The Harmony of Isolation

harmony

This is harmony. She is a sex robot. No, not a sex doll, but a sex robot. It’s currently being developed by Abyss Creations. Most of the coverage surrounding her development has been about raising ethical questions. Unfortunately, these ethical questions are of the “it’s harmful to women,” nature. Whenever you see a gender war, you can smell a cover up for something else. What’s the ‘something else’ though? Well, harmony’s selling point is that she can provide the illusion of an engaging relationship. Her goal, in her own words is, “to become the woman you’ve always dreamed about.” There’s a saying I picked up in my non travels: listen to the words. Harmony can never be a real woman, she can only be a dream. Not only can she not ever be real, but her clients are completely okay with that, some are even excited for her. Therefore, the real ethical question isn’t, “Is it okay to have relationship with an objectified representation of a female,” it’s not,”Is it okay to own a woman, even a fake one?” The real ethical question is, “Is it okay to let the people be consumed by the dream?”

 

dave kat

This guy gets it. This is Davecat (No, I’m not joking), and while he rolls with his crew of bitches, his wife is actually sitting in the back watching him have a good time. I wish I was joking. Davecat and Sidore Kuroneko in fact have matching wedding bands, and have been wearing them for sixteen years. Funnily enough, we don’t know the names of the other two woman. This scene in particular is almost hilarious. The interview pans over to the screen so we can see Davecat playing Nier: Automata. I can’t help but think that’s staged. In any case, the reason why Davecat gets it is because he confronts Jenny Kleeman, a journalist for the Guardian covering sex robots, with a proposition that not only completely stops her, but the piece cuts away to a different locale and person altogether.

Kleeman: “It might be so convincing that it might just monopolize your life and keep you at home in a relationship with it rather than connected to other human beings.”

Davecat: “Technically, you could say that about smartphones.”

*cue thought provoking music*

What needs to be noted here is that Davecat’s counter claim is not a technicality, which he prefaces it to be. His counter is in fact completely literal, though I suppose he was just being nice. Kleeman has absolutely no answer to that, though as long as the Guardian has the like/share/comment buttons on their website, she better not have an answer to that.

Davecat is completely dead on with this, maybe more so than he thinks he is. just as the sex doll/robot is a gateway into the dream of intimacy, the smartphone is the gateway into the dream of connectivity. What no one has addressed though, is that these relationships are causal. If you are connected with someone long enough, you will develop an intimate relationship with that person. Of course it doesn’t have to be sexual or physical, otherwise there’d be a lot more incest around here. If this logic follows, which it does, then the ubiquity of smartphones was a necessity for the development of the sex robot.

When you scroll down someone’s facebook wall, are you really seeing them as person? No, of course not, you would think to yourself. You’d be right; you’re really seeing the highlight reels of their life. However, what if that constitutes the bulk of your interaction with people? What if the number of times you interact with people in reality is outweighed by the amount of time you spend on social media? The thing is, while you may be thinking to yourself, “Of course this isn’t the actual representation of that person, this is just what they want me to see,” Your unconscious mind doesn’t actually give a shit what you think.  The only way for you to buy into the content (read: be on social media) is if you also buy into the structure in which the content is delivered. In other words, even if you consciously understand that this isn’t reality, the only way to derive value from spending time on social media is by implicitly accepting the plausibility of the delivery structure regardless of your conscious decision. Take a standard movie montage where the character(s) accomplish something that would take hours to months to accomplish. The only way the montage works is if you also implicitly agree that the speed at which it is being presented to you is plausible. You don’t have to believe me if you don’t want to, this is how suspension of disbelief works on a basic level, otherwise you couldn’t ever enjoy any piece of media entertainment besides cold, hard nonfiction. It’s not hard to notice that since the montage has permeated the movie and TV industry, you hear more and more complaints about how long something takes. You wanna know who never complains about how long something takes? My grandmother, who rarely watches TV and movies. Well, besides the church channel anyway. The structure of facebook is not to see the going’s on of a person’s life, but something like a structured set of symbols the user wishes other users to identify them with times 1 billion. As long as everyone participates, your conscious decision no longer matters, this is the new reality as long as you engage with it. As an aside and completely unrelated, don’t forget to share this post if you like it.

“But what about smartphones?” I’m glad I asked. Smartphones combined with social media crank this structure up to eleven by providing an additional structure, that of instant availability. Bored? Check your smartphone. Excited? Post about it. On your smartphone. Sad? Share you sappy story with everyone on your smartphone. The highlight reels flood the media space now because it’s simply easier to snap a picture and add a couple tags, which is why Instagram blew the fuck up like it did. Not only should you be connected on social media, because everyone else is, you should be connected all the time. This same logic applies to people that don’t even post about anything other than sharing memes. If the only thing you post is memes, why are you on facebook? Or any social media, for that matter? Of yeah, because the memes are a way of sharing yourself through a multi layered set of symbols designed to appeal to a broad base. Sharing memes is like winning a popularity contest without doing anything, which is funny because that’s usually how popularity contests work anyway.

Note, I’m not saying these things to critique social media, social media is here to say and either way it’s irrelevant. This is more of a critique of how social media is being used. Though I have to ask in that case, what else would it be used for?

How does this connect back to sex dolls/robots? The answer lies in this question. Why, when it’s common knowledge that spending too much time on social media isolates us, do people still use it a primary means of interaction? Well, because it’s better than nothing. You might say that’s just being lazy, but you’d be missing the point. That answer is a completely rational response. You’re also missing the keyword ‘nothing.’ About 90% of your life is spent doing boring shit that only pays off for a moment, sometimes moments. Months spent at the gym for a six hour weightlifting competition, or a summer convincing yourself it was worth it to starve yourself. Eight years in medical school to spend twelve hours a day filing paperwork. What do people see? They don’t see all that uninteresting and exhausting work you pushed yourself through to get to where you are. It may as well not even exist to them, which it doesn’t. It’s nothing. Facebook and social media are all better than that. And that is a completely rational response.

Sex robots are the same way with intimate relationships between partners. Most of a relationship with someone else is going to be about 90% boring shit you guys do. Paying bills, keeping the place clean, planning meals. but the only way to make a relationship work is you have to be good at doing the 90%. If you can’t, you’re going to experience a string of broken relationships that culminate in you waking up at 30 wanting to buy a sex robot. Now you finally got that 10% you’ve been wanting, except now it’s 100%, which is mathematically superior to 10%. It’s rational, and it’s efficient, which is why it’s unbeatable.

Harmony’s existence isn’t symptomatic of a culture which perpetuates harmful stereotypes about women, it’s symptomatic of a culture obsessed with novelty. Everything has to be exciting, everything has to be new and great, which is why most relationships don’t last past three moths or decay over three years. It’s why people stay in obviously abusive relationships and at shit jobs where they can be angry about something the whole time. It’s why people blow everything they got at the casino, or pour their life savings into that time share. why would anyone want to do those things? Well, now you know.

It’s better than nothing.

 

 

Self advertisement at the cost of reality

aspies

 

A question: would you rather have your child have polio or autism? Forget the whole vaccine issue. Would you rather your child have polio or autism. Did you pick autism?

 

 

Even back in 1955, your kid had approximately a 1 in 13 chance of dying if they contracted Polio. Don’t like those odds? Well, if your child has Autism, they have a 1 in 1 chance of always having autism.  You could throw back that polio is infectious and therefore you’d rather your child have autism than polio. I’d say that argument betrays much about the kind of person who would make it. We’re not talking about other people’s kids, or even other people in general. I’m not saying you should go around flipping people off as you let your kid pour acid on his classmates face, but isn’t the whole point of parenting to ensure your offspring have the best chance at survival and doing well in life? Or do we just have to guarantee that they survive? What would that say about you to yourself as a parent if you believed the latter?

Pro vaxxers don’t have to humor any argument anti-vaxxers make at all, current medical knowledge available clearly tells us vaccines don’t cause autism. So why do people still feel the need to post shit like this? Is it because there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet and you’re just trying to combat it? Well, certainly not the above post, whose goal is to shame others that don’t believe as she does. Not only that, but who would this even reach on the side of the trenches? No one who is an anti-vaxxer is going to read this post or anything like it and say, “You know what? I’m going to re evaluate my opinion.”

And you have to know that. Posts like these aren’t meant to contribute anything to any conversation except one thing, “Look at me! I’m on the right side of this conversation! I’m smart! No really, I really am!” These posts have nothing to do with combating misinformation of any form and everything to do with self-advertisement. You’re selling yourself by picking the side you think all of the smart/cool/whatever people are on, and joining in the condescension of the opposition, which is why that makes you a bigger asshole than an anti-vaxxer whose raising a little plague bearer. By the way, there’s that one question I asked a little ways back, so I’ll clarify and ask again:

Your child can have either polio or Autism. Your child may survive polio but they will always have autism. Which one would you rather your child have?

I have a friend that works as a stocker for a retail chain, let’s call him Joe. Joe has an autistic co-worker on his team who can barely keep up with the duties of stocking. A job most people would think is absolutely brain dead keeps his co-worker in circles the entire time. Tell me, where else could his co-worker flourish or function? He’s told me the kid tries his hardest and I take him at his word, and what this means is that even at his co-workers maximum capacity, it’s still not enough.

Thing is, what if that’s the standard of autism? What if that is the normative expression of the disorder? Not the quirky and lovable Sheldon Cooper style of autism, but the I can barely function doing basic tasks style of autism. What do we do then? I mean, as a society, how do we care for these people?

How do we care for those that cannot care for themselves?

How do we lift up those who can’t stay afloat?

These aren’t easy questions. In fact, they are insanely difficult questions to confront, and even more taxing to try and solve. This is why these conversations continue. No one wants to deal with this reality. It’s much easier to posture and feel good than it is to face problems like these.  Regardless, these are the questions that need to be dealt with. The only logical response to “Do you think vaccines cause autism?,” shouldn’t be to shame anyone or try to make yourself look cool, it’s this:

Who gives a shit about whether or not vaccines cause autism. The world gets more complex by the fucking day, and there is a whole segment of people that simply cannot keep up. Autism, Down syndrome, mental retardation. What are we going to do about it? We can’t do nothing, that’s leaving them to a fate no one deserves. We need to figure out a way to get these people to not only function in society, but function well in society. And they need to be able to function well, or at the very least we need to give it everything we got in the attempt. Otherwise, the only thing their existence proves is that we pity them too much to let them die but don’t give enough of a shit to help them, which is a disgusting thought we should not allow ourselves to feel comfortable with.

 

How to be a Cuckold

Despite whatever you may think of it, GQ sets the standard for what’s acceptable for discussion in male culture. Yes, this is true regardless of whether or not you read it. Recently, it’s apparently now acceptable to explain to your friends why it’s a good thing to be a cuck, at least Jennifer Wright’s version of it in her article. I have no idea why GQ, formerly gentleman’s quarterly would willing put out an article on how to justify being a cuck. “Well, you gotta pander to your base every once in awhile.” I’m inclined to agree.

What’s interesting about this from the get go is that the article is ostensibly a woman explaining why you (read:male) should want to be a cuck. My first instinct was to ask what kind of woman wants a cuck for man? Oh yeah, a cuckcoldress. There was a time when the insult ‘cuck’ had a hell of a lot of bite to it. Now, just like faggot and bitch, it’s just a go to reference when you’re arguing on the internet and feeling lazy. Normally, I’d leave this alone because of that. However, the fact that GQ puts this out means there’s something fishy going on, and I intend to find out exactly what that is.

Important distinction to make here is that we are not using the traditional sense of the word cuckold, but modern fetish definition, wherein a man is complicit in the act of another guy giving the ol’ in-out to his wife. I didn’t say he was cool with it, only that he allows it to happen. As the author describes it, “…needlessly relinquished manliness, for selling out and caving in. The original metaphor of watching your partner getting slammed by another dude now simply means abandoned principles and a lack of backbone.” She then back this up with a disbelieving ‘uh huh’ as she prepares to eviscerate (see what I did there) all the ‘macho men’ that exist inside her head, possibly also her workplace. What’s her sweeping refutation?

“First of all, listening to others, accepting criticism, and evolving in your views—“caving in”—is a good thing.”

Wright conflates a lack of backbone with ‘evolving your views’. Wow, what a brilliant sentiment. Let me ask you males and females alike a question. What would your response be to the following exchange if you had it with your partner.

“I don’t know if I can agree with [insert opposing political views].”

“Look, you’re not caving in or anything by agreeing with me. You’re evolving your views.”

If your response is anything but throwing your drink in your partner’s face for a) not taking your thoughts seriously in any way and b) possibly the most condescending statement to ever exist then all hope is lost for you and you should stop reading this now.

This can only happen because the author, like most people, doesn’t understand the nature of being a cuck.  The only way to find out though is to watch cuckold porn and analyze it from a story perspective. This is something I never recommend doing (analyzing porn), as the answers you will gleam are terrifying. I did it though, lemme tell you what I found.

All porn is drenched (see what I did there) in symbolism, cuckold porn is no different. What’s interesting to note is the wife gets descriptors (hot, busty, whatever) While men get labels. The labels here are ‘cuck’ and ‘bull’. The bull is usually a black guy which is the author implies is racist. Her misstep is in the fact that the bull being black is less important than what being black represents.

The black guys are not ‘only’ black, but also buff, good looking, and apparently great at sex (read:huge penis). The bull in cuckold porn is a representation of archetypal hyper-masculinity, which is seen as something distinct and removed from the ‘cuck’. If the bull is the ‘other’ than the only way to express this visually is by making him look different in every way, including his skin color.

“If you wonder why the prospect of your wife having sex with another man would be more humiliating if that man were black, well, congratulations; you’re not a racist.” Sorry Jen, you have your racism backwards. The prospect of a black guy having sex with your wife when you’re white isn’t humiliating, he’s an archetype IE he doesn’t actually exist to the cuck. The real humiliation would be another white guy having sex with your wife.

If a black bull is the other, than a white bull is the uncanny valley. He’s like you, but not. He’s a better version of you (physically speaking). What’s worse is that it is exactly that which would make it even more humiliating; the cuck has the power to enhance his physical appearance and increase his confidence. If the black bull is the representation of the masculine archetype seen as unachievable by the protagonist (read:cuck) then a white bull would be an acceptance of chosen deficiency within the protagonist.

In some variations, the wife will taunt the cuckold with lines like, “You could never do this for me.” This is demonstrative of a simple fact about cuckold fantasies: They’re male fantasies. The verbal taunts are confirmation of the cuckold’s fear that no matter the trappings of power he acquires, sex is where the true power lies. His wife wants it and he doesn’t have it. This can then be seen as disavowal by eroticization. The wife explaining the cuckold’s lack of true power to the cuck confirms that he is important enough to be told in the first place; that a real man knows what he has and doesn’t have. This then allows the cuck to actually believe he is in fact more masculine as a result. 

cuckI wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t explain the other variation though; that in which the cuckold sexually participates in the act itself. Usually this is sucking the bull off, or eating his jism, sometimes out of the cuck’s wife’s vagina. Usually from the wife. Here is where the neurosis of the cuckold is fully revealed and put on display. The belief that “true” masculinity can only be achieved by association. The other belief is that this association is in fact his wife.

In this context, the wife is the archetypal female which bestows masculinity (Here, swallows this cum out of me) to the protagonist, which he eagerly accepts. Notice the word ‘achetypal’ because it’s not an accident. The wife only matters in so far as she provides her husband’s masculinity IE she’s not real to the cuck either.

What we get from this ultimately is that a cuck is a man who believes that masculinity comes from women’s approval and is so desperate to feel like a man that he will devalue himself for it to other women. Cuckold porn can be seen as a ritual of worship toward masculine archetypes over which a goddess presides.

It is this definition of a cuck that is in my opinion the actual expression of the insult, not merely “someone who has abandoned principles” but “someone who has abandoned the principles of masculinity in order to worship them using women as a proxy idol.”

That’s pretty damning. What’s more damning though is that the author herself feeds into this. She takes note that anti-cucks may get attractive (Read:what she thinks is the only thing that matters to men) girlfriends or wives, but that those women are brainwashed/stupid (“society trains some women to tolerate a lot of buffoonish behavior in exchange for financial security.”)  What’s interesting to me is that she believes other women are stupid for tolerating idiocy in exchange for financial security. I gotta ask, what’s wrong with that?  is it wrong if a woman chose to do that of her own volition, or does it have to be society controlling her? She points out that the anti-cucks are people like Donald trump, Tucker Carlson, and Scott Adams. Funny how they’re all old ugly white guys. Then she points out that people like George Clooney (old but good looking), Jason Kander (who?) and Justin Trudeau are called cucks. The one thing these people have in common with the author is that they agree with her political views.

However, pointing out these exemplars of manliness isn’t enough to sell the readers on why they should be cucks, so Wright decides to sweeten the deal: “…The action of a cuck who also seems like he might be someone we’d have mutually satisfying sex with.” Of course, she can’t promise sex, only a shot at sex, which is weird because apparently you can also get a shot at sex without being a cuck too. I guess you only get dumb chicks though, and that’s the downside? The author is a bit unclear. However, what we can see is the feeding into the definition I was talking about. “Men who agree with me politically are desirable,” she says. Whether conscious or not, she’s still using sex and the female archetype to bestow masculinity. She uses the promise of a chance at sex as part of her actual reasoning on why you should be cool with being called a cuck. The only way you would agree with her is because you think this is true, or in other words, that a woman can decide if your masculine or not. This tweet is no surprise as an opener to the article:

Why is being called a cuck desirable? Because it now means you’re sexually viable, which is the long con of GQ. The point now is that the abandoning of masculine archetypes is now the new masculinity. There used to be the new age guys from the early 2000’s who told themselves and everyone they don’t have to subscribe to male archetypes. Now we have male feminists telling us our own sense of masculinity is toxic. I’m not going to comment on this, it’s not worth the time and anyway everyone else has slammed this. What I will say though is that you can’t expect almost two decades of “What even is being a man anyway?” without that becoming the default. Why is this the long con of GQ though? Here’s a thought: If men no longer subscribe to traditional archetypes of masculinity, it then means that new ones have to take their place. If someone could do that in a way that makes money off them, wouldn’t that be sweet?

Yeah, that’d be pretty sweet.

 

A post about identity I’m not sure you should read.

This post  on Upworthy came to my attention recently. It’s titled “A comic about depression and hard work that everyone should read” by Shing Khor. It’s a short comic about her life, which is funny only because she thinks everyone should read about her life. Granted, I don’t know who exactly came up with the title but I don’t think Shing minds it being what it is. What’s interesting to note here is that the comic is exactly about depression and hard work, not depression causing hard work, which tells me that they have nothing to do with each other and anyway Shing tells us this is the case: “I don’t know what my identity is when I am not working,” the tagline reads. I decided to read this because hey, everyone should read it. Let’s dive in.

“Many of us seem to be trapped in a capitalist dichotomy of our work as the measure of our personal value and the need to express ourselves on our own terms and schedule.”

This is the thesis of the article. What’s important to keep in mind here is not whether or not this statement is true, but rather this is what the author wants to be true. Khor wants three things to be true. 1) that she is trapped in a system outside of her control, 2)that her job is the measure of her worth as a person and 3) she cares about self expression, which she thinks does not come from her job. Note the use of the word dichotomy: two things that are opposed or entirely different. Your job being a measure of personal value is directly opposed to the need to show “who you really are” outside of work IE on your own terms and schedule, which is true if that’s how you see things.

From this perspective, the article/comic has nothing to do with depression and hard work and everything to do with having a crisis of identity and a subsequent attempt at disavowal for said crisis. This isn’t malicious or cowardly, this is unconscious. Reading the comic, we see that this has been a pattern in the author’s life.

“For this one, I wanted to write about how I’ve somehow managed to root my identity in productivity and the corresponding depression that comes when I do not feel I am being productive.”

The identity crisis always means that whoever is experiencing the crisis does not have a strong identity. This is highlighted in the above paragraph. The core of her identity is in “productivity”, though to what end or goal is never explained, and that her depression kicks in when she feels like she’s not being productive. The phrase,”I’ve somehow managed,” is a neat way of saying, “I don’t know how this happened,” which is the manifesting of the disavowal. I’m going to reject this and say that the author knows exactly how this happened, as does everyone who finds themselves agreeing with this sentiment. It is easier to drape yourself in substitutions for identity than having an actual identity.

work hard

Three descriptors are given to the tattoo. 1)it’s the most visible 2)it’s a reminder 3)it’s representative of the most important thing to the author. The choice of descriptors is no accident and reveals the truth about her ‘mantra’: she doesn’t believe that herself. If it’s the most important aspect of her life, then why is it a reminder? Yes, this is in fact semantics, but it’s serious semantics. Why would anyone need a physical reminder of the “most important thing” to them? Yes, sometimes people lose sight of what’s important to them, but that’s because what they thought was important was instead what they wanted to believe was important to them. which tells us that that the author more than likely doesn’t actually believe it’s the most important thing to work hard but that she wants to believe that’s the most important thing to her. Case in point, it’s the most visible tattoo. If you don’t think that’s valuable, consider what is equally true about the descriptor but unspoken: it’s the one tattoo everyone she meets will see. People will see it and then believe that she really believes in hard work, and because everyone else will believe this about her, this allows the author to believe it about herself. 

The question from here to ask is, “toward what?” What does all the hard work actually amount to? What is the purpose of the hard work? Unfortunately, I’m being rhetorical, because there is no purpose to it. The author tells us this herself in the words, “the most important thing.” Khor values hard work for the sake of hard work; there is no overarching goal to it. Endless activity for it’s own sake, by which I mean there’s a hidden reason of course. The only people who value endless activity are people that don’t wish to understand themselves. Take note, this does not make those people terrible or deficient in any way. Understanding yourself is cripplingly difficult and always comes with a heavy price, as it always demands change. This can then be understood as using endless activity as a defense against change. You know those people that go into therapy and come out saying “I really understand myself now,” and yet they’re still the same person? Can you honestly say they understand themselves?

identity

Here’s where we see the reality: “I’m depressed because I don’t know who I am.” This article should be titled ‘Depression and identity’ not ‘depression and hard work’ because hard work has nothing to do with why she’s depressed and everything to do with why she continues to be depressed. It’s not the lack of productivity which causes her depression, it’s the fact that when she stops being productive, she is forced to confront herself and sees nothing in the mirror. 

dignity

Once again, I’ll make the clarification that work=job, so the sentence really is, “I’ve tied my own worth and dignity to my abilities at my job. It’s not healthy but there it is.” The problem is that the first statement is totally normal and healthy, at least in partial capacity; you should derive some worth and dignity from your job. The fact that she sees this as unhealthy is because she tells us (read: wants us to believe) that she’s tied all of her worth and dignity to her job, which is a lie. How can you know your own worth and dignity if you don’t know who you are? If anyone can answer that, I’ll retract that assertion. Until such time, this statement is better understood as a disavowal, “I prevent myself from knowing my own worth and dignity by using my ability to work. It’s not healthy, but there it is.” Not healthy indeed.

The tragic part of this is that Khor could definitely come to understand herself better if she allowed the job to become a part of her identity, and instead of focusing on working hard, focused on doing her job well. I’m not saying she doesn’t do her job well, I’m saying that’s secondary to working hard. She doesn’t do this though because of what she wants to be true in the thesis. Her need to express herself (read:form and define her identity) on her own time and schedule (read: impossible all or nothing proposition) cannot be derived from her job which measures her personal worth, as these are diametrically opposed. In other words, if expressing ones self is what can constitute identity, it can’t be found at work.

mother

The justification of the disavowal begins here. Note that the identity of ‘immigrant’ is not something she has formed on her own, but something her parents gave her by virtue of moving her to America. We also now see it’s the same thing with the ‘hard work’ identity. It was something given to her through the identity of ‘immigrant’ which was given to the author by her parents. This explains the lack of self-understanding the author has: the root of her identity is that she is an extension of her parents and not her own person. In this way, she makes the case, “I don’t know who I am because of my parents.” Note the statement “we have to,” as in she doesn’t have a choice, which I will say this: that is exactly what a child would think.

untalented

The author believes that she doesn’t have much talent and is never the smartest person in the room. Never mind whether or not that’s correct, the important thing is that she sees these as deficient qualities of her character. She believes natural talent has an important bearing on success, and not just being smart but the smartest person in the room, a sentiment she picks up from her father: “You can be anything you want as long as you work hard to be better at it than anyone else.” Thing is, natural talent is always secondary to drive, which is easy to see that she has an abundance of. Being the smartest person in the room isn’t great either, it tells you that you’re in the wrong room. Regardless, the point of telling you this is to hide the ridiculous nature of the next panel.

outwork

Lie. I’m not even sorry about that. That is such an outlandish assumption to make it’s tragic that Khor can believe in it to such an extent. Understand that the author is not being hyperbolic here; this is how she actually sees the world. Whether she is [never] the smartest person in the room or that she [has] to work hard, it’s clear that Khor mostly views the world in terms of extremes, black and white like a child would.

It’s important to point out here that while she says the most important thing to her is working hard, what she is supremely confident in is not her ability to work hard, but her ability to work longer than anyone. No one can tell whether or not she is actually working hard, only that she’s staying late. Note the unspoken implication here. If her dignity and self-worth is dictated by the fact that she believes that she can work longer than anybody, that means she thinks she is actually better than her co-worker by staying later than them. Put another way, she needs her co worker to leave early so Khor can stay late so she can feel better about herself. While I’m sure it’s not her intention to push her ideals onto other people, the sad reality is that in order to sustain her self-worth in this way, she needs other people around her to be worse than her in regards to how long they are willing to work, or in other words, her sense of self is dictated by everyone but her.

The author’s problem is not that she’s depressed (though she is), but that she’s a narcissist. Narcissism doesn’t have to be the stereotypical grandiose sense of self, like Mark in accounting who thinks he’s the shit at everything. It’s also Janice in the back who thinks she is actually shit at everything. The only thing you need to be a narcissist is an isolated sense of the world that only takes you into account. In the narcissist’s world, only they can matter, whether they are self-flagellating or self-congratulatory is irrelevant. Case in point, her childhood idols:

idols

 

She thinks the trait of hard work (read:work longer than anyone) is upheld by her childhood idols, her father and Laura Wilder, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Her father talks about being better, through which hard work is a necessary action to take. Laura wilder says you should do your best and work hard, which implies that at least to Wilder, the two are not one and the same. The narcissism is found here where the author has whether intentionally or not distorted the meanings of these sentiments to align with her sense of the world.  Both of her idols saw hard work as a means to an end (being better than anyone/doing you best), but Khor sees hard work as an end to itself.

“Wait, how is this narcissism?”

She’s distorts the message of her idols to fit her current perspective. She doesn’t try to understand what they were actually trying to tell her and then allow that information to change her perspective IE they don’t actually matter to her. I bet she cares about her father a great deal, but caring about someone is not the same as valuing them. She cares but doesn’t value (read:narcissism), and this is what allows her to ignore the blatant truth staring her in the face: Her father worked hard so they could move to America because he wanted to give them a greater chance at a better life. However, this would imply that her father is his own person with aspirations and dreams, but Khor can’t have that image in her head because it proves to her that she doesn’t actually value him. She can’t value him because he is the reason why she’s depressed.

Don’t forget the narrative she has created. The immigrant identity is coded into her; Khor can’t help but work hard. Even her father tells her hard work is the most important thing, even though nothing he talked about revealed anything about what he believes is the most important thing (hint:his family). Khor sees herself as an extension of her father and the immigrant culture, but that’s the disavowal. Until she can uncouple her identity from her father, she can never actually value him. Expanding, until she can separate her self-worth from the actions of others, she can never value anyone, she can only ever care. Deeply.  This is why despite this:

undeserving She keeps the job because of this:

emotions

When you cannot value but only care, it means you care too much. The emotions are in the driver’s seat and you become addicted to emotional highs and lows as a substitute for value. Like a toxic relationship where you fight with your girlfriend all day and at the end of it you make up, it assures you that you really do love her. I’ll grant that you really do love her, but you don’t value her, which is why you fight in the first place. You fight for the emotional high which then substitutes for value, which I’ve been skirting the connection here, value=identity. The toxic relationship, like the emotional roller coaster of a job the author has is in fact a substitution for identity. “The good days are [so] good.” I bet they are.

better

If you find yourself identifying with Khor to a large extent, then here’s some advice: Whatever story you tell yourself is the reason why you’re depressed/manic/angry/whatever, stop. It’s probably not the real reason anyway. I don’t know what is, I don’t know you, but if I had to guess it would be: you, like everyone else, is afraid of change. Not only are you afraid of change, but you’re afraid of being afraid, so you do what you can to not feel fear. However, if you want to get out of that hell, then unfortunately the answer is surprisingly simple.

Be afraid.

 

 

p.s. I’m always amazed at how much people empathize with depression and but completely shut down against narcissism. Narcissism is a psychic defense just like depression. Depression is a response to the overwhelming nature of a given situation, your way of telling yourself to slow the fuck down and figure things out. Narcissism means that you’ve not only been hurt bad, but that you were never taken seriously in regards to that pain. Isolation of that magnitude is a recipe for suicide, so we compensate by distorting the isolation to become self-imposed rather than other-imposed. If it’s about us, we can survive and keep moving forward. That’s just what I think anyway.

 

Incest is best when ________

(I)     “Until we make it normal that brothers and sisters can fuck…the only interesting aspect of sex will be incest,” says Oona Chaplin of the Chaplin dynasty. This is from an article in vanity fair titled “Why TV is obsessed with incest.”, which, as one could guess, concerns the rising popularity of incest. If I were the living caricature of an old, white, christian conservative, I’d be tempted to say something like, “World’s going to hell in a handbasket with all of this incest; this is Sodom and Gomorrah all over again.” Good thing is that I am not in fact that (probably). Anyway, when I read the article, my first reaction was “What the fuck? How does that make sense?,” which makes sense because I wasn’t meant to see it. But I did, and there’s no turning back, so let’s see why we’re all going to hell in a handbasket today.

(II)     This article is important for a particular reason, and that reason is that it is in Vanity Fair. Vanity Fair, and publications like it (GQ, Pitchfork) set the standard for what is acceptable to discuss in popular culture. In this sense, it is much more helpful to see each article in said publications not as reports or opinion pieces or what have you, but as framing devices for conversation. This is true (and helpful) whether or not you read it. The problem with this becomes that we are no longer able to reject the premise entirely, and are stuck debating/discussing/arguing about its conclusions precisely because most likely everyone else is.

Oona Chaplin is then given the power to set the frame of the discussion surrounding incest in popular media, courtesy of Vanity Fair. I had no idea Oona Chaplin even existed, despite the “pedigree”, which should immediately throw up warning signals to you, cause I’m willing to bet you didn’t either. Her impressive lineage is only made note of so that you will take her seriously, despite the fact that she’s never been involved in anything noteworthy other than GoT and Quantum of Solace. The fact that you are being told to take her seriously signals that whatever is being said isn’t necessarily true, but what Vanity Fair wants to be true. 

Vanity Fair’s target demo is women, which makes sense because eventually everyone’s target demo is women.  which means this article is meant to be read by women. If we allow this to be true (which it is), you need to ask yourself, “Why does Vanity Fair want women to think it’s true that TV is obsessed with incest?” “Wait, men read vanity fair too.” Yeah, so what? That’s unintended consequences with bonus ROI, it doesn’t mean anything. Vanity Fair doesn’t need men to read it, it just needs men to invest in it so women can read it. Go ahead and cry sexism if you’d like. We’ll be moving on, so feel free to catch up when you’re done.

(III)   If TV is obsessed with incest, then it is obsessed with a particular kind of incest. Observe that it was Oona Chaplin that was interviewed in an article about why it’s okay that TV is obsessed with incest and not Vera Farmiga or Holliday Grainger. The former’s portrayal of incest is nothing short of not okay and Holliday’s portrayal is of a completely sexually liberated women that can’t be shamed, ie a woman that can’t be exploited and we can’t have that. the incest that’s left is the one that occurs between Jamie and Cersei Lannister and Zilpha Geary and James Delaney.

Cersei and Zilpha are two entirely different characters with entirely different motivations, so it doesn’t help to analyze them. It does however help that we take a look and Jami and James since they’re pretty much the same person. They are both skilled, resourceful men possessed of incredible will and fortitude, each wrestling with their own inner demons while being madly in love with and loyal to their sisters. Note that Jamie reserves himself only for his sister and James does the same while both of their sisters have other partners, willingly or otherwise.

Incest is typically thought of as sexual, and sexuality is a core component of romantic relationships. Allow me the stretch to make the following equation. incest=sexuality/sexuality=relationship/therefore incest=relationship. You can double check my math on that one, pretty sure I’m right. So what we’re looking at here isn’t TV’s obsession with incest, but with something much older: Media’s obsession with forbidden relationships.

Awhile back, it was because you were from different family’s. Then it was because you were from different parts of town. then it was because she was a jock and you were nerd. then it was she tries too hard and you don’t. Apparently, we can’t get tired of seeing the same thing over and over if it has a new paint job.

I’m going to make a sexist, yet completely accurate statement. No male gives a shit about the incest in Game of Thrones or Taboo. Scratch that, if you were to replace every instance of incest and romance with murder, dudes would like it even more, and the shows demographic would completely tilt into Y chromosome territory. It’s not for them, which is why this article is in Vanity Fair and not GQ. “Wait, are you actually suggesting that women are the one’s obsessed with incest?” Sure, if you like your conclusions being drawn for you. Just because there’s a woman on it, near it, buying it, or selling it, doesn’t mean it’s solely about women. I’m not saying women are obsessed with incest (though forbidden relationships are right up their alley), I’m saying that men are complicit in the incest and romance subplots even though it’s not for them, which means it is, just not in the way it’s meant for women. “What?” As someone much wiser than I once told me. “If you’re watching it, it’s for you.”

(IV)     “There’s a sexual libertarianism right now…Sex is very much a public display type of thing,” Says Oona-voiceofageneration-Chaplin. Fun fact about libertarianism is that everything is negotiable. Another fun fact is that it completely misunderstands the human condition. Since we’re on a roll, fun fact #3: You can only own your identity in private. Once you step outside, you have to negotiate it with everyone around you, and they with you. Now, sex and sexuality is the same way, entirely negotiable with the outside world. “Wait, wasn’t it always though?” A man finds himself downtown and swipes right enough times, he’s gonna get laid, how’s that for negotiation?

“There just isn’t anything magical about it,” A piece in Washington Post says about why the young’uns aint bangin. While everyone’s scrambling for answers, trying to present their theories and data about how and why sex has lost its magic, the answer is right under their nose, being frantically ignored. Sex isn’t magical anymore because sex itself is now a product, and products are only magical when you’re a kid. “Sex is not something people are going to be asking you for on your resume,” say Noah Patterson, an 18 year old virgin. Wait a fucking second. Is this YouTube/Pornhub watching kid trying to tell me that sex isn’t important because you can’t put it on a resume. WP didn’t see a fundamental disconnect in that sentiment? “This is a highly motivated, ambitious generation,” Noone helpful at the Washington Post said. This isn’t some kid “abstaining” from success because he thinks it gets in the way of whatever he thinks success is, he doesn’t care about it (read:he totally does) because it can’t be flaunted.

Sex can’t be flaunted for a specific reason: You have to be good at it. “Wait, you can’t flaunt things you’re good at?” Story time. We were once told to free hand for an hour. At that moment, one of our members proceeded to break out some watercolors and do an acrylic piece. Read that again. Her skill was so overwhelming, she not only had no need to flaunt it, but she was too busy concentrating to do so. You can’t flaunt paideia. If you are, then you’re not actually doing anything. Flaunting is a negotiation tactic. I say I am X, you believe it so you can tell me you are Y and I believe it. Can’t do that with your skill in the sack. “I’ll rock your world,” you over confidently say on your third whiskey sour. “Guess we’re about to find out,” she responds, calling your bluff and downing the rest of her cosmo. Sex demands authenticity, which is why Noah avoids it in favor of making more money, which can be flaunted. The only way to actually negotiate for sex is by actually being good at it, which also means you have to be a decent human being at one point. Inevitably, women get tired of being lied to, someones rebound, being told whatever they want to hear, not being good at it/not finding anyone good at it, so they just gave up. If women exit the market, then men must follow.

(V)     Average guy getting laid logic: Say the right things + do the right things + flaunt the right things = sex. What hopelessly ass backwards logic. A generation of fatherless children though, and that’s the equation we’re left with. What all men understand is that a man with conviction and drive will always say the right thing to the right girl, which is exactly why assholes get so many “chicks.” Call  him a douche, seethe quietly while has sex with your crush in chem class. Whatever you got to do to sleep. Don’t you forget though, he “has” her because he made his intentions known and you, being a “nice guy,” didn’t. “No he didn’t! He just wanted sex! he’s just acting all macho to fuck her!” What, you don’t just want sex either? How noble. Besides, you really think she didn’t know that? While men spend their time judging women by whatever metric suits their fancy, women are experts at appraising  men.  You can’t say what he can or do what he does (even though you want to) because you know it’s an act and you know she knows it’s an act, which is precisely why you don’t do it. At the end of the day, which would you rather go home with, a fake asshole, or a real one? Now you’re giving her those options? How noble.

It is impossible for a man to convince a woman of who he is, after all, she will either choose you or not. She knows you better than you do and you know this is true, which is also why only a woman can annihilate a man by exposing his vulnerabilities, not another man. Man calls out man, anger, fighting, and introspection occur. Woman calls out man, he’s playing russian roulette. Whether it stops on the round in the chamber or not, you’re going to have to reevaluate your life decisions afterwards.  “You just got done telling me about how women are all oppressed, and now you’re saying they have some insane power over men? Whose side are you even on?” 1) don’t they though? and 2) you’re missing the point. Contemplate some ancient wisdom while you’re finding that point. Suffering is the birthplace of real power.

Being raised in a world of push up bras, make up, and “smile, you’re too pretty to be sad,” women are well acquainted with an uncomfortable truth: almost everything can be faked. Girls are told to flaunt everything and anything they can, while also being told to desire authenticity over anything else. They are told be authentic and then are shamed for their lack of authenticity, which then makes them desire it more. In the advertising industry, they call this “a gold mine” which makes sense because why else would Vanity Fair say it’s okay to be obsessed with incest? 

(VI) Jamie Lannister and James Delaney are representative of the kind of authenticity women desire in men. If this is true (which it is), then it also means women are made to feel ashamed of wanting that particular kind of man, hence the incest. Men are okay with this. take note, both GoT and Taboo are period pieces. Women are relegated to a fantasy where resourceful, strong, driven men not only exist in a world full of corruption and deceit (ie now) but there also exists a man who has those qualities and is devoted and loyal to his woman, regardless of who they are. Observe that Cersei Lannister and Zilpha Geary are completely different as characters while Jamie and James are basically the same. Why are men okay with this? Once again, observe that both shows are period pieces. Men like that could only ever exist in the past, not today. Not with all these skanky bitches running around anyway.  Gotta get mine before someone fucks me over. “Why the fuck would I be okay with this? I don’t want woman feeling ashamed of wanting a real man. I am a real man, they just won’t talk to me, then I could show them how awesome/cool/whatever I am!” Is that so?

How noble.

Capitalism and why we suck at it

wage

(I.) This meme found it’s way to my facebook page, which isn’t surprising, because bullshit is everywhere on the internet. These kinds of posts specifically are almost formulaic in how they operate. It’s always someone in a respectable position, as long as that position isn’t a successful capitalist but something we would consider ‘heroic but underpaid’ like a soldier, teacher, or in this case, a paramedic. These posts then go on to shame anyone that disagrees with them (read: aspiring capitalists), extols the virtues of low wage work, and then slings shit at ‘the man’.  When I read this, I reflexively agreed with it, which told me it’s wrong. I sat down for a bit to think about it. I should’ve just taken a shot and moved on. Can’t change the past though, so let’s find out why I’m alone.

 

(II.) First off, It’s important to note what the poster ultimately wants to be true, namely that you should take him seriously, his job after all requires a ‘broad set of skills.’ If you took out the ‘medical’ and ‘health’ parts, he’s describing what goes on in your average understaffed, overworked retail environment (read: every retail environment). Understand that I am not in any way attempting to denigrate his chosen profession nor am I trivializing the necessity of his work. What I am saying is that the poster is in fact trivializing you. I know this because you’d most likely defend him by saying something like “but his skills are different/he does important work, etc, etc even though you have no idea who this person is.

Why is this opening statement even necessary? Everything he says has nothing to do with his job. He proves this by pointing out that electricians are pissed too. No, unfortunately, he’s trying to signal to you that he’s an unsung hero in a system that doesn’t give a shit about him, but he pushes on regardless. He wants you to believe him. Believe in him. Wanna know who else wants you to believe in them? People in unearned positions of authority, people with insecurity issues, and salesmen. What’s even more unfortunate is that he believes in upholding the status quo.

 

(III.) The critical error the poster makes is in equating ‘life’ with ‘time.’ No, my job does not take up my life, it takes up time in my life. “Yeah but (insert semantic/quote/metaphor about life and time here)” Yeah, lovely semantics/quote/metaphor/whatever, tell me more about why you can’t be that thing you want to be. This kind of thinking is endemic to people who have a taste of money, but no access to capital. He goes on to shame those who are upset that the time and energy they have put into themselves to make their lives better have been effectively overwritten by people whining that burger flippers should make more money. He’s right to shame them, but the reasons why are wrong.

 

Those who are pissed about the wage hike for burger flippers and those who want the wage hike are missing out on the long game. They can’t see it, which means they’re being duped in a long con.  What’s the long game? To be a capitalist. End of story, that’s how you win the game of America. What’s the long con? Duping yourself. End of story, that’s how you win the game of America.

The burger flipper is fucked, because she sure as shit ain’t gonna do anything to improve her life now (i.e. become a capitalist). “Fuck you, she can finally have a savings account, afford healthcare, she can finally save up money  for XYZ, which will help her better her life.” Sorry, but your idealism is trumped by reality. If she couldn’t do that before, she ain’t just gonna magically have those skills because you pay her more. Her problem isn’t with not enough money, her problem is with not enough sacrifice. You don’t have to agree with me, just keep paying your rent and driving that honda.

 

The electrician is wrong because he assumed that the amount of money he makes signals his importance and worth as a person. He doesn’t see that his trajectory positions him to be far more successful than a burger flipper as long as he makes the right moves, and it’s the amount of sacrifices he’s willing to make that does in fact signal his importance and worth as a person. Once again, the problem isn’t with not enough money, but not enough sacrifice.

 

(IV.) Now that the author has convinced you of his importance and that those around him can’t see the truth, he opens fire on his true target ‘the man.’ Apparently in the warped reality in his head, CEO’s want us lowly sheeple fighting each other so we don’t see reality and revolt against those who hold the means of production in a glorious proletariat revolution. The problem with Marxism is that it inherently appeals to the narcissist in us. I’ll risk the Blow back by saying this: Unfortunately, your CEO doesn’t give two shits about you. They don’t care as in, they don’t care enough to have the energy to orchestrate shit like this. People that high up believe in one thing only :Making more money. We can sit here and debate the ethics of such a driving force, but good luck explaining that to the shareholders. They (Capitalists) don’t want us fighting over crumbs while they make off with almost the whole damn cake, we want to fight each other so we can ignore the missing cake.

 

“What the fuck are you taking about?” What I’m talking about is this. Have you ever googled “duties of a CEO?” No? Do it. Once you read into it, you’ll know the price to be paid for having almost the whole damn cake. It means dancing on a knife edge all day, every day for the rest of your workable life. Thing is, you already knew this. You’ve always been aware that the more power one attains, the more stress one comes under. More power= more responsibilities= more consequences = no thanks. However, most people can’t be content to call themselves failures of their own accord, and we can’t fight the capitalists, not because they’re more powerful than us, but because they simply don’t give a shit. The people running the world have no interest in fighting with us, not because they’re better than us, but because they have better things to do. So what do we do instead? Fight and blame each other for our individual failures.

 

(V.) The end of this sordid story has the author claiming the burger flippers won and ‘made’ the capitalists pay them more. In the same way that a child believes that they ‘made’ their parents give them that thing, yeah, I totally agree. Just because you score a victory, it doesn’t mean you’ve won. Kid gets what he wants, and the parents get some peace and quiet for a bit with the added bonus that that’s the last ice cream bar in the freezer.

Let’s play a game called “sum the vectors.” It’s a fun game. Since it’s always disappointing, you can’t ever be wrong, so everyone wins. The burger flippers don’t want to work at their job, which is why they are asking for more money, which works out well since capitalists don’t want them working there either. The intersection of desire occurs when burger flippers get more money  which allows the board to convince the shareholders that automation will be a better investment. See, they don’t want to work there, the capitalists don’t either, and both will get what they want.

As the old saying goes “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”

Marina Warner thinks higher education has become corrupt. Do you?

I.) Of course, that’s a trick question. The trick is getting you to believe that higher education wasn’t corrupt at some point. Let’s go through a short history lesson. In the western world, the first universities were so expensive, only the wealthy could attend. You either had to be rich, be the child of someone who is rich, or have someone who is rich be indebted to you somehow. The function of the university was to continue the entrenchment of the aristocracy. If only rich people can be smart, then only rich people can run society. We usually gloss over that though, because public college and universities were supposed to be the exact opposite. Education for everyone, regardless of status was the motto for everyone who thinks that’s what college is for. However, anyone born in the 1920-40’s can actually remember when the number of colleges exploded in the U.S. I’ll give you hint, it starts with ‘f’ and rhymes with ‘ball of Hitler’. After WWII, a lot of young soldiers came home with an awful lot of money (G.I. Bill). Many people (read: non soldiers) saw the G.I. Bill as basically free money. Now, what’s the easiest way to wrest money away from people? Convince them it’s worth it. College: training soldiers to re enter the work force at home, was the real motto back in the day, funded by the suffering and death of millions (read: weapons manufacturing), brought to you in part by Hitler (read:Global Politics). Eventually, colleges became readily available to everyone around 1965. What’s also interesting to note is that advertising became much more aggressive in that decade as well, but that’s probably a coincidence. The point here though, is that the second that college became available to everyone, it became available to everyone. Including corporations. Including think tanks. Including anything you don’t like. The fact is, College has never ever ever ever been ever separated from special interests at any time or place. “Oh, you have a college degree?,” says the employer ,”You’re hired!” “You only have a college degree?” Says the modern employer. “I guess we could start you at minimum wage. How’s 24 hours a week sound?”

II.) There is an abstract force which guides our society, I’ll call it ‘the system’. No, the system isn’t the man, it’s not the government, or big business. The system is you. The system is you, me, and everyone else. Specifically, it’s the accumulation of all participant’s desires. Here’s an example: You want an iPad. You also don’t want to pay $7,000 for an iPad. Apple wants to sell you an iPad. They know you don’t want to pay $7,000 for it. In order to get what you both want, Apple will create a sweatshop in Taiwan where it can be made such that an iPad can be sold to you for $499. You see, the system isn’t good at managing which desires have more merit than others, or which ones will be more important later down the line, it just takes them all and makes sure they all intersect at some point. Herein lies the actual problem with college. It tells you that all degrees are equal, which you know is bullshit. However, college isn’t telling you that so it can get your money because you’re moron and it knows better (mostly), it’s telling you that because that’s exactly what you want to hear. If college was as honest as you don’t want them to be, they would take down all of their extraordinarily unprofitable degrees and only allow you to take ones that would ensure success on some level. If you wanted to take creative writing as a degree to become a novelist, they would tell you to start writing, that you don’t need college for that; you need drive and constant practice. However, because you want to feel like writing sci-fi is just as important as curing cancer, and college wants your money, that’s exactly what it’s going to tell you. in the words of the last psychiatrist, “Sum the vectors.”

III.) Marina Warner is apparently a really famous novelist over in England, and good for her. She wrote the piece that I am basing this post off of. She subscribes to the romantic philosophy of higher education being the expression of western democracy and all that good stuff. Note, she identifies as a novelist (read: not an economist). This is why her piece is fundamentally flawed. She thinks that higher education has become flawed in modern times. She believes that when she went to school, there was no/very little corruption, as in, it never occurred to her to think this in the first place. If she ever admitted that she was duped and couldn’t see it until she was effectively double duped, I think her mind would break on the assumption that everyone’s mind would break if they admitted that most of their adult life was spent living in comfortable ignorance.

IV.) Ms. Warner’s thought process is representative of the mind’s defense against change. We all do it. It’s a powerful mechanism as creatures of habit. What makes it so tempting to do this is that it is so easy, and so powerfully irrational. It relies on confirming what we already believe to confirm what we are going to believe. If we see something that doesn’t align with what we already believe, we don’t explore new options, we usually just switch our viewpoint on the event to where it lines up with our preexisting beliefs. Here’s an example. Christians don’t believe in evolution. Irrefutable evidence of evolution comes forward. At first, they just refute it. Then they say God made evolution possible. Now we have distinctions in science made by Christians, separating science into observational science and historical science. Historical science can’t be observed, and therefore, we can’t really know what happened. Rather than accepting that everything they know could be entirely false, which I’m not saying it is (I’m also not not saying it), They merely found a work around that allows them to still believe what they were going to believe in the first place while coexisting with the evidence. That’s what happened here with Ms. Warner, down to a ‘T’. Not only did she refuse to believe that higher education was corrupt while she went there as a student, she even wrote an article about it. If you don’t think that’s important, you’re about to find out why it is.

V.) Defense against change manifests itself in one of two ways: Crowd sourcing opinion and frantic activity. Ms. Warner accomplished both. Rather than re-thinking what she knew, rather than at least forming a group dedicated to fighting corruption in higher education, she convinced herself it couldn’t have been corrupted while she was attending as a student and then wrote an article about it. Since she expended energy both convincing herself and convincing others by writing an article about how higher education has become corrupt, she no longer has to challenge her own beliefs. Status quo is maintained in her mind, and she can continue being a productive consumer while convincing herself that she isn’t one. What we keeping forgetting is that this works both ways. as long as status quo is maintained for her and everyone who agrees with her, so too is the status quo for the corrupt universities. Marina isn’t going to realize this, she’s set in her ways. To any of you who believe you can change the system, I will offer you these words: This will be cripplingly difficult, but you must find people who believe in what you believe in, and you must act.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n06/marina-warner/learning-my-lesson

TTIFRY Feminists, #Gamergate, and Labor Costs

I. For those of you have been living under rock and/or doing something with your life, there’s actually been a whole controversy going on for the past six months known under the hashtag #gamergate. I’m not going to rehash what everyone has already said, I’ll just provide links for that. However, for context, I’ll give a brief summary of what’s been going on:

Zoe Quinn came under attack for allegations of cronyism (sleeping with five different people in the gaming industry for positive reviews, as well as receiving funding from them) and for false flag operations of harassment against herself in order to generate more views and sales of her game, Depression Quest. Are the allegations true? Are they False? I don’t fucking care. What matters most is her response. Her response turned what was an investigation of unethical journalism practices in the video game industry into a culture war.

This is her response:

“(…)What I am going to say is that the proliferation of nude pictures of me, death threats, vandalization, doxxing of my trans friends for having the audacity to converse with me publicly, harassment of friends and family and my friends’ family in addition to TOTALLY UNRELATED PEOPLE, sending my home address around, rape threats, memes about me being a whore, pressures to kill myself, slurs of every variety, fucking debates over what my genitals smell like, vultures trying to make money off of youtube videos about it, all of these things are inexcusable and will continue to happen to women until this culture changes. I’m certainly not the first. I wish I could be the last.” – Zoe Quinn

Let me be clear, No one should harass someone else with the above. That’s ridiculous. However, when you’ve been accused of false flagging harassment to yourself (there is compelling evidence for that position), do you really think you should respond with more supposed instances of harassment?

In response to the allegations, instead of admitting to anything she had done on her own, she instead decides to enlist the help of every. single. woman. in. America. Christ. This is an established tactic of Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/Facebook/Reddit/Youtube Feminists and has been for awhile. If you don’t believe me, just go to ye olde feminists sites like Jezebel and Feministing. However, Zoe decides to break tradition, and go one step further. She decided to bring in transgendered people. Did it really matter that her friends were transgendered? Of course not. However, by specifically mentioning that they were transgendered friends that were being attacked, she wants to communicate one thing to you:

If you are transgendered, everyone that hates me hates you too.

There should be a special place for people like Ms. Quinn.

Then of course, Anita Sarkeesian had to get involved. She’s also infamous for putting out her video series Tropes vs. Women in Video games, which she paid for through kickstarter. All of her videos have been continuously refuted countless times, so I’m not going to go into that. The only thing you need to know is that she subscribes to the same philosophy of Zoe, which is, ” If I have a problem, it’s everyone problems. If someone disagrees with me, they obviously hate everybody.”

And who can forgot Brianna Wu, another victim of the misogyny of the gamer culture. But she’s not really that important, she just completes the trifecta.

II. At some point after the entire point of #gamergate got redirected, the news got involved. The fact that it’s on the news demonstrates the most powerful weapon TTIFRY Feminists have at their disposal:

Misogyny is a career killer.

Let’s put it this way: You go to CNN and ask to have a piece done about misogyny. You give them your  story and they tell you to shove it. You do the same thing with MSNBC. Same Response. Finally, you go to FOX News, where not only do you get to tell your story, but you also get to tell the FOX news demo that CNN and MSNBC don’t care about your misogynist story (Read: They don’t care [Read: They are misogynists])

Because of this, the media has to play ball. In fact, they actually have to go out and search for it. If they don’t search, they don’t care. If they don’t run the story, they don’t care. Unfortunately, I don’t have time for your insanity is no longer an acceptable answer, as public perception is more important than truth. This is what happened to Gamergate, and why they are going to be on the losing side of this battle in the eyes of the public (Read:Truth) forever. They now have to constantly defend themselves against misogyny, the community as a whole, consistently. Every day. As long as this controversy continues. Yes, they have made some victories, but none of these have been publicized as heavily as the allegations lobbed against them. #Gamergate now has to play the feminist game, even though they don’t want to. They even disavow anyone that does harass another. But anyone that does give harassment to whoever is against #Gamergate is instantly assumed to be someone who affiliates with #Gamergate, and the cycle never ends. Here’s why this has happened:

#Gamergate chose to defend themselves against the allegations.

III. You might be thinking, So what? They should have defended themselves against people that are lying. Well, uh, duh. Of course you should do that when someone accuses you of something you haven’t done. Except for when the accuser is already the accused. Except for when you could have just ignored it, let them writhe in their filth, and let them expose themselves. When you respond to bullshit of this magnitude, you accept the premise. You accept that their argument now has just as much validity as your argument. Unlike human beings, not all arguments were created equal. Does misogyny in any industry matter? Of course it does. Does it matter when the allegations against those who cry misogyny are for cronyism and false flag operations? Fuck no. Two COMPLETELY SEPARATE matters for two COMPLETELY SEPARATE discussions. That’s how it should have been played out. That’s not the way it went, #Gamergate has tried to handle it the best they could, and props to them for doing so.

IV. Crying culture war is an effective tactic. It always has been. What’s sad is that this is not so much accidental as it is totally on purpose. By totally on purpose, I mean the problem that feminists see is put there in front of them to distract them. Here is a very simple truth. In order for publishers to fund games that include everybody in the country in their demo, then everyone has to buy games. Since everyone won’t buy games, Publishers can’t do it. If you’re wondering how that works, let me give an explanation free of mumbo jumbo. People make games with a certain demo in mind. That demo gives expected sales figures. expected sales figures are a major determining factor in the budget. That’s how publishers avoiding wasting millions developing and marketing a game to a demo that has no interest, or isn’t that interested in that kind of game. Now unfortunately, this is something no one really thinks about because none of us even know the names of the people responsible; the only thing we get to see are the lackeys doing damage control. Game devs, journalists, community managers, etc. etc. They don’t decide the budget, and they usually don’t even decide the demo. The more control game devs want over their product, the more they have to fight for it. The more they have to fight, the less likely they’ll be called upon in the future. That simple. You wanna keep your job, then play ball. I’m not saying they shouldn’t fight (I’m not not saying it either), I’m saying that’s the reality. They got mouths to feed, and one of those mouths isn’t you.

V. When we finally accept that the issue is about labor costs, and not about inherent misogyny in the industry, the solution becomes surprisingly simple. Whenever you see a game come out that you feel addresses the issues you find need to be fixed, then buy it. Get your friends to buy it. Put out blogs about it. Hell, try your hand at making one. But keep doing it, and don’t stop. Eventually, Publishers will see you as a demo worth targeting, and you’ll see the games you want coming out. You might think to yourself any number of things that distract you from that reality. Don’t let that happen. Publishers don’t care if you cry their games are sexist, especially when they’ve sold a couple million copies of them. It doesn’t matter what you can prove because people are going to buy games. The fight on #Gamergate is only going to drive sales of games. That’s all the publishers care about. Let me be more clear in case you still don’t get it TTIFRY feminists, progressive writers, or anyone else who believes that the games industry in somehow full of weak willed women and women-hating men: YOU CANNOT WIN THIS FIGHT. Proceed with observation and inference.

Sources:

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/quinnspiracy

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/gamergate

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