon they'll be gone and the cultural shift will be complete.

Except there's a good chance that all the folks raging in twitter and reddit posts are younger than the more connected folk writing all the nice blogposts about SFF's bright and rainbow-coloured future.  Which would mean what we're seeing now is not a reactionary backlash from a generation on the way out, but a backlash against perceived authoritarianism from a generation on the way in.  They're really angry at the current media class.  Their numbers are growing and they're getting angrier.  They will also bring a cultural shift, but it might not be the one you're expecting and it might not be pleasant.

That's the thing about being the future, you always end up being someone else's past.

The young replace the old.

Currently the young are very angry.  Then someone like Vox Day comes along.  Vox is an asshole.  He doesn't pretend to be anything else.  Most of these angry young nerds are not assholes.  They don't even like Vox.  A cursory glance at #GamerGate HQ, the KotakuInAction subreddit, shows this.  Every time his name comes up it's usually followed by, "Ugh, that guy," or words to the same effect.  But the thing is, if you're caught between two sides and one side is throwing rocks at your head, it's human nature to gravitate to the side not currently throwing rocks at your head.

I find it ironic that in the same year Mixon received a Hugo for her exposé of Requires Hate, Fandom seems wilfully unaware that people are still using the same hacks to spread toxicity from behind a shield of supposed social justice.  This is great for Vox Day.  Whenever one of Team "Social Justice" posts another of their venomous screeds about young white men being the most useless and deficient individuals in society, the Dark Lord of Evil rubs his hands and welcomes more Vile Faceless Minions to the fold.

It's why Vox's "SJWs Always Lie" sticks.  They keep proving him right ALL THE GODDAMN TIME.  This resonates with the young angry nerds—they've seen mainstream media lie about them constantly for the past year.  They look at #SadPuppies and recognise the same smears and hit pieces.

It's no surprise right-wing outlets such as are taking an interest in these young angry nerds.  For the first time in half a century the Right sees an opportunity to not be the stop-having-fun side of politics amongst the young.  Because this is the young—the next generation coming through.  They're going to be the people writing about SFF and Fandom in the future.  Do you really want to leave them to be shaped by people like Vox Day?

Friday, August 12, 2011

The state, the state, the state is on fire...

We don’t need no water let the muthafucka burn. Burn muthafucka. Burn!!!

The country of my birth, England, appears to be a little ill at the moment. I went back to visit this week, which also coincided with an outbreak of rioting and looting in the major city centres.

Yes, I’m now so maleficent my mere presence drives a country into unrest. Joke.

There’s been a lot of talk about the sick state of modern society in all the papers, but I think the illness is not the one they’re talking about. There’s an ideological schism splitting the country, one which, no doubt, any middle-leaning American will recognise with a dejected sigh. Read a right-wing newspaper and they’ll talk about a collapse in moral values which can only be rectified by a good caning, bringing back National Service or simply hanging the buggers until they turn purple and their tongues hang out. Read a left-wing newspaper and you’ll get a lot of handwringing about broken homes, poverty, boredom and legitimate protest.

They’re both bloody idiots.

Poverty is a debased term nowadays. These kids aren’t starving and they have access to far more forms of entertainment than children of decades ago. Several spots of unrest were organised through Blackberries and online social networks according to some reports. Nicking stuff because you feel inferior to multi-millionaire football players in the top 0.0001% or whatever of earners in the country is a fairly venal and piss-poor imitation of the Arab Spring uprisings taking place elsewhere on the planet.

What the kids don’t have is a future. That’s a problem. It doesn’t matter how big a stick you threaten to hit them with. They don’t care. They don’t have anything to lose.

What I hate is the media trotting out the same simplistic right/left-wing ideological solutions which have little relevance to a messy and more complex world. The troublemakers of the past week are scum and need to be punished accordingly, but if they aren’t allowed decent aspirations (playing football for Man Utd or selling millions of records are not realistic aspirations unless you’re phenomenally gifted and lucky) more and more youths are going to go ‘feral’.

The challenge for our glorious leaders is to reengage with these forgotten sumps of society and find a productive use for them. Maybe our politicians could start by setting a better example instead of fiddling their expenses and gorging themselves on the corporate teat. What’s the saying—the fish rots from the head.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I’d like to vote to have less of a vote, please

Tomorrow (or most likely today when this goes up), Britain is holding a referendum on whether to change its voting system from a First Past The Post system to an Alternative Vote system. Now this is a complicated issue, with many politicians on all sides of the political spectrum weighing in with complex opinions.

Essentially though, it boils down to this:
  • A. Yes. I would like my vote to have more of a say in who governs me.
  • B. No. I don’t want my vote to have more of a say in who governs me.
You’d think it’d be an easy choice…