And no, that’s not a euphemism. Though the dysphemistic vulgarity you’re probably thinking of could apply as well. Somebody’s gettin’ it tonight.
(A “fisking” is… well, this post. You’ll get it by the end.)
The inestimable Adam Baldwin — actor, billionaire humanitarian philanthropist, wearer of shiny hats — passed along a link to an anti-GamerGater, name of Jon Stone. Stone wrote one of the longest, most boring, most intellectually dishonest pieces I’ve ever had the displeasure of forcing my eyes to scan. While reading, my brain was crying out in pain, begging me to stop. I was ruthless, however, because some of us are called to be billionaires, others to refute idiots on the Internet.
(And yet others, both. Please, please, please…)
So, Jon Stone. A Brit, and a post-modernist, and just brimming with hate. From the article-to-be-fisked:
So remember, no matter what they say, no matter how well documented their claims are, no matter how reasonable (or not) they may seem, #GamerGaters are pure eeeeeeeevil. And that’s a simple fact. Jon Stone says so.
Ah, #GamerGate. How do we explain thee? Let’s start with my high level overview, for the uninitiated, follow it up with a more focused piece, and finish it off with a damn good 60-second video by Leo the Pirate. (Or you could start with that. It’s censored by Digg! And short.)
I’ll be quoting Stone’s piece, and responding underneath. So tip back your seats, kids, it’s gonna be a long one. (He wrote 3200 words, 3-and-a-half newspaper opinion columns. That’s a lot of bullshit.) Let the fisking begin!
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
One sentence! I can’t get one sentence into this piece without Stone posting something so colossally stupid it beggars the imagination, to wit: “All them gamers in #GamerGate? They’s insane!” (I wistfully imagine this being said in the accent of Cletus, the slack-jawed yokel. Substitute appropriate local yokel accents from your neck of the woods, as desired.)
I’m going to assume, based on the last week’s traffic, that most of you aren’t gamers, and found your way here from a non-gamer site. So let me explain:
Gamers are not crazy. They are passionate. I’m talking fainting-at-a-Beatles-concert passionate. They are still playing games first released during Ronald Reagan’s august tenure in the White House. Playing, and paying for them. Again. An entire company exists to sell gamers technologically obsolete games, that they still love.
Gamers are also fractious. They divide into camps at the drop of a hat, flood message boards with arguments about their newfound divisions, and keep these arguments going on various fora for decades. Decades.
I am reliably informed that model railroaders used to do this, in the letters column of hobby magazines. Gamers (collectively) can produce an average letters column’s worth of vitriol in fractions of a second, and do this reliably every minute of every single day.
Their hobby matters to them. Their games matter to them. They’re passionate, and you trifle with their passion at your peril.
#GamerGate is about a crowd of people who got to triflin’. Things did not go well from there.
Why bother with #gamergate?
You heard my name and wanted your ass kicked? Sorry, you asked a rhetorical question and I interrupted. Please, continue.
I’m not a games industry professional. I’m not a journalist.
Clearly well qualified to inform us about the inner workings of both, then. I look forward to your insights, oh learned one.
I have my hands full with unrelated creative projects
Poems published in boutique magazines and obscure books. Not exactly setting the world on fire, is Mr. Stone.
“Neither are you!” True. But I have actual facts and information to back me up, unlike Mr. Stone. Witness:
Realistically, I have no time for this. ‘This’ being a social media smog monster going by the name of ‘#gamergate,
You can’t even spell it right, you ignorant British twit. It’s #GamerGate. Capitalized. Twice. (A practice dubbed “CamelCase”. You can look it up.)
Why should we take your word for what #GamerGate is, when you can’t even get this one simple fact right?
a rancorous, shape-shifting cloud composed of every kind of pollutant dumped into the ocean of the internet, driven by a malevolent sentience.
Every kind of pollutant dumped on the Internet? So #GamerGate consists of, and I’m guestimating here, 80% porn, much of it illegal? 15% spam (40% of that, ED or penile enlargement spam)? 4% torrents, or links to same? And the last 1% kitteh gifs and other assorted memes? (Everything else comprising a percentage too minute to mention.)
Every kind? That’s really your claim? You’re not even pretending to be accurate, are you?
“Driven by a malevolent sentience”? How stupid are you? No, seriously, I’d like to know. One malevolent sentience? Really? Do I have to explain why that’s not only incorrect, but biologically impossible?
#GamerGate is thousands of gamers, pissed off because the journalists covering their hobby (that they love with a passion) are obsessed ideologues, busily imposing their politics on games and gamers, and engaging in corrupt practices to boot. (As if their crusade justified their malfeasance.) Thousands of people, thousands of sentiences.
#gamergate’s protean nature resists attempts toward summary and narrative.
“Wrong!” is kind of a habit with you, isn’t it?
It readjusts and reinvents itself in response to attempts to disarm and disperse its noxiousness, subsuming disaffected voices in an act of continual regeneration, cycling through targets, pretexts, manifestoes and moralisms.
Almost right, other than the amateurish attempt to malign and defame via dubious deployment of what a fellow #GamerGater labeled as your “pseudo-intellectual thesaurus soup”. (And, just a note: could one single malevolent sentience really do all that?)
What is #GamerGate, really?
#GamerGate is an ongoing conversation between thousands of gamers who exchange information and ideas, get into arguments (sometimes bitter) over matters trivial and crucial, share compliments and put-downs, make and distribute art, videos, podcasts, memes, and jokes, and propose countless plans, some of which are actually carried out. #GamerGaters are of every sex, every race, every orientation, every political persuasion, of varying levels of politeness, patience, morality, and sanity (or so I estimate), live all across the globe, speak dozens of languages, and are about as varied a group as you could possibly find anywhere. They all have one thing in common: passion.
For six weeks now (unless you work at The Verge, for whom August 28 was three months ago) thousands of gamers have kept this up, scoring some major victories whilst putting pressure on journalists, magazines (physical and Web-based), and advertisers. They have defended themselves against all comers, policed their own ranks, and despite producing 35,000 tweets in a single typical day, have not generated sufficient evidence to establish the charges laid against them, namely racism, misogyny, and the ruthless slaughter and subsequent extinction of the beautiful and gentle dodo bird of the lovely island of Mauritius. (Damn gamers!)
This lack of significant evidence, by the way, is what lies behind Stone’s argumentum ad hominem (argument by malicious and vicious slander). He cites very little, and what he does cite is out-of-context and cherry picked. Actual, convincing proof is not there.
Don’t take my word for it, though, read the article itself, then read me. I’ll show you what lies he’s told.
Unfortunately, this post has grown too long, and we’ve only scratched the surface of Mr. Stone’s idiocies and slander. Rather than doing what he does — fast-talking you by issuing a blanket declamation that everything I say is right and everything he says is wrong (without actually showing you what he said or explaining why it’s wrong) — I’ll continue the fisking tomorrow. (And, should the Fates prove unkind, perhaps the day after that, as well.)
Thank you for reading! The ass-kicking shall resume on the morrow.
Y’all come back now, y’heah?
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To all the readers from #GG: if you saw anything particularly disgusting in Stone’s hit-piece, and you’ve got the caps, tweet me: @daddy_warpig. And RT! (Button just below.)
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