Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Check Your Rhetoric, Bro: Charlie Hebdo, Islam, and… Gamergate?

Okay, check this out:

Switch Gamergate in for Islam and what do we get?

Whether you agree or not, Islam has become associated with violence against cartoonists, novelists, filmmakers, women, gays, and people of other faiths. The fact that some Muslims don’t agree with terrorist acts done in the name of their religion is interesting, but doesn’t change the fact that it has been linked with a range of violent and barbaric behaviors.

Here’s another one:

Switch Gamergate in for Islam and what do we get?

Even if 90% of Muslims are good and 10% are bad, the bad are poisoning the message for everyone…. I know that may pain you to hear. You thought you were taking part in a religion of peace that is open to all and pleasing to God. But Islam has been permanently tarnished and hijacked by a handful of people who are not what you would hope.

There it is.

If someone treated Islam the way Gamergate is handled, the person doing it would be overwhelmed with accusations of bigotry and hate-mongering. There are two reasons for this. One, Gamergate is treated extremely unfairly, both in the press and in social media. Two, Islam is something of a scared cow… even in places that aren’t under Sharia law. Now, the internet has lit up with commentary on why that is the case. I won’t go into it here. My point is… Jimmy Wales and most journalists are bigoted towards Gamergate. It’s a fact. And I know people reading this are thinking, “dude… those cartoonists are shot dead in cold blood and you’re talking about ethics in video games journalism!” And y’all have a point. But if we can’t trust the media to handle video games responsibly, how can we expect them to cover something like Islam with any sort of reasonable standard?

Well we can’t. This is typified by the way that The New York Times removed this particularly damning sentence from their coverage:

I’m not going to kill you because you’re a woman, we don’t kill women, but you must convert to Islam, read the Quran and cover yourself.

Just quoting that in a discussion will get you tarred with the label of “bigot” just like saying anything positive about Gamergate will get you labeled as a misogynist. The extent of this chilling effect really is astounding. It’s almost like people are being programmed or something… and they are!

There are two things going on here. The first is… that R. Crumb was basically right when he said that, “you don’t have journalists over there anymore, what they have is public relations people. That’s what they have over in America now. Two-hundred and fifty thousand people in public relations. And a dwindling number of actual reporters and journalists.” Gamergate exposes this. The coverage of Islam in the news illustrates this. And this sort of thing didn’t just happen, either. All of this was predicted by C. S. Lewis way back in The Abolition of Man. And you can’t talk about this stuff anywhere without facing slander and social sanction.

What you’re witnessing is the breakdown of the West as it is hollowed out from within by cowards and traitors. As Robert E. Howard said, “when a nation forgets her skill in war, when her religion becomes a mockery, when the whole nation becomes a nation of money-grabbers, then the wild tribes, the barbarians drive in… Who will our invaders be? From whence will they come?” Our invader is indeed from East. The barbarian is in fact screaming “Allahu Akbar” and murdering cartoonists. And though my outrage has not particularly cooled in the intervening days since the shooting, I nevertheless come to realize that it is not Islam that is the problem here. It will be what it will be, and to some extent it can’t really help what it is. No, my anger is at the enemy within: the one that wages a non-stop war against the sort of values that make Western Civilization what it is. They are the ones that made us into a soft target. They’ve done all that they can to invite this sort of thing. They are the ones that hate not just free expression but due process and even “innocent until proven guilty.”

I’ve had it with them. I’ve had it. And it really ticks me off to think of what we’ve been missing after all these years of tiptoeing around the sensibilities of these sorts of cretins. Stuff like this:

More and more to me, it seems that practicing free expression “responsibly” is a really dumb idea. Never before has it been clearer that yes, protecting unpopular speech is kind of where you have to draw the line if you are really serious about a free society. All those newspapers are unable to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons right now because they’re too scared to do it. Yeah, I’d be scared some barbarian would want to cut my head off, too. But I’d like to think that I’m not the sort of person that would betray my own people just so I could come off as being morally superior to the rednecks in Deliverance and Duck Dynasty.

Maybe it’s not enough to go read a banned book, play a banned game, and set the First Amendment right next to mom and apple pie and all those other things we pretend to revere. (To which the average knucklehead will reply that that the First Amendment protects us from government censorship, not from brutal Islamic jihaddis. Thank you, cretin, for clearing that up.) Maybe it’s time to give these bastards so many targets that they can’t hope to get us all.

After all, as gaming journalist Leigh Alexander would put it:

Islam is over. It’s just a dated demographic, a relic of the dark ages. These obtuse misogynists, these murderous barbarians, these thinskined bufoons that can’t take a joke — they are not my audience. They don’t have to be yours. There is no ‘side’ to be on, there is no ‘debate’ to be had. There is what’s past and there is what’s now. There is the role you choose to play in what’s ahead.

Je suis Charlie.


7 responses to “Check Your Rhetoric, Bro: Charlie Hebdo, Islam, and… Gamergate?

  1. dgarsys January 14, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Pretty much everything you say is spot on.

    Without even factoring in the QUALITITATIVE side of things.

  2. JSpace January 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Way back in the late 80’s/ early 90’s while my brother was on leave, I remember he brought home some novelty toilet paper which had pictures of certain well known political and religious figures printed on them. You know, I’ve had the urge lately to wipe my butt with a picture of Mohammed (and the Pope too, just to keep things fair and balanced).

    • jeffro January 14, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Me? I want to play the scenarios in that Black Widow Company book…. With vintage miniatures from before the purge of the “unseen” mechs.

      That’ll show ’em!

  3. morrisonmp January 15, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Heh. I have a full set of the “unseen” mechs and I always love breaking them out. I came to Battletech as an active player a little too late for the Black Widow company book though. I do love the Succession Wars era of Battletech though and I’m always looking for an excuse to play with those.

    • jeffro January 15, 2015 at 9:21 am

      The Grey Death Legion book has first edition Mechwarrior stats for the cast o’ characters. That’s another the thing I’d want to try: that old personal combat system that was delightfully derivative of the BattleTech rules.

  4. BobtheCertifiedIdiot January 15, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I’d quibble slightly over possible origins of barbarians that might overrun the USA. As society collapses, long range transport over the oceans would see a decrease in capacity. This might be enough that any great amount of Muslims in the area would need to be converts, rather than travelers.

    Think about the real life examples of children ‘raised’ by animals. If you can keep someone alive until, say, twenty without having been exposed to human language, they may never really be all that functional. Draw a line between that and somebody raised, say, very well. Which is to say, they know history, know culture, have a wide variety of work related skills, have some idea of the worst demands society or circumstances may place on them, and are prepared to do their duty.

    The distinction between civilized and barbarian, and the distinctions between degrees of civilized, are probably on that line.

    Which is to say that perhaps we could so bungle the upbringing of a generation that they would be the barbarians.

    If it happens, I think it would not be uniform. Some people seem to be doing a very good job of raising their kids. If it is this generation, not every one seems screwed up. If the next, I think some of the ones producing it will do a good job.

    • jeffro January 15, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      The barbarians are not whom I’m worried about.

      They are a fact and they are a threat, but they know their place when they can tell that the West is the “strong horse.”

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